Once again I find myself at the base of the iconic KL Tower on a fine Sunday morning, ready to take on 2058 steps to get to the top of the tower. I did this Towerthon race last year, so I decided to participate again this year to challenge myself if there was any improvements and if I could beat last year’s personal record of 36 minutes.
As usual, they flagged us off in waves to prevent bottlenecks at the staircase, so as everyone fell into their own pace the crowd was evenly spread out. No one was jostling or pushing to overtake each other on the staircase. I recalled feelings of claustrophobic and monotony last year, but this time I was mentally prepared.
Upon completing the race at the top, I did not feel any muscle aches or joint pains from climbing the stairs. Maybe all of those squats and strength training paid off, or maybe the recent mini-hike during Taman Negara’s trip had prepared my legs. However, I was feeling breathless and nauseous from the elevation gained. I can feel the blood pounding and pumping in my head. Unfortunately, I don’t think I beat last year’s record of 36 minutes.
One more floor to go until we reach the finishing line at the top!
The only way to get down was to get on the passenger lift. I was disappointed with the crowd management this year. Last year, transferring the participants from the finishing line to the base of the tower was very fast and smooth. We did not wait for a long time to get into the lifts. But this time, hundreds of participants ended up waiting for 1 hour and 15 minutes (or more!) in a very narrow and hot space for the lift to get us down. There were a few participants who fainted due to the heat, exhaustion, and dehydration. The poor crowd management portrayed a negative image to our country’s iconic attraction too, as there was an international participant who expressed her dissatisfaction by saying she will never participate in an event like this again.
What goes up, must come down. Or in Towerthon’s case, it might take 1 hour 15 minutes to be able to go down. Everyone was getting agitated at this point.
On a positive note, I decided to continue last year’s spirit of being a tourist in my own city. Despite being born and bred in Kuala Lumpur, I could not remember when was the last time I visited the observation deck of the KL Tower. So my friend and I took advantage of the promotional price offered and bought tickets to the open-air observation deck and a new attraction called Skybox.
Skybox is an extended platform made from glass, giving viewers an unobstructed view of the city. Just a piece of glass separating you from going 431 meters down.
Looking at KL city from a different perspective, I can’t believe this is the city that I grew up in because it looked so different from above. I felt as if I was discovering a different city. Sometimes, you don’t have to go very far to feel like you are on a mini-vacation – all you need to do is explore your own backyard.
Hello Kuala Lumpur. You look beautiful from up here.
Until next week,
The Weekend Runner