Sunday, April 30, 2006

Cheering for All Women's Run

According to our plan, we were supposed to start our 20km training run at 6am today, Sunday 30 April. It has been almost two months since I last did my 20km training runs starting at Bukit Aman. Joining me in the training run were Meng (Penguin-2) and Chee Wee (Penguin-11).

On Sunday morning, there was a Jelita Run of 7km and 5km distances starting at Dataran Merdeka, 7.30am. Since Jelita is a womens’ magazines, only females are qualified to participate

I realized that starting at 6am could be too late if we wanted to cheer those women runners. At the peak of our 20km training runs, we require about 2 hours and 5 minutes. So with some complex mathematical calculation, ahem, we derived that we should start our training run at 5.45am.

After layoff for almost two months, the running momentum was sluggish. The feeling was as though I had added on a few tonnes of weight and the body did not seem to be able to run at optimal level.

Met In Half Way

When we returned from Sri Hartamas (the furthest point), we met the first runner at the T-junction in front of an abandon condominium of about 4km mark from Dataran Merdeka. Since we were in the opposite direction, we could see all runners. The first 100 plus runners were running; beyond that numbers were mostly walking in pink Jelita T-shirts.

Meng was so kind that he kept a counter and he announced loudly for each runner that passed by. Some runners acknowledged with smiles while other did not respond. At one point, he was saying, “Wah! So many runners together, very difficult to count.” He decided to stop when the counter reached 100.

We saw the following Pacesetters runners running by: Lisa, Agnes, Sook Ying, Crystal, SH Tan, Tamy, Pek Yah, Yoke Peng, Pei Choo, Miss Yee, Chooi Ling, Jenny Leong, Sharon.


Cheering Team

On the way back to Bukit Aman car pak via Bank Negara, somewhere near Bank Rakyat area, we saw the first runner approaching us – the timing was perfect. Imagine that the course is a big circle: the runners ran in anti-clockwise whereas we ran in clockwise directions. The first five positions seemed consistent when we first met them.

While counting for 9th position, we saw Mr. PK Chan heading in the same direction as other runners. So we announced loudly that he was in the 9th position. The 9th position later went to Lisa.

We assembled at the traffic junction to Bukit Aman car park to cheer the runners passing by. There were about ten Pacesetters runners already started cheering. A few of the runners were very serious despite that we cheered them. However, when we said, “Senyum (or Smile) lah.” Immediately, the runners responded with happy smiles.

When we saw Pacesetters running friends, the applauses were much louder. It was easy and fun to cheer other runners by just clapping hands and shouting motivation words compared to the runners who were in the midst of struggling to complete the course.

Mr. Lok, Subang Jaya Team Leader of PACM, was curious and asked why I was not taking photos. Since it was all female, the choice would be simpler. So I replied that I still have photos taken during Duathlon not processed yet.


At Bukit Aman Car Park

At around 8.25am, the number of cheering members was dwindling, and the whole group disbanded and returned to Bukit Aman car park, which was about 200 meters away.

There were not many runners as there wasn’t any major running event in the pipeline. Francis Toh, Vice President of the Club, and Jenny Lim were seen operating a booth to accept registrations for the coming New Balance 15km Race on 21 May. The running vests, issued free during registration, were in black bearing New Balance and Pacesetters name.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Transition From Running to Biking

Story by Chee Wee
Written by KC

The racers rushed out of the Transition Area in style. Some of the Duathletes were looking great and cool much like Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible II movie when they transformed into biking actions after running 10km. With muscular and tan bodies in designer sunglasses, vibrant-coloured jerseys, tight shorts, aerodynamic helmets, black leather gloves, they pushed their gorgeous racing bikes swiftly out of the cordoned area. Oh gosh! I wished I (Chee Wee) was like one of them rushing out the Transition Area and not standing outside watching the real hot and exciting actions taking place.

At the Starting Line

It was an extraordinary Sunday morning on 23 April. After completing a 10km training run within the vicinity of Bukit Aman area, I ran to Dataran Merdeka – the starting area of Malakoff Malaysian Duathlon Series #1. I managed to arrive 15 minutes before gun-off for 10km run in the first segment of Individual Long Distance Event. I was glad to meet most of my running friends and to support them since I was not participating in this race.

I ran with my friends for the entire 10km course. Running with them and yet not actually participating in a race was a very different experience. I felt “light” without the pressure of securing position or completing the course within certain timing. Along the course, I was happily exchanging pleasantries about latest running events with other Pacesetters runners. Of course, I have to explain numerous times why there were no bib numbers on my vest.

Somewhere near Parliament area, I met up with Tony and I ran with him for the last one kilometre distance. Approaching the traffic junction at Bukit Aman car park and Monument, I saw KC was busy taking photos by standing in the middle of the road. Not to worry, the area was cordoned off and no vehicle was in sight. My only worry was that he could be knocked down by runners who were very focused in their runs and could not see him. I also saw a few of the Pacesetters runners cheering the racers.

Transition Area

Returning to Dataran Merdeka, it was an eye-opener for me to see the transformation of racers from running to cycling actions. I had careful observation from outside the Transition Area – an area cordoned off for safekeeping of the racing bikes when the race was in progress.

According to the Organizer, Quick Release Adventure, there were about 500 participants this time – a significant increased in participation. The price of each road-racing bicycle was ranged from, say, RM 2,000 at entry level to exceeding RM 25,000 of pro grade. For ease in calculation, if each was valued at RM 5,000-00, the estimated values of those bicycles there were a whopping RM 2.5 millions!

