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 😀

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

It’s been one year

It’s been one year since my first running race event – Nike City 10K We Run KL 10-10-10.

It was all begun at early of September 2010, my colleague Keong was asking me whether I was interested joining a race organized by Nike (It was actually organized by HiVelocity), without any doubt, I told him YES. I was working too hard last few years and didn’t really spending time on exercise, and I’ve planned to do some jogging at that moment. After signing up for the race at September 9th, 2010, I started my training by running around my neighborhood with my old badminton shoes. At first I couldn’t even run more than 5 minutes (I think not more than 1KM). Everything is difficult at the beginning, I understood that since long time ago, so I just keep on training day by day, hope to complete 10KM race that coming in not more than 1 month. Slowly I could run for 10 minutes non stop, 20 minutes non stop and finally 25 minutes non stop. So I completed my first 10KM race, at 1 hour 8 minutes 8 seconds, and what I got was a plastic toy XD

However, it was a very good start, since then I was addicted with running. I keep on training to make myself run farther and faster. Things get organized after I was given an iPhone 4 by my wife as anniversary gift. I installed App like Nike+ GPS and RunMeter to keep track my progress of trainings. At the same time, my college buddy Michelle Looi has invited me to train with her and introduced her Sifu Tony Quay to me. Tony is a very patient and friendly person, I’ve learnt a lot from him and got improved fast.

Everything was going on smooth until I got injured during Malakoff 12KM run at December 2010. My knees hurt bad and I need to get pain killer injection with 1 day off from work.

I’ve stopped from running for a while, resting my knees while seeking for solutions to let me continue running. I’ve bought myself a pair of Asics Nimbus 12 after getting bonus at beginning of 2011, hoping the thick shoe soles could minimize the impact rush to my knees. However it wasn’t work, my knee pain still struck back once a while. Then I came across a book called “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall. It mentions about minimalism running, so I decided to give barefoot run a try at end of February, and worked well for my knee (but did very bad for my foot sole with painful blisters). With the forefoot landing experience I gained from barefoot run, I survived my first half marathon at Bareno Run around March 2011, on Asics Nimbus 12. But I felt Asics just too heavy for forefoot landing, so I decided to get myself a pair of Vibram FiveFingers, as mentioned in the book “Born to Run”.

Introduced by Michelle Looi, I’ve got my first pair of Vibram FiveFingers KSO from Crossroads Online, one of the few US online stores that ship to Malaysia. However my first pair of VFF KSO was too small for my feet, after consideration, I decided to get another pair of bigger size VFF KSO. It was delivered one day before the Jogathon Warisan, and I had good run with it. My knee pain problem had been eliminated since then.

With continuous running and training, I have transformed from unable to run more than 5 minutes until now I could run 20KM LSD at least twice a month, running not only brings me healthy body, low heart rate and stronger feet, but also precious friendships. Runners are friendly, everyone could make friends easily in race events, and I have been making new friends from various events.

Coming years, I have no concreate plan what will I heading, I am not a good planning person and never plan to be one, just like I never planned to pick up running 1 year plus before. I might continue running and conquering marathons and even ultramarathons, or I might pick up swimming and start training for triathlon, or I might quit running and dive into futsal that I just picked up recently, let’s see :)

Little statistic:
Total milage recorded in 1 year: 680KM++
10KM best time: 51 min 45 sec (Siemens Run 2011)
21KM best time: 2 Hour 0 min 32 sec (Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon 2011)