Monday 8 July 2013

Salomon S-Lab Kuala Selangor Jamboree Trail Run 2013 : Race Report

Salomon S-Lab Kuala Selangor Trail Run 2013 Finisher medal.
I was in the zone. I was on a constant pace throughout the first 5km. We’ve already hit at least some of the roads and now we are pounding the trails at Taman Rimba Kuala Selangor.

All the penned up energy not used from last week’s SCKLM was seemingly put into here.

Despite nursing a 2nd bout of flu attacks, sore throat and a sprained ankle; I pushed on and didn’t break my stride. I was determined to finish strong on this one.

Khay Ann passed me almost about the 5km point. A quick hi and he sped off. I didn’t see many Men Veteran passed me; so I had a gut feeling he is going to be at least the Top 10.

I tried to keep at his pace for a while and sped up.

I glanced at my watch; almost 30 minutes. I sneakingly smiled. I used to reserve such speeds for speed 5k on roads but never on trails. I thought maybe it was because of the flat terrains of the trails. I kept cool and tried not to speed too much as I need the energy to conquer the 2nd part of the route; which is to scale up Bukit Melawati.

Then all my plans went out through the window...

The point Khay Ann turned back and and told me to gostan.
A few of the lead runners were turning back at some point. Not suspecting anything at first but I don’t recall a sharp U-turn at any part of the route. Then a few minutes later, Khay Ann emerged and he quickly directed me to turn back.

“U-Turn back!”. He hollered.

“Wrong Route!”

The gut wrenching feeling of uneasiness sunk in. I wasn’t sure of what to do.

I turned back and saw Yvonne trailing behind me. I wasn’t surprised since Yvonne is a fast female runner and usually gets at least Top 20.

We both looked at each other looking confused.

“What the heck just happened?” We both asked each other.

We started to turn back to run but we knew we lost our momentum. The runners behind us got the news and started to turn back. It created a clog and soon I was on that dreadful “run-walk” thing which I hated.


So that is the story of the now infamous “wrong route” incident among the hundreds of runners who was accidently lead into.


I know there are many who are unsatisfied with the organization of the event and the shortcomings of the organzisers. I was too. But that being said, I had to keep my composure and treat this like any of my weekend runs in the end. I like to run; like many others and seeing my friends running with me is always my greatest joy and pleasure. We all made an effort to get to the start point early in the morning, go through that bloody run and finish the race. In the end, it’s the spirit of sportsmanship that counts.

I’ve arrive at Kuala Selangor the day before with a few of my running buddies. We treated this as our weekend running break. Besides, we wanted to savour the culinary delights of the local cuisines. This was supposed to be my tapering run after SCKLM but since it was postponed; this was going to be my speed trail.

However when I surveyed about the event, I realised a few things. Firstly, this Salomon event has no relations to the yearly Salomon X-Trail organized by Pacesetters Malaysia. Secondly; new organizers. I was mentally preparing myself if there were any shortcomings. I brought my hydration belt just in case there weren’t enough water at the waterstations.

We surveyed the route the night before (minus Taman Rimba) and found out that it was a pretty straight forward route. The challenge was the stairs leading up to Bukit Melawati. I know it’s going to be a challenge and I’ve made a plan to utilize the trail path on the side of the stairs to skip the crowd.

We went back to our hotel after our dinner and survey so that we could charge up for the next morning.

The GCAM Group. Despite not being at GC on the day itself. :P
We were early. Race site is filling up with runners bit by bit. Met up with so many running buddies from many running groups. Finally the GCAM group arrived. We were all excited as we trained at the FRIM trails the week before. I wished I had trained more trails with them earlier on. I seriously miss all the grittiness and the savage beauty of Mother Nature.

The start point.

Julie, our emcee of the day soon called out to all the runners to be at the start line. We were supposed to be gunned off at 7.15am but was delayed by 5 minutes. The Men started first, followed by Women and finally Veterans; every 5 minutes intervals.

I paced slowly the first 500m but steadily increased my pace as I went on. I was on fire!

Entering the trails of Taman Alam Kuala Selangor. 
The trails were pretty flat but a good challenge for those new to trail running.
First CP. Already messy as everything wasn't ready.
The "human traffic" after we U-Turned.
 Momentum broke. Hangus! I was silently cursing.

I was hollering at runners to make way as I ran pass through them. Yvonne was following closely behind me. We still couldn’t believe that we were sent to the wrong route.

Did we miss the signage? Was there a marshal?

Our pace got even slower as the clog up got heavier; but not until it was a standstill.

We reached the point where we were supposed to turn right instead of left.

The "mistake point". Where the heck are the markers and marshals?
 We guessed correctly. No signage and not even a sight of a marshal giving directions.

Now all we see are the slower runners right in front of us. I feel so geram!

Yvonne, Foo and myself. Not giving up, we went on.
Me and Yvonne concluded that this is not going to be speed run anymore but we did console ourselves to carry on and treat this like any of our weekend free runs. A few quick pictures with Foo whom we bumped along the way and I sped off.


