ON THE PRIZE

New Straits Times - - News -

with “screams of blue mur­der by my over-ex­hausted limbs!”

The text he sent read: “Since you lack train­ing, just go out there and en­joy it.”

These words, Tengku Zafrul said, were ring­ing in his head dur­ing the gru­elling fi­nal 10km of the race. He shared his mantra to keep go­ing and reach an aim set — sim­ply keep­ing an eye on the goal.

“Any­one who has done any long-dis­tance run­ning, swim­ming, cy­cling or sim­i­lar sports would be fa­mil­iar with the term ‘men­tal block’. This is when your body is beat, and the only thing that keeps you go­ing is your mind, ex­cept that, too, is fail­ing.

“I hit this block at the 32km mark in Bos­ton, when my left calf started hurt­ing. I slowed down and once I felt bet­ter, I started to run again, grad­u­ally pick­ing up speed and com­pen­sat­ing for the pain in my left calf by us­ing my right leg more.

“Alas, this was but a brief re­lief be­cause my right calf started hurt­ing as I ran down Heart­break Hill.

“The twitch in my right calf was a clear sign that a cramp was on its way. So, re­luc­tantly, I sought treat­ment at a medic camp.

“De­spite not pre­par­ing as well as I should have, my pri­mary ob­jec­tive was to com­plete and fo­cus on com­plet­ing the six ma­jors,” Tengku Zafrul said, adding that he re­minded him­self that giv­ing up was not an op­tion, con­sid­er­ing he had come all the way to Bos­ton for the marathon.

“I am sure our CIMB am­bas­sadors squash queen Nicol David and world keirin cham­pion Az­izul­hasni Awang also face the same thought process as they strive for No. 1 po­si­tions in their re­spec­tive sports.

“It all starts from self-be­lief. Then, we just need to put in our ef­forts to make it hap­pen… the rest will fol­low.

“For CIMB, our end-goal is to be the lead­ing Asean Bank. And, as all of us in #teamCIMB keep re­mind­ing each other to keep our eyes on this goal, I am con­fi­dent our de­ter­mined fo­cus will keep us go­ing to help us achieve this goal to­gether,” he said.

With two more legs of the race, Tengku Zafrul promised to do bet­ter at the New York Marathon and achieve his per­sonal best.

“It has been two days since my com­ple­tion of the Bos­ton Marathon, and grip­ping pain is still a loyal com­pan­ion.

“Was it worth it? Yes, def­i­nitely, for each step and ev­ery mile­stone of that run will re­main etched in my psy­che as the tough­est odds I have ever over­come and the most hum­bling marathon I have com­pleted in my run­ning jour­ney.”

Tengku Zafrul is look­ing for­ward to racing 35km in the New Straits Times C-Cy­cle Chal­lenge this week­end.

Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Aziz Tengku Ab­dul Aziz

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