Sunday, 31 May 2015

TM Fan Run 2015

TM Fan Run 2015 was held to support our Malaysian contingent to 2015 SEA Games in Singapore. Previous years' edition was held to support our athletes too; in 2012 it was for the London Olympic, 2013 edition was for the SEA Games in Myanmar and 2014 edition for the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.

I guess thanks to Telekom Malaysia to make the initiative for this run, we runners get to join a race that has one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest registration fee in town.

I mean, you don't really see races with fees of RM28 for 5K, RM38 for 10K and RM48 for 15K that often nowadays (well, you don't see them). The 2015 edition of TM Fan Run is my first time even though the race has been going on for a few years.
The clincher? Cheap fees. Nice event-tee which will be nice to parade around when or if I race overseas again (hahaha) and the fact that I needed to do an easy 16K run this Sunday as part of my 16-week training plan.

So it worked quite well for me.
Come race morning, Hubby just dropped me off at the race site before driving off. Both Hubby and Son didn't wait for me this time as Son had an outing with friends so both of them shot off to Bangsar.
This was the plan I'm supposed to follow and bearing in mind that I entered the 15K category, I promised Hubby that I'd finish within 2-hours, and keeping an easy 8min/km pace plan.

I knew beforehand that the 15K category was going to be over-distanced as it was shown as 15.6K on their route map but I still stuck to the 8min/km pace.
I arrived around 20 minutes before the flag-off at 7.00am for the 15K category and runners were already lining up at the start line.

Despite my promise to Hubby, I started way at the back because well, it's less stressful that way. ^^

Flag-off was at 7.00am sharp and off we went, after being flagged-off by YB Khairy Jamaluddin. And pretty soon, the roads of Putrajaya became a sea of orange.

Approaching KM2, we were greeted by cheering squads which were indeed nice but I wish there were more especially towards the end of the run. But maybe there were, but I was too slow to see them. Hur hur.
I had absent-mindedly use this option, starting my run, instead of the "running" option so after the first KM and looking at watch and getting confused by the speed (as opposed to pace that I'm more used to), I decided to run on "perceived effort" instead of relying on pace. Easy effort.

Worked quite well for me, and tackling the inclines along the route was manageable and felt... quite easy.

I was feeling rather good, just happily plodding along on easy effort but there was a difference at this race. I promised myself that I won't stop to take photos while running. Stopping to pose for photos with others is a different matter though and that I did. Wahaha

It was great as we approached KM6 after our u-turn as it was there I saw the 5K runners as they were running on the other side of the road. I kept myself occupied scanning for familiar faces as I knew that some friends of mine were doing the 5K. It helped tremendously too to keep my mind off being worried about the inclines that we were facing.

Reaching the second last water station at around KM10.5, I drank 2 cups of 100-Plus (the first two served mineral water only) and somehow it was a big mistake for me during this race. Instead of being energized, I felt really heavy and bloated after drinking the isotonic drink. I coaxed myself to run until I got 12K before finally stopping for walk breaks.

It was somewhat a good timing to do it though, as by this time, the single lane road coned-off for runners was congested and many runners were already doing a slow walk breaks. I just felt it was too much effort too zig-zag past them and I didn't really want to run outside the coned area so I chose to speed-walk instead.

Going up the Jambatan Seri Gemilang, I chose to walk instead of running but I took solace in the fact that I was still within the 2-hour mark and that I was actually walking faster than those who were running up the incline. Hihihi

Finally, after 16K of running (yeay I got my 16K without needing to run extra distance after this run), I reached the finishing line and saw Hubby waiting for me there. *hugs*

OK, so I was 5 minutes late from gun time than what I promised to Hubby but I was happy that I still maintained my desired average pace of 8min/km. I did start a few minutes later too, right? *calculative*

Got my medal, snack packs and I went immediately to look for Hubby again.
We later "lepak"ed with friends who had finished their run way earlier than me, chatted and took tons of photos together.

Haven't seen most of the people in the photo much nowadays, more so in a group like this so it was great meeting them and catch up.

As we din't need to rush home (son being out and all), we lingered a bit at the field in front of PoJ where most of the runners were hanging out before making our way home.

All in all it was a great morning.

