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The satisfying quest for personal running records.

My most significant accomplishment was not completing a marathon but improving my performance in a 5K run. I smashed my 5K personal best (PB) at the ASICS META : TIME : TRIALS.

Although rewarding when it all went to plan, the great deal of effort to hit a time target was quite challenging.

The backstory of beating a 5K personal best.

It was a windy April day in the southern Spanish city of Málaga. The sun was just rising, the air was as cool as it could be in a country where summer never left. The temperature was 13 degrees celsius to be exact.

In conjunction with the global launch of ASICS Metaspeed + running shoes, ASICS Malaysia flew me to this Mediterranean city to experience the Tour de France-inspired running event – ASICS META : TIME : TRIALS myself.

Runners, supporters, and spectators from different countries came together to join the iconic running event and set the event ablaze with anticipation and excitement.

On your marks, get set, go!

As everyone was waiting in the startling line, I walked into the throngs. Following a quick warm-up, I was all set to go. At the starting line with energizing music, everyone’s spirits were in full bloom. The “stage fright” was real with the cool weather which gave me a runny nose.

The sound of the race-starting pistol shivered down my spine. Despite not being certain if I could achieve my 5K PB, I just had to stay focused, keep moving, and do my best.

The 5K run was open for everyone. The course was wrapped around culture and history and combined with the Mediterranean climate which added to the feel of the run. The spectators who cheered along assuredly added energy and made the run lively.

My META : TIME : TRIALS experience.

I am not a fast runner with my average pace being about 7 minutes per KM. I had to push myself to run at a 6-minute per KM pace, hoping to achieve my time target with the newest Metaspeed Sky+ running shoes.

The run course consisted of a 2.5 KM lap where participants had to tackle the lap twice. Fairly flat, everyone was running very fast!

The first lap was relatively tough as I went “all-out”, keeping in mind that it was only a 5K and I certainly could do it. However, it was challenging as 5K was about as close as I could come to going “all-out” but having to maintain a consistent pace was a different story.

I managed to catch my breath while checking my pace and heart rate on my Garmin watch. Thanks to the crowds of encouraging onlookers, I managed to keep a consistent pace at 5:30 – 5:45 per KM and slowly gained confidence.

When reaching the finish line, all I can think of is a surprise.

The experience was surreal. Small things lead to big things. Small things are doable. I have never imagined myself breaking 6 minutes in a kilometer.

This run took me not only to run my personal best but also to relish the astonishing city scenery and picturesque sights as I ran near the coffee shops and tapas bars which portray the laid-back lifestyle of Southern Spain.

It was amazing to see the streets of Malaga with people who contributed to making this city a great place to run. Running gives a sense of purpose. It allows one to have a goal with the ultimate reward at the end, which is more than a few kind words and a pat on the back.

Running in the port city that epitomizes the Andalusian lifestyle, indulging in delectable Spanish foods, and most importantly, beating a 5K personal best in front of the cheering crowds has proven one thing – Winning does not always mean getting first place, it means getting the best out of yourself.

It was a run that will forever remain imprinted on my memory. See you again, Málaga!

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