Pacemakers Anniversary Run X 2014

WOWEE!

Excuse my unnecessary excitement. I am still feeling very high from last weekend’s relay race.

This race, to me, was no ordinary race. It was nothing like the other races that I’ve participated in. The race itself and how this team came about is something I hold close to my heart.

Pre-Race

We would have to go all the way back to February 2014 – where it all began with an invitation. The team captain, Shu Wei, asked if I was interested in taking part in a relay race. At that time, I didn’t even know relay races (on the road) existed (shh, don’t judge). I was pretty surprised when he asked because he (and the rest of the guys) only knew me through the Puma Running Club and it was only over a few weeks.

10330265_10152614003516388_802168079590917319_nThe thing about relay races is that you are not alone. This is no longer your race. You are running for your team. Your performance affects everyone on the team. One member can either make it or break it. And I definitely didn’t want to be the one to break it. But for some bizarre reason, I agreed, even though I had doubts about myself and my abilities.

Given enough thought, I probably would have declined. I guess this is one of those rash “20 seconds of insane courage” decisions.

And it was one of the best decisions ever.

I am grateful that they had the slightest hope in me, believing that I could do it.

10301587_10204730948733209_6182466560356890844_nThe Cari Runners.

This was the stepping stone as to how I came to know this huge running community that I never knew existed and which I can now call family – the Cari Runners, the Puma Running Club…… Becoming a part of a community was a huge step for me. It was out of my comfort zone.

Training and running around with a bunch of people that I had just came to know is not something that I would normally do. Thankfully, they welcomed me with open arms. The immense support, encouragement and motivation from this group made running that much more fun.

10450151_10152613999071388_7449508673096383075_nThe months leading up to race day were filled (okay, I’m exaggerating. It was countable. Haaaaaa!) with training sessions. Slowly, I got to know my teammates. Most of which I have been communicating with via social media and haven’t actually met them in person.

Yeah, I agreed to run a relay without knowing who my teammates were. Crazy stuff.

10502431_10152614003481388_7038502936883867803_nThe “original” team.

In April, one of our teammates, Fabio, met with an unfortunate accident in the Ironman event. Thank God that he was alright. The problem was that he had to pull out from the team because he needed time to recover and could not start running/training just yet.

And just like that, we lost a teammate. Despite Fabio’s condition, he was still a team player. He supported all our training sessions by being there either as the time keeper or the photographer or both.

Around the same time, Bryan showed up. We knew him as that-super-fast-kid through the Puma Running Club. We didn’t hesitate to ask if he was interested to join us. He agreed without (if any) hassle. So, we were back on track (although we weren’t exactly desperately looking for a replacement).

1606840_10152577727816388_7915750910349523621_nThe solid team. From Left: Goh Jing Jing, Hoo Yeen Ho, Me, Bryan, Hong Zi Shen

We only managed to train once as a team because Hoo Yeen Ho was from Melaka. He came over one weekend to join us (this is dedication people!).

We practiced the race route 2 weeks before race day. The route had a mixture of flat road, uphill and stairs (total distance of 3.14KM). This was not only a test of speed but also a test of strategy and pace.

Here’s the breakdown of the route:

1600m | flat

300m | uphill

130m | downhill

110m | flat

100m | stairs

870m | downhill

Go too fast at the start and you risk exhausting all of your energy stores before reaching the hill and the stairs.

Race Day

It was finally time to put our training to the test.

Although I only had 5 hours of sleep the night before, I was feeling pretty good. We (HYH, QiYan, Kevin and myself) arrived at about 6.30am. I was still pretty cool and calm. Slowly, as the crowd began to fill the area, my nerves were through the roof!

We gathered the team, took a few photos, met a few people, did a quick warm up and I was off to the starting line.

10456134_10204729968748710_1720960547435678492_n148 teams. Scary stuff.

10487544_10204729972428802_1291410970631592978_nAt 7.30am, we were off. I had a mini “UH-OH, THIS IS IT, WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO” moment. Haaaaaaaa! The pressure came from needing to pull a big time gap from the other runners. Every second counts. I had to give everything I have in 3.14KM.

