Monday, May 30, 2005
Blaze of Glory...(Sing like Bon Jovi) Larian Bersama Bomba 2005 was held in conjunction of National Firefighters’ Day. Date: 29 May 2005. Time; 7:30am. Venue: Merdeka Square. Amy gave me a wake-up call at 5:30am even though she was not going for the run. She had to wake up early to prepare 300 pieces of Nyonya Chang (chinese dumplings) for a charity sale. Gotta salute this woman! I arrived at Merdeka Square about 6:40am. The sky was still dark. Saw a bunch of firefighter cadets marched pass me in their white Ts and blue track bottoms. They were far from the fat firemen I saw that day. They seemed very fit physically and healthy to handle those fire hoses and stuff. Walked towards the “cage” at the start point. There were three firemen trucks parked in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. As I was taking pictures at the start point, I saw our national runner, Yuan Yu Fang walked straight into my focus. (Photo on the top right). We were released from the “cage” at 7:30 am sharp by Dato Ong Kar Ting. He was elevated up by a firemen truck. Little that I know I would be riding high on that same firemen truck. I took my own sweet time to finish the race. No rush. Just enjoying my early Sunday run. I passed by the usual places and saw some familiar faces along this 10K route. The familiarity was comforting.
I'm like a bird....(Sing like Nelly Furtado) When I got back to Dataran Merdeka I saw a group of people gathered around the firemen truck. The Bomba was giving free ride on their firemen truck ladder. I quickly step into the queue. After a short wait, I got my turn. The old fireman pointed at me, indicating I was next. So, I stepped onto the platform and strapped myself with the safety belt. I was joined by two schoolboys. “Semua ready?” I was jolted by a deafening loud voice from the speaker attached to the platform. “Ready.” We shouted in unison. I felt a slight jerk just before the ladder started to elevate. The two boys squealed in delight. I was squealing too, in my heart. I remember that I used to play with toy firemen truck when I was a kid. Riding in one is simply a dream come through. (Insert more squealing here). The squeals from the two boys disappeared as we ascent higher and higher. I think fear had taken over the squeal. They were trembling like little rabbits left in the rain. I could feel that my legs trembling too – not sure if it was because of the excitement, the fear of falling or the jerky movement that the ladder made as it distend up. The ladder reached up as high as the clock tower at the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. I could see the face of the clock almost directly from the platform. No need to look up like when I was on the ground. It was 9:03 am on a clear sunny Sunday morning. The squeal came back as my heart flutters with fear and excitement. What a rush! What a view! My left hand was gripping the railing tightly while my right hand was holding my camera. The platform started to turn, giving the boys and me a complete 360 degrees aerial view of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and Dataran Merdeka surrounding area. My camera snapped on. After the turn, we were slowly brought back to ground again. I wished that there ride could be longer. I like to watch the little people from the top. Little runners running to the finishing line. Little people queuing up for Milo. Little people swarming the Dataran Merdeka like little ants. Little firemen down there. I walked back to the car with a smile like a barbequed cockle. (Insert more squeals here). My salutes go to our heroic firemen who serve our country with courage, dedication and passion. Happy Firefighters’ Day!
Friday, May 27, 2005
I went to collect my Firefighter Run t-shirts and bib this afternoon. KK was kind enough to drive me to the Bomba Headquarter at Jalan Maharajalela, KL from PJ. The jam was horrendous around the Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka area. KK also made a wrong turn and we ended up at Wisma Mirama. Finally we made it to the Bomba HQ after asking for some direction from a Good Samaritan. We were greeted with a few fat Bomba officers at the canopies set up in front of the Bomba HQ. Where have all the fit firemen gone? The T-Shirt design is not HOT at all - TM stamped on the left and a squirrel on the right. What's with the squirrel, anyway? No one would associate fire fighting with a tiny rodent brandishing a torch like some kind of fire arsonist. I think an elephant would make a better mascot. T-shirt is available in M, L, XL and XXL. I took the smallest available size – M and it is still huge. I supposed the t-shirt is designed for the fat firefighters in mind. The run will be on this Sunday. I hope I will not get trampled by the fat firefighters. (Insert sudden shudders..Brrrr...)
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
The Welcome Rather, not much of running in Langkawi. The weather was wet and it was very difficult to drag myself up especially after so much drinking and eating the night before. Excuses! Excuses, I know! Each year, my ex-college friends would organize a trip to somewhere, just to hang out, do nothing, catching up with gossips and talk rubbish. Langkawi always make it to the top list because of the duty free booze, duty free chocolates and cheap accommodation (One of us has a time-sharing membership for Aseania Resort). So, this year we make full use of the Wesak Day holiday and planned this trip since February. All together, 7 of us plus two moms. Joan and Poh decided to take their mom on a duty free shopping spree in Langkawi.
