For all you eager-beavers who are gleefully waiting for a race update on our latest adventure race in KL, here's the low-down........

The Race :EcoX-capade
Date :      17th March 2002, Sunday
Time :      7:30am - 1:30pm
Venue :    Hulu Langat (somewhere near Ampang/ Kajang/ 
               Cheras). 45 minutes away from KL city.
Disciplines Include : Mountain trekking, Trail & River Running, Rock
                             Climbing, Mountain Biking, Orienteering, Flying 
                             Fox, Mental Challenges etc.

Team Members : Colin, Rebecca, (Gidd)Yap

Team Name :       CRY! 
(Why? Because it stands for Colin, Rebecca, Yap and the last time I did this race last year, I was on the verge of tears at the end of it)

The Story......

Never really sure what came over me & Ling but when we heard about this race, we can actually ignore the nightmares of yesteryear and decided to go for it again this year. And since Nik couldn't bring himself to suffer the torture all over again, we suckered Colin into being our 3rd team mate. However, 3 weeks before race day, Ling had to pull out as she has to be out of the country for a business trip and knowing Yap will be eager to try any type of race, we also suckered him into this. It will be the first of such races for him. Hope it'll not be the last.

Then came the usual mad scramble over logistics, training, getting all

We arrived at race site at about noon after an eventful drive, with dense fog limiting visibility to less than 10 feet on the expressway. We were a nervous wreck but glad it cleared up after a while but not before noticing several accidents along the way due to the fog.

The skills and equipment testing went smoothly and quickly, albeit a little delay due to the organisers being lost on the race course. Yikes!! The briefing was interesting as the whole course was explained in a lot more detail and certainly worked us up to anticipate a exciting and challenging event. There were a total of 50 teams participating in the event and the competition certainly looked daunting, with a strong showing of teams from our Singapore national triathletes and a few of the Malaysia police as well as Eco-Challenge teams.

We went for a hearty meal nearby but all we could think of was sleep, sleep and more sleep. And by 9pm, we were all soundly asleep at our nice little chalet located at the race site, which was surprisingly comfortable.

We rose bright and early the next morning at about 6am. And by 7am, the race site was bustling with activity. At 7:20am, one person from each team was requested to line up at the starting line while the rest of us hold on to our bikes at the side. The idea was for that one person in each team to take on the physical challenge, which comprised of sprinting up a mega slope, going through some obstacle course and then running/ sliding down another steep downhill to meet up with the rest of us. In the meantime, the other 2 members of the team were made to tackle 4 IQ questions. When this was all done, we needed to hand over our answers and off we went with our bikes, biking to the first checkpoint (CP1). Colin had the honour of doing the physical challenge since he's the fittest and fastest amongst us while me & Yap struggled to get our brains to work so early in the morning.

The mad rush to CP1 was awesome. The biking started on nice scenic road and then followed by mega slopes off-road which most people started pushing. And before long, I'm panting like a dog, trying to push my bike up the slopes as fast as possible. The downhills were single track and technical, with 10 foot drop-offs on one side. So any mistake meant a really bad fall. But it was fun and since all 3 of us were mountain bikers to start with, we did pretty well at this section though I must admit I was lagging behind Colin & Yap. But we must have left more than half the teams behind when we reached CP1.

We arrived at CP1 and parked our bikes there. The next discipline involved

Traversing and running up the river/ stream was no easy feat as we had to struggle with slippery rocks and uneven water beds and Yap confessed to nearly doing a split when he slipped. Took him a while to recover from that, if you can understand from a man's point of view. But after like 30 minutes of treading in the water, we finally reached the ropes section. We were to climb up 2 sections of the waterfall, with the help of ropes. We thought it didn't look that difficult but the gushing water and the slippery rocks made it real difficult for us to get any foothold at all. In the end, all of us had to  rely purely on the strength of our arms (amazed that my scrawny arms still had muscles in them) to pull ourselves up the ropes. It was certainly an adrenaline rush for all of us and all of us were winded when we reached the top.

Thereafter it was a downhill run for us all the way. Luckily, there wasn't

Arrived at CP3, parked our bikes and was told to run/trek/ walk our way to CP4. We ran on the road for about 1.5km and then it was an off-road climb up to Bukit Chenuang. The idea was for us to hike/ walk up all the way to CP4 enroute to the summit of Bukit Chenuang (CP5) which sits at 820m. After a while, the elevation of the hill started to hit us as we find ourselves getting breathless and our pace getting slower. Yap and Colin began to experience the first signs of cramps on their legs. I was feeling great and was raring to go and unconsciously, was pushing the both of them to climb faster. I felt really great when we overtook 2 teams ahead of us on this climb. However, as we climb higher, Colin's cramps started getting worse and we had to take short rests in between for him to stretch. We made him take oral rehydration salts as well but that only worked for a while. When I finally sighted CP4, which is like after 620m of climbing, I was elated and encouraged them to climb on. Unfortunately, the minute Colin stepped on CP4, his legs just froze up and he began to experience really bad, unbearable cramps in different parts of his legs. We tried to help him to stretch, made him take more salts but to no avail. We just couldn't understand how this

At CP4, we were way ahead of more than half the teams and were the one of the top 3 teams in the mixed category, one and half hours ahead of the cut-off time and we had to give it away. It was a real shame but I guess it can't be helped. It could have happened to any of us as well.

Some important lessons learnt on this race. Never mix your brands of power gels and always warm up prior to a race like this.

When we reached CP6, Colin seemed to have sort of recovered from his cramps and we were able to slowly jog the rest of the way to CP7 to collect our bikes, which is like about 40 minutes away. When we reached CP7, we were made to do another mental puzzle, and thanks to Colin's scholastic mind, we solved it in just a few seconds, to the amazement of the marshall!

Thereafter, we were on our bikes to head to CP8, which is to find our way back to the race site on an off-road condition.

The only good thing was that we needn't have to bash through all the overgrown 'lalang' and the trail was pretty well marked by previous teams so we didn't get terribly lost. So while we were anticipating lots of carrying of bikes over tall lalang and all, we found this really quite easy as the grass was trodden flat by now. Only problems were the wild overgrown roots which hooked my ankles a couple of times and sent me flying off my bike. We finally found our way out and headed to CP8 for our last challenge, the flying fox. 

While we took our turns at the flying fox, all

Well, like they said, there is always the next time......and I'll definitely

Comments or criticism can be send to Beykha@teamabsolut.net

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