I ran my first 42.195km in Penang last year. It was soo challenging. Mentally and physically. Running 42.195km was one thing, but the route itself was a mental torture. Like seriously. Even my sister decided to ditch the Full Marathon category this year.
So I was the only one in the gang running the Full Marathon this year. I thought I should try and redeemed myself after a pretty bad run on my first attempt doing the distance. I suffered the leg cramp as early as 18km on the bridge. How frustrating was that!
Oh and this would be the last time for us to run on the current Penang Bridge. Next year's edition would be held on the new bridge!
I guessed I was so used to run without a proper training. hahaha... This time, I travelled to Sri Lanka (will start writing about it soon!) during the Deepavali and Awal Muharam holidays and went straight to Penang for the run.
I touched down at LCCT on Friday around 7pm, and took the 10pm flight to Penang. Jetsetter sungguh. Pfftttt. I thought it would be a waste if I go back to my house and return to the airport the next morning cos my sister and her friends departed after work on Friday.
All the hotels and homestays around Queensbay Mall were fully booked so I used my company's corporate rate to stay at Traders Hotel. It was quite far from the starting venue but I thought we could use the free shuttle bus from Penang Ferry Terminal provided by the organizer.
I went swimming the next morning and we went out for breakfast after that. And so.. my carbo-loading session began.
First stop: Mohd Raffe Restaurant.
Nasi kandar for breakfast.
We wanted to go sightseeing before heading to Queensbay to collect our racekit. We drove to the bottom station of Bukit Bendera but it was sooo crowded. Cancelled.
Then we drove to Kek Lok Si Temple but my sister's friends brought their baby so we decided not to go up. Cancelled also.
Finally we just drove to Queensbay Mall. haha...
After that, we went eating again.
Second stop: Laksa Janggus at Balik Pulau
Oh my... what a journey to go and come back from Balik Pulau. Such a winding road. My sister said the laksa was soo good but I thought it was just so-so. The goreng pisang was awesome though.
My sister even wanted to eat Mee Sotong after that but we went back to the hotel cos the baby vomited in the car. I guessed she didn't feel well cos of the winding roads. So kesian. My sister went out after dropping us off at the hotel to tapau the mee anyway. Craaayy!!
I slept at around 8pm. Or tried to sleep. Gahhh... it was so hard sleeping at an abnormal hours like that.
Even on Traders' comfy bed. Thank God I fell asleep eventually.
By 12am, I was awake and got myself ready. Waited for my sister and her friends to get ready and we went out around 1am. They participated in the Half Marathon category but they decided to be nice and got ready early to send me. Oh so sweetttt.. haha...
At the starting venue.
It felt weird being at the starting line all alone. Looking around, I started to feel nervous but I tried to keep calm by doing some warm up and stretching. We started the run at 2am. It's the same route like last year's edition, run towards the industrial area and back to Queensbay before we ran towards the bridge.
This time around, luckily I didn't suffer any cramps on the bridge!
I thought the organizer did improved a lot from last year. No more lack of water at the water stations. What I didn't like was that the volunteers handed out bottles of water to the runners at the water stations on the bridge. Maybe they didn't have enough paper cups or they simply didn't have time to pour the water into the cups. Then the runners just threw away the bottles or put them on the bridge's divider. Imagine the pollution caused if the bottles drop into the sea.
My most hated part of the route was after we exited the bridge. I swore running along the Tun Dr. Lim Chong Eu highway towards Georgetown was really a torture. I knew there were three flyovers before we reached the dreaded U-turn but it felt like forever. I kept on counting the lamp posts but the flyovers seemed sooo far apart. T_T
As I made the U-turn, I whipped out my phone and whatsapped my sister informing my progress. 9km to go. Told her to get ready to snap my picture at the finishing line. hahaha... Judging from my speed, I was confident I could run a PB. But I didn't know why I was so lazy to run.
The sun started rising over the horizon. It was such a beautiful morning so I just jogged and powerwalked most of the time, enjoying the view. :p
Zigzagging through the sea of 5km fun runners was so annoying. Thank God they finished at a different finishing line. After we turned at Eastin Hotel, I started my engine and ran all my might towards the finishing line.
Didn't make a PB of course but as I said again and again, what matters was that I finished the run.
My fifth medal and finisher t-shirt. Woottt!!!
See you on the new bridge next year, Insya Allah!