Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Awesome To The Max : Be A Warrior And Join Amnig Run

03.10.2015
UPDATE
Winners has been chosen.
I've commented in the comment section for each commentor whether they get a slot or not.
Thank you for participating. *muaks*

Hopefully, I'll have more running slots to giveaway in the future for you all. ^^

AG Lifestyle Sdn Bhd the owner of private label: AMNIG, a sportswear focusing on performance and sports-inspired, design and make for running, training, wellness / fitness and team sports is hosting a running event on Dec 6th, 2015 at West Garden Boulevard @ ONE City, Selangor.
This is the second (2nd) year the running event is organized by AG Lifestyle Sdn Bhd after a very successful turn-out for Amnig | RUN TO THE MAX, 2014 despite time constraint faced by the organiser.

This year's run event theme - I AM WARRIOR 10km Run's vision and aspiration is to promote not only running as a healthy lifestyle but also to instill a spirit of warrior facing every challenges with full commitment and endurance to the last. Also incorporated into this year run are the fun activities before and after the run too. We received many sponsors to collaborate with us.

On the event day, there will be a lot of fun activities before and after the run for all the participants.
Before:
Warm up session by E-Fitness
Warrior face paint challenge.
Taping for prevention by WQ Park

During:
Beverage by Suntory at various interval drink station.

After:
Light refreshments & Suntory Beverage
Amnig mini Runway show.
Prize Giving
Face painting challenge result
Lucky draws
Amnig : wheel of fortune
Speed Kick challenge demonstrating speed agility strength
Therapist demonstration of preventive and recovering of injuries.
E Fitness displaying their services.

And that is not all, goodies bag full of surprises - for starter a special design Dry-Fit running T-Shirt :
Male
Female

With the 4 categories opened for registration since August 2015, the event has received encouraging response from the running community. The Organiser targeted to register 2,000 runners over the two (2) distances - 10km and 5km.

Amnig | I AM WARRIOR 10km Run is scheduled to be held on the 6th,Sunday December 2015, at West Garden Boulevard @ ONE City, Selangor.

Online registration of AMNIG| I AM WARRIOR 10km Run can be made @ The Marathon shop (http://www.themarathonshop.com.my/amnig) / for group registration with discount register @ www.amnig.com or email to care@aglifestyle.com at the following fees:
Race Entry Pack Collection
Date : 3rd & 4th December 2015 (Time : 12pm – 8pm)
5th December 2015 (Time : 10am – 6pm)
Venue : Amnig Concept Store @ 83A, Jalan 21/37, Damansara Utama, PJ.

Check out their FB Event page for updates.

Any one of you want to join the run too, with me? Indicate your interest and you might get a complimentary slot. :)

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Celebrating The Birthday Month With A Bang

September is a special month for us.

Both Hubby and I celebrate our birthdays in September.

September is also our wedding anniversary month.

There were special celebrations that we arranged for the month. Some we did, some we didn't manage to do due to unforeseen circumstances.

But all in all September has been a good month, hazy weather notwithstanding. ^^
We were supposed to celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary in Merapoh, doing The Magnificent Merapoh Trail (TMMT) together.

But fate has other plans and due to work commitments, we DNS (Did Not Start) the run.
Both of us work on the day of our wedding anniversary so I decided that it would be fun to hit the treadmill and ran 16K, to mark our 16th anniversary. Hah hah

And as a compensation for not going to TMMT, I signed up to The River Jungle Marathon (RJM) instead.
It was super fun, although I ran in RJM alone this year compared to last year when we both ran in RJM for our anniversary.
I actually signed up for a 10K run the Sunday after RJM, but when a friend invited me to join him and his group for a route recce for an upcoming race the night before my race; I didn't hesitate in agreeing.

So instead of a solo 10K run at AFSA Balloon Run, I ran with Hubby on Saturday night in Shah Alam and had lots of fun.

We went for a vacation in the third week of September to celebrate both our birthdays, Hubby and me. 
I had planned for many months to run an ultra on my birthday and I found one in Kyotango City, in Kyoto, Japan. Hubby and Son were there to give me full support, of course.

