Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Energizer Night Marathon:My Story

The Energizer Night Marathon is my first marathon for 2010.There were 8 of us from Seremban taking part in this run.Everyone was going for the full marathon except for Steve(21km) and Jia Yeng(10km).

We started our journey from Seremban at 3.00pm with Yee and Steve driving.The weather was hot throughout the journey to Cyberjaya.I was hoping for a heavy downpour before the race start.

It was not difficult to reach Cyberjaya and we parked our cars in parking lot P2.I met Frank and Jeff at the same parking lots.From there we took a shuttle bus to the race site which was only 5 minutes ride away.

***There are many foreigners in Cyberjaya,probably students from some colleges nearby.Here is one of them holding on a small poster indicating the bus stop to catch the free shuttle service***

The starting point was just outside the Cyberjaya Community Center and we had to walk about 1 km into the center to deposit our luggage.

***The 1 km walk to the starting point under the hot evening sun.The "elites"were seen
warming up for the race(see the 2 guys running on the right side)***

The weather was still hot at 6.00pm.The sun was shining bright.We were treated with a short dance by few young girls promoting Energizer battery and Shick shaver.

***The dancing Energizer batteries performing some dance routine...must be hot wearing these costume..pity the person inside.***

***Me..watching the short performance from the side while hydrating myself with isotonic drinks***

Then came the short speech by Energizer representative and Encik Rostam,President of Pacesetter.Encik Rostam reminding us to take care of ourselves since the weather was very hot."Don't worry,take your time,we will wait for you"as he reminded us to take care.

The race started few minutes past six.As usual I followed Yee and Wun from the back.The gap between us grew wider after few km into the run and soon I can't see any members of my group.

***L to R:Alice,Yee,Lau,Wun and myself.Heng "disappeared".Jia Yeng and Steve were snapping pictures***

The first 10km was a slow run probably at 6.8minute/km.The terrain was undulating,with ups and downs.I continue with my slow pace until about 27km when I started to stop and walk for short distance each time when I reached a water station.Soon the walking portion became longer and the running portion became less especially after 35km.

For the first time in my running life,I stopped and sit along the road kerb to drink some cold water.It was a nice feeling just to relax my aching muscle.On one occasion I stopped at a bus stop,rested my legs and apply some 'deep heat'cream.Many runners ran past me and give me the funny look.

I knew from the start it was difficult for me to get a good result from this race due to lack of training and the hot weather.So I did not pushed myself very much.I was prepared to get the personal worst timing result.

Soon I was reaching the finishing point and it was crowded with many runners,probably those who had completed their 10km and 21km.They were leaving home and many were blocking the way for the full marathoners.Well I managed to run between the human crowds and was getting ready for my pictures to be taken at the finishing point.Somehow there were no photographers there.I can't see any flashlight.No cheering.Wow..this is anti-climax.After crossing the electronic mat,I proceed to look for the rest of my group.

I managed to see Yee and Wun resting nearby.They have finished earlier and were enjoying eating apples!!I proceed to get some fruits,drinks and my goodies bag.Everything was smooth
and orderly.While waiting for the rest to come back,I managed to have a nice shower nearby.

***The medal (both views).Nice small cute medal.Not bad.I like it***

The group results(unofficial,based on self declaration/timing):

1)Yee 4h 29m

2)wun 4h 42m

3)me 5h 10m

4)Heng 5h 15m

5Alice 5h 25m

6)Lau 5h 35m

7)Steve 2h 50m(half marathon)

8)Jia Yeng 1h 3m(10km)

Overall the race and the organising was satisfactory.Our group did not encounter any problems.Everything was smooth from riding the shuttle bus until the collection of goodies bag and personal luggage.

Organiser to improve on:

1)Distance markers.Make a big distance marker for every few km and place it prominently along the race route so runners can see it.

2)If possible,provide parking near to starting/ending points so runners need not wait for shuttle bus to ferry them to car parks.

3)Proper vests for runners.Don't screw up on this issue next time.Many disappointed judging from the feedback in Face book.!/energizernightrace?ref=ts

4)A later starting time maybe 8.00pm.Better if can follow what Sundown does...start at midnight!

What I learn from this race:

1)Can't expect to do well if do not train properly.One can finished a 42km run but with poor me.No regrets.To get good results one have to sacrifice time and energy to train.

