Sunday, August 06, 2017

The Magnificient Merapoh Trail 2017 - DNF again

Called Mamoru 1km before reaching Checkpoint 7 (70km). Told him I had to DNF due to:
1. My body feels like want to shut down (bonk)
2. Its only few minutes to cut off time (almost 12pm)

Then I cried. Sobbing.

Mamoru said its okay. He tried to comfort me. He said, to someone who didnt sleep for 53 hours straight and dare to run the race, I did my best already.

Yes, Im lack of rest (sleep). Didnt sleep since Thursday's night (been busy with my paper's submission. Mamoru even stayed up helping me).

Then Friday morning still have to go to work. Thats already 24 hours with no sleep at all.

Rushed to race venue which is 238km away from my office. And arrived 30 minutes (8.30pm) before race started. With no rest at all. I didnt even get the chance to mandi. Changed my office wear to my running attire and proceed to starting line.

Prior to that, met abang Min, collected my race bib. He said what I did right now is crazy. I knew. But I just had to run.

I kissed my kids. And Mamoru too. He prayed for my safety and motivated me.

9.00pm race started.

I run at an exaggarated slow pace. Trail mostly rubber estate, palm oil estate, and some hiking trek. 

Saw lotsa runners running with their partner. It would be dangerous to run alone at night. I am no elite. I knew I need to tag along with someone. Thats when I saw this Auntie (veteran runner). Her headlamp seems not working. I lend her my blinker which can turn into flashlight. Then we run together (all night)

10.45pm arrived at 1st Checkpoint. 

Met ustaz Nan. Tak sempat borak coz Auntie Ma dah urged me to continue our run. I quickly grab some apple on the table. Makan sambil lari.

The route mostly in palm oil estate. Then we run inside kampung area. Most of the villagers including kids sat by the small road in front of their houses to cheer all runners. Terharu and happy sangat. Felt welcomed.

Theres one chinese lady following us here. I think shes a foreigner. She didnt understand Malay at all. 

11.45pm arrived at 2nd Checkpoint. 

That chinese lady DNF here. Auntie Ma said, shes injured. 

The route gets tougher. Jungle trail, old palm estate which is so creepy and at some point climbing down a clif using rope and ladder (made by tree trunks by the race crew).

I remembered Auntie Ma asked in the middle of old-abandoned-palm-estate, what time is it? I said its 12.00am. Middle of the night.

I heard shes uttered someting in chinese sounds like she regret asking that question. I laughed and then I teased her by making ghost-sound-like. She said "choiii!" Hahaha.

2.50++ am in the morning, we arrived CP 3.

Theres only green apples (again) on the waterstation table. 

Im a bit hungry. Sadly, all my foods (including nasi with sambal ikan masin) was in the dropbag (at CP 6). Which is still far away. Ive mistakenly put all the foods in that bag. All I have with me is just powergels. 

Started felt sleepy.


Saw a lot runners arived at behind us. Aunt Ma hurried me up. She said we dont have much time. I took one gel and drank some water. Hoping it will satisfied my poor tummy 😞😞

There was 2 sweepers followed us from here. I heard one of them talked using his walkie-talkie reporting that we are the last 2 runners. Im taken off guard. What happened to all other runners behind us? DNF?

The route from here are mostly jungle trails. My favourite! I walked/run better on jungle trails. There was also one small caves full of stalactite & stalagmite. Beautifull. It can only fit one person at a time. The water in the cave reached my waist. Towards end of the cave, we have to climb out one small hole. It was really small made me think how can a bigger runner going to climb out of it?

Started using my foldable trekking pole here. It really helps. Especially when river crossings.

After that, more jungle trail. More abandoned old palm estate, more river crossing and finally one long gravel road. 

The fog is quite thick at 4.00am. At some point, jalan ke kiri kanan tak nampak marker. White light headlamp doesnt work quite well in this situation. Hardly sees anything more than 2 meters. Whats worst most, I really felt like want to sleep. Badly. By that time its already 45 hours I didnt sleep.

