A ghoulishly good time at Monster Dash 2
“Oh my God! Run!!! Zombies are coming!”
With all the screaming about zombies coming to terrorise you and people suddenly rushing up from behind you like a swarm of bees, it really made you think that you were on the set of The Walking Dead.
But instead of being chased by gruesome-looking zombies with dislocated arms or eyeballs hanging out of their eye sockets, most of the participants were seen taking pictures of themselves with the zombies and some Frankenstein monsters before the flag off of the Monster Dash Charity Run 2.
To be honest, when I agreed to run the 5 km route for the charity run on October 4th, I was more excited to see monsters and zombies running and chasing people around town rather than just doing the marathon itself.
Starting off at Le Park at 7 pm, most of the participants, already in their neon green Monster Dash T shirts, were waiting and seemed eager to start.
Having arrived there a little before 7 pm, I was greeted with the sight of people covered in gooey neon slime and green paint on their faces, some with ghoulish made-up faces in the hopes of winning the best make-up award.
After the marathon, I found out from a friend who had arrived earlier that the zombies and monsters had been squirting the participants in neon paint. Although I did not manage to get any on me, I did manage to get a helpful ‘nenek kebayan’ to paint my face in green neon streaks. Later I discovered that there were also neon paint stations at Le’ Park.
As soon as the clock struck 7, the runners began to jog while some started to sprint while yelling ‘Arghh!!! Zombies!!!’ which made the already adrenaline-pumped runners go even faster.
At first, my companions and I started a steady jog from the starting point, but as we made a turn to Jalan Rodway, we slowed to a walk, allowing us to watch the other runners passing us by.
Besides a lot of young adults, there were runners as young as probably five or six tagging along with their parents. In addition to that, there was also a woman pushing a stroller with her baby in it while running the marathon.
With the crew marshals guiding us along the route and volunteers from a big bike club as well as Rela and St Johns Ambulance, it was impossible for one to get lost. Besides, with over 6,000 runners participating in the marathon, if anybody had wandered off the original route, all they had to do was look for a swarm of people in neon green T shirts.
Since it’s the norm nowadays to see people running or jogging around town, the drivers on the road were courteous enough to slow down or give way to allow the runners to pass. Besides, it also helped that the traffic officers on duty were doing a good job on keeping the runners on the route.
My friends and I finally reached the finishing line (which was the same place where we started off) around 8.15 pm while some had already reached it before 8 pm.
Overall, the marathon was a great experience and a well-organised event by OurYouth.my. It was especially thoughtful and strategic that water was provided outside St Thomas secondary school halfway through the route for the runners.
On the other hand, it would have been great if people did not just toss their Styrofoam cups to the roadside and if they had responsibly disposed of their water bottles into the garbage bags provided. Further down from the water station, people had left unopened water bottles on the sidewalk instead of carrying it with them to the finish line. What a waste!
The queue at the water station, moreover, revealed how kiasu Kuchingites are when they line up. Manned by the Girls’ Brigade, the lineup for the water bottles stopped at the first table when the people at the front of the line could have moved on to the other two to three tables ahead to take their water, thus allowing more people access.
Even though this is a charity event for worthy causes – The Sarawak Children’s Cancer Society, Society for Critically Sick Kids (SOS Kids) and Kuching and Samarahan Division Cerebral Palsy Association – it seems that Kuchingites still have to learn how to be more thoughtful towards each other and their environment.
That being said, there were three things that I noticed during the Monster Dash.
First, running at night is actually less exhausting and more refreshing than during the day. As the temperature during the night is cooler, I found it was actually easier to breathe.
Second, unless it’s raining, the view of Kuching city is actually a lot better at night especially with the lights coming from the buildings and street lamps. Running or in my case, strolling, gave me the chance to admire my city a lot closer and at a more leisurely pace.
While going up Parklane Road, you can see the air raid shelters from the sidewalk that were built by the third Rajah, Vyner Brooke during the Second World War to protect his officers and family members. For those who drive past this road, chances are you will not have the time to notice this sort of thing.
Third, I had the best sleep ever after the marathon. After running five km around town, I was ready to head home and sleep until morning. Waking up the following day was blissful as I woke up in a more pleasant mood (that was even before I had my morning coffee) and I felt I had more energy. Can’t wait for next year’s run!