Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy New Year 2007

Year 2006 has passed by so quickly and we are now at that time of the year in making New Year resolutions once again. Whether you are participating in more running events, going trekking in distant land, attempting your maiden marathon, improving your Personal Best timing – all these require discipline, commitment and perseverance. With all the effort put in, the reward is most satisfying to see the accomplishments in next year-end again.

Wishing all runners and friends a very Happy New Year 2007 and a blessed year ahead! Maintain good health; keep running, and don’t stop.

Please click here to view 2007 calendar of running events updated by yours truly.
Cheers to 2007!
KC ... :-)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Powerman 2006 in Lumut

Photos are by courtesy of Eric Teo and Vivian. Please click here to view 97 photos.

The Powerman 2006 in Lumut is the final race for the Duathlon circuit. It involves running 10km, cycling 60km and running another 10km.

The event was staged on Saturday 11 November 2006, and the starting time was 1:00 p.m. Many of the potential participants are deterred by the starting time in the hot afternoon.

Month of November was a rainy month. At 2:00 p.m., the sky over here in Kuala Lumpur was covered with dark storm clouds and rain started pouring amid strong wind.

As told by Eric, it was very hot in Lumut at 1:00 p.m. when the race was flagged off. During the cycling segment, it started to rain. Other than on high alert for slippery road, it was cooler cycling in the rain.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Ipoh 12km Cross-country Run

Please click here to view 189 photos taken by Chan Wing Kai.
Happy faces for being there participating in the cross-country run.

This event was held in Ipoh on Sunday 19 November 2006.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Season's Greetings

Christmas Time ! Ho! Ho! Ho! It's the time to be merry!

Wishing all runners and friends a joyous celebrations this Christmas Season.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Great Run at Sungai Pelek

Blue sky and everything nice at Sungai Pelek town: This photo was taken in front of Chee Wee (Penguin-11) parent's week-end country retreat. When I left USJ Subang Jaya at 3:00 p.m on Saturday 25 November, it was already started raining. Weng and Rose were traveling with me. Driving along KLIA road en route to Sepang town, the convectional rain gained momentum and increased the intensity. Raining heavily at that moment could mean fine weather after the rain. Somewhere near Sepang, it was good to see the clear sky there.

A rare find by Weng within the bushes near Chee Wee parent's house.

Traffic light colour: Even the fruit here is of multi-colour.

Country road, take me home... Both sides of the road were grown with trees, grasses, and very little traffic which is ideal for running. The old Toyota of model KE20 behind Rose must be owned by the kampung folks there. One has to be alert on the look out not for traffic but avoid stepping on the cow dung. The main users of country road could be cows and goats.

The course leaded us running alongside the scenic Bagan Lalang beach. At about 5:45 p.m., there was slight tint of orange hue for the sunset. That was truly a different running experience. We returned via a different route surrounded by trees but which was totally deserted of vehicle. Total distance is about 13km.

A group photo: Yap, Lee, OngSL, Janelle, Siok Bee, Tony and Eric.

Admiring the senset: We were half hour behind schedule in our run. At 7:00 p.m., the sun has almost set. Rose posed for photographs as the impromptu model.

Seafood dinner by the shore: Tony, Weng, Eric, Chee Wee and KC. We could hear the waves hitting the shore instead of the normal music plays through audio system. We were very hungry and could not wait for a group photo of dishes that we ordered. The food here was much cheaper. Despite we ordered about eight dishes, it was only RM15 per person (inclusive of drinks).

All the pretty gals seated together: Yap, Janelle, OngSL, Siok Bee, Vivian and Rose.

At the jetty: After the sumptuous dinner, we strolled along the concrete jetty that extended about 200 meters into the sea. The walk helped in digestion. We could feel the sea breeze here amid the fishy smell.

Dragon fruit: We returned to Chee Wee parent's house to admire the flowers of dragon fruit in full bloom. According to Chee Wee, the flowers only open up at night.

