Saturday, January 12, 2019

Melawati Run 2019 - A Great Way to Kick-Start The New Year 2019!

This running event has improved over the year! In 2009, I had sworn not to participate in the event ever again after having a bad experience. There was not a drop of water provided in the route for the runners for the 10K runners and the traffic control was seriously lacking. But fast forward, 10 years later, I must give Kelab Rekreasi Taman Melawati (KRTM) a pat on the back for the many improvements done on the run.

That morning, I took a cab from the Wangsa Maju LRT station to Melawati Mall. I thought I was going to arrive just in time for my 7km flag off at 7:15am. But when I arrived around 7:00am, the 15km runners were still being held in the starting pen. Not sure what the cause of the delay was.

After a short safety briefing and the singing of the National Anthem, Negaraku, the 15km runners were flagged off at around 7:10am led by pacers. Not many events with a distance shorter than 21km provide pacer service.

The 7km category was flagged off about 7:30am, after a 15 minutes delay. The weather was good that morning. Read on, I will show you some highlights of the Melawati Run 2019. 

Those are party balloons. So, you guys wanna partay?

A dedicated volunteer photographer - Mr. Tey in action.

Photo by Mr. Tey. This is one of my pet peeves about the warm-up session that is happening in most running events. No offend to the lady instructor, she was probably just doing her job. But having a warm-up session in front of the start line doesn't serve any purpose. It only benefits a few people who are standing in front. We at the second row onwards can't move at all. Organisers, please take note. Scrap this or do it at a huge padang, before getting the runners into the start pen.      

All smiling out from the starting pen. Wait till they meet the hills. Heheh!

The first km was relatively easy. All flat.

Traffic control was good. We saw traffic police officers at major junctions. Those partially closed roads were divided by safety cones.

Actually one of the reasons I signed up for this run was the availability of the long-sleeved running tee. I had the option of choosing between the long sleeve and the short sleeved tees by 2ndSkin.  

Human pointers are deployed to provide direction at the major junctions. 

The run was still easy till Masjid Al-Hidayah. 

First water station. Water was available but the crew was having a tough time keeping up with the influx of runner. From my observation, they were pouring from 500ml bottles. It would have been easier if they had 1000ml bottles. 

Jeng, jeng.jeng...The hills start here...

It was all going up. Many had been reduced to walking...I mean power hike. Heheh!

Keep going!

Congratulations! You have conquered Steroid Hill. I wonder how the hill got its name....Anyone knows?

The second water station on Steroid Hill.

Organisers should supply more receptacles for used cups. Must educate runners to throw rubbish in the bin, not on the ground. It would make the cleaning up process much faster too. 

What goes up must come down! We enjoyed whizzing down the hills while enjoying the beautiful KL skyline. 

We ran so fast that we missed taking a photo of Datuk Yusof Haslam's house located somewhere along this route.  

Huff! Huff! Almost there....

Yay! We did it. Our first road race in 2019. The medal is unique. It is coated black with neon green wordings. Personally, I don't like the first part of the tag line/ slogan.  I don't run LIKE a finisher. I run TO BE a finisher. Heheh! But the last part is perfect...Finish like a CHAMPION! 

My reward of the Melawati 7K. #irunsoicaneat

Overall, I enjoyed the Melawati 7km Run. They have grown bigger and better from 10 years ago! The route is hilly enough to provide some challenges to runners but you will be rewarded with a great view of KL skyline at the top.   

What I like:
1) Great traffic control.
2) Adequate water station
3) Gorgeous medal
4) Long-sleeve 2ndSkin running tee.
5) Pacer service for 15K.

Needs Improvement:
1) Distance Markers - not present. Since this is an annual event, why not KRTM invest on some reusable distance markers? Put some motivational words on them. 
2) Late start. Please start on time. No more infamous "Malaysian time".
3) Please scrap the warm-up exercise.

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