Nuffnang's Ad

Friday, April 29, 2011

Energizer Night Race 2011

Two weeks ago is the Energizer Night Race 2011 and I participated in the 21km run. It's been a busy month, so haven't got the time to post it up and share with you all. As everyone know by now, the event is seriously mess up and thousands of runners nearly riot in the Sepang International Circuit. I know, because I'm one of the group as well. Let's see how it goes and my result.

Warning, this post is long, click only if you are interested to read. Cheers.

In order not to repeat the same mistake we done in my previous 21km run, we decided to reach there early. Based on the schedule, 21km suppose to flag off by 8.00pm. So I left home by 5.30pm and aiming to reach there by 6.30pm. A little of traffic jam and walking, I should have more than half an hour to prepare myself and warm up my body. Once we got there, as expected, cars already queueing up to enter SIC. I made my move into the main entrance and park nearby. First unexpected thing, I have to pay RM10 for an open parking! Wow, that's more expensive than Pavilion KL. Nevermind, I'm here for the run and I need my energy.

I packed my stuff and walk into the SIC, and it's huge! Sorry, my first time to SIC, so it's really huge for me. Bad things is, there are no signboard on where to go. So I just follow the crowd and reach the shaded watching area beside the track. No sign again but I saw a bunch of runners lining up for something, must be the right way, so I follow suit. They are lining up to go into an underground tunnel, or so call the death tunnel in some web posting by frustrated runners. Let's concentrate in my run instead, will cover the problem later.

Once I make through, again a bunch of people surrouding fex boxes for something. Then I saw some people holding the headlight coming out from there, I squeeze my way through to get a unit as well. No registration, just grab. Some took 4-5 sets, I hope they are taking it for their friends. Another guy took the whole box out! I hope he is taking it out there to distribute as the room is too small and stuffy. It's one of the main cause why the tunnel is jammed.

No sign again, I wonder everywhere and finally, hit the tarmac of the pit area.

That's me and you will wonder why the pit is empty. There is this lady that scolded everyone on the pit area to move away as they are not allow to be there. If not allow, then why open the gate?? I'm one of them of course but I manage to snap this before being shoo shoo by her.

And ironic thing is that, we are instructed to assemble at the pit afterwards, what the ...!

It's hitting 7.30pm and people are preparing the track with these motorcyclist patrol team heading the way. Another funny thing, it's already 7.30pm and the flag off time for 42km suppose to be 7.00pm, yet it's not started. Someone said they push back to accomodate muslim friends for praying session, fine, but then why posted as 7.00pm flag off? They never thought of it?

Anyway, I quickly take my time to stretch and warm up my body. Find a nice spot for my wife to take photographs and decide on our meeting point after the run. I also locate the toiler before the crowd come to clear the bladder and apply the petroleum jelly to important "parts". hehe

As the time is pushing nearer, all runners are filling the pit area, with a lady shouting on the microphone for all runners to keep to the right of the pit and let the 42km runners to reach the starting line. Question, which side is the right? and some of the full marathoners still warming up, not sure why she is shouting though. Basically all ignore her and she continues shouting. Phew, don't worry, we are adults and we will get to the starting line when time comes.

The motorcyclist went for the 1st patrol and station themselves accordingly and the media set-up their gear for the starting of 42km run event.

The crowd is gaming up and everyone is minding their bussiness with their camera to capture the lifetime moments. Lots are warming up as well, and the lady as usual, still shouting at people with full blast of music as background. Time hitting 8pm and it's yet to start!

Alright, a gang up photograph session before we go for the run. There are few more friends joining up but this is the only group that I manage to spot in the area. All made it, nice.

Finally they are allowing people into the track and all 42km runners are lining up for the run.

With a short speech, the race started and as you can see, there is no category run. All 42km started in a single shot with mixture of veteran, men, and women. It's quite a sight to witness the iron men & women in challenging the incredible 42km run of human threshold. Salute and I hope I can be one of them soon.