Running there on Saturday 25 November was rather unplanned. We were supposed to run there after Singapore Marathon (on 3 December). It was a great run at a great place.
Chee Wee is planning another run soon. Yes, we shall come again: attracted by the peaceful country road, scenic beach and good seafood dinner.
Photos by courtesy of Weng, Eric and KC.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Singapore Marathon - Photos from Race Organizer

Please click here to view photos taken by Miss Yeoh SC.
I applaud the effort of organizer of Singapore Marathon for taking four photos of me while I was in the thick of running action to return to finishing line… much appreciated.

I could see cameramen with huge telephoto lenses sitting at various corners trying to take the best shots for each runner – not only one but for multiple photo shots.

It must be a considerable effort investing in expensive photographic equipment and assigning many cameramen for the task. Not forgetting the administrative work in sorting and tallying the photos against the correct person; digitizing, resizing, uploading them into Internet; and a host of other inter-linked activities.

One important consideration is that after taking so many photos of each runner, not many runners will purchase the photos for a few reasons: looking too fat (some how, running marathon still could not bring down the body mass); not looking pretty or handsome; price of photo is too expansive, etc.

To purchase a 4R size photo print, it costs SGD 26. Multiply by 2.36 exchange rates, which mean a photo will cost me RM 61.

To purchase four photos, that will cost me about RM 245. I think I will save the money and pay for my next Singapore Marathon.

To Chan Wing Kai (Pacesetters Club photographer): I owe you RM 60 equivalent for taking one photo of me. Thank you too.

By KC ... :-)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Holidaying in Patong and Karon of Phuket

Phuket Airport: After flying thousands of kilometers over Andaman Sea, the Airbus 320 aeroplane of Air Asia touch-down at Phuket airport which is situated by the Mai Khao Beach, at the North-West of Phuket Island. Judging by the almost full "bus" load of passengers, Phuket is a popular holiday destination.

The course for the coming event Phuket International Marathon on 17 June 2007 is near this beach. I will provide more information later.

The flight takes only 1 hour 10 minutes. Not counting all the waiting time at airport, a departure at 10:00 a.m. Malaysia time will reach Phuket at about 10:00 a.m. Thailand time with time difference of one hour behind Malaysia time.

This photo was taken through three layers of tinted glass.
Promthep Cape: This is located at the southern part of Phuket Island. It is famous for viewing of sunset. Not only it attracts the tourists, this is the only place where locals outnumbered tourists. The tour guide took us there half hour too early and hence, could not see the setting sun.

Can you count the number of passengers in this pick-up truck? As the tour guide explained, these workers are non-Thai; they could be from the poorer neighbouring country who come here to work.

Scenic Patong Beach: This photo is taken from the 25th floor (top most) of Royal Paradise Hotel.

The Royal Paradise Hotel: Only a few high rise building in Patong Beach Area. We stayed at Level 21 that offered a good paranomic view of the Patong Beach area.

The back entrance to the famous Bang-la Street: Look at the number of electrical wiring – definitely an eyesore, but we do not see these unsightly cables in Malaysia.

The Tiger Pub along Bang-la Street: Deserted of people at day time. But it is a different world at night where restaurants serve exquisite seafood, interesting nightlife with pubs, go-go bars are flourishing here. The mat sallehs like to come here to unwind, drink beer or hard liquor and have fun after a whole day of sunbathing or water activities. While passing by one evening, I could hear that the patrons were having good times together and happily singing along with the song "Living Next Door to Alice".

This is one of the pubs along this street. Simple setting but crowded with mat sallehs at night.

The clean and beautiful Patong Beach: A stretch of white sandy beach perfect for sunbathing. This is a world-class beach with all the necessary infrastructure and facilities in placed. Sea, Sand, Sun and Singha (Thai beer) that attract lots of tourists here.

Good Luck: Yeah, whoever is playing the water sports need the extra luck to be safe as the beach is crowded with people.

Beachfront massage: Very popular with the mat sallehs and business is good.

