Following up with our Run 6 Miles Ambassador feature is Kartini Ahmad Kamal. Hailing from East Malaysia, she has now settled in Kuala Lumpur, but still calls Sandakan home! You may have seen her in some of the major marathon events, and may even have followed her as an official pacer! Let’s have a chat with Tini!
Congratulations Tini on being part of the Run 6 Miles ambassador team! How is your day so far?
Relieved as i have just done with my management audit. Yeayyy
It must have been a nice surprise when you received an email saying, You’re part of the team! How did that go?
(I didnt see this coming! eventho i really wish i will get a spot!..LOL) Yes! Yes! yeayyyyyy....that was the words that came out from me, as i remember...LOL! (i was dancing in front of my desktop too! #overexcited)
Can you tell us a little bit about your yourself?
I am from Sandakan, Sabah and grew up in a place called kampung air or 'floating villages' before i came to Kuala Lumpur to continue my studies and decided to work here after graduation. I’m the second of 6 siblings, and full time Admin, HR and Finance Manager to a local Oil & Gas Company based in PJ.
Were you an active girl in school? One foot in all the sports, or we’re you more of the indoor type when you were younger?
I was an ordinary student, mostly involved with school clubs non-sport activities and only got attached with Netball and Scouts when i was Form 4. I ran once for Merentas Desa. Always tried to join sport in running but i always the last one so i gave up.
When did you first start running, and what made you take it up?
I was not a runner and never thought to be one before. It's all started back in 2012, when i switched on my desktop at work and there was a notification reminder to sign up for this Nike We Run KL. Only managed to get the slot after 2 hours of trying (lucky boss was not around lol). My 1st 4.2km run, (1st running clinic) a month before the event, on my birthday, at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, i almost fainted and already planned to skip the next session. But i did not, i turned up even for the 3rd session. Nike We Run KL 2012 - i manage to complete my very 1st 10km event in 1hr 20mins! I fell in love with running since then. (So, excited and searching for running events around KL and registered 10km Fun Run at PBIM 2012 and 12km Malakoff 2012 #overexcited).
Oh man, and look at you now! How many Full Marathons have you finished so far? Which would you rate as your favourite experience?
35 marathons (26 FM and 9 ultra). To be honest, i love all of them (even the one that i got injured, DNS or DNF...hahaha). Every event has their own story regardless what the distance are. But Borneo International Marathon is always my fav event since 2014 (I skipped this year due to my injury) as my parents watched me crossed the FL (for my VFM in 2014) and when i smashed my PB for FM, secured 3rd place for women open last year. Outside of Malaysia, so far i love Bali Marathon for the route and the village supporters along the route.
You’ve been an official pacer in a few races / marathons. Can you tell us about the experience of being a pacer? Is it stressful, tougher than running your own race? How do you manage unforeseen race day problems?
Another dream came true! Well, being a pacer is not an easy task. It is tougher than running my own pace, to be honest (eventho as a pacer you are running your easy pace). Anyone can run but just not anyone can be pacer. As a pacer not only to be able to control the assigned pace consistently, provide some info like the current/ average pace that we were running, motivate followers, distract them from the dreadful experence when energy runs out and sometimes, to even provide assitance to follower who suffering from cramps or other difficulties. My sister asked me before, 'Dont you feel tired, running and talking at the same time?' I said, this is part of being a pacer :D and the best part is seeing the runners/followers that are with you achieve the goals they want to do and it's really satisfying to see them get to the finish line in a time they didn’t believe was possible. We may have had a small part of that, then for us, the pacer, that’s a real honor and privilege. It's a priceless experience! #givingbacktorunningcommunity
How do i manage unforeseen race day problems? Well, anything can go wrong on the race day. As a pacer, i have failed my duty before. i truly sorry and i learn my mistake . As a runner, usually i will slow down my pace and try to finish the run (if it's just a cramp or stomach pain from the last night intake) but if i think it will cause me any injuries, i will stop. Respect the distance. There is always another race.
Solid! To be consistent, I guess you do put in the training in a structured manner. How does a weekly training schedule look like for you?
Weekdays - Easy/ Tempo/ Speedwork/ Cross training
Weekend - LSD/ Hills training/ Running Event
Rest day : 2-3 days a week
You’ve got a full time job, and we must say it’s a faced paced industry. How do you cope with work, training, races, and other social obligations? It must take up all of your time!
Oh yessss, but actually it's kind a related to each other. LOL...sometimes, when i got stressed at work, i will go out for a run in the evening. But again it's all about time management. And when you do what you love and love what you do,you will find the way to get it work :D
Alright, bang on. What was the toughest moment ever in your life (sports or not related)? Tell us about it.
I got injured a week before SCKLM 2016 (I was training so hard for this event to achieve my sub4 mission) and i could not accept the fact of getting injured. So, i keep running with my injury and actually it does not make me any better, more frustration. So, i decided to take a break. After recovered and to pick up back is another thing. It's tough but i will never give up!
Hmmm…. What do you reckon is in store for you in 2018? Any specific goals?
To be a sub 4 marathoner.
Oraites! Summarizing this conversation, tell us; what motivates you, both in life and in sports?
There are lots of things that running tought me about life. Be yourself, be patience, our abilities and someone else's abilities are not the same. Do the best that you can do and no matter how hard you work and how prepared you are, disapointment will happen. Like it or not, deal with it. Even if you fall, even if you cannot finish today, you can and should pick yourself up and try again tomorrow. #dontgiveup
It’s been amazing picking your thoughts, Tini! Love your company!
Thanks to you too!
Follow Run 6 Miles Ambassador Tini on her Instagram account @tnieisrunningnuts