Off the bat, the Kuwait Charity Run turned out to be a huge success; 57,000KD was raised for the Bait Abdullah Childrens Hospice, and much joyment was had by all who attended.
We started off early, I was there by 7am, ample parking, however no sooner did the clock hit 7:10 that the parking lot became jam-packed. I quickly walked over to Starbucks, amazed by my then leg-strength and feeling like a million bucks.
I met up with some friends and we started doing our own warm-up (lets face it, the aerobic/dance warm-up that they did was not useful and was more for show than warming up, honestly!).
I did meet my ex-PE teacher from, well, not SO long ago, but yeah! She was there!
Enter 8am, the race drew near. The 21K-ers were asked to line up first, the anticipation was killing me, I mean, honestly? To jog from Marina Crescent to the Kuwait Towers AND back? I decided to play it by ear, feeling that my cardio training at the gym would save me.
On your marks, Get Set, GO! And the race was on!
By the first 1K I was doing ok, good speed, but, as is my bane, I had to go all monkey and hurdle over the signs! I kept up my momentum till the 5K mark, then I started to slow down, conserve energy, and work on bursts of speed, people were catching up to me (some old folks mind you!) and I would be like, with my inner voice, "haha! I'll catch up to you later!"... Sadly I never did tho! And it was frustrating having people keep passing you! Anyway, it was not about the competition, but the cause, so I just kept going, like the Energizer Bunny.
When we came upon the 10K mark, never was I happier to see the Kuwait Towers, and never had I gazed upon them from that distance, and that angle, to fixate on them as a goal on foot for 10K is more than exhilarating. As a mark of actually passing the 10K mark (as if the tracking chip on my shoe was not accurate enough), a young child was giving out white hand bands (rather nifty I might add), and then the return journey commenced!
There were some folks from Japan out on the route, with Japanese flags, I said to them the only phrase I know in Japanese "Oregato Gozaimas" (thank you very much), I did not know any condolence phrases unfortunately, may god be with Japan in its time of need, and bless the Fukushima 50.
So, again, with the people passing me, but, if anything, I did have two victories in that one person who had previously passed me I was able to overtake, and another person that was neck-to-neck with me fell back after I pushed myself forward.
But, I was passed by quite a few people, including a fellow cyclist from the DBCK, who I estimate to be well over 50, but mashallah, he beat me by 10 minutes!
The final stretch, the last K, I almost got lost as I was running the wrong way in the parking lot, then I just turned my attention to the floats and voila, I passed the finish line at full speed.
I had originally intended or hoped to finish the race in 1hr45 minutes, apparently my internal clock got that mixed up and I ended up finishing in 1hr54! Not to shabby for me, as I usually run a weekly 13K in 1hr20, so yeah, I was proud of that moment!
Until ofcourse, I heard the official time for the #1 (I was #58), he finished the race in (hope you are sitting down), 1hr06!!
The race was well organised but not well hydrated, back in the 10K last November, at every K mark there was a stand with hydration etc. and persons to cheer you on. This time, there was not (water at every K) and the volunteers were more dispersed. What was better was the fact that they were giving out smaller bottles of wter than last time (a waste coz most people would take one sip and throw the rest away), or they were giving out cups of water. However, the cups of water cannot be drunk on the go, and you need to stop to drink it properly.
Despite all that, it was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon!
Now I leave you with the stills :)
|a huge round of applause for the volunteers, without their help non of this would have been possible|
|Reach for the skies! (I'm the odd one out :P)|
|The excruciating route!|