Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Race Day@SCKLMarathon

This was my second time running the Standard Chartered KL Marathon which was also my least prepared marathon.This year there were only 10 runners from our group taking part in the full marathon.Most of the Seremban group runners did not take part.Yee also did not run as he wanted to concentrate on his 3 marathons year end.

*Picture taken by Steve...Bangunan Abdul Samad in Dataran Merdeka.Brightly lit and it was 4.20am.
  • It was Lau's turn to drive to the race venue and Steve,Wun, KG and myself joined in.Francis who was targeting to do his personal best in SCKLM decided to go one day earlier and stayed in a hotel.The rest went into Yu's car.

  • We arrived at Dataran Merdeka at 4.10am and found a good parking place behind the Bangunan Abdul Samad.This year there was no illegal parking attendant collecting money from runners.

  • We took some pictures,deposited our bags at the tent,went to the loo.I met up with YS..a first time marathoner and chatted with him.As we were waiting for the race to start,it started to rain.Not again!!Last year it rained before the race started.This year it happened again and it was raining quite heavily.We were all wet even before the race started.

*From L-R:Steve,KG,Lau,Wun and myself .

  • Soon at 5.00am,the race was flagged off.The crowd was larger this year and very soon I couldn't locate Lau,Wun and Steve.I continue running at my own pace.The strategy was to run 6.8-7.0min/km for the first few kilometres and then maintaining the pace at 6.5min/km throughout the race.

  • Nothing significant happen during the run.It was like me running alone with strangers around me.I was just concentrating on my pace and time.Occasionally I checked my watch timing whenever I saw a distance marker.I was quite happy as I was able to maintain my targeted pace of 6.5min/km.

  • Mentally I was preparing myself to conquer the last part of the race which was supposed to be a hilly terrain after the 35km mark.I took 4 packets of gel during the run,one each at 10km,20km,30km and 35km.

  • My legs muscle began to tense from 28km mark so I started to apply some deep heat cream which I bought along.I reserved one small sachet for the "final assault"at 35km.

  • 35km mark at Jalan Kuching was the "do or die"marking for me.I took one packet of gel ,slow down to apply some deep heat on both my thigh before telling myself to conquer the last hilly part of this run.If I will to walk during this last stretch,then I wouldn't be able to do a sub-5h which was my minimal target for this run.

*The elevation chart which was available to runners from SCKLM facebook site.Looks like there were 5 peaks along the way.

  • I thought the hilly part was only 2km long from the elevation chart provided.So the climb should end by 37km.However I still see up slopes after each turning, up to 39km mark where we were directed to run up slope before making a U turn back along Jalan Sultan Salahudin.

  • It was all the way to Dataran Merdeka after that.It was downhill and flat.I knew it was very near to the finishing line.The crowd grew larger.There were many runners cheering and some snapping pictures.Yee snapped a picture of me about 1km from the finishing line.

  • **Picture taken by my friend Tham from Sungai Petani who came to run the half marathon.

  • Feeling so happy to complete this run without walking and with minimal training.My watch timing was 4h 36m 48s and the official net timing was 4h 36m 57s.However I am satisfied with the result which was 17 seconds faster than what I achieved in Borneo Marathon.So can be consider as a Personal Best time for me??Maybe yes but only 17 seconds which is not significant at all.

*The carnival at Dataran Merdeka...not so grand as in Singapore.How many really paying attention to the band performing on the stage.Personally for me it was more like a "noise pollution".

  • After crossing the finishing line,I walked towards the drinks counter before collecting my medal and finisher T-Shirt.Then proceed to collect my bag where there were long queues.It took me 35minutes to get my bag!!Drove home at 11.45am.

**Almost reaching to the end of my "torture run".Both my legs were sore and up to today....2 days after the run,I still walk with a limp.

  • Overall: well organised race compared to last year.The only problem was collecting my bag.It took me so long standing and waiting under the hot sun!!Better if the organiser can provide some light breakfast for runners after the run instead of 2 bananas to eat!:)

  • Will run again in 2011 edition..

Sunday, June 27, 2010

SCKLM-Unofficial Results of Seremban Group

The unofficial results from the Seremban group:

1)Francis---3h 41m
2)Wun---4h 33m
3)Myself--4h 36m 48s (from my own watch timing-also few seconds better than the result I obtained from Borneo Marathon)
4)Lau---4h 57m
5)Heng---4h 57m
6)KG---5h 30m
7)Alice---5h 32m
8)Steve---6h 05m
and 2 more fellow runners who finish much later.Still unable to get results from them.
The above results are unofficial and based on the runner own watch timing so need to wait for the official results from the organiser.
More story on Standard Chartered KL Marathon race day later....

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pre SCKLM Blues.