  • The 16K as per my Polar reading was a bonus. Yes, I was happy that it was over-distanced. The route was manageable and didn't feel too hard (probably wouldn't have felt the same if I needed to push hard though).
  • The late 7.00am start wasn't that much a problem to me although admittedly I wilted a bit after KM13 due to the heat.
  • Water stations were ample and volunteers helpful. Though I find the guy whom I supposed the captain of the last water station really really damn annoying with his incessant instruction to other volunteers to keep filling up the cups quickly and repeating it over and over without he himself doing much other than standing and making useless noise. 
  • Meeting friends are always great but pity I didn't get to meet some. We somehow never bumped into each other.
Now, on to next week's 19K run scheduled. Where should I do it? ^^

Saturday, 30 May 2015

If It Fits, Why Not?

Even if it'll seem that we're bucking to a trend. A brand. A style.

Whatever it is that we want to do or try, even if it feels so mainstream (gasp! horror!); if it's not detrimental to our health and not inconveniencing anyone, why the HELL NOT?

Everyone seems to be into running nowadays, with race slots being snapped up quickly, and I'm not only referring to SCKLM 2015 record breaking registration being completely sold out in 5 days! Funnily enough, not everyone is embracing this sudden "craze". Not non-runners. But those who had been doing it for many years. Because new runners caught the craze, it seems. Instead of just being passionate about running.

But if everyone wants to run, why not? It's not a bad thing, right?

Anyways, I actually wanted to write about another passion of mine, other than running, and that's running shoes. Hahaha
Apart from road running shoes, I now own 4 pairs of trail shoes. OK, two of them are actually multi-terrain which mean they can be used on both road and trails.

I first own the Inov-8 (that blue shoes at the bottom of the photo). When I got it, not a lot of people know what that UK born brand is. And that was the pull for me.

Thankfully, unlike many road shoes I tried and didn't like, my Inov-8 Roclite fits me well.

Then, I needed an extra pair as my training at the trails increased to twice a week, usually Saturday and Sunday and sometimes even twice a day.

My friends recommended Salomon shoes but I wasn't too keen on the brand as it seems everyone running trail owns one and being a penny-pincher, I decided to try a cheap(er) trail shoes from Adidas. Adidas Kanadia that retailed at a mere RM160.00 when I got it. Bargain!

I got my Nike Zoom Terra Kiger simply because hubby was buying one and at RM270 a pair, it was a bargain for a Nike shoes. A joy to run in too but not exactly what people around me seems to prefer for trails.

And finally, I had the opportunity to put on a pair of Salomon shoes. An X-Scream 3D. Despite my early reluctance on owning a Salomon shoes, the pair fits me well and so far, I love it! Mainstream or not, I am happy to be wearing my pink Salomon shoes now.

My rambling, long-winded point of this post is, don't form an opinion just based on what others say or views.

Just because someone has expensive shoes, doesn't mean we have to.
Just because someone runs barefoot, doesn't mean we have to.
Just because someone hates something, doesn't mean we have to.
Just because I own 4 pairs, you have to do so too. Ahaks!

And this is also applicable in life in general too, right?

Be free to form our own opinion.
And let others have theirs.

Be free to voice our views.
And let others do so too.

Anyway, does this post makes sense at all? I'm confused too. Hahaha

Friday, 29 May 2015

Silka Cheras Kuala Lumpur Juadah Kampung Preview

My family and I were lucky enough to get invited to Silka Cheras Hotel's preview for their upcoming fasting month promotion; Juadah Kampungku, pilihan Izreen Azminda (translation : choice of kampong fares by actress Izreen Azminda).
 
We were quite lucky that traffic from Bangsar to Cheras Sentral was quite smooth and it took us less than 20 minutes of travel time.
 
I guess most who attended had anticipated being late due to traffic jam as many arrived rather early for the do.
 
In fact, when we got there, most were already having their dinner!
 
So no shots of food spread. Hahaha
 
Some of the fares offered that we enjoyed last night :
 Sup kambing berempah (top) and asam laksa (bottom).
 Sambal udang, omelette, curries.
 
Their fish head curry was quite decent (good for those not loving too spicy curries) but I forgot to take any photos of them! Adoi.

Actually, I had to admit I didn't take much photos as I was busy eating and gossiping with others seated at the same table. Hihihi
For Son, he said his favourite was this biryani kambing.

There are of course an array of soups, the usual suspects such as satays and ulam/salad & kuih muih available too.

