Tag Archives: Running

How Did I Run 168KM

About Route 68 Challenge

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

The preparation

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:

  • Ensure Gold milk
  • Chia seed
  • Coke
  • Mineral water
  • Isotonic drinks
  • SaltStick Caps PLUS
  • High5 Energy Gel (with caffeine)
  • Instant cup noodles
  • Red Bull
  • Raisins
  • Sea salt candy
  • Canned Milo
  • Milo 3 in 1

Items prepared to put into the vehicle:

  • Toilet roll
  • Shaker for protein drinks

Items prepared by Milo:

  • Chiller box
  • Ice
  • Chair
  • Hot water flasks
  • Pump pressure water sprayer

Items that I brought and stored in check points:

  • Wet tissue
  • Vaseline
  • Power bank
  • Foldable cup
  • Sun block
  • Charging cable for phone and GPS watch
  • Spare AAA batteries
  • Slippers
  • Ponchos
  • Counter pain cream & spray

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.

Diet plan

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:

My drop bag planning for different check points.

Race day

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.

With Tong Lai (Photo by Liang Xuan of Elpis Event Management)

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.

My GPS watch detected it was 38°C in the afternoon

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.

Support crew tag (Photo by Milo)
Support vehicle (Photo by Milo)

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.

Hakim (Photo by ET Tey)

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 😳)

It’s morning now.

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!)

Thanks to Milo for the delicious burger (Photo by Milo)

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.

My legs were twisted

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.

You can also view the video of this story below:

My 2015 running/hiking summary

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.

Running events

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 (photo by Victor Chong)

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Nike We Run KL 2015 - the medal

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.

Race kit collection.

U-Lay 42 in Wulai, Taiwan (Photo by 林文平)

U-Lay 42 in Wulai, Taiwan (Photo by 林文平)

The indigenous Taiwanese statue

The indigenous Taiwanese statue

Unique U-lay 42 Marathon medal.

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)

After helping the setup (Photo by Kahwai)

Photo by Run And Explore

Photo by Run And Explore

After the race

After the race

The medal by Medal Depot.

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.

Penang Ultra 2015

After collecting race kit.

Penang Ultra 2015 - Met new friend Man Shin

Met new friend Man Shin from Johor 🙂

Penang Ultra 2015 - Struggling to climb up the gruelling Penang Hill

Struggling to climb up the gruelling Penang Hill.

Penang Ultra 2015 - finally completed with Tong Lai

Finally completed with Tong Lai (Photo by Tey Eng Tiong)

First 100KM road ultra marathon medal.

First 100KM road ultra marathon medal.

The route & elevation of Penang Ultra 100KM

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)

Barefoot runners (Photo by Kahwai)

On the way (photo by Kahwai)

On the way (Photo by Kahwai)

Medal

Hiking

Mount Kinabalu

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)

On the way up (Photo by Kahwai)

Acting... :P (photo by Kahwai)

Acting… 😛 (Photo by Kahwai)

Conquered Mount Kinabalu for second time

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. 🙁

As Volunteer

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)

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)

With Aiko-San (Photo by Michael Wong)

Vibram HK100 organizers

Vibram HK100 organizers

Vibram HK100 2015 (Photo by Michael Wong)

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)

Water station under my supervision (Photo by Cheah CC)

Working together with volunteers from International Islamic University Malaysia

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 :)

The day we met Nikki 🙂 (Photo by Kahwai)

We had our names on the backdrop! (Photo by Kahwai)

We had our names on the backdrop! (Photo by Kahwai)

Happy ending :)

Happy ending 🙂

TRI-AMateur Aquathlon Putrajaya 2015 (Photographer)

Being invited by Ms. Maria Bowden to serve as photographer together with Kahwai. Captured pictures of future tri-athletes/dual-athletes, I am really happy to see them enjoy what they doing.

Kahwai - my partner in crime (photo by Rany Tan)

Kahwai – my partner in crime (Photo by Rany Tan)

BSN Putrajaya Night Marathon 2014 Race Report

Bib

Bib

Signed up for my 6th full marathon in BSN Putrajaya Night Marathon at Oct 11, 2014, Saturday. Didn’t sign up for Standard Chartered KL Marathon because already joint their Half Marathon and Full Marathon before, so this year I signed up for BSN Night Marathon which I have never joint before.

