Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Janda Baik International Run 2015 Race Report - Deo

Deo's Janda Baik Rainforest Run. Looking at the photos, I believed he has more fun running it as much as writing the race report for us to read. Thank you for sharing Deo and congrats on the finishing.

After the completion of the Salomon Otterbox Trail Run in Janda Baik last year, I sort of fell in love with the trail there. As mentioned in my race report, it was like a mini version of the trail that I had experience in Sabah while taking part in the Sabah Adventure Challenge and TMBT100. With all mixtures of uphill and downhills, over tarmac and red clay sections, that took us crossing rivers, running at the side of vegetable farms, it was a great running course away from the city. So, naturally when the registration for this event opened, I did not hesitate to sign up for it and since it will be longer in distance (21km against 18km during the Salomon Otterbox Run), I thought it will give a greater challenge and will take a longer time to complete. 

After a long anticipation between the date I signed up for the race and the race day, the day itself arrived last Sunday. As my race bib has been collected a day earlier by Ijoy, I didn't have to drive to Janda Baik really early in the morning (as the race number pick-up on race day was to be done before 5am). It was a casual move to R&R Genting Sempah to meet up with few other friends before we made our move to the race site. We actually underestimated the time taken to the race site and arrived with just about ten minutes to spare before the flag off at 7.30am. With not much to time to spare, we hastily headed to the start line while bumping into familiar faces along the way. It was a small crowd at the start line - very much to my liking, around 500 of runners, according to my estimation. 

Panicking a bit as I arrived at the race site with just few minutes to spare from the start. For the race, I put on Skechers GOrun Ultra 2, a hybrid shoes that gives good traction on the trail while comfort and cushioning for road runs.
[photo by Ezamidola]

While I tried to move up to the front pack at the start, alongside Ezam and Ijoy, we were flagged off and the front runners were dashing out from the field towards the tarmac section. And I was one of them. It was really a fast start, just like in a 10km race and soon after I caught up with Ezam while trailing Ijoy. I glanced behind to Khairul to get him to tag along me but he stayed with his moderate pace. Upon checking the time splits later after the race, the first 2km that was done on tarmac section was done in 5:05 and 4:51 pace. Then the race went into the trail section.

It was uphill trail that we had to deal with, right away after we entered the trail section and it was already tough for me to continue running especially after running all my heart out during the first 2km earlier. Anyway, I told myself to keep going, even if I need to walk it has to be a very fast walk. There were not that many runners around me, the front bunch had sped away and disappeared from my sight while those behind me were sparsely following me from behind, closing in on me when I walked uphill while I distanced myself from them again during downhill and flat sections. 

The second climb was really badass! It was on concrete and was so steep! I wonder if anyone could run up this section? It was so steep that you can't stand up straight, otherwise you could fall behind and roll down the slope. I think it was about 17 degrees of climb. Luckily it wasn't too long of a climb, maybe around 500m. And once you've reached the peak, it was equivalently steep going downhill, also on concrete. It wasn't easy, either. But the momentum gained from running downhill really fast was that it pushed you up (at least halfway) to the next climbing section. 

Going up the badass concrete section.
[photo by CH Leong}
...and going downhill of the same section which looks like a roller coaster track to me...
[photo by Warren Mak]
I did not notice any similarities between the route of this race and the Salomon Otterbox Run. But after the race when I checked the map on Garmin Connect, I noticed that there were five kilometers of similar route between the two races (KM10.5 to KM15.5) except that it was done on reverse direction.
The trail wasn't as bad and slippery as during the Salomon Otterbox Run, although I was told that it was raining heavily a day earlier. So, dashing downhill was pleasurable without worrying of slipping down the slope (or fell on my butt like what happened to me during the Salomon Otterbox Run). So, I got to recover my lost time going slow or walking uphill but running strongly downhill and along the flat sections. I got better traction this time and better cushioning for running on flat trail and road sections since I was wearing Skechers GOrun Ultra 2, that is suitable for both trail and road runs. 
The first of two river crossings. Cold, clear and refreshing water but I smiled when seeing photos of some runners taking off their shoes while crossing the river. C'mon, this is trail running, you don't want to keep your 4WD vehicle clean just like on the road...

I love the two river crossings, especially the first one that was about knee high deep. The current was quite strong coupled with the slippery rocks underneath the water. One has to be very careful to cross the river and I was lucky that when I arrived there, there were only me and one other runners so we didn't have to worry about human traffic jam during the river crossing. 
The route elevation profile. Nothing that was too hard, actually.

It was uphill and downhill all the way, except for the stretch between KM7 to KM10, and between KM15.5 to KM18.3 (finish line), where there were flat sections and mostly ran on tarmac. And I took advantage of these flat sections where I sped up and ran at below 5:30 pace. At the final stretch before the finish line, I even managed to overtake three other runners in front of me to finish in 12th position in 21km category for male. The race however was under-distance, my Garmin just managed to get around 18.3km, which is about 1km longer than the Salomon Otterbox Run. However, my timing was a lot better this time, 1:54:28, as compared to 2:11:12, thanks to the not-so-slippery trail condition and 30% of tarmac section that I could run my marathon pace.

Organizational wise, it was a brave effort put up by the organizer (known better from mountain biking events) to organize this race, with lots of logistics consideration to think of. I really commend the five (or was it six?) water stations along the route that served icy cold water and 100 Plus. It was so refreshing to get to gulp cold water and poured some onto the head. The route was awesome, great for hillworks and speedworks. Volunteers were very helpful and friendly, race start/finish location was suitable for the size of the event. There were also packed foods served at the finish line. But there were definitely some minus points. Firstly, the unavailability of water after the finish line. Bottled mineral water were just for VVIP tables, while runners were served with air sirap. Then, there were no toilets provided at the finish line and some runners had to use the facility at the nearby mosque which I think quite inappropriate. Then the finisher's t-shirt were not prepared as per the indicated sizes during the registration, they only have M and L sizes. 

With the happy faces of QMR Runners after the event

Overall, it was an event you have to try if you want something different from what was normally offered by other events around Klang Valley. As for myself, I would love to run this route (and race) again and I hope someone can organize a longer distance event on this route. 

For my race details at Garmin Connect, click here.
For official result of the Men's Open 21km (18km in actual) category, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment