Saturday, November 17, 2012

FRIM Botani Trail Runnig

"I would like to join the trekker group," DC Tan responded to the email invitation when I organized the trekking event at FRIM for chi gong members on 10 Nov. Being an active road/trail runner, she would find the pace too slow; and it would be a tough situation for me in directing trekkers and trail runners along the intended directions.
I suggested that I shall hold another trail running event on a different day, and the Awal Muharram Holiday on Thursday, 15 November 2012 would be a good choice.
Do click here to view photos courtesy of yours truly (KC).
Hit F11 key for bigger displays.
A group photo at Taman Botani side of FRIM
Arriving at Taman Botani carpark of FRIM at 7:15 a.m., I was pleasantly surprised to see the presence of quite a number of runners invited through emails and Facebook. Almost at that moment, my handphone started to ring as a few ended up at FRIM Main Entrance, which is about 2km away.
Runner friends that I could remember: Chong YF, George Siew, Eldon Chew, DC Tan, Cheryl Tham, Ray Lee, Leng Heong Wai, PK Chan, Shinya Sasaki, Annie Lim, Lai Kuan, Patrick Yee, Christy Bong, Zareen Chua, Ken Chia, Edwin Goh, Winnie Wong, Maybel Chung, etc. 
At Salem High Country Hill
For a group size of almost 35 outdoor enthusiasts, taking group photos was fun and full of laughter. I quipped that we have engaged a photography director from Hollywood  – DC Tan – as to how we should pose differently, while I just assumed the role of a cameraman.
When it was time to run, I informed the fast runners such as Ray Lee, Ken Chia, Shinya Sasaki (yeah, a Japanese runner), Edwin Goh  – all have not been to this side of FRIM before –  that they could run any direction they wish but must backtrack in order for the group to move as one.
The other team leads who were assisting the sub-groups were Chong YF, George Siew, Leng HW, and PK Chan.
Nothing can dampen their spirits ... A cheerful lot, always smiling, never mind if rain or shine.
Leng, "Better use umbrella la, after sick how?"
Patrick, "Never mind wan, wet wet la." ... :-)
(just for a laugh, not actual dialogue)
We arrived at the clearing where one track leads to Sungai Buloh Hospital, the other track leads to Steroid Hill. After checking, Edwin Goh said the fast runners went to the Sungai Buloh Hospital way. A Mount Kinabalu Climbathon achiever, immediately, Edwin Goh sprang into action to give chase and shouted at the top of his voice.
I was not too worried as Ray Lee was with them. Dubbed the King of the Mountains, Ray Lee would be able to manoeuvre around in such a wide track. He has been very active in trekking up and camping at the tough mountains in Malaysia.
Eventually, we all congregated at the big bolster at the beautiful Salem High Country Hills for more group photos.
At Mountain Bike Track

The rain – The evening before, it was scattered rain here or there as opposed to the hearty downpour. In the morning, there were quite a lot of clouds, and it even rained when we travelled to FRIM. While we descended Salem High Country Hill, it started to rain heavy again. So the group went to a pondok seeking for shelter. Later, Leng’s group of trekkers arrived donning raincoats. I heard someone quipped that “those wearing raincoats please don’t come into the pondok.” 
At Malay Tea House which is closed for renovation ... performing Bollywoooood dance?
After waited for about 20 minutes, we resumed trail running while still in slight drizzle. We ran via Pacat Trail passing by a makeshift shelter of Orang Asli en route to the reservoir and Malay Tea House. We were thinking to have a cup of tea at the Malay Tea House but it was still closed for renovation for many months already.
Returning via Mountain Bike Track ... DC Tan
Returning journey – the group returned via Mountain Bike Track. I cautioned the group that there are many leeches in this track. So to avoid attracting leeches, one has to run fast. Immediately, I could see the group was running with much more gusto though a few were feeling tired. Previously, one of my friends joked that it was because there was no leeches, the group walked slowly.
Sunshine after the rain
Ken Chia  - Along the Mountain Bike Track on the returning journey, when I did a backtrack run, I was surprised to see Ken Chia was with the last runner. He is a young and fast runner. He felt pain in his left knee that rendered him not able to run. According to him, he is participating in the coming Penang Bridge International Marathon in three days' time (18 Nov) -- taking part in the full marathon!
Overall, it was truly a fun-filled and enjoyable outdoor run at FRIM together with all the good company.
 Taman Botani Garden of FRIM

 Hakka Lui Char rice (a vegetarian dish) at Bandar Menjalara Kepong ... taste good!
After taking shelter for about 20 minutes for the rain to subside, we proceed with the run again. However, I forgot to start the recording (of the Garmin watch) for about 2-3 kilometers.
Total distance could be around 12km, and running time is about 2 hr 45 minutes.

Special thanks to Grace Tabitha Lim, previously a Research Officer of FRIM, who showed me the trails at FRIM in one of the trail running events. She is now migrated to USA.
Posted by KC Leong

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