Friday, December 24, 2010

Malakoff KL 12km 2010 - My race report

It was my second time running this Malakoff KL 12km. The route was near Pusat Sains Negara and Bukit Damansara, same as last year. It was a tough hilly route.

The route map:

The elevation map:
My wife joined me for this run just like last year. She was still recovering from PBIM2010 and not been running regularly. Although it was hilly, she did well last year.

Start/finish was in Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Club.

Parking was limited and we arrived around 6:00am, but the parking space in Securities Commissions was already filled up. So I have to squeeze in my small car near the edge of the parking some how.

I saw the Chuah family and had a chat and photo with them. The son was on VFF, the father was on barefoot.

Photo with Chuah and son. Courtesy from Chuah.

I met some friends at the starting line too. Said good luck to them and on to the flag off for the ladies first. Men's start was 10 minutes later.

Some other photos:

Climbing the steep hill near Securities Commission. Rare shot from Chuah showing me in front of Tan Wah Sing (he soon sayur me and I lost sight of him).

I was recovering from my 20km LSD done on Saturday. But still I could push a bit and find myself in front of Tan Wah Sing, Azlan and Kenny Tan for a brief moment. Then they sayur me kau-kau lat and I couldn't respond. I knew I have more work to do to even come close to pace with them.

At end of first lap, this was how I looked. A bit tired, but still good to maintain a sub-5 min/km pace.

Photo from Chuah, thanks for the support and hardwork.

On the same hill on the second lap, I was fighting for position with the two runners besides me.

Eventually, I conceded a position to the runner in blue vest but managed to stay in front of the runner in white vest.

Running downhill back to the finish line, I could push myself more to near sub-4 min/km pace. Really enjoyed the race and came back at 55:47 (gun time). Improvement of about 6 minutes from last year. Total distance covered 11.33km.

On home straight, heading back to Bukit Kiara Equestrian & Country Club. (Photo coutersy of Cham)

Then I waited for my wife to finish and she done well in 1 hour 34 minutes. We collected our goodies bag and headed home.

Until next run, do train hard and stay healthy.

Monday, November 29, 2010

CICM Responsible Care Run 2010

I went to support and take photos for CICM Responsible Care Run 2010 in Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil on Sunday 28 Nov 2010.

Some photos here.

Alam Shah, Ronnie, Michelle, Raymond.

Kenny Tan

SH Tan

Yin, Tan Wah Sing, Paul Liong

Kelvin Ng. I always like to take photo of Kelvin, for obvious reason.

Kevin Chow, who trains near Bukit Jalil too.

Lawrence Law, thanks for bringing breads for me while I was still shooting.

The forever-holding-hands(-near-the-finish-line) Dannie and Carrie.

The spirit of the sarong runner lives on...

Too shy for the camera?

Power Ranger!

More photos on my Multiply. Please add me as contact first to view.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Penang Bridge International Marathon 2010 - Rain-soaked bridge run

It was not in the script, at least not in mine: a rain-soaked PBIM 2010.

This year, I opted to only to take part in the half marathon for PBIM 2010. When I was about to registered for PBIM earlier in the year, I asked my wife to join the half marathon. I said if she said ok, I will run in the half as well. She was not confident at first as she only ran once a week. But with some encouragement she finally agreed. That was the main reason I opted for half, as I felt it would be good to be in the same distance category with her, or perhaps I could run with her.

This year, the race routes for full and half marathon were the same as last year. My wife and I arrived at around 1:00am to get parking space and do warm-up. I took chance to snap some photos before the race and planned to snap more after the race. I managed to meet up with some friends like Wong Jin Ji, Choo Cheng Liang, Kwang Leng, Winnie Wong, and Cornelius. I was looking for other friends but couldn’t see them in the sea of runners.

The full marathon was flagged-off slightly ahead of schedule. I managed to snap a few starting photos for the full marathon. Then I quickly checked in my stuffs to the baggage area and warmed up together with my wife.

I had planned to run my race and then paced my wife later. Earlier, I had thought of running with her in her maiden half marathon. But after some consideration (by both of us), we felt it would be better for me to pace her later in the race rather the whole race.