Soon after that, they started lining up the 21km runners already. I quickly move my way into the group and line up there. Speech again and some high school perfomers for cheerleading, the run is started. My friend said he even couldn't get to the track and he started the run from the pit instead. Bad planning. All of us light up the headlights in red, and it's quite a sight, unfortunately I do not have a photograph of that.

The signal light turn green and the race start. I move my way and bad thing is, the tag recognisation carpet is so small, thousands of people is squeezing through to make sure the tag is scan. Nevermind, small problem.

Started with my pace and after a while, I realise a mistake. I started at the front of the line and they are fast runners. Without realising, I followed their pace and I'm into fatigue mode after a few km down the race. I quickly regain my pace and with other faster runners passing me all the times is depressing me more. It's not getting better as I predicted, the slope around the SIC will actually kill me. True enough, I have to stop running and walk in reaching the 2nd slope around the SIC. My plan to run non-stop for the 21km actually vanished.

Along the run, the water station is in-consistently located. The first water station is located approximately 4.5km from the starting line. Then the next water station is just 3km away from the 1st one. I lost my rhythm and I already eaten 2 out of 3 of my powegel source at both stations. I'm only 7.5km into the race. That's bad. I struggle along and clear another slope and finally I'm entering the Sepang track again and I'm already done 10km. It's a struggle and the cow dung smell along the route help in worsening the experience as well.

My thought is that only 10km more to go, I will make it through in quicker time. Then nightmare started. The SIC track is huge! I mean really huge. I run and run and run and yet I'm so far away from the finishing line to clear 1 round of 5.3km. Crazy. Seriously, if you are planning to run marathon, don't join those that run in a round and you can see the finishing line. You will be so depress that you feel that you are not making any progress. Join run in KL marathon or Penang marathon, where you don't go round and round. There are slope in the SIC track as well! I didn't expected that and it's killing me. I realise my weakness is that I can't run slope. My muscle is trained for long run but not strong enough for slope run. I will need to change my training to include cross training of hill run. And funny thing, lots of runner taking shortcut in the circuit. As it's very big, so all of us are trying to find the best racing line =P some running into the grass to cut short the distance. Depress, I also try to follow them, but it's damn hard to run as the grass is thick and uneven. It's meant to stop the car from crashing, and it's bad for running. I stick to the tarmac after 1 try, don't know why they are still doing it.

The 3rd water station finally within sight of line and it's located just 2km away from the finishing line, meaning it's almost 5-6km away from the 2nd station. That's crazy! I'm not sure if the organiser know what they are doing. The route indicated there are 2 water stations in the track, but only 1 is set-up. I'm cursing but no choice. I kept my powergel for the final round to boost energy. As I clear the 1st round in the SIC track, I'm more depress than ever. The 5km and 10km runners already clear the track and very little runners left on the track. Making me felt like I'm the leftover runners that's so slow. Pushing myself through and when I hit 17km, my leg started to hurt. The knee pain is starting and I started walking to avoid making it worse.

I continue running whenever it feels better and walk when I feel the pain again. It drags on for another 2km in this situation. After that the knee pain is gone and I'm left with fatigue feets. My Asisc finally not able to support my feet and it's painful for each stomping step I took. It's the price I'm paying to run the 21km marathon and I continue pushing forward. As I reach the 3rd water station again, I eat the final powergel and I push it through for the final 2 km. As I'm struggling, suddenly someone honk me from the back. An idiot traffic police riding on his big bike coming from the back and honk at all runners for him to pass through. Seriously, with my tiredness and final push, I really feel like beating a hell out of him.

What's him to honk at people in the track? It is suppose to be a safe running area for all runners without the risk of running over by cars or bikes! Stupid fat idiot. I ignore him and concentrate in my run. As I cleared the final turn, the finishing line is at my sight. I increase my pace and storm towards the finishing line. As I crossed the line, I forgotten to check my time, thinking the organiser will take care of that for me and I completed another 21km run.