Much activity was going on in Transition Area. When the racers entered into the Transition Area, they would quickly run to the predetermined slot to retrieve their racing bikes. For those who were wearing the cycling shorts and gloves when running, they just have to put on the helmets and sunglasses and off they went out.

I saw a few runners in running shorts were struggling to put on the biking shorts. I believe those were avid runners who do not believe wearing tight biking shorts when running. A few just rode the bikes in running shorts showing their sexy, fair thighs and hairy legs.

Light my Fire

Seeing the action, there was the fire in me wanting to join them in cycling. I almost wanted to go round looking for a bike. On second thought, I decided not to do things hastily as I have not done any training on biking other than running marathons. Besides, I have heard of the dreadful NCE (numb cock effect) when the saddle kept hammering the buttocks for hours. Oh Yes! I was told that legs muscles could cramp in cycling.

Some were having problems with their bikes. There was one cute girl who was screaming for help urgently in need to replace a punctured tyre of her bike. Even the Event Announcer was seen rendering help by announcing to the crowd the needs for a new tube. Immediately, two guys ran out from nowhere to offer her a new tube. She responded with encouraging words by saying "I LOVE YOU GUYS". Almost having the tyre fixed, another two guys were seen volunteering to pump the air into the tube; so, they were actually four people attending the bike at the same time – amazing! That was truly good teamwork in helping a distressed fellow racer.

After that, I was mingling around with Jason Lee who was busy taking photos with his 8-inch long telephoto lens and Nikon D70 SLR camera. I could see he was totally focused in trying to capture those great moments when racers zoomed by. Because of the flat terrain, the racing bikes were travelling at fast speed, much like Sepang F1 Circuit at the stretch of straight road.

Compare to pure running, I agree that Duathlon race is a much more exciting sports. I may consider buying a racing bike and join the other Penguin/Sunshine runners to participate in future Duathlons.

Yeah! I love you all.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

MMDS1 2006 - Photo Albums

All photos taken by Jason Lee, an avid photographer, are ready.

Please click here to view 195 specially selected photos showing happenings at Dataran Merdeka.


All photos taken by KC are ready.

Part 2 of album contains 165 photos of racers in cycling actions: close-up of beautiful girls; muscular and cool guys (despite the hot sun). Please click here.

Part 3 and the final part of album contain 99 photos taken at Dataran Merdeka. Please click here.

Following photos are by courtesy of Miss Yeoh SC, an avid photographer.

Part 1 contains 178 photos: Please click here to view.

Part 2 contains 172 photos: Please click here to view.


Sunday, April 23, 2006


Malakoff Malaysian Duathlon Series #1 at Dataran Merdeka on 23 April 2006.

Part 1 of photo album taken by KC contains 125 shots (start of events and running), please click here to view photos.

Part 2 of photo album contains cyclists in action. Work is in progress (WIP).

Part 3 of photo album contains photos back at Dataran Merdeka... WIP.

x x

x x


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Prelude to Malakoff Malaysian Duathlon Series #1

This Sunday 23 April at 7.30am, all the brave racers will be competing in the Duathlon race starting at Dataran Merdeka. The format of the main Individual long distance category is to run 10km, cycle 45km followed by running another 5km.

For Pacesetters members who are participating in this race, please inform Mr. Jason Thiang (H/P 012-211 6280), PACM Team Manager for Duathlon, for two reasons. First, Pacesetters members would get additional 10% discount on the registration fees. Second, it would enable the Club to compete favourably with other organizations for the “Most Members Participation” awards.

According to the Event Organizer, Quick Release Adventures, they are pleased to see many new participants taking up the maiden challenges this year (36% increase) and congratulations to those upgrading to the Individual long distance either from Sprint or Team Relay events.

For those who are new in this sport, a racer requires a road racing bike to compete in the 45km cycling segment. Though a racer may chose to run the entire event, it is not encouraged as the organizer may have to change the name to Duathlon-cum-Ultramarathon race, which is not available worldwide yet.

The last 5km run would be most fun – from the perspective of both runner and spectator. The transition movement from cycling to running somehow causes “rubbery” effect or weakness in legs muscles. This, coupled with hot mid-morning sun, it is not unusual to see racers running in slow-motion mode or struggling to reach finishing line. It is similar to Superman was running into 'the wall' as though someone had slipped some Kryptonite into his tights. It is a test of human endurance to be able to surge forward to complete the race.

A highlight of the race schedule is as follows:

At Hotel Plaza, Kuala Lumpur
2pm - 5pm
All participants need to collect their race kit and timing chip.

5.00pm - 5.30pm
All Sprint participants need to attend the Race Briefing by Race Director.
5.30pm - 6.00pm
RACE BRIEFING FOR INDIVIDUAL AND TEAM RELAY PARTICIPANTS (COMPULSORY)All Individual and Team Relay participants need to attend the Race Briefing by Race Director.

6.00pm Onwards
Yes, Hi-Tea will be served free-of-charge for all long distance Individual racers only.

Dataran Merdeka, KL
6.00am - 7.00am ARRIVAL
All participants need to arrive at Start line to place bike and gear in TRANSITION area by 7.00am.
All Individual competitors will start the race at 7.30am sharp.
7.40am OFFICIAL RACE START for Team Relay
All Team Relay competitors will start the race at 7.40am sharp.
7.50am OFFICIAL RACE START for all SPRINT competitors
All Sprint competitors participants will start the race at 7.50am sharp.
Race Cut off time for all competitors. There will be a prize giving ceremony at the race site to award the winners. LUCKY DRAW commences immediately after prize giving.
Racers/competitors are required to claim their bike and belongings (RACE number must be produced for identification of bike owner) from thetransition area before 1pm.

