I had wanted to join longer distance runs this year, but most runs that were organised were usually up to 10km only. Because I wanted a run to join in June, I decided to sign up for the Bottled Hope Run which was on 7 June 2015, and the entry fee was only RM30. It was just fortunate for me that I managed to run in the KCK Fun Run the day before as well.
Race pack collection was a breeze; it was at Publika, and I went on Friday afternoon when there weren’t many people.
Organised by Pernod Ricard Malaysia, the run was organised in conjunction with the Bottled Hope Day. The purpose of the event was to create awareness about glass bottles, i.e. about recycling and/or reusing glass bottles – in their words, giving glass bottles a second chance in life. In addition to the run, there were also other activities going on in the day. There was a Brightbox Workshop in the afternoon where we could learn to make a lamp out of used vodka bottles. However, Andrew (who had also signed up for this run) and I didn’t sign up for the workshop.
This was the first time we were going for a run that was held on Sunday evening. Most runs would either be on Saturday morning, Saturday night or Sunday morning. Organisers usually don’t organise runs on Sunday evenings because it was the night before a workday, plus closing roads for a run on Sunday evening would usually guarantee traffic madness!
RUN DAY 7 JUNE 2015
I arrived at Padang Merbok about 5:30pm. Andrew had been there a little earlier, and had already taken a look at the activities at the field, and promptly gave me a very quick tour. We took a look at the bottles-turned-lamps created by artists that were on display, and he also pointed out the last session of the Brightbox workshop that was still going on.
I also got to meet Matthias Gelber (a.k.a. Mr “Greenman”) and got his autograph in his book which he gave away for free; unfortunately I had just missed his talk about being environmentally friendly, although I assured him that I’m doing the best to do my part so much so that some of my friends call me “tree-hugger”!
I quickly placed the book in my car which fortunately was not parked too far away, so I could run unencumbered.
The run also had a relay race, and we saw runners who took part in the relay being taken to their various checkpoints (2km + 2km + 3km). The relay runners would be running the same route as the 7km runners, and in fact it wasn’t quite a relay in the normal sense. The first runner had to run all the way to the first checkpoint, after which both runners had to run to the second checkpoint, and thereafter all three runners had to cross the finish line together. This meant that the first runner would have to run the complete 7km!
Andrew happily told me that he was going to use me as his pacer for this run. Well, he was happy; I wasn’t. Andrew was quite a fast runner, whereas I was really slow!!! I felt stressed out knowing that he was going to be running next to me!!!
I tried to tell him that he could just go ahead and run fast, but he insisted on accompanying me. He even removed his headset where he usually played his music, so that he could chat with me.
Truth be told, it was actually a really pleasant run, and it was nice to have someone to chat with on the run. The route had a bit of slope, but nothing over the top (pun intended). And it was good to have someone as fit as Andrew running next to me! Andrew allowed me to slow down whenever I felt tired, but he also gently reminded me to run when he felt that I was taking too much time walking.
In fact, because of Andrew, I managed my fastest pace ever – I managed to complete 7km in 55m! I normally would only finish only about 6+km in one hour!
Andrew kept saying it was a nice easy run. Well, for him it was. For me, I was struggling to catch my breath as I tried to increase my pace.
We crossed the finish line together, and collected our finisher medals. We also were entitled to a free water bottle!
The free water bottle was written very clearly as a runner’s entitlement, and it was my own fault that I didn’t read the website properly… I had just bought myself two new water bottles on Friday. This was fresh on the heels of getting free eggs at the KCK Fun Run when I just bought eggs during the same Friday shopping session.
All in all, a great effort by the organisers and a well-organised run. Kudos to the organisers for a successful event! And thanks Andrew for helping whip me into improving my pace!