Tuesday, September 24, 2013

River Jungle Marathon 2013 - A Very Mistical 5th Full Marathon =D

Hola there to all my humble distinguished followers and readers, brothers and sisters in Runningdom. Happy Tuesday to all! Once again, I've been longing to write an entry about this not so recent  River Jungle Marathon 2013 aka RJM. Sounds like a Military-ish @ Rejimen Marathon, don't you think? Hehee... But unfortunately, the laziness in me really got to me this time around. Well, better late than never, right? So much with all the excuses... Hahaha! By the way, just a little bit about this RJM. It was the Part 2 of The Marathon Series Combo for 2013. The first part was The Island Ocean Marathon (IOM) which was being held in Langkawi on 21 April 2013. You can read my IOM race review  HERE. As a boutique marathon, all the runners aka clients were treated and pampered like a VVIP and there's NO cutoff point at all. Believe me, it was really worth the money spent for the registration fees and such!

RJM Route. Note the Y shape.. @.@
 A day prior to the running event, Rashid and I joined this laidback breakfast run, organized by Le Sabuns Ultra. It was held in the luscious greenery of Taman Saujana Hijau, Precint 11, Putrajaya. All the participants were encouraged to run/jog/walk at least one loop of the park before we can enjoy the delicious piping hot nasi lemak with all the sinfully yummy condiments like beef rendang, sambal sotong and sunny side egg. Both of us ate one each and tapau home one, since there's plenty of extra nasi lemak left. Boy I tell you, I had a love at the first sight with this magnificent park. I was thinking of doing my LSD run here soon. The route was awesome, especially the rolling hills and wonderful landscape. It really got me so excited to run along the route and took some beautiful pictures along. I highly recommend to all the runners out there to visit Saujana Hijau Park, at least once!

Kaum kerabat Le Sabuns Ultra sedang bersantap pagi... Meriah beb!
Fast forward to the morning of the racing day. We was quite late that morning and I had to rushed to Batu 18 Hulu Langat. Luckily the traffic was clear since it was still 4-5 am in the morning. Managed to park adjacent to the starting point and joined the Le Sabuns Ultra team for a photo ops before we were released on 5.30 am sharp. Once again, we were flagged off with a brief fireworks display. Super nice! And off we go!

Everybody looked so hyped out! We are ready... =D (Credits to Kak Lina)
The First 10KM (Running in the dark, love the sweet smell of jackfruits!)

We were running along the narrow road towards the rustic part of Batu 18 Villages in the darkness. Since I forgot to bring my Energizer headlamp (thanks to the kalutness of me... sigh!), I had to follow those runners with the bright headlamps. We were greeted with a wonderful smells from the ripe jackfruits and durians along the route. I barely felt the incline at this point because it was still dawn. Had my natural toilet break somewhere around KM6 since I didn't get to go to the toilet before the flagoff. I took my 1st energy gel circa KM8-9 and realised that I've dropped one of my energy gel along the way. Dang! But it's ok, remain calm and positive. =D

Lenggang Mak Limah Pose... Credits to Victor!
The Second 10KM (Running through the misty incline, it's priceless!)

As I progressed well towards the second part of the marathon, suddenly I felt this sharp pain more like a cramp on my mid foot. I never had this such excruciating pain before. Had to blame it on the lack of warming up before the event. At first I was scared that it might be PF as I felt so painful to run and tried to slow down my snail pace. Luckily the pain went away after I started to run on the incline circa 11 km onwards. I started to keep on running up up and up all the way. Met Abg Zaini (Kak Lina's hubby) on my way up. He's running and walking fast too. Not that steep though and it was totally doable. I could see some fast runners were already making their way down the winding road, including Rashid and K.Romz.

The weather was still overcast, cooling with all the mists around us. I love loops not because I am a speedy runner but I love to get encouragement andsome high fives from them as the loop was getting more mental. It felt like forever for me to reach the 16km U-turn. Now it's getting much much more easier to run down the decline. Just let the gravity do it thing. The view was getting more awesome as if I was running through the clouds. Just like a fairytale... Had my second outdoor toilet break circa KM18 before I took down my 2nd energy gel and endurolyte pill.

What was I thinking at that time, I wonder? Pretty high much... Thanks to Kam!

Met with my blogger cum running friend, Yahya Iskandar. Well done for your back2back FMs and pacing your wifey!

The Third 10KM (Running through a "Pasar Tani", surprsingly! LOL)

Before I tackled the second incline, I stopped by the medical aid station and requested for a muscle spray for my knees and hamstring as I could feel the stiffness of the muscles already. I felt like to open up my shoes and spray my midfoot too but it;s too tedious and time consuming. So I soldiered on. Met with Deo on my way up the second incline. Oh my goodness, he was super fast. Even faster than Rashid, LOL! Truly inspiring indeed. I was shocked upon seeing a mini Fruits Stalls out of nowhere as I reached KM23! Didn't get to taste the tempting durian as it was almost finished when I reached. However I gobbled up some super juicy mangosteens, rambutans and mata kucing (longan). I was stoked with the juiciness of the longans that I decided to bring some with me for my marathon journey.

