Sunday, December 20, 2009

Malakoff KL 12km/7km run 2009 - My race report

The Malakoff KL 12km/7km run 2009 was held in Bukit Kiara Equestrian & Country Club. I was there today with my wife to run in the 12km run. Last year, I didn't join this race so I was not sure what to expect actually.

We arrived early at about 5:40am and parked at Security Commission car park. Then we just walked a few hundred metres to the Start/Finish line. This time, I didn't really know what target to set since I didn't run a 12km race before. But I wanted to try to do a sub-hour run, although the race course was very hilly. The 12km runners were to run the Jalan Beringin loop in Bukit Damansara twice. I told my wife of the hilly course and she dreaded it.

The race started on time and I was running at 5:00 minutes/km pace initially. The first steep hill was just near the road from Securities Commission to Bukit Damansara. This place was familiar to me as I had joined some treasure hunts which started from here.

There were more hills to come. Each loop got 3 hills if I remembered correctly. If I add the first one, then the 12km run got total of 7 hills for the runners to conquer.

It was the most challenging run I had ever participated. I did a long run of 16.5km a day earlier and I guessed I still recovering from it. Nevertheless, I offered no excuse because I didn't think it mattered much anyway. I am still improving myself to be a better runner.

In the end, I came back to the finishing straight and crossed the line with an unofficial time of 1:01:10. So my target was not achieved. A bit disappointed I felt but overall I was positive about it. The weather condition was kind (cloudy and cool) and the run was organised very well. I enjoyed the run although it was the most challenging for me.

My wife came back around 1 hour 25 minutes and I showed her where to get the breakfast and goody bag. I was shooting photos then. I realised also, being a runner and photographer at the same event was really difficult to focus (to do both roles well). I didn't manage to shoot the finishing photos of most of my friends.

The best moment that I captured was a male runner (with bib number A0171) wearing a suit jacket with running vest and long slack pant (with running shoes of course) carrying a bouquet of red roses to the finish line and then proposed to his girlfriend on his knees. It was a romantic moment. I guessed the girl was very touched and the guy happily put the ring on her finger. See photos below. Anyone knows the couple, please drop a line here. I wish to send them the original photos. More photos can be found at my Multiply site here.

"Will you marry me?"

The ring is on the finger, the love is in the air.

The proposal struck and reminded me again that running was not all about getting better result or setting faster time. In this case, at least it was about changing the life of a couple, forever.

Until next run, do train hard and stay healthy.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Malakoff 12km/7km run 2009 - Important notice

The bib collection booth is opposite of the Pacesetters office.

Look for this booth.
The 12km male runners will be given the white dry-fit vest. Female 12km runners the bottom orange dry-fit vest. 7km runners cotton T-shirt only.

I just came back from the bib collection for Malakoff 12km/7km run 2009. The bib collection today 12 Dec 2009, 9:00am-5:00pm is at the Pacesetters office in Lorong Jugra, off Jalan Klang Lama.

I met follow Pacesetters there, setting up the booth for the bib collection. I saw SH (Yin's mom), Kenny Tan, Marianne and Sook Ying. The bib collection is a breeze for me. Thanks!

Important notice:

1. Due to the change in Start/Finish location within the Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club, the 6km run now is a 7km run.

2. Runners are NOT allowed to park inside the Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club. Parking recommendations:
-Security Commission (~500m)
-National Science Centre (~600m)
-Sime Darby Convention Centre (2km)
-Desa Seri Hartamas shoplot area (3km)

PLEASE DO NOT park along the roads entering and exiting the Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club or along the race course because this will make it unsafe for the runners and inconvenience to the public.

3. Shuttle bus service available from Desa Seri Hartamas (Kiwi Xpress Bistro) to Race Start. Time: 5:40am, 5:50am, 6:00am, 6:10am, 6:20am, 6:30am

4. Shuttle bus service available from Race Finish to Desa Seri Hartamas (Kiwi Xpress Bistro) Time: 10:00am, 10:10am, 10:20am, 10:30am, 10:40am, 10:50am.

5. Please bring along your receipts for the collection and a refundable RM10 deposit for the timing chip for those taking part in the 12km distance.

6. Next bib collection is on 19 Dec 2009, 9:00am-5:00pm, at Kiwi Xpress Bistro Garden.

7. Race Schedule:
20 Dec 2009 (Sun)
5:30am arrival of runners
6:30am 12km runners collect start ribbon at starting line
7:00am 12km race starts
7:01am 7km runners collect start ribbon
7:15am 7km race starts
8:00am breakfast @ cark park 2
9:30am prize @ car park 2

8. Things to do after race:
- return start ribbon and get one bottle of water @ car park 3
- follow lane to car park 2
- remove your timing chip (12km) as you lining up
- collect finished medal, goody bag and breakfast voucher (entitle you to one main meal & one dessert only)
- return timing chip for 12km runners and collect RM10 in return @ car park 2
- get your light breakfast @ car park 2

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Running the race of my life (2) - PBIM09

Photo taken near the finish line with BP in PBIM09.

(This article is a continuation from this post.)

After I crossed the finish line and got my goody bag, I saw Andre. He is my ex-colleague, a friend and runner too. He finished his half-marathon and was waiting for his friend.

When I stopped running, my calf muscles tightened up. Andre helped me to stretch my calf muscles and I felt very grateful to him.

Then I quickly drank more water given to me at the finish line. I also ate a banana with isotonic drinks before I went to the baggage deposit centre to reclaim my baggage.

There were many people already waiting there to claim their belongings. It took me almost 15-20 minutes to get my stuffs. In it, my D40 DSLR camera, a PowerBar Protein Plus and some other small things.

I called my wife and told her about my finishing time. She was very happy for me. At that time, she was waiting near Eastin Hotel (a few hundred metres away) for the start of the Fun Run.

When I started shooting at the finish line, it was already 7:14am. I had promised BP to snap his finishing photo. He targeted to finish in sub-5 hours. While I was shooting other runners, I have to move my legs constantly to stretch and ease the soreness in my leg muscles.