The Cable Car First day was spent in Kuah town. We rented 2 Wiras. I bought bars and bars of chocolates – those alcohol-infused kind. Yummy! If I cannot get the elusive runner’s high, I will at least get sugar high on alcohol. I think I have chocolate stock to last me 6 months. While my friends were busy choosing duty free wines and beer for dinners, the moms were busy with their pots and casseroles. After the shopping trip at Kuah, we drove to the cable car station at the base of Mount Mat Cinchang. The cost RM15 per person. What a wonderful experience but definitely not for the acrophobics. The top station is located at 780m (Overruling height of Mat Chinchang), providing the best views of Langkawi Islands.
The Food Insecurity leads to fear, fear lead to eating and eating leads to the lard side. Hahah! But I love eating anyway. One of our favourite restaurants in Langkawi is Kampung Siam, same building as the Underwater World. They serve authentic Thai dishes, which we all love. We love it so much that we return for lunch and dinner in two days in a row. Corkage charge is not expensive. So, we brought our own wine. Another favourite is Boom Boom Corner, which serve excellent Roti Bom. The chicken and the mutton curry are simply explosive.
The Cat Here are some cat pictures to increase the level of cuteness to my blog. Seen this done in other blogs quite successfully. I saw this handsome Langkawi cat meowing for some food underneath our table at the nasi lemak stall near Aseania Resort. How often do you see a cat “wink” at you? (Middle picture at top row). Isn’t he cute? Awwwwww….(Insert warm fuzzy feelings here).
The Sea Back to the topic of running. Beach running at Pantai Cenang, Langkawi is a bit tricky n the morning as the tide is high and the sand is loose. So, it is like running in a huge kitty litter. The situation is reversed during the evening, near sunset. Tide is low, revealing more compact sandy surface to pound your running shoes on. The view is excellent too. You might see some guys doing para-sailing too. I was determined to run on the last day in Langkawi. It rained in the morning (again!) but my guilt pushed me to the door. Been pigging out for the last 3 days. The lard side is kinda scary! I was greeted by a huge rainbow in the sky when I stepped out from the resort! Wow! What a lucky morning, I told myself. I started to run from Aseania towards Porto Malai. The road was still wet but the rain had stopped. The distance is about 2 km (one way). I had to overcome a steep hill before reaching Porto Malai. I was extra alert on the road as I saw many road kills (a meter long monitor lizard, a frog or a green reptile and a mouse). I spend about ½ hours exploring Porto Malai resort before running my way back to Aseania. It was a good workout and I enjoyed the scenic views.
Galactic Hunt Sign up for this, I have… I expect a fun-filled morning walking around in 1-Utama Shopping Mall (not Naboo) solving Yoda-crypted clues and trying to find intergalactic treasures. Location: Planet Burger King (1 Utama) Date: Sunday June 5, 2005 Time: 10:30 am May The Force be with us! (for more details, please go to a Burger King restaurant near you and buy those Galactic Meals that come with star shaped fries...).
Friday, May 20, 2005
I received an SMS this morning that reads - "Today is 20.05.2005. Remember to make a wish. Your dreams will come true." Pretty unique, eh? What would I wish for? For this weekend, I wish for a safe journey and fun holiday in Langkawi with my ex-college friends. Been planning for this trip for months. This mean, I am not going for the Pacesetter-New Balance 15km this year. To those running this event, I wish that you enjoy the double hills. I would like to wish that Kylie will recover soon and continue with her Showgirl concert. I wish Jenny Lim to get back on her feet soon. Before I forget, I wish for WORLD PEACE also. So there, I wish for all my wishes to come through.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Tuesday, May 17, 2005 Posted: 3:01 AM EDT (0701 GMT) SYDNEY, Australia (Reuters) -- Australian singer Kylie Minogue has been diagnosed with breast cancer and has cancelled her upcoming Australian tour, her management said on Tuesday. "Whilst at home in Melbourne with her family this week, prior to her Australian Showgirl Tour, Kylie was diagnosed with early breast cancer," said the The Frontier Touring Company. "She will undergo immediate treatment and consequently her Australian tour will not be able to proceed as planned," the company said in a statement. The singer was also due to hold concerts in Singapore and Hong Kong. I was SHOCKED! Not by the power of love but the heart-breaking news above just now. Such an unfortunate news. I called up Sistic agent in Sentral, KL about the concert. A guy named Andrew took the call. He said there was no confirmation yet on the cancellation of Kylie Showgirl Concert in Singapore.. According to him, SISTIC will call the ticket buyers should the show is cancelled or postponed. No mood for a run today. Must go straight home to listen to "Tears on my Pillow"....and pray that Kylie will recover soon (Insert sad wallow here!).
