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The morning was cloudy but it didn’t dampen the spirits of hundreds or so duathletes and first-timers to gather and prepare themselves for the first of the Malakoff University Duathlon Series (MUDS) at Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) on Saturday 24 July 2010.
Some came as early at 7am for the race kit collection. This year’s t-shirt is green and aptly titled “Kaki Du-athlon”. Well, let’s see if my ‘kaki’ is fit enough for this duathlon series.
After collecting my race kit, I was off to see if anybody from the office turned up for the race. The usual faces were there, including MD/CEO of Malakoff, En Ahmad Jauhari Yahya. Well done for taking the first step to be a duathlete that day by waking up and being at the starting line.
UPNM trainees lined the route. Maybe their trainers forced them to be there to cheer us or maybe they did it at their own will. Whatever it was, they did a great job by cheering everyone, from the fast and furious front pacers to the slow pokes who were taking their own sweet time, with one thing on their mind, “Janji Habis”.
The 3.9km running route was a mix of flat road and long incline, and runners were warned of uneven roads as there were constructions along the route. After a quick change of running to cycling shoes at the transition area, the duathletes pushed their bikes out of transition to the starting line of the cycling discipline. 13.8km of long climb and fast down hill, an opportunity for stronger cyclists to overtake the others on the bike and start the run slightly earlier than the rest.
Unfortunately, one duathlete miscalculated a turn and crashed on the roadside. Luckily some supporters were quick to flee the scene or otherwise it would have been a nastier incident. The duathlete had some cuts and was lying on the grass, tended by the medics and was later taken away for further medical attention in an ambulance. We hope that he’ll be alright and have a speedy recovery.
The good weather spell continued into the second run, resulting in some duathletes managed to finish the race in under an hour. The trainees from UPNM were once again seen lining the route and cheering the runners, even giving high-fives to the runners as a form of encouragement. This show of spirit by the trainees was rarely seen in any race in Malaysia as Malaysians are known to be less supportive, especially in staying on to cheer the last racers.
Thank you to UPNM organizing committee for making this event memorable. Thank you to the volunteers who assisted and made sure things were in order. Thank you to the racers who participated and made the event a success!
See you in MUDS UM, this Saturday, 31 July 2010!