BP finally came in at around 5:08 (after the start), just outside the 5-hour mark. I quickly put away my camera and looked for him. Due to many people around, I lost sight of him while I was putting my camera back into my bag. It was drizzling then, and holding a DSLR in the rain was not a good idea.

I finally saw him near the medical tent and I asked him if his knee was ok. He said it was ok but his leg muscles were very sore. Since his knee was injured, I felt worried and concerned when he ran in any race. Before the injury he could run faster than me. He finished in front of me in GE20km in January and Bidor Half Marathon in April.

I told him that I ran a sub-4 finish and share my happy feeling (that haven't sunk in yet) with him. He was the one that brought up the possibility of a sub-4 finish to me. And I didn't think I could do it then.

I showed him where to get some isotonic drinks and food. I continued to shoot some more photos and waited for my wife to finish her race.

I saw her coming in after 1 hour 8 minutes. She did well for the 10km run. I quickly met up with her and called BP. Then we shot some photos before we left Queensbay at around 9:00am to have our breakfast in Island Glades.

Looking back, I have exceeded my own expectation and target in the race. I felt it was a combination of factors such as encouragement from family and friends, consistent/persistent training, race strategy, home ground advantage, conditions on race day and mental strength.

There were some learnings from this race that I can improve on in the future. I need to learn to run an equal or negative split race. For many races, I had run positive split, i.e. first half of the race faster than the second half of the race. So I need to figure out something to address this.

Until the next run, stay healthy and train hard.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My official PBIM09 results

Based on the result in the zip file on the official website, my official result for PBIM 2009:

Official (gun) time: 03:57:20

Net (chip) time: 03:57:09

Position: 42nd (Men Open Full Marathon)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Running the race of my life - Penang Bridge International Marathon 2009

At 39km mark, I closed my eyes, kissed the ring on my finger, took a deep breath and when I opened my eyes again, I ran all out to finish the race of my life.

The morning started when BP picked me up at about 12:20am. We headed to Queensbay Mall together. I knew very well before I step out of the house, if I were to do well today, I would need to run with the support and belief given by my loved one.

We reached the starting point at 12:50am. There were already many people there. We were surprised to find so many young runners (teenagers) already there. The quarter marathon and 10km Fun Run would not start until 6:15am and 7:30am! The quarter marathon was only open to teenagers and the Fun Run for general public.

Some of the booths were still being set up and there was a band playing some rock/pop music. It was a carnival-like atmosphere.

We put our baggage in the baggage deposit centre and rested in the runners' tent to wait for the race to start. I took a PowerBar and drank some water, then we took turn to the toilet before we went to the starting area.

We met Mr Jordan Lee at the starting line. He is a senior veteran runner well-known in the Penang running community. He is such a jovial person and we chatted near the starting line. I also saw Chuah (Seih Seng) and wished him good luck.

Then I got a pat on my shoulder. It was Kwang Leng. He wished me luck and I thanked him. He would run in the half-marathon one hour later. This year, the full marathon, according to the organiser drew about 900 runners and the half marathon, 6000.

Then, the MC announced the arrival of the Chief Minister of Penang. He came in a car from the back of the starting line and was driven right through the runners to the front of the starting line.

We were flagged off with the sound of the gun. There were lion dance troupe performing at the starting line and cheering the runners on.

I started besides BP and pulled ahead and ran at 5 minutes per km pace. I started very near the front and I knew some good runners were still behind me. We were directed away from Queensbay towards the Free Industrial Zone. We passed by Intel and then made an U-turn near Seagate. This was the 4km mark. Lionel overtook me a few hundred metres before the turn. He is a very strong runner. I guessed he was aiming for his personal best. Anyway, I couldn't follow his pace and had no intention to. I just have to focus on my own race.

After the turning, I saw Choo Cheng Liang and called out his name. I guessed he didn't really recognise me but he shouted back "Jia you!" (Words of encouragement in Mandarin, translated literally to "add oil").

I was still pacing at around 5 min/km with an ironman on my side, but then I dropped back a little. I figured pacing with an ironman was not a good idea. I realised he was pacing faster than 5 min/km, when I check my speed reading from my Suunto timer.

About 2km before we were on the bridge, an elite lady runner passed me. Then Kenny Tan also overtook me. He didn't noticed me but I said hello to him. He asked me to go with him, but in my heart, I knew then it was not a good idea to pace with him at early of the race because the strong runner he was. His last marathon was BIM09 where he set his personal best of 3 hrs 38 minutes.

When I was finally on the bridge, I guessed that was around the 9.5km mark. This was where I dropped my pace down to 5:30min/km. At 10km mark, now that I look back at my timer, it showed 00:50:19. A blistering pace for me, good enough for top-100 or better placing in any 10km race.

At around 11km mark, Eugene Chan overtook me. I said hi to him and asked him if he was aiming for sub-4. He said, "Maybe." and then ran ahead of me. I took out my PowerGel and emptied the content. Then I took water in the next water station to wash it down. On the bridge, a few more runners passed me before the gradual climb to the centre of the bridge.

From the start, the condition has been good. With moderate to strong breeze and cool weather, it was really nice to run. I continued my run and eventually reached the other end of the bridge. I overtook Eugene before the U-turn. I was surprised to pass him, but I was feeling good that time so I continued on.

The run back the bridge was a bit crowded by the time I reached the 21km mark. This was where the half-marathoners made U-turn. So I had to thread myself among them. Then at 25km mark, I was surprised to find Kenny Tan was just in front of me. He overtook me before we headed on the bridge. I called out his name and said to him, "Pace me, Kenny." He said that was his speed then and maybe he could pick up later. Then I said to him, "Ok, pace me when you can." I was hoping an experienced runner could pace me to a good finish but at that point I knew I was on my own.

