Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Everest Kalapathar Trek

On 29 September 2006, seven Pacesetters runners went for a 2-week trekking trip to Everest Kalapathar. They were: Tsu King Poo, Tammy Lim, Connie Tan, Teresa Goh, Chris Low, Francis Toh and Kho.

The Kalapathar trek offers an enduring experience of natural beauty, geological magnificence with the breathtaking views of Everest.

All climbers to Mount Everest will have to pass by the Everest Kalapathar trek en route to the Everest Base Camps.

One for the album: Mount Everest is at the background.

Stay tune ... Work is in progress to process hundreds of photos with magnificent views of Everest.

All photos are by courtesy of Tsu King Poo and the other members of the trekking trip.

by KC

Monday, October 30, 2006

Hari Raya Visiting

Steven, kWeng and I were invited by Rustam, an EXCO member of Pacesetters Club, to his house on first day of Hari Raya, Tuesday 24 October 2006.

Arriving there at 12:30 p.m., I could see there were quite a number of Pacesetters members and friends were there.

Everyone was in cheerful mood with lots of conversation and laughter on that auspicious day. Other than the Pacesetters members, there were other family members and friends of Rustam too.

We were treated with lemang, rendang, chicken curry, ketupat, otak-otak, kuih-muih, drinks, etc.
Jason Thiang, Yours Truly, SH Tan, Jega, Boey, Rustam.

I was engaging full-throttle ahead savouring all the nice food. My planning was superb as I did an additional 20km training run in the morning starting at Bukit Aman with other Penguin runners. It was nice feeling to enjoy the food for a well-rewarded run.

The Club President, Mr. Munning, was there too with other Pacesetters members. He brought along a few sample of the new Pacesetters running vests. Everyone was so excited and started testing and buying the vests.
Jenny Lim and her husband, Sook Ying and TanPM.

Photos by courtesy of kWENG.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

LSD - 29 Oct 2006

I was fairly accurate in the prediction over the weather... :-) I sent out one email two days ago notifying the runners of the training runs this Sunday morning. I mentioned that during the Chinese Nine Gods Festival (which started a few days ago), that it will rain every day in the evening and that make the morning nice and cool.
With the rain, the hazy days are over. Yeah, the clear blue skies are back and the rain chased away the haze blues.

After raining the evening before, it was another superb morning for long distance training runs. As usual, we went for 20km in preparation for the Singapore Marathon 2006. Jason Chin and ChinYH even ran an extra 10km.

Back at the Bukit Aman car park, I could see the Club President, Mr. Munning, had set up a booth to facilitate the administrative works for membership services – registration of runs and renewal of membership, etc.

Oh Yes! New Pacesetters running vests are on sale for this season. The vest is deep blue with white bands at the sides; each is retailed at RM 25. According to Mr. Munning, the matching colour shorts are only available next Tuesday.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

DeepaRaya Tonymathon

To view 70 photos taken by KC, please click here.

I reached The Boulevard of Putrajaya at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday 21 October 2006. The first person I saw was Mr. LimFW who was cycling at the other side of the very wide road. I honked at him but I doubted whether he could recognize me with glares from the car windscreen. I passed by the starting area located in front of the Palace of Justice where Janet Tan was guarding the water station.

While I was cruising slowly in the cool, comfort of my car and listening to songs broadcasted from Mix-FM, I spotted Chantelle was running alone slowly. She was donning white and bright orange running apparel. At that time in the morning, the sun was partly shielded from the haze but not the heat. Despite a heavy rain the night before that brought joy to me, the haze was seemed adamant not having been dissolved or dispersed.

It was quite a funny and contrasting situation. Instead of running and sweating it out as another runner, I am now relaxing and watching them into action. I honked at her when my Waja car was about 20 feet behind her; when she turned her head, the car was almost parallel with her for us to exchange pleasantries.

All present there on that morning have their objectives to achieve. Though the name Tonymathon (coined by Ngae; further improved by Marvin in recognition of the main coordinator, Tony, aka Penguin-3) may sound like tomato or marathon, it was purely for training purpose and non-completive in nature. Each is free to run at their own pace, or cycle as and when they wise.

