Monday, September 17, 2012

TMBT aka The Most Beautiful Thing Ultramarathon 2012

My first ultra marathon and it was a trail ultra instead of the road ultra run.I signed up for this run many months ago together with Steve andYS.Uu Ban decided to join us at the last minute.Having Uu Ban on board definitely make our trip to Sabah more interesting.

On Friday morning,14th September 2012,four of us took a MAS flight to Kota Kinabalu.There we rented a car and headed straight to Kundasang.We booked a place in Cottage Hotel which is within the walking distance to our starting point. 

After 2 hours drive,we arrived in Kundasang.The beautiful scenery of Mount Kinabalu and its surrounding can be seen from our hotel.We checked in and decided to have a quick dinner before collecting our running packs.It was getting darker and cooler by 6 pm.At this point,I discovered that I did not bring any sweater.Luckily Steve has an extra jacket for me.Many thanks Steve! 

After a quick dinner we rushed off to Kinabalu Park to collect our running numbers.Then it began to rain.The weather was getting colder especially when there was strong wind blowing.The collection was in big hall and it was a very smooth process.Each runner gets a T shirt and 2 bibs.That's all.No freebies like those given out during shorter road races in Malaysia.

Then it was the race director presentation to all runners.He went through the rules and regulations of the race,the dos and don'ts,what to do in case of an emergency during the race and a short briefing on the route and terrain of the run.When we were leaving the Kinabalu Park,it was still raining moderately with strong winds.At this moment,I began to worry about the run tomorrow and started to have some regret of signing up for this run.Later at our hotel,I forced myself to sleep but the strong wind pounding on our room glass window increased my anxiety level.Somehow managed to get a few hours of interrupted sleep.  

To my surprise when I wake up the next morning,the sky has brighten up with nice cool fresh air but there was still occasionally strong winds.I knew God has answer my prayer.I began to feel optimistic and was looking forward to the run.We took a group photo before leaving to the starting point.(picture above:you can see that Steve is the one among us who come very well prepared.He has his wind breaker on)

Picture above:These are some of the local volunteers for the run.Even the local feels cold in this kind of weather.

The open area near our hotel where runners gathered before the start of the race.There were about 400+ runners with 140 persons doing the 100km event,113 persons doing the 50km and 118 persons doing the 25km event.

Immediately after the start,at about 500metres from the starting point was our first climb which lead us pass through some vegetable farms.Everyone was still energetic and cheerful.Many were seen snapping pictures and talking while walking.The first 10 km was still manageable and I took some pictures too.

The scenery of the farm and mountains around us is definitely something different for city folks like me.Steve,YS and Uu Ban were with me throughout the first 10km.It took us about 1h 30 minutes to reach the first water station. 

The first water station cum check point at 10km.It was a simple set up with a small tents and boxes of mineral water and medicines.No 100 Plus or any isotonic drinks.At water station we filled up our bottles,signed on a piece of paper acknowledging that we have passed through.The persons in the orange jacket (picture above) were the race crews.    

From water station 2 we proceed up hill towards Mount Kinabalu Golf Club and later passing through many vegetable farms.It was running and walking through farms and not through jungle as I initially thought when I signed up for the race.There was no thick foliage coverage and we began to get "roasted" by the sun.  

From water station 2 to water station 3,the route was still manageable.It was quite a flat and down hill route.The scenery remains the same;farms all around us.The interest to snap pictures has gone and I was more focus on my run.Caught up with Steve at water station 3 while YS was not far behind me.

Uu Ban were some where behind three of us as he was busy "emptying" his bowels.Later I heard he went off route three times to do his "business".Something must have gone wrong with his bowels on that day.I was still feeling good at water station  and decided to run a bit faster as I know it will be mostly down hill until water station 4 which was about 10km away.
**pictures posted here are taken some where from the start until 28km**

Running down hill seems to be easy but only if you run for a short distance.The next 10km route was mostly down hill but the road was fill up with small to medium size gravels.This was hurting my feet and the strain of running down hill cause lots of pain to both my thighs.Occasionally I have to stop and walk.

Water station 4 was not at the bottom of the hill as expected.The organiser really made us suffer by making us climb another steep hill in order for us to fill up our water.This was really torturing especially when the afternoon sun was scorching my body.Outside the water station 4,a TMBT photographer was waiting to take pictures of runners.I saw him waiting patiently for me to get closer to him.My heart tells me to at least walk fast or run just to pose for the picture but both my thighs were stiff.I have to stop and stand for 15 seconds before continue to walk.

Finally I walked near to him and he took few pictures of me.I told him that the route was very tough and the weather was very hot.He asked if I wanted to stop and pull out from the race.I said no and proceed to get my water. 

Had a brief stop at water station 4 where the organiser checked our essential items like hand phone and head light before allowing us to continue.The sign at the WS4 showed that I have covered a distance of 38km and the end is near.

Coming out from WS4 and walking along a main road,a lady invited me to eat at a Hari Raya open house. I politely declined.Luckily I found a sundry shop nearby selling cold drinks.Bought 2 cans of cold 100 Plus for RM3.00.It was so nice to be able to taste some cold drinks.I was walking and was unable to run anymore.

There were no runners in front or at the back of me.I was walking alone some where in a secondary jungle.The tree foliage has blocked off some sunlight and the wind was blowing so it was quite cooling after 40km.Then Lim and Lau phoned me asking if I was coping well.I told them the route was quite difficult and I was feeling very tired.The trail leading up to water station 5 (the last water station) was hilly after the small stream.It was walk,stop,stand for 10-15 seconds before continue walking.The process repeated until I reached WS 5.   

