Ever since I started running I have drafted a Running Bucket List to make sure I cover all important and interesting events. It also gave me motivation to keep running and training. After contemplating for a few months, last Sunday I finally had the guts to join Viper Challenge. What separated Viper Challenge from other runs was their unique 20 obstacles, set in a 20km course. It is also known as the toughest obstacle run in Asia. Personally, I don’t think you have to be really fit to join Viper Challenge, as long as you have been working out regularly and have ran a half marathon prior to this event. I have ran 2 half marathons and a few 10-12km runs as one of my training programs, plus some gym sessions to work out my upper body. I was mentally and physically prepared to push myself, but little did I know it would take my team about 6 hours to complete! (This is equivalent to the time taken to complete a full marathon (42km) for an average runner).
Overall, it was a good event. The organizers were experienced, decent surau and wash down facilities were provided, and sufficient water and banana stations. Plus crews were stationed at every obstacle should something go wrong.
Registering as a team is highly recommended. Ours was called ‘Team Ayam Goreng’, consisting of 5 guys and 2 girls. Prior to Viper Challenge we ran a few races together, so all of us acknowledged each other’s fitness level and group dynamics. However, this was the first Viper Challenge for all of us. We will take our time, as long as we complete the whole course without any serious injury, I think we did a good job as a team. But not to worry if you registered as an individual, because there are plenty of helpful people to push or pull you up along the way should you encounter a difficult obstacle.
We started off light and slow, jogging for the first few kilometres and after several obstacles. However at about halfway of the course we slowed down to walking as the trail gets increasingly challenging and hilly. Plus the obstacles gets harder and harder towards the finishing line, with more emphasis on core and upper body strength such as climbing ramps, ladders, monkey bars, balancing, and even some swimming. There were also some fun obstacles as well, such as a water slide and crawling.
In conclusion, I would definitely join again next year! And hopefully, I can complete it in under 6 hours. For the mean time, I shall reward myself with a nice foot massage and a manicure.
Your Weekend Runner,
Some tips on Viper Challenge:
1) Get there early, and secure a good parking spot. If your flag off time is 6.30am, yes, be there at 4.30am just as the organizers suggested. Line up for baggage check in is long.
2) There is going to be loads of mud and water. Wear a dark colour, dri-fit shirt that dries up quickly before you get to the next obstacle. Do not wear anything that you do not plan to throw away. Trail shoes and gloves are highly recommended. Girls, if you wear hijab keep it simple with an instant shawl or tudung bawal. Bring a fresh set of clothes and to change into after the event.
3) Do not bring your smartphone, unless you have a waterproof pouch. I put mine in an impact-proof case, triple-bagged it in a ziplock and plastic bag, carried it in a pouch, and to my surprise it survived the whole course.
4) Try out everything, as long as it is within your limits. Make full use of the experience. Keep up with a positive spirit. This is not a race!
Team Ayam Goreng is clearly enjoying our ‘teh tarik’ breakfast. What is Viper Challenge without some mud!