Salam, Hola !, G’day ! Selamat Hari Raya Maaf Zahir dan Batin ! Happy Deepavali ! Been quite a hiatus for missjewelz.wordpress.com .. Really busy since puasa month ! Anyways, I’m back and can’t wait to write my maiden PIC report ! For starters, here are a few raya pics !
I quite enjoyed the raya this year especially the eating part. Raya is not just eating ya know. Visited my relatives with my family, a few open houses, and boy i tell you… I was eating like crazy ! I needed to put on weight remember ? Anyways, I think I’ve achieved and extra 2kilos now ! Hahahha.. Anyway, I hope all of my Muslim friends out there is having a beautiful raya ! Raya is still on . One month !and people, do not forget our Palestinian brothers and sisters, and don’t forget to remember the poor who can’t afford to celebrate Eid’ al Fitr. We are so blessed to be able to celebrate this festive season every year without fail! Takde baju raya pon tak apa right? Its the blessings, gatherings and erm…food.. that matters in the end.
Okay , back to my PIC report !
Getting to know PIC
PIC –> Perhentian Island Challenge is an adventure race held annually since 2004. This year is PIC’s 5th year and my 1st time taking part in it !! I’ve seen my triathlete friends donning their PIC tshirt. Perhentian Island Challenge is jointly oganized by the Terengganu State Government (Terengganu is situated in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia), the state tourism council, PIC adventures, supported by Tourism Malaysia, and technically managed by trisportz. Sponsors for this year include; Red Bull, Spritzer, Brooks, UFL, Coleman, Deuter, Suunto , Powerbar, 100plus, Celebrity Fitness, OUtdoor Dynamics and Sofresh.
Held at Pulau Perhentian. The Perhentian Islands (Pulau Perhentian in Malay) lie approximately 10 nautical miles (19 km) offshore the coast of northeastern Malaysia in the state of Terengganu, approximately 40 miles (64 km) south of the Thai border. The two main islands are Perhentian Besar (“Big Perhentian”) and Perhentian Kecil (“Small Perhentian”). The Perhentians belong to Pulau Redang National Marine Park, which means that fishing, collecting coral and littering are strictly prohibited. Both islands are fringed by white sand beach, and the reefs and crystalline water are host to a wide variety of coral, sea-turtles, jellyfish, small sharks and reef-fish. The islands’ maximum elevation is approximately 100 m and they are uniformly covered in coastal tropical jungle, with few interior foot-trails and no roads
Mental and Techincal Prep
I never took part in any adventure race whatsoever before and my nearest event to an adventure race would be the the FTAAA cross country last year and the year before. I’ve done trail running and kayaking before so, there, at least some feel of whats PIC is gonna be like.. Ya right. . I teamed up with Badrol Hisyam, PASKAL member, and he’s like the totally opposite of me. He’s one of the pros in Malaysia adventure races, and me.. ahakz.. anyways, I told him from the beginning, the night before race day to be exact, that he shouldn’t have high expectations on me. Bukan nak cover line. Road racing and trail running are 2 different things. And so is triathlon. My trail running preparation for PIC is a frank zero. The last time i trained for trail was in preparation for Tioman EcoChallenge but my team got cancelled so couldn’t go. However, I did went for kayak training with my team mate, and that at least could help us in this PIC !
I bought a pair of Brooks Cascadia a day before the Thursday night departure. A beautiful shocking/flourouscent green pair of trail shoes. Instantly felt in love the moment I saw it at the Brooks store The Curve. 30% off for Pacesetters members did the justice. I was afraid I might get blisters, so I prep myself (my foot!) on race mornin with the necessities. No sleeve tan for PIC thanks to my team mate who brought along his time trial jersey, which coincidentally matched with my shoes !! Here’s Cascadia 3 :
Like my first LD triathlon in Desaru (half Ironman), I arrived at PIC with no specific expectation or target. It is a mental strategy, as in not letting fear or too high an expectation so swallow you even before the horn is blown. There are ample of time for that positive stress to come to me during the race itself. I couldn’t be too relaxed either. A sprint adventure race means alertness, and alertness means putting all your senses and perceptions together. I wasn’t afraid either. Just can’t wait to start the race and uhm, check out where I stand in adventure racing. Earlier I registered under Novice but under the recommendation of Sifu Dino, I teamed up with Badrol. He gave me the honour to choose a name for the team. I landed with ‘Stärkst’ which basically means ‘strongest’ in German.
After dinner and race briefing by Race Director Mr Chan Chee Seng of Trisportz on Friday (17/8), I organized my racing outfit/equipments .. MAS Kargo cap, check, Oakley , check, Phiten, ..alamak, Bad pinjam.., sports bra, long sleeve cycling jersey, nike shorts,socks,Cascadia 3). No camelbak, I don’t have one and takde budget to buy. Duit pakai utk kasut cun kat atas nieh. So, just stuffed 3 Powergels in my pants+jersey’s zip, and tat was it.. Not holding anything for the race. Bad tolong pegang my Gelbot bottle. Filled it with Powerbar Endurance the next morning. All dah set, time to zzzzz…
Woke up fresh Alhamdulillah ! Had bread and water. We were transfered to Pulau Perhentian Kecil (from Pulau Perhetian Besar) via speed boat. One final briefing before we were flagged off. First flag off was for the Novice category, second flag off was the Elite Category(Men elite and Mixed elite-im in the mixed elite).