I continued on and got off the bridge heading away from Queensbay. This was the psychological challenge for all full marathoners. After got off the bridge, the runners were directed to Georgetown instead of Queensbay. I was hoping to see the 30km sign, but it didn't appear. It was a difficult run to Lebuh MaCallum as we need to climb three flyovers before reaching the U-turn point. I saw Lionel headed back to Queensbay on the first flyover. Just before the U-turn, I thought I overtook another elite runner, Bong.

At the U-turn, the sign read 35km. I checked my timer and it showed 3:00:12. I could hardly believe it. If it was true, I have another 7.195km to go with about an hour to spare to hit sub-4. This was when I realised the sub-4 was within grasp.

Then, the worse fear struck, I began to feel the pull on both calf muscles. I could sense the cramp on my legs developing slowly but surely. I quickly took the PowerGel that was given to me just before the U-turn and drank more from my Gatorade that I brought along on my waist water pouch. I was sensing the elusive target slowly going away from me.

After the 1km from U-turn, I saw Kenny and Eugene heading to the U-turn and I urged them on. From here, I paced at 6:30 to 7:00 minutes per km hoping to prevent the cramp. I overtook the elite lady runner (who passed me 2 hours earlier) and continued my run. On the way back to Queensbay, I saw many other experienced runners like Jessica, Frank, Choi CC, were on their way to the U-turn. BP saw me and cheered me on. I saw Lawrence and "hi-fived" him.

I slowed and stopped a few times when I felt the pull again. It was agonising, I thought to myself, so near but yet so far away. I had run a perfect first 35km and it meant little if I didn't make full use of this opportunity to try to hit sub-4.

Then I thought of the support given by my wife and best friends including BP and William so far. I thought to myself, "I really need to have a go in this. Leave no regret."

At around 39km, my timer read around 3:42:00, I closed my eyes, kissed the ring on my finger, took a deep breath and when I opened my eyes again, I ran all out. I shouted "Excuse me, let me pass." all the way, as the lanes were crowded by half-marathoners and most of them were walking.

I was running with all my heart out with the 2XU long compression pants given by best friends on my birthday recently. When I reached Eastin Hotel just a few hundred metres from the finish, I was still running as fast as I could as I couldn't see the finish line yet. Then the tall gate that read "FINISH" appeared. I was so happy to see that. At the finish line, Kwang Leng snapped a photo of me.

I crossed the line with an unofficial time 3:57:29. It was unbelievable. I did it! It was the race of my life.

(To be continued...)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Compass and Timer for PBIM 09

On Friday, I took a day off from my busy schedule and travel with my family to Penang. We plan a birthday party on Saturday for Ashley in Penang with her grandparents. On Sunday, I will run in the PBIM 09.

On the PLUS highway, it was raining quite heavily in most stretches. I also checked the weather forecast for the next few days and it seemed like Sunday will be a wet day as well in Penang.

We arrived on Friday afternoon, and I quickly did a 3km run near Jalan Delima. This was to get my body and mind into running in Penang on Sunday.

On Friday night, we went out for a nice dinner in Gurney with my in-laws. Good place to be to carbo-load my body. Plenty of good food in Penang.

Saturday will be a rest day. I still need to prepare something for Ashley's small birthday party tonight. BP will be arriving later today and he will join me. We will depart together after mid-night to the starting point for our first PBIM.

Initial target is 4:15:00 to 4:30:00. Not sure if I want to push hard for 4:15:00. I think I will try my best. Well, that's just me, I'm sort of a guy who gives his best and not to leave any regret behind. Sometimes, well, most of the time, I give myself much pressure in doing so.

But this time, like many runs before, there is no pressure. Like always, I will run with the compass in my heart, then only look at the timer on my wrist.

(Weather report 11:14am, 21 Nov 2009, raining in Penang).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Last long run before PBIM 09

I did my last long run this morning. I covered 27.4km in 2 hours 38 minutes 53 seconds. The average pace was 5'47" per km. This was outside the average pace needed for a sub-4 hours finish in a full marathon distance of 42.195km.

Realistically, the sub-4 target is still beyond me now. I will just try my best and see if I can run an average pace of below 6 minutes per km for the race next Sunday.

The Hunt in November

"I just want you guys to know, no matter what happen, you guys are the best hunters I've worked with. If we have to do the best, we will need to support each other and do this as a team." These were the words that I said to the team before we were flagged off for the hunt last Sunday.

There were so many things happened before the hunt, including one team member's mom was in operation a few days before the hunt.

I have kept the faith in the team and in the end we did the best that we could. Right after the hunt, we didn't think we could repeat what we achieved last year. But at the same time, team were not disappointed over it. I guessed that could be a sign of maturity as a hunt team. We were surprised to be even on the stage last Sunday.

I am now preparing for my second full marathon next Sunday. I need to focus on that first. Maybe I will write more on the hunt later.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My PBIM 09 race pack

On Tuesday, I received my PBIM 2009 race pack. It was a reminder to me that I have less than 2 weeks to go to the race day.

The important things are the bib number (only one piece) and the timing chip. Other things are running vest (the smallest "L" size vest I have ever seen), runners' guidebook, sponsors' samples and discount vouchers.

Now, I really need to focus on my last phase of training. A long run this weekend, and start tapering next week.

Oh, I just realise, there is no detail instruction on how to put on the timing chip. In the guidebook, it is mentioned that it is to be tied between the shoe lace. The timing chip is as small as a 50-cent coin. It is so light and seemingly fragile design makes me wonder if I will lose it while running the race. I have just sent an email to the organiser on this matter. I hope they will publish more detailed information on how to secure the chip to the shoe lace soon. Well, I can always tie it on my way, but I would rather be sure and know the right way to put it on so that it will not fall off easily.

The Championchip timing chip on the left of the 50-cent coin.

While BP is dreaming of a number 8, I am just two numbers away from the number 88.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Running - One year on

Thanks to QQLai for this photo taken in the recent Mizuno Wave Run 2009.
I was running up the long steep hill, less than a km away from finish line.