Wouldn't have dreamed of doing it without their support.
Thank you Hubby and Son for your patience. Love you two lots. *muaks*
Returning home after our vacation, I had a half marathon on Sunday. It was supposed to complete a 4-weeks race plan for September.

An FM on the first Sunday of September.
A 10K on the second week (which I DNS in favour of running 10K in Shah Alam, in leisure).
A 60K on the third week while on vacation.
And a 21K on the last week of September.

But alas, the Mizuno Wave Run which was initially cancelled due to haze is now postponed to an unconfirmed date.

But still, September had been a really fun month. As always.
And to be able to enjoy it with my family is priceless.

Three more days left for September.
We still have the three days to do more special stuff together!

Friday, 25 September 2015

Running Lifestyle Expo At SCKLM REPC

Participants in the upcoming Standard Chartered KL Marathon (SCKLM) will be able to collect their race pack at the Running Lifestyle Expo @ Race Entry Pack Collection (REPC) at Dataran Underground, Kuala Lumpur. Runners are required to present their SCKLM confirmation slip along with their identify card or passport at the counters.
 
Runners who are looking to upgrade their gear can do so at the Running Lifestyle Expo as there will be exclusive promotions and offers from the official sponsors and partners of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon.

Standard Chartered KL Marathon REPC and Expo details:

WHEN:
1-2 October 2015 – 11:00am – 8.00pm
3 October 2015 – 10:00am – 6:00pm


WHERE:
Dataran Underground,
Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur
GPS Coordinate: 3.147552, 101.693299

Registered runners will receive a bag with a running vest, a race bib number, one timing chip attached to the back of the race bib (Full Marathon, Half Marathon and 10KM categories only) and race entry pack goodies.

To find out more about the Standard Chartered KL Marathon REPC and Running Lifestyle Expo, please visit www.kl-marathon.com or www.facebook.com/SCKLmarathon.


For more information and updates on SCKLM, please visit:

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Journey To Run An Ultra-Marathon Along Historical Road (Rekishi Kaido) Of Kyoto

Let's see...

The plan to run on my birthday started early. I wanted to do something special for my 40th birthday and as usual, it involved me doing some running.

Actually, I wanted to do Craze Ultra last year on my birthday but Hubby said "don't even think about it". Huhuhu

I looked at a few options and came across Tango Ultramarathon which is a Silver Label race awarded by IAU (International Association of Ultrarunners) through Runner's Wellness website and after a few inquiries made on race details, race area and accommodation, I finally signed myself up to the 60K category in April this year and to run in it a day before my actual birthday.

A birthday present for myself.

Billed now as an International Friendship Race because there is no border in running.

How very true.
Seeing this at Sports Entry website was a reminder not to take the race too easily.

But I figured, with all my heat training in Putrajaya, I'd be able to handle Tango Ultra. Heat wise lah.

The focus of training for me would be my speed as I am quite (not being shy about this) confident about my endurance but I do admit I am such a slow runner. Plus I like to have way too much fun during my run. Without some speed, I wouldn't get past the checkpoints at Tango Ultra. Its first CP at KM34.5 had a 5:30 hours cutoff and second CP at KM47 had a 7:40 hours cutoff.

Training for Tango Ultramarathon only started after I did my 50K at Route 68 in May and I followed a 16-week training plan that I took from Trail Running UK magazine.

I used Back 2 Endurance 12-hour in June to gauge my fitness to meet the strict cut-off at Tango Ultra, albeit doing it on a flatter route. At that time, I reached 60K mark in 9:49 which was 19 minutes over the 9:30 hours cutoff at Tango Ultramarathon. That was why I wasn't really bothered to push too much for the balance of 2:30 hours to complete my 12-hour run there. The 71.30K that I did was good enough for me although I didn't meet my target of 80K.

I later joined Seremban Half Marathon in July and aimed to do a faster run which I was happy to note, I managed to do.

A week after Seremban Half Marathon, I did Pink 50; aiming to finish 50K within 9-hours. Not anything slower and wasn't aiming to run to finish fast for it either. But it wasa bit slower than comfort and it probably would've been better if I could run a bit faster. Say 10 minutes faster.

