Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunrise, Sunrise, Looks like morning in your eyes

Welcome to PBIM 2006 Posted by Picasa

What? Penang Bridge International Marathon

Where? Penang Bridge

When? Sunday, 20 July 2006

Distance? 22.3km

Organised by? Municipal Council of Penang Island & Malaysia Highway Authority

Temples of Penang Posted by Picasa

Penang Bridge Run was my very first half marathon. It was where I got my very first finisher medal in year 2000. Going back this year sure brought lots of memories. I arrived a day earlier to The Pearl of The Orient a day before with a few friends and colleagues by overnight bus. Did some sight seeing and visited two famous temples at Burma Lane. Of course, not forgetting the food. You will never go hungry in Penang. Never ever. For lunch, we went to a corner restaurant at Lebuh Keng Kwee for the famous Char Koay Teow and Asam Laksa. I had both and still had room for a bowl of ice-cold cendol. Yummy!

We stayed at the same hotel as the previous’ time - Vistana. It is the nearest hotel to the start point, approximately 5 km away. However, it is not advisable to walk from Hotel to the Start Point at USM or back. We found out the hard way after the run.

One more reason to pick Vistana – it is located 5 mins walk to Bukit Jambul Shopping Mall. We do not need to travel far for food abd shopping.

Sleeping Buddha Posted by Picasa

One of the largest Sleeping Buddhas in the region at Wat Chaiya Mangalaram at Burma Lane.

The Official Event T-Shirt and some Coupons Posted by Picasa

Starting Point - It Was A Blur Posted by Picasa

Race Day

04:50 We arrived at the Start Point for Men Open Half Marathon. As we walk toward USM, we saw the full marathoners running on the opposite side of the road. Saw some familiar faces. Cheered for them before going into USM compound. A yellow rubber band was given to each runner as we passed the gate. Walked across a wet field to get to another gate.

05:30 We were let out from the USM compound. Lots of jostling. We had to walk about 500m through some residential area to the start point.

Due to lack of toilet facilities, some runner decided to use trees, walls, hedges and shrubs in the housing area as their urinals. When you gotta go, you gotta go.

05:40 Before reaching the start point, I heard the air horn blaring from afar. What the Beep?? This can’t be happening! Most of the runners in front had started running. What a messy start! They should have open the gate earlier! Ran passed the Starting Arch. Saw some fat VIPs, one of them is our Works Minister – Sami Vellu. My my my..I almost didn’t recognized him. He looked bloated and so unhealthy.

Look Ma, No Traffic Posted by Picasa

Jogged slowly but surely. I felt great. Without my MP3 (which I have absent-mindedly left at home), I had to entertain myself. While, I was running, I had Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Madonna and Pussycat Dolls running in my head. If I do this more often, I might have to get Schizo. Treatment.

It was not too bad, running without MP3. I get to listen to the pitter patter of my own footsteps and 9,000 others. Heheh!

I hated the partition that was erected in between the road – can’t see the other side of the road. It also blocked the sea breeze coming from the other side. At certain part where there was no partition, I did catch a glimpse and waved at my friends on the other side.

6:20 I reached the first drinking station at middle f the bridge. Feeling great. Stow away my camera and started to increase my pace – going down slope. Thank God for gravity.

Turning Point Ahead Posted by Picasa

7:00 I reached Seberang Prai and made a U turn back. Collected another rubber band at the checkpoint. My bladder was start bothering me. Fortunately, I found a lorry parked around the bend. In not time, I started to fertilize the grass behind the lorry. Phew. What relieve! For the record, I was not the only one who did that.

Doesn't Penang Bridge Look Like A Dragon from afar? Posted by Picasa

A New Day is Dawning Posted by Picasa

7:20 The dark sky is now started to brighten up.

PBIM Sunrise Part 1 Posted by Picasa

7:30 Turned around and saw the sun peeking out from the horizon. Later it turned into a golden “ham tan” (egg yolk) in the sky. I practically stop running and stood there to enjoy the sunrise. Not everyday we get to admire such beautiful sunrise. I am glad that I brought my camera along. I am sure many of you missed the sunrise, you fast runners out there. Don’t you think the sunrise was nice?

