Friday, October 31, 2008

theSun Motor Hunt briefing

Hunters collecting the goodies bags, each weighs about 4kg. Then seen here listening to Dominic's briefing on the hunt format.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pintasan Travel Treasure Hunt

The final briefing in the morning. Zahrol, the CoC from the Fun Hunt People giving final instructions to hunters.

This hunt was our warm-up to theSun Hunt on 2 Nov. It has been a while since my team last hunted. Last hunt was LexisNexis Hunt back in August.

Firstly, let me put up the overall results (Total=102 points; 50 from route questions+50 from treasures+2 bonus points):

1. Raya Hunters (Sallehudin Yusof, Kheirul Nazib, Fong Choon Kit, Jamal) (98=48+50+0)
2. 2 Sneakies+2 Innocents (GTK, Claire, et. al.) (98=48+50+0)
3. Pen Rosak (VK, Vincent, Michael) (98=46+50+2)
4. Sesat Hunters (Venka, Buvanes, Theresal, Sakthivel) (90=50+40+0)
5. No Inkling Nuts (Ramesh, Kok Seng, Lim Kong Yew, Teoh Cheow Teong) (90=48+40+2)
6. Team #12 (Info NA) (90=48+40+2)
7. Huntsolo (Info NA) (88=48+40+0)

The 2 bonus points were given to teams that hand in the treasures at mid-point station AND got more than 3 treasures right.

We arrived just in time for the final briefing. The hunt format was made known to all earlier. There were 25 route questions and 5 treasures. The route question each worth 2 points and the treasure 10 (yes, 10 points each).

So obviously, we need to focus more on the treasures. That's why we quickly scanned through the treasures questions right from the start. It was a mass flag-off. But we took some time planning and tried to solve treasures early. We only managed to crack one quickly and literally picked up the treasure (daun kering) from the ground. We were struggling on other treasures. In the end we spent 20 minutes stationary at the start station before leaving. We were the last to leave.

We proceeded to the route questions and breezed through the first two questions until we got stuck in one slow traffic light in PJ old town. It was definitely not a road that one would clerk for any hunt. We spent another good 10 minutes for maybe about 200m.

The next few questions were quick ones and caught up with some of the hunters in Section 14 PJ. Here we got two toughies, we got one and finally had to "tembak" the other and moved on. (This was where we didn't think on the correct path to solve Q12.)

At this juncture, we still don't have 4 or more treasures. So we decided to hand in our treasures at the finish station. Mid-point was the Pintasan Travel office in Section 17 near the Rothmans roundabout. This was where all teams must get a stamp from the organiser office.

Our team moved on to the next few questions in Damansara Jaya. This was where we made our next mistake. We knew very well what to look for, but four pairs of eyes were not good enough to spot "Klinik Pergigian Lim". We settled on another clinic with the name "Lim" in it. We must be more careful when we scan question sectors next time.

The final few questions were in Damansara Utama, Uptown area. Here we dropped another question, that was to do with "wassab!"! Again, the thinking line was off, and we took another board as answer, even though we were not fully convinced by it. Argh.....

In the end, we dropped two more treasures. Both treasures we came very close to submit them, but decided on something else and submitted wrong treasures. This mistake was painful and it gone down to the method of resolution of different opinions in our team.

Overall, the learning from this hunt was valuable for us. Our team was not classified as the one of the podium winners (Top 7) in this hunt. We will learn from our mistakes to improve in future hunts.

Venka and his team did well in this hunt. Looks like they were the only(?) team who got all the route questions right. For me, they are the favourite for the Open Category for theSun hunt. In fact, I was surprised that Venka (& his team) was not inducted to the Hall of Fame this time. They had won and topped a strong field of hunters in just a short span of less than two years actively in open hunts.

In this hunt we tried out new things and hunt strategies. Most of them worked well, some of them needs adjustments. We will come back stronger for theSun. See you there!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

No Pain No Gain?

Timing chip on my Adidas Adizero running shoes. This photo was taken just before I left home on Sunday to Padang Merbok for the Mizuno 10K run.

They say, "No pain, no gain." That is true for me from the Mizuno Wave Run last Sunday. I am recovering from cramped calves and strained knees (pain). I finished the race within target and got a medal (gain). But come to think of it, I could have avoided the pain (and still gained) if I:

1. Run/practise more on tar road and uphill course, adapt to the heat.

2. Prepare myself early, e.g. start my training at least 8 weeks before the race. I would have build up my stamina and leg muscles more.

3. Warm down longer and don't stop abruptly. I have to say was partly due to the fact that (most of) the runners (including me) were required to queue before the finish station. I lost maybe a few minutes there (added to my final time), and it was not a good way/time to warm down standing in queue, knowing I have not officially completed the race! By the time I went through the queue and the collected goodies bag, the damage was already done.

4. Get those Powerbar or Powergel, like I saw some experienced runners got/took. Those things I heard are like "legal dope", that you can take and it gives you extra energy during the race. Basically it is like snack with high sugar or carbohydrate content for your body to convert into energy quickly in the anaerobic metabolism process.

