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Grurun Jerai Eco X Marathon
by Denis Oakley in

This was my first ultra-marathon, as I discovered afterwards. The organisers claimed that it as about 45km. My watch said a little bit less.

The difficulty was in getting the team of 4 together but this I eventually did and had a great race with Doc, Majer Kalam and Rashid. THe time was about 8 hours and we came in 15th out of almost 40 teams.

We had to finish as a team and Rashid as visibly chaffing at about 30km with Doc and Majer walking so he took off and I followed. I'd have finished in just under 6 hours as a result but there as the minor problem of finishing as a team and so I ent to sleep for almost an hour and a half waiting for them to catch up before we were allowed to do the last 800m.

The course as good with the frst 10km flat and gently rising from the sea. The next 5km were pretty vertical through the jungle on trails and I really enjoyed this. I had a lot of power in my legs and pushed hard on the uphill. I regretted it later but it was great fun. Almost as cool as England as we gained height and I aited for 1/2 and hour with Rashid for Majer and Doc at the top.

Going down was totally tedious. 10km of constant tarmac gradient that was less painful to walk than to run. Isn't it always. :) And then the last 20 km on gravel tracks and tarmac back through the Kampung.

The time wasn't really that important. What I was trying to sort out was that I could do a marathon in tropical heat and that I didn't have a real problem ith heat and that my hydration strategy worked.

The last 15km were quite hard as I was hot and my feet were very painful. I ran to water stops, walked and then started running, but eventually this progressed to walking up hills and running down.   I took two water bottles per aid station drinking from one and pouring the other over my head. I think I had about 6 gels and a litre and a half of energy juice. In retrospect I should have had a gel every 20 minutes or so to keep the Energy levels up.

Pretty good though and really pleased with the result. Had an easy week afterwards but tried to run 30k on saturday after a long ride and it was absolutely agonising. Managed to do it but a really stupid idea which I on't repeat for a while. :) 


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