Sunday, June 24, 2012

Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2012

By far, this is a very successful event having the most number of runners participating in Kuala Lumpur – Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2012 staged on Sunday, 24 June. The announcer informed that there were almost 28,000 participants. For Half Marathon category, there were about 5,800 runners; the majority of participants are from the 10km and 5km categories.

It has been a long time that do not take part in road running event. Most of the time, I just did my running at the trails and the maximum numbers or runners were about 30. I quipped to the runner friends (I met) that I do not see so many runners for quite some time, much like a jungle person emerging into city ... :-)

While running, I met a few pacers that I know some where at KLCC area: Alexis Phang, Sunny Ng, Yen Erl who were the pacers for the 6-hour full marathon run.
There is one runner almost of my pace, she is Karen Loh who dressed up as a butterfly. When she ran, the wings would flap and her running posture would look like she is flying ... :-) Sorry that I did not carry any camera; hence, no photos to show.

It was not easy to meet friends considering the huge crowd. While passing by a lady runner who was on the phone after the run, I heard that “how to see you, everyone wear the same running vest!” Nevertheless, I met a few runner friends: Linda Trivino, Jason Thiang, Sook Ying, Leslie Ho, Steven Oon (before the run); Tee Ee Kia, PK Chan, Yeow Chae Yin, Teoh Seng Chor, Ang Chee Kiang, Agnes Chew, Josie Yap, Wendy Liu, Monsy (after the run).

According to Ang Chee Kiang, he was very happy because after running the full marathon for the 12th time, he achieved sub-4 hour’s status. Bravo! Most of the time, his timing hovers 5 to 10 minutes after 4 hours.

My timing for the Half marathon was 2’03.50 from my new toy, the Garmin watch, which is about 5 seconds different from the official timer.

 Half marathon trail map charted by my new toy, the Garmin watch. click here.. Notice that the red line, representing my running trail, is always charted on the side of the road.

I like:

a. A well-organized event considering that there are almost 30,000 participants
b. Improved and simplified timing device – it is so simple that is attached to the bib; no more cumbersome chips that we have to tie to the running shoes
c. Abundance of drinking water and isotonic drinks; there is one water station at every 2km apart
d. Modified route (for half marathon) to take runners passing by the many renown places in Kuala Lumpur
e. Distance Marker - clearly indicating the progress of the run
f. Many tents at the padang for participants to relax and shield from the sun
g. No hassle on collecting medals
h. Abundance of mobile toilets, in multi-colour some more ... :-)

I don’t like:
a. The stretch of route along Jalan Loke Yew that is heavy with traffic. It would be good if the organizer can design the route to avoid that stretch.

Kudos to Standard Chartered Bank for organizing this event successfully and in promoting running in a very big scale manner in Kuala Lumpur. The number of participants have been increasing every year. I hope that they will continue to organize this event for another few years to come.

Total distance = 21.37km
My timing = 2’03.50

Do click here to view bigger displays of the two charts above.

Posted by KC Leong

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

FRIM Taman Botani Trekking

My handphone was abuzz with phone calls at around 7:15 a.m. – the time to meet up at the car park – while I was still travelling along LDP passing by 1-Utama Shopping Complex leading two other cars with me. As planned, we went trekking at FRIM (Taman Botani side) on Saturday, 16 June 2012.

Do click here to view photos taken by yours truly (KC). Click Slideshow or FullScreen for bigger displays or for downloading of photos.

 A group photo at FRIM Taman Botani ...
(Back, left) KC Leong, Vemanna, CheamYC, Tioh, Grace Lim, Edwin Haw, Ong, Arunan, Subramaniam, Albert, OngCL, CK Cheong, Wye Kit, YangPS;
(Front) Shirley, ChoiSN, Teng, Lew, Cindy Lim, Chan, Agnes Yew, MayLing, Clair, Nancy Liew, Kim (Prakash holding camera)

That was the first time that I led a group to start at Taman Botani of FRIM with certain degree of uncertainty. All the time, we start at the Main Entrance of FRIM. I was surprised to see so many cars parked outside the gated and guarded perimeter of Taman Botani. I was equally surprised to see such a big group for this trekking trip – almost 26 of us.  There were three groups in that trekking trip: the Zhineng Qigong (or chi gong) Malaysia members, my office colleagues and the trekker friends. Other than the trekkers, Agnes Yew, a road and trail runner, was with us doing a tapering run for her participation in the Full Marathon in Standard Chartered KL Marathon next Sunday, 24 June.

 Yeah, at the peak of Steroid Hill

The group started energetically walking past the lakes; having our first group photo taken and proceeded straight to Steroid Hill. Slowly but surely, we then proceed to trek up another hill to Salem High Country. After that, we descended the hill and continued to the waterfall area passing by an Orang Asli Clearing where we saw some durians there. Yes, it is the durian season now.

All ladies - Just before going up Salem High Country

After more than 2 hours of trekking, a few of the members showed sign of tiredness. Nevertheless, we pressed on wanting to arrive at the final target – the waterfall area. Upon arrival, I was shock to see that the waterfall and stream were totally dried. After three weeks of dry season, what was left was a dry bed. I quipped that we could consider coming again during rainy season.

 Happy faces at the peak of Salem High Country

My original intention of leading the group to return via the start of Pacat Trail and then connect to Mountain Bike Track (at the Malay Tea House side) has to be shelled as Shirley, one of the trekkers, encountered knee pain. So I have to find the shortest possible route to return to car park. While I asked Agnes to wait for the group at a junction, with the additional time, I ran to unfamiliar trail to look for shortest route along Mountain Bike Track. Bingo! I found one that cut right into Taman Botani. So the whole group finally emerged safely from the hill and walked back to the car park.