The stairs heading towards Bukit Melawati
Here I am at the stairs climbing up Bukit Melawati. As expected; the clog up. I overheard a few of the runners contemplating to skip the Bukit Melawati part and just go back to the start point. That means bypassing the marshal and skip at least 2-3km. Less than a few seconds later, a huge group of them were gone. I rolled my eyes and carried on without giving a 2nd look. I loathe the idea of “short cuts” and cheating. I carried on by climbing on the trail path alongside the stairs where majority of the runners avoided. It was tough but at least it put a little sense of “trail” into it.

Since time wasn't the issue now; camwhoring and enjoying the view at the top of Bukit Melwati.
The elevation up the hill was pretty gradual and easy. Not long after, I reached the top to a beautiful scenic view of Kuala Selangor. There I met the BWC group; Gabriel, Adrian and Sean. A few camwhoring shots and I sped down the hill and straight to the finishing line.

Not of course without a few monkey shots of the “residents of Bukit Melawati”.


Congratulating Khay Ann.

Emcee of the day, the ever lovely Julie Wong.
Who will win? Finally it was Wai Yee who won "Best Dressed".
Khay Ann receiving his prize.
4th position of Men's Veteran Category.
The finishing line is near! I could feel it.

The bomba team was spraying water at us. It was a welcoming sight and it was cooling to a hot, humid day.

Closing to the finishing arch, I was met with a short queue; no longer than 30m.

WTH..... can’t I just past that finishing line? I made a mental estimation that I crossed the line and stopped my watch. I slowly trailed the queue to get my goodie bag. From a far, I saw some volunteers only started to pack the goodie bags. I could only watch in disbelief.

I kept quiet, took my medal, bag, food and walked on to meet up the GCAM gang at the sidelines. We were bitching about the race but still kept light-hearted about it. We took the extra kms as bonus training. Khay Ann who has returned earlier has secured the Men Veteran 4th position! Adding to the fact that he went through the wrong route too. Amazing!


The conclusion:

There are really loads I wanna say but I would love to keep to the positive notes.  Yes, the organizers had their shortcomings and many have shared their displeasure all over Facebook. So let’s keep this constructive and hopefully that many will be able to squeeze some joy out of this disorganized event.

1.       Yes, most of us did the wrong route but that actually did measure up to about 11-15km depending where the runners did the U-turn. So it means the original route was under distanced; which was about 8.9-9km (for those using GPS).

The route that I took. 
2.       A real good route of a mix of trail and road (including the wrong path). Flat terrains and a good throw in of Bukit Melawati. If done properly, it would have been a fantastic running route. Not forgetting the great scenery too!
3.       Way too many loop holes & shortcuts. But this is due volunteers and manpower shortage. But a true real runner would know better than to “cheat” and take short cuts.
4.       Water station was pretty alright but very close to being a mishap if some of the runners didn’t step in and help out.
5.       The whole event would have been a great success if done properly. Having both Salomon Trail series (S-Lab and X-Trail) events is a great addition to the running events in Malaysia. Unfortunately it wasn’t so. IF ever this event were to be done again next year, it has to come back with a HUGE bang and gain the trust of runners again.

Anyways, I still had a great time despite all the fiasco. We all live to fight another day.

So chill my friends. Let’s just all emphasise of what’s to come next time round. :)

Friday 5 July 2013

The Return of Live Great Run 2013

Just recently a few select of us fortunate bloggers/runners are invited for a special appreciation dinner from Great Eastern to kick start off The Live Great Run - 2013 Edition. A huge success last year; this run was catered to all different types of runners from competitive, amateurs to recreational levels.

I was one of the invited guest as I blogged about the event last year; which in my opinion was one of the best organized running events I've went. Met the many familiar and new faces at the event and we all had a very insightful discussion with the GE team. 

Runners would not be disappointed this year as GE has many things installed. The obstacle courses are back! It was one of the more interesting parts of the run last year that had everyone talking about.

Here is a breakdown of what we were treated that night.

The night started with an opening from the lovely emcee from Great Eastern, Ms. Wong Fong Yee who is the Assistant Manager of Brand & Communication. Do not be fooled by her as she is an avid runner and has already completed 4 full marathons! I myself sudah kalah lar....

Next up was a welcome address by Ms. GG Kam, the VP & Head of Marketing & Consumer Management. And she herself is an avid runner! She is prepping for her Half Marathon for the upcoming Standard Chartered KL Marathon this coming September.

Next up was Alexandra who gave a quick run down of the event and what is upcoming during the weeks leading towards the event on the 15th September.

So let's see...
The usual 12km and 3km runs are back on!

The NEW route for the 12KM runners and there will be obstacle courses along the way.
The 3KM Fun Run route. Great for the couples and families. 

The slideshow ended and we all had our small sharing and discussion among bloggers and the ever friendly GE staffs.

All I can say is that I can't wait for 15th September and it's gonna be a good 2 week tapering before SCKLM 2013!

All the attendees. Bloggers/Runners with the team from GE. 
For more information about Live Great Run, click on HERE. 

Registrations are already opened and you can register here at
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...