Finally reached the last water station and met up with the same photographer again.Had a brief chat with him before continuing.Uu Ban who was way behind me finally caught up with me.I was surprised to see him.I asked him to go ahead as he seems to be energetic after 47km.He declined and decided to walk together with me until the finishing line. 

Uu Ban and me crossed the finishing line together.Our time according to Uu Ban watch was 9 hours 44  minutes and 45 seconds.The finishing point was just a simple set up.They hung a finisher banner across two poles with few persons managing it.A lady hung the finisher medal around my neck together with a local hand made souvenirs beads with the word "TMBT Ultra 50 KM Finisher".However I did not see any official photographer taking any pictures of us finishing.    

After the run,we are entitled for free flow of foods and drinks.Here we were served with cold can drinks like Coca-Cola,rice,porridge,eggs,bananas,chicken curry.I was so hungry that I took two large full bowls of porridge and it tasted so nice.(probably I was too hungry)

The hard earned medal.I think I under estimated the toughness of this race.There are few areas which I did not look into and take things for granted.
1)The terrain:I never bothered to find out the actual level of difficulty in climbing a hill even though the organise has e mail us the map with the gradient of decent/accent.I don't even understand how much is a 1000metre elevation like.

2)Training:I have never did a proper hill run.The hills around my areas which I do my usual training is nothing compared to what I encountered on the race day. 

3)The foods to bring and eat during run:took this for granted.I just packed few bars of chocolates and have never try taking it during training..However I discovered that I was unable to take chocolate bars and Powerbars during this run.Only taken 2 powergel and a piece of Gardenia bread for the whole of 50km.   

According to my friend Fook Seong who also did the 50km run,the data recorded by his watch was: total ascent 1920m,total descent 1980m, moving at altitude 666m-1767m,average altitude was  1231m,temperature 23-35C.

Conclusion:a very nice experience for me despite all the suffering and the poor preparation.A totally new and different kind of challenge.Next? TMBT 100KM.....??

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Adidas King Of The Road-2012

A "stress free" running event for me.I ran the same event last year at the same venue and this year,my focus and "worries" are more towards my maiden 50km TMBT on Saturday.I did not do any specific training for this 16.8km run,none tempo or any speed training.Just my usual normal run around my housing area.That's explained my poor result compared to the rest of the S2 runners.

The event is quite well organised except for some delay at the start.The route is flat with adequate water stations and distance markers.However the absence of Tey in this year event is significant as I can't find much pictures of this event on Facebook.

KOTR results S2 runners:

Teng Yee Hong 1:26:58

Lim Tee Kiap 1:27:24

Lau Thien Cheong:1:29:49

Azizul Manaf 1:30:32

Suraya Ahmad 1:31:22

Foo Yuen Cheng 1:31:37

Liau Kok Keon 1:31:40

Steve Yap (Yee running using his bibs) 1:34:18

Heng 1:48:11

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Update and TMBT 2012

Just noted that I have not update my blog for almost one month.It must be due to my laziness.Life still the same for the past one month.It is work and occasionally doing some running.The sad feeling and the stress which I encounter last month after my nurse passed away is gradually fading away.I feel much better now but occasionally I still think of her especially during my lunch hour.Why?Because she was the person who usually go out to buy food for me,either for lunch or for the afternoon tea.Now I have to do it myself.Finally I managed to get two new nurses and managed to persuade my senior nurse to remain working by giving her a 50% increment of her monthly salary. 

My main race for this year is definitely TMBT which is something new to me.It is a trail run and it covers 50km.I have not done either a trail race or any run beyond 42km.So,I am definitely excited!!But the "negative points"are runners need to have many mandatory items listed by the organiser in order to participate.The second item I bought after my trail running shoes was a backpack (picture above)which I got it from Hong Kong.

**part of the RK-Mambau trail which involved some paths through rubber estates**

Then it was time to do some training which is definitely lacking, in term of mileage and proper trail running.The nearest place to run a trail is probably the Kepayang Hill near my house or the "newly discovered" route from RK to Mambau.Both are not truly suitable as the distance is quite short,narrow or too steep.So most of the time I will just do my training run on the normal tarred road around my housing area for a distance between 5 to 10km. 

Then an opportunity came along for me to run in a trail almost similar to those trail in TMBT.Steve and Uu Ban,both seasoned trail runners and hikers suggested that I joined them for a final training in G Nuang on Merdeka Day.I found this to be my last chance to train and at least to experience what it like to run a trail/in a  jungle.  
So,on a drizzling Merdeka morning,we drove to G Nuang at 5:00am.When we reached the park at the base of G Nuang,it was still dark.We started our run at 7:10am.It was relatively easy at the beginning.

**This is the official route which we are going to run on 15th September.Can't really make out much from this map but I know it will involved many ups and downs for the 50km route.**

Our plan for the day was to do three loops from the G Nuang park towards the first sight of the river and back to the park.One loop covers a distance of 9.4km.Uu Ban and Steve had successfully ran 2 loops previously.After five and a half hours (time taken included stops for foods and drinks),we managed to complete a total of 28km.

It was a tiring run.I found it to be difficult probably because I am not as fit as my other two TMBT comrades.During the 3rd loop,I suffered from muscle cramp on my both thighs and I was walking very slow throughout.However I found this Nuang running a truly valuable experience which may be useful to  me next Saturday.I have to thank fellow TMBT comrades Steve and Uu Ban for this.It was a pity that fellow comrade YS was busy and unable to join us for this final training.However I am sure Uu Ban,Steve,YS and myself will be able to complete our maiden TMBT 50km ultramarathon on 15th September within the cut off time of 15 hours.    

