Ready Steady Go! The run was started at approximately 6:45am with firing of a gun. Sky was just begging to get bright with orange and golden hues covering the Seremban horizon. What a beautiful day! Since there were 300 medals for my category B, I was sure that there would be a shining medal waiting for me at the end of the run if I maintain my jogging pace. So, off I went slowly but surely to the beat of my beaten i-Pod. I specially compiled a list of upbeat songs and the latest Coldplay album to my i-Pod for this SHM. My favourite is Luther Vandross’ “The Best Things in Life Are Free”, a duet with Janet Jackson. His passing came to a shock for me last weekend. He certainly would be missed dearly in the R&B music world. I had no idea where the route took us. My attempt to remember the places that I passed was it was as vain as trying to catch butterflies with a pair of chopstick. There was nothing scenic about this run. We didn’t pass by historical landmarks or lush beautiful countryside. There is nothing but a long winding, mostly gradual upslope road ahead. I think we passed by a Kilang Kicap (soy sauce factory), kilang koko (cocoa), kilang Bata (a famous local shoe brand) and an ostrich farm. Nope, no ostrich was sighted. Just the signboard. My wobbly legs were not able to take some of hilly parts in the middle of the run, especially the section after the U-turn checkpoint where we collected our red string. I had to start to walk up the gradient and then run down, praying that my knees won’t pop in the process. Thank goodness all the water stations were well stocked. I was a bit worry that they might not enough supply due to the water rationing. However, my worries were unfounded. Drinking and Sponging were at the same station. Speaking of drinking water, I saw something unusual in this run. There were stalls set up by the locals to sell mineral water at RM1 at the first few km of the run. It didn’t make business sense at all. No runner would buy the water in that early stage. Dehydration and thirst had yet to set and furthermore, why buy if we can get for free at the drinking station? The final few km to the finished line was a “torture” to run. I was not able to maintain a smooth run. Basically, my running rhythm was like scratchy CD, interrupted by passing mad drivers or swarms of students in the 11km category. The road was narrow. The traffic was heavy. The students walked in groups. Road construction. Blend them together; you would get a recipe for disaster. I was on my defensive running mode all the time. I decided to run on the opposite side of the road (against the in-coming traffic), even though it was longer to avoid being knockdown by a car or a lorry from behind. Better be safe than sorry. Thank goodness, there was no unwanted incident happened. I was happy to see Seremban Parade as I know the end point was near. I kept up my pace to prevent runners in the same category to overtake me. At the finish line, I was given a yellow card with my position number. It was well within 300. I sighed with relief and hurried myself to the Excel drink station. Nothing beats a can of ice-cold isotonic drink at the end of a run. I was happy that the Excel was served in can instead of the pour method. Fresh. Bubbly. Satisfying. I didn’t hang out at the Padang. Some drums show was going on when I left after checking the lucky draw results. Habuk pun tarak! Quickly rushed to the hotel for a shower. Relaxed a bit while watching the repeat of Malaysian Idol before I left Angsana Inn. I had lunch at Chicken Rice Shop at Seremban Parade. Again, there were flies hovering above my steamed chicken trying to find a landing spot. I was too tired to go hunting for place without flies. After lunch, I headed straight to the commuter station and got into the next train back to Setia Jaya. Ride cost only RM 6.90. Will I return next year? Only if the medal count offered is going to be 300 still. I will come to visit Seremban, flies and all.
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