Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Prelude to Genting Trailblazer Challenge

With only a few more days to go, the Penguin Runners who will be representing The SUN newspaper in the Genting Trailblazer Challenge are all charged up for the challenges ahead. Let us hear from them what secrete training they are undergoing in order to be well-prepared for this event.

Team Penguin X

For the past weeks, Weng and Steven (Penguin-5) were embarking on seemingly commando style of training. They built up their stamina by running every evening: running up hills; running down hills; running up and down staircases. Yes, when it rains in the evening, running at the stairs in house countless times is in fact quite similar to the tough terrain challenge, minus the messy mud and water. It also helps the body on balancing when landing firmly on the undulating terrain.

Adding on to the intensity, Weng even ties two weight-bar belts to both his legs to run. He must have gotten the idea from watching the Shoaling Kung Fu movies in training action. Weng anticipates his trekking shoes (1.5kg each side when dry) will be much heavier after going through the streams and mud pit. With the weight belts on, Weng runs with almost 4kg heavier for each leg. As for Steven, besides running to build up his stamina, he also go to the gym to work out on his legs, stomach, knees, and arms.

Not only that, they also put on their thinking cap on the best outfits they should wear during the race. Knowing that they will go through a spectrum of challenges like steep hills, bushes, “lalang” field, slippery hill slopes, mud pit, etc., they have come out with specially designed outfits (not to be reviewed prematurely due to patent and copyright issue) which will “protect” them from getting cut and bruises, and from losing their shoes and shorts in the mud pit.

YES! Penguin X is all fired up and ready to conquer this year’s meaner and muddier Genting Trailblazer challenges on this coming Sunday, 3 September 2006.

By Steven

Please click here to view photos taken by Weng on The SUN Genting Trailblazer boot camp – on how they were selected.

Team Mountain 'O' Men

Both the experienced mountain guys, Tony (Penguin-3) and ChongYF, are now in the final stage of preparation for blazing the trails. Other than the usual training on stamina and endurance, Tony has added super fast running into his tough training regime. He represented RHB Bank and participated in the Inter-Bank Athletics Meet from 26-27 August specializing in 100-meter and 400-meter track events.

He was proud to announce that RHB Bank got second placing overall, and he secured second placing in the 4 x 100 meters relay and clocked in 12.7 seconds in the 100 meters, and 60 seconds in the 400 meters. What an achievement in the 100-meter event considering that his timing was only slightly behind the world-class record.

While Tony is busy on the plain, his partner Chong YK, was trekking up Gunung Tahan and conquered the peak on Monday 28 August. With the 4D3N endeavour, the toughness is almost equivalent – if not more – to taking the Genting Trailblazer Challenge albeit in slower motion with extended duration.

In order to be well-equipped with the wet, slippery, and tough terrain before race day, Tony has planed to trek Gunung Ansi in Seremban on Merdeka Day, 31 August with his group of trekkers and a few of the Trailblazer team members – just in time for the real challenge. Besides, raising the Jalur Gemilang (national flag) at the peak on that day would be an auspicious effort to show their patriotism.

YES! It is going to be a competitive and yet fun race for the Mountain 'O' Men with the youthful look and the young-at-heart minds.

By Tony

Edited by KC

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