Monday, October 17, 2011

Tribute to The Orang Asli

Many thanks to all the people who donated generously and help to support and make it happened


Lets continue to support


Monday, March 21, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Test run reviews

Saucony's ProGrid Kinvara is the first minimalist running shoe that I have ever tried.  Since I've often asked myself if I needed more support and stability and love my shoe to be lightweight. I was excited to take the Kinvara out are a 20k run on last Saturday along the usual BA-Hartamas-BA route.  This route will give me chance to test out the Kinvara on different terrain - up hill and down hill, then follow by flat and fast cruising terrain.

I've found that it’s an excellent choice for your ‘first time minimalist’ because it provides a surprising level of cushioning for its feather-like weight and structure. Anyone who has read Born to Run and is working on becoming a “light and easy” style of running (a mantra I frequently find myself silently repeating to myself on tough runs) will find Kinvara as the shoe that you have been looking for. You can hardly feel the weight of the sneaker when it’s in your hand and it’s even more invisible on foot.

The shoe has a snug feel and ride was comfortable for the entire run.  The feel is like running barefoot hitting the ground but with the right amount of cushioning and support.  Thanks to the Progrid Lite that lined the entire shoe.  So with the kind of feeling the Kinvara will be a good option for barefoot running or those that owns the VFFs but still want a minimalist that gives the same feeling.  The Kinvara holds very well on uphill climb and down hill sprint.  Even on a straight flat route, one get the right amount of cushioning and support while you up your pace tempo.  Your feet will feel really spice up by the shoe when pushing hard, all aided by the diamond studs (Saucony trademark sole design) position at the sole (forefoot)

Ventilation of the shoe is good, as I dont feel any overheating during the run.  More important it doesnt gets hotter when I put the shoe to test on high friction when I increase my pace along a flat straight route, plus by climbing the Tinjani stretch (hilly) in a much higher tempo pace.  The shoe remains cool after this hard workout.  Passed the ventilation test as its extremely important for a minimalist (bcos the sole is much thinner and the heat getting to the runner feet is much faster, compare to a normal travel where the sole is thicker)

At this moment I am putting away my hat as a supplier for Saucony and put on the hat as a runner/consumer.   Overall I am very happy with what the Kinvara have to offer, and am sure it will have a big impact on the market. The trend in running shoes seems to be “minimalistic” “lightweight” “barefoot” “midfoot/forefoot strike”. The Kinvara arrives at the right moment with the right shoe.
I am amazed by the lightweight feeling (merely one ounce heavier than your average racing shoe) and great running feeling. The upper is seamless, snug and light; the sole feels fast and it is somehow supportive – probably given the pretty wide base.

Tested the shoe on wet concrete pavement and the sole holds firmly to the ground without any slightest slip during the lift off.  Although the sole looks slippery, it actually holds very well on wet surface whether its on a climb or downhill.

And the sweetest part… the price at RM330.00  is an extremely competitive price for a shoe so well executed. I might have reserves on the shoes’ durability but again dont expect too much from any minimalist (the mileage done and the wear/tear will tell!) And for that kind of price I hope to see runners giving this shoe a try. 

Next was the CompresSport R2 Calf Sleeve that I wore during the run.

As claimed by CompresSport, they approaches the actual science of compression a bit differently. Most compression gear features graduated compression, that is, compression is strongest at the toe or foot and decreases as you move up the leg or calf.  This is great for hospital compression where the goal is to prevent blood pooling in the lower regions, but not ideal for exercise.  CompresSport uses a different approach to compression.  For the Race and Recovery Calf Sleeves, the compression is lighter around the top and  bottom of the sleeve and is most strong at the calf.  The Race and Recovery sleeve provides 12-14 mmHg of compression at the top and bottom and 30 mmHg at the middle of the calf.  This means that you get the most compression where you need it.

The calf sleeves are very comfortable and provide a great deal of compression.  Although the top and bottom bands don’t have the same gripping or tension features, the bands are wide, comfortable, and keep the sleeves in place.  The fabric used by CompresSport is very lightweight and breathable.  The fabric allows heat transfer and wicks moisture extremely well.  The fabric doesn’t retain water, as can be seen after my 20k where the sleeves are still dry.  So with such functoinality, you could easily wear these guards into the swim and not have to worry about putting them on when you’re wet.  The Race and Recovery Sleeves aren’t damaged by Body Glide or other lubricants (as informed by CompresSport)  The sleeves holds the calf muscle very well during the run, not allowing much movement but yet providing the right comfort and compression needed.

