Friday, July 28, 2006

Flagrante Delicto -- Show Time

It was most satisfying to hear the burst of continuous laughter of varying intensity from audience. On Wednesday 26 July, 8.30pm, it was the first of the five consecutive performances at the Actors Studio, Bangsar Shopping Complex. It was a reflection of months of hard work by the 19 cast members, the Director and the Producer.

To ensure the sequence of acts/scenes were smoothly executed, the cast did the final rehearsal again in compressed or fast-forward mode with the Sound and Lighting technicians (from the Actors Studio), and Stage Manager at 6.30pm – two hours before show time. The results: almost flawless performance with transition from one act/scene to another.

From audience’s feedback after the show last night, they were satisfied with the performance. Here are the extracts of their feedback:

From an American couple:
"We enjoyed the show. We can see the cast enjoyed doing their roles."

From others:
"Certainly an entertaining show, we enjoyed ourselves. We will tell our friends to come."

From KH:
My pleasure to be there to laugh out loud!! Laughter is the Best medicine.
All the best to all of you.
Wishing you success in your performance.

All of you are so talented… not just oral communication but acting as well.

From Steven:
B4 the play, the lady announcer announced that the play will last for 90 1st reaction was "WAH! 90-long minutes! How to survive?"

The stage's lights on and off...the casts all lined-up to be introduced. "WAH! 90 minutes has passed"... this proved that the play is really entertaining - makes us laugh and happy. That's why time flies.

Well done.

From Lilian:

Hi there KC, Thanks for getting the tickets and just wanna say that we enjoyed the show. A very talented and enthusiastic cast, they really look like bank people. Especially 'the lady with the big eyes' who is just quite outstanding although everyone had their moments!

Not easy when there are so many in the cast, but good fun nonetheless! Well done to you and all your friends who put this together. Looking forward to the next one!

From Jason Chin:
It's was good show with great cast! My favourite is the Big Hair Lady (I forgot her name)… She looks so natural!

Great team work: cheers to Speakers' Dream Toastmasters Club.
Photos were taken by Jason Lee.

Yours truly was holding the camcorder - even in the comedy drama, the director/scripts writer also give me a role that has something to do with camera.

Compiled By KC

Monday, July 24, 2006

Port Dickson Triathlon

Photo Albums:

All photos are ready. Take your time to enjoy viewing the photos. Please scroll down to view a few of the beautiful shots. See you guys in the next race.

1. Sprint Event and Dinner by KC - 263 photos. Please click here.

2. Dinner by JASON LEE - 66 photos. Please click here.

3. PD Triathlon by JASON LEE - 376 photos. Please click here.

4. PD Triathlon by KC - 465 photos. Please click here.

When in thumbnail page, point cursor and right-click at the the first photo, select "Open Link in New Window" to open up another Window. To exit, click "X" at the top-right corner.

Work is still in progress to build the path in Pacesetters Club Web site.

+ + + + +
I am Nearly Famous: Another appearance of the Flagrante Delicto play in The EDGE Malayais (Business & Investment Weekly) for the week of July 24 -30, 2006.

Show Time: Tomorrow, Wednesday 26 July, 8.30pm at the Actors Studio, Bangsar Shopping Complex.
Duration: From 26 - 30 July.
Yours truly will be acting in this comedy drama too. Come and support, will ya?


Friday, July 21, 2006

I am Nearly Famous

I could not contain my excitement when I turned to Page 74 of today’s New Straits Times, Friday 21 July 2006. I was elated. The familiar Flagrante Delicto photo taken in YS Studio in SS2 appeared before me. Below the photo, it says: Smell a Rat in Perfect Crime.

At one glance, a reader may think that this group of people in sunglasses must be crazy. After having been caught for committing a crime, they still look very happy. Don’t worry! It is only a comedy drama. As the smart DJ in Red FM commented earlier, “everything is possible in a play.”

Immediately, I bought two copies of the newspaper from the news-stand. Why two? My colleagues who were standing besides me were curious after having our lunch at Alamanda Food Court in Putrajaya.

