The first ever relay run organised by our Setia Road Runner (SRR) club. I felt so honoured just being able to participate in this premiere relay run by the club. Most importantly running among the best in the club. It was quite a nerve-racking experience when I saw the name list and who I was running along with, but soon pacified by my team members to not think so much about it and enjoy the race. “Enjoy maximum” was the word used.
The following are the team members by team:
- Team A: Tan Hooi Chee (A1), Richard Teh (A2), Michelle Chen (A3), Teh Kok Ming (A4), Cheson (A5)
- Team B: Sim KK (B1), Chan Chun Hong (B2), Alex Leong (B3), William Chua (B4), Soh Soon Hup (B5)
- Team C: Wendy Lim (C1), SS Lai (C2), CP Lim (C3), Ping Shih (C4), Teh Chui Mui (C5)
- Team D: Chin Yen Fei (D1), Alex (D2), Ling Lai Kuan (D3), Loo Chun Siang (D4), Rabbit (D5)
- Team E: Siaw Cheng (E1), KK Kam (E2), Chris Ang (E3), CK Teh (E4), Wai Meng (E5)
- Team G: Iris (G1), Eddie Yap (G2), Kho HY (G3), Alvin Mah (G4), Kwang Teck Ming (G5)
- Team H: Rachel Cha (H1), Chan Hoi Leong (H2), Dylan (H3), Sun (H4), Lim Kit Xiang (H5)
- Team J: Wong Pok Ying (J1), Goh Kar Chun (J2), Anthony Chong (J3), Oki Lai (J4), Eddie Tee (J5)
- Team K: Eng Bee Ting (K1), Kenny Wong (K2), Ng Lien Chin (K3), Ken Lim (K4), Tan Yi Fang (K5)
- Team L: Pua Han Hooi (P1), Jace Kee (L2), Mohan (L3), Simon Low (L4), Foo Chee Chung (L5)
- Team N: Sandy Joon (N1), Gan Hoe Hin (N2), Anna Gan (N3), Ng Kim Lai (N4), Tom Tan (N5)
- Team P: Liu Lian (P1), Ellena (P2), Ryan Wong (P3), CK Soon (P4), Lee Eng Tong (P5)
Now you know what I meant when I said that I was intimidated who I was competing against. Just look at those names. However, I was told that the event committee had mixed, balanced up and distributed all the member equally to all team. So that there are no clear winner in any team at first glance. At least not on paper.
There will be some element of surprise and every team has a chance to win podium placing on this team arrangement. Just to add some fun, the ‘bookies’ of SRR had put the following betting odds among the teams. So the favourite team to win was Team E, Team G and Team N.
Background going into the race
- Weather: 26 degree Celsius
- Sleep: 7 hours
- Breakfast: Simple hot Milo drink
- Condition: Besides the texting Ultra 3.0 overnighter run, 10km was the last run this week before this event.
- I was taking my time to depart from my house as compared to a normal Sunday LSD.
- There were quite many runners when I arrived at the event site.
- All our team member hasn’t arrived yet, just me and Pua.
- Joined Siaw Cheng’s group to do the warm up run and to familiarize the route – where is the bump, which curve on the road to take, road condition etc.
- Eventhough it was just a warm up slow jog, but it was at 6:30mins pace. I was wondering what would be the pace on gun time.
- But my plan was to maintain 5:30min which was something I’d done before in stadium. Only that this is outdoor and on tarmac now.
A bit of drama prior to the start-up:
- Jace and Mohan had already arrived by the time we finished our warm up round. About 6.01am.
- We noticed that our captain was still missing. The rule was that only the captain can sign-off the team for race kit, else a replacement captain shall be from the reserved runner’s pool.
- Anxiety built up at that time as our captain still not at sight. Pua was trying to call the captain and SMS him, only to learned that he never read SMS and his phone was switched off.
- Tension built as it was really close to 6:15am, the closing time for team reporting. We are on the verge of DQ – disqualified. A walked over without a fight, I was thinking at that time. Pray hard, please show up.
- Suddenly on the horizon from the Setia mall’s direction, was a figure which looked like the captain strolling calmly. We shouted in excitement and rushed him to the team reporting point. (I know the ‘competitor’ was disappointed on his arrival) hahaha
- But this wasn’t the only surprise who almost taken us out of contention.
- The following happened in other teams:
- One of the Team B member arrived late (by 2 minutes) and got his place replaced by the reserved runner.
- Team B was one of the favourite to obtain podium placement.
- Many runner was fast in the beginning 1st KM but was out of gas in the subsequent km which caused them to slow down.
Km by km of my run:
- I was telling myself not to burst the speed in the 1st km like other runner. Maintain consistent pace of 5:30 mins.
- But with the loud cheering and speed of other runners passing the baton, it got into me.
- So when it was my turn of getting the baton from Mohan, my shoes were burning it’s rubber on the road like Usain Bolt would in a 100m.
- I remembered I was passing by J4 at that time. He was steadily maintaining his speed, and gave me a smirk when I’d turned to have a quick look at him.
- That was the point I realised that I took off too fast too soon. A quick look at my watch and it is at a blazing speed of 4.xx min pace. Oh man, what would I do? I can slow down now… “Just run with the wind”, “Run for your life” I was telling myself. Here I go here I go…go go go..
- When my watch beep for the 1st KM mark, it was at 4:47min pace. I was a bit panic at that time. I never run this fast before, and knew very well that it is only at the 1st km. I could run out of gas anytime now.
- Passed the first marshal, Lye Hock, he shouted you are number 5 now. I was ecstatic as before that I knew we were number 6.
- Soon passing another marshal, Tony Lim… J4 still in pursuit. Oh man..”increase the cadences” I told myself.
- Then passed marshal Jason Ng, who took some photos of me. (He told me later that I looked struggled). I was gasping for air like there was no tomorrow. Heart pumping really hard, breathing at the rate I’m not familiar at all.
- By the time I’d passed marshal Jack Khoo, there weren’t anybody behind me. That was a sight of relieve. I thought of stopping for a brief walk to calm my heart beat. That was closing to 2km mark at that time. But I knew I couldn’t and if I did that, it will let my team down who worked so hard before me. So I’d pressed on.
- When the time I passed marshal Chin Heng point, I thought I saw the orange colour t-shirt way behind me. I was obviously slowing down a bit. A couple of meters more, I’d up my cadences. At the curve towards the traffic light, the guy behind me was gaining the gap also. Felt more determine than ever, I would want to reach the finishing point fast.
- But the last 500m seems like eternally far. And the guy is gaining fast.
- Down to the last breath I’d gladly passed the baton to my captain who is the last runner, an anchor runner.
- I thought I was the 5th runner, but it turned out that I was at the 6th position by one (1) second.
- It wasn’t J4 as I thought at first, but N4.
- That was the hardest run so far this year, and it was all over in about 13 mins and 25 seconds.
This is an interesting team placing relay run by team member chart result. Have a look to understand how a particular team achieved the placing and timing at the end:
The following are my PBs achieved just from this short distance run:
You can refer to the detail to the performance data here.
The winning team:
We were clearly the black horse that emerged to the podium placing. A delightful and unexpected turn of event. A well-played strategy and team effort. This experince also taught me that there will be a thousand elements that can change the course of a race. We can plan as much and strategise as detail as we want, but on race day, anything can happen. If our captain has been DQ on late reporting, the result would be very different. So we have to stay humble and stay hungry for our time will come for us to shine. Keep on working!
For all the SRR relay photos, please refer to this link.