Just when you think you're tough enough

Running Tough Takes

Perseverance reaps reward at NPE Highway Challenge 2018

Writer Isabelle (left) with Soh Wai Ching (right).

This was my second time participating in the NPE Highway Run – the second leg of the IJM Allianz Duo Highway Challenge, the first being the Besraya Highway Run in April 2018.

The New Pantai Highway – NPE spans from Bangsar to Subang Jaya, passing through Kuchai Lama and Old Klang Road as well. The race this morning, started at the iconic Sunway Pyramid shopping mall in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

It was fascinating to witness the growing interests in running where more and more people were out of their minds to wake up in the wee hours for races and then feel sore all over thereafter, when they could have been in bed catching up on their beauty sleep. Adam Goucher elucidates such sentiments perfectly in one sentence, “For something to hurt that bad, and feel so good, it’s just inexplicable”.

It was really warm that morning. Nevertheless, the spirit shown by fellow runners was inexplicable. Lacking mileage over the past few months and sleep the night before, I laced up my Adidas Ultraboost shoes and told myself to brave the 10km race. As the gun went off, I clicked my Garmin Fenix 5s as I ran under the start gate and got into my running zone. As expected, I struggled to maintain my pace through the smooth road terrain.

With 1 kilometer remaining to the end, I wanted to rest so badly till I was hollered by a good samaritan named Prakash, “Hey, I have been watching you from the back. Come on! Come on!”

With all the energy left in me, I increased my pace to match the pace of my newfound pacer till my lungs were screaming.

 At approximately the final 500 meters, we sprinted all the way to the finish line. I couldn’t thank Prakash enough.


With running buddies from the Smart Athletics Club

One of the perks of the race was that the entire highway was closed for the race itself (as opposed to races on open roads) enabling runners to focus on the race without having to worry about motorists roaming around. The water stations were well-administered and the baggage collection booth was much more organised too than last year.

Lacking sleep, I made my way home while prodding myself, “Isabelle, you will train like a beast and be ready for the Fujisan Marathon.” It was then, I got a call and was informed that I got third place in the Media category. I was extremely pleased!

On top of that, I even managed to get a picture with Soh Wai Ching, one of the few runners that greatly inspires me in my running journey. That was the icing on the cake and I vow to train so much HARDER than I did for the Paris Marathon!

Photos courtesy of Isabelle Chin.

More about the author

Isabelle Chin is an adventurous soul who is unafraid to take up challenges. She started with zero background in athletics, and has now done an aquathlon, Spartan, Viper and running races. She is determined to improve her performance because she believes the only limit is herself.