Well, I replied that the first copy is for circulation to other colleagues to share my joy. The second copy is for laminating purpose for my permanent filing. And indeed, my colleagues in the office were excited too to see me appearing in the newspaper.

After three months of hard work, the cast is almost ready to perform the drama. Last night (Thursday, 20 July), while the cast was rehearsing, our talented Director, Loghan, was laughing away seeing the hilarious acts. Even the Director, who wrote the scripts, could not contain the laughter.

There will be another three days of final rehearsal (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday). After that, show time will start on Wednesday 26 July 2006, 8.30pm.

Come and support us, will ya? And enjoy yourselves in a fun-filled evening with lots of laughter.

Port Dickson Triathlon, 22-23 July (Saturday and Sunday)
Next posting is on next Monday morning. I will be going down to Port Dickson to support my friends who are participating in the Triathlon race. The Organizer was most pleased to issue two media passes to me in order to facilitate me in taking photos. Yes, I will be the cameraman there. Stay tune for photos of triathletes in action – the muscular guys and gorgeous gals.

Meantime, please click here to view the photos taken by Jason Lee and I during the pre-race training two weeks ago.

Please click here to view pre-race training photos taken by KC.

Please click here to view pre-race training photos taken by Jason Lee.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Over the Red FM Airwaves

SOS: I am having difficulty in selling all the tickets allocated to me where I had made the payment. To you, all the kind and good people out there, I would appreciate it if you could help me to purchase one or two tickets to this play – Flagrante Delicto comedy drama.

Come and enjoy yourselves in an evening of light-hearted entertainment. I assure you that there will be lots of laughter. The proceeds will go to Speakers’ Dream Toastmasters Club. Please scroll down for details.

For RM 45 ticket, you only have to pay RM 33 each. My handphone: 012-266 8166, email:

The Interview

Oh! What a feeling. If only someone were beside me to share my joy: I was so excited to hear the interview of my fellow cast members over the radio in Red FM 104.9 at 8.30 a.m. on Monday, 17 July.

Loghan, Celine and Saba were there in the interview for the promotion of Flagrante Delicto comedy show. Yes, it is not about fragrance, neither it is about delicious cuisine, interjected the DJ – this show is about being caught in the act for committing …

I believe that interview spurred the cast members on to try even harder in performing at the show which starts from Wednesday 26 July to 30 July. And that is exactly one week from now.

Celine, a trainer and consultant by profession, did a fantastic job in introducing Speakers' Dream Toastmasters Club (SD TMC). Her voice can rival other lady DJs in term of crispness, clarity and fluency. Being an experience and distinguished speaker, she was able to speak on the following topics within a short span of two minutes: the origin of the Club from IBBM (Institute Bank-Bank Malaysia) TMC and the dream or aim of every speaker.

Saba's voice, to my big surprise, sounds like Rod Steward, but not too coarse (rough). He mentioned about making one million Ringgit and the lady DJ, Ms Nell Ng, immediately asked for the ways to become rich. Much to my amusement, the guy DJ, David, promptly replied: in play, everything is possible.

Loghan, our Director for this show, as usual, took control of the airwaves with his lively and interesting contents. You need The Master to be able to craft the funny side of a serious subject, and the distinguished speaker, Loghan, is good at it. After all, having done ten standing comedy previously, he is talented in thinking and acting humorously.

The last three weeks have been hectic schedule where the rehearsal has been intensified to three times a week. Acting in front of paid audience for 1.5 hours is a different ballgame that demands synchronization in movement, facial expression and vocal variety with other cast members.

In all outdoor quests, the foundation to become fit is the simple and humble running. Nevertheless, in acting, the foundation is established from giving solo speeches in Toastmasters Club meetings.

The Anxious Wait

I was informed by Siew Chien, the Producer of the play, about the interview over the airwaves. I waited in my car (parked at the covered car park of the Bank) from 8.10am till 8.30am. At 8.20am, they introduced the KL Arts Festival and the happenings in July. Then the DJ, David, gave a lead: there will be an interview with a group that will be performing in the Actors Studious. And just before that, they played the song: Flashdance, What a Feeling by Irene Cara. Oh! What a feeling.