Runners participating in the coming Bangkok Marathon or Singapore Marathon would be focusing in running. For those that were preparing for the Powerman Lumut would be running and then cycling.

As for me, I did neither of the two. With a strenuous bout of badminton game the evening before, I decided to relax and train on my photos taking skills. After I attended two photos talks, I was trying to take more shots with what I have learned. However, it takes additional brain processing power to compose a photo according to a photographer’s standards.

I stopped and parked my car at the bridge before the Conventional Centre and I stationed there to take photos. On seeing Tony, MoCheng and Vivian crossing the bridge, I squatted next to the white line almost in the middle of the road to take their photos trying to achieve more dramatic effect. During conversation after the training, MoCheng said that I looked like a traffic policeman conducting speed trap with the speed-gun camera pointing at them. The only concern was that they were traveling too slowly.

When I drove my car to the small roundabout – at the far end of the Boulevard – there were many cross-roads with traffic lights not synchronized in timing to enable green-wave flow of traffic. So the vehicles have to stop at the traffic light observing traffic rules but the cyclists and runners were exempted from this traffic rule. Well! Runners, cyclists and drivers all have their different moments of “unfair advantages”.

At around 10:30 a.m, Ngae KH and Siok Bee have just started their 60km cycling feat after running 30km. At that moment, I could still see Meng, Weng, Bruce, Chiam and Vivian were still busy in their training.

At around 11:00 a.m., we could feel the uncomfortable heat. Though the Boulevard is a long tree-lined drive but the trees are still in “infant” stage and planted quite far from the boulevard that could not provide the necessary shades.

One good point of training at Putrajaya was that the place was almost devoid of traffic. Because the runners and cyclists were looping, it is fairly safe for a lady runner to run alone as any moment, there could be runners or cyclists passing by to deter the bad guys from crystallizing any bad intention.

Mr. Chris did a measurement of the distance by driving in his Toyota Vios. The distance is 9.5km round trip between the small roundabout at the Boulevard and the Conventional Centre.

Those Present were:
LimFW, Chiam, son and daughter, Meng, Weng, LimPY, MoCheng, Mr. Foong, Janet Tan, Chantelle, Chris, Eric, Vivian, Soik Bee, OngSL, NgaeKH, Bruce Wan, Stephenie Chok, Hoo Brothers, Tony, and a few other runners and cyclists.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Happening Sunday Long Run

Click here to view 70 photos taken by KC on DeepaRaya Tonymathon at Putrajaya on Saturday 21 Oct 2006.
As usual, I arrived at Bukit Aman (Kuala Lumpur) car park early on Sunday 22 October at 5:30 a.m. for an early morning 20km long run. The ground was wet after a morning rain and the air was cool and pleasant. Occasionally, with the wind blowing, there were a few drops of water from the tree branches above.

While waiting in the car and inspecting the surrounding, I saw Mr. Yee has started his run alone under the brightly lit street lights. That must be a lot of commitment and determination to drive his Toyota Altis all the way from Seremban and then run alone here. But after five minutes later, I saw him again. He must be having warm-up run looping around the Bukit Aman car park area.
Extracted from New York Marathon

A shinning Toyota Lexus that shimmered in the street lights later passed by the main road. There was a great contrast as the driver was a small-sized lady driving a huge vehicle. When I alighted from my car and walked towards the starting area, I saw the owner was Janet Chin from Permaisuri Area Group of Pacesetters Club.

While chatting with Bruce Wan and a few other guys, a lady runner driving a BMW 3 Series parked at the bay right in front of us. We noticed that one of the numbers of the car plate has chipped. Bruce suggested she should change the number plate. Without hesitation, she said she wanted to change a new car. We were having a hearty laugh as we interpreted that a defective car number plate resulted in changing to a new car.

95% of Pacesetters runners arrived in cars with many driving big and expansive cars. That was a reflection and good sign that Pacesetters runners are successful in their careers or lives.

I also saw Ms. Tamy, Soo and Khor who were back after a 2-week’s trekking trip in Nepal. According to Tamy, there will be photos reviews and appreciation gathering this weekend at her house with lot of exciting stories to tell.

