The thought of going out for another trail run was so tempting that I brought back my trail running shoes during last Raya holiday. The sad news is, they never get worn. So, to stop having this little guilt feeling in my kidney, I quietly made a plan to join Ian's 3rd Progressive Outdoor Run (POR) at FRIM, last Saturday morning, with a mileage target of 15km doing one loop.
Plus, I wanted to test out my new CamelBak, for the first time.
I arrived at the agreed meeting point 15 minutes early. Geared up with my 2 liter hydration pack and I did some warming up while waiting for the remaining gang to arrive. Although it was my first time using it, the CamelBak didn’t give any much hindrance towards my running. The initial unfamiliarity having something on my back was quickly easing off as I finished the warming up run.
There were Ian himself, Peter, Daniel, Zaki and Syah on the scene by 7am. After a short warm up and stretching session, we hit the trail.
The last time I went for trail run at FRIM was last year, and this time Syah took us on another route that I’ve never been to before. After a few minutes running on the tarmac, we started the trail portion from the entrance of Jalan Bukit Bujang.
The first portion of the trail started off with some moderate inclinations, a bit of a flat and followed with some undulating courses. Its width reduces as we get deeper into the woods, making the trail run much more enjoyable and tactical at the same time. I tried my best to stay in pace with Syah, but I slowly got dropped off. It’s a clear indication of my lack in fitness.
Not long after, we get to the first regroup point. Something funny happened here. Since it was raining the night before, the damp ground where we stood were full with leeches. Tiny little ones, like babies. I started to notice one of two leeches on my right and left shoes and picked them out. Then, everybody else was busy picking out leeches from their shoes. If I’m not mistaken, I got 9 leeches, Peter got 10 of them, and the winner of the day was our Hong Kong hero, who got the highest number of leeches visit on his shoes. 12 of them altogether. The lesson learnt, do not stop for a break for more than 3 minutes.
You can’t see it from this photo how panic Zaki was when he first discovered the leeches on his shoes.
I should have taken a video shot instead. It was hilarious.
Anyway, an opportunity to grab his ‘betis gebu’ photo like this shall not go to waste.
We continued our run before more leeches get onto our shoes. I was on a familiar route now and the undulating up and down was a true pleasure to run on. There were a few other occasional hikers and walkers along this track on the lovely morning. The fresh, clean and oxygen-rich air in the morning that we can get here is something we seldom get nowadays, especially for us who live in concrete jungle.
After reaching the junction nearby The Tea House, we took it further into another portion of the trail which later leads us to the Steroid Hill. We made another quick break stop for regrouping before proceeding up the Steroid Hill.
… and what you see here is not the peak yet.
And if you are interested to know, only three persons here managed to run all the way up to the peak without any walk break.
And surely I was not included as one of them lah.
I stopped taking picture from then onwards as I was feeling so much fatigued. Perhaps I was hallucinating as well when I thought I saw Daniel from afar taking a wrong junction while he tried to follow Syah and Ian upfront. I stopped to wait for Zaki and Peter, just to make sure which junction should we take (since Zaki ran this route before). I told them I saw Daniel taking another junction so we started calling Ian and Syah to check whether Daniel was with them. To my delight, everybody was OK. Yup, I guess I was hallucinating.
The return route was much easier on the foot as there were more down hills. Out of a sudden while I was running with Zaki, Yip came by passing through like a bullet train. He slowed down for a quick “hi-hi bye-bye” to us, and then blasted away. He’ll do well in the upcoming solo 100km run at TNF race. All the best Yip!
Yip is surely one of the most hardcore and fast long distance runners we ever have here in Malaysia. He’s also an Ironman triathlete.
When we get back to The Tea House, the run on tarmac towards the car park was really torturing me. The sun was up high and blazing too. I was so fatigued that I can’t even run straight for 200m without taking any walk breaks. We finally reached back to the car park and I took 2.5hours for the whole journey (including break times). I only did one loop of 15km, while Syah and Ian continued further with another loop, making it 30km.
There will be another session of FRIM trail run this Saturday. Details can be found at Ian’s blog.
And for the sake of Coney Dog, I’ll be there insyaAllah.
P/s: Next, my Newton 25km race report will be filled with photos (and quirky captions). If only I have more time to start writing about it lah. I have a nasty busy week.