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Wednesday, 19 October 2011

T-N-F! breaking ALL boundaries!

InYourFace at TNF

“All I want..is to cross the finish line..” Sick smile

My running experience can still be considered in its infancy. If you have been following jurnalari, my first race was just over a year ago. Throughout the period, my toughest experience would be during my 1st full marathon at the Energizer Night Race 2011 in Sepang. That was how it stayed, until TNF.

When the registration opened some time back in April (or was it May Nana?), I never had the slightest intention to even care about it, let alone joining it. Hey it was a trail race, 25km (or 50km), it would be hard, my legs and body would be able to take it. However on that night at Shanaz’s place during her ‘Parti Liar’, Nana asked if I would like to be her partner for TNF (thank god it was only 50km Duo), and unexpectedly I duly said yes. Our team would be named InYourFace.

‘What have I done???’

So, fast forward.

As usual, the race venue was already buzzing when we arrived. It was still an hour or so to go before the start time at 10 am. So we did our usual thing before a run. No, it was not the warm-ups, it was taking photos!!! Open-mouthed At around 9:30 we saw a familiar face walking towards us. It was the hero Yim. He and Karen had just completed their 100km Duo. They were at that time attempting to do a near-impossible feat to complete 50km in the 100km Duo, and a full marathon in the Putrajaya Night Marathon later that night, all in less than 24 hours.

Teams checking in!Team InYourFace, Thundercatz and CrazyScorpio

Crazy Yim!With Yim

At about 9:45 am we trudged our way towards the starting point. By the time we reached there, the pen was already full with runners. After weighing our bags (we were supposed to bring minimum 1.5l of water in our hydration bag), we moved into the runners pen. Honestly I did not know what to expect, but the searing heat, even before the race even started, would have a huge impact towards how my race would pan out later. The gun sounded at exactly 10 am, but our position at the back meant we only crossed the start line 3-4 minutes after that.

StartingTeam InYourFace talking strategy? No? Smile with tongue out

There was no apparent strategy for Nana and I. The most we could think of was to run 4km, then walk or slow jog 1km. Not sure if we would stick by that, but that was the mutual agreement we had. In the beginning it was quite a breeze. We were running in shades so the effect of the heat was not too obvious. However the humidity and the terrain combined kind of sapped my energy faster than usual. I just kept myself to an easy pace, and made sure the team stayed together. By the time we reached 4km, we decided that we could still continue another kilometer before keeping to our strategy to walk or slow jog a kilometer.

At 5km, the terrain was getting more and more unforgiving, and I was getting more and more exhausted. I felt not even a bucket-load of isotonic would be able to fuel me. After only 5km?? ‘This is bad’, I thought. If you are a runner, or if you do any sports, you would know that your body has reached the limit, no matter at which stage of a race. In my case, my body was already reaching the limit, if not yet. My heart rate was beating irregularly, there were occasional chest pains, and I could not breath properly. As much as I hated it, I took the decision to walk until I reach the 1st WP (Water Point), which according to the Runner’s Guide, was merely less than 2km away. Nana at this time, was already not too far in front.

Upon reaching the 1st WP, I took as much isotonic as I could, from the hydration bag, and the WP itself. Here we caught up with CatMan (Saiful), one half of Team Koyuck, and Nana and Agus. We runners were taking this opportunity to try to rejuvenate by having a good laugh among ourselves, hoping it would make us forget the grueling tasks yet to come. We even took some photos.

At WP1Selly, Agus, Nana and I at WP1. We look so happy! Look at Nana! Rolling on the floor laughing

We restarted our journey a few minutes later. I continued my running and walking as my body did not have as much strength as I wanted it to be. Pity Nana, as she had to also do the same thing, an unspoken pact of not to leave your partner behind. The further and deeper the trail goes, the more I feel frustrated about it. It got a lot worse when you run on tracks which were not shaded by trees or obstacle, the sun right on top of your head. Thoughts of DNFing played constantly in my mind. But thoughts of the team, those doing 50km, other runner friends, eliminated all those, and I decided I would pull through all adversities and just complete the race.

About 3 hours after we started, we reached the 2nd WP. All I hoped for was to refill the hydration bag, gulp some nice cups of cold 100plus, and bananas. It would be better if there were McDonald’s, or Burger King Smile with tongue out. Well, guess what. There were none. No water, no 100plus, which would be the most important at this heat and condition. After 15 or so km of running, no fuel for the runners. WTF?! I was too tired to even talk (yeah, I was probably the quietest runner in the event), I could not reserve some of my harshest comments to the organizers, but I know Nana and Selly did! Open-mouthed smile

The final 10km would be the hardest ever for me. The brain was already half functioning at this point. Nana, who had been strong throughout, but so kind to still stay with me, took the wise and fair decision to run with Agus, while Selly would accompany me until finish. I feel it was a valiant effort from Selly to keep me in the race. She never failed to provide the humour, although she was also tired at that time, just to ensure I would stay awake for the remaining kilometers. I was so tired, I could not even laugh at her jokes. And to think at that same time we had to push ourselves for the 4.5 hours cut-off time, I think it was unbelievable of her, and eventually of us.

