Monday, October 03, 2005

AXN 2005

It was a great race. Enjoyable and definately much tougher than last year's race.

There we in total, 13 mystery test and numerous stuff to do. Trusting Yuen Li and Co, that's hardly surprising. In every race Nomad organise, there bound to be surprise galore. This time around, it was a signature Nomad Adventure race.

OK, lets see if i could recall the race.

Race start
Race start this year was next to Wisma Central, infront of Maxis and Avenue K.

Participants were required to place their bicycle at Lake Garden by 9.30am. There were hives of activities there when i reached the place at 8.45am.

Cheryl and gang was seen busy setting up one of the mystery test. Boats were visible at the boat house and if one were to look carefully, the flying fox cable is right infront across the lake.

The LnE gang got to race start point after dropping their bikes. There all of us went to grab the race bib and race info and maps. Regulars could be seen armed with tapes and highlighter to highlight their routes and sticking their maps together into one comprehensible (and understandable) piece of paper.

The official crew were seen interviewing everyone that they think were worthy and to get feedback from last year's winners and all.

By 12.30pm, we were flagged off...

We ran towards Lorong Lumba Kuda through the KLCC park to get one of the 3 *treasure hunt* clue. OP Adventure got clue A. There were 6 destination to go. All spread out along Stonor, Kia Peng, Eaton and all varieties of Lorong, Changkat and Jalan.

We had to count lamp post at house number 12 along Lorong Stonor. Budin stood and salute the Vietnamese embassy as we passed the place. Then we ran to 2A Jalan Eaton to count golden hisbiscus. Loads of people weren't aware of the trick in this question, the clue said SIDE GATE ONLY and tonnes of them were seen counting the main gate at no. 2 or the main gate at 2A. OP adventure were a bit dumb, so, we went on and counted the least hisbiscus at the correct address and door ;-)

We then ran to the Craft centre to find the Keliring erected at the compound stood at 5.5m high.

Then we went to RUmah Pak Seman to find the opening hours for the tour of the Penghulu's place.

Lastly, we had to run up a hill to find the name of the house at No. 8, which after i sees it, i believe might be the house of the Owner of Sungai Wang (Sumur Wang , by the way, do you know that Sungai Way was the name of the horse of the owner that initially build Sungai wang?)

Checking in at CP1, we were marked off and Wye Yim gave us a present of a piece of red brick with AXN written on it.

Smart alec like us would want to take short cut and run towards Nikko hotel to reach the next CP. Unfortunately, the road towards that path was blocked by huge bouncers employed by nomad. We found ourselves running towards and along Jalan Tun Razak to the Ampang Park LRT station. We were given a bucket to bring along to CP2. Good God.

Running along Jalan Ampang towards Bukit Nenas Forest reserves, we found ourselves being gawked by KLites. Traffic was heavy but we moved faster than those cars in jam. The run was pretty straight forward(no pun intended) and anyone that could get lost in this early league of the race seriously need to get a guided tour of KL.

We reached CP2 soon after, checking in and was told that we now need get through the Matrix Zone.

Between CP2 and CP3 - Matrix Zone
We soon found out what the brick and the pail is for at the MAtrix Zone...

It was a long long climb, almost batu caves like towards the first station of Matrix zone. We decided to just do whatever that is given to us and get out of the zone as fast as we could.

At MCP1, we need to do 50 push ups(with chest touching the brick), 50 sit ups(any upper body part touching the pail while being secured between the legs) and 100 squats(with butt touching the pail).

The numbers could be combined by all team members, i find myself doing 50 push ups (well, they didn't say we must do FULL push ups ie hand locked at every upward movement) and i find myself pumping away with minimal effort. The came the sit up, which Bandit showed Budin the finer point of Tuang-ing (ie reading between the line of the Nomad's instruction). 50 sit up later, we had to do 100 squats, which some other team cheekily just squat and move their butts off the pail which were given to us.

We then decided to do MCP2. This was trickier and tougher. No part of the feet must touch the ground. Which find all of us either down on all four crawling, or spread down on the ground, legs high up in the sky. I must admit, with budin between my crotch and my leg on his shoulder while we moved towards the other end, with the pail and brickes only at my ankle(regulation...), it was pretty obscene. bandit has to do the Dog thing everytime the pail wants to tip over from budin's back or my ankle. The afternoon sun didn't help as well. We felt like it was a f*ck in the park.

We got through 2 MCPs and was signed off. Just one more MCP to go.

We reached MCP 3, which was a go cart race. Well, lets just say that going down the winding road at almost 10 degree inclination with a board and only 4 industrial castor wasn't our idea of fun, moreover when we all weigh in at about 300kg in total...a crash would not be very pleasant sight. LOL.

We decided to try either MCP4 or MCP5. Which was a easy downhill steps and an awful uphill batu caves like climb after.

Too late to pull away to do MCP3. We got to ground Zero was was told to choose either a *transfer water using sponge*(which wasn't as easy as it looked) or *bridge building*, which was easier, until we found out one of us has to be blindfolded. As per usual dumbass spirit, we got through the ordeal, almost tipping over and being eaten by those sharks at the field...LOL...

