Pacemakers Anniversary Run X Race Report

The Mighty Awesome Team

Our ParX Cari Brazil team members were originally picked by Shu Wei back in Jan/Feb after some discussion with Fabio and me. We locked down all 5 members including Fabio. The 4 guys Jing Jing (JJ), Ho Hoo Yeen (HYH), Fabio and I were quite similar standard with an "unknown" lady Adele. Adele was good but we didn't know she was so damn good at that time!

After the team was confirmed, JJ and I started some serious training and friendly competitions. We stopped running for a few months already. If we didn't train, we would definitely be the culprit. Especially me, I couldn't even complete a single race nicely at that time. Most of the races I end up walking or doing super positive splits. Around Apr and May that time Adele started to shine already giving me more pressure. I had problem keeping up with Adele’s pace in the training! I didn't tell her, ha! I mean I could still keep up but it's not as easy as I thought. Uh oh deep shit! I trained super hard just wanted to get the form back and didn't want to disappoint the team.

The Initial Team

Everything went quite well until Fabio fell down in the Putrajaya Ironman race. The moment I heard the news I still didn't realize that our team was affected. After knowing his condition was actually worse than expected only we realized the problem. We need a substitution! It was so hard to find a Fabio standard. All the good one that we knew were picked and we wanted similar standard or faster runner and we had some stupid DDLY requirements and then we saw Bryan! We knew Bryan in the Puma Running Club. He is a super talented guy. The moment he told me his 800m PB was 2:00. I confirmed and shortlisted him. I approached him quietly without asking anyone trying to keep him as our secret weapon.

Bryan promised to join without any hesitation. So happy! After that we started a series of track training. Most of the time was Adele, JJ, SW and me and a few times with Cari Runner and Pacemakers group. Bryan was in a different league, he was pretty much on his own and we were confident with him. HYH stayed very far in Melaka. I was so happy when HYH promised to join our interval training. He was so dedicated! He had to travel to KL twice, one for the training and one for the actual day! Bow to him man! I hope he enjoyed the trip and the top 3 made his trip more worth it!

Cari Runners Trial Run

This is how our typical interval training looks like

After a few months of training and practice, finally the day had come. I was so excited! It was the day we put ourselves to the test. My target was top 5 and with a little hope for no.3! I didn’t tell the team but based on my calculation I believe we could secure top 5 without problem and with some miracle we could make it to no.3.

My estimation was right except I expected when JJ came back our position would drop and Bryan would have to chase back. JJ didn't disappoint us. He ran 2nd leg. My jaw seriously dropped when I saw him coming back, and my watch showed 12:4x! Most importantly, he was still holding 3rd position! 2 super fast runners Jason and Wai Ching were just 10 and 20 seconds behind him. Jason was 4th fastest runner in the field and JJ able to defend that! Despite the gap made by Adele, he held it! What a jaw dropped performance! 

The MVP - Jing Jing aka JJ

Adele ran the first leg. As expected she steadily pulled the gap for us. Our best choice, the future star! Luckily we were firm with our decision to keep her in the team and we successfully kept her if not she might have joined other teams already! Seriously, we chose her based on our gut feeling. We knew nothing about her when we picked her. She showed her talent first time we met her in the Puma training if I’m not mistaken it was last year December. She was able to run 5~6km with 5 minutes pace. Alright, not too shabby, many girls can do that too! But! But! But! Yes, many girls can run 6km with 5 minutes pace but not without sweating and without breathing heavily. We usually like to describe someone running fast but easy as “shopping pace” or “paktor pace”. That time in the training she showed us the true definition of shopping pace. You can fake your breathing for 1~2 minutes but not the entire run. My gut feeling telling me she was at the same level as some of the podium females and she proved it. So this time she came in the 3rd place.

