RunQ8 Review: The Fast & The Furious

Yesterday was that Sporty time of year again, where everyone donned their running shoes and headed out early morning towards Marina Mall to participate in the much anticipated (and once delayed) running event of Kuwait: RunQ8, promoting Road Safety and Traffic Awareness.

The weather was spectacular, the gathering crowd ecstatic to get their run on. By 8am congregations could be found near the start line, each group donning a unified color to assist in identifying each other as they ran; it was a sea of blue, white and orange t-shirts, with a few stragglers in other colors in between. These groups stood huddled together, informing each other of their strategy for winning the race, performing all sorts of warm ups to get their limbs ready for the grueling ordeal of running 10K straight in one shot.

Some runners were unable to make it as they were still in Dubai (Friday was the Dubai 10/42K Race), whilst some brave and brazen runners opted to return on earlier flights to perform a back-to-back 10K in two separate nations, only hours apart. They know who they are and I continue to salute and draw inspiration from you!

The route was simple, start off near Marina Mall and run all the way up towards the 3rd Ring Road, do a turn around and come back.

My GPS program (freely available for all mobile platforms here) put the distance at 10.23KM.

As the clock drew closer to 9am, the runners shuffled along toward the start line, awaiting the signal to start pounding the pavement.

The Police Officers were out in full force to guarantee the runners safety, and as the clock struck 9, the runners were off, some at a brisk pace, others as though shot out of a cannon, running full-steam-ahead towards their final destination.

I had had a plan, my music was always set to a certain playlist whose order I can adapt to in terms of exerting effort, relaxing, sprinting etc. however, much to my chagrin, and dismay, for the first time ever in the history of my usage of the iPod, the device decided to “shuffle” my music, breaking my concentration and upsetting my jogging vibe. We carried on regardless, steadfast in our aim to complete the race in under 45/50 minutes.

Little by little, you find yourself getting overtaken by friendly faces and smiling strangers, which to me is the entire point of attending such events. It breeds unity, there is nothing greater than words of encouragement voiced from a stranger, whether its a passing smile, a pat on the shoulder, a clap in your direction and sometimes a few words of encouragement.

At the 5K mark, I decided to demonstrate my “crazy runner” routine, opting to jump OVER the 5K marker (upon receiving my hand band) and running back the other way.

Here is where it got tricky, as you had to navigate against the oncoming throngs of people. The beauty of it was the high five’s you would receive from your friends who were running up towards the marker.

I kept stealing glances at my watch, wondering if I would ever be able to break my mental record of completing the race in under 45/50 minutes. Being unaware of the EXACT time we ran, I could only assume my watch was correct, hence I continued putting one foot before the other, fiddling with my iPod to attempt to resurrect some of my power songs.

A friend from the Nike Running Club came up to me, I used him as my marker and would always speed up as soon as he came closer, attempting sprints.

Finally, the fates turned in my favor and one of my favorite songs decided to grace my aural canals, giving me that all-too-familiar adrenalin boost I desperately needed.

As the sky-bridge of Marina Mall came into view, all the runners knew that they were a few mere meters away from sweet victory. Another friend came close and informed me that we were only 300M away from the finish line.

That was the final motivation I needed to dig deep and begin my final sprint.

I spotted a runner in blue ahead of me, closing in on the finish line.

Not on my watch! I said to myself. Summoning ever final bit of strength, I ran ahead to overtake him, and as the aids at the finish line pulled it taught to give the runners that amazing feeling of running through the finish I line, I opted instead, to give an encore to my crazy runner performance, and jumped OVER the finish line, FORWARD ROLLED upon landing to land right beneath the medal givers feet so to speak. (if anyone reading this was present at the finish line at roughly 9:48-50ish, and witnessed or captured this act on any form of media, please do let me know!)

Timing: 48mins44secs!

Actually, the 10K itself was completed in 47mins41 asp my GPS Tracker:

K by K breakdown of speed, distance and time

Hence, my official 10K time was 47mins42secs.

The celebrations at the end were amazing, with everyone walking away with a smile on their face. The awards ceremony saw much confetti being blown into the air, and I kept trying to follow it in order to take a picture in its midst.

Raising awareness for a good cause, maintaining health and wellness and also meeting old friends (and making new ones), all-in-all, RunQ8 was a great success, leaving us with a pleasant vibe that is bound to carry forward until the next RunQ8 event. Many thanks go towards the organizers, the sponsors and the volunteers who made the day run smoothly.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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