SPONSORS for making The Race possible:

MALAKOFF Berhad – Main sponsor.
POWERBAR - The official energy bar and co-sponsor.
BROOKS - The official sportswear and co-sponsor. Bring lots of $$$ for the purchase of latest Brooks' products on display at the race expo.
ALLA FONTE - The official mineral water and co-sponsor.
OSIM - The official healthcare and co-sponsor.
100PLUS - The official isotonic drink.

To see more information on MMDS #1, please click here.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Cycling Enthusiast

Would you consider changing the existing standard sports rims of your car to another four new JRD sports rims for more than RM 1,000-00? Read on …

I am glad to know that Wendy of Ipoh will be taking part in the coming Duathlon race on Sunday 23 April. My participation of Duathlon adventure last year was inspired by this young lady. This time, she is taking part in the Individual event – run 10km, cycle 45km, run 5km all by herself. Last year, she was doing the Team Relay event where running and cycling are done by different racers in a team.

She rides her bike (term similar to bicycle) quite often these days in preparation for the Duathlon race. She takes part in long range rides every Sunday in Ipoh for a distance between 50km to more than 100km. Her longest ride at the moment is only 114km with 20 killer climbs in less than a short distance of 25km.

She is using Fuji road racing bike of Roubaix model (as in the photo). This bike is high performance value that is just a blast to ride. It came with Shimano 105 groupset with 9 speeds, high tensile strength alloy, carbon fork, X-Fusion front triangle, Ritchey Comp wheelset, Ritchey handlebar and stem. Welcome to the jargon of racing bike. Now, who say the computer jargon is too much to comprehend?

Maintaining a road-racing bicycle requires constant upgrades to the accessories. So far, she had changed the pedal (Look PP206). Recently, she upgraded the rims to Mavic Ksyrium Elite ( – much like changing to better sports rims as in cars. With the specially designed aluminum rims, the weight is lighter with better road control; together with the reduced spoke count, the bike can go faster.

This is another sports that can burn bigger hole in our pockets. The two rims alone cost RM2,000 to RM3,000 – probably as expensive as four units of sports rims of cars! As for tyre, she is using the original one – Continental Sport 1000. According to her, it is quite a lower range one but is okay with her since she is not a pro.

Welcome to the Duathlon in Kuala Lumpur: Wendy and your group of cycling friends.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Clashing of Running Events

Note: For more information on Klang Bonding Run this Sunday, please click at the link below.
Two of the runners that I know were upset because on Sunday 30 July (Yes, 3.5 months from now), the Penang Bridge Marathon will be clashing with the Malakoff Malaysian Duathon Series #2 at Putrajaya. They are keen to participate in both the running and cycling events. However, it is not possible to do both when these two events are taking place simultaneously.

Clash of the Titans

Penang Bridge Marathon Vs Duathlon at Putrajaya (30 July)
The Penang Bridge Marathon, mysteriously absent from the running scene for three years, was scheduled on 3 September 2006 as evidence from certain web site. But according to the published Race Calendar, 3 September is going to be Awana Tri-blazer at Genting Highlands whereas Putrajaya Marathon is on 10 September, one week later.

Understandably so, the Penang Bridge Marathon would then switch to another date that possibly clashes with Duathlon at Putrajaya. When the equilibrium is disturbed, the system is affected – such is the dilemma of shuffling of dates.

PJ Half Marathon Vs Adidas FTAAA PACM Road Relay (18 June)
The next clashing of running events would be the Adidas FTAAA PACM 4x2Km Road Relay at Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur and PJ Half Marathon on 18 June. [Note: I just heard that one of the events will be postponed to 25 June and thus avoided the clash.] The PJ Half Marathon, which is usually scheduled in September, decided to bring forward to avoid a head-on clash with Putrajaya Marathon.

In September 2005, the participation of PJ Half marathon was affected when it was staged one week after the Putrjaya Half marathon. In Putrajaya Half marathon, we were running in peaceful and scenic course whereas the PJ Half marathon was a big contrast – running abreast in speeding and heavy traffic condition along Federal Highway and the highway heading towards old Subang Airport. The entire course was noisy and polluted, not to mention about the safety of runners.

Duathlon Series #1 Vs Brooks Pacesetters Bonding Breakfast Run at Klang (23 April)
We are going to witness the immediate clashing of the above running events this Sunday, 23 April. The Duathlon Series #1 starts at Dataran Merdeka and the course for cycling would pass by Bukit Aman car park. Unknowingly, my earlier posting called for runners to station at Bukit Aman car park to cheer the cyclists. The Bonding run will be staged in Klang. It is a non-competitive event that has pairs of runners completes a distance of about 5km.

For more information and photos on the preparation of Bonding Run, please click here.


We all know that there are 52 weeks in a year. Minus the festive seasons and puasa months, I believe there are still many Sundays to accommodate these runs without conflicting with one another. The runners could not understand why two events within Malaysia could coincide. It would be acceptable if a running event in Malaysia is clashing with another one, say, in Thailand or Australia.

Do we have a Sports Council which is responsible to authorize the allotment of dates to these events? In my opinion, FTAAA would be the governing body to ensure events are not clashed within Wilayah Persekutuan. However, what would happen if one race is organized in Selangor or Penang and the other one is in Wilayah Persekutuan? Which organization makes the call?

Is there a guideline for allotment of different type running events? I believe full marathon races would be identified first and giving top priority; preferably, properly spaced out. The rest of the races would then be slotted in between the pockets of vacant Sundays.

