Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ultra Run: MR 25 ultra marathon 2009

The reservoir..

A photo before the start...

This is 3rd loop. The guy behind was pacing me all the way.

2nd loop starting..

After 8 loops to finish it.

The top runners this year.

I didn't took this run too seriously. It would be just an attempt to see how many loops I could run it. Each loop is 10.55km around a lake named Mac Ritchie reservoir.

There were a few malaysian runners. Our friend Tey went all the way down to support us, and of course to take pics as well.

I anticipated blisters will formed. So, I had 4 plasters taped on my feet at the prone areas. Frank and I then hitched a taxi to the starting point.

It was great to meet with some familliar faces during the registration. Mohan, the ever crazy dude, had done 22 marathons this year, and he looks pretty strong. Met with Sukaimi, the guy who won this race with 9 loops last year. I was actually hoping to run 9 times as well.

The race started precisely at 7am. Soon I found myself running at a blistering pace, and was soon in the front pack. We didn't actually pushed it so hard. In fact the guys (an italian, Tobias the german, a sg dude who won 50k TNF this year) were happily talking to each other. Tobias mentioned last 2 year he had won with 9 loops. The Italian advised us he was going this fast just because he wanted to do 5, as well as the singaporean runner.

But, it was a seriously fast past. The first thing that hit me was, it is a trail run. I thought this might not be so bad, with shades from trees, and soft dirt. However, some parts of it has pebbles, and big rocks, which could cause serious injuries if you stepped wrongly.

As I approached the station for the second loop, the Italian guy had a slip and fell, but he was ok. I decided to slow down and let them go on. Going at that pace would be suicidal. First loop was done in 0:49:33.

2nd loop is pretty much the same, albeit at a slower pace to finish 0:58:38. Some guys did passed me.

3rd loop was pretty ok as well. I remember one runner pacing with me all the way. However he was having a hard time breathing, a sign that he was pushing too hard. Time 1:06:47

4th loop. I had some pain creeping up. That's usual. Began to walk some of the uphill parts.
End of the loop means finishing a marathon. Time 1:15:33

5th loop. This is the decisive factor, or what you can call it as mid way point in the race. I was beginning to hate the rocky gravels and hard rocks path. Every step has to be carefully inserted, otherwise, it's like stepping on sharp edges. I think this might be, because of my flat footedness.
I was also getting hungrier. Luckily I had my powerbar, besides the banana at each end of the loop. Time 1:24:11

6th loop. I was slowing down considerably. Fatigue, pain slowly crept in. This is actually normal. It's part of suffering in long distance running. You just have to accept it. Pain is always your friend, but you can't make it stop you from running. I was feeling good so time was 1:26:25

The more I ran, the more I remembered the path.

7th loop. The pain was enough to cripple my running. Running trails is something I haven't train. Frankly, running 100km bukit aman was easier on the legs because trails force you to use muscles which you don't. Continuous usage of those muscles had actually cause more pain. So I had to devise another running method, which is to lift my legs up, in a sort of marching movement, while not using the foot. This is the only way to go forward with less pain. Time 1:39:07

8th loop. Pace is now terribly slow. My mind was still strong. Heck, give me a pair of fresh legs and I don't mind doing this forever. There is something in ultra running that pushes you to experience things that you can't possibly have in normal life. The passing of time in eternity. The internal conversations with our selves. And the depths of endurance we have to go beyond.

Physically, I am battered as everyone else. It's only the mental part that keeps you going. To keep on going when everything is failing you, is the only moment you know about yourself. You don't do this to get some prize or medals. It's just not worth it with all the suffering.

After doing some time check, I thought it was impossible to go a 9th. So I decided to call it a day. I thanked the guys who had been manning the water stations for hours.

As I reached the station, I took of my cap to signal the end of the run. The ending was sweet. Time for last loop is 1:49.

However, as usual my legs were battered. Stepping on steps even had me in pain.

Total time is 10:29:19

Frank did 6 loops, which is quite an achievement. The winner did 9th loops in 10:52.

I did got a 4th placing, which qualifed for a medal and a pair of crocs.


MR25 ultra run is a nicely organised ultra run. 1 hour per loop will be a nice pace, if you wish to do this many times. Water at each station is enough for everyone. But you'll need to train on trails for this.

More nice pictures here:
Steve Choo


sofiantriathlete said...

well done again

K3vski said...

Well done and congrats, Yip. You are made of steel.

plee said...

Congratulations! Well done nice report!

Simon said...

You never cease to amaze and inspire me - awesome, well done.

Abu said...

Well done Yip! Ko meletop!!!

Michele Speciale said...

Hi Yip, this is Michele, the Italian guy who run with you the first loop. Nice run and nice report! Congratulation for your achievement and hope to see you again in some other races (I live in Taiwan). See you & happy new year!

yipwt said...

oh hi Michele...nice to meet you there. You were darn fast, but I can't follow you all the way.

Michele said...

Hi Yip,
Tobias and I are considering to considering to run the Climbathon on the Kinabalu ( in October. Wanna join?

YS said...

Hi Steve, inspiring, once again! The secret of your persistency must be in the Nike pouch... mind sharing with us your secret recipe, hehe...:) Oh... did 'Wood' carry the same 'secret recipe' too during his stroke? :) :)