Sunday, January 18, 2015

Putrajaya 30km LSD : Runners Alternative to Lake Gardens - Hartamas Loop

Lake Gardens - Hartamas is the Gold Standard for runners doing their 30km LSD route. It has a mixed bag of everything: flats, climbs, downhills and most importantly a Petronas station for refuel and toilet stop at the midway mark. Guys have little to worry about on the last point as as we have 30kms worth of trees, plants, grassy verges that can do with some natural fertiliser ..

Well I for one, do not like running too much on the road : speedy vehicles aside, there is always that kerb you have to hop on, or the lane you have to cross and the narrow verges you have to contend with between grass and tarmac at Kenny Hills. Also I cannot stomach 14 laps of Taman Tasik Perdana ..bosan! And! I don't like repeating scenery ..

So I have devised Putrajaya 30KM. Route stats in numbers:
  1. 30.03 : distance in KM for a giant route
  2. 6.5km - the total distance on the very quiet triple carriage Lebuh Wadi Ehsan.
  3. 24km - jogging tracks and pathways : as safe as you can ever get.
  4. 7.5km - length that you will double back on (15km). LG is 30km mirror image of 15km. No boredom!
  5. 160m - total elevation gain
  6. 5 - the number of public toilets you will pass. 1 toilet has no water so don't do big business there!

Start and end point is Menara Alaf Baru parking space. At the end of the run, there is a cafe for you to show off your clingy singlet on your amazing 6-packs, stretch your sinewy calves and look the part of an elite athlete that has just completed an ultra. Unless you are pudgy like me, in which case, please proceed to buy that can of Pepsi and quietly leave the premises.

Tips :
If you start your LSD at the sane hour of 4:30am, you can survive without a headlamp. There will be the odd sections where the park lights are broken / not switched on. I however run with one. If you have trouble justifying to your spouse / partner why you need a RM200 Black Diamond headlamp - I'm giving you the perfect excuse right now.

Muslim runners can break for Fajr prayers near Everly Hotel (@KM17.4). There is a wakaf and a public toilet. The sun rises from behind Everly so point the opposite way to pray. You could continue and pray at the Putrajaya Mosque but your 2XU tights, smelly armpits and soggy singlet may raise an eyebrow or twenty.

You can detour to find food at KM16.7 - there is a Petronas station. You have to exit the Presint 16 lake. It's a short detour and it would absolutely destroy your timing and average pace. Just kidding.

Route description:

KM 0 : Start at Menara Alaf Baru and head towards Masjid Besi on jogging path
KM 3 : scenic lakeside paths as you cross under Gemilang Bridge
KM 7.5 : transition to Lebuh Bestari (staircase)
KM8.5 : start of the only tarmac section of run on Lebuh Wadi Ehsan loop.
KM 14.7 : loop ends at Taman Warisan traffic lights as you veer right ..
KM 15.5 : .. to join the lake paths of Presint 16. Egrets, wetlands, birds. Scenic.
KM 20:  climb staircase to Putrajaya Mosque and make counter clockwise loop of roundabout
KM 21 : cross Persiaran Perdana Bridge and swing underneath it to Taman Wawasan jogging path
KM23 : rejoin transition point of KM7.5.
KM30 : End

Lebuh Wadi Ehsan loop : I actually love this section of the course. It is triple carriage and is ghostly dead at 5 am. Something about roads leading into the far unseen horizon, very brightly lit, flat-ish .. best place to do tempo and most likely be the fastest segment of your run for the day.I suggest (and do myself)  run this section AGAINST traffic.

I ran with 3x 9oz bottles and did not refuel along the way. First time I forgot to bring money. Second time, I just continued to run as if I forgot to bring money. I did not run with a Camelbak because with 3 separate 9 oz bottles, I can manage my water properly. With Camelbak you have no idea how much water you have left. So you could stretch to 30kms without refuel stops but only you know your body better.

Souq / Putrajaya Mosque - nothing is open at 7:00 ++ am so even though you are passing busy civilisation (many bike riders setting up at the roundabout at this hour), you won't be able to find a shop to refill / refuel.