The idea of setting up kedai runcit was of course inspired by Kash/Rais and gang's wonderful gesture during SCKLM10, waiting for RBUs and FMVs. Since I cant run, I decided to give back at the most crucial time of running a marathon, I remembered how it was for me .. pushing myself on my swollen knees to see the familiar faces there and knowing that once I am there, the finishing is a definite YES. I managed to get in touch with the PBIM organisers and they were really supportive, so I got my transport pass to drive my car into the route :)
Went shopping with Azza on friday - gatorades, buns and chocolates, power gels, sprays, plasters, nuun tablets, deep heat .. what we can think of we got it .. some are personal supplies and some we bought. We still have some fund left from the sale of the FMV vest.
Arrived Penang saturday morning, went to the collection centre to get my pass and instructions and lunch this was the only time the RBUs had a decent gathering .. a quick lunch and lambung session:) then it was back to the room, rested a bit and carbo loading gathering .. many didnt make it but some did and it was fun. Everyone was in high spirits! Dispersed early and then decided to take a drive through to see where I would be stationed and alas, we got it wrong - the stupid map lah ..
Back to room, showered and tried to get some sleep .. I managed a good hour and I think Zack Yui must have thought he'd called the wrong roomm when I answered the phone croaky and groggy LOL ..I was out by 1215am .. Azza went with me to get some ice for the cooler box and then we met up with Ijam, Zack, Ray and Deo, all dah tak sabar you know ! My partner was there and we said our goodbye and made our way.
1st obstacle - police had closed the road and the officer at first refused to let us in despite me having the transport pass and I was still within cut off time to enter the route! I finally managed to pujuk him .. "special case" he said and let us in ... whatever ..
Drove to where my station was supposed to be only to find NOTHING. No one was there, no road marker , NOTHING. Called the organiser and she told me that I was at the wrong place , that I had to find my way OUT OF THERE, and make a u-turn and go I dont know where. Look for the bird statue she said. Huh? Luckily the road was closed so we could roam the whole street being the only car there LOL. My partner was really helpful here, I was panicking thinking that I wouldnt find the place and that I had some of the runners stuff with me, alamak! But she was like, lets just drive and see .. so we drove down the road, still nothing, made a u-turn and went up the road and up and voila, I saw birds ... heaven!!! Saw the water station, the red cross and the 35km marker. We decided we'd set up at that point ..
We were ready by 1:30am and then it was just the waiting game. Then it threathened to rain so we quickly kept some of the placards and stuff in the car and then it poured. We were caught a few minutes in the heavy downpour and managed to make it into the car. I was fervently praying that none of our runners would come then, how to help them in rain like that? but I had secretly told myself, if anyone came in that rain , then I'd just go out and be in the rain with him/her. I would only get wet!! We watched the runners coming down the road in the car .. some still running strong, some slow jogged .. so many runners, so many different styles .. one guy was wearing the ladies sportsbra and his pants was really slipping down his bulging tummy and when he passed us from the back, half of his butt was showing LOL .. lucky me and M did not go blind !
And the rain subsided and we got out of the car even though it was still drizzling .. the boot door became our umbrella and we waited. Farid from CAR was the first familiar face that came through .. and then more and more passed us on the other side of the road. Many waved and said hello and we told them to stop on their way back.
I was at the 35th km mark .. they came in many disguises. Some still strong and didnt stop merely giving us the thumbs up when we clapped for them to go on .. some were really bad, tired, cramps , hungry. We catered to all that dropped by but kept enough supplies for our own members. Its so humbling to be there and helping them. Water ran out at the water station just before 7am and suddenly we were the only place runners could turn to !
I had about 30 bottles of gatorade, so we started to pour out drinks in cups .. we gave out buns, chocolates, sprayed on so many legs - some gebu like zack yui's, some oh so the berbulu (Yim and Nik oso cannot challenge) that I had to give them the can to do the spraying themself ha ha .. tak sanggup ! Some hitched up their shorts so high that had me praying I wont get a glimpse of little willy in case they decided to run "free and wild" if you know what I mean LOL.
I had dejavu of me at that km during SCKLM. How seeing familiar faces and getting encouragements gave me the final push. One guy was so hungry and when I offered him a bun, he was so grateful but before he took it he told me that he didnt have any money on him .. oooh its free I said, .. the look on his face made it all worthwhile being there. "you are my angel" one guy told me when I gave him half bottle of gatorade and sent him off on his way.
And we had a group of local guys who chatted us up LOL. Its so funny kena tackle in loghat penang u know. Funnier still they recognised me from FB and talked about me right infront of me .. it went like this between the 4 of them :-
"macam besa tenguk aja .. and he looked at me"
another said .. aku tau ..aku besa tenguk dia .. banyak dlm fb LOL
another went "haa betoi betoi .. apa nama dia? and they looked at me? june I said
and he went " aku ingat, june malik .. baru aku cam dia .. amboi dia tinggi no ... lawa .. tadi aku perasan kat dia pasai dia tinggi"
And they ate and drank and thanked us and shook hand with us and left. M and I had a good laugh .. one guy even had a thang for M you know ! Sheesh orang penang also kenal June Malik LOL.
Greeting our own people were superb .. and I sent Syed off with a big kiss. He looked so dejected. But he made it to the end yay!!
Many runners dropped by, most were familiar but a lot of strangers dropped by too and we were happy we could help all of them. Those that went walking by I always tell them the same thing .. "only 7km more, even if you have to walk all the way, do not quit. You are almost there. Make sure you finish." they even got nagged by me LOL.
We ran out of supplies by 8:15 and again I managed to pujuk one of the police on patrol to let us drive out slowly .. He relented after I pujuk him few times and by 8:30 we drove back slowly back to queensbay.
I was disappointed that I could not greet the runners at the finishing line but I cant be at two places the same time. Azza did a wonderful job there, thanks dear! But I met most of them at the 35km mark .. some I recognised, some came to introduce themself to me .. and many just called out my name and whizzed by.
I am sure M was really tired that day, thank you again. We had fun despite all the hours there. I will always remember this special day. Being able to give back in a small way is definitely wonderful. I think whenever I can, I will set up a kedai runcit :) volunteers???
Some pictures here :)
Something to ponder :-
* i was waiting for doc julin to stop by after the u-turn but she never came by .. its impossible for me to miss runners passing by cos they dont come in a big crowd .. but she was no where to be seen and later she told me that i was no where in sight too
** at least 3 runners claimed my car was not there at all ! Yikes ... I was there from 1:10 am to 830am yo !!
*** err, I hope no one tumpang me back .. double yikes
MY CAR WAS THE ONLY CAR ON THE ROAD THAT MORNING, THE ONLY CAR, AND ITS RED , REALLY RED