David asked what would be the reasons that the Government stages the KL Arts Festival in July. The spokesman replied: according to statistics, July is the month with the highest number of tourists visiting Malaysia. We were glad to be part of the happenings supporting the Government's initiative. And that put even more pressure on the cast to perform the show even better.

According to Loghan, the judges from Kaki Seni, an authoritative body on performing arts, would be there to review the show. Since we are used to Toastmasters environment, the project would not have been completed without the evaluation. It is indeed an honour to have them to give their feedbacks so that we can strengthen the strong points and improve on the weakness.

Show Time:

Dates: 26 - 30 July 2006 (Wednesday to Sunday)
Time: 8.30 pm
Venue: Actors Studio, Level 3, Bangsar Shopping Complex, Kuala Lumpur.

Tickets: RM 33 and RM 45
Telephone: 03-2094 0400 or 03-2094 1400

Note: Only Sunday show starts at 3pm.

Speakers' Dream Toastmasters Club Web site: Click Here.


Monday, July 17, 2006

Run like a Camel – Part 2

Consulting my digital wristwatch for a time check, I should have been running for about 6 km and there was still no sign of water station of the Seremban Half marathon. Since that was a 20km event, it was not likely that the water station is located at the odd distance. That means the first water station could be situated at the 10km mark. I was feeling a little dehydrated and the “run like a camel” incident that happened in KLIM March 2006 flashed across my mind (the Part 1).

At the Starting Area

Before the flag-off at 6.45am on Sunday 16 July, the starting area was packed with students’ runners wearing the official white T-shirts. After running a few Seremban races, the process seemed repeatable – I automatically went to the registration counter to deposit the race coupon. I was pleasantly surprised that every runner was given a bar of chocolate wafer upon submitting the coupon. Not wanting to eat and later look for drinking water, I handed it to a pupil whom he happily accepted it.

The starting line is a 4-lane-wide road. This time, the organizer has put up permanent banners at the side of road indicating the different categories of events though there was no overhead banner. Categories A, B and C for the 20km event were at the forefront while those that start later were at the back of the starting line.

Water Station

At about 2km mark, I spotted a water station that bore the sign “RM1” instead of “RS1” or “SS1” (that stand for Refreshment Station and Sponging Station). I thought that the organizer was exceeding the requirements by staging the first water station so soon. But when one runner tried to grab the bottled water and immediately three Chinese teenager girls who manned the water station started to response unfavourably, then only I realised that payment of one Ringgit is required to purchase the water. I was very impressed by their enterprising effort. Unfortunately, situation analysis was not properly done by setting up water station so near to stating line.

After running for about 10km, I saw the race officials were giving out ribbon to runners and the course took us to a left turn. The water station was located exactly the same spot as last year which was near a river. Only Excel drinks were served. A check with the volunteers, I was told that it was the only water station available. With that, I drank up to six cups of drinks before I took off again.

The Course

I read somewhere that the course would be newly designed route. But after running the race, it looked exactly like last year to me. I was puzzled as to which category of event they were referring to.

Generally, most of the distance was run in the outskirt of Seremban town. One unique feature of the course was that there were carcasses of monitor lizards, birds, snakes, etc. on the road. At certain areas, foul smell greeted runners from the nearby factories. There was not much traffic, and that was ideal for running.
Sponging Station

Contrary to the scarcity of water stations, there were a few sponging stations. The SMK students were doing a good job and were very efficient in carrying out the duty. They were seen collecting the sponges immediately the sponges were discarded by runners. At one sponging station, I actually did not want to take the sponge, as there was no need for me to use it thereby saving their effort having to collect the sponge later.

One runner running next to me, while holding a sponge that do not look new and seeing the students picking up the sponges, commented that the sponges could be recycled ones. Since I supported recycling programme, I replied that it was okay to recycle them. After all, we used the sponges to wipe faces and hands only. Not much damage could have been done to our outer skin.
Water Supply

I was happy to see the three Chinese girls appeared again about 3km to the finishing line. This time, they got the location right. I could confirm their identity by recognizing the same grey Atos car parked next to them. The business was better as I could see a few runners purchasing drinks from them.

