Saturday, February 9, 2008

KL Tower International Forest Towerthon Challenge 2008

Dear Friends,

Last week me, Kam and Bean ran the KL towerthon. It was a different kind of race for us three. Neither of us have ever ran up that many number of steps in our lives!

Bean practiced by walking up and down his condo, Kam tak train langsung while i tried to use the stairs more often in the hospital. It didnt work.

The race started at the bottom of the KL tower, near the entrance. It was raining with light drizzling which made the atmosphere gloom. We met a few KOP's like bacin, dicky etc..Also was greeted by our young OP, OP Chan who is a cadet at UPNM. Chan is training for the upcoming Ironman 2008 Langkawi.

Anyway, we were released in batches of 200 runners at a time. I think it was a wise move as the sheer number of runners in the narrow, staircase would probably caused some havoc. As I managed to register early for myself and Kam, we were in the first group. Bean was next, flagged off 15minutes later. Because of this I finally was able to reach the finish line ahead of Bean. First time ever, in ANY race....this I claim habis habis to him even before the race. It did not matter though as we were all given a timing chip attached to the shoe which monitors your start and end time, thus calculating your speed, timings etc.. All you had to do was pass trough a mat on the ground which had sensors.

The initial run up the road was hard due to the immediate steepness and also the high humidity due to the drizzle. We passed through the scenic part of KL tower adjacent to Bukit Nenas reserve forest. My parents came along as usual but they didn't enter the race as I thought that it might be too difficult for them. They went strolling along the forest reserve instead. It wasn't long, just a KM of lung busting action.

We entered the tower complex to the cheers of onlookers. Incidentally there was this middle aged guy attempting to climb the tower 50 times non stop as part of his effort to enter Malaysia book of records. He ultimately stopped at 30. I stopped at 1. As we passed the row of elevators which they claim can travel at 22km/hour, we were led to the staircase. Initial impression was quite impressed with the size of it. I was more or less expecting it to be a small stinky stairwell. It wasn't. It was wide enough for 3 person to walk side by side, it was well lit and huge ventilation fans were placed at regular intervals. I think at every 6 or 8 flights of stairs there were exits to some maintenance block which was used to store furniture and supplies. At each point there were staff manning them just in case you were knocked out and needed to be sent down. There were also regular medical crew along the way with adequate water stations along the way.

As we were already wet from the rain and despite the adequate ventilation, we were all dripping wet. I think the rest of the runners would be running on wet stairs later on.

It was fun running (walking...) up the stairs. People were stopping at the side, some nauseated , some with cramps. Runners cheering ourselves on. What was lacking in my mind was the girls..(the female runners were flagged of later) After what seems like a few storeys high, lactic acid was building in my skinny thighs and I was walking gingerly upwards occasionally overtaking not fit looking young men crawling their way up. On the way I saw a few of these young fellows chickening out at the exit. Cant imagine the pain they were going trough.

Well after 2058 steps up the tower we finally emerged at Level T3 which was a level above the visitor's observatory deck. What a relief! We were greeted by flashing cameras, plenty of water and told to march down to the Observation deck. What a view! I have been on the tower twice before but never been on it during heavy cloud cover. We were literary in the clouds. Cant see much of KL. Compound with all the sweaty bodies walking around, it was a misty and smelly atmosphere. We went down (faster this time) via the elevators, 20 of us sardined together. 3 African guys were talking loudly in front of us. Me and Kam were postulating what they were saying to each other. We came to this theorem.

Guy 1: If only I ate more rice and carbo last nite, I could have made it below 15 minutes!

Guy 2: Hmm How shall we spend our prize money tonight?

Guy 3 : Look at all these Malaysians with us...pathetic bastards. Pay money to race and don't win a thing....Ha ha ha...Thanks Kam and bean and ala....ha ha ha..

By then the elevator door opened and I was brought back to my senses. Took my medal and went looking for my parents. Definitely my dad will do it next year.

PS : Kam 24 mins

Bean 23 mins

Me: 28 minutes.

The Kenyans: 15 minutes.........ha ha ha..

I wish all our Chinese batch mate and friends a happy new year. Apparently the year of the rat will bring more races to the tired tiger!

Gong xi fa cai to low tuck loong, Bandit, acun, his brother amir, stupes and all the other guys..

Doc Ala usat.


  1. brave soul...!!

    Great posting...

    Budin nak masuk KLIM... hmmphhh... jgn percaya cakap dia...

  2. wehh... well done..

    aku nak officially announce, aku nak join KLIM- but doing the 21 km route.. jom.. siapa nak join aku.. i know that 21 is not as macho as the full monty (42km) but is about enough pain that this 33 year old flabby weakling can take..