Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Explorace Season 3: Route 2: Ee-Van vs. David

long report ahead. Will make good toilet reading material.

report start:

ExploraceSeason 3: Race 5
Venue: Desaru/Kota Tinggi
Date: 27th April 2006
Racers: James/David & Azly/Ee-Van
Time: 0800 1900

Starting Point
Me and Azly woke up a 4.30am. Not because we can't sleep, the room at Pulai is great and if given a choice, we would rather be doing the tourist thingy and just sleep in.

We were told to meet up at the lobby by 0600 to be transported to the starting point and the race will start by 0700.

At 0615, we went into a convoy of Gen.2 cars and were driven at 150km/h to Kota Tinggi (yes, that place is that predictable).

We reached the starting point in Kota Tinggi and were wired up with a pouch and a mic set. Yeap. This is it. Sasha was waiting for us at the starting point and we were briefed by Kama, the Producer about the whole race and issues again.

We met up with our race director and cameraman. I had Kamal and Tommy. Great combo i would supposed. In fact, i get to have 2 race director, Tommy and Tg. Ismail. It was scary as i was wondering what will i be made to do with 2 race directors!

The race start was delayed because the Helicopter couldn't make it on time and Kama wasn't too happy. At 0730, we had 2 mock up of the starting of the race. These were purely for TV thingy. I read my clue twice. Can't believing that this is the race, finally. My first clue was to:

Locate your Explorace Car at Bangunan Sultan Iskandar and drive to Tanjung Sedili. Once arrive, take the Bot Penambang to Sedili Besar. Meet Tok Shikh for your Q&A

At the blare of the horn, we ran and pretended to be reading the clue again (for TV la) and then i ran across the field and met my first obstacle. To climb up the small cliff over the big longkang. Obviously not very smart. I ran to some locals and ask them where the Sultan Iskandar Building. To my delight, it was just there. I then took the opportunity to ask them where Tanjung Sedili is, which they told me Jaaaauuuuuhhh!!! they then told me it is towards Mersing.

I ran to the front of the building and located the car. David were ahead of me. Damn it! I ran to the car and started it, awaited for the crews to jump into the car as well and the way we go!!!

Tanjung Sedili, Here i come!
It felt surreal to be racing still. I tried to get my bearing right and i tried to recall the way into the starting point, of which, it will lead me straight to the junction where going straight will lead me to Desaru, turning right back to JB and turning left is towards Mersing. I saw the signboard for Desaru/KL/JB and assuming that it will lead me to the junction, i followed it and guessed what. It was the more scenic route that will cover a good extra 10km (5k to the first Kota Tinggi junction and another 5k to the second junction where i initially wanted to go).

Never mind i told myself, at least i know where this lead too. Deep in my heart, i hope David takes all the wrong turn as well and drive back towards KL. We came to a stretch of crusher run road that lasted at least a good 2km in distance, cheekily i told the camera that I'm doing a rally not Explorace and asked for Karamjit to move aside as i'm taking over. OK, that's corny.

Along the way, Tommy kept asking me if this is the way to Tanjung Sedili, i told him yes as the local has told me. Of which, he queried if i asked more than 1 person, well, the truth is, NO.

SO, there i was, with the notion of maybe getting lost and losing the race in the first task, i decided to turn left into this hardware store called Kong Kong Hardware. Ran down and the two girls in the shop ran away from me and the boss came out and i introduced myself and asked him for direction to Sedili.

He offered me direction AND a map so complete that if i ever got lost for all it's drawn, then i deserves to be lost. I spoke to him in Mandarin of which the crew managed to capture (Ha! At least now you all Chinese educated Chinese will see that i could speak Chinese!)

Having done that, i drove towards Tanjung Sedili, another good 30 minutes away or almost about 45km away. I looked at the time and it was 5 minutes to 0900 and i was told the ferry come hourly. Assuming the worse where David got to the jetty before me and managed to catch the 0900 ferry, i'm fucked.

Taking care not to break the law for all it's worth, that final 15km was painfully slow to pass by.

