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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 😀
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.
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.
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.
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.
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