Tsunami Evacuation Route: Also a reminder to all that the beach front of Patong Beach was also hit by tsunami on 26 December 2004. About 300 meters away, there is a hill slope.

Carefree Sunday morning: The locals and mat sallehs are relaxing by the beach. The locals are friendly, polite and gentle with tourists.

Yes, I spotted one runner with a different type of attire. Over here, walking in bikini and swimming trunk are common, though it is not encouraged by the official pamphlets. The mat sallehs even ride motorcycle without wearing shirts -- different way of sunbathing.

Simon Cabaret show performed by a-kua (guys). They beauty surpasses the normal girls. This show is of high standard with big and comfortable hall, good sound system, elaborated stage setting and costume, and "like-real" singing expression. One a-kua impersonated Tina Turner in the song "Simply the Best" that drew much cheers and applause from the audience.

The Kata View Point is a strategic location where the three world-class beaches are visible: nearest is Kata Beach, in the middle is Karon beach; furthest is the Patong Beach.

Yours truly (KC)

At Karon Beach: The sand here is so fine and powdery that when one walks on it, it squeaks and gave a unique sound created when compressing the sand further by the weight of body. The beach is very long so it never feels overcrowded but most beach chairs were occupied.

I love the crystal clear water here. However, the rip current is dangerous and strong, especially during monsoon season (May to October). When the water re-circulating back into the sea, a swimmer can feel the pulling effect. While I was standing in water, my legs can feel the sand moves.

The neatly arranged beach umbrellas: Rental for each umbrella with two beach chairs is 200 B per day and business is good. I overheard the fat lady owner who said to her prospects in English: “…got chairs but no more UMBELA”.

I was sitting behind the third roll of the beach umbrellas under the shade of a coconut tree. What a simple way to enjoy a quiet holiday retreat: drinking ice cold refreshing coconut juice while admiring the scenery and listening the wave hitting the shore. I saw one mat salleh was pointing his camcorder at me. I presume it must be funny to him that while they wear minimally for sunbathing, the Asian did the opposite.
I later asked the vendor to cut the coconut and I requested for a spoon to scoop the coconut flesh, she could not find one. Instead, she took a metal spoon from her tiffin-carrier containing her lunch pack. I presume only Asian drinks coconut juice and eat the flesh.

Phuket Fanta Sea: I was puzzle over why the show charges RM 110 equivalent per person. It is in fact a modern cultural show with hundreds of performers aided by hi-tech audio and video equipment. Yes, they were elephants, buffalos, chickens, birds, goats as part of the casts. That must be the biggest indoor hall and stage that I have ever seen. The path to the theatre was something like Disneyland in Los Angeles with lots of pomp and fanfare, but of lesser extend.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon 2006

Note by KC: I will be going on holidays: away from running and Internet. Next posting is on Sunday 17 December. Happy Running and Cheers!

Please click here to view photos taken by Chan Wing Kai.

A brief report by PK Chan:

The Bangkok Marathon on Sunday 26 November 2006 was held to celebrate the 60th anniversary of His Majesty the King's accession to the throne. There was about 30,000 participants (report from local media) taking part in the 5 km fun runs, 10 km and the 42.2 km races.

There were at least 35 of Pacesetters members taking part in the full Marathon as well as the shorter 5 km and 10 km runs. The run was unexpectedly hot and humid despite the early starts at 2:00 a.m. (above 5 hours finishers) and 3:30 a.m. (below 5 hours elite runners).

We ran the first 30 km on the elevated expressway which was straight and monotonous combined with some undulating stretches before getting into town area. It was a memorable run for most of us especially those who completed their first Marathon. Congratulations to Connie and Sharon.

Most of us did not do well in our finishing time. Our best runner was Kenny who finished 4:50. Teresa did Malaysian proud to finish 3rd in her age group. I completed my 10th marathon in disappointing timing – 4:41:22.

Results are now on web: results

The Thai traditional massage did help us to speed up our recovery after the grueling runs.

PK Chan