Thursday, August 28, 2008

Malakoff Penang 26km Run

Written By Siew Ling

This was an inaugural run of sorts for many – the first time Pacesetters organized a run in Penang and the first run in Penang at a distance of 26km.

The usual running kakis were all abuzz deciding on whether or not run and at what pace to run and of course all were discussing the running route. This was because between the 3rd km and the 6th km would be a series of rolling hills as the route meandered up Mount Erskine Road passing a huge Chinese cemetery (which I heard had worried quite a few due to the race being in the wee hours of the morning and being held at a certain month of the year of the Chinese calendar), Fettes Park Road and finally up the Vale of Tempe!

For the uninitiated, the Pihak Berkuasa Air (Water Authorities) does not build a dam up in the Vale of Tempe if it was not high ground. Several street names have been omitted so that readers do not get an impression that this article is written to promote the street names of Penang.


Photos courtesy of WongSC

There were jittery and nervous vibes before the race for many runners but as one runner quoted “unless it rained (heavily) or there was terrible haze or (to quote Paula Radcliffe) our leg(s) is broken”, we shall be at the starting line”. And so it was that over 500 runners stood at the starting point on Sunday 10 August 2008 at 5.30am in the morning at Youth Park (or Taman Perbandaran) excitedly waiting for the starting horn but a little frazzled why there was no magnetic carpet/equipment to record the starting chip time. Adding to the confusion was the running out of the starting ribbon. Huh … Why do we require ribbons when we have the chip timing system? One runner quipped: good question but too late to ask the organizers at that point.

As expected, the initial part of the route was hard. The weather was warm even though it was in the early hours of the morning due to the haze and there were these rolling hills to conquer but then again if the Olympians in Beijing could do it so could we – Penang Boleh! Later it was revealed that Munning Jamaluddin, Pacesetters Club Past President, did pick up several runners in his van who were in return “conquered” by the rolling hills. After the final hill towards the Penang Swimming Club, the route turned flat as a pancake through Tanjong Tokong Road and down to the famous Gurney Drive (14th to 15th km mark) where the runners attracted the curious looks of the usual morning walkers.

One could have been tempted to stop at the many kopitiams dotted along Gurney Drive that served breakfast as familiar smells of Penang hawker food rose in the air. But press on the runners did as they consumed their power gels and power gel drinks over bak kut teh and roti chanai!

A quick stop at the water station at the 15th km mark which were all excellently manned by the volunteers and the runners were off to old Georgetown which was recently declared a heritage city along with Melaka city. The runners ran past the E & O hotel, the Convent Light Street, Padang Kota, the recently restored High & Lower Courts and St George’s Anglican Church amongst many other heritage buildings of this charming city.

All too soon (but not for many who were by now very tired and some suffering from cramps or injuries) the runners would run pass the 20km mark and to the bonus water station at Macalister Road (YMCA – 22.5km) and then dash through Sepoy Lines and back to Taman Perbandaran but not before conquering one final hill at the finishing line.

The atmosphere at the end line was friendly and warm as friends greeted and congratulated friends. Smaller runs such as this run have such a charm about it as one is not “lost” after a run and just being ushered from place to another place and of which many sections are cordoned off. Finding a place to park one’s car is easy to find before and after a run and Taman Perbandaran is surrounded by lovely rain trees and plenty of shade.

Food and drinks were served at the finishing line (although it may not have suited the palates of some as nasi lemak, bee hoon and chendol was served) but it was nonetheless a privilege and bonus to have fruit, food and drinks served at the end of a run. The pacesetters office bearers turned up in full force to support the race and the volunteers deserve a big thank you for a job well done! Overall, a great run through a challenging but yet interesting route in Penang.

Final note: Thankfully for all the runners who had laced up their timing chips to their shoes, there was light at the end of the tunnel as there was a finishing line magnetic carpet/equipment to record each runner’s finishing times.
Written by Siew Ling
Note by KC: Thanks for writing this entertaining report. I like the part where “not all street names were mentioned”; otherwise, it sounds like a travel report and not a running report... :-)

As to running past a cemetery, many years ago, two of the Penguin runners (one of them was the late Terence Penguin runner) went to run at the Malaka full marathon. Due to not much good publicity, only a few hundred runners participated in the full marathon. The runners ran past the huge cemetery when it was still dark. According to them (who ran separately), it was quite scary as there were no runners around. And when the breeze was blowing, one got lots of goose bumps …
According to a runner, the high-tech timing chip does not require the starting magnetic carpet to trigger the recording of a runner's timing.
MIFC - Fireworks display at Putrajaya... Friday 29 August is the final.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Part 3 - Kuala Lumpur Executive Rat Race 2008

Click here for 216 photos by courtesy of Jason Lee.
Date: Tuesday 19 August 2008
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Event: KL Executive Rat Race 2008
Venue: Bursar Malaysia, KL
Stay tuned for more photos from Weng.


Chia Yew (Press on!!)

Looking good and neat (even after the run)

A participant running with a briefcase
All smile after the exciting and fun event

The EON Bank Team (Steven P5 and other team members)
Dinner is served - after the race
Posted by KC

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kuala Lumpur Executive Rat Race 2008- Part2

Click here for 213 photos by courtesy of Jason Lee.

Event: KL Executive Rat Race 2008
Date: Tuesday 19 August 2008
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Venue: Bursar Malaysia, KL

Stay tuned for more photos from Jason Lee and Weng.

Click here to read the story from the 2005 and 2006 Champion Team (ahem... i.e. yours truly).

