It was Team GISKL’s second OCR: the Viper Bridge Challenge in Penang. Dubbed the world’s first bridge obstacle event, we felt we had to be a part of the action. Well okay, that and the food trail we were planning to carve all the way from KL to Penang.
After last year’s Viper Challenge in Cyberjaya, the team was ready for more
food challenges! The queues were much better this time around, but the obstacles weren’t as fun – except for one or two. Cyberjaya may have had lousy queues, but the obstacles were definitely more interesting. We also had more team work happening in Cyberjaya since the obstacles were sufficiently challenging for us to have to help each other.
Highlights from the Race
The bridge views. The lights were so pretty we had to stop to take a hundred pictures or so. You can tell what our priorities were…
And the sunrise! How often are we up early enough to catch it where the view is unhindered?
My favourite obstacle was the one where we had to traverse from a wooden board to the truck bed. More about it below… I would love to see more obstacles like it in future.
There were six obstacles on the bridge and six on land before the finish line. Here they are…
The 6 Foot Wall
I think it was a 6 foot wall because I don’t remember being able to look over it. Neither was it so high that I couldn’t get over it on my own.
There were a choice of three weights – 8 kg ball, 15 kg ball, or 2 x 2 kg water containers. We had to choose one and carry it around the course that was marked out with cones. It was even shorter and flatter than last year’s ball carry.
There were two sets of monkey bars – one lower to the ground and the second one higher. The bars were thin, which made them easier to hold. They were also pretty narrow and that made it harder to share hands on the same bar. If you can brachiate, it isn’t really a problem because you can swing from one bar to the next without having to share hands on the same bar.
I liked that they were low to the ground so I could focus on the action and not worry about falling. I didn’t make it to the end but I am certain it could be done with a bit more practice. It wasn’t fatigue or lack of strength that caught me out, but a slip.
My goal for the next race is to make it through one of these pure upper body obstacles without penalty (in the Spartan race). I don’t care what it is – monkey bar, multi-rig, twister – I just want to tick one off. I guess that means I’m going to have to work on the battle in my head – the fear of falling.
The Tyrolean Traverse is a Spartan obstacle I’ve never done before. The one at Viper was pretty easy because it was really short. If you wear leggings, you can even slide your legs along the rope by pulling yourself along with your arms.
Nothing difficult. Just make sure you don’t snag your foot and fall flat on your face.
As B said, “A toddler could do this.” Indeed a toddler would probably find it easier. The smaller tunnels are too low to crawl on hands and knees so we had to drag ourselves along. Again, much easier with lycra-type leggings that slide more smoothly.
This was my third rope climb and I think I’ve gotten the hang of it. There were knots along the rope to help but they were too far apart to be useful to me. Since I wasn’t using them, they kinda got in my way.
In this obstacle, we had to climb up the web and crawl in between the netting to the other side. It was easy enough, but my water tube kept getting snagged on the webbing. For future reference, try to minimise the number of bits that can get snagged.
I don’t have a name for this obstacle either, but if you look at the background in the photo, you’ll notice that the rings are staggered at different heights. To complete this obstacle we had to be able to pull up on the ring and lock off with one arm to reach the next ring. Check out the guy in the photo below:
Suffice to say, I made it to the second ring (using momentum) and that was as far as I got. There were three rings before the bars that were also staggered like steps going up and and down.
I love what Mr E said about it, “Oh it was easy! We looked up at it and kept on walking.”
I thought this was the most interesting obstacle at Viper Bridge. We had to start on the wooden board on the left and traverse to the top of the truck bed on the right using the three suspended objects in between.
This is the type of obstacle I love. The kind that requires a bit of thinking and figuring out to get through, but is still within our capability to complete. In child development, you would say it was in our zone of proximal development.
There was a very helpful guy pulling people up onto the truck bed. The truth be told, I didn’t want his help. I was quite annoyed when he insisted on grabbing my elbow. You see, I am a girl with a big ego. I like to prove to myself that I can do things on my own. If I need help, I’ll ask for it.
There is a scene in the first How to Train Your Dragon movie, when Astrid is hanging from a tree branch. Hiccup invites her to take a ride on Toothless’s back. He reaches out a hand to help her up but she knocks his hand away and climbs up on her own. Yeah, that’s me. I’m like Astrid.
This obstacle was also at Cyberjaya. All we had to do is walk across the slack line. There are slack lines above that we could hold on to for balance. The only tricky part is that they crisscross the lines so we had to swap our hand holds along the way. Sometimes, the slack line we needed was occupied by the person on the next slack line.
It was an easy obstacle for the Jungle Babes since we’ve done loads of obstacles like this at Skytrex.
Cargo Net and Fireman Pole
Climb up the web, across the top, and slide down the fireman pole on the other side. Straight forward and pretty easy, unless you’re afraid of heights. Then it’s hard and very scary.
Viper Bridge Challenge – done. What’s the plan for our next challenge, team?
The Jungle Babes
Members of the Jungle Babes who took part in the Viper Bridge Challenge.
The Food Trail
Of course, it was also about the food…
The New Siam Road Char Koay Teow (touted as the best CKT around) had a queue so long that the person a few spaces ahead of us had been waiting for an hour and had barely moved up the line. Since we were ravenous and couldn’t wait that long, we ended up at Ah Leng Char Koay Teow – which was the nearest recommended CKT. Since we didn’t get to taste “the best”, I can’t really comment on how well Ah Leng stacks up against the New Siam Road CKT.
For dessert and a chance to camwhore, our next stop was China House – the longest cafe in Penang. The cake selection was to die for. The flavour, not so much. My Chocolate Decadence did not taste very decadent. The tiramisu was passable. Of the three we chose, the Salted Caramel Cheesecake was the best. That one, I quite liked. But I am also partial to cheesecakes, so I may not be the best critic.
The cafe was very old school with lovely picturesque spots for us to camwhore:
We also stopped to take photos with the street art, famous in Penang:
Our other favourite food stops:
- Aunty Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery
- Passion Heart Cafe – the most awesome cempadak cakes (the cheesecake is my favourite). They are moving soon, so you’ll have to follow them on Facebook to check where their new location is.
Next Up: Spartan Beast… for me anyway.