Sunday, October 28, 2012

Apek Hill Trail Run

Trail running at Apek Hill on Friday, 26 October 2012. The group went from Station 1 to Station 5, and continued to waterfall area, then proceeded to Saga Station; returned via Station 6 with the downhill run and back to base. After days of heavy rains during the 9-day of Nine Emperor King event, the splash of water at the waterfall was much stronger.

Do click here to view photos taken by yours truly (KC Leong).

Group photo above:
Back, left: Kean Hui, Alain, Raymond, TeeEK, ..., KC Leong
Front: George, Patricia, Bunny, YeowCY, TeohSC, ChongYF

 Start of the uphill climb

 Pose by trail runner model Patricia Yap ... :-)

 A group photo at the waterfall area

 The heart ... with TeohSC

 YeowCY crossing a stream

 Cute Snoopy ... trek with its owner

 Having fun at Saga Station

 How low can you go? ... Patricia, Teoh SC, YeowCY, ChongYF

Happy faces

Trail map charted by Garmin 610 watch. Total distance is about 8km and time taken was 3 hr 30 minutes for the journey.

Do CLICK HERE to view latest postings for Apek Hill outings.

Posted by KC Leong

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mount Kerinci

Mount Kerinci, the highest volcano in Indonesia and highest peak in Sumatra, is located in the province of Jambi, the west central part of the Island and is about 220 km south of Padang city.
With the peak standing at 3,805m, Mount Kerinci is a charming, beautiful and friendly active volcano -- though active but still safe to ascend pleasantly. At the summit there is a deep 600m wide crater, partially filled with green-yellow sulphurous water.
Mount Kerinci can be climbed from Kersik Tuo village, 6 to 7 hours from Padang City. The climb can be done within 2 days and 1 night. Its terrain consists of thick mossy forest, it can get muddy and slippery in the rain even in dry months.
Do click here to view photos courtesy of Joseph Yong a.k.a. White Dragon. When in photo album, click Slideshow, hit F11 key for bigger displays.
The unique landmark at the junction of the road leading to the farms and also the starting point of the trek (about 5km )... Mount Kerinci at the background on a hazy day.

Plenty of attention grabbing mossy vines; getting through them to the undergrowth will be quite a challenge.

 Note the depth of many of the gully and then climbing to the top again

 Gliding through the narrow gully is a piece of cake. If you pivot yourself and lift your leg forward systematically, your white pants (or black ) is definitely intact; unless you slip on the gully.
The signature trekking attire of Joseph Yong - wearing the white pants. He trekked at Gunung Irau, the mossy and muddy trails of Cameron Highlands, and still emerged with the sparkling clean white pants. This is sifu skill ... :-)

 Top of the World feeling - standing on the highest point of Mount Kerinci and the most sought-after prime property site ... Wong Fook Kan and me, WhiteDragon with our two mountain guide-cum-porter.
 Looking down from the summit -- the 600m deep wide crater showing an active pool of greenish-yellow water and spewing huge volume of sulphurous clouds. Kerinci is more active than most Indonesian volcanoes, with nearly yearly eruptions, where the magma heating underground water resulting in huge explosion or eruption of lava, gasses, etc .. but luckily not today.

 Even this Fire (or Water ?!) Dragon is sitting down and hesitant about going nearer to the edge of the crater... note the crack line on the ground ... right to my feet.
Our part of the highest peak of the crater runs till this spot to the west and the rim slopes down (impossible to walk there). This spot gives me the gossy-gossy
bumps!! And that is sulphurous clouds clinging to the wall of the crater.

Photos and description from Joseph Yong
Posted by KC Leong

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Learn Qigong

Month of October is special to me. In October 2011 last year, I joined Zhineng Qigong class and in October this year, for the first time, I feel the qi (or chi).
What motivated me in joining chi gong class? It is a funny story.
I went for holidays in Zhangjiajie, China from 15-25 September 2011. This is where the famed Avatar movie got the idea of the floating mountains. In any tours to China, the tour guides always take tourists to visit medical, jade, silk, knife outlets on the pretext that it is a requirement by China government.
In one of the medical outlets, together with the group, I was seated at the front row in a presentation/demo room. When come to individual consultation, a medical officer looked at the blemish/pigmentation on my hands and said that my digestive system is not working at optimal level; he suggested that I should take their 6 months’ medical supplement for 6,000 yuen (about RM3,000). At the same time, they would use chi gong to regulate my body system.

