Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sundown Marathon - Part 2

Written by Jennifer

Click here to read Part 1 of the training for Sundown Marathon by Jennifer ...

9th March 2009 (Monday) - 28km Training Run

I managed to run 28km on this holiday Monday! How is that for being disciplined?! Guess the Journaling works! Journaling compels me to follow the training schedule as I tick off the training plan.

I started early in the morning around 6:15am (Ok, that is not that early for eager pacesetters runners) and the scheduled route was nice and cool. By the time I finished it was around 9:15am and it was very hot as the sun is merciless! But definitely all that recent invitational dinners have given me loads of energy for the long run – now that is CARBO loading!

Note: photos are extracted from internet; not actual person.

11th March 2009 (Wednesday) - 10km Training Run

Yes! I manage to run about 10km today – a nice slow steady run till the last 2 to 3km where I sped up a little bit. I even managed to do some core exercises after the run (best time to do it as body is already warmed up).

I met this other runner who decided to run with me and talk non stop and without knowing it, he was pushing me more and more to the side of the "track"/road..... I like to keep a little space between myself and another runner so I had to make a conscious effort to move to the other side so that he gives me more space. It was a good run, I enjoyed it as it was short and steady and I did not have to push myself....

Recently a few friends have commented that I have lost weight. I think maybe my face has shrunk a little from the past 2 months of slightly more intensive training or is it just the exhausted look? Ha ha ha

28th March 2009 (Saturday) – Long run

Mentally, long runs seem very daunting – just gotta grit my teeth and do it. My first 32km run for this training schedule – better start earlier in the morning or else the sun will truly burn my skin.

I am looking forward to this run, it is the first of the 2 scheduled 32km runs. If I make it through this one, then there is only another 32km run to go. I enjoy my long runs very much, I always start off a little negative (not so sure) but just “hang in there”, fellow runners running with me really helps and oh! Don’t forget the "rabbits/runners" or should I say “bunnies” to chase….

Another thing I look forward to is the sunrise which is very pleasant and you see the number of runners increase and change over a period of time. The camaraderie of the many runners – i.e. suffering together makes it easier and each tries to muster a smile or say “I am ok” when we all know we are not OK coz the legs just want to bonk!... finally, after 3 ½ hours, we FINISHED the long run…loading up on sports drinks and chocolates along the way helped us get through this “ordeal”.
During the week, I had contacted an old friend’s brother who had run a similar marathon to Sundown. He is an athletic young man as I remember him from school days so long ago. However due to his youthfulness, inexperience and "foolishness" (which he admitted) – he trained a maximum of 14 km to 16km for the long run as training for the marathon and therefore bonked at 25km but prior to that - his split time was about 26mins for every 5km. What potential! I must introduce him to the pacesetters and refer him to runnersmalaysia website and introduce him to several groups of runners.

Note by KC: If I were running in circuit, I would try the rabbit and runner method to gauge your speed and strength in running too. Then I would gather enough courage and ask (the ice breaker): Wah, you can run very fast ahhh?! What do you think of the ice breaker?

The reply: Breaking the ice by complimenting on the speed? Actually that is what most of the (male) runners would talk to a (female) runner for the first time. The "tactics" are universal and crosses borders – depending on the approach, probably works almost all the time……..

Happy Running

From Jennifer

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Perils of Trekking

This must be the fourth accidents that I come to know in less than a year – all happen at Bukit Tabur (or Klang Gate Ridge) in Melawati. While the other three were nasty falls, the latest accident is the most tragic one as it involves death of two doctors.

In one of the previous falls, a lady trekker fell more than 50 m high and suffered multiple fractures in bones. The good news was that, I was told by another trekker that all the victims have recovered from the fall.

Climbing Klang Gate Ridge requires a lot of concentration plus good fitness level. Both the left and right ridges have dangerous cliffs and a fall could result in fatal accident. A rock-based hill (as in Bukit Tabur) is steep and the ravine is deep compared to earth-based hill (eg. Gunung Nuang, Gunung Apek, Pine Tree Trail, etc) which rises gradually with wider trail. When I first climbed Klang Gate Ridge, I was worried too manoeuvring around rocks just next to the cliff... click here to read.

On a different note: Six weeks ago, one of a Malay office colleagues was missing when trekking in Yong Yap jungle (Pahang). He is about 30 years old working in HR department. Until todate, there is still no news of him.