The CEO Race

Runners with ties and in office attire

Team UEM with the unique antennas
Steven Penguin-5
Looks like The $$$$ Team ... :-)
Okay, we have handphone that do the walking or running
Jassica - a Pacesetters Runner

Jason Lee

Posted by KC

Monday, August 25, 2008

Kuala Lumpur Executive Rat Race 2008

Click here for 101 photos by courtesy of Jason Lee.

Event: Kuala Lumpur Executive Rat Race 2008
Date: Tuesday 19 August 2008
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Venue: Bursar Malaysia, KL

Stay tuned for another 800 photos from Jason Lee and Weng.

A running event with lots of pomp and splendour

CEO with the bib number 001

Posted by KC

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Putrajaya Fireworks - MIFC

Event: Malaysia International Fireworks Competition
Venue: Putrajaya
Date: Tuesday 12 August 2008
Time: 9:30 p.m.
Team: Team Malaysia

Please click here to view 109 photos by courtesy of Jason Lee.

Please click here to view 141 photos by courtesy of Weng.

Posted by KC Leong

Very Gold Coast

My running buddies Ironman Ong, Cheok and Uncle Hooi and I arrived in wet and cold Gold Coast on 5 July 2008 for the 30th Anniversary of the Gold Coast Marathon which is the biggest road race in Australia.
x Ching Tai

Thank goodness that the rain cleared up on the day of the race on 6.7.2008 and with just the correct amount of chill in the air and plenty of sunshine, we were able to run comfortably with the rest of the 20,000+ runners (and walkers) of various running categories.

x Ironman Wong

The crowd support was tremendous and the atmosphere was friendly yet euphoric and this really spurred me on to run faster and to keep hanging in there despite my legs cramping in the final 2 km of the race. Naturally the beautiful sights of Gold Coast with its pristine coast line were huge inspirations too not to mention the helpful and friendly locals who came out to volunteer and support this annual race!!

Uncle Hooi

We had a really good time running the race and met up with other pacesetters friends later to wine and dine and celebrate friendship and to toast to future runs!!
xChing Tai, Wong, American runner Michelle, Hooi, and Cheok – shows the various costumes donned by runners for the marathon. Many runners donned costumes for charitable causes.

By Hoo Ching Tai

Posted by KC

An Assessment of Adidas KoTR

The much-awaited and my most favorite running event was finally here on Sunday 10 August – Adidas King of the Road (KoTR). It was staged at Shah Alam together with Shah Alam 10km Run.

This report focused on how this event fared rather than my running experience in Adidas KoTR.
Sunday’s weather in Shah Alam was cloudy and it was a perfect day to run a long distance race. During the race, there were a number of shortcomings that need improvement.


Another appraisal from these two runners

The shortcomings on race day are:

1. No constant distance markers. “12km to go” marker appeared twice in 2 different water stations

2. No-ice race. All refreshment stations can hardly find an ice cube. Carbonated drink and sponge are served warm.

3. Carbonated drinks are served at all stations and no plain water available.

4. Lack of refreshment stations – more water stations after 15km mark would be better.

5. The last and most important water station dried out by 7k and 10k runners

6. Only one volunteer to distribute the checker wrist band. He must be panic that all the wrist bands fell on the road. In desperation to dish out the bands, some runners were given 4 or more bands. I have five.

7. The running route was part of a busy road and runners were running side-by-side with big trucks and buses.

8. Too many roundabouts and traffics along the whole route. I even heard one Indon Metro bus driver cursing the runners with four letter words for being trapped in the flash jam at the roundabout.

Prior to the race day, shortcomings on bib collection center are:

1. Unorganized bib collection counters – it took Weng three hours to collect all the bib numbers and vests

2. Unprofessional (rather rude) counter staff – it happened to Weng’s one of his collection receipts which was issued on early stage but no name stated in the receipt. When Weng handed the unnamed receipt to one of the counter lady staff with intention to collect on behalf, the following response was heard: “Ini siapa? Tiada name! Hantu kah?” (who is this, no name, ghost?)

After all, AKOTR 2008 turned out to be unimpressive one, based on my rating. Unlike last year’s AKOTR - with fresh air, zero traffic, and sun rise in the horizon, I really felt and was the King of the Road.

By Steven P5

Posted by KC

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Part 5 - Adidas King of the Road (KoTR) 2008

Please click here to view 160 photos (album 1 of 1, Nikon D200 dSLR) by courtesy of Jason Lee.

Okay, I have posted almost 1,000 photos talen by the photographer, Jason Lee. Take your time to view and to appreciate the hard work put in by the committed photographer who volunteered his time, effort and expansive photographic equipment to capture the memorable event for you.

Due to the Olympics fever, the publication of postings will be irregular during the Olympic weeks. Not only that I am busy watching the games, I am also busy switching channels. And at the same time, running from my TV to my PC to process the photos. I also eat my lunch (in lunch pack) on top of these activities. Yes, this is multi-tasking!!

Outstanding postings:

a. Putrajaya fireworks
b. Photos of Malakoff Penang Run (organized by Pacesetters Club)
c. Report on Malakoff Penang
d. Report on Gold Coast Marathon
e. Report on Adidas King of the Road

Stay tuned ...

Fish-eye perspective

L-R: AB Tan, Weng, Boon Lian, Steven P5

Yes! Ada gaya!

Posted by KC Leong

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Adidas King of the Road 2008 -Part 4

Please click here to view 190 photos (album 4 of 4, Nikon D80 dSLR) by courtesy of Jason Lee.

Event: Adidas King of the Road 2008
Date: Sunday 10 August 2008
Venue: Dataran Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia.

Tan Siew Peng

Should it be pointing upward? ... :-)
Steven Penguin-5 Runner
Nice tatoo
Meng - A runner friend from Lenggong, Perak (north of Kuala Kangsar)

Wah! Yow Yeng (I mean the photographer)
Posted by KC