After slightly more than a year of running and road racing, I am now busy preparing for my second full marathon. I will take part in Penang Bridge International Marathon 2009 on 22 Nov.

Preparation is on track. Trainings started few months back with sacrifice on some sleep and lunch time. Then recently, I did two long runs of 30km each inside 3 hours, one of them under pouring rain. I may try to squeeze in another one this weekend or next weekend. BP suggested the possibility of a sub-4 hours finishing time, but I know pretty well, it is an outside chance. It will take a miracle for me to pull this off. The last 12km is the hardest to conquer. Achieving sub-3 hours time for first 30km is not a certain sign for a sub-4 finish. I will be happy to finish within 4 hours 30 minutes.

Wish me luck.

A run for a cause - Terry Fox Run KL 2009

Last Sunday was the Terry Fox Run Kuala Lumpur 2009 in Lake Garden. I was there with my family. I missed the run last year because I had committed to my team mates earlier for a treasure hunt on the same date.

I have been supporting this cause for cancer research for a few years now. I draw a lot of inspiration from Terry Fox about life, running, courage, doing-what-you-can and many more. Also, I feel that finding a cure for cancer and raising awareness about cancer are important too. That's why I tried my best to promote this run in my blog as well as getting support within my company.

This year, I basically walked the 3.5km family course with Ashton under the hot sun. Ashley was with her mother and they were pacing faster than Ashton and I. Ashton was complaining more than walking or running. He was complaining about the hot sun the most. Anyway, I have to sweet-talk him, drag him and at one point, carry him on my back, in order to finish the run.

I thought the response was good this year. I estimated about 4000 runners joined the run. Some big companies came in large number of runners. There were also students from schools, particularly from international schools. Many foreigners and expatriates were seen supporting the run.

I also met some of my runner friends and colleagues as well. My buddy William was there too with his parents and family.

For photos of the run, you may visit my Multiply site here. Hope to see you next year.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Route map for Terry Fox Run KL 2009

Please find the route map for Terry Fox Run 2009 above.

Date: Sunday, 1 November 2009
Venue: Flag off @ 9.00 a.m. Taman Tasik Perdana (Lake Garden)

Rules & Regulations:
1) All participants must run on the designated route. There are 2 routes- 5km and 3.5km for the family run.
2) For wheelchair bound, and physically challenged participants, please note that there are slopes along the run route.
3) Participants are to be at the assembly area by 8.45 a.m.
4) No registration required. Just turn up during the run day. You can buy the Terry Fox Run official t-shirt, RM25 each.

Limited parking is available on site, and public transport is recommended.

The organisers, their agents, representatives, successors and assigns, are not liable for any injuries suffered, damage and loss of properties by participants at this event

For update on T-shirt sale location, please click here.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mizuno Wave Run 2009

I was looking forward to this Mizuno Wave Run to mark my first anniversary of road racing. I started running last September in preparation for Mizuno Wave Run. I couldn't remember how I was talked into by William to join this race. But it did get me started running and from then I trained not only to finish my first 10km road race but also went on to complete my maiden full marathon in June 2009. So Mizuno Wave Run was kind of special to me. It had a significant impact to my life.

This year, I got my wife to join me for the run. She is a novice runner, just started running a few months back. This was her maiden road race. My running kakis like BP, William, Janice & James were there also this morning. Also present was Pang Sir and his son. (BP missing from photo below as he was warming up.)

The venue was in Pusat Sukan UPM, very near to the Gate number 8 of UPM. This year the organiser, Pacesetters chose to have the event in a campus to hold more runners, estimated to be around 4000. The route was around the UPM campus with hills as depicted below from

The run started on time at 7:30am. Runners were flagged off without any prior signs (e.g. announcement etc.). I didn't hear any gun or horn sound. I guessed a lot of runners at the back were caught off guard (still chatting or warming up). Before I started running, I told my wife to take it easy as the course was a hilly one. This year the course length was 11km, slightly more than 10km.

I started at about 30m from the front. I have to run on the grass to overtake slower runners at the beginning. After about 1 km I notice we were going downhill on a steep hill, I told myself, "This will be punishing when we head back to the stadium later."

Well, the crowded running line eventually clear out. I got enough room to run faster from 3km onwards. Eventually I reached the water station at around 5.5km with a split time of 25'15.2" I forgot to bring my GPS with me so I couldn't tell the exact distance at that point. I took two cups of water before continuing on.

The second half of the race was a bit more flat at the beginning. I was tiring fast when I reached 8km mark. But I told myself to hang in there, just a bit more to go. I was saving my energy for the climb at the end.

From 9km to 10.5km it was indeed a punishing climb on the long and steep hill. I felt my legs getting heavy but my motivation was there because I was chasing an elite lady runner. I remembered her because she overtook me at the half-way mark in the adidas King of the Road in August this year. This time I managed to overtake her at the top of the climb and maintained my lead over her until the end.

I was cruising at an easy pace to the finishing line until a runner overtook me. Then I turned on my "turbo" to speed past him and four more runners ahead.

My time at the finish line was 55'13.2" for position 107th in the Men Open category. The full distance according to Mapmyrun was 11.1km. William's GPS showed 11.8km and BP's showed 11.3km. If I take the distance about 11.3km, then my average speed was about 12.3km/h or 4 mins 53 secs per km. This is my best average speed in a race so far.

Anyway, after the race I quickly got some isotonic drinks and iced Milo to quench my thirst. Then I got my DSLR camera out and started shooting just a few metres before the finishing line.

I also waited for my wife to finish. She arrived later after 1 hour 21 minutes (gun time) for position 59th in her category. I congratulated her as she waited in queue to get her goodies bag and medal.

Then I continued to shoot more photos of my friends and other runners. Then William called me and we met up with BP to snap some photos near the podium with the race backdrop. See the photos below.

More photos of the runners can be found in here ( Please join as member and add me as contact to view the photo albums. Over 800 photos available. I could only manage to take photos of the runners who finished the race after me. So no photos of elite runners or top 10 finishers.

