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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Genting Trailblazer 2010

Last year, this was my first pirated race. It was a very fun experience and as I crossed the finishing line last year (well, actually I didn’t really cross the finish line because I was a pirate – takut kena tangkap daa), I made a vow to make sure I register for the same event this year. And I gladly did.

The weekend warriors joining forces.
Jelas sekali betis Zaki tetap memegang title betis paling gebu (at 2 o’clock position).

I was doubly glad that my partner in crime this time was no other than the very-the-kelakar-but-strong-runner, Shakhir a.k.a Diket Menchanak. Even though I initially thought I made the wrong choice for a partner because his pace average is 10% more than mine (or maybe much more) that I had terrible time catching up with him, I finally had to agree that I think I made the right choice. Or maybe the best choice. Because he pulled me through this challenging race to finish within the first 10% in our race category – men’s open.

We were surprised to cross the finishing line as the 19th team out of 200+ (maybe, I’m not sure exactly), and my stopwatch showed a time of 1hr48min as we ran under the finishing chute to end our fantastic race. So, here was how the day went.

Pre Race

My day started early with a 45mins drive to McD Taman Melati where we all agreed to meet up for the convoy up to Genting. It was great to meet them all once again, and sure enough this was the largest outing among running bloggers so far. So, with so many victims around, I began my part time job as a hunter…

The usual gang loading up some fuel for the race as early as 5am.

Just about to get ready for the journey up to Genting.
Kelihatan Shuk sedang menyanyikan sebuah lagu rap khas untuk Shakhir yang bertajuk “Saya sepasang kasut baru, check it out!”.

The journey up to Genting was smooth sailing. It was still calm and pretty quiet when we parked our cars. After settling with our morning businesses and gearing up with trail shoes and hydration belts/backpacks, we walked together towards the football field to collect our race kit. We had about one hour to mingle around before the race started.

On the way to the battle ground.

Ray: “Ooo.. Baju kau ketat-ketat nampak muscle ketul-ketul, baju aku longgar macam baju kelawar. Mana aci ni Ijam?”
Ijam: “Ok lah tu. Aku jadi Superman, kau jadi la kelawar-man. He he he..”

Ray: “Tuan-tuan dan puan-puan, macam ni lah gaya senyum yang berkesan kalau nak tackle Rub Me girls ye, harap maklum.”

“Aik, pagi tadi elok je. Kenapa mengecut pulak ni?”

While waiting for the race to start at 8:30am, we headed to a secluded area for a little bit of warming up and stretching session. As usual, Ian the Corporate Athlete’s trainer led the stretching session. The warm up session was really beneficial because for this kind of race you might want to try to be ahead of the crowd as soon as the race started, which means switching on the turbo engine much earlier. The terrain consisted of lots of climbing and with crowded running space, you might get a bit frustrated when it gets almost impossible to overtake other runners as you move along.

A very well synchronized stretching session by everybody. With jokes being thrown around, I didn’t feel nervous for the race at all.

The other participants were warming up to the beat of the aerobic instructor.

The Race

We were released to start the race a couple of minutes before 8.30am. Most of us were in shock as we didn’t hear any countdown or whatsoever, except for the sudden whistle blow. Diket Menchanak and I positioned ourselves on the outside right area of the crowd, so that we can zoomed our way forward with ease. Team MacamBagus immediately switched their turbo switches and we tried not to leave their smoke trail far. We started the run with the overdrive button in ON position too and although I’m not a fully experienced runner, I could sense we were doing a sub 6 min/km pace while running alongside the whole golf course.

Process mencangkuk team MacamBagus (in orange tee) in progress.
Our baju kelawar-man hero (in black tee with red bandana) get over excited with the ‘cangkuk’ operation and left his partner behind.

Looking back, the gradient alongside the golf course gets tougher and tougher. It took us around 20mins to finish up running on the tarmac.

Since this is a trail run event, getting into the trail was what I was looking forward to. Genting’s trail offers something we rarely can get from the other trails in Klang Valley. The ups and downs, the super long and steep climbs which also means the similar profile when going downhill were just awesome. The first portion of the trail was pretty flat and slightly declining so we still run with overdrive mode. But overtaking other runners has becoming a difficult maneuver to execute.

