Due to the General Elections, the Deuter Trail Fun Run was postponed to 12th May 2013 and it was only upon that announcement did I take up both CY and Nick's suggestion to join them for the race. Might as well keep them company, haha!
I drove to CY's place so we could carpool that morning but gawd, it was such an ungodly hour for a 8am event!
We arrived shortly before 7am and took our time to chill out around the start/finish area.
We saw some runners warming up already and we were puzzled. It was only 7.15am and they were warming up already? Definitely some serious runners there!
|We assumed that the road above was the one which would lead us back to the finish line.|
|Warming up with instructors from the Original Bootcamp Malaysia.|
The Men's Open category were flagged off first at 8am sharp. It put a damper to our plans of running together (for photo opportunities in the trail) as the Women's Open and Boys/Girls' Junior started together at 8.10am.
Although I didn't know what to expect, I can honestly say that I was hoping to finish in the top 5 for my category, just because the usual podium finishers were nowhere to seen. *huge smile* I think most of them were either at Larian Bomba, Penang Run, Larian Hari Keputeraan Sultan Azlan Shah, Pisang Relay or Hope Awareness Run.
|Gosh! I do like the colour of my hair - it matches my cap! :)|
Photo courtesy of CY.
We were given a yellow lily as our checkpoint band to wear on our wrists but there were some women who chose to tie them in their hair. You can imagine how the guys look with theirs? Hahaha!
|Adding some softness to their masculinity.|
The guy behind thought I was taking his picture at first. I told him he could photobomb instead!
Coincidentally, the lily is Deuter's way of indicating which of their products are for the ladies. I looked it up when Jamie mentioned it. (See Deuter's website here.)
Anyway, about the race.
The first 1.75km was on bitumen whereby the first 130m or so was downhill. It was quite entertaining to see everyone speeding off and eventually slowing down as we gradually huffed and puffed uphill. I even overheard one lady telling her friend that she was already tired!
The first girls in front were pretty steady, and I don't think I would have had the stamina to catch up with them so early in the start. The first 2KM saw an average pace of 5:20 which I felt was rather too fast for my standards, seeing that we weren't even in the trails yet.
The trail was narrow, just enough to fit a single file. We were catching up some of the men and some were kind enough to move aside to make way for us, while some remained oblivious to the need to move aside.
Of course, I took the opportunity to walk as well when I was stuck behind some of the participants!
I muttered plenty of "Excuse me! Sorry!" and some guys were sweet enough to make way and wish me luck! Sadly, there were some who refused to move to the side while trudging oh-so-slowly that I wanted to wrap my hands around their neck and strangle them.
The trail zigzagged up and down, side to side and it is tough enough to give you a bit of a challenge, especially when it is crowded. Elevation wise, I was surprised to note on my Garmin that its maximum was up to 60m ONLY when it felt like at least 100m! What the heck.
Running downhill as fast as possible can be tricky for the inexperienced. With most of the participants in road running shoes, I can understand why they would be wary with their footing.
5KM later, I couldn't wait to get out of the trails. I was tired of the slopes and crowd. If I didn't think that finishing top 5 was possible, I would have slowed down and walked with everyone else. But as we came out into the open, we could hear the emcee from afar yet we weren't too sure if the end was really THAT near or it was a long way more to go.
And just as you'd think it was safe to do a home run, we had giant anthills to conquer.
|Photo courtesy of Jason Loh.|
Nope, we had to first tackle them like hurdles. You need to run up quickly so that the momentum will propel you forward and upwards - which I have to say was quite fun but hello, I was in race and I had no time for fun!
And there were about 8 of those.
Just as I was at the 3rd or 4th anthill, I heard a lady's voice on my left. A marshal called out to us to tell us to keep it up as we still had a chance to finish in the top 5. Another marshal said I was in 8th position, of which I remarked, "That's really slow!"
And he said, "Yeah!!!"