We checked in at CP3 soon after and were told to drop our pail and bricks there. Guess what. My pink glove...i left it in the pail..and i supposed Nomad's team most probably throw them away after seeing which *gay boy* were sane enough to be using it...sigh...i miss my glove!

Off to CP4
We ran from CP3 to CP4, which were the front entrance of Central Market. We took the shortest route to central market, cutting through Boom Boom Room, Lebuh Ampang and Bangkok bank before reaching the place. Oter faster team could afford to take the longer route via jalan Gereja-maybank-Kotaraya-central market and still end up at the same time as us.

Mystery test. One team member has to finish a corn without using hand. Me, being hungry, ate the whole corn in record time. Bandit and Budin were seen applying muscle cream and filling up their almost empty water bladder.

From there, we were told to go to lake garden, via Dayabumi-MGS-Cenderasi-lake club-cp4.

Guess what? we followed the direction like some dumb soldier and the camera crew though we were the first team to reach lake garden as we ran through BUkit Aman! One police man even cheered us on and told us we were the first. The even escorted us and camera crew were reeling away. We can't be the first team! no way!

Well, obviously, at CP4, there is already like 101 team doing some other stuff. We later found out that we were teh first team that followed that route stated above, whereas the others cut in via the other entrance to lake garden...damn!

We checked in at CP4 and were told to do more mystery test.

1 man blindfolded. One man no feet on ground. Blindfolded member must not be the one being carried. I was blindfolded and then Budin and Me decided to lift Bandit as he was the lightest amongst us all (actually i'm lighter at 75kg, but decided that i could make do with being blindfolded. We did what we use to do in primary school, forming a square/seat/throne for Bandit to sit. Bandit guided me through the obstacle course, Budin share the load of Bandit over the Haystack, we pulled bandit through the small 14 inch tyres which were hanged in mid air, then each of us, blindfolded included, had to get ourselves into the tyres WHILE Bandit's feet remained up in the air. It was tough. We were almost exhausted. We got through CP4 and Doc and team came in.

The AXN exec/director(apology sir!) was at CP5 cheering and laughing at all of us trying to get over the monkey bar suspended at 5 feet off the ground. The trick was to get UNDER and OVER the bar alternatively. It was tough as upper body strength has to be presence. bandit had a gash on his thighs when he scrapped himself on the scalfolding's anchor point. Budin as usual, made his grunt of strength. I was enjoying myself.

Getting through the test and CP, we massaged Bandit, which has to make his way to CP6 for Flying fox and me and Budin to CP7 for Sprite Remix Test.

Bandit did the Test. Awaiting for his report on the flying fox.

Me and budin went to the boat house. We took one of the Sampan, which later we found out was we paddled towards the main lake, water started sipping in, because of our *expertise* with single oars, we found ourselves paddling into the main fountain where the flying fox line were. We were wet. Water got into the sampan even more and Yuen Li shouted at us for being careless as we were 6 inches away from the guys/girls doing the flying fox (sorry Yuen Li, it was really accidental).

The test with the boat test was to go around the lake 3 rounds, each time, collecting one can of sprite remix. It was tough, as we found ourselves that our balance in the boat was compromised with water half filling the sampan. We sat down lower to keep our balance.

It was pain. Reminds me of the time me and doc were out in the Sea during perhentian island challenge last year and finding ourselves at our own incompetence when it comes to boating. Well, Doc improved tonnes while i, on the other hand...

We finally got through the boating without killing anyone (well, 2 boats tipped over and one french team went against the traffic and caused us to be back paddling out after causing a major jam at the *causeway*...

We poured the 3 cans of sprite remix into the jar and i drank half of the jar load. Sugar level: High!

We got to CP8 after all the CPs has been signed and chopped by the race officials.

We ran to the bike, Bandit was seen taking the new map to CP9 from race official. But before that, we were told to run around the lake one round. We asked the official and found out only team that has breached the rule of using tires smaller than 1.8 inch need to run one round around the lake. IMHO, i think 1 round is too little as that is a serious breach of rules and regulation. They should be asked to do 3 rounds, one round each member in relay. Then it would be fair. Some of us tried hard to follow all the nessasary rules and some conviniently breaks it. sigh.

We then find our way to CP9, which was somewhere near the Ministry of Work. Rain started falling by then and it became heavier as all the maps that was highlighted in the rain started fading away...

At CP9, we were given directions to CP10, which were to this place near the Indian Embassy. We reached CP10 and was given direction to CP11.

CP11 requires us to get out via Indian embassy towards Jalan Semantan and turn left the Esso Station infront of UN Building. IN the haste to get to the petrol station, me and bandit forgot to take notice of Budin, which, unfortunately, went into Jalan Gallanger and cycled towards Bangsar exit.

I knew there were trouble when i waited at the petrol station and one by one team started to overtake us while we waited for Budin. Thinking that we might just DNF, i ran down back to the road, only to find all the other teams which got lost in Bukit Tunku area caught up with us.

