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Monday, December 7, 2009

Salomon X-Trail Run Kiara

Ready to roll-out!

The day has come, for my first trail running race. Finding it more exciting to run and shoot, I bring along my digital camera. I know it may slow down seconds or minutes of my time, but I don’t really mind about that. It just feel good to capture some moments of the experience.

This time, I realized that many other runners (as well as the spectators and volunteers) noticed me carrying a camera during the run. I wonder what came across their minds. The weather was ok, cloudy with a very minute drizzle here and there. Nothing that can harm my non-water-proof camera. So, that’s a good start.

I arrived Kiara park at 7am, where Shuk and Daud has already waited for me for their race bibs. I did two laps around the park as a warm up. Then, started off shooting around.

It was still slightly dark when I arrived. But the environment was already exhilarating!

The crowd was building up with so many runners in orange shirts soon after. The whole parking area might have been as crowded as at Jom Heboh. Should we call this kind of event as “Jom Gegar”?

Daud meeting his friends.

I believe these are bloggers too.

The group of volunteers in black waiting to be located to their stations.

I didn’t know everybody's name, other than Bacin and Fong. Nice to meet you guys!

Some runners were doing some stretching nearby. I did mine by the car, when I was putting on my shoes and gears.

Out of all these people, only participant number A0106 ran up Kiara trail TWICE. The others only ran it once prior to this race. I wonder what happened to A0106 during the run, as he reported that he got lost.
(Ni kes lari laju sangat over speed limit tak tengok signboards la ni)

The other crowds in orange.

Dicky became one of the volunteers.

I also met another friend whom I first met during PD triathlon race this year, Azly.

It was stated in the website that the 10km categories were supposed to start at 8am. However, it didn't happen and by 8.10am we were all being asked to gather at the starting line. No clue that the race was going to be released soon either. Furthermore, everyone thought we were going to run straight into the trail which will be a big disaster since the single track trail is located just 30m away. Just imagine a swarm or bees trying to get into a bottle (I know, no bee will want to fly into a bottle for no reason. Just imagine lah).

Shortly after that, the announcer mentioned that we were all facing the wrong way. Alamak!

Some of the eager runners. So eager that we were facing the wrong direction of the start. In actual fact, we were supposed to run out of the park first, then re-enter the park, through the 'start/finish gantry' and into the trail.

Not wasting my time, I shoot some more photos. Seen here from left is Bacin, Shakhir, Daud and Hsing Ling.

Meng and Doris were going to test the Kiara trail for the second time.

With more than 300 or 400 runners (I guess) in the 10km category chatting along while waiting for the horn to be blown, the poor PA system did not help much either. No one had the crisp idea of what we were supposed to do.

Feeling like having a “Press” or “Cameraman” pass, I climbed up the wall and took some more photos. This looked like some kinds of illegal gathering, no?

We were supposed to start the run around the outside of the park, making a left turn outside the gate, run a big clockwise 400m loop at the housing area, then get back to the park.

I found this funny. There were three ladies heading a supposed-to-be warm up and stretching session. But, due to the problematic PA system, none of the runners really bothered about what were these ladies doing. I came out of the crowd, and took another shot from this angle.

8.20am, the horn blew off!!! I started my stopwatch and snap another photo.

I still need to learn more to get sharp photos while running. Or, should I ask for a sponsor of a better camera?
This was the start of the 400m clockwise road run. It was a brilliant idea to disperse out the runners before we all get into the single track trail.

Getting back to the park…

Ran through the ‘start’ line…

… and into the trail.

Now tell me, how to overtake them all? At the beginning of the trail, it was still cramped that running was becoming a difficult task to do. The only way to overtake those walking people was to run on the outside, i.e. in the bushes, at your own risk!

Few minutes in, the dispersion of runners was much better. All started to run in a single file.

When I did the Kiara trail run few weeks earlier, I knew the first 20 minutes or so of the start of the trail would be climbing all the way through. Not wanting to lose my breath too early for premature over-push, I carefully paced myself out so that I could run up the inclinations for as long as I could. I’ve been following Bacin’s back for quite a while, almost half of the way. He’s a strong guy I can tell, as when many others had resorted in walking, he was still steadily running up.

I ran behind Bacin for quite some times.

The first water station in the jungle.

Finished up with the first continuous climbing, we ran our way through the undulating ups and downs.

If you read my Kiara trail run report, this is a portion where we had a group photo. But, I didn’t even stop at all this time. It was a race maaa…

If there was one thing that I realized from trail running was, it is very contagious. When the runners in front of you started walking especially when climbing up, 80% of the chance you’ll end up walking with him/her. Then, when he/she started running again, you’ll follow suit.

Trying hard to follow behind Bacin. He’s getting faster.

A snapshot of those running behind me.

