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Monday, December 14, 2009

Batu Dam Trail Run

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.

I was the first to arrive, at 0645hrs, with no other visible souls around me in the darkness dawn by the Batu Dam.

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.

The ergo machines facing the amazing view. Now I know what motivates them to keep on ergo-ing for hours each day. The view was so breathtaking.

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.

Stretching session, which then followed by some basic briefing on the strategies of the trail run.

Compulsory group photo. All 18 of us.
I wish I remember all their names.
Nice to meet you all!

We kicked-off at 0800hrs, lead by Fong.

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.

What a fresh 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.

The third photo is my personal favorite.

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.

Sometimes I had to run far ahead and standby at the front to take a shot like this…

… and most of other times when I get tired, I just settled at the back for this kind of shots.

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.

The first stream of clear water we had to cross. Some smarter ones chose to keep their shoes dry, by stepping on the stones. Pretty tricky though, but they are professionals for sure.

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.

Whether you are a strong runner or not, we’ll wait for the last person to arrive, before continuing the run.

Hanya sekadar lakonan semata-mata.

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.

Time to go up!

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.

Enjoying running the downhill.

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.

Towards the trunk road.

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.

“Left, right, left, right, left, right….”
I wonder what the road users thought upon seeing us.

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.

The least I could say, I managed to stay in the front pack, at the back though.

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.

Cooling down.

For those who experienced over-heating, a full submerge might be necessary.

They didn’t bring spare clothes to change, or else they’ll be among the first to jump in.

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!

37 comments:

Fong said...

boss,cam bnyk anak kambeng ja =)

Diket said...

Photos mantap bro. Those bright & less canopied trail provide excellent light for great photos. Keep it up. If only my mju still working...hmmm :(

Tak sangka kau dapat capture satu gambar memerang dlm air. Kah kah kah!

..::EnAikAY::.. said...

Fong,
Embeeeekkkkkkk....
Terima kasih tuan rumah!

Shakhir,
Yup, the natural lighting that morning was superb.
Hahaha.. itu memerang jadian tak puas trail run, terus menyelam dalam air.
Takpe, nanti kita cari trail yg 2hrs ++ punya run duration. Kasi up sikit.

Che said...

as always kudos for our photographer, without your pics, our blog might be bit dull. great shots aa.. till next session..

..::EnAikAY::.. said...

Daud,
Thanks. I'm still in the learning stage.
But without you all, our runs will be even more dull.

niefeng said...

bila korang buat ni
byk juga tempat kat lembah klang ni boleh buat trail running yea
tp masih suka bukit kiara la, bila la nak ulang ni

..::EnAikAY::.. said...

Pesa,
This was last Saturday morning.
Come and join us la. Next month ada lagi kot. The unofficial organizer is doing the survey for the next trail run location and suitable date.

ziff71 said...

Hope to join u guys next round. Will bring along couple of frens.

..::EnAikAY::.. said...

Mr Ziff,
Please do... Thanks :)

amsyah said...

huh gambar cun! ada peningkatan positif! nanti upgrade camera la, bagi bessarr punya!

thanks for being a very loyal (free) photographer. kalau kat seklah dulu, sekeping gambar 50sen oooo

..::EnAikAY::.. said...

Syah,
Thanks. Grab anything you like from the album. Sememangnya free.
Shoot 'n' run is still my game plan. For now at least. I find it fun to deco my stories on the blog with photos. Kalau camera besar2, i'll opt to be the sweeper je lah kot.
Worse come to worst, jadi photographer cum penonton aje (sebab camera berat sgt tak larat nak bawak berlari). Hehehe.

Diket said...

Nik, part nak pikul camera besar on runs, kau kena menuntut dgn Tey dulu :)

..::EnAikAY::.. said...

Shakhir,
Yup, Tey's da mann!!!
Gambar2 dia jauh lebih cun. Patut dapat award dia tu.

KOOKY KASH said...

menarik sungguh! but wrong timing. After marathon, rasa malas semacam. hehehe sorry next time I'd come, insyallah.

..::EnAikAY::.. said...

Kash,
It's OK. Hope there will be 11 more monthly trail runs we can do throughout next year (except during Ramadhan lah kan).

Che said...

wah 11 more places to try out! :P

..::EnAikAY::.. said...

Daud,
Why not? Kan?
:)

Diket said...

If 11 more months, Daud banyak kerja sikit mau cari trail. Perhaps you might need to venture out of Klang Valley :)

miaomiao said...

terima kasih for the photos. nice shots. yeap, we should try out semua trails! bila nak start?

shuklazim said...

nik! awesome shot. as always. especially with dam background tu, macam dalam runnersworld la pulak. ni la yang aku dok cari cari selama ni.

tak kira. kita mesti buat batu dam lagi sekali.

