The Rock to Rock Run 2013 is a charity event with all the profits from this run donated to a local school, SJK(C) Permatang Tinggi, Bukit Mertajam, Penang. There were two run categories, the 3.8km Fun Run which my lady joined and the 10.2km Competitive Run which I joined. The fun run promise a mystery gift at the end of the line while the competitive run promises a medal. As I have not joined the previous 4 runs before, I didn’t know what to expect, except that there is also a best dress category and people go all out on this. The event only take 2200 participants and so right after the registration was open, I quickly registered for myself and family. Many of my office colleagues also joined and many were also disappointed because they procrastinated too long and the registration was closed.
The race pack collection was a week before the event and held in front of the Rock Shop Bungalow at the Hard Rock Hotel Penang. The race pack had only the Run Shirt, which is made by Brooks two tiny pins and a whole stack of sponsor adverts / discount vouchers. The shirt was a light weight polyester material and look great, it felt comfy and nice also, however, after the run, it was another story and I will talk about that more later.
We woke up early and only had little sleep the night before. All due to the race excitement and I myself wasn’t sleeping much. I’ve yet to overcome the race day excitement to get a good night rest. We arrived at about 6.00am and got a nice parking spot on the roadside opposite the hotel. The event site was still relatively quiet with the organisers still setting up and not many participants has arrived yet. We first collected our wristband. The organisers insisted the bib to be worn and has to be in front before giving out the wristband. My sister inlaw had the bib pin at the back of her shirt and she had to move it to the front before getting her wrist band. The uncle and aunties at the wrist band distribution centre was very ascertain to have the bib infront. I didn’t understand why at first, later at the finishing line I understood why. At the finishing line, the aunty had to write down the top 10 finisher bib numbers as they come in. She has to do it quick and imagine the stress where you have a few participants coming in at the same time. There was one runner with her bib moved to the back and the aunty was screaming at her for her bib number.
After collecting the wristband, there was nothing else to do but wait, stretch and move around the sponsor tents. Luckily I brought some money. We bought the Hard Rock Pink Umbrella and car sticker in support of Pinktober (Pink October Breast Cancer Month), a running short pants and shirt from Brooks booth for RM30 each. Right at 7am, the event gun of and 2200 runners flood the narrow and winding road. We ran on the road as if the road belongs to us, well, it was a closed road, so everyone just ran. I pity the other road users who had to wait for quite a while before the road re-opens.
View from the Run
I log the run using two devices. On my left hand, my gps cycling computer Cateye Stealth 50 and on the right hand, my iphone 3gs with Strava Run app. I wanted to try out my cycling computer to see if I can export the gpx file after the run and import into Strava. It works great to my surprise. I did not expect the run route to be so hilly and I was telling my sister inlaw that this is an easy run for her. I was wrong and surprise as there was quite a few ascend and descend to the Butterfly Farm, which is the 5km mark and u-turn. My initial goal was to run non-stop to the 5km mark and so I push myself km by km navigating the narrow winding roads. I was pushing and waiting for the body to give way, it didn’t, well, not till the 7-8km mark where I really felt that I’ve ran out of energy. I was keeping the mind busy and not think of stopping. I came up with a nice quote. “You run till the body tells you to stop, not when the mind tells you to stop!” I was waiting for my muscle to give way or running out of breath. Both did not come, just my mind keep asking me to stop. It was a battle to conquer the mind.
There was a water station at the Butterfly farm, it was the only water station. I took a brief stop to down two cups of water before pushing on. At this point, my legs felt like jelly, especially right after I stop. I just push on with a combination of run walk run walk till I completed the race. An hour into the run, I was at the 7.7km point and the run back was not as pleasant as it started. The road was already open at this point and there were cars and buses smogering us while we try to complete the run. I was surprise that I maintain an average steady pace of 7.43/km and I manage to complete the run in 1hr 22 min.
Fancy Dress Runners
Right after the run, we hang around the hotel car park taking free Milo, 100 Plus and bought some dehydrated crispy longan from Thailand. I met up with my work colleagues and cam whore a few photos with our company banner. As the heat start to take a toll on us, we went across the street malay stall for some roti canai and teh tarik. After a quick bite, we decided to go home and gave up our hope for winning the lucky draw. It was a good and enjoyable run and maybe next year, I will come with a costume to win the nice guitar medal…
Other Runners Comments & Photos:
Rock to Rock Run Facebook (Loads of Photos)