Sunday, August 12, 2007

24 Hours, 105,114 Steps and 2 huge blisters later

What? The 4th Malaysia International 24 Hour Walk 2007

Where? Dataran Merdeka/ Sultan Abdul Samad (SAS) Building

When? 11 Aug (8am) - 12 Aug (8am)/ 24 Hours

Who? Organised by Race Walkers Association of Malaysia

Hi! I SURVIVED the 4th Malaysia International 24-Hour Walk. This collage is a collection of pictures of Sultan Abdul Samad Building taken hourly from the start of the race on 8 am on 11 Aug till the next day. Had to slap myself awake at times to complete this. Heheh!

We went round and round and round and round Sultan Abdul Samad Building. The rule of the game is simple - participants to walk around a designated track measuring 626m around the Sultan Abdul Samad Building (anticlockwise) and the one with the most laps in 24 hours wins.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building is one of my favourite buildings. They say, you have not been to Kuala Lumpur if you have not set foot at Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

It is also a building all runners in Malaysia can identify. Most of the road races start and end in front of this building, including the KL International Marathon.

The best way to admire a building is to see it in different lights. No matter what time of the day (or night), Sultan Abdul Samad Building mesmerizes. Don't you agree?

On the morning of the race, I took a Rapidbus to KL. No breakfast that morning in anticipating of the buffet spread later. (Insert saliva dripping here).

Saw some familiar faces (re: hardcore) from the previous 24 walks at Dataran. Just like me, I guess they must have forgotten the trauma of blistering feet and aching body from the previous walk.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Peter Chin flagged off the walkers at 8am sharp. It’s one of the few race events in Malaysia that starts on time. LOL!

So, off I went with hundreds other participants. I was walking along with Ms. Tan. Actually I have known her since the 1st 24 Hour Walk in Genting Highland. Wowow! That was 8 years ago!

Amelia and I met her while walking round and round the Genting Outdoor Theme Park. We chatted while walking to kill boredom. We have been friends ever since; going to local and oversea races together etc.

Ms. Tan also shares the same passion as me - FOOD, apart from running, of course.

We quickly stopped at the food tent when we saw them taking the food out.

Walkers would never go hungry as food was served every 3 hours. That's 8 meals in 24 Hour! So, basically for RM60 (the registration fee) you get more than you bargained for in terms of FOOD alone. Heheh!

What’s in the menu? Fried vermicelli (Bee Hoon Goreng lah! Heheh!), mee goreng, nasi goreng, kurma ayam, roti canai, fruit, mushroom soup, congee, PowerBar bits, sweets, just to name a few. (Insert finger licking good here)

Sitting and eating by the side curb, you could check out other walkers passby. Beware not to choke when you see some hotties passing by! Heheh!

I love this picture. See the reflections of the walkers on the puddle of water made by the water sprinkler. The sprinkler was installed to keep walkers cool.

If you wonder what is inside the SAS Building, you can wonder no more....Just look at the picture. There were two abandoned court rooms for us walker to rest and keep our baggages.

See you in court. Heheh!

In order to spice things up at the 24 Hour Walk, a Circuit Walk competition was held for the children. One or more of these little walkers will represent Malaysia in the future.

Unlike the cool misty weather Genting Highlands, where the previous 3 events were held, the sizzling heat from the KL sun was a torture to the walkers. So, some kinds of sun protections were essential.

Some wear straw hats like this guy.

This guy goes for cowboy hat. Yee hah!

This one use just a towel to cover her head.

No towel? No worry. Just use a t-shirt.

If one hat is not enough, use two. Throw in a towel as well. Heheh! Can't resist the pun. If you look closely, he wears a straw hat over his black Adidas cap.

This is Amelia, not Rihanna with her Umbrella...ella...ella..eh!

I must say walking in the hot sun was really a torture.

For those who couldn't stand the heat, they could always take a shower like this guy! Me? I avoided the sprinkler. I hate getting my equipment wet. My camera-lah. Heheh!

Some walkers totally stopped walking, seeked shelter and waited; trying to cover the missing laps in the evening, when the sun was more forgiving.

I went on. Taking it slow. Despite the heat. I hate to stop because I know if I stopped too long, my butt would release some kind of invisible glue and glue me down for good. Heheh!

With each lap, I made a brief stop at the drinking station to keep myself hydrated. I must thank Yeo's for sponsoring free flow of orange juice, Isotea and Soya Bean drink! Deliciously thirst quenching!

Time really flies when you are going round the SAS Building! It is sunset already! The toughest part of the walk is over...or so I thought! Read on to find out why.

