Dec 28, 2008

Race course = Race + Course

1st 10 km. Starting point from Pantai Murni to Titi Hayun.

  • "Check your pace, at your own speed." He recalled coach Firdaus' advice;
  • "Look at how you run during the last futsal game -- If there's somebody who's not as energetic as you but run like you, he'll probably die! -- My point is, channel your energy wisely. " He knows CK might be a little bit exaggerating, but point taken;
  • "Don't get influent by other runners -- it's just the starting point of the damn 44.7km.." Zana his teammate reminded him, while both of them running side by side, 70m away from their other 2 teammates: Daus and Wan.
5 km after first 10 km. From Titi Hayun, hike up 1000++ steps of 'staircases', shoot straight to the 15-km-check-point, the peak of the Mount Jerai at 1200++ m above sea level.

  • "OK -- now, take your own step.." He doesn't think that he did actually fully get what Daus was trying to say when the team reached in front of the thousand steps of Mt. Jerai. He just shot up, abandoning his teammates behind;
  • "I need to make sure I still have the energy when I come to the foot of Mt. Jerai. I believe I will be mentally refreshed when hiking up a mountain and running in a forest, and I don't want to waste that moment just becaue I don't have enough stamina anymore to perform in the mountain and the forest.." All in his mind was thinking of the conversation he had with someone very important, when they were talking about the worries he had for the race.

15 km check point, peak of Jerai.

  • "You just SHOULDN'T leave your teammates behind!!" A senior racer from another team pointed at his face and commented. He felt annoyed, but seeing his teammates finally arrived at the check point after 40 minutes wait, he understood that he could just ignore comment.

..but he's still annoyed.
From the 15th km to the 27th km, from peak to the foot of Mt. Jerai. Downhill, he ran side by side with Wan. Zana the only lady teammate was having muscle pain at her limb, plus her 'not having eaten enough for breakfast' problem, she was slowed down. Daus was with her.

  • "Take good care of your knee." That was the sms sent by Lina a night before the race. He sort of remembered that sms when he realized that going downhill, plus the tiredness factor, he's actually putting great pressure onto his knee. He's in pain, and really really really wanted to stop by and have a break.
  • "You can slow down, but NEVER EVER you stop." The lesson learnt from his last race in Genting Trailblazer was like a pinch for him. He's in pain, but he did not want to stop, like he did not want to repeat what he got from that Genting Trailblazer race.

The 27 km check point, foot of Mt. Jerai. Came to his surprise, he saw Kak Yus, Huda, Nurin and Amie -- the supporters group of their team was waiting for them at the check point. Wan and himself felt so relieved to see them. Both of them decided to stop and waited for Zana and Daus, while being fed by the supporters team with Kit-Kat and all sort of moral supports.

  • "You stopped, and you sat down.." Coach Firdaus paused, before he made a strong remark of dissatisfaction, "sitting down in the middle of a race is a HUGE MISTAKE for a runner, and how could you?" Coach Firdaus commented sternly, during a after-race postmortem session.
The 27th km to 37th km. The 10 km rocky trail was covered under the sun of 1 pm to 3 pm, in the middle of the open padi field. The Aiyo, Koma! team started to feel exhausted. Instead of keeping up their 1km/hour pacing, four of them started to slow down by only slow jogging and even walking.

  • "It's all about the mental strength, it's all about the will power; it's all about the mental strength, it's all about the will power......." He kept repeating the theory that he had listened enough. He truly understands that it is easier to chant it than to act on it. He felt heated, exhausted, bored, his not-cushioned running shoe was hurting his feet every step he put on the rocky path, his right knee was in pain..... Up to one point, he could even felt his body was loosing synchronization with his brain, and even worse, his brain was building tendency to listen to his body..
  • "You can't even lift up your leg, how could you run?!" Coach Firdaus' comment for his last race in Genting Trailblazer, again, was like a heavy bell swinging in his mind.
The final 7.5 km back to Pantai Murni, the finishing line. They saw the entrance to Pantai Murni, but the race course by-passed the entrance, and followed an outer ring route passing by the beach to enter the finishing line.