Uncertainty and danger are inherent parts of all outdoor sports. We should not stop because of the risk. With proper knowledge, precaution and fitness level, we can mitigate and avoid all these negative elements and continue to enjoy in these great outdoor activities.

click here to read more reports from Agnes Tan's blogsite. She has been very active in trekking.

A trekker is manoeuvring a tricky cliff (left side of Klang Gate Ridge)

Extracted below are Star and NST Online dated Sunday 29 March 2009.

Star Newspaper
Sunday 29 March 2009

Missing Doctors Found Dead

KUALA LUMPUR: Two specialist doctors, missing since Wednesday, were found dead in a ravine near the Klang Gates in Ulu Ampang yesterday.

A search-and-rescue team took over an hour to airlift the bodies from the thickly forested terrain.

Police believe the two – paediatrician Dr Haliza Mohd Shafie, 53, and paediatric surgeon Dr Amin Tai Abdullah @ Tai Yen Ming, 57 – slipped and fell about 200m after they had gone hiking.

Their car was found at the popular hikers’ spot in Bukit Melawati at 7am. Jungle trekking gear and the duo’s cellular phones were found in the car.

A full-scale search-and-rescue operation was launched by the police, Fire and Rescue, and Public Works Departments, after Dr Haliza’s husband confirmed the car belonged to her.

Tracker dogs and a helicopter search spotted the two at around 2.15pm, said Ampang Deputy OCPD Supt Amiruddin Jamaluddin.

“The injuries on the bodies were consistent with a fall,” he said.

The decomposing bodies were sent to Kuala Lumpur Hospital for a post-mortem.

Both specialists were attached with a medical centre in Ampang.

Their families made a police report when they did not return home on Wednesday night, State Chief Police Officer Deputy Commissioner Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said on Friday.

It was earlier reported that a security guard at the nearby dam saw two people heading into the jungle on Wednesday but did not see them return.

click here for article in Star newspaper.

This is another dangerous part just before reaching the peak of of Bukit Tabur (right ridge). Notice a trekker in yellow up there.
Dated: 2009/03/29

Two Missing Doctors Found Dead in Ravine

By : By Lee Shi-Ian and Mazlinda Mahmood

KUALA LUMPUR: The bodies of two doctors missing since Wednesday were found yesterday in a ravine near the Klang Gates in Ulu Ampang.

Dr Haliza Mohd Shafiee, 53, and Dr Amin Tai Abdullah @ Tai Yen Ming, 57, were believed to have slipped and fallen into the ravine while jungle trekking at a popular spot in Bukit Tabur near Taman Melawati, Ampang.... (partial texts only). click here for article published in NST.
Posted by KC

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Putrajaya Hot Air Balloon

Please click here for photos taken by yours truly (KC). click Slideshow, click F11.

Work in progress to inflate this balloon

Full flame (steam) ahead !

Okay, we have a lift-off

Peacock on a tree -- different shape of hot air balloons

Your truly (KC) posing in front of a clown-shaped hot air balloon

Up! Up! And Away!

Flying high above the signature bridge of Putrajaya -- Seri Wawasan Bridge

The folks in Kuala Lumpur are truly lucky. Other than the world-class Formula 1 car racing event in Sepang, and other than the international fireworks competition in Putrajaya, now we have the first International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2009 in Putrajaya.

This event was organized by Malaysian Sport Aviation Federation (MSAF) and AKA Balloon Sdn Bhd held from 19 to 22 March 2009 in Putrajaya.

It was a superb timing that during that one week, it was dry. Prior to that, it has been raining almost everyday and flooding of certain low-lying areas was frequent in Kuala Lumpur.

According to the itinerary, the flying of hot air balloons was scheduled twice a day: morning session at 7:30 a.m. and the evening session at 6:00 p.m. In between these two main events, there were the children colouring contest, hot air balloon ride with parents, para motor showcase, remote control flying aircraft display, etc.

The takeoff off site was located at a football field at Monumen Alaf Baru of Precinct 2. While the flying area, though it is borderless up in the sky, it was recommended a 5km radius from takeoff site and preferably, not more than 1000 feet in height.

Most hot air balloons were in teardrop shape (somewhat expanded sideway at the base) with a wicker basket (that can carry a few persons) tied to the tip for flying. Other than the bright and vibrant colour of the balloons, some are in special shape such as mug, bird, elephant, battery that adds variety to their gigantic presence.

