Monday, February 23, 2009

My Life Would Suck Without Running

What? KL City Day 10km Run

Where? Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur

When? 22 Feb 2009 (7:30am)

How Long? 10km

Why? In conjunction with Federal Territory Day

Here's a little video clip I put together from the above run. It's good to be running road races again. In fact this is my first road race this year after "vegetating" for a couple of months.

The soundtrack is Kelly Clarkson's #1 Hit, My Life Would Suck Without You. This song has been on heavy rotation in my Sony MP3 player since it came out. Very catchy ditty this one. Can't wait for Kelly's new CD called "All I Ever Wanted."

Come to think of it, my life would suck without running. :) Would yours?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Aaron Aziz at Tesco Puchong

Since I got my new camera, I would shoot anything at any given opportunity. One of my favourites is shooting at celebrity appearances or shows. The models/ artistes know what to do in front of the camera and at the same time it is also very challenging as you have to battle the crowd while trying to maintain the focus.

Aaron Aziz, a famous Malay actor is the face for L'Oreal Men Expert range in the Malaysian market. Too bad, Daniel Wu and Pierce Brosnan, Aaron's international counterparts didn't make their appearance here. Pigs will fly if one day you see Daniel or Pierce a Tesco Puchong. LOL!

Personally, I think he put on too much make-up. Don't like the dyed hair and his brown contact lense. He looked much better in the poster. More natural I would say. But what do I know? Tonnes of female (including the makciks) were found swooning at Tesco Hypermart yesterday. LOL!

Aaron trying to do a Chef Wan impression. :)

Check out the rest of the photos (higher resolution) HERE.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Blast from the Past: RMAF Half Marathon 2008

What? RMAF Golden Jubilee Half Marathon 2008

Where? Royal Malaysian Air Force Base, Sg. Besi Kuala Lumpur

When? 25 May 2008 (Sunday)

How Long? 21km

I just realized that I have yet to post this race report when I was browsing through my old pictures stored in my external hard disc. I supposed I was too busy at that time and have overlooked it while concentrating on the Sundown Marathon race report. Better late than never, right?

It gives me great plesure to present to you the never before seen footage captured by my little camera as I was running along the air strip. I was totally blown away by the start of this event. Not only we get to run on an air force runway for a good 2km, we were also "bombarded" the the fireworks and flares spectacular along the way. It was a race to remember.

Exclusive: Never before seen footage. CLICK PLAY

So, what do you think of the footage? Gave you headache? Heheh! Sorry for the "Cloverfield" or "Blair Witch" effect. Remember, I was running while taking the above shots.

Here are some more pictures along the way. I am bitten by the lazy bug. So, no longwinded race report - I will just let the pictures speak for themselves as we take a stroll down memory lane.

Reporting Time

Buses were provided to shuttle us to the start point. Wow!

The RMAF Air Strip. It run about 2km, parallel to the KL-Seremban highway.

Aerobic warm up session.

If You Can Believe It, The Mind Can Achive It!

Scenic - KLCC and a mosque in the background.

Road Closure announcement.

Drinking Station. Is that you Kei Meng?

Power Gel!

We ran pass the Sultan Abdul Samad Building....

Half way through...

An unusual route. We went up the flyover near the KL Train Station.

The majestic National Mosque (blue roof).

Roundabout.

Swaggering Towards the Finish Line.

How did I do? Slow eh?? (Insert blushing face here)

Each finisher was rewarded with a beautiful medal! Thank you RMAF!

Fooling around in the air craft exhibits. After the run we visited the antique air crafts on display in the RMAF museum. Took many fun pictures with the gang. :)

The Goodie Bag!

More race reports here:

Carboman

Frank Chong

Running Mom

Ccube

I must congratulate our RMAF for the wonderful running experience. I hope they will make it even bigger and better this year. But maybe not (I don't know) because last year's run was organised to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of RMAF. Anyway, Insert one thousand salute and cheers here for RMAF for such a well organised half marathon!!!!

Marathon of Hope 2009: Cancelled

The plan for the Marathon of Hope 2009 TV show/ fundraising event is now officially cancelled. It might be revived again for next year's 30th anniversary of the original Terry Fox Marathon of Hope.

Amelia was so looking forward to participating in it. Head up!