The men half marathon started 15 minutes earlier than the women category. I started not too far from the front along with Kwang Leng. I took this chance to see if I could crack 1:45. My previous best was only 1:52. Kwang Leng had run more than 25 half marathons and had PB in the sub-1:45. I figured if I could follow him, I could stand a chance. But I couldn’t follow his initial pace (4.5 minutes/km), so I had to hope that I could pick up the pace later.

My split at the first turn at the bridge (9.4km marker) was around 48 minutes. About 10-15 minutes later, which was around 4:00am, the rain started and it got heavier soon after. It was difficult to run as the heavy rain drops just smacked in my face and eyes. The shoes also get wet and heavier and not forgetting the cold with strong winds blowing. I had to pit-stop for a while to turn off my MP3 and handphone, then, put them in the pocket of my fuel belt. I wasted some precious time there.

After I made the U-turn near E-Gate building, the rain seemed to be subsiding. I increased my pace back to 5 minutes/km. But it was too late, I knew I couldn’t beat the 1:45 barrier. Next target was improving my time if I could. Finally, I completed the race in 1:51:10, my personal best in an AIMS-certified half marathon race course.

I collected my medal and baggage quickly and saw Kwang Leng again. He did it in 1:47, a very good time actually considering the condition of the race. The rain became heavy again, and I was worried about my wife. So I quickly put down my stuffs in the car and removed my shoes. Then I walked toward the finish line and ran the course barefoot in reverse direction to look for my wife.

On my reverse run, I saw many half marathon runners were coming in. The running lane became crowded as some road lanes were blocked off. I saw some full marathoner friends like Ben Swee and Alam Shah running in the crowded lane, overtaking slower half marathoners.

I ran at a very slow pace for the fear of missed out my wife in the dark and crowded running lane. I finally saw my wife 3km from the finish line. I had brought her a new bottle of Gatorade as she doesn’t take any Powergel or any other energy/fuel gel.

I checked my time and realized that she could finish the race within 3 hours. I gave some encouragement and paced her all the way to finish line. In the end, she clocked 2:51 (official gun time) for her maiden half marathon. She had done really well. Her initially target was 3.5 hours as she feared her knees will give her problem. Luckily her knees did hold for most of the race.

Thanks to Chuah for this photo.

I saw that she was really exhausted and she could barely walk. She was also drenched and cold. I brought her towel to dry up and we rested for a few minutes. Then I decided to abandon my plan to snap more photos and sent her home.

I was very happy for my wife for completing her maiden half marathon. Perhaps, one day, she will join me for a full marathon.

Until next run, do take care and stay healthy. Not forgetting, do train harder and prepare yourself more if you want to suffer less or improve your time.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Terry Fox Run KL 2010 - Photos & report

Thank you all for the support last Sunday in the Terry Fox Run KL 2010.

Turn out was great, my estimate is around 3000 people were there. This year event was kind of low profile, considering it was the 30th anniversary of TFR.

See some photos of the crowd here.

T-shirt on sale but some sizes ran out.

Waiting to start.

Probably the most-photographed individual in this year's event. The emcee.

Mike & son were there too.

Petronas had own tent, giving out caps and T-shirt with company logo on right sleeve.

Running for a good cause.

More photos later, probably on my Multiply.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Penang Bridge International Marathon 2010 - Commentary on the Full Marathon Course

Here is my commentary about the PBIM 2010 Full Marathon 42.195km route.

First, let's see the official route map from the organiser website below.

Click the image above for a larger image.

This route map is obviously not to scale and could be misleading to some extent. The route information given along with the route map above is as follows:

Queensbay - Seagate - Penang Bridge - PBSB Office - Jelutong Expressway - Macallum Street - Villa Emas - Queensbay Mall

A more representative route map is shown below. You may check out this link. The U-turn at PBSB office was not accurately charted in the link.

Click the image above for a larger image.

I ran this full marathon route last year. It was the run of my life. This year, I will skip the FM and will only run in the half marathon.

