The race is one of the most popular ones in town. Many point out that it is rare for a race to take place on a stretch of road that is totally closed to traffic from the start to the finish (within a cut-off time); all lanes being exclusively occupied by runners. Others would say the route – a stretch of highway – is monotonous. Most go anyway, for the fun, the novelty of running on the NPE, and the camaraderie. It would not be a stretch to say that many participants sign up also for the attractive running jerseys that are released in a certain order of colours available that year, first-come first-served. The action at AKOTR race pack collection days is almost legendary, and a glance at Facebook comments during past and present race pack collection days will quickly cement that!
Adidas King of the Road has 11,000 runners this year, and is in its third year running in Malaysia, part of an international event across five Southeast Asian countries (Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia – in that order). Malaysia was the host of the final leg that saw the ‘crowning’ of the regional ‘King of the Road’. Runners would ply the New Pantai Expressway (NPE) on either a 16.8km or 10km route starting and ending at the section outside the Sunway Pyramid mall.
We arrived at Bandar Sunway during what seemed to be the peak period for runner arrivals. Cars were parked as far away as Sunway South Quay, and we realized that part of the problem was due to the construction of a suburban above-ground rail link that had already narrowed the major thoroughfares. We parked at the Medical Centre (where there were clean toilets too) and treated the walk towards Sunway Pyramid as a warm-up. (We would later be thankful for the decision to leave the car at the hospital, as it also made for a much easier getaway, traffic-wise, after the event!)
I would be pacing the hubby for his maiden 10K, and so decided I would take it easy and snap photos on my smartphone along the way. I wasn’t sure if I would get any interesting photos from a monotonous stretch of asphalt in suburban Petaling Jaya, but there were a few picturesque panoramas that made it worthwhile (well, as picturesque as it can get while taken on a smartphone camera while in motion in dim light!)
The route is straightforward. The rest of this post will take the form of a mini photo-essay, from my iPhone5 shots. Here we go!