Sunday, November 2, 2008

Getting Dirty: Genting Trailblazer 2008

Quite a number of folks who entered this race. There's Tony and San, then Siok Leng and Joanne, Heng and Kelvin Lee, and also new friends as well.

And as usual, Tey the photographer was there to caption all the fun and muddy participants slogging it out at the obstacles.

For the race itself, Shih Ming and I partnered for the mixed team competitive. But with Shih Ming's left arm dislocated injury not 100% healed yet, I was actually more worried about her than the race.

The race is a 14km from Awana resort, around 1.5km tarmac through the golf course, and then into the trails.

We were flagged off at 8:30 sharp, and the front runners all made a mad dash, us included. Before the golf course tarmac ended, we managed to pass Steph Chok and her causassian partner. Feeling good, I was able to crank up the speed to set the pace for Shih Ming. When the trail finally started, there's where more fun starts.

At the start, there was a bit of downhill, and flats with the occasional muddy parts. Then we came into an opening, did a few run up small hills and slide down on the butt kinda action. And after that it was the long long 40-60 degress climb uphill, which was kinda tough. If you were wearing normal running shoes, pretty much you will find yourself losing grip. I had opted for 'adidas kampung' while shih ming was in her Inov trail shoes. It had rained the previous night, which made it all the worse.

The organisers did a good job of preparing ropes for us to support during those ascent and descent. Yet, I still find myself slipping a few times.

We went through 2 streams, and I had some gulps of water there. Then the next half of the race, Shih Ming went lead. Somehow I had a cramp on the left calve. I guessed that swimming too much causes irregular breathing because you tend to breath at longer intervals. So I tried to rid it off by actively breathing faster.

The final part, when we just came out from the jungle, we met with another team in the same category. It was a malay guy and an indian lady. We did managed to pass them, but they were able to push harder. And after the last uphill, I was left all alone chasing shih ming at the lead, who was waiting at the obstacles.

The first obstacle was a chest deep 1.5 meters water hole. Shih ming went in first, and I took the plunge second. Immediately I had cramps from the cold shock. It took awhile to register that I had still had to pull shih ming out of the hole with one hand. Then another 2 water holes...and a long pond which we need to duck under. After that a few runs up some mounds. I thought we were still chasing the third team, but they were nowhere to be seen.

Yet we still went through the rest of the obstacles like maniacs. I was more worried about shih ming, than winning this thing. There were those 3 vertical 1 meter wooden barriers that you have to flung yourself over. With 2 hands, it's pretty easy. But try to do that with one hand...it's impossible. Yet she can still haul herself up with one hand, while her left is still in pain.

The last obstacle was the muddiest pond. I had cramps just jumping into it. My feet were stuck in the mud to the knees. I was beginning to think this is a warzone in Vietnam. On the verge of cramping and still moving on, I had to move slowly. And the finally holding hands to the finishing line.

My partner has given more than 100% just to finish, and that's what I called sheer determinism.

Well...it was a lost battle but we still got 4th in 1hr 22min. Pretty happy with that nevertheless.
Tony and San managed to get 9th placing, Siok Leng's team 6th in the adventure category.

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Note: It's not really a flat course. There's major uphills with muddy terrain. And you'll need to get trail shoes with grips. Normal runnin shoes won't cut it because there's no grip.



Coming back after slogging through the obstacles.





The third winning team for mixed..

The 2nd winning team for mixed. Note that we were at the back of the picture...I didn't know we were so close to 2nd.

More pictures at Tey's blog: http://pmtey.multiply.com/tag/trailblazer

6 comments:

kev said...

Looks like a real muddy affair! Well done, Yip! And Shih Ming too! Not exactly my type of race though. I like my races as flat and clean as possible ;)

yipwt said...

hi kev,

yea...it's not everyone's idea of a good run.

But it's good for facial mud treatment...hahaha...

Raymond said...

U did well Steven!I agree SM is strong but both of u were well- partnered,just missed out on podium unfortunately.
Kev,ur face is dirty yet u like clean races! lol....

le_runner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
le_runner said...

hi yip,

SUNDOWN IS WILL BE BACK NEXT YEAR !!

are you coming back after ironman ??

my bet, i am sure you will. =D

peace.

yipwt said...

hi victor,

Not decided yet....i can't imagine running sundown ultra again.