Reasons for the Clashes

Possibly, the VIPs who are invited to grace the occasion are only available on certain dates. The other far-fetched reason would be that the organizers are in favour of certain favourable numbers. For examples, Sunday 18 June sounds auspicious as number eighteen is having similar sound as “sure prosperous” in Cantonese.


When two events clashes, the organizers and the runners would be frustrated. Being the organizers for a smaller event, I could imagine that it would be frustrating to see that the date they had fixed earlier, is now in disagreement with another bigger event. They would be in dilemma knowing very well that the participation and support would be affected.

Meantime, the runners would just have to live with the system and decide which is the race that we are passionate about. Looking at the brighter side, if we miss it this round, there is always another race next time.


Monday, April 17, 2006

From the Plains of Greece

Note by KC: For those who have not run a marathon before, do you know what is the actual distance? I have had a rude awakening when one of my lady colleagues thought that the distance of a marathon is only 10 kilometers (6 miles) due to the misleading banners that promote 10km runs locally. But for those who have run numerous marathons, I believe you could even get it right in your dreams.

The story below narrates humorously the origin and how the distance was computed – something like history lesson amid modern running. Note: 1 mile is 1.6 kilometers. Read on and be amused …

Text is extracted from the book “I Run, Therefore I am – Nuts!” by Bob Schwartz

Many of us know what it's like to run a marathon, not all of us know the history behind it. Perhaps you know that it has something to with a Greek battle, but maybe for all you know it might have been Phi Kappa Delta versus Sigma Nu. Well, I'm here to change all that. I'm the history professor in the micro fleece tights and the reflective pullover. Let's begin today's lesson.

Legend has it that the first famous long-distance runner (well be­fore endorsement deals with shoe companies and guaranteed race-appearance fees) emerged from the plains of Marathon, Greece, in 490 b.c.

After the Athenians had defeated the Persians at the Battle of Mara­thon (which has a better ring than, say, the Battle of Dhidhimotikhonopolis—you'd be hard pressed to get that on a race T-shirt), the Greek warrior Pheidippides was chosen to bring the news of the great victory to the citizens of Athens. Problem was, the city was many, many miles off in the distance and the invention of the automobile or any form of mass transit was still a few years away.

So, young Pheidippides began running the approximately 26 miles from Marathon to Athens without the advantage of a big, carbo-loading pasta dinner the night before. He also ran without the ben­efit of aid stations, course volunteers, energy bars, bands playing music, or cheering spectators yelling, "You're looking great!" He also did not have the advantages of air-cushioned shoes, polyester shorts, or race directors at the finish line saying, "Here comes Mr. Pheidippides from Athens. Occupation is courier. Let's give him a nice round of I applause!"

Pheidippides also fell victim to a common training blunder of modern runners. Apparently he'd recently completed, in two days, a little jaunt of 150 miles to Sparta from Marathon in the effort to obtain some military assistance. Clearly, he'd failed to read the overtraining section from Herodotus' Book on Running, or he was simply trying to set a PR (personal record) for a weekly mileage total.

Fact is, because of his recent ultra-event and his ongoing day job of warrior, he didn't allow himself sufficient rest before having to embark on his own marathon. (Of course, he had the better excuse of not actually knowing someone had pre-registered him for the race.) He hit the proverbial wall around the large sign that read, six miles to Athens, and, tragically, he succumbed to exhaustion on the out­skirts of the city.

But all was not entirely lost as, in his last gasping and panting breath, he heroically uttered those final words of, "Rejoice, we con­quer! Got any sports drink?"

Tragically, it was then that the rigors of the marathon conquered him. For his tremendous effort he would become famous throughout the land. (Truth be known, Greek rumor has it that Pheidippides ran much farther than was necessary. Seems he got turned around slightly, and despite not having the benefit of an AAA TripTik, he chose to be the initiator of that time-honored male tradition – refusing to ask for directions. Then again, what challenges would a marathon be if Athens were really only 7.5 miles away?)

His legacy spawned the inclusion of the marathon race when the Olympics were inaugurated in Greece in 1896. Unfortunately none of the 25 entrants seemed to have gained any lesson from the calamitous outcome of Pheidippides. The runners had pretty much no idea of what they were about to experience. a first-time marathoner encumbered with a healthy dose of naiveté is often not an attractive sight.
The participants all struggled to get to the finish line, and only nine actually completed the race. Due to their fatigue at the end, only four were even able to remember their names, and three of them were delirious enough to jump into the Olympic pool, thinking their next event was synchronized swimming. The good news was, in their derangement, they picked up a bronze medal for their impromptu pool performance.
As for the gold medalist in the inaugural Olympic marathon, the story is that a local Greek peasant named Spiridon Louis entered the Olympic Stadium first, and slowly ran toward the finish line that was in front of the king’s throne. (However, until I see actual photographs of the finish, I still believe it was a Kenyan that won.) Allegedly, he was covered with dust and running in tattered, bedraggled, worn sandals (state-of-the-art, though). He would cross the finish line in 2 hours, 55 minutes, and 10 seconds for 40K, and his dazed smile was for realizing he'd now qualified for the Boston Marathon.

His life would change forever. Everlasting glory was bestowed on him (once he passed the rigorous drug-screening laboratory) as the host country went ecstatic. He was given 25,000 francs (perhaps thereby becoming the first athlete to lose his amateur status), and he was finally given permission by his future father-in-law to marry his longtime sweetheart (purportedly a bronze medalist in the badminton competition). Ah, the romance of running.