1st discpline : Kayaking. No prob this part. The water was not as scary as I have imagined the night before.Still bearable and managable. I sat at the back, Bad at the front. I’m not sure the exact distance of kayaking we all did frm Pulau Perhentian Kecil to Pulau Perhentian Besar. Kayuh je.. Tak sampai separuh jalan dok lambai kat marshall minta air ! Oi tak dengar briefing ke mana water stations !! They’re all on the island and not during the kayak leg. Kayak leg minum air laut je lah !! Anyways, I enjoyed the 1st kayak bit. At the same time aware of the challenge and obstacle awaiting on the island…
2nd discpline : Trailrunning. I never tried the tow rope before when training for trail, and suddenly I have to get used to it on race day ! Yikes ! I wasn’t exactly ready for it. I thought after some running pakai. But no! Bad asked me to clip on the tow rope right after the kayak! It was squeezing my diapghram to the max.. diaphgram cant function to its capability, my lungs couldn’t really expand and I was breathing like krazee. My team mate was damn fast, and catching up with him with an unexpanded lungs proves really tough. At least to me. Im not used to it but there’s no time to lose. We caught up with 2 men team right after hitting the first hill climb. Abang Nas’s team and another unidentified men’s team. Wa potong sama lu beb ! Haha.. I know Bad was not doing his 100%, and me struggling with a 170%.. Trail running tied to somebody and not really having that clear view ahead of you, where to step etc, at the same time hafta keep up with your team mate’s much-faster-than-you pace AND keeping track of the caution tape tagging along the trail.. multi tasking tuh.. just like going for your driving class. All so rigid, but once you get the hang of it, it’ll be okay !
The organizer warned us the race course wasn’t going to be easy this year. In other words, SUSAH (tough/hard in Malay). Lucky no rain the night before. Weather was good and sun is Shining ! We had to do 2 loops around island before kayaking back to Pulau Perhentian kecil.
Kayak 2 : The second kayak leg was smoother than the first even tho the sea was a lil rougher this time and more wind. There was no one trailing behind us this time but we wasted no time..! ‘Long pull Julie..Long pull!’..hahah.. team mate Bad controlled our navigation ensuring no unnecessary time/energy wastage.. We switched places this time. So, better and a bit faster. We could already see a few teams on the beach. The top teams must be somewhere in the midst of the hot and funky trail of Perhentian. Bad luck awaits ‘Stärkst’ as we neared the beach.. We somehow couldn’t control our kayak , the waves were pushing the kayak towards the sands.Fast. Too little time to react. Capsize !! Maintaining the race cool we flipped the kayak over and let the water out. It would be too heavy to pull the kayak all the way up the beach.
Obstacles : There were several places along the course where we had to complete various tasks.. starting with the sand bag, swimming, walking with flippers, dolphin and the crawl. All went well, they weren’t too hard excpt for the swim part where I struggled a bit. We were supposed to swim along the rope. And I didn’t know we had to follow the buoy and not the rope all the way to the big rock just off the beach ! Team mate was so fast with the ropes, I tried to do what he did but seems like the distance between me and him were increasing by the second. Okay fine, let’s try the swim ! Lagi slow ! What do you expects, the heavy soaked baju and SHOES ! Team mate already getting impatient. And I was like..Shyte ! That’s why they call it Obstacles ! Meant slow you down ! But those who can d it gains the advantage of nearing the gap with the group infront of them.
Trail running : The last 2 loops : Proved very tough for me. Climbs after climbs interrelayed with painful descend along the trail. Rocky, slippery at some parts and bum bum banging at a few. On my bum-bum twice, and on my face once ! Damn ! My weak foot (and ankle) plus the zero race trail experience made me trip here and there. Tapi belasah je asalkan maju ! Bad mentioned to me to maintain our pace on the last 2 loops. Maintain habis. Then the killer hill where the Windmill is situated.. mak aihh.. i actually ran up with Bad. This time around tow rope already off my waist and boy could I breathe and run free like a…… like a apa-apalah ! Lu fikir la sendiri ! Anyways, a surprise came to our team at the hill. We saw the mix team which was ahead of us ! Team PSL (D) ; Frankie Ambrose and Robika Gasing. Never berentap in one category before with Robika Gasing seasoned triathlete the Navy. I couldn’t tell how fast they were at that point, but what I could tell was that they’ve been leading my team more than half of the way and now ‘Stärkst’ is finally catching up. They migt be slowing down also I dont know. By the time we finished replenishing out thirst and started the climb, PSL(D) already disappeared.
