Wednesday, June 6, 2012

PUAC 2012: Team Kakithon in 2012 Adventure Race Scene

Beautiful Sunday morning with sunshine above and clear blue sky at the capital of Malaysia, Putrajaya. I have been race in Putrajaya since my first ever duathlon in Powerman Malaysia 2003. But after the organizer move Powerman Malaysia to the new venue since 2006, I was not raced here either in cycling race, running race, or water sports until Putrajaya Urban Adventure Challenge 2012.

Our journey of Team Kakithon presented by Mentor Training (Team Kakithon), begin on Saturday night after Jiha and me had a dinner together in Johor Bahru. At 10pm we already cruising on the highway and make a couple stops to took a nap (it was me, not Jiha) before we had a breakfast at 4am.


The Fuel for AR
Arrived early.. (sebelum Subuh kami sampai)

We ate simple & fast meal which full of high calorie foods, omelete, beef burger with eggs & cheese, pan cakes with honey, English muffins & baked beef, and a black coffee. I forced Jiha to finished her meal for the sake of her energy tank during the race.

After finished the 'big breakfast', we entered Putrajaya before the dawn (I remembered one of the P Ramlee dialogue in Seniman Bujang Lapok film "Sebelum Subuh beta sampai!"). We enjoyed the dawn scenery of Putrajaya until we arrived at the race site early before the other racers came.


The Ride

The Race Number
There were more than 40 teams competed in this adventure race. There were four categories Men's Open, Mixed Open, University/Media Open, Putrajaya Closed (for local residents only). Most of the team came from Klang Valley, and maybe less than 5 teams came from outside Klang Valley included Team Kakithon - long way down from Johor Bahru.

As usual, we will chit chat among competitors to reduce pre race tense & pressure. All the bikes need to park at the transition area near Putrajaya Lake at Taman Botani before the race start. It is about 2 km from the race start line. We considered it as a warm up - 4 km in total distance plus downhill & uphill.

Pre Race Pose

The Racers

The 'Doa' before flag-off

Once the flag off, all the racers ran fast to be at the head of the race pack. As usual, Jiha & me will enjoy running together plus this time I brought a camera! The purpose was to snap a picture along the way to the finish line. The picture we can share the smiling moments, suffering moments, and any 'not feeling yet' moment towards the finish line. The picture can describe how tough the adventure race we had!

Run Jiha Run
'Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel'
Still run when others walk..

Run & Pose
The race pace was really fast at the front pack, while at the back, only mixed team 'enjoying' the 'smiling moment' of the race. Many couples we passed by, and many pictures I snapped too. 

As we entered the Botanical Park, there are a new experience we had together. The landscape, the flora and the terrain we passed by were beautiful & scenic. This was the first time we visit  Putrajaya public parks either   for sightseeing or racing. 
Cycling & Pose
Entering hiking section with a smile

Ascending a Steep Uphill via waterway

Beautiful Scenery at one of the Putrajaya Public Park
After running leg, the racers need to cycling off road besides the lakes and on road to another hilly section of public park in Putrajaya. We need to reach the top of the highest hill at that park, then downhill to the bottom most of other side of the hill and hiking up back to the transition area which our bikes park before.


Jiha ready for swim section!

Swim at the one of the Putrajaya lake
After the grueling hill climb, the racers need to mountain biking beside the lakes, crossing a dam on a gravel trails. Jiha experienced her first mountain biking on the trail, slowed down because of hamstring & gastrocnemius cramp. So the solution is, switched to lower gear and spin at high cadence.

Followed was a swimming section in the lake. The racers need to wear personal flotation device provided by race organizer. Jiha swam first headed to buoy and back. I took that time for stretched & relaxed until Jiha landed at the lakeside. I swam with a cramp that occur when I bare footed walk on the gravel at the lakeside. Swim session seems like a relaxing session for me, when I use backstroke to headed back to lakeside. Haha.

