Venue: Genting Valley, Ulu Renning
Scribe: Dave Settergren for Ben Kulen
Hare: Nick Morss
Co-Hare: Tracy Binchan
Petaling seems to have a great affinity for this run site and its general surrounds - approximately a quarter of runs are set in the vicinity, at least for the last 15 years or so. However, to some, the familiarity seems to be wearing off, and this general area is fast gaining a reputation as a 'prostitute' area - we seemed to be going in and out - and coming - way too often lah! Still, the combination of great hashing parameters rendered this a tantalizing prospect, and a much sought-after one.
Braving the pong from the make-shift dumps on route to the run site, and some deeply-rutted pot holes that challenges us to hop-scotch our vehicles around them, we got to the usual parking area, an abandoned development that harks back to 2 building booms ago. Remnants of some rubber-walls with their signature random-sized limestone blocks are scattered about, eerily resembling what could have been remains of a long-lost civilization. Note to self: this will make a nice story for the tabloids next April's Fool.
The hare took us in through a tried and tested route - almost straight up a disused and eroded macadam winding through some orchards, likely built using public funds at a time leading to a general election some 3 or 4 polls ago. The first 3 trails - almost all on said tarmac - were almost identical - back checks that were easily broken as they continued straight from the foregoing, incoming trail, each time trapping the FROPs who were made to back-pedal. However, the back-checks and undulating trails proved every effective in keeping the pack together.
The 4th check was a difficult one, feigning with a falsie to the forward left, before being connected in the valley on the bottom right, by which time the runners were again tightly bunched. We were then led along more undulating trails, ensuing with a stretch of easy running. Eventually, we emerged onto the Ulu Tamu Orang Asli kampong, and thence a downward sprint along the road, then veering off and crossing over to the metal bridge, where signs pointed to the 'Short' and 'Normal' choices, a welcome relief for the less distance-challenged ones. We have thus far covered 5 1/2 km, roughly half the distance for the 'Normal' trail, although in the afternoon heat it seems much farther. The 'Normal' trail then went up a slope, very quickly dropped back down, and then generally stayed on a terraced track for some 2km till it reached the same stream we have earlier crossed on the metal bridge. A good number of the pack who chose the longer, 'Normal' route plunged headlong into the crystal clear stream, moaning and exulting in pleasure as our tired and overheated bodies were soothed by the cool caress of the fast flowing water.
Somewhat rejuvenated by the respite, we plodded on towards home, but were taken on a longer and punishingly deflating loop by the hares, re-crossed the Ulu Tamu road and headed into the bush to the back of the hot springs, zig-zagged along the edges of the orchards, before finally getting back to the run site, FROPs arriving in just over 1hr 30min.