Task 1
I entered Tg. Sedili and headed towards the jetty... and saw DAVID!!! Flashing my headlights to irritate him and cheering for the camera for all it's worth that we are now back to square one.

I parked the car and asked how much is the ferry ride, of which the local said RM1. I had with me RM100 and ran around to change the cash. Managed to break a RM50 and i headed to the jetty to further irritate David. Yeap, square one. David told me that when he reached, the ferry JUST left. Looked like luck is on my side this time around.

I also found out that the ferry comes every 30 minutes and i made it for the 0930 ferry.

I asked around who is Tok Shikh and was told he is waiting for us at the other jetty driving his Toyota Unser. David and me managed to lighten up with him saying that we are gonna look for Dato' Sheikh and DJ Dave. The locals laughed with us and perhaps so, we realised that it is as important to have fun, while attempting to break each other's neck.

Upon arrival at Sedili Besar, i ran ahead of David and towards the Tok Penghulu. Greeted him and it suddenly felt strange. I felt as if i am in Amazing Race. With the Tok Penghulu saying Selamat Datang ke Sedili Besar, ini sampul surat dan soalannya. Itstill felt surreal.

My question:
Name the main attraction in Kota Tinggi and Where is it located?

My answer:
The waterfall in Kota Tinggi? And where is it? Kota Tinggi????

I knew it was wrong. Was given another envelope as my penalty.

Wrong answer! As a penalty, search for the Explorace Dayung in one of the houses at Jalan Hj. Mohd. Lazim. Go from house to house & inquire if the Explorace Dayung is there.

I ran and found the road and started knocking on every door in the neighborhood.By the time i exited the first house, David was ahead of me asking other houses. Decided to play it smart and let him do some of the talking and checking. I noticed he took longer than needed at one of the house with many ladies standing outside. One of the house i went told me they do not want to buy anything i'm selling. Hahahahaha!

I then went to the next house that David firstly went. The owner told me the Dayung was in that house. Knowing that David didn't enter that house, i decided to try my luck. Asking nicely and properly, they said it is inside the house and i need to look forit. I took my shoes off and went into this house. Searching up and down in and out and by a stroke of luck, the Dayung literally fell out from where it was hiding. Ecstatic!

Reading the clue again:
carry the Explorace dayung and hitch hike to Kg.Sembayong Jetty. At the jetty, row the sampan o the Poles marked either in Red or White colors. Collect several bento with crabs in it.

I managed to hitch a ride with the makcik's nephew and wondered where David was, then i saw him JUST coming out of a house with his Dayung! Shucks! Faiz, my motorbiker sped past David, with me trying to irritate him more by heaving my dayung up and indicating to him i'm ahead, again. The ride was bumpy, winding and exciting. Not long after that David was behind me again.

I reached the Jetty and ran to look for the pakcik. Saw him, in fact, in my rush, i was talking to another TV3 crew. Hahahah!!! silly me! So, i had to repeat the thing again to the pakcik. I noticed my dayung has the white explorace sticker and hence i need to row the sampan to the white flag and poles.

The river is about 100meter wide, maybe more. The flag on the other side of the mangrove forest looked tiny. I jumped into my sampan and released the string securing the boat.

I row for my life and by the time i was in the middle of the river, i saw David struggling with his sampan. Obviously he forgot to release the rope! I was hoping he remain that way. As i reached the flag, i saw loads of pole sticking in the water, marked with red and white, i am supposed to take only the white poles. My first 3 poles i pulled out didn't have any single Bento in it. The fourth one has a Bento with no CRABS! It wasn't until the 6th pole that i had 2 crabs inside and these muther are huge! Thefirst two was the size of my palm. After checking all my poles and crashing into David twice, i only managed to get 3 crabs. It was then that my race director told me there is another side with more crabs. And that other side is RIGHT NEXT TO THE JETTY!!!I noticed the tide are coming in or going out. The current were strong and i had to struggle to get back to the other side. David was still at the first place and he seems to be very lucky with the crabs. Shucks!

