After completing 3 half-marathons this year, my performance for long distance running gradually improved. Not only in terms of speed, but also in terms of consistency. So, I decided to up the challenge by completing another 21km + 9km. Just so happens, that Newton Challenge 2017 was the only running event so far that offers this distance. As naive as I am, I eagerly signed up without doing any research on the terrain and elevation difficulty. Boy, how wrong I was.
One week before the race, me and my partner went for a 2 lap training at Gunung Nuang "Never Ending Road". Which was a total distance 19km++ in 4hours. The next few days were mostly rest days and there weren't much workout. I was supposed to complete my 15km+15km run training, but it was raining for the past few days, and was also caught up with work (actually I'm just giving excuses to myself so I won't feel bad lol).
On the actual running day, although slightly anxious, I still felt great.
The race started on time, and we were flagged off at 5.30am.
Surprisingly, there weren't a lot of participants compared to other running events, but I can tell that these group of runners were pretty serious runners from the pace that they were running.
At 2km, I felt like I wanted to puke. I overate on my breakfast instead of following my usual pre-run meals. This feeling continued until after 10km, but this was the least of my worries. Because I became more worried when I realized that the first water station only appeared after 5km. My negative mind begins to set in because I was afraid of getting dehydrated throughout the run. Luckily, after numerous training, I didn't had to rely on water at such an early stage.
At 6km, the running route slowly starts to ascend. Being naive again, I thought it was only a temporary ascend and descend terrain, so I became hardworking and kept to my 7min pace. But after each km, the hills and slopes seems to like never end!! Like what the farrrrkkkkkk.... the only words in my mind were only cursed words. Even the water stations were so far from each other, some even don't have isotonic drinks (isotonic drinks were alternate for each station). I decided to changed my strategy by taking turns to walk uphill, and run only if it's going downhill.
At 15km, my left calve started to ache. Wasn't sure if it was cramp or muscle ache, but I tried to stretch it once in awhile. The pain didn't bothered me after 17km when my left knee died on me. It became very painful. It felt like someone had pierced needles into my knees. Nevertheless, I still slow jog whenever I can until the pain bothers me, then only I'll walk.
At 22km, my right knee also gave up on me, and now, both my knees hurt whenever I run or slow jog. I didn't wanna further pushed and injured my knees, so the only thing I could do is to walk. And for once, I felt that the water stations were really enough lol. Even my partner, who went toilet 3 times also caught up to me! I really felt like I wanna die. Words of regret came flooding into my head and the only thing I wanted to do was to really go home. The worst thing was, all the first aiders at all the water stations didn't have muscle ache spray or cream. *Faints*
I crossed the finishing line together with my partner running beside me at a 4.43 timing. 43 minutes more than what I had expected to finish. It was the worst personal timing I'd ever run. Turns out I was the last 21 females to finish :(
I didn't had much muscle pains after the run, the only problem was my knees. It was really no joke.
But nothing else is more painful than the feeling of regret of not being able to do better. Really dissapointed in myself.
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All in all, here are my reviews on the Newton Challenge Run 2017. Although having to hear many good reviews from runners, I would like to give my fair view of the negative and neutral feedback from my experience.
Price : ★★☆☆☆
Couldn't expect anything much cheaper from the run, given that it's a branded run afterall. RM95 for a 30km run is slightly overpriced, but it's also the market rate for any international / big marathons like SCMKL & Kuching Marathon. But the good side is that it filters out "fun-run" runners from joining this run. You get a more serious of demographic runners who really wants to beat their personal bests.
Race Pack Collection : ★★★☆☆
Race pack collection was held at MyTown Shopping Centre @ Cheras. Collection went smoothly but was quite dissapointed with the goodie bag. It came in a plastic bag with only running shirt + big + and Newton socks. I think I went shopping instead of collecting my race pack.
Set Up, Event & Program Flow : ★★★★☆
Flag off time was on the dot. Emcee was great. The program went on smoothly without any hiccups. And the set up for toilets, photo booth, medical tent, etc was just simple and adequate enough.
Parking : ★★★★☆
There were ample of parking spots at Giant, Bandar Kinrara Puchong. No issue on finding parking or double parking/illegal parking.
The first 25km of never ending slopes, uphills and downhills were mind challenging even to the most hardworking ones. The constant U-turns is enough to make you go insane! Good training for those who are intending to spice up their boring running routine, especially for those who are intending to train for a full marathon. Running route mainly covers newly developed residential area. Area is well lit and safe to run.
Water & Carbo Stations : ★★☆☆☆
No water stations at first 5km route. Water stations were frequent after that for every 2-3km. Not every station has isotonic drinks. Still think that there's insufficient water stations and isotonic drinks. All stations should have a balance of both water and isotonic so that to prevent unnecessary cramps and dehydration. The carb station was good though, the sufficient quantity of bananas was enough to keep the runners going.
First Aiders : ★☆☆☆☆
Plenty of first aiders across all the stations. But, NO muscle cramp spray or cream to apply! Only have ice packs for injury. Next time need to bring your own self medication.
Route Marshals & Volunteers : ★★★★★
Good! Very well entertained and motivated by all the hardworking volunteers who helped manage every station, and to direct the traffic so that the runners are all safe. The energy shown by them with their smiling faces was really comforting!
Overall Rating : 3.13 / 5
Event is simple and organized. All the necessary runners welfare are met, but could be better in terms of delivering quality experienced for the injured and under performing runners. You're a branded organizer, you shouldn't try to save costs on minor things that could affect the runners performance.