4 days to Cameron Ultra Trail!
Here are top ten Cameron Ultra Trail Tips from Tracy who has romanced the Cultra Trail a few times.
- Wear trail shoes with good grips: One of the key attraction of CULTRA is running through the BOH Tea plantation, the ground is naturally soft and moist. Terrains can be very muddy and slippery as raining is common all year round in Cameron Highlands. Make sure you wear a pair of trail shoes with good grip that is meant for slippery conditions and for that added protection.
- Wear gloves at all times : CULTRA is a technical forest trail, there are many ascending and steep inclines that required using both hands grabbing roots, soil and rocks to pull yourself up. A pair of gloves is a must to save your hands!
- Covering up to avoid cuts : You will have very close contact with bushes, rocks and sometimes on your knees. When you are on all fours during climbs. Subject to personal preference, many runners wear long sleeves tops, arm sleeves and long running tights for skin protection.
- Layering is the key : 100KM race flag off is at 4am while the 55KM race is at 5am. Weather is at its coolest during the early morning with temperature below 10 degree Celsius in the mountain. When approaching mid-day, temperature rises to a hot and humid level before it gets cooling again in the evening. With the ever changing weather throughout the day, not only wearing the right clothes help but layering is the key. Layer up or layer down accordingly to the current conditions.
- Spread your positive energy : The U-turn loop at CULTRA is great! You get to see fellow runners. Cheering for other runners help to gain strength from each other, a simple word of encouragement or a high-five can actually boost your spirits and your performance.
- Plan your hydration and fuel needs : The distance between check-points is relatively short. Take 55KM route for example – the average distance between check-points is 5KM; the longest being 7.7KM and shortest at 2.9KM. Plan your hydration and fuel needs to avoid carrying so much weight with you. Of course, do plan for emergency as it is unwise to fully depend on check-point supplies. There are cases where check-points run out of hydration and fuel supplies too.
- Bring wet wipes : Do not litter in the trail. Bring along a small packet of wet wipes for emergency cleanups – and make sure you bring a ziplock bag to keep your trash.
- Focus on your race : Run your own race and remember to keep positive because anything can happen before you cross that finishing line.
- Embrace the mud : Along the route, there are the thick, gloopy kind of mud; also the yellowish slippery kind. Whatever it is, go with the flow, get on the mud and have fun!
- Enjoy the journey : The journey is more important than the destination. Clear one check-point at a time – don’t chase the distance, it will come to you.
Article contributed by Tracy Sim
I love running! It is my meditation.