I will give more details on the FM route for those who is new to this route. This route is basically the same as the 2009 FM route. The start/finish line is at Queensbay Mall. It is easier to break this route into 3 sectors, and analyse them accordingly.

Sector 1 (Queensbay Mall to Seagate then to start of Penang Bridge) (Start to ~9.5km)

From Queensbay Mall, the runners will run straight to a round-about and take the first turn to the left (9 o'clock direction). Runners will then turn left to Bayan Lepas Highway (away from the Bridge). There is a U-turn near Seagate at around 3.5km. After this U-turn (the first timing mat was placed here during the PBIM2009), runners will be heading to the Bridge via the Bayan Lepas Highway. When you are at the beginning of the Bridge, you are now at approximately 9.5km mark. This section of the course is flat and runners can take it easy and refrain from running too fast.

Sector 2 (start of Penang Bridge at Penang Island heading towards mainland, U-turn at PBSB office and back to Penang) (From ~9.5km to ~26km)

This is relatively straight forward section of the course. The bridge is flat except for the middle section. The climb start at around 12km mark until the approximately 13km mark. Then the bridge ramp down to around 14km mark. The run to the mainland is until the PBSB office when there is small gate open on the right for the runners to cut through to a U-turn beneath the bridge. When the runners come up on the other side of the bridge heading towards the island, this is approximately 18.5km mark. There will be a timing mat here.

Just before the 21km halfway mark on the bridge, FM runners will now see the half-marathoners taking their U-turn on the bridge. The route will get slightly crowded and you may find yourself weaving through the HM runners. Then you climb the middle section of the bridge and you will find yourself back to the island.

Runners should be at their marathon goal pace already at this section but be careful not to overdo it. Reserve some strength for the final sector.

Sector 3 (Penang Bridge to Lebuh Macallum then to Queensbay Mall) (~26km to Finish)

This is where the FM race really begins.

This sector is the toughest, both physically and mentally for the FM runners. After the bridge, the runners will turn right, away from Queensbay Mall, on to the Jelutong Highway. The U-turn is at Lebuh Macallum, some 6.5km away. A lot of the FM runners suffered last year during this section because of a few factors. Among them, no km markers to show the distance, three flyovers (effectively 6 in totals because of the return trip) to tackle, crowded running route near the ~37.5km mark with HM and 10km runners depending on your pace.

Heading to Lebuh Macallum you will see HM turning point at around e-Gate building. FM runners, please don't turn here. You will not run a full course by taking an early U-turn.

Last year, the U-turn at Lebuh Macallum was marked with 35km marker. This was wrong, as I later found out. The official timing split indicated later was 32km, on the finisher certificate. However, I believe this point should be in between 32km and 33km, probably much closer to 33km mark.

The run back from the U-turn to Queensbay Mall will be a test of the heart. You will likely to be tired at this stage. There will be no pretty cheerleaders cheering for you at that time. And you need to tackle the gradient of the flyovers again. Not too steep if you ask me, but any climb at that point of time (& distance) will be very demanding both on the body and mind.

My advice for the runners in this sector is to stay strong and focused. You will reach the left turn near Villa Emas before Eastin Hotel, then take the round-about at the end of the road and head towards the finish line. You will then cross that finish line with you head up, arms up, and a lot satisfaction for conquering this full marathon course.

See you at the finish line!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Terry Fox Run KL 2010 - Route Map

Here is the route map. It is approximately 2.5km loop around the Taman Tasik Titiwangsa.

Terry Fox Run KL 2010 - Route map (Click on image above for larger image)

"P" is the suggested parking area. Parking space is limited. Please car pool or use public transport.

Water station labeled with "W". It is located at the top of the map.

The staging area, start/finish area is on bottom right corner of the route.

See you all there!

Terry Fox Run KL 2010 - Event Programme

Terry Fox Run KL 2010

7 November

Taman Tasik Titiwangsa

Programme :

8.00am Arrival of participants

8.30am Emcee to welcome crowd.

