I ran my 2nd Mizuno Mt.Faber run (a 10km race) on the 13th of June (yesterday! :). When I ran the first time last year, not only was it my first race of the year then, but it also felt one of the toughest runs I had done for I had trained very little on uphill running (practically zilch!). A year later, I have had more than 1000kms of running under my belt and therefore should show a satisfactory improvement in performance. While I ran a 1:10 last year, this year's edition proved to be a very delightful outing as I managed to go sub 1-hour and come in at 59:57. I hadnt planned on running a sub-1 at the start of the race and in-fact for much of it; i basically had no time target.
I was in the first 30 rows of runners or so and therefore had only a 15 second differential to the gun time. Usually i run my first couple of kms as warm up i.e. at a slower pace than the remainder of the race, but on this occasion I started at 5:52 pace (10.2kph). The weather was holding up rather nicely and I had the good fortune of not having to stop at any of the traffic lights along the route. At around the 4km mark, came the uphill climb of Mt.Faber and it was a familiar sight to see lot of runners walking up. I thought i would try and push on for as long as i could and kept nudging a patient pace, weaving in and out to dodge walkers and faster runners alike. Somehow I managed to run all the way to the top, and somewhere around there saw the 5km board (I had clocked 29:41 until then). I have now been running long enough to know that the downhill is actually the part where i need to be extra careful and so while people around me were whizzing past, i kept a steady 6min pace all the way, and sure enough my quads didnt feel like they had committed suicide (but they were beginning to get there). At the 7.5km mark, i saw that I would have to run the next 2.5kms at a 10.6kph pace or better if i could give myself a shot of coming under 1 hour .. something that i never thought would be possible for me on a Mt.Faber run (atleast not this year). So i picked up my speed and finished my 9km at 54:40 .. which meant i had to run my last km as the fastest km of the entire run. Looking back i cant think how exactly this played out, but i do remember that for the last minute or so, i was sprinting headlong and hoping that i get a relatively clear path until the finish line. Making the final turn into the runner's area, i saw that i had just about (and just about it was), broken the 1 hour mark for the run.
I placed 421st out of 1517 runners in the Men's open. It was a fun outing and I am hoping that I can carry this good run (metaphorically) into my KL half marathon on the 27th of this month.