Bidor Half-marathon / 10K 2013
Venue: Bidor, Perak
Date: 28 Apr 2013 (Sun)
We first heard about the BIDOR Run in 2010 from Max’s blog. This is a boutique race held in Bidor (美罗), a quiet small town in Perak about 150 km from KL. Heard it started back in 2003 by their Sport & Recreation Club. Their first race had 200 participants only. I heard we’ve over 1,500 runners in this year’s event!
What attracted us to this run is the scenic kampung road, a change from our usual KL city runs where you see buildings buildings and more building. We’d wanted to join the run in 2011 but missed that due to other commitment.
I remembered we were meeting up with one business partner (for the boardgamecafe.net business) in that year (2011) and so happened to know the fella is from Bidor. So we asked if he knew about the Bidor Run and he’s actually happy to know so many outside of Bidor has heard of that run. Certainly hosting the event has done heaps to spread the name Bidor wide. Strange thing was the Bidor Run for that year happened to be on the following weekend to the day we were meeting up with the biz partner, and he was asking if we are going. We told him, “Nay, this year’s too packed but we’ll be there definitely next year!”
So it was, we resolved to get our butts and legs to Bidor the following year to take part in the run. Alas… the committee decided to take a break in 2012. L
Anyway here we are – 2013 – and glad to say we finally managed to get ourselves here for this run. The drive up north was around 150 km and took us around 1.5 hours. We took the SUV for this trip instead of my usual drive Wira. Loves the handling and FC of this thing.. the round trip of close to 300 km consumed less than half the tank. Well, not easy to turn my eyes away from a Q5 so this drive certainly deserved its plaudits.
RACE PACK COLLECTION
Race pack collection was relatively smooth… it’s hard to miss the Dewan Muhibbah being right in the centre of the town. Bidor’s a sleepy town when compared to the hustle bustle of KL.
I also spot this set of bibs without names and was wondering what they were for. Apparently waiyan was wondering about the same thing and she had asked one of the helpers who told her these were for walk-in registrations.
Hah! They must be one of those few organizers in Malaysia who have planned for and allowed walk-in registrations. Some of my runner frens have told me many races in Thai allow walk-in registrations too. I’m not a race organizer so I do not know if providing this flexibility is worth the additional effort to plan/manage it.
CHECKING IN – LOONG FATT HOTEL
Looking for an accommodation has to be something you need to plan ahead if you wish to join this race. Bidor’s commercial is not scaled to take in that many number of visitors in a short one night therefore if you wish to stay in Bidor, you’ll need to book early. Alternatives are plenty if you do not mind a short 30 min drive in the morning. You can find good accommodations in the nearby towns of Kampar, Teluk Intan, etc (that’s what many runners did).
Thanks to Waiyan, we were able to get a booking for us in the newly renovated Loong Fatt Hotel. From the looks of it when we arrived, this is probably the “best” hotel in Bidor.
The hotel is situated in Taman Chit Long along Jalan Dua which the race route will pass through in the last KM, heading back towards the Dewan Muhibbah. The hotel’s about 800m away from the Dewan which makes for a nice warm-up jog to the starting line in the morning (similar to Likas Hotel for the Borneo Run).
Nice place to chill out… or to play some boardgames at night while waiting for the race tomorrow?
Our room is nice and comfy (for the price). We paid rm68 for a night. The door knob could have been better (or more secured) given they’ve just renovated the place. It doesn’t give you much sense of security.
Hotel Loong Fatt website
The organizer have also arranged for Dewan Muhibbah to be open-to-all for a free overnite stay. All you need to do is to bring your sleeping bag. Lots of outstation runners do that so you get to have some teh tarik sessions among the runners the night before the race.
One of the attractions pulling runners everywhere for this race is the local delicacies. Not just runners, I would say most travellers who go north-south or vice versa would stop by this town to sample it’s variety of food. Even with the completion of the North-South Expressway, travellers still take a pitstop at Bidor.