8.35am Welcome address by Ms Jo Tan, Chairman of the Terry Fox Run KL 2010 Organising Committee. Brief about the Terry Fox Run.

8.40am Brief about beneficiary – Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF) by Chief Executive, Professor Dr Teo Soo-Hwang

8.45am Warm up by Celebrity Fitness

8.55am Invite Mr Douglas Bingeman, Acting High Commissioner for Canada and YM Tunku Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Ahmad Yahaya, Chairman of the Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF) Board of Trustees onto stage. Mr Bingeman to address crowd.

9.00am Flag off the “Wheelers”

9.05am Flag off the runners

9.45am Runners return – F&B distribution

10.00am Team cheering & photo session on stage / Children’s activities at the children’s tent

11.00am End of Run

Monday, October 25, 2010

theSun Motor Hunt 2010 scheduled on 21 Nov is POSTPONED

Breaking news on theSun Motor Hunt 2010 taken from TimeOut Solutions website.
Dear All,

TheSun HUNT which was scheduled for 21 Nov has now been postponed to a later date TBA


No new date posted yet.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mizuno Wave Run 2010 - My third wave run

Thanks Tey for the pia photo on top of the last hill climb.

This October marks my second anniversary in road running. Mizuno Wave Run has been special for me. It was my maiden road race back in 2008. We always remember our first time, good or bad, don't we?

This year, the event was again held in Kompleks Sukan UPM. The route was slightly different compared to last year, but I would say, easier too. Nonetheless, it was still a hilly course.

Coming to this race without much training, my expectation was to use this race as my training run to rack up mileage. Usually, Sunday is my rest day. Since June, I had not been doing any speed training and my mileage was low (as low as less than 20km per week at one point). My wife joined me for this run. It was her second Mizuno run. Most of my usual (Mizuno Wave Run) runner friends like BP and William were absent from this year event. Anyway, good to see Pang was there. Also, I met Paul at end of my run.
Photo with Paul. (Courtesy of Paul Liong)

I got a small scare during earlier part of the race as I felt a little discomfort on my right knee. Luckily it was not a big problem. Kwang Leng overtook me at around 1.5km mark. I tried to follow his pace but it was not to be. I managed to catch up with my wife (who started 10 minutes earlier) at the first water station (around 4km mark).

Anyway, I was glad to finish the run in 53:14 gun time. It was my best time for this 11km race. Split time at 10km was less than 48 minutes, it was my best time for 10km as well. I could have done better with more training, but this was a training run anyway. Although I got my PB, but I didn't feel really excited or thrilled about it. I didn't know why, maybe it was not that important as I thought it would be.

After finished my run, I quickly ate some watermelons and drink a few cups of water. Then I got a cup of ice Milo for my wife and waited for her at the finish line. She came back after 1 hour 25 minutes after the start of the women race. Good effort by her.

Overall this year run was a bit more crowded than last year. I felt the crowd control was not so good this time. This year the event registration was through online portal and with addition of timing chip system for 11km categories. Other than that, I didn't really feel the improvement overall. The medical support or response was a bit reactive. I saw there was a runner collapsing at the finish line and no medical support around immediately. There were some people helping him already when I saw him. Rustam, the PACM President was nearby and he called for medic after being alerted of the situation and soon there were some St. John ambulance personnel came to help. He was helped on to a stretcher later. Hope he has recovered now.

My advice to all runners is, please go for your yearly medical check-up and know your physical condition. Until the next run, do stay healthy and know your condition early. That's the least you can do for yourself and your family.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Updates on Terry Fox Run KL 2010 T-shirt sale locations!

Please take note of the locations and the start date of sale at each location.

