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What a year of running taught me

by Azlan

I’ll be honest. I’m not in the mood to write about anything this year. To cut the long story short, I tripped and fell on the trails about a week ago. In the process of getting cuts and bruises, I also suffered what my Physiotherapist suspects, a Grade 1 Posterior Cruciate Ligament Sprain. I’m absolutely gutted that it hurts so much in the preceding days and I’m consigned to spending my holidays hobbling around at home. With only 2 weeks or so to Hong Kong 100, I’m even more gutted that 4 months of focused training might have just gone to waste. At this moment, I’m making some progress, but I don’t know if I’ll even make it to the start line.

I’m probably more annoyed by people who cautioned me to be more careful out on the trails. I’m certain that was my first major accident since a couple of years back when I had a similar fall. But for the former, I was speeding on the trails, as opposed to latter when I was actually running very slowly but was probably too tired to react to the trip. Maybe I should just stop running since it’s safer?

As mentioned, I’m in no mood to sum up my year in running. I think social media has made most people (seemingly) aware of what I’m doing. But I do want to get a couple of things I’ve felt off my chest.

They’ll come when you’re gone.

In February, my father passed away. He had battled with diabetes for a very long time. And 5-6 years earlier, he struggled with depression that caused him to lose hope of the battle. Diabetes which later escalated to kidney failure with dementia, dragged him on until he finally passed in his sleep, in peace. It had been a rough time for the family, more so for me now that the responsibility lies with me to take care of my mom.

But I was disheartened that the number of people who visited him became less, and less, and less. Friend and colleagues who visited him when he was hospitalized early on, stopped visiting him entirely. Family of course came, but during the usual yearly gatherings. But by then, dementia had taken its due course and sometimes he wondered who everyone was.

That left me, sad. Because I know that will happen to me. I know no one cares about me in general or if anything happens to me. And I’m certain the only time I will get everyone together is when I’m dead. I kid you not my phone is literally silent most days of the week.

You don’t get to choose.

I remembered a teacher in secondary school once telling the class to pick your friends that are of good influence. I think she meant hanging around people who can bring you forward in life. On the running endeavour, yes she was right, hanging around the people (they call it networking) does bring you forward at where you want to go.

But personally, I’m a specialist in failure at relationships. This year, I’ve come to learn that no matter how you warm up to people in the beginning, things wouldn’t always work out the way you hoped it to be. Being ghosted wasn’t a great feeling, especially when you’ve spent so much time and effort to getting to know the person, even if it’s just for the sake of just being friends. That person may have their viewpoints, but I’m not the one who’s not replying. Is it too hard to reply back?

No person deserves to be ghosted. But I didn’t get to choose that either.

Unfortunate from the get go.

  • January – I DNF’ed a race because of bad weather.
  • February – Dad left, in peace.
  • May – Ran my second slowest Sundown Marathon.
  • August – I then DNF’ed my dream race because I’m too tired to make cut off.
  • December – Experienced a race threatening injury. (see above)


It had been a year of surprises. I got into the WAA Team, traveled to France for my dream race, became a Sundown Ambassador after 6 years of running their races, had my face and story told in the national newspaper, and met lots of wonderful people in the process. Lots of blessings and opportunities come forward or manifested themselves in some ways, I’ll always be grateful for that.

But I honestly don’t know what’s in store for me. And I’m not hoping for much either


Goodbye, 2016.


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