2)Splashing water on the head and body can help to 'refresh' and make one more alert during run especially in hot humid condition.I like the water spray by the fire brigade at the 15km mark.

3)Must respect the seasoned runner like Yee.Rain or shine he still can perform well.He can over run many younger runners..easily.

Next race:Borneo International Marathon on 2th May 2010.
Time for a revenge...???

Monday, March 29, 2010

My Group Race Results

The results from Energizer Night Marathon is out.The results for our group as below.Nothing great except for Yee.He did well.The position is for the respective age group.

21 km split...........2:04:34.15
Next 21km split..2:24:40.49
Chip Time............4:29:14.64
Gun Time.............4:29:29.75
Position 10

21 km split...........2:03:04.20
Next 21km split..2:40:02.93
Chip Time............4:43:07.13
Gun Time............4:43:22.51
Position 52

21 km split............2:14:53.50
Next 21km split...2:55:03.35
Chip Time.............5:09:56.85
Gun Time..............5:10:12.82
Position 58

21 km split................2:15:01.61
Next 21km split.......2:59:05.35
Chip Time.................5:14:06.96
Gun Time..................5:14:33.94
Position 67

21 km split..............2:26:25.87
Next 21km split.....3:11:51.61
Chip Time...............5:38:17.48
Gun Time................5:38:31.78
Position 94

21 km split................2:31:03.06
Next 21km split.......2:57:37.57
Chip Time.................5:28:40.63
Gun Time..................5:28:57.91
Position 11

STEVE(Half Marathon)
Chip Time...............2:55:09.85
Gun Time...............2:55:56.54
Position 534

Reaction to individual result:

Yee:happy with his result.
Woon,Lau and Steve:not satisfied.
Alice and Heng:no comment.

The write up on race day will be published later.Still waiting for photos taken by Steve.

Friday, March 26, 2010

One Day Before Energizer Night Marathon.

It's just one more day to Energizer Night Marathon which will be my first marathon for 2010.In term of preparation,I think this is the worse for the past one year.My highest weekly mileage was only 30km,that was the week when I practice with the Seremban group while stimulating this night run(as in my previous blog entry).

Physically I am not in top form and mentally even worse.My main mental weakness is giving up easily during runs and believing that I will fail.So I am very determine to overcome these mental weakness tomorrow.Need to do some "brain washing".

Despite many setbacks caused by the Energizer Night Marathon organiser,they did a good job by sending out e-mail reminding runners to watch out for danger health signs during and after the run.This is a very good and timely last minute reminder to all runners as not to over exert themselves tomorrow.We wouldn't want to see deaths occurring during marathons.

***Click on the picture to read what are the warning signs and symptoms,precautions to take***

Personally I did not set any time target to complete this night marathon.I am also mentally prepare for any hiccups during the run like bad weather-too hot or heavy rain which will definitely affect the run.

If it is too hot,I will run slowly with occasionally stops/walks in between.If it rains heavily,I will stop running and seek shelter especially when there is lighting.

The best will be heavy rain before the race and light drizzle throughout the night to bring down the temperature.

Just hope for the best and try my very best especially my mental strength.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Lucky Day

Surprise!!!I was browsing Internet last night at about 10.30pm when I noted a posting by my Facebook friend-Victor Loh informing me that I won a prize in the Penang Bridge Marathon Lucky Draw.

My winning number:665 based on PBIM 2010 registration.Picture showing Mr.Choo(holding the number)and YB Danny.

Penang Bridge International Marathon Congratulation to the following winners (ref to your PBIM Registration no):
1st: No 665-Foo Yuen Cheng (Full Marathon, N Sembilan) - Hard Rock Hotel 2-days-1 night
2nd: No 694 - Hee Chee Heung (Half Marathon, PJ Selangor)-G Hotel 2-days-1night
3rd: No 286 -Low Aik Leng (Half Marathon, Prai Penang) - Naza Hotel 3-days-2night
4th: No 327 - Len Yit Hoong (Half Marathon, Kajang Selangor);
5th No 312 - Leong Wei Hoong (Full Marathon, Singapore);
6th No 011 Chee Wee Man (Full Marathon, Ayer Itam Penang) - Resort World Genting 2-days-1night
Feeling very happy when I received the official e-mail from the PBIM organiser confirming it.
The email:

Dear Mr Foo Yuen Cheng,

Greeting from Penang State Tourism Development and Culture.