Weng told me after the race that he actually detoured to a petrol station situated just next to the course to refill water from a public tap since he did not carry any money. Another runner later asked him for drinking water which he was most kind to share.

Traffic Congestion

With the huge number of students’ participation, the two-lane country road was practically occupied by the students walking or running in abreast occupying the entire lane that left runners running in the middle of the road. Unfortunately, cars were allowed by the organizer to use the same road competing for space.

The last one kilometre distance was disappointing. The traffic jam started at a cross-road until the round-about for about 500 meters. It happened last year too. It was bad with both sides were congested with traffic almost in deadlock situation. While the vehicles were motionless spewing out carbon monoxide, the limited space was occupied with big number of students. The limited space was further squeezed by motorcycles which practically left no space for the runners to run.
Return at the Padang

There was host of activities at the finishing area with runners walking around the fields and chatting with their friends. There was special draw on top of the lucky draw. I missed the Nutrimalt drink this year. It was most refreshing to drink the iced-cold Nutrimalt drink after the run.

The staff of Excel drink actually carry a tray and walked to the runners in the padang. I was pleased and took a cup of drink. After a moment later, I realized that the staff was taking the drinks to the VIP and were hijacked half-way by the runners.

On the stage, the performers were busy performing and singing. They have drumming with the lion dance drums and even wheelchair dance.


A well organised race but marred by lack of water stations and the terrible traffic jam at the last kilometre. Overall, it was quite fun to run in this race as the course takes us to the country roads.

For those runners who wanted to run next year, you may want to bring along a few Ringgit notes to overcome the lack of water problem.

I still prefer Runs organized by Clubs as they know the runners need and paying attention to details.

Let us hope there is no Part 3 of Running like a Camel.
Photos are by courtesy of Weng.

By Tony / KC

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Start of a 100km Charity Run

Please click here to view photos taken by KC.
(When in thumnail page, right click at the first photo, then select open a new window. To return, click "X" at top right corner).

KC, my prayers be answered, I was hoping someone else would take interest and come and take photos, so I have proof to show all who have donated money that it is legit. I'll be at the start line at Subang Jaya Buddhist Association from 5pm this Saturday 15 July, and with any luck at the finish line about 3pm Sunday. Hope you can shoot a few of my and Ms. Chew's pics.

From Steve

To Sze Foon, my thinking Christian friend, do not worry about "pensan" after 5-6 km. God makes us to be able to walk and climb on our own legs (not in cars or 4WD or even bikes) and to appreciate in awesome wonder of the wonderful world. He created!! So I believe. Otherwise tell me why He makes us with 2 legs (with the exceptional few) and put us on this planet? The mechanical aids are man's self-styled "modern transportation" spewing toxic gas on God's master-piece every time we press the accelerator. Glory to the modern world, so sing the modern man!

From Ngae KH

This event is graced by the Ironman above. In Ironman, a racer is to swim 3.8km, cycle 180km and follow by a full marathon in order to complete the race.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Running a 100-km Charity Run

Running 100 km? Wow! It must be an extraordinary feat. Yes, this Saturday 15 July at 6pm, Mr. MY Ngae, a marathon runner from Pacesetters Club, will take on the challenge – for a good cause. He is participating in a 100 km Charity Run in aid of kidney failure patient, Ms. Chew Lee Tee.

Together with him are Bruce Wan and Dr. Tan (the Hawaii Ironman) who are doing the walk/run category. Encik Adnan, another Pacesetters Runner, has also signed up. Three other walkers that he met during Batu Caves/Maran Walk are joining him too.

If you would like to make a donation, Mr. Ngae can be contacted at 016-272 3933 or email: Do come and support the event. Yours truly, KC, will be there at 5pm taking photos. P3 (Tony) and P11 (Chee Wee) would be there too.