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Breathe in! Breathe out! WORLD ASTHMA DAY JOGATHON returned in 2005 with a new theme, “Breath & Live Asthma Free”. The venue was changed from last year’s Padang Merbok to Tapak A, Tasik Perdana, Kuala Lumpur. Date : Sunday 15th May 2005. Started at 8:00am It was my third consecutive participation in the World Asthma Jogathon. Saw some changes this year. The colour scheme had changed from purple to bright orange. I like the colour. Very lively and eye-catching. I remember the purple balloons last year but I don’t remember that we had clown last year. This year we get three clowns. The purple dinosaur (not Barney) was also missing. He was our mascot. The only thing that remained unchanged was the uncle who did the warm-up aerobic session. Off we went throwing our hands up and shaking like “monyet kena belacan” (don’t know how to translate to English). For the fun of it, I tried to copy the uncle’s movements to the tune of techno, which was blasting from the speaker. It was a fun Sunday leisurely 5 km run around the Lake Garden (Tasik Perdana). Upon reaching the finished line, we were given a pink slip to exchange for our breakfast – a McChicken, a bottle of mineral water, a cup of yogurt and a packet of Ribena. Nice. (Insert Happy Face here). Click here for last's year account of Larian Asthma
Saturday, May 14, 2005
Big Walk Big Crowd It seemed like it was only yesterday that I queued up to register myself for the Malay Mail Big Walk 2004 at its official launch event. I was doing it again for 2005 last Saturday. Same place. Same time. Some form from the same paper. Same FTAAA faces. Same familiar nameless faces that you see at the most of the roadraces. Same hot sun. Same complaint about why must we have to buy the newspaper to get the entry form. Same long queue (except for the 20km Open Men & Women categories where only one or two humans in the line). Same kiasu mad rush for goodie bags. Same old. Same old. What's in the goodies bag? Same old drinks! After collecting the goodie bag, I went to Low Yat Plaza to buy Six Feet Under (Season 3) DVD boxset. Now, if only I can find the time to watch Season 2 which is still sitting on my shelf. Great show. Great drama. Great dark humour. Great shock factors. The main character is also a runner...but he also has a growth in his brain. How morbid, right? Click here to read about last year's Biggie launch write up
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
PANDA-monium I never walk on Petaling Street the same way again. The memory of the hunt for the nonexistent camel in Petaling Street will be forever etched in my mind. It was on a hot and sultry afternoon…(erm, maybe not sultry but it was definitely blazing hot.) that we, the over 500 treasure hunters combed through Petaling Street, looking for the Famous Father to legless reptile. What reptile you said? The answer was POPULAR bookstore. POP = father; ULAR = snake in Malay; Famous = Popular. Geddit? That was one of the mind-boggling clues that we had to solve for the walk-a-hunt. We were also told to look for what a camel can offer us. Milk? Hump? Water? Spit? Camel shit? I was walking and swearing under the blazing sun up and down Petaling Street but I still cannot find the camel. It was later revealed in the answers presentation that nobody got the answer right as the billboard with the camel was taken off a day before the hunt! Bloody! We wasted so much time there to look for nothing! That was one of the highlight in the WWF Walk-a-Hunt. A refreshing walking event. Unlike Big Walk, we had to use our brain for this walk, not just leg power. No brain, no walk. We assembled at 7 am at Dang Wangi on Mother’s Day morning (HAPPY MOTHER"S DAY, MOM!). There were three of us in our team - BW, Hoon and I, proudly named our team - CSI - Clue Solving Investigator as a tribute to Grissom and the gang on CSI TV drama. Breakfast was provided - Nestle, Milk, Oat drink, a curry puff and a pack of fried beehoon. Then came the briefing session. We had to complete three legs in the event. 1) From Dang Wangi LRT Station to KLCC/ Avenue K 2) Ampang Park to Petaling Street to Maju Junction 3) Mall hunt in Maju Junction We had to buy 2 treasures, which we solved correctly - Tiger biscuit and Panadol! There was also a tab event where we had to match correctly the parts of the WWF panda logo strategically hidden in the LRT stations. There was more - a bonus questions - about the endangered species in Malaysia. We started the hunt at 9:00am. A tulip (walking guide) was given. From Dang Wangi LRT Station, we had to walk to Masjid Jamek LRT Station. Few question were found en route. From Masjid Jamek LRT station, we took the train to KLCC station where we had to solve more question and look for the pictorial clue in various shops in Avenue K. Incidentally, one of the shops where the clue was placed was not open for business on that day! From the KLCC station we had to walk to Ampang Park LRT station where we supposed to turn in the answers for Leg number 1. A new set of question were given at the Ampang LRT station. We had to make our way to Pasar Seni station. The tulip led us around Petaling Street. The tulip was confusing; we ended up in the wrong direction at first There were 3 Watson shops and 3 McDonalds in the same area and we didn’t know which one was the right landmark. Anyway, we managed to get back to the right path and continued our search for the non-existent camel which wasted our time. Then we took the STAR LRT from Plaza Rakyat to Sultan Ismail Station. We submitted the second leg answers at Maju Junction Shopping Mall. We only had about 30 minutes to complete the last leg of the event - hunting in the mall. Goodness! There were 4 levels to cover. So many question, so little time!!! So, we decided that BW to take the lower ground while Hoon and I cover the rest of the floors. We managed to get some of the answers by 1:00pm. If only we had let go of the camel earlier and spend more time in this mall…..
