Thursday, June 9, 2016

BDB CLIMB AND RUN LANGKAWI 2016 - YATTA! MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!


Langkawi Aku Datang Lagik! Credits to Mizan Harun for this GoPro pics... Luv It! =D
Hola! See, I told ya, I'll be back in Langkawi for this unfinished business. All thanks to Mr Ariff Syafik and the organizer of Bina Darulaman Berhad ~ BDB Climb & Run Langkawi 2016 for the complementary slots for Team Marathon Baker. It felt like a dream came true as I was about to sign up for this inaugural event. The first one in Malaysia that combined climbing the monstrous 4,287 stairs all the way up to Gunung Raya followed by running 15km all the way down. This was the first series of BDB Triple Challenge 2016 Orang dolu2 kata, "Pucuk dicita ulam mendatang..." Hehee... Oh you can read about my first encounter with this tormenting 781 meter of Tangga Helang Seribu Kenangan HERE.
Touched down here for the second time this year....
Cayalah makcik driver van taxi nih.... Thanks yaa... Feeling2 VVIP sat eh...
So I took the flight from KLIA2 on the Friday and reached Langkawi International Airport around 3pm. Took a taxi (van) to Cosy Inn Motel for the check in. I chose this motel because it was the nearest and cheapest motel I could find to Geopark Hotel. Just in case if I want to take the free shuttle bus service to the race venue. Plus the Shaz Mamachaksonline and Zet, the Marathon Baker ladies stayed there as well.

My home for two nights here... Value for my money too... =D
Thanks guys for the swift racekit collection... =D
 Went to collect my racekit in a jiffy. Everything went so silky smooth. Later I joined the ladies for the sightseeing + makanthon around the island. That one I had to post in a new entry lah. Must elaborate more about the event first hoho... =P


Kita ronda-ronda Langkawi dolu... Pekena jus mangga, laksa tepi pantai airport... Uber abess!

After having our early dinner near the hotel, it's time for me to hit the sack early as I hardly had enough sleep these past few days. Slept like a log throughout the night. Yup, it was a super cosy room for a RM70 per night rate.
My favourite number ever... Who does not like number 42... Hehee... Without the 0.195km la =D
Woke up the next morning around 5.30am and felt so sluggish sleepy still. Lazily prepared myself up. Sorry ladies, I was 12 minutes late... Yikes! We went to the race site by our rental car. Since I already knew the route, I drove the car. Reached Hutan Lipur Lubuk Semilang circa 6.30 am. Still dark ok!

Team Marathon Baker with Race Director Ariff Syafik and Hanita Othman...  Meriah abess!
Not many people were around when we reached the race venue. Some of the them were already warming up while waiting for the flagoffs. There were 4 waves of flagoff, 200-250 participants for each wave. This was to ensure the comfort and safety of the participants while climbing the 4,287 steps of Tangga Helang Seribu Kenangan (Stairs Of Thousand Memories) as the stairs could only fit 2 person at one time.
Group photo with my Diva Squasy-mates...Meezan & Fick!
I was on the first wave. The elite wave as I could see all the elite and champion runners were there for the BIG Top 3 cash prizes. Hahaa... It was such a honour to start in the first elite wave although I knew I would be the last person in this wave. :P
Calm before the storm...ehh.... flagoff moments... Pic credits to Mr Ariff Syafik
By 7.05 am we were being flagged off by YB Dato' Hj. Mohd Rawi Abdul Hamid, the Kedah State Committee Chairman for Religion, Tourism, Heritage and Public Works.

So here we go! Had to run 600m through Hutan Lipur Lubuk Semilang before we had to ascend 4,287 steps of Stair of Thousand Memories. I'm telling you climbing these dreadful stairs for the second time could not get any easier than the first time. Hahaa... With zero stairs training, I just kept on going tackling the stairs. The first 1,000 steps was done easily hehee.... =D
Life's A Climb!
Baru 272 steps equivalent of scaling up Batu Caves stairs... Still smiling happy face...
 Once I reached 2,000 steps onwards, I kept telling myself that we were half way already. The torture was almost over, I said to myself. Then I reached 2,058 steps that's equivalent of conquering Kuala Lumpur Tower! Yeahhh...
Into the wilderness! Wajah keinsafan mula terpancar di situh ehh...
Yeahh, I did saying to myself, why should I torture myself by doing this climb 5 days after my 29th Full Marathon in Hatyai International Marathon 2016. Hahaa... I guess that I was crazy enough to take this challenge since I need to finish what I've started before. Took several breaks to take a breather and admiring the beautiful canopy along the way up. My heart was beating like a war drums when the climb gets tough and seems neverending haha!