I ran back up the hill and took my bike to cycle towards HELP University COllege. Then i saw Budin. Anger, mixed with frustration flashed through me, then i realised that it is afterall, our own fault for not sticking together. We got back togehter soon after and made our way to Galeria Sri Perdana, the previous residence of the PM.

At CP11, we were given map and direction to Tien Hou Temple on Jalan Robson where we have to cycle through Federal Hill (ahh...more nostalgic sigh please...). We crossed the road to brickfields and took the road leading to Seputeh and then towards the temple.

It was a hard climb up to the temple. There we were asked to stimulate a tyre punture and change a front tube. I volunteered to have my tyre removed as it was a soft tyre, almost requiring minimal effort to pry open the tyre and change it. I did it in my best record time and caught up with half of the team that overtook us back at Jalan Semantan. Doc was a good 5 minutes away from us.

From CP12, we were told to go to DBP, where the bike drop is. Only thing is, we need to cycle through Bukit Petaling, where the Hokkien and Cantonese Cemetery is. Not an issue as i know my way there as well. We got out of the place pretty fast where else i found out some team had difficulty and got lost there. As we move towards DBP, Yuen Li was seen by the side of the road cheering everyone on. Well done la!

We reached DBP with 45 minutes left to cut off time of 7.15pm. Not one to DNF, we ran/hop/crawled to Berjaya Times Square. As we approached Pudu Prison, we could see participants abseiling down the 16 floor of the building. Cool! Budiin got extra spirited as me and Bandit poke him furhter about if he is sure to do it.

We ran into Berjaya Times Square to be greeted by Aileen, Azah and Doc's team. They just reached there as well and Steve was on his way to his climb while doc is making his way up to the 16th floor.

We strapped on our gears. As me and Budin climbed to the 5th floor, Bandit was at the CP waiting for us and filling up water into our bags. Budin had a cramp on his Quads and i asked him if he is game to climb up to the 16th floor, which he say he want and will. Good spirit for a first timer!

i reached the 5th floor and we ran towards the marshall which then directed Budin to go up the 16th floor via stairs and me, towards the amusement park where i'll do my climb.

I was asked to climb up the metal structure which is almost 20 meters high. it's as high as the ride next to me as i could see the people in the ride in blurry vision as they zoom pass me.

My saving grace was that Saiful was belaying me. My confidence was high just because it was him! Many thanks Saiful!

I reached up after the 3rd back which forces me to climb on the outside of the structure. I've also concluded that Salomon shoes are pretty useless in urban condition as i was slipping on the 4 inch metal bars that made the support for part of the building high glass window.

I blew the whistle and Saiful lowered me down. Hands sore as i was really tired by then.

I ran down to the ground floor again, then ran to the abseiling landing pad after goofing around with the rest of the guys and found Budin safe on ground zero.

He was happy with the trip down and i must say he is hooked on adventure race!

We checked into the CP to do the Perodua Pull Test.

A Kembara needs to be parked, and reparked again, two members need to push the car while the third will be inside manourveing. Not a hard task.

We found ourselves one hour to cut off time and we ran to the last check point, CP15, where the so called hurdle from Hell is...

The instruction said to take Sultan Ismail then cut through to KLCC park to CP15. OP Adventure decided to be a bit more adventourous and took the Jalan Imbi until Dorset Regency before turning right at the LTAT building. We should had taken the Wisma Cosway building via the old Spiral.

Budin's thigh was cramping up and we decided to help him stretch and apply more ointment on him. Again, it looked pretty obscene as he was propping himself against the barrier outside the Hospital that Paremba is building, Bandit was massaging Budin's Hamstrings while I was infront, kneeling at crotch level massaging his thigh.

Say what you may, but that's teamwork dude!

We reached Exxon Mobil building and ran across the car park to the park, ignoring all possibility of tripping over amorous couples doing their business in the darkness of the KLCC park. We saw light. I knew it was Wye Yim manning those counter.

Delighted, we checked in 15 minutes ahead of cut off time and went to do the Hurdle. Our legs are tiied like in three legged race, only difference is that the person (me) in the middle will have both his legs tied to the member next to him. Then, we have to make ourway across the parallel bar(no, it's not Olympic yet) with minimum of one hand on the ground at any one time. Feets can't be touching the ground, or even any other body parts. It was painful as the zip/cable tie eats into the flesh and shin banging against the metal scaffoldings.

We got away alive and we ran to the finish line.

Finish line was like 200 m ahead of us. Budin did a last hurdle past the FRP cones which deters kiam siap motorist from parking next to the NGV building and he set a domino effect as the cones were connected to each other via some plastic cables.

it was funny and we could hear people cheering for us dumbasses as we run along the fringe of the car park into the finishing line, well almost running. We let a Mix team to overtake us to the finish and i had the passport in my mouth.

True to last year's finishing style, we, again, crawled to the finish line...enjoying the last very few seconds of glory for finishing the race.

Writing this blog entry wasn't as exciting and as rewarding as racing the race itself.

Well done to all racers. The usual suspect turned out to be winner and after everyone grabbed their goodies bag, the crowd disperse and everyone went back home, this time around, the haze has failed to stop one of the best Urban race in Malaysia!

Pics update soon!

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