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Monday, June 29, 2009

Bashing Time For Standard Chartered KL Marathon.

The just concluded Standard Chartered KL Marathon has been receiving many bad comments and criticizes online.I wonder if the organiser,Octagon and its main sponsors did take their time to read all the feed backs from runners.If they do,I wonder will they issue any comments or statements on what went wrong and how will they going to rectify the problems in the future.Otherwise I am afraid many will not take part again next year especially from our kiasu Singaporean runners who has to pay more to join.The worse is nation bashing(Malaysia bashing) which appeared in Singapore's forum :http://www.sgrunners.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=10303&st=615(You have to log in as a member in order to view this)

Our local newspaper,The Star as usual never dare to publish the negative issues but instead publish this:
Race director Hemant Dua said that the event was a huge success.
“I see people enjoying themselves in a carnival-like atmosphere. The event has the potential to grow even bigger next year if we have the chance to organise it again,” he said.


However thumbs up to the New Straits Times which gave us a better picture on the race day:
http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Monday/Sport/2594588/Article/index_html

Part of the news:

CHAOS reigned at the Standard Chartered KL Marathon yesterday when the wrong runner was declared the winner while water stations ran dry leaving runners desperate to quench their thirst.

Several runners who signed up for the 5km race expressed their frustration at running a shortened route while the lack of signages along the full marathon route caused others to veer off course.


But R. Muniandy, who crossed the marathon finish line at Dataran Merdeka as the best placed Malaysian in a personal best of 2:35:52s, was justified in feeling aggrieved the most when the first prize in the local category was given to second placed finisher Shaharuddin Hashim, who came in eight minutes later."I really don't know what is going on. I know I finished first among the locals but my name is not registering on their (computer) screens," said Muniandy, 31.His New Balance team manager M. Thanasekaran said he had never seen a race so badly organised before.
"First, they gave him the wrong bib number. Then the water bottles went missing from the drinks stations. They have really mismanaged this race," he said.


Adding to the confusion was the organisers' failure to furnish details of the podium placings for each event until eight hours later.Muniandy, however, was belatedly installed as the local winner after the error was rectified, said race director Hemant Dua in a statement.

The KL Marathon, part of the global Standard Chartered Marathon series, replaced the Kuala Lumpur International Marathon which had been organised since 1984 until last year by the Federal Territory Amateur Athletic Association.

But race organiser Octagon Asia agreed to pay the Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union RM5 million over 10 years in return for the right to organise an international marathon in Kuala Lumpur.

Octagon came in for some harsh criticism from runners after drinks ran out at the water stations along the route."There was no water left for the last 10 kilometres where the risk of dehydration is greatest. I have run at the Standard Chartered event in Singapore three times and this event is by far the worst in comparison," said retiree Tan Guan Chye, 57.

The organisers were not spared on social networking site Facebook either, where those running the 5km vented their anger at being shortchanged with many saying they may not return next year.

What to do?Damage has been done.Now is the time for sincere explanations from the organiser.

Standard Chartered KL Marathon Race Report


Today I completed my second marathon in the inaugural Standard Chartered KL Marathon.I completed in a time of 4h 47minutes which was slightly better than the timing I got in my Sundown Marathon one month ago.However I am not satisfied with the results because I think I can do better .The weather was good after a brief shower 15 minutes before the starting of the full marathon and the route was generally flat except for the last part of the race.So runners should do their personal best in this favourable conditions.



We started our journey at 3.00am from Seremban.Reached Dataran Merdeka at about 4.00am and managed to find a parking behind the court house.Met up the the rest of the Seremban gang and also few friends,Frank,Terence and Wincent.


A brief shower about 15 minutes before starting was a blessing in disguise.The race was flagged off at 5.00am and it took us about one minute to reach the starting point.



