Ok. A quick post before I forget the details of my really short one day trip to Kuching
, Sarawak just to take part in the inaugural Kuching Marathon. It so happens to be also the first time I took part and (drum roll please...) successfully completed a full marathon. Yes, all 42.195km of it.
AirAsia really supports travel (and now sports) in Asia as without them I would not have even considered flying to Kuching from Miri just for a day. I spent the afternoon the day before the marathon sleeping and eating near Jalan Padungan and the Main Bazaar in Kuching and the eight hours after that resting my legs. You see, Kuching is the capital city of Sarawak, my home state and I should know and see more of it but this is also my first trip in about 20 years. D:
|The attractions you can see just by being near Padang Merdeka, the starting venue of the Kuching Marathon 2014. They are (clockwise from top left) the old post office, Carpenter street, Kuching waterfront, Jalan Padungan and the Sarawak state assembly building.|
So I got on this really uneventful AirAsia place to Kuching on Saturday morning and I arrive at Plaza Merdeka near Padang Merdeka to collect my race pack, which consists of the bib which is your race number (I think it also contains a NFC chip) and my nice fluorescent green singlet.
|There was a 45 minute queue. The people were there queuing at 11am. The organisers could have opened more counters. But hey, it's their first time. I say their efforts to even let participants collect at midnight shows they really go all out to make this event a success.|
Alright, so off I go with my race pack to find some food to eat. Any difference between food from Miri and Kuching?
|Clockwise from the top-left, Kuching laksa, food court near Jalan Padungan, view from Jalan Padungan towards the Sarawak river and Belacan bee hoon (vermicelli noodles)|
All the nice pretty buildings were across the river from me so I was really tempted to take the perahu tambang (wooden boat) and go see them up close. However, I knew I need to sleep and rest for preparation of the full marathon I will run that starts early in the morning at 3am. Maybe an adventure for another day.
|Clockwise from the top-left, Totem pole of cats (Kuching south city council), the old Brooke era palace, gate into Jalan Padungan, sign to show the right way during the marathon.|
|I woke up at 1:30am and this is what I saw. I finish at 8:54am and that is what I got.|
|Kuching Marathon 2014 route map (from http://www.marathonkuching.com/route-map)|
A little bit about the route. One of the more interesting attributes of this route for me was that I had to cross four bridges. They are like little hills. In addition to the real hills along the course, this route was quite difficult for me as I had not trained in a hilly environment. I usually run near the beach and the terrain for a beach is yes, you guessed it, flat...
The first few kilometres of the route brought us to a Malay village. They really welcomed us to their city with their cheers and kompangs (hand held drums the Malays use in welcoming ceremonies). We passed through many nicely lit buildings like mosques and cat-themed landmarks. After that, in the northern part of the route, there were nothing but trees on both sides of the road until we came back to civilisation in the form of industrial areas (and maybe warehouses?). The journey ended with me running through Jalan Padungan and boy was that a relief...
|I found a nice map on google but couldn't find its owner. This map shows nicely the old part of Kuching and Kuching waterfront.|