I also met many runner friends in this event. Too many to name them all, but you know who you are. Until next year, please train hard and stay healthy.

Quick update on Mizuno Wave Run 2009

Mizuno Wave Run was where my journey of running started. It was my first road race just slightly one year ago. So kind of feeling sentimental about the run today.

I just finished this year's run in 55 mins 13.2 secs. More detail later.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Come run with me - Terry Fox Run KL 2009 (T-shirt available now)

I got my Terry Fox Run KL 2009 T-shirt from CARIF yesterday. They got their latest T-shirt stock the same day. The sizes available now are:

Sizes Chest(cm) Length(cm)

2 22 16

4 24 17

3XS 28 20

2XS 30 21

XS 32 22

S 36 25

M 42 29

L 44 30

XL 46 31

2XL 48 32

3XL 52 34

The design again shown here:

I heard this year response is not so good so far. Probably less publicity and late T-shirt availability.

Come run with me on 1 Nov 2009 in Lake Garden. Flag-off time is 9:00am. Just get your T-shirt from:

1) Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF), 2nd Floor, Outpatient Centre, Sime Darby Medical Centre (From 15th Oct, Mon to Fri, 9.00am to 5.00pm) Phone: 03-56391874

2) Canadian High Commission, Menara Tan & Tan, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur (From 15th Oct, Mon to Thurs, 8.30am to 12.00pm, 2.00pm to 4.00pm, Fridays 8.30am to 12.00pm)

3) Foyer, Menara Citibank, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur (from 26th Oct to 30th Oct 12.00 to 2.00pm)

4) 1 Utama Community Corner, 1st. Floor, Oval, 23-25 Oct (Fri to Sun), 10.00am to 9.00pm

5) Bangsar Village (24th & 25th October - 10am to 9.00pm) (Updated 21 Oct 2009)

6) Mid Valley Megamall, 3rd Floor, North Court (Celebrity Fitness), 26-30 Oct (Mon to Fri), 5.00pm to 8.00pm (Updated 27 Oct 2009)

7) Sunway Pyramid, LG1, Blue Atrium (near Bata), 30-31 Oct (Fri-Sat), 10.00am-9.00pm (Updated 27 Oct 2009)

8) Mont Kiara and PJ Hilton (Clark Hatch Fitness Centre), 20-23 and 27-30 Oct (Tue to Fri), 4.30pm to 7.30pm (Updated 27 Oct 2009)

9) Run Day - Lake Garden, Kuala Lumpur, 1 Nov, Sun, 7.30am - 10,30am (Updated 27 Oct 2009)

The money raised will be for cancer research.

Each T-shirt costs RM25. You are not obliged to run if you buy the T-shirt. You can buy the T-shirt to support the good cause even if you cannot make it to the run.

A run in the rain and a run in the park

On Wednesday, it rained in the morning. I was again too tired to wake up for my morning training. When I did wake up at about 7:00am, I thought to myself I was glad that I slept a little bit more because I would not able to run in the rain (not drizzle) anyway.

Then I was driving to work on Old Klang Road when I noticed a runner running in the drizzle on opposite side of the road. When I got closer, I noticed it was Kenny Tan. He was fresh from his Borneo International Marathon where he set his personal best of 3:38:54. I guessed he could have run for some time already since he was all drenched. Then I thought to myself, boy, and I had excuse not to run.

That evening, I ran 8km in the gym.

On Thursday evening, I decided that I just have to run outdoor. Running on the machine was not motivating. I just had to go out there and run along with other people. I changed to my running outfit at 6:10pm and went down to KLCC Park to run. It was my first time running in that route. I didn't meet any runner that I know, but it was good to see people running around me.

My 5 laps time: 6:18/6:38/6:28/6:35/6:21

Total time: 32 mins 21 secs

Total distance: 1.3kmx5=6.5km

That night, I worked at home until 5:00am.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Treasure Hunt to Pangkor

This time our company hunt took us to Pangkor. It happened last weekend. I teamed up with my usual gang for the hunt. Over 50 teams took part.

The hunt had a theme on "Remembering MJ". MJ here refers to Michael Jackson. The hunt started in the morning with a challenge. Five MJ's songs were played twice, well only tiny part of the song, not the whole song, and the hunters were asked to match with the song title within 2 minutes.

We were quite confident on 3 of the 5 and were unsure about the other two. After submitting that, we were flagged off. We were directed by the tulips to the coastal road to Lumut. The hunt itself was not too tough. I would say it was slightly above average level.

We finally reached Lumut within the stipulated time. We could have arrived earlier, but we were stuck on this Q25 here.

Q25. Famous driver, red on final day. Here they power you anyway.

A25. Tiger @ Heng Huat Machinery

We spent some time on that question, because we were thinking too lateral on the part "red on final day". I spotted "Tiger" the moment we swept the sector, but the "red" part was bothering us or we couldn't figured out immediately. We ended up looking for alternate answers. In the end, we figured out that the "red" part was a literal clue to refer to Tiger Woods wearing red always on the final day of the golf tournament.

Anyway, to cut the story short, we could only manage 5th this time for the 4 points we dropped in the challenge, just 2 points away from the champion. Road and treasure questions were ok for us. We began to notice some teams were catching up fast with us and we need to improve and be more consistent.

In Pangkor Beach Resort, I had the opportunity to train for marathon. I ran 3 laps along the 1km-long fine sandy beach after the hunt and another 6 laps on early Sunday morning. On Sunday morning, I was running barefoot listening to the sound of the waves and occasionally being hit by the on-rushing waves. I could have ran more but we needed to catch the 8am ferry back to Lumut to return home. So I had to cut it short. While I was running, I was conscious about this master running his maiden full marathon at the same time. I was happy to know later he finished it in sub-5 hours time.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Disrupted Training

Due to busy work schedule, my training for PBIM 2009 has been disrupted. The two weeks that I was in India, I didn't run for 6 days in a row. I only got chance to run a few times (in week 1) on the thread mill in the hotel gym. Sleep was almost a luxury for me over there. Not to mention the food that caused me to visit the toilets for two or three times a day to "download".