Overall I can conclude that the CompresSport Race and Recovery sleeves provide a good level of compression.  You will be surprised by the level of support and compression these sleeves provide.  It might take a day or two to get used to this increased level of compression (if you have used other brands of compression calf sleeves), but your body will thank you.  In addition to providing a high level of compression, they are quite good looking and striking too.  They don’t look dull or like hospital clothing.  Though appearance isn’t the most important, it certainly helps that these are very attractive looking sleeves.

Super Moon

Mark your calendar. On March 19th, a full Moon of rare size and beauty will rise in the east at sunset. It's a super "perigee moon"--the biggest in almost 20 years.
"The last full Moon so big and close to Earth occurred in March of 1993," says Geoff Chester of the US Naval Observatory in Washington DC. "I'd say it's worth a look."

To read more, click here

Friday, March 18, 2011

Testing out my new Race Kit

Looking forward to tomorrow's 20k run from Bkt Aman - Hartamas - Bkt Aman (19 March 2011).  Will be testing out my new race kit for ENR 2011, Sundown 2011 and SCKLM 2011.

First is the award winning Saucony Kinara, a minimalist shoe that got the Best Debut Award from Runner's World USA.  Its a one piece sole technology and lets see how well it will hold for a 20k run.  Obviously I am running with the Lime Green one and not the pink one, LOL.

Next is the CompresSport R2 Calf Guard.  I have always been using a full length compression tight either from 2XU or CWX for my long run.  Since I took up the product and is getting quite a good response in terms of sales, I wanna try it myself just to be sure that the product holds up to its reputation as the No 1 brand for compression calf guards during last year IronMan World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.  This is the product that is overtaking most of the popular brands (in terms of sale and popularity) and getting alot of positive feedbacks not just only from the elites but more importantly from amatuer sportsman and sportswoman like you and me.

Will keep u updated on the test reviews on both products.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bah Ren No Half Marathon

Its not Baleno, but Bareno.  What are they, u may asked.  Well they are a company that specialised in wash basin, sinks, jacuzzi and anything about toilet wares. Anyway so much about them.

I think I cant recall when was the last time I ran a 21k race.  It must be at least more than a year ago!!!!  Even for this race I didnt register for it.  It was a last minute thingy when I bought it from someone who is not running.  And obviously running under a different name and Open category.  600 medals up for grab I was told.

Not much expectation out of this race, as I am still in he midst of recovering from a bad cough and flu.  Medication had weaken my body for the past 2 weeks.  And also still suffering a pull ligament on the back of my leg due to some MTB session.  Even if I am fit, I doubt I can go under 2hrs. So target is to try and maintain a 6-1/2min pace and finish the run in 2h 15mins.  And bcos I have not run a half marathon for so long, proper pacing of the race is important.  Not to tekan too early, if not I may not be able to sustain the 2nd part of the race.  Run too slow in the beginning and I may not be able to catch up for lost time.  So in fact running a 1/2 marathon need lots of good pacing and endurance speed if one wants to do a sub2 race.

In no time, the runners were usher to the start point and the race got start.  Got smack at the back of the pack.  Slowly work my way up to catch up for some lost time and then maintain a steady pace.  The route took us from The Bukit Jalil Stadium carpark, out to the Sg Besi highway, then into OUG/Happy Garden, the Maju Expressway and then back towards the stadium via the Puchong-Shah Alam Expressway.

The route can be deem pretty challenging especially towards the last 5k where there are alot of steep and short climbs.  Certain stretch of the route was pretty dark and can be dangerous if someone will to trip themselves.  I was pushing myself abit in the beginning and test my fitness on how long I can sustain.  Also to ensure the pull ligament doesnt act up.  Taping the affected area with MUELLER Atheletic Tape was effective.  Hardly felt any ligament pull and pain.  Felt that my energy level is depleting at around the 13k/14k mark where Azam and Calvin started to open up the gap, as I was trailing trailing them closely from behind since the 9k mark.

Then I maintained a more comfortable pace to reserve some energy for the finishing.  As the route approaches the last 5k, there are quite a number of short and steep climbs that can easily demoralise a tired runner.  I keep pushing thru at a much slower pace rather than to walk.

