Route 68 Challenge is an ultra marathon event in Malaysia, near Gombak, Kuala Lumpur. It started in 2015 which has only one category, which was 68KM. At that time I joined as a water station supervisor. And then in 2016 and 2017, I was also a water station crew. After 3 years as a water station crew, in 2018, I decided to join 84KM category. After completed 84KM in 2018, I decided to run 168KM in 2019!
How to run 168KM?
It’s basically running 42KM for 4 times. Below is the list of the cut off time of each 42KM:
First 42KM – 7 hours
Second 42KM – 8 hours
Third 42KM – 7 hours
Fourth 42KM – 10 hours
To get my body ready for this long distance, long distance training is very important. However, the longest distance I have managed to cover was around 45KM, which I have done in Bukit Kiara Ultra Challenge 2019, which is not enough.
The participants of 168KM are allowed to have one supported vehicle, I get Milo Yap as my support crew because he had completed several ultramarathons before, including 2 times of 200KM (in TITI Ultra). He was also the support crew of Lee Jing, The female champion of 168KM of Route 68 Challenge 2018.
The support crew can have food and drinks in his vehicle. These are the food and drinks that I have prepared to be used during the race:
Tong Lai and I met up with our support crew Milo and Keith one week before the race, in order to pass them the items so they can directly go to support us.
I didn’t have a proper diet plan, I just tried to skip coffee, tea, spicy food, and alcohol a few days before the race, and eat more carbohydrate and kept myself hydrated.
Drop bag planning
The participants of 168KM and 100KM are allowed to put their items in drop bags, this is the spreadsheet that I used to plan my items to put in drop bags:
The night before race day, I tried to get on bed around 9 pm, however, I just couldn’t sleep well because of pre-race anxiety. Anyway, I still woke up around 2:30 am to get myself prepared: filled up water bladders, double check my items according to the spreadsheet. Then just drove to the venue, met up my running partner Tong Lai.
After some pre-race briefing by race director Jeff Ooi, we started the run on time at 5 am. We started in the dark, the weather was chilling, however, around 9 am, the sun was out, and it’s hot.
We arrived at the first 42KM checkpoint at around 10:11 am, we stayed for around 30 minutes to have some food, refilled our water bladders & bottles, get changed then continue our journey. It was in the afternoon and the weather is extremely hot.
Then, my support crew, Milo has arrived, as well as Tong Lai’s support crew Keith. Their presence had made our journey easier. We got to rest more, sat down, being sprayed with ice cold water, and ate the food we prepared earlier.
At 5:59 pm, we arrived at the starting point again and completed 84KM of the race. Milo had made an instant congee for me, after having that and refilled bladder, we were out again.
Some of you might ask me, is it challenging for mindset, if I am going to do exactly the same route again, which I have done for the past 14 hours?
I had exactly the thought last year when I was running 84KM, so when I was preparing for this race, besides physical training, I also had my mind trained, I kept on telling myself, “THERE ARE NO TWO LOOPS, THERE IS ONLY ONE LOOP”. By leaving the starting point again, I have completed 50% of the journey, there is only 49.99% to complete the race.
After running for a while one the 3rd 42KM, Tong Lai was slowing down due to his legs condition. At the same time, I’ve met a new friend, Hakim, who was joining 168KM for the first time too.
Soon after we passed 94KM water station, it started to rain. It was quite heavy, however, we still kept on moving, because we need to reach the third 42KM before 3 am, which the time available for us to make it is very tight. Even though we were in fatigue, pain, but we still kept on running.
Then I was told by Milo that, Tong Lai has decided to give up, he just went back to the starting point to rest. Hakim and I continued our journey to the 126KM checkpoint. On the way to the 126KM checkpoint, we met 100KM runners and some 168KM runners coming back from the checkpoint and moving to finishing point, it was dark and the light from headlights made us impossible to see the faces of each other.
