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We were lucky that it was again a good day, with good weather and great spirits from racers and supporters alike. The second of the MUDS series this time took us to Universiti Malaya (UM), for a short and sweet racing experience.
While UPNM played with your mental as racers had to go in 3 loops, in UM the racers faced a shorter distance compared to UPNM. But it didn’t mean that it was going to be any easier.
The 2 loops in Taman Rimba Ilmu proved to be a killer start. With a stair-like climb at some spots in the route, it surely separated the strong and weak runners. Some were even reduced to a walk and the huffing and puffing didn’t end there.
After the 3.5km run, racers were then taken to a relatively short cycling route of 11.4km that was loaded with long arduous climbs followed by a cool downhill, which offered the cyclists some relief before having to climb up the slope again for the 2-loop route.
Then it was time to stash the bike in the transition area and head for the second run. By now, most racers know what they were facing and were more properly paced for the final section. It proved to be a mental game between man and nature as they fought their way through the shady but killer route.
This time around, Mark John Williams proved that he’s the fastest on the course by finishing first in 50 minutes 13 seconds, followed by defending champion from 2009, Ong Wei Xiang (UTM) in 50 minutes 33 seconds. In the Women's Open category, Emer Breen from Ireland clocked 1 hour, 1 minute, 28 seconds for first place, while in the Women's University category, Nor Juliana Ali (IIUM) came in first in 1 hour, 8 minutes, 27 seconds.
Malakoff sent 7 participants – 6 competed in the individual category and 1 participated in team relay. All managed to finish the race except for one participant who injured himself during the second run and had to abort the race. For the weekend warriors, who worked from 9 to 5 everyday, the race provided some relief from the mundane day-to-day tasks and was also an opportunity to meet friends and foster a closer bond between them.
An unfortunate incident happened in UM where one female racer tumbled on the bike and crashed on the road. She was later quickly taken to Pusat Perubatan Universiti Malaya (PPUM) where the doctor confirmed that she suffered a broken collarbone. We wish her a speedy recovery and hope to see her racing again soon.
Thank you to Universiti Malaya for hosting MUDS again this year. Looking forward to exposing more athletes, pros and beginners, to this run-bike-run sport called duathlon. Again, congratulations to the participants who finished the race. You are officially a duathlete!