Immediately, he asked me to open the palm of my left hand. Wearing a coat with long sleeves at the most appropriate length, he closed his right hand and pointed at my hand (no contact; one inch from my hand). With a loud exclaim "HAAAAAAAK", I could feel the static charge passing through my hand! Wah, the chi gong is very keng chow (amazing). He pointed at three locations and I received three bolts of static charges. Back in my mind, I want to learn this type of power when I came back to Subang Jaya.
I did not succumb to their proposal. While waiting for the rest (still seated in the same room; the earlier medical officer went out), another medical officer came in. Looking at the blemish/pigmentation on my hands, he said my kidney is not working well (different organ this time) ... ha ha. He asked me to open my palm ... the same process was repeated and I received another three rounds of static charges, and the same sales persuasion. With that, it reaffirmed that I must learn chi gong.
Back in Subang Jaya ... after telling a few laoshi of my encounters, I enthusiastically enrolled for a new class where I was the only student under the guidance of Chen laoshi. After learning chi gong since October 2011, looks like I am still puzzling that one can transmit shocking static charge to another person, let alone charging (or shocking) my own self with the chi when practicing.
On 7 October 2012, exactly after one year of learning chi gong, I finally feel the chi in a 2-day chi gong workshop. My arms were drifting upward effortlessly to almost horizontal level (from vertical resting position beside my thighs). I was sure I did not lift my arms.

As for the blemish/pigmentation, while consulting a doctor for my flu many months ago, I took the opportunity to ask what causes the blemish/pigmentation; he said it is caused by over sensitive skin reacting to sunlight.

Do click here to view all photos taken by yours truly on other Zhineng Qigong activities.
Do click here for the official website (M'sia).
Written by KC Leong

Monday, October 08, 2012

Zhineng Qigong

My arms were slowly drifting upward as if they were free flowing in a weightless state. I was trilled. But I have to contain my excitement for not wanting to lose that never-before experience. I was sure I did not lift my arms ...

2nd Zhineng Science Workshop 6-7 October 2012 ... This is a 2-day qigong (or chi gong) workshop organized by Zhonghua Zhineng Science Centre of Taman Mayang Jaya, Selangor. The workshop is conducted by Kong Xu laoshi from China. His achievement in qigong consists of a host of accolades and accreditation; among others, he is the Head of Hexie Education Research Institute China.

Vertical presentation - testing the layering of group photos

Do click here to view photos courtesy of yours truly (KC).

Feel free to download photos from Picasa Web Photos Album. When downloading, ensure in Slideshow and hit F11 key for displays in bigger frames. Point cursor at photo, right click, Save Picture As into your harddisk.

 Workshop facilitator  - Kong Xu laoshi from China

The workshop (Saturday and Sunay) was held at HELP College of Art & Technology, Jalan Metro Pudu, F&N Business Park, Kuala Lumpur.
Zhineng Qigong is a technique to enable a practitioner in harnessing the power of external qi. Other than aiding in healing of sickness, the qi also improves the general well-beings, fitness level and productivity of a practitioner.

Laoshi = master or sifu or teacher.

 Good turnouts - this is only half of the 260 participants

The 2-day programme consisted of the following main activities:
a. Douling (gentle swinging/oscillating of the hips in facilitating the flow of chi)

b. Moluo (regulating of chi at the membrane network that is beneath the skin and the muscle)

c. Zhituizuo (Straight Leg Sitting method is specially designed to enable relaxation of the waist)

d. Peng qi (the normal peng qi practice on outer hunyuan to emit the inner qi and absorb the outer qi)

e. self-practice and self-realization under the guidance of the workshop facilitator.

 From Zhineng Qigong Main Association (M'sia) ... yours truly (KC) is at the middle, front.

Appropriately described - the word Chi is emphasized on the back of these participants' T-shirts 

My realisation - it was the first time I experienced chi  in me. On Day-2 when practising Douling/Moluo under the guidance of Kung Xu laoshi, we started the gentle swinging/oscillation of the hip. After a while, I could feel my both arms were been lifted by the chi. I was sure that I did not lift them up myself. From the vertical resting position, they slowly floated about 45 degrees up. I tried to stop the arms reaching the horizontal position as that would encroach into both my left and right practitioners’ territories.
Then I tried to exerted a little effort to press them down much like a rocket drifting in outer space that need a little booster to change course. To my surprise, there was slight chi resistance acting like a sponge.
After that incident, I understand what the laoshi is saying that there must have the feeling of chi in us. It is interesting to note that how chi field is generated based on thoughts and mindfulness.

 Practicing of Zhituizuo (Straight Leg Sitting method)

As for the refreshment breaks, we have 2 meals for lunch, 1 meal for dinner, and 2 tea-breaks.
Instead of sitting on a participant's own yoga mat and sitting on the floor, the organizer managed to secured another much bigger hall in HELP where each participant has two chairs: the other one for resting the legs for the practice of Zhituizuo. With the soothing environment and comfortable posture, not surprise that some of the participants briefly crossed-over to a different dimension at times while practising the Zhituizuo – dozing off.

