GOAT RUN 2018 SERIES #1 – MOUNT GUNTUR

Word From the RD
We are back on our annual race series of Goat Run Trail Running located at Mount Guntur and it’s going to be the 3rd year we held the series on this beautiful mountain. Mount Guntur also known as Swiss Van Java or The Switzerland of Java offering a unique town with cool vibe and also strong Sundanese culture. Located sixty-three kilometers southeast of Bandung, Garut is a lovely spa town also known for its leather-ware centre and famed for its dodol – a confectionery of coconut milk, palm sugar and sticky rice.
The race will start from 700 meter above sea level at the city center, start with a flat road section, good enough to set you on a fast pace and straight up high into 2200 meter above sea level. On its 3rd year, in 2018 we will present you with new course (and longer) that will revealing a another hidden side of Mount Guntur that many runner have experience.
The course will offer you with a varies landscape from street, rice paddy field, rocks, dense tropical forest, green savanna, and wide open ridges. So make sure you bring your phone fully charged to keep your Instagram posting exciting. Aside from its beauty, Mount Guntur will continue to test your physical and mental strength & endurance on a its steep technical ascent and descent.Goat Run Guntur 2018, 3rd edition
Start: 07.00, 8 April 2018
Location : Start/Finish and Race Central at Garut Regent Office, Garut City (Kantor Bupati Garut)
Address : Jl. Pembangunan No.234, Sukagalih, Tarogong Kidul, Kabupaten Garut, Jawa Barat 44151
Google Map : https://goo.gl/maps/3jArV4ExJ7w

This was my second year running the Goat Run Series Mount Guntur. I loved this race, it was though but very scenic, and the distance was not too long so I could still have the whole day to hang out with friends. The first obstacle of this race was to beat the traffic from Jakarta to the town at the foot of Mount Guntur, Garut. We decided to use train to Bandung, which would be a traffic free and less carbon foot print. We took the earliest train and arrived in Bandung pretty early where our driver pick us up, to drive up to Garut, which was about an hour away. This year we stayed at Fave hotel which was like 10 minutes away from the starting point, and also where we did our race package pick up. At the hotel we met up with Linda and Kris to have lunch at a local restaurant. Off course, since my expat stomach was pretty picky about food, not to get stomach bug before the race, so we picked a bit decent restaurant, instead of street food kind of restaurant. After lunch, I was just passed out, I think I had to sleep late the past two nights. I woke up just before dinner time, where we met more of our friends Yurbi, David, and Mathew. We had an early dinner which was a pretty good local cuisine.

Beat Like a Kick Drum
For this race, I chose my Phone Soft Flask Orange Mud running vest. It was the latest product from Orange Mud (I just got it over the winter) which was pretty un-orthodox setup. I decided to go with this one, instead the Single Bottle vest like last year because the way the flask setup would make it easier for me to sip my Tailwind juice on the run or on the hike, even with both hands were occupied with my hiking poles. Hands-free kind of setup. And I knew I would not need to bring much food, and also just a windshell jacket just in case I got cold. I started with my Swiftwick long socks and arm sleeves, so I would be ok with the cold wind and temperature when I got to the top. We walked to the starting line, took some group photo and wished a good luck to everyone. I moved a bit forward, I did not want to get caught up in the long line of people on the hike since it would be a long single trail hike to the top. After some speech, traditional dancing and such, the gun was off. I tried to break off from the horde, until I got into the single line of runners. We were on the road for a couple of kilometers, we went through the town, villages and soon I could see the Mount Guntur in front of me.