I was tired by the time i reached the second spot, started pulling the poles in frenzy and noticed that this place has more crabs in my white poles! Yes! It only took me 10 minutes to get the rest of the 7 crabs. Decided that it will be better to be safe than sorry, i went and get 12 crabs in total. Can't afford to go wrong, can't we?

I then pedaled a sort distance and went up the jetty with my catch.

Looking back at the clue:
using the right technique, tie 10 crabs and deliver to Mr. Sarah Yassin to get the next clue. Warning! Both the crab's claws must be intact and tied securely otherwise it will be rejected

I noticed the first set of crab i caught only has 1 claw, so, that will be rejected. At that moment, i felt blessed i had 12 crabs with me. :D

the pakcik showed me the rope of crab tying. It looked simple and do-able. Mixed feeling of being afraid of the crabs and the eagerness to try something different sets in. after going through the steps with the pakcik, came my turn.

It is a totally 2 different sets of experiences eating and handling crab. I grabbed the first crab and SNAP!!! excruciating pain flooded my middle right finger and i realised a set of claw broke off after t snapped at my middle right finger. I recalled i yelped like a woman/he-woman... It was painful and electrifying. Great first crab and it happened this way.

Traumatisedit took me 5 minutes to tie one crab. 5 minutes each. By the time i was done with my 6th crab, i heard the locals shouting as David almost capsized. Apparently it's low tide and all the water are flowing out to the sea. He was struggling with the tide and to balance while he was pulling the poles out. Thank goodness i do not need to be in his position.

I was getting better after the 4th crab and it took me less than 3 minutes for each crab. As i was finishing my 7th crab, David emerged and was shown how to tie the crab. I knew i was in trouble when i noticed that 3 crabs i caught was of the single claw type. Meaning i only have 9 crabs!

After tying the 9th crab, i was asked to go back into the water and get one more to be tied.

Jumped into the sampan and even before i could release the rope, i was already struggling with the current. By the time i released the rope... i was drifting away. The local assured me i will only reach Singapore in this tide and current and i knew David was smiling as he knew i had to go back to the water.

I struggled fighting the current and managed to haul up 2 crabs in the next pole. Only to see BOTH the crab are single-clawer! Damn it! The next one i pulled out has the perfect feature... even though it was so small i bet it would disappear under my shoe when i want to tie it down.

I emerged from the boat and noticed David has done 7 crabs. Shucks! Rushing i managed to finish tying the last crab without dislodging any of it's claws or legs. I was told before hand that the small crab would have their claws and legs easily dislodged. So, i was very careful with this last one, as i know for sure, there isn't anymore crabs in the water that was planted by the crew and locals!

I thanked the pakcik and i told him i won't make a living caching crabs. He say i'm right as i won't even have money to buy gambir, let alone the sireh leaves!

Task one DONE! And ahead of David! Next clue was:

take the explorace boat to jeti tanjung sedili. Then drive the explorace car to Desaru Golf & Country Resort and find Chef Ghazali at the clubhouse restaurant to get our next task.

It is easily another 90km drive to Desaru. When i reached the Jetty, i rushed to the car and decided to ask the police where is the nearest route, if there is one. He told me to take a certain road and go straight and I'll reach Desaru. It is a total of 45km. Not too bad at all!

Elated, i sped off and drove at 90km/h and adhering to the local traffic condition and listening to my race director and cameraman for instructions. I was asked what I'll need to do at the restaurant and i mad a guess that I'll be made to cook something.

15 minutes later, i realised that David was behind me. Tailgating me. He overtook me on the double line on the bridge and i wasn't too happy. Later he did ask if i want to overtake back again and i decided not to since we are like 2 seconds behind each other. No point i would say.

We reached Desaru Golf Club with David ahead of me and we ran to chef ghazali.

Task 2
The task read as per below:
go to the driving range on foot. Collect 10 golf balls marked either in red or blue. Exchange the 10 golf balls for a golf set with En. Azman. Carry the golf set to tee box 13, par 5.(use the map provided

I almost burst out laughing. For years, my boss pestered me to pick up golf and i refused. Serve you right Ee-Van.