A week after that, I joined King of Sungai Lembing 50K, a trail run, just for the fun of trying a trail run and support and helped out friends who organised the race but unfortunately, I DNFed because I was unable to meet the 5hours cutoff at KM32. (Official cutoff was 5hours at KM30 but 99% of runners ran 32K to reach the CP because we were given bonus mileage).

I was looking for another way to train to hit the timing I wanted to do and when both me and Hubby had to DNS The Maginificent Merapoh Trail (TMMT) run on Sep 6th due to work commitments, I signed up to The River Jungle Marathon (RJM) to get my mileage in. I was supposed to do a 51K that Sunday so I figured a 42K would be good enough and I'd "pay" the balance of 9K later in the evening.

Also very happy to note, I managed to stay on pace for the first half of the race and allowed myself to run as I feel for the second half of it, resulting in a much faster finish than target for my full marathon.

So at that time, with just 2 weeks to go for Tango Ultramarathon, I was hopeful that I'd be able to finish it within my target of 9-hours. The official cutoff was 9:30 hours but after much deliberation and calculation, poring over the course map; I thought I should aim for a 9 hour finish.

But the quiet confidence was dashed when I caught the flu bug a week before our trip to Japan. I was still recovering and coughing when I crossed the starting line on Sep 20th! Horror!

Back to the race itself.

Pre-Race Briefing/REPC

REPC, checking-in and race briefing was held on Saturday, Sep 19th at Amity Tango. Runners could also collect their race pack on the race morning itself but we opted to go a day earlier.

Shuttle buses was arranged for runners to get to the race venue so commuting from Amino train station where we alighted to the race venue wasn't a problem.
At the REPC, the family was lucky and honoured to meet-up with Toshifumi Kasao-san from Runner's Wellness. Despite being busy with the race preparation, he was kind enough to spare some time to show us around the race venue.
We were honoured too, to be introduced to Kiyohiro Arai-san, the manager of Sports & Sightseeing of Kyotango City.

At the pre-race/REPC day, runners had the opportunity of making the local specialty "bara-zushi", training sessions with Phiten and later pre-race briefing and even a tea ceremony.

We decided to leave the venue early and didn't linger long as we wanted to do some sightseeing at Amanohashidate.

Race day

The 60K category was flagged-off at Kumihama-Park at 9.00am while the 100K category was flagged-off earlier at 4.30am from Amity Tango. Different starting line but we'd all later finish at Amity Tango.

The weather was overcast with a slight drizzle when we were at the starting line but it didn't dampen anyone's spirit.
The race organiser had provided runners with some light breakfast and we enjoyed some red bean and custard buns, bananas, candies, coffee, isotonic and water plus salt too.

I ate my bananas and buns sprinkled with salt. Salt is important for cramp management, you know.
We were again deeply honoured to be able to meet with the race producer, Yuji Sakamoto-san and Kyotango City's mayor, Yasushi Nakayama-sama.

The flag-off was at 9.00am sharp and off we went. I decided to start somewhere at the back, as usual.
Truthfully, the first 10K of my run wasn't as planned. It was so much slower than what I wanted to do but I figured I'd make up for lost time later.

Although we're in a race, we still adhered to road rules and stayed on pavements and on the side of the road for our safety. There was a bit of congestion, even stops at certain points that had bottle neck but no one around me was really bothered about it.

After all, we still had a long way to go. And I learn later, yes... the stops for crossing with traffic lights were used as an opportunity for stretching by runners and I learn to pace myself to get to the crossing either chasing the green light man or stop for walk breaks when I see a red man showing at the traffic light.

During the early part of the run, aid stations were placed between 4-5K apart. Water, isotonic, bananas, candies and pickles (umeboshi no less) were served at ALL aid stations.

Taking a cautious approach this time, I stopped at every single aid station.
The 3rd aid station at KM16.6 was where we were served a special pear soup (or drink) apart from the standard aid station fueling I mentioned earlier, after running past a beach side pavement and a climb.
I had expected the climb when we got to KM15 or so, but actually we encountered many ascents and descents as early as KM3. They were short though. Short and steep.

