Monday, September 7, 2015

Race Report: River Jungle Marathon 2015

Signing up this race was an accident. I was looking for another marathon as replacement to SCKLM, as I cancelled my registration when it first planned to shift to 10 Oct. The cancellation was mainly due to unhappy with the last minutes of change for a major event like SCKLM. RJM was in the list because it had a new reversed route compared to 2011/2012 edition, and I missed the 2014 edition when this route was first in use. It will be good too, to return to this full marathon event, where I started my first full marathon 5 years ago.

Lately my marathon training hitting the wall, hence I didn’t have much plan for the race. Just ran at easy pace, enjoy the tough route and finish it before 5 hours. I got a 526 in 2013 RJM, so 5 hours will still be a nice personal improvement. Instead of pushing hard, maybe I just spent the time to reflect my current relationship with running.
I reached the race site around 4am, it was packed with cars and running. We had around 800 participants in this event. I didn’t expect to see so many people and car in RJM, lucky the starting line moved from the Chinese School to the Water Front Restaurant (same place as TITI100), else the parking itself will be a disaster. We were flagged off on time at 4:30am, we ran towards the city before turned towards the Batu18. We had some rain on Saturday hence the weather was perfect for a run. I just let the pace carry me along and it settled around 5.7min/km where I trained the most for the sub4 target. Can I hold to this pace until finish? Of course not. As we getting closer to the climb, the fog around the area was getting thicker. I was running alone around 17km (6:10am) and there was a light flashing from my back but I didn’t hear the running sound. I was too into my thoughts and also it overtook me quickly (I just took note of it for about 5minutes), it was kind of spooky when I recall the incident now. The light turned out to be from a lady riding a bicycle to support the race (maybe).

Hit the first big climb at 20km and I slowed down to 8min/km. The climb is actually quite short and I slowly regain the pace back to 6.5min/km range. I reached the u-turn point at 23km and durian was waiting. Still not dare to take the durian and I just continued the race. I still not very good in handling the descending, lost some speed and only keeping a slower pace for now. Very soon, I arrived at the 2nd big climb at Bukit Hantu. The memory from 2013 Titi50 still haunting me. It took me 1:36 from this point and not much improvement in this round; it still took 1:15 to clear this session. I am still very weak in descending. Finally, I completed my 17th full marathon with a time of 4:34’49”, with this under distance route of 40.9km.
Overall, this is still the best full marathon in Malaysia. Scenic route with challenging climbs with long cut off time (sweeper at 8 hours pace if I remembered correctly), there will be something for runners from all difference level. The finisher medal is very nicely designed too. Anyway, the only area to improve will be the under distance route. Please move the 23km u turn point to 23.7km, then the course will be measureable to 42.195km. It’s kind of ironic when the finisher medal and t-shirt are highlighting the 42.195km but the actual course itself is short in distance.


  1. I got 41.37K, about the same as what my watch read last year. ;)

    Anyway, congrats on your 4:34.

    RJM is indeed a great run, and have to say, even though they move the starting time to 4.30am from 5.30am as last year, the route chosen still enabled Muslims runner to have 3 mosques/madrasah to perform their Subuh prayer in time. :)

    1. Thanks!
      I didn't aware that last year was 5:30am, but I think I was lucky as all my RJM enjoyed great weather.