So, me and David ran to the driving range and we met up with En. Azman. Neck to neck. En. Azman showed me the balls that i need to collect. Here were 300 balls scattered all over the driving range, one side red, and one side blue. I took the blue side. I ran to the range and started to look for the 10 pins in the haystack. I found my first one easily. Then i realised i need to come out with some form of system to ensure i do not waste time and miss out any balls. So, i started to throw the balls I've checked to one side, away from the unchecked balls.

I also developed the Z-sweep technique learnt in RMC. I went in Z shape, covering all ground from left to right right from the far end. The range is 250m long and 70 meter wide, so, each of us has to search an area of 250x30 meter for that 10 balls.

The time was almost 1230 and it was burning down on us. Sweating buckets and eyes unable to open due to the sun's brightness. The TV3 copter were hovering over us and i felt like a celebrity. After what seems like eternity, i managed to collect 6 balls from all over the driving range. I shouted across to David and asked how many he managed to get and i had a feeling he was lying when he say he got 4. To make him feel a bit better, i told him i also got 4.

It must had been almost an hour under the hot sun that i managed to gather 8 balls. The camera crew said i already had 10 balls. That is, 8 from the range and 2 of my own. Hahahahaha... if only! I realised that i must not forget to have fun, so, i took all 8 balls out and put them on the ground while praying to it, asking them to go look for their 2 missing siblings.

By the time i managed my 9th, David had 10 balls and shouted to me to take my time as he has managed to get all 10 balls.

3 minutes later, i managed my 10t. Ecstatic as i noticed that David is still at the range packing his stuff up and hauling up the golf set, i ran as fast as i could and caught up with him as he was leaving the range. I exchange the balls for the golf set and ran towards Hole 13.

I was cursing myself and psyching myself to catch David. I ran with the set ramming recklessly against my butt. He looked behind and saw me chasing him down and he started to run. I managed to reduce his lead by 30 seconds as when i reached the Teebox, he was just tee-ing off. Is first shot brought the ball as far as...5 meters. Yes. We do look silly.

It took me 5 or 6 swings before i got the ball airborne. It landed a good 50 meters in front. Hole 13 is a 350m course. David's second swing hit the ball, which bounced against the side rock and it shot off backwards to some bushes. A 10 minutes penalty will be imposed if you do not locate the ball.

My second shot brought the ball 10 meters further. Luck was better with my later shots as i landed on the green by my..err...20th shot? Took the putter out and noticed David is about 50 meters behind only! Took me two putting action to land the ball insidethe hole. There you go... at a par 5 course i managed a 22, or more.

There i met up with Major Ramli to get my next clue. Knowing he was an army officer, i stood at attention and asked for his permission to continue with the race, which he then gave me an envelope and a buggy.

drive the buggy and park it at the clubhouse. Then using the Explorace car, drive to the Pulai Beach Resort. Park the Explorace car in the designated lot and then run to the swimming pool. Ask around to locate Rm. Yazid. Drag the upih with Mr. Yazid siting on it.

I told the camera that i had this feeling that Mr. Yazid will be one big muther. I drove the buggy and got lost in the golf field. Damn it! Swearing again for my won stupidity i try to locate the fastest way out. I was just starting the car to leave when inoticed David just parked the buggy. Arrgh! Neck to neck again and i though i had left him far behind.

The Golden Key
This time around, not gonna let him be ahead of me, after he finished overtaking me, i overtook him with the permission of my race director and drove inside Pulai.

I overshot the parking and reversed and there he was, David, right next to me as we parked the car. Not wanting to waste any single seconds, i made a mad dash to the pool. The lobby was filled with tonnes of school kids there for holiday. It was like playing touch rugby, trying not to run into any of them while side stepping myself and them as i ran for what my lung could bring me. I noticed David were drifting behind and i slowed down. I supposed there should ONLY be one En. Yazid, and getting there first will be very very advantageous as then, David has to wait until I'm done before he could have Mr. Yazid.