Just before 6:00 a.m., I could see that there were exceptionally more runners this morning. The situation was quite amusing in comparing with Club President’s DeepaRaya greetings that published in the Pacesetters Club Web site. He mentioned that it is time to celebrate the occasion and stop running for a while. I believed those present that morning were committed in preparing for their Bangkok Marathon (26 Nov 06) or Singapore International Marathon (3 Dec 06), that included me.

My usual running buddies were there: PK Chan, Jason Chin, Chin YH. However, Meng and Weng were absent as their just did their running and cycling at Putrajaya the day before (Saturday 21 Oct). Miss Lynn Choo, who is running Singapore full marathon this December, was there as she wanted to complete her 30km run this morning. Since I could not introduce other lady runners to her in time, she was running alone. Fearing for her safety, I decided to temporary disband from the group and accompanied her, who ran at slightly slower pace.

On my way back from Sri Hartamas, I met Sonny Ng about one kilometer away. He was spotted with an attention grabbing greenish-yellow vests and shorts, and leading a closely knitted pack en route to Sri Hartamas. A quick glance at them, it reminded me of the photo above – running in style with similar arms swing. The only difference was that they were running in a cluster formation and not in a line. As I understand later, he was pacing with Teresa, Chooi Ling and other runners that will be participating in the Bangkok Marathon.

I met Ngae KH below the flyover of Jalan Duta (formally Bukit Tungku roundabout). He was running barefooted en route to Sri Hartamas. We stopped and chatted for a while. He is preparing for his Sahara 100km run. He ran 30km and cycled 60km the day before at Putrajaya organized by Tony (Penguin-3).

He was carrying a knapsack. At the back, it contained five bottles of water of 1.25 liter each; with one bottle in front and below it, two dumb-bells. Total weight was 12 kg and it was really heavy. BRAVO to NgaeKH, you have our support in this brave and special endeavour.

Back at Bukit Aman car park, I saw Francis Toh with a new macho look: with moustache and beard after two weeks of trekking in Nepal. I spotted familiarity: Chan Wing Kai, Club’s Photographer, also kept moustache and beard after his two weeks’ trekking in Ladakh, India.

It is really fun doing Sunday morning long runs that start at Bukit Aman car park. Not only that we will complete the necessary mileage, we also get to know more Pacesetters friends too. Besides, with endorphin in full circulation in our blood stream after the runs, most runners were engaging in lively, non-stop conversation that filled with laughter.
Next 20km run: Tuesday, 24 October 2006, 6:30 a.m. start at Bukit Aman car park on First day of Hari Raya Puasa.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

DeepaRaya Tonyton

I am pleased to announce that our macho guy, Tony Le’ Quay (aka Penguin-3) is organizing a focused-group training on the Deepavali holiday. The purpose is to cater for those participating in the Powerman Lumut (Saturday 11 Nov 06) and Singapore International Marathon (Sunday 3 Dec 06) to have additional day of training.

On that peaceful and joyous morning, the Boulevard of Putrajaya will be alive with activities just like the international water where many runners and cyclists would be plying the route exchanging pleasantries and smiles; wishing Happy Deepavali greetings to our Indian runners and Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri greetings to our Muslim runners.

All runners are welcome. You can bring along your road racing bicycles and cycle there too.

The details are as follows:

Date: Saturday 21 October 2006

Time: Meet at 6:30 a.m. Start at 6:45 a.m.

Venue: The Palace of Justice situated along The Boulevard, Putrajaya. (Same starting point of Putrajaya Marathon held on 10 September 2006). The course is 90% flat and hot (devoid of trees) which is a perfect replica of the conditions of Powerman in Lumut and also Singapore marathon. Yes, the Powerman in Lumut starts at 1:00 p.m. in the hot afternoon!

Car Park: Park your car at the open space car park which is about 50 meters away from starting point.

The Route: Start from the Palace of Justice; run towards Putrajaya Convention Centre and run around it. When return via the same Boulevard, run towards a small roundabout, make a U-turn and then run back to starting point. Total distance is about 10km.