  • "They would better make sure this is right!!" Wan started to curse. By-passing the entrance to finishing line was like seeing a Vanilla ice-cream with fresh lime topping in front of you but you are not allowed to touch it. No, it's WAY MORE frustrating than that.
  • "That extra outer ring route is not designed purposely to fool everybody," after the race, Coach Firdaus explained to the racers, "it's the milage that they have to fulfill to meet the Full-Marathon standard."

Full Marathon?!!!!??? Very well.

About 3 km before finishing line, Aiyo, Koma! team passed by the quarantine post where the racers have to wait for their left-behind teammates before they approached finishing line.

  • "Luckily we reach here in one team, all four are here.. It's so embarrassing waiting in that quarantine post..." Daus pointed out the weird thing about this quarantine post. The rest agreed. They heard the racers in the quarantine post cheered on them.

200 m before finishing line.

  • "Zana, can you still run?" Zana's condition was the main concern of the other 3 guys in the team since peak of Jerai. Zana nodded, "let's run toward the finishing line."

20 December, 2008, 4:08 pm.. Aiyo, Koma! team ran to the finishing line of the Jerai Eco X-Country Challenge 2008 after 8 hours of running through a distance of 44.7 km. They ended their endurance test at the 16th place out of 45 teams. The thrill and excitement were shared by their supportes/ logistic team who waited patiently and waited in faith to Aiyo, Koma! at the finishing point of the race.

Aiyo, Koma! would like to thank all the supports and helps and motivations and advices they received from their friends and the family of KOMA. A race course is called a 'race course' because along the race, racers learnt and aspired -- they learnt from the advices and tips, like a course in a school; they aspired from the drive of their love, like a course for a dream.

ps: all pictues posted here are courtesy of, except the last 2 pictures where you can find the Aiyo, Koma! team and their logistic/ supporters team posing after the race.

pss: I accidentally bumped into a Doctor's blog who was in the team that ranked 15th in the same race... and I started to recall that that Doctor might be the one who commented me at hte peak of the Mt. Jerai.. what a small world! Clcik here to read Doc's funny and detailed post about the race: !!

psss: Hey I justrealized that many runners do BLOG as well!! (it's kinda cool for me as this proved that the perception of 'orang kasar tak reti bahasa' is TOTALY WRONG!! ) Click here for team AAC MMU's story during the Jerai Race. Congratulation to Ajis, Panjang, hanis and Nana!

Dec 7, 2008

"Family kat ner?"

I called a cab. I really needed a ride to take me home -- it was almost 1 am. I was supposed to reach KL around 10 pm but due to the the weather condition in KLIA, my flight needed to turned to Johor by the time we were about to touch down.

"Adik dari maner?" The cab driver asked. I must have unintentionally showed a tired face when I sat in.

"Sabah." I had a 1-week geological field trip in Sabah. Suddenly I remembered the comment that Nany left in my Facebook:

"Jalan sakan jer mamat nih!" This guy never stop traveling.

I must agree with her. Since Cape Town, I had't really got my rest.


The day my Cape Town South Africa-Changi Singapore-KLIA Malaysia flight finaly touched down at around 11 am Malaysian time, I rushed back home and tried to get a quick nap to tune my 6 hours jet lag back to normal --

-- because few hours after that, I needed to head to Genting HIghland for the Genting Trailblazer Race. It was a 10 km cross mountain run and I needed to make sure my body and mind were ready.

It was a race that got me learned in a hard way.

I got a serious pain on my right knee, I got my body drained out, I got a full load of heavy strain all over my muscles;

I received a medal which only honour those who managed to finish the race, I disappointed Daus my partner in the race for not reaching top 10 but the 14th, I started to doubt my fitness level, I realized it's much more painful to let somebody down than to let your knee got injured..

..and I learned something precious about being modest and humble, and about working hard and giving out the best..


"Tak penat ker ko nih?" Nurita asked me when I just came down from one outcrop and ready to climb up the next. Sometimes in a geological field trip, we as geoscientists need to look close-up to features that engraved on the rocks by nature. Look close-up here means, if the geological features or even fossils are expected to be exist up on a hill, you just need to climb.