Upon the setting of the sun, the SAS Building is transformed by thousands of lights into another eye-catching wonder.

From the 24 hour survailence of the SAS Building, the best time to visit is around 7:00-7:30pm. Why? I let the pictures do the talking.

At around 7-ish, I was visited by some of my runner friends who came to show their support. (Insert warmest thank you to Yaziz, Aiman, Kevin, Ronnie, Rachel, John and Tey).

Since this event is part of our celebration for Malaysia’s 50th Merdeka anniversary celebration and is in line with Visit Malaysia Year 2007, I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the beautiful buildings that could be seen from the race.

The National History Museum, located diagonally opposite the SAS Building.

Masjid Jamek, the oldest mosque in KL. Located at the converging point of two rivers - Sungai Klang & Sungai Gombak, where Kuala Lumpur began. The mosque is located behind the SAS Building, separated by the Klang River.

Masjid Jamek again. Picture taken later at night. I think the domes look like onions. What do you think?

Menara Kuala Lumpur (KL Tower). It is lit with the colours of our Jalur Gemilang (National Flag) - Red, Blue, Yellow and White to celebrate our 50th Independence Day.

Menara Dayabumi - another beautiful landmark in Kuala Lumpur.

Does this building even need introduction? KLCC Twin Tower seen peering between the coconut trees.

My feet began to hurt after walking about 12 hours. At about 8:30pm, I took a break from the walk and checked on my feet. Confirmed! Two nasty blisters had formed, one on each foot. At that time, I completed only 70% of my targetted laps. (Insert ouch here!)

Oh! Well! Blisters or not we still gotta eat! Heheh! I continued walking after stuffing myself at the food counter, of course.

I could feel the blisters were getting bigger and bigger as I squashed on them when I took a step. At times, I could feel them throbbing.

It was painful but NO PAIN, NO GAIN, right? Like a soldier to battle, I marched on!

At around 3:00am, I had this intense craving for Slurpee. Thank God there was a 7-11 convenient store located strategically around the corner.

Somehow the drinks at the refreshment counter couldn't quench that thirst I was having. Maybe the drink wasn't cold enough. I needed something freezing in the heat of the night!

I was heartbroken when I found out that they turned off the Slurpee machine at 12:00am! Why? Why deny me of Slurpee after midnight?

Anyway, I was pacified in no time after sucking on a lime flavoured icecream stick. Hmmmm......(See insert)

Walk...Walk...Walk...Eat...Walk...Walk...Walk...Pee...Walk...Walk...Walk...Eat...You get the point right? It got kind of repetitive after circling around the SAS Building for close to 100 times.

When I checked my result at 2am (they posted thr result every 6 hours), I felt relieved that I had covered enough laps for a medal. (Insert Yippee here!)

Alex checking out Christina's (insert beep here!). Heheh! BTW, they are husband & wife! :)

Swaggering towards the TAMAT line on my final round. Phew! Mission accomplished! I walked more than 60km to entitle for a finisher medal!

Final dash to the TAMAT line before 24 hour is over.

24:00:00 - The race is finally O.V.E.R!

The top 2 winners in Men Open! 1.- Mohamed Hanizam Bin Harun (MAS) 173.263 km.; 2.- Malek Bin Redone (MAS) 172.012 km. MALAYSIA BOLEH!

It was a memorable event. The organisation was flawless. I have nothing to complain about.

I could have gone further if not for the blisters. I did all I could to prevent them. I brought 2 pairs of shoes, worn different socks and "buttered" my feet with petroleum jelly but I still get them nasties. Any new suggestions, guys?

For more action photos, please check out

Tey's blog http://pmtey.blogspot.com/

John Tan & Wai Mun’s blog http://johnwm.blogspot.com/

Note: Wai Mun emerge 1st in Malaysia and 2nd in Overall Team event. Congrats!

I would like to thank Mr. Khoo Chong Beng who has been playing a pivotal role in promoting race walking in Malaysia. Bravo for bringing us the 24 Hr Walk.

Thank you also to the volunteers, traffic police, people at the Sport Ministry, Dewan Bandaraya and Tourism Malaysia for making this event possible. Also to the public who supported us with cheers and applause.

I also want applaude the organiser for switching from disposable cup and plates to reusable ones. Environmental friendly! Save the Earth!

See you in 2 years' time? Hmmmmm.....By then, all my blisters would have healed. By then, I might have forgotten all about the heat and the exhaustion. (Insert Que Sera Sera here)


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