Anna and I were the brave pair that were out of the house with him at 4:10 a.m. in order to make it to the starting line in time to get good parking and let him warm up before the race. This was Anna's first time ever attending a race, and I'm glad I had a buddy to wait it out with!
We saw the race start...and then we knew we had at least an hour and a half to wait, so we wandered around dark downtown streets. We saw exactly 2 rats, one of which was not at all scared of humans and actually scurried closer to us as we were walking by, causing us both to simultaneously vault a cement fence and take up our walk in the middle of the park, where we assumed there would be no rats. Rats don't go to the middle of parks, right?
We brought books to read and read them in the light of the streetlamps while waiting for the sun to rise over the ocean.
It was so peaceful, and so beautiful, but we were startled out of our reveries as I heard/saw a police car drive by and I knew the lead runner must be coming up already! We headed back towards the finish line, we wanted to count the runners coming in to see if we could expect Angel to place. His hopes going into the race were to run it in 1:50 and ideally, to make it into the top 10 for his category.
This race was a little different in that they had separate categories for foreigners. He was in the Men's International category, so Angel only had to complete against all foreign male runners, which narrows down the pool quite a bit, since in a race in Malaysia, you can imagine that there are more Malaysians than foreigners running.
Waiting at the finish line.
However, the foreigners were quite competitive runners! The overall winner of the race was in Angel's category, and he ran it in 1:15--no wonder we were startled to see the lead runner passing us by so fast!
Nevertheless, he made it across the finish line, at a time of 1:41.03, and snagged 4th place! We found out later that he was 45th finisher overall. Not too bad out of 1300+ people who ran the race. The first thing he said was, "I didn't train enough". He signed up for this race a month ago, the day of his 9th place win in a 10k, and spent the rest of the month training by running 5-7k a day. He never ran more than 8k while getting ready for this race, and now thinks that maybe it would have been a good idea to take the time to do a couple longer runs. But...who has time for that?
The one slightly inconvenient thing about placing in a race is waiting around for the award ceremony. We wandered till we found a restaurant that was open, grabbed some breakfast, and then headed back to the car for Angel to get the pomelo he'd brought for his post-race treat.
He took off his shoes and walked around in socks as soon as the race was over--he had gotten some pretty bad blisters, though we can't figure out why. He opted to wear his older, trusty running shoes instead of the brand-new pair he bought last week purposely to avoid blisters!
I just wore running shoes in solidarity.
My family came to the award ceremony to celebrate his win, which was really sweet!
Fourth place was a trophy AND 100RM. When asked how he'd spend his prize money, Angel said, "Buy more pomelos." That's great, Honey. 100RM at the off-season price of 16RM per pomelo will get him about 6 pomelos, so that should keep him fed for a while.
It's his fruit obsession of choice these days.
Woohoo!! I did make a short video of the morning's race experience, although, so sad--I thought the camera was filming when he ran in to finish, but it wasn't! Epic videography fail. Oh well, we're still awesome.
Have you ever run a half marathon?
Have you ever run a half marathon?