Sunday, 2 September 2012

Trailing FRIM with DR gang and chasing MTB bikes

It has been some time since my last trail run and that with the Dutamas Runners (DR gang). I think I may be taking my sabbatical a bit way too long since SCKLM 2012; since I'm still tending to injuries. The running pains may be gone but I'm still quite weary about the injuries being further worsened.

The usual suspects. The DR gang.

On Sunday, the DR gang gathered together and did FRIM (our usual trail spot). Yvonne is prepping her training for the upcoming TMBT while the rest of us just wanted to catch up with our training. It has really been some time since we last trained together. Mainly it was me, Vons, Capt Khoo, Paul, OKT, Melvin and Yloon. We've been discussing for days which route we be taking and since Von has been regularly training at FRIM, we asked her to lead the way.

Pretty gloomy at Dream Trail but manageable by our standards. 
Started off round 7.30am from the tennis courts heading towards Dream Trail. This is the first for most of us and I actually find this route pretty spectacular. It was still pretty gloomy when we started. The trail isn't particularly hard but they were a few parts that were narrow.

We took our run pretty easy, stopping several times for "poser shots". Generally, I quite like it this way; where I'm not rushing for time and just to absorb the fresh air and atmosphere.

Tree canopies seen from Dream Trail.

Von trying to be our topography/ geography teacher.

Capt Khoo still experimenting with his new camera since Boston.
It's just nice to have a group of company that not only train with you but share a laugh while running. Loads of jokes made made on Von's expense regarding about her geographical and topography skills. We kept bugging her about this particular topic of canopy trees seen along Dream Trail. Not that we know the name of trees ourselves anyway.

Capt was playing with his new camera; purposely bought for his Boston Marathon this year. He is still fumbling about the functions. Had to re-teach him the marvelous Slow Motion Video. He managed to capture a few beautiful slow-mo video of us running. I say, I've never really seen my stride frame by frame. Need to get one of these cameras one day.

We exited off Dream Trail in less than an hour and Capt, Yloon and OKT needed to go off. The rest of us continued on heading towards Salem Country Heights. While at it, me and Vons were trying to scare Paul about the "infamous" Steroid Hill.

The signboard of Mountain Bike Track.
 Mountain Bike Trail (or officially Mountain Bike Track) is relatively pretty easy with gradual elevations. As the name suggest, this is where the MTB bikers will cycle through to get into Salem Country Heights and Steroid Hill. Weekends are pretty filled up with bikers with the occasional runners running along. Just have to be weary as you run path as some bikers would speed along without any warning. Upon reaching the end of the trail heading towards Steroid Hill, I couldn't tell Paul's face was either excited or pale. Was the sight of Steroid Hill too much to take? Anyways, since there were a lot of bikes around, we decided to take a counter clockwise route instead; skipping Steroid completely.

Paul, running straight for the hills. Salem Hills that is.

Do you know that FRIM is a Forest Reserve? Didn't find Tongkat Ali though.
 Salem Country Heights is one of my favourite trail routes. It's as if you landed into some mythical, LOTR-ish wonderland. Fresh air, no pollution and basically quiet. What an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Plenty of routes to venture into.

MTB bikers challenging the route.

They are fast; real fast!
On this particular day, we did manage to find a lot of runner training at this route. Most of them are with hydration bags pounding through the trails. We soon realise that majority of them are training for the upcoming TMBT. Most of them are doing their LSD training! We adjourned prematurely from the trail as most of us got really hungry. On the way back, we bumped into Ooi; also training for TMBT. Still looking fresh, he is about to conquer Steroid Hill. Feeling a bit paiseh ourselves, we promise that we would do it next time when we regained enough our stamina back.

Ooi Wei Min training for TMBT. Look at all the bikers!
As we ran back to our start point, more and more MTB riders passed us by. Looks like a busy day. The trail suddenly turned into a highway of sorts. Being the devil I am, I decided what it feels like chasing bikes from behind. Fast and tough; my heart pounded madly. All is recorded just for fun, but also to see whether I could do it.

Below is the video recorded of our entire journey. Sorry for the shakiness; as it may cause dizziness while watching. It was one HELL of a great fun to see my POV while running trails.

After about 2 hours, we've reached back to our start points. It was pretty slow by our standards, just covering only about 12km. But it was a good slow and easy training. Most important of all, it was the fellowship of the DR-nians as we happily "blow water" along our training. Till the next round!

Kindly obligatory, spotted another runners Cascadia after his TMBT training. 


  1. Welcome back from your sabbatical! Til the next run ...

    I can't imagine myself road running after spending so much time on the trails, these past 2 months. So thankfully I don't have aKOTR or TRJM this weekend, woohoo!

    All the best to ya!

    1. Thanks! KOTR is gonna be a training run; so no speed runs unless needed. Have to slowly pace and gain stamina back. Vice versa with trails. Can't imagine myself so long after a long lapse of trail runs. :)


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