Sorry... the Conventional Centre in the photo is located at top-left corner.

The Route for those who are preparing for Singapore Marathon:
Run 3 laps (about 30km)

The Route for those who are preparing for Powerman:

Run 10km (one lap)
Cycle 60km (six laps)
Run 10km (one lap)

Siok Bee (up-and-coming Duathlete) and Ngae KH (a 100km runner) will be running 30km and cycling 60km, exceeding the standard training requirement. These two Marathoners-cum-Duathletes are taking part in the Powerman and Singapore International Marathon.

Water station: Locate at starting point near Palace of Justice. Volunteers are required.

Mobile Water Station
Our Runner-cum-Coach-cum-Water Boy, Tony, will be carrying bottles of water when he cycles. Tony will be taking part in the coming Powerman in Lumut. The extra weight would enable him to condition his endurance power in overcoming heavier pedal pressure, which is a better idea than just carry extra weights made of lead bars.

We could imagine that water is supplied to another cyclist through a long rubber hose extending from his water bag connecting to the mouth of the cyclist while both are still in cycling action (since every seconds count). It is just like those F111 fighter jets refuelling in mid-air with C-130 Hercules. It is a sure way of improving the manoeuvring skill in cycling that is very crucial in Powerman race.

After the Training Run
The whole group would adjourn to the Lake Side Restaurants at Putra Square which is about two kilometres away. While rewarding ourselves sipping teh tarik and eating brunch, we can admire the beautiful landscape of Putrajaya; the beautiful and fair-skinned Korean or Taiwanese tourists posing for photos just right in front of your eyes – who travel thousands of kilometres to arrive at the same spot as we are. The views would be very different from the stall in Bukit Aman car park, the usual starting point of training runs.

Note: the name “Tonyton” is coined by Ngae KH.

Another more sophisticated name: ‘TONYMATHON’ as suggested by Marvin Lau.


Monday, October 16, 2006

30km Training Run

I could not remember when was my last time that I ran a 30km training run. It has to be before the Kuala Lumpur International Marathon on Sunday 5 March 2006.

After consulting my running log, I realized that the previous 30km run was actually the Great Eastern 30km Run organized by Pacesetters Club on Sunday 22 January 2006. Well, it was certainly a long time – almost a lapse of nine months.

When I reached Bukit Aman car park on Sunday 15 October at 5:00 a.m. – half an hour ahead of starting time – I saw Patrick, Keshab and friends were about to start their 30km training runs. Applying the Pacesetters running formula in preparation for Singapore International Marathon on 3 December 2006, most runners were doing 30km training that morning.

When Meng (Penguin-2) alighted from his Waja car at 5:15 a.m., he was concerned with the haze. It was only then that I realized that there was haze. I was very much wanted to think that it was misty, clean air and serene atmosphere. We were, however, not overly concerned with the haze because it was indeed a joyous moment to be able to stand tall at Bukit Aman car park getting ready to conquer a 30km training run.

This time, there were more runners participating in this self-organized 30km training run. The runners were: PK Chan, Meng, Weng, ChinYH, Sarjit, Gurdev, LimFW, Eric Teo, OngSB, Vivian and Lian Bee Hoon (she ran Boston Marathon a few years ago). The other pack that started at later time was Tony N Guys: MoCheng, Leslie Yee, Maryann, OngSL, YeohSC and Tony (Penguin-3).

The Looping
In order to achieve a distance of 30km, the additional looping was done between the Government offices at Jalan Duta and Petronas station at Sri Hartamas. The looping was similar to the previous 30km training runs organized by Pacesetters Club.

There are a few advantages of this route: more runners are plying this route and we could exchange pleasantries; runners can stop and buy drinks from the Petronas station. Yes, quite a variety of drinks to choose from. Another important factor is that it is far away from the Bukit Aman car park, which is at least 5km away – all runners must run back to the base, no matter what will be the fitness condition.