Not so easy to overtake these equally strong runners on this kind of terrain, but at least we were moving quite smoothly.

Soon after we started to break away from the crowd and we took the opportunity to carry on with our pace. Diket Menchanak really got the ‘kick’ this time, he only slowed down because I was slow.

The terrain varied from uneven trail…

… to flat and nice smooth and soft ground, …

… to an open space field like this.

We were also given a little taste of the short tiny climbs like these. Nothing serious yet.

Having done this race last year, I forgot how relatively easy the first portion of the trail was as compared to the killer climbs on the latter stage. It felt much longer this time before we get into the first landmark where the wall we had to climb down was about 70 degrees. This kind of terrain requires a lot of bravery and confidence, and quick thinking on how you decide you want to move forward.

Diket Menchanak showing his kangkang glide technique.

… while I chose to glide down as how I did last year.
Beautifully captured by Diket Menchanak himself.

It doesn’t look so scary from this angle though. But if you’ve done it, you’ll remember how steep it was.

The trail gets denser as we went deeper, and the gradients get crazier and tougher. I was still ok with the climbing up, but going down some of the slippery and narrow steep trails challenged my confidence level at certain times. There were few times I felt a little bit shaky and had to slow down. I didn’t want to burden my knees too much with the impacts, nor did I want to tumble down and injure myself. So I took it easy, at my own steady pace. Few times my partner had to stop and wait for me to arrive.

Going up inclinations like these were labouring but they did not offer much hazards.

Different story when going down though.

In trail run race like this, you need more than your fullest concentration.
Nice work by the Snap-Attack crew here. Thanks.

There were also few small streams we had to cross. No biggie.

As far as I can remember, the real climbing challenge came right after crossing this first stream. This is when you started to use all four limbs to help you move upwards, by holding the ropes and pulling yourself up the very steep, long and slippery inclines. This is also where you may start to bonk or fatigue, if you are not careful with pacing your energy at the earlier stage. Just like what I experienced this time.

This is no play-play, I tell you.

This blurry image fails to do justice on how steep it was when looking back.

At times, looking up will just kill your spirit away. It was like the climbs were endless.

I could sense my energy level was depleting fast while climbing up. Heart rate went up to the max and inhaling for oxygen was a struggle. I stopped few times for a short breather here and there, while keeping Diket in sight for as much as I could muster. At one point, I had to take my PowerBar gel. Luckily I carried one, or else I think I will just bonk after another long climb.

I was surprised at how strong my partner was. He kept it at a very steady state that it looked to me as if he was just running up on a 10% slope, no kidding. He could still manage to converse with me, while I was already begging for life and started to give hand signs to indicate how bad my situation was. He owned my respect that day, however he refused to share with me his secret training regime.

After about five minutes taking in the gel, I slowly felt the much needed energy level was going up again. Good sign, I thought. I then slowly pushed myself bit by bit to stay closer to Diket Menchanak’s foot trail who was enthusiastically following Dino and Steph’s pace when they overtook us.

After one hour into the trail, the top runners from mix category started to overtake us. Seen here was Dino-Steph team, who at the end scored 2nd placing in their category.

My partner, Diket Menchanak trailing behind the strong runners, crossing another fresh cold mountain stream.

The endless steep climb session finally ended to my relief. My legs felt tired and weak from the overdrive work they had to do to get through the climbing stage. My partner kept on encouraging me to keep moving with small steps, rather than just walking. I tried to obey his command and slowly I managed to recover my strength. I told my self that even though the terrain is much harder and tougher than what I faced during TNF100 race, the shorter distance race this time should be taken into full advantage and I should try to push my self harder.

There were also long series of staircases we had to climb up. At one point of the staircases, we met SyahSully who was waiting for his team mate, Ian.

