Sunday, September 28, 2008

Clubbing With Passion

What? Hed Kandi

Where? Euphoria by Minstry of Sound, Sunway.

When? 10:00pm onward. Hed Kandi session started at 12:00am.

Who? Meet & Greet with Hed Kandi's DJ Andy Daniels and Lady Victoria on Sax.

euphoria

noun

An excited state of joy, a good feeling, a state of intense happiness.

Etymology: From Ancient Greek (polytonic, á) (euphoria)

It has been ages since I step into a club. Since I took up running, I usually sleep early on Saturday nights as most of the races are being held on early Sunday morning.

There are no road races during the Ramadhan months. So when Mimi offered me the passes to Hed Kandi @ Euphoria on Saturday night, I grabbed them straight away....She won the passes from a http://juiceonline.com contest.

I rushed home after the launch of AllMalaysia.info that was held earlier. Dumped all my stuff and then walked to Euphoria. Euphoria is located at Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel, a stone's throw away from my apartment. Yes...I live in such a happening place! ;)

Hed Kandi is a UK-based record label and a music brand which was established in 1999 by Mark Doyle, specialising in house music. Hed Kandi's catalogue includes both artist albums and various genres of club compilations.

The name is a modified spelling of "head candy", reminiscent of the expression eye candy.

I get to meet the Hed Kandi team of DJ Andy Daniels and Lady Victoria. Such friendly people! Autographs time....

Hed Kandi World Series: Ibiza 3-disc album. Autographed!

One of the prizes. A Euphoria T-Shirt. I saw all the waiters & bartenders at Euphoria are wearing this T-shirt. So, I rather have it signed by the Hed Kandi team than wear it. LOL!

Close up of the signed T-Shirt. Big Love!!!

Lady Victoria was interviewed by the people from Astro earlier. I think she looks abit like Britney Spears. I mean a bit. You think so? :)

The dance floor was empty when I got inside the club. Well...It was still early. Just 10:45pm. House music was blaring from the speakers. Thump! Thump! Thump!

I went around checking out the club. I am amazed by the wonderful sound system and the fantastic lightings. Dance floor is spacious. But the best thing is they have designated smoking areas for smokers. Being a non-smoker, I appreciate this so much! I can breathe easy in the club!!!

This is a glass walkway on the mezzanine floor. Don't walk on this walk way if you are a girl wearing skirt. Plenty for the guys downstairs to see. LOL!

The crowd started to pour in around 11:30pm...

Went to the DJ console to take some pictures. Lady Victoria posed with one of the HedKandi team.

DJ Andy Daniels spinning some wicked house music.....

Lady Victoria took everyone's breath away with her sax appeal!

Blowing the house down!

I really enjoyed myself at Euphoria. HedKandi ruled the dance floor and left everybody's in the state of Euphoria...:) Can't resist that pun.

For those who didn't go, this is some of the things you miss out.

Acknowledgment: Thank you to Mimi for the passes. Thanks to Juiceonline.com for the contest. Thanks to Jacky Foong and Michelle of Euphoria, Sunway for giving us ample time to meet with DJ Andy Daniels & Lady Victoria. Very well organised! Thanks to Hed Kandi team for such a Euphoric experience!

Travel Ambassador

You are reading an AllMalaysia.info travel ambassador’s blog. Yes. That’s me – runwitme. Around 40 bloggers were selected for this project in conjunction of the launch of AllMalaysia.info travel portal (powered the Star newspaper). I was indeed lucky to be included.

The launch was held at Menara The Star yesterday evening. I braved the pouring rain for this event. It was a simple ceremony. Some speeches, a demo of how the portal works and followed by “buka puasa”. The session was so rushed that they have forgotten to take a group photo session for us bloggers.

AllMalaysia.info is developed together with Mayflower Travel Group, it is an interactive tool that allows travellers to book flight tickets, accommodations, cars and tour packages at the company’s website.

It's all here...

Michael A. Fredericks - The Editor of All Malaysian Blogger Project (AMBP).

So, what are in store for us travel ambassadors? We will be invited to go on holiday trips in Malaysia fully sponsored by Mayflower Travel Group and blog about our experience. This still will be subject to availability and generosity of the sponsors.

Makan time....

