The only ultra race I joined in 2018. Also to support my hometown event.
This race is the first year organised, and mostly are virgin trail (now I know how’s the virgin trail look like).
My longest race before this, was 66KM in Chiang Mai.
So I think this year should upgrade a little bit.
From 66KM -> 70KM, 4KM extra, should be able to make it.
Look at the elevation profile
From the info given, the easiest path should be from starting point to CP1, seems like a flat road, and the toughest path should be the 2 big hill…
On 30th Nov 2018 (the race day), I woke up at 6:45am in the morning, then travel from KL to Taiping.
When the time reached Taiping, already 1pm+. Then go to collect race bib.
This time mandatory items check very strict, energy bar, glove, visor are required. Usual ultra trail race won’t check for these.
They provide 999 soap for 36KM & 70KM category, the soap is to prevent leeches.
The good thing about this race bib is, the elevation profile showing there. Convenient for runners.
Not many people attending the race briefing.
The race director has mentioned that, for 70KM runners, if in CP1 & CP2 already feel very tough, then should surrender to the crew in CP. Because from CP2 - CP3 will be 6 times tougher than CP1 - CP2.
From CP3 - CP4 will be tar road, all the way going down hill (I’ve run there before in King of Bukit Larut).
This path cannot be run fast, if not, from CP4 - CP5 going up hill will be very tough…
Quite useful information in the briefing.
After the briefing, I went back to home and try to take a nap, unfortunatelyI can’t…
Before the race, take XS drink first, there’s some caffiene in this energy drink.
Met Baby Trail Running Club GM here.
There is heavy rain in around 8pm, luckily it’s getting lesser when close the race start at 9pm.
When start the race, is tar road, at beginning I thought the first 13KM is tar road.
But, it’s not, running I think few hundred meters already begin go into the trail.
I believe from race site to CP1 should be the easiest path throughout the whole course.
But you know what, to me, it’s quite tough at this point, the look-flat elevation doesn’t seems to match the reality…
I get ready a pair of hiking sticks, it really helps a lot, in both uphill & downhill.
From this path, there is a mix with trail & some tar road. The 13KM took me 2:47 hours.
At this point, I thought still early, and I didn’t notice the cut off time (COT) is 3 hours.
So I just slow & steady. Until… The race director shout “faster! faster! still have 10 minutes!!”
Then I only notice, I’m 10 minutes before the COT. My first time ever, in CP1 didn’t have much time left (usually I will reach around 1 hour before the cut off).
Just continue to slow jog. Because from CP1 - CP2, the beginning path is tar road.
After I think around 1KM, we go into trail again, and this time tougher…
Until a point, I heard someone shout “wrong way! wrong way!”, I just follow the front runners most of the time.
But when I heard this, I check with my GPS map, it really shows I’m out of the route, so have to U-turn back, I think around 100 meters, luckily is not too far yet…
So, here start going uphill, continuously… And I begin to feel tired, sleepy.
I’m very bad in late-night running. Some more, I woke up so early in the morning and didn’t sleep in afternoon.
Then I keep stop and sit down (can’t remember how many times), really tired.
The “give up” start to popup in my mind. Then I keep telling myself, I must take a 10-15 minutes nap when I reached CP2.
The undertaker is coming up, because is close to the COT already.
The trail is very slippery & muddy. I holding 2 sticks is like doing skiing, but this is not snow, it’s mud…
I started to realise, the runners in front & behind of me are the same, means we’re in the same pace.
Until around 17KM, my headlamp getting darker, just last around 5 hours, then I change the battery in halfway.
When changing battery in dark, a bit difficult too. Because when turned off the headlamp, can’t see anything at all.
From here, I notice 1 set of spare battery is not enough, better to prepare 2 set spare battery for 1 night.
By this time, I heard some runner said “Lagi 40 minit”, means 40 minutes left to the COT. And I still have 2~3KM…
Tired + sleepy, I know not enough time already, but still have to continue, because there’s no other way out to the trail.
I’m 35 minutes over the COT, my very first time DNF (did not finished), I also can’t imagine just in CP2, already DNF.
This race, need to train very well, not only lower body, upper body also need to train well.
There are some path has rope for us to pull. Also I know the importance of glove.
There are Coke, 100plus, Spritzer mineral water, & banana provided there.
I’m not the last 1 to reach CP2.
There are more runners coming.
Take Bodykey while waiting for the 4 wheels car.
I think this is my 2nd time to reach the finishing line so early (1st time was Penang Triathlon 2015).
From my shoes, already can know how muddy it is.
This is the toughest race I ever join, also the toughest hill I ever hike. Way more difficult than Mount Rinjani.
Compare this with Cameron ultra, if we call this a trail race, then Cultra I can consider it as a road race.
Because I not actually train well also can complete Cultra 55KM.
I can say Cultra very easy.
Compare this with Penang ECO, which previously I tought is toughest. This time is few times tougher than Penang ECO.
I did Penang ECO 50KM last year, is my first trail ultra, I not really train well also. I took 18 hours to complete.
Penang ECO has longer time, and the trail is not so muddy like this.
I can rate the Penang ECO difficulty level medium.
Probably I will try again in 2019 (I heard there will be a 50KM category). Should be try-able 😉