Now that I am back in Malaysia, my work is still piling up. Last Sunday, I found time in the early morning to do a long run from Bukit Aman car park to Petronas in Seri Hartamas.

I met Kenny Tan there and decided to run with him. He was kind enough to pace slower so that I can follow, although I have asked him to go on his pace. He was training for the coming BIM 2009. That run supposed to be his last long run before the race.

Following his pace was a challenge towards the end as he picked up speed in the last 1 km before Petronas station. I think we were doing about 4.5min/km pace in the last 1 km. We reached Petronas station in about 56 minutes. I was happy with the time as it was hilly

At the Petronas station, I met Hoffen and WaiSum. They were training for PBIM too I guessed. I approached them and said "Hi" to them. Then I was back running with Kenny again on the return leg.

He told me then, going back would be quicker and asked me to keep up if possible. I told him not to worry about me. I was trying to keep up with him at first. But slowly I knew he was too fast for me. When we reached Kompleks Kerajaan, I saw him crossing Jalan Duta and that was when I lost sight of him. I only managed to reach Bukit Aman after about 56 minutes. Overall timing was about 1 hour 52 minutes for the distance about 19km.

This week I work late everyday and when I was home, I still need to work. Also I got meetings here and there. After work it is very difficult to run. I have to use my lunch time to train in the gym.

I've tried running in the (weekday) morning again, but I was too tired to wake up because I slept only 4 hours or less per night this week. Hopefully work will taper off soon and let me resume my preparation to PBIM 2009.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Klang Valley Food Hunt 2009

Finally, we were able to find a date and time to go treasure hunting again. This was only the second hunt of the year for me. The KL Food Hunt was organised by Rasa Rasa and sponsored by Maxis (main sponsor).

This time, Raj, Prasath and I were joined by DK. Douglas enrolled earlier with another team.

The hunt format was divided into two legs. In first leg, participants were asked to go to 4 locations without tulips to find the answers to the 25 clues. Then in the second leg, there were 10 more clues, this time with tulips to guide the hunters.

Besides the Q&A, the hunt also posted 3 challenges to the hunters. One of them was Food Challenge. Hunters were required to use the Maxis' Finder301 service to locate any 6 eateries, 1 bank and 1 police station along the route and take pictures outside of the premises. Hunters are required to eat and pose in one of the eateries as well. Then the hunters has to take photos of the SMS search result from Finder301 and print the photos before submitting them.

The other challenges were: identify 10 spices from the photos and make roti canai with the dough provided. For these two challenges, we didn't do well. Basically, we had hiccups and didn't manage or tackle the first challenge well and for the roti canai challenge, I was the one who didn't make a good roti canai. I let myself and the team down and was pretty disappointed.

In the end, that's where many of our points were lost. We had a fairly good score for the route and treasure questions, with only 3 mistakes out of 35 questions. With about 10 points dropped from 2 challenges, we were out of top 10 placing, surely, I thought. Indeed, we were only placed at 15th. Disappointed that's how I felt and I took the responsibility for the team's result. I still find it hard to get over this, but I will try to be positive and move on. I will take the learning from this hunt to improve further.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Now I am in Delhi, India for another work "mission". I will spend my Raya holiday here working.

I miss home since arrived here last Saturday.

Anyway, I managed to snap some photos here to share. More stories later.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

A marathon that took 55 years to complete

In 1912 Stockholm Olympics, a Japanese marathon runner named Shizo Kanakuri (photo below) sought refreshment near a farm house during his run, but collapsed later due to heat exhaustion and was cared for by the farming family.

When he came to, he realised his race was over. Feeling ashamed, he quietly returned to Japan without notifying the race officials. The Swedish officials was looking all over for him but couldn't find him.

When he was back in Japan, he still trained and ran competitively. He even ran in 1920 & 1924 Olympic Games. He finished in 19th place in 1920 but failed to complete in 1924. However, the Swedish authority was still ignorant of his whereabouts.

Then in 1966, after being listed as a missing person for over 50 years in Sweden, a reporter managed to track him down to Japan where he was living a pension life as a geography teacher. At that time, he was already a 75 year-old grandfather.

A Swedish businessmen's committee invited him to come to Stockholm to complete his run. He gladly accepted the offer and continued his run where he had last stopped (the farm house).

Finally, Kanakuri made his triumphant entrance into the Olympic Stadium and finished his marathon in 54 years, 8 months, 6 days, 8 hours, 32 minutes, 20.3 seconds.

More on 5th PAR

The detail results of the 5th Pacemakers Anniversary Run can be found here.

I just want to express my sincere thank you to my team mates again for their pia spirit shown in run. Special mention to Janice, who ran with an injured left shoulder. Not only her shoulder gave her the pain, halfway through her run, her shoes were giving her problem as well. So she decided to ditch her shoes and ran with only her stockings on. See the photo below.

Janice in action, with an injured shoulder and no shoes. (Thanks Tey for the good photos)

Looking at her face expression, it was not an easy run for her. However, her time was commendable. She clocked 13'49" for 2.6km. Position among female runners was 16 out of 41. Overall position was 100th among all runners. There were 132 runners in the competitive category. Well done, Janice. Another note to mention is, she didn't really train well for this. I feel if she is healthy and train more, she could have run better.

Another point I left out in the previous post, after the PAR5, BP and I met Mr Gurdip in Bukit Aman carpark. It was good to see him again. He just finished his morning run and was going back on a motorcycle. We chatted for a few minutes and he mentioned that he will join PBIM 2009 as well. See you there, Mr. Gurdip.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

5th Pacemakers Anniversary Run 2009

Team "Road Blazers", finisher of 5th Pacemakers Anniversary Run.

The Lake Garden was the background setting for the 5th Pacemakers Anniversary Run this morning. BP, James and Janice were my team mates in this team relay run. It was a very interesting run format: a team 4 x 2.6km relay.

