Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bukit Kiara : Running The Trails Less Visited

It started with a Whatapps message from a running friend asking if a trail run is planned (last) Sunday. Knowing that he will be tapering for the HK100 race, I thought it will be good to have another catch up session with him. And by that, i meant i have to "catch up" with him running. He is fast and strong, but yet humble and unknown among the usual running community.
"What if we run the longest trail on Kiara? I haven't tried that", Bud asked
Immediately, Kampung came to my mind.
Problem is, the last time i went into Kampung was almost forever ago.
This puppy taste good stewed, King said
And even that, it was on MTB where things move relatively faster and I was following someone's back wheel. It will be a challenge figuring out which direction to go once i passed the last junction before Peak 1 (the top of Twin Peak). But of course, having the trusty KLMBH website and the link to the magical trail map done by Pat  and Joe Adnan, sort of solved part of the worry.
Disclaimer - the post was up since 2002...
So, armed with an 11-years old trail map and a high potential of ending up where we least expected, a time was set for the trail run. The plan was to run towards Mont Kiara/Segambut Dalam and turn back. It should give a decent 7 or 8km one way. Sounds easy.
This Was What Happened
As it was a rather last minute thing and I was unsure of the trail, i extended the invitation to another friend, Mon, and he was game. Adding another person into the run would be fun. At 7am, we were all at our designated pick up point. A quick chat and introduction between all of us - myself, Bud, Mon and Mon's friend, Azhar and we were off. The plan was to run up Lung Buster towards Twin Peak and turn off at the last junction heading to Segambut Dalam. There was no issues the first 2km. In fact, it was smooth sailing (as it was a familiar route for all of us), until i hesitated on the (correct) junction and got the team lost as we emerge at the Peak 1. Backtracked and turned right (from Peak 1) to the junction. We ran down and came to a cross junction that was marked in the map. I made the biggest mistake in map-reading by assuming I know where I should go and turned right, only to find ourselves running to the bottom of "TNT/Dirty Deeds". That meant we ran Pure Quill. Haha. Never mind as that 700m was treated as additional mileage as we backtracked and was finally on the right track. As we went down "Janie's Addiction", we came to the part where the fences were left open. The view from that side was much better than the usual lookout point.
Hot Sweaty Men in Tights and Shorts - Women, swoon!
Here is how the view looked like without the good looking men.
Alamak...lense covered with sweat!
We ran past the fencing and ran straight on. The trail was a bit unmaintained at certain section with undergrowth. But it was run-able. In fact, by trail standard, we were doing a 5:45 pace at that section. As we ran past the top of Peak 2, we bumped into a rubber tapper. We asked for direction and he told us to turn right if we want to head to Mont Kiara/Segambut Dalam (via "Boner") or go straight for Kepong. We turned right initially and decided - Hey, why not just head towards Kepong? After all, according to him, we've not past the Penchala Tunnel, yet. It was only later we found out that we actually already did crossed the tunnel. We continued the run and head to a very familiar route (by my memory) and I instantly remember this to be the "Clenched Sphincters". Tight turns going downhill that even while running down gave us some thrills maneuvering around the trees. Mid-way down, we bumped into two young men. Found out that they came from Desa Park City (DPC).
Being chased by Bud and Mon
We continued to run down this trail and reached a fork. An arrow was hammered into a tree, and it points to the right. Defiantly, we went straight ahead...and (as i read the trail map now) found that we were going down "Lightning Ridge". Yeap, the route that was steeper going down was characteristic of that. Then, we ended up at a dead end with a 10 feet drop. That, upon closer inspection (today), it was the "Caution, Large Drop"
Right...How did I not see this during the run?
We decided to backtrack, sadly, taking the same route we came from. I took my phone out and run the EasyTrail Apps and found out that we were already almost at the edge of the trail with NKVE right ahead of us and DPC beyond it.
Large climb back up again
As we continued our run back to familiar trail, we had better visual of how the trails around us looked like and it should allow us better navigation when we return in the near future. As we got back to the cross junction, we ran through "Pure Quill" (which has road clearance big enough to allow a truck to drive through), down "Dirty Deeds" and continued on "Snake & Ladder" before emerging back at the lower portion of Twin Peaks. Then it started drizzling.
Unfazed, we went into 2K loop and ran after a group of Mountain Bikers. This 2K is like my drugs. It is fast and 100% runnable. I believe I did a sub 3:50min/km pace here, again. Looking at the time, we had a bit more"10 minutes" and decided to return via 4K loop and Magic Carpet. By then, it started to pour and the rain was penetrating the secondary jungle canopy
Speedy Gonzales
And the inevitable happened, I got lost, again, entering 4K only to exit at the other end of Magic Carpet. Haha, too distracted taking photos. But the team took it as an opportunity for more mileage as we ran Magic Carpet and exit at the tarmac near the water tank. Then, it was a short 200m before entering the trail and heading back to the park. 12km was completed in (moving time) 1:30. Total time taken was 2:10 with the differences either taking a break or trying to figure out if we should jump down the cliff at the side that we got stuck.
Next round, I promise I won't lead the team and get lost again. :D Who want to come along?


  1. If you all don't run so fast, I can show you the way :P

    1. I can't run any slower with you chasing behind me bro!

  2. Can't wait for the next run :)

    1. Kasi habis HK100 dulu :) Recovery run?

    2. Listen.... listen.... listen.... listen......I mau mari... mau x100!!!

    3. Victor - Mau Mari ke, mau LARI?

  3. Tri,

    The map you mentioned was first drawn in 2002 By Joe Adnan and Pat Brunsdon, true... but the one published on KLMBH is the updated 2011 version. No excuse for getting lost mate !


    1. Olivier - correct bro! It was a new map...and yes, i still got lost!