I tagged along with Yee who had earlier agreed to be our pacer.The first 25km was quite easy and comfortable and three of us(Lau,Wun and myself)were sticking close to Yee.However just after 25km Lau suffered a cramp and had to slow down.We had no choice but to abandon him in order to achieve our final target timing.By 27km my muscle started to feel tense and I started to apply counter pain.I decided to apply it earlier as I learned from my Sundown experience where I delay applying it causing me to suffered serious pain later on.


After 30km, fatigue started to set in and I was slowing down.I told Yee to go ahead and let me run by myself as I wouldn't want to upset Yee or Wun planned target timing.Soon Yee and Wun were out from my sight.I was running slowly and at certain stages I decided to walk especially during the last few hills climb.The last portion of the race was difficult since my legs were tired and there were not enough water at the water stations.



Finally managed to pull myself across the finishing line with a timing of 4h 47m(my watch timing) or 4h 48m(the official timing hanging above the finishing line).



Met up with Wun and I was surprised he only managed to do 4h 41m.Yee manged 4h 34m.Wun also suffered a cramp after 35km and had to slow down.Seems like all the newbies(Lau,Wun and myself)had failed our "sifu"Yee since none of us managed to tagged along him throughout the race.The best is still Eric,he did 4h 15m for his third full marathon which is also his worst in term of timing.



The BAD things of SCKLM:

-lack of carnival atmosphere and lack of participants/crowd as compared to Singapore SC Marathon.

-less favourable running route as we need to run in traffic congested road and along highway.What if some impatient KL driver accidentally drive into our path??"kau-kau,sure mati katak!!"(very unfortunate dead)

-poor water management.Some slow runners did not get to drink at the last few water stations.Pitiful,lucky non of them died of dehydration!

-no foods or snack after race?Was feeling very hungry while waiting for the rest of the group to come back.Had no choice but to drink lots of water.

-Heard that some late runners never get their T shirt size of their choice or medals.Not sure about these as non of our group members complained not receiving medals.

-lousy finisher T shirt(this is my personal opinion)as compared to my Sundown finisher T shirt.

-no pacer seen....was looking for balloons.Only one big balloon floating high up in Dataran Merdeka.


The GOOD things of SCKLM:


-The weather was good after a short shower.(no credit to organiser for this as this is not under their control...ha..ha..ha)


What else are good??can't think of any...too bad.



Conclusions:


Below average event.


Things don't go right from the Bibs collection day to the race day.Hopefully the organiser will improve or else not many will return for the next year event.



To those intended to return for next year SCKLM 2010,please consider the risk of dying during the race either being knocked down by a car or worst-slow die from thirst before signing up.


In the future:

Need to change my training plan.From the two marathons I noticed I can't sustained after 30km.In the mean time I will concentrate on my studies again and probably will run in the Penang Bridge Marathon and Singapore SC Marathon.

Finally I feel proud being able to do two marathons in a month even though the timings were not that great.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Transformer:Revenge of The Fallen

Went to see a movie today,a day before the Standard Chartered KL Marathon.The synopsis for the second transformer movie:


The battle for Earth has ended but the battle for the universe has just begun. After returning to Cybertron, Starscream assumes command of the Decepticons, and has decided to return to Earth with force. The Autobots believing that peace was possible finds out that Megatron's dead body has been stolen from the US Military by Skorpinox and revives him using his own spark. Now Megatron is back seeking revenge and with Starscream and more Decepticon reinforcements on the way, the Autobots with reinforcements of their own, may have more to deal with then meets the eye.



I don't enjoy this movie compared to the first transformer movie.There were intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, massive explosions and fire powers!!

My rating:3/10; not recommended unless one has no other movie to see.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Race Pack for SCKL Marathon 2009

I have to thank Lau for helping me to collect my race pack today.He also collected for the rest of the Seremban gang and I heard he had to spend 2 hours in the afternoon to collect for everyone.I managed to read through some blogs and forum where many criticised the way race pack collection was done.Many waited for long hours under hot sun and later it rained.Computers system breakdown,bibs went missing etc etc etc.Seems like it was a bad beginning to SCKLM.Hopefully everything will go smoothly on the race day.Sure it is not easy to organise such a big event with many participants.