There were competitive and non-competitive categories. Each team must have at least a female runner, who will start first. For this, I ran the second leg, James the third and BP the anchor leg.

We finished the race in 54 minutes 10 seconds, positioned at 26th out of 33 teams. Good run, team! The champion team was from Klang Pacers 1, with finishing time of 38 minutes.

The finisher medal, definitely one of the best.

I also took time to took some photos of the run with my DSLR. For more photos please visit my album here.

At the closing stage of the run, it started rain heavily. BP was still running and we (and all the runners) have to take shelther. It rained for a good 20 to 30 minutes, but finally it became a drizzle and the prize-giving ceremony was able to proceed.

BP and I met up with Yin too, who happened to do her training run around the lake.

Overall, it was a good event from the Pacemakers. I enjoyed the run and liked the company too.

It has been a tiring week. Work wise has been busy as ever, leaving little time to train for my Penang Bridge International Marathon. I know I was slacking when it comes to training last two weeks. That's why for this week, I decided to buck up and increase my weekly mileage. Overall, I ran 5 days out of 7 this week. Yesterday, I did my 22km long run. Total weekly mileage: 55km.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Weekend in Penang

It's school holiday and Penang is the destination for a family break over the weekend.

Saturday afternoon, when I was in Bukit Dumbar park, I saw a few youngsters set up a booth to get people to register for PBIM 2009.

I met Mr. Jordan Lee, a fellow runner and my online contact. He is the gentleman on the far left of the photo above. He was relating his experience of PBIM 08 to the youngsters.

The organiser has been very active in getting more people to sign up for the run. They even come to your school and office to sign up runners. One point I noted in PBIM 09 is that the 10km run is open to teenagers only. I guess the reason maybe to encourage more young runners.

Anyway, I was not running in the park yesterday because I was tired, having ran in the morning. My wife was running while I walked with Ashton. She will join me for Mizuno 10km run in October and PBIM in November. She will run in fun run in PBIM 09.

Sunday in Penang is a rainy one, at least it is still raining now. I woke up at 5am, put on my running shoes and it started raining. Then I went back to bed. So, I'm not sure I can run today.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Terry Fox Run Kuala Lumpur 2009

Terry Fox Run Kuala Lumpur 2009

Date: 1 Nov 2009 (Sun)
Time (Flag-off): 9:00am
Venue: Lake Garden

This non-competitive run is for a good cause. You can bring your family and friends.

The fund raised (via T-shirt sale) will be for cancer research. The beneficiary will be CARIF (Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation) Malaysia.

See below for the T-shirt design.

You still can buy the T-shirt to contribute if you cannot join the run.

If you would like to volunteer


If you need more information

Please contact :

Ms Yoon / Mr Peter Kang, CARIF, 2nd floor, OPC, Sime Darby Medical Centre, T: 56391874

Or email them at

Updated (20 Oct 2009):

More info on T-shirt sale locations

Pacesetters Breakfast Run 16 August 2009

After my long run 18km yesterday, I was feeling tired and not sure I could make it for the Pacesetters Breakfast Run today. Anyway, I decided to do a double hill 10km and shoot some photos afterward.

I was running alone this morning because my running kaki were not available. They got their own plans already.

I saw PM1 and his friends were starting their 20km run. So I thought I might as well follow them for the first few kms. Soon I was huffing and puffing trying to stay in pace with PM1. He and his friend were chatting along. I guessed it was their "comfort pace".

At about 5.15km, I made a turn to the second hill while PM1 continued his LSD (Long Slow Distance) heading towards Jalan Duta and Sri Hartamas.

Eventually I finished my 10.69km run in 1 hour and 1 minute. It was my fourth runs in four days.

I quickly changed and took out my DSLR. I could see the Pacesetters were getting ready to serve the runners with hot drinks and snacks.

Getting the food and drink ready for the runners.

Mr. Wan Yew Leong was preparing his teh tarik. I tried one cup. It was good. See him in action here:

Mr. Wan showing his skill in making teh tarik.

Mr. Chan and some fellow Pacesetters were preparing the snacks.

Among the snacks and drinks available were: teh tarik, red bean tong sui, fu chuk tong sui, watermelon, banana, sandwich, hard-boiled eggs, and cakes.

See the runners helping themselves here.

Milo Ais Satu! was there too.

So was ultramarathoner, Mr. Tey (not facing camera here).

The President of Pacesetters, Mr. Rustam was seen registering runners himself for the Mizuno Wave Run 2009.

I saw PM1 giving out the running bibs and vests for the Pacemakers 5th Anniversary Team Relay Run. I quickly collected and then headed home.

More photos available in my Multiply site. Please add me as contact to view.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Of food and security in Chennai

I was away since Sunday afternoon, returned only on Friday morning. That Sunday morning I ran in the adidas King of the Road half marathon. Then I took a night flight to Chennai, India for a business trip. In total I had 4 trips to India since December 2008.

It was my first time in Chennai. My previous trips were all to Delhi. Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu state, the biggest city in south India. The weather was quite hot and humid. Luckily I spent most of my time there indoor.

The food in Chennai is similar to those found in Indian restaurant in Malaysia, particularly in Brickfields KL. It is spicy, Chettinad style served with banana leaf, instead of plate. You can find vegetarian food quite easily here too. I like the Chennai filtered coffee, served with two stainless steel containers, for you to "tarik", as seen below. You can find this in Brickfield, KL too.

Chennai filtered coffee.

I also enjoyed the orignal roti canai, paratha, in Chennai. Seen below is the potato paratha.

Paratha, the original "roti canai". Ever wonder where's the word "canai" came from?

One thing I found out that in India was the security measures were tight. In public places like shopping malls and some offices, there was a metal detector and X-ray scanner installed at every entrance.

Metal detector at the entrance of a shopping mall, Spencer Plaza in Chennai.

These security detectors and scanners were installed in the hotel that I was staying. After passing through the metal detector, then a security guard will body-search you some more.