With Kahwai and Lee Jing

This is also my first night marathon (excludes Penang Bridge Marathon that starts at 2pm), reached Putrajaya with Lee Jing at evening, met my secondary schoolmate Esther.

Meet secondary school mate Esther

Due to lack of training, I set my target finishing time at 5 hours 30 minutes, which I need keep my average pace at 7 min 49 sec per KM. (Get my pace timing here: MarathonGuide) The race didn’t have pacers, so I set my Garmin GPS watch’s virtual pacer to 7 min 40 sec per KM pace, as long as my speed is ahead of the virtual pacer, then I could achieve my sub 5h30m target.
The race started on time at 8pm. I never expected the route was hilly, but I still managed to keep the pace and kept on remind myself that don’t ever run faster than the target pace before I completing 30km. At 13th KM, my right foot stepped on a big stone while passing by a totally dark area, it was pain so I have to run with uneven steps.

My right leg stepped on big stone at 13th KM

The road condition at Putrajaya is rough, after 30KM my soles were getting more sensitive and forced me to run a little faster to minimize the contact time of my soles and the ground. After 35KM my leg muscles getting sore so I started to walk a little bit.

Pit stop (Photo captured by event official photographer)

Pit stop (Photo captured by event official photographer)

At last 5KM, I tried to picked up my pace until around 7 minutes per KM, to end the suffering as soon as possible. Finally completed the race with 5 hours 20 minutes. Collected my medal and finisher goodies smoothly, it was already Sunday morning 1:20am.

Approaching finishing line (Photo captured by Victor Chong)

Approaching finishing line (Photo captured by Victor Chong)

After completing the race, my legs just refused to work, had to push them to walk to baggage counter located at another end of the event venue. After back to home, I wore compression tight and elevated my legs above a pillow and slept. Luckily at next day the pain was not serious and I still managed to walk slowly. 🙂

The finisher medal of BSN Putrajaya Night Marathon 2014

Garmin Connect Entry

Trial Run for Gunung Nuang Endurance Run 2013

I’m running Gunung Nuang Endurance Run 2013 at March 3 2013, my first race in 2013. The race requires runners to complete at least 4 loops, which every loop is 10km, from the Gunung Nuang entrance to Buluh Minyak pavilion (5km) and turn back.

Going up hill in Gunung Nuang trail

Going up hill in Gunung Nuang trail

Gunung Nuang is around 30 minutes from my house, passing by Hulu Langat Batu 18 (River Jungle Marathon’s starting point) and all the way until end of the road. After reaching the parking, only I found out I’ve left my trail shoes at home, so no choice I have to walk and run with my slippers.

Gunung Nuang trail

Gunung Nuang trail

It’s not easy to walk/run in Gunung Nuang trail, by only walking uphill my heart beat reached around 160bpm (my normal resting heart beat around 45bpm).

Met barefoot running seniors CP Tan and Rich Chai on the trail, they were running with Vibram FiveFingers and Luna sandals respectively. Also met other running friends like Kien Wai, Chan Sai Chun, Sarah Chin, Arnold…

Ouch

Ouch

After 5KM u-turn, I started to run a little faster but too bad kicked my right toe to one the stones and it started bleeding, luckily it’s not severe so I could continue my journey until the end of the trail.

Stones and rocks everywhere

Stones and rocks everywhere

My thoughts:

  • Run with a pair of proper trail shoes, or at least protective shoes >.<
  • Water is important, as mentioned by the rules, at least bring a water bottle
  • Don’t rush and be relax, there are plenty of time
  • Take photos & chatting with friends would make you feel better
  • Walking stick might help when moving towards up hill
  • Bring some light snacks too, but please throw the wrapping papers in rubbish bins, if couldn’t find one, bring back to starting point and throw it
  • GPS coordinate (for Google Map) of Gunung Nuang entrance is 3.21703, 101.88329

Powerman Malaysia 2012

Powerman 2011 team relay medals of MU team

In 2011, I took part in Powerman for the first time, teamed up with my colleagues and join the team relay category with the team name MU. I was the second leg runner, completed the burning run under the hot sun. It’s suffering but the experience was so amazing, so I decided to take part in long distance category in 2012.