My running vest:I like it!!smooth material and loose around the armpit region.I chose XL and it fits perfectly and comfortably.Until now I still don't understand why Adidas sizing is much smaller than others.My previous XL vest for SC Singapore Marathon and Sundown were tighter.They also give a piece of towel in the race pack.



The bag looks nice but the rest of promotional brochures are useless to me;which are mainly on banking,insurance and health products.

Received this email from the SCKLM organiser the next morning:
Dear Runners,
Only one day to go and for those who have not yet collected race packs; do come down to Dataran Merdeka between 11.00 am and 5.00 pm tomorrow. We promise you all a much better experience and todays problems are all ironed out. Over 5,100 of you already picked up your race packs today.. if you were affected by the backlog which was due to the rain causing our systems to shortcircuit, our sincerest apologies.
Meanwhile as long as you bring your registration confirmation slip, containing Race ID and your NRIC/passport, you should be able to collect your pack without a hitch.
Marathon Team==============================================
You are receiving this email because you registered for the Standard Chartered KL Marathon

Thursday, June 25, 2009

H1N1:See The Difference

Can you see the difference on how two different organisations work?

For example,the current outbreak of HINI and what primary care health staff need to do.

I tried getting information from our Ministry of Health website http://www.moh.gov.my/MohPortal/index.jsp and from Academy of Family Physician website http://www.afpm.org.my/v2/index.htm but could not gathered much information that I needed.

In contrast if you will to look at The College of Family Physicians Singapore website http://www.cfps.org.sg/ and The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners http://www.racgp.org.au/ there are plenty of detail information regarding HINI for primary health workers.

Our health ministry did not provide instructions on preventive measures to be taken by clinics and the standard operating procedures for general practitioners.So these GPs will be sitting in the clinics waiting to be infected by H1N1 if they are unlucky to have a patient with this disease walking into their clinic.

How many clinics have these items on stand by:
-N95 masks?
-visors and goggles?
-personal protective equipment(PPE)?
and will the staffs know what to do and how to use them?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Three Days To Standard Chartered KL Marathon

It is just three days to Standard Chartered KL Marathon and I am feeling as though nothing major is coming up this weekend.Actually I am not nervous or anxious as I approach my second marathon.I was very nervous when I ran my first marathon in Singapore one month ago.

Why am I so calm when I hardly train after Sundown Marathon?

Probably it is all due to H1N1 outbreak.I am more concern with this potentially deadly and troublesome virus.I worried I might get infected or being exposed to the virus since the nature of my job which exposed me to many patients with flu/cough/fever.I can't imagine being quarantine for one week or risk of actually having this disease.Hopefully and pray hard this disease will go away fast!

I hope to better my timing during this weekend race,hopefully doing a sub-5hours with little training for the past three weeks.I am feeling more confident as I know what to expect and how it feel like running 42km.This time I will also have the company of my 13 Seremban friends who are also taking part in the full marathon.Mr.Yee as the most experienced marathoner among us has volunteer to pace for few marathon newbies like myself,Lau and Wun.The target timing was 4h 45min with range from 4.30h to 5.00h.The final timing will definitely depends on the final stage of the run especially after the 30km mark.The final stage can be very difficult as our body and mind become tired.

I am looking forward to complete this Sunday race as I will start to focus on my studies again.The next marathon will be at the end of the year so I still have plenty of time to train.

Finally...all the best to those taking part in this weekend Standard Chartered KL Marathon.

Monday, June 22, 2009

My New Running Shoe


Got this shoe,New Balance 1603 about a month ago and planning to use it during this weekend SCKLM.I like the bright red colour!!So far have used it few times and total distance done with this shoe was about 50km.Quite satisfied with the shoe up to date.Will see how it performs during this weekend 42 km...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sundown Marathon Results-Runpix

After 3 weeks,finally the Sundown 2009 organiser posted this on their website:

For Ultra-Marathon & Marathon participants: Analyze your race performance at RUNPIX!

