Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Eco-X Race Report by the Average Joes


As Promised, pictures later as the camera ran out of batt...

here goes!

Team: Average Joes (Steve, Doc and Me, Bib number 106)

Race stats:

Race Started: 7.45am
Race ended: 9 Hours 42 Minutes and 20 Seconds later at CP9

Total Liquid Consumed by all 3 members:
10 liters of water in water bladder
3 water bottles of isotonics drink at bike
6 packets of Ribena Mobile
A few mouthful of Sg Kampar river water.

Total Food/energy food consumed:
Energy Bar aka Powerbar : 1.5 bar
Energy Gel aka Powergel: 4 packs
Muesli Bars: 6 perhaps?
Bananas: lost count (at CP9)

Technical Stuff:
Total Altitude Gain: 233 meters from base camp.
Total DUMAs(Dumb Ar$e) curses: infinite.
Total Dumps/craps taken: Only one at hashing trail.

Waking up:
Everyone was rudely awaken up by series of farting noises coming from Bandit and Stupe in the morning. Doc was oblivious to it. The Alarm rang at 5am and everyone was up by 5.15am for shower and breakfast.

After a series of equipment check and loading of the gears onto Steve’s iron horse, we were on our way at 6am.

Received call from Bandit’s team mate, aka Cipet and brother that they had totally forgotten to purchase batteries for their headlights. DUMAs. Salvaging our pockets, we managed to find 4 batteries, one of them would be without lights in the cave later, we reckon.

Base Camp:
Arrived early at about 6.45am at base camp, Gua Tempurung. Most participants were seen preparing themselves and some pretended to cycle to the other end of the base camp in the pretext to warm up. In actual fact, there were there to either pee, or take a dump. The grasses there was duly fertilized that morning. Kudos to all of us!

Race director Yuen Li called the participants to the front line, everyone did, and a few kiasus were seen lining their bikes right up front. Average Joes, Three Blind Mice, OP Adventure, Pura Pura Kura Kura was seen hanging out at the rear of the pack, oblivious of the whole barahuha at the front.

We didn’t even know the race started until we heard the air horn being blown. Average Joes ran to their bike and started the race at the back of the pack. Well, we have to maintain being average, isn’t it?

On to CP1:
We are on our way to CP1, It is a cycle from Gua Tempurung through some pretty flat offroads until we reached a wash out caused by a landslide. There, the Joes overtook 5 teams to gain position to being 6th last.

There were loads of first timer of mountain bikers taking the trail, some were seen with their bike stand still on the bike, with thick OEM saddles. After the first Major washout, where everyone got down and dirty to carry and lift the bikes over to the other side, it was pretty much MTB time, ie Mari Tolak Basikal (and not MounTain Bike, mind you!).

The pushing was ardous. There is no instants to pedal because some DUMAs decided to walk on the only line to cycle. DUMAs. Doc, Steve, Rahim, Karoline was seen attempting to do it, most gave up after 30 meters. I swore the gradient was almost 15 degree, as I found my chest to be resting on the saddle as I was pushing my bike up…it’s that steep. Still, some DUMAs stopped suddenly and jammed up the whole lane.

Doc was overwhelmed by fatigue midway thru the push. Can’t blame him, this Joe has been down with fever and sore throat for the longest time (ok, 1 week to be exact), This was my first time seeing him bending over(nope not what you think it was) and trying to catch a breather.

Reached CP1, On to CP2:
The downhill was great fun, reminds most of us of Sg Dua. Fast downhill with loads of bunny hoppings and gravel driftings, things that separate the seasoned bikers from the newbies. The peak was registered at 233m from base camp, we did climb up that high.

Some bikers was seen pushing their bike down the downhill section, Jabil’s speedo registered a max of 40km/h on the downhill section. I’m sure Steve went faster than that (because of momentum).

We exited the biking section and parked our bike, got our passport signed and proceed towards CP2 check point.

At this point, we noticed some more experienced race winning team had lost a team member, it goes to show that adventure racings are full of surprises…feeling good, The Averages Joes, Three Blind Mice, OP Adventure and Dunno Lar went on towards CP3.

CP2 Done, On to CP3:
As soon as we exited the bike park, we had to haul our asses up a steep off road hashing trial. We reached the side of Sg Kampar. Magnificent. River raging and rapids abound!!! Some of us decided to jump into the water and swim. Some were seen slipping into the river and landing squarely on their DUMAs.

The slopes are steep and the ground are slippery. We reached a portion of a broken dam that the locals made to pond up water. The Average Joes are at the average position at this point of the race, ie in the middle fo the pack, maybe at the front 25%. OP Adventure was just right behind. Not bad for a bunch of weekend warriors!!! The Joes saw some trial marking. We then decided to run up the steep hill, and we saw more papers thrown on the jungle floor. It was a steep ascend, almost crawling.

The DUMAs Joes thought that it was the right trail to CP3 (as written in the instruction, it was written that “you will get to a distinct single track which open up to a dirt road”, so we thought it was it!) and we are secretly hoping that all the rest of the team will get lost in the jungle!!!

We cheekily moved some of the paper trail to confuse the opponents…(so much for sportmen’s spirit eh?) At the top of the climb, 60m from the river, we reached an opening, MINUS the CP3 marshall…we knew we were F big time. There wasn’t any footprint, signaling NO ONE actually came this way.

The DUMAs Joes decided to head back DOWN to the river. Only then did it dawn to us that those were the hashing trial…no wonder the paper has lions printed on it…it was the Ipoh Hashing group’s trail…freshly set for next week’s run! DUMAs!!!

That detour caused us an hour. By the time we got down to the river, we knew, that we were LAST team. We saw 3 marshalls, and they were the sweeping marshals!!! Well, the DUMAs Joes regained their last position, and they weren’t even trying hard to get that! What luck!

Thinking to make up for lost time, as it was already 11am, the cut off time of 12pm stays and we badly want to do all the technical rope section.

The DUMAs Joes decided to swim for it. River as deep as Doc’s nose, we swam for it, only getting out at some point where the river is too furious for us to tackle.

CP3, Finally:
We reached CP3, battered, demotivated, with Doc feeling sicker than ever with his fever, and Steve, happy that he took a dump while on the way down from the Detour.

Even the race marshall was surprised that we came in so late, as we were in a good top 20 position at CP2. Oh well…”We went Hashing” were the answer, in unison.

To be Continued…

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