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

The Interview

My answers to one of many interviews i’ve had.

Mengapa lari (dan bukan sepeda, nge gym, triathlon)?

Running has always been one of my dream.
It’s a pretty cool sport, where you have only your own body to depend on. with no extra help, unlike biking, swimming in a pool or any other certain physical activities.
You can pretty much do it anywhere, anytime. By yourself or with anyone else.
The reason i only got to do it now is solely because of that i was worried i wouldn’t’ve been able to do it.
I was born with asthma and bronchytis.
It was so overwhelming that at the tender age of 3 months, they claimed i was helpless.

Kapan mulai lari, dan sejak saat itu apa beda yang anda rasakan (dari segala sisi kehidupan, feel free to answer from any, or all, aspect)?

I actually tried running on 2000. I happened to see a couple of people did it on the tennis field (which i happen to not do anymore for 6 years).
It only lasted for a year ( a slow jog for 20 laps everyday). It was probably due to exhaustion (both tennis and my lack of dietery knowledge) tha i got hep. A.
I stayed in the hospital for 11 days.
It wan’t until 2010 that i got myself to do it again.
I made sure to consult on my health to a doctor this time.
I felt okay before. Normal. But after i did it a couple of times, i found myself to be in a way better condition than i’ve been before.
I rarely cough, nor have any asthma episode, i could even drink iced water.
It only gotten better after i started trail running for a couple of months.
Then even though i’m not exactly one of those gym bunnies, i can at least claim that i have a pretty good physique.
I fell in love with running. Mountain running. Especially when i’m by myself, like having a true me-time.
I get to be with my thoughts when i run. And at the same time i could think of planning of my next steps in life ahead of time.
This goes along really well with my job as a house planner, where i get strokes of ideas when i run.
I even sometimes think to myself “why didn’t i thought of that before?”.

I was perfectly happy before, but thankfully gotten even way happier after running.
Like for instance, i stopped and think how awesome it is to marvel at the wondrous nature and surrounding at a short period amount of time.
Instant mountain hopping, one day climbing. I went on the morning and got home by the evening.
Pretty cool, with little to no fuzz, like any hiking normally would be.

How many ultra runs (di atas 42.2km) and what’s the longest run, you’ve participated in, and can you share what went through your mind for such a long journey, and were there any point in which it was particularly challenging?

I do a lot of ultra runs by myself.
It started from my love and running and the realization that i’m not exactly young anymore. At the age of 54, i’m not able to do any routine training (as much as i probably should have), probably not a good thing to follow either.
I do ultra runs to accelerate. Meaning after 3 months of running, i did approximately 50-70k of long runs. By the 5th month, i’ve done about 80-100 k.
I remember during Bintaro- Bogor- Bintaro, i have the urge to meet with Kang Hendra Wijaya.
I had to do it twice, cause he couldn’t make it at first (97k).
Bintaro- Muara Angke- Bintaro, 66km.
– Bintaro-  Tangerang- Karawaci- BSD.95km.
– Sukabumi- Ujunggenteng, 126km,
-Pangalengan- Rancabuaya, 88km,
-The North Face Singapore trail race, 50km( 2nd trail run race).
-Kamojang, Jawa- Barat Trail Race. 25 +18km(2 etappe). Yes it’s only local, but i feel like i should include it.
This means the most to me, cause it’s my very 1st race. And i got 2nd place, of only 5 runners.Haha..
1st place (by 15 minutes at the 1st ettape, 25 k) was a 40 year old former athlete.
The 3rd place was a runner who’s started running longer than i had, also in his 40’s, presumably also a former athlete.
The track was unbelievable. There’s one that was about 1 km across a 50 cm deep river with a pretty rough stream, while the surrounding trees are so low that forced us to run while slightly bending over every now and then.
I have to thank Muara Sianturi, who also participated. Not for deciding to not join the ettape the next day, but for convincing me to join the race at all.
And i’m pretty sure he let me won 2nd place, which he could totally have won if he wanted to.
He was one of my mentors, along with Jerry Karundeng and a few others.

– Went on a power trail to 3 mountains, Salak, Gede, Pangrango, 65k with Kang Hendra Wijaya, Rudy Ansyah, Djawa, and some few others.
– Coast2Coast ( BromoTenggerSemeru). Running from the North coast of Java to the South coast of Java, through Bromo, Ranupane, Ranukumbolo. 134k
– Bandung- Cianjur- Bandung, 99k. At the Run & Roses event with Hendra Wijaya, Bugi. I picked Bugi up who ran from Bogor to Bandung, to give roses for his girlfriend who lives in Bandung.
– Bandung Karawang, 92k at the Allianz event.
– Kawahputih- Cidaun- Sindangbarang- Agrabinta, 159k with Hendra Wijaya & Rudy Ansyah.

– Bandung- Tasikmalaya, 99k.

How many long distance event have you participated in, and which one is most memorable, and why?

The North Face Singapore was the only long run event i’ve ever participated in.
But the most memorable one was probably the Kinabalu Climbathlon that wasn’t a long trail race.
With a name that majestic, it’s also notorious as the toughest mountain trail run event in the world.
Of course everyone was more than eager to conquer it. Especially for me, who is more than thankful for being able to partake at this age.
And i finished it at a normal pace. The COT was 3hrs 30 mins to the top (the veteran group).
During a couple of km left to the top (forgot when exactly), i found a couple of racers to be overwhelmed by it. Like they were starving and thirsty. Some were helping others by bringing them food and drinks till everyone managed to get back on their feet.
I was caught off guard for a while realizing how little my experience i had was.
So instead of continuing the race, i just stopped and overthink everything that could go wrong. Like what if that happened to me?
I didn’t realize how long i was stopping. After dusting myself off i continued the race.
At 3850 mdpl (The Kinabalu top is 4052 mdpl) i arrived at just the time limit (COT) of 3 hours 30 mins.
Which means i’m DNF.
But for some reason i feel no regrets whatsoever. Eventhough i longed to win it at first.
I felt like i was more than content.
Sure i didn’t get the medal i could show off to people. But the validation that i could finish the race was enough for me.
I didn’t participate in any race eversince.

After the last Kinabalu event i mostly do local trail run events, and i decided to just do so. Which turned out to be more challenging for me, a lot more fun and more beautiful.
I also feel the responsibility to re-introduce my country to people outside.

What is your biggest running achievement (does’t have to be race related)?

I think every experience was a great achievement for me.

How do you keep yourself motivated, to continue running?

Sport is an invesment to our health for now and in the future. And to me running is the best.
I think of running as the lowest form of a high health insurance. Not only that, t also make me feel good, and happier.
Sounds exaggerating but that’s how i feel.

What would be your most important advise, to beginner runners?

It’s so simple to just start with very much benefits. If you ever have any doubts of starting something, be my guest. But if it’s running,
Just run, once it is done, the rest is addiction.

What is your running goal, race wise? What is your running goal, in general?

My goal is to take tiny steps but faster and further everytime. Hopefully by the end of 2014 i could join the triathlon.

Who’s your favorite runner, and why?

My favorite runners are the new ones wo just started but already have high spirits. They’re the ones who motivate me to do more.
Because no matter how simple running is, getting started is the hardest part.

Describe your favorite shoe (bisa imajinasi, bisa yg sudah ada di pasaran)?

Barefoot shoes or anything with thin soles. laceless for practicallity. As for dangerous terrains such as cliffs, steep steps i go with Salomon S-Lab… and.. err Eiger for sure 🙂 . For average category i choose Teva and New Balance.