They say that you will never forget your first 🙂 This is my third taste of the race. It is almost like an annual pilgrimage for me. A must run event for the year. It is not an easy race to join as it is a hilly road challenge. Most of the participant are very well built – runner’s body. If you want to get intimidated, ya this is the race to come to.
Photos of all the Dragon Back race since 2015:
My first taste of the gruesome Dragon Back run was in the year 2015. Feared by many by just the sight of the hilly curve that mimic the back of a long dragon hence the name. I have never properly trained prior to participating in this run since 2015. So you could imagine that the race event is my first experience of the route. Though it was just 10km for the two experience, it is not an easy one, as I’m not familiar with the route and don’t know what to expect. Since joining SRR, I’d trained the dragon back hill for quite a few round. With this new found confidence, I’d opted for the maximum mileage this time – 23km (I heard it used to be 25km). Another 13km of unfamiliar route this time around. I need to find out the route and get over the anxiety and set my pacing target with the landmarks. So I went to the actual run site, drove along the exact route to get familiar, even took a video.
It is a bit of half marathon with a hill (which makes it more than a half marathon).
Rumour has it that this route has been trade mark by Pacers Sports the organizer of this event. They were the one who discovered this and the only one that held the run on a yearly basis.
My Plan vs. Actual
- My target is 7:45min/km pace – 2hours 58mins (23km)
- Actual is 7:43min/km pace – 3:00:55 hours (23.46km)
- My strategy (after consulting my sifu), not more than 8min pace and minimize stoppages.
Measurement of the route:
This is the turn-by-turn playbook:
- From school – starts at 5:45am
- 2km – first junction – reach around 6:00am
- 4km – 1st water station
- 8km – 2nd water station
- 10.5km – second junction – reach around 7:00am
- 12km – 3rd water station
- third junction (enter the dragon route) – reach around 7:40am
- 4th water station
- 20km – 5th water station (last)
- Reach school – 2:58:00 hours
Site survey (Recce the Dragon Back):
After collecting the race kit on Saturday afternoon 4 March 2017, I went to the site to measure the actual route (by driving of course LOL). Quite a number of slops but after seeing it first hand, I have a better prep myself mentally. Quite scenic though.
There are actually water station every 4km. Hydration will be sufficient and no problem.
We took video of the route as well. Please refer to the video uploaded in YouTube via this link. (coming soon).
Turn-by-turn event on the race day:
- Wake up at 3:30am, banana, Milo with Quarker’s oat as breakfast. 3 packs of ORS (just in case).
- Arrived at around 4:30am, got myself a nice parking slot.
- Noticed quite a few runners are well equipped with hydration bags, mini water containers, even power gels. And I just have 3 packs of ORS, knee guard and calf compression guard.
- Started the race with control effort. Though the strategy was to maintain 7:45min pace, but the adrenaline took the better of me. Reached 6:40min pace. tried to slow myself down, still 6:43min and 6:53min in the subsequent km. But I felt good.
- When I reached 2km milestone (1st junction), it was less than 6:00am. Objective met, I felt even more pumped up. So pumped that I even gave words of encouragement to fellow runners who struggle to climb the first hill around 3km onwards.
- Didn’t stop running (just a brief couple of seconds stop in the water station). 1st pack of ORS in the 2nd water station – strategy is to use ORS at every 8km.
- Rain started, drizzling at first, and turned to heavy rain.
- When reached the 2nd junction at the 11th km, it was around 7:00am – objective met. I’m on top of the world. My watch predict with the same persists pace, I can finish in 2:45 hours. PB coming I was thinking. My game plan is working.
- Finally reached 3rd junction at 16th km, and it was 7:45am, yes right on time. Over one third of the objective met. Quick look at my watch, and a fist air pump gesture with a satisfactory smile. Without realizing a lady marshal was watching at the junction at the turn in. A blush moment.
- I thought it was smooth sailing from this point onwards, as the final stretch of the Dragon Back is what I have practice before. In reality it is very different. I have never run the dragon after having ran for 16km. It is another type of challenge all together. At this time I’d picked up a blister on the bottom of my right foot.
- Still push on, but at a much slower pace and walk more turned on especially climbing the steep curve.
- And when I reached the final slop and getting ready to speed to the finishing line, a sharp sense of what it felt like a cramp on the left calf (double cramp). Then it is the right calf’s turn to have the double cramp. This is not real I thought, come on just 2km to go. But the cramp persists and in a vengeance. So I have to improvise. I did what runner’s world don’t recommend – heal strike running form. I was landing on my heel and roll over to the toe section for both foot. For about 500m. It worked!!! Both my calf got better but I’m still careful not to over cooked it. Running like a duck, smaller stride. Then a lady runner passed me and left a word of encouragement “stay strong, you are very near to the finishing line”. Hmmm…good karma. I think it is a returning favour after I encourage some runners at the beginning of the race.