That's me after clearing the crowd at the finishing line and I nearly collapse. The pain at the knee is taken over by the pain of my feet. I couldn't walk a single step further and I rested just like that until I catch my breath.

I don't even have the strength to cool down my body and stretch my muscle. I just slowly walk towards my wife and sit down beside her to rest my fatigue body.

She passed me the water and I appreciate the most with her waiting for me at the finishing line. I know why I'm running the marathon and I know she will be always at the finishing line waiting for me. That's what keep me running.

I do some stretching on the floor for my legs muscle and I can't help but to snap a shot of my hardworking legs to bring me to the finishing line.

Fast forward it back to current time, I check on my timing, and the stupid Energizer Night Race messed up the timing and record my timing as 1:37:10. Crazy, I where got run so fast? Frustrated with them, and luckily my wife snapped my photos when I started the run and when I finished the run. There will be some off-sets but my time is roughly following:

Category: 21km Men Open
Nett time: 2 hours 19 minutes (start-to-finish time)
Average Pace: 6:62 minutes per km

It's not up to my expectations as I'm aiming for a little closer to 2 hours. However, the timing is an improvement over my previous 21km run in Penang Marathon which I achieved nett time of 2 hours 36 minutes 5 seconds. And importantly, I don't suffer chaffing and I still can do my normal errands on the next day! Comparing to my previous experience that I need to rest for the whole day before able to walk again, this is a big improvement.

This is my view of the finishing line after collpasing at the road side. No drinks, no medic, no massage, nothing. Bad event.

I've been waiting for my colleague to arrive, but it's been quite a while. Until about 20minutes over, then I saw him. His normal pale face is worsen after the run, but he is actually alright. He managed to clock 2:35:43 over 21km in nett time. He got better timing than me in both of our first 21km run. Nice.

He vowed to join 42km full marathon by end of this year, so gung ho and I decided to join him. His face looks so pale at the finishing line, and I think we are going to die in Penang, haha...

My first run in Sepang Track, supposingly with my Alfa, but completed the circuit with my legs instead. I will never come back to Sepang Track with my legs again! It's made for tyres, and we should keep it that way.

Ok, completed the posting and it's time for complains. For all informations, Energizer has already offficialy apologise on the problems and will door courier the medal, completion t-shirts and goodies bag to each runner and will also refund 100% of the registration fees. That's' great move, but refund is not important to us runners. All we want is the recognisation of the mistake and our medals. Great job. Now let's looks at the problems, if you are still interested to know, or else shoo shoo ...

For those that joined the event, make sure you updated your mailing address in Energizer website ( so that they can send the all the stuff to your house. The refund cheque will be send to the same address as well.

- purely my opinion & experience of the event -

The whole event basically screw up big time and leaving 10,000 runners dissatisfy with the arrangement. That's 10,000 people for them to make each of them to hate the event, and they did it with impressing 100% rate. There are always complain, but 10,000 runners hated the event, that's real big. What actually happened? I recall my experience and indeed it's very bad. Just with a small run around my brain, I listed out 16 problems without sweat. Let's see.

1. No signboard on where to go, toilet location, assembly point, starting & finishing run, routes for different category, luggage area, running kit distribution area, and etc. You basically reach SIC and don't know where to go. Simple rule, just follow the crowd, maybe that's their plan. Everyone also ask me where I get my headlight, basket.

2. Super narrow underground tunnel for main access into the running area that's without any air flow / conditioning for 10,000 runners before & after the run. Chaos, and if people panic, stampede will definitely happen and wondering how many life will perish! It looks like maintenance tunnel access to me, is it even a proper access??

3. No registration / distribution of running kit. Seriously, after finished the run, I still dont know where runners collect their t-shirt there. Luckily I got mine from e@curve. Even the headlight is left in the box at the exit of the narrow tunnel! All are grabbing it because scared it will run out of stocks and it's causing a big jam to the tunnel. People might just suffocate there. I'm sure someone didn't manage to get their headlights, and where the heck is my running goodies?

