Bidor Half Marathon

Initially, I must confess I was hesitant about registering for this race. Bidor Half was not that 'famous' a race by any measure. Besides, compounded by some negative reviews from fellow runners about it last year, I wasn't about to readily sacrifice one of my "precious" weekends for it. But since I had the intention of training towards SCKLM. So, what the heck, I decided to treat this as my LSD. Hence, I was probably one of the very late registrants, only IB in my 50 ringgit transfer about a week before the race.

But no regrets though, as it turned out. Bidor was surprisingly good.

On 23rd April, we drove and put up the night at Grand Kampar Hotel. Sam (whom I have just met 2 weeks ago when I joined a running group in Penang) and friends suggested that place. I was surprised that it was quite some distance away North of Bidor (30 minutes drive). But distance aside, it's the company that really mattered.

To my delight, and contrary to my expectations, we were spoilt for choice in this University (UTAR) township as our hotel was surrounded by tonnes of restaurants. We had a good carbo loaded dinner of sorts and sign off early after dinner.

On race day, we departed "dark" and early at 5:50am. Got there in 25 minutes with ample time left for warm up and mingling. Recognized lots of familiar faces from KL and Penang. We were surprised that even for a small race, Bidor has managed to attract international runners too. There were runners from South Africa, Spain, Japan etc. But to me, the best part is bumping into runner friends whom I thought wouldn't be running in this race. People like Yum KK, Pui San, Mohan etc. (Since BIM is in a week's time). But then again, these are Marathon Maniacs! No way are they going to let up the chance to run ANY race if they could help it.

Pui San, Ultra Marathoner and Blogger

I was not one who would usually line up at the front. But this time, I followed Sam the group leader and he stood right smack in front at the starting line. Anyway, it was a rather nice opportunity to get our shots taken by Tey. I don't think I have ever had this kind of photo shots before...feels kind of "over-exposed".

to my left...Sam, a super fast runner

Obviously Sam had every intention of giving his best for this race. At gun off, he sprinted off in no time together with the elite runners. My original plan was to pace myself well. It wasn't to race. But to see your fellow group mate dashing forward like that kind of leaves me a bit "abandoned". So, I tried to keep up. Not too fast but not too slow too. But even with that pace, I noticed my GPS was recording a whopping 4min/km pace!

The first 3 km was a bit "suffocating" to me because the pace was too fast. I was informed by many that the first 10km is usually quite flat. The hill elevations only starts after that. So, I was getting worried that going out too fast would have a disastrous outcome. But luckily, after 3 km or so, the leading group pace slowed down to a 4:30min/km. That was a relief! I was then able to ease a little into the run.

At 8 km, I finally started gathering a little momentum and went on a little faster. As we hit the climb at the latter half, I tried to maintain my pace at best I could. In the past, I used to fear the hills. But after more hill interval training, I have grown to like them. Besides, I'd like to think more on the bright side: What goes up must come down! So, the pace may naturally slow down a bit on the incline but you can still make up for it on the way down with a quicker pace. But more importantly, while you may pant during the climb, the 'reward' is always waiting for you on the other side...

I managed to overtake a few runners along the way. Sam had constantly remained about 150m ahead of me. I thought it would be possible to eventually catch up with him but he was simply too fast. I had to watch my pace lest I drain myself too prematurely and mess up my finish.

With the finish in sight, I caught up with a couple more runners as I sprinted towards the finish. It was a very satisfying run. My time was 1:34:37. A PB for half so far. And that time placed me at number 5 in the Men's Veteran category. Sam was number 3. His time was ~1:33. Couldn't be exact because he wasn't even wearing a watch!

nearing the finish...trying to look cool but quite exhausted really...
So, Bidor turned out to be quite a pleasant surprise for me. The fun part is to be able to run alongside with so many friends that I know. Nothing beats that spirit of camaraderie. But some well deserved credits too to the organizers for a well done job in the whole event. So, who knows, I may come back again next year!


  1. Seems like you got into the right group in Penang...people with the same ablity.
    Any prize for coming in number 5?

  2. Wow, great run! I've always wanted to run Bidor but couldn't get the logistics right.

  3. Foo: Yes, a trophy for first 10 in each category, but Sam picked it up on my behalf, I had to leave early.
    Jamie: The event's actually very well run. They have got it right this time. Seems like the whole town got involved. You should do it next year! Well, the whole "gang" was there! And it was a very jovial occasion.

  4. thanks for saying Hi despite of your last push

  5. Hey KK, that's the least I could do le...

  6. Wow, Bidor run, I was planning to run this yet due to the date crashes with my exam, so given up. Food in Kampar spoilt u? LOL. perhaps u shall contact me that time, i can bring u to some home-cooked restaurants. From my hostel, walking distance to Grand Kampar hotel is just 15-20mins! LOL. Too bad i didn't know you'were here!! XD

  7. Thanks for your blog. The mention of the trail's environment and gradient is important for first timer like me for this Bidor run. :)

    1. Thanks Gabera, not sure if they have changed the route this year. Will be finding that out soon in a few days' time. Say Hi if you bump into me.


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