Tuesday, April 01, 2008

KLIM 2008 and Those Darned Kenyans

OK folks here it is my most controvesial piece of blogging ever.

I did the KL half marathon on Sunday, I've been accused of being a slacker, lazy, uncommitted and goodness only knows what else because I didn't do the full marathon. Well, I don't care, as you may know I've been injured and am currently undergoing physio, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Anyway, without killing myself I managed a credible 1 hr 38 for what was reportedly closer to 23k than 21k so I was pretty satisfied.

Shilpa also did the half marathon completing it in 2 hr 20 having only done 2 long runs since she started running again. She was going to do the 10k but then stepped up a level to the 21k - awesome.

Now for the controvesial bit. Sunday's races, whether it be the 10k, half or full marathon were dominated by the Kenyans. There was a tent at the finish that said 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers - it was full of Kenyans; it should have just said Kenyans here please!

This Kenyan dominance is causing a lot of bad feeling especially amongst the established local runners who have trained incredibly hard over the years and reached a point where they were getting top three places and earning some decent prizemoney. Now these Kenyans arrive and win all the races.

Where does that leave the Malaysian elite field? They are understandibly upset and are calling for some action to be taken by the organisers to stop the Kenyans taking what should be their prize money. I know a lot of people reading this are very sypathetic and also think somthing should be done too. I read a number of blogs saying as much.

I think I have the answer, it's very simple and it will sort this problem out once and for all......>

To all runners who are unhappy about being beaten...GET FASTER OR GET OVER IT!

When I race triathlons I can't believe that the likes of Don Khor (Malaysia), Ip (Macau) Iwata (Japan) and Patrick Potvin (Canada) are placed in the same category as me, it's just not fair. Every time I go up an age-group, there they are waiting to kick my butt. Not only that but since the "Elite Category" seems to have been discontinued in Malaysian Tri's I now have to do battle with Malaysia's finest, Razani.

Is this fair? Do you know how much I train? Do you know how angry my wife gets when I'm trying to squeeze in just one more swim, ride or run for the week? All these athletes are lighter than me, they've been doing it longer than me, they all have more natural ability than me (especially swimming) - I'll ask again IS IT FAIR THAT THEY SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO TAKE MY PODIUM SPOT?

You all know the answer of course, yes it's fair, but what should I do about it?

My philosophy has always been the same, GET FASTER OR GET OVER IT, and you know what, I have gotten faster! I sometimes beat Don, I finished a dualthon 2nd age-grouper overall and just 2 minutes behind the winner Razani, I usually beat Patrick (not always though), in the last couple of years I've pulled off the odd victory against Ip and in Miri last year Iwata out-sprinted me to the line in the Sprint Distance Tri and was only a 100 metres in front of me on the OD Tri (I'm coming for you Iwata-san)

I say, BRING IT ON, give me the competition, it makes me stronger, faster, hungrier and I will beat them (or die trying). The few victories I've had against these amazing althletes have been very sweet indeed, the many loses have just made me train harder. How would I feel if Malaysian Tri's got filled up by Kenyans? Or top European, Australian and US triathletes for that matter? My answer: - "Wow, what awesome company to keep, international level competition, how much better would that make me (a lot I'd suggest)."

I've come a long way since I was 107kg, beer swilling, cigar smoking fatty in 2000, thank you to my friends, training partners and long suffering wife for supporting me along the way; but when it comes to the competitions thank you Don, Iwata, Patrick, Ip, Rozani and those many others that have AND WILL beat me for it's you that drive me onwards and make me better - you are the competition that makes each COMPETITION.

Malaysian runners, stop ya bitchin, GET FASTER OR GET OVER IT.


Anonymous said...

Could not agree with you more. Problem over here is when the competition heats up certain whingers work their mouths with extra complaining rather than the legs with some decent training!

Running Man said...

Agreed 110%! Often times these whiners are the ones who've gone complacent and would rather rest on their laurels than push themselves harder. There's a malay term for these types. They're called Jaguh Kampungs. Literally meaning Village Heroes. Boastful, and arrogant but only good when there's no real comepetition.

Kok Aik said...

tsk tsk tsk... well said!

Raymond said...

Could'nt agree with u more Simon.Msians r generally pampered lots and prefer to rest on their laurels,sad case!

yipwt said...

100% agreed. No improvements without open competition.

Kristof said...

You hit the nail right on the head. Malaysian athletes lack the mental strenght to compete with the international elite. Life is hard, and if you want to achieve something, you have to bust your gut out to get it.

I remember last year when I participated in the Kuantan Beach Run. I entered the race with only one purpose, finish the 10 km and provide my coach with heart rate stats for each km. I was worried as I just came back from a fairly serious knee injury and the doctor only gave me the go-ahead to start running again 2 weeks before this race. I kept my fitness level up for months by running like a fool in circles in the pool. Aquajogging is fun, but can't beat the road. To finish things off, I won the race. Apparently, the runner who came in second is a well-respected Malaysian runner (who in my opinion wasn't too happy with his second place). What am I supposed to say? I'm so sorry I beat you. Give me a break!!!


Azman said...

Malaysia has this disease, it's called the NEP, the New Economic Policy.

Looks like it's more contagious than we thought. The idea is bleeding even into sports.

What is the NEP-way around it? I bet they're gonna have a special category for Malaysians, which is so Malaysia, and so predictable.

Well said, Mr Cross. This is my favourite part of your entry:

"Wow, what awesome company to keep, international level competition, how much better would that make me (a lot I'd suggest)."

Anonymous said...

I recentlty ran 10K in under an hour. I was very pleased with my performance after coming back from recent illness and over 30 years of binge drinking. The fact that my 10 year old nephew was chatting happily by my side the whole way just shows that we need competition to show us how we are progressing!