4. Luggage storage area open up very late and causing a long queue before the run start. Lack of staff and obviously they couldnt manage the 10,000 runners crowd planning to keep their stuff there. My friend just told me that he didn't realise there is this storage area, basket no sign again.

5. Rude MC keep shouting at people. We have been finding for starting line and lots of open door to the pit so we made our ways. Then got scolded and push back into the waiting area. After a while, then instructed to go back to the pit for access to the starting line! what the hell, we just got scolded from going there!

6. We are basically running in the dark, and the distance markers are in dark also. Ok, so I thought that's why they distribute the headlight, no problem. But there is no marshall, patrol or whatsoever. If you collapse in the dark hill outside or inside the sepang track, i'm not sure who is going to help you. Crazy.

7. Lack of water station! This is most unacceptable for marathon runners! I'm in 21km and the first water station is at 5km, still not too bad. the 2nd water station at 8km, just 3km away, too near. then there is no water station until 14km mark. That's almost 6km away without water. Then you need to make another 5.3km to reach the same water station! Only 1 water station in Sepang, crazy! i think the medical station is also same with the water station only, didn't realise there is more.

8. The check point at the starting/finishing line is chaos. Everyone in 21km/42km is squeeze into a narrow opening and I saw some people is distributing something, so I go take one also. It's a black rubber thing, like those use to tight girls' hair. I thought, why they are distributing that? Funny, so I kept between my fingers. I only realise it's one of the marker how many rounds you have done so people can tell you to stop! and it's in black and no people telling you also! I heard somebody in 42km ran extra round outside the SIC, crazy.

9. No marshall around the track and runners are taking shortcut! We are all basically staying on the tarmac road while some are taking shortcut through the grass & gravel area. My friend saw a guy climbing over the fence to the finishing line as well. It's their own choice to cheat, so I dont bother, but it's depressing.

10. No water distribution and guidance on what to do after crossing the finishing line. I think no people even notice I completed the 21km marathon! Worse is that I heard 42km runner completed the run in 2am and there is no one there. Crazy, wondering if the organiser know how hard is it to run 42km!? Give them massage, towel, water & carbo loader immediately!

11. Waste of money with the transformer screening. No people are watching anyway, and I think you can count there are less than 10people sitting around there watching. Not to mention the distracting movie sound when you are running the marathon.

12. The award stage is placed so far away and I think nobody noticed it. When I left, I saw someone is presenting award to some runners, while few photographers snapping away. If I'm the winner, I'm going to curse like hell that no people noticed and share my joy!

13. Lack of staff, whenever I ask anyone about something, answer is tak tau. Maybe they are not staff from the organiser, but then where are you guys!? Harder than finding salesperson in Jusco furniture department.

14. Most expensive parking ever, RM10 for each car. Worse, my friends park somewhere nearby also never pay. So it's not consistent, am I being conned?? And I heard they are charging RM3 for water!?

15. As I'm approaching the final round, I'm pushing myself to the last 2km, then suddenly someone riding big motorcycles horn at us! That's in Sepang Track! Horn horn and expecting us to give way for his big badass! Crazy fella, it's police but damn stupid to horn at runners who are so tired!

16. Worst, unpack finishing goodies bag. They havent pack it yet and when people started to finish the run, they couldn't cope! Runners line-up so long in queue and finally, the organiser threw the goodies bag to the crowd and the organiser force close the shuttle door! I heard someone is still standing beneath the door that time! Again the idiot MC scolded everyone to disperse and said will mail the goodies bag over. I'm not sure if she understand what is the meaning on running a marathon. It's recognisation and pride in finishing the run. The only thing we are looking forward to after punishing our body and an exhaustive running is to get the medal and snap a satisfied photograph to keep the memories! She even gives her handphone number out, I think she will definitely change the number, as if she is going to answer calls from 10,000 runners!

Energizer did their part but I'm still not happy with the wrong timing recorded in their system!

No comments:

Post a Comment