Avid runners celebrate birthdays by running 111km Marudi trail

MIRI: Having a big hearty meal and blowing out the candles to the singing of the birthday song is a common thing during birthday celebrations.

To avid runners Chu Chee Ning and Wong Sui Hoo, they celebrated their best day while running the 111km Marudi trail.

“Initially, it was not in our plan to run such a lengthy trail, but since Miri Ultra Marathon Happy Feet Club (MUMHFC) made the call for the ultra-event, we decided to just run along with them,” Chu shared with The Borneo Post recently.

Chu, who is a member of the club, said the run on May 19 was started at Marudi Town Square at 3pm.

“We were running up the hill and in the direction to Marudi Airport. Along the way, we came across the main road that leads towards Kampung Dabai

before reaching a Chinese cemetery land. The distance was about 10.20km,” Chu said when describing the ultra-event.

Upon returning to Marudi Town, they decided to rest awhile before continuing.

According to the pit stop clock, they had covered about 20.40 km.

From the square, Chu and Wong continued the run through the ferry and headed to Miri-Bintulu Road junction. They reached a U-turn halfway to Miri before heading back to Marudi Town Square again. This time, they had covered a total of 90.6 km.

“The total distance we had covered is 111 km based on our timer, thus I am proud to say that we managed it,” said Chu who completed the whole run in 21 hours and 17 minutes.

Wong completed the run in 27 hours.

Running the trail to celebrate her 54th birthday along with Wong’s 62nd birthday was something that they chose to do to mark their birthdays, Chua shared.

“Moreover, we chose such a time of the year to do the super ‘crazy’ ultra-run because the road conditions were at its worst since it was tarred in 2011. The worse condition the road is, it turns out to be the more challenging for us, especially during moonless nights, with rain pelting down. It was even more so during noon time with the scorching hot sun beating mercilessly upon us. There were times when the slimy slippery grey clay caused us to lose our balance when going downhill,” Chu added when describing her adventurous run.

Nonetheless, she added, the whole run was really fun and extremely challenging.

“The Marudi Junction road has always been our favourite route. Especially when fast cars passed us while bumping through the water-filled pot holes, these are the great memories which cannot be described in words,” Chu said excitedly.

Some of the reasons she loves doing ultra-marathon; Chu said, is the long distance and the long hours of running.

“At my age, I would pace six km per hour on tarmac road, five km on rolling hills and rocky terrain. I especially love running into the night till dawn because that is the time when it is most serene – only me and the dark sky and the surface I pound on as I run along.

“During moments like this, my mind is always clear of any thoughts. All my senses become extra acute and a lot (of thoughts) would come into my mind, the happy and unhappy ones. By the end of the run, I would always feel rejuvenated and blissful, probably because the endorphins have set in,” Chu shared of her running experience.

Part of the stretch was indeed very challenging, especially when the route was potholed and rugged.

“To clock kilometres on that route, you must first love that trail. I fell in love with it in 2008 when I first ran to Marudi Town. I think there is no stopping, it has become kind of my pilgrimage,” Chu continued, sharing her thoughts.

Right before the run, MUMHFC did their usual tradition – paying a courtesy call on residents of Marudi Home for the Aged.

“It has been a practice by the club, thus we made a pact to stop for a visit,” she said.

Ting Sey Chiong, a senior runner in the club, and his wife presented ‘angpow’ and BBQ chicken as a treat to the seniors residing there.

Source: The Borneo Post

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