I reported to Mr. Yazid. A chubby 20 years old weighing in at 80kg, or so he say. He doesn't even look 90kg. He looked more. And once he sat on the Upih and me started to pull him...God help me. I couldn't move. The soft Desaru sand doesn't help as the more forceful i pull, the deeper my legs goes into the sand and the more obstacle i made myself to pull over Mr. Yazid. The Upih gathered sand under them and that just made the whole thing worse.

By the time i managed to pull him over 20 meters, David arrived. And guess what, there is another Mr. Yazid! Damn it!

The whole length of the beach was about 100m plus minus 20 meters. It was far. Soft sand and heavy load, plus fatigue starting to set in doesn't help. Hot afternoon sun with the warm salty sea breeze hitting your face was almost redundant when you put both of them together.

David stopped to rest and so did i. Taking the opportunity to rest while he was resting. I'm a good 30 meters infront of him and no way he could overtake me. If it is hard for me here, it is twice as hard for him there. Downing the sponsored Excel and sharing it with Yazid, i was told that he and that abang weight the same, at 80kg. Look, i am about 80kg. He is not, and definitely the abang is not!

In what seems like an hour under the sun pulling, tugging and doing everything i could to pull him through the distance... i swored, i swear, i scream, i grunted... high level and chances of giving up. I could see David struggling and my phone rang more than twice, Bandit is calling me.

I knew for a moment there that i had to get this task done and get my Golden Key and bring it to Bandit or risk forsaking him. I have this lead and advantage now. Pain is secondary, completing this is utmost important.

With one last pull, i got yazid over he line...and he pass me the Golden Key and i asked him again what was his weight. He told me 103kg. Now i get it. David and James weight about that weight. And if Yazid is 80kg only then it won't be fair for me as the20kg different for David will result in him having an easier time. Hence, to make it fair, i had to pull the same weight as David's bodyweight. I took a breather, collapsing to the ground as the fact i finally got the key sank in. Took picture with Yazid and re-read my clue:

Head to the meeting point at Pejabat Felda Semenchu to join our partner there. Together locate the home of Pakcik Maalip on foot. Meet pakcik Maalip for your next task. Reminder! Keep the Explorace Golden Key safely with you until the end of the race.

The time was about 1500 as i remember a lady asking me for the time as i was running to the car.

I jumped into the car and drove away after i wished David good luck. I'm back in the lead. Great! I called bandit and explained to him why it taken me so long and how my fingers got snapped by the crab. (ie tengah manja). He gave me the direction to the Felda HQ and i drove knowing that David still has a good 40 meters or at least 15 minutes to go before he manage to finish the pulling.

Playing the mind game with James, i told Bandit I'm ahead of David by a good 15 minutes, Bandit replied by saying what? David is a good 25 minutes behind you?. IN races like these, being fit is not enough, we got to be playing the mind/mental game to dishearten the opponents. The pressure is on us to win this race as we came in as favourite.

After a good 20 minutes of driving, i reached the Felda HQ. I waved at Bandit and told James not to worry as David should be about 20 minutes behind.

Bandit did some homework while waiting for me and he knows exactly where to go. So, off we went to Pak Maalip's house. I had to stop for pee stop. Bladder bursting. By then, it was already close to 1530. I took a leak while the TV crew went passed me and the police and ambulance stayed away to give me some privacy. Bladder cleared and at least 500grams lighter, we made a dash, hand in hand to the house.

Team task 1
We reached the house and reported to pakcik maalip. We were given the next task:
both of you are to dress in the traditional zapin costumes of Johor. The perform the Zapin Johor by following the dancers. Only when the dance instructor is satisfied with your performance will you be given the next clue

we both burst out laughing. We are so gonna make a fool out of ourselves on national TV. Going in after taking off our shoes, we changed into the whole baju melayu with chicken feahter on the songkok.

