Run 2085 - 25 February, 2017
Venue: Bukit Kapar
Hare: Daniel "Cheesy Knob" Walchli
Co-Hares: Virginia "Miss MTV" & The Infamous Campbell Clan
The original design was for a good run. Cheesy Knob is known for putting forth the required effort for a good run and he had good experienced Co-Hares. I knew there would be good checks and at least one circular check. Young Scott told me years ago when he was still a resident in Malaysia, "My Dad does not set exceptionally long runs but he does set very tricky checks". I never forgot that.
Cheesy Knob did a good job of providing directions. In addition to the normal written directions he provided GPS Co-ordinates; Google Map and even Waze location. Much more than we normally get. However, being lazy person I am I elected to use the Waze location. It did not work. I could see the runsite location but Waze could not get me there. After blundering around a bit I put the written directions to find the site. Others decided to use the GPS co-ordinates which seemed to work. However, a number of people including Lawrence were late. A few more hash signs would have been welcomed.
We had run before from this runsite but it had been years ago. We have also had runs from a couple of sites along Jalan Bikit Cerakah. A very nice and lovely parking area in old palm. Parking was slightly limited but, as always, we made the best of it.
Our beloved and injured GM called us On promptly at 4:30 pm. She was sporting a bandage on one knee from the big downhill on loose stones when she decided to bang up her knee rather than her face. Another good management decision.
From the parking area we proceeded up a small hill of sparse old palm that provided precious little shade. It was a hot day. Once up the hill we found ourselves on a somewhat paved road with no shade. It was a hot day with a burning sun. After a couple of hundred meters we turned left going in a northern direction. We were now on a terrace in the small palms which provided precious little shade in the hot sun slowly making our way up a bigger hill. After about one km the trail continued up the hill to the first check. It was the mandatory back-check and we broke into the old palm where there was good shade on a hot day. We were not running in a southern direction and traveling on a mostly flat terrain. The paper then went up the back of the original hill and the 2nd check was found. The check was quickly broken and we continued on in a southern direction. Good running in old palm. Very enjoyable with well marked trail. We continued on in a southern direction running parallel to Jalan Bukit Cerakah as confirmed by the numerous electronic tracking devices. It occurred to me that maybe he was going all the way to one of the old running sites. Eventually we came to Check No. 3. Paper was off to the left and we were on true trail again. We progressed through some nursery area and eventually reached a swamp/blog area. After about one km we arrived at Check No. 4. According to the electronic tracking devices we were now on "Jalan Paip Mtb Trail" which appeared to me to be a traditional plantation road. The check was broken to the right or western direction. This was a good indication to me that we had reached the far corner of the run and were about to turn for home. Running in this area was nice. The thoughtful Hare had even arranged for some light moisture (rain) to join us on the run. It had the cooling effect. It was a hot day.
Up to this point the trail was well marked. Checks had been properly filled in and the terrain had been very good. We were at the farthest point from beginning and things were looking good for a new shirt for the Hare. However, this was going to change - quickly.
I was near the back of the pack after Check No. 4. After almost another one kilometer I was expecting to soon arrive at the next check. Out of the darkness of the universe Lawrence comes running at us in the reverse direction. I had not seen him all day. He calls out, "I was late getting here and had to short-cut to catch up. There is a circular check in front of you. I think it is this way. FOLLOW ME!!!!". The people with me started looking at each other and began to wander around. I went straight ahead and came to a tee on the path we had been on. Torn paper was to the left and to the right. I went a bit forward looking left and right for the correct direction. Shortly I heard the On On call from my right and off I went. By this time there were stragglers in several areas - open palm so good visibility. By the time I reached those that called On On - they were meandering around everywhere. More torn paper found. Complete confusion. Eventually we gathered runners together in small groups going in several directions but mostly north. We knew where home was from the abundant electronic tracking devices. The confusion at Check No. 5 caused most of us to completely miss Check No. 6. We passed by Check No. 7 (missed it by a couple of hundred meters) and completely missed Check No. 8. We had the back of the pack and front runners - all confused but some were still laying paper to get us back - which did happen. I was back at 6:00 pm (1.5 hrs) after doing 7.5 km. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The main problem was circular check No. 5. From a detailed investigation, I have discovered the circular was an interior circular rather than an external circular. This means you would have to cross the trail you had already ran to find true trail from the circular. There also was a false trail on the circular which screwed things up a bit as well. The true trail from was only 50 meters away from Check No. 5 but was also on the other side of a ditch and a barb wire fence.
Check No. 5 was never broken nor was it connected. The paper is still there. It appears no one finished the complete run as designed. Frank was of the opinion that he had went all the way around but confirms he did not break any checks. Some thought Lawrence may have done the complete run but that was refuted. He did not arrive home until half way through the circle. If you had did the complete run and the complete circular you would have a 10.4 km run. If you did the complete run and did not run the circular you have a 9.2 km run.
There are a couple of things to be learned from this almost good run:
- Hash signs to the runsite are always appreciated. Let's not forget we get visitors.
- External circulars rather than interior circles are recommended as there is less chance the runners will screw up your run. However, it is perfectly legal to set an interior circle. Just be careful.
- False trails on a circular should be considered as dangerous to a good run.
- Front runners should always be sure all checks are filled in and connected. Petaling seems to be plagued with front runners that the hash is a competition and they must be first. That is not the hash way.
- Those that carry electronic tracking devices and use them for short-cutting should not mislead the pack. When short-cutting do NOT call on.
- Each run should have a COMIC to assure all checks are connected.