Thursday, March 28, 2013

Kenyir Lake International Triathlon 2013 - Road Trip

9th - 10th March 2013
Getting to Kenyir Lake, the largest man-made lake in South East Asia is a pain. Going through trunk roads which were occasionally littered with large potholes was madness, especially when we were coming from Ipoh / Gua Musang direction.

Never mind that. Even when we left Kenyir Lake to head back to KL, the trunk road from Kuala Terengganu to Kuantan was so slow!

When we first signed up for the Mixed Team Relay last year, both Kenny and I said we were doing it for the experience; to give him a taster of what a triathlon is all about and me, on the lines of doing something different for a change. Enough of just road races!

Our swimmer is the hubby's cousin, hence our pit stop at Ipoh.

If I had done my research and found out how troublesome it was to get to Kenyir Lake, I don't think I would have been so eager to sign up for the event.

Pan mee and coffee.

We had enough time for breakfast with my in-laws before making our long drive to Gua Musang and Pengkalan Gawi (where Lake Kenyir is located). The kopi c kosong was pretty potent that I had to share half my mug with dad and Andrew!

We opined that it would be great stuff to drink just before your race. :D

We drove by a chocolate place in Cameron Highlands, only to stop to use the loo. :P

I must say that our local chocolates are ridiculously pricey, clearly directed to tourists. I'm not going to pay RM6.90 for 4 pieces of chocolate-coated bits of fruit!

About 2.5 hours later, we stopped by Gua Musang for lunch. We bumped into 2 fellas who were also on their way to Kenyir Lake.

Mixed rice for lunch! Oh well ...

I was not impressed with the price attached to this plate. I suspect the shop owner charged us too high as we were not from around there, maybe? RM4.30 for my food!

Next, we continued our drive to Lake Kenyir, only to find the road in a horrible condition. We suspect we must have taken the old road through the palm oil plantations, but we couldn't be too sure.

One of the slopes we encountered.
There were too many potholes along the way that it was pretty frustrating to avoid them as much as you can.

Some of the slopes were pretty steep, that even going downhill felt like we were on a roller coaster.

Thank goodness we made it to the resort in good time. It was 3.45pm when we arrived at the car park to take the buggy up to the hotel per se.

Well, you can walk up the hill to the resort but it really depends how you're feeling on that day itself. :D

 Race pack collection was pretty orderly. We were given our bibs, t-shirt, etc and our dinner coupons for the night.

Things in your race pack!

Group pic with the lake behind us!
There were so many familiar faces we recognised from the running / cycling community that it was like you never left home KL.

Race pack collection done, we proceeded to our accommodation for the night at Bahtera Kenyir, a huge boathouse located almost 1KM away from the transition area.

The first thing we did was check out the size of the bedroom. The second thing we did was to check out the toilet, and it was a relief to find it clean!

They took a room on the deck above mine.

Where's the captain? Do we need a captain??

The boathouse was insanely humid that we were perspiring from head to toe. No way you could chill out in your room, which had a queen sized bed and a small wall fan. Ventilation for that afternoon was weak and we prayed for a cooling night.

View from the deck.
To my horror, I realised that I didn't pack enough snacks for the road trip. We were quite hungry by 5pm and couldn't wait for dinner!!

It rained for a while during that time and everyone was so relieved.

Except that I was restless, waiting for the rain to stop so I could take a quick jog to the transition area and back, just to warm up my legs. GS had already had his dip in the lake and Kenny was also waiting for a quick ride.

Eventually I managed to squeeze a 2KM jog and boy, I was jittery for next day's run. Slopes, oh slopes... I don't think I'm ready for them!

Photo credit: AC.
Finally we could carbo load at dinner!

The place was filled with people, both familiar and not. Fendy and Zul (both on the right) arrived not long ago from KL. I bet these crazy people drove extremely fast!

Psychedelic looking jelly!

After dinner, we made our way to the ballroom for the briefing, only to find that the participants dining there had not finished their dinner.

It was such a squeeze for us to find a place to stand, that we had no choice but to stand in front of the buffet table, blocking people's way to get more food. :D

Nothing to do while waiting, might as well pose for the camera lah!

