Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Perhentian Island Challenge

I finally found time amidst my convention-insanity-stricken thoughts to do a race report. however, it is exactly my insanity-stricken mind that led me to wipe out my entire camera memory, causing me to lose all my Perhentian Island photos. it was in a moment of careless haste that i decided to reformat my memory card a moment ago thinking i had transferred all photos out of the camera. and that is why, this post would be 100% picture-free, much to my dismay. *sniff*

Anyway, without further ado, here's what happened last weekend.

On Thursday night, we boarded the bus at KL Sentral. What was supposed to be an 8-hour bus ride became a 10 hour plus road trip to boredom. And that pretty much killed me for the day. By the time we got to Kuala Besut, and finally to the island, I was so ready to drop dead. But, one does not sleep precious hours away when one is on an island as gorgeous as Perhentian. No, seriously. If i had my pictures, i'd show you why. The sky was a bright blue, the sea even bluer and the entire scenery was just amazing. Thus, swimming we went! Dinner that night was...edible...as were all the other meals during the trip, but that's besides the point. Allan and I slept on the beach that night coz the tent was too hot. Ah...brings me back to Sekadeh on Pangkor...

Next morning I was all geared up for the race. We had packed about 8 gels to last us for the potentially 6 hour race. I was psyched! So after the speeches and the opening toasts and what nots, I was on my toes already. Approximately 11.30 am, we were flagged off!

Kayaking was first. perhaps it was the start and we have not warmed up, or perhaps i've not touched the paddle in almost 8 months, but we started out pretty weak. So in the beginning, I think we were quite far behind. Then the trail running begun. We managed to outrun a few teams here...that is before we got lost....again....and again....

Yup, that is the MAIN essence of the race. getting lost, losing the markers, going around in circles and ending up at the same spot we were about an hour ago, meeting teams we left behind aeons ago. It was as if testing our physical strengths wasn't challenging enough, our mental strengths had to be tested too. Every wrong move found us making executive decisions on which route to follow next or which team to trust. I personally found it rather hilarious when 6-7 teams were stranded at the same spot wandering what to do next. hehe...

Anyway, loved the trail running nonetheless. The mystery obstacles were kinda dodgy though. I found them a tad too telematch-ish. But any challenge is a challenge worth taking. There was a commando crawl, a rope climb, a mystery drink, a fin run, and a 3-legged run.

But i digress. Back to the race, there came a point whereby we were so sick of getting lost. The sun was high up in the sky, beating down our backs. We were trudging up a path that was unmarked and this male team threw their hands up and decided to give up. They climbed into the adjacent sea and started to swim back to Bubu Long Beach. Allan, being pessimistic about the route, wanted to call it quits too. I reckon the clear blue sea was beckoning him to go in. But i refused. Several teams have already decided to keep on going up that path and it may not be a good chance that it was right, but it was a chance nonetheless.

"I have never DNF-ed in my life, and I am not DNF-ing now!" [DNF = Did not finish]

Yea, that was my argument. Selfish I know, but it worked. *grin* We went back on track, met a guy from the Novice category who was walking back to Bubu, and who confirmed that that was the right route. A flicker of hope rose in me, from which i gained the strength to keep my chin up. We met another woman from the Novice who also affirmed our decision.

After what seemed like an eternity, we finally found ourselves on the sandy beach again, did our 3-legged run and crossed the finishing line! Little did I know, we actually came in 7th place, and scored ourselves a cash prize of RM500!

So i'm RM250 richer. I had a fantastic race. I met loads of people, namely, Neeza (5th place elite), Fong (3rd place elite), Krishna (2nd place novice), Richard (1st place novice) and Mr Goh Choon Aun (2nd place novice). And made some new friends. Thanks Allan for making the race!

Sigh...I love racing...:)

3 comments:

Wendy said...

congrats karen, u did it well!

Allan said...

THANX Renz for making the race too... Couldn't have done it without you!! But i'll have a lil write up on my lame attempt at online journaling on my side of the story to why you had the non-DNF attitude! *nyek* *nyek* =p

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