Everyone loves a vacation, especially when there is some running involved. To officially start the 2017 running season, I took part in AIA Vitality’s Men’s Health Women’s Health (MHWH) Night Run in Johor, running in the 21km category.
MHWH Night Run is no stranger to those who are already familiar with the Malaysian race calender. In fact, I have ran in the same event but in a different location and edition . However, for 2016’s edition, the MHWH Night Run Penang-Putrajaya-Johor series is special because it is sponsored by AIA Vitality. In line with their aspirations to encourage a healthy lifestyle, AIA Vitality have kicked off a series of night runs since 2016 starting from Penang and later to Putrajaya. Unfortunately, due to my travelling schedule I was unable to attend both previous events at Penang and Putrajaya so I was glad that I was able to make it this time.
Under AIA Vitality, the scale of the event has increased tremendously. With the large number of participants, we were glad that we were allowed to post our race kits straight to our doorstep. Another significant improvement was the distance. If my memory serves me right, the longest distance for the previous edition was only 12km, but this year it has expanded to include 21km as well. The best part of this event was that there were also pacers to help you hit your PB or your target!
Despite participating in a few night runs for the past few years, this is my first time running a half marathon at night time. In fact, most of my night training are usually less than 10km. However, with adequate rest and proper food (very challenging since you are on a runcation – you’re too excited to rest and eat properly) I don’t think it will affect your performance.
So to prepare myself for the night run, I took about 1 hour nap before heading out to the race village. We arrived quite early so there were plenty of opportunity to mingle around with other running crews and meet new faces. Some of them also happen to be pacers for the event, so there was a good mix of various age, gender, and experience range for the pacers.
I tried to follow the 2:20 hour pacer and kept up for as long as I could. Eventually, my pace dropped and I felt a slight disappointment when I could not even catch up with the 2:30 hour pacers. In the end, I completed my half marathon in 2 hours and 37 minutes. Looks like there is no PB renewal this time L
Despite not being able to achieve my sub 2:30 target, running in Johor has been a wonderful experience. The crowd was supportive, the atmosphere was positive, and the event was smooth. This event has certainly set the bar high for the next MHWH Night Run edition, and I hope in the future the event will be bigger and better.
Until next week,
The Weekend Runner.