Typing this a month after I participated in Pulai Ultra 50km trail running race which took place in the state of Johor across the causeway. An inaugural event, I signed up to get fresh of breath air away from the usual scene of this pancake island, plus the legs needed some elevation training.
The event took place in Mount Pulai Recreational Forest, features a waterfall and forest track. Apparently, it was closed for about 15 years before being opened in 2016.
Pulai Ultra 50km is a loop race concept of 12.5km whereby runners need to complete 4 loops within 12 hours. 3 categories to choose – 13km, 50km team relay of 4 and 50km open. For 50km distance, It’s a loop race within 12 hours cut-off and the runner must begin the final loop before 9 hours 30 minutes (at 4 pm).
The first 5km asphalt route up to the peak was a slow zig-zagging and turning right just before the peak at 540m height into the forest trail. The next 5km was mostly a downhill trail of brutal tree roots and occasional scrambling over several huge fallen trees. The final 2.5k was mostly open wide trail and last stretch of pavement to the hall.
There weren’t big turn up but suffice to make it a good event – I always enjoy a small event anyway! Local runners representing team Uglow, Marathon Baker and Innov-8 were among the participants at the start line. The race began at 6:30 am – it was a pleasant morning.
On average one loop will be completed within 2 hours 30 minutes – not my case though. Mr E and I planned to run separately, knowing I will be slow especially coming down the hill. And I was indeed a bit slow in the first loop, several runners cut me along the downhill single track. Getting a little ‘used to’ to the downhill in the second loop, where I found the rhythm to swing from one tree to another like a monkey, I started to recall the Pulai hiking incident of 2 Singaporeans who got lost and missing for 4 nights. ” Better not happen to me today”, I whispered. At some point after hours of racing in the forest trail, it can be very lonely but it was nice bumping into local hikers and tourist alike.
Coming out of the forest and seeing the waterfall was a fresh relief after every loop especially, the 3rd loop where I battled a severe dizziness (must be from dehydration as it was really hot that day). I took a short rest by the gorgeous waterfall, and dab some Tiger Balm which has helped to ease the dizziness. I completed the 3rd loop, over the cut-off by 13 minutes at 4:13 pm making total 2000m elevation said my Garmin. The gastrointestinal played up big time, in fact, I couldn’t shovel anything during the entire race despite plenty of food served at the hall – just water and electrolyte. Hit my limit for the day though legs able to continue and vomited a few times too.
Win some, lose some. Top 3 women for moi and Mr E came to finish line in 11:43 hours. Congratulations to all, especially the 4 loops completers. Thank you to amazing volunteers and organiser Southern Ultra Enterprise.
Come back again? Absolutely! While initially came for uphill training, in the end, it’s felt more like a downhill blast. Nice fresh air, serene Village of Sri Gunung Pulai, challenging trail and friendly local just a short drive from the little red dot – what not to love. #HitYourLimit
More details: http://checkpointspot.asia
Live to thrive, x