At the 1908 Olympics in London, the marathon distance was changed from 24.85 to 26 miles, to cover the ground from Windsor Castle to White City Stadium. You may then wonder, where did that lovely 385 yards get tacked on? It was added so that the race could finish in front of King Edward VII’s royal box. Thus, the present distance of 26.2 miles. And many a present-day marathoner wishes Windsor Castle were just a tad bit closer to the king’s box when they find themselves doing the merciless march over the last mile of a marathon.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Four x Four

When I browsed through the recent postings in my web site, unknowing, I have published stories on four different types of outdoor quests consecutively – trekking, running, scuba diving and cycling. With that, it was in sync with the original intention and motto of this web site. In between these postings, however, there was another unusual type – admiring flowers – which some of us do not consider it as outdoor quest.

Out of the four major outdoor quests, we spend considerable amount of time in running. The humble endeavor in running actually equips us with the necessary fitness to prepare ourselves for other challenges. Understandably so, keeping fit would be the fundamental or basic requirement for all great outdoor quests. Everything else is evolved from being fit.

From the mountain top to the ocean deep while cruising on the plains, we need healthy bodies in order to be able to take on these challenges. Of course, a person may say that through trekking, cycling and diving, we could also strengthen our bodies. But he easiest and simplest is still running: just put on the running shoes and we can then run anytime we like and anywhere we choose.

Next Four Races

Coincidently, there will be four consecutive races starting this Sunday 16 April. The interesting thing to note is that all are starting at Dataran Merdeka using the same route depending on the distance – 10, 7 or 5km. It is also interesting to note that these four races do not clash with one another on Sunday mornings.

Out of the four races, the only different one would be the Duathlon where the racers are required to cycle for an additional 45km. Of course, to participate in this event, a racer has to equip with a road racing bicycle in the cycling segment. So, if a racer were to participate in the Duathlon race, he would have covered most of the different routes: starting at Dataran Merdeka, running towards Jalan Duta and returned via Parliament route.

Here are the vital information of the four races:

16 April – Rakancop Run
Distance – 10km, 7km, 5km
Starting – Dataran Merdeka
Organiser – Polis Diraja Malaysia
Assisted by - FTAAA

23 April – Malakoff Malaysian Duathlon 2006
Distance – Run 10km-Cycle 45km-Run 5km in one race
Starting – Dataran Merdeka
Organiser – Quick Release Adventures

30 April – Larian Aman Jelita Bersamamu
Distance – 7km, 5km
Starting – Dataran Merdeka
Organiser – Berita Publishing Sdn. Bhd.
Assisted by - FTAAA

7 May – Larian Bersama Bomba
Distance – 10km and 7km
Starting – Dataran Merdeka
Organiser – Jabatan Bomba
Assisted by – FTAAA

In 2002-2003, at the height of my participation of 10km races, Pengin-2 (Meng) and I together with a few other runners would participate in all runs. I could imagine in those years, we would run the three races (other than Duathon as we do not have racing bicycles then) without fail.

Today, we are selective when participating in races and we do not go for every race anymore. For those races that start at Dataran Merdeka, I would prefer to run with a few Pacesetters runners doing our own training runs. Of course, occasionally, we need to compete in these runs in order to maintain the competitive experience in running a race in preparation for more important ones.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Cheering for Duathlon 2006

The 2006 Malakoff Malaysian Duathlon Series #1 race is around the corner – Sunday 23 April at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur. This time, the following Penguin/Sunshine Runners will be participating: Meng, Tony, Weng and Siok Bee. It would be the maiden attempt for Weng and Siok Bee.

Siok Bee has bought a brand new Fuji road racing bicycle to take on the challenge. It took me a race or two later in last year to recognize that Fuji is a renowned brand in road racing bicycle and it can burn quite a big hole in your pocket to own one.

What happen to Yours Truly? Well, I would be taking photos instead after doing three consecutive Duathlon races in 2005. Hmmm… I do have tough decision to make whether to participate in a race or to take photos.

May I request those runners who are not participating in this race to cheer the racers instead? Here is the plan:

The race would start at 7.30am at Dataran Merdeka for the first 10km running segment. The racers would then continue with the 45km in cycling. Considering the top performers, they would require at least one hour to arrive at Bukit Aman car park.

Bukit Aman car park is the most ideal location as most Pacesetters runners would do their Sunday morning training runs that start and end there. We should assemble the cheerleading team at Bukit Aman car park at 8.30am to welcome the cyclists passing by the area. I assure you that there would be lots of fun and laughter cheering the cyclists zooming past.

I actually bought a road racing bicycle after standing there cheering cyclists last year. Instead of standing at the sideline seeing them having fun, I decided to have fun too. After I had bought the bicycle, Marvin sent me one e-mail: “KC, now that you have bought a racing bicycle, you need to buy another MPV or SUV to transport the bicycle.”

For more information of my previous Duathlon challenges, please click on the following archives (at the left sidebar of this web site):

Johor Duathlon – July and August Archives
Powerman – September Archive

For more information on Duathlon, please click here:

Below is the modified version of a published write-up of my first encounter of Duathlon in 2005.

Malakoff Dualthon Series #1 - 2005

Not many Pacesetters runners were seen doing training runs at Bukit Aman car park this morning. According to Mr. Bruce Wan – the great marathon runner who has done 33 full marathons – quite a number of the Pacesetters runners participated in the Nilai Half Marathon on the same morning which offered fantastic lucky draw prizes.