 Descending the hill

With the haze blocking the sun even at the open space of Taman Botani, it was indeed a day of fun in the shades of trees for a not-too-difficult trekking. The total time taken was almost four hours, much longer than the planned 2.5 hours. To those new members, it was a tiring attempt but a satisfying trekking trip.

 Somewhere near Steroid Hill area

 Passing by an Orang Asli Clearing en route to the waterfall. It is durian season time.

 A unique pond with yellow plants at Taman Botani ... with models Cindy Lim and Tioh admiring the scenery ... :-)

Filepix taken on 26 Dec 2011 at the waterfall area. Credit goes to Grace Tabitha, a Research Officer in FRIM, who led me to this area. She is now migrated and lived in the USA.
Do click here for the posting and photos.

Do click here for previous postings at FRIM (this posting appears at the top of page; do scroll down the pages).
Do click here for activities relating to Zhineng Qigong (Malaysia).

Posted by KC Leong

Friday, June 15, 2012

Super GT 2012 at Sepang F1 (2)

 The gorgeous GT Queen from Japan

Do click here to view photos taken by yours truly (KC) - Album 2 (final).

 Long cool woman in a red dress ...

 Looking good ... I mean the car ... :-)

 Lots of spectators inside Sepang F1 Circuit

  The gathering of the biggest Super Cars and Performance Cars ...

Time = 4:00 p.m. (Sunday, 10 June 2012) ... all set for the 54-lap Super GT grand race

Spectators cheering for the start of Super GT grand race

Posted by KC Leong

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Super GT 2012 at Sepang F1 (1)

Japan Super GT held at Sepang F1 Circuit from 9 - 10 June 2012.
Photos here are taken on Saturday, Day 1 of the event.

Do click here to view photos taken by yours truly (KC) - Album 1.

Local contestants for the selection of next year's 2013 Super GT Queens of Malaysia

Posted by KC Leong

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

We Wish to Trek at Puchong Hill Again

Attached here is a report appearing in The Star Metro dated 28 May 2012 about Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve (or we call it Puchong Hill). Located near to Bandar Putri of Puchong, the trails are shady and not too difficult for trekking, that is good for a moderate workout.

The authority of UPM, however, is not pleased and decided to close the trails recently due to following reasons:

a. disallowing trekkers to encroach into UPM's outdoor research areas as trekkers' presence are affecting their research work;

b. throwing of rubbish by inconsiderate trekkers when they trek.

If the Wawasan Trekkers Group (as in the report below) manage to persuade the authority of UPM in agreeing to reopen the trail, this time, we must be serious about their concerns: no straying into unauthorized boundaries, and we must also NOT go to the waterfall area. 

Here is a funny incident told to me by Edwin Goh, a regular trail runner friend, while doing trail running at Puchong Hill last year:

When the Iranian lecturers came to UPM for some exchange programmes, the UPM lecturers were very excited wanting to show their counterparts the prized possession – a pristine and tranquil small waterfall with clear water in their research centre of Ayer Hitam Forest Research, never mind that the name and the actual colour of the water do not tally.

When they happily arrived at the waterfall area, they were shock to see some trekkers were also there happily swimming in the pool, and some were having a jolly good time enjoying picnic by the pool … :-)

The waterfall at Air Hitam Forest Reserve

Do click here for online page in The Star - Hikers Seek Permission (28 May 2012)

Do click here for ... Hikers barred from entering Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve (dated 25 May 2012)

Do click here for photos and postings done by yours truly (KC) while doing trail running at Puchong Hill (scroll down the pages).

Posted by KC Leong

Friday, June 01, 2012

I Bought a Garmin FR 610

Yeah, I am pleased to inform that I bought a new Garmin Forerunner 610 – a sleek, A touchscreen GPS-enabled watch that supports customisable data screens and advanced training plans (on 27 May 2012).

Do click here for a comprehensive review by DC Rainmaker.

Do click here for the official Garmin website on FR610.

Two useful features:

a. Return to start location -- once I set the coordinates for my starting location, if I lost my way in the mountains while trekking, the GPS function has an arrow display in the watch to direct me back to the absolute starting point. Likewise, if one "trek" (walk) around a city in a foreign land, one would be able to return to the source location based on the direction indicated by the arrow.

b. Auto-changing time in different time-zone -- for example, if I go to Nepal for trekking which is 2.25 hours behind our Malaysian time, the watch would automatically adjust itself to Nepal time.

Features and Benefits:

Heart rate monitor
Automatic sync (automatically transfers data to your computer)
GPS (track location, direction, distance)
Garmin Connect™ compatible (online community where you analyze, categorize and share data)
Virtual Partner® (train against a digital person)
Virtual Racer™ (compete against other activities)
Auto Pause® (pauses and resumes timer based on speed)
Auto Lap® (automatically starts a new lap)
Auto Scroll (cycles through data pages during workout)
Advanced workouts (create custom, goal-oriented workouts)
Pace alert (triggers alarm if you vary from preset pace)
Time/distance alert (triggers alarm when you reach goal)
Vibration alert: (choose between alert tones and/or vibration alert)
Interval training (set up exercise and rest intervals)
Heart rate-based calorie computation
Training Effect (measures impact of an activity on your aerobic fitness)
Customizable screen(s)
Shock Resistant
Sport watch

Shown here is heart rate transmitter and the ANT+ USB stick (front).

Looks like I need to spend hours trying to familiarise with the high-tech functions and features of this watch.

Do click here to view photos in Picasa for much bigger displays.

Posted by KC Leong