The Goodies Bag. Very generous. We get tonnes of travel brochures, a t-shirt, s shoe bag, 50+1 Malaysia book, a complimentary airport transfer, 2D1N stay at Bukit Merah Resort, 2D1N stay at Discovery River Lodge (Sukau, Sandakan), discount coupons and some travel gifts certificates.

There are no travel arrangements for me yet. This will depends on Mayflower, the sponsor of this program.

So, what I have to do now is sit and wait for the call from Allmalaysia.info. (Insert crossed fingers here)....

For more info about travel portal, please click AllMalaysia.info

and do check out the video here.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Nike+ Human Race 31.08.08

What? Nike+ The Human Race 10K

Where? Esplanade Bridge to The Padang, Singapore

When? 4:15pm, Sunday 31.08.08

How Long? 10K

Who? Organised by NIKE

It was the Mother of all 10Ks - The world’s largest running event ever...where we ran with the world: runners from all over the globe joined to run a 10K in 25 cities on the same day...about 1,000,000 runners worldwide.

Phew!..... And this event certainly deserve a mega post. This will be the longest post I have ever written for Running with Passion blog, with 60 over pictures and 12 video clips. Do click play to see them. Now, take a deep breath...Let's go...

Our hotel. The arty smarty Gallery Hotel. I was invited by Nike along with my two other good friends cum bloggers cum runners - Carboman & Frank. There were media reps as well - Bangsar Boy, Niki and Richard of TimeOut Magazine. We were flown to Singapore on Saturday morning to join this historical event.

Things I carried with me during the Human Race. Some cash. Visa. Ezylink card. Mobile phone. Access wrist tags - red for the run, pink for Nike Lounge. A sachet of Banana Boat sunscreen which I didn't use because the weather was about to rain. Last but not least, my waterproof, sweatproof, shockproof, freeze-proof camera. :)

My running shoes. It's showtime for my babies - Nike Lunar Trainers.

video

CLICK PLAY - The Making of Human Race. :)

We went to the start area very early. The run was supposed to start at 4:15pm but we arrived to The Padang at about 2:30pm. And we saw they were still setting up the finish arch at this final hours. If I were the race director, I'd be freaking out. LOL!

We wanted to chill out at the Nike Lounge but it was not ready. So we went around the stage area where we met with Siva of Nike Malaysia. Later, we also bumped into Li-Zren at the Nike Booth. Li-Zren pointed that Nike Lunar was used to be called Apollo during development stage. Interesting trivia, eh?

This is the famous "Durian" structure - The Esplanade, where the race gonna start.

Runners chilling outside the Esplanade while waiting for the start.

Red wrist tags are given to the runners who expect to finish in 50min or less. But what a slow runner like me doing with it? ;)

Happy Feet! Met up with Singaporean runner, DO who was also wearing Nike Lunar Trainers. Photo time! :)

All I see is RED. Loud music was blaring from the speakers. The excitement increased in the holding pen as we waited for the start.

Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! The elite runners unwittingly stepped on the race mats on their way to the start point. The dumbfounded looks on their faces were priceless! Too bad I don't have a zoom camera with me. The Championchip people must be cursing in their hearts out for having to deal with such "false starts". :D

The DJs at work. video

CLICK PLAY - 3.2.1 Kaboom!

The run was flagged off by a kid with cancer (along with his parents) and the Panda of WWF. I think this is a fantastic idea as the Human Race supported charity fight against cancer and global conservation. Good job!

If you notice at the end of the clip, there is a bandit (an unregistered runner without bib)in the race. Wonder how did he slipped into the race!

This shot is taken from the event official photographer. I can be seen (albeit barely) at the extreme left of the gantry. Still busy taking photograph while the rest of the world had blasted off the ground!

These newlyweds must be very lucky to have their wedding photo taken with the world's greatest 10k race as the background! Very auspicious colour - Red!

I actually ran passed this couple near the Fullerton Hotel. I turned back to this couple, handed my camera to their phographer and got this priceless shot! Congrats!!!

Sorry, I had to blur out my face. Camera shy. :)

Look at the dark cloud looming in the sky. I prayed that it won't rain. I don't wanna get my precious Lunar Trainers wet and dirty. :o

River of Red! If only I can get a bird eye's view of this. Must be interesting to see something like red blood flowing through the vein in the heart of Singapore.

