Having caught the overnight flight from Mumbai, I was somewhat knackered but, through various forums, found out about the Mercy Malaysia Charity Run which was happening the next day. I had missed the entry deadline but decided it was still worth a shot getting up at 5.30am and blagging an entry as a) the run was nearby (by Malaysian standards) and b) the run was for a charity so surely the organisation would be pretty relaxed. It was.
Without a bib number, I decided to hide at the back of the pack. With all due respect, the standard was not particularly high and, within a couple of kilometres, I’d reached what I thought was the front of the race! Without a bib, I couldn’t really sprint too far up front for fear of being thought of as a non-race runner so I slowed down to keep up with the runners as we ran along with the KL Tower and Petronas Towers in the distance. It was only when a marshal pointed out that there were still a few runners ahead of us that I pressed the accelerator and off I went.
Despite the heat and humidity, I was pretty quickly in third and, pretty soon after that, I was running along the back roads (and the main roads where the cars were still allowed to drive along!) with no one in sight either in front or behind me. As this was obviously a highly competitive race, they had a very modern ‘Take a Selfie’ panel every kilometre, which I duly obliged with! As I said: highly competitive.
Despite the limited seriousness to the race, I still fancied a ‘podium’ finish, as unofficial as it might be. However, my lifelong dreams were dashed about 300 metres from the end when, at the final junction, a marshal told me to go straight instead of right. I was pretty sure I should have turned right but they insisted I should go straight. A little uncertain, I nonetheless listened to her. After another 500m, I was pretty convinced I had been right. Another 500m and any remaining doubts were rapidly vanishing. Another kilometre and I was a little pissed off and did a U-turn!
So, while I officially finished somewhere in the middle of the pack (having run 11km instead of 7km!), I’m claiming this as my unofficial ‘first podium’! On the plus side, being in the middle of the pack made it much less conspicuous blagging a finisher’s medal! Now to go online and be a good boy and make a donation…
All in all, I learnt my lesson: no bib = it’ll come bite your ass!
Final Time: ~30.00 (3rd/~1,000)