I guess the run is also hit by the worldwide recession. Sigh! I hope people would still contribute to charity despite the glooms in the world ecomony.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Love Is In The Air

This is supposed to be my Valentine’s Day post but I couldn't get on line until today. Not that I celebrate this commercially hyped up event but I think it is an apt occasion for posting this good news.

I would like to congratulate Narumol and Hajime for their marriage on March 6. They both are avid marathoners. From running partners to life partners....How romantic, right?

Narumol is my Thai one stop information provider for running events in Thailand. She is no strangers to marathons in Malaysia. She helped me a lot with registrations of many roadraces in Thailand. As for Hajime, I did bump into him a few times – KL Marathon, Angkor Wat Half Marathon and Phuket Marathon. His running principle is “slow is beautiful” and is famous for his eco-marathon concept.. Both run with cameras like me. :)

When I got the invitation to the wedding last week, I immediately booked my plane ticket to Bangkok to attend the event. Hahah! I think I just need an "excuse" for me to travel and drink some authentic Tom Yum Goong. I would love to see the traditional Thai wedding like "kharn mak" (dowry) offering and "rod nam sang" (blessing of the newlyweds).

Watch this space! Love is in the air....

Sunday, February 01, 2009

GE30K: Cheers from the Last Water Station

What? Great Eastern - Pacesetters 30K Run

When? 18 Jan 2009 (Sunday)

Where? Last Water Station @ Jalan Sultan Salehudin.

Who? Team members - PK Chan (Leader), Lydia, Catherine, Corinne & PK's domestic helper.

What do you do if you want to be part of the big road race but you have not been training and you don’t think you can make it back to the finish line within the stipulated qualifying time? Be a volunteer! Heheh! I took “the easy way out” this year’s GE30K.

I sent in my application when I saw the request for volunteer in the Pacesetters website. I was asked to be at the Lake Garden, the starting point of the run at 4pm, the day before the run for a briefing session. I was assigned to help at the water station.

I reported myself to Francis Toh at the tent. I already saw some of the water station volunteers had already started their work. After collecting my breakfast pack and PowerBar t-shirt , I joined them to mix the Powerbar Endurance Drink (sponsored by PowerBar of course).

The task was simple - pour a can of powdered drink with 8 bottles of 1 litre mineral water. After mixing, we filled the mixed drink back to the bottle. We called it a day when we get around 40 dozen of drinks which would be distributed evenly to the water stations on the next morning. I noticed little blisters on my palm and fingers. Ouch!

It seemed that the “easy way out” is not so easy. We had to be at the water station at 5:15am much earlier than the runners reporting time.

Corinne and I were the first to arrive at our water station. It was located near the JKR building at Jalan Sultan Salehuddin - The last water station.

The moon was still in the sky when we arrived at the water station. (Insert sleepy eyes here)

The tables and crates of drinks were dropped off by the lorry earlier.

We set up 3 tables and waited for the runners. Due to the design of the route, we were the first water station that runners saw even though we were the last water station i.e. they had to pass us twice. So, we had to wait until all runners had passed us before starting put water on the table.

Instead of just standing there and be mosquito food, we perked up the morning by cheering for the runners! I am sure you noticed us, cheering our heart out. Without the pompoms and back flip somersaults of course.

“Good morning! All the way! Keep it up! Keep going! And Muy Bien!” filled the morning air.

What? Muy Bien?

Yes, Lydia taught us that. It’s “well done” in Spanish. She's a Puerto Rican and speaks Spanish.

As we cheered the runners, I saw a lot of familiar faces ran pass. I didn’t waste the opportunity to take a video clip of the runners. It was too dark to take a good photograph anyway. So, here it is...on YouTube.

Slowly, the number of runners trickled. We knew it was about time to start preparing for the second wave. It was time to get serious. No more cheering as the coming runners would be a thirsty bunch. We need to get the drinks ready.

We arranged the plastic cups on the table and started to fill them with water and endurance drink.

Oh No! I had forgotten that we had to open up bottle after bottles of water again! I should have brought a pair of glove to protect my hands. Luckily Corinne had an extra handkerchief for me. I used it to open up the bottles. It helped a bit but the abrasion between the bottle cap and the skin was so bad that the skin peeled out from one of my blister. Ouch!

We worked very fast. In no time, our tables were filled with cups and the cups were all filled. We waited in anticipation for the second wave of runners.

I was quite excited when I saw a bunch of Africans runners from the 20K category appearing from the bend. They sped towards our table. One of them trying to grab a drink as he ran pass but he knocked down twenty cups in the process. I was a bit surprised but quickly activated spill control . No harm done. The cups were refilled immediately.

