Sunday, June 02, 2013

Gunung Nuang Selection

There were a hive of activities happening in the morning of 1 June 2013, Saturday, at Gunung Nuang. The entire starting area was full of people and packed with cars. Other than the Bank's selection event, the other trekkers were there for their normal trekking activities.

Do click here to view some of the photos taken by yours truly (KC Leong). Other photos from the organizing committee official photographers.

 Registration and collection of race package

All the participants from the Bank were seen excited and in exuberant mood. The 55 participants were there for the qualifying round to be selected for Mount Kinabalu Climb – fully sponsored – in October 2013 in commemorating the Bank’s 100 Years Celebration. They were busy with the registration, getting the race kit, pinning the bibs on the blue dryfit T-shirts, getting the breakfast pack, and busy chatting with other colleagues.

The marshals in red T-shirts, at a different corner, were busy with their final briefing on their designated tasks and activities. They were also busy with synchronizing and testing the walkie-talkies and stopwatches. 

First batch of participants arriving at Chekpoint #1 - The Pondok (the Leading Marshals, Sam and KC at left)

Support crew - There were 11 marshals (these are non-bank staff), 3 marshals (yours truly is one of them); 4 volunteers, and 2 official photographers. One medic van and medical team was on standby at the car park.

The event was graced by the Bank's Managing Director; in his opening speech, apart from the brief business announcement, he informed that his hometown is from Pangsoon, Ulu Langat area - where Gunung Nuang is located.

After the Organizing Chairperson's opening address; after MD's speech; it was my turn to brief on the safety instructions.

Proceeding with 3rd stream crossing en route to Kem Pacat

Safety Instructions

a. Ribbon markers - the marshals will tie them on the left of the trail for ease in identifying them; following the ribbon markers would lead one to Kem Pacat, our destination;

b. Buddies - always walk with a buddy (or buddies) to take care of one another (especially those new to G.Nuang) and NEVER WALK ALONE; 

c. Timing - Longer qualifying time to ensure a less strenuous journey; this is not a racing event to see who is strongest or fastest. The Leading Marshals, yours truly and Sam, were going up the mountain same time with the contingent and arrived at Kem Pacat to record their timing. If the participants outrun or out-walk the Leading Marshals, they still have to wait at Kem Pacat. The statement connotes slight unfair advantage which drew a bit of laughter ... :-)

d. Marking of attendance both ways - this is to ensure accountability for the entire contingent, and no one is left behind in the mountain

e. Four Streams Crossing - ensure electronic gadgets are kept in airtight plastic bag; ensure loose spectacles are securely fastened. It would become a problem when one slipped and fell into the water.

And a bonus tip of how to avoid leeches.

Recording of timing at Kem Pacat ... Roxzana and yours truly

The weather was fine that morning after the previous evening's rain. However, the ground was wet and slippery that hindered the descending journey. From the traces of marks, I was sure many would have slipped.

Ascent the Mountain

After spending time in taking photos along the journey, many of the participants were ahead of me. So I have to pump up the throttle and climbed in swifter pace to arrive at Kem Pacat. Many trekkers were seen going up the mountain along the narrow trail between Kem Lolo and Kem Pacat. Overtaking them required a bit of time as certain part was narrow. Arriving at Kem Pacat, I was glad that I was still the first person in arriving there: still having 10 minutes of time to wait for the arrival of first participant.

Some of the participants who arrived at Kem Pacat

At Kem Pacat

Many of the participants were first time climbing Gunung Nuang. They were pleased to see that their timing was within the qualifying time.

As usual, we saw the two white dogs were there at Kem Pacat. This time, they have more food to eat. I was surprised to see a cute puppy was hiding below the makeshift shelter. The mother dog must be away busy looking for food. Born in the jungle, this puppy would have to endure a lonely, tough and challenging life. I threw a few pieces of bread near him but it did not seem to recognize the food.

I was waiting alone at Kem Pacat while the other participants, after having rested long enough, began to descend the mountain. After the expiry of qualify time, I was ready to leave and I was surprise another three lady colleagues still managed to arrive at the destination.

Cute puppy below the makeshift tent

Descent the Mountain

After about 15 minutes of running down the mountain, I met one of the sweepers who accompanied a slow lady participant. After recording her timing, according to rule, all have to descend the mountain after the cut-off time. I was told by the sweeper that another four slow participants also could not qualify at Checkpoint #1.

There was a bit of drama as the slowest lady was taking much longer time to descend the mountain. So the Organizing Committee at base activated the Motorbike Emergency Evacuation to shorten the time for a person to walk from the last pondok back to car park. It was a run-down cub-chai motorbike – but it worked!

Immaculately scrubbed - Roxzana spending time at the stream on the descending journey

The event was over at 6:00 p.m. as planned. There was no untoward incidences and all activities took place according to plan. Arising from this outdoor event, we get to know more colleagues from other regions and other divisions. Bravo to all the organizing committees who have spent much thought into staging this event and to ensure the safety of all participants. Bravo to all the marshals and volunteers who have assisted in the various tasks. Bravo to good teamwork in ensuring the success of this event! 

The returning journey

Do click here to view all previous postings at Gunung Nuang.

Posted by KC Leong

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