Looping at the Government Offices could be done in two variances. One could make a U-turn at the bus-stop (about 50 meters from Jalan Duta) where runners would pass by en route to Sri Hartamas. Another method was to loop at the perimeter of the Government Offices where only a few runners did. One lady runner, Vivian, instinctively went to the other loop alone. Fearing for her safety, I signaled to Eric Teo (Penguin-10) who was about 100 meters in front of me, to accompany her.

Mini Water Station
One funny incident that I encountered was with the supply of drinking water. At the 20km pit stop at Petronas station, I bought a bottle of cold isotonic drink. But I finished it after running for two kilometers. I was thinking very hard how to continue running without any water.

I began to pay attention to those runners who carried Pacesetters pouch bag and started to gauge the water level in their bottles. After crossing Jalan Duta, to my big surprise, I saw Ms Lily and her assistants were manning a mini water station situated at the bus stand.

She offered me a cup of plain water. And after that, I eyed on the three big bottles of chilled 100 Plus. She was most kind to let me pour the drinks into my 325cc already emptied plastic bottle.

Mind and Flesh

It was indeed quite a tough training for me. I felt the tiredness in my legs beyond 25km mark. I presume it was caused by lack of practices as my longest distance in the training runs was only 20km. Another reason could be caused by the residual effect of muscle relaxant/anti-inflammatory and pain killer pills that I took last weekend to overcome the back pain problem.

I actually wanted to run 33km; however, the mind is willing but the flesh is failing. Why 33km? I have two previous experiences during Kuala Lumpur International marathons that at 30km mark, I was still running blissfully. The pain then crept in at 33km mark.


Pacesetters Runners are indeed a committed lot. We would actually motivateourselves to dutifully do a 30km training run on our own. I must congratulate those who have successfully completed the necessary mileage.

It was a satisfied 30km training run; I really felt good for able to complete the run.

We will continue with our 20km training run for the next three Sundays leading to the 30km training run that is to be organized by Pacesetters Club on Sunday 12 November.
See you.

Click here for Pacesetters Club web site for details of 30km Practice Run.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

In Full Bloom

Please click here to view photos taken by KC.
Note: the photos were taken on on 27 August 2006.

Simply beautiful! USJ Subang Jaya is in bloom! Pink and white trumpet trees are flowering profusely in various part of USJ, giving the township a fresh spring look during the current dry and wet weather.

They are commonly called trumpet trees because their flowers resembled trumpets. With the spectacular abundance of pinkish or white flowers, the trees are a welcome sight to town folks.

In some cases, the trees are devoid of leaves and are a simply a riot of flowers just like the cherry blossom in bloom, or much like the Sakura flowers in Japan. The blossoms also created a beautiful carpet of flowers on the ground when they drop.

The scientific name for those trees with pink flowers is tabebuia rosea while those that produced white flowers is called tabebuia pentaphylla.

Not all the trumpet trees are in full bloom. I presume the others were not ready or they have not reached the maturity level yet. Just like in running, some may cross the finishing line faster than the others.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Haze Unfazed

Now you see, now you don’t. The condition of haze on last Friday 6 Oct was worsening. Nevertheless, I sent out one email notification to the usual group of runners with the title “Run in All Weather Conditions” to remind all and reinforce the 20km training run on Sunday morning, 8 Oct.

I was excited yesterday to see that the sky suddenly became clear. Where has all the haze gone? It was like magic. The sky was as clear as the photo below. Then this morning, Sunday 8 Oct, the haze is almost back instantaneously.

“Run in all weather conditions” was a phrase first coined by Meng, Penguin-2. Back then, the conditions included raining, flood, typhoon, and landslide – very much a water-based problem. Now we have to include another unusual parameter – unwelcome haze – courtesy by our neighboring country.

The new threat has a direct impact to all runners as the quality of The Air Supply (name of an Australian pop group) is unhealthy and we have been advised by the experts (read from newspaper) to stay indoor. The Air That I Breathe (song title by another pop group, The Hollies) contains unwanted particles and Every Breath you Take (by The Sting and Police) requires extra work in cleansing by the lung.

Most runners would defy the advice of staying indoor and will not take the haze problem too seriously for a few reasons: (a) we are strong and brave, so a mere high API index could mean nothing; (b) we are more concern with finishing the marathon than any other things else; and (c) even with muscle pain, the runners still run; so we are really unfazed by the haze unless the haze could transform the visibility in day as if at night.

