Yes, this is another throwback post!

This was way back last year, when I was in my ambitious-but-not-serious mode to run long distance. I had just had a full marathon DNF, and I was going to attempt another full marathon soon, but I hadn’t been training. I was using run events as my training ground, which on hindsight wasn’t the right approach for me. My pace was actually getting slower, possibly because I wasn’t resting enough and eating right for runs.

But anyway… so I signed up for this run because it had a distance of 23km. I had no idea how challenging it was going to be!

This was my first run for the year 2016.


The Dragon Back Run is held annually at Meru, Klang, flagging off from Sekolah Kebangsaan Meru 2. I met up with my run buddies Farah and Andrew who had also signed up for the 23km run.

I started the run late though, because I had lined up to use the washroom, and the queue long because not all the cubicles had doors. That’s how school washrooms are! <cringe>

So I started the run about 3-4 minutes later than the flag-off time.

It was while I was running that I heard some of the runners talking. One of them was explaining why this was called the Dragon Back Run. It was because the route we were going to be taking was very hilly, like a dragon’s back.

Here’s an image of a dragon to show you what a dragon’s back would look like.

But the good news for 23km runners was that we only needed to run the dragon back hills once; the 15km runners had to run it twice – back and forth!

The run started off in the dark as we flagged off at 5:45am. I didn’t bring a headlamp – I didn’t know it was going to be that dark. But fortunately, there was a runner near me who had one, and didn’t mind me keeping pace with him to share the tiny little visible light spot.

Here’s an all-in-one photo. A water station and a distance signage (15km to go!), all in the dark, though by this time it was getting brighter.
Ooh, iced sponges! Truthfully, I don’t remember this at all. But I took a photo, so it must mean these were provided.

The first part of the route took us along the normal roads – the term “normal” is used here to mean the routes that are not as hilly as the dragon back hills.

Having had no training with hills, it took me a long time to finally get through the ridiculous hills. And mind you, it was certainly a test of mental endurance. Every time I got over one crest, I would see another and it would fill me with dread. And every time I thought it might be the last crest, as I reached the top, I would see the next one and I would be crestfallen #punintended.

See the crest of that hilly road? That’s the start of my nightmare.
That’s the elevation history recorded by the Pedometer app in my phone

It felt like forever before I finally got over the last one, and managed to crawl to the Finish line, at a deplorably slow time of nearly 3h46m at a recorded distance of 23.8km.

At that moment, all I could think of was, never again!

I did run Dragon Back again the following year (i.e. this year), but this time just for training and I suffered a different set of problems, but that is another story for another time.

Still, the event was not too bad. Thanks to the organisers and marshals for a job well done!

Andrew, Farah and me
Me with Swee Fong and her friend (sorry I forgot your name!! This is why I shouldn’t wait one year to upload a blogpost)
Our entitlements for completing the run