When I got to the trail, I felt I was running too fast, and to be honest I felt not as strong as I was a year ago. I decided to start with power hike early and safe my energy for the downhill. A lot of people passing me, it sucked, but I had to stuck with my plan if I wanted to survive this race, and be smart.
I skipped the first water stop and continued my hike. The hike was pretty diverse from mild rocky dirt trail into steep rocky climb after the bridge. Finally I arrived at the base-camp at the end of the treeline, here I also skipped the water station since I still had plenty amount of water (which I would regret it later). Now the real hike begun, the hike was on a very steep sandy surface, not only it was sliding down on every step, but most of the time I had a hard time to keep standing straight without feeling of falling back. God bless my poles. I was totally a wreck compare to last year. Not like last year, this time I paid attention where I was going and did not follow the wrong trail and off from the course, at least I did something right. Seriously, I was a little worried at that time, I thought I would get cardiac arrest and met my Maker. My heart was almost came out from my buttocks, I think my heart rate was off the chart a couple of times. So I stopped a couple of times, take a breath or two maybe… three, and tried to calm myself down. I usually did not have this issue when I power hiked, I guessed that what they said the mountain would keep me honest.
Finally, somehow, I made it to the top. Last year the course went to the right, but this time, the course went to the left and circled out the peak around the crater. It was a very stunning view, I stopped too many to take pictures, but at the end I gave up, I just could not capture the view. The course went down for a bit and another steep tricky sandy uphill, and repeat. Then the first part of fun begun, downhill. Not the longest one yet, but at least I could monkey-ing around. Just before the Aid station, there was a steep sandy slope, where I could hop and slide into these soft sand. SO much fun. I was so happy to see this aid station since my water was gone a while back. Because they changed the course the aid station was further than I remembered. The course continue on sand-ish savanna for a short of time, before I made a left and continue on a rolling hills. Despite the course was downhill, but the trail was not cruise-able, so I could not really pick up my pace. After a few sand dunes,  I got into one of the checkpoint to collect my wristband and made a left to the next long climb. I think there was an aid station by the foot of the hill, but I did not remember stopped or grabbing anything.

Out of Gas
The climb was not as tricky or slippery as the first one, but it was far than easy climb. I was a little upset to myself because I was not trainned well prior this race, this 400 meter-ish climb felt like climbing Rinjani. I was so happy when I ran pass the peak and greeted by the single track downhill, my favorite. Here I picked up my pace and tried to make up time that I lost from both climbs. When I get into the aid station, right away I opened up my shoes, the sands had been annoyed me for the last 6 miles. Tho I did not get any blister, thanks to Trail Toes, but the sands had become like a padding under my feet. I met Jeffri the RD, we did a small chat, he was curious about my un-orthodox running vest. Then I drank a coke and grabbed a couple of banana slices to go, and continue my run, while I was still feeling good on these downhill.
The course even getting more fun, a little technical but still run-able and I could do hopping here and there. I think at one time I went through off the trail once, but luckily I realized it right away because it was pretty much bushwhacking. The trail became a motor trail, like a small ditch, which a bit tricky to run on it. I had to switching side to keep my pace without rolled my ankle into the ditch. When I got into the padi field, I started to remember this course, soon I would get into the junction where I got lost for about a half an hour, last year. But this time I was lucky there was a marshal, who directed me to turn left, and there were tons of trail marker. I guessed I did make a huge fuss last year. Then I arrived at the last aid station, at the village’s warung. There I refilled my Tailwind before I continued the run. I knew I was close to my limit, and it would be better if I could finish this sooner than later. When I got into the fence area, I was barely run on that small hill, I was just power-hike, while I ate my mini waffle. The next downhill was the tricky one. It was pretty much a steep slide covered with bamboo leaves. So there was no traction. I remember this part and I knew holding back and walked down slowly was useless. So I might as well just ran, slipped and slid, hoped there would not be any bamboo stabbed me. My calves were starting to pulse, sign of my legs were at the brink of cramping up.
When I got into the road section towards to the village, I was pretty much done. I actually walked a couple of times for a few minutes. At the edge of the village, I made left turn on the busy street, and pushed myself to run again. I kept telling myself the finish-line was around the corner. Well after a few corners, finally I saw the finish-line. Thanks to lack of preparation and training, I missed my target almost an hour off, but I was lucky I could still steal M8.
It was a good day after all, and Mount Guntur was never a disappointment. I drunk some Tailwind recovery cocktail, put my Gladsoles sandals on to let my feet breathe, and hung out till the end of the race.

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