Got my race pack today.Thanks to Yu who volunteer to collect for 10 of us from Seremban.Lucky he did not encounter any problems during collection.

**The race pack consists of a vest,a SCKLM bag,bib,timing tag,a towel,a bar of Powerbar,a runner's guide book and a 30% discount voucher for NB products.

So how is my preparation this time?

Well...with less than 48hours to Standard Chartered KL Marathon, I am feeling lousy!

Lousy because lack of training and confidence.On top of that my legs are giving me problems.I am having ache on both of my calfs and thighs.

I have been applying some heat ointment and plasters for the past 2 days.With more rest and sleep,hopefully I will feel much better on Sunday morning or else I will have to run with plasters on my both legs.

A few days ago,I calculated my running mileage for this month---up to Sunday 20/6/2010 and it was only 80km inclusive of my last long run,that was the Eco Setia Half Marathon.

  • Why am I feeling lousy?Probably because kiasu feelings.
Kiasu...afraid of poor performance and getting poor timing results comparing to my fellow Seremban runners.However this feeling can create a kind of good and healthy competitive spirit among us.
  • But then...why don't I train harder if I am a kiasu person?There are many kinds of excuses...from lack of time,to laziness etc..etc...etc..The list can go on and on.

  • Now it is too late to do anything,I will just go all out and mentally prepared for the worst.
In the future,that is next year,I will selectively choose to participate in races which I think I have the time to train for.Quality instead of Quantity.
  • Whatever it is...just stop complaining and run the 42km!
See you guys in KL on Sunday.Pray hard the weather is kind to us.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bintulu Trip Part 3

  1. Our 3rd day in Bintulu.Our flight was scheduled in the afternoon so we have some time in the morning to explore Bintulu.There was nothing much to see or explore in Bintulu town.

    *Goods sold in Pasar Tamu....

    In the morning,we went to the Tamu,a kind of morning market run by the locals.It was quite interesting to see variety of goods sold here,mainly the fresh sea foods and animals.There were live big prawns,variety of fish and turtles.The place was crowded since it was a Sunday morning.We bought some fresh prawns,vegetables and handicrafts.

    *These husband and wife traders were having good sales with their fresh newly caught prawns.

  1. There are 2 markets-the main market and the tamu.These markets, located side by side, are the most frequently visited location in Bintulu, both by rural folks and tourists. The market is divided into many parts, each for different type of traded items such as fruits, belachan (shrimp paste) & cincaluk (a solution of fermented shrimps), wet areas (for fish and seafood traders), vegetables, basic commodities, as well as smuggled cigarettes & liquors!

*Sago worms, a delicacy among the indigenous people of Sarawak. The worms thrives on the fallen trunks of the Sago palm, The cultivation of Sago palm is found along the coastal plains of Mukah, Sarawak.

  1. The worms are eaten live, or just fried. To eat live ones, hold (cleaned) one by its head, pop its wriggling body, tail first, into ones mouth, then bit at the tip of its head, jerk off its head, and throw away. Chew away! Its innards is creamy and tastes like rich creamy toffee; no eerie taste or smell as one would have imagined.
  1. The worms came with some sago dust from the trunk. To clean the worms, pick up each individual worm and shake off its dust; then rinse them in running water to remove any further particles of the sago dust. Let them dry of moisture.

  1. Heat up a dry wok on medium heat. When the wok is hot, throw in the worms and toss and turn them using a spatula. When the worm are not wiggling - dead - they are done. Don't over fry them, because its inside will start to boil and will bust at its tummy. It tastes best when certain potions are slightly seared, making it crisp and crunchy.One can eat it straight; it tastes good on its own. Or it can be dipped into salt before consuming.

  1. Processed Sago corns are used as accompaniment; pop one worm into the mouth, chew a few times to release its cream, then pop a handful of Sago corns into the mouth. The mixture of the sweet powder of sago corn and the cream of the worm enhances the whole munching experience.

*Pity these animals...waiting to be slaughtered!There were so many of these turtles sold in the Tamu.Some were very big in size.Wonder why people like to eat them??!!

  1. Later we proceed to the Bintulu Waterfront or Bintulu Promenade which is the latest attraction to Bintulu.It is the state's longest waterfront attraction similar to the one in Kuching. It is a commercial and recreational park rolled into one and strategically located near the delta of Kemena River and the Parkcity Everly Hotel. Perfect place for a relaxing stroll and to watch sunset and enjoy the evening breeze

  1. Almost every major town in Sarawak is situated near or next to seaside or a river.There must be a waterfront for each of these towns.Nothing much to see in the waterfront except for river view scenery and observing the local trying their luck fishing.

*Next stop was the Taman Tumbina Bintulu,a small kind of animal park.