5.15am arrived CP 4.

Bumped with 70km runner here.

Took my time to buka kasut and buang pasir dalam kasut. Then makan megi cup and drank one small cup of Truestartcoffee. Felt refreshed instantly.

Route after the long gravel road, mostly jungle trail, river crossing, waterfall climbing and 4wd trek.

I left Aunt Ma behind with the 2 sweepers. Walk/run alone from here. 

7.00 am reached CP 5.

Got some bananas here. Makan lagi. Lapar.

Its already day time. Switched off my headlamp and keep it inside my hydration bag. 

From here, we have to walk in the river for 3 straight kilometres. Water level mostly at my knees. But sometime at few places could reached my waist. Sometime my chest. I was followed by Tony (another runner). Having him as company at this area was really helpfull. Not that I need help. But yknow, its mentally helpful. 

I saw one signage at a branch in the middle of the river made by the TMMT crew written "Beware of Ghost". What the heck? What if I arrive at the 3km river crossings at night time? That would scared the hell lot of me. Honestly Im not afraid, but mind you, Im not that brave also. Duh.

To make it worst, after that I saw one white jubah (cloth) hanged at a tree near the river bank. Thank God it was day time. I dont think that was done by the crew. Probbaly by the villagers. Its a fruit farm. I bet the villagers hang the cloths to scare away animal like squirell or birds. Well imagine those who read the sign and saw the cloth at night time. Choii!

I took 1 hour and a half to finish that 3km river walk. Wasted a lot of time. Good things is, the river managed to make my sleepy eyes wide open. But sejukkk beb.

Then another one longgg gravel road in a village area. The village kids ran along with me here. Some of them rode bicycles. They really cheered me up.

9.45am reached CP 6.

Took my dropbag. Nak makan my nasi sambal ikan masin. Sadly, my nasi dah basi. Sedih sangat. But Im saved by my KFC chicken nudgets, some M&Ms, Mars, Sneakers choc & more chocs. Gave some to the kids who followed me run tadi. Those kids gathered around me while Im sitting and eating. They seems so amazed and attracted to my gear.

Felt really exhousted and sleepy. I really want to take a quick nap. At least until the sweepers arrives with Aunt Ma. But Tony said we dont have much time. Need to reach CP 7 before 12pm cutoff time. Actually we can easily reach there in time. But my eyes just cant stay open. I really need to sleep. 

I think I sleep walking few times already. Scared I could fell on the gravel, sleeping. I could hurt myself. At this point, I havent sleep for almost 53 hours!

Signaled Tony to proceed alone. Thats is when I called Mamoru telling him my decision to DNF at CP 7. 

Theres a van fetched all runners who missed the cutoff time at CP 7. They sent us back to starting point. 

Mamoru already waited for me there. We went straight to our hotel (its a new semi-D house - GM Villa at Gua Musang. 30 minutes away from Merapoh). Its a very beautiful fully furnished house. 

I took hot bath in the shower. Then straight away went to bed. Mamoru siap ready next to bed with a place of rice. Makan bersuap ok. To that extend tau. Coz Im really2 sleepy.

Woke up before maghrib at 7.00pm. Felt refreshed. I dont have any body aches. My muscles felt good. Like that 70km run never took place at all! I felt amazing. What does that mean? I didnt run hard enough?

We went out for dinner and talk about my race. Mamoru told me dont be too hard on myself. Take it as tak da rezeki. He said, work is important. Running is another thing. Theres always next time for running.

Race begin.

Me before flag off.

My race bib.

My running attire. This is the second time I wore Steigen sock (the first was during Cutra race 2 weeks ago. And this time, I can say confidently, this socks is amazing. I ran 70km in 15hours in wet & dry route (rolling hills trails, rivers, caving, muddy, gravel routes) and my feets free from blisters. Steigen socks tagline "100% blister free" is no joke okay. Its proven. I dont have any blister at all during Cultra / TMMT. Not even one! How awesome is that! Im gonna get my second pair soon for my Bali Marathon. Love it!

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