Thursday, October 20

From the City of Kinabalu to Kundasang

October 18, this is my day, it's my birthday. But really this is just a relax day for us. No one even know in the team that it's my day. We wake up 6:00am, my legs are still aching from my 50K TNF SG trail run 3 days ago. So I decided to just walk along the streets of Kinabalu with Jules, the others decided run, part of the training run before the race. After one hour of walk, we proceed back to the hotel to eat breakfast and prepare our things. We will be leaving for Kundasang, the town where Mt. Kinabalu is after lunch. 

Pack our things, and went back the mall to do some final grocery for our supply in Kundasang, our home for the next six days. We also had to buy one box of drinking water each, as our water supply up to the race day. At first we scout for an outdoor shop, only to find out it's still closed, all of us just peep on the glass wall curious what items are inside. We decided to just go back to the mall and buy our needed groceries, I just take my time walking, I can still feel little pain in my legs from the long race that I had. Trying to keep myself hydrated and nourished, I am always conscious that I should take some food once in a while. Thanks to Josaw and Jules for having with me a crispy crepe, it really taste good and replenished my food supply.
The others had to buy some groceries while I already have my supplies, I just join them for lunch at this time. Not so hungry yet but we need to eat for it's going to be an almost two hour travel from the city to Kundasang. Glenn hired a van for the group which is a comfortable ride for all of us. It's day time trip so I got a chance to see the place, though it's foggy and cloudy, we cannot see the mountain. A 15 minute stop over at the view deck to pee and stretch,  we proceed with our trip. We arrive Ceasar's Lodge still bright, we settle to our rooms and proceed to Kinabalu Park to get insurance for our training climb the following day. The park is more than a kilometer walk from our lodge, and it's going to be that routine on our entire stay at Kundasang, there is no other way for us to reach the park from our lodge but to walk not unless we can hitch a ride.

After settling our climb insurance, Jules decided to do a trek from the park office to the gate of Timpohon, the entrance gate of the race. She invited me to join her. At first I was really hesitant of doing this, I am not too sure if it will be a wise decision to force myself to take a more than 5 kilometer walk with the condition of my legs. I just take it slowly but with Zean and Rom, ofcourse I need to keep up with their pace. It's almost all uphill road, but at least I got familiar of how the road part will be on the race, where the finish line will be and where the start point will be. It's not going to be an easy one, though this is going to be a downhill part on the race day.

It's getting late and started to get dark, we only had one headlamp and a flashlight on my celphone. We pass by the Timpohon view deck, it's really foggy and the jagged rock on the summit is not so visible, two foreign nationals were there too, only to find out they are Kilian's photograpers documenting his race. Kilian's name is very popular even in our team but I really do not have any idea who he is. After several shots at the view deck we proceed to the gate. It's still a long uphill trek. We reach Timpohon gate still with enough light to see the rock face. It's Zean's first time to see it, the three of us already been to this place and knows how it exactly looked like. Took few pics and we proceed down.

It's already dark. Jules and myself stayed at the middle while Rom on the lead and Zean at the back. Rom just trek fast, I think he even run on the dark, while Zean just trek slowly behind us. We check on him from time to time, he is just really too silent, unusual because the two of them were loudy talking our way up. We just keep on moving on the peach dark road, hearing different sounds while walking and seeing few fireflies along the way. We had to rush back to the entrance of the park then a walk on the side of the road to MT Restaurant. The rest of the team are still at the restaurant, others already done eating while others are still waiting for their food. The three of us ordered our food and while waiting it is where we hear Rom really worried how he will tackle the trail and Zean voiced the same sintement. I think to myself, I'll just enjoy the trail.

We eat our dinner, and on our way back to our lodge it is a light less highway of Kundasang, it is already cold, really cold. I can't help but run and do brisk walk, in that way I wont feel so much colder. Upon arrival at Ceasar's, my plan of fixing my things for the next day's summit training run was set aside, I receive a text from Chris and upon checking my FB, only at Ceasar's that we have a wifi but we need to go out near the registration hut that we can get a signal. So I brave myself on the freezing temperature just to be able to read and answer my brother's messages, mom wants to call me and greet and the kids too wants to greet me. Ay, that makes me sad, I wanted to hear them on my special day, only at this time I realized that today is my birthday and all I wish is to talk to the kids. I tried to ask Glenn to borrow his phone with Malaysian number but unfortunately it's low bat. I tried to download ym on my netphone but I am not successful as well. Freezing outside, I give up the thought that I can talk to them. I just send a message back to mom, kuya, chris and the rest of those who greeted on my birthday.

I went back to my room and prepare my things for the early run the following day. I was the only one awake, and despite being inside the room and with many layers of clothe on, it is still very cold. I can hear the wind  whirling outside. It's going to be very cold tomorrow. Good night Kundasang.

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