Larian Gemilang was not at all “gemilang” [glorious]. This was a very badly organized race from start to end. It looked like it was purely a student effort and had no support from the university. I accept that this is a low budget race and I did not expect any frills. I just wanted to take pictures and run.
I will give credit to the warm-up session but everything was downhill from that point.
It was a small crowd (a very small crowd) but word was already flying around about a portion of runners not showing up. The reason was unclear but it did have something to do with the few hardcore professional runners from Kenya showing up at the race. See here we have two types of races; the local races are only open for Malaysian and then you have the international races which are open to the world. The top competitors will show up mainly on the major local races and the internationals. This leaves room for the recreational runners to get a feel of what it is like to win a race. This was clearly not a big event and because they did not put in the “Malaysian Only” clause, the portion of runners had lost their guts to run.
When the MC announced that we are ready to start the race, everybody who were in their right mind moved immediately to the starting line. Then I heard the MC ask everybody not to proceed to the starting line just yet but since they were only using a couple of small P.A. system speakers outdoors, nobody heard the second announcement. We waited for God only knows what for half an hour before the officials (who were students at the university) came out with a hailer and declared that they were going to flag-off the women category first. With a great sign from the crowd, the men moved to the rear. A party horn blared and the women were off. The men moved forward and after another ten minutes, there was another loud sound and the men were off.
There were no cheering officials nor was there an air of excitement. We were only met with frowning faces of cops and officials (once again were only students) who looked like they would rather be in their dorms sleeping their Sunday away; but the runners etched on. As we came to the first water station, another disappointment was installed. Not enough water. It looked like they only had enough water for the front runners and everybody else was to suffer. Also they were giving out water by the bottles instead of cups, so there was a lot of wastage.
My biggest qualm about the whole race was that it was suppose to be a ten kilometers run. So imagine my surprise when I was already at the finish line at kilometer eight point something. There were other smaller things to rant about but it will just make me sound like a whiner. So just checkout the pictures.
Enjoy the pictures.