Reached around 4:40am, a very cooling morning and people started pouring in. We grouped near the Command Center @ 4:45am, awaiting for the balloons to be ready. We did some last minute gear adjustment, chit chatting, camwhoring and finally some warming up. Finally @ 5:15am the balloons came, wrote the timings on, hooked it to our belts and we were ready to rumble. We flag off at 5:30am, without much delay, good job for the organizers on that.
Willie Liew, my compadre for 2:15 pacing was busy checking his Garmin to make sure we are up to 6:24min/km pace. "Chun liao, chun liao" he said, in a matter of 200meters which meant we are on target and set on cruise mode. Along the way we came through a lot of familiar faces and we would greet them. Once a while we would glance back to have a look on whose following us and we encourage them to stick on. No drama throughout the way. Water stations was well stocked with water and isotonic drinks but I did hear complains about insufficient, maybe towards the late stages of the races.
Soon, we hit 10.5km and we updated the runners, locality around Jalan Astana kampung area. We do not see our 2:00 and 2:30 compadre which is a good sign, no one too fast and no one hit the wall. :)We reached the next water station, the only icy water station there is and it really woke us up. Greatest feeling ever! We had a few loyal fellow runners tagging on through out the way and we waited for them to get their fair share, we really wanted them to finish with us as we cross the mighty Satok bridge bringing us cool breeze and we said "Today we could have PB if we didn't pace..", the condition is just so right. We meet Billy near Wisma Satok, he was following the 2:00 pacers but he need to answer nature's call thus he dropped off. We had another tagging us, we were happy.
At the end of Jalan Haji Taha, we merged with the 10km runners with had a fair large of participants as we worked our way up Jalan Tabuan. We saw a runner got knocked down by a car and as I understand it was the hesitation of a driver which to go forth while stationary. He got up and continued running, initially hopping around. Respect to him for wanting to finish the race. Drivers out there, please share the road with us.
We are cruising downhill at Jalan Tabuan, we are nearly there. We told Billy and the others to pick up the pace and finish strong but unfortunately we cannot follow them along, need to keep the pace :DWillie told me we were a 1 min faster at this pace, so we decide to slow down and enjoy the surrounding view. Maybe we were too "naughty", our balloons string got tangled up near ChongLin Park and we had a hard time untangling it, I think we lost 1 min to sort it out. We realized we are on deficit now, we did some 'fastlegs' but we manage to cross the line in 2:15:07.
The real satisfaction of being a pacer is for runners thanking us in helping them achieve their desired timing and for some even a personal best. This is a good experience for me and we would like to congratulate our runners for making podium, some for their personal best and the rest completing their race strongly.
We at HRPC hope to see you again next year at SLAR 2015 (fingers cross).