When the runners alighted from a convoy of vehicles, Chee Wee parent’s bungalow was bustling with activities. It was filled with laughter amid greetings and conversation. Without starting the run, the endorphin was circulating in our bodies already.
We were pleased that the host, Chee Wee a.k.a Penguin-11, was spending considerable amount of time boiling the red bean “tong sui” and steaming tapioca to welcome the Penguin Runners and friends.
To go or not to go to Sungai Pelek? At noon on Saturday 6 January, the sky was gloomy. After reading the Star newspaper the day before with headline “Storm Brewing”, I have reservation whether to proceed.
As reported, the northern and east coast states would be bracing for thunderstorms, heavy rain as strong winds may develop into a cyclone. Severe weather was expected to hit a few states; the only consolation was that the newspaper did not mention Selangor state.
In oversea countries, the people would change plan according to weather forecast. Nevertheless, I just take a little risk and adhere with the plan.
When Jason Lee, one of the photographers of Pacesetters Club, arrived at my house in a new Toyota Innova, he was prepared to drive there. So, I have to transfer all my stuff into his MPV. That include an icebox containing six big bottles of pre-chilled 100 Plus drinks which yours truly was sponsoring. We later went to pick up Rose, but her friends could not join us.
The journey from USJ Subang Jaya to Sepang Gold Coast via KLIA route took about one hour traveling in 90km/hour speed limit. There was slight drizzle along the way. However, we would prefer a downpour and clear sky later at Sungai Pelek.
Yours truly - put on the best smiles
Starting the Run
At 3:45 p.m., we were the first car to arrive, other than Chee Wee. We were pleased to see the blue sky there. Half hour later, a convoy of cars arrived. The moment runners met and started to talk, time passed really fast. When we were ready after the photos session, it was almost 5:00 p.m., one hour behind schedule.
It was quite an interesting sight: Chee Wee has leading the pack of runners while Jezamine, Eric and Gerald were cycling; followed by a convoy of vehicles. All were heading toward the beach. It was windy while running at the housing area almost devoid of vehicle. We run through the kampong road en route to the beach. Since it was a light-and-easy fun run, we were running at relaxing pace and chatting along the way.
Immediately arriving at the beach, I spotted Jason Lee who was busy taking photos of runners in action. He was using two Nikon dSLR cameras, a D70s and a newly bought new model of D80. Depending on the requirement, I could imagine that he interchanged from a short-gun (wide-angle lens) to a bazooka (tele-lens).
Further down the beach, we arrived at the location where Tony had set up the food-cum-water station at one of the “pondok” (shelter). Tony was actually setting up the mini gas stove for frying burger.
With the strong breeze, Eric, Lee and PK Chan were acting as wind-breaker to shield the wind from extinguishing the fire.
There was lots of food to go round. A few of the runners were concerned that the amount of food that we ate was more than the calories required to run that short distance for a duration of only half an hour.
So Chee Wee led the pack of runners and ran to the other end of the beach passing by Sepang Goldcoast site-office. He was wearing a yellow Pacesetters Club T-shirt which instantly provided much details to on-lookers where we came from. When we run, there were cars that slowed down or just stop for a while to let the runners pass. We were like head-turner: when we ran, I observed some people were turning their heads at us too.
It was a rare occasion that Chan Wing Kai, the Club’s photographer, and I were in the same photo. Three photographers of Pacesetters Club (including Jason Lee) were congregated in the same outing.
We were eating, chatting and some, running until 6:30 p.m. to have a glimpse of sunset. The hue was just ordinary as there were quite a fair bit of clouds that blocked the ray. After admiring the sunset, we started to run back at 7:10 p.m. The journey took about 35 minutes and the sky was almost dark.
Chee Wee parent’s house was busy with runners again. This time, we were busy taking turn to take bath. Poula Chong has a great idea to speed up the process: he used a garden hose to bathe at the garden with a table blocking the view.
We later adjourned to seafood restaurant in Tanjong Sepat for dinner. Reaching the restaurant at 9:00 p.m., all diners have left and about 10 workers were waiting for our arrival. We have the entire air-con room to ourselves – we occupied two tables with 14 persons each.
Seated:Ross, Tim, Simon
Middle Row:Ong Siok Leng, Gerard Pereira, Sonny Ng, PK Chan, Jenny Leong, Jezamine, Molly, Agnes Chin, Rose, Yap Keng Peng, Siok Bee, YeohSC, Chan Wing Kai, Joo Ean, Eric Teo, Vivian Ngok.
Third Row:KC Leong, Paulo Chong, Chee Wee, Phua, Wong, Lee Puh Heng, Tony.
In order to confirm the food, Chee Wee’s family actually came a week before to dine at the same restaurant. The food was served quite fast. True to the name of a seafood dinner, we have fish, prawn, crab, lala, etc. There was lots of laugher from the next table. Chee Wee’s son was able to click very well with the two mat salleh friends.
It was a fun-filled outing with a group of runners who share the common passion. For runners, it is quite true to say that “have runs with travel”. Running not only improves our fitness, but it also fosters closer relationship among runners. I wish you were there too. Well, we will plan for the next outing again.