To fellow TMBT comrades,together we will walk,run,climb,enjoy and suffer the trail and jungle of Sabah next Saturday.Looking forward to this new challenge and experience.Good luck and all the best.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The End Of A Stressful Week.

Today I conquer pain and I won!!I hope it will be that way from now on.I have been taking painkiller on daily basis for the past one week.I know it is not a good practice to self treat with painkillers but I just couldn't bear with the headache.I have never experienced such a bad headache which struck me daily from mid morning until night.

This started exactly one week ago,last Friday when I was waken up by a phone call at 6:15am informing me that my 22 years old nurse has passed away from drowning.I was shocked by her sudden dead.She was my best staff:a quick learner,efficient and not lazy.She was the only staff whom I did not scold.To make the situation bad,my permanent staffs put in her resignation-one new staff resigned within 24 hours and my long serving staff gave one month notice.I only left with two part time nurses.

To relieve stress,I went for a run.When I sweat it out,I feel much better and surprising I did more runs when I am under stress.

Saturday: Did a short trail run with the S2 group.We ran up and around Kepayang Hills for almost 2 hours.It was a strenuous work up under the hot evening weather.

Monday:Did a short 10km around RK.It was a slow run,more like a personal time away from home searching solutions for my problems.

Wednesday:Did another 10km run around RK.Slow run at 6.5 minutes/km.Body was moving but the mind was focusing on something else. 

Friday:Together with Yee,we went around RK trying out a new trail route through rubber estate and hills.

Now,hope everything will be back to normal again.Just wasted too much time with all the unexpected events in life.

To my dear nurse Vicky,may your soul rest in peace.It is very sad that you died so young,there are many things in life waiting for you but God decided to bring you along at such an early stage in life.You will always be in our heart.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Count Down:Seven Weeks to TMBT

Seven weeks to go before my first trail ultra marathon in Sabah.This is a completely new event to me as I have never do a trail run before and I have never run above 42km in one event.Some how these factors have never come across my mind when I signed up for this event few months ago.The reason I signed up was the excitement of trying something new and challenging,something different from the usual road running which I think is not that difficult for me now.

Not difficult?Then why can't I do a sub-4h for full marathon?This is one of the challenge or frequently asked questions among fellow runners.I am always puzzled why runners always taking about sub-4h especially to an uninterested runner like me.I have always tell them..."people have different dreams,my dream may not be the same as yours".We are all different and this makes us unique.We have different aims and visions in life.By taking up marathons and running doesn't mean one must do a sub 4h to prove his worth.It all comes back to the main reason why we start running.

***Got myself a cheap pair of trail running shoes from Jusco.It was too cheap to ignore so I just bought it.Just RM119.70!!Initially I thought of using my usual running shoes to do trail running but after my first trail experience with Steve/Yee,I think I need a good shoes.***

I had my first taste of trail running last Saturday with Steve and Yee.We ran up the Kepayang Hill near Seremban 2.I found the trail to be tough.However for seasoned runners like Steve and Yee,it was just like a walk in the park.This proves that I need more training and I have not much time to do that.
For the next few weeks,I need to run more trails,learn how to run while carrying a backpack,cover as much distance as possible to train my legs to last for 50km,learn how to read maps,learn how to use a compass.

Part of an email which I received yesterday from the organiser:
"TMBT 2012 will be quite different in the type of terrain, elevation totals and the lack of jungle sections due to the change of locations for the start/finish areas due to the landslide problems on the original race course. Expect an added elevation total of 1000m more to the 2011 race course taking the total probably up to 3000m in total for the 100k category with a lot of loose gravel, and some muddy sections in plantations below Mount Kinabalu. As I stated, you can prepare for the event by making your own efforts in coming prepared by checking on weather conditions online and preparing sufficiently ahead of the race. The weather has been terribly unpredictable as usual and we have not had a long dry summer beyond a 3 week period in June..otherwise, its rain/shine/rain and when there have been severe storms, it has been very poor visibility and a challenge when taking on the race course route so, be prepared for heavy rains or extremely hot conditions. The race course map will be released on the 15th August 2012 to all runners for you to download so do standby for that release. Good luck. end of message"

This makes me excited and has reignite my mood to start running and training again.I am now looking forward to something new,something different and challenging.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Seremban Half Marathon 2012

Event:Seremban Half Marathon
Distance:21km (actual distance was 20.4km on Lim and YS's GPS)
Date/Time:15th July 2012 @6:30am
Venue:Majlis Perbandaran Seremban Padang.

++Group photo before the run: from L-R:unknown(the guy in black vest,probably a friend of Azizul/Suraya),Suraya,Azizul,Lim,Eric,myself and Steve.

An event which I will not miss because this is the biggest running event in my hometown.This year,most of the S2 runners took part.Due to time constraints and some minor health issues,I did not do much running in preparation for this run.My confidence level was low.I was a bit pessimitic and worry if I can finish the run in time to get the limited 150 medals.

As the date became nearer,I forced myself to run at least 5 km each time,at least twice a week just to keep myself tune up for running.So my target for this year was anything between 2 hour to 2hour 15minutes.I knew I will not do better than 1h 51 min which I did in 2011.   

++Picture taken at the starting line,minutes before the start with L-R:Liau from Melaka,Lim,Teh,Lau,myself and Steve.

This year route is exactly the same as previous years.Nothing change.The water stations were in the same locations as previous year.

I started off with a slow pace and probably the last among my group.At the Forrest Height junction I met up with Lau,Steve and Yesudian.I told them to go ahead as I only intended to run a slow stress free pace.