The Penang Bridge International Marathon will be a series of lucky draw to kick off our PBIM 2010 race. Our first draw was held yesterday and we are glad to inform you that you are one of our winners!


1st prize winner

A voucher for a 2-days-1-night stay at Hard Rock Hotel, Penang

We will be sending the voucher to you via Postlaju to your following address:
Please confirm this address is correct before we proceed.

Once again we thank you for your support and congratulation to be one of our very first lucky draw winners!

---Peggy Tan
Personal Secretary to YB Danny Law Heng Kiang
Penang State EXCO Tourism Development and Culture
Secretary for Penang International Dragon Boat Festival (PIDBF)
Secretary for Penang Bridge International Marathon
Level 53, Komtar, 10503 Penang
Tel: 04-6505136
My family and I stayed in Hard Rock Penang last year after the Penang Marathon and we
enjoy it very much.Now there is another opportunity for us to go back again.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Energizer Night Marathon Race Pack

Thanks to Steve who volunteer to collect our running bibs despite his hectic schedule in his church Easter Day performance.He went to KL after his church programme in the evening.By the time he manage to reach Melia Hotel,all the smaller size vest was gone!!

Most of our group members requested for a small size vest-M except myself who needed the largest size XXXL-3XL!!I got my choice of size but the rest did not.They only manage to get XL which is way too big for them.A XL size vest covers up to the running shorts when Yee tried it on.It looks like running with only wearing an underwear.

However the headlight provided to runners was nice and good.I tried it at night and it was very bright.I think this is the only good thing provided by the organiser.

Only 2 out of 8 from our group got their requested vest size.The other person is Alice.Although most of them felt disappointed with the vest issue,they choose to keep quiet and did not complaint.Maybe that is their way or character.However things have been OK for me but I did post some negative comments on Energizer Face book because I usually can't keep quiet if I am not satisfied.I need to voice out my opinions and disappointments.This is my way and some are not happy with it.Too bad...
Despite all the first day collection hiccup,most of us are still looking forward to this Saturday race.We hope the organiser is willing to exchange the wrong size vest,maybe on the race day itself.So far there is no statement from the organiser on this.
There is still HOPE...Hope will keep life going.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Not Easy

Today is the last day of the school 1st term examination for my children.They were so happy after school because they were looking forward to an exam free week least for another week because it would be their 1 week holiday break.

Life as a student is definitely difficult compared to my times many years ago.It is a very stressful life for both students and parents.My son is also having some problem coping with tons and tons of school works.Imagine having to do 10 sets of school homework the night before the school examination.I wonder why the teacher never let the student rest the night before a school test.

Recently I came across an article in the newspaper regarding children.The person who wrote in was having the same problem as what I am facing now.

The question was:

I am stressed out by my 8-year-old third child who likes to do things his way. I get lots of complaints from his teachers and tutors. They say he is uncooperative, procrastinates in completing his homework, seeks attention, daydreams and has untidy handwriting.
All his teachers think he is smart but what they cannot tolerate is his behaviour. But my son’s tutor is thinking of quitting because he says my boy is only responsive to his shouting and needs constant reminding. boy is also procrastinate in completing his homework,occasionally daydreaming and definitely is having untidy handwriting!!He needs constant reminding and shouting.He also gets lots of complaints from his teachers.How stressful!!

So what did the child psychologist said?Her answer is:

It is exasperating when your eight-year-old is constantly drawing negative feedback from his teachers and tutors. Your son needs some positive feedback after having so many negative remarks made against him.

Many children in primary school have problems focusing on their studies and finishing their homework. What they really need is careful planning and support in coping with the difficulties they face in school.

The teachers’ complaints have a negative effect on your son’s behaviour. The more they focus on his weaknesses, the more frustrated he feels. It appears that there is no way for your son to show his better side.

It is common for adults to use punishment and threats to force children to cooperate and conform. But this does not work well for many children. Sometimes children may respond accordingly for the short-term. But in the long run, they develop poor self-esteem and become resistant. They will refuse to do what is expected of them. They find no pleasure in working at the tasks assigned to them.

Without nurturing and support, children can only feel they are a letdown and can do no better. Your son has been receiving remarks such as “Pay attention to your work,” “Listen up!” and “You are lazy.” This approach looks at what children are doing badly in and seeks to reprimand them.

