Friday, September 30, 2005

3rd Malaysia International 24 Hours Walk on NTV7

If you've missed the "live action" of us in the 3rd Malaysia International 24 Hours Walk, miss no more.

Stay tuned in front of your TV set this Saturday, 1 October 2005, at 6.00pm as NTV7 will be viewing how we suffered during the walk. Don't wink your eyes for it's just a short 30 minutes programme.

Happy watching!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Walking past the pain and agony

Reported by The Star, 26 September 2005

It was a different roller-coaster ride for 300 walkers, including 60 foreigners from 20 countries, who took part in the Malaysia International 24-Hour Walk at the Genting Highlands Outdoor Theme Park.

Instead of enjoying a short burst of adrenalin rush on a roller-coaster at the theme park, they had to endure the pain and agony of having to walk around the 876m circuit for 24 hours at an altitude of more than 1,800m (6,000 feet).

Several participants were seen staggering during the final stages of the race. After the race, several of them could hardly sit down due to exhaustion and fatigue.

Zagryazhskaya Irina from Russia, who won the women's Open in 2001, set a record winning distance of 176.88km on this occasion.

Irina finished four laps ahead of runner-up M.S. Vander Meer from Holland who did 173.38km. Tarasevich Marina from Belarus was third (163.74km).

“I like walking in Genting as it has a scenic landscape,” said the 33-year-old Russian, who competes in three to four 24-hour walks a year.

The foreign walkers who turned up came from as far as Mauritius, Germany, Denmark, Czechoslovakia, Spain, Belarus, Riussia, Belgium, Ghana, Oman, Singapore, France, Hong Kong, Australia, Holland, Denmark, Sri Lanka, Japan, United States, United Kingdom and Nigeria.

In the men's Open, Czechoslovakian Simon Zdenek emerged champion when he walked 218 laps, two laps ahead of defending champion Jose Mora Bernardo from Spain.

Zdenek covered a distance of 190.9km to improve on his third place finish in 2001. Runner-up Bernando did 189.15km. Belgium's Alexander Vandenhoeck (185.64km) was third.

“My strategy was to stay with the leading pack. After I was penalised, I stepped up the pace as I had to work harder to compensate for the penalty. It was a pleasant experience racing on a flat course here,” said Zdenek.

The event offered RM45,000 in prize money to the top 20 winners in the individual categories and the top three teams.

In the individual categories, the champions walked away with RM6,000 while the runner-up and third placed winners received RM4,000 and RM2,500 respectively.

Armed Forces' Mohd Hanizam Harun and Yap Wai Mun were Malaysia's best performers in the men's and women's sections respectively. Hanizam finished in eighth place (167.25km) while Yap finished sixth (133.96km).

“I took part in a 12-hour walk in Penang earlier this year. I wanted to break into the top 10. I am glad that I managed to achieve my target in Genting,” said Hanizam, 28.

A total of 11 teams took part in the team event. Debutants Singapore Amateur Athletic Association (SAAA), comprising S. Thiagaraja, R. Subramaniam, Chong Fui Fong and Low May Ling, led from start to finish in their 204.92km effort.

Race Walkers Association of Malaysia (RWAM) completed 198.78km and finished second. Sahn Hahng Tai Bo A from Hong Kong were third (189.15km).

The event was organised by the RWAM and supported by the Youth and Sports Ministry and the Federal Territory Amateur Athletic Association.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman, who gave away the prizes to the winners, praised the participants for their months of dedicated preparation for this gruelling race.

Olympic Council of Malaysia secretary- general Datuk Sieh Kok Chi and organising chairman Datuk Peter Chin were also present at the prize presentation ceremony.

Men's Open: 1. Simon Zdenek (Cze) 218 laps (190.9km), 2. Jose Mora Bernardo (Esp) 216 laps (189.15km), 3. Alexander Vandenhoeck (Bel) 212 laps (185.64km)

Women's Open: 1. Zagryazhskaya Irina (Rus) 202 laps (176.88km), 2. M.S. Vander Meer (Ned) 198 laps (173.38km), 3. Tarasevich Marina (Blr) 187 laps (163.74km)

Team: 1. Singapore Amateur Athletic Association (Spore) 234 laps (204.92km), 2. Race Walkers Association of Malaysia (Mas) 227 laps (198.78km), 3. Sahn Hahng Tai Bo A (HK) 216 laps (189.15km)

Saturday, September 24, 2005

My 3rd Experience in the Genting 24-Hour Walk

What a relief! The Walk has finally over and we are back to our normal life. Some were happy and some were disappointed with their results. To me, the fact that we were at the starting line of the 24-hour walk was indeed commendable! We are brave to do what normal people think is impossible. At this point, we are already the WINNERS!

Let me share with you, participants and non-participants, my experience during the race.

Having participated twice before, I knew it would be tough and needed a lot of preparation. I managed to clock a total of 700 minutes (11H 40M) of walking since I started in 13th July. Low mileage but better than nothing!


Upon arrival, we were welcome by the thick mist, strong wind and a light drizzle at the peak of Genting Highland. Not a very good sign!

We saw some participants setting up their camping tents near their cars. What a brilliant idea! However, later at night, I noticed that nobody actually slept in it. Who would sleep anyway in the cold and wet outdoor?

We quickly reported ourselves, prepared the BIB and tied the timing chip to our shoes.

The Start
While waiting for the start, as usual, we chit-chatted and took photos with fellow friends, competitors and the mascots. Everyone seemed to be very relaxed. After a short technical briefing, we were gunned off at 12.00noon on the 18th Sep. Unlike the running events, we were in no hurry to push ourselves to our limits. Slow and steady is the key!

The Journey
Needless to say, I was overtaken by the international-standard walkers and the relay teams. So envy and wonder if they were made of steel? Are they Ultraman, Superman or robots?

As time went by, everything seemed to become our challenges. First was the boredom. There were some walkers who sang along with their walkman or MP3. Suddenly, you could find “Anita Mui” or “Sammy Cheng” taking part in the Walk. There was one lady who has probably “lost” her way to her church. She sang hymns from the Bible. As for me, I would accompany my wife whenever I could to chat, sing and even dance with her! Ha! Ha! Ha!

We had plenty of food and drink to replenish ourselves. Kudos to the organizer! No wonder I didn’t lose any weight even after so many hours of walking.

Official results were efficiently announced and displayed every 3 hours except the last 3 hours where it became every hourly. What a major improvement from the previous years! So every 3 hours, we participants would be excitedly gathering at the big white board to see the latest update of our ranking and the number of laps we had covered. It reminded me to those people who looking up at the numbers in a 1+3D outlet!

After some time, the chilly weather and the strong wind made me felt like crying. Oh dear! I missed the hot temperature in Kuala Lumpur already!

To make the matter worse, the terrain was undulating and uneven. There was one steep down slope which I think had “killed” many walkers.

Gradually, I felt my