Those who are in Cheras Selatan area during Ramadhan month and looking for a buka puasa/dinner options; here are the details :

Silka Cheras, Kuala Lumpur
Curvz Café
‘Juadah Kampungku’ Pilihan Izreen Azminda

Buka Puasa Buffet
18 June to 16 July 2015
6.30pm to 10.30pm
 
18 to 23 June 2015
RM 40.00 nett per person
RM 35.00 nett for children aged 4 to 12 years
 
23 June – 16 July 2015
RM 75.00 nett per person
RM 35.00 nett for children aged 4 to 12 years
 
Prices are inclusive of 6% GST
 For more information or to make a reservation, please call +603 9100 1133 or visit www.silkahotels.com/cheras
 
More details on buka puasa promotions at other Silka hotels can be found here. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

A Treat After A Busy Weekend

It was a fun-filled and packed weekend last week.
First, hubby and I attended the Salomon launch of their X-Scream 3D shoes at The Apartment, KLCC. We were there bright and early at 7.30am, did a test run with the group for 7K and later was presented with the briefing of the shoes. More about it here.

Immediately afterwards, we headed of to Menara TM to collect my race kit for this week's TM Fan Run.
Had a quick chat and group photos with friends and oh! I even bumped into a renowned Malaysia marathoner, Abang Din there.

Yes, I was still clad in the gear I wore at the Salomon launch. ^^
Later in the evening, the whole family went to another race kit collection site; this time in Kemensah for the King of Kemensah Trail. But no, neither I nor hubby were running in this.

We were there as volunteers instead and spent the night at the "dewan" nearby.
Photo credit : Renee Tan
Sunday started early as we were helping out at the King of Kemensah Trail (race recap here) but our duty that day was as a sweeper. I did however brought along my camera when we sweep the trail and took photos of almost all the runners that ran on Sunday.

Since Son tagged along too and helped out, we decided to give him (and us) a treat after we went back and rested.

A dinner treat at Miyagi. Our favourite Japanese restaurant.
As always, we opted for their generous portion and affordably priced teishoku or set meals.

A nabeyaki udon with salmon don for me.
 My salmon don.
 Son opted for the una-ju.
 A closer look. Hehehe
 And hubby chose the seafood teppan.
 This is seriously a lot!

Definitely not for small eaters.
 Happy face, and that's the real treat. :)

Now, I'm looking for more busy, fun-filled weekends!

School holiday is starting next week.. Yeay!


Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Salomon X-Scream 3D Launch And Shoe Trial

MAKE EVERY RUN AN ADVENTURE, Salomon tells us. And I agree. ^^
Thanks to an invitation by World of Sports, I attended the launch of Salomon's X-Scream 3D on Saturday, May 23 2015 at the Apartment, KLCC and also get the opportunity to try the shoes.

What is X-Scream 3D?
It's Salomon's approach to everyday diverse urban landscape running. Salomon, recognized for technical leadership in trail running footwear has built X-Scream 3D as a way to escape running on the same route everyday.

"One of the most interesting parts of running in trails is the varied landscapes and surface conditions. It adds a challenge and it's fun", explains Pete Cameron, Product Line Manager of Salomon Trail Running Footwear.

"So we've taken this same idea of changing terrain and surfaces, and expressed it for a more urban environment. The shoes need to fit precisely to hold the foot for agile movements, and grip on varied surfaces, but they also need the cushioning and ride for running on pavement."

Runner's World calls it a sturdy multitasker.
His and hers version of Salomon X-Scream 3D that were available for those who attended the launch on Saturday.

Gecko green/bright red/black for the men.
Hot pink/mystic purple/white for the women.
His and hers. 
The Hers shown here is the Petunia Blue/Spectrum colour. Quite nice too. ^^
Before our warm up session, led by Raymond Ng and later a test run of 7K around the KLCC Park, a group photo with Salomon Malaysia team, the Brand's ambassadors and people from media & bloggers. 
And I got to squeeze in for this nice shot with Salomon Malaysia brand ambassadors and respected runners in Malaysia's running scene. 

After a short warm-up session, off we went as group for a jog around the park.
We tried not only the jogger's path and the pavement, but ran on the wet grass.
The initial feel of the shoes, I like the stiff midsole and the springy feel each time my foot landed on the pavement. It feels surprisingly light too, compared to my other 6 pairs of shoes. 
The shoes that made their rounds at KLCC Park. 
After a few rounds in KLCC Park, we regrouped and made our way for brunch and product presentation.
Media reps and bloggers hard at work.

And the star of the show :

X-Scream 3D shoes begin with a fit, with Salomon's well known Sensifit and Quicklace system for outstanding foothold and comfort. Add Endofit and a seamless upper and X-Scream 3D feels great even without a sock.