These are the confirmed places for the sale of TFR KL 2010 T-shirts :

1) Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF), 2nd Floor, Outpatient Centre, Sime Darby Medical Centre
(From 13th Oct, Mon to Fri, 9.00am to 5.00pm)
Contact person : Ms Katrina Low / Pn Herda Abdullah
Tel: 03-56391874

2) Canadian High Commission, Menara Tan & Tan, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur
(From 13th Oct, Mon to Thurs, 8.30am to 12.00pm, 2.00pm to 4.00pm, Fridays 8.30am to 12.00pm)

3) Clark Hatch Fitness Centre, Capital Square , Kuala Lumpur
(Tuesday & Thursday 19th, 21st, 26th, 28th October, 5.00pm to 7.00pm)
Contact person : Mr Peter Kang

4) Clark Hatch Fitness Centre, Hilton Petaling Jaya
(Wednesday 20th, 27th October, 5pm to 7pm)
Contact person : Mr Peter Kang

5) Runnerz Circle, 12-1, Street Wing, Sunsuria Avenue, Persiaran Mahogani, Kota Damansara
(25th to 29th October, 11.30am to 5pm)
Contact person : Ms Amelia

6) Foyer, Menara Citibank, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur
(from 25th Oct to 29th Oct 12.00 to 2.00pm)
Contact person : Ms Iriani

7) Bangsar Village
(16th & 17th October, 10am to 6pm)
Contact person : Mr Bennie

8) Community Corner, First Floor Oval, 1 Utama
(29th, 30th & 31st October - 10am to 9.00pm)
Contact person : Ms Kelly

Please note each T-shirt is priced at RM25. Proceed will go to CARIF.

The T-shirt sizes again for your reference. Please note there is only one cutting.


Chest (inch)

Length (inch)

2 (child)



4 (child)



3XS (child)



























Please come back later for more updates!

Thank you for your support for TFR KL 2010.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

theSun Motor Hunt 2010 is ON!!!

Information released on Time Out Solutions' website:


“theSun hunt is on!!!

Date: 21st November 2010, Sunday!

Block out your date with theSun and look out for more details later!



Those who follow my blog or know me personally know that I have another hobby. But since last year, I have not been hunting frequently and I am kind of in semi-retiring mode. That's why I don't write about treasure hunt now.

theSun Motor Hunt this year clashes with Penang Bridge International Marathon. For me, it can be only one of the two, not both. I know at least one master hunter cum runner will understand how I feel now.

Updated 25 Oct: This hunt is postponed until further notice.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Newton 25km/12km challenge 2010 - Roller coaster run under the sun

My last competitive run was SCKLM 2010 in June. Since then, I decided to reduce my training due to my nagging heel pain. Then work became overwhelming and I was sent for an oversea assignment for 2 weeks in August.

When I was back home in late August, then I got sick with HFMD. It was a really a painful experience. It was so painful even to drink and walk, needless to say, run.

Anyway, I recovered from that and my conditioning and fitness were like next to nothing. But the good thing is, my heel injury has recovered.

So, when I enrolled this Newton 25km run, the expectation was to motivate me to train. However, that was easier thought than done. Work load was getting heavier and mileage per week was like 20-30km.

Good thing was that I managed to convince my wife to join me, although she opted for a shorter 12km. Little did I know that the race course was tough and hilly even for the 12km race. When I found out that during my route survey one week before, I was like, "Ok, this will be very challenging... even for the elite runners." I also felt that the race course was really tough for beginners, especially the 25km course. See the GPS elevation map below (Courtesy from my runner friend, Kwang Leng).

Two photos from Tey on the route:

You will get the feel by now. I went to the extent to describe this 25km route as "diabolical" on my Facebook page. Please don't get me wrong, I have no ill-feeling about hilly course or the organiser. If you play Suduko, you will know what I meant by, diabolical. It is just my personal comment on the level of difficulty of the race course.

Fast forward to the race then. At the starting point, I looked up to the sky and noticed it was a starry sky. Normally, from my experience, this is a sign for a clear and hot day. I had flashes of my experience in my BIM 2010. I knew I would had to deal with the dreaded hot sun besides tackling the roller coaster hills.

I met my friend, BP at the starting line. There was a big crowd for 25km. The emcee announced total runners was about 2800.

The first part of the race was tough for me, as I was trying to keep pace with some of the red army runners, if you know what I mean. Of course, that proved to be futile as the race progressed. After the first U-turn, Kwang Leng overtook me and I was huffing and puffing even before 10km mark. I reminded myself then, I had not trained enough to do a sub-5 min average per km run here. So, no pressure to set PB or anything like that.