I started to feel some little cramp attack on my calves while going up the staircases. Nothing serious yet, but a deep heat rub would be helpful. When we met Syah who was waiting for his buddy, he offered me a deep heat rub. But, when Diket tried to search for it inside Syah’s hydration bag, he could only find syampoo and shower gel. I didn’t bother waiting and quickly told my partner that I’m good to go even without the deep heat rub. So, we treaded along.

Just as we thought the staircases were the end of the climb-fest, we had to face another few inclinations just before we get back to the finishing area where the obstacle course awaits. Since my energy level was back up, we continued running up these final inclines. We could already hear the voice of the emcee announcing the runners who were coming in. I told Shakhir that we might be within the first 50 teams to arrive at the finish line. That thought alone made me feel excited and I kept on running faster and faster.

The finishing area was already visible from here. Just another few clicks to go.

I guess this was the final climb of all. Upon reaching down, we started to enter the obstacle course.

The obstacle course was the most fun of all. But, it also required some fast thinking and decision making on whether to leap over the muddy pools, or to tackle them on the outsides, middle, or to jump inside and swim in the mud pool etcetera. I had fun this year, as much as I did last year. But it was more fun this time around because I was able to carry my camera in and out of the muddy water without much concern whether it will survive or not.

You can save at least 10 to 15 seconds each time if you leap over the small mud pit like this, instead of going into it and had difficulties coming out of it, as brilliantly shown here by Diket Menchanak.

I managed to leap over all three mud pits, but looks like my partner can’t wait to have fun in the muddy water.

Nice jump there bro. You enjoyed splashing into the mud, didn’t you? Hihi.

Not having enough chance to train for a dive-in training at normal swimming pool, Diket Menchanak was about to do so here with his first dive-in attempt.

Hehehe.. gimmick je lebih budak ni. Akhirnya terjun botol jugak.

I threw my camera to Shakhir and he managed to capture my muka sememeh as I jumped into the mud pool.

Zarin managed to capture our actions while we were having a fun time.

I did not want to get inside this small tunnel together with him. If one of us (most likely him lah) happened to break wind inside this tunnel, confirm dua-dua orang pengsan serta merta di tempat kejadian.

One hand was holding the bamboo. Guess what his other hand was holding?

Anyway, one panicky situation happened when I lost my camera inside one of the big mud pool. As I slide down the wooden ramp, I forgot to hold my camera and just let it hang from my wrist. When I splashed myself into the mud pool I noticed the camera was not in my hand anymore. I was so panicked and immediately I started to search for it. I kept on grabbing the mud underneath with a big hope that I’ll find my camera. I also told my partner to help search for my camera even though at first he though I was just kidding when I told him I lost my camera. He helped me to search but he grabbed my shoes and tried to lift my leg up. I thought he was joking and pulling my leg, but he really thought he had grabbed my camera. It was so funny, but I was still in panic mode since I haven’t secured my camera yet.

More and more people were coming down that wooden ramp and into the mud. Some of them stepped inside exactly at the location where I lost my camera from my wrist. I was so afraid they are going to further burry my camera inside the mud. The spectators besides the mud pool were busy taking photos of my panic face. Thank goodness, I finally managed to get hold of my camera deep inside the mud after spending about 30 seconds searching.

Going in and out of the mud pit also put some extra force on my calves that at one point my left calf cramped up, followed by my right calf. I had to be careful not to exert sudden movements of the legs, but at some of the obstacles it was just impossible not to do so. I had to live with whatever cramps that came through. As always, pain is part of the game. The fun we had has to be continued.

I was showing my partner how badly my right calf muscle was cramping up.

Gaya dramatik mesti kena ada, saya kan kaki drama.
(Picture from Snap-Attack)


The final obstacle where we had to do the army crawl. At this point I was thinking of doing the obstacle course one more round.

After I finished my race, I went back to the obstacle area to snap photos of the others coming in.
Seen here Syah and Ian from team MacamBagus exiting the army crawl obstacle with joyful feeling.