According to the organizer, there are 30 participants in this event. More than half are the temple devotees who will do a long, slow walk (target time for them is 24 hours). The ending point is at the Lukut Dialysis Center. Ngae hopes to reach there by 9am or 10am, Sunday with a target time of 15 hours.

When asked what motivates him to take part in this charity run, his reply: Firstly, I was asked to assist and it makes a small difference to Ms. Chew. Secondly, I can test my physical and mental state in a supported event, i.e. there is back-up team. This is the same reason I did the Batu Caves/Maran walk/run in April. Thirdly, I do not have to travel a long way to participate. Well, there is no special training for me. I just tried to be familiar with a pace of 9 min per km during the training.

Start Time and Running Route

Runners will have to report at Subang Jaya Buddhist Temple at 5pm on Saturday, 15 July for a blessing ceremony and then the event will be flagged off at 6pm. The runners will follow the LDP route until the turn off to Taman Puchong Utama and then join the old road to Dengkil en route to Salak Tinggi and Lukut. The cut off time is 24 hours – 6pm on Sunday 16 July.

The Organizer

The Triathlon Association of Negeri Sembilan is the same organization which organised the 60K run in Lukut/Port Dickson/Siliau back in 2003 that Mr. Ngae took part also. That run was to raise money to buy dialysis machines for a charity dialysis centre in Lukut. The runners managed to raise about RM80,000 in 2003 and the money was used to buy 2 dialysis machines.

One Pressing Question from KC

How would a runner run along the old road to Lukut at night? There will be no streetlights in the country road. Hopefully, five nights after full moon, the course is still visible illuminated by the faint moonlight. Even if that is not visible, they will be guided by the true light in their affectionate hearts.

How to go to SJ Buddhist Centre

Traveling at Federal Highway from Kuala Lumpur, take left exit to Subang Jaya. You would see Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC) on your left.

At Persiaran Kewajipan, go straight for two kilometers (passing by a round-about) and you would see a BP (now BHP) Petrol station on your left. The SJ Buddhist Centre is just next to the petrol station.

However, if you see Summit Shopping Complex on your left, then you would have over-shot 500 meters.

About Ms. Chew Lee Tee

Chew Lee Tee, 34 of age, is a primary school English teacher in Johor Bahru. Her hometown is in Segamat and she completed her higher education in UPM Serdang.

Being an active person, she has taught at the Sunday School in Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple at Brickfields and was active in the counseling unit of BGF. She is presently a resident at the Compassion Buddhist Meditation Centre in Johor Bahru.

Ms. Chew is undergoing dialysis three times a week after being diagnosed with end stage kidney failure in 2004. She continues to be a bubbly person despite her present health condition.

She dreams of living a normal life again and has decided to go for a kidney transplant in China, which is estimated to cost RM120,000-00.

Her story and appeal for donation appeared in Nanyang Siang Pau and Sin Chew Jit Poh on 30 March 2006.

The Triathlon Association of Negri Sembilan has decided to help by organizing a 100 km charity run on 16th July 2006 from Subang Jaya Buddhist Centre to Port Dickson. Participants in the run are asked to raise fund from the public to assist Ms. Chew.

Information is provided by Mr. Ngae;
Compile by KC.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Flagrante Delicto Comedy Drama

After taking over 200 photos in the recent Port Dickson International Triathlon, I did not have the chance to take one for myself since I was holding the camera. Nevertheless, attached below is a photo where I was in it. It was taken with a group of Toastmasters Club members in YS Photo Studio in SS2. I am not sure whether you could recognize me, yours truly. I am in yellow shirt.

One unique feature of this photo is that all were putting on sunglasses. There are a few reasons why we put on sunglasses: it was too bright; putting on sunglasses has more style. Anyway, this photo is for the printing of banner for the comedy drama titled Flagrante Delicto. Since this is a dark comedy, we put on the sunglasses that remind every one that it is associating with “dark”.

