Sunday, May 09, 2010

Gunung Angsi Climbathon

The challenge is tough but fun and satisfying. For those nature lovers, it is indeed a truly challenging feat to take part in this Gunung Angsi Climbathon (near Seremban) on Saturday 8 May 2010.

Gunung Angsi is one of my favourite trekking trails. The distance is fairly long but the terrain is not too steep, superb for light training before embarking on a mission of any serious trekking trip.
Click here for previous postings of Gunung Angsi trekking.

After trekking up Gunung Ansi twice, quite interestingly, I could only remember the stream running parallel to the lower plain, the gradual gradient, the obstacle course and of course, the peak with a view to the surrounding areas.
Walking up slowly during trekking and climbing up swiftly during climbathon are totally different experience. During the climbathon, I began to remember more of the tough and tiring uphill terrain as it is a sure way of depleting one’s energy.
Waiting for moment of recognization: Top ten finalists of each category
We arrive at Ulu Bengdol Forest Recreation area, the starting point of the event at about 8 a.m., way ahead of the starting at 9:30 a.m. The group consists of Weng, Chiew Hong, Ms Su, LimFW, Peik Yah, Yee Choi, Roger Yee, Choo TS, Mak, Shirley, Kirandeep, Lai Kuan, and AB Tan. Members of the other group are Raymond Ng, Michelle Looi, Debbie, Kenny, Lydia, Hsing Ling, etc. In the forest recreation area, we could see there was a huge group of students pitching up tents at the campsite which was just next to the starting ground. The groups were then busy deciding and registering whether to take part in the Open or Veteran categories.

Women's finalists - (L-R): Lydia, Michelle Looi, Debbie, Su, Hsing Ling

Choosing Category – We made the right choice to register for Open Category though our ages fit into other category. We were told that Veteran category only runs half the distance. The interesting thing about runners is that we pay more for longer distance; as some would say, pay more to suffer more.

When the VIPs have arrived, we were pleasantly surprise that the race was started at 9:00 a.m., half hour early.

Twenty minutes into the race, the fast veteran runners were seen returning on a collision course when the rest of the slower runners were still ascending. While I was avoiding the wet ground below me, anther fast runner was also avoiding something at that very moment. Ouch ! Two of us were colliding in mid-air at a narrow jungle path !!!

A race would not be complete these days without the African runners

Water stations – For most road running events, a race would not be possible without water stations complete with isotonic drinks. In this event, other than the abundance of water from the stream, there is no water station!!! Find your own water! Anything relating to jungle has to be tough – the fittest survive.

For those who believe that they would be no tough Nepalese porters to carry the water to the peak to reward the runners for the amazing feat, they would carry at least two bottles of 500cc each of water. Many of the students were seen running without water and have to ask other runners for help.
All smile - Su receiving her prize money

While arriving at the peak, we were greeted by officials dishing out ribbons for certification marks. There was a group of Chinese trekkers having a picnic spread with lots of drinking water and food. Many were seen asking them for water. I heard the conversation: “Aiyo, how come there is no water (from the organizer) for the participants!”

While it is tiring to ascend going up against gravity, the descending journey was not easy either. Most runners would have finished the fuel – the water – running in a state of thirst while trotting down the slope carefully for fear of slip and fall. ChooTS, Su and I were seen bleeding at the legs knocking against obstacles.

Michelle Looi ... while Lydia is at the background waiting for her turn

The fast runners in the group are AB Tan, Yee Choi and Ms Su. While Su’s timing is 2hr 50min, securing her the top ten position in women’s group, the other two were about 10 minutes faster. By 12 noon, most of the runners would have returned from the tough challenge.

The prize presentation would then proceed with the top ten winners from each category of men and women. After much chatting excitedly about the event, the group adjourned to Seremban town for the famous seafood lunch. It was a memorable outing with tough challenge, good camaraderie and good food to reward the body systems for a day of intense activities.

Raymond (right) and friends. The top 4 womens are in this group

Work in progress to process the photos from Weng's camera (containing all the action shots).

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