Review: Dragon Run Malaysia 2016

giant elephant inflatables dragon run malaysia 2016

Fun and easy inflatable obstacles, challenging running route

Held last weekend (14 May) at Awana Horse Ranch in Gohtong Jaya, Dragon Run was a martial art-themed inflatable obstacle run with an apparent distance of 6.5KM. It has a very strong concept of putting running, striking, balancing and jumping together with gigantic and colourful, soft and bouncy inflatables. Oh right, and water as well. I took the 11AM wave time which was a bit hot then but thankfully, it was before it rained, where for some reasons, the obstacles had to be deflated.

There were five sections of different martial art themes — Dragon Kung Fu, Muay Thai, Taekwondo, Sumo and Jeet Kune Do — with a total of 10 different inflatable obstacles. Some challenged us to punch and kick, some jump, some to balance and walk, and three of them involved getting soaked. Most of the obstacles were more than doable, fun and mostly safe. My favourite was The Big Boss finale where participants end the run with a thrilling wet slide with a chance to catch a bit of awesome air time to perform a flying kick. There was only one that was truly difficult, which as The Thunderstorm, where participants had to balance and walk on floating Yin Yang’s in the dark while being splashed with water, or fall right into the water (I fell at midway).

big boss slide inflatable dragon run malaysia 2016

coconut tree inflatable muay thai dragon run malaysiaAs I mentioned before in the preview post, the whole run was basically like a huge playground for both adults and kids. You practically can’t fail and that makes you feel like an unbeatable protagonist on a crowd-pleasing adventure. The only real challenge, especially for those who hardly go for a jog, was the running (or walking) distance.

The first half of the run was all about running with no obstacles in between after the first and longest one, the Dragon, at the beginning. Honestly, the distance felt shorter than 6.5KM. My girlfriend and I completed everything in slightly over an hour without running much at all, including a bit of the queuing and shoe management (to prevent them from getting wet). But for those who underestimated the run and did leg workouts on the previous day like I did would’ve had a nice challenging time with the steep roads of Genting. Those uphills were killer, while the downhills were mercy, and somehow, I liked it.

giant long dragon inflatable dragon run malaysia 2016

While I do like to run, I think it could’ve been way more fun if there were more obstacles to balance out the distances in the between. I would’ve loved to experience more varieties of obstacles (karate, krav maga, shaolin kung fu, wrestling, judo, BJJ and silat, anyone?). There’s so much more that can be done with this great concept. But I can understand that it would’ve been difficult to plan for such a venue. The route towards the end did get a bit confusing as well but signs or people pointing directions could easily solve this problem.

dragon run malaysia sumo inflatableOther things that can be improved in future events are perhaps the runner’s pack collection and the so-called “Dragon Village”. When I was collecting the pack, I had to fill up waiver forms on the spot. It would’ve been less of a hassle if the form could be downloaded and filled up at home beforehand. We weren’t even informed about this in the notification email. I had to also sign the form for my girlfriend when I was collecting the pack for her, which by right, should’ve not been allowed.

Also, they ran out of t-shirt sizes on the first collection day and initially tried to claim that the sizes were on first-come, first-serve basis. I was like, “What?!” Didn’t people already pay to register and pre-order the sizes? They then told me to come back on another day to exchange the tees for the right sizes that I wanted, which I did. As for the “Dragon Village”, well, it was more like a zombie apocalypse camp on grass surrounded by mud, which didn’t make me feel like hanging around.

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Considering how new it was and being somewhat the first of its kind, Dragon Run Malaysia 2016 was, in overall, an enjoyable run that even non-runners and non-fitness enthusiasts could definitely enjoy. I had a fun outing with my girlfriend who completed her first run ever. With improvements here and there with innovative changes or add-ons, it can be an annual run event which people would look forward to every year.

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