Pit yourself against the rest of the field and find out how you fare among your division (age-group), gender and overall standing.

Both your spilt times as well as your speed are also available.

Other interesting features includes your locations on the race route when the various winners cross the finish line.

The information provided by RUNPIX will definitely enhance your post-race experience!

My results are be seen here:
http://www.runpix.info/sun09/00/finord.php?LastName=1587&lan=&aset=0&dist=42
or search for BIB no 1587.

As a summary to my results:

Result in Entire Field - 581st place
3985 finishers behind. About 13% of finishers ahead.

Result in Gender (Male) - 526th place
3301 finishers behind. About 14% of finishers ahead.

Result in Division (M4044) - 65th place
242 finishers behind. About 21% of finishers ahead.

FACTS
Who's who
Of the 4566 who finished, 16% were female and 84% were male.

Opposite Sex
For the record, you were ahead of about 93% of female finishers

Other interesting facts:
When overall winner finished,I was at the 25km mark.
When my division winner finished,I was at the 31km mark.
When the female winner finished,I was at the 32km mark.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Flu

It is 10 more days before Standard Chartered KL Marathon and I am down with flu again..!!Yes,another round of flu got into me.I am having fever,body ache,running nose,dry throat and feeling very down/lazy.

The same scenario happened about 10 days before my Sundown Marathon.I managed to recover in time for Sundown but not 100% since there was still low grade fever.I took Paracetamol before and during the run but forgot to take them after my run.Thus I was stopped at Sepang Airport after the fever scanner detected fever in me.The story can be read in my Sundown Marathon posting.

Now with so few days to go and very inadequate training since my last marathon,I still hope to achieve a better timing compared to my last outing in Singapore.

In the mean time,I have to get more rest,drink plenty of water and self medicate.There seems to be no ways to prevent flu from striking me few times a year since it is part of my occupation hazard.Have to face it and can't run away from it.In door,I get exposure from flu cases and outdoor with the hot,dry and hazy environment,there seems to be no escape!

However I am confident I will recover in time to seek "revenge"in my 2nd marathon,this time has to be sub-5hours.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

NB Klang Pacers Half Marathon


Event:NB Klang Pacer Half Marathon
Place:Setia Alam,Klang

Time:6.30am
Date:7/6/2009



Today is exactly one week after I ran my first marathon in Singapore so I decided to take this run as easy as possible.I signed up for this race last month even none of the Seremban group of runners were going.They were planning to run their final long run on the same day in preparation for the KL Marathon at the end of this month.


Pre-race day(Saturday):



Went to collect the running vest and bibs on Saturday which was a PH,the King's birthday.The collection was in Setia Alam sales center.It was a nice and beautiful place.The collection was smooth and fast.Later bought a pair of NB shoe from the sales booth nearby.Then proceed to Jusco for shopping.



Race day(Sunday):



Woke up at 4.00am and as usual,take breakfast and bath before driving to Klang.Arrived at5.45am.Met with Terence and gang.Also had a chat with Eric.The race started at 6.33am,I think there was a slight delay and it was very unorganised.There was no proper announcement and no warming up session.


Eric ran together with me.We were doing a very slow pace probably 6.5min/km.I told Eric that I intended to run at this slow pace throughout the race and encouraged him to speed up as he is capable to run very fast.His usual half marathon timing was 1hour45min.However he insisted to do it slowly as he intended to do his last long run in preparation of KL Marathon in the next 2 days.Probably he wanted to save some energy for his long run later.


The route was flat except for few slopes leading to flyovers.The route was generally easy.The road was wide and car free.There were no spectators except for some Indonesian construction workers.

Half way along the route,after the power gel station,Eric decided to speed up.I think he felt uneasy seeing so many of his friends ahead of him and most of them were slow runners compared to him.He decided to get back some of the lost time chatting and running slowly with me.He surged ahead and I can't see him again until I finished the run!!