  1. Taman Tumbina Bintulu is an integration of a botanical and zoological garden. The name TUMBINA originates from the Malay words TUMbuhan (meaning Plant) and BINAtang (animal).

  1. Tumbina was created with a vision to be A Living Heritage Of The Flora & Fauna Of Borneo. The objectives are (i) Recreation, (ii) A Unique Tourism Product, (iii) Education, (iv) Conservation and (v) Research & Development.

  1. Officially opened 2 August 1991, Tumbina provides a glimpse of the diverse flora and fauna of Borneo. It is a living heritage with both recreational and educational values for visitors from all walks of life.

  1. Spreading over a hilly and undulating terrain of 57 hectares, Tumbina is strategically situated on a breathtaking site overlooking the South China Sea, Bintulu town centre and the Tanjong Kidurong Industrial Estate.

Later we had lunch before going back to the hotel for checking out.

Since Stephen was going back to Miri on the same afternoon,we decided to go to the airport early.However the flight was delay and we only reached home at 11.00pm!!I was feeling exhausted,tired and down with fever. Argggh...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bintulu Trip Part 2

I have posted some pictures taken during Stephen and Martha wedding last month in Bintulu.Nothing much to write.It is self explanatory.Just look at the pictures.

PS:Probably I am becoming lazier..

*Picture of the couple in traditional costume..the Kayan costume.Both of them are Kayans.The groom is a Kayan from Baram and the bride is a Kayan from Bakun region.

The morning session:Church wedding.

*The arrival of guests.Many came from Baram and interior of Rajang eg.Sg.Asap region where many indigenous people from Bakun were relocated to after the government started the Bakun project.

*The bride and her father.Many indigenous people are Christains and their way of life also change after they embraced Christainity.Many have their wedding in church.

*The boy and girls looking forward to perform their duty as ring boy and flower girls.

*Wedding ceremony in progress...with Pastor Anyi.

*Exchange of rings between the couple.Look at the pastor...he looked very happy!

*After the wedding ceremony,the couple walking out from the church

*Group photo:the couple with their relatives.

The evening session:Wedding dinner in Park City Hotel ,Bintulu.

*A traditional Kayan dance by a senior member from the groom family.There were few traditional dances on that night.

*The couple were "forced"to perform a traditional dance for the audience.

*Advice session by the elders to the newly wed by the way of singing songs.The person sitting second from the left is Billy Abit Joo who is the Member of Parliament for Hulu Rajang.He was the guest of honour and we have to wait more than an hour for him.Don't the politician know how to be punctual?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bintulu Trip Part 1

Due to my busy schedule and procrastination,I have been delaying uploading these pictures from my recent trip to Bintulu last month.There were plenty of pictures and I choosen few for this first posting.

*Big banner -wedding between Stephen and Martha

After the 20km run with the Seremban group,I rushed off to airport to catch a flight to Bintulu.The MAS fight was supposed to depart at 11.30am but was postpone to 12.50pm.If I have knew it earlier,I can take my time to complete my long run.I always presumed MAS flights are always on time.Now I know,MAS is also unreliable like AIRASIA.

Finally reached Bintulu at 3.10pm and was met by Stephen.The Bintulu airport was quite far away from town.We are staying in New World Suite Hotel,supposed to be a new hotel in Bintulu.The room was nice and clean.Too bad we can't get a connecting room.The hotel's website:

*The motto of Gereja Sidang Injil Borneo Bandar Bintulu...3Gs..Grow,Glow and Go.

After checking in and refreshing,we headed off to SIB Church in Bintulu.It is a very big church in Bintulu with Bahasa Malaysia,Iban and Chinese congregation.The main cast of people were already there preparing to practice and rehearse for the big event on the next day.

*The motto for SIB Sarawak 2010..Ibrani 13:21

:kiranya memperlengkapi kamu dengan segala yang baik untuk melakukan kehendak-Nya, dan mengerjakan di dalam kita apa yang berkenan kepada-Nya, oleh Yesus Kristus. Bagi Dialah kemuliaan sampai selama-lamanya! Amin.

*Sarawakian,mostly the indigenous people use Bahasa Malaysia in sermons and songs.Many are not aware of this especially those from Peninsular Malaysia.

*Practice session in progress.The church has a good sound system and a complete set of musical instruments.

I was in charge of taking pictures.My wife was the event coordinator while my children were the flower girls and ring boy.

After practice session we headed to the bride home for dinner before going back to hotel for rest.It was already 10.00pm and we were all tired.

Part 2...later.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Seremban Half Marathon-Race Pack

Seremban Half Marathon is one of my favourite event since it is at my hometown and the cheap entry fee.Only RM12 to enter the 21km run.Then you will get a race pack with T Shirt and some sponsored items...Revive Isotonic drink,small sachet of Deep Heat,sample pack of facial wash,sample of Top washing detergent.(as shown in the picture above).

