Lexicon Cyberjaya Duathlon – Relay Category

Relay runs carry deep historical significance. Before the internet, telephones, and cars were invented, relay running was a method to pass messages and mails over very long distances. The most famous relay runs are Japanese Ekidens. Although Malaysia’s running standards are not on par yet with the Japanese, I was delighted to see that relay running is slowly gaining popularity in Malaysia with new events emerging.

However, duathlon relay is a completely new concept to me. A duathlon relay is held exactly in a duathlon format, but the only difference was that one person cycles and later, another person runs. So when a friend said he needed a partner to run in Lexicon Cyberjaya Duathlon event, I immediately agreed to it. I have always wanted to know how are duathlons and triathlons conducted, so I can use this chance to observe and learn. Perhaps it might also spark my interest to branch out from my running career into duathlon and triathlon too. There was also the option of doing all run-bike-run by yourself in the individual category, but I will save that for a later day.

IMG_4241The only 2 familiar faces that I bumped into in this event. Both of them are participating in the individual category. Can you guess which one is a regular podium finisher in duathlons?

Our plan was simple: My partner runs for 2.5K, and continued to cycle for 30K. Then I will finish the duathlon by running 10K. Cycling was clearly my partner’s forté. He came in 2nd in our relay category. He got off his bike, quickly passed the timing chip to me, and I was happy with the head start. It was an easy route with minimal elevation. A few kilometers later, I can hear other runners catching up on me, and I was unable to maintain our 2nd position. I ran until my lungs were about to burst. The marshalls and volunteers along the way were encouraging, shouting at me to maintain my top 10 ranking. However, despite all the cheering, I could only manage to finish as the 11th position in our relay category.

IMG_4242The pressure is on when there are only 300 participants for this event

IMG_4250Relay partners at the transition area, waiting for their partners to finish cycling before we run 10K

IMG_4244Transitioning from cycling to the last 10K of running to complete the duathlon

I agreed to enter this relay duathlon as a learning opportunity with hopes that one day, I will be able to take on the individual category and complete a duathlon or even a triathlon by myself. There is still a lot to learn, such as improving on my running efficiency, polishing my cycling techniques, and in the long term, building up my endurance to swim in the open water. Until then, I’ll save up on investing the right bicycle first before I can even start on a BRICK (Bike-Run) training.

Until next week,

The Weekend Runner.

Gunung Nuang Ultramarathon Challenge (Support Crew)

One might argue that although running in an individual sport, it takes a collective effort to be able to successfully complete an ultramarathon. Very few people can manage running an ultramarathon event by themselves, especially for first-timers. Even if you are not allowed to pace or provide external support, team mates or friends can be a welcoming sight to push you forward.

On Sunday, I head up to Gunung Nuang (Nuang Mountain) as part of the support team to cheer friends who are running in the Gunung Nuang Ultramarathon Challenge. Runners must complete at least 5 loops of 10km trail route (5 x 10KM = 50KM) in 12 hours. To get a taste of the event, I accompanied my friend to do her last loop of 10km, and it took us over 2 hours to complete at a leisurely pace. Elevation gained was 530 meters, and my thighs were screaming in pain. I could not imagine doing it for 5 times, yet at the same time I was secretly considering if I should register for this event next year.



IMG_2997Her first ultramarathon! Congratulations, welcome to the 50km club.

IMG_3015Race post-morterm discussions. Mad respect to this bunch for completing an ultramathon event!

IMG_3003Another familiar face in the local running scene that needs no introduction.

Overall, it was a great event. I enjoy attending ultramarathon events as spectators or supporters because of the genuine camaraderie and team spirit which seem to be the highlight of the event. Everytime a participants completes a loop, there will always be cheering and clapping. Various teams set up tents and brought along loads of food, some even took the opportunity to go for a quick hike to the waterfall and stream. It is also a great opportunity to meet new people and expand your running social circle.

Gunung Nuang Ultramarathon Challenge, I’ll train hard and come back for you next year as a participant!

Until next week,

The Weekend Runner.