Energy level is low now and the effect of medication is taking a toll on my body.  Last 1k to go.  Heck lets get it done and complete the race.  As I approaches the entrance to the stadium carpark and crossed the finishing line, my watch showed 2h 12mins 15secs (slightly better than wat I targeted)  Position 458 and I have got a medal for the race.

Looks like I  have to do more 21k if I need to make some improvements in the timing.  Running too many marathons will basically slowed down one performance in 1/2 marathons as the pacing and speed endurance are totally different.  And so to those out there, if you are consistently doing sub2 1/2 marathon, u are doing a great job.  There is nothing wrong in continuing to focus on just 1/2 marathons if you are doing well in this category.

Pictures courtesy of Weng, KK Yum and Gege Tey

Friday, March 04, 2011

Put some thots in your trophy design

What a Golf trophy!!!!!

The next time when you have the opportunity to design a trophy especially its a Women event, please put some serious thots into it.  Besides plannning how the trophy shud looks like, also put some thot process into what will the Women Champion do when she is receiving the trophy.  The champion will be very happy winning the tournament or race, thinking where to spend her winnings.  But she will fail to instantly know or react to what she is doing with the trophy at that instant moment of joy.

So be very careful in dealing with things like that or else you will end up with something like the picture above.   Dont say I am dirty minded, but anyone of you see the pic above will have the same thots too :D

Monday, February 28, 2011

Stanchart HK Marathon 2011 - 20 Feb 2011

Left for HK on 17 Feb 2011 (which is Chap Goh May) the 15th day of the 1st month of Year of The Rabbit.  Flying CX instead of AA although its slightly more expensive, but you get the comfort plus the  quality of in-flight food and drinks.  Before leaving HK, weather over there was expected to be cold in the range of 13C to 15C with windy condition.

Arrived at KLIA and check-in, and was informed that the CX flight will be delayed for 50mins due to misty and foggy condition in HK.  There you go, and those running the Sunday race will be expecting a cool to cold weather running condition,  Shud be ideal for Malaysian runners.

Flight time was around 3.5hrs and landing was smooth even with a very foggy visibility.  Bravo to the captain and crew handling the jetplane. It was indeed chilly when I got off from the plane, and a light jacket is needed,  Put on my old faithful NorthFace jacket, cleared custom/immigration and pickup my baggage.  Its almost 11pm when I am done with all these.  Instead of taking the Airport Express over to Kowloon, I opted for the CityFlyers Airport bus that will take me directly to my destination ie Dragon Hostel in Mongkok.  It just cost me HKD33 compare to Airport Express which is HKD90.  Took me ard 40mins to reach Mongkok stop and another 5mins to look for Dragon Hostel.  Its ard 12 midnite now, and Mongkok is still so vibrant, shops and roadside stalls were still operating.  No wonder HK is a city that never stops.  The pungent smell of the Fried SMELLY Tofu is all over the place!!!

Located  inside the Sincere House, the reception was at the 7th floor of the building.  Got myself check-in in no time.  The person on the night shift by the name of Kelvin was really helpful.  Brought me to a very little tiny room which I think is about 5ft by 7ft the most.  Will be staying a nite in this tiny pigeon hole before moving out to a twin bed room when Azhar arrive from Macau tomorrow. Despite being very small and tiny, the room is very clean including the bedsheets, pillows and blankets....and thats what I wanted.   Had a shower, and was already craving for a both of hot plain porridge and yau char koay.  Hop down to the streets and in no time, found a stall that sells hot porridge which operate 24hrs!!!!   Thats what I need in a 13C weather condition.  Time to SLEEEEEP.

Had morning breakfast with Lawrence Leong and Yen Erl gang at a Dim Sum restaurant located on the 3rd floor of Grand Tower Plaza along Nathan Road.  After breakfast all of us adjourned to the bib collection center at Victoria Park, Causeway Bay. 

After that the day was more of a Free & Easy, strolling along the streets of HK, as well as some shopping malls.  The following day was the same too.  Both Lawrence, Carol Chan and myself opt for a walk from Mongkok to TST. 

Along the way was telling them about the steamed milk with ginger juice.  Will look for the stall and get them to try it when we are on the way back to our hostel at the later part of the day. On our way back managed to find the store and all of us had our first steamed milk for the day.

