Well, Ms Bond went up and down 16 hills and came back with all limbs intact and today, her abs, buns and thighs are complaining LOL .. great exercise though!!
It was a tough one. I am glad I went to see the route with my partner in crime, Ms E007, another Bond girl and know what to expect and strategise. (Unfortunately Ms E007 was not feeling well and didnt run but went to support her husband and me, she was at the finishing line waiting for me, even though hubby had already arrived, thanks E007!) For those who didnt know ran their energy out one way and lost it coming back. But its a long stretch of road and you can see the hills and slopes. After the 1st hill, they should have known that they needed to pace out properly.
You know what is ahead of
A few quit. But surprise, surprise, the old veteran long time runners mostly shine and did well - they have been running long and know how to do it right. But the winners were simply awesome, ran all the way up and down the hills and the slopes !
I dont do hills, never done hills, period. So when I decided to take on this challenge, I was of course a bit sceptical. I know I have the determination to finish, but, I also might be the last one to cross the finishing line *gasp, double gasp*
Group E and F were "shot" off first, and we went out the small road from the shooting club .. it was dark and luckily the organiser got two cars lined up by the side and have their lights on .. if not people would surely bump into me a lot, I was wearing black top and dark blue shorts and I am, ehem, as you know, black sweet .. so I was basically quite invisible, I would have had to smiled the whole 800 metres out till light was available, hoping my white teeth would be some indication that something/someone was nearby LOL. Not 10 seconds into our start the next group was coming after us.
I kept my cool and kept to my strategy, jogged while on flats and slopes but walked as fast as i can up the hills and ran down .. Many passed me and I kept on looking back to make sure that I was not the last person! By the time three hills were tackled I realised people were slowing down. At 5.70km , a runner was already on the way back (U-turn at 8km) he was fast .. and soon a few more came down the opposite way .. oh my, and I was still 3kms away from the U-turn!Then my friend Seah was on the other side and he urged me - "go june, more power" we even high fived !! and another guy, a few minutes later - "kak june, lari, lari " and I realised its one of the guys from Chap Ayam Runners Club, he must have recognised me from facebook or my comments in their blog! and the lovely Ruby was making her way back up the hill went I was abt to reach the U-turn. Ruby is a good runner, and very pretty too and what I mostly envy about her is (cant match her running so no envy here lol) during and after a run, she somehow would still manage to look fresh, not a hair out of place while I'd be burned, flushed and sweating! and if you want to see me at my worst, this is the time hahaha)
Seah, one of my running mentors and friend,
- he finished in 1hr28mins!! Congrats!!!
Syawal from CAR, He did 1hr44 and finally,
the lovely Ruby (see how fresh she still is at finishing line??) at 1hr54mins!
Half way, body check, knees no pain and no signs of cramps. Yes, Ms. Bond can continue. 2nd water station I asked for a bottle instead of a glass. The guy gave it to me but warned, "dont drink too much kak, nanti sakit perut", haha I laughed "dont worry, akak nak mandi" and I proceeded to pour some down my tshirt, front and back and on my head. Heavenly refreshing. My enemy, the sun was starting to come out. If I had those lovely 6-pack abs I would have ditched my tshirt then, and continued running in my sports bra like some. Alas, its a dream that will not come true. I did the same at water station 3, more mandi!!
I have conquered the 8 hills and now to tackle the same ones again on the way back. I decided to change strategy, ignore the hills and simply go. Just go. There is a reason too, I needed to pee, badly. The idea of going into the bushes (this is when its really great for the guys, get behind the bushes and 10 seconds later all done) and squatting with the lalang and duri poking my derrierre, no thank you. (and the risk of someone accidently catching me in the act) So I kept half of water in the bottle. No more sips .. if I really had to go then I'd just go bit by bit and then rinse away .. gross! but hey, drastic times call for drastic actions! Stopping and squatting and all the hassle will kill the momentum too, right?
I run solo. I dont want to hinder another person nor do I want the pressure to go faster when I cant. But you make friends along the way. Encourage the person you are overtaking, side by side with another for a minute or two, run with a friend for 500 metres. Strangers become friends. Offer your water, ask for water. Stop and ask if he/she needed help when they are on the side of the road nursing a leg cramp. Curse the hills. Laugh at our own madness doing the stupid run. Compete with someone without them knowing it! The beauty of running in a race like this.
My 27 year old cousin Shariff and his fiancee Nurul and her friend Syura, joined this race too. Shariff ran with me for few minutes and left me and Nurul & friend overtook me at 4th km and I didnt see any of them anymore ..
Shariff - 1hr52mins and managed to slow run non stop as he planned,
good one bro!
Nurul & Syura - 10 seconds ahead of me
Climbing up the hill after the U-turn I saw the two girls .. hahaha .. I was catching up. Must be the hills. Nurul had psychic powers, she turned and saw me. She laughed, and both of them started to run away from me. Hehe I guess it wont be so cool if this kakak overtook them huh?
I realised a lot more are coming down the opposite way. I was not doing bad at all. I am already turning and 3km up and there were many many more on the other side, some still far behind. Gave me the extra boost plus I still needed to pee and even though I had a plan, didnt want to really do that! And I wondered, what if I had to really really go number 2?? Yikes .. Run, June Bond, Run!!
I ran some, jogged some , walked up the hills and suddenly it was the last hill. Awesome. Downhill running, I felt tension on my right calf and I knew if I persisted I would be in trouble. So I slowed down, still keeping my eye on the two girls, they are not too far away! The last hill slowed them down a lot. Once the hill was done, it was a mere 2.5km flat road back to finishing line. And I was already happy. I am going to finish this before the 2hrs30mins time allocation. I seriously thought I will come back after the allocated time! The last km I was inching to the girls and they ran faster hahah .. oklah give them chance this time *wink*
I saw Tey, a seasoned marathoner, Seah mentioned that he did his 40th marathon (40??) last year and an avid photographer. He'd run with his camera and shoot away or not run and shoot away. Runners owe him the memories of their run. Especially me. He told me he would wait for me at the finishing line and there he was as promised. Of course I had to run in style now to the end! He was also kind enough to delete some "unflattering" pictures of me LOL. Thanks again, Tey :)
I finished in 2hrs19min03secs. No 14 in my category. I dont know how many were there in my category. I could be 14 out of 14 but who cares? I could have quit and not finish, but I didnt. I finished. That was my aim in the beginning anyway, to finish. Oh, to get the finisher medal too :) And I was only 10 seconds behind my young cousins, that sweetens the deal hihihi! and in my happiness finishing the race and all the adrenalin rushing, I forgot about wanting to pee! Somewhere along the last 2km I simply forgot, or did I go and not realise???? yewww!!!!!! (dont worry I went to proper toilet after talking to Ms E007 and congratulating my cousins and some friends)
the last few steps to cross the finishing line .......
and the reward!
Congratulations to all that crossed the finishing line. Its no easy feat, even for season runners. So for this F category senior veteran to finish, I am good, eh? hahahaha .. even if you dont think so, I dont care. I did swell.
Bond. The name is June Bond. Dont you forget it !!
Photos courtesy of Mr Tey Eng Tiong, thank you.