Just when you think you're tough enough

Running Tough Takes

Brotherhood carries 3 Lee brothers across the finish line of Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon 2018

Brotherly spirit carried the 3 Lee brothers across the finish line of Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2018 in unison.

If you can’t run a fast race, make sure you run a good race.

Having run a 50km trail run in Port Dickson the week before, blisters on the sole of my feet had only just recovered in time to run the Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon (SCKLM) recently. Feeling a little fatigued, I was adamant to complete my second 42km marathon at SCKLM in the heart of the Golden Triangle, especially when I had pledged to ‘Run for a Reason’ in support of the Dignity for Children Foundation.

Incidentally, both my brothers had also signed up for the marathon and we started the race together in the wee hours of the morning. Dataran Merdeka was already buzzing with excitement and you could feel the enthusiasm of all the runners around you, be it ‘virgin’ or veteran marathoners.

Armed with a Garmin Forerunner 935 GPS watch for multi-sports, and using the Reebok Floatride for the first time on a long run, I was awaiting the start eagerly.

All geared up with the Garmin Forerunner 935 multi-sport GPS watch and Reebok Floatride for the SCKLM 2018.

This 10th edition of SCKLM altered the start of the marathon to take us on a beautiful city tour, running through the city’s main veins, right up to the Petronas Twin Towers KLCC which would otherwise be choked with traffic on any other day. Sooner than later, we found ourselves on the DUKE highway, an elevated highway which was closed entirely to traffic to ensure safety of the runners.

We were still keeping an easy pace right up to KM19 where we were supposed to collect our first wristbands to prove that we stayed on the route and followed the checkpoints, but they had run out of stock!

Apparently other runners ahead of us, had probably taken more than one wristband each, disappointingly leaving us with none.

Realising our pace was a bit too easy to finish the race on time, I urged my youngest brother and another friend to run a little and increase the pace.

As the sun began to rise on the DUKE highway, my younger brother had shot off in front, and I chased after him while my fellow running mates catch up.

Right off the DUKE highway, the route resumed through familiar streets to when I had run two years ago. The next challenge we had to endure on this marathon was the undulating hills at Bukit Tunku which would only greet us on KM32. However, I felt the slopes were cut way shorter than they were two years ago, and was much easier to run this time round.

How the Brownlee brothers finished the race VS How the Lee brothers finished SCKLM 2018 (NYTimes and AKUWong)

He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

Just as we approached the final kilometer of our 42km run, my youngest brother cramped up in both legs, and he was fortunate to have my younger brother and I to tow him to finish his first marathon, shoulder on shoulder.

We jokingly said, “Moral of the story is: don’t join your first marathon unless you have two IRONMAN (in Triathlon) brothers to carry your sorry arse to the finish line.”

This scenario reminded me of the world renowned Brownlee brothers in Triathlon, where elder brother Alistair found younger brother Jonathan nearly collapsing from exhaustion near the finish line of the World Series Triathlon, and helped him towards the finish but dumped him unceremoniously across the line!

Pre-race meetup with Garmin Malaysia’s ambassador, Muhaizar Mohd (left) and winner of SCKLM 2018.

Post-race, I felt that the Reebok Floatride shoes provided good cushioning throughout the long run. The upper part of the shoe wraps around your feet like a sock. However, perhaps my right foot expanded a bit too much, and the shoe felt like it had too tight a grip causing me some pain.

The light-weight Garmin Forerunner 935 sat comfortably on my wrist and tracked our route accurately. It proved on the ball with keeping our pace in check and also told us, that the route made us run 2km extra totalling 44km instead of 42km.

Having run 94km in 8 days, it’s time for some well deserved rest, and no more races for the rest of the month.

View more photos on ToughAsia’s Facebook album here.

More about the author

Richard Lee is on his life-changing journey from XXL to M. First dabbling into cycling, trail running and now triathlon, Richard sets out to inspire and improve himself and others along the way.

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