Although the fun of the trail run had to stop as we crossed the finish line, but the day continued with more fun and laughter, this time at a slightly different location – the shower room. The cold water they prepared for us to clean up our muddy self was one of the many bonuses we get on that day. The situation in the shower room was hilarious. The water was chilly and refreshing but I had to control myself from snapping away because some pictures may not be suitable for display on this non-18SX rated blog.

“Sahaja aku angkat hadas besar…… Bbbrrrrrrr..!!!!”

“Sahaja aku angkat hadas BESSAARR PUNYAAAA!!!!”

“Kalau nak tau, inilah sebahagian daripada intensif training saya di rumah. Selain daripada Iron-baju-man, saya juga mahir dalam acara washing-baju-man, lipat-baju-man dan juga sidai-baju-man. Setakat basuh kasut dan stokin ni, celah kuku je bai.”

Done with cleaning ourselves up, we went back to the field to had some food and wait for the others to arrive. Each and every team came back with smiley faces all over their faces. It showed how much they’ve enjoyed the race and I’m pretty sure each and everyone of them would want to come and do this race again next year.

Ijam: “Sapa suruh kau ngorat awek yang pakai baju ketat kaler merah tu haa? Aku dah booking yang tu lah. Nah hambek ni selut setepek sebagai tanda protes aku kat kau.”

L-R: Kak Tiff, Kak June and Kak Azza came all the way from Klang to join the fun. Kak Deo came too, but not shown here in the photo. He was busy with some “rubbing” operation somewhere else.

Hanging out while enjoying the sunshine in the cooling weather.

Belum sempat Yim pegi "rub" gadis-gadis tempatan, dia dah kena “rub” dengan pacat tempatan.

Dett: “Tadi masa panjat bukit tu aku merangkak macam ni la. Siap terkentut tiga das tembakan secara tak sengaja. Kesian mamat kat belakang aku tadi.”
Ziff: “Tiga das je? Aku tadi belasah kentut bertubi-tubi macam machine gun kat depan kau, kau takde rasa macam kena migraine ke? Ahahahahaaa….”

"Hello, polis tolong saya. Ada orang ambik gambar saya ni. Nanti mesti dia letak caption pelik-pelik".

Last group photo, while waiting for Jaja and her team mate to arrive.

Wajah riang kanak-kanak yang bakal menuju alam remaja purba tidak lama lagi.

We also had fun witnessing other runners finishing up the race.

Finally, kak tipah emerged with her classic move of tarian puak Iban cawangan Ampang.
We kept on shouting and cheering for her as she continues her muddy dance.
Memang sesuai dianugerahkan darjat tertinggi athlete wanita terlampau untuk musim ketiga berturut-turut.

Post Race

Before leaving back home, we headed to the resort where Ian, Daud and Yim stayed the night before. Little did I know that some of them has arranged for a little surprise belated birthday pool party for Diket Menchanak and myself. There were lots of delicious food such as nasi lemak special Zack n wife, Shaqi’s yummy cheese cake, kari ikan mamak style from kak June with roti canai brought all the way from Port Klang, and some other good food that I should refrain from mentioning as I haven’t had my lunch yet as I wrote this paragraph.

Just like other big celebrations, the ceremony won’t start until we had to listen to the speech from the self-appointed speaker. Ahahahaa.
Sorry Ziff, we know you have the talent to become a public speaker. But between you and the food, we’ll always vote the food against you lah.

Thanks so much to those who worked behind the scene to make this little birthday party, from the arrangements, to the food preparation and other things related to it. It was a very happy moment to me, and I believe my partner Diket Menchanak was happy mencanak-canak too.

It was indeed one fine and fun day to remember, especially when we get to gather around almost everyone. The race was super fun too. I’ll always take this race as a fun race, if I happen to come to Genting again next year.

Dapat medal kayu pun takpe, EnAikAY tetap happy!


Zack Yui said...

Aiyooo! Apakan daya, sekali lagi aku dah jadik mangsa keganasan kamera & caption Nik yang terlampau... tak dapek nak lari daa

Diket said...

Wacchhaaa! No.1! Mesti ler...partner beb. Hehe.

Zack Yui said...