The Malakoff Duathlon Series #1 was also held this morning, 27 March 2005 at Dataran Merdeka. The format of this race consisted of running 10km for the first segment; cycling 45km and end with running another 5km – single-handedly done by a racer or in a group.

At 8.45am, we managed to assemble an impromptu cheering team consisting of Bruce, Kent Chan, Gurdev and I. Since I was holding the camera, obviously, I was the camera man there. The cycling route passed by Bukit Aman car park. So the strategic location was to station ourselves at the entrance of the Bukit Aman car park, right in front of the Teh Tarik stall.

Since we were not prepared, there were no placards for display of elaborated messages like: You can because you think you can; Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing; When the going gets tough, the tough goes cycling. Instead, our quotes were down to earth simple. There were lots of laughter; even the cyclists were amused with our quotes. Here are some of them:

Looking Good (when the cyclists smiled at us)
Do Your Thing (coined by Bruce. I was puzzled; Bruce explained later that just continue cycling)
Eat Your Power Gel (coined by Bruce; possibly for more power)
Cepat Sikit or You Can Do It (when the cyclists were struggling)
Cheers or Yam Seng (while holding up the canned soft drink; not sure it was meant for the holder or for the cyclists)
Come on, Baby (a few guy cyclists responded with puzzling look)
Final Lap (coined by Bruce; I believed it was a test of their mental alertness even though the cyclists still have two more laps to go)

At one point, Bruce introduced a new cheering quote such as “leng lui (pretty girl), go faster!” – only to cause identify confusion to the cyclists. Imagine you were cycling and the cheering team called you “leng lui” instead of “leng chai” (handsome guy). You would think that cycling alters certain parts of your body and makes you more feminine.

One cyclist was seen cycling with a punctured rear tyre. What a strong determination to complete the race. Another cyclist was heard telling us his calf muscle was cramped, but struggled on. Bravo!

Since all cyclists put on safety helmet and some put on sunglasses, it was rather difficult to recognize the gender. It took me a few practices to be able to identify the gender correctly. There were a few cyclists calling my name and I had a hard time identifying them too.

Then there was one lady cyclist who called my name while approaching us. When I took a closer look, she was Wendy. The sweet young lady from Ipoh who assisted in organizing the successfully staged Ipoh KRI 10km race in October 2004. I was surprised to see her participating in this race. I recollected reading her weblog that she likes biking very much. I presume this race was a good testing ground for her.

Our macho guy, Penguin-3 (Tony) came in after Wendy. We were puzzling that how could he be trailing behind Wendy. There was no scheduled pit stop for Penguin-3 for a quick Teh Tarik powered by Tongkat Ali for enhanced performance; instead, he stopped for a photo shot with the cheering team members, and raised the saddle to match his leg length to surge forward.

After cheering for more than one hour, I decided to walk to Dataran Merdeka to have a glimpse of more actions there and get connected with our friends.

This cycling/running race is fun, double the excitement of pure running. We may consider taking part next year. For other runners, how about going to the Bukit Aman same time next year to cheer and amuse the cyclists. It was real fun to be part of the ad hoc cheering team; we were laughing continuously – an excellent place to get non-stop laughter.

To the participants, I believe you would agree that it was encouraging to receive a little motivation and amusement quotes that cast smiles in your hearts. Cheers and see you at the next Malakoff Dualton race.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Scuba Diving in Sipadan Island

I am pleased to announce that Weng would be going for scuba diving in Sipadan Island on 15 April. He is most kind to send me his trip itinerary to share with the runners.

Some of the terms look alien to me. For example, PADI is not the word for “rice” as in Bahasa Malaysia. It is the acronym for Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Oh! Yes, Eric Teo – Penguin 10 – is a Dive Master too.

I am a land-based fellow focusing only on running, trekking and cycling. As such, I have not been to diving. However, I was truly fascinated to see the beautiful islands and corals in East cost and East Malaysia.

It is definitely a different ballgame compares to running. For sure, there is no air pollution; no noise from the passing vehicles. It would be tranquil and quiet in the underwater world gently caressed by the underwater current and fishes. Sharks? Hope not.

Ms Vivian Ngok, a runner and an avid diver, narrated her experience during our stay at Permai Rainforest Resort, Kuching after the Saberkas Marathon on 26 March 2006: when the underwater current was strong, a diver could be swimming with all his might but would still be swept away from shore.

To see those stunning photos on corals taken by Weng, please click at the July 2005 Archives (at the left sidebar of this web site).

To view photos taken by Weng during his previous diving trip at Pulau Tenggol, Trengganu on 5 July 2005, please click here.


Take a look what it entails in diving:

Kapalai/Sipadan Diving Package
Trip date: 15 – 19Apr 06 5D/4N

Place of Stay: Sipadan – Kapalai Dive Resort
Diving Location: Sipadan, Kapalai and Mabul Islands.
Fees: Let says it costs about one Fuji or Giant road racing bicycle for the coming Duathlon at Dataran Merdaka on Sunday, 23 April 2006.

Trip Itinerary

Depart by flight AK5152 KUL – Tawau.
Arrival Tawau airport and landtransfer to Semporna.
Boat transfer to Kapalai Resort
Resort Orientation / 1 check out dive

3 boat dives / Unlimited shore dives

3 boat dives / Unlimited shore dives

3 boat dives
No more shore dives – NO FLY TIME
Relax and easy

Check out from resort
Transfer to Tawau airport
Flight back AK5157 Tawau/KL.