It took awhile for the next bunch of runner to appear. I guess the African runners must have literally “led by a mile”! I took out my camera and took the photograph of the incoming runners.

One of the "perks" of being a volunteer is that you get to witness the on-going battle of runners. Michelle Tan (black sport wear) was seen here running neck to neck with Margaret Wangui Njuguna (white vest) in the 20K Women Open. They slowed down to grab a couple of drinks from our station.

I like the perspective of following picture. Very aligned, eh?

Some runners just love to wave to the camera. I normally would snap those waving at me. :)

Japanese runner, Iwata was seen wearing those breathable thingy on his nose.

Peace signs! I get those alot. :)

As time went by, more and more runners were approaching the water station. I put down my camera and concentrate on pouring drinks into the cups but occasionally pulled my camera out to snap the pictures of my friends.

I could see all sorts of faces at the water station. Tired. Half-dead. Flushed. Dehydrated. In pain. But most of them were relieved to see the drinks.

They gulped and gulped. Most of them took more than one cup. Must have been the hot weather. I heard the route were tougher. Someone counted – there were 17 hills along the route. Anyone want to verify this?

We got busier and busier as more and more runners streamed in. Somehow I wished that I have more than two pairs of hands. Eight would be nice. Two to open up the bottles. Two to hold the cups. Two to pour the drinks. Two more to snap pictures of my friends.

Anyway, I think we managed the water station quite efficiently. I am glad to say that we have drinks all ready in the cups for everyone. They do not need to wait for us to pour the drinks for them, unlike what we experience in other runs where runners had to drink from big bottles because the water station guys couldn’t cope with the number of runners. We might have run out of energy drink at the later stage of the run but plain water was abundant. So, nobody went left our station dehydrated.

Some even decided to take “shower” at our station. My first reaction was..."Hey don’t pour from the cup.....We busted our backs pouring water into those cups!!! I’ll give you the whole bottle if you have to..." LOL! But anyway, I just let them be - as long as they don’t pour energy drinks onto their heads...they could do whatever they want. Soap not provided though! LOL!

Lydia busy ensuring every runner was hydrated.

Zombies in the morning? Just kidding!

Yikes! This gotta HURT! And poor NIKE shirt! :P

Nipple chafing is a problem normally happening to men. Most running women wear sport bras which normally effectively protect them against nipple chafing. It happened to me a couple of times too. But now I have wised up if I do a run longer than 10K.

Nipple chafing occurs because of the constant rubbing of your running shirt over your nipples when you run. Usually, on short runs, there is no problem at all. Not enough time for your shirt to do real damage. But when you run for longer distances, the constant rubbing can result in your nipples starting to bleed.

From that point on you feel an unpleasant stinging sensation with every step you take.

Next time please lubed up or plaster those putings. Maybe wearing a bra would help. LOL!

Poor guy below. He collapsed and had to be carted away in a stretcher. I hope he is alright!

Mak Cik Power!!! :)

While waiting for the last runner to arrive, we played the role of DBKL...Clear up all the strewn cups. Gathered all the empty bottles and other rubbish.

It's a dirty job but somebody's gotta do it. :p

Meet the last runner of GE30K. She arrived at 10:59am at the last water station. A big salute to her for never give up! We gave her lots of water to drink. Even one whole 1 litre bottle. To clear stock :)

After she has gone off, we packed our stuff and head home. I decided not to go to the end point as I was very tired and I was told that all the "tau foo fah" already been gobbled up by the runners.

It was a productive morning. We busted our backs serving drinks to 2,200 over thirsty runners (1,000 for 30K and 1,200 for 20K). We cheered and clapped for them. Made some new friends and learned some Spanish too.

To my team members, Lydia, Catherine, Corinne, PK and PK’s domestic helper:

Thank you for making the work at the last water station so enjoyable and MUY BIEN!!!!

Note: Volunteers are never enough for a sporting event like this. Experience a run a different way.

Do sign up to volunteer in a race. For water station, it helps to bring a pair of garden gloves to uncap the water bottles. Your volunteer spirit may be strong but the skin on your fingers isn’t to withstand the abrasion of opening crate after crate of water.

Enjoy the experience and you will appreciate your race better the next time you approach a water station.

MORE PICTURES HERE at runwitme's PHOTO VAULT

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