5. Wear knee support. Aiya...let me remind myself, I am not 18 year-old or 28 year-old anymore, ok...

By the way, I have to pay tribute to my friend BP, who injured his toe one day earlier and still managed to complete the race in about 70 minutes. He was basically putting most of his body weight on one leg to run.

WW also did a good job by completing the race earlier than BP. He also had not done a full 10km before. But still come through the home stretch confidently. The cycling tours that he has been doing made him a tough man. He is probably the one who suffered the least among us.

James breezed through the race, but I have no recollection of his time coming in. But I know he didn't trained for this as well.

Janice, a girl possessed, finished 10km within 60 minutes (?), and I didn't even notice she passed me. Really, fitness and youth are both assets. She was the fastest in our group, 150+ in Women Open category. Bravo!

I may run again soon in the coming IOI community run. It is just a 7.3km course but it is hilly. My participation will depend on my recovery rate. Haha...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mizuno Wave Run KL 2008 roundup

The morning started at 5:00am when I woke up and prepared myself. I ate a slice of bread before leaving to meet my friend in Bukit Aman car park.

I arrived at the car park at 6:00am, meet up with WW and we walked to Padang Merbok, the starting place. When we arrived there, there were only a handful of runners there. All the booths were already up and the runners arrival rate reached its peak at about 6:45am. We met the rest of our gang, BP, James and Janice there.

We waited and did some stretching and proceed to the starting point at about 7:15am. Here I managed to see (the newly-promoted master treasure hunter) Cornelius (who ran a half-marathon a week before and flew in from Api-Api for the run) and quickly met up with him. I thought it was quite hard to locate him among all the runners. But as I told him earlier, I will see him in this run and I did.

The 3100+ participants were flagged off at exactly 7:30am. The start was an easy climb and I picked up a bit of pace on the way down the small hill. Then came to the U-turn at Lebuhraya Mahameru and we were going up Bukit Tunku. I was doing quite ok at the earlier part of the race. Then came a few more climbs and I reached the mid-point mark at about 8:00am. I could sense that I was on track to finish the race in 70 minutes and possibly 60.

After I stopped and took a sip at the water station, I kind of lost my rhythm. The pain in my calf started to set in. By this time, the heat from the sun was having effect on me as well. Not sure if it is the water that I took, I started to feel something at the right side of my abdomen. At this point onwards, I backed off from my initial pace and the under-60 finish was fading away.

At the last 3km, it was basically mind over body. I was telling myself to go on despite the pain and tiredness. I guessed the spinning sessions that I have since July really helped me. It helped me to fight the pain and kept me longer near my anaerobic threshold. At the last 500m and with the finish station in sight, I was being passed by half a dozen of runners from behind. I just pulled through the last few hundred metres and finished (according to my Casio) in just under 65 minutes.

The blogger (you can figure out which one in the photo), was still pushing at the last 400m to the finish line.

I was handed a card with the number 764. This was the overall position of all male runners. I thought this would not be good enough for Top 500 finishers in Men Open category to qualify for a medal. To my surprise, when I got my goodies bag, I found a medal inside.

This was my first open road race. I have not even been a consistent jogger. I could even feel embarrassed if I called myself a jogger or runner. I have just started training on treadmill 2 weeks before the run. On the indoor machine, I have only completed 10km once and never trained outdoor for this 10km run. I know that running outdoor will be very different compared on a machine. But I just didn't find the time to train outdoor.

Running outdoor, you will experience harder impact on the knees and lower back. Also the weather and environmental factor will be something the runner needs to adapt to.

After the race, I was basically a spent force. My calves were cramped and my left knee strained. I quickly got myself some fluids and light breakfast. And I met up with my friends at the finish line and rested a while. We left the place about 9:40am.

Overall, it was a good experience for me. Running in my first 10km after only training on the machine for 2 weeks, then being rewarded with a medal was a good feeling. My body is taking the punishment now. But I know the pain is temporary. The memory from this run lasts longer, if not forever.

Quick update on Mizuno Wave Run 2008

I've managed to finished my first ever 10km road race in 65 minutes and got a pewter medal as top 500 finishers in Men Open category. More on this run later.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Best Fish Head Bihun

This is the best fish head bihun I've tasted so far. It's located at Taman Desa, Off Old Klang Road. Chui Ling had been there also.

Mizuno Wave Run 2008 Race Pack

I've just collected my race pack for the run on Sunday. I will train for 5km today and rest tomorrow. My real training only started 2 weeks ago. So my target is to finish 10km in 70 minutes. Wish me luck.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

10 reasons why I love Treasure Hunt

I thought of this posting many weeks already. With theSun Motor Hunt coming up, I guess the timing is right to declare my love openly for the sport.

My first experience with treasure hunt was in year 1999. Then came a few years of idleness. I started joining actively again in 2004. I've been quite active in closed hunts and not-as-active in open hunts. I've managed to win some closed hunts, but not open hunt, at least not yet.