I would say that the run afterwards was pretty challenging and tactical, with the sharp turns and small ups and downs. Yet, the small climbs were still hard to be run. The thing is, whenever I started walking my legs felt heavier with every step. It made it difficult to attempt into running mode again. But, once I get back into running mode, the plodding gets lighter and better, but I’ll soon lose it to spiking heart rate and breathing.

I met Shuk at the second water station.

My mouth and nose were busy supplying oxygen rich air into my lungs. So, I drank through the head. Ahaha.

There was one point where we had to cross a ditch with a less than 1 foot wide plank of wood. The organizer clearly put up appropriate signage to warn the runners. I think they should also to put up “Speed trap zone” signage to slow people down a bit.

45 minutes into the run, I gulped the Powerbar gel I carried, while running. This is one advantage of carrying water, as we can take gel or drink whenever we needed to during the run, without having to wait to arrive at the next water station.

Arrived at the tarmac for the first time (if I’m not mistaken), and then back into the trail. This was at the 4-cross junction.

I guess, from then onwards I was already having difficult time with my run. I took less photos too. I was busy focusing my mind on the run and breathing, in my effort to battle with the huge urge to stop and walk. As soon as I started walking, my legs felt heavy. I quickly tried to get back into some form or running, however possible.

With the tired legs and body, keeping a focused mind during the run was not an easy task either. One runner in front of me fell down, for which I assumed he missed his steps. I helped him up, and after confirming that he had no injuries, I left him behind and continued running.

Arriving at another water station, the marshalls told me that it was only 2km left to run. After 1 hour 10 minutes running, I started to feel the cramp onset on my left calf. It came and attacked me once in a while. I risked my luck by continuing the run, and praying hard the cramp won’t emerge its uglier face. I didn’t even stop to stretch the calf. I just wanted to keep moving.

Plenty of drinks which I believe should be enough for everybody. And the volunteers were friendly too.

1km to go before the finishing line, we can already hear the blast of songs and the voice of the emcee, indicating that the finishing line was coming near. That just boosted whatever spare energy left in my tank, and I just kept on running and trying to catch up with the runners in front of me. I remember overtaking at least another one or two runners in this last kilometer.

A glimpse of the finishing area from afar inside the trail.

Of what I viewed when I ran towards the finishing line.

Looking back at above photo, made me realized how we Malaysians are still far behind in the ‘support and sportsmanship’ ratings. Those who have raced outside of Malaysia would certainly have a better feedback about how supportive the spectators are cheering for them. But too bad, not much can be found in Malaysia.

Oh ya. I crossed the finish line with a time of 1 hour and 22 minutes. Not sure about my position though.

Not bad at all, so I thought, and so I felt.
At least, I was happy that I can taste the result of the my last minute hard work training.

I waited at the finishing line to capture some more moments of friends crossing the finishing line. At least, there’s something for them to keep or to show to their family and friends, to further inspire more and more people into living a healthy lifestyle.

One happy Shuk. He drove all the way from PD as early as 5:30am, and had to leave back to PD as soon as he collected the after-race pouch and certificate. Bravo!

Daud ‘flying’ his way through. Well done bro!

Sandra from Kuantan (if I’m not mistaken), also seen here “flying”.

I felt fortunate that my cramp onset didn’t grow larger. I treated myself with some fresh cut cool oranges, a Gardenia bread, and some water while wandering around snapping more photos.

With Razani at Salomon booth.

Daud, Sandra and Ling.

Shakhir was telling everybody how he got lost and ran additional few kilometers together with some other runners. His friends found it to be funny though, I don’t know why.

I heard Steph also followed the wrong route.

Daud, Meng and Doris congratulating each other.

The only opportunity for me to be on the podium! Nice meeting them all.

They just don’t know how to stand still.
My bad for not getting the timing right for this ‘jumping’ shot.

The sponsors of the event! Thanks very much.

The top three winners for each Women’s 4km, Men’s 4km, Women’s Veteran 10km, Men’s Veteran 10km, Women’s Open 10km and Men’s Open 10km categories respectively.

All in all, for me, it was a well organized trail run with plenty of signage to keep runners on track, sufficient if not excessive water supply, cool and friendly volunteers manning the booth area and at every trail junctions, as well as some “OK-lah-tu” goodies like t-shirt and pouch. Original or not, not an issue for me, at least. We were also given a blank certificate each.

The fill-in-the-blank certificate.
(better than nothing lah)

I went straight home to continue helping my wife with other normal weekend household chores. The post-race lunch and dinner prepared by wifey was great too. We had pasta and a yummy-licious chicken cottage pie. I can't ask for more.

I also managed to squeeze in few minutes of naps here and there at home, before heading to Pudu to take the 11pm express bus back to JB for my duty. Arrived back in JB with a very heavy pair of eyes somewhere around 3.30am, with some little more time to spare shutting the eyes prior to going to the office for work.