We finally crossed the finish line 4 hours 40 minutes later. I finally left the torturous, arduous 25km of dirt, mud, sweat and blood behind. To just say “Thank you Selly” would be an understatement, but it was all due to her that I managed to complete the toughest race so far in my life. Well, it might not be 50km or 100km as what some of us did, it might ONLY be 25km, but the courage and grit of everyone doing the event must not be underestimated, regardless of the category.

Dashing at the home straightMy face tells the whole story as I was being ‘pulled’ by Selly at the home straight

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Usually this won’t be a problem for me

At the finishing lineSelly still fresh as if nothing had hit her at the finishing line

TNF Medal
The coveted medal (it’s ONLY 50!)

I would to congratulate some of the runner whom I know personally; Yim and Karen (My Ultra Oldies) for their amazing feat completing both TNF 100km Duo and Putrajaya Night Marathon in less than 24 hours. The other 100km Duo Teams; Macam Bagus (Ian & Ijam), Geng Bas Sekolah (Syah & Kash), RayDeo (Ray & Deo), Blissterra (Dzul & Cynthia), and those who did the 50km Duo; Thundercatz (Irwan & Shanaz), CrazyScorpios (Agus & Selly), Koyucks (Saiful CatMan & Fazli). And to the others who participated, congratulations for the courage to even run. Be right back

Well Done!WELL DONE! Smile

Selly aka Senorita G (or is it Sellypura now? Hot smile), thank you for literally dragging me back home. Without you, I doubt I would make it. Oh yeah, and thanks for the accommodation too!

Nana aka Princess G, thank you for the chance. We might not finish together, which would be the most ideal thing to do, but without you, I would not even be at the starting line. Smile WE DID IT!!

To the other group of running friends; namely the Gs and the RBU geng, thank you for the inspiration.

And to Azu, thanks for just being there, for me, for each one of us. Left hug

“All I wanted..was to cross the finish line..” Winking smile

10 comments:

  1. Good job izuan..be proud of yourself, you completed this TNF Hell..there are a lot of team DNFed, but not you.

    Plus great job there supporting Izuan, SellyPura you're one tough Cat...meowwww

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  2. hehehe..thanks cRaYzeef..meowwww.. :P

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  3. Tak kira, Next year join lagi ek :)

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  4. Proud of you Izuan. I know the 25k is not as easy as one thought it would be. My first TNF was a 25k and I walked most of the time too. Can I give u a tip. When running on trails, it's not abt the distance but it's more abt the time spent on yr feet. You must be prepared for a 4 hr race instead of a 25k race. u know what I mean.

    Sorry for the lecture but just sharing what I've learnt doing TNF for 3 yrs now. Jgn serik eh, next year ramai2 lari lagi ok.

    Congrats once again!!

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  5. well done GG! hard like hell or easy peasy, you did it and have learnt the trade and tricks. time for an upgrade! jangan nak geli2 je lagi heheheh

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  6. You did not give up, that alone says a lot :) congrats bro!! Next year, again???

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  7. Aww u're very welcome, dude! Asree and my Singaporean running kaki, the Freedom Freaks, have taught me well to live by our motto of "Leave No One Behind" ;) I was a tad worried about you throughout that last 10K (especially when ur lips turned blue!) but I had no doubt that a strong runner like urself would cross that finishing line. It was tough, but having a partner to run with definitely helps mentally. Congrats again, miak :)

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  8. Tahniah GG, semoga pengalaman TNF50K duo kali ini dijadikan inspirasi untuk buat TNF100K tahun depan. Lagi satu, tahun depan Azu partner lari dengan aku hikhikhik
    Tip : Next time start training lari mula pukul 10am :D

    catman

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  9. el Kapitan: next year?ermm..errr..errmmm..

    Kak Kash: Thanks Kak for the advice! no worries,duke je one advice2 ni.. :D

    deo: geli2 best dowhhh..thanks bra! :D

    Kak June: next year? thanks Kak June! :D

    SellyPura: Thanks Babe! :D *hugs*

    CatMan: King of Sparta??? azu klu partner ko mmg ngam..kompom xbosan..lupe penat..tgk2 dah 20 km..kihkihkih..thanks bro! :D

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  10. partner! i'm so proud of you to have completed the crazy and superpanas trail race with the help of senorita despite you being unwell on that day! maybe next year we could cross the finish line together? ;)

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