While the weather was rather nice and cooling earlier, it was at this point, during this climb that it got warmer. Warmer but still bearable. Pretty much how we felt during this year's RJM.
Looking down, halfway up the hill; at the beach area that we ran past earlier.
And we were greeted with gorgeous view of the Sea of Japan as we slowly made our climb. It was shady and breezy so it felt wonderful to run along this route.
I reached this aid station pretty much on pace (was actually 10 minutes faster) and was pretty happy and still feeling good.

At this aid station, runners can opt to get massages from Phiten care station and enjoyed some udon. I kinda stopped here longer than I planned to. Hah hah
After passing through a village (everytime we passed through a village, villagers would encourage us and I was sure grateful and thankful for that), we ran past another beachside pavement.

At around KM24, I decided to stop at a beach side public toilet. Good thing it was only at KM24 because it was a squat toilet! Imagine squatting after running 50K!

A toilet stop, freshened up a bit with the cold tap water and off I went again.

And a surprise waited for me just 500m ahead.
After exiting the beach and entering another village area, I saw Hubby and Son walking around.

They had utilised the free shuttle buses provided for supporters and waited for me there. *happy dance*

Hubby asked me whether I was on pace and I happily replied affirmative. Yes, I was on target and I was still doing OK. This despite the slow start, a few walk breaks on hilly sections that I hadn't planned for and those stops at aid stations to eat and enjoy the local specialties, enthusiastically given by the volunteers of the race.

It had gotten much warmer as the day went on, and when we ran past farm areas with no shades, the heat did took a toll on me. By now, I approach the distance with a 300m run and a 100m walk.

KM26-30 was a really hot section and what made it fun and bearable was the fact that Santa was running with me. Yes, a fella garbed in Santa suit ran the 60K.

He'd waved at every car that was stuck in a jam heading to Shoku-no-miyako and that made me chuckle.

We entered a farm area, joining bus loads of local tourists visiting the farm too. Imagine running through a theme park-like farm with holiday-goers and you're stinking the place up! LOL

An aid station was situated here, at KM30.3 and I enjoyed some bread and a pink coloured drink they called DNS drink.

From here, it was blissfully a downhill so I just let gravity carry me.
Much to my relief, I finally arrived the first CP at 1.46pm after running for 4 hours and 46 minutes.

My plan was, by hook or by crook; to get out of this CP at 2.00pm.
At this aid station located at KM34.5, we were served the local specialty - bara-zushi and onigiri (rice balls). There were also grapes and pears, along with water and isotonic drinks.

I ate a lot! I didn't want to be hungry when I was running because that would make me lose energy and slow down significantly.

This was also where our drop bags were place and I decided to change into a fresh set of clothes.

The volunteers were marvelous that I didn't need to wait for more than a few seconds. A volunteer had already went to pick up my bag to pass to me as I entered the hall where it was placed.

I took some time in the toilet, washing up and change and later ate more fruits before continuing my run.

The weather was still hot and from this point onwards, I keep seeing runners darting to buy drinks from the vending machines located at the roadside or even some who went into shops to buy ice cream. I too had brought along 1,000yen just in case I needed to buy drinks along the route.
By now, we were greeted by yellowing paddy fields; pretty much until KM47.

My thighs, both still sore from the stairs climbing I did at Fushimi Inari-Taisha two days earlier (clever, eh?) had started to protest so I'd run until they started to twitch before doing a short 100m walk breaks.

We converged with the 100K runners at about KM46 mark and it got more festive from then on.
At CP2, KM47.

The cutoff at this CP was 4.45pm for 60K runners, 7hour and 45minutes after flag-off.

I got here with more than an hour to spare. *do a happy dance*

As before, I lingered at this aid station, eating, drinking, checking out the Phiten care session and contemplating whether to enjoy a quick leg massage or not. Generally wasting time, as usual.

And oh! There was even a small kiddie pool placed here though I didn't see any runner sitting in it. ^^

There were coffee and soup served here too but this time, I opted to gorge on candies since I didn't really know what was served (I forgotlah... the organiser had listed down all the specialty products being served at the aid stations in the participants' guide).