- Finishing line…yeah…
* The good stuff is that I felt alright even after a gruesome run. I actually don’t felt as tired and beaten compared to previous run. I think the weekly physical training and weekend 30K LSD run are working for me. I think I’m a little bit stronger now. I can feel it.
My personal record:
In this race I got 2 personal best record:
Congratulations to the Winners:
Dragon Back Run 2017
Top 5 winners (Category A-K)
🏃🏻Category A (23KM Men Open)
1. Reza Bin Rebuan – 1.44.41
2. Lewis Soong Khai Chung – 1.46.50
3. Willie David Christopher – 1.47.13
4. Chin Teck Sin – 1.47.26
5. Lee Teck Wai – 1.51.03
🏃🏻Category B (23KM Men Junior Veteran)
1. Suresh A/L Munianday – 1.43.40
2. Alan Toh – 1.45.08
3. Naresh Kumar – 1.53.55
4. Leon Leow Choen Beng – 1.54.09
5. Ping Shih – 1.56.51
🏃🏻Category C (23KM Men Senior Veteran)
1. Lim Boon Chian – 1.59.59
2. Chan Kean Siew – 2.05.55
3. Lee Foo Kien – 2.11.24
4. Cheng Meng Ang – 2.11.58
5. Lim Seng Hooi – 2.13.21
🏃🏻Category D (23KM Women Open)
1. Susan Swier – 1.53.58
2. Nordalela – 2.32.19
3. Lim Zhi Xuan – 2.34.50
4. Loo Bee Chin – 2.39.25
5. Suriana Shereena – 2.40.20
🏃🏻Category E (23KM Women Veteran)
1. Seah Bee Lian – 2.00.58
2. Ng Chin Teng – 2.18.23
3. Lee Siew Ching – 2.24.23
4. Thow Yoke Li – 2.25.32
5. Tengku Noor Ashikin Binti Tengku – 2.30.19
🏃🏻Category F (15KM Men Open)
1. Muhammad Asdi Bin Weding – 1.00.38
2. Amalan A/L Davasagayam – 1.02.58
3. Kenny Wong Kok Wai – 1.04.45
4. Eugene Chan Chew Jin – 1.05.43
5. Rizuan – 1.13.53
6.Tom tan – 1.16.54
🏃🏻Category G (15KM Men Veteran)
1. Casey Lim Khon Seng – 59.46
2. Munintaran Sundram – 1.05.39
3. Kok Meng Cheu – 1.11.23
4. Ang Eng Aun – 1.15.45
5. Lee Chin Keong – 1.23.28
🏃🏻Category H (15KM Women Open)
1. Tan Khai Jou – 1.25.48
2. Tee Pei Ling – 1.29.49
3. Wong Ling Hui – 1.43.33
4. Tay Ting Nuan Fiona – 1.44.56
5. Ng Siew Sanz – 1.45.11
🏃🏻Category I (15KM Women Veteran)
1. Tang Siew San – 1.21.50
2. Li Na – 1.25.41
3. Lui Yoke Hing – 1.31.24
4. Chan Lai Quan – 1.42.21
5. Peggy Lim – 1.42.45
🏃🏻Category J (10KM Men Open)
1. Tee Yi Kiet – 39.58
2. Chris Chan Wai Yee – 44.53
3. Tan Xing Yeng – 51.49
4. Tan Xing San – 53.20
5. Tung Kheng Tee – 54.44
🏃🏻Category K (10KM Women Open)
1. Chan Wai Yee – 1.00.58
2. Pua Shea Erl – 1.08.29
3. Howe Xin Yu – 1.10.55
4. Chow Chuan Ying – 1.16.41
5. Vanessa Oh – 1.18.15
Congratulations to all winners!
Event Summary (Race Review):
- Entry and Information
- Registered via an online medium
- price – RM80
- Race registration and kit collection
- Office located at the 1st floor. Quite nice and organised. Not many people collecting at 11:45am 4 March 2017.
- Staff were friendly and helpful
- Snappy service, all done in less than 10 Minutes.
- Course or Route
- Race site facilities
- It is the usual setting.
- Ample parking space if you arrive early. But due to not many participant this year (700+ in total), parking is sufficient
- Care of Competitors
- Traffic control only on well lit areas. There are no traffic control around those dark area e.g. km 6-9 stretch is very dark, and quite dangerous to runners.
- Medical support is at every water station – thumbs up
- Race course management and organisation
- Sufficient water in every station – thumbs up
The usual food support still the same i.e. nasi lemak, water melon, mineral water. This year missing quite a few sponsor like 100 plus, Milo/Overtine. Even the paramedic and photographer is not to be seen in the finishing line, it could be due to heavy rain during this race.
The result was instantaneous. A good investment from Pacers Sports in the electronic BIB making the management of the results and soft copy cert very organised and available at a speedy manner – thumbs up.
You can refer to this link for the result.