The abn team takes onaction asia events malaysia trail run
Hui Mathews (Founder, CEO, Designer) on 18km:
I had 2 objectives in doing this race:
Objective #1: Straight after I did my first race post-partum after delivering my first baby on 12.12.2015, I made sure I signed up for another one. As we all know, unless there’s a race date marked on your calendar, you’re just not going to haul your butt out to train as regular and strict as you should!
Objective #2: Also since this year my goal for ash be nimble has been to build a strong team, I thought it was high time we brought the team out to a trail race! There is no better way to make yourself physically and mentally stronger than to push through a gruelling, muddy and tough trail race!
One. Tough. Experience. Race report:
This race was a good kick in the butt for me, 2nd race post baby!!. It was also a tough one for me. I had wanted to get a good head start and be in the front pack. Once we hit the road I slowed, as it is not my strength. That’s when I waited for Karen Siah to catch up a bit so I could get her to pace me and cheer me up! 🙂 She is always a pleasure to run with.
I felt tired already within the first half hour, wanting to just sit down during the first river crossing until Karen gave me some banana to much on. We covered a good 30-40 minutes together, quite a few steep hills, the muddy sections where our shoes caked in mud and feet felt like they weighed a tonne. Karen kept my spirits up, we chatted for a bit about when and where to send Asha for swimming lessons. I told Karen to go ahead soon after as I knew she was keeping a nice steady pace uphill whereas my weak mind was telling me to pull back. My feet felt like dead weights, my lower back felt uncomfortable, and my thighs were burning. I saw some girls stopped at the side of the trail cramping up and gave them a pack of my oral hydration salts.
At 15km I felt better and hit some road but I immediately started cramping in my toes and inner quads, ON BOTH SIDES. The last time this happened I found out I was pregnant with Asha after the race😜😜😜. I stopped and tried to step on my curled up toes with the other foot but that one started cramping too. With less than 400m to go, another two girls passed me which was when i figured I might as well drag myself to the end and get this over with. I managed to overtake one girl to crawl back a spot but could not regain 5th. (which I later realised was Eunice who finished barely a minute ahead of me!)
Seeing the last little fence in sight I felt such a surge of disappointment with myself. If I were really honest with myself, I would admit that I make a lot of excuses and am really lazy until I hit the trails then I’m good with pushing myself. When I do have time, babysitter and friends to train with, I run, maybe once a week, or twice at best which means 4-6km mileage per week. At other times I’m mostly overwhelmed with my own business + baby that I make so many excuses to drag myself to the trails. Asha is turning 1 in December, I’ve lost all my baby weight (and lots of muscle) so I have no more excuses that I have a newborn and just gave birth.
There really is no secret (or secretly good genes) to attribute great results to – it’s really about putting in the hard miles and staying mentally strong to: 1) train enough and regularly and 2) not pull back during the race and take it easy
I finished the race in 2 hours 24 minutes which helped me top my 16-29 year age group and pull a measly 6th place overall for women, missing out on 5th place and a nice fat trophy by a minute and in a lot of pain. I want to be able to finish my next race STRONG because that means more than a trophy, when u know you’ve given it your best (without cramping and without back aches lol). Ok lah there’s my 2017 resolution, better get back on it before I get pregnant again … (and I just signed up for Conquer the Trails at Kiara – 13km of brutal fun in the trails, on home turf – so we better get back on track!)
Special shout out to Karen Siah – she really is the best kind of fit girl friend to have – my #bbggfff (best boy’s girl girl fit friend forever) – you know, the kind of girl who has more boy friends than girls (which I’m pretty much like since most of my friendships are made in the trails and on the basketball court), your fit friend you don’t booty call but call to go work out – all of the above, all in one. She gets me signed up for this race, drives me there, pushes me, encourages me, makes me laugh during the race, gets us all a nice hot shower then drives us all back to KL.
Adeline Yew (Sales & Ops Lead) on 10km:
Every year i try to do something different, at least something related to sports. In 2015, I tried surfing (more like staying on the surfing board for that 5 seconds without falling) in Bali. Nothing new had come up this year until Hui suggested that we should do a team race. Like a champion, without thinking twice, I happily said “SURE!”, not knowing the immense training and preparation needed physical and mentally for such a race! Not that I trained hard at all. So, being able to complete the race within 2:11:57 was a win for me in itself.
Running has never been my choice of sport, perhaps because I feel like I’m being timed like an exam and I don’t like knowing that I am slow! Just because one has long legs does not necessarily mean they run fast!
On the race day, I had 1 mission which was to finish the race within 2 hours, get a finisher medal, bring it back to hang on my soon-to-be 1 year old niece and nephew’s neck and attend their 1st birthday party at 12pm (that I wouldn’t want to miss under any circumstance).
At 4.30am on race day, we rendezvous at Hui’s place, and trust me it took twice the effort of waking up to force some light food and drinks down, and forcing my body to ‘lighten’ itself before the race. Fast forward 2 1/2 hours later we were at the starting line of the race. We started running through a residential area in Janda Baik and headed towards the trail. 10km (7.2km dirt road & 2.8km cement road) with 532m elevation gain, 409m elevation loss, 516m highest point, 374m lowest point is no joke! At the top of every hill I had a thought of rolling myself down but i wouldn’t be able to complete the race if I were to do so. At every corner where I saw any volunteers, I asked “sudah berapa jauh?”, “berapa jauh lagi?” and “bila mahu sampai la?” until finally, after 2:11:57, I REACHED THE FINISHING LINE feeling proud to complete my first trail race!
Post running effect: 2 days of walking like a duck!
Mei Ping (Intern) on 10km:
For Hui, it’s her second race for the year of 2016. For her superstar intern (aka me!), it’s my first race ever since I was born! In terms of terrain and elevation, I’ve hiked Broga Hill and Tabur Hill prior to this and that’s as far as my experience goes.
I was told about the race a week before race date, to replace Social Media and Digital Marketing lead Amanda because of her sprained foot.
In other words, I also started preparing for my first race a week before race day. I trained religiously for five days by walking around the Kiara trails. I bet you’re thinking “WAH, WALKING ONLY?” It’s actually cause I have a bad left knee and cannot run for long periods of time.
Knowing that I won’t get a placing, I decided to dress up nicely so that at least I’ll look good for photos and carry the ash be nimble brand proud! 😉
Mid-race thoughts: I would totally come back here for another race. The view is great, air is fresh, and not that many cars. So chill!
Clocking in at the finishing line at 2 hours 43 minutes 36 seconds, I was pretty amazed! And here I was, a few days ago planning with Sales & Ops Lead Adeline “If I cover 2km every hour then can finish on time without taking the ride of shame back!”
Race verdict: Will join more trail runs in the future. My left knee is giving me the green light as well since it didn’t receive much pressure during the 10km trails, even with the crazy elevation.