Finally, at 1:56 am, we arrived at the 126KM checkpoint, completed the third 42KM. There was still one hour before the cut-off time. Met Seven Cheam there, sharing her delicious red bean soup and potato soup with me, appreciate it! After 30 minutes of resting and replenished my stomach, I decided to leave the checkpoint, but Hakim he wanted to rest longer so I left alone.
After running out from the checkpoint, I felt that my left knee was in pain, then I checked my knee and found out my left was swelling, this is the first time in my running history. After 7KM from the check point, I met Milo at the next water station, I showed him my knee, he said it’s normal, especially when running a distance more than the knee can take it. I think this is because I was under-trained. Then he said the swelling will go off, probably one or two weeks after the event, he had this swelling too when he had his first long-distance running.
Since most of the 100KM runners had been passed by, and there were only a few 168KM runners still in the race, on the way back to the finishing line, most of the time I was alone, so I get Milo to stop every 2KM, I felt secure because I know someone was expecting me, instead of me walking or running alone in the dark.
After arriving the Bukit Tinggi water station, which was around 10KM from the previous water station, I requested Milo to wait for me at Genting Sempah water station since it’s only 7KM from the current water station, so Milo could catch some rest. However, due to some stupid mistake of me, Milo had to go back to the previous check point, to get something for me, so he didn’t get to rest. (Apologises Milo 😳)
I arrived at the Genting Sempah checkpoint in the morning around 8 am, It was just around 16.5KM away from the finishing point. Milo bought me a burger from McDonald’s (thank you!)
Then I met my friend, Man Shin, who I met in Penang Ultra back in 2015. We continued the journey together. However, she couldn’t make it because of her knees and legs were in terrible pain. So, Tong Lai and Keith came to pick her back to starting point. Then I continued my journey back to the last 10KM water station, I met Milo there and requested him to wait at the last 5KM. Then he did, he came with Keith (Thank you, Keith!). It was the last support stop of Milo.
At the time my knee was still swelling and getting serious with great pain, but I still tried to run, because when I ran, the pain was actually can be minimized.
Then finally at 11:10 am, I arrived at the finishing point, completed the race with 30 hours 10 minutes. I am happy that I’ve made it, big thanks to Milo, and also thanks to Tong Lai and Keith for waiting for me at the finishing point. Very happy to see other friends there too.
In the end, thanks to the organizers of Route 68 Challenge 2019, MY Ultra Running, thanks to volunteers, crew, and photographers to make this event a success.
It’s been 10 years of using Google Chrome. I still remember my first encounter with Google Chrome, when I was working in Taiwan.
A lot of things happened in these 10 years, new technologies born and die, companies rise and fall, from HTTP to HTTPS, from IE to Google Chrome, from PC to mobile, from blogs to Facebook then Instagram…
I didn’t actively participate in running events in 2015, compared to previous years where I normally joined more than 10 races in a year. Anyway, here is the summary of my 2015 sports activities.
Nike We Run KL 21km
Date: 1 Feb 2015 Distance: 21KM Completion time: 02:02:31
It’s been a long time that I’ve never joined 21km race. Been reluctant to join because of bad incident happened during Nike We Run KL 2012, but I believe that a big company should be repeated the same mistake twice so I’ve decided to give it a chance. Of course, there are still hiccups here and there but generally it still a successful event.
Nike We Run KL 2015 (photo by Victor Chong)
Nike We Run KL 2015 – the medal
Taiwan U-Lay 42km Marathon
Date: 4 April 2015 Distance: 42KM Completion time: 07:48:37
This is my first running event in Taiwan. It was held in Wulai, a rural district near the border of Taipei. It’s very beautiful place, the route is hilly but we went passed waterfalls, indigenous people’s villages, streams, cable car station… Accompanied my friend Yi Mei to complete her first oversea marathon.
Race kit collection.
U-Lay 42 in Wulai, Taiwan (Photo by 林文平)
The indigenous Taiwanese statue
Unique U-lay 42 Marathon medal.