After the hill climb at the Forrest Height,my body has warm up.Feeling nice and energetic,I increase my pace and yet feeling comfortable.I knew my fitness level has not deteriorate as much as I initially fear.
Slowly,I ran pass Steve,Lau,YS,Azizul and Suraya.I was feeling great! 

++Picture of me running towards the finishing line taken by UuBan.Nice picture.I like it.UuBan is good at taking nice pictures.The worst part of the route was the main road leading to Seremban Lake Garden.Every year,there is sure to be human jam and traffic jam.It was a massive congestion at the roundabout.As I was surging up the final Lake Garden hill towards the roundabout,over taking many of the walking school children,a traffic police ordered all the walkers and runners to stop in order to give way to the cars.

Oh No!!How can the traffic police do this.He should stop the traffic for the runners iinstead of asking us to stop and give way to the cars.I refused to stop but carefully run across the road.The traffic police saw me dashing across the road and defying his order.He shouted loudly at me.."Ooi...Bodoh!!"(Ooi...stupid!)

Those who know me well will know what was my response.There is nothing to be afraid off if I think I am right.So I shouted back at the traffic police while pointing at my watch..."Masa lah...Bodoh"(Time...Stupid).Don't know
what was his reaction like as I just dash off.

This is the first time in my running history and also in my life that I got a scolding from a policeman.I will sure to remember this for the rest of my life. 
The official results for the S2 runners:

LIM TEE KIAP C0449                 1:48:12

YEOH POOI TEE C0496            1:50:11

TENG YEE HONG B0306           1:52:07

LIAU KOK KEON C0462            1:54:02.

FOO YUEN CHENG B0191        1:55:17

YAP SAU LIM B0149                 1:57:24

LEE YEU SHEUAN B0257          2:00:15

AZIZUL BIN MANAF B0179         2:01:42

TEH SIEW LEONG C0522          2:04:17.

SURAYA BINTI AHMAD A0017   2:06:27

LAU THIEN CHEONG C0442       2:15:33

FOONG FATT HENG C0521       2:16:15

WONG LIN FONG A0031           2:52:26.

The good points of Seremban Half Marathon:
-Weather was good on that day.It drizzle at the start of the run and it was cloudy throughout the run.

The "not so good" points of Seremban Half Marathon:
-It is the same problems every year and nothing much have been done to improve it.Traffic congestion and poor control especially toward the end of the run with many school children walking and blocking half of the road.
-Same old medal design except for the year.
-Expensive registration fee.The fee has increased from RM15 to RM50 this year.

Overall,it was a good event.I will continue to support this run in the future. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Columbia Asia Seremban:We Care Charity Fun Run

Event:Columbia Asia Seremban:We Care Charity Fun Run
Location:City Park,Seremban 2
Date:20/5/2012 @8:00AM 

Never thought of running in this small event in Seremban.This is a small fun run organised by a private hospital in Seremban.Our group got to know about this run few weeks ago and no one seems to be interested in this event.

As usual on Sunday,we gathered for our LSD at Acacia.However the response for this Sunday was not so good as most of us were busy with our own programme.In the end,only Lim,Lau and myself turned up at 6:00am.We were planning to run 20km on that day.Along the way,Lau decided to stop as he was feeling tired,probably due to the long night watching the Champion League final between Chelsea and Bayern Munich .
Lim and I decided to carry on.We decided to detour to City Park along the way just to catch a glimpse of what was happening over there.We knew there was a 7km running event in City Park on that day.

When we arrived after completing 11km of our Sunday morning run,we met up with the seniors of the S2 group who usually starts their Sunday morning runs from City Park.The seniors were getting ready for the start of the 7km event scheduled at 8:00am.Then one of them informed us that there were 2 free running Bibs available and offered them to us.

Lim and I were happy to take up the free offer.It was about 7:30am and I quickly ran back to Acacia to get my hand phone just to snap some pictures of this event.

Surprising,it was a very well organised event with plenty of freebies for runners.The goodies bags were said to worth RM180 which I think include the Brooks discount voucher of RM120.I did not take home the goodies bag but to pass it to the person who gave me the free running Bibs.I took home the medal and the cute teddy bear.

Good points of this event:
1)well organised
2)plenty of activities:kids corners,free massage for runners (after 7 km run!!??),free pop corns,free health screening etc.
3)easy route..mostly flat.It covers most of our usual weekend running route.Starts from City Park turn left towards Petronas,Jusco,Up Town Avenue towards Rasah Kemayan junction and straight back to City Park.

Suggestions for the future event:
1)Start earlier will be better.
2)Tougher route (ha..ha..ha..).Turn right (instead of left) after the start from City Park.Reverse this current route.It will be slight tough ending with about 1 km of up slope.

This cute teddy bear is for the first 250 runners who completed the 7km run.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Borneo International Marathon 2012-Waiver Form Issue

This may be the first time in the history of marathon that a runner needs to sign a waiver form before one can collect his race pack.The waiver form was drafted in such a way it gave the organisers a 100% immunity against any claims,law suits etc.This is obviously a one sided agreement which favours only the organisers.

This is BIM 2012 email sent out about one week before the race pack collection: 
Dear Runners,

Please be informed that all BIM2012 participants must sign the attached waiver at race pack collection. You can save time by printing and signing the waiver in advance. If you designate another person to pick up your race pack, your representative must bring the waiver and the race pack authorisation form signed by you and a copy of your valid photo identification card or passport in order to obtain your race pack.