Show Time:

Dates: 26 - 30 July 2006 (Wedn to Sunday)
Time: 8.30 pm
Venue: The Actors Studio, Level 3, Bangsar Shopping Complex, Kuala Lumpur.
Tickets: RM45 and RM33

Telephone: 03-2094 0400 or 03-2094 1400

Please come and enjoy yourselves in an evening of light-hearted entertainment. There will be lots of laughter.

The date of the comedy drama coincides with the KL Arts Festival in July 2006.

The proceeds from the show will go to the Speakers’ Dream Toastmasters Club and in turn will be used for purpose of improving communication skills.

One of my running friends asked me whether I will be one of the main actors or the ke-le-fe. Another running friend said I am torn between two lovers: the two “… ters” – Toastmasters and Pacesetters Clubs.

The Show

Our first major performance is “Flagrante Delicto” which means ‘the act of committing a crime’ in Latin. This is a dark comedy. The story revolves around a group of senior bank employees who planned and managed to pull off an act of crime. They made a total of RM9 million but the bank incurred no loss. It was to be a perfect crime, but was it? The bank auditor’s investigative vibes were alerted. The auditor’s relentless search leads him through a trail of lies, seduction and intrigue.

The director and script writer, Distinguished Toastmaster, K. Loghandran has added twists towards the end.

The Cast

The cast consists of 19 actors from the Speakers’ Dream Toastmasters Club. This is the second performance as a group after the successful “Funny Money” comedy drama.

Speakers’ Dream Toastmasters Club Web Site:

My contact number: 012- 266 8166


Sunday, July 09, 2006

PD Triathlon Pre-Race Training

Please click here to view 123 photos taken by JASON LEE.
Please click here to view 215 photos taken by KC.

I have been writing quite a number of reports on training runs whenever I go for 20km Sunday morning runs starting at Bukit Aman. This morning, I was involved in training runs too but it was a different type and at different venue.

I went with a few running friends to participate in the Port Dickson Triathlon pre-race training. The first pre-race training caught my attention when I visited Azwar’s web site. I saw there were quite a number of racers taking part in the first pre-race training.

This morning, Sunday 9 July, was the second and final pre-race training. Jason Lee, Weng, Steven, Eric, Vivian and yours truly drove to Admiral Marina & Leisure Club, Port Dickson to have a try at the training run.

It was raining since 6am at the Marina Bay. We waited until 8.15am for the rain to stop. There were about 100 racers taking part in this pre-race training. I have the opportunity to converse with Mr. Kristof Van Houdt, a racer from Belgium. He actually cycled from Kuala Lumpur to Port Dickson the day before!

The Event Organizer, Mr. Chan Chee Seng, personally supervised the training. Before the race started, he assembled all the racers and gave detailed and useful instructions to them. To demonstrate the correct swimming technique, he actually jumped into the water and demonstrated to the racers much to my amusement. Standing at the pier with other swimmers, I jokingly commended that I thought Mr. Chan is a land-based activities coach; he is good as in water-based activities coach also.

Oh Yes, I was there to take photos; not taking part in the event though you might be wondering that why I was conversing with other swimmers.

I was having a pole position taking photos. Thanks to Encik Dale, who was so kind to offer his help. It was my first time taking swimmers in actions. Please take a look at the photo album; it should be ready within two days.

Cycling Segment

Since it was a training run, all racers waited at the starting line to start together after completing the swimming session. It was an excellent idea as that would ease the traffic policemen controlling the traffic. I thumbed a lift from one of the friends and got down about 7km away to take Eric’s photos. I was there alone waiting for the cyclists to return for taking photos.

I was elated when I saw the cyclists return. I spotted a boy cyclist while I viewed from my telephoto lens. To my surprised, two dogs surged from the shelter and started chasing the boy about 50 feet away. That caught me by surprise. I could see the boy immediately gained his power and peddled very hard. After the boy had left, I walked slowly towards the two dogs and aimed my camera with the long lens at them. It worked! The two dogs then left me alone. Eventually, my transport came and I went back to the starting line again.

The last segment was the 10km training run. Since the route has been designed not having to cross the road, the participants could start the run after completing the cycling segment. Most runners dutifully ran the pre-defined distance.