The X-ray scanner at the hotel that I was staying.

All the baggage and luggage will be required to pass through the scanner. The security was tight, it was necessary from the Indian government point of view. Since the bombing in Mumbai, the security in India became a big concern. People in big cities were living in fear of being bombed again. The tightened security was a necessary measure.

To give you a view of how tight the security was, everyday I went through the metal detector at least once, maximum three times. At one time when I was in Delhi, I was body-searched twice at one entrance to a shopping mall. The feeling was similar to being molested, physically and mentally.

It made me think how lucky I am to live in Malaysia. I hope I will not have to pass through a metal detector entering hotels and shopping malls in Malaysia, ever.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Young runner passed away

I feel sad to learn about this news just now. I want to express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Gary Leon Robert.

He was reported missing after the race. He was found dead in Stadium Shah Alam a day later.

He fainted after completing the 22km half-marathon and was attended by paramedics. Please see video here. He was last seen walking away from the stretcher on his own.

He was 22.

A lot of things and feelings came into my mind when I read the news. A lot of questions to ask and to put down to words.

For now, I just want to pray for him. Rest in peace, Gary.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

adidas King of the Road 2009

With my buddy BP near the finish line of adidas KOTR.

I achieved my personal best in half marathon in the adidas King of the Road 2009. I finished the 22km race in 1:58:48, under 2 hours.

My buddy BP finished under the qualifying time of 2:20:00. He just missed out on the medal by a minute. Only 350 medals were given out for the Men Open category. I heard from him his knee didn't give him problem, which was a good sign. It was our first race after the SCKLM09.

I set out this morning (when I stood on the starting line) to try to dip under 2 hours. It was a long shot as I've never done it before. In Bidor Half Marathon, I only managed about 2:05. Also this route looks hilly on paper as I remember it.

Anyway, I just pushed myself as hard as possible. Especially after 13km mark, when KC Leong was side-by-side with me. There were several climbs including one steep one near the end. I was glad I trained a lot in Taman Bukit Jalil. The steep climbing became not so punishing, even at closing stage of the race. I managed to overtook many runners climbing on the hills.

The last climb before the finish, there were many 11km runners blocking the way. Many of them were walking up the hill. I decided to go to the right side of the road near the divider. I was chasing time and I stayed as near as the divider as possible as the cars were still moving along the right lane of the road.

Finally, I managed to come in to the stadium and was beaming with big smile on my face. Not sure anyone got my finishing photos. Sayang if nobody took any photo of me.

Thank you Tey for this photo!

Anyway, I met some of my online friends today. Chuah and Kwang Leng were there. I talked to them briefly after introducing myself. I also congratulated Julia, who trained in Taman Bukit Jalil too. She finished the race about the same time as I. But I know very well, she can do better.

I managed to took some photos with my DSLR only about 9:30am. I took more time to warm down and rested. I pushed myself to almost my limit I think.

My race log:

21.97km (from Suunto GPS POD), 1:58:48, average HR 160 bpm (wah lau!), peak 173. I ran almost the entire race with my HR above 80%! Split time at 11km was 58:05.

The other point is I lost 2 kg when I weigh myself after the race. Calories burned was 1502 calories in just 2 hours!

Ok, I will write more on this later. I have to pack for an overseas business trip this evening.

You can check out the photos in my Multiply site or Facebook.

Updated 8/8/09:

My split time here:

km, split time, lap time, ave HR
1 00:05:18 00:05:18 143
2 00:10:08 00:04:50 158
3 00:14:59 00:04:51 159
4 00:20:00 00:05:01 160
5 00:25:17 00:05:17 160
6 00:30:44 00:05:27 159
7 00:35:47 00:05:03 159
8 00:40:48 00:05:01 163
9 00:46:15 00:05:27 161
10 00:52:26 00:06:11 157
11 00:58:05 00:05:39 160
12 01:03:26 00:05:21 161
13 01:09:12 00:05:46 162
14 01:14:41 00:05:29 159
15 01:19:57 00:05:16 163
16 01:25:10 00:05:13 163
17 01:31:13 00:06:03 158
18 01:36:48 00:05:35 159
19 01:42:26 00:05:38 162
20 01:48:08 00:05:42 163
21 01:53:40 00:05:32 165
21.97 01:58:47 00:05:07 167

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Wet wet run

I was doing my long run this morning. Initially it was only drizzling, but after about 1 hour mark, they rain started to pour. Anyway, I continued my long run until I reached my target of 20km.

Taman Bukit Jalil was quiet today. I felt lonely and cold running in the rain. It made me re-think for awhile what was I doing this for. Waking up early in the morning, raining, so easy to stay in bed and enjoy the slumber. Instead, I was running like a ???? in the rain on a Sunday morning.

For those who are familiar with the park, the ~4km route/lap is not an easy course. Probably intermediate or slightly advanced standard with steep uphills/downhill and hard surfaces. Quite punishing for the knees.

Anyway, this is from my training log today:

5.44am, 20km, 1:57:55, average HR 144 bpm, peak 158 bpm, 1103 calories.

I am still sorting out the photos I took last night from the Shape and Men's Health Night Run 2009. It was my first time taking race photos, and there are more than 700 photos. Be patient. I will upload them here.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Penang Bridge International Marathon PBIM 2009 here I come

I was contemplating the Borneo International Marathon 2009 and the Penang Bridge International Marathon 2009 after the SCKLM 2009.

BIM 2009 is scheduled on 11 Oct 2009 in Kota Kinabalu. My friend here is going for his maiden full marathon. I am thinking to join that as well. But I got another option on 22 Nov 2009, that is the PBIM 2009 in Penang. You see, Penang is like my "second home". My wife is from Penang and my in-laws are still residing there. Between BIM and PBIM, I registered for PBIM 2009 first. I still keep BIM in mind. I am not sure if I have time to recover for PBIM 2009 if I join BIM 2009 in Oct.

See you there in PBIM 2009.