So sorri laa bro, wa dah potong lu punya line... cuba lenkali ok? Hehe

crushhio said...

as always nik, ur blogpost is the most awaited one for me, though thoroughly detailed but it is never boring..extremely hillarious instead..

congrats bro! 19th position is amazing feat! kalau tak ambik gambar aku rasa dah masuk top 10 dah! eh, tahun depan aku nak partner dengan diket menchanak boleh ka?

Diket said...

Cis! Memang kau cekap Jebat Jack Yui! Tewas aku di tangan pelari khutub khanah.

OK takpe. Anyway, Nik, kau lambung tinggi sangat ni. Mula-mula aku rasa seperti di awang-awangan tapi lepas tu rasa macam nak kena pi emergency wad pulak. Hahaha.

Nice story dude. I hope the race wasn't a pressure for you la, though at first we only plan to santai-santai kan? ooops!

We did it anyway. Good placing some more. Thumbs up buddy. We are good to go for Powermeng!

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

Dasat ah korang.. nak komen pun berdesup cari podium placing. Hehe.

Apakan daya... aku dah cakap awal2.. 'be careful'... hihi.

Diket Menchanak..
Lu mmg hebat bro! Saya sangat suka partner dengan inche Diket Menchanak.
Mencanak-canak saya lari dibuatnya.

Diket said...

Kompom ler melekat nama chanak nih! Aiyo! And aku rasa kalau CEO sabun basuh trojan tengok gambar aku tu, kompom tahun depan team kita fully sponsored. Hahaha!

Tapi wa paling suka gambar terbang "wachaaa" tu. Macam Daredevil beb.

ian yusof said...

I should be first ... period!

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

Fuhh... nampaknya saham Diket naik mencanak-canak lepas diberi gelaran Diket Menchanak ni.

Does that mean i get to partner with Shanaz Bananaz???
Woot wooot.. i loioieoike!!!
Ngeh ngeh ngeh....

Dancing Ciken said...

adoi sakit perut aku gelak menchanak2

well done team!

deo said...

Kak Deo ye?! Superb performance for both you and Diket. Memang mantop meletop! Captions pun tahap MVP. Antara kejadian yg paling lawak - waktu cari deep heat dlm beg amsyah tu. Siap bawak shampoo nak mandi besaaaarrr punya kot? Hahahah

But I still want to see pictures of you frantically searching for the camera. Nanti kalau jumpa kat mana2 gambar tu, letak dlm blog ye.

I have to agree with you, sesusah2 climbing up, aku lagi seriau waktu menurun (menurun?!).

Mana ulasan RUB ME?

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

Looks like u r still pumped, no?

Aduhai.. dah dapat anugerah athlete wanita terlampau pun sakit perut lagi?

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

Korang jangan buat pasal nnti kalau betul2 nak mandi wajib pegi niat "angkat hadas BESAR PUNYAA!" pulak.. sia2 tak sah aku tak tanggung. hehe.

P/s: korang tolong cari n tag la kalau ada ternampak kat mana2 ruang FB ke apa ke gambar muka aku panic dalam lumpur tu. aku pun teringin nak tengok.

amsyah said...

congrats Nik! kau memang lajuuuuuu. great placing too! keep it up

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

Ini semua Diket Menchanak punya pasal...
You did well too lah bro. Lepas golf course tu lu terus ghaib!

IJAM said...

Fuh!! nasib baik takde gambar terlarang aku....
tengok gambar dulu lepas tu comment, leps tu baru baca...
yahooo....tempat tercorot..!!

deo said...

Gambar lompat tu pun lawak sehhh.... How to distinguish remaja purban dan remaja ori? Kaki remaja purba never lifted the ground, semua eksyen je melompat.

Paling tak tahan, orang lain buat aksi melompat, Zack buat aksi terkena. RUB ME. Heheheh

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

Gambar terlarang kau aku simpan buat 'tebusan'.. hehhe.
Bila lagi kau nak lari pakai baju clown?

Remaja purba cool n steady je. Tak caya tanya Shuk.