Geddes Estate Run
Date: 26 April 2015 Distance: 10KM Completion time: 00:56:06
A running event organized by friends from Run And Explore. This event took place in a small village called Geddes, near to Bahau town. Running in the estate was a new experience, the weather was cozy and misty.
After helping the setup (Photo by Kahwai)
Photo by Run And Explore
After the race
The medal by Medal Depot.
Penang Ultra 2015
Date: 26 September 2015 Distance: 100KM Completion time: 17:57:00
This is my first road 100km ultra marathon, thanks to Tong Lai who accompanied me to complete this grueling 100km.
After collecting race kit.
Met new friend Man Shin from Johor 🙂
Struggling to climb up the gruelling Penang Hill.
Finally completed with Tong Lai (Photo by Tey Eng Tiong)
First 100KM road ultra marathon medal.
The route of Penang Ultra 100KM
AMNIG I Am Warrior
Date: 6 December 2015 Distance: 10KM Completion time: 01:13:51
Didn’t plan to join this event initially, but was offered free slots by Nikki Yeo. (Thank you! :D) Completed 10km barefoot run with Kahwai and I-Yin.
Barefoot runners (Photo by Kahwai)
On the way (Photo by Kahwai)
This is my second hike to Mount Kinabalu. Some of us tried barefoot hike from starting point until Laban Rata. I’ve walked too fast on first-day hiking, so I was struck by altitude sickness/Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), I felt sick and exhausted on the second day when we were ready to hike to the peak. However, I managed to overcome AMS and reached the Low’s Peak in a slow pace.
On the way up (Photo by Kahwai)
Acting… 😛 (Photo by Kahwai)
Conquered Mount Kinabalu for second time
Quick summary of the hiking:
After coming down from Mount Kinabalu, we spent a night in Kundasang before leaving Sabah. Kundasang is a very beautiful and peaceful village, I’d love to go back again! 🙂
Sunrise of Kundasang:
It’s sad that earthquake struck Ranau, Sabah after 2 weeks we completed our hiking. 18 people were dead while some parts in Mount Kinabalu were damaged. 🙁
Multi-purpose Insurance Run (Photographer)
Been official photographer for Multi-Purpose Insurance Run for few years. Big thanks to Mr. Wan and Jamie Pang for trusting Kahwai and me to let us join them again in 2015 edition.
Multi-Purpose Insurance Run 2015 (Photo by Kahwai)
Vibram HK100 (Time keeper)
I was not selected in the ballot process, so I’ve decided to sign up as a volunteer since I’ve already booked my air ticket and accommodation in Hong Kong. Being assigned as a time keeper for the shift 9pm-9am, stay in the cold finishing point to record the runners who passed the finishing line. Met new friend Akio Tada-san who was also time keeper working together with me.
With Aiko-San (Photo by Michael Wong)
Vibram HK100 organizers
Vibram HK100 2015 (Photo by Michael Wong)
Route 68 Ultra (Water station & medal collection)
After Malaysian Women Marathon 2014, this was my second time be water station volunteer. I am glad that I was appointed as supervisor for water station/check point A6 to serve fellow runners. After the water station duty is finished, I went back to finishing point to help in medal collection.
Water station under my supervision (Photo by Cheah CC)
Working together with volunteers from International Islamic University Malaysia
My Mercy Run (Photographer)
Met Nikki Yeo together with Kahwai in one of the weekend runs in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail park, introduced by Zainudin Kadir. Nikki was helping Mercy Malaysia to promote My Mercy Run to raise awareness of the ever-increasing criticality of circumstances around the world. Zainudin introduced us as event photographers, so both Kahwai and I were invited to become official event photographers, our names were even printed on the main stage backdrop. 😀
The day we met Nikki 🙂 (Photo by Kahwai)
We had our names on the backdrop! (Photo by Kahwai)