Prize presentation ceremony - Is Maya Karin part of the prizes?? For lunch, we were given a Rotiboy Mexican bun, a pack of Jacob’s cracker, a wafer, a can of EXEL isotonic drink and a 10% discount coupon for the food in the food court. . The prize giving supposed to start at 3:00pm but due to the lateness of the special guest, we started ½ hour late. I was so sleepy and tired. I must have walked more than 20km that morning from 9:00am to 1:00pm. Who was the special guess, you may ask. She was our very own banshee, the Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam actress - Maya Karin. She looked pretty in person. Slim. Ironed straight hair. A bit dark. She gave away the top three prizes, as she needed to leave. Normally, the prize presentation would start from the bottom up. There rest of us had to stay back for the next 27 prizes. CSI didn’t win. (Insert a loud pontianak cry here) Lastly, I must say that I enjoyed the hunt despite going home empty handed. Wait, we didn’t go home empty handed! All of us took about 30 Rotiboy buns; bagfuls of EXEL canned drinks, biscuits, instant coffee and wafer bars. The staff was giving the extra food away, so we helped ourselves with the goodies. One of the staff even gave me a box to take home the Rotiboy buns. All of that add up, was more than the cost of the prize hamper. (Insert a very Kiasu laughter here…)
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
The Star dated 28 April 2005. Nation section. I was saddened and distressed when I heard about a fellow runner was hospitalized due to a hit and run accident last week. Her story was featured on the national newspaper and radio. Jenny Lim, a familiar face in the local senior veteran marathon races was knocked down by a car when she was doing her morning run on the Bukit Kiara highway, near the golf club. She was abandoned unconscious by the roadside by the irresponsible driver. She suffered a black eye, bruises, a broken shoulder, a gash on her left calf and a broken pelvis. Luckily she was saved by a passing Good Samaritan who took her to the hospital. I visited her at Orthopedic Ward, 9th floor, University Hospital last week. There were a few other visitors there when I arrived. That was my first time I meeting her in person even though I must have probably seen her hundreds of time at the road races. She came across as a positive a jovial person, even though she was bedridden. She told me that she could not recall how the car hit her. She woke up in the hospital bed. I saw a metal rod fixed through her left calf. The rod was pulled by a rope, which was attached to 8 kg weight. I was told this contraption was designed to pull the pelvic bone to the original position. Yikes! This was just one of the damages done by the hit and run a**hole driver. Jenny was not able to sit up or move. She had to lie on her back (not more than 45 degree) all the time due to the injured pelvis. According to doctor, Jenny had to be hospitalized for at least six weeks and rest for three months. At the moment, it is not known whether she could go back to her passion – running. There was a 4-5 inches skin abrasion wound on her left calf. It was drying up. I could see a purple ring around her tiny left eye. That was not your fancy eyeliner, mind you. I was told that the eye was so swollen that she was not able to open the eyes few days ago. She also had some swelling and bruises on her body but they were subsiding very fast. Jenny jokingly attributed the speedy disappearance of the blue-black marks and swellings to her good skin condition as a runner. Pacesetter Athletic Club Malaysia has set up fund to help Jenny as she does not have any medical coverage or insurance. For more information, please call Pacesetters president, Mr. Munning Jamaluddin at 019-2747433. I hope the person who hit Jenny will come forward to the police if he or she has a heart. Let’s pray that Jenny will have a speedy recovery and get back on her feet again. Please leave your messages and wishes to Jenny by clicking “Comment” below. I will print out your messages and send them to Jenny. Related articles: Jenny Lim The Star