She knew that I've been going out for a few hiking trips before.

Tired? I smiled, at the same time I was thankful that the outcrops in Sabah, though requires so hiking and climbing, are not as high as a hill, or mountain for God's sake.

...and I also realized that, my pain on my right knee miracolusly disappeared after I entered Sabah. It was still there the day before my flight to Sabah, when I was in the midst of the forest on Gunung Nuang.


The becoming weekend right after the race in Trailblazer Genting, we went up to Gunung Nuang and camped there.

My muscle pains carried forward from the race was fully recovered, but not yet me knee. To be very frank my knee pain was really worrying and I was advised to see a physio and NOT to proced with any outdoor activities.

But HELLO~~~ it was a hiking PLUS camping outing on Gunung Nuang, with Abang Fariz, Daus, Kak Yus, Amie, Nurin, Zana, Ijoi, Amir, Kak Ruby, Zayin and Sabarin!!

---I just don't see the knee pain was any more important that this outing!!


The cab driver was mumbling on something about Sabah, I wasn't paying attention.

I texted Kak Yus, asking for the plan for our outing the next day -- err -- the same day, in a few hours.

"7 a.m. kumpul kt KLCC." She replied, and expressing her worries about my tiredness.

I sat back, looked at my watch. 1 a.m. Thinking I still could get an ample rest before waking up at 6 a.m., and then I realized I hadn't done any packing yet. So minus half hour of sleeping time.

The cab driver had finaly kept quiet, leaving a peaceful moment for me, listening to the retro rock kapak played on the radio. The radio DJ was about to end her slot after the song because she's wishing everyone a good night and a good weekend ahead.

"Semoga anda semua dapat berehat bersama keluarga anda dan juga insan tersayang pada hujung minggu ini.." Hope you have a nice weekend with your family and your loved ones. She said.


7 a.m I reached KLCC and met Kak Yus and Ikha, then Coco then Huda then Ijoi then Suhaina then Uyun then Tess. Then we met up with the rest of the gang in R&R.

Jai and CK finally managed to join us this time and I was so happy about that. I hugged both of them the moment I saw them.

Yup, Cape Town -- Trailblazer -- Gunung Nuang -- Sabah Geological Field Trip, I quickly followed up the 'back-to-back Jalan Sakan' list with Whitewater Rafting in Sungai Gopeng, then caving in Gua Tempurong the next day, with this one whole bunch of fun people.


The cab was driving through a sleeping KL when the radio DJ ended her slot.

"Semoga anda semua dapat berehat bersama keluarga anda dan juga insan tersayang pada hujung minggu ini.."

Her wishes really gave me a strike.

"Tak balik kampung ker?" The driver asked, and I knew from where he thought of this question. Blame the radio DJ.

"Tak." No I hadn't gone back to my hometown for quite some time, and I'm feeling guilty about that.

Silence ensued, before he asked the question that made me smiled.

"Family kat ner?"


"Penat? tak lagi kuut." I still remembered the moment I answered Nurita's question, I was feeling some kind of heart-warmth inside.

Of course this back-to-back outings were kinda draining me out, but alhamdulilah I was still feeling energetic to ride on it -- People say you wouldn't feel tired if you enjoy doing things that you're doing. I believe so, but now I think it is more than that--

-- you just wouldn't feel tired if you enjoy doing things that you're doing, and doing it with the people you love -- a bunch of people that you really really really love and care about.

These people are my other family besides the one with my parents and my sisters; they are my family that taught me so many things in life, revealed so much lights and insights of life; a family that I hang out with in almost every weekends, inside forests, mountains, and urban;

A family that embraces me as Aiman and calls me Aiman; 

A family that will certainly laugh at me for being sentimental but then give me a hug;

A family that we call ourselves: ",".

Yes, koma.

ps.. "Family kat ner?" Where's my family? we are planning to go to Gunung Buah Bunga after white water rafting in Sg Gopeng, caving in Tempurung Cave, steps-running at Batu Cave, roller skating at FRIM, waterfall hunting at Sg. Pisang, KaraOk-ing, futsal, bowling.. -- to answer the question of where's my family, I would answer --

-- out there.