The hot sun came sooner than I thought. At first, it was from the side, then in my face in at least two sections of the race. This time, I was able to keep focus. Staying focus on this course was really important. It was more on mental, rather than physical. I found out later, some strong runners were having some issues tackling the hilly course.

Thanks to Tey (Eng Tiong) for this photo and his hard work and support to all runners.

Anyway, I was able to come back running all the way on this diabolical 25km course. The time around 2 hours 24 minutes 2 seconds (gun time). The thought that my wife was waiting for me at the finish line kept me motivated and I was so happy to see her smiling at me when I crossed the finish line. She had done well in her 12km run and got a medal for her effort.

We rested for a while and then went home soon after to fetch our kids from the caretaker. That's why not easy for us to run in the same event always.

When I checked later on my Suunto watch, I found out that my peak HR during the race was 188bpm, average was 167. The peak HR reached was equaled to my estimated/calculated maximum HR. To run with my maximum HR, really scared me. It was like revving your engine to the max RPM. Anyway, it just showed that I am losing my fitness as I continue to train less and less.

Until the next run, do train hard and smart, and stay healthy too.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Terry Fox Run KL 2010 - T-shirt design and sizes

Please see the design for the Terry Fox Run KL 2010 here:

According to information obtained, the measurements and sizes are same as last year. Here are the sizes and measurements available from last year.

Size Chest (cm) Length(cm) (inch)

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

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.

Each T-shirt with company/school name embroidery (left sleeve) is RM30 (minimum quantity is 30pcs)
. * Kindly note that the final order date for company name embroidery is 15 October 2010.

To order, please contact:

Katrina Low/Herda Abdullah/Yoon Sook Yee

CARIF, 2nd floor OPC, Sime Darby Medical Centre,
Tel: 03-56391874

or email us at

I will update this post when more locations for T-shirt sale becomes available. See new update here.

Terry Fox Run Kuala Lumpur 2010 - 30th anniversary of TFR

Just got breaking news, Terry Fox Run KL 2010 will be held:

Date: 7 Nov 2010 (Sun)
Time: 8:45am
Venue: Taman Tasik Titiwangsa (not Taman Tasik Perdana as last few years)

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Terry Fox Run. It is an important milestone.

The beneficiary in previous years and this year as well is Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF).

Please see the following information.

Rules and Regulations:

  • All participants must run on designated route.
  • For wheelchair bound, and physically challenged participants, please note that there are slopes along the run route.
  • Participants are to be at the assembly area by 8:45am.


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 lost of properties by the participants at this event.

If you like to volunteer or need more information

Please contact:

Ms Yoon/Mr Peter Kang/Ms Katrina Low
CARIF, 2nd floor OPC, Sime Darby Medical Centre,
Tel: 03-56391874

or email us at

I will update all when new information is available.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'm running for...

This post has been delayed for some time now. But I still feel that it is good to write about it.

I joined this Siemens Run (18 July 2010) when my company asked for representatives back in early July. At first I thought it was for the competitive 10km category, then I was told we will be running in the Corporate Run Category. It was for charity and my company had contributed substantial amount of money for the good cause.

The Corporate Run Category was non-competitive and it was for 3.5km only. The team members would run as a team and it was like a fun run. I was very keen to join as this was for charity.

I took the opportunity to double-up as the unofficial photographer as well. I brought my new D90 with 18-200mm lens (retiring my D40) and ran with it so that I could took photos along the route. Not running against time, not vying for medal, it was a relax and enjoyable run. I met some runner friends in the event and cheered them on. I felt good also to be able to take photos for them. There were many photographers in the event as well.

Some photos here.

Thanks Tey for this shot.

Thanks to Running with Passion for this shot.

My team members.

Credit to the photographer who took this shot. Sorry I forgot his name.

On the other side of my lens:

Kelvin Ng (PM2).


What are you running for?