Pun Chun with its famous duck thigh noodle has to be a must-visit for me given my liking for duck.
You can see rows of local delicacies lined up inside Pun Chun but on closer inspection, we found most of these delicacies are not even made in Bidor! Apa la…. looks like commercialism has already reared its ugly head here.
Ah.. Yet you still see customers lining up to pay for the local delicacies.
But they are taking those from the counter next to the cashier. These are authentic Bidor-made delicacies so if I were you, I will stay away from the other rows and just buy those in the above counter. Unless you are not looking for Bidor-made delicacies.
We also checked out their famous Petai market…
Next stop is the Tai Thong bakery where you get to see the biscuits freshly baked in front of you.
These biscuits come in all size and shape, animals and otherwise… even Angry Birds!
You can’t begin to understand the phenomenon of Angry Birds until you realized even Bidor begins to make biscuits in their form & shape. 😛
And other more conventional animal biscuits… Sephi!
Err.. Think I’ve digressed enough from what’s supposedly to be my quick race report on our Bidor 10K run. Let’s get back to the race proper.
Ours is the 10K category and flag off was 7 am. The 21K group would be flagged off 15 min earlier. Since Loong Fatt Hotel is only 800m away from the starting ground, we took a quick jog there as pre-race warm-up.
First two KMs were mainly running along the streets of Bidor before heading out to Kampung Jalan Paku, and then crossing the bridge over the North-South Expressway.
This is where the run starts to get interesting as you are now in Village Run mode, surrounded by trees, small lanes instead of wide road and the “smell” around you. Some runners said it’s cow dung but I think it’s just the fresh smell from the surrounding plantations and estates. You dun get these type of smells in KL la… So just enjoy it .
The next few KMs were very scenic kampung view route up a mild incline.. passing a Chinese cemetery and heading towards an Orang Asli settlement at KM5 which was where we double back towards Bidor town.
Note: This route is along Jalan Paku so if you continue running up, you’ll reach the famous Gepai Waterfall. The 21K route went all the way to this waterfall spot before doubling back.
Above: This was taken along Jalan Paku (doubling back). Thanks to Cham LK for this shot! She walked all the out here (a few KMs at least) in order to get these shots of us!
Waiyan somewhere in Jalan Paku on the way back to Bidor town… Victor came all the way from KL to support this race!
At KM9, you enter Taman Chit Long and we soon passed by Loong Fatt Hotel on the way back to Dewan Muhibbah, and it’s a quick 800m or so dash back to the finishing line @ Dewan Muhibbah.
This was only my 3rd proper races this year (first being the Brooks 10K in March and last week’s Jogathon Warisan at Thean Hou Temple) and I’m feeling not very race-fit. Therefore am happy to grab the 53:30 net time. 😛
A running event is not the same without all these hardworking photographers who shared their time to take our running pictures. While races in KL get lots of support, it’s really heartening to know a race in Bidor got such great support from the runner/photographer groups as well! Kudos to everyone of them….
Here’s a list of albums posted to Facebook by this bunch of dedicated runner/photographers.
Let me know if I’ve missed out anyone (too many of them!) and I’ll update it to this blog post.
CONGRATS TO WIFEY
Wifey managed to get a Top 10 finish – she came in in 6th position in her category with a net time of 1:02 – and received a trophy and some gifts!
The rest of the Top Ten finisher in the Women Sr Veteran category. 🙂
What did we think? We certainly enjoyed the race route… modulating inclines, scenic kampung view and the strong community support. With so many runs around, we do not usually revisit a run that’s outside KL unless we really enjoyed it (eg Borneo Run which we are making a habit of returning every year) but we are thinking Bidor Run might be another where we’ll make a return next year. It’s just a short 1.5 hr drive and next year we might stop off somewhere for a day trip before returning to KL.
Well, we didn’t get to Ah Pu for the famous kopi or the Gepai Waterfall. So there’s still plenty of places for us to explore when we are coming back here next.
For more photos, pls visit my Facebook album.