I had several experiences running in various trails, yet I have never ran in Kampung Kemensah before. So I had no idea about the condition of the trail, or the level of difficulty that I might face. The organizers did not upload any map or elevation chart in their official website, however they did write down the checkpoints yet I had no clue about the distance between those checkpoints. I could search for videos uploaded by past year’s participants, but deep down inside, I did not want to spoil the surprise. Despite my lack of knowledge about the venue, I decided to proceed anyways with the race. There was a sense of thrill going into the unknown and taking risks with the unfamiliar. Or as the Malaysians say it, “Main redah je lah!”
It turns out that the route was not difficult, yet it was challenging. The inclines were steep with elevation gain of more than 300m, and most of the ground was muddy. The forest was dense, but the trail was well-groomed. I was glad that I was wearing proper trail running shoes and carrying a hydration bag. As we approached closer to the mid point of the race, I can hear the gushing sound of water. Just as I anticipated, river crossing is a part of the route. The water went only to my knees, but the rocks at the bed of the river was slippery so I had to slow down and be extra careful not to slip.
I was silently praying that my phone does not want to go for a swim again, just like it did during Hulu Langat Trail Run
Since I was running in an unfamiliar route, I did not set any PB (personal best) target to beat as I did not know what to expect. So I took my time, absorbing my surroundings and enjoying the trees, nature, and sounds of insects. I even bumped into a few familiar faces along the way.
Some familiar faces in the trail/ultra running community. I wish I had the time to snap some pictures with everyone, it was like a reunion party!
All trail runs are challenging in their own way, and Kemensah is no exception. I had no regrets diving into the unknown, while catching up with some people along the way. I would definitely come back again next year, hopefully for the 50K category.
Until next week,
The Weekend Runner.
P/S: I thrilled to be given a chance to contribute an article for Running Malaysia magazine about the positive impacts of being a part of a running community. Special thanks to Kyserun Krew for their support, inspiration, and motivation. Do grab the May/June issue at your nearest news stand now!