Had dinner with Azhar and Cynthia, and rest early for the nite in preparation for tomorrow race.  Woke up at 4am, got my business done and have my regular oats with soy milk as my breakfast.  Then its of to the starting point at TST.  Took the MTR with Lawrence, and with 10mins we are there.  Deposited our baggage and look for the rest for some pre-race photos before starting the race.

Weather was cold and chiller in the range of 12c to 13C.  Some runners were seen with disposable raincoat over their body to keep warm.  The first wave for marathon starts at 6.20am followed  by the second wave which is 6.45am.  Most of us were in the second wave and we walked towards the starting point when the time is almost there.

BANG.....and out we go.  There was a slight drizzle when we started the race, although its bearable and the weather is just nice for a great run.  After running for almost 40 mins, we reached the Stoncutter bridge. 

I was running much slower to enjoy the beautiful views of the surrounding and the bridges linking all the highways.  It was breathtaking as this is the only way to experience it by running the marathon.  On a normal day, u can only drive pass the bridge.  And from the Stonecutter Bridge we crossed over to the famous Tsing Mah Bridge.

After enjoying myself and taking pix with all the running friends, I increase my pace to try and catch up for some lost time.  From the 21k point onwards, I up my pace and start going faster.  The running momentum was good and legs was feeling as fresh as I had just started.  Couple with the great cooling weather, the body doesnt seems to feel tired.  Just keep going and going, and manage to overtook some of my friends who were most of the time in front of me from the very beginning.  The target was to finish with a sub5 time and I will be very happy with it.

My pace was getting faster and faster, and at one moment heard someone yelling at me...."Hei, u are running a 5.15min pace"  Turn around and it was one of my running buddy that I am overtaking.  I told him I am covering for lost time....hehehe.  Seeya at the fnishing point, I yelled back and I go again.

These 2 Japanese running bunnies have always been in front of me from the very beginning of the race and eventually I caught up with them and overtook them at ard the 28k mark if I remembered correctly.  Pix courtesy of Wendy Ming Huey.

Soon  I was entering the Western Harbour Tunnel, and this stretch is one of the hardest as the evelvation is like a V shape, ie -30m under sea level and then up again to 50m.  Not only that, we will have to connect to the highway ramp along Shuen Tak Building towards the city in HK Island.  By now the road became narrow and also coupled with the 2nd wave of half marathon runners.  The road waas practical packed with runners and I have to zig zag my way to move faster and avoiding the crowd to slow me down.

As I inched closer to Causeway Bay, saw the 41k mark at Marsh Road, and I know its the final stretch to finishing my 52nd marathon and my 1st for Year 2011.

Ran and ran and ran, will the crowd and supporters yelling Jaiyou, Jiayou, Jiayou.  This makes you want to run faster and then suddenly I saw Maybel (Sifu Terence wife) running slowly alone.  She must be feeling tired and I urged her to join me to finish the race.  Both of us up the tempo abit and start to take a much faster strides towards the end.

Took the corner into Victoria Park and stride towards the finishing point.  With hands raised up, I complete my first marathon for the year in a time of 4hr 41mins.  Nothing to shout about the timing  but I am totally satisfied with the run and the joy of able to run and complete another marathon.

Withe the confidence of the great organisation of the race plus the great support along the marathon route, I guess the organiser themselves had done a great job to ensure the particpants are enjoying the every moment of the event.  I believed they will continue to strive harder and have another great race next year in 2012.  Till then and I will see you in Stanchart HK Marathon 2012.

Post race pictures with running friends at The Arena Of Stars.

Pictures courtesy from Sifu Terence, Wendy Ming Huey, Scientist Runner, Dannie Choong, Khairul, Long Run HK Running Group

Thursday, January 13, 2011

You better RUN

The 2011 running season had kind of started.  And for some of us as early as 23rd Jan 2011 for Khon Kaen International Marathon.  All the best heading up north to the Land with the Golden Smile.  For me it wont be until Feb 20 in Hong Kong for the Stanchart HK Marathon.  This will be the 2nd time in a row that I will be taking part and there will be a large Malaysian contingent flying to the island.

To the rest, may I wish you all the best throughout the year.

Run Well, Run Safe, Run Free, Run with no injury.........and you better RUN!!!

