Sunday, January 23, 2011

An Adventurous Trail Running In FRIM

When returning from the Steroid Hill deep inside FRIM, we ran and ran and ran. After all, the ground was soft, the air was fresh and there was no traffic at all other than occasionally, a mountain biker would pass by behind us giving me the scare as if an animal would appear from no-where.

When we arrived at the junction signifying the end of the Mountain Bike Track; after having waited for a while, we did not see Lucas appearing. What seems to be a 1.5-hour of hill running turned up to be 3.5 hours of run.

FRIM trail map drawn by yours truly (KC) ... do contact me to send the clear version to you
That morning (Sunday, 16 January 2011), those participated in the hill running were ChongYF, Dr Sharah, Lucas, Sidney Saw and yours truly (KC). Lucas is Dr Sharah’s friend who works as a Club Manager in Clark Hatch, Petaling Jaya. Sidney Saw is from USJ Subang who responded to the invitation in the blogsite.

From Rover Track; yellow line points to Mountain Bike Track

The Trail:

Yeah! We found another good terrain for hill running in FRIM Kepong: thanks to ChongYF for leading us the way. So far, we only go to Canopy Walkway Trail for training (for Mount Kinabalu Climbathon 2010). There is an entirely different world of tough terrain inside FRIM.
It is a totally different terrain compared to running at Puchong Hill. In Puchong Hill, the trail is only passable by one trekker. Over here, it is a wide trail passable even by a vehicle. The icing on the cake is that there are no leeches here.

We started at the usual trail next to a small pond and passing by a mosque and a standalone toilet. This is the Rover Track. Passing by Canopy Walkway Trail, we ran beyond the Pump House until we arrived at a multi-directional junction: one leads us to the Malay Tea House and back to the small pond. As planned, ChongYF led us to the Mountain Bike Track to continue with our hill running.

Along Mountain Bike Track

We arrived at a clearing deep inside FRIM. According to ChongYF, one of the paths would lead us to Sungai Buloh Hospital and Nursery. Well, that must be very far away. The other trail, which is going uphill in straight ascent, ChongYF called it the Steroid Hill as most mountain bikers would cycle up the hill in swift ascent as if they were powered by steroids. This is an excellent ground for hill running and hill training for Mount Kinabalu Climbathon October this year.

When running up the hill, I quipped to a mountain biker who was pushing his bike up the hill that running is faster than cycling.

At the plateau, we could see the surrounding areas as far as the new hospital in Sungei Buloh. Further up another hill, I saw a few trekkers were trekking up the hill grown with pine trees. According to ChongYF, here is the place where they shot the famous Salem High Country advertisement shown in our TV many years ago.
The Search

When there was no sight of Lucas, four of us ran back to Mountain Bike Track again looking for him. Along the way, we asked those trekkers who emerged from inside. We met a young Chinese biker who gave us the FRIM Rescue Hot Line: 603-6279 7575 (yeah, I can still remember it). We later meet a runner friend, Lee PH, who was cycling with his wife in full gear and high-tech mountain bikes that come with adjustable shock absorbers. So we asked them for help also. Finally, one Malay guy said he saw Lucas went to another trail leading one to a different car park.

ChongYF - the trail behind him at the background is the Steroid Hill (photo courtesy of ChongYF)

At that moment, we were really motivated running in the jungle looking for Lucas fuelled by renewed interest. Deep in my thought, we have to find him.

We ran and ran and ran. Further into the Mountain Bike Track, we agreed that Lucas would be returning to our car park, no matter what it takes. So it was pointless for us to run deeper inside. We decided to return by running out. As you can see, we were running in and out of Mountain Bike Track – excellent training.

We passed by the Malay Tea House; we just have a quick glimpse of the surrounding. We would sure to come back again to savour the nice tea.

Extended Hill Running

Just before arriving at the small pond, we met Lee PH and wife who told us that they could not see an Indian guy that fit the description. They were cycling around FRIM enthusiastically – the trails leading to the few car parks – looking for him.

Back at the car park near the Club House (or the Administration Office), we saw Lucas who was waiting for us. We were excited to see him again.

Relaxing for a drink at the gerai inside FRIM ... KC, ChongYF, Lucas, Dr. Sharah
This is his experience: when he saw a split junction in “y” shape, he took the right path that appeared to be the dominant trail. That trail led him to another car park. He started to ask those trekkers for direction. With the wrong clue given to him, that led him to Taman Ehsan – a housing estate bordering FRIM which is totally a wrong way. From there, he asked a few more trekkers and finally, he managed to return to the correct car park after running and walking for extra two hours.

We were amused. Much like those Nike runs that start simultaneously in different countries; we were also running around in FRIM separately almost at the same time. It was indeed a good hill training – though the detailed schedule was unplanned and full of surprises.

Written by KC Leong

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