The other side of the road Posted by Picasa

I see runners, lots of runners Posted by Picasa

Breathtaking! I can't help but to stop and admire the amazing sunrise. Posted by Picasa

PBIM Sunrise Part 2 Posted by Picasa

Awesome Views of Penang Bridge Posted by Picasa

Final few KMs Posted by Picasa

PBIM Rubber Bands Posted by Picasa

8:25 Reached the finishing line…Yeah! Still within the qualifying time. Collected my second PBIM medal. Excellent! PBIM - One of the most anticipated and enjoyable run this year.

Penang's Best Food Posted by Picasa

Mmmm..Roti Tisu Posted by Picasa

PBIM Goodies Bag Posted by Picasa

Pretty Shiny Thing and a Cert Posted by Picasa

The Verdict:

What kept our motor running?

1. Carbo-loading never been so fun with Nasi Kandar, Char Koay Teow and Pasembor.

2. Zero traffic. We had the bridge all to ourselves from 3:00am to 10:00am

3. Gorgeous sunrise. You just gotta slow down and enjoy it.

4. Excellent view of the World’s 3rd longest bridge.

5. Cool pewter finisher medal for everyone. Yeah! It is pretty too!

6. You will never get lost by going into wrong turn, (unless you jump into the sea heheh!)

7. Cool sea breeze…Seagulls…Feeling so free!

8. Easy to gauge the distance even without the distance marker. You know you are half way there when you reach the U turn at Seberang Prai.

9. Cool rubber bands for checkpoint

10. 9000 runners. The more the merrier.

What rubbed our tits the wrong way?

1. T-shirt collection was a beeping disorganized mess.

2. A messy start! We didn’t even know the race has started

3. Seeing a very bloated Sami Vellu.

4. Slow students who walked in flocks blocking the way.

5. Seeing people ran 21km with their heavy backpacks. Nuts!

6. People who kicked empty mineral water bottles around like a soccer ball as they run.

7. The divider erected in the middle block views

8. Lack of toilet facilities.

9. Almost died of thirst after crossing the finish line – have to join the long queue to get coupon for water which was in the goodies bag. Blardy idiot!

10. Have to return the cool rubber bands in exchange with finisher medal.

Will I return next year? A resounding YES! And the next year. And the year after next. And the year after the next…..(repeat till fade)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

SingwitU, SwaywitU, StickwitU

I thot I saw six puddycats.... Posted by Picasa

What? The Pussycat Dolls "World Tour" Live in Concert 2006

Where? The Surf Beach, Sunway Lagoon

When? 9:00pm 26 July 2006

Brought to you by? Hotlink

Cute as Buttons Posted by Picasa

What do you get if you combine thousands of adoring fans, six pussycats and one hot sultry night? A pussy-whipped night. Heheh! I love them pussycats.....They pranced, they prowled, they strutted and they sure could tease. The only thing that they didn't do was to cough up a furball.... The night was hot hot hot. I felt so hot, that I started to lick myself to keep cool. Heheh! Kidding. I actually felt dry despite the heat, thanks to my dry-fit Nike running T. Moisture-management at its best. Best for running and also outdoor concert. I love Nike dri-fit.

The Pussycats came on the stage at about 9:30pm with Buttons. The crowd went crazy. I was standing about 30 meters from the stage. I could only recognise Nicole- the tallest, skinniest and I dare to say the prettiest among all the six Pussycats. Actually, it was easy to spot Nicole because she had her name N.I.C.O.L.E.sown on her skirt! She also wore her “signature” leopard print bra. Whoa…..I was not sure which one was Kimberly or Ashley or Melody or Jessica or Carmit (pronounced Kar-mee; not Kermit. She's a pussycat not a frog. Heheh!). They were “Beep-ing” hot.

Nobody gonna love me better, I must stickwitu, forever... Posted by Picasa

So, they sang. They danced. They pouted. They whipped their hair. They popped their backsides. They shook their hips. They jiggled their erm...stuff. And without fail, ending each song with killer poses. The Pussycat covered almost all of the songs from their PCD album. The live version of StickwitU sounded as good as the album version. Nicole sure has lungs.

Here Kitty..Kitty.... Posted by Picasa

The Pussycats sure had us all eating from their paws. Nicole split the audience into to - right and left. With her cue, the right side sang "Don't Cha Wish Your Girlfriend...." and then the left side continued with "Was Hot Like Me". It was corny but fun. That prelude the final song, their biggest hit in the universe - Don't Cha.