In my itchified bid to try to join as many runs as I can (and collect as many finisher medals as I can. Yes I’m pretty sad that way, I know) during the remainder of this year, I stumbled upon the Cancer Awareness Fun Run organised by the Medical Centre of the National University of Malaysia (Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, HUKM). It was an awareness campaign with many activities, one of which included a 5km fun run WHICH CAME WITH FINISHER MEDALS.

Without hesitating, I asked my running buddies to join me in my medal-collecting bid. Unfortunately, Ika was joining the Standard Chartered KL Marathon (10km) the next day and didn’t want to tire herself, whereas Jocey and Choy Har had a work-related all day dogathon the next day, and also didn’t want to tire themselves.

So… I signed up by myself, since I had no reason to fear tiring myself for the next day. But fortunately in the 2XU Compression Run, I met a new friend-cum-running buddy and she was more than happy to join me in the same medal quest. She even helped me collect my race pack for this run, which was difficult for me because the collection was only on the afternoon of the Friday before and I wasn’t free then. We could actually collect on the morning itself too, but my concern was that it might be chaotic (it wasn’t on that morning).

Online poster info about the Cancer Awareness Fun Run
Online poster info about the Cancer Awareness Fun Run

RUN DAY 11 OCTOBER 2014

For the second Saturday in a row, I had to get up at a godforsaken hour to run. Farah and I met at the HUKM parking lot where I quickly changed into the pink T-shirt that came with our entry fee, and pinned on the race bib.

The area in front of the lobby of the medical centre was a sea of pink that morning. There were about 300 of us gathered (mostly university students), although it was difficult to differentiate the organisers from the participants as everyone was wearing the same pink T-shirt. There was a guy dressed in a pink bunny costume though. I’m sure he appeared in a lot of photographs!

There was a joget – I mean, warm up session where a few people from the organising team led to get the crowd to loosen their limbs. Then without further ado, we were dismissed to the starting line where we were released without warning.

Customary we-fie in the morning! Me with run buddy Farah
Customary we-fie in the morning! Me with run buddy Farah
Warm up session! Spot the bunny!
Warm up session! Spot the bunny!

Annoyingly my pedometer on my iPhone jammed at the beginning, and I had to restart it while on the move, so it didn’t record the true distance and time traveled.

We ran on the roads outside the university, where traffic was handled by the traffic police for the safety of the runners. There were no distance markers in this run, so I had to rely on my pedometer. I had keyed in a target of 10km instead of 5km without thinking, so all the way through the run I was wondering why it took so long to beep me at the usual 30% target distance covered. (And of course it never reached the 60%)

Having fallen sick on Tuesday (recurring on Thursday – most probably because I hadn’t actually recovered by Wednesday, and clearing my backlog didn’t give me any space to rest), I had actually considered giving this run a miss. However, I had already promised to meet Farah, plus I was too kiasu to give up the opportunity to collect a medal, and I was feeling fine by Saturday morning so I decided to go for this run anyway, but I promised myself to take it slow.

Of course I didn’t take it slow. I was too kiasu and wanted to maintain my time.

The route was fairly easy as the roads were level most of the way, but there were some parts that had a little bit of a slope. The hardest part was near the finish, where it was uphill in the compound all the way to the lobby. I couldn’t sprint like I had planned to!

Selfie during the run. I'm testing ou t my brand new sports cam as I'm running.
Selfie during the run. I’m testing ou t my brand new sports cam as I’m running.

I was excited when I saw my finish time on my Polar watch… only to find that the distance was much less than 5km on my pedometer. Of course with the pedometer jamming at the beginning, I didn’t get a true reading, so I counterchecked with Farah, whose pedometer showed 4.3km.

Well… at least we still got our medals!

Overall, fairly decent run with a slightly challenging route. It was a simple event that was organised well. We didn’t stay for the other parts of the campaign though as that seemed to be more for the university students.

Thanks HUKM for organising this fun run … with medals!

Yeah! I earned a medal this morning!
Yeah! I earned a medal this morning!
The goodie bag we received at the end of the run
The goodie bag we received at the end of the run

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