More photos in my Multiply.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Marathon Story - One Year On

I have been meaning to write this post for some time now. A reflection of my short experience so far on Full Marathon running.

My maiden marathon was on 28 June 2009. The event: SCKLM 2009. After one year, I ran SCKLM for the second time, my fourth Full Marathon in a year.

Back in 2008, when I started running around September time frame, I was coming to 36 years of age. I was really out of shape and really stressed out due to work. I had frequent common sickness, e.g. cough, flu and sore throat. Most of the time, I would feel tired, both physically and mentally. I really wanted to change that. Running was something that I thought I could give a try.

I had already joined my first gym just a few months when William suggested that I join Mizuno 10km run and I found myself committed to something that I had never done before: running a 10km road race.

I started training a month before the run on a thread mill. My first 5km training on the machine, I still remember, I almost fainted by end of it! But slowly, I kept training on the machine until I felt good enough to hit the road.

My first 10km at Mizuno 2008 was a torture that time. After the hilly run, it took me a week to recover from the muscle soreness. But that didn't stop me from running at all. I just thought that this would get better in time if I continued training.

I didn't fare better either in my second race. A 7.5km run in November 2008, a week after theSun Motor Hunt. By end of the run, I almost blacked out. But I was glad I managed to stay on my feet until I found water and food at the finish station. I remember I didn't eat/drink much the day before the race.

I continued to train and run because I wasn't satisfied with myself. Surely, this could not be my limit. I could do better than this, that's what I said to myself. Slowly, little by little, I increased my mileage and long run. In one group run with some running buddies, I managed to run two laps on the reverse double-hill route, thus conquering my first 20km run. The rewards were blackened toe nails and more muscle soreness.

Somehow, I still had the guts to registered to GE20km in Jan 2009. Running with BP & Lam on my first 20km, I was very happy to reach the finish line in slightly more than 2 hours. More muscle soreness followed in the days after the race. I suffered the pain especially when coming down the stairs.

After I recovered from that, I began to do more research online and talked to runners to understand more about running and in particularly marathon running.

A few more runs later in April, that's when I decided to registered in SCKLM 2009 for Full Marathon. I wasn't 100% sure then if I could complete it, but I knew I wanted to try my best. When I was young, I always fascinated by the marathon runners. I thought these people must be gifted or had the physical attributes to run 42.195km in 2 hours plus. I always dream of completing one in my life time. But as I trained more and longer distance, I began to realise that running a marathon was more of a mental thing and not just a physical thing.

That's when I began to put into my mind that I would cross that finish line of the full marathon race. Time was not really my concern then. Of course, if I could do it in 5 hours, it will be a bonus.

When I stood on the starting line on my maiden marathon, I was confident but still not 100% sure I could complete it. But I drew inspiration from Terry Fox and support from my family and friends. In the end, I made it. It was one of the happiest moments of my life.

I didn't stop there either. After breaking the mental barrier in SCKLM 2009, I registered my second full marathon in PBIM 2009. This time for the hope of improving my timing.

What happened in PBIM 2009 surprised myself. I surpassed my own expectation and did a sub-4 finish in just my second full marathon. An improvement of about 43 minutes from SCKLM 2009.

The third full marathon was in BIM 2010 in May. The most challenging full marathon for me so far. But I survived that too. They said, what didn't break you could only make you stronger.

Now, the biggest gain that I got was not the PB that I had, and certainly not the medals. It was rather the stronger mental belief and confidence that I had now with myself. Physically also, I am healthier with less frequency of common flu.

Other things that I have noticed is that I am more tolerant to pain. Pain became something that I would not avoid. My pain threshold has increased and pain became a friendly sensation. I think it is the side effect of endorphin released naturally by my body when exerting tough training and long runs. Sometimes, I wonder if I am getting addicted to this endorphin. The other way to get endorphin naturally is through sexual intercourse. It makes one relax and probably feeling happy also. But mind you, I will make no attempt to compare that with running.

I also got to know a lot of runner friends and I truly cherish the friendship and the sharing.

This is just the beginning of more to come. My marathon stories, had just begun (to get more interesting).

