I must begin by saying this was absolutely the most enjoyable event I've taken part in since starting to run. A big thanks to the entire team of runners and supporters! We might not have won but we did our best and had fun so that really is whats important.
This was a relay around Penang island covering a total distance of 72.6km. Each runner had to run different legs covering various distances. There were a total of 12 runners in the team and I was running the 5th leg, covering a distance of 5km.
The Adidas Pacemakers team!
We had chartered a bus that would take us to the starting point, and also to be uses for transporting our supporters from point to point where we can cheer our runners. The bus would also then pick up the runners who had completed their legs. Other teams used vans or cars and some waited for the organiser bus to pick them up.
Arriving at the starting point before 6am, the site was still quite empty. We got our bibs and started pinning them on. After some briefing from the PAAA officials, we were soon put on different buses to be transported to our various stations.
Our first and last two runners
Richard in the starting lineup, ready to pia!
I was able to see some action from the first runners while being transported to my station. My bus had runners from the 5th, 6th and 7th legs. Exchanged the usual 'Pia kau kau' with Ronnie and Khoo before getting off the bus at the station. I didn't know any of the other runners there except for Naidu.
I was feeling nervous when I saw that the hill that I would start on was quite steep. I just tried to calm myself and relax as much as possible. The first runner to arrive was from Ah Choon club (Team A), followed by Brooks running club (Team C).
Then there was a small gap before the next runner from 02 Hiking (Team F) arrived with the runner from BM Leopard (Team E) just few hundred metres behind. Wow.. where was Sim??? That's when all of a sudden from nowhere a busload of PMs arrived. 'Sim is coming... Sim is coming!!' they said. Yayyyy it's time for some action... but my heart was going DUGUP DUGUP DUGUP by then haha!
Sim passing me the baton
Once Sim arrived and had passed me the baton, I shot of as fast as I could up the hill. Only 500m I told myself... only 500m uphill then all the way down.. come on Dinesh you can do this! In just a few minutes you could hear me breathing 'HOO HAA HOO HAA'... looked at the watch.. 2m30s, can't be long now DK!
A minute later... ok anytime now... its gonna be a breeze, looking at the watch awhile later 4min and still no sign of the hill ending. What the heck is happening?? Thinking to myself by now "I am going to kill the person who game me the wrong info!" Thats when a bunch of rowdy PMs passed by in the bus and started screaming GO DK!!
Grrrrr! Still 'HOO HAA HOO HAA' up and up and up.. watch shows 5mins... watch shows 6mins... 'HOO HAA HOO HAA' ... almost 7min... ahhhh finally YES!! YES!! I see the light! By then I was almost wrecked for pushing my limit on the hill, that I just could not get back my breath soon enough on the downhill to take advantage of it.
A couple of kilometers down, I saw my loyal fans once again.. oh yes it's finally going to be over I thought!! They had disembarked from the bus and were waving at me from a distance. As I got closer... something was amiss... no sign of any other teams. "Where is the finishing?" I asked. "Not far DK... go DK".
By then I had gotten back my breath and was able to push the pace again. The team passed me on the bus cheering me again and this gave me some strength to push harder. About 5 minutes later when I turned a corner I was able to see the runners and supporters at station 6. Khoo was already ready in position to take the baton from me. With just over hundred meters to go I dug deep into my reserve tank and made a mad dash to the finish before handing Khoo the baton.
Passing the baton to Khoo. My overall timing for 5k was 22m25s.
I was feeling very happy and excited by then and had forgotten my intentions to kill the person who had given me the wrong info about the route. Later I found out from one of the veteran team runners who had run leg 5 for the past few years that the distance uphill was actually 1.6km before the downhill stretch starts. I'll be better prepared next year!
After warming down a little we had to quickly get on the bus and follow Khoo to give him our support. The rest of the event was filled with fun for me. Following the runners from point to point and cheering them and taking pictures while waiting for batons to be passed on. It was an amazing experience and I hope to take part in this relay again next year.
Adam, our video camera man and reserve runner waiting for more action to capture
Group picture with Abu (pm44) while he waits for the baton
Lai passing the baton to Abu
CM (in blue), our timekeeper and reserve runner
Mr. Pia catching his breath before getting on the bus
Fun on the bus
More fun on the bus
The noisiest bunch in the bus
Captain carrying out his duties as a waterboy
Our biggest supporter
Powerman Eric trying his level best to make up for the lost time
Our superstar Kelvin finally gets his chance to pia after waiting for 5 hours
Yes!! Yes!! We made it!
Kelvin's coach having a personal word with him... "Why so slow ah?"
Our latest Pacemaker members.. Abu(elder brother) and Saiful(younger brother)
Chilling out in the shade while waiting for the last few teams to finish
Every team gets a finisher medal. The top 3 teams get position medals