Friday, September 14, 2012

The Most Beautiful Thing 2012 Day 2

The buffet breakfast provided by the hotel.

We wanted to try the local food. Before that, we accompanied Trish to look for those bottled cans of braised peanuts. She had tried to bring it from Singapore but it was confiscated at Changi Airport.

Look what I found in the shop. Such old school designs.

This just reminds me of Angry Bird. Wonder where were the pigs .. :p

Second breakfast of the day .. :)

The roti canai was sedap!!

When we returned to the hotel, the race crew had already set up their counters for us to collect our BIBs, baggage tags and event tee.

This was the event tee. The sleeve was so short that it looks like a women's top .. :p

Our BIB. There were two BIBs given out to us. One was made earlier but when the organisers realised it could was not durable enough to take the beatings of the recent weather (it was raining heavily for the past few weeks), so they quickly made a new one.

The green tag was for the 50k drop bag, the white for out luggage.

Just 5 mins after we collected our stuff, one whole bus load of runners from East Malaysia arrived.

There were 2 race briefings for the day. One was at Mega D'aru for the Malaysian runners at 1230Hr, the other was at Kinabalu Park HQ at 1900Hr.

We were not staying at Kinabalu Park HQ. We decided to attend the one at Mega D'Aru so that we need not rush to the Park HQ for the briefing and rush back to our hotel to rest.

The race route of the 50k and the 100k.

The route markers for the race. The little red flag and the reflective tape that was "SUPPOSED" to be reflective.

The RD mentioned during the briefing that they had tested the tape themselves on the trails. However, to our disappointment, we would discover ourselves during the night that the tape were totally not reflective. Their length was also not equal. Some were so short that we could not see them until we ran beside it.

Races were a good place to meet up with friends. :)

After the briefing, everybody was eager to board to buses for Mount Kinabalu.

Kee Seng and I were in Bus 3. We set off at 1400Hr.

The bus journey took around 1.5 hrs.

We stayed at Strawberry Gardens Hotel, a little further down the down and nearer to the start line at Kundasang.

It was a small family operated hotel with just about 10 - 12 small rooms. There was no air-con. Not that we need it anyway. There was free WIFI at the lobby.

Once we got our rooms, we immediately got down to packing for the race.

This were the items for the 50k drop bag.

A bottle of coke
Snicker bars
Hammer Perpeteum powder
Hammer Recoverite powder
Chia seeds
Bak kwa
Bread (We were now at a higher altitude so the lower atmospheric pressure caused the packaging to bloat)

The race gear.

The orange bag was my 50k drop bag.

The bottled water was bought from Kota Kinabalu as we were worried we could not find any here.

The items in my hydration bag:

Waterproof jacket
Headlamp x 2
Extra batteries for headlamps
Emergency blanket
Mobile phone
Cap (I dont really wear a cap during my runs but this was a mandatory item for this race)
A tube of sunblock (a mandatory item for this race)
First aid kit
Red blinking light
Reflective vest
Mobile phone
Water bottle

Food I carried along:
Snicker bars
Hammer Perpeteum Solids
Hammer Perpeteum powder
Bak kwa
Chia seeds

After finish packing, we went to the lobby to order our dinner.

While waiting for dinner, we took a short walk around the hotel.

This was the front view from the hotel.

There was a strawberry garden, literally. It was directly behind the hotel.

A rose garden too.

We sat at the lobby and waited very long for our food to arrive. We wondered if they had forgotten about them. They kept using us to wait for a while longer.

We noticed some of the hotel staff came back from their motorcycles and walked into the kitchen with some cooking oil and some other stuff. This made us wonder if they only started to prepare all the ingredients after we placed out orders, or rather, after each customer placed their orders. The number of people staying in the hotel may not be that high for them to keep a large amount of ingredients. 

Up here in the mountains, the pace of life seemed one (or more) beat slower than in the town. Nobody seems to mind. With all the mountains surrounding you, you would inevitably realised that you are just a small speck of dust in the whole world.

As we waited, the sky got darker. Large clouds slowly covered the sky. Very soon it started to rain heavily.

We were so glad we need not go for the race briefing at Kinabalu Park HQ.

This plate of fried rice took more than an hour to arrive. It tasted quite good, not considering the fact that we were very hungry by then. :p

Fried vegetables which arrived a while later than the fried rice. There was another plate of sweet and sour fish.

After dinner, we went up to the room to have a final check on our race gear, ensuring that we had included everything we needed. Our luggage were also packed.

I laid on the mattress trying to sleep while the sky continued to pour outside. The strong winds were blowing onto the trees branches beside the hotel and making the tree leaves hit against the hotel. There had been similar weather for the past few nights. I tried to imagine what would I do if it really rained so heavily during the race? Would my headlight be strong enough to shine far in this heavy storm? Would I lose my way? Would I suffer from the cold?

All this questions loomed in my mind as I tried to fall asleep.

This would be my first ever overseas 100km race.

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