After the swim session, we need to rode to the next discipline was kayak. We need to run descending the stairs and run beside the lakeside to start kayak leg. We need to paddled just 1000m head & back to starting point. Jiha & me were not trained for kayak, and the last time I hold the paddle was in April during teaching the Outdoor Level 1 Course for Sports Science students in UTM. I covered most of the stroke while Jiha already 'give-up' to paddle mostly half way due to lack of upper body strength.

The last discipline was team biathlon, which is one member on the bike while one more running, either want to rotate or bike or run until the finish line. When we start biathlon discipline there were two teams in our category competed each other. We passed one of the team when their rider got cramped and one team followed us just two or three lamp post behind. We use our strategy (rotation for 1 km) to boost our speed and breaking away from that team.

I love hill section as we progressed to finish line at Putra Perdana Park near Shangri-La Hotel. I increasing my pace rate & breathing like a horse. Jiha just stared at the back to make sure that team far from us and cycling in front of me. As a 'bike pacer' for me (during 2004 I did this workout in the evening training), she just need to maintain 8-10 km/h of speed and protect me from the wind, so that I can 'draft' and motivate me to run as close as the rear wheel. As a self talk to my mind was "I need to be always at the front of these guys, because we currently ranked 10th", even I don't knew our exact rank during entire race.

Finally, we reach home straight and crossed the finish line under four hours. Amazingly, Jiha took a 'ticket' written a rank for us "Mixed B7" that was means we won 7th place! We received a finisher medals, certificates, PowerBar towel and isotonic canned drink (not a cold one). We congratulated each other with a million loves. Finally we made it as a team, even this race was not our first adventure race. We took our recovery time while my member from commando gang, Sangup entertained us and helping us to put a bike inside the car.

After grueling Biathlon section, we've won 7th place for Mixed Open Category

The Place & The Medal!
Prize giving ceremony has been held near at 3pm waited for VVIP's arrived. We lunch and had a shower, sat on the nice chair, chit chat with other racers, while Sangup always hang with us. Organizer also provide a lucky draw for 20 lucky participants, interestingly top two grand prize were Suunto watch! I always not 'the lucky draw' guy so I won't pay attention to won something.

Feel sleepy after the post race lunch
Seventh Place for Mixed Open Category. Pic courtesy by Mr Kamaruzaman 
The 'cash' prize


When the VVIP arrived, the prize giving ceremony begins, and all the winners took their prizes on the stages. This was our first prize for adventure race. I am so glad and proud with our achievement. This prize surely can motivate us to race together as adventure race team in the future. The downside, the prize was not in cash money!!! Argghhhhhh!!! Perbadanan Putrajaya will bank-in later, and we were not told about the time duration to received the payment.   


Protein Loading Meal before drove back to JB, thanks Jiha
Jiha asked me to had a meal at KFC, so we stop at nearest KFC to ate, and replenish our 'damaged' muscles with acid amino from the chicken protein, a glucose from the mashed potatoes & cola drinks, also fat (it is ok as we need it for longer duration event!). Thanks Jiha because she 'belanja' me as I drove all the way since yesterday, paced her during the race and need to drove again back to JB!!.

Long Way Down Back to JB

The Things in The Goodie
As a bottom line, Putrajaya Urban Adventure Challenge 2012, provided us a platform to race as a mixed team for the first time. Jiha and me need this race, even she felt reluctant a week before, but we realized as we need this experience as a team to preparing our team towards more grueling and tougher race in Perak Columbia Iron Bound Challenge in Perak this 7-8 July 2012. Finally we also realize our training sometimes give a valuable advantages especially in running and running after bike discipline helps us a lot. We also considering to train more in paddling, and trail running to make sure our muscles ready for the challenges. Owh, I just remembered, within 39 hours without laying on my back for a nice sleep, I was able to drove solo from JB to Putrajaya, raced in adventure race for nearly four hours, attended post race events and drove back to JB (but until Machap only after my eyes felt too sore when responding to the lights). What an incredible physical & mental I have. Thanks and Alhamdulillah..



Team Kakithon would like to thanks Mentor Training 
for the sponsorship!


from Team Kakithon with LOVE

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