Unusual happening strikes at the most unexpected moment. When I bent down to pick up the cube of soap that slipped from my hand when I bath yesterday evening, there was a slight pull of the back muscles. When the alarm set off at 4am this morning, I could still feel the pain. So, I missed the run this morning.

The 20km training run is important as it would be a springboard for the first 30km long run, which is schedule on next Sunday morning, 15 Oct.

I heard from Weng that the usual group of runners were there except Yours Truly. So, most runners are a committed lot: set the target (Singapore Full Marathon), follow the action plan in training dutifully. Something similar to what we do in life.

Now I am worried as to how fast I could recover and catch up with a 20 km training in getting ready for the 30km long run this Sunday. To run a 30km straight is something not impossible but that may affect the smooth performance as preferred.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

LensaMalaysia First Anniversary

Being a member of LensaMalaysia photography Club, I was invited to the First Anniversary celebration by Mr. Jeff Ooi, the Founder of the Club. This Club comprises of 1,250 members, which is 150 members less than Pacesetters Club.
The function was held at TNB (Tenaga National Bhd) Building, Petaling Jaya (opposite AmCorp Mall) on Saturday, 30 September. The moment I came out from the lift at 20th floor, I knew it was the correct venue: I saw quite a number of attendees carrying knapsacks and holding big SLR cameras in hands.

This function is to launch the TNB-LensaMalaysia Photo Gallery & Awareness Campaign in support of "Malaysia @ 50" National Photography Contest organised by the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of Merdeka, 2007.

I come to know a few new photography friends there: Paul Choo (who lives in USJ also), Miss Julie Teoh, Alex, and Miss Tortolo. Paul Choo’s expansive flash diffuser was most unique and extra-ordinary. As one member quoted, the expansive gadget looked like a “tau foo far” container attached to the flashgun... :-)

In a function filled with photographers, one has to get use to the scene that one is like a celebrity where the photographers could point the cameras in your direction any moment and start taking photos (though you may or may not be the main subject). Most cameras were either Canon or Nikon brand and are expansive stuff. When I saw them taking photos, I could imagine myself enthusiastically taking photos in the running events too.

Sight, Sound and Action: Almost all photographers point their flashguns at an angle tilted upward towards the subject while a few pointed the flashguns vertically up. Not one pointed the flashgun directly at the subject, which I like to do. Most of the shutter release sound was smooth and sounded alike; which means all cameras are of professional standards and grades. And after taking photos, most photographers would examine the results via the small LCD screen at the back of camera bodies.

Lightning and Thunder: During the exchange of tokens between representatives of TNB and LensaMalaysia, there were about ten photographers taking photos near the stage. A few more were shooting from the back of the auditorium. The intensity of the flashes from so many photographers seemed like lightning amid the thunderous applauses.

There was a talk by a renowned local photographer, Arthur Teng, who shared with us some of his favourite photos taken in South-East Asia, and some useful techniques. I shall be mindful for discrete application of the technique that I learned while shooting running events in future.

Hopefully, there will be more photographers coming to take photos in running, cycling and swimming events. As I told one of the photographers that there are many “leng lui” and “leng chai” runners around waiting for the photographers to unveil their beauties (for girl runners).

Photos by courtesy of Steve, ChenWS, mhfw.

Click here to view photos and visit LensaMalaysia web site.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Eric and Vivian's Wedding

Please click here to view 75 photos taken by Chan Wing Kai (in big photo frame).

Quite a number of the Pacesetters runners stayed overnight after the grand dinner hosted by Eric and Vivian at Equatorial Hotel, Malacca on Saturday 23 September.

The wedding ceremony was held the next day. The invited Pacesetters runners were doing something close to their hearts – accompanying the groom to run a segment of the journey when approaching the bride’s house. That must be fun.

Please read "Runners for Hire" in 23 May 2006 Archives (on the left side-bar of this web site) humorously written by KC.

