The adidas King of the Road was nowhere near worthy of being a King.
It was a badly run event. No water, no distance markers, very few medics.
Before the race started, we were herded into the kandang like a bunch of schoolchildren. Even the short briefing given was like a headmaster addressing his students.
The race went underway and as usual, I started off the back. We came to the first aid station and they only had isotonic drinks. Never mind. Downed a couple fo cups and went on my way.
Pretty soon, it looked like there was going to be no water at any of the aid stations. They alternated between 100plus and sponges. And the sponges weren't even cold.
I got to one aid station and it said 12km to go. I was happy. 10km in 55 minutes. Not too bad. If I can keep up this pace or even do a negative split, I may just come in under two hours. Or so I thought.
When we got to the next aid station, the sign there said 12km to go. Eh??? WTF? Apparently, the earlier sign was wrong. It looked like the organisers were really fucking with our minds. By now 1h10m had elapsed. So much for coming in under two hours.
Then at the next aid station, I was really thirsty (the previous one only had lukewarm sponges). But alas, that station had run out of drinks! Luckily for me, Rashid was with me at the time and he had cash, so we crossed the road to the Shell station and got a can of 100plus and a bottle of mineral water each. Thanks Rashid, I owe you one.
We must have been about 12 - 15k into the run at this point (I couldn't tell, there were no distance markers, remember?) and I still hadn't seen any medic teams. Not that I needed medical help but it would have been assuring to see some.
By now, the splint on my left arm was starting to get heavy. So were my legs. I could feel blisters on my left foot. Maybe taking the Zoot shoes sockless wasn't such a good idea.
Caught up with Abu in the final kilometre. The boy was pissed off that there was no water throughout the run course. "Korang pergi dululah. Aku dah tak semangat nak lari," ("You guys go ahead. I have no mood to run anymore!") was his words when I met him.
At last, there was another distance marker. It said "500m to finish". So I picked up the pace a bit.
It was more like a kilometre to go. Should have known. That final roundabout just saps your energy and the finish was on a slight uphill.
Crossed the line with a 2h22m22s. Picked up my medal (which was still wrapped in plastic) and my cert (which I had to fill in myself). How absolutely motivating! Yu run 22.7km and you still have to fill up your cert yourself. The least they could do was put your distance in. But no, they left the distance portion blank, so you can pretty much fill in whatever distance you like.
Last year's event was much better organised. There were distance markers every 5km, and water was plenty. If they are going to keep having this event, they better buck up.
Having said that, there were some positives. For one, the weather was good, overcast the whole time. And I did get a good workout.
But really, an event with such a world-class brand at the helm could have been much, much better.