I had fun running trail this time.
Till we meet again, Salomon!


Anonymous said...

The horn blew !! woohoo ! Such a story-teller ! me enjoys !!! yeah, d camera did some in handy ya.. insight from the racer himself. but ur finishing foto mana ?? huhuh..congrats to you and all my friends who made it2d finish line. some of my frens got to the podium too. lian bee hoon, supra, razani, jasni !! and another came in 4th. :)

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

Thanks. Glad you enjoyed reading it.
Yeah, it was fun shooting and running.
Plus, it helps a lot when it comes to creating stories for the blog. Photos help to surface the memory. :)
My finishing photo tak wujud kot. Maybe at other people's camera (if any). Kesian saya.. kan kan kan?

Che said...

but thanks to you for the pics! otherwise tak tahu nak grab kat mana. :)

ShahM said...

I saw u at front running up the hill with other runners and indeed ur really fast.Ur prior intensive training really payoff..berbaloi-baloi.;D

Anyway it was fun and indeed it is my first trail run. Im looking foward to join more.

p/s: kalaulah washing machine bley basuh kasut..huhu

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

It's my pleasure...
Sorry kalau mutu gambar tak memenuhi criteria HD or DVD Blue Ray quality ke. Takde orang nak sponsor camera power2 yg kalis peluru.. err, i mean.. kalis hujan dan hentakan.

Maybe you saw a different guy kot. I mana ada laju, i takut kena speed trap. hehehe.
Well done on your first trail run achievement too!
Next time, say hello lah ye. Boleh berkenalan dgn ramai2 kawan.

P/s: Yeah, lepas balik Salomon i terus basuh kasut kasi bersih berkilat2... as a token of appreciation (konon). Furthermore, don't let the muds dry up on the shoes, it'll do damage.

Fong said...

hey, i held my breath reading this.. as if going for second kiara race =) d pics were fanstastic

amsyah said...

well done bro!

tu nak cramp tu pasal tak makan asam boi hahahah. See you this wiken?

Diket said...

Nik, fantastic write-up & awesome photos. We'll work it out in our next outing on how to get more gorgeous ones. And thanks for the photos. I will just come back here to see it.

shuklazim said...

well done nik. Good timing eventhough bz shooting. I was smiling sebab dah abih torture. Sakit tapi sedap.

Thanks for the photo, aku dah cilok.

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

Held your breath? Wah.. dah boleh jadi free-style diver tuu..

Ye la.. Asam Boi sponsor pegi lari kat Singapore marathon.. apa boleh buat.
Yeah, will be there at Batu Dam this Saturday, with my camera (again), insyaAllah.

Thanks bro.
Are you saying you want to sponsor me a super camera? I loike.. hihihi.

Thanks Shuk,
You did great too.
Sakit tapi sedap eh? Sama macam bola2api punya favourite statement.
Ye, cilok jgn tak cilok. No prob.

KOOKY KASH said...

sounds like fun Nik. Congrats for running a good race.

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

Yeah, it was fun indeed. Thanks.
Next trail race you HAVE to join, ok!

Hsing ling said...

Exciting!! I agree with fong. Your shots are amazing too! How were u able to shoot at the starting line deserves aplause! Best trail run blog with live shots!

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

Thanks a lot.
And congratulations on winning the 2nd place for your category!
Time to go shopping for Salomon stuffs? :)

Actually, i had the intention to shoot a video too, but.. i keep that for future projects lah(hopefully).

Life a Shaq said...

wow sounds like fun and fun all the way, macam macam terjadi, sayang dah termakan racun ke Singapura,

i arrived around 10.00 pm kat puduraya on the same day, hehe, x sempat nak jumpa,,

can't wait to hear stories about the race ,c uol this wiken

Che said...

congrats Ling for 2nd place.

ShahM, come join us this Saturday :)

Nik, i will wash my shoes today :P

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

Racun Singapore pun ok gak ape..
At least u dah ada experience running at the very well organized (as many people claimed it) marathon event.
Your 21km timing of 2hr7min tu... perghh... bergegarrrrr....

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

Kasi kilat sama itu kasut. Kalau boleh bagi dia bau mcm baru keluar dari kedai pun lagi bagus.

ShahM said...

its u la bro..i've confirmed coz there's a time im passing by the water station and see u snap some photos..; time ill stop by, say hello and we do some photo season..ahaks

this sabtu unavailable lah..i have to join my causin kenduri..masak sendiri everyone knows, school holiday is a wedding season..musim mengawan daa..maybe next time bro ..thanks for the invitation..

gerbera said...


Enaikay in action

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

OK, next time we do photo shoot session ok. :)

Alamak.. kantoi!!!
(Thanks for sharing the link)

Fong said...

Ling, congrats to u =)

niefeng said...

thanks nik for the pic,
jumpa lagi next race, malakoff aku tak join la, tak sempat nak daftar,