Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Honk if you love noise

In India, one of the culture shocks is on the way to the "guest house" from the airport. As for most foreigners, the first impression is between the airport and hotel. Even before I was in the car, I can hear a lot of honking sound on the road. Once on the road, I could hear a lot more honking. I could sense that they were honking for the right of way. Most Indian drivers were driving with their own styles. What I meant was, they do not follow the the lanes and pay no attention to the dashed line marking the lanes. Some drivers, e.g. lorry drivers were driving slowly in the fast lane.

Also, in India, you can see many other vehicles on the roads, even unmotorised vehicles such as three-wheelers bicycles (for the purpose of transporting goods), ox-pulled two wheelers, and even camels on the roads.

For most drivers, they have to navigate through the busy roads during rush hours and deal with all those unmotorised vehicles and inconsiderate drivers. Honking became a norm, a show of frustration, and an unnecessary source of pollution. City of Delhi even declared 1 Jan 2009 as "No Honking Day", in the effort to reduce honking in the city.

I know I am too nice of a driver to survive on roads in India.

Buy X Get Y Free

While I was in India, I noticed that the retailers have many ways to attract customers. The common way is to offer discount or rebate. Another way is to offer free items. We all know the Manglish, "Buy 1 Free 1" in some department stores and retail shops.

In India, I saw this, you may see this in Malaysia.

I also captured this sign here:

Well, "Buy 2 Get 2 Free" you may still find it in Malaysia. What about this:

There you have it. You walk into a shop, planning to buy one or two underwears, but could end up having 12 in the bag.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Great Eastern Run 20k

Thank you Tey for this shot. As you can see the joy of finishing can overcome the pain.

With my running buddies after the hilly 20km Great Eastern Run.

I'm glad the race is over. But the muscle ache is not.

I never thought that I will do this, but I did. Completed a 20km race in less than 5 months since I started running. For me it is an achievement by itself.

I always want to do something new every year. Running is one of the things I started doing last year. You see, I do not have an athlete body build. For me to pick up running, there is a lot of discipline and self-motivation involved. With encouragement from some friends, I made the first step in Mizuno 10km run and was rewarded with a medal.

The Great Eastern Run 30k/20k was orgainised by Pacesetters and it was a marked improvement from the somewhat chaotic Mizuno 10km run. This time the start/finish venue is at the Lake Garden.

I arrived early in the morning before 5:30am near the Bukit Aman car park and it was already full. I managed to squeeze in my car anyway without obstructing traffic (no, I didn't park at side of the road or on yellow line). I met my friend and running buddy BP there and we walked to the Lake Garden to meet Lam.

The race for 30km started at 6:15am, late by 15 minutes. I guessed they were not fully prepared to start at 6:00am. The 20km race started 15 minutes later on time. This time there was no timing mat at the starting line. I think this time they use only the gun time. All runners were deemed to start at the sound of the starting gun. In this way, there was no need to step on anything and thus eliminating any delay in starting.

The first corner immediately took us to a climb to a jogging track in Lake Garden. This was a good warm-up to the race. BP was pacing quite fast and I was following him. At 1km point, we realised we were pacing too fast, running less than 6 minutes per km. So we slowed down the pace. At that time, I thought we lost Lam at the back. At the 2.5km mark, we were taking the second climb. It was near the Bank Negara train station. This was a long climb that peaked at the Tunku Abdul Rahman Memorial. The descent took us to the interchange that let us crossed over Lebuhraya Mahameru and we were on the way to Bukit Tunku.

In Bukit Tunku, there was a steep climb and it was quite punishing. I was taking it easy and trying to conserve my energy. The descent was a steady long downhill that ended at Langkak Tunku. Here we took the left (this was the turn we missed last week during training) to start another ascent and we were on the way to the Kompleks Kerajaan Jalan Duta. At this point, I could feel some pain in my left knee and I started to wonder if I could last the whole 20km.

The road to Kompleks Kerajaan involved crossing the busy Jalan Duta. Here it got quite dangerous and the traffic police and marshals were doing what they can to make sure runners were safe. The 10km mark was located near the Kompleks and we reached that split just under an hour. I considered the time was a good one.

We continued to ascend until a point where we did a U-turn (about 12km mark) and collected the check-point wrist band. By this time, I could no longer follow BP's pace and I ran with my own pace thereafter. I saw Lam on the opposite direction after a few hundred metres from the U-turn. He was managing well with his own pace.

After leaving the Kompleks area, I was back at Bukit Tunku area running now on flat road for about 2km. I took the opportunity to refuel myself with Powerbar Gel and some Gatorade drink. The next climb was not too tough, but at that time, my body was not as good as the first 8km of the race. I was just holding on and still wondering if I could see the finish station on my own feet.

Luckily the next 1.5km was long stretch of downhill and I took the chance to save my reserves for the next two climbs. The second to last climb was the second climb in reverse direction. It was an easy climb from the reverse direction, with longer downhill than uphill.

The last climb was the most punishing. The uphill stretch could be about 2kms and you would wonder when you will see the peak. The sun was shining like a fireball in my face and I was tiring fast. It was near the road leading to the back of Istana Negara, on the way to the National Monument. I was so glad when I saw the Monument. It meant I have conquered all the hills in the route. The steep descent back to Lake Garden traffic light must be treated with care. With the tired body, one could hurt himself/herself descending here.