It took me 15 minutes before I finally moved my butt out of this area!

And immediately faced some inclines. Blergh. So I just walked for like 400metres. At that point I was like "I'll walk when it's 4pm and not anytime sooner". Hah hah

Up and down. Up and down.
And later, was greeted by this view. How can I not stop for a bit for this?

From here on, the aid station got nearer - about 2.4K apart.

Even for just a sip of water, with salt added (local salt, no less), I made sure I stop every time. I just didn't want to take any chances. Better slow than not finish.
A final long stop at aid station when I got to KM53.60 and I enjoyed some warm red bean paste soup. It was heavenly.

I figured there was no harm in resting as from this point it was another steep climb that we had to do.

Up, down. Up, down again. Reached the next aid stations at KM55.3 and 58.6 and wondering, "why lah still got inclines to do" but was happy doing a 6:30min/km pace going downhill later. And then, went meh when it was a flat route. Hahaha

As we were left with only 3K to go, supporters were already saying "okaeri-nasai" to us and that kinda got us in a mood to run.

Past villages, past camping sites and we were almost there. And the beat of drums greeted us.
Ran past this street lined with candles and lanterns and families playing with fireworks.

Only 720m to go.

And just ahead, Hubby and Son were waiting for me.
I walked with Son who was holding our Malaysian flag while Hubby sped ahead so that he could capture my finishing photo across the finishing line.

About 100m left, I told Son we should run (he wanted to run earlier but I did not want to obstruct other runners with me running with Son holding our flag so we had to wait a bit to do it) and we did.
We crossed the finish line together, with the Malaysian flag proudly displayed.

And yes, I finished my run better than my target time.

With the support of my family.

It was a great race. Love the scenic route. The volunteers were all awesome. The aid station were generous and wonderful.

Finishing - runners got to enjoy bananas, drinks (coffee) and even udon!

And we got our finishing certificate with our timing printed immediately.

We sure were well taken care of.

Runners who had finished could also enjoy a free onsen visit at a nearby onsen but my coupon was already used by Hubby while he waited for me tp finish. He deserved it.

And we did enjoy a full day of onsen the next day.

Next up - I will share the logistics of getting to Tango Ultra Marathon.

Stay tuned!

p.s. photos taken during pre-race briefing, flag-off, race and finish can be view here

Monday, 21 September 2015

PRESS RELEASE : Stay On Pace With 21 Faces Of The Standard Chartered KL Marathon

Kuala Lumpur, 21 September 2015

For many Malaysian runners, the Standard Chartered KL Marathon has created many fond memories, such as running their first Marathon, or a start of a journey into distance running. For KK Yum, this year’s Standard Chartered KL Marathon will mark his 6th time running the event, and he will be part of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon pacers.
Happy pacer, Wong Sing Haow (right) receiving his very own official pacer vest and adidas shoes  from the Director of Dirigo Events, Race owner and organiser of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon, Rainer Biemans
He and 20 other pacers will be tasked with ensuring runners are able to cross the finish line in their desired times. The task however will not be an easy one, as pacers will need to stay focused throughout the challenging 42.195 km course. However, KK Yum is determined to motivate runners from start to finish.

He says “I love to run and I think it is great fun for everyone. As a pacer, I want to motivate runners and hope to put some “liveliness” into them. I look forward to sharing great moments with my fellow runners on race day as a pacer!”

Race owner and organiser of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon and Director of Dirigo Events, Rainer Biemans said “Every year runners set a goal to go faster and having help just makes it much easier. Having said that, volunteering to be a pacer is not easy, as you have to remain focused and have the discipline as they are playing an important role for other runners. I would like to say thank you to all pacers for volunteering their time and energy.”
 A group shot of the SCKLM Seiko pacers and official coach, Mark Williams (middle left) and Rainer Biemans (middle right)
The pacers of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon consist of experienced runners whom have run many Marathons (42.195 km) across Malaysia and around the world.