Let me dedicate this song to all runners, and this will be my theme song for the 2011 running season

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Hood To Coast

Are we bringing this movie to Malaysia.  I know it will only be release in USA on 11 Jan 2011.  After that I would like to get hold of a copy of the DVD if it does not come into Malaysia (which I doubt it will)

The synopsis....

HOOD TO COAST follows four unlikely teams on their epic journey to conquer the world's largest relay race. The film captures the love, dedication, and insanity of the every day runner as well as the excitement, pain, and humor of the unprepared first timer. Their stories are reminders that no matter who you are, you can push yourself beyond where you thought your limits were.

Each year 1,000 teams (12,000 runners) in 2,000 vans cover 197 grueling miles as a relay, putting themselves through an arduous physical journey that as an individual would be impossible.

Some run to test their personal limits, some to overcome personal obstacles, and others leap in blindly looking for a way to shake up a complacent life. As we follow four teams from their preparations through the big day, we realize that winning isn't everything in a film that takes a celebratory look at personal motivation and attempting the extraordinary.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

New experience and New beginning

Today marked a day that it will not be forgotten in life for me and my daughter.  WHY?....because today is the day that as a father, I took the responsibility of sending her (as an 18 year old girl) to attend the National Service Program (Program Latihan Khidmat Negara) for 2011 - Year 8/Batch 1.

I have to drive her to the Reporting/Gathering location in Putrajaya (Park N Ride, Precint 1)  Arrived there with a buffer of one hour.  Anyway its better to be early than late, more so I am not very sure about the location.   For those who doesnt know wats Park N Ride is for in Putrajaya.  Its actually a very huge parking lot to accommodate driving visitors.  They can park their cars there and hop on to those shuttle buses that ply around Putrajaya.  The concept is pretty good but not sure about the punctuality of bus service.  may give it a try next time.  Ok lets not divert.  Back to the topic.

Got my daughter registered with an PLKN officer, which is very friendly.  Explain to me and my daughter of the camp she was assigned, and also provide me a map to that location when I want to pay her a visit during the weekends.  Since we were early, it was fortunate that my daughter was assigned to the first bus which will leave earlier for the camp.

While waiting for the bus to depart, the crowd start to multiply.  You can see all girls and boys from all walks of life.  The rich, the medium class, and the poor. The parents were no different.  Some just let their kids be independent and checked their luggage into the bus.  Some spoon fed them like a King, carrying the kids luggage and even accompanied them onto the bus.  You can see alot of Mummy boys and Daddy girls, mostly looking with a shock and scary facial expression, nerdy looks, showing very uncomfortable body language, etc, etc.  I guessed these are the ones who are so pampered at home (with maids serving them) that they do nothing but eat, sleep, Internet and having their PSP with them all the time!!  Wish them all the best in the camp and I know they will suffer kau kau lat with all the trainings and outdoor programs.  Now they have to learn and fend for themselves and learn some survival skills.  Daddy and Mummy is not around anymore, dude. (You cant called Kakak Yati to get you a glass of water!!)

Although my daughter look abit uncomfortable (because as an 18 yr old  teenager, this is definitely out of their comfort zone)  but I am quite sure she will blend in well along the way. During this time, I also befriended a retired army personnel by the name of Bahar.  He was a PLKN instructor for year 2008 at KKB camp.  He did gave some advise to my daughter in how to cope with the training.  According to him its not total hardship but also an enjoyable one.  This gave her some confidence and get her into the routine of expecting some good things out of the program.  His advise is just follow the instructor training program, adapt well, communicate with your new friends and that will be fine.  According to him, the program had improved significantly since Day 1 (that was 8 years ago)

Soon the first bus is ready to depart for camp and I waved goodbye to my daughter and gave her a thumbs up.  All the best I shouted....hopefully she can hear me from inside the new air-cond PLKN bus.  I bid goodbye to Bahar and hopefully we can meet again at the camp during the weekends when visiting the kids.  As I walked towards the carpark, I saw some mothers weeping away.  They are so sad that their sons and daughters were leaving them, going away for 3 months.  Come on Mummy, dont pampered your kids, let them be independent  (I said in my heart)  They shud take this opportunity and learn to be independent, master some survival skills and come back stronger.  You gotta come out of this shielded world and fight for yourself.  Stand up and be counted.

As I drove out of the carpark, I saw many more mothers weeping away. Aiyoh Ah Sow.....dont be so sad lah.  You can go visit them mah!!