If my memory serves me right the last trail run event I entered was 9KM FRIM Trail Run on September 2014, so it has been a while since I ran off the road. Trail running is not a popular event (except for a few ultramarathon category), however I do notice lately that the pace is picking up. I think it is on a league of its own, the route and course is tougher than a regular road race. I could complete 12KM road race for about 1 hr 20 mins, however it took me over 2 hours to complete 12KM of Hulu Langat Trail Run. This is my 3rd trail running event, so I still consider myself a newbie.
The course was challenging, tough, yet rewarding. Part hiking, part running, there were a lot of technical skills involved. Therefore I would not recommend Hulu Langat Trail Run if you are a first time trail runner. I consider myself a regular runner yet my lungs and legs were on fire by the end of the course.
The race map. Check out that crazy gain in elevation! Source: Hulu Langat Trail Running Facebook page.
My favourite part of the run was crossing the river at the last 1KM. I was prepared for this and I double bagged my phone to ensure it remains dry. Unfortunately, by the end of the river crossing I realised both bags were already punctured, and my phone was already dead and ‘drowning’. I guess it was just not my day.
Source: Again, Hulu Langat Trail Running Facebook page. Beware of strong currents that can wipe out mud, sweat, 16GB of phone memory, etc.
Some trail running tips if you are a newbie like me:
1) Unless if barefoot running is your thing, invest in good trail run shoes. It is not your road race shoes, and it is not your hiking boots. The route is slippery, muddy, steep, and dusty. So the extra grip is important for your safety.
2) Invest in proper socks. The uneven terrain can cause blisters.
3) Run light yet carry your own water. It is important to self-support because most trail runs do not provide water station as often as road races. Be hands-free for you to climb or crouch, so carry your water in a hydration pack or belt. I do not recommend running without your own water, because it is very humid in the jungle/ forest so you can get dehydrated easily through sweating.
4) Stay safe. Never ever go off course. Be aware of the markers. If you are a solo runner do keep up with the crowd. Buddy up and help if you spot a fellow runner who needs the extra support.
Overall this was a good event. Thumbs up to the organizers and the Bomba for keeping the participants safe and guided during the run. I look forward to next year’s Hulu Langat Trail Run!
Until next week,
The Weekend Runner