Event: The River Jungle Marathon 2011
Venue: Pekan Batu 18, Hulu Langat
Date: 25 September 2011
Shoe: Vibram FiveFingers TrekSport
I wasn't suppose to run The River Jungle Marathon 2011. Instead, I was suppose to support my fellow Aladdin Runnerz friends. However, my friend who happen to share the same initial with me Fui Cheng (FC) decided to pull out and hence I was thinking not to let her registration fee go to waste. I ran on behalf her instead and yes, my bib was pink in colour! I was geared up in my upcoming TNF race gears and it's time to test it out.
After working from 10am till 10pm the day before the run, I did not have single wink of sleep as I agreed to pick Vince up at 1.30am. Guided by my Garmin Nuvi, we managed to arrive at Pekan Batu 18 at Hulu Langat in about 40 minutes time, after a few wrong turns. On the way there, James who was testing out a Volkswagen Sirocco which was the official safety car zoomed pass me and just disappeared into the distance. A wake up call perhaps.
Arrived early with about 2 hours more to spend, we both hung around at the school compound having a short chat with James, the event organiser. Soon, runners arrived and familiar faces are like Jamie, Yim, Khairul, Karen and Mohan. Jeff is the main star runner today as he downed his wedding attire for a surprise to be unveiled on his wedding dinner in about a couple of weeks.
After a short briefing, runners were let off at 5am sharp. Immediately out of the school gate, I stopped to help Jeff with is balloons which was tied to his shorts, irritating him. Took me and Karen a while to get it out before we continued on. Jeff ran a 72KM the day before and he wasn't in a good shape, and therefore I accompanied him.
It was very dark at the first 5KM and I had to be careful since I'm wearing my VFF TrekSport. Don't want to trip over any pot holes or reflectors. Arriving back at the start area which is around 5KM, I reduce to walking to wait for Jeff to arrive. We walk together till about 8KM before he asked me to go on which I did with Roy and Alvin.
Into the tenth kilometer, I bumped into Tey and we ran together for about a couple of kilometers. I was in need to relieve myself and the moment I saw the mobile toilet near to 18KM before the steep climb, I went for it. Felt better, and off I went attacking the climb.
I was told the climb was 3KM long and so I attacked. The first 2KM was fine but just after it, a 4 wheel drive let out a thick black smoke and I was forced to stop as I did not want to inhale it. Once cleared, I continue on but damage done. My momentum was gone.
The descend wasn't something I fancy too. It was really steep and I just walk down it. Finally below it, it was the magnificent Hulu Langat Dam. The view was good and I took the chance to snap some pictures before making a u-turn.
Continued on by mixing walking and running and at the final 10KM or so, the sky open up. It was also here that I met Hafeez and we helped each other. My foot bed felt hot and I suspect a blister forming, while Hafeez is experiencing discomfort on his right knee. We pushed each other. When he walk, I will too. I even offered to help him massage. We were together till the final stretch when the rain stop and we agreed to complete the gruelling marathon together with a time of 06:26:14.
Overall, despite a slow run time, I did have fun meeting people especially at the last stretch trying to pull 3 runners to the finish. And most importantly, Fui Cheng's registration fee is not wasted and I thank her for letting me run on her behalf. Finally, kudos to James and his guys too for a successful event though there were some minor hiccups and mishaps. But it's these that makes the learning curve counts.
The finisher's medal...