Event: River Jungle Marathon 2013
Venue: Pekan 18, Hulu Langat
Date: 1 September 2013
Distance: 42.195KM (42.44KM by Suunto Ambit)
Shoe: Saucony Kinvara 3
Finding myself rolling all over my bed for 4 hours and couldn't get myself to sleep, I know it will be a tough outing at the River Jungle Marathon. The fourth edition and my second outing here after missing it last year, it will mark the beginning of a new chapter in my Comrades Marathon 2014 training.
Ran the KPAC Trail Relay with Hong Lan, Roy and Yik Yee the day before, I was awake for 21 hours from the moment I woke up on Saturday morning till the race start time. I picked up Uncle Oliver from Tropicana City Mall at 2.30am and found ourselves at the race venue some 45 minutes later. Linger around and soon may friends started to arrive.
I geared myself up with my Comrades 2013 gear to celebrate the registration opening for next year's edition today. I even wore the Unogwaja red socks too. And with the Ultimate Direction Peter Bakwin hydration vest with 2 liters of frozen reservoir and 500ml X 2 bottles in front to try it out for it will be my race gear for the upcoming Craze Ultra. And boy it was heavy but much more comfy compared to my previous. Took a cordyceps ginseng drink before heading to the race village.
A sleepy me with Zijill.
Fast forward to 5.00am, I found myself at the starting line with Fook Seong. And at 5am, fireworks were fired to signal the start of the run. The first 10KM of the route was dark funny smells from durian, cempedak to roadkills filled the nostrils. I had my trustworthy not too bright Energizer headlamp on my forehead to lit just enough pathway for me to run at. Volkswagon safety card were zooming up and down cheering and lighting up the route. I found myself going pretty strong and I guess it must be due to the earlier ginseng drink.
Looks like getting ready to hit the trails with Fook Seong judging from the gear we have on.
Relatively almost flat until about the 10KM mark where the climb started bringing us up to 359M at the 16KM u-turn point. I was literary attacking the ascend which I felt really good but things took a tumble on the way down at 17KM. Was not feeling comfortable as usual descending and took it really easy and careful.
And by halfway point, I was feeling really wonky already. Tired and sleepy, my eyes were burning. I was literary walking more than running and I told myself that each step brings me closer to the finish. But heck, I was 21KM away still and my smelly bed at home is calling out to me!
Along the way to the next u-turn point, I spotted some returning runners. Andrew and Shannon was 2 of them and they told me that there was durian up ahead. I thought they were joking but it was true. At 24KM, the water stations here were packed with runners enjoying themselves to durian, duku, rambutan and mangosteen! I was like, "WHAT THE HECK JAMES"! I was afraid to eat but took the risk and had one. Couldn't resist the temptation of the king of fruits. Ooops...
Carried on and soon, Jamie overtook me. He slowed down and we walked together for a moment till we hit the u-turn point. And from there, I told him to carry on. Had a coconut drink at the 28KM (previously 24KM). It was really refreshing but it could not keep my sleepiness away.
Roy caught up at 34KM and we stayed together for a couple of kilometers before he broke away. I was just too tired to run with him. The sun began to scorched and my shoulder was sore from the weight. From the beginning, I did not drink a single sip from my hydration vest as I thought of keeping the weight to me hence I shouldered on.
Yours truly coming home.
Arriving at the final 2KM or so, I met Foong, a customer who came the day before to purchase his hydration backpack. We chatted a little which includes my medical history before resuming our run. Thought of completing the run together with him as it was his first marathon, but he slowed down a little hence I was thinking he may want a time of his own to complete the journey. And with it, I surged a little and finally saw the finish line crossing it in 5:39:29 hours. A tough one but I will take it. Regroup with my fellow friends and chatted till about 2pm before heading for lunch at Damansara Uptown but was caught in the traffic jam for an hour or so. Then it was back to work. Yeap, not sleep. YAWN!
With good company - Jason, Yik Yee and Susanah.
Overall despite being very tired, I still enjoyed myself very much as this will also the kick start to my Comrades Marathon 2014 training. Not really a productive run, but at least I know where I stand now for next year's Comrades Marathon. It seems, it's all back to square one so lots of work to do.
As for the future of River Jungle Marathon, I certainly hope that James will be continuing the legacy of this very unique boutique marathon next year and for many more years to come as it will really encourage runners especially the newbies in taking running up. Keep the flame burning James!
* photo credits to all respective photographers