Friday, December 23, 2011

I went beyond 42km...part2

Ok, ok...I better continue with this blog on TMBT before 2012 arrives and registration opens!

50km...scary if you think about it and if you're doing it alone. But a trail run (not in loops!) of that distance crossing rivers, villages, farms brought excitement as the views were spectacular! Mt Kinabalu in view from a different place was just awesome. Everytime I took a glimpse wherever I could in the journey, the mountain gave a sense of proximity between yourself and the Almighty. There and then, all that I saw around me, was beauty, created by Him.

Ok, let's begin with my report. The first 10km was on village road or gravel road. I thought those doing 50km will be sprinting off from the start but no! Those doing 100km were the speed demons. 5min after flag off, I couldn't see them in front anymore. That's how fast they went.
 Initially, my hydration pack with 2litres of water + food supplies + windbreaker  was HEAVY! Couldn't run fast with it. Settled for a comfortable pace along the gravel road, reached CP1 after 9.5km in 58min.
Stephanie, a local Sabahan who is our national triathlete and now a coach was kind enough to help out in marshal duties. Many thanks!
The scenery was pure beauty as the trail continues. Crystal clear rivers plus fresh cooling air and greens all around was simply perfect! And to top it off, weather on race day was priceless.

Have you ever seen Mt Kinabalu from this angle? Beautiful and breathtaking!

CP2 - 19.5km covered in 2hr18min. Marshals going through their records mentioned I'm at position no.5 for the 50km. Sounds good,,,but only if I can maintain the pace. Filled up my water bladder (not the human bladder la...hahaha!) up to the brim, munched some Powerbar and off I continued.  Many thanks to a support group taking our photos.
Yup, that's how I looked like... :P

CP3 - 27.5km in 3hr 4min. Somehow the 8km from CP2 passed by rather quickly. I didn't expect CP3 to come so fast. It was in the middle of a village with loud music on the traditional gongs. At first, I thought someone's getting married. Surprise! Surprise! It was the welcoming party playing music to welcome TMBT runners. How nice!
After this CP, the trail and scenery became more thrilling! The real trail run...where mud, roots, tree trunks get in your way. hahaha!

Some pictures from CP3 to CP3A

Just before reaching CP3A, someone caught up with me and that's about the only time where I can have my own photo taken by my phone camera. That's also when the clouds move away from shielding the sun from us. The heat ...the heat!!!

I missed taking pics where we had to cross the river with water level up to my thigh. Cold & absolutely refreshing! Some took a break, jumped in, dipped n cool down. In my mind, all I thought about was...keep going...
It took me almost an hour just to get from CP3 to 3A. Was together with Erwan Kassim till CP3A and that's where Shine, a 100km runner caught up with us, the 50km-ers. 3 of us left CP3A together...not muskateers but the 3 ultrarunners!
Along the river, before hitting the hills, I had to stop and treat my blisters. Yeah, my downside is sweaty feet. I get blisters almost in every race...sigh...
Rested awhile and took in a energy gel, nuts, raisins, salt...practically it was a lunch break.

Journey to CP4 was back again on dirt / gravel road...uphills!

One long & never seemed to end hill climb was on cement road. Steep and endless left and right twisting. Just before that was a village and I managed a shot of a church. Alleluia!

At CP4, look who greeted me....
A stylo mylo mountain goat! He sure knows where to sit...the rest of the family members didn't have the privilege of sitting high up.

CP4 - 41.5km in 6hr13min. Took me quite a while back there from CP3A. Only 9km left but it's not easy. Whole body was tired especially the legs. Took a 5minute break before continuing.
Ford, who was one of the fast 100km-ers, had to pull out at CP4 due to injury. Injury...that's the scariest thing which can happen now. Saw marshal's record and the elite runners passed CP4 more than an hour ago.  From here to CP5 finish line, I predicted another 2hours with my worn out muscles.
Slow jog...brisk walk...jog...walk...all the 9km. Mental strength was what I needed to pull through the entire 42km. Hitting 42km on trail did give me satisfaction as before this, I've never ran a longer distance than the marathon. Every step from then on was a personal achievement.

Interesting parts in the final 9km include landslide, 3 last 25km-ers and a black dog asking for food. Didn't offer the dog anything though...sorry pooch!

Near CP5, the dirt road became dirtier, well, a construction road is dirtier right? Saw the hill entrance to CP6. Very steep!!! Some 100km-ers were heading in as I passed by. Miki loop was their 'fun & exciting' part...hehehe! Heard it's the real trail, steep, single path, slippery up on the hill. Kudos to them!

As the road heads down the valley, Finish banner came into view. Yes! Relief! 50km...done!

15min faster than my 8hr target. Position 8th out of 33 completed. Next time I gotta shave a lot of time from there.

So i'm an ultrarunner now? 6km more than 42km...err...I think not la...

Only when I hit 100km, then I dare label myself an ultrarunner :D

Michelle came in 8hr39min, 4th. Just missed the top3 podium.
 It's alright, our first try, so we didn't target any position, just to finish within a decent time.

Next year 100km or a faster 50km? Hmm...decision...decision...hahaha!

1 comment:

K3vski said...

Congrats Tomato on achieving such a great milestone! Wah your standard very high leh, only 100km can be called ultramarathoner?

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