With the overcast sky and the rain this morning, the weather was most conducive to stage this triathlon pre-race training.

The actual event date is on Sunday, 23 July at the same venue. According to Encik Dale, there will be about 1,000 racers participating in this event; about 300 are foreign racers (not including Singaporean yet).

BTW, the closing date for registration is 17 July. Take a look at the photos; it is fun taking part in the triathlon event, and staging this event at Port Dickson is most appropriate. If completing the three segments is too much of a challenge, then consider doing a relay race involving three racers each for swimming, cycling and running.


Friday, July 07, 2006

Don’t Cry for me Argentina

“GOAL” the audience roared its approval and punched the air in excitement when Argentina scored the first goal in a quarter-final match with Germany on Friday night, 30 June.

With the resounding roar, it sent a big black cat – at the scene looking for food – running in fright looking for cover. While in flight, it nearly collided with my foot when I stretched my legs. I was at the scene with a huge crowd watching the match: sipping cold drinks while sitting under a tree in an open space of a mamak restaurant. The atmosphere was fun.

To be continued… Very sorry, I am too busy with updating of Pacesetters Club web site and Toastmasters Club comedy drama.

I will be going down to join in the fun for the Port Dickson Triathlon 2nd Test Run this Sunday morning 9 July. Jason Lee would swim, Weng cycles and Steven runs; your truly takes photos.


Monday, July 03, 2006

Prelude to Two Great Trekking Trips

I was invited by Tammy, a Pacesetters Club runner, for a gathering at her house on Thursday evening, 29 June. The mode of notification was via SMS a few days earlier. From the house address, she lives in bungalow lots area in USJ, Subang Jaya. I was familiar with the area as it is the most prized property in USJ and I have been aspiring to own one unit - only in my dreams.

She mentioned it was a gathering of Pacesetters Club members. Since I was not very certain of the occasion, I dressed up in smart casual wear and put on my leather shoes to avoid any embarrassment for inappropriately dressed.

Her house was fairly easy to locate since bungalow lots area is a small area. When I reached there at 7.50pm – 10 minutes ahead of schedule – I was pleasantly surprised that the double-storey bungalow is big; the width is almost four standard terrace houses combined in one. When I alighted from my car, I immediately spotted Francis and Sonny in the dim streetlights. They arrived almost same time.

Entering the front gate, I saw a gleaming black Porsche sports car parked right at the car porch. Immediately, I saw Tammy and Sharon, another Pacesetters runner, greeted us. They were busy arranging the food on the table placed next to the car porch. Since the host said I just have to bring myself, I actually went there with only two combs of bananas (with my 10 fingers pointing downwards) – not even my camera. Later, the other Pacesetters runners arrived: Tan PM, Teresa, Carol, Chan and a few more members. They brought along wine and champagne.

With a quick survey at the surrounding, the exterior of the house was almost a masterpiece of architecture, elegant and graceful. The garden was just next to the car porch. It was completed with plants, fine grasses, pebbles, marble statue, park-bench and water flowing in a mini stream that promote good feng sui. With the orange garden light, the ambience of the garden was serene and beautiful. To provide coolness to the surrounding, ventilation fans fit with water vapour were installed lining the walls of the house. The misty effect created by the water vapour further enhanced the setting.

When most of the guests had arrived, we began our buffet dinner. There was quite a lot of food served by the host: satay, roasted meat, fried bee hoon, pizza, sushi, salad, etc. Yeah, there were lots of drinks too: champagne, wine, beer, punch and soft drink.

The main purpose of the gathering was to discuss the schedule and detailed activities of a trekking trip to Kala Pattar, Nepal, from 29 September for 16 days. The summit of Kala Pattar stands at 5,623 meters. The team leader for this trip is Tammy and she has been there once. From Kala Pattar, one could see the giant triangular structure of Mount Everest. It was indeed an excellence idea to gather around for some serious discussion amid good food and drinks. Francis was in and he is the only guy so far in an all ladies’ group.