On Sunday 22 March, I was there witnessing the final event. After ascending into the sky, the balloons could not be seen with my naked eyes. Could they fly higher than 1,000 feet? I was puzzling that how could the balloons come back to the original takeoff site? According to the official website, there is ample land in Putrajaya that is suitable for landing. Does it mean that the hot air balloons do not fly back to the original starting ground?

Click here for official website.
Beautiful sunset (while on the way home after the hot air balloon fiesta)

Time: 7:20 p.m., Sunday 22 March 2009
Written by KC

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Gunung Nuang - Part 2

Please click here to view photos of Gunung Nuang by courtesy of Jayne Aw.
I always have a love-hate feeling for Gunung Nuang. Love it for it's a good place for mountain trekking training; hate it for its tough terrain that is often muddy and slippery, coupled with the never ending winding path to the exit point. And what a name for Puncak Pengasih. Who would ever trek for 5 hours to find love up there but ended up exhausted and out of breath. Nevertheless, I did manage to reach the peak this time (Saturday 14 March 2009). I did not make it to the peak in my first 3 treks due to time contraint.
Jayne at the peak of Gunung Nuang

After having the sumptuous dinner with the other trekkers at the nearby restaurant in Ulu Langat, I headed home and have a good sleep at night and woke up late the next day. My body started to ache thereafter. The thought of thanking KC for organising such an enjoyable trip was stopped by the aching muscles..
A trekker has to cross the streams four times, trying to keep the trekking shoes dry at all times.
I have never been a marathon runner but I can imagine how the runner endures the process; gasping for air and feeling the muscles contract with pain. Trekking for long hours is no better than running. I wonder what on earth has possessed me to sign up for the Everest Base Camp trek that now I have to mentally and physically prepare myself by going through this sort of training. But deep down, I know it is that flaming passion for nature that is making this call. After all life is too short for being shilly-shally on pursuing things that one truly loves doing.

Written by Jayne Aw

Note by KC: Jayne will be joining the EBC team to trek to Everest Base Camp in October 2009. I am still looking for trekkers; do contact me if you are interested. click here for more information (scroll down the pages).
Click here for previous posting on Gunung Nuang...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bracelet at Tiffany's

(Internet email received from PK)

A lady walks into Tiffany's. She looks around, spots a beautiful diamond bracelet and walks over to inspect it. As she bends over to look more closely, she lets out a fart.

Very embarrassed, she looks around nervously to see if anyone has noticed her little accident and prays that a sales person doesn't pop up right now.

As she turns around, her worst nightmare materializes in the form of a salesman standing right behind her.

Cool as a cucumber, he displays all of the qualities one would expect of a professional salesman in a store like Tiffany's, and greets the lady with, 'Good day, Madam. How may we help you today?'

Feeling uncomfortable, but still hoping that the salesman may not have been there at the time of her little 'accident', she asks, 'Sir, what is the price of this lovely bracelet?'

He answers, 'Madam, if you farted just looking at it,
you're going to shit when I tell you the price!'

First extended scenario:

A lady runner asks: What about the macho uncles who fart in the gardens (when seeing a gorgeous lady runner)? S*** when she ran pass them (overtaking them)?

Another runner answers: Okay, that means the lady runner is very, very ‘keng chow’ (full power), running at a blistering pace that scare the s*** (hell) out of them … :-)

Second creative scenario written by PK 
(who is a marathon runner and avid trekker)

A lady runner joins the trekking trip organized by Tony, the Mountain Sifu.

Slightly less than 1 hour after the climb and about to ascend a cliff of Gunung Tabur (Klang Gate Ridge), she lets out a fart.

Very embarrassed, she looks around nervously to see if anyone has noticed her little accident and prays that another trekker doesn't pop up right now.

As she turns around, her worst nightmare materializes in the form of an experienced trekker, KC, standing right behind her.

Cool as a cucumber, KC displays all of the qualities one would expect of a professional trekker in the sports fraternity, and greets the lady trekker with:
'Good day, girl, How may I help you?'

This photo is taken at Bukit Tabur at the "hugging rock" ... do click here

Feeling uncomfortable, but still hoping that KC may not have been there at the time of her little 'accident', she asks, 'KC, how far we still have to trek up?'

KC answers, 'Girl, if you farted just reaching half way point, you're going to shit when I tell you there is another 1,000 meters to climb! ... :-)


Monday, March 23, 2009

F1 Sepang

F1 Sepang Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur, 3-5 April 2009
The once-a-year grand event of car racing is back at Sepang F1 Circuit. Though this world-class F1 event has been staged in our land for many years, I have never been to support this event before.