Diket said...

shuk, just make sure that non of your relatives getting married before the run. hehehe. joking bro.

miaomiao said...

yeah, macam runner's world rave run. kalau ada professional photography tools, boleh ambik some amazing shots. especially ada satu part where the trail tu macam a small gulf. u can see the runners directly on the opposite side about 100m from ur side, with the lake on the foreground and the hills on the background. the sunrise shines on the runners

The Corporate Athlete said...

jealous tahap gaban!

Che said...

Diket - tak susah bro, sebat je mane2 trail moutain bike yg ada.. haha.. but which one worth running for? <chewahh..

Diket/miao - blh lah try trail luar kl.. N9 ada gak buat sirkit mendaki (more to trail running la) blh join sambil2 amacam? fee murah je.. and last year they have 3 mountains to run up and down (but not that hard compared to Nuang) their difficulty moderate.. 3-4hrs more less..

Diket said...

Che - mountain to mountain challenger boleh try. Kena tanya raja gunung or shall i say pemaisuri gunung Fong :) utk tips.

ptg smlm aku drv by cheras-kajang grandsaga highway on the way back. then only i realised bila pandang kiri ada bukit apek tu. very huge green hill. tersangat menarik. mesti try!

ShahM said...

Bro,
Pic cun, cerita pun cun jugee..
Last time i've been there was for SUKOM 98 as a volunteer. 11taun daa..Never expected those area has a wonderful place for trail run especially the long flat trail for beginner like me.;)..thanks for sharing.

Fong said...

permaisuri sounds so old..haha.. princess frog lar =) acah jer. they usually have circuit kembara 3x a year.& circuit lain. lg puas ati dr solomon trail. reg RM10 - RM30 jer. trail bout 4hrs gitu =)

Che said...

Diket - gi meramaikan majlis je, sambil2 buat kita nyer session.. ok per? yer ek? permaisuri gunung ka? aiseh.. terer tu.. kasi dia lah lead.. haha.

Seee.. i told u.. tempting kan? lagi2 org dok cheras tapi tak penah naik bukit tu.. haha..

Shah - ko xde kan mase hari tu? jom la join our next run :)

Diket said...

OK dude, ada kaum aku ON aje. Insyallah. Kalau aku tak outstation this weekend, dah tentu aku redah bukit apek tu :)

..::EnAikAY::.. said...

Ajeep miaomiao,
Thanks for visiting blog gue.
Nice to meet u. For next trail run, I rely on our 'trail hunter', i.e. Daud (CheRaMiche). Saya cuma tukang ambik gambar aje.. hehe.

Shuk,
Thanks. The pic by the dam is among my fav too.
No worries, i'm sure there will be a Batu Dam revisit in 2010.

Ian,
Ahaha.. Gaban sudah jeles.
It's ok bro.. we know how hectic your current schedule is. 2010 masih ada, insyaAllah. This is only the beginning.

ShahM,
Thanks. 11 years ago? Pergh.. lama tu.
Takpe, we'll see where they plan for January 2010's group trail run. And u have to join us, amacam?

Permaisuri Fong,
4hrs trail? Pergh.. my camera battery won't last that long.. hehe. Me myself will kong much earlier than that... hihi

Daud n Shakhir,
Yeah, we depend on you since u guys are MTB otai's who know plenty of trails in Klang Valley. Where's next? I'm ready to start my vote.

What about a weekend before or after the Pacesetters 30k run? Ada event apa ek on 9-10 Jan and 23-24 Jan?

Alamak... 23-24 Jan takleh join la... i've been booked.

miaomiao said...

sirkit kat N9? as long as the fun factor is there, and training cukup, why not?

b4 or after pacm 30k, tak kesah. kalau b4 better. so that kalau tiba2 terasa macam nak gi lari trail on the weekend after 30k, boleh ON lagi. right? :)

woit shakir, bila mau redah bukit apek?

tolldoll said...

the outing looks awesome, and the pictures are a great addition to the story hehe.. kalau nak join tapi slow macam penyu macammana?

..::EnAikAY::.. said...

Ajeep miao,
Yessiirr.. fun factor itu yg paling penting.

Nadia,
It was awesome. Come and join us next time. Slow mcm penyu ok lagi tu, coz i ni lagi slow.. mcm siput.
(Sbb tu i jadi cameraman, at least boleh buat alasan "camera berat la, takleh lari laju")... hehe

ShahM said...

Bro Nik n Bro Daud,

Insyaallah, jika xde aral melintang..boley la gua menegak kesane..

p/S; Suddenly kne beli 2010 planner daa..;)

amsyah said...

sedara, bukak chat box laaa senang hahahah

Anonymous said...

Cantik sungguh pemandangan...breathtaking!
23-24 Jan tu kene book?? Alamak.. ni tahap ngeri nih. Sambut anniversary pon kene book. :P (Kuang3x)

..::EnAikAY::.. said...

Syah,
Keh keh keh. This entry now holds the title of a winner in the category of "most commented".
I loike.. hehe.

Anony,
Ye, betul tu. Jadual hujung minggu saya kadang2 sibuk kadang2 tak. Maka, kena plan n prepare in advance. :)