Hailing from Belgium, Luc Bodard who has joined the Standard Chartered KL Marathon since 2008, became a pacer in 2014. Enjoying the experience and the challenge, Luc Bodard says “As a pacer, your role is different and it gives running another dimension. Last year I volunteered as a pacer and enjoyed the experience of bringing the runners across the finish line in 3 hours and 27 minutes. I am looking forward to again helping runners achieve their goal this year.”

Runners looking to break their personal best in the 42.195 km category or determined to finish the course at a set time in mind can look out for the respective pacers on race day.
The Standard Chartered KL Marathon Seiko pacers all geared up and looking good in their official pacer vests and adidas shoes
The 21 pacers of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon received their official pacer vests from race owner and organiser of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon, Dirigo Events and the official apparel suppliers of the Marathon, adidas in a handover ceremony that took place at the adidas store in The Gardens recently.
Happy pacers, Kelvin Ng (left) and Azhar bin Omran (right) all smiles with the Director of Dirigo Events, Race owner and organiser of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon, Gloria Ng (middle)
The 2015 Standard Chartered KL Marathon is once again made possible by title sponsor Standard Chartered Bank, and along with event owner and organiser, Dirigo Events Sdn. Bhd. and co-organiser Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur.

The Marathon is also supported by Gold Sponsors, MSIG Insurance and Honda Malaysia, as well as Official Partners, Seiko, Pacific Regency Hotel Group, F&N and savemoney.my. Race owner and organiser, Dirigo Events Sdn. Bhd. also welcomes German sports-goods maker; adidas who is the Official Apparel brand for the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2015. Additionally, Salonpas, GP Battery, Repucom and Phiten join the Standard Chartered KL Marathon as Official Suppliers completing the list of supporting brands.

To find out more about the official pacers of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon, please go to www.kl-marathon.com.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Birthday Run

Done and dusted.

Race recap of this awesome race will come later. 

Let me enjoy my trip first. ^^

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

A Night At Palm City Villa, Kuantan

5 years ago, if you asked me to stay at a budget hotel, I would've hesitated; preferring well-established name hotels instead.

But with the mushrooming of plenty of budget yet modern hotels, staying in one has stop becoming an issue.

Especially when the focus is of the place we visited and not so much spending time in our hotel room.

We tried the Golden Roof Hotel when we visited Taiping for King of Bukit Larut in April and really love the modernity of the place. 

For only RM98 per night and right in front of some good eateries and right smack in the middle of town, it was a great choice for us.

I was looking for a hotel to stay in during the Merdeka weekend when we went to Kuantan for my Brother's wedding. I had at first chose and booked with Booking.com two hotels, Cathayana and Rocana Hotel which had rates of around RM150.00 per night.
But then, my Brother noticed this hotel and booked a few rooms for the family as we cannot book them online. But anyone who wants to book or check out their rate can call/Whatsapp them or check their FB page. 
Location wise : a win. Just a short walk away from East Coast Mall, as seen here. And very near to Kuantan UTC and Stadium Darul Makmur too.
Safety features of the hotel for their guests. Me likey.

It's pretty much semi-D houses converted into hotel rooms and the entrance was unmanned so this feature is very much needed.

Checking-in and checking out is actually done at the hotel located in front of Palm City Villa which I totally forgot the name. Crap. Hahaha

Anyways...
Amenities located at the ground floor. A water station and a shared iron and ironing board.
Our room was on the first floor.
A sofa in the common living area on the first floor.
And our room. Simple but spacious. Plenty of empty spaces as there was no wardrobe in the room but there is a small rack for hanging clothes.

You might want to bring extra clothes hangers. 
Basic needs are there : TV, kettle, drinking water, air-conditioning and most important : free wi-fi!!! And with a decent speed.

But as usual, no hairdryer. Good thing I brought mine along.
Bathroom with rainwater shower.

All in all, quite decent for RM80. Very roomy. Can actually fit a big family in our room if we bring in some comforters (or toto. Hahaha)

Our room smelled a bit musty when we first entered but that may be because it was aired daily but it was clean.

For the rate that's being offered, I wouldn't mind returning here again.

Maybe for Kuantan Half Marathon next year? ^^

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