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How Small Can You Go?

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Mt Rinjani Ultra 2013



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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Mt Rinjani Ultra 2013. The Story


I started the journey at 600m, reaching Station 1 5.9 km in 1.29 mins and reaching Station 2 2600 m later about 10 km at 3.40 mins. But it was at this station, where I tried to rest for a short while. I felt breathless, I couldnt eat anything in sight, I couldnt even drink much. I couldnt take my energy sachets or anything. At this point, I wanted to give up and wanted to stop.

Hendra Wijaya, was waiting for the 21 km runners, saw me. He told me if I want to quit and return I will have a longer journey. He persuaded me to get to the next station. So we moved on, with very much difficulty. The rocks were huge, it was dark. At that point, I felt so lucky to just have 1 tracking pole as i really need the other hand to hold on to whatever is there and use the one pole I have to help me with my journey on! I remember there were massive rocks, many times I felt like dying because my tummy was very hard, yet there was no vomits nothing.

Hendra was all the time right behind me. I remember, earlier that evening, Nefo had told me that Hendra will not be climbing the Mt Rinjani. Anyhow, I was thankful he was right behind me. As sick as I was, I know what is an ultra adventure now. Because, here no one is able to help you. Even if u wanna DNF, yu still need to find your own way down to the bottom or to where you started. And in the darkness, my journey continued…

Soon, the sunrise was to be seen. After a while, we have come to brightness, I believe I vomitted shortly before I arrived at the next station. Along the way just before reachiing the next station, I met cheerful Josephine Pipin and Carin Leong and also passing Rich Chai. I also remember, Rich telling me to think carefully if I really wanna ascendd to the top.

With Hendra, we arrive at the next station. Again, I told Hendra I will not continue to ascend. I felt sick again, looking at the food, which Hendra kept insisting for me to take some. Then he later told me, I am a little like Aki Niaki, we cant consume food in our journey! So after resting for a long while must have been half an hour at least. Then Hendra said if I dont eat, I will not be able to go to the summit. My heart had wanted to go to the summit but my physical body was incapable. Pipin, Carin and many others came and left to move on to the top. I kept telling them to go ahead as I was still contemplating!

I have by then met, Alex Sebangkit, to name one of them, Wailan Warokka and a few others that I cant remember the names of hand now.

Finally, Hendra said to me, why dont we go a little further, where we can see the summit. He was great at persuasion. So even though I didnt want to, I finally gave in to the prospect of looking at the summit. So off we go! So with that little bit of rice and tinned beef, like maybe 2 table spoons each, and some Pocari Sweat drink and some FITLINE Performance sachets, we left the station and went ascend again.

The loose gravels were extremely difficult to climb. The heat from the sun is now at its full blast. Along the way, we caught up with Pipin, with Carin, who later dropped off and turn around to go back not going up the summit.

We also passed by Jeff Ooi, Yim, many many others who had reached the summit and now on the way down. Still we went on.

At some stages, I stopped and soon I had no more water in my platypus, water pouch, I had to now take some from Hendra. At one time, I again said I think its a joke if I can get to the summit and Hendra again tricked me and told me why dont we go right to the white rock, and from there we will be able to get a clear full view of the summit.

Now, who doesnt wanna have a glimpse of the summit. But in my heart I know to get there tothe white rock is about 800 m more and thats felt like forever. But from the white rock, we will still have another 1.2 km to the summit. Still I finally agreed with Hendra and move up.

Inching u, Hendra met his friends and gave them his precious Coco de nato cup of desert drink which he had kept for himself to have when he get to the summit, so that was what he told me. But he gave it away anyway! That was so generous of him. Knowing there is nothing much else to drink when we get there!!!

At the rock, we took another break. took some photos. And along the way, we saw the new volcano formed Gunung Baru??, the lakes the beautiful scenary which were all so amazing, and to be able to look down onto these, i felt so happy and that lifted my feeling. Still I vomitted again! In total I have vomitted 3 times. That little bit of food i ate and the salt stick I took all came out again.

Nevertheless, we moved on, and on and on and on and on.

Finally we were there! The summit! Oh! what a feeling! It was absolutely unbelievable! I finally reached my destination, the peak of the Second Most Highest Volcano Peak of Indonesia. Christine Munro had just FB me to let me know that it is actually higher the Mt Cook in New Zealand!

We had my video done, my photos taken and did all the things we all do when we get to Mt Rinjani summit at 3,726 m!

Then we started descending…

This is my story of my love affair with Mt Rinjani sometime on 17 August 2013!!

Maggie Kim Hong Yeo