08 May 2010

How I started Running

"If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run" – this was written by John Bingham at one of monthly column in Runner’s World magazine years back.

My love for running started when my love of eating beginning to get out of control. Due to the nature of my work which requires lots of entertainment, I have been eating more than I should most of time, taking it for granted that after all, the bills are paid by the company.

Consequences of it, I trust everyone know that the result will be very recognizable through your waistline which improve prominently, and securing the job as a Santa Claus by year end at any local mall is already half achievable liow.

On the more serious side, when a person abuse his body with the pleasure of gluttony, the additional weight gain overtime will not be able to be supported by the current bone structure, and this beside inviting multiple type of chronic disease which only a surgeon can pronounce it correctly, I felt I’m beginning to look much more older than my actual age too. Recover time after a minor cough or fever also take much longer than it should be.

Being in that situation during the peak of your life is not something desirable. As such, it was then that I decided I have to help myself otherwise all my hard-earned money will be for the doctors at Glen Eagle pleasure rather than for me to use.
While deciding on which type of sports I should pick up again, an invitation to run was offered to me. Still remember very clearly that it was the Kota Kemuning Shoe String Run. Years back, it was not a family event like now as they do offered individual category participation. I gladly pick up said challenge to run my first 10km with less than 2 months of training and preparation.

Running within the company of the so called pro and seasonal runners did initially grip me with fears, angst, nervousness, tension and anxiety. Looking around, everyone seems to look so fit, well equip and ready for it, while the only thought that keep lingering around my big head was, can I finish the race ?

In moment like that, GOD suddenly becomes my besttest of friends as I have never talked to HIM so much as I have before previously. I did come back and complete my first 10km without being the last person and that’s more than enough to motivate me to run again in the future. Alas that’s the beginning of my many runs.

Slightly a year after that, I also did my first full 42km marathon by accident. I’ve signed up and was only preparing to run 21km for said event (Standard Chartered KL 2009) but somehow I got “push” into the full category, running under another person registration whom till date I didn’t know who is he. My training schedule two months prior said big event was only twice a week running around Taman Tun Dr.Ismail. And the person that I pace running with on said day was not even the same person that I have been training with for the past two months. Thus in a way, it was really a “messy” picture if you would to ask me on my first full marathon which I humbly complete in just few minutes before the 6 hours tab. More elaborate story on this another time, maybe.

Runnings have also open me to another world which I not aware of. Not until recently that I realise that the running community is really a huge one. Beside slowly gaining back my health and fitness, running have also lead me to know many good friends and not to mentioned my current sweetheart Carrie Teong.
Despite my vigorous running schedule recently, I would like to declare that I’m still very much a novice comparing to all my other friends who have been running much longer than me. Thus’ my participation into Der PaceMakers community hopefully will assist me to learn better running skill from the senior there. (Yup, I'm now officially PaceMaker member # 62)

It is also my hope that that as much as running have impacted my life, I can in return encourage many others who have yet to find running beneficial into it. Though the running scene in Malaysia is still not as popular as other local sporting events, we must admit that it is slowly making its pace into the community.

We might not have the like of Haile Gebrselassie or Usian Bolt yet, but we do have our own local heroes like Mr.Ng Seow Kong whom is the first Malaysian (and also the only Asian) to complete the recent 200km Amazon Jungle Run. Listening to Ng Seow Kong’s running story recently when I meet him at Hong Kong StanChart Marathon was indeed a priceless moment, which inspired & also humble me further knowing that such a simple event like running can do to a person.

Not forgetting also from our neighboring country, Mr. Mohan of Singapore that stay to run slow with any newbie every weekend, encouraging them as he run at any Marathon event all over the regions is just amazing. Hopefully in years to come, we will have more heroes like them, and I hope I’m one of them too.
Ending my story, I want to share a quote from Ms Courtney Pasron here with all of you which clearly summarize all I have written above - When people ask me why I run, I tell them, there's not really a reason, it's just the adrenalin when you start, and the feeling when you cross that finish line, and know that you are a winner no matter what place you got.