A few days ago, a member of our local running group in KK posted a photo on facebook, and added a comment: "We should don our santa suit and do a Christmas morning run....."
One of the admins of the group, Judy Liew, liked the idea and created an event for this morning. She named the event Run With Santarina On Xmas Day. But unfortunately she had a bit of problem posting the event, so she asked for my help to post it for her, which I obliged. After all, I'm a co-admin of the group too. While I was at it, I took the liberty to include an event photo which I downloaded randomly from the net to encourage some of the guys to turn up. Here's the photo.
Despite the above photo, however, I was rather disappointed that less than 10 members had indicated that they would come. Since I did a bit of hillwork last Sunday, I reckoned that running just 9km slowly would be a good recovery workout. I arrived at Klinik Malaysia, Iramanis Branch, at 6am and was pleasantly surprised to see quite a good turnout. However, Darren, the fellow with the big idea of running on Christmas day did not show. Somebody should remind me to kick his butt! Then to my horror, I saw Dr Peter aka the Tormentor was also there.
Tony was also there with his intimidating huge camera; I bet if that camera accidentally fell down it could cause serious injury to the foot! Later on, he kept emerging out of nowhere along the route like a highly-skilled secret agent. Well, we took a group photo before we started.
We did not have the Santarina of the event photo, of course, but Judy did try her best to come close to it. Well, we started out to the highway, heading towards Bukit Padang. Soon I was running abreast with the Tormentor. I thought he would immediate put on the turbo. But instead he announced an ankle injury which he probably picked up during the Beaufort 60km a little over a week ago. So we ran at between 6-7 mins pace just as I had intended. But I was surprised to note that Erwan and Lim decided to run with us too. It turned out to be a very pleasant runone that felt so relaxed, I thought we could go on and on forever at that pace!
But Santarina was already far ahead. By the time we reached the Jln Kolam-Jln Lintas traffic lights, they were already approaching Bukit Padang where we had intended to turn.
Anslem, of course was accompanying his wife, Amy, and daughter, Janna. But I'm thinking he's probably secretly enjoying Santarina's company too? Surprisingly, Audrey tried to keep up with the front pack too.
At some point along that stretch, Santarina decided to pose for a proper shot.
By the way, folks, this is how accidents can happen on the highway. But of course on Christmas day, Santarina is immune from accidents; and even if that oncoming car had hit Santarina, I bet that car would be seriously damaged and Santarina wouldn't have gotten a scratch!
At about that time, my group, led by the Tormentor was approaching Bukit Padang from the other side of the road.
As we were approaching Bukit Padang, we saw Santarina's group already on their way back. Well, we went all the way to the round about at the entrance of Tun Fuad Park before turning back from the other side of the highway. Because it's such a slow and easy pace, we were able to chit-chat throughout the run confortably.
Tormented: This was how I hugged my wife on our wedding day...
Tormentor: Oh! That's nothing! All those years ago, I was extremely strong, and this was how I carried my wife on my wedding day!
Just a little behind us, the two doctors were also doing great with their run.
A little further behind, Mr Lee and Mr Lee were happily running their slow and steady pace.
Bruce: What da hell are you doing, bro? You're gonna waste a lot of energy raising your hands like that wor!
Xiao Long: Aiyah, never mind lah bro, I have youyou are well equipped with those special concoction around your waist!
But as it was getting bright, Santarina was already passing Damai, and still going strong.
I'm not sure where JC came from. I didn't notice him when we started running, but suddenly he was there with Santarina! As is usually the case when a pack of strong runners run together, their pace was getting faster and faster all the time. By the time they turned into the internal road of SMC, Santarina was already a little in front, followed closely by Amy.
And then of course the rest in that pack began to run faster too. JC picked up his pace too. Although Audrey doesn't usually run fast, but perhaps because this was just a 9km workout, she decided to try to keep with with them. But that stretch was a little of a climb. Her body twisted a bit; even her head tilted slightly to the side. And when that too failed, she resorted to use some sort of yoga meditative approach to endure the pace.
I will need to have a serious talk with JC soon on how to treat a woman well.
My group eventually passed the Damai area too. By then Yunus, who had lagged behind from the front pack, decided to follow our pace. But eventually, he couldn't keep up with our pace too. It wasn't a big problem though, as there were some other runners still behind us.
Soon, we, too, arrived at that same internal SMC stretch, and while we were making that gradual climb, the Tormentor was having a swell time! For a brief moment, he contemplated running up a steep hill to a private land, but as we were nearing that road, there was a pack of dogs singing Jingle Bells and The First Noel. That helped to change the Tormentor's mind.
As we were approaching Jln Lintas, the front pack was already approaching the end of the run. Anslem had by then overtaken Santarina together with Janna.
We made our way back to the main road, Jln Lintas, once again and shortly later finished our run where we started at the Iramanis Centre.
The doctors were also happy to finish the workout shortly after us.
The final runners to finish were Mr Lee and Mr Lee. It was of course a very big entrance. I have seen it earlier, but I was still in awe looking at those concoction he had around his waist. I'm not sure what those were, but it sure gave the impression that they were good for a full marathon!
Well, there isn't much more to tell. Audrey was pleased to have been able to finish together with the Santarina group.
And hopefully Erwan, although didn't get to sweat very much during the run, at least enjoyed listening to the many stories between the Tormentor and the Tormented.
JC was also there to congratulate Yunus for a good workout.
I then invited them all for a yam cha at a nearby restaurant where we took this photo.
Quite an interesting way to start a Christmas day, except that we haven't forgotten that Darren, the person who started all this, was missing in action! We shall think of a suitable punishment for him!