So this time, after witnessing a few of the exciting MotoGP, JapanGP, A1GP being staged at Sepang F1 Circuit, it is time that I support this event. One of the main considering factors would be the cost as the ticket price is very much higher.

During the previous A1GP event, together with Shukri, we have the opportunity to meet another photographer who helps to purchase tickets at a discounted rate.

I could be one of them in the photo this time

So this time, everything is set for the grand event which is scheduled to happen in next weekend. Jason Lee, Mike, Shukri and yours truly (KC) have already bought the tickets.

Note: photos above are extracted from Malaysian GP website. Click here

Click here for latest F1 GP photos (3,4,5 April 2009) at Sepang F1 Circuit, previous stories and photos taken by Jason Lee, Shukri and yours truly (KC) (scoll down the pages).

Posted by KC

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Gunung Benum

Tokyo Marathon: Sunday 22 March 2009 - To my runner friends who are taking part in this great event, wishing you a safe journey, a good race and a wonderful holiday. This is the time where there is an abundance of cherry in full bloom. If you know your friend's bib number, you can even check their split time for every 5km interval. click here
Written by Dr Hamdan
click here for photo album by courtesy of Dr Hamdan.

Trekking up Gunung Benum is three times tougher than Gunung Tahan. Despite three days of trekking and sleeping in the rain, we managed to reach the peak, leaving half the group that gave up the following morning as we were conquering the summit.

The trail looked as though it was last used more than a year ago; we had to cut our way through most times with many rattan and uprooted trees that blocked our way. Now I have a clearer picture of what was once a trail used by the communists.

The trip was planned by Mr. Wong and his wife Rosalind and I was invited to join this exclusive 15 members group. Partly due to food constraint and the other is of course accommodation in either tents or under flysheets which the porters could carry.

Initially I was quite reluctant since it was a well known fact that this G.Benum is one of the toughest trekking trail known. Being a black area, it was opened up after the communist surrender in 1990. Hence, most of the tracks that are found inside this mountain used to be walking trails between stations for the communists. My first thoughts were that we might stumble on some undiscovered booby traps, and you can guess what that might do.

When Rosalind told me that the whole package would be undertaken by our usual organizer, a customs officer and a few assistants, I was relieved. That means we do not have to carry our own food or tents, except for water. Water supply is limited to our first night camp site only. From there we have to carry water for ourselves and about a litre each to be reserved for our meals at the summit. In that way, our cook won't be burdened with carrying water for two meals for 15 persons.

Super vehicle on a waterhighway

The Ascent

The trek would take two nights of camping; first day and the next at the summit, and the third day is all the way down. We spent five hours uphill to get to the base camp at the available water point. Trouble was, our guide, being there about a year ago, could not initially find the starting point since it has overgrown so much in one year. Thus we spent searching from the waterfall after crossing the river, a nylon line that was left there. From there the guide cut his way through the overgrown rattan and other undergrowths to make it easier for us to follow through. Half the time we are right at the cliff edge, down below is a one hundred metre drop to the river. The footpath was slippery (it was raining) and very soft, that everyone was sliding all over the place. By the time we reached the water point, it was drizzling heavily and dark. Mr Wong decided that we should stop here rather than let the porters carry extra water for the night's meals and the following day meals for fifteen people to a camp site another two hours up. What a good decision making that was.

Four persons were under first flysheet; seven under the second flysheet, three in one tent a few metres away at a slightly lower elevation (we were on a sloping terrain), and our potters and cook under a separate flysheet next to the seven-man flysheet.

After dinner, rain kept coming. We used the flysheet runoff as rain harvest into our spare bottles. This saves us from going down the cliff edge to the river for water fifteen metres down. We used this water to wash our dishes and brush our teeth before settling in. With the rain and wind blowing through, it was difficult to sleep as our sleeping bags were getting soaked. I don’t think anybody that night had a good sleep. Everyone was too exhausted after dinner that hardly any conversation took place.

Next morning, the five persons from Cheras decided that they had enough. The thought of carrying three litres of water each to last for two days, and trekking thirteen hills up and down for another ten hours puts them off completely. And they decided to descend. It means that we have to sacrifice one of the potters to bring them down to the river crossing where the 4WD would be waiting to bring you down the mountain, about an hour back to Sg.Chalit, the small town where we started. But they descended despite pleas from Wong that we are short of one porter. The rest decided to continue. I ended up with a twenty-two kg pack after the three litres were added. And to trek uphill for another ten hours? Phew...