I ran at a very slow pace. I can't go any faster as everyone ran quite close to each others. There were 10,000 of us. So, I expect some kind of congestion.

The first km. Race the world. You vs 999,999. Very clever caption this. :)

Go! Go! Go! I managed to capture Shaharudin, Malaysia's top marathoner in action.

He had already made the U turn at the Marine Station Road, while I was still chugging along at the other side of the road.

Notice he was wearing Nike Lunar Racer! He looked like he was flying without gravity! :)

2km - Run for your cause. Every step counts.

Participants would be able to run for a cause and support the three official Nike+ Human Race charitable partners: the Lance Armstrong Foundation - uniting people in the fight against cancer; WWF - the global conservation organization addressing the causes and impacts of climate change; and the UN refugee agency's ninemillion.org campaign - bringing sport and education to refugee youth.

Together, Nike and runners would raise funds to donate at least USD $3 million to the Nike+ Human Race charities. Money would be raised via registration fees, a percentage of Nike+ Human Race t-shirt sales and a donation of USD $1 million from Nike.

Red and Green.

The first out of four entertainment stations along the route. This is the ROCK Zone.

Paint the tunnel red.

Water station in the tunnel. I didn't stop for water. Avoid the risk of getting my pristine Lunar Trainer from getting "baptised". LOL!

Can you see the Singapore Flyer? Singapore is the only SEA nation selected among other host citites like Istanbul, Taipei, London, Madrid, LA, Paris. etc There were 25 cities in total. Maybe next year, Nike will bring it to Malaysia.

3km...Set you own pace and keep to it!

No STOP sign is going to stop this bunch of runners.

Back at the Fullerton Road, we saw the second wave of the runners coming. Whoa.... video

Human Race became Human Crawl..:) Kidding! It was kind of chaotic as you can witness from the video clip. I had to slow down and be on guard to prevent being trampled on. They were coming from left, right...and centre! CLICK PLAY.

5 km already? That was easy peasy. Heheh!

Back to where we started from. The Esplanade. video

The second entertainment station. I could hardly hear what this "Mat Salleh" was rapping about...I think something about Bakuteh and Mee Goreng. Well...If he rap about food, I could be his fan as I love food too. Heheh! CLICK PLAY.

The bay area. Here I saw some official event photographers. So I passed my camera to one of them and asked him to take my picture with the Esplanade and Singapore Flyer in the background. Why ask a stranger if you can get the professional to take picture for you. :) video

The road became narrower after the turn at the Esplanade as we made our ways through the Boat Quay & Clarke Quay area.

We had to go through several narrow tunnel like this. CLICK PLAY to see the video clip. The girl runner seemed to enjoy herself running in the tunnel. :)

The Cavenagh Bridge. One of the many bridges we had to ran on along the route. According to the signage, this bridge is off limit to cattle and horses. Hmmm...I have never seen cattle roaming the street of Singapore. The only cattle I see in Singapore is on the dinner plates at steakhouses. LOL!

6 km. I was running slowly to enjoy the beautiful riverside area.

There are many bronze statues like this along this area. Statues depict the activities of the people in the olden days.

Oh! What do we have here? Is it a boat? Is it a stage? video

It's the HUMAN RACE BOAT! From afar I could hear the drum beats from this boat! CLICK PLAY to hear it! I paced myself to the drum beats. It was exhilirating and fun! I wish I could stop and listen to them play but hey...this is a race after all. :) So, I moved along.

Caution Low Tunnel. I must say the organiser had done a good job in ensuring the safety of the runners by placing adequate signages like this to prevent accidents from happening. (Insert applause here!)

The route get narrower and narrower.....

The Promenade @ Clarke Quay.

Oink! Oink! The Mooncake Festival by The River had officially started on that day. There were many beautiful lanterns despicting 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals along the river. video

More entertainment in store for us. CLICK PLAY. video

Another Human Crawl. No pun intended. I think the problem is due to the location of the water station. It was placed at a narrow path along the river. It can be very frustrating if you get stuck here. CLICK PLAY. This can be avoided if the water station is placed at a more open space.

The Alkaff Bridge - The most colourful bridge I have ever seen in my life!