Mr Chan proved to be hilarious and very entertaining during the briefing, and we've been told that he is always like that. It was an excellent method of breaking the ice between strangers and tired friends. :)

Before heading back to the boathouse to sleep, we checked out the bike route and gasped in horror at a few inclines. I don't think we were very supportive as we kept exclaiming, "Oh thank goodness I'm not cycling! Good luck, Kenny!" :D

I didn't sleep well that night as the room was stuffy. Apparently my roommate had lowered the fan speed and closed the window as she was cold. I woke up at 1.30am (after just 2 hours of sleep) feeling rather sticky that I had to step out of the room to cool myself down. 

30mins later, I forced myself to go back to sleep, even though it was uncomfortable. The mattress and pillow are foam types, so once it gets warm, argh, everything was just not right.

Woke up before 6am as my roommate's friend was knocking on the door, to wake her up. I nudged her, and closed my eyes, doing my best to squeeze a bit more winks.

They were blasting 'Eye of the Tiger' in order to wake everyone, I suppose but I was still in bed (trying to sleep a bit more) til 630am and they were horrified as to why I was still asleep!

I was just half asleep!

Playground was still flooded the next morning.

Queuing up for body marking.

Anyway, Race Report can be found here, so I won't repeat the entire event here.

Our boathouse.

After taking photos at the finish line with the gang, we rushed back to the boathouse to shower and pack up, only to find ourselves not knowing where to go for lunch. We were eventually directed to a place which only had Malay chicken rice remaining. We ordered and devoured it like nobody's business - thank goodness it was decent.

I was afraid the chicken would be dry and chewy!

Getting out Kenyir Lake proved to be a mess for us. GPS was telling us one way and then we made a u-turn, to make a u-turn again that we decided that after wasting almost 2 hours of our time in Kuala Berang / Kenyir Lake we had to make our way back to KL and drop GS off at KL Sentral to hop on to the train back to Ipoh. We no longer had enough time to head towards Ipoh first.

Along the way we spotted so many BN flags that you just know that General Elections is just around the corner ... or not. They even had flags in the swamps!

Traffic was slow and busy towards Kuantan and I almost wanted to chop off my head. I was trying to deal with a migraine which had developed along the way and boy, it wasn't pretty.

At the rest stop, I had to take 2 Panadols to curb it, and it felt so much better. Hence I wasn't in a sociable mood but man, AC and Kenny were happily chitchatting with friends we bumped into that I wanted to SCREAM to tell them to stop dilly dallying and get on the road!

From Kuantan to KL, the traffic was busy but moving and we stopped by McD's at Genting Sempah, thinking we could grab a bite before heading back to KL.

Only to find the place PACKED with people with the same thoughts!

Starving, we rushed to KL Sentral, arriving at 930pm thereabouts, dropped GS off before the 3 of us headed back to Solaris Dutamas' Bestari for food.

Fekking long journey, if you ask me.

Why must Terengganu be so difficult to get to and back?

Related posts:
Kenyir International Triathlon - Race Recap

p.s. oh! i forgot to mention that i was advised to bring my own pillow case and bedsheet just in case the ones in the room were not clean. but they looked OK [see pic here]. after desperately rummaging my bag for a while, i realised that i brought all that stuff but forgot to bring a towel!!! oh my, what a bloody noob! so on the first night, i used the pillow case as a towel. on the second day after the race, i used my sarong as a towel. priceless!  


  1. 3 words
    Take a flight.

    But oh wait, you'd still hv to travel from the airport to Kenyir. :-D

  2. I thought you'd have learned from the Powerman experience to sign up for team relays ... hahaha!

    But I love the boathouse though. No air-cond, kah?

    1. no aircon! but it's cooling at night, which is great, but make sure your blanket is not the holey-holey ones (the one my roomie was using) or you'll feel cold. i brought a bedsheet (will explain another time) and used it as my blanket instead.

  3. i've just added a p.s. because i forgot the most hopeless mistake a noob can ever make for budget accommodation.

  4. A pillow case for a towel? Hahahahahaha ... priceless alright!