Sunday, January 15, 2006

Clown Wit Me

What: Siemens Run 2006 – Celebrate Life

Where: Dataran Merdeka Kuala Lumpur

When: 15 January 2006; 7:50 am.

Flower Power

When was the last time I did something for the first time? I couldn’t have remembered what was the answer if you asked me this question yesterday. But today, I can proudly say that became a clown for the first time in my life. (Insert applause here!)

I signed up for the fancy dress category with Amy. I was really inspired by a man who dressed himself up as a Birthday Cake in the Singapore Marathon 2004. He ran a full marathon in that suit. I had to parade for 2km only.

Amy and I rented my costume on Saturday morning in a shop in Damansara. Initially, the owner wanted to dress me up like a king but I finally decided to go for something totally outrageous, bright and happy. What else if not a CLOWN? So, I got myself a clown suit, which was a huge frilled barrel made of foam, a yellow wig and a gigantic flower. Amy went for some colourful body suit with a pair of golden wings. She wanted to be a butterfly.

At home that night, I decorated the flower with paper cutouts that spelled SIEMENS - CELEBRATING LIFE to give it a more personalized touch.

The moon was still in the sky when I reached Dataran Merdeka with Amy and her little soldiers at 6:30am. I lugged my clown suit around like Santa Claus.

I changed into my costume in the public washroom underneath Dataran Merdeka. Initially, I was feeling a bit uncomfortable being stared at. But then again, heck they were not staring at me; they were staring at the suit! I quickly put on my red nose, spec and my yellow wigs and left.

After surviving a few pairs of staring eyes in the washroom, I had to endure even more outside. I bravely walked with Amy along the Merdeka Square. It was like thousands of eyes were on us. I still cannot get used to this kind of attention. In the starting pen, there were hundreds of runners getting ready to be set off. Some cheered and clapped when they saw us. I heard some wolf-whistles too. I am sure those were meant for Amy. I can’t imagine who would wolf-whistle a man in a clown suit. Hahah!

We waited at the participant tents for Fancy Dress near the flagpole. There, my celebrity streak has begun. Many people approached me for photo like I was some sort of superstar. I could get use to this. Hahah! But of course the star of the day was Farah, the Malaysian Idol 2nd Runner Up. I saw her standing there so demurely in her red rhinestone-studded jumpsuit. It was my turn to ask for a photograph session.

(Insert “3.2.1 Say Cheese” here).

Getting All Cuddly wit Farah

After all the other categories were set off, we were instructed to move into the starting pen.

I am normally reserved and camera-shy; prefer to be behind the camera than in front. But this morning, I was twirling, waving and striking my killer poses for the photographers with abandonment of a super model. (Imagine a Ben Stiller in Zoolander. Hahah! I can’t believe that I did that either!)

Smile! You're on National TV

There were about 100 plus entries for the fancy dress category. We were supposed to run 2 km, from Dataran Merdeka to the traffic light at the junction leading to Tugu Negara/ Lake Garden and make a U-turn. We were flagged off at 7:50am By Tan Sri Elyas Omar.

I was sweating profusely even before the run due my thick clown suit. At 500meter, I felt like I had been running 5km. My clown suit felt like a mini personal sauna. Hot! Hot! Hot! I was steaming inside.

This is no Mardi Gras!

See Spots run!

The Impossible Princesses

It was impossible to run in my clown suit. I can only baby jog or walk. I could feel chafing already started at the thighs area, no thanks to the rough foam lining. It was no fun being fat. Amy had already spread her golden wings and flown away. Her “wings” really look amazing, shiny and sparkling as they caught the sun. I hobbled on. I pity those little girls who had to parade 2km in those heavy costumes and head gears (see above) in the hot sun (to please their parents, I must add..tsk..tsk..tsk..)

I saw Farah stopping at the roadside checking her feet not far after we made a U-turn at the Lake Garden traffic light. I asked if she was OK. She told me not to worry and to go on – just chaffing. Next time break your shoe first before you decide to run in an event. OK, Farah?

I went on trying to catch up with Amy. By then, the 7 and 10km runners were already on their way back to Dataran Merdeka. Some gave me the thumb ups as they ran passed me. Some cheered. Some patted my back. I waved my flower back as acknowledgment.

“Hey Blondie, Can I grab your behind?”, someone shouted from behind.

I looked back and saw a bald guy running towards me. I quickly moved out of his way. Perverts!

As I reached the final few meter, I ran slo-mo ala ”Chariot of Fire” towards the finisher tape. Smiled at the cameras and waved my flowers like there was no tomorrow. Mission accomplished (Insert smile here).

Hung around the stage area while I waited for the announcement of results. Obliged for more photographs. Kids found me irresistible. Girls found me huggable (see below). Everybody wanted a piece of me heheheh!

Do girls find tummy sexy? Hmmmm....

I was interviewed by TV3 for the MY TV3 program. I forgot to ask when they would they air the program. Anyway, it is not important nobody would recognize me under the clown suit anyway. Heheh! Met and took picture with Dylan the host of Step Forward (8TV - Every Sunday; 7:30pm)

Gracey & Dylan. Peace Out, Y'all!!

Overall, the Siemens Run was fun. My clown suit was a hit with the kids, but not the fancy dress judges. I didn’t get my podium finish. (Insert whimper here). Anyway, moving forward, I enjoyed the run. It was a different and special running experience. Will I do it again next year? Probably not. Unless the fancy costumes can come in dri-fit material, I think I will stick to my regular running vest and short. No more clowning around! (Insert wink here ;-))

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