Bought my road bike at Feb 2012, however didn’t really train with it until Michelle Looi asked me to join her relay team in Port Dickson Triathlon 2012 as bike leg. Started to train more along Kesas highway with Damon and friends, as well as Hulu Langat with CK Chong and Chinese Cari Runners.

So after half year of registering in Powerman 2012, finally the big day has came, my first long distance Powerman. This year they held it at Putrajaya instead of Sri Manjung, Perak last year. The courses are 11.4KM run, 64KM bike and 11.4KM run again.

I was going with Kah Wai, reached there early in the morning, met CK Chong, Boon Bin and Leo Loo in the parking. After getting everything ready, it time for chit chatting and group photos 🙂

My target for this debut long distance event is to complete it within 5 hours: 1 hour for first run leg, 2 hours 30 min for bike leg and 1 hour 15 min for second run leg, 15 minutes for 2 transitions.

Running at the first run leg was an easy one, felt fresh and relax, completed first 11KM in 1 hour with Chau Kok Yik and John Ng. Met the target time.

Running first leg (Photo by Elaine Tan & Victor Chong)

After completed the run, went into transition area to put on my helmet and gloves, got some bites of PowerBar, then slowly pushed my bike out of transition area and started my ride.

Cycling leg (Photo by Kahwai Gallery)

At first it was smooth ride, however my left leg started to feel a little cramp at around 10KM, consumed a PowerGel at around 15KM, tried to do stretching on the bike whenever I went downhill, the cramp was still manageable. Completed first loop (32KM) at 1 hour 10 minutes, which was better than my expectation.

After taking second PowerGel, continued to second loop, now my legs were tired and fatigue. It was a suffering one, the speed was slow, most of the time was just try to push myself going. Took third PowerGel around 45KM. At the last 5KM I just rode slowly, tried to get my legs rest and be ready for the second run leg, took the fourth PowerGel while approaching transition area. Completed the bike leg at 2 hours 27 minutes, still within target.

Cycling leg (Photo by Ivy Yee)

Spent some time in transition area, removed helmet and gloves, apply more sun block, get more bites on PowerBar, put on my visor and slowly walked out from transition area. However after few hundred meters of running from transition area, my legs were cramp real bad. This never happened before in my (short) running life, was a bit worry could not finish the race within target. Luckily Malcalm came and accompanied and comforted me.

Second running leg with Malcalm (Photo by Shafiz Sazanusa of Saza Studio)

After the first loop, the cramp still haunting me. Malcalm had moved on, met other runners including David Ong, which were also suffering muscles fatigue and cramp. I saw some runners applied ice on muscles, so I tried myself too. Amazingly the cramp and pain were gone after I applied ice, so I could pick up the speed. So I stopped at almost every water station to drink and get ice from their tanks. I putted the ice into the plastic bags that the water station crews remove from the stack of paper cups, then brought the ice with me and continue running, and applied the ice when the cramp stuck.

Continued running until the last water station, which around few hundred meters from finishing line, I applied the ice on my both legs for the last time, then dumped the ice bag and ran back to finishing line. Of course the cramp still came back after a while but since I was so close to the finishing line, I just ignore the pain to continue ran cross the finishing line (runner high did help a bit here). Completed the second run leg with the time 1 hour 17 min.

Approaching finishing line (Photo by Tey Eng Tiong)

While queueing up to collect finishing medal, here my legs were cramp and my muscles seems twisted so hard, but the pain was worth it. Completed the whole event with 4 hours 55 min (official net time). Probably I am the first one to complete Powerman event by running both running legs with barefoot? XD

Enjoyed the great completion buffet lunch in the air-conditioned hall was such a great moment of the day 😀

Buffet after the event (with CK Chong, photo by Kahwai Gallery)

Nice medal was awarded, although the finisher tee is just so so, but still a very good event, will join 2013 event, hopefully with improved time.

Finisher medal with my helmet