The view along the route towards the 26.5KM was totally breathtaking. I could see the magnificent Semenyih Dam with the mountains in the background. I was given a humongous banana at the WS at the 26.5KM u-turn loop and there were lots of monkey were hanging around waiting for the free bananas. Let's go bananas guys! I caught up with Kak Gai after the banana stall. Wow, she's a tigress and so fast too! Met with Abg Zaini too along this route. He was doing super fine at that moment. Did not look tired at all. Dah macam main kejar-kejar lak. LOL! Around 28km, the runners were served with a icy cold sweet Pandan Coconut drinks! I even gulped down two of those, guilt free! Really need all the natural electrolytes by the way.

Love this running wait for us taxi @ sweeper bus pose with Sis Gai. Credits to Mohan Marathon!
Picturesque view of Semenyih Dam. Credits to Gme Azmi!
Running surrounded by the jungles and misty mountains.... Priceless!
The Final 12.195KM (Running in a toaster/griller condition, Super EPIC!)

As I reached the 31KM mark, it was getting hotter and hotter. I was running out of water at some point and suddenly I felt hungry, seriously. Especially after I passed a wedding reception that was being prepared by the roadside. Hehee... I tried to run under any shades available and tried to soldier on nevertheless. Luckily I remebered that I still had some of the juicy longans that I took for the second time after I had my coocoonut drinks. Totally irresistable and felt like sent from heaven! I was running out of endurolyte too.

I've decided to gulp down my last energy gel after 35-36 KM mark. The traffic was buiding up and we had to run in a single line for our own safety. At this point I was still running aka shuffling along side Abg Zaini. He's a power walker I tell you. Given an adequate amount of training, I'll be eating his dusts all the way. LOL! I was truly amazed  and touched by his perseverence and tenacity to finish his Full Marathon Virgin @ RJM on behalf of his beloved wifey. More over, it was their Anniversary and Birthdays month after all. Running for a good noble cause. So sweet of him! The last 2.195KM felt like forever I tell you... Thank goodness, I crossed the finishing arch in 6.00.18 (unofficial time).

5th Full Marathon already.... Syukur Alhamdulillah berjaya jua! 
Here comes the Virgin No More Marathoner.. Woot2! =D
Later on, I headed to get my precious finisher medal, certificate and two finisher tees and finisher combo tee. Not bad, huh? I went straight away to take the nasi lemak and fried bihun and gobbled up uncountable slices of watermelons. The heat really took a toll on me. Started to felt the dehydration symptoms. Luckily there's plenty of other refreshments being provided by the ever supportive Kak Lina. The Coke and grapes had never tasted any better at that time.

Gme, Rashid and I at the finishing arch...
All happy jolly faces of finishers of RJM... Well done Abg Zaini & Sis Gai for your Maiden FM! 
Kami masih belum insaf2 lagik.... LOL
Sis Millie & Sis Suzie with the extra tan on our faces... Good job strong gorgeous marathon moms! 
Managed to take picture with our Madam Sabuns, Karen Loh. Super speedy I tell you! Goof Luck for your Berlin quest!
Took some pictures with the rest of Le Sabuns Ultra contingent after the run is a must. Met with Madam Sabuns and KraziRunners Sistahs too. Congrats to Sis Gai for her Maiden Full Marathon. She finished strong, earlier than me, most importantly. Looks like she has unleashed her inner tigress eh!  =D

Honestly, I felt so blessed running this RJM. Not only I found so many pictures of me being taken by other running buddies and event photographers, but the strong feeling of camaraderie between us runners along the way. It really lifted my spirits from the beginning towards the end. I will definitely want to repeat this route again next year. Soooo awesome! It makes me smiling wide by looking at all the pictures. =D

The priceless smart finisher tee... Nice!
The combined finisher medal, 2-in-1. So unique! 
My throbbing right mid foot. xsure salah urat ke sebab x warm up langsung... Sigh!
Till then, take care and keep on running y'all! Full Marathon No.5 safely clenched then... SCKLM here I come! Go go for Sub 5:30 Mission.... Hurmm.... =P

For my Garmin data, please refer HERE ya!

Next: The forever daunting back to back events of Men's Health Night Run & Back 2 Basics LSD Run Report... Basi dah weh! @.@

Monday, September 23, 2013


Are You Game?
Hi there fellow readers, silent or outspoken one, my brothers and sisters in runninghood. Happy Monday y'all.... My apologies for keeping you waiting for my next entry... Being super busy recently, with all the workloads and other planning ahead.. I would love to share my not so recent experience in participating Viper Challenge 2013, dubbed as Asia's Biggest Obstacle Event. It was really the most mind boggling and nerve wrecking event I've ever participated so far. It really tested my physical and mental to the max, I tell you... And I'm glad I've conquered the feisty nasty serpent challenges!

First of all, what's Viper Challenge?

Viper challenge is a 20km Obstacle Course Challenge, which is predominantly filled with man-made obstacles that will put both heart and spirit to the test. It is Asia's first and largest obstacle challenge, like no other. Imagine obstacles Designed to take you out of your comfort zone, you will enter the challenge either as an individual warrior or as part of a team...  Whichever way you enter, you will finish understanding that cooperation and teamwork will be the likely factors that will help you to get across that finish line, without it, you will find it difficult to succeed. Even individual Warriors will depend on others participating in the course alongside them for a boost at times

Me and my running buddies from WE ARE RUNNERS (W.A.R.s) group decided to register for this event as a team. Padel as the team leader, Dr Fong as the assistant/manager, while I and Fadzil as the other member. Fadzil was replacing Murni at the very 11th hour since she could not make it.

(Credits to Afong and Padel for all the wonderful pics)

On that morning of the event, Rashid and I departed early to fetch Fadzil in Taman Melati first before heading straight away to Sepang International F1 Circuit (SIC). It was the torrential rain with some thunderstorms that welcomed us that morning. I had a feeling that I might have to run in the rain and obviously the obstacles will be getting more and more muddier due to the heavy rain.

From left: Me, Padel, Afong & Fadzil

Team WARs before the flag off of the last batch. Still chirpy still happy  and full of energy!
Rashid started his slot at 7.20 am because he entered as an individual while the rest of us started our horrendous gruesome journey by 8.00 am. I soon found out that we were the last batch to be released on the second day. The first obstacle was very easy. We had to crawl under the fishing net. The second and third one required us to climb over the wooden wall with different height. The second wall was a bit challenging because it was higher and teamwork was much needed here to push your teammate to climb over the wall.  
Looks easy, right? Just crawl underneath the fishing net...
The fourth challenge was the most coolest of them all, like literally. We had to dip our body waist deep in a tank fiilled with ice cubes cold water and went underneath a wooden plank midway. Boy, I could not feel my balls anymore. LOL Half of my body was numb and I was shivering like hell... Brrrr!!!

Padel, Me, Fadzil and Afong after the muddy barb wire crawl. Pardon for the muddy smudges images of us!
Fadzil in action to cross the slippery muddy balancing pole...  He made it.. Can you spot me? =P
Padel, our team leader took the bullet for the rest of the team by completing the monkey bar... Bravo! 
After that we had to go through many more countless obstacles like barb wire crawl (I hurt my knees during the nasty crawl that really triggered my old injuries!), dusty trench crawl turned into murky muddy at the end of the crawl, balance beam (I fell off this one and hit my elbow on the solid soil, Ouch! mujolah xlebam dll.), steep hill slide, trye run, tyres hill, incline wall, cargo net, hill rope climbing, haystack wall, tried to do the monkey bars over water but it was so damn slippery and my upper body was so weak, so I had to skip that obstacles, takut terjatuh dalam air lumpur teh tarik tuh sebenarnya... Boohoo! Noted to myself: Need to sign up for the gym asap!

Members of WARS with some of our running friends and strangers united mid way...
Took our sweet time posing on top of the haystack wall
My Skechers GoTrail shoes were drenched most of the time but I seemed to enjoy every moment of it. The hilly route was awesome and running under the hot scorching sun at 1230pm was EPIC! We were roasted to perfection after the grueling 4 hours and 30 minutes (almost 5 hours ok!). I found out there were two different tones on my arm and legs after the Viper Challenge... Gosh!
WARS In Blue... =D
The super nasty giant hilly slide! Love the G-Force, just like a going down a roller coaster  weh!
After the slide... Coated with mud all over us... 

Fadzil's back were badly slashed by the sharp stones hidden underneath the canvas. Even his shirt was torn.
He received a shot for it but never whined about it all on that day. Totally anak jantan indeed! lol
Most of us in my WARs team suffered some scratches and bruises at the back, especially after the giant hill slide. "Thanks" to the sharp stones underneath the freaking hot canvas. Luckily I survived it without any scratches. Cuma satu bisul je pecah dan tersemburlah darah pada baju saya yang tebal ini... LOL! I really love the ending of our run. All five of us were holding hands in hands running together towards the firemen hose shower at the finishing line. It was worth with all the insane challenges we've endured!

Many thanks to our drinking water sponsor, SYABAS!  
Overall, it was very well organized event. Plenty of drinking water, albeit Syabas tank and Revive isotonics drink too. (Psst: The drinking Syabas tank felt like a Evian nonetheless  at that moment!) They really listened to the complaints from the 1st Day participants and improved their WS and plenty of medical volunteers around too. However, they still failed to serve us any mineral or isotonic drinks since it was super duper blazing hot by that time. They only provided us with Milo drink, ice-cream and the finisher medal, cert and finisher tee. I`m so thirsty, ice-cream or Milo won't be able to quench our thirst, ok!? 

The Famous Five WARs with out finisher tee... Note that Afong got some sunburn mark on her face already. 
This is my must pose after the gruelsome challenge... Now I know the sky is the limit! Bring it on!
Next review:  Fascinating River Jungle Marathon 2013 aka Full Marathon #5. It was a full marathon full of emotions... Needless for me to say... Sigh... T_T

More of my Garmin data can be reached right HERE ya... =D