The Waiver Form:
Release and Indemnity (Adult - 18 years of age or over)
In consideration of my participation in the Borneo International Marathon, I agree to assume all risks incidental to such participation (which risks may include, among other things, muscle injuries, heat and stress related issues and broken bones). On my own behalf, and on behalf of my heirs, executors,
administrators and next of kin, I hereby release, covenant not to sue, and forever discharge the Released Parties (as defined below) of and from all liabilities, claims, actions,damages,costs or expenses of any nature arising out of or in any way connected with my participation in the Borneo International Marathon and further agree to indemnify and hold each of the Released Parties harmless from and against any and all such liabilities, claims, actions, damages, costs or expenses including, but not limited
to, all legal fees and disbursements up through and including any appeal (“Claims”). I understand that this release and indemnity includes any Claims based on the negligence, action or inaction of any of the Released Parties and covers bodily injury (including death), property damage, and loss by theft or
otherwise, whether suffered by me before, during or after such participation. I declare that I am physically fit and have the skill level required to participate in the Borneo International Marathon. I further authorise medical treatment for me, at my cost, if the need arises. For the purposes hereof, the
"Released Parties" are Kinabalu Running Club, Championship Sports and Events Sdn Bhd and all Borneo International Marathon sponsors or charities, and each of their respective parent, subsidiary, affiliated or related companies
I further grant the Released Parties the right to photograph and/or videotape me and further to display,use and/or otherwise exploit my name, face, likeness, voice, and appearance forever and throughout the world, in all media, whether now known or hereafter devised, throughout the universe in perpetuity
(including, without limitation, in online webcasts, television, motion pictures, films, newspapers, and magazines) and in all forms including, without limitation, digitised images, whether for advertising,publicity, or promotional purposes, including, without limitation, publication of Borneo International Marathon results and standings, without compensation, reservation or limitation, or further approval,and I agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Released Parties for any Claims associated with such
grant and right to use. The Released Parties are, however, under no obligation to exercise any rights granted herein.
This Waiver and Release Form shall be governed by the laws of Malaysia. I certify I am 18 years of age or
older and the information set forth is true and complete.


I wonder how many runners do read before they signed.What I highlighted above are the gross points which I don't agree.

1)Why must we sign before we collect our race pack?I wanted to collect without signing but was not allowed by Ms Carol Voon,one of the race committee.Either I signed or I will not be allowed to run.In the end,I signed under protest and due to her threat.I wrote these on the waiver form:sign under protest and under threat from Carol Voon. 

2)By signing this waiver,it also means I am signing on behalf of my behalf of my heirs, executors,administrators and next of kin...agreeing NOT to take any action in case something bad happen to me.

3)Of course we runners will not simply sue.We are understanding kind of people but not the organisers.This waiver said that if anything happen due to negligence, action or inaction of the organisers...we still can't hold the organisers responsible.This is total immunity from prosecution.Anyone in this world has this kind of immunity?I believe even our King or US President doesn't enjoy this privilege.

4)Of course many and even the organisers staff will said:just signed,nothing to worry,it should be OK,we signed many this kind of waiver each time we participate in a run.. etc.But my point is:we always assumed everything will be OK,we are always in a denial mode,refusing to believe bad things may happen.What if it really happen and I have signed this waiver.I am not doing justice to my family.

5)If one will to look through waiver clauses in other races,they did not mention it in such a detail.Example (shown are parts of the waiver from

The Organiser reserve the right to amend the Event race routes as they deem fit for the safety of the Participants and/or to prevent any potential hazards in the running of the event, at any time without prior notice to the Participant. In such cases, every effort will be made to inform the Participant prior to the date of the event. The Organiser shall not be liable for any other loss or inconvenience caused due to such changes.

Whilst every reasonable precaution will be taken by the Organiser to ensure the participants' safety, participants run at their own risk and the Organiser will not be responsible or held liable for any injury or death howsoever arising from training for or during participation in the race. Participants are strongly encouraged to go for a medical examination and/or consult their medical practitioner prior to registration and before the actual Race Day.

So runners,read before you signed.If you are comfortable and happy then put down your signatures.This advise doesn't apply to running marathons.It can be any documents which you may need to sign in the future.

To BIM 2012 organisers,please be fair to everyone.The next time,put this waiver on the website so runners can read it before signing up for the run and put in more gentle words.Think of others too...not only yourselves.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Borneo International Marathon 2012-Race Day

The S2 runners:Thanks to Tey Eng Tiong for the photo.


Borneo International Marathon 2012
Kota Kinabalu
6th May 2012

This was the race which I almost DNS (did not start).This year it was a big group from Seremban.Most of us did the full marathon except for 2 who did 10km and another group who tagged along to give us "moral support" and participate in "cuti-cuti Malaysia".

This year the race started one hour earlier,at 3:00am which I personally think it is a very good idea.Two years ago we were "roasted" by the hot weather because of the earlier daylight in Sabah.

The night before the race,Lim and I stayed up to watch the Arsenal vs Norwich game.The rest went off to bed early.I can't sleep well but my room mate Steve was snoring away in his sleep.He was very tired as he was busy arranging the transportation and fetching the rest of our group who arrived at different times.Many thanks to Steve for all his effort from registration,booking the hotels,fetching us from KK airport and sending us to the airport again for our flight back to KL.He was our driver during our 2 days stay in KK!!

I woke up at 1:30am with only about 2 hours of interrupted sleep due to my stuffy nose in the cold air conditioned room.Went to put on my contact lens,only to discover that my left contact lens was damaged!Must have been some time since I last used it and I have kept it too long in the case.I have no choice but to use only one contact lens on my right eye.

