KL International Marathon 2008, I did it!

Okay, not the full marathon (42km). Not even half (21km). But 10km, M category — men open category. I finished 231st place. Not the greatest achievement. For that, however, I earned a medal and a certificate.The first 500 finishers received a medal.

I went there with my father-in-law, also running, and my wife, who co-piloted as I drove and later would look after our stuff and cheer us up as we run. Boy, was it a memorable experience.

This was my first attempt ever at running in an “official” marathon (my father-in-law has run a few). Even before setting our foot on Dataran Merdeka, some drama unfold on the road. We started off from our place at 5:30am and as we drove to Kuala Lumpur there was a lot of diversions already. And to make matter worst, we missed the crucial turning to Dataran Merdeka off Jalan Syed Putra and ended up near a Mamak stall at the Klang Bus Station. We could’ve just parked there and walked to Dataran Merdeka but the bus driver who we asked for direction didn’t tell us outright to just walk there! (Actually, come to think of it, he did mention he thought we wanted to walk there.)

Later as we drove on anxiously, we almost hit a thin yellow police line because it was almost impossible to see. We did a U-turn and after a few missteps here and there, when we were waiting for the half-marathoners to clear as they ran across Lebuh Ampang, my wife finally suggested we drop off there and she take the car to park somewhere. You see, it was already 15 minutes passed six. We were supposed to report for the 10km marathon at 6:30am and to be flagged off at 7am. So I thanked her so much for that suggestion. After about 10 minutes of walking, we reached Dataran Merdeka, reported ourselves and all set for the run. My wife parked the car at Renaissance Hotel about 2km away and she walked from there to Dataran Merdeka!

The run was a bit challenging for me as there was a few light slopes to climb. Also, I wasn’t sure whether going through the Adidas natural cooling system (water shower) mid-run was such a good idea. I finished the whole thing 2 minutes less than an hour according to the big clock on the tower at Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad. My father-in-law took a bit longer to finish but still finished it within the qualifying time to earn himself a certificate.

After meeting some friends from the office who also ran the 10km run, having some drinks and snacks, the three of us walked our merry way back to Renaissance Hotel and off we went back home.

Next year, maybe I will go for the half marathon. Need to start my training soon…

“Smoking is not bad”

I thought the recent comment by Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat on preferring to field nonsmoking candidates for the next general election was pretty harmless. At most, it was a PAS internal political maneuvering. However, it could not stop Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz from replying with a rather irresponsible message that smoking wasn’t bad.

One does not have to go far to learn that smoking is harmful not just to the smokers but to the bystanders. One recent report confirms this beyond any doubt. Having smoking and nonsmoking sections in restaurants and coffee houses does not work. It is especially worse for the waiters in these places.

Many states in the US have already banned smoking in eating and other public places. Furthermore, most member countries of the EU have done or plan to do the same. Simply put, Malaysia should also follow suit.

Hydrophobicity

I apologize for the title. Water is the only part that is common between the word above and water intoxication. Both terms are new to me but I thought ‘hydrophobicity‘ as a title is more catchy.

I never thought we can get fatally intoxicated from drinking water. Apparently we could. This was exactly what happened to a woman who participated in a radio contest recently. The sad thing was that some listener had already called to warn about the danger of water intoxication which could include death (but the participants did not seem to hear it). What is even more sad is the fact that she and the other contestants had signed the “release” forms. According to the sheriff probing the incident, there would be little chance charges would be filed against the radio station. This does not feel right. She might not have been sufficiently warned of the danger of saturating her body with water.

I will still try to stick with the advice to drink at least 5 to 8 glasses of enough water every day. Also, as parents, my wife and I are always reminding our kids to drink their water. Maybe I should try to avoid drinking water too much in a short duration of time when I try to sooth my sore throat when I am having my flu? (I know, I know, maybe I should talk to my doctor.)