Knowing that I had someone right next to me provided the final push. The last 150m or so was a furious sprint to the finish line, regardless of how bad I was going to look in my finisher photos.
|Photo courtesy of Nick.|
|Leong was so happy to tell me that she was right behind me. :)|
|Hsu Ann was 2nd!|
I was disappointed that there were no chilled isotonic drinks available after the race. We were given our finisher medal, a bottle of water and a Gardenia bun at the finish line area and ... that was it.
|Exhausted after the run. I gave them a cut off time to complete the race|
and despite their objections, they did make it! :D
The guys did great, too, for their debut in a trail race. A difference experience altogether from road racing, I bet! I'm sure they are secretly looking out for the next trail event to sign up for. :D
Pity the fellas, though. They had to keep me company until the prize giving ceremony instead of going home early to eat and rest! Thanks guys!
A brief summary of the event:
Intended distance: 7KM
Garmin record: 6.19KM
Completed time: 42:54?
Technicality of trail: Not really. Fair to moderate. It was just narrow and crowded. Can't say much about the 8 little hill obstacles near the end of the race. :)
Water station: 1. There were giving out water bottles which was a waste of resources. The bottles were thrown into the edge of the trails, which I hope were properly cleared away after the event.
Volunteers and marshals: Plenty. Good!
Toilets: I only found one at the building.
Bag Deposit area: Didn't see any but was informed that there was one.
Post Race refreshments: Save for water and Gardenia bun, no isotonic drinks and other food were available. Thank goodness we had 100plus, bananas and milo in our car or we would have been hungry waiting for the prize giving ceremony and lucky draw.
Prizes: Big hiking bags, need I say more. :D
While waiting for the prize giving ceremony to begin, the crowd was kept entertained watching some of the participants' antics. All in the name of fun, that's for sure!
|I was shocked to see CY on the floor when I returned from the loo.|
They were designing the KL Twin Towers.
|A very sporting crowd.|
Some dance moves according to PSY's "Gentlemen".
|CY's groupies while he was gallivanting in front. Hehe.|
And the prize giving ceremony began. The Boys' Junior timings were quite fast, they took less than 40minutes to complete the race. The Men's Open champion took about 27minutes. Holy cow!
|Jason Loh was 4th in Men's Open with a time of 28minutes something.|
As for the Girls' Junior, the champion took 41minutes or less, I'm not too sure. Women's Open champion took 41minutes something. Argh, I don't remember. Sorry. They were definitely way ahead of me, that's for sure!
|Photo courtesy of CY.|
Women's Open, from left to right: 5th place, 4th place, 2nd place (Hsu Ann), 1st place (Ong Ee Ling) and 3rd place (me).
Yeah, I received a deuter placard as my prize. Haha!
|The stash I took home.|
The orange 24L hiking bag is my 3rd prize. The red 1.3L Coleman flask was the lucky draw prize which I picked up. Awesome, right? I couldn't believe my luck! The guys were not looking very amused - first, they were stuck being my groupie til the prize giving ceremony, and then, no such luck with the lucky draw prizes. The look on their faces were epic! :D
Goodie bag included the Deuter pouch (black) and t-shirt. Wooden medal is shaped like a guitar pick.
|Finisher medal and position card.|
Ironically, I was 3rd place for my 1st trail race in 2010. (Read post here.) I really must train harder to run a bit faster now!
|Just a hint of where we ran. Somehow it looks further on map!|
Based on the crowd, I suspect that the event was catered mainly for the youths, not for aunties like me. It was a great turn out, with about 800+ participants and the rest were supporters, friends and family members.
I hope they continue to have such events to encourage the youths to keep fit and enjoy nature. And the uncles and aunties who enjoy keeping fit will tag along as well! :D
In the local newspapers:
The Star Online
New Straits Times
Possibly related posts:
Charity Nature Run 2010
Orang Asli Trail Run 2012
The Most Beautiful Thing 2012