To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage. -Lao Tzu

Two souls with but a single thought, Two hearts that beat as one. -Friedrich Halm

There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends. -Homer

Monday, October 02, 2006

A 20km Training Run

I was indeed delighted to see quite a number of the running friends turned up for the 20km training run on Sunday morning, 1 Oct, starting at Bukit Aman car park. Those starting at 6am were: PK Chan, Meng, Weng, Jason Chin, Sarjit, Chin and I – all macho guys’ team.

I have not been doing the 20km training run for quite some time since I focused in my speed training for the Kuala Lumpur Executive Rat Race on 5 September.

Photo is extracted from ING New York Marathon

I always feel good to be able to arrive at Bukit Aman car park and standing tall at the retaining wall – the starting point. It means one thing: I am in the pink of health and All Systems Go! I cherish that moment especially when I am unfit: running a 1-km distance seems daunting let alone running a 20km course.

We started the run about 15 minutes late waiting for one runner. About one kilometer before the Selangor Property area (5km mark), one fast runner overtook the pack and immediately, Meng (P2) increased his power and gave a hot pursuit. That was understandable as the pack might be running at a moderate pace. I was amused when Meng reappeared from the bush again. He utilized the lead time for peeing.

The subject matter was diverted to peeing where fast runners actually pee in their runs to save valuable seconds against the competitors. The concern of not wetting own running shoes raised by Jason Chin jolted our thinking. Though not wetting the running shoes is a skill, we were stretching our minds a little that to be able to pee and wet the competitor’s shoes was indeed the supreme skill.

Five hundreds meters to the Sri Hartamas pit stop, we heard two lady fast runners were trailing us. They were fast as their conversation reached us within seconds. When they overtook us, I recognized that she was Hailey Holle, the Champion runner of Women’s category.

At that fast speed, they could still engaged in conversation. It was amazing that after almost 10km, they were still running at fast pace. Immediately, Meng and I charged up our reserved energy and we followed their paces. Luckly, it was only 500 meters to pit stop. Otherwise, the usual term commonly used by marathon runners, “pum chat” (puncture; meaning loosing steam to run) would seem true to me.

On the returning route from Sri Hartamas, we met and exchanged pleasantries with Tony, MoCheng, Eric, Vivian, Leslie, Maryann and Siok Bee, who started slightly later.

We are looking forward to another great 20km training run this Sunday 8 Oct, starting at 6am from Bukit Aman car park again. Oh Yes, the group is embarking on the Singapore International Marathon journey on Sunday 3 December. There are at least five runners who would be running their maiden full marathon challenge. I wish them successful completion in their first marathon run.


Sunday, October 01, 2006

Mid-Autumn Festival

I have not seen adults carrying lanterns and parading the street for a long time. It was indeed a special occasion when Sonny Ng, one of the Team Leaders of Bukit Gasing (Petaling Jaya) Area Group of Pacesetters Club, invited me to their gathering on Saturday evening, 30 September.

When I arrived at the venue, the sky was already dark. The venue was a children playground opposite the entrance of Bukit Gasing. When I alighted from my car which was about 30 meters away, I could hear Sonny Ng’s and PK Chan’ voices stood up amongst the rest.

Approaching the playground, the dark silhouette of members stood out boldly against the dimly lit candle light and battery-powered light. I could see there were quite a number of people at the playground.

It was the prime time for dinner when I arrived. There was variety of food available which was brought by those who were present.

It was an evening of promoting better friendship among the runners; meeting running friends in a different location and at different time of the day. There was lots of conversation while savoring the food.

I notice the conventional “Leng Kok” (eatable plant from China in black and hard shell with two pointed ends) and yams. As usually, not many of the members shown interest in them as there were other more favourite food.

When most of the members have finished the dinner, it was time for lantern parade. Most of the runners where parading accompanying the children in the almost pitch black night within the vicinity of the playground. It really brought back sweet memory during my childhood days.

At one time, Sonny Ng was playing back the photos in his PC Notebook during his recent trekking trip to Ladakh, India. Maybe in time to come, with the advent of technology, Area Group A of Pacesetters Club members would be viewing the concurrent celebration of Area Group B and see what is going on at the other Area Groups.