Trial Run for Gunung Nuang Endurance Run 2013

I’m running Gunung Nuang Endurance Run 2013 at March 3 2013, my first race in 2013. The race requires runners to complete at least 4 loops, which every loop is 10km, from the Gunung Nuang entrance to Buluh Minyak pavilion (5km) and turn back.

Going up hill in Gunung Nuang trail

Going up hill in Gunung Nuang trail

Gunung Nuang is around 30 minutes from my house, passing by Hulu Langat Batu 18 (River Jungle Marathon’s starting point) and all the way until end of the road. After reaching the parking, only I found out I’ve left my trail shoes at home, so no choice I have to walk and run with my slippers.

Gunung Nuang trail

Gunung Nuang trail

It’s not easy to walk/run in Gunung Nuang trail, by only walking uphill my heart beat reached around 160bpm (my normal resting heart beat around 45bpm).

Met barefoot running seniors CP Tan and Rich Chai on the trail, they were running with Vibram FiveFingers and Luna sandals respectively. Also met other running friends like Kien Wai, Chan Sai Chun, Sarah Chin, Arnold…

Ouch

Ouch

After 5KM u-turn, I started to run a little faster but too bad kicked my right toe to one the stones and it started bleeding, luckily it’s not severe so I could continue my journey until the end of the trail.

Stones and rocks everywhere

Stones and rocks everywhere

My thoughts:

  • Run with a pair of proper trail shoes, or at least protective shoes >.<
  • Water is important, as mentioned by the rules, at least bring a water bottle
  • Don’t rush and be relax, there are plenty of time
  • Take photos & chatting with friends would make you feel better
  • Walking stick might help when moving towards up hill
  • Bring some light snacks too, but please throw the wrapping papers in rubbish bins, if couldn’t find one, bring back to starting point and throw it
  • GPS coordinate (for Google Map) of Gunung Nuang entrance is 3.21703, 101.88329

Powerman Malaysia 2012

Powerman 2011 team relay medals of MU team

In 2011, I took part in Powerman for the first time, teamed up with my colleagues and join the team relay category with the team name MU. I was the second leg runner, completed the burning run under the hot sun. It’s suffering but the experience was so amazing, so I decided to take part in long distance category in 2012.

Bought my road bike at Feb 2012, however didn’t really train with it until Michelle Looi asked me to join her relay team in Port Dickson Triathlon 2012 as bike leg. Started to train more along Kesas highway with Damon and friends, as well as Hulu Langat with CK Chong and Chinese Cari Runners.

So after half year of registering in Powerman 2012, finally the big day has came, my first long distance Powerman. This year they held it at Putrajaya instead of Sri Manjung, Perak last year. The courses are 11.4KM run, 64KM bike and 11.4KM run again.

I was going with Kah Wai, reached there early in the morning, met CK Chong, Boon Bin and Leo Loo in the parking. After getting everything ready, it time for chit chatting and group photos :)

My target for this debut long distance event is to complete it within 5 hours: 1 hour for first run leg, 2 hours 30 min for bike leg and 1 hour 15 min for second run leg, 15 minutes for 2 transitions.

Running at the first run leg was an easy one, felt fresh and relax, completed first 11KM in 1 hour with Chau Kok Yik and John Ng. Met the target time.

Running first leg (Photo by Elaine Tan & Victor Chong)

After completed the run, went into transition area to put on my helmet and gloves, got some bites of PowerBar, then slowly pushed my bike out of transition area and started my ride.

Cycling leg (Photo by Kahwai Gallery)

At first it was smooth ride, however my left leg started to feel a little cramp at around 10KM, consumed a PowerGel at around 15KM, tried to do stretching on the bike whenever I went downhill, the cramp was still manageable. Completed first loop (32KM) at 1 hour 10 minutes, which was better than my expectation.

After taking second PowerGel, continued to second loop, now my legs were tired and fatigue. It was a suffering one, the speed was slow, most of the time was just try to push myself going. Took third PowerGel around 45KM. At the last 5KM I just rode slowly, tried to get my legs rest and be ready for the second run leg, took the fourth PowerGel while approaching transition area. Completed the bike leg at 2 hours 27 minutes, still within target.

Cycling leg (Photo by Ivy Yee)

Spent some time in transition area, removed helmet and gloves, apply more sun block, get more bites on PowerBar, put on my visor and slowly walked out from transition area. However after few hundred meters of running from transition area, my legs were cramp real bad. This never happened before in my (short) running life, was a bit worry could not finish the race within target. Luckily Malcalm came and accompanied and comforted me.

Second running leg with Malcalm (Photo by Shafiz Sazanusa of Saza Studio)

After the first loop, the cramp still haunting me. Malcalm had moved on, met other runners including David Ong, which were also suffering muscles fatigue and cramp. I saw some runners applied ice on muscles, so I tried myself too. Amazingly the cramp and pain were gone after I applied ice, so I could pick up the speed. So I stopped at almost every water station to drink and get ice from their tanks. I putted the ice into the plastic bags that the water station crews remove from the stack of paper cups, then brought the ice with me and continue running, and applied the ice when the cramp stuck.