He has received very little of nurturing statements such as “You are showing improvement in your handwriting.” “You are a generous and kind person.” He needs to hear what he is doing right. Parents who are looking for a quick-fix in getting their children to focus on their schoolwork or behave in class will be easily disappointed.

Be sensitive to your child’s feelings. It is crucial that your son knows what he is doing wrong and takes responsibility for it, but you need to be mindful of the timing. Let your child tell you how he feels and what he thinks about his problems.

When you allow him to talk about a problem while you listen and express what you understand, it opens up an opportunity for him to reveal what he is having difficulty with, and finding possible solutions.

When children solve their own problems, they feel they have some control over their difficulty. Parents must be prepared to wait it out until their children are able to come up with a course of action. For some, this may take some time. Children may need some time getting used to being trusted to find their own solutions. If you really feel like offering your suggestions, put it in a way that does not pressure your child to accept them.

To help your son feel he can be trusted to do good, you must first acknowledge him positively. If the present tutor has no faith in your child’s capabilities, it is better that he does not continue.

Your son needs people who believe in him. Help your child set up his own agenda and to know where he is heading. Let him plan out what he can do on his own and what he needs help in. You can help him succeed by being available to him when he needs you.

Definitely not easy to follow all the suggestions as stated above.I wonder how frequent teachers give positive remarks compared to negative remarks to students daily.I am sure the negatives are way more than the positives especially the threats and the punishment.

Personally I think something is not right with our education system.Let me figure it out...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pre-Energizer Night Marathon Long Run

Date:Saturday 6th March 2010
Place:City Park,S2

From L-R:myself,Yee,Lau,Wun

This practice long run was planned one week ago and it was intended to "stimulate"the conditions of our next marathon:The Energizer Night Marathon due in 3 weeks;27th March 2010 in Cyberjaya.

Currently we are experiencing hot spells and the temperature for today was 36 Celsius-recorded at 3.30pm.However there was a short shower at about 5.00pm which lasted for half and hour.The drizzle stopped just in time for us to meet in City Park.Only few of us turn up as the rest of the Seremban group are not taking part in the night marathon.Heng was absent due to his work commitment.

We started our run at about 6.20pm and we ran through the housing area of Seremban 2 before proceeding to Yee's house for our first water stop.This first 13km was relatively easy but the weather was still warm and humid.The sun was still up at 7.00pm.My two bottles of 100 plus ,about 600ml which I carried along finished before we reached our first water stop.

From Yee's house we proceed to S2 Height before making an U turn back to my house for the second water stop.Soon after leaving Yee's house,Steve decided to stop following us.He intended to walk back to City Park.

The rest of us continue our run to S2 Height and after reaching S2 Height,Lau also decided to quit.The reason was fatigue.

I also started to feel the effect of the heat and my left foot started to ache.Yee was still going strong and running ahead of Wun.I was struggling to catch up with both of them.Upon reaching the guard house of Vision home,I decided to stop and walk.I was tired and my left foot was aching.Yee and Wun continue on strongly.I was forced to narrow the distance with Yee and Wun as they were heading to my house for the last water stop.I don't want both of them waiting too long long for me to get the much needed water from my house.

Upon reaching my house,I was exhausted!!We have just covered 25km and I was ready to give up.We have a slightly longer break at my house and I told Yee and Wun to continue the last 5 km back to City Park without me.I felt much relieved as I have reached home.I was thinking of a nice cool shower and to lie down.However Yee persuaded me to continue."Just 5km..we take one km at a time."said Yee.

Finally I gave in to Yee persuasion and continue our run back to City Park.We reached City Park at about 10.10pm.Yee,Wun and me sat and chatted for half an hour before we went home.

I did not take my dinner as my stomach was bloated with water.After a nice shower I hit the bed.My foot was still aching.However I woke up at 1.30am feeling very hungry and I made myself some light supper when everyone was still sleeping.

*Steve in yellow Mizuno vest.He had just completed the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon.

-difficult to run in hot/humid weather.
-air pollution and traffic is heavier in the evening compared to our usual Sunday morning run.
-attracts more attention from the public=many will wonder why this bunch of crazy guys running at 10.00pm.

Strategy for the coming Energizer Night Marathon:
-go slow with no specific time target as not to exhaust myself.
-drink more and better if able to sponge to cool down our body.
-probably will use the run and walk strategy if weather is very hot and humid.
-hope for a heavy down pour before the start and light drizzle during the race in order to bring down the surrounding temperature.

Finally...just hope for the best!