Other than an occasional 5-10km runs, I have been taking time off from long distance running. I just needed to give my feet some rest and explore other interests (and fell in love with Crossfit along the way, it will be a permanent part of my cross-trainings). So today, armed with a fresh and festive New Year spirit, I decided to take on a very ambitious route with a few friends to kick start my 2017 running schedule: Gombak – Genting Sempah – Gombak, which I affectionately call as the mini-Route68 Challenge. What better way to celebrate the New Year than to do some LSD, right?
Route 68 Challenge is an ultra marathon that starts from Gombak to Genting Sempah, and then all the way up to Bentong, Janda Baik, Bukit Tinggi, etc. The mini-Route68 that I ran today (Gombak – Genting Sempah – Gombak) was only 34km. It is also a popular training route not just for runners, but for cyclist as well due to it’s elevation and winding roads. As early as 7am, the parking lot at the base of the route was already filled with people. There are not many vehicles along this route because there is a new highway to go to Genting Sempah, plus there are plenty of trees and wide open views. But running alone is not recommended as there are monkeys and dogs along the way. Plus, it is a self-support route – there are no petrol stations, toilets, or shops along the way. It is better to have at least a partner to run with you just in case you need additional food or water.
As a first timer on that route, I did not set very high expectations; I just wanted to complete 34km in under 5 hours. Unfortunately, we exceeded the target by about 30 minutes. It was raining all the way until we get to the Genting Sempah, and there was no shelter. Luckily, there was no thunderstorm so we were determined to complete the whole mini-Route68. We took about 2 hours 30 mins going up the 17km from Gombak, then stopped to refuel and dry up at Genting Sempah R&R. As I have not ran more than 10km for a really long time, I had to resort to run-walk-run-walk even when going downhill. I seriously need to build up my endurance and stamina again for some long distance events coming up!
While running, I was imagining the actual Route 68 Challenge which will take place in April 2017. Will I have the guts to register for that event, given my not-so-stellar performance at today’s LSD training?
Until next week,
The Weekend Runner