The music start and i swore i lost coordination. It was hard to follow, let alone dance. Bandit was as stiff as a metal and i am no better. Together we made a very very good kungfu master performing drunken mantis kungfu.

We finished the first song in 10 minutes and it didn't satisfy the teacher. By the time we reach the half way mark to the second song only did we decided to come out with our own dance step as long as we could almost coordinate our silly legs with the restof the dancer.

That was when James and David showed up. They too, had to change and dance.

This time, by the time they were dancing with us, it was again back to neck to neck race. Only difference now is that whoever that could shake their booty better will have the advantage.

We managed to satisfy the teacher the second time around and was given the next clue.

Using the Explorace tandem bicycle, head for Desaru Fruit Farm where you will meet Mr. Steve Er. Get the next task envelope from him

Yes. Cycling, our favourite disipline. We reckon that we had to capitalise on this and lead until the end of the race. David and James is just a max of 20 minutes away, providing that they, like us, need 2 songs to get the move right, that is.

Cycling on the tandem is a tricky affair. We function well if we were to cycle alone. Not when we are 2 person. Bandit and me lost our cool to each other as it was getting frustrating the initial 5 minutes. We then stop and talk about it and then we were functioning as an unit. He rolling hills along the road leading to Desaru is very nice and daunting sometimes. Whenever we can, we wen o the highest gear and clocked almost 50km/h and running out of cadence. We can't afford to let this slip away, not after so much has been done for the last 8 hours of the race.

Then it started to pour cats and dogs. Rain hitting on us like small pelt being thrown on us. We love the rain. It rejuvenated us. Gives us new energy. It felt like the ride to Lumut all over again.

It took us a good 40 minutes to reach Desaru Fruit Farm. The rolling hills did summon us to be going with granny gears and painfully slow. We reckon, again, if it is hard for us, it will be at least 2 times as hard for them. We never fail to look behind everytime we reach the hill's apex, just in case we could see the two of them. Seeing them is not a good sign and we get new source of energy everytime we didn't see them behind us.

Golden Box and Golden Key meeting each other.
We parked the tandem and ran to Mr. Steve to get the new set of clue.

plant the dragon fruit tree using the material given and according to the specs in the attached drawing. After that, squeeze 4 cups of Limau Manis and present it to Mr. Steve Er.

We were provided one hoe,one saw, 2 long 4 inch timber, 4 long 2.5 inches timber, nails, rafia strings, blade and 4 dragon fruit seedlings. We need to saw the 4 inch timber to 6 feet length. Then plant the timber, which will act as support for the fruit to grow on 1.5 feet into the ground. Then, make a 2x2 feet square frame with a piece of wood in the middle to be knocked onto the top of the support.

Sounds easy, or so you think so. Try doing it after doing the whole day activities for a good 8 hours with no break for me. My mind refused to cooperate with my body. Bandit and me went to work straight. He began by digging the hole and frustratingly, the ground was filled with rocks. Digging up the hole with a hoe/cangkul was no eas task at all. We changed work and i began digging, as it was agreed before the task that i'll do all physical task and bandit the thinking task. In short, he will be my bitch. After 20 minutes of digging, i found my finger froze and refused to open. I had to pry my own left fingers open to release the hoe.

It was then that David and James showed up and was given the similar task. No time to waste, got to work faster.

It was scary. I noticed blisters forming, but it wasn't painful. Bandit finished sawing the first piece of support and i huriedly dig deeper. After Mr. Steve gave the a-ok to the depth i put in some earth to keep it there.

Then i had to put in the organic fertiliser. It smelt of ammonia. Same smell as the rubber factory smell. It was foul. I had to use my hand to spread the fertiliser and stopped to give Bandit a hand with some carpentry work. His fingers too, frozed up. By then, i noticed that David were digging a second hole, as the first hole wasn't penetratable by the hoe, which i presume was laden with stones underneath. After helping him with the initial wood work, i went back and took the fruit tree out of their poly bag.

