Lately, most parts of Peninsular Malaysia has been blanketed by haze. After giving up hope that it will rain on the day before the race, I decided that it is best not to run at all for this year’s Standard Chartered KL Marathon. As much as I would like to make my full marathon debut in this event, the Air Pollution Index (API) showed unhealthy levels of air quality, and visibility was poor. Exposure to the polluted air can lead to devastating consequences in the long term, not to mention lack of oxygen absorbed into the body, itchy eyes, and dizziness or headache. Luckily, the event organizers were on the same boat as I am, so they decided to cancel the event at the very last minute.
Just in case if you are wondering, no, this is not Instagram-filtered. The haze was THIS bad!(Picture courtesy of the organizer’s Facebook page.)
However, the organizers allowed all participants to collect their finisher t-shirts (for full marathon) and finisher medals on the day of the event. API kept worsening, but it did not dampen the runners’ spirits, as the venue was buzzing with activity. Armed with masks or face towels, everyone collected their entitlements and took plenty of pictures.
At the starting line: On your marks, get set, COLLECT!
Overall, there was a hint of disappointment from the crowd. Many travelled from other states or overseas just for this event. But they accepted that this is for the best – it’s better to miss one event than not being able to run in the future because of respiratory or other health problems. As I spoke to other runners, the collection venue was slowly turning into a networking event. Everyone took the opportunity to meet runners from other groups or countries. We might speak different languages, come from different backgrounds, but our common interest have bonded us together into this international family of running.
Obligatory ‘finisher’ photo with medal and finisher tee.
Oh hello, cute Japanese runner!
In conclusion, everyone agreed that not running sucks, but falling sick would suck even more. Let us all hope that the weather condition improves so there will be no more event cancellation. For the mean time, minimize your outdoor activity, drink plenty of water, and stay healthy. See you again next year, Standard Chartered KL Marathon!
Until next week,
The Weekend Runner.