Everyone was ready by 2:30am and we walked to Likas Stadium nearby.It was very quiet.Not much of activity in the neighbourhood.When we reached the stadium there was only a small crowd of marathoners getting ready for the run.The crowd was much smaller compared to KL Marathon.Most of the runners were busy taking photos and chatting.All the sudden they flagged off the run.

Immediately after crossing the starting line,everyone (S2 runners) went  on their own way and pace.I lost sight of them.My plan was to run at my own LSD pace and not to exert myself since I was not feeling  very well.My wife kept reminding me to take care of my health.Forget about PB or challenging my fellow S2 runners.Well,she is right...I have to think of my 3 kids at home.Not forgetting the issue of the waiver form which the organiser insist us to sign.(More on this in my next posting)

The first part of the route took us towards Tanjung Aru.I was relatively slow compared to my fellow S2 runners.I can see most of them were far ahead of me when they made a U turn at Tanjung Aru.Even Tey the marathoner cum photographer who was running with his camera overtook me near Tanjung Aru.This gave me a shock!!I must be very slow.He was happily snapping pictures and yet he can run faster than me. Without a distance marker or a GPS I couldn't tell my pace.My guess was probably 7min/km.

I was determined to speed up for the second part of the route from Tanjong Aru towards 1 Borneo which probably covers a distance of about 20km.Although I ran slightly faster,I still can't see any of my friends.Deep inside me,I knew today was not my day.When I reached the junction to Likas Stadium,the 21km runners joined in.It was a big crowd.Everyone was running very fast as the 21km runners were still very fresh.I increased my pace.

As I was running towards 1 Borneo,the sky has gradually brighten up.I saw Francis running strongly on the final returning part.Wow..he is damn fast!He was going towards the Likas Stadium while I was on my way towards 1 Borneo.Later came Lim.He was still energetic.Then I saw Teng who has slowed down.I encouraged him to speed up and chase after Lim.He said he had a cramp.He looked like he has given up.Then came Lau and Liau.All the S2 runners were ahead of me except Heng and Steve.At the U turn after 1 Borneo, I passed by Teh.There were only bananas and no gels at the U turn (I think it was 34km mark).

The returning final route from 1Borneo towards Likas Stadium was relatively easy.The route was slightly downhill and the sun was behind us.Surprising I was still coping well and comfortable with no muscle  cramps except for occasional coughs.

About 5km from the finishing line,I saw a very familiar figure walking in front of me.As I got closer,I saw Teng walking.He looked tired.I told him to run and encouraged him to start least a slow run.He just signal to me to carry on.

Then at 40km,I came across Liau who was also walking.He said he has a cramp.I encouraged him to run with me.He did.I did not look back as I still feel good and the finishing line was very near.I was delighted that I will be able to finish within 5 hours which was my initial target.

Finally..I finished my 42.2km run (it was 42.8km to 43km on Lim and Liau GPS) with a time of 04:35:44.18 chip time.I am very happy with the result.What else can I asked for.

The group official results:
1)Francis 03:22:06.31 2nd position in Men Veteran Category.Congratulation!!Got prize    money,compression suits and plenty of Milo!
2)Lim 04:15:57.94  a PB.Congratulation!!Finally got what he wanted for in Singapore Marathon 2011.
3)Lau 04:31:45.71  also a PB.Congratulation!!Told you can over take me.Ha..ha..ha...
4)Liau 04:45:33.09
5)Teng 04:46:43.84
 6)Teh 04:49:03.60
7)Heng 05:04:19.57
8)Steve 06:21:43.57

The plus points of BIM 2012:
1)Early starting time.
2)Nice medal and finisher T
3)Adequate water

The not so good points of BIM 2012:
1)The need to sign the waiver form before collecting race pack.(will talk about this the next time)
2)Not many distance markers

Borneo Marathon 2013??

I am not sure if I will be joining.At this moment,the answer is NO!

Let's see how things progress over the next one year.        

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Borneo International Marathon 2012

To go or not to go?That was the dilemma I was facing for the past few days before Borneo International Marathon.

I wasn't feeling well for the past one week.I was down with flu,cough and I lost my voice.Then I decided not to run the Borneo Marathon.There wasn't much of monetary lost if I didn't participant.The air ticket only cost me RM38 return,registration fee and about RM50 for lodging.

Even though my body doesn't feel like running a marathon,my desire to join my friends in Borneo was still strong.If I don't run Borneo,which is the first and last marathon for me in 2012 then I have to wait another year to run another marathon.

Finally I decided to go despite not feeling well and it was a right decision.More on the race day my next post. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

TMBT 2012-update

Recently I received an email from the organiser of TMBT.A long email and I was quite worried when it mentioned 1-2 river crossing along the running route.Sounds tough and I don't like water!! 

Dear competitors,

This is a April update for TMBT 2012 competitors who have officially registered and paid for their race slots for TMBT 2012, scheduled for the 15th September 2012.

Some important updates for you in this email. This is a LONG email update, so please, take your time, read it carefully. If you have questions, feel free to drop us an email. Please note the SAC will be closed between the 19th April-23rd April and then again from the 27th April-3rd May 2012 as we are in the midst of preparing for the Special Forces Ultra 200k Marathon in Borneo. We will endeavour to get around to replying to your email if there is a query and we thank you for your patience and understanding if our replies are significantly slower than usual.

1. Please find attached a basic goggle earth snap shot of recommended accomodations for competitors pre-race and post-race as well as the locations of the accomodations in relation to the Kinabalu Park Headquarters and the boarding point for mini buses to the START location for the 25k, 50k and 100k.