The trek from first camp onwards was rougher than going up G.Tahan. At least Tahan is well defined, though muddy, and it is only one gradient up. Here, you kept walking up and down peaks thinking when it will end. But it did. After four-and-half hours, we stopped for lunch, and continued for another four hours to the peak. Better than expected of ten hours. At places, because of fallen logs, the passage between the huge log and the ground barely fitted your trunk. So we had to dismount our packs and let it pass through first, then crawled through to clear. My last count for this type of going through was ten places. Those fallen trees are so huge that to go over the top would risk slipping and down the cliff. Scary mate.

It was such a jubilation when reaching the summit. Now that we are "otai" already. One up than the group that chicken out. But the camping area is slightly below the summit; very small flat patch (which you may have observed from the photo) but managed to fit everyone. Once again, it was sleeping with the rain belting down; wet sleeping bags and loss of sleep. It was really tiring. Once again, nobody talked after dinner - just too tired.

Arriving at the peak of Gunung Benum. Dr Hamdan is 2nd from left with a bandana.

The Descent

On the third day, we had early breakfast so that our potters can pack up early to descend for ten hours. The rain slowed us down; I slipped down the cliff only to be stopped by the bushes and regained my strength to pull myself up back to the track. Someone pulled my backpack up, only to know how heavy it was. Descending in the rain on slippery mud track was no fun, and we took twelve hours to reach the first river crossing where the 4WD were waiting. By then it was dark and cold, everybody shivering, some sneezing from the cold. we reached Sg.Chalit by nine at night, changed to dry clothes and headed for a small stall for food. I reached home nearly midnight; it was raining all the way from Sg.Chalit to Bentong to KL. What a day, but what adventure we had.
. .
Our fingers and palms were all bruised from gripping rattan trees or caught in them by accident...ouch. It really hurts. And the worst were the leeches. They were everywhere. Even when washing the backpacks, my maid found ten of them stuck inside the pack. Why didn’t I see them … I don’t know. There are 15 leech marks on my feet now – very itchy.

Given what we have been through, all I can summarize is that, the trek is challenging. Had it not been for the rain, it would have been a little comforting at night and during trekking. Other than that it was real adventure. No doubt tough, but more fun than Gunung Tahan.

Written by Dr Hamdan

Note by KC: Dr Hamdam is part of the team in trekking to Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal in May 2008 click here. He will be joining me again in the October 2009 trekking to Everest Base Camp. I am still looking for three trekkers; do contact me if you are interested. Click here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bukit Jalil Run - Part 4

I am skipping the sequence. In this album, there are many group photos and also presentation of trophies. After all the fun in running, the fun of gathering together with friends are indeed that makes running truly enjoyable.

I still have two more main albums to post. I shall continue next week. Many thanks to Jason Lee for taking the photos.

Larian Amal Seri Sinar 2009 or Bukit Jalil Run... please click here for photos (Album 5) by courtesy of JASON LEE. Stay tuned for two more main photo albums.
Click here or click "Run - Bukit Jalil" label (on the left sidebar) for all related postings
Click here if you need help to navigate in photo album

Jason Lee
Posted by KC

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Larian Amal Seri Sinar (Bukit Jalil Run) - Part 3

Please click here for photos (Album 4) by courtesy of JASON LEE on Bukit Jalil Run or Larian Amal Seri Sinar 2009. Stay tuned for more photos.
Of rosy cheek and keeping healthy

Jason Lee
Posted by KC

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Larian Amal Seri Sinar (Bukit Jalil Run) - Part 2

Bukit Jalil Run or Larian Amal Seri Sinar 2009 ... click here for photos (Album 3) by courtesy of JASON LEE. Stay tuned for more photos.

Okay, this one is slightly different from the two-finger V sign
B070 is full of expression and pose for the camera
. Different expression with different gesture
Good running posture

Jason Lee
Posted by KC

Monday, March 16, 2009

Larian Amal Seri Sinar (Bukit Jalil Run)

Larian Amal Seri Sinar (Bukit Jalil Run)
Date: Sunday 15 March 2009
Venue: Bukit Jalil Park, Kuala Lumpur.

Please click link below to view photos by courtesy of JASON LEE. Stay tuned for more photos.

Click here for Album 1

Click here for Album 2
Sea of red runners


Jason Lee

Posted by KC