One by one, i placed the fruit tree on the 4 flat part of the square 4 inch support. I then tie it up with the rafia strings provided. Then, i covered it with some earth and more fertiliser. By then, my hands were covered with fertiliser and were smelling foul. Bandit finished his work as i finished pulling out all weeds from the new plant bed and backfilling the planter's box like a hill to support the plant.

By then, the frame proved to be too heavy for one of us to lift, it need two person to lift it up. Having done that and checking of the alignments and getting the a0ok from Mr. Steve, we nail the frame onto the support. Mr. Steve requested for 3 nails to be hit in. one on each side and one in the middle for good luck.

We then rushed to the table next to it to squeeze the limau. Bandit cut the fruits and i started to squeeze it with my bare hand. Only then i felt the stinging sensation on both my hand. Blisters that had formed from the digging broke because of the acidity of the local orange, it was stingingly painful. I blocked off the pain and continued to squeeze.
By then, the orange juice looked brown. In my haste i forgot to wash my hand. There you go. Orange juice with organic fertiliser. Yummy. I had a feeling that we will have to drink this. And from the look of the crew and Mr. Steve, we both believe so. We decided to squeeze close o 5 cups for good luck. James and David were still digging and making the frame. We took our time and to make sure we don't do anything wrong.

We brought the brown orange juice to Mr. Steve and was asked to open the box with the key.

Inside, there was the last clue.

Drink the 4 cups of Limau Manis and go to the old bike. One of you must ride the bike while the other sit on the bike. Go to the finishing point that is Taman Tasik Penawar

we reluctantly drank the 4 cups of sweet limau manis laced with organic fertiliser. We wan to win it, and there is no way we allow this fertiliser to stand in our way. Afterall, it is only shit...and nothing is more shitty than letting some shit stand in your way to victory.

We then posed with a signboard with Explorace 27-4-06 written on it. Signifying that we planted the beautiful tree and it was a PASS!!! We can officially make a living panting dragon fruits now. :D

We ran to the old bike, met with the owner of the farm which gave us 2 bags of cut fruits which we must finish by the time we reach the finishing line.

So, there we were, on our last 10km journey with me cycling and bandit sitting behind feeding me with the sweet fruits. There were dragon fruits, jambu, watermelon, kedondong, pineapple, jambu air...

To the finishing line
more rolling hills in sight. This time, riding a single speed bike that weight a tonne and our partner right behind you feeding you fruits like 2 lovers that is out pak-tor-ing. It was very difficult going uphill and we had to push on 3 occasion until flatter ground was found. I could feel my quads tightening up and cramps starts setting in. Got to take it easy. Bandit offered to pedal but i told him not to and rest, just in case we need to run to the finishing line with James and David behind us.

We reached the junction to Bandar Penawar when the race director came to us and stop us. Asking if we did the dragon fruit correctly and was told by the director that the opponents made a complain that we didn't do it correctly/out of specs. We were devastated. Victory is a good 20 minutes or 8km away and this has to happen.

We werent' too happy and served our 10 minutes penalty. Hoping that they won't show up by then.

After being reprimanded for what seemed like eternity, we we finally allowed to carry on. We pedaled and asked for direction. With locals offering to even bring us there in their vans. Victory was looming, and so was David and James. Working purely only onadrenalin and defying all pain the body is telling me at that moment, i guessed i turned into a semi beast with Bandit asking me if I'm ok and that there is no way they could catch us. The hill was tough and we had problem riding it, that meant it could be 4 times as hard for them, pressured even more by the fact they are trailing.

But i did not take the chance. I pedal. Hard. Fast. Strong. Pausing only to interject Bandit breaking into songs for the tv camera.

We finally reached the finishing line at 1800 plus minus, with the crowd cheering us and Shasha waving at us. The feeling was estactic.

Bandit turned to me and said: did you realised this is the first time we ever won any race???

Pathetic as it might had sound. YES

James and David didn't reach the line until 45 minutes later.

What a race it was!

Just got an email, My second round race will be from the 2nd till 6th of June. Destination? UNKNOWN!

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