Sunday, June 27, 2010

SCKLM 2010 - Running the KL Marathon for the second time

Thanks to Tey for this shot of me running towards the finish line.

I will start this post with a sad news. A young runner, Lim, who ran in the 10km category in SCKLM 2010 this morning passed away after collapsing during the run. According to some sources, there were a few runners with medical background tried to revive him. The ambulance arrived about 15 minutes later despite some helping runners shouted and scrambled for help. According to a runner's note in Facebook, he died on the way to the hospital. Rest in peace, Lim Wei Ji. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

SCKLM 2009 was my maiden marathon. I never thought I could finish my maiden full marathon in just 9 months since started running in 2008. A year later, there I was, running this race for the second time and it was my fourth full marathon. Coming to this race without any solid target (and not enough training), I was determined to do my best anyway. That's just me, always give my best in whatever that I do.

I have been having this heel pain for a few months now. It has not healed yet. I am not sure if I had pushed myself too hard or it is just something else. I ran this race with the intermittent pain on the heel. I hoped I didn't aggravate it.

I came early and parked in Padang Merbok just like last year. This year my running buddy, BP joined the half marathon so I was alone coming to Dataran Merdeka this time.

It drizzled slightly when I arrived and by the time I got ready on the starting line, the rain started to come down. I was surprised and happy to see BP at the side of starting line although he would only start his race 90 minutes later. We chatted and took photo together. The race started on time at 5:00am under the down pour.

I was pacing along side an elite lady runner, Julia Lim. I figured I needed someone to pace with and I knew Julia's pace. And I predicted that she would do a sub-4 this time round.

Running in the rain was not an ideal condition. The rain made the road slippery and there were puddles all around. Your shoes would get wet and heavy and you would feel uncomfortable. Worse still, if you didn't have the right socks and Vaseline on, you would probably get blisters or even broken toenails.

I was glad that I made a bold decision to wear my new Injinji five-toe socks this morning. It was my first time running in them. I broke a runners' rule here by doing something I have not done before on race day. Luckily, the socks were comfortable even when wet. The water dried up eventually when the rain stopped and the sun starting shinning brightly. But I still got a small blister at the end of the race. But it was not major.

Some major happenings and my split times during the race from my perspective:

At roughly 9km mark, rain began to subside. I thought Alam Shah overtook me. Then followed by Ben Swee, who said hi.

At 10km split: 52 mins 3 secs

At 15km split: 1 hour 17 minutes 35 seconds

At 21km split: 1 hour 51 minutes 31 seconds

At 30km split: 2 hours 41 minutes 23 seconds, somewhere before 30km, Ronnie passed me and I realised I might be falling off the 4-hour pace as Ronnie was the official pacer for 4-hour pace. He went into the toilet in the 30km mark and overtook me again later and wished me good luck.

At 33km, I saw Ronnie's wife and son, Andrian passing something to him and cheering him on.

At 38km, my leg muscles started to cramp and it was painful to run. I had to control my pace and dared not to increase my speed. Passed Keven Bong before going down slope. Even when going down hill, it was painful and I couldn't take advantage of the down hill to pick up some time. Julia moved ahead of me for good from here.

At 39km, I saw Moey and gave him some encouragement before moving on.

At 40km split, 3 hours 39 minutes 48 seconds. The route merged with 3km, 5km, 10km, family run, 21km runners etc. It was very crowded and difficult to pass the slow moving runners.

At the finish, 3 hours 53 minutes 29 seconds. My personal best.

Then I met Andre at the finish line. He ran in the half marathon. I proceeded to collect my medal and do some stretching before met up with BP and my brothers (who came to support) to take some photos.

Chatted with my other friends who ran the 10km and 21km. All were in good spirit although completed their tough runs.

I waited in long queue later to collect my baggage. It took around 45 minutes to get mine before going home with my brother.

It was a good run this morning. Now my leg muscles are very sore and the heel is still in pain. So I think I will take good rest for some time to recover from this.

Until the next run, do train hard and stay healthy.