Yee collected the race pack on my behalf and since we are the early birds..or maybe the "kiasu"ones,we were given the single digit number for our bibs.Usually the single digit numbers are reserved for the elites in big international running least I have the chance the wear these numbers but in reality I would not be able to achieve top 50 in my age category.

Most of the Seremban group runners are going for this event and few of them like Lau and Wun are encouraging their children to take part in the shorter distance event.

See you guys on 11th July 2010 in Seremban!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Setia Eco Half Marathon 2010

This is my second year of taking part in this Setia Eco Half Marathon in Setia Alam,Shah Alam.Last year I went alone one week after I completed my Sundown Marathon.This year I have the privilege to run with Yee,Lau,Francis and Wun.It was my turn to drive and we started our journey at 4.40am.

It was raining heavily on certain part of the Elite Highway and I was getting worried as I do not like to run in heavy rain.I made a wrong turning after exiting the Shah Alam toll and ended up in Bukit Jelutong.We made few calls and ask the toll operators for direction and soon we found ourselves in Setia Alam Welcome Centre at 6.15am.

We rushed off to the starting point which was crowded with runners.I decided to go to the toilet.There was a long queue and by the time I finished,the race was almost to start.I can't see the rest of the group so I just run along with the crowd.

**Nice beautiful bibs.There are different version of these bibs with different environmental messages.

Along the way,I met up with Yee and soon Wun and Lau overtook me.I did not see Francis throughout the race.I presumed he must have speed off from the beginning of the race.

The route was exactly the same as last year.Generally flat throughout except for few points at the flyover where we need to run up a mild slope.Not too taxing though.One thing was missing this free Power gel at 10km.The organiser gave out free Power gel last year even it was just a 21km run.

Half an hour after the race started,it began to rain!!It was a little drizzle with occasionally slight heavy rain.Running in the rain was fun and cooling.However once the shoes and socks were wet then it became a nuisance.I just don't like the soggy feeling all over my feet.

My target for today was to finished within 2 hours.I was running at a consistent pace but I was unable to run faster as I developed stitch each time I tried to increase my speed and effort. A side stitch causes an intense, stabbing pain under the lower edge of the ribcage and although it can occur on both sides of the abdomen, research has found that it occurs more frequently on the right side.I think the stitch came because of lack of training or lack of running at a greater speed or intensity.

**Picture taken after the run.From L-R:Francis,Wun,Yee,Lau and myself.I looked so tall standing next to my four friends!
The Seremban group results:
1)Francis 1h 39min
2)Wun 1h 54min
3)Yee 1h 58 min
4)Lau 1h 59min
5)Myself 2h 0min 34seconds.....a failure!

**Nice finisher medal.I like the two cartoon characters.
After the race...
There were plenty of foods and drinks eg cendols,bean curds,watermelons,oranges,Revive Isotonic drinks,Vico chocolate drinks,Gardenia breads.
Well organised run.
Nice bibs and medal.
Nothing to complain. :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Bad Month

May 2010-a very lousy month for me.Lousy because I hardly do any running after completed my Borneo Marathon.The first week of May was spent relaxing and recovering from Borneo.Taking life easy.

Then did a short 10km run with the Seremban gang on 2nd Sunday of May.The second week of May,I did 3 short runs of about 7km each.

Then came the viral fever on the 3rd week.I was having fever,chills and body ache.Feeling very tired and cold even during the hot afternoon weather.Did some self medication.The viral fever then spread among family members.What a nightmare!

By early of 4th week,I was feeling better and more energetic.I decided to run with the Seremban group on Wesak Day.They were planning to do 30km on that day.I was running slowly throughout as I discovered I was not 100% recovered from my viral fever.I was coughing during the run and slightly breathless even at a slow pace of 6.5-7.0min/km.I only managed to do 20km on that day as I have a flight to catch on the same morning and I won't want to exert myself too much.That was my longest run in the month of May!!

The total mileage for month of May was only 51km excluding the Borneo Marathon.

Spent the last long weekend of May in Bintulu,Sarawak attending wedding and family matters.Such a busy weekend and lousy trip because of flights delay-both MAS and AIRASIA.

Finally reached home at almost midnight last Sunday only to fall sick again.The fever came back to disturb me.The "mother of all fever"strike me on Monday (3 days ago) when my termoscan recorded a temperature of 39 degree Celsius.My head was so heavy and painful.I was so tired and couldn't be bother what was happening around me.I double the dose of my medications-Paracetamol with Nsaids and super high dose of Vit.C at regular interval.Surprising,the fever was gone the next morning!I was OK again like my normal self.Thank God.. get some running before Standard Chartered KL Marathon which is due end of this month.