2. We have NOT released any race course routes or notes to any competitor in any category so please beware if anyone claims to know the race course route for TMBT 2012 and claims to know where the 25k, 50k and 100k will be starting and finishing. At no time have we released any information to anyone outside of the organizing circle of race directors and the information will remain unknown to anyone outside of the organizing team until such time we are ready to share the race course START/FINISH points for all categories in early August 2012.

Much of the finalization of the actual race course route will depend on the weather conditions as we head into August and on risk assessments carried out by our team ahead of the race between now and August. As you know, the TMBT race course is organized on village tracks, roads and trails so much of our decision making will be done closer to the race date once we are happy there are no major issues we need to be concerned about pertaining to the race course and safety of competitors on that race course.

3. The mandatory kit list for TMBT 2012 is attached for your reference. As you know, you will be on your own for the most part on the race course with little assistance or marshalls to guide you. This is a race and race course developed for experinced competitors so please do not expect hot soup, and meals at every check point as this is not what the TMBT concept is about.

The basic mandatory kit is essential and will contribute to the success and safety for you in completing the 25k, 50k or 100k categories of the race. We will be very stringent in our checks and will not allow any competitor to start the event without the mandatory kit as this not only puts you in a difficult situation should you be in need of assistance on the race course but will also make our job difficult.

Respect the mandatory kit list and abide by it.

4. Mobile phones are allowed on the race course as an added safety device. However, we strongly urge you to ensure your phone is enclosed in a water proof bag or ziplock bag and it is securely sealed as there are 1-2 river crossings.

5. The promised list of recommended accomodations for pre-race/post-race accomodations is now available. It is attached with this email for your reference.

You are responsible for making your own reservations and so forth. If you have a question relating to the accomodations, do drop us an email and we will do our best to assist you in answering your question.

There are of course, many other smaller lodges, back packer lodges and homestay's NOT listed in the list. It simply is impossible for us to list every accomodation in the area so do be cautious when booking any accomodation and always check online for reviews by other people who have stayed at these lodges or back packer accomodations.

6. For 25k and 50k competitors post race, if you plan on staying at any of these accomodations and need a drop off at any of these locations, we can and will assist you in dropping you off at these selected accomodations at the end of the race. HOWEVER, we cannot organize transport for you back to Kota Kinabalu and this needs to be arranged on your own.

7.For those competitors who have PARKED their car's at the Kinabalu Park parking space at the KOKTAS restaurant, the van will drop you off back at this location, if you are in the 25k, 50k or 100k category. This is also the boarding location for the 25k, 50k and 100k categories.

We know a number of local runners and competitors flying into Sabah will be renting cars or driving themselves up to Kundasang/Kinabalu Park Headquarters and will be parking their vehicles in the parking area so you can request for the van to drop you off at the KOKTAS parking area after the race.

8.For competitors in the 25k and 50k who have arranged accomodations in Kota Kinabalu, our vans will do shuttle trips on a staggered system to send you back to Kota Kinabalu. The last transport leaves for Kota Kinabalu at 20:00 and we really do not expect any 50k competitors to be on the race course beyond this hour.

9. Our entry fee rates include post-race accomodation for the 100k category competitors and this "promotion" will end at 18:00 on the 30th April 2012.

Competitors registering AFTER this date will need to arrange their own accomodations in Kota Kinabalu or Kundasang and inform us during official registration where they need the van to drop them off in either Kundasang (we are not transporting anyone beyond Kundasang Village so please understand Ranau, Mesilau or resorts on the way to Mesilau Resort are off the radar for our transports) or in Kota Kinabalu at any of the following locations ONLY:

1) 1 Borneo

2) Down town Kota Kinabalu

3) Sutera Harbour Resorts

4) Tanjung Aru Town (Crown Borneo/Mega D'Aru Hotel)

Any deviation or requests to send competitors to alternative locations will incur additional costs ranging from RM50-RM250.00 depending on the locations so please be practical in your decision making as far as selection of accomodations.

10) For competitors in the 100k who have signed up and completed full payment, we will be putting you up in one of two hotels in the Tanjung Aru (Hotel Mega D'Aru and the soon to be announced hotel which will be opening it's doors shortly) on the 16th September 2012.

11) For competitors who FINISH the 100k early on the 15th September (elite runners), the last transport departs to Kota Kinabalu at 21:00 regardless if it is full or not. All other competitors will be accomodated in basic tents and hot meals (local dishes) will be made available through the night for you. We will also transport your FINISH bags to the finish location so you can shower and change out of your clothes. But those who finish after 21:00 will stay the night at the finish point and only be transported back to Kota Kinabalu the following morning after 6:00am.

We have taken in your comments on how to improve the finish rest area from those of you who competed in TMBT 2011 and will strive to improve the comfort for those of you who finish on the 15th September and need to crash out at the finish line for the night.

Accomodation will be made available for competitors on the 16th September 2012 at Hotel Mega D'Aru and another soon to be announced hotel (we are waiting for the hotel to complete final renovations before it has its official opening)

12) Shuttle buses from Kota Kinabalu to Kinabalu Park Headquarters-14th September 2012

I have had more input from runners who have started sharing information on their arrival times and we now can see a better response to demand to transport to get to Kinabalu Park Headquarters for the official registration and official briefing on the 14th September 2012.

As planned, we will open registration for the bus transfers on the 1st July 2012 and the transfer cost is expected to be RM38 per person per way.

We will have departures based on the following times/locations (this is a revised departure time):

12:30 KKIA2

13:00 KKIA1

14:00 Hotel Mega D'Aru, Tanjung Aru

We will not accept any "add on's" on the day and all buses will be issued with a name list of competitors who have paid for and booked seats on the relevant buses. All payments for the bus transfers will be colllected at the official registration desk when you arrive to register.

