Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Run run run.....

O ran his first race last Sunday. The Ladies, Lads and Lassies Race organised yearly by the Hong Kong Ladies Road Runners Club. It was around 3.5 km in all, a loop around the Peak. I'd run that route several times on the Wednesday night runs so I know it reasonably well. The build-up to the actual day was quite exciting. We completed the forms, sent them in, waited for the race numbers to come in the post, and when they arrived we held them in our hands and examined them as if they were some curiously mysterious relic from ancient Egypt.

O trained for the race without complain. I, on the other hand, was complacent enough to think to myself surely I will be able to run faster than a sub-seven year old? Surely I won't need to train. Surely.

Amidst all this excitement, I couldn't help but worry that we might not make it. Thing is, the start of the race is at 8:30 am and it takes us at least an hour to get there - put in another ten minutes or so contingency time. That means leaving home at 7:20, which translates into me getting up at 6:20, latest, and getting everyone else and everything else ready.

It was a worrying thought, but I did not let it show. I didn't want my worst fears to turn into reality. The godforsaken scenario not making it to my son's first ever race because I failed to wake up on time. He might blame me forever. You never know.

Anyhow, I set my alarm at 6:30. Woke up at 6:50 cos my stupid alarm clock - a "Miffy" freebie from buying a pack of 12 Panasonic alkaline AA batteries - failed to move its arms at the correct tempo. We managed to left the house at around 7:35. All seemed well. We should be able to make it.

Until traffic came to a standstill as we left Tolo Harbour Road. Traffic accident ahead. My heart sank and was trying to not freak out whilst displacing my anxiety onto everyone else, calming them, telling them it's okay even if we don't make it! There'll be plenty more races to come! Accidents happen! etc.

By the time we arrived at the peak we were, surprisingly, only a few minutes late. Me and O dashed out of the carpark and sure enough the race had already started. I looked around asking the cheering crowd "where's the start? Where's the start of the race?" and a man gestured and said "Just go!" as if it was mad of me to take it so seriously. As if it was obviously the kind of race where it's perfectly acceptable to cheat! I was quite shocked. But what the hell.

So we joined the runners around 400 meters from the start. The body of fellow runners comprised mainly of teenagers, kids, and their mums. Probably a few women runners not with kids. It was a pretty good atmosphere. All the way O and I kept chatting, I kept encouraging him "yeah! that's it! pump those arms! lift those legs!" whilst he was going "...whooooosh.... shoooshh... and the Tarakana Mataro turned his back and raised his hydrogenized pliers and .... whoooooosh... shoooosh...." all the while waving his arms madly, blinking his eyes, simulating some kind of laser beam emission, or something.

We passed a few people and we sprinted a little here and there. It was quite pleasant and when we reached the finish line it seemed to be all over too quickly. The results came out today and O was first in the men's fun run category, whilst I came 3rd in the ladies 35 category. I was surprised, given that our time was 19 minutes plus.

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