Thursday, April 26, 2012

Larian 40 Taman: FRIM & Central Park Bandar Utama

Whoa, I'm far behind in updating the Larian 40 Taman exploits, so I might as well skip a few and talk about the last two runs we did. Hehe.

On the 14th of April, Larian 40 Taman went to FRIM in Kepong to run together with participants of the World Forestry Day Run 2012. Finding the place itself proved to be a challenge for myself, seeing how my last visit there was probably about 15 years ago. Basically, I missed the turning from the highway and ended up further ahead in the middle of Kepong town.

But google maps saved the day for me, and once I found the right turning, it was a breeze finding FRIM. Once I got in, I then had to look out for Rumah Terengganu, the run's starting point. I was pretty fascinated by the fact that there was already a steady stream of people entering FRIM; some in running gear, while others came with the whole family, looking like they're going for a picnic.

I found Rumah Terengganu and immediately hooked up with a few other Larian 40 Taman runners. We then had to wait for a while for the organisers to sort out stuff like T-shirts, but eventually we got the tees with no hitches. The number of participants that morning was were around 160, a bit short of the 200 that they were expecting.

The run was then flagged off at around 8.20am, and this was when things got REALLY interesting. You see, when I was referred to this run, somehow I did not pay attention to the route. Only that very morning did I discover that it was going to be a half/half thing; trail and road running. Which was interesting for me, really. I've always wanted to try trail running and the opportunity came rolling into my path.

We started out OK, but then it was time to go into trail run mode, and immediately we had no negotiate a bukit. A bukit that went on, and on, and on... Seriously, it was literally up the hill for a good few hundred metres.

With no experience whatsoever with the route, it was tough for me to figure out the pacing and what to expect next. So when the climbing didn't stop I just decided to walk it until we got to a flatter part of the route. Plus there was the added challenge of avoiding mountain bikers. So runners, blasting music on your headphones is not recommended at all here. No syok sendiri runners, please!

Of course when you go up, you must come down, and the downhill part was pretty interesting as you had to apply the "brakes" on yourself so as not to skid down the hill. And oh yeah, good and appropriate shoes are definitely needed. I wore my Brooks Glycerin 9, not exactly trail running shoes, but they worked pretty well and gave me good grip throughout.

I finished the 5km route in 40 minutes and was placed 39th out of 160 runners; the first time I'm in the Top 40 of any event. Haha! They also had a lucky draw but I went back empty handed lah. But overall, a very good experience for all of us newbies. Click HERE for the full report.

Next up is the run at Central Park, Bandar Utama, the 14th run in the Larian 40 Taman series. It's a nice little park (with a big name) right next to One Utama and just a few hundred metres away from my office.

A pretty decent crowd turned up this past Saturday morning for an easy 2.6km run (600m per loop). But one thing about this park though, dog owners are allowed to bring their pets here, so Central Park is also known as a "dog park".

For this run too, I got Grand Brilliance and TV9 to sponsor some T-shirts to be given away. So after the run, I had the pleasure of giving away some cool tees to the runners!

For the full report, click HERE .

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