Genting Sempah 30 km running

Genting Sempah route between Gombak and Genting Highlands, is a super duper nice quiet scenic route that's a playground to many cyclists on Sundays. It's filled with great fresh air, cool mountain weather and nice hilly routes. 

For runners, this route is made popular by the Route 68 Ultra Marathon which I 'm yet to participate. 

(Ultra? er.... I'm not ready yet. The most is 42 km. haha! )

If starting from the Museum Orang Asli or the School playground area all the way up, it is a 15 km UPHILL all the way until you reach the top. After which cyclists will usually continue until Bukit Tinggi. 

Since I don't have a bicycle and I haven't had a chance to explore either on bicycle or on foot all the way to Bukit Tinggi, I will leave it to the next writing when I have a chance to do so. :)

So let me talk about this 15 km uphill then 15 km downhill route at Genting Sempah this time from a runner's point of view. 

Occasionally, you will see some crazy runners taking up the hill challenges. 

The Sunday runners are usually not more than 20. So it's a not so popular running route for runners, but definitely a very popular route for cyclists. Easily, you can see hundreds of bicycles going up and down at different times especially on Sundays.

I guess there are 3 reasons why Genting Sempah route is not so popular with runners:

1. Long distance from KL city
Example, I need to drive 38 km or close to 40 min slow drive from my Sri Petaling hom to the starting line. If I were to run at my usual place (Lake Garden), it's a mere 15-20 min drive.

2. Challenging hills with 30 km point of no return & no water stations
It's actually a 15 km all the way uphill run, followed by 15 km down hill run. So it's not for the faint hearted. Not the leisure type of run. Also, there is no water stations along the way. 

But today I have found out that now at the top of hill (15th km), there is a Malay stall set up on Sunday from 7.30am to 1.30 pm selling drinks and fruits mainly for cyclists. So this can be a great chance to be hydrated! Otherwise, you might need to carry own water for a total of 30 km running.

3. Open narrow road
The road is rather narrow since it's a mountain road. And at times are there big lorries passing by. So relatively speaking, it's not as safe as running at Lake Garden or the Seri Hartamas route.

But for me, I'm very very very happy to run this challenging route - but not every weekend though because I think my legs will leave my body if I were to do that every Sunday. hahaha!

Why I love this Genting Sempah Route?

This is a solid training ground for hill and endurance running. 15 km uphill run? Then 15 km downhill run? Quite challenging and not for the faint hearted! But definitely it's good to train myself here because I'm very weak at running hills.

I also love the fresh air, quiet atmosphere especially in the early morning, cool weather with occasional mists.  After 1 whole week taking in the carbon monoxide working in KL city down town, it's good to catch some fresh air with minimal cars around!!!

And lastly, I love the hill challenges, especially uphills because it gives me a great opportunity to work on my weak area in running - hills

15 km all the way uphill leaves me no room to rest but to focus on training myself to improve on my hill running.  haha! 

By the time to run 15 km down hill, it's also challenging!! But by then, usually, there will be many cyclists cycling up the hills and I need to smile and put up a strong front... haha! This also pushes me to work hard on my running until I finish the whole 30 km run!

And one last thing - since I need to carry my own water, I have learned to be more careful and cautious of how much water I drink. It also trains me to conserve my energy and not to dehydrate myself too quickly etc in case I run out of waters. 

How many times have I run 30 km at Genting Sempah?

After the above sharing, you might think that I have run many times already at Genting Sempah. Not quite so. haha! :)

In fact, this morning was my 1st 30 km run at Genting Sempah in 2016! My last 30 km run there was October 2015. So it has been close to 8 months I haven't run 30 km there.

So there you go!! I am also a novice in running Genting Sempah!! haha!

How I was introduced to run at Genting Sempah?

I was introduced to run this route by Kelvin Tan - my good running friend whom I got to know through Melaka International Marathon 2014, Ocean Island Marathon 2014 and River Jungle 2014 and Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014. We ran almost side by side until 25 km - 30 km or so... then he would disappear in front of me because he was a sub 4 runner and I was a 4:30 runner! 

 He told me he has done lots of squats (without weights), even in the office toilet. One day he could do min 100 in office. :)  He also told me he trained at Genting Sempah to strengthen his legs for hill running.

I have always wanted to do sub 4 in full marathon. So I wanted to learn from all the sub 4 runners. Kelvin Tan is one of them.

So upon his invitation, I also joined him and his friends to run Genting Sempah occasionally since end of 2014. 

So far, I have run not more than 10 times since end of 2014. But I every single time, it's definitely a great challenge and I get so exhausted after running. 

I'm really grateful to him for introducing me to this route.

My first 30 km Genting Sempah Run in 2016

Today there were only 3 of us running. But we also saw 5 other runners running same route. Not sure if they ran all the way up the 15 km route or made u turn along the way. 

Anyway, Kelvin Tan and I decided to run 15 km all the way up to the top, while Terry decided to run 14 km up and waited for us there.

15 km uphill : 1 hour 28 min (5:51 min/km pace) with elevation gain 869 m

15 km downhill : 1 hour 21 min (5:24 min/km pace) with elevation gain 373 m

We are so so exhausted after the hilly run today!! But definitely great satisfaction!!

For the first time, I carried hydration pouch, causing me to have chaffing on my waist area. :( Next time, I shall be more careful with the friction on my waist.

Kelvin and Terry both looked so tired! haha!

Can't walk - better rest on the car!

Carried hydration pouch for the first time to run here. I usually carry 2 Isotonic drink bottles in my hands to run but today my hands were free but I got chaffing at my waist area!! lol!

Genting Sempah!! I will come back again this year to have more of you!! 


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