This canopy was spectacular!
Spotted two flying giant hornbills along my way up. So big that you could hardly miss. They had this special sound just like a pelican or goose, I think. Felt like there's no air around me during the ascend although I was surrounded by lots of unique jungle trees and lots of oxygen.
We meet again, giant fallen tree trunk.... Sexier than ever.... =D
 Went down the mini descend first to reach the first WS after 3,000 steps. Plenty of water bottles for all the climbers. Once I reached the 3,600 steps marker, there's no turning back. Another 687 steps to go! Just keep on moving. Oh did I tell you that I had to dodge all those squeamish "ulat bulu" @ leaf furry worms along the way. They were everywhere, on the hand rails, wiggling on the stairs and dangling in the mid air on their fine threads. Urghhhh.. Must be extra careful for not touching them. Nanti miang baq ang hohohi... Geli geleman i...
Yup, so true.... The real torture has just begun hohohi....
The first Water Station in the jungle.... Thank you folks!
Almost there guys! Just bare with me... 687 steps to go! Final push...
 As I reached the final 20 steps, it was getting really really steep. Luckily there was a photographer waiting for all the runners near the timing mat at the top! So I had to keep on smiling happily although my calves and quad were already tight and screaming in pain hahaa... Finish strong katanya... Every step felt so heavy fuhh that I had to use my upper body to pull myself up hehee...
Yeah, the final 20 steps were the toughest! Senyum jelah depan kamera haahaa... Bertabahlaa! Credits to ActionPix Malaysia
 Finally I reached the top of the stairs on Gunung Raya in 1h 44min 30sec, 26minutes faster than my first climb in April during the preview route session. I did take less selfies and break,perhaps hohohi... Yayyy!
Awesome view from the top after the tough climb powered by Marathon Baker Syco Bar!
Clear sky, clear weather... This picture does not do justice to the real view from up here!
Once I reached the top, I was rewarded with a stunning view! Such a breathtaking view that literally took my breath away. This time around there was no fog or mist at the top. It was so clear. I could see everything from there, including Pulau Tepor. You could see Pekan Kuah and all those boats too. It was definitely worth the climb.
Time to pose with my Marathon Baker Syco Bar and MisfydKraft's Hornbill Beanie...
Bro Fadzil upon reaching the top of Tangga Helang Seribu Kenangan.... Congrats bro!
Did not waste my time after took some pictures and replenished myself with some Marathon Baker energy bar, bananas, juicy watermelon and drinking water, off I went for the second part. Running downhill all the way to the finish line. Yup it looks easy but it was not that easy. But first check this video out yaa... Thanks to bro Fadzil for capturing my moment at the top of Gunung Raya hehee....

video
Just look at the beautiful breathtaking view.... Rasa tak nak turun2 je nak hirup udara nyaman di gunung nih eh!
 After the tough climb my legs were still jelly. So I had to jog slowly to keep that momentum. This time around there's no "mountain" cows or monkeys in sight along the way down. Although the downhill route was not that steep but it was still a challenge to keep on running.

Motivational distance marker... Yup, keep on going... Baru KM9 nih hewhew...
There were several mini inclines along the way but runnable. At some parts, it reminded me of Route 68 Challenge. I just could not stop myself from taking all the pictures during my downhill run. The vantage point from up here was outstanding. When else I could come here again to savour this magnificent view, right?
Belanja selfie sedas dulu sebelum teruskan perjalanan turun ke bawah kaki gunung...
Plenty of distance markers every 3km or so with several WS along the way down. It was getting hotter and brighter. Luckily there was still some shades at some stretch. Spotted 3 more giant hornbills sitting on the tree top and flying around  gracefully Gunung Raya. No wonder there were several bird watchers and tourists sat patiently at one lookout point. These majestic creatures were amazing to see.
The highest peak in Langkawi from far... So cool!
One of the giant hornbill that I managed to snap their pic... So majestic!
 Running downhill felt like eternity to reach the lowland. I dug deep and kept on running while singing some songs just to kill the monotonous run haha... "Percayalah..." It was a bit mental but I persevered!
1KM to go... Almost there... =D
Once I reached the lowland, I had to run another 4km++ of rolling hills just to get to the Finishing Line. It was hot but still bearable. It's already 11am, what do you expect eh! Kept on run - walk - run mode until I saw the last 1km marker. Finish strong I must hahaa! Finally reached the finishing line under 4h 22min 36sec, yayyy! My Garmin recorded 21.11km total distance! Although I did not get to finish under 4 hours (my early target), but I was happy enough to finish my run injury free, no cramps at all.


Yeahhh, I made it to the Finishing Line in one piece! Credits to ActionPix Malaysia for this pic!

The volunteer gave me the finisher medal and I had the refreshments. Icy cold drinking bottle and some bananas. The sweet pisang emas. The strong fast ladies were kind enough to tapau for me the famous Nasi Dagang Pak Malau for my late breakfast. Thank you so much Zet & Shaz! It was really really delicious even without the sawah bendang ambiance hehee...

Interview bersama organizer BDB Climb & Run Langkawi... Thanks guys!
Being interviewed by the organizer right after the race. Did not see it coming hehee... I kept on saying repeatedly how challenging the route was but it was really an enjoyable climb and run. Totally worth joining this one of a kind race in Malaysia. The inaugural BDB Climb And Run Langkawi 2016.
Me, Karvey & Zen... Bukan senang nak jumpa kat luar KL nih uols... Great to meet you guys!
With Tahira, Aliya, Ariff Syafik... Congrats Tahira the Champion for Women's category!
Nice to know you Rita Jimie... Congrats babe!
After the race, it was time for photo session with all my running friends, new and old. Took the shuttle bus back to my motel and had a good rest. Tired, hungry, dehydrated but all I need was a nice cold shower first.
Cool medal design by Nexus Medallion.... Love it so much!
Overall it was a well organised event. Awesome running tee design and finisher medal to attract the participants for joining this rare event. Perhaps they should have one or two portable loos on the top of Gunung Raya. Running on the road side too was a bit dangerous because some parts were narrow. They should put some marshalls or police traffic to slow down the traffic. Other than that, it was superb! The crew, volunteers and medic team were so friendly and helpful. Thanks for the great experience folks!
The Results Is Out Already... I was ranked at no.77... My lucky number!
Kudos to the Race Director, Ariff Syafik for this awesome inaugural event. Looking forward for the next series BDB Extreme Challenge in Bandar Darulaman Jitra on 10 September! I'll see you there, perhaps? 😘👍👍👍

 https://home.hooha.asia/BDBExtremeJitra.aspx

 Do follow BDB Triple Challenge 2016 Facebook and Instagram for more updates and announcements from time to time. Thanks for reading folks!

Toodles!

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