Thursday, February 02, 2006

Home Run

Welcome to Pekan, my hometown.

My running has never been confined to road races. When I travel, I usually take along my running shoes and my camera. This Chinese New Year is no different. I find running is one of the best ways to discover and explore, except for Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The traffic there made running almost impossible. I had the fear of getting run over by millions of motorbikes in the city.

Sungai Pahang. The longest river in Peninsula Malaysia.

During this Chinese New Year, apart from gorging the yummy but fattening food that my mom prepared (Insert wild applause for Mom here!) and staying glued to TV, I did some exploring while running during the eve, 2nd day and 3rd day of CNY. Didn't get to run on the 4th day as it rained heavily in the morning and I had to make my way back to KL in the afternoon.

I had my usual rounds at Padang Polo (Polo Field), the royal playground for the Pahang Sultan. It is not too far from my parents' house. Love the greeneries. Love the horses.

Running in Pekan road is relatively safe. However, runners should be always alert and watch where they step. Beware of organic landmines courtesy of cows and water buffaloes. See picture below. Yes. It’s that BIG apiece. No bullshit. (Pun intended heheh!)

This year, I also bravely plodded my way to some new places – Pulau Keladi, the birth place of Tun Abdul Razak (our Malaysia's Second Prime Minister) and a newly constructed, Taman Tasik (Lake Garden of) Sultan Abu Bakar.

Pulau Keladi

Pulau Keladi is the birth place of Tun Abdul Razak -Malaysia's Second Prime Minister (1970-1976). It is located about 4km from Pekan town where my parents' house is.

This house is the same house where Tun Razak was born on 1 March 1922. The house was restored by Pahang Museum for its historic importance. Now it is open to public. It is rather empty inside - a bed, a cabinet, a sewing machine and some kitchen appliances.

There is a gallery next to this house. I didn't bother to enter, as I was sweaty and hot. The caretaker asked where was my car. I told him that I jogged all the way from Pekan. He shook his head in disbelief. On my way back, I jogged pass some silk weaving centres which I might check out in my next visit.

Taman Tasik Sultan Abu Bakar

I never knew this lake existed until I saw the big signboard on my way back to Pekan. It is located along the Pekan-Kuantan trunk road, near the Peramu Industrial Area. I asked my sister to drop me at this place and then ran 8 km back home. The run was OK. Flat. I was cheered by a bus-load of school children as the bus passed me by.

This place boasts a cultural site (batik, handicrafts and silk-weaving), Menara Pandang (Observatory Tower), bird fountain (some say Garuda, some say Jentayu, but it look like a huge chicken to me), tourist information center, cafe & restaurants, RC (remote control??) race circuit, sport complex, cyber café and Inderapura Country Resort.

It is quite a promising place to attract tourists to the quite town of Pekan. Then again, like any other tourist spots in Malaysia, sad to say the upkeep/maintenance of this place is appalling. Pornographic graffiti "decorated" the walls of the observatory towers. Uncleared rubbish. Broken windows. Chipped paintings. Vandalised properties. I don't even want to go to the toilets. Anyway, the place still looks stunning from afar for those Kodak moments.

Saw one idiot drove a Kancil through the running track. F88king vandals! Not only they destroyed the track, they also endangered the runners (not many runners but there were a few like yours truly...). Hate those people who have lack of respect for public properties.

Anyway, here are some Kodak moments at Taman Tasik Sultan Abu Bakar. Thanks to my little sister who became my accidental photographer.

Possibly The Biggest Cock in Malaysia. Hahah!

Ivory Tower. Insert. Me doing the Evita pose. Hahah!

View from the top. Pekan is a very flat town. So, running here is a breeze.

Wet boys. They kept on running even in the rain. Never seen such dedication since the Circuit 2 run. Well done!

This is me, making a dash back to the car to avoid the torrential rain. Seen in the way way back in the background is the rainbow coloured observatory tower.

(Insert "I’ll be back" with Arnold Swarzenegger accent here)

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