A loyar buruk friend of mine, Teo Chen Lung, pointed out a curious trend in marathon events over the past couple of months. You see, he spent some months preparing for the New York City Marathon last November, seeking to achieve his personal best, and then had to spend quite a lot of money on travelling, food and lodging expenses; not to mention the long, long exhausting journey from KK to New York, only to be told that the race had been cancelled when he arrived there! He ended up running in the park to make the best of what was already a hopeless situation. Leter on, when he arrived home, he wrote to the organizer; I don’t know how he did it, but he eventually got the official medal for the race by running in the park!
To digress a bit, Teo has an unfathomable fascination and fetish for medalsin fact, any type of medal. He’s been collecting his medals for some years now and it’s becoming something of an obsession to him. He reminds me of Scrat, the saber-toothed squirrel in The Ice Age, whose obsession of the acorn is the trademark of the Ice Age movies. Teo pictures himself at his old ageprobably smiling to the ceiling while he’s doing thisshowing off his medals to his grandchildren sitting on his lap, and explaining to them all the great achievements in his day. But I hope I’m able to live long enough to be there to remind him that the New York City Marathon medal should not count!
Anyway, After the New York City Marathon, the world was shocked by the senseless bombings at the Boston Marathon earlier this year. Terrorism has now spread to affect sports events too.
Then more recently still, our very own Borneo International Marathon here in KK had to be postponed on police advice, on grounds of safety issue.
And now, this!the Standard Chartered KL Marathon (SCKLM) scheduled for this coming Sunday (30 June) is at risk of being cancelled or postponed too; this time because of the haze situation which has reached a dangerous level. As I’m writing this, we’re still waiting for the latest decision from the organiser. According to the weather forecast, apparently it’s expected to rain in KL within a day or two, and that may help to clear away the haze. So the organiser remains hopeful to proceed with the race.
I ran the full marathon in the SCKLM last year with a 4:09 finish. I have since achieved a 3:53 finish in the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon earlier this year, but somehow I feel the SCKLM is tougher because it is much warmer and humid than Hong Kong. Also, the hilly terrain at the tail end of the race does not help at all. Nonetheless, I’m hoping to at least improve on my 4:09 last year. I’m not even going to consider repeating the Hong Kong feat in KL. But at the start gun, I will try to plan for a 4-hour finish and try to hold the pace for as long as I can. Then hopefully, if I lost steam as the race progresses, maybe I can still finish inside the 4:09 mark.
I’ve been looking forward to the SCKLM; flights and hotel room all paid up. If it doesn’t happen, I’m really gonna be disappointed! If there is any truth in Teo’s observation on the recent trend in marathon events, maybe I should consider exploring a new hobby.
Keeping my fingers crossed.