 Practice and self-realization session in progress

 A few of the qigong members from Subang Jaya; Alan laoshi is 3rd from left, front.
  Quiz session and one of the winners

 Hee Yan Choo laoshi (left) and Cheong Siew Fong laoshi distributing nicely pre-packed vegetarian meals

 LimBeBe, Brenda Lee and Cindy Lim (of Subang Jaya Centre)

 With Edwin Khor laoshi (right) who is translating Kung Xu laoshi's instructions in Mandarin to English for the benefits of more practitioners during the workshop

HELP College of Art & Technology, Jalan Metro Pudu, F&N Business Park, Kuala Lumpur.

Do click here to view other photos taken by yours truly on other Zhineng Qigong activities. Note: this posting is repeated, do scroll down the web pages.

Do click here for photos of assessment of Retreat Camp for this coming 23-25 November 2012 (3D2N) at Pine Resorts, Fraser's Hill.

Do click here for photos of Retreat Camp 16-18 Dec 2011 at Goh Tong Jaya, Genting Highlands.

Written by KC Leong

Monday, October 01, 2012

Salomon Xtrail Run

It was a fun-filled morning taking part in the Salomon Xtrail Run at UPM Serdang on Sunday, 30 Sept 2012.
After the previous day's rain, the trails were muddy and slippery. It always sounds familiar that it rained the day before a trail running event to add more fun and challenges to the event.
To make the event more challenging, the participants were required to "wet their legs" by running into a trench filled with muddy water at the 1km mark. I heard the worried cry from other runners: "aiyo, not so early of the run to wet our shoes".

 A group photo at the starting line @ 6:30 a.m. as planned. Yours truly (KC) is second from right, front.
All photos courtesy of DC Tan (4th from left, back row).

Trails running require quick thinking – all the time – as to where to put your next foot forward on the uneven ground. While we were busy running and admiring the scenic view of UPM hills, there were lots of landmines on these trails – cow dung.  Looking at the distorted messy pit on the ground, it was evidenced that many of the participants stepped on the landmines for even better and unforgettable experience.
Another interesting experience was that the trail running shoes that were soaked in the water were getting heavier with more mud stuck to the bottom of the shoes. After running up and down a few of the rolling hills, one would be partly tired to be more conscious of the slightest increase in weight of the soiled shoes.

UPM Stadium ... good turn-out for a total of 2,000 runners (maximum) 

On the returning journey, all runners are required to run through the trench of muddy water again. This time, all are happily to comply as it is only 1km to the finishing line. Well, if a runner stepped on to the cow dung, running through the water would come in handy to wash away the dung.

At the finishing point, lots of food and drinks were served to the participants to replenish the lost energy - a unique feature of events organize by Pacesetters Club. The popular stalls were serving Gatorade drinks, watermelons, tau foo fah, nasi lemak, etc. Judging from the way some of us eat, we could be putting in more calories than required. Meeting other runner friends, engaging in heightened chat and taking lots of photos were other highlights of any running events.

Spectacular performance 

Suggestion for improvement:

a. preferably try not to force all participants to wet their shoes at the early stage of the run. If any of the runners got injure by climbing over the obstacle (in this case, the board made from plywood), then it would not be a happy finishing;

b. change the trails to attract more particpants; after all, there are so many new trails within the compound of UPM.
 Please don’t let go my hand ... I do not want to drop into the water ... :-)

Congratulations to the organizing committee of Pacesetters Club and the volunteers for successfully organizing this fun and yet challenging event; also Salomon for sponsoring the event. Looking forward to next year's Xtrail run again. Bravo!

 Our Chief Marshal, TonyQ (wearing a white helmet), is having a very challenging time directing the ladies to run into the muddy water ... :-)
(this photo courtesy of Lydia Jian)

 Part of the track ... uphill run 

 The only spectators ... herd of cows

 Muddy and slippery ground

 While passing by this cow (or is it a bull?), it is making a lot of noise. We are not sure whether it is cheering the runners or angry with the runners for disturbing its gazing on a quiet Sunday morning (we would know if the fence is down) ... :-)
 Taking a breather ... (this photo courtesy of Lydia Jian)

 Scenic view of UPM
Brewing Teh Tarik "kaw kaw" ... this is the trench of muddy water (4th photo from top)

 After the run ... all smiles (yours truly, kC, in front)

 This is supposed to be a chest-UP pose ... :-)

 All the pretty and keng chow lady runners ... with DC Tan (front, right)

 Having fun ... for Salomon Xtrail Run, it synchronizes to wear Salomon trail running shoes

 Yow yeng and mouth-watering Salomon trail running shoes ... very good promotion rate. On the average, the marked down price cost between RM 200 to RM 300 a pair (this photo courtesy of runwitme).

 Salomon Xtrail Run at UPM - The trails for running are areas of open grassland nestled in the hills of UPM as demarcated by SILK Highway, North-South Highways and the KLIA Express Rail Link.

Total distance is 11.40km and my not-too-fast timing is 1 hr 8 minutes. From the elevation map, the slopes are still able to run.

Yours truly (KC) ... photo courtesy of

Posted by KC Leong