Why I am passionate about treasure hunt (in Malaysia)? Well, I can share my list of reasons with you here:

1. It's fun. Treasure hunt is a team sport. It involves using your problem-solving skills, working with people, performing the challenges and competing with other teams. Putting all these elements together, we have a fun experience.

2. I meet new friends. Joining the treasure hunt community, I can meet many new friends who share the same interest and passion.

3. I go to new places. Some outstation hunts can take you to places you never been to. For example, I never been into Johor all my life. But for a hunt this year, it takes me to Desaru for my first visit to Johor. There are also opportunities for hunters to get to know new makan place as the tulips may take them to new territories.

4. I win prizes. Normally treasure hunt prizes are in the form of cash, electrical products, hampers, holiday/shopping vouchers etc. For a few hours of good work, it can be very rewarding. I remember my top winning was RM3200 worth of shopping vouchers per team, that was RM800 for each share. There may be also lucky draws in some bigger hunts for everyone to stand a chance to bring home something.

5. I can go for holiday on treasure hunt. Now the outstation hunt destinations are mainly interesting places like Melaka, Penang, Lumut etc. which are of tourist's interest as well. If I didn't win, I can still relax and enjoy the good scenery of the beaches or the special local foods.

6. It helps me to see things differently and solve problems. Lateral thinking is an important element of treasure hunt. Almost all questions are designed to trick hunters who believe the literal/obvious meaning. If you believe the surface meaning of the question, then you could never get the answer. You can get so stuck in it, and the only way out is to think out-of-the-box.

7. It's about teamwork. You'll never hunt alone in a treasure hunt. There is teamwork at play here. We need good team members and synergy to maximize the potential and result. Working in a team to achieve a common goal is definitely better than doing it alone. Because it is not only in treasure hunt, in daily life, we need to work in team too.

8. It improves my English. It certainly helps to remind me that my English is not that great and this is sure a good way to improve it. In fact, I am starting to teach Ashley anagram now. She has joined me in some family hunts before. I believe this will generate interest and improve her command of the language as well.

9. It provides opportunity for me to know about new products/services. Some treasure hunts are part of marketing campaign for public to get to know new products/services in the market. Normally, there are kind companies to sponsor the hunts. Samples of products are distributed as goodies to the hunters. There is no obligation for the hunters to buy. But it sure gives the hunters good opportunity to test out the products before deciding if it is good to have/buy. Too add to that, most sponsors will sponsor their products as prizes.

10. Everyone can hunt regardless of age, race, religion etc. There is no restriction on who can hunt. There maybe parental consent needed for those that are under 18, but I don't think any other restriction applied. All people from all background are welcomed to the treasure hunting sport and community. This is where we can meet and interact with each other.

Terry Fox Run KL 2008 T-shirt Design

See here for the T-shirt design, front & back. It costs RM25 each. The money collected will go to CARIF (Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation) Malaysia.

The sizes available are, XXXL, XXL, XL, L, M, S, XS, XXS, XXXS, Size 4 (four YO), and Size 2 (two YO).

For anyone who is interested to contribute or join the run, please contact CARIF at 03-56391874. Your contribution will make a difference.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


Well, this year I started to go to gym. One of the things that I do is "spinning". Spinning here refers to doing a group cycling exercise programme. Normally this is conducted by a trainer using various musical tracks.

In the photo below, you can see that my spinning class is about to start. My trainer, Mr. Chandra, is a certified fitness trainer, a.k.a. "ironman", employed by National Sports Council (according to him), to train our Olympians bound for Beijing.

In an hour of this spinning programme, you can burn up to 800 kilo calories. Also your heart will operate up to 85% to 90% maximum heart rate. This can be achieved by cycling in different body/hand positions, varying resistant and speed.

I can tell you this: this is a real and complete workout. If you are aiming to lose weight or work on your heart muscles, this is definitely recommended.

Ashton's first stage performance

Ashton got his chance for his first stage performance today in his pre-school concert. He is only 3, but he performed very well. I must say, I am a proud dad.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Terry Fox Run KL 2008

It is unfortunate that this run clashed with theSun Motor Hunt this year. A run for raising fund for cancer research, it has been held all over the world since 1983.

If you don't know who Terry Fox was, see here. You will see how can an ordinary young man, stricken with cancer, made a difference that would touched so many hearts and made that change he knew how.

More information about the KL run here.


I just typed "run" in and I got more than 50 entries of what "run" means when used as a verb without object, many more if used with objects or as a noun. Ahem... maybe an idea here for treasure hunt CoC.

So I was just casually talking with my colleague and the next thing I know, I have enrolled in this run:

Mizuno Wave Run 2008
Date: Sunday 19 October 2008
Time: 7:30 a.m.
Venue: Padang Merbuk, Kuala Lumpur

I have to say I have not run 10km before. This will be my first try. I haven't started my training yet. Join me if you are interested.