TM Fan Run 2014
TM Fan Run is a run organized by TM in support of the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, Korea. This race is an annual event and it's been going for a few years now.
Coincidentally this is my first official 10K run. I have run 10 kilometers and further before but this is the first one where I paid for the registration, t-shirt, bib, timing chip and other goodies.
So how do you join a race? I usually check out online running portals such as Hooha Asia or Myraceonline. Pick a race that you like (full marathon, half marathon, 10k or 5k) and register yourself straight away. You have the option of paying the registration fee right away on the website (with a minimal online portal fee of ~ 5 ringgit) or you can choose to pay offline to the organizer. Unless you'd like to travel many miles to the registration office I would advise you to pay online. Registration is open for about 1 or 2 months before the actual race and some of them close early once the target participants are full so you might want to register early.
There will be a date and place to pick up your t-shirt, bib and everything which is usually a few days or a week before the race. Make sure you remember to pick up your things because they normally don't distribute the race kit on location. Apart from the official race kit, you can wear whatever you want wether track bottom, shorts or running tights. Whatever makes you feel most comfortable. I even saw people running with wigs, backpacks and kain pelikat, no kidding.
Needless to say, you need to train a few weeks before the race. I trained for about two weeks running on treadmills and also on the road and park. There's a difference between running on those two and it is advisable to train on the road to familiarise yourself with the actual race conditions. If you're running for a 10K race for example, you should run for 3 kilos, 5 kilos and 7 kilometers at least a few days before the race.
On the race day, get yourself on location at least an hour before flag off in case of traffic or other unforeseen circumstances. Besides getting there early will give you ample time to calm down and stretch yourself before the race. The venue of my TM Fan Run was at Dataran Merdeka in downtown KL. The entire field and the immediate road in the vicinity was closed to traffic for a few hours for the run.
My 10 kilometers race started 30 minutes after the 15k runners was flagged off. Waiting between that and my flag off feels like an eternity. Maybe because it's my first race. Anyway my run was flagged off by the Minister of Youth and Sport himself, Mr Khairy Jamaluddin (who was 5 minutes late mind you) and we started running the moment they pull the trigger.
I started slow but steady, letting faster people go by and overtaking slower ones. For beginners, the key is to maintain your speed and pace throughout the race. If you run too fast you may be too tired to maintain your pace and slow down or even walk. If you're too slow then your overall timing might not be so favorable.
I maintained a constant speed and pace throughout the race and didn't slow down to walk on difficult parts of the race, during uphill climbs for example. It's only on my final 2 kilometers of the race that I started to increase my pace a bit and o the last 500 meters dash as fast as I could to the finish line. Still, it was slightly difficult navigating my way through the crowd who were started to walk leisurely towards the end. I'm sure they were mostly 5k runners. There will be water stations along the way (3 for 10k) and drinking water bottles are usually distributed after the race so you don't have to worry about bringing your own supply.
In the end I ran 10 kilometers in 1 hour, 9 minutes and 24 seconds which happens to be my fastest 10k. Not bad at all for a beginner. The route was mostly flat although 1/3 of them are uphill climb. Still if you've been running o exercising regularly, 10 kilometers should not be a problem at all.
I had a really good time on my first race, the crowd, the atmosphere and the run itself. Now that I finished my first 10k, It's not so much about running the fastest but more about the experience and satisfaction. Of course getting the shiny finisher's medal and knowing how well you did is a bonus. I look forward to do other 10ks and later half marathon and finish at least a couple of full marathon in my lifetime. Run for your life!