IJAM said...

patutlah krem kaki kau, lari ikut diket menchanak, power siut...
Walau apa pun tahniah sbb tak naik bukan, tahniah sbb mandi selut paling awal.
Nasib baik je tu, kalau kau slow sikit, team clown akan kerjakan korang jugak...mwahaha...

P/s : Baju clown dah retired...

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

Actually almost every races aku cramp kaki. Itu tandanya aku mmg dah ditakdirkan tak kuat kaki macam sesetengah daripada korang.
Mandi selut awal2 best tau, macam milo kurang susu. Kalau dah lewat2 sgt tu, dah jadi macam teh tarik terlebih susu.

Che said...

haha.. best, baik punye :P ko punye kamera lah mamat kat tepi tu asik bebel kat Yim. dia ingatkan ada org ilang kamera, hati2.. tetiba dia ada lg kt tepi kitaorg ingtkan Yim hati2 takut kamera jatuh.. time kasih encik.

Eh mana gmbr kitaorg? haha.. nasib tak kena bahan :P

Congrats mencanak dpt no. 19. kalu tak posing amik gmbr sure laju lagi nih :P

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

Oh ya, i forgot to put your photo.
Please reload the page.
P/s: stop to take photos during the race tu ialah strategy supaya jantung tak cramp di pertengahan jalan.

June Malik said...

hahaahh sakit perut mencanak gelak :) i love the pics at the obstacle, macam2 posing, nak diving pun ada lol , mandi besar siap dua gayung .. I am glad I went to see u guys and also witness what i missed and now i know what i will be facing next year *alamak dah jadi bloglak ni*

Julin Julai said...

wah..banyak caption ala2 18sx..sep baik saya tak cukup umor untuk paham *tutup mata*
tangkap2 gambar pun dapat placing terbaek..siap kamera tenggelam lagi tuu..heh heh

tsar said...

nak komen, tapi tak tahu apa lagi nak komen, sbb semua dah cover kat atas...

congratulations... dah
posting yg bagus... dah
caption2 sungguh lawak... dah

keep it up EnAiKay

p/s: eh, word verification is "hydrust". had(r)as besar? hehe

p/s 2: apa kata start bulan ni, kira berapa kali sesapa dpt letak komen #1. :)

jiha-run-for-life said...

lawak la hang nye post..hehe
dpt gambaran yg hebat for the year insyaallah bole join..

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

Glad to see u there too!
Kari anak mami memang betul betul ho liao!

Time camera tenggelam tu mmg rasa macam nak histeria woo...
Next time race taknak bawak camera lah.. lagi selamat. tunggu cilok gambar dari FB je utk letak kat blog.

Tenkiu tenkiu. Lain kali time jumpa jgn la malu2 kambing lagi ye.

Amacam training duathlon? Aku dah lama tak turun Golden Dream punya training track.

ziff71 said...

alamak, kat GTB corot kat sini pun corot hehehe

Great report and as usual great pics and captions. RUB ME gal jer yg tertinggal, terlebih 18SX kot hehe

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

Penat weh buat report race macam ni. Powerman will be last for this year.. then boleh cepat2 submit surat letak jawatan.

zulhassan said...

Yang ni memang lawak giler -->Sahaja aku angkat hadas besar..

Khadeeja Shah said...

Nice pics..tgk pon dah rase tercabar..
Jap, camera tu ape conclusion nye? Boleh pakai lagi ke

Ms Road Runner said...

congrats nik + partner on this! :) always a fun + hilarious report to read from you... i shall join next year then! ;)

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

Jangan sampai tersalah pasang niat sudah.

Kesimpulannya, kamera tu terselamat daripada mati lemas. Diket Menchanak mmg boleh jadi pakar penyelam lumpur.

Yeah, u should try Trailblazer. It's much fun than marathon.

Che said...

Ceh, kena gak aku :P

in a way, you post makes the whole journey 'best' and 'doable' not just us, but first timer, kan?

keep up the good work. Best! Layan.

Anonymous said...

congratz bro! dpt medal kayu tu pn dh kira power la tu..

tp trailblazer mmg layan..