Tony (P3) was invited to this gathering also by the host since it is related to trekking where he is the "mountain sifu". However, he could not attend as he had promised to take his nephews and nieces to watch Disney’s “Winnie the Pooh” movie the same evening. According to P3, the host suggested that he watches “Basic Instincts” movie, possibly to refresh his macho outlook.

In a different corner, Wendy, Sonny, Chan, Sharon and yours truly were conversing on another trekking trip. Wendy, an avid trekker, was enthusiastically highlighting her impending trekking trip to Markha Valley from 18 August 2006 for 14 days. It remains one of the most popular treks and one of the most beautiful valleys in Ladakh, near Delhi, India. [If you are interested, please contact me.]

She was inviting us to join her in this trip. Among other details, she mentioned about RM 6,000 and at that very moment, I was choked with sipping the champagne and was coughing continuously. They were laughing. With the perfect timing, I knew what they were thinking. So, I have to explain that the coughing was only a coincidence.

While conversing, Tammy’s Dalmatian dog was roaming around the compound. It was a smart and obedient dog. It could understand certain commands – only from the owner – and performed a few tricks to the amusement of all presence. So, we have an entertainer for that gathering. Most of the Pacesetters runners who were presence there were rearing dogs, or have reared dogs before.

The original punch drinks created by Sharon was sweet and easy to drink. However, along the way, the guys added wine and beer into the mixture to create an alcohol-laden punch. So, it was really full of kicks drinking it and it could get you drunk before you could even realise. I was blurred at first not knowing the purpose of the gathering; blur later after drinking the champagne, wine, beer and punch. I was punched by the drinks.

It was a great idea to have special gathering once in a while to discuss our passions – running and trekking – and to foster closer friendship. I left the gathering at 11.15 pm same time as Francis and Sonny while the rest continued their cohesiveness and camaraderie of the running friends.


Sunday, July 02, 2006

Training Makes the Difference

Note: failed attempt again to post photos.
It was noticeable that fewer runners were at Bukit Aman car park this Sunday morning. I presumed many runners were participating in Ipoh Half Marathon today, 2 July. Within the Penguin group, Tony (P3) and a group of runners and trekkers were trekking up Gunong Irau, Cameron Highlands.

Joining us (Weng, Meng, Jason Chin and yours truly) in the 20km training run was another runner, Mr. Chin. He has done half marathon twice so far and has no problem in following our running pace. When Meng enquired his timing in recent PJ Half Marathon, it turned out to be the fastest among the pack – 1 hour 44 minutes.

While approaching the pit stop at Sri Hartamas, we spotted Albert, a big size and friendly guy, who was running in fairly fast pace. He is the owner of a sports shop in Bukit Bintang Shopping Complex giving 30% to all Pacesetters runners for purchase of New Balance shoes. While talking to us amid heavy puffing, he was having a friendly competition with his running buddy, Peter Lim. That was the second time that he outran Peter after Peter had beaten him in the last eight challenges. I told him that he outran Peter by almost 300 meters.

Weng was doing 30km alone today. So at the Government Office at Jalan Duta, he turned back to Sri Hartamas for another extra 10km. He would be going to Port Dickson this Sunday, 9 July to participate in the trial run for the PD Triathlon. Yours truly would be going too to take photos.

While running, a funny thought surfaced in my mind: why would I have to do 20km in the training runs? After all, I would not be going for Penang Bridge Marathon. Neither will I be going for the Powerman at Putrajaya on 30 July. Instead, I will be performing in the comedy drama. I would conclude that this is very much attributed to the motivation within the group, which is good.

On the way home, I detoured to a mamak coffee shop for a cup of teh tarik drink. It is located opposite Subang Jaya Medical Centre. On entering the premises, I heard someone was calling me. I was surprised to see LiewKL, my primary school classmate in my hometown, Bruas, Perak. I was excited to tell him my active lifestyle in running, cycling and trekking; and also the webmaster role in Pacesetters. So, I invited him to join me. However, he said that he have had blockage of the blood veins to the heart and running is not recommended. I hope he would have a speedy recovery to improve his health. Running, after all, is not that simple.