Under the foot, X-Scream 3D uses a 3D Ride midsole that provides enough cushioning for hard surfaces, with flex and rolling for a nice, even stride. It is completed with Salomon's Contragrip Outsole with multi-density compound and varying chevrons (or for us laymen, it means a line or stripe in the shape of a V or an inverted V, especially one on the sleeve of a uniform indicating rank or length of service) to ensure grip on hard and loose surfaces, and long wear on pavement.
Mr Samuel Soong, product manager of Salomon Sports giving a product presentation of Salomon X-Scream 3D and also some soft products (apparels) of Salomon later on.
There was also a sharing session by Salomon's ambassadors and athletes.

I can't wait to try out my new X-Scream 3D so I continued wearing it after the launch and throughout the day, going to TM Fan Run REPC at Menara TM and later to King of Kemensah Trail REPC where me and family decided to camp out for the night there, together with a few other volunteers.
And the next morning; on Sunday, I wore my new X-Scream 3D to tackle the trail while being the sweeper for the King of Kemensah Trail, covering the 21K route.

The verdict so far : 
Feels great and cushioned on pavement : so X-Scream 3D looks like a good candidate for me to use during next month's 12-hours Back to Endurance.
Absolutely a joy too at King of Kemensah Trail. It grips nicely on the wet red clay surfaces, providing kinda a suctiony feels and this shoes is light too.
The roomy toebox is great for me too.
A good shoes for both the pavement and trails. *thumbs up*

Can't wait to try it more and see how great the shoes is.

Salomon X-Scream 3D is available in 5 colours at Salomon Pavillion, World of Sports and World of Outdoors for RM489.00.

Monday, 25 May 2015

PRESS RELEASE : STANDARD CHARTERED KL MARATHON 2015 ACHIEVES THREE PERSONAL BESTS

Kuala Lumpur, 25 May 2015 – The 2015 edition of Standard Chartered KL Marathon opens with a bang, breaking three records in a week. First in achieving more than 10,000 runners signing up on launch day itself; receiving over 25,000 sign-ups within 48 hours; and finally, its fastest ever registration closing -- in just 4 days.
The overwhelmingly positive response underscores the popularity of the Marathon, which allows runners to uniquely experience the city of Kuala Lumpur. It also bears testament to the fact that Malaysians are taking more than just an interest in healthy living and active lifestyles.  

Rainer Biemans, Director of Dirigo Events Sdn. Bhd., Event Owner and Organiser of Standard Chartered KL Marathon, said, “It’s thrilling, humbling and encouraging all the same time. Having organised the Marathon for the last 6 years, we are proud to see its growth into what it is today. Thank you to all runners and the Standard Chartered KL Marathon family of stakeholders, sponsors, partners and supporters without whom, this would not be possible. We look forward to seeing all 35,000 runners at the start line on Race Day.”

Mahendra Gursahani, Managing Director and CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia said, “We are very pleased that so many runners are so motivated to join the Standard Chartered KL Marathon. The Marathon has grown from strength to strength, and we are glad that it has become the event that runners from Malaysia and beyond, eagerly look forward to every year. As the country’s first and oldest bank established in 1875, Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia takes pride in contributing to the community and the sponsorship of the Marathon is a great example. It is the Bank’s way of encouraging the community to get involved in sports and adopt a healthier lifestyle.”
Even with the record-breaking participation and early close of registration, individuals can still be a part of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2015 by:
  • Signing up for the Corporate Challenge – This 10 km team category is still available for registrations.
  • Supporting the ‘Run For A Cause’ runners – Pick a charity that you would like to support, and encourage our “Run For A Cause” runners who have pledged their commitment to raise funds for their chosen beneficiaries.
  • Be a volunteer – More than 1,500 volunteers are needed to help on Race Day and you can be one of them. Stay tuned for volunteer registration.
  • Be a supporter – Cheer and support your friends and families during their race and add to the festivity of the event!
The local running scene is a fast rising industry -- Standard Chartered KL Marathon has attracted more than 2,479 foreign nationalities from 83 countries and provides a strong sports tourism platform. Running has been growing in popularity in South-East Asia, out of more than 288 running events in the region; Malaysia has hosted 94 of them from 2015 to 2016.
Interesting facts and figures about the popularity of running in Malaysia:
  • Marathon running has become a popular sporting trend in Malaysia with the growing number of running events taking place on the local running scene.
  • To aspire healthy lifestyles and empowering Malaysians by helping them to achieve a work-life balance through a healthy body and mind.
  • Running events are ever-evolving with runners empowering one another to practise healthy lifestyles and at the same time, contributing to positive and social growth through a number of community and health initiatives.
Witnessing three record-breaking in a week, Standard Chartered KL Marathon officially announces that public registrations are now closed. Runners should now focus on training right for the race and stay tuned to the next announcement on Standard Chartered KL Marathon’s running clinics.

For more information and updates on SCKLM, please visit:

CONGRATULATIONS SCKLM!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

King of Kemensah Trail 2015 - The Sweeper Version

First of all, let's not get confused between this race that was organised by PACat Adventure Team and the one that was organised by Asian Trail Explorers in April called Kemensah Krazy.

King of Kemensah Trail or called simply KOKT was held on Sunday, May 24th, 2015 and one of three "King" Series.

The first of the King series was the King of Bukit Larut which was held in April (race report here). The second one was this King of Kemensah Trail and the third one will be the King of Sungai Lembing, which will be held on August 9, 2015.

I didn't join this to run but volunteered instead and was assigned sweeper duties (well, hubby and I requested for it and the organiser let us do it). For non-runners, a sweeper mean a person who ensures that the last runner arrives safely back and ensure nobody gets left behind in a race or lost.
Race directors and volunteers were still attending to participants coming to collect their race bibs late evening on Saturday. The REPC was held on Saturday and also the morning of the race itself.
Super hardcore PACat team's volunteers.

Hubby, Son and I lepaked at the Perpustakaan Desa in Kampung Kemensah for the night and "pretended" to help out a bit. Ahahah
Sunday started rather early for us volunteers as we needed to report to the race venue at 4:30am. It was easier for us as we spent the night there. ^^
And runners turned up early as some had yet collected their bibs and only did so on race morning.
After race briefing and singing of the national anthem, runners for the 21K category was flagged off at 7:30am by YB Tuan Haji Saari, ADUN Hulu Kelang.
15 minutes later, the 10K category was flagged off.

This was a rather small event with the number of participants being capped at a mere 250+.

Just as hubby and I were making our way to hit the trails, about an hour after the 21K start and 45min after the 10K; the first runner for the 10K category arrived.
The 10K Men category winner! Congrats. He did it under 44 minutes, if I'm not mistaken.

So after his arrival, hubby and I quickly made our way to the trail. I took along my camera as I planned to also take photos of runners that passed us while we "sweep" the trail route.
2K into the route the first and eventual Men 21K category winner passed us. He finished in 1:37! Congrats!

KOKT is a mix of 10% road and 90% road and pretty soon, we arrived to the trail head and headed into the trail section of the race.
As I was already wasting time with the stops I made each time a runner approached so that I could take their photos, whenever there was a gap between runners, I'd sprinted ahead and kept watch of approaching runners.

I wasn't the official photographer and any good at taking running photos but it's something I like to do, and hey! I wanted to do it!  Though of course, at times I wasn't ready and the photos came out, out of focus. A few runners complained about it, and I'm sorry for being a lousy photographer but here's the deal - if you don't like your photo, do let me know. I can delete it for you.
Pretty soon a friend came blazing past me and she later became the first runner up for Women's 21K category! Congrats Hanim!

As hubby and I continued moving and runners were already making their u-turn for the finish line, I managed to take photos of runners at different section of the route. On flats, inclines and declines. And most, just like me when I run, were happy to pose for the camera. ^^

There were two professional official photographers, if I am not mistaken, who had stationed themselves somewhere along the route too.

We bumped into the last two runners just as we were approaching Lubuk Tedung, and it was just a matter of checking out the last CP and WS at the river before making our way back.
At CP4. The last CP. The volunteers who manned this CP had actually camped and spent the night there. They had already finished packing and did the clearing up and was preparing to head down.

And we did too. We took a couple of trash bags in case we needed to pick up any rubbish, but from our observation on the way up, the trail was clean and clear of any rubbish! There wasn't even a stray empty bottle seen! Bravo to the runners of KOKT for keeping the trail and to the volunteers too for cleaning up.
Unused, unopened mineral water ready to be collected by volunteers on scramblers and motorbikes later.  Empty and used mineral water bottle were all been taken down, I presume by the volunteers themselves.

We arrived to the finish line at 12:30pm, and almost everyone had left the race venue by this time.
Ate some nasi lemak with a couple other volunteers, who manned CP3 earlier, rested a bit, listened to post-mortem before bidding our goodbye.

PACat Team's next adventure will be at Sungai Lembing, which I had mentioned earlier. I'm not sure whether to register or to volunteer. I wonder if they'd let me be the 50K sweeper? ^^

Congrats and well done to all runners of KOKT! 

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