May15, the day before New Balance 15km. Like usual, Keat Seong & I were packing our stuffs, getting ready for the run the next day. Then I got an sms. Our friend, Ngae had passed away. I stopped short. As I was standing, I had to take a sit to composed myself. Keat Seong was silent as well.
I got to know Ngae last year when I got back from Australia. He's not hard to missed during running events. The only guy who wears a sarong & barefooted. Something that not everyone would attempt. The guy who ran the Sahara Desert Ultra Marathon, and that is definitely not easy. I remember the group having lunch with him after a Klang run. Bakkutteh of course. We were all eating hungrily when he just couldn't stop talking. hahaha...He was contantly a cheerful athlete where there's no competition among each other. He would inspire the younger generations to become a better marathoner/triathlete.
It had taken me so long to write this entry about Ngae because I rather everyone else write about him first. Maybe it's because I'm trying to get hold of myself before the waterworks...darn..already started.
Anyway, that Saturday nite. Facebook was flooded, mourning & condolences. May Senn had suggested to run in sarong to remember him, and I agreed.
It was a silent morning at Bukit Aman carpark. Word went round. Race start was at Padang Merbok. Expression of disbelief were seen on faces. Thankfully it wasn't such a warm day. I was already wearing my running skirt plus the sarong.
My target? Maintaining at 1hr 30mins = 15km. The route? Reverse double hill. I already know that I hated the double hill. Actually, I hate hills. Full stop. The last time I ran was about 4days ago. Fresh legs, as Keat Seong called it. It was a good steady pace along the flat surfaces. I think I started off too fast, as the ladies I passed before, started passing me at 9km.
The reverse route was goooodd. There were hills, but not as steeped as the original. Water supplies were complimented as well. At 12km onwards, I started picking up my pace, passing the original girls again. As for the sarong, I received many compliments about it. Latest trend of running skirt. I had to stop at the waterstation to ask for safety pins as the sarong was attempting to fall. Slightly warm underneath though. I heard that Ngae went commando when running in sarong. hahhaha..dun wanna imagine.
In the end, I timed a 1hr 31mins. Oh well, it wasn't much of a race for me. Felt more like jogging. Yes I know, if I had only "pia" abit more, I would have gotten my sub1.5hr. Met up with a few other friends before we called it a day.
A week after NB15, a Run in Memory of Ngae Koh Hieng was held at Bukit Aman. It's not a race. Any distance you desire. We all met at 6am, with a short speech & a moment of silent. As Keat Seong & I had a late night the day before, we did a short run before heading back. Many people turned up, which shows how great this man was. Someone should organise an annual Sarong event. Ngae would be smiling down on us. Rest in Peace my dear friend. You are truly remembered.
Sahara Ultramarathon 2007
Wan's Column - Farewell to our Friend, Ngae Koh Hieng
most pics courtesy of San, Julie & other runners.