Be prepared….Be very prepared! (I always doubt myself..Am I really prepared for this?)
When Cameron Ultra Trail was announced, I was the extremely excited….until the organizers released the official promotion video,…Then, oh my! Yes! It was no joke!…
The elevation was about 2280 m and the highest elevation that I ever hiked prior to that was only 965 m – the Mount Serapi in Kuching. I did not get to train enough for trail. My daily routine was training on the road after my whole day at the hospital… Yeszz! I thought I would die this time!
I flew from Kuching on Thursday night, after my Sarawak Advanced Life Support In Obstetric (SALSO) examination that evening. It was a busy and hectic week for me. The next morning I went to Cameron Highland for race pack collection and race briefing.
The day before the race, it was raining throughout the day and I was most worried.
Finally the day came. I just wanted to finish strong without injuries, no DNF and if possible, I wanted to arrive the finishing line before Maghrib prayer. I didn’t want to be stuck on the trail in the dark.
We started our crazy 50km at 5 am,..with a hike towards peak Jasar, with an elevation of about 1684m and distance 3.2km. Though the route was slippery, everyone was fast. Everyone started to leave me behind. I feel like a toddler who just learn to walk. I just keep moving at my pace, although slow, I just kept moving and stayed safe.
The next big challenge was Mount Berembun, with an elevation-1835m, and distance 10.1km. It was a never ending hiking up and I felt like my both legs were going to separate, I feltl tired and I wished to stop for a while but, no! I needed to keep moving, I wanted to arrive at the checkpoint 3 in time which was 6 hours from the start. And yes! I arrived at the checkpoint 3, 40 minutes earlier. Hooray I made it! And…Alive! Yup I was alive!
The next 27 kilometres was by the hillside of BOH Tea Plantation. I thought it would be easy until…. I realised there were a lots of pebbles along the route, and they hurt the surface of my feet. I was grateful, the surfaces were not slippery like previous route. Oh ya, I like the weather at the run; breezy, not that sunny, less sunburn though. For those who wanna breezy run, you can try here,..and after that you can pick up strawberries with total mileage 30 km to Tanah Rata.
My tips is..you don’t have to run all the way (if you want to run, go ahead!), but run when it is downhill or less elevation. When you are going uphill, do powerwalk. Am sure you will be arrived every checkpoint in time.
Along the race, I saw friendly faces. Every participant who passed by, would cheer up one another, or at least they smile. The marshalls were very nice and helpful, they keep motivating us to be strong. A moment I will never forget is when I arrived at the CP 4; one of the uncles made a cup of warm tea for me, and it was so nice to have it after a long, never ending run. I thought it was the best tea I ever had throughout my life.
For every checkpoint that I stopped at, I refilled my hydration pack, drank and fueled up with dates provided. Then I continued my run. I just wanted to save my time and be on time at the next checkpoint.
At 4.30pm, I was on my way go back into the trail route which lead me to last checkpoint – checkpoint 3 at the Robinson Waterfall. It was about 8km towards finishing line. As I entered back the forest, it felt dark. I was feeling very tired, but kept moving. I just wanted to get out from it before dark.
Finally, I reached finishing line at 6.12pm with official timing 13 hours and 12 minutes. Yayy! Mission accomplished! I suffered from no injuries, no DNF, finished strong and arrived before Maghrib prayer. And yes, I was alive. Alhamdullilah!
I would like to dedicate this longest ultra trail to my friends, my family especially my mum who keep supporting me and always believe that I’m far more capable more than what I think. And lastly, I would like to say big thanks to my sponsor, Nashata for the event slot, accommodation, transport and of course big support throughout the event. Without you guys, I might not be able to do this.
Till we meet again, keep running and be inspired!