Package includes:-
5D/4N Twin share accommodation in water chalet
Meals full-board in Kapalai Resort
3 boat dives daily (sipadan/Mabul/Kapalai) except for arrival and departure day.
All land and boat transfers, price ex-Tawau airport.
Tanks and weights.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Yeah! Here Comes the Medal

I was interrupted in my thinking when someone rang my doorbell amid writing the next posting. Thinking that it would be another grass-cutter man who eyed the patch of overgrown and unkempt grass at the front yard, I just let it waited for a few more seconds as he was the fifth guy that day.

To my amazement, it was a courier delivery guy. From the despatch note, the sender was from Sarawak. On the big yellow envelope, it was hand-written at the bottom right corner that says: Please Handle with Care! TQ.

When I opened it, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was another 4x9 inches white envelope with the Saberkas RH Marathon sticker on it. Yes, the Organizers sent the finisher medal over, which some of the runners did not received on the race day. It was most thoughtful of the Organizer to ask the dispatcher to handle the medal with care.

The letter says:

Dear KC,

Thank you for your participation in our inaugural SABERKAS RH Marathon 2006!

We hope you had enjoyed the race and our Sarawakian hospitality.

We understand that you are among one of the eligible participants who have not received the finishing medal in time.

Enclosed please find your well-deserved medal.

Once again, our heartfelt thanks to your support of this event and congratulations on finishing the race!

Your Sincerely,

Marketing Director
On behalf of SABERKAS RH MARATHON 2006.

Talking about efficiency and I think the Organizers scored top marks for upholding something unfinished – we received our medals only after a lapse of two weeks. The Saberkas RH Marathon was my most memorable runs so far, surpassing the Singapore International Marathon 2005. For sure, you have my support for the participation of next Saberkas Marathon.

By KC ... :-))

Ipoh Marathon Story -- Revisit

I was having mixed feeling while reading the letter and holding the medal sent from the Organizers of Saberkas RH Marathon. Automatically, my mind wanders to Ipoh Marathon held in July 2004.

I would like to share this story with other runners. Till to date, the runners are still talking and making reference to it – for the wrong reason.

We ran the Ipoh International Marathon on 4 July 2004. Since it was the first marathon in Ipoh, The Club gave full support of that event. The Club organized and assembled hundreds of enthusiastic runners. We drove 200 km from Kuala Lumpur and put up a night in a 5-star hotel located strategically next to the starting point.

On race morning, everything went quite smoothly. However, five hours after starting time, the race officials “close shop” instead of the specified six hours. When the marathon runners returned at the finishing point, they were bewildered and lost – there were no officials in sight.

I was relaxing after completing my marathon slightly more than four hours and I was sitting in cool shade under one of the tents. The new definition on human drama of marathon unfolded before me: I watched the runners’ facial expression transformed from the satisfaction of completing the marathon into frustration and despair. Imagine enduring for more than five hours running in hot weather with constant self-talk to justify your participation only to confirm you were right in your thoughts when no one bothered to greet you and to acknowledge you at the finishing line.

Worst still, there were no medals beyond five hours. The runners complained fiercely and argued with the race officials. Eventually, the race official recorded runners’ details for those that did not receive the medals. I heard the medals were wrongly dished out to the 10km or 7km categories resulted insufficient in supply.

Weeks passed and some runners began to doubt the seriousness and commitment of the event organizer. Nevertheless, they kept their promise and eventually some of the runners received the medals via postal service months later; others, still waiting. The unhappy chapter was closed. However, quite a number of the disgruntled runners swore that they will never return to run any race in future organized by the same organizer in Ipoh.

Different runners have different needs. As the running distance increased, the expectation from runners increased accordingly. Runners do concerned with toilets, water stations, drinks (water and isotonic) that served along the course; the certificates and medals.

The expectation is valid as these requirements are part and parcel of a marathon event. A fun event could be ruined by a mere insufficient attention to details by the organizer. For drinking water, preferably use bottled water and not scoping water in full view of runners out from the big black tank meant for storing toilet water where the source was doubtful. I had that lousy experience when running Awana Tri-Terrain race in Genting Highlands many years ago resulted in acute diarrhoea.

Staging a full marathon is a serious matter as expectation from runners is high, especially when they start to compare with those well organized ones. It requires a lot of planning from the Organizer; teamwork, and commitment from the officials and volunteers.


Sunday, April 09, 2006

In Full Bloom

Long time ago, my boss who is a marathon runner, after seeing me staying back late and working very hard, told me, “KC, take some time off to smell the flowers.” So, on Saturday morning, not only that I did smell the flowers, I took photos of them too.

It is nice to wake up late not having to go to work on Saturday morning. Thanks to the five-day workweek just implemented since 1 February 2006 for bank employees. After a satisfying roti canai and teh tarik breakfast at Nasi Kandar Di Kayu, USJ, I equipped with my camera and drove around within the USJ neighborhood seeking for beautiful flowers.
. .
Generally, most flowers here are of yellow, red, white and purple. Complemented by the sky, we have the blue too.
x Just like gold chains hanging from trees
I am lucky to live in USJ as MPSJ (Municipal Council Subang Jaya) put in a lot of effort to beautify the township by planting plenty of trees and flowers.

Here are some photos taken by me: all within the vicinity of USJ Taipan area.

Please click here for the photo album.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Light-hearted Moments -- Part 2

It is incredible that the marathon event in Kuching actually generated about eight postings in this web site. I hope you like the photos and the reports. I would like to thank Weng and YeohSC again for sharing the photos taken by them with us. This posting will conclude the stories on happenings in Kuching.

We shall move on and tackle the next race. Read on and hope you would be amused.