The Future Star - Adele

Bryan, needless to say, the fastest man! Not many people in Malaysia can run an 800m under 2:00. This was the state level or close to national level. He was also training for Sukma. It was an honor to have him in our team. I hope he didn't feel us too slow. He pulled away from Jason, Chee Wai and Chris Pua team. Bryan made the gap even further from 10 seconds to 20 seconds. No.5 was nowhere in sight already. Our 3rd position was pretty much locked and secure after him! Initially, our plan was to let Bryan to run the last leg. This was the last minute switch and my decision was right! Either put HYH or me in this position. We couldn’t have defense it. Of course, Bryan could still chase back to the 3rd position but nothing better than the achievement of everyone holding the 3rd position!

After Bryan, the pressure is on me. I wanted to maintain no.3 too! Bryan passed me the baton, eyes on me! I started with a very conservative pace, 3:50/km pace which was a little bit too slow for most of the similar standard runners. Most of them started out with at least 3:40/km. I knew what were behind and I believe my strategy was right. I cruised through the 1.6km flat with moderate hard effort and I kept reminding myself to cut the corner and run the tangent! I could hear JJ shouting my name opposite but I couldn’t react. My mind was totally blank. 

After grabbing the baton from Bryan. Stress like hell.

After the 1.6km long stretch I reached the bottom of the hill. This was the real test. I had been training hills and stairs for the past few months and I was quite confident with this. I engaged core, swung arms, controlled breathing and leaned forward like how I did in the training. The slope was only 200~300m out of 3.15km total distance, but the energy and the effort I spent were more than 30%! OK, hill was alright. What come after hill? Stairs! The biggest nightmare! The final test of the final test! The 150 steps heart break stairs! Teammates were there cheering for me at the bottom of the stairs but again I couldn’t react. Checked my timing to make sure I was not too slow and not too fast. Then I engaged core, leaned forward and supported my body weight by putting the hands on the knee, engaged quad, hip, glute, hamstring, calf and basically everything I had and ran up the stairs! My target for the stairs was 42 seconds and I did 39 seconds! A little bit too fast! Yes, at the end of the stairs I was pretty much gone. The hills and the stairs together was not more than 500m long but they used up 90% of my energy! After the stairs, I didn’t walk. Didn’t walk?! So what? This sounds silly but if you asked every runner, no walking after this stairs could be the hardest achievement we could achieve in this race. I’m not kidding. LOL.

The Ultimate Stairs

After that, what I did was merely all out already. It was all down hills, 800m long but easily one of the hardest down hills I had ever done because I had very little left and still wanted to maintain my planned 3:30/km pace. A lot of cameras but I couldn’t give a damn. I knew my face looked like shit but I had no energy left to smile! Smile would make me slow! Luckily I ran with sunglasses. Not so ugly after all. The satisfaction was indescribable when I saw the finishing line. I saw my savior HYH. The most handsome guys I had ever seen in my life the moment he grabbed my baton. Done! My watch showed 12:4x! Other teams were nowhere in sight now. I made the gap even further now, from 20 seconds to 2 minutes!

Approaching the end. All out-ing

The moment I stepped on the finishing line, going to pass the baton to HYH.

HYH, our last runner, a sub-3:30 FM and 1:28 HM runner! One of the Cari team fastest runners. He is a very experience and steady runner. He is the kind that can pull things off in a difficult situation. Like the Penang Round the Island relay 2 years ago, he able to overtake a few runners and put us into a better position! He knew himself well and always give his best no matter how. I had so much confidence in him. That’s the reason we made him the last leg. He did 12:5x. The gap was pulled even further from 2 minutes to 2:30 minutes! Everyone ran sub-13 and everyone held the 3rd position! We won and achieved our target! Great play from everyone!

2nd Runner Up!

Cari Runners won both 1st and 2nd runner up!

Cari Runners Family

Team spirit was so high! That’s the beauty of the team competition. Together we can do so much! I’m so glad that not only we won 2nd runner up, we also gave our 100% and we pulled this off together. Everyone enjoyed and satisfied with the run. I really hope we can have the same teammates again next year. If everyone is alright, I wish Fabio can replace me and I can be the mastermind and super backup! 
My recorded time:
14:32 - Adele
12:44 - JJ
12:15 - Bryan
12:48 - Me
12:58 - HYH


Adele's sharing: