Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Putrajaya 100 Miles - My Maiden 100km, It's Beyond Words!

100km Ultra Marathon. Yup, I know, it's totally insane, right? To make it more insane, imagine running a 100km road race 6 days after a Full Marathon... I realized it is suicidal but I was too late to chicken out or downgrade the distance. Like they always said before, layankan aje the route! It's #runordie bak kata Ultra Ben... =P

Normally I would always had to think more than twice whenever I decided to register for any ultra running event, especially when the distance is more than 50 km and the cut-off time is super strict. Usually the cut-off time for 100km road and trail race is around 18 hours. TITI 100 and TNF 100 Asia Pacific Series just to name a few. Meanwhile there is an event like Craze Ultra 100 in Singapore had a very generous cut-off time too, which is 32 hours for 100 Miles and 101 km runners. Even The Most Beauty (Brutal) Thing's cut-off time is 30 hours for 100km category.

So it all started when I came across the announcement from PACAT Adventure Team that they will organize Putrajaya 100 Miles (P100) 2014. I immediately signed it up without a doubt after knowing that the cut-off time was generous too, 30 hours. Thus, it's my way to support local ultra running event too after they have successfully organized Putrajaya 50, Putrajaya Watergate 16 Hours (W16H) and King Of Bukit Larut (KOBL). I'm so getting fond of all these low key events, where the camaraderie among the fellow runners was amazingly wonderful and truly unforgettable.

I went to collect my running bib and my pacer's bib on Friday, just after office hour. At first, I did not have a pacer to accompany me during P100 even though all 100 Miles and 100km participants were entitled to have their own pacers. But once Ben knew that I'll be running my maiden 100km run in P100, he offered himself to be my pacer. As a matter of fact, I was really really grateful that I had a Pacer running along with me, especially during the last 50km. I'll explain to you why later on yeah...

The usual suspects - Razinah, Shin Wong and Me... =D
Go AizaTotis Go! Slow And Steady Wehh... =P

Bumped into Razinah, Fadhlur, and Azmi @ Gmie at the venue. Took some photos together and getting ready to had a carboloading dinner and some last minute preparation. Both of us, Gme and I went to Alamanda to buy some essential things, some food and had a scrumptious dinner. After that we went home and called it a day. I was so tired to pack my stuffs that I fell asleep immediately.

Wajah-wajah Ceria Terkesima Bercampur Debar Menanti Esok Hari eh! - Pic courtesy of Gme Idola
Race Day
Woke up around 5.30 am and I frantically packed my everything that I need to bring in my hydration bag as I knew that it was already too late to drop my bag at CP5. I arrived at Taman Sri Empangan by 7.15 am and missed the large crowd flagoff moments. My bad. So I just took off with Ben. Oh before that took some photos with Eina, Zulfazli and Ben fore we start running.

My Pacer and I... Ikkezoo! #letdudis
Sempat lagik pose2 bersama Eina, Ultra Jol Tersohor sebelum lari nih.. Thanks guys for coming! - Pic by Azfar
One thing about a late start, we tend to get lost since there were not so many of us, crazy nuts running on that fateful Saturday morning. Luckily I still remembered some of the route and we were on the right track afterwards. Tried to catch up with the other runners. I just let Ben ran on his own pace and he'll wait for me at every CP/WS. The first loop was amazing. Said hi to several familiar faces along the way. I just kept on running slow and easy until I reached CP1 Nusa Perdana at KM10 in 1:30:43. The first CP was quite hidden, I almost missed it at first. Had a juicy slices of watermelon and had an icy Coke too. Then off I go to do the first loop along the lake and reached back at the CP1 (now CP2) in 3:38:46. It was a very freaking hot morning! My bad coz I forgot to bring my shades along with me... Felt like forever to reach the CP2 actually... I felt so relieved upon seeing Ben offered a cup of icy cold Coke to me... Such a heaven sent.. Thanks Pacer!

Pics courtesy of Azfar, Isaac and Ms Hong Thanks =)

Once we were done with the mental + hot loop, we were running towards the CP3. I had to run up the stairs and went down again and ran along the lakes towards Marina Putrajaya and Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside before making my way towards PICC and straight towards CP3 which was located at Putrajaya Challenge Park (PCP). I was baffled at first upon witnessing the traffic congestion around PICC. I thought there was a MAHSA Convocation on that day but soon I found out it was Upin Ipin Carnival that was being held there. No wonder I saw so many parents bringing along their kids making their way up. I reached CP3 (KM26) in 4:37:15. Took my sweet time there refilling all my bottles and hydration bag. Had a honey stick too.
You can see how hot it is back then.... Felt like roasted so crispy!!! Nangess at CP3...  - Pic courtesy of Gme Idola
Razinah and Abg Zg were kind enough waiting for me to continue the race together as I had to run alone since my pacer was really eager to deal with the most hottest stretch asap and he took off way earlier. I was ok with it as I was so used to run alone all the time. Plus it was not the most crucial part of the race yet. So I followed both of them and embarked on our journey to the hottest stretch of the route as it was already 1-2pm. We shuffled our way through Taman Selatan towards Persiaran Selatan and Persiaran Timur. It was a mental challenging stretch. We took several breaks whenever we managed to find some shades. It felt like forever to reach CP4 too. Once we reached Presint 15, we need to deal with some inclines in Taman Rimba Alam. The view was spectacular. I've never been to this part of Taman Rimba Alam before. After 2km++ of undulating horse trail, we reached CP4 (KM39) within 7:54:29.

Take A Break In The Middle of Nowhere... Blistering sun  and rolling hills!
 Met so many familiar faces there. I saw Gme, Fadhlur, Ken Lee, Kam and Ijam taking their sweet time at CP4. My tummy was already grumbling and felt so hungry that I ate some Nutella sandwiches and chips. I was surprised to see Azlan at the CP. Thanks for your support yaa... Thank you to Kak Lina, Abg Zaini and Raimie for manning the CP4. You guys were awesome bunch. After went through the same routine and took some pictures with Azlan and the other runners, I continued my run. From there onwards, I really loved the route. It was shady all the way and I could see the dark clouds and heard some thunder from a distance. I need to hustle up to catch up with Razinah and Abg Zg. 
Pose2 Ceria Bersama Mohd Azlan, Fadhlur and Gme Idola - Pic by Gme
Uncle Oliver was not not far from me and he's such a speed walker. We had some pep talk and he encouraged me to go ahead. I bumped into Frank, Ezam and Botaks along the way. I had been warned that it was still a long way to go. Managed to keep up with Razinah and Abg Zg near the INSPEN at Precint 14. Since they were doing just fine, I've decided to run there alone and it was not that hot anymore. It was already 4.30-5pm by the way. Kept going straight and saw some other runners along the route. They told me that the next CP5 (u-turn point) is not at KM50. I said thanks to them and luckily I still had plenty of drinks. I really depended on my Coke. That happy juice gave me the boost when the going got tough. I saw Aizat Razak cheered me at the main junction heading towards Presint 14 and 15. Thanks bro for that impromptu cheer..  After the main junction, I took right and went straight ahead towards Putrajaya Wetlands Park...

Just keep going... #aizatotis
Boy, I tell you, running solo along the straight motorcycle lane stretch felt like forever... Neverending.. Not that boring though coz you could see all those vehicles whizzing by fast... Bumped into Shin Wong and other fast runners approximately 2.4km before CP5. Thanks bro for the info... Reached the entrance and made my way towards CP5... I had to go through some tunnels and had to tiptoed my way carefully along the rocky pavement. I realized I had several blisters on my toes, arch so walking on the small rocks was super painful! It was tormenting... really! Cursing myself as I had to suffer through this lane of hell along the lake. Finally the torture was over once I reached the tarmac again. Kept on going and going until I reached the most anticipated CP5 around 6.45pm, I think. I was in heaven, at last! Phewwww....

Second Half of 50KM - Mind Over Matter...

The volunteers were super friendly and helpful at this CP. I was served a delichicken rice by Andrew and he even poured me a cold icy Coke too. Too bad I didn't have fresh clothes to change into at this CP5, thanks to my silliness for arriving late. It was getting dark and I could already hear the thunder rumble and flashes of lightning in the night sky. Had some of the blisters on my toes were being attended to and plastered by the medic team. After that they even offered me a light physio massage to loosen up those tight fatigue muscles. Oh, it felt so good... I could stay here all night long... Felt like in a paradise... My pacer, Ben was already waiting for me for the second half of the race. After refuelling my hydration bag and grabbed some sandwiches we made our way back towards the same route. 
The much soothing foot massage by the volunteers in CP5... Totally a winner! 
A pic with the fellow PACat V-Army in CP5... Thank you so much for your hospitality.. The best ever!
We ran whenever we could. Walked when I was tired and when the blisters were really bugging me off. It was already drizzling by that time. Light bearable one. Thank goodness... We kept on shuffling and jogging along the dull route until we bumped into Razinah and Uncle Oliver resting at the bus stop during the drizzle in Presint 14. It was cold and we kept on going and finally reached Taman Rimba Alam (Presint 15) once again. I was so grateful that I was running with my pacer along the spooky eerie jungle route. Furthermore, I put on my mp3 players too. Prayed so hard that we didn't bump into any inevitable paranormal activities there. Pheww... thank goodness... Alhamdulillah...

Reached CP4 (now CP6) around 11pm... I felt a bit hungry so I munched the sandwiches a bit and my honeystick. Had a toilet break here too. After a brief rest, off we go to finish the remaining undulating hilly route (2km) before we could reach the main highway stretch again. The long neverending road towards CP3 (now CP7) felt less mental during the night. It was windy and felt like it was going to rain again at that time. We kept on going, sticked to the run-walk-run approach. Stopped for a while in the middle of the neverending road. Saw some mat rempit were keeping the road alive with all those noises. They looked puzzled once we ran past them along the motorcycle lane. Yeah, we were crazy peeps y`all... =P

Finally it started to rain again when we almost reached Taman Selatan bound towards CP3/CP7. My shoes and socks were getting soaked wet. Whether I like it or not, I had to move on. Ben ran across the Muslim cemeteries effortlessly while I tried my best to increase my pace along the 2nd creepy point. I sweared I heard a sound even with my earphones on. It's like an "explosion" somewhere in Taman Selatan... I was shocked and kept shuffling my way. As I was not that far from CP7, I could not walk any further. Every step I took felt so painful. Excruciating pain from my feet. Felt like crying and almost gave up but I had to soldier on. Checked in CP7 by 2.30am.  

Sleeping Beauty? =P
Sleeping Beast #lareksss...
 Once I opened my wet socks, I could see why it was so painful just now. My feet were shriveling up due to the wet socks and shoes. Ben and I decided to take a nap here. There were many runners chatting and sleeping there already... I dozed off like there's no tomorrow there. Hohoho... Ben woke me up circa 4am. I was shivering like hell coz I slept with my wet clothes on. It was a very cold morning! I had to keep myself warm at the hand dryer in the Men's Washroom. Tried to dry my running tees too. After that off we go towards PICC and walked along the dreaded Pullman - Marina lakeside stretch. Could not run much so I just kept on walking and jogging a bit.

Had to make a potty stop under the bridge. It's nature call no.2 bebeh... At this moment, I just want to keep on moving, no matter what. Bumped into Omar Khaliff and his partner when I came out from the toilet. We were in this together afterwards. Climbed the stairs back and went down towards the CP2/CP8... Took a short rest here. Ben and I had our piping hot Maggi Curry Cup here. Thanks to the forever supporting and helpful PACat V-Army. After having our "breakfast", we had to head out and did our loop before heading back to CP2 (now CP9). It was already 7am. I felt so sleepy and every step I took felt so painful too. I laid down a couple of times along the lakeside. Fatigue finally sets in. Even my Coke couldn't keep up wide awake. After that snoozy loop, we finally reached back at CP9. Ben still could run like an Energizer Bunny along the lake... God, you were definitely an Ultra mutant, bro! Respect! 

Ditched my hydration bag for the insane last loop... Ran  like there's no tomorrow eh!
They served nasi lemak there along with some hot coffee, Nescafe too... I didn't had the appetite to eat so I chucked some into my backpack and went towards the finishing line. It's the final 10km to bro! That was the longest 10km I've ever run-walk-run. Bumped into Pojie about 2km to the FL. He was manning Kayuhan Ceria Putrajaya that Sunday morning. I even bumped into Sis Millie at the bridge. She was doing her morning long run. Glad to see some familiar faces along my way. As I could see Taman Sri Empangan from afar, my heart jumped in joy and ecstasy. I cannot run any faster, just did some fast walk. About 300 metres from the FL, I tried to run a bit and we crossed the FL together under 25 hours 40 minutes 55 seconds. Yayyy, I finished my first 100km within the cutoff time! It's unbelievable!  
Almost There, Almost Done! - Pic courtesy of Poji Santai
Ciked lagik, ciked lagik.... Fuhhh2... - Pic credits to Sis Marlina Ibrahim =)
First time I received a finisher canned chicken curry... LOL! Thanks Shine n Kak Lina for the pics... 
From my Garmin watch, my moving time was 20:44:41. Need to shorten my rest time next time around and keep on moving, that's the key hehee... Total elevation gained was 2,470 feet (753m). I would to thank my forever helpful pacer, Ben for his strong run and really motivated me with his harsh words hahaa... Hampeh punya pacer... This time not much drama.. Took my hard earned finisher medal and tee and I just sat down drinking an icy 100 Plus. Thanks to Abg. Zack. Later on I dunk both of my badly blistered feet into the ice bath for a while. Could not take it the freezing cold! Brrrr...  
Catch of the day... Rambut serabai giler dah hohoho!

I Am A Proud Finisher Of.... 
Took some photos with my finisher medal and tee on. Cannot wait any longer so I decided to go home feeling so sleepy and dehydrated hehee... My body really deserved a nice good sleep and my mental needs to gain back sanity after all I've went through! Sorry folks for not waiting you guys at the FL... I could not thank enough all PACat V-Army, the event organizer, Kak Suzie, Arman, Zinov, Abg Zul, Kak Lina, Zaini, Mohd Azlan etc for all your full support. You guys really made my days. Congrats to all the finishers (100 Miles, 100km, 78km and 52km). For those who did not finished, there's always P100 next year due to a great demand and good feedback, I bet... Don't be so discouraged, please come back stronger and finish the unfinished business yeah! =D

Overall, it was a very nice event for Ultra beginners because of the generous cut off time for all the distances. You have to really study the map and elevation before joining this self support event. Plus you have to be really alert with all the arrows signs, especially at night. Make sure you have a hydration bag or pouch to store enough drinks along the way. If you asked me whether I would like to repeat this race again next year, I would answer that I might not be running this distance any soon. Not until I've trained well, clocked enough mileage to finish this race faster and lose more weight too for that purpose hehee... Till then, toddles!     

Thank You P100 2014... XOXO

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