Unknowingly, Mr. K brought along a handphone charger that was placed in his trekking bag earlier. He took it out when relaxing at the peak of Mount Santubong. While inspecting his charger, I took a photo of him that looked like he was plugging into the power supply of wall socket. Was there power supply up there? (to view photo, please scroll down to the previous postings)

Master E, a slightly over-weight teenager, actually felt the strain when trekking up Mount Santubong. He commented that it would be easier to run half marathon than to trek up this mountain. Most of the time, he ran only 10km races. Hearing that remarks, his father was most happy and asked Tony to register half marathon for his son in future races.

While descending from the peak, our Mountain Sifu, being conscious of ecology of the mountain, volunteered to collect those discarded plastic bottles. He tied them in a Carrefour plastic bag and transported it by throwing it down the slope – faster and easier method. “Plaaak” the loud sound scared the hell out of everyone as though a monster was emerged and after us. After a few attempts, unfortunately, one of the throws hit Master E’s head.

While sitting on a long bench, SB and LY were seen holding the modern, retractable trekking sticks whereas Mr. K and KC were holding the sticks cut from tree branches. Holding the sticks with hands and backs straight, it was similar to one of those scenes in the Chinese movies involving the meeting of senior members of Needy Gang. In this case, the theme should be: old (sticks) meet new.

At the Waterfall

We were exhilarated when we reached the waterfall on the way down. Due to running out of drinking water, a few runners scooped water from the stream into plastic bottles and drank. The guys were seen having a super fast cooling act by taking out their shirts. Mr. K showed us the “dry cleaning” method of cleaning his body. Ms V was washing a T-shirt using the Indian laundry man’s method by splashing around the T-shirt in water.

New Leader

After resting at the waterfall, I led the way since I was the first guy that got ready. Guess what? Being first time leading the pack in trekking, I led the entire group into a wrong trail. I realized the mistake when the trail was eventually blocked by shrubs. What confused everyone was the presence of a red band – directional marker – on one of the trees. I believed that was an abandoned trail. Most of the time, I trekked as a sweeper – last person in the pack to ensure no one was left behind. Hence, I do not need the fine skill of identifying “live” trails.

The Jungle Cafe

When we safely returned to the Jungle Café at 6pm concluding our jungle hike, the whole group ordered drinks from this sweet and cute little girl. In the evening after dinner, we came to the same Café for karaoke session. She was still on duty there. While taking photos of other runners, I asked permission to take a photo of her. To my surprise, she quickly put down the cups on the table, untied and adjusted her hair, and put on her best pose. I turned around and I saw four runners laughing at me.

Later, Mountain Sifu ordered his drink of hot Milo. Yes, he required hot Milo to enhance his voice in the karaoke session. The same girl returned with five glasses of hot Milo instead. We were having a good laugh that the flash photographic shot might subsequently affect her concentration in taking orders. Our Mountain Sifu was in top form that evening singing from one love song to another, after he downed more than a glass of Milo.

One lady runner, while trying to perform the knee-bent dance number, abandoned the idea as she suddenly had the knee pain sustained when running half marathon the day before.

The Jungle Café was a quiet restaurant in daytime. However, when 23 runners patronized it in the evening, it was alive with songs and laughter. It was indeed a fun-filled evening partying together.

Bon Voyage

The brand new Airbus A320s-200 of AirAsia took only 1.5 hours for the flight when we left Kuching on Tuesday 28 March. However, it was still raining heavily after a smooth touchdown at LCC Terminal, Sepang at 7.30pm. We waited in the plane for about 20 minutes for the rain to stop. To calm the passengers, the pilot announced that the mobile ladder required extra time to connect to the exit door of the plane.

When leaving the plane, every passenger was handed an umbrella by a smartly dressed steward in coat. That was my first time walking out of a plane in umbrella. I overheard the conversation from two other passengers that budget flight was like that; don’t complain. Otherwise, fly MAS Airline and pay more.

By KC ... :-))

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Memento of Saberkas RH Marathon

On Saturday 25 March, 5pm when we collected our race entry packs, Mr. Jason Tai, the Marketing Director of Saberkas RH Marathon, presented the Plaque to Madam Teresa in appreciation of the strong support from Pacesetters Club.

Later, Teresa handed it over to Sonny Ng who represents Pacesetters Club. Sonny will present it to the Club's President for safekeeping and also to brief him on the Saberkas RH Marathon when the new EXCO meets this week.

According to the feedback from runners, we were very pleased with the Organizers. It was evidenced that they spent considerable amount of time and effort to ensure that the runners from faraway places were well taken care of in areas of transportation and accommodation. Bravo to the Organizers for their hospitality.

Email from Singgahsana Lodge
Below are the exchange of emails between Sonny and the staff of Singgahsana Lodge, published with consent from Sonny.

Sonny Ng wrote:

Dear Donald, Marina and the Crew,

It's more than a week since the Pacesetters Club members returned to Kuala Lumpur…

Last but not least, my wife and I both wish to thank you and the Crew for making our stay at the Lodge a most wonderful experience. I am sure the rest of the members shared our sentiments too.

From time to time, before the next Saberkas Event, there will be our friends and Club members coming to visit Kuching and to stay at the Lodge. I hope they too will receive the warm reception that we had.

Warmest regards to all,

Sonny and Jenny

Reply from the Lodge:

Dear Sonny & all our Pacesetters Friends,

Thanks for your email. All of us are most pleased that your stay with us was satisfactory and we hope to have you all again in next year's race or even sooner. Till then, please extend our best wishes to everyone at your Club and we wish you an excellent week ahead.

Donald, Marina & the Crew
Singgahsana Lodge