After that it was just making sure I don't fall and keep running to reach the end. I was basically running alone for the last 500m. Those elite runners were already finished the race in under 2 hours. And those slower runners were probably a little further behind me.

This time there were no queue at the finish station. There were only two gates. One for the 30km and one for the 20km. There was a timing mat at the end and photographers were there to capture your final moments of the race.

There I was, finished the race in a happy mood although I was feeling the aches on my knees. Lam finished just 20 seconds behind me and Chuah (BP) did a sub-2-hour 20km. I checked my time was under 2 hours 5 minutes. I will cross check that with the official time later. Although it would be good to run under 2 hours, but given the hilly course, I was happy with 2 hours 5 minutes.

After that we had some light breakfast and took some photos. It was a good run for all of us. We all went back with a medal in bag, and looking forward to our next run.

GE20k quick update

I've just finished my first 20km race under 2 hours 5 minutes and got a pewter medal above. More details later.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Adidas Running Shoes Seeding Program Q1 2009

Hello Guys,

Good news for runners who blog or having their own webpage.

Adidas had once again brought in more highly innovative running shoes to be given away FREE to runners to wear-test them & to post in their blog a very frank & unprejudiced opinion about the shoes after 30 days of

One of the shoe that is included in this program is adiZero Adois that Haile Gebrselassie used at the 2008 Berlin Marathon setting a world record in the Marathon at 2hr 03 mins 58 sec.

The sizes are limited and I have them in size UK 5.5, 6.5, 7.5, 8.5 & 10.5. Those wishing to possess these shoes will have to comply with the following terms & condition :

1 ) Come to the adidas office to fit the shoes.
2 ) Undertake to post a comment in their blog
a ) about the Technical features of the Shoes upon receiving them
b ) about the performance of the shoes after 30 days of usage.
3 ) Must be a blogger or has his/her own website.

This offer expires on 15th January 2009 & the shoes will be given out on a first-come-first-serve basis. The program this year is only open to those who had NOT participated or missed out in this program previously.

If you are interested pls call to make an appointment as appended below

Office address:

adidas Malaysia Sdn Bhd
Block B , Level 4, Plaza Damansara
45 Media Setia 1
Bukit Damanasara
Kuala Lumpur

Tel Office : 03 - 20804843
Mobile No : 012 - 3503668
E-Mail :

Best Regards
Krishnan Karuppan
Head of Running
adidas Malaysia

Sunday, January 11, 2009

GE20k training

For the last two weekends, I have been training for the Great Eastern run, scheduled for 18 Jan 2009. The main category for this run is 30km.

This is my longest road race yet. Having ran in Mizuno 10km last year, now it is time for me to challenge for 20km.

The first 20km training I did with my running buddies, Lam, BP, Andre and Jon was on 3 Jan. The route was the Mizuno route, and we did 2 laps of that hilly route. That morning was a wet morning. We practically ran in drizzle and moderate rain. It was really satisfying after I have completed my first full 20km. But I suffered a lot after that. The strain on my leg muscles and tendon near my knees was unbearable. For those who are not familiar with the route, it is a double-hill course.

Last Saturday was our second 20km training. Without the experienced Jon as our pacer this time, we tried to run the actual route. The whole 20km route consists of 6 climbs of up to 4% gradient as shown here.

It is actually an extension of the double-hill course, taking extra hills and it is quite punishing.

We missed a turn last Saturday and ended up running in wrong section of the real route. But anyway, Andre's GPS phone showed in the end we did manage 19.95km. So another 20km done, with muscle aches in the end, at least for me.

So just another week to go, I am hoping to complete the course under 2 hours 15 minutes. The qualifying time for medal is 2 hours 45 minutes. So my target is a modest one, and I hope I can achieve it.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Taj Mahal

One of the Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal is a mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. I got a chance to visit this magnificent site on Christmas day. See this photo that I took with my DSLR.

The whole structure was made with marbles and it was decorated with beautiful art works, plant motif, lotus designs, calligraphy script from the Qur'an. The main building was built on a octagonal layout and it is perfectly symmetry. Work started in 1632 and it took 22 years to finish. The main gate of the Taj Mahal has 22 small domes on top that signified the number of years it took to build.

Between the main gate and the Taj Mahal, there is this beautiful garden, with pool the reflect the magnificent structure.

Then there is the masjid at the side of the Taj Mahal. Every Friday, Taj Mahal is closed for visitors because of the Friday prayer for local Muslims.

A place worth visiting. You have to be there to appreciate its beauty. Simply magnificent.

That name rings a bell

First, the answers for the teasers posted earlier. These two were taken from Challenge 2 of our company hunt recently.

Answer for first teaser: Downright stupid.

Answer for second one. A bit tough. But the theme was about Christmas. So here it is:

Some other quality road questions here:

Q7. Think out with Indian Leader within.
A7. Perindo Enterprise

Q24. Pour out in here for a healthy flow.
A24. Heropure Mineral Water Pot @ Ashita

Another teaser here from Challenge 2:


Answer later.