As for me,I continued to run slowly with no time target.I was actually practising my pace for the coming KL Marathon which is to run at 6.5min/km throughout.I hope I can do it this time as I failed in the Sundown Marathon one week ago.

Finally finished the race with timing of 2 hours 15 minutes,the worst timing for my half marathon so far!!However I have no regret as I planned earlier to run at this pace.Eric managed to complete with timing of 2h 2 min, way below of his capability.I did not spend much time hanging around after the race as I need to rush back to Seremban.


Good points:
-nice running route.
-plenty of foods and drinks after the race.
-nice medal and running vest.
-power gel station for runners...a very good point even this is only a 21km run.

Bad points:
-no distance markers throughout the route!!I think this is the first time I encountered no distance markers during race.So have to "agak-agak"(guess)the distance based on pacing.
-slight unorganised start.


Conclusion:
Good..I will definitely take part again in the future.The next time probably have to go for PB(personal best)..ha..ha..

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sundown Marathon-Race Result

Picture taken before the start of the race.




With the crowd waiting....

Finally managed to get my race result today from the Sundown website which was very slow yesterday.

Ranking 526 Total Participants in this Category(42km Men): 3827
Bib No1587
Time 5:05:21.19
0-10km 1:04:14.55
10-20km 1:12:04.96
20-30km 1:04:47.24
30-42km 1:44:14.44
I think the second part of the run should be faster compared to the third part using my own watch timing but the electronic timing by the organiser seems to be different.
From the result above,obviously the last part of the run was too slow thus affecting my overall timing.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Sundown Marathon-My First Marathon

I have just completed my first marathon yesterday in Singapore-the night race,Sundown Marathon.

Date:30.5.2009
Place:Singapore.
Time:11.59pm(midnight).
Shoes:Adidas Adistar Salvation.

The journey to Singapore:

I took a flight to Singapore on Saturday afternoon,the flight was delay for about half an hour.Knowing of the outbreak of H1N1 and the screening process in airport,I took 2 tablets of Paracetamol 2 hours before boarding as I was feeling not well past few days probably due to viral fever.Reached Singapore at 4.00pm,passed through the Immigration and fever scanner without problems.

I met Terence and chatted with him while waiting for immigration clearance.He and his gang were going for the ultra marathon.They planned to go straight to the starting point,start racing at 7.00pm,planned to complete in 13hours,take some rest and bath nearby then fly back to Kuala Lumpur.Wow..this is extreme...no rest and sleep!!

For me,I checked into Changi Village Hotel which is very near to the starting point of Sundown.Went to collect my running vest and number from Frank.Later met with my sister and brother in law for my dinner at hawker center nearby.Managed to sleep for about 2 hours before the race.


The race:

Went to the race site at 11.30pm and there were huge crowd there.Managed to see few ultra marathoners coming back after completing their first loop(42km).I did some light warm up and took some pictures.The race was flagged off at 12 midnight.

The first portion of the race was named:String of Lights (22km) – This runs along Nicoll Drive, behind the Changi Airport runway and down towards East Coast Park.It was a pretty comfortable route.For the first 5 km we were running on the straight road near the airport.We can see planes taking off above us.The night was warm and humid.There was no wind and the air felt"stagnant".

I was doing 6.5min/km and planning to run at this pace throughout the race.After 5 km we were diverted to run along the walk way.Later I found out that we will be running on pathway,sandy pathway,jogging&bicycle tracks,pedestrian bridges for the rest of the race!

This route was flat throughout took us along some river banks where I can see many people camping and fishing but most of them are not interested in us.Hardly any of them cheer us.The only one cheering were the Sundown ambassadors/volunteers whom were mainly young college girls stationed few km apart.

At this stage I was still comfortable and confident with the pacing/timing until I reached the second part of the run.



