The Weekend Runner: Releasing turtles and Putrajaya 100 Miles (Support Team).

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For this week, I had to swap my number bibs for name cards and lanyards as I head up to the East Coast of Malaysia for work. We were lucky enough that our accomodation was pretty close to a turtle hatchery. So one evening, after we were done for the day, we decided to participate in a program to release baby turtles into the sea.

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IMG_1848A little briefing on handling these precious baby turtles. Their shells are still soft and will harden as they grow older.

IMG_1859Moments like these make me want to say “I really love my job”.

I spent a few minutes with my turtle before it was time to release, but I was already getting emotionally attached to it. A million fears were racing through my mind my baby turtle swam into the open sea. My biggest fear was that my children or grandchildren will only know turtles from pictures in books. What if they will never knew the unique swirls on each turtle’s shell? What if they will never meet the eyes of these creatures, and look deeply into their gentle souls? If we continue to pollute the sea with plastic bags, or do not stop eating turtle eggs, these animals will be pushed to the brink of extinction very soon. I would hate to think that my worst fears might come true if we do not change our ways and realize the deteriorating impact of our actions to the environment.

 

For more info on this programs, bookings, and arrangements, head to: http://www.pahangtourism.org.my/index.php/destinations/islands-beaches/cherating/pantai-chendor

 

The next day on Sunday, I headed to Putrajaya to cheer friends who ran in the Putrajaya 100 Miles in the 100km category. It’s not everyday you get to be a part of an ultramarathon event, and 100km is a really big milestone in every runner’s career. They needed all the help they could get to stretch their physical and mental endurance.

The race started yesterday (Saturday), at about 7am. The support team was already on standby at the checkpoints, helped the runners pace, or carry the essentials. I was unable to join them on Saturday because I was still travelling, but I kept tab of their progress (and pain!) through social media and text messages. So the least I could do was cheer for them at the finishing line and helped them take pictures on Sunday. The cut-off time was 30 hours, and they managed to complete the run in roughly 26-27 hours.

IMG_1944The support team who worked just as hard!

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IMG_1939Sleep-deprived, exhausted, and sun-burnt, the least I could do was be a familiar face at the finishing line, cheering for them to finish strong.

 

It was an interesting experience to be a part of an event from a support group’s perspective. I have always thought that running was an individual sport – the only person you need to think about is yourself. However going solo was never a viable option in an ultramarathon. Without proper coordination, planning, and strategizing from the rest of the support team, a runner’s performance might be severely affected, or worst, he/she will not be able to complete the race. It was a humbling experience, and there are lots more for me to learn.

 

Until next week,

The Weekend Runner.

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