10500359_812896708741011_8924752237345703780_nThe killer stretch.

10551723_10152188831976048_5235394676202937990_oThe last bend.10499601_10152188832081048_3144940751025969156_oSome support from my teammate. QiYan has been the main motivator in this team. Always stirring up the race mood by monitoring our performance and keeping the team together. 10436244_10204730004589606_4873128241046011548_nAlmost there!10451026_10204730005189621_5501417421696750174_nJJ was ready and I couldn’t wait to hand the baton over.10460788_10204730006229647_3996786440038494897_nDone! I came in 3rd, behind Amelia and Chooi Fern.

10407987_10204730172113794_6272675124911207166_nI was so happy when JJ came back (screaming and jumping up and down), because he still held us in 3rd place! 10468205_10204730284916614_602229948409390771_nAnd of course, Bryan. Although he managed to continue to keep us in 3rd place, the pressure was still on. 10527349_10204730420199996_7636333406131889438_nCari B team leader, QiYan, also came in 3rd. By then, we knew we had secured our placing. 10526093_10204730538042942_6376878656568821180_nIt was so intense. I was on the “edge of my seat” the whole time. Running up and down, waiting for my teammates to reach the stairs and cheering them on at the finish line. Our 5th leg runner checked in and we were DONE! Felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. WHOOP!

We had loads of time to kill while waiting for everyone to complete the race.

THEY SERVED WATERMELON! OH YUM! And Nasi Lemak, assorted buns, soya bean, isotonic drinks and tao foo fah. But I was only interested in the watermelon.

10463971_10152613998721388_1429630341139520280_nWe agreed to bring our shades (to take “cool” pictures of ourselves). Just for the fun of it. 10273501_10152613999026388_7737819528849915337_nOh, the silly things you do with your teammates. 1924340_10152613998656388_8312962177249922079_nShoe wheel!10520097_10152613998356388_9087833050714225270_nCari B selfies galore.10484484_10152613998781388_4814617661848660774_n 10543653_10152613998871388_6530800415757416734_n 10537178_10152613998276388_3737407281889845007_nTeam Captain (Overall Cari A and B), Goh Shu Wei.10464072_10152613998971388_3507264517338692793_nCari A’s female runner, Chooi Fern. 10473074_10204730956893413_6206420502405778112_nBunch of blind runners. Haaaaaa!10547595_762656220422227_4760087204168602855_nWHOOP! Successful jump shot (after many attempts). 10007253_10204730987934189_3400300081125805235_nMy ultimate supporter. Thanks for accommodating my hectic running schedule and just being there for me. From seeing me at my worst to being there at my highest, I truly am blessed to have you. 10500402_10204731005054617_137831330781610302_nAfter about 2 hours, it was finally time for the prize giving ceremony. 10385290_10204731009654732_3648557630225977328_nTop 3. Not too shabby. 10547469_10152610100101388_7724647718959628156_nCari A and Cari B. Top 2 and 3! POWAHHHHH!10348542_10152613998451388_8517160557694714686_nWe took SO many pictures, this was us laughing at ourselves. 10473188_4551566404661_5964054275410021545_nSum-up collage courtesy of JJ.

Post-Race

10497467_10152190913406048_3614811464460569831_oI am so happy with this team and what we have achieved together. Honestly, I was only aiming to be in the top 10. We may not know each other that well but that kind of team spirit (so strong, so solid) was there. Everyone gave their 100% and we pushed ourselves beyond our limits, for each other.

All 5 of us managed to hold the team in 3rd place throughout the race. And that is the beauty of any team sport. Fighting all the way, not only for yourself but also for your teammates.

I love you guys! Thanks for this memorable experience.

10556406_10152614003446388_8265566949667819977_nOh and errrrrr, this happened

10479161_10152613998231388_5957290141667985115_nGrowth begins when you step out of your comfort zone.

So, what are you waiting for? GET OUT THERE!

That’s all for the day folks!

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s