That was my thought in regards to taking part in the KL Towerthon, or any other race involving a tower.
I’ve heard HORRIBLE stories about it. The worst of all would have to be stumbling upon a puddle of puke on the floor. Can you imagine slipping and falling into someone else’s puke because you were already too fuzzed up to look at where you’re landing?! *Shudders*
And the SMELL! Think – confined area, stuffy, crowded, humid, puke, sweat and other biological fluids…… It DOES NOT sound appetizing, AT ALL!
So, WHY did I decide to take part?
Somehow (I don’t know how), Jeff managed to convince me to do it. He allowed me to curse him AFTER the race, so I knew it was going to be BAD. But then again, he was really helpful. Having done it before, he gave me a few pointers on how to tackle the race.
I did not do any stairs training/workout prior to this race. To compensate, I did quite a bit of hills with higher knee drive. Not exactly “stairs” but at least I’m working the same muscles. Also, I do plyometrics (box jumps/burpees/jump squats etc) on a regular basis.
I gave the trial run a miss because I like surprising myself on race day. I’ve said this before, I don’t like knowing what I’ll be going through until the race itself. I don’t check race routes prior to ANY race.
I was feeling a bit nervous as race day approached. I am well aware that stairs and road running is VERY different. Being reasonably good on the road/track does not guarantee that you would do well for stairs! You cannot use anybody as a benchmark. So, I did not know how I would fair. I had absolutely NO IDEA what my timing would be like or how I would do.
As it was my first attempt, the only goal was to FINISH……in one piece!
I set 4 alarms, not taking any more chances here.
Fuelled myself with some simple carbs because I’d be needing every bit of it!
When I arrived at the race venue, the Men’s Open category was already done and there was a prayer break for the Muslims. I bumped into Pei Leng as I was heading towards the starting area. She gave me a lot of last minute tips! THANK YOU! She went for the trial run so she could give me a rough idea of how it would be like. It was her first time too! According to her, it was hot, stuffy, wet…… it was everything that I was afraid of and not exactly what I wanted to hear, again!
I braced myself for the WORST!
I had about 45 minutes to kill before the flag off. Got a chance to catch up with Michele Tan and Kak Amelia. Kak Amelia told me that the Women’s Open category itself had 3 different waves! Thankfully, I was in the first wave!
After the Men’s Senior Veteran wave, we were allowed into the starting pen. I managed to squeeze my way to the front. We waited for about 15 minutes for them to clear the way.
Errrr… ok i was pretty close to the front.
The flag off – the starting area was really tight and I was running very close to the barriers for the first 15 meters.
After the first 20 meters, we were greeted by a hill! What a great way to kick start the lactic acid fest! I broke away from the crowd but I didn’t go full speed. I was hanging behind in 5th place. After the first turn, it didn’t get any better. It was a slightly steeper hill! Jeff had warned me about this before race day, so I was expecting it.
See how I gradually made my way up to zone 5! I was being conservative. I am using the Mio watch together with the Mio Go app!
I slowly made my way to 4th place before the straight stretch leading up to the tower. The crowd was wild! I could feel the energy and it was nice to have people cheering for you along the way!
We had to go up the escalator, make a few turns before hitting the stairs! I was feeling pretty excited! As I didn’t push as hard, I felt ok when I went up the first few flights of stairs. By then, I managed to make my way to 3rd place.
Credits to ET Tey
I was lucky to be in the first Women’s Open wave because I had the first half of the way to myself! I had enough “air”!
I wasn’t running up the stairs, more like fast walking? I used a combination of bending over and using mainly my quads and hauling myself up using the railing. The railing was relatively dry and clean (I would like to think that it is clean!). It was also not as stuffy as I thought! The floor was completely dry although I was half expecting to see a puddle of puke.
Nearing the top, I caught up with a few men from the other waves. Some were seated at the side and some were “enjoying” their way up. I greeted most of them, cheered them on and asked if they were ok! I was making my trip up a bit more tolerable.
It felt like forever! And I was a total blur case. I thought we had a LONG way to go. I had no idea that I was nearing the finishing line. When I reached the top (even after crossing the timing mat), I continued running until the lady told me to stop and I had to ask if it was over! It was funny and I laughed to myself.
The journey back down was pretty smooth, no hiccups whatsoever.
When the results were out, I was pleased to find out that I came in 7th overall and the 3rd Malaysian with a time of 18:27. Pretty satisfied! Congrats to Kak Amelia and Michele for taking home the Gold and Silver respectively. And honestly, I had the BEST experience ever! I enjoyed every bit of it, even running up the stairs!
If you’re thinking about attempting the KL Towerthon, take it from me – DO IT! Try it, at least once! You’ll love it…… I think!
Disclaimer: These are my thoughts and my personal experience. Please do not hold me responsible if your future towerthon experience didn’t turn out as good (HAAAA!). HAPPY CLIMBING!
Snippets from my 9to5 run!
I finished 4th. I actually took part in this race for the lucky draw but MEH, not so lucky!
Credits to Rashid