I enjoyed myself tremendously. Slowing down and sometime even stopped to take pictures. The dark clouds had cleared and I was feeling great!

8km.....Two more to go!!!!

Confession time. :) I made a detour back to my hotel room after passing the Alkaff Bridge. I went back to retrieve my Fujifilm zoom camera which I had left in the hotel room fearing it would get wet in the rain. Since the weather had cleared, I figured it was safe to bring it to the concert later. My Olympus point and shoot is not good enough to take good pictures at night.

I went for a toilet break in the comfort of my own hotel room and had a cold refreshing drink from the fridge. I avoided water station earlier in fear of splashes on my Lunar shoes. (Insert sigh of relief here).

I know my race time would suffer but hey...I was not running for my life. The run supposed to be fun and enjoyable. :)

Back to the race again.....Giddy up!

Hmmmmm......Love to run or run to love?

9km....One more to go. Yeah!

I climbed up the stairs to get this shot. Call me crazy but I have had enough of shooting people backsides in the earlier part of the race. LOL! Hope you like this new angle. video

If there is a trophy for the most enthusiatic cheerleader, I would vote for this girl. :) CLICK PLAY! video

The Human Race Boat People had landed. The percussion group seen earlier in the boat went on land to play. I just love them. They keep the spirit up with their cheerful drums. Thanks guys! CLICK PLAY!

Hi Five! These tow littles girls seemed to have lotsa fun hi-fiving on coming runners.

Not sure what building is this. Supreme Court?

Statue of Sir Stamford Raffles.

I can see the finish line....Few more meters to go.

Swaggering towards the finish line....

Hmmmm...nothing beat a can of refreshing beverage after the race. (Insert blissful sigh here!) ;)

Met up with the rest of the gang at the Nike lounge. Ate something light before we went Media Room to collect our media kit amd get some photograph from PR people.

Charming Bracelet. No medal this time but we get this handsome Finisher's Bracelet for completing the Human Race.

Twilight Zone. The fun is just starting.

The stage where all the action is. I stayed on for the concert while the rest went off to do their own shopping etc.

Utt, Taya and the WWF Panda.

Now..who want this fantastic-superb-gorgeous Lunar shoes?

Apart from iPods Nano, the DJ are throwing Nike Lunar Trainers to the crowd! The crowd went crazy trying to grab those....Thank God I have a pair of my own. My precious.....:)

Going loony over Lunar. :)

Highlight of the evening. I stayed on even though I was in a dire need for a hot shower.

Boys Like Girl from US was the main act for Singapore. Nike had lined up some famous artistes like Kanye West (LA), All-American Rejects (NY), Fall Out Boy (Chicago) and Kelly Rowland (Paris).

Boys Like Girls took the centre stage. The young crowd went berserk over them. After listening to them play, I know why. Their songs are catchy as hell and they boys are goodlooking too.

Honestly, I have not heard of them before this event but I kinda enjoy their music after the first listen. I would buy their CD. I love the song "Thunder".

The lead singer of BLG - Martin Johnson. video

Boys Like Girls performing The Great Escape, their hit song much to the crowd's delight! CLICK PLAY!

More concert pictures here.

Making news. The Straits Times.

I had a blast at the Nike Human Race. It was one of a kind experience - mixing running, charity, music and humanity in one big race.

I broke my own record - the slowest 10K run in my whole life! Anyway, there is no need for speed. I run for run and fun I had. :D

We like: 1) The whole Human Race concept. 2) The individual printed bib T. 3) The unique finsiher bracelet. 4) Happening post run concert. 5) Entertainment along the route. 6) The charity bit. 7) The scenic route that covers beautiful part of Singapore. 8) Distance marker with words of encouragement. 9) Good overall organization.

We no like: 1) Human crawl at certain areas. Crowd control could be better. 2) Water station should not be placed at a narrow path.

Acknowledgment:To Nike Malaysia. Thank you for the invitation and the fantastic pair of Lunar Trainers. My travelling friends and fellow runners - Carboman, Frank, Niki and Richard. And all the other 999,999 runners who participated in the Human Race. Thank you for running wit me. :) (Insert thundering applause here).

p/s. I hope you guys enjoy reading my post. Bouquets and brickbats are welcome. Please click the comment box. Thanks.

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