Friday, May 16, 2014

SAC Day 3 : The Langanan Wonder

Reality check. 4-weeks has passed since SAC and I am still writing the "race report". I apologise for the lateness as it is unlike me to delay things of these sort. I guess I am getting older and writing report seems to be slower at the same time. Excuses aside, enjoy the report on Day 3. 
Where 3km Was Actually 5km, One Way
As usual, Day 3 of SAC will always be an easy day of sort. This is due to the very tight timeline to get the race completed by noon, for the folks to pack and prepare to head home (to KK or to airport). It is also the day where the "tie breaker" will happen. You see, SAC is very much a "timed race" where the ultimate champion will have their results tabulated on the day to day basis. You can come out mid of table on Day 1, but if you managed to score it big on Day 2, and find yourself in contention to be on the coveted Top-3 position (for bragging), Day 3 is where you get a chance to outwit your opponents. It is usually a "treasure hunt" of some sort on Day 3. But first...a visit to the "Emergency Blister Control Row".
Everyone here is getting their blisters fixed
The last day was a Sunday, and the race director did not had plans for all of us to wake up any later than 7am. By 6.45am, many things has happened and the campsite was abuzz with activities.
But sir, it's (blardy) Sunday!
Blisters you asked, how bad? Well, to start with, how about at all spots you can think off on your feet?
Every single toes and at places you never think will happen, like top of your feet!
This race, myself and my team mate Roy Yeow took part together. But of course, he was way faster (and me better looking, because this is my blog :P)
We should had continue to confuse some participants...
Once all the blisters has been treated and covered appropriately, we headed to the starting line where the last briefing for SAC2014 will be done.
But first....
Yes, the trip this time around has been about taking photos and racing. Memories are made of these and best to have them immortalised and for sharing.
With Nasier. Thank you for the captures! 
Tired from the last 2-days and with some returning back as late as 11pm, tiredness could be seen on the faces of many. Little did we all know (on that morning) what will be put for us to complete. Afterall, a "hike up the waterfall" sound very do-able, more so there is already a fixed trail many could follow.
A photo showing a mixture of feeling...
How tough can it be, right?
The race started soon after the last briefing - that we need to hike up Langanan Waterfall, get our number marked, get back to race HQ and head out for a treasure hunt. Cut off is 12noon. Simple. We have a good 4-hours to complete all that and it is at most...15km...
As with all the days, photos are compulsory. :) Here, Rosli having a good time recording all of these for memories.
The short run out of Poring and we are headed to the start of the waterfall trailhead. It can be accessed internally via the Poring park, but why take that easier route when we can take a longer one?
Starting to look rather promising. A hike away from the sun. Nice.
Teammate 2ndskin in action
Somehow, no one started to run, yet. Dear Esther has went up Langanan before, and if she isn't running, that would only meant it will be tough - save energy lah, she said.
It says...3km...right?
The starting was good. With wide undulating trails that looked runnable. This is a tourists spot, isn't it?
So much fun
And then....
Climbs...40degrees switchback
And it just go on and on and on...for the next....4km.
It is a climb people! Move!
4km? Yes, because you see, the 3km is a straight line distance not taking into consideration the elevation change. The GPS records vertical distance and the 3km slowly creeps to 5km to the waterfall. You thought you are making progress, and the distance marker just refused to budge...
Wifey was struggling with her backache and I had the chance to run up further and take panoramic (vertical) shots to emphasise the climb.
We arrived at a cave known a Bat Cave. I've checked, no Batman inside.
Reeks of guano
More pics of the climb.
There got to be an easier way...but none.
Everyone forgot to look up
Because looking down was inevitable with the climb
A clearing for a breather. Fantastic view. I bet this was the waterfall we saw from a distance on Day 2.
A shout from the top for an photo opp and you see everyone looking
And then the climb continue....
Along the way, there were many huge trees. This one was the biggest I've spotted along the way.
Makes you feel small
And of course, when opportunity arise, we run for it. :D
Flat - run
And get dissapointed that there is another 1.5km (which in fact, translate to 3km) to go...
Kena tipu
That was also when we saw many running down from the check point
THe climbs continue for us mere mortals. Almost 60degree climb at certain section
Not easy...heartbreaking
Penang Triathlon and Duathlon organiser
Rosli mimicking a scene from a Hindustani movie
With a lot of encouragement along the way, we could hear the waterfall after what seems like a full 2-hours of hike (to cover 5km).
Thank you sir
And the sight did not disappoint.
300feet worth of waterfall
The waterfall was spectacular. But as we were chasing cutoff, we decided to spend maximum 10minutes to let the fall soak into us.
RnR for many not rushing
Checking in
One more selfie won't harm
Or two more...
Maybe three
This waterfall deserves a return visit in our next holiday trip to Poring. I can imagine how cold the water would be just from the breeze caused by the gushing water from the top of the fall.
Next time again, perhaps
The return journey was easier as it was 90% downhill. The 5km was covered within an hour of fast descent.
Run? Maybe not...tired dy.
We arrived back to Poring with about 45minutes to spare. But first, a compulsory pose to commemorate 2014 SAC. hot hot!
The remaining for the 45minutes saw me and wifey scrambling to find the nearest two spot. It was easily 2km one way and with 4km to cover, that made our 10min/km pace journey. The sun was beating down hard and we decided to just settle for the nearest two - which was the exit of the Day 1 route not too far away. We ran back a little to Race finish with about 5minutes to spare. 
Thank you Nasier
There wasn't any fanfare and there was just for us, self accomplishments. Yet another long race together and with both being stronger, we know we are not going to be last in the list. Even that, there is no shame being last, as the last 3-days proved to be tough even for the strong athlete.
:) Yay!
Route Data
Distance : 13km
Time : 4hours 5mins
Elevation Gain : 791m

Immediately after the race, we went back to the run to clean up and pack. As we booked the same day flight return to KL, there was absolute rush to make sure we got everything we need packed and ready for home. The award lunch was held soon after and just like 2013, the medals were huge ass big.

And this year, there was coffee from Tenom given to us, apart from finisher t-shirt (long sleeve) made by 2ndSkin. Nice!
It was also catching up with fellow competitors as we made plans for the return in 2015. New friends made, old friends rekindled. Races like these set the pace for many future races where many make the effort to keep in touch post race. The community is small and we will cross path again in near future.

It was indeed a good race. The organiser delivered yet another superb worthy to talk about race and with like minded participants, it became better. Many enjoyed the camp out with a handful decided to stay in the comfort of modern amenities (aka ourselves). Route from Day 1 to Day 3 totally wore us out, burnt us with tan line to remember and with elevation that makes us believe any mountain can be climb if we put our heart into it. Until 2015 and the 16th installment of SAC, stay well and thanks for reading all the 3-days report. It has been a pleasure writing and reporting it from memory. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it.


  1. Good report!! Aku malas nak tulis. So. I post gambar jer.