Urban Jungle Challenge & Sarawak Spartan Ultra | Malaysia | Roger Choo
There are many other obstacle races in the region apart from Spartan Race, and one of them is called the Urban Jungle Challenge from Penang, Malaysia.
In this episode, we talk to Roger Choo, who is an ambassador for Spartan Race Malaysia, an ultra runner and one of the people behind the Urban Jungle Challenge!
Introduction – Summary
[0:45] Justin: Hi Roger, thanks for coming on to the Podcast. So to start off everything, why don’t you introduce yourself to the audience.
[0:59] Roger: I’ve been doing obstacle racing for about 4 years now, since 2016. And I’ve been doing ultra running for the last 5-6 years. My first ever obstacle racer was a Spartan Race Beast. We run community workout for Spartan Race in Penang by Warrior Fitness Penang, and receive free tickets from Spartan race. So I did the beast, and realize I was pretty good at it. I came in 3rd in the master category, which also places me top 10 overall despite doing 210 Burpees, because the end of the day, it is still a trail running race.
[2:54] Justin: You mention that you did 210 Burpees, so what are the obstacles you had trouble with initially?
[3:04] Roger: I failed rope climb, monkey bar, twister, and multi-ring, I was racked by the time I finished. It was really fun, but the thing is I don’t fair very well in the heat as I did most of my ultra in cold weather. Being hot, it’s tough for me. I’ll usually take it easy when the sun is out or midday, then pick up afterward.
Spartan Race Sarawak – Summary
[4:02] Justin: So right now we are at Sarawak Spartan Race and both of us just completed the Ultra. It was super tough, so let’s talk about this. What do you think about the course?
[4:17] Roger: I think it’s nicely done, but it’s very technical. The thing is that it is a new raw trail. It’s not been developed for a long time, like the common trail. So it took us a long time to get through it.
[4:38] Justin: It was super tough, probably tougher than the one in Ipoh Spartan Race.
[4:43] Roger: Absolutely! It was brutal!
[5:05] Roger: At the 2nd loop, I had a meltdown. I sat for 25-30min because it was so hot. I took a lot of shower along the way to cool down to prevent heatstroke. End of the day it is just a race, so we just want to complete it safely.
[5:36] Justin: Something really interesting that happened was that Roger and I got lost together.
[5:45] Roger: Yea, I think they need to improve the markers. Usually, for trail running, markers should be 30-40m max. But some part was really far, so we did get lost and wasted a lot of time there. But at the end of the day, we just need to soldier on.
[6:25] Justin: To be fair, it did pour the day before, so some of the markings might get washed off.
[15:13] Justin: So how many obstacles did you fail today?
[15:15] Roger: I haven’t counted, but for a start, I fail the rope climb twice which I always pass. The Atlas carries on the 2nd loop, it was super muddy. But we can’t blame anyone, we got to expect all this. They did a good job, the marshal was all there.
Ultra Running VS Spartan Race – Summary
[6:32] Justin: So how is this course different from ultra running?
[6:39] Roger: Most of the trail in an ultra running is quite developed. They don’t open new trail often as it takes a while to season new trail. Gradient, elevation, and terrain are very different as well, it doesn’t get as muddy as Spartan. It is very different from the Spartan Race. I would recommend those doing ultra running to come and do Spartan Ultra for a change.
Urban Jungle Challenge – Summary
The Urban Jungle Challenge 2.0 set on the 19th April 2020, is an International standard obstacle course race which will be held in Botanica. CT, Balik Pulau Penang Malaysia.
It is a 12km obstacle course on a mixture of trail and road with over 22 obstacles designed to test your fitness and mental strength.
[8:00] Justin: Share with us more about the Urban Jungle Challenge
[8:25] Roger: The upcoming race in April 2020 will be the 3rd race we are organizing. The first race we had was the first obstacle race in Penang, it was called the ferringhi beach challenge. The 2nd year we did the Urban Jungle Challenge, which was a huge success. We don’t consider our-self as a major obstacle race, but a feeder race for people to train and get themselves ready for bigger races such as Spartan, Viper Race or OCR championship.
[9:45] Justin: What are the obstacles we can expect there?
[9:49] Roger: We have an Irish table, which is tough. The usual wall, rope climb, monkey bar which will help you in other obstacle race.
[11:18] Justin: What are the terrain we can expect?
[11:21] Roger: It is a mixture of tar road, trail, river and lots of hills.
If you would like to find out more information about the Urban Jungle Challenge, here are their IG and FB Page!
Urban Jungle Challenge IG – @Warriorfitnessadventure
Roger IG – @Rogerchoo_bd