“I am sure it will clear up soon”,
“Sentul’s weather is different from Jakarta, right?”,
“I enjoy running in the rain in the tropics, it cools you down”,
“Shall we wait until it eases off?”,
“Thunder….hmmnn….I never run when there might be lightening”,
“If we are going to do it, then let’s just go NOW!”
And with little more ado the eight of us were off, and downhill (but not for long) through the Gunung Pancar forest reserve above Sentul City. However, within a km it was all too much for one of our members but he did not waste his time - we now know that the new trail running clubhouse has a decent drink and snacks menu, a pleasant dry day bed, clean loos and also hosts Indonesia’s top mountain-bikers…..cool!
So the first 4km were all on pretty decent made up road/track and we wended our way mainly along the contour, crossing a bamboo bridge and heading up towards Karang Tengah. The rain was easing off, or so we thought. Then we reached the decision point and Harry put the question - “now the fun starts, is everyone OK to go on up this track to the ridge….it’s a bit steep and will be slippery”. An accurate statement, as you would expect from our most excellent guide, and to a man and woman, we said “yes" and the rest, as they say, is history.
For we took off up a steep track through rain-drenched pine trees, peering across misty (very) valleys to grey ridges and paddy fields below, slipping and sliding up to the ridge. This took up most of our second hour and did not involved much running. And the rain kept falling.
Then we turned right along the ridge, ran past a group of boisterous farmers and then headed gingerly down the spur back to Gunung Pancar, slipping and sliding to the paddies and civilisation below. And the rain kept falling. The views would have been spectacular, as anyone who has enjoyed an IDGuides walk in the area can vouch, but last Saturday was, shall we say, just “atmospheric”.
With 4 pairs of Solomon trail running shoes in the group, it soon became obvious who had purchased wisely - they really do work well off-road!!!
Once back down we crossed rushing streams, clambered through rocky fields and snuck up through a hole in the wall around Gunung Pancar and ended up back on a decent road in the forest reserve. It was still raining. Not content with the tarmac route back to base camp, Harry then sent us slipping and sliding down through the forest below so we ended on a cracking last 1.5k tarmac run back to the start point. A great route we can recommend heartily, rain or shine!!!!
The 8 heroes who started this run were Ross, Colin, Andy, Iko, Devi, Katharina and our guides Ryan and Harry. Thanks a lot to Harry and Ryan for setting this up. It was actually really really good fun even with the incessant and heavy rain, which added a completely new set of sensations and challenges, all enjoyed/overcome with gusto by this wonderful group of dedicated trail runners.
Join us next time - do!!