No tow line on my waist gave me more space to stride and was able to run through the trail of maze more confidently if not faster. 🙂 Alas, we caught up with PSL(D). There were 2 teams in front of us. So three teams close by , thats 6 people in a single file, trail running. To overtake we gotta speed up a bit, enuff to overtake both. Bad, my team mate, was confident that we don’t have to run all the way drafting behind the 2 teams. His confidence bucked me up, and upon ‘Potong dia Julie!’, I made my way through the sparesly ‘arranged’ trees and bushes, buat trail sendiri. Main langgar je. Bad followed suit. He was trailing bhind me coz he wanted to ensure I could maintain the pace, and not falling behind by following his pace. So basically, I was given the chance to lead the team for the last half of the running. So we manage to overtake 2 teams at this part. Well, this was the last time we overtook any group anyway.
More spirited, I maintaned the pace. Stopping at times when my team mate kinda out of sight. Me faster than him ? nah ! He wa only using 50% of his energy following me ! Anyways,we hit the beach after a short while and I was asking myself, where’s d mystery tests? or any other obstacles? wait a minute.. isn’t that the finishing line?!! but .. but.. no time for buts, team mate grabbed my hands and we were running hand in hand towards finish line ! Alhamdulillah. Been waiting for this moment ! Finisher at my first PIC and my first official adventure race !
My team came in 3rd for the Mixed Elite categry behind Power ATM (Mariana and Jusery Ghani) and PSL(E) (Fong and Rahman).
We walked away with RM2.5K cash and a Coleman tent each person. My 2nd biggest win this year.
Dino and Razani of Salomon Powerbar emerged champion for men’s elite.
Richard got firs for Novice men, while Krishna followed close behind.
Other winning teams included Chan and Amirul of UPNM(5), they came in 4th for men elite ! Robika’s team also 4th for mixed elite ! Eugene Chan and Yusoff of Team Bubu came in 5th for men elite. Eugene got stung by jellyfish during the short swim leg.
Righ after the race, I went to seek medical attention.. left foot kena paku karat (rusty nail..).. Kena masa the first island.. tetanus jap on left arm and some iodine on the numerous scratches. To tell you the truth, I didnt fell any pain during the trail running except one cut on the palm of my left hand, rasa pedih sikit. Other than that I was nothing but joyous.
Robika came in around 15 minutes later.. came in the medics room where I was.. on a stretcher! Abdominal/stomach cramp or something like that.. Went to her, ask her to grip my hand while the doctor put on the IV cathether. And next oxygen through her nostrils. Her husband Jeffry Mujah was there as well as her team mate.
Limau was also in the room earlier.. to attend to me ! He helped my and my team a lot especially in covering the event (he took fotos..) and also during the unexpected capsize after the 2nd kayak leg.
A little celebration
Things I learnt from my maiden PIC
1.As much as I wanted to be adventurous in taking part events such as this, I gotta ensure , like any other races,that the preparation must at least be sufficient. A logical principle : Hard trainining –> okay/satisfying race. So-so training –> strugging race. Training cukup syarat/zero training –> Suffering race.
2. In all kinda races, techniques are appled to maximize ur capability. No technique means more energy spent where it could actually be saved. Trail running requires techinique, experience and regularity in training. Team mate says my trail running is zero. I admit it. Race pace trail running is not the same as yourweekend trail runing in Batu Dam, Gasing or FRIM. Especially when you’re stuck with the tow rope ad gotta pace with a faster team mate ! Burden on him/her too !
3. Pace well. No early sprints unless you’re truly confident you can sprint all the way ! PIC might just be the Sprint of Adventure Races compared to SAC , the O.D. / L.D. of adventure races. To me, PIC is just like doing my first sprint tri. Everything seems hard,but the hard doesn seem to last long. Expect the unexpected. Adventure races usually offers surprise routes. With the trail markers, you embark on a journey that you don’t where its end is. Just follow the path. Non stop, no giving up. Some key ingredients to mental success here..
4. Be professional. Under race condition , team mate misunderstanding do occur. My team mate even had a near fist fight with his friend during one of his previous adventure races with this then team mate. Team mate was a guy. If you team up with a lady, make sure you’ve enough of training, with her, to familiarize yourself with her pace/capability. Rough words exchanged throughout the race is for the team’s betterment.But remember not to over do it. You might hurt or dampen you team mate’s spirit to go on.
5. Don’t forget to ask yourself and your team mate if he/she is okay, if he/she wants to drink , take a breather.Is there any need of strategy for the race? usually you do.. and don’t be too serious.. you lose the fun of adventuring…!
6. Ask, learn, study, practise… learning and practise makes perfect. So every race is a stepping stone. The more we realize our mistakes and flaws, the we learn to correct it.
7. Race clean. No dirty tactics please ! Some of the trail markers got ripped of from the tree branches..
Okay , I seriously do need to stop now !!!! I will upload more pictures later together with another special report !! 🙂
p.s. : Bad, Zol, Diba,Limau and Yus ; you guys rock !!!! Salam perkenalan again .