Batu Dam (Empangan Batu) was where the final group trail run for 2009 took place. Off late since we started the first monthly series of trail run in September, I’ve ran quite a few trails, and each of them gave me different experiences, and most importantly, more opportunities to make and meet with more friends. I would also say that my shoot ‘n’ run expedition began with my first attempt of trail running.
And this time at Batu Dam, I did not waste the chance to shoot ‘n’ run again.
Fong, being the host this time around, arrived on time at 0700hrs and she directed me to park at the rowing training area. That’s the place she calls her second home. The air was fresh, and the view was truly awesome.
As I finished making my short tour around the area, I was surprised to see more and more people turned up to join us running the trail. At first, I thought it would only be four or five of us. But in the end, 18 people of all ages and fitness levels came to have a great morning. This number did not include another four of those who couldn’t make it. Or else, the force that morning would be 22. How glad I was to see so many people turned up.
5 minutes to 0800hrs, we started off with some light stretching to make the muscles ready for the beatings thereafter. We also had a brief self introduction to which I regretted for not recording a video of the session, as I can’t recall all their names as soon as we finished.
Fong and Bacin who had run this trail few times before, were chosen to be the lead runners, and they gave us some basic information about what we were going to experience. Grim Duo (Shaqi and Daud a.k.a Che) volunteered to be the very loyal sweepers, making sure no one gets left behind.
From the parking area, we started off by entering the dam area and ran on a tarmac. From here, we started to enjoy the great sceneries Batu Dam offers to her visitors. In fact, this is my first time being at a dam this close. The golden shine of the morning sun added a bonus for my shots that morning.
Soon after, we started to run just by the edge of the dam before entering the single trail track. I didn’t waste any chance to capture these beautiful sceneries of friends running along the dam, with the background of the green mountains and blue skies. I personally love these few shots.
Entering the single track, we all ran in single file. The pace was very good that all 18 of us managed to stick closely to each other during almost the entire flat trail. Except for me, who had to run at the back, in the middle and at the front like a mad chicken, in order to capture some running moments.
Having done few trail runs this year, I would say this Batu Dam has the longest flat trail out of all. It’s a good place for a beginner trail runner to try on something new.
If there was something new about Batu Dam trail other than the magnificent view of the dam itself is that, we had to cross few clear streams. I did not think twice when I came into the first stream we had to cross, and there goes my dry shoes. From then onwards, some of us started to run with heavy wet shoes.
At this opportunity, we had some quick break while waiting for everybody to cross the stream. Time to catch some breather and re-hydrate the body. Although we did not feel the hot sun shining directly on our skins while running under the shade of the trees, it’s always important to stay hydrated.
Having crossed the second stream, we started to face some climbs (not my favorite). This is where we generally start to see few runners slowing down, as running uphill is always a challenging task. Know your own pace, and you’ll be able to move yourself forward smoothly without having left behind some internal organs like the lungs or kidneys.
Batu Dam trail is also not as tactical as what I experienced while running at Kiara trail. And the climbs here are not as much as at Kiara too. With every climbs, there surely be downhill. With a combination of focused mind, carefully chosen steps and a bit of balancing, one can breeze down almost effortlessly. Strong ankle and knee provides better confidence while running down for sure.
1 hour into the running, we arrived at the end of the trail portion of our run that morning. We regrouped and it was time to vote and decide which way we should return to base. First option was to re-run the trail back, which will take another hour. And the second option was to run on the trunk road, with a promise of reaching the base in half an hour.
At first, some raised their hands to the option of running back the trail. But as soon as Syah mentioned that he needs to rush back for another responsibility, we all agreed to run on the trunk road. So, road run it was.
With a full force of 18 runners, running on a relatively small trunk road put us at some kind of risk. Understanding that, we ran against the traffic direction, and tried our best to run in one big group, in single file.
Having ran 1 hour in the trail beforehand, the attempt to run on the road for that short distance of 4km-ish (I think) back to the base was like forever. I know it would only be half an hour run, but it just felt long. Some runners were left behind as the front pack guys pushed their way. These guys were strong, physically and mentally.
As for me? I tried my best to keep following the front pack. At one point, I even wanted to shout at the leader to ask them to stop for another quick breather and wait for the back packers. However, I hold my thought and chose for another option – to push my self harder and see if I can keep up with the faster runners.
My stopwatch was showing a running time of 1.5hours. What a good workout.
About 10 minutes later, all 18 of us safely arrived back at the rowing area. We then headed to the pontoon for the cooling down session. Yeah, cooling ourselves down by submerging our legs into the water. And notwithstanding the strength to resist the temptation for a dip, few of us dived for a minute or two.
It was another great adventure running the trail at Batu Dam. And it was such a great pleasure to meet some of these new friends. May more monthly trail runs be organized in 2010, as I look forward for more shoot ‘n’ run adventures with many more friends.
Feel free to join us for our next trail runs ya! Don’t be shy.
To view the best 111 photos (out of total 127) I took during our last trail run of 2009, please click below. Feel free to leave your comments if you like. You may also copy any photos if you want. Let’s spread this healthy living lifestyle. Enjoy!