The second part was named:Heartland Twist (7km) which features 3 overhead bridges linking East Coast Park with Bedok Town Park and Bedok.Were there more than 3 bridges?I did not count but was told later there were 4 bridges. I had to run few pedestrian bridges which are quite steep and high up across some highways below.I can remember at least one of them had stair case while the rest were mainly flat zig-zag bridges which can be used by bicycles.I walked up those bridges and then ran on the top flat and downward portion of the bridge.Later part of this second route, my quadriceps(more on the inner part) began to feel "tense" and discomfort.Some how I struggle through as I was still determined to keep my timing.




The third part was named:Waterfront Trail (6km) which involved going around the reservoir towards Pasir Ris .I was running on sandy pathway and it was quite dark.The surrounding was quiet,except for few runners.No one was talking and no one was cheering.Only sound of foot steps.Few runners had to stop for stretching probably due to cramp.At this stage although feeling tired I was still determined to finish the race below 5 hours.

I took my energy gel at 10km,20km,30km and stopped for drinks at every water stations except the first water station.The weather was hot and humid,I took 2 cups of drinks at each stop and occasionally I used 1 cup of water to wash my face just to keep me alert.



The last part of the race was named:Home Run (7km) – This last stretch is where runners will face a 300m uphill battle before reaching the finishing line. ..which only covered 7 km.My body and mind already feeling tired,my quadriceps kept on giving trouble until I had to stop few time to apply conterpain.

7km was a very far distance when one felt tired and mentally drained.By now I knew I will missed my target of at 5 hours to complete.Keep telling myself it was only few km to go,trying to imagine myself running easily during my practice run from my house to City Park which is only 5 km.Some how this distance seemed so so far and difficult to me.

The volunteers were there cheering us for the last few kms.."keep on going,you guys are doing great!" or "go..go..last 3km".Deep inside I was telling myself how did they know we are doing great?I was feeling lousy!!

The last portion we had to run up hill for about 300m which I only managed to walk.By now I have gave up hope to finished by 5 hours.The last 1.6km I ran as fast I can to the finishing line,probably at 5.5min/km pace as I knew the end was near.Crossed the finishing line at 5 hours 5min ?seconds.Need to wait for the official results and position which is due in 48 hours post race.


Post race:
Went to collect my medal and finisher T shirt.Took more 100plus,bananas.Chatted with some runners before going back to my hotel room.Took bath and managed to sleep for 2 hours before having breakfast with my sister and brother in law.


The journey back to Malaysia:
Took the afternoon flight back and met with Terence and gang on the same flight.They managed to complete their ultra marathon in 13+hours.Frank and Victor finished their 84km in 12 hours.I have great respect to them and other ultra marathoners for their courage,strength,determination and fitness level.

After landed in Sepang LCCT,I was stopped by the health authority after their scanner detected fever on my body.I was lead to another room for checking and was told to have low grade fever.I gave my particulars to the health nurse who advised me to seek medical help if I feel not well.

I forgot to take my paracetamol(panadol) 2 hours before boarding my flight in Singapore.Anyway it was a new experience to me and also to show that our health authority is doing their job in preventing H1NI from spreading.

The good points of Sundown:
-adequate water stations.
-good distance markers.
-good traffic control.They stopped the traffic even for one runner to cross the road.Some impatient Singaporean drivers were honking and cursing!
-nice medal and finisher T shirt.

The bad points of Sundown:
-bad running pathway:some narrow,uneven pathway and have to run on top of some metal drain covers.

What I got from Sundown?
-nice medal and finisher Tshirt.
-blisters on both feet
-abrasions on both my armpit:the running vest was slightly tight even for my size XL.
-bodyache especially legs.
-the very valuable experience running the whole night without sleep!!

Conclusions:
-Generally disappointed with my timing.(failure to me because I set my target of sub 5 hours and not to walk during the race)
-A very good learning marathon experience for me.
-Marathon is not as easy as I thought.-my fitness level,mental strength and determination still inadequate.

Will I do it again next year?
Yes!!provided I can get some of the Seremban group to come along.

After my first marathon,I am more determine to do better in my next marathon:the Standard Chartered KL Marathon at the end of this month.