Thursday, April 14, 2016

Hulu Langat Trail Run & MPAJ Ampang Hill Trail Challenge

Yes. You read it right. I was on the trail...and running, and participating some more. I guess the smell of forest floor lead me back into the trail when weekend comes.

The Hulu Langat Trail Run was never in my list. As usual, with Salomon and the like of branding sponsorship, event like this sells like 'pisang goreng panas' in minutes, despite the steep entry fee. I've been missing the scenario of running event and expensive entry fee. It never did gone. It is blooming profitably with more health conscious minded people participating. So are the sports shops. Expanding and opening more with more sports brands coming in. 

I didn't register for it. The opportunity just flew in when a friend decided to skip and pass his slot to me. It was a great idea to run it, but I realised I wanted more.

I seldom heard of Hulu Langat holding a trail run besides the ultra marathon thing which is basically a road run. Adding to the rareness. the venue itself, IKBN together with the support by the local council was kind of hard to digest. Anyway, the place provided a great playground.

The early morning traffic was bad heading towards IKBN, especially on Sunday. I heard that they closed the registration for both 10km and 16km with a total of up to 3000 runners. No wonder that Hulu Langat road was packed. I rode my motorbike, hence no traffic difficulty.

I found myself simply weird around the crowd. The atmosphere that I left for quite a long time. Warm ups, stretch and chats while the deejay tuning in the atmosphere. And not a single familiar face except for my usual running friends that came together.

Moments later I was between runners being flagged off. The 16K crowd was released first followed by the 10K, both were massive.

We had tarmac, followed by with trails through small plots of orchards, forest and plantations. Interconnected by small 'kampung' roads in between houses, we reached into more trails before ending back at IKBN.

I had a mixture of running and hiking, especially through inclines. However, the 10K may seemed some what endless when the legs felt weak. Luckily they had three river crossings, so we had to splash splosh our way back.

I think I clocked somewhere slightly above an hour. No, I didn't quite monitor my time because I don't have a running or a heart rate monitor anymore. I ditched them ions ago. I had fun instead and enjoyed the breakfast meal after the run while waiting friends finishing.

A week after, I totally forgot that I have registered for the Ampang Hill Trail Challenge. Whilst planning for weekend stuff, a friend reminded me of the event which we have registered under the free slots weeks ago. Great.

It was held at Bukit Indah, Ampang. This time the crowd was way much smaller. Only limited to 300 participants. I started observing and noticed that familiar faces from old running times started emerging into the scene. And I can say that these individuals were legends during their time. It felt like a small running get together. However, I didn't expect that the subsequent challenges awaits with curses.

Bukit Indah are known for it's mountain bike trail. A man made and maintained. Nice with soft rolls and switchbacks. We ran here for the first section. Then we left for the tarmac which I felt bored of until we reached Kelab Darul Ehsan. The hill there was simply terrible, though it was not as ugly as other road running hills but it was simply boring.

We entered another trail but too bad we can't run it due to the super steep staircase. Two hills together. There was a lake or they say used to be a reservoir at the top. Nice place.

The rest of the trail was running downhill but still, it was too steep to gain speed. We came back to a tarmac before finishing at the mountain bike trail head again.

The run clocked almost 9K and I was never bothered how did I performed, but I survived and had fun. 

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