For competitors arriving on later flights or have made their own arrangements to get to Kinabalu park, please note the following times for registration and the official briefing:

14th September 2012

Registration: 15:00-19:25

Official Briefing: 19:30 (there will be only 1 briefing conducted for all competitors and it is expected to last at least 2 hours with a question and answer session).

13) We, after a long discussion on quota's and numbers to allow on the 2012 race course will be amending the quota downwards and reducing the number of runners we will allow on the 2012 race course.

As such,

The new quota limits are:

100k-150 runners

50k-100 runners

25k-100 runners

For Malaysians, we will be closing registrations for the 100k on the 30th April 2012 as we believe the large percentage of Malaysians competing in this year's 2012 edition of the event allows for a balance of Malaysian vs Non-Malaysian ultra runners and there should be a fair balance of Malaysian vs Non Malaysian runners in the event.

All other categories will close once the 50k and 25k are filled up according to the new revised numbers stated above and we will not be taking on anymore runners beyond the agreed numbers above for safety reasons and also to ensure we are able to handle the volume of runners who will be on the race course without wanting to damage too badly some of trails and routes we will be using.

There will be more information released in due course and I thank you for your patience with this very long email and your co-operation in understanding the logistics and details which needed to be covered so you had the correct and accurate information in relation to the TMBT 2012.

Have a great May ahead and happy labour day holidays to everyone. In the mean time, please enjoy some of the wonderful photos from Sabah Adventure Challenge 2012 Ultra 60k as we celebrate our 14th year of the SAC.

Aman Avtar S.Sandhu

Race Director

TMBT 2012

11 Attached files

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Don't Run With A Handphone

How many of us do carry a handphone while running?I do.I have been carrying my Samsung handphone in a running pouch during training for the past few months.It didn't bother me until last Sunday.

Three days ago,I joined my running mates for a 32 km running.Lau noticed me carrying a handphone in my water belt when I used my handphone to snap a picture of the group.

L-R:Teng.Uuban,Lau,Lim and Azmi.Picture taken in front of my house during a stop for water with Azmi,the young man in black outfit.He is new to running long distance and he broke his personal record by running more than 21km on that day.

According to Lau,it is not advisable to run with a handphone as the gadget will drain out our body energy causing easy fatigue.Initially,I did not believe what he said.He offered to prove it to me after the run.

1)Stand with our right arm fully extended,90 degree to our body.

2)Resist as hard as possible when a friend try to push downwards your extended arm.Note the amount of strength needed.

3)Hold a handphone on your left hand.

4)Repeat the same action,resist as hard as possible when your friend try to push down your extended arm.Note the amount of strength needed now compared to earlier when you are not holding a handphone.

You will notice,at least I did,that you will feel weaker when you are holding a handphone.

I was shocked!!There must be something to do with electromagnetic field etc...I am not sure. I know why I can't run fast...ha..ha...ha...Just another lame excuse!But seriously,I think one should keep all the electrical devices away from our body most of the time.There must be some negative effects to our body which will only manifest in many years to come.

Prevention is better than cure.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Brooks Half Marathon 2012

Race:Brooks Half Marathon
Date:11th March 2012
Venue:National Stadium Bukit Jalil

This is my 3rd race for 2012 after Newton and Blossom Run recently.This time it was Teng who drove five of us (myself,Lau,Teh,Lim and Heng) to Bukit Jalil. We started our journey very early in the morning,at 4:00am as the race was schedule to start at 5:30am.Upon reaching Bukit Jalil,there was a long queue of cars trying to enter the parking lots.We were late,it was 5:20am and we still couldn't get into the parking lots.Out of desperation,Teng parked his car by the road side.
From R-L:Teh,Heng,myself,Teng and Lau posing before the start of the run.We couldn't locate Lim who separated from us earlier.
The run started about 10 minutes late and as usual Teng "pia"off immediately in his attempt to do a 1h 45m finishing time.The rest of us were together for the first 5 minutes before we lost each other in the massive crowd.The route took us to some housing areas,along some busy roads and highways,through some long steep quiet roads and finally back to the nice running track inside the National Stadium.
Certain part of the route was poorly lit and one of my friend/patient sustained some injury to her knee and palms after she fall during her 10km run.As for me,it was an enjoyable,comfortable and stress free Sunday morning run as there was no time target to meet.
Post run picture taken with Eric,the humble guy in the middle of the picture.He did 2h 4min.We met up with a few members of the Seremban Endurance Runners group where one of the them managed to win some prizes for coming in 3rd for the Men Veteran category.Congratulation!!
However,our group didn't perform that well.Teng only managed to finish in 2 hours,about 15 minutes off his targeted time.Lim did 2h 3min,myself 2h 9min,Lau 2h 16min,Teh 2h 20min and Heng 2h 27min.Personally I think our finishing time reflected upon on how much and how serious each of us train.For me,I am quite satisfied with my result.
Conclusion of the event:
1)Enjoyable run.Well organised with adequate water stations and plenty of unlimited supply of foods and drinks after the run.This is the first time I see so much foods offered to runners after a run.
2)Challenging route with plenty of ups and downs.

Things to improve in the future:
1)Make sure the route is brightly lit.
2)Parking.I heard the long queue of cars trying to get into the parking lots was due to someone trying to collect the parking fees.Maybe they should collect the fee when the cars exited after the run.
Thanks to Taman Bukit Jalil Running Club for organising the run.
Looking forward to another run next year.