First of all, let me begin by congratulating everyone completing your run at #ProtonHSN21KM2018 either 10km or 21km. I ran in 10KM at #ProtonHSN21KM2018 and as you know the venue was inside of KL Sports City, a grand venue for us to start and finish on the mondo track that hosted KL SEA Games 2017.
This is the third edition of HSN21KM and its always held on Hari Sukan (first Saturday of October). One of the main objectives of the event is to encourage the local elite runners to break National HM (21km) Record. In 2016 RM 20,000.00 offered for any Malaysian who can break the National Record, but no one managed it. The route and the weather plays an important factor in encouraging fast time, running a hilly route (Bukit Tunku) at night is not so favorable to run fast. Perhaps, the organizer can consider Putrajaya and do it around 4 AM instead of 8 PM, with flat and good weather we could see some fast time from our local runners. Maybe not breaking the NR instantly, but it could be a step towards it.
Moving on to my experience in taking part in #ProtonHSN21KM2018, let me begin by crediting their website http://hsn21km.com/. Very informative and I love the color scheme. And the same color scheme is maintained and standardized throughout the event. Runners Guide is easily accessible with one click and parked right at the top as “Race Day” on the homepage.
The race pack collection (REPC) was held in Proton Excellence Center, Shah Alam. The bib collection was a smooth and pleasant experience. Volunteers have been helpful. All the vital information like the route map was printed in large and displayed. At one part of Proton Excellence Center, you could see all the Proton cars being displayed, even Proton Tiara (some of you probably too young to remember).
The traffic to enter race venue wasn’t that smooth, for those who are using LRT it’s a blessing as you don’t have to spend almost 20mins from Bukit Jalil Hockey Stadium to the parking area. I went inside the stadium at 8:00pm and prepared to enter into the barricade. There was some drum performance to hype up the runners and we were flagged off at 8:50pm.
The pack went fast as usual, and I maintained at my comfort pace as this will be my first time racing around Bukit Jalil area and we will have a mini climb before exiting the stadium, so I need to ensure I don’t over pump those lactic acids. Had some burp from my pre-race meal, peanut butter sandwich. For a night race, I would have a heavy meal in the morning, moderate lunch at between 12-1pm and a light sandwich around 5-6pm. It would provide ample time for the stomach to process the food and provide adequate energy during the night.
After exiting the stadium, I hit the 1st km in 3:334 which is okay. Not too fast, not too slow. But the front pack has opened a bigger gap, and it contains fast slim legged runners from Africa. So my focus was on getting along with local runners, which is the second pack. I could see Siva, Luth, Vasanthan and my Yemeni friend Haithm in front. I took advantage of the downhill to put some turnover in my legs and tag along with Siva & Luth. I’m not sure about Vasanthan, but Haithm would definitely push all out everytime he race so I didn’t put my focus on following them. Siva & Luth is much better in pacing and fit as we raced few weeks ago.
Once we merged with HM runners from the highway, we the route wasn’t so pleasing. It was dark, lots of turns, uphill, and downhills. Every time we ran uphill, I would be dropped by Luth & Siva and I had to catch up while downhill. So hill reps will be my homework once this race ends. After KM7, Siva and Luth decided to leave me and went forward. I couldn’t keep up as the hills were taking tools on my legs. But I found another gear at 8.5km when I saw the stadium, pushed myself and over took Luth. I could Siva in front and I know Luth might have another gear so I kept going till I at least, enter the stadium. Inside the stadium, we had this large LCD display which I could see if anyone is chasing behind, so that will be my motivation factor if Luth about unleash his kick. At this point, my breathing was loud my form was out, and my shoe was burning inside. I was hoping my banana socks can be a good choice while race, but this will be the first and last for it.
One of the sponsors for #ProtonHSN21KM2018 is PIC2GO. You need to key in your bib number and authorize to link with your Facebook and whenever your picture is taken by the official photographer, you’ll be notified and the album will be uploaded to your Facebook account. They make our effort little less to look for our pictures after the event. Here’s mine at the finishing line.
I finished second behind Siva and I’m quite happy with my performance during this race. One thing I noticed, the KM markers were accurate up to KM 8, I think that’s pretty impressive. Each KM alert of my watch beeped while the KM marker beside me. Kudos to the organizer for that. But sadly, the distance wasn’t 10km in my Garmin watch. Or else it could be another sub-35min for the year. Overall, it was a pretty good experience for myself in 10KM category. For the next edition, I hope the organizer will consider a flat course in like Putrajaya or Cyberjaya and haled it in the morning to ensure a much more fast time. Looking forward to my the next edition of HSN 21KM.