adventure, mountain running, running, sport, trail running, ultra running, ultra trail running

Mt Rinjani Ultra 2013

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4 in the morning, quicker than expected. i could spot a small light in the distance. I suspected it was the track for the runners around Segara Anak. I was with Jane Djuarahadi, Femina Group photographer, was holding down the post 4, Plawangan.
jane and myself were on The 8th Team, the one who came up with this event. With  Hendra Wijaya and  Nefo Ginting as the some sort of project manager. The other 4 were  Florenciano Hendricus Mutter , Djawa Wijoyo Kusumo , Josephine Pipin, and Rudy Ansyah.
I did ok, but the rest did wonderful. jane who is also a trail runner, along with Pipin, the finisher of The North Face 50k trail run in Singapore. Both like to travel, for both hobby or work.
Hendra Wijaya is no stranger to anyone, finisher of many trail runs in Singapore, HK, Philipine, Australia, japan and the last one is UTMB.
He also the one who came up with Lari Gunung Nusantara, Garmin supported mountain trail run, as a way to introduce trail running as well as national tourism.
Nefo Ginting is no stranger to Indonesian diving and climbing scene. With his countless  experiences and friends in many places, he had no trouble getting things started.
Hendricus Mutter was the Chief of Indonesian Mountain Climbing federation and is still active on the climbing scene. Cartenz Pyramid and The Himalaya were some of the places he’s climbed.
If you’re ever planning on hiking, Djawa Wijoyo Kusumo is the man you need to go to, He knows every step of the way plus his survival skill is second to none.
las but definitely not least is rudy Ansyah, a seasoned finisher in many trail run events in the veteran category.
I need to mention the people above because without them, Mt. Rinjani Ultra Trail 2013 wouldn’tve happened in the first place.
It was such an honor to finally have an international trail running event being held in Indonesia. It literally was a dream come true.
We have so many beautiful terrains just waiting to be explored.

I need to go way back to Oct 2010.
Kinabalu climbathon. It was said to be one of the toughest trail running in the world. A lot of high profile world runners participated, such as Kilian Jornet , Marco De Gaspari. We had more than 600 participants and only 115 managed to get to the finish line. Some didn’t finish, and many others were only there to just for the sake of it, with no target to finish it. I was one of whom didn’t get to finish on time. Of the 3,5 hours of the given time for the veteran category (over 40 y.o)  i only managed to get to 150 m to the top.
I was thankful and with no regrets. I gave my best shot. While i was there i realized i was one of the only 5 participants from Indonesia. While many were from nearby Asian countries such as Singapore, Philipine, Japan. Malaysia, which was the host, had the most participants, of course.
Indonesia needed to have similar, if not better events in the near future.

Local dances started the opening of the race. Right at 00.00 on the 17th of August, right on Indonesia’s independence day, 82 participants started at Senaru. At 600m high. Most are international trail runners while some are from here. many were even beginners.
The 1st track was rocky gravels, 6 km to the 1st post. Hiking to 2600 masl on the 2nd, within 10km.
Was an overwhelming track both mentally and physically. Lots of steep ups and downs. Most were without safety fences.
With only a small glimpse of light from the headlight, which was compulsory. The sky was fortunately not cloudy. The moonlight and the star helped the sights a bit.
The next track was the downhill run to Segara Anak lake. A lake that resides in kalderagunung Rinjani, Sembalun Lawang village,  Lombok, Nusa Tenggara Barat. The name Segara Anak means child of the sea given to the blue colour of the lake reminiscent of the sea. It was on less than 2000 masl.
From here the track were less tough than the previous ones. It was dirt and grass. The next track we’re back to the familiar toughness. It was filled with huge rocks. Slippery when raining, the next climb to the 4th post were also steep and exhausting.
The 4th post were the make-it-or-break-it point which decided if the participant could go on to the top of Rinjani with cut off time 10 hours from start.
The expert runners would’ve been able to get to the top in one hour. And 45 mins of running back down. While beginners would need at least twice as long.
We have a term here, called the 2-1 step, which means  2 steps up followed by 1 step downhill.
It was really an exhausting track.
It spread around 3-8 to the top. The view, however, is magnificent, right from Senaru, especially all the way to Segara Anak lake.
Back to Plawangan, the 4th post. The rule was once you passed the 10 hrs cut off time to the top, participants are obligated to take an evacuation track. Which means you can’t go to start in Senaru, but to Sembalun. While the rest who can still carry on, after going down from the top of Rinjani (5th post) they have to go back to post 6th, the farthest before Sembalun. with cut off time  of 3hrs, they could go back to post 4 before finishing up at Senaru, where the starting point is.
Out of the 82 participants of MRU, only 10 managed to finish under the time given.
It was a general agreement that this was the toughest track they’ve ever experienced. Even compared to the 100 km.
At first there were a lot of disappointments from the ones who couldn’t finish. But after, they were also proud to have been a part of the first indonesian trail running event. The toughest one to boot.
The race has finished, but the memory will not.
The race that every local runners have been waiting for, and luckily a lot of international participants enjoyed too.
Last August Hendra Wijaya finished his UTMB, The good news were quickly followed with another good news, the one that’s also been long awaited.
Mt. RInjani was qualified 2 of points for UTMB 2014. Thanks God.
The achievement couldn’tve been done without the support by the originators, sponsors, Government Agencies, fellow track runner from across the world ; Barbara Oravetz , Franc Girardot and team, Maggie Kim Hong Yeo, Allan Lee, Senaru’s official volunteers, hopefully could also bring good spirits on the upcoming events.
Here’s to making better upcoming events, more challenging, in places with even more breathtaking views.

The road has finally been paved. Hopefully Indonesia could be the world’s ultra trail running destination or at least Asean. No one can stop our intention to grow further from here on.
See you in Bromo Tengger Semeru 100 Ultra.

Aki Niaki.

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