Continued running until the last water station, which around few hundred meters from finishing line, I applied the ice on my both legs for the last time, then dumped the ice bag and ran back to finishing line. Of course the cramp still came back after a while but since I was so close to the finishing line, I just ignore the pain to continue ran cross the finishing line (runner high did help a bit here). Completed the second run leg with the time 1 hour 17 min.

Approaching finishing line (Photo by Tey Eng Tiong)

While queueing up to collect finishing medal, here my legs were cramp and my muscles seems twisted so hard, but the pain was worth it. Completed the whole event with 4 hours 55 min (official net time). Probably I am the first one to complete Powerman event by running both running legs with barefoot? XD

Enjoyed the great completion buffet lunch in the air-conditioned hall was such a great moment of the day :D

Buffet after the event (with CK Chong, photo by Kahwai Gallery)

Nice medal was awarded, although the finisher tee is just so so, but still a very good event, will join 2013 event, hopefully with improved time.

Finisher medal with my helmet

 

Be A Runner Be A Giver Charity Run 2012: Race Report

A Charity run supported by Arsenal Malaysia, organized by Gerakan Belia 4B Malaysia & KL Youth Development Organization . I’ve signed up with colleagues Cai Hui, Eric and Frankie (his first race).

Both collection and race were held at Lanai Matic, but in the event page written Matic (Malaysia Tourism Center), and the worse thing is, the location shown in Google Map is incorrect. It was a mess since race pack collection day, unclear collection point and manual work to confirm runner details. At the race day morning, according to the schedule the luggage deposit counter supposed to open at 4:30am but only opened around 6:50am. A breakfast booth was there, but giving out a bun and Adabi tomyam fried rice powder (well I prefer mineral water :P)

The starting time was scheduled at 7:30am but delayed until around 7:50am for categories A, B and C, but the announcement was not loud and clear, runners from other categories started together and ended up being disqualified.

There were 2 water stations in this 6KM plus race, this is good for casual runners. But the traffic was a bit messy, which is quite normal for races held in KL city center.

I paced with Frankie who doing his first race at the beginning, then he decided to walk after KM2 and asked me continue the race, so I started to sprint the remaining 4KM and completed the race with 35 minutes.

Approaching finishing line (by Elaine Tan)

Approaching finishing line (by Leong Ann Lok)

Well done! (by Cai Hui, captured by Brian Kit)

With si jie Michelle (by Raymond Ng)

With Nick Arthur (by Nick Arthur)

After completed the run, I was given the limited medal (300 per category) and certificate. Met some running friends before leaving.

Limited finisher medal

River Jungle Marathon 2012: Race Report

During Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2012, I was impressed by the determination of the last batch runners on not giving up the race even with injury and hot weather, also the supporters & photographers who stayed back to cheer the last runners. So at the River Jungle Marathon, I decided to support the last batch runners as sweeper runner, by accompany and encourage them to complete the race. At the same time, this would be a good patience, endurance and determination training for myself.

To accomplish this, I got myself a hydration pack (it’s for future ultramarathon too), a Salonpas muscle spray, some sweets and raisins to support the last runners. Too bad I’ve missed out sun block and cap for myself.

The River Jungle Marathon 2012

At the race day morning, I arrived the race venue at Hulu Langat Batu 18 on time, managed to meet up running friends and took some photos.

Good morning! (by Tey Eng Tiong)

Barefoot buddies (by Tey Eng Tiong)

Running buddies (by Yimei)

Soon Chung (by Boon Yeong)

After race briefing by race director James, the race started on time at 5am. I jogged slowly to wait the last batch runners group to form. At first I was running and chatting with Mr Oliver Ker, although he was just speed walking, but he is not slow at all, very soon he already walked ahead of others. Along the way I bumped with Hola and Fadhlizil, 2 runners from Shah Alam. Fadhlizil was on medical condition so his pace was slower, and slowly Fadhlizil was far behind Hola and me.

Fadhlizil and me (by KF Chong)

Around 8-9KM we met Cheng Zhee Long, he was struggling walking at road side, after few hundred meters we went along with him, he decided to pull off himself because his toes were seriously in pain. So Hola and I continued running until Pekan Batu 14 to wait for Fadhlizil. After around 15 minutes of waiting, Fadhlizil appeared together with the sweeper car, and he told us he is not gonna make it and decided to give up, and going back with the sweeper car.

Hola and me, by Fadhlizil before he leaving us.

So Hola and I went into Jalan Sungai Tekali, passed by a small town. Here I taught her how to deal with dogs during running. We started to run up hill at 17KM. The scenery here was nice with the mist in jungle.

Jalan Sungai Tekali

Going uphill followed by sweeper car

The hill was 3KM long until 20KM. We walked passed a young man who struggling walking up hill, I’ve asked him whether he was hurt, he replied that he just out of breath and need to walk slowly. However later we’ve found out he had given up too. At the 20KM water station we met 3 other runners – Anthony, “Gombak” (with Gombak jersey) and “Ed Hardy” (with Ed Hardy’s tattoo style arm sleeves), so we continue the down hill journey together after short rest at water station. We spent time chit-chatting, taking photos and sharing experiences.

20KM water station

“Gombak”, Anthony and “Ed Hardy”

After 3KM downhill, we had short rest at 23KM water station, with some bananas, then walked pass Semenyih Lake to make a U-turn and come back again to reach 25KM.

Hola enjoying the scenery and the banana

Semenyih Lake

Anthony chilled himself with ice cold water at 23KM water station

Now the sun has highly rose, so did the temperature. At that moment “Ed Hardy” already continued his journey faster than us. “Gombak”‘s knee was giving him problem, after walking slowly and patiently, he finally gave up around 28KM.

Long way to go

3 of us slowly walking and jogging until 29KM water station, here we got big surprise, cold coconuts sponsored by Brooks! It’s really god-sent especially under hot weather.

Cold coconuts sponsored by Brooks!

Big surprise!

After great treat from 29KM water station, we continued walking under the hot sun. The temperature is getting higher, we’re getting tired and our speed getting slower. At this moment, my soles also getting weaker and more sensitive, it’s been 7 hours of walking barefoot, which is over the time that I’ve been trained for. Looking at the Vibram FiveFingers that hanging at my hydration pack, I was trying not to put them on, while Hola and Anthony fighting not to give up the race.

30KM!

Later we were told by the sweeper car driver Issac that the water stations ahead were closing down, and he would be our mobile water station. Really appreciate his patient and kindness. Luckily water station at 35KM still not yet completely shut down, and extra cold coconuts at 29KM have been sent here so we could have second coconuts here :D

Second cold coconut

Chill down

At 38KM, the water station has shut down, but the water station crew was still standing there waiting for us under the hot sun, with cold isotonic drink. (Sorry didn’t manage to capture his photo >.<)

We continued moving under the hot sun, it’s already around 1pm. The lorry that carrying event crews from water stations passed by us for few times, the crews still giving us thumbs up and smiles, lovely :) (although we were feeling a little bit dizzy). Now my soles were hot and pain, I tried to walked on the grass and paint mostly.

Under the hot sun

At around 41KM, Anthony was far behind of Hola and me, so we waited him besides Sungai Lui and hoped to cross the finishing line with him. After 10 minutes he finally arrived and we continued. However Hola’s legs condition was severe and will feel pain after slowing down, so no choice we had to move on first and went into finishing first. Clocked my time, 9 hours 23 minutes. The last 200m, the road temperature seems higher than before, felt my soles being burnt.

Hola (by Soon Chung)

After getting my medal, I washed my soles and put on my Vibram Five Fingers, and ran out to get Anthony. He was around 600m from the finishing line. So I accompanied him to run the remaining race, and James blew the finishing horn to mark the end of the race. :-)

Anthony finishing (by Soon Chung)

Race director James blew the finishing horn (by Soon Chung)

Well done! (by Soon Chung)

This is my longest run, physically not too tired but mind tired. Got a bad sun burn especially on my neck. This is indeed a very good experience for me.

Nice finisher medal

Thank you everyone in the race, the organizer, the crews, road marshalls, the photographers, runners, volunteers and the sponsors that made this event a successful and wonderful one. Everywhere you can see warm smiles from runners and the crews. If you asked me, I highly recommend this race to all runners, including FMV (full marathon virgins).

Race organizer: The Marathon Shop

Sponsors:

Blog with Brooks Orientation

I was invited by Mr Manson Chew to attend Brooks Malaysia’s “Blog with Brooks” campaign launching orientation last weekend, together with other fellow runners cum bloggers, at Brooks outlet in The Curve. This campaign is to gather the runners cum bloggers help to promote their products in Malaysia.

Since I am a barefoot/minimalist runner, I was in deep thought that whether should I attend this orientation that organized by a shoe manufacturer. However, with the intention of meeting friends and see what Brooks could offer, I went for it. Luckily it was not disappointed to know that Brooks have their own minimalist shoe series – Pure Project. Although I could run a barefoot full marathon, but I can’t survive a 3km trail run with barefoot, that’s why all this while I am looking for a pair of minimalist trail running shoe, now Pure Grit is one of the trail shoes that caught my attention.
Brooks Pure Grit

Another thing that enlighten me is their environmental friendly sole – BioMoGo, which is degrades faster than normal soles, the best thing is, they have shared this technology to other shoe manufacturers to contribute to a greener environment. (Yes I prefer products that are environmental friendly)
Brooks BioMoGo

Brooks running shoes are generally not that cheap for normal people, but if you would like to get a pair of Brooks running shoes, in September 2012, bring any pair of your old shoes (yes, any pair – sandals, working shoes, boots, sneakers…) to any Brooks outlet, and buy a pair of new pair of Brooks running shoes with RM150 discount.
Go Green With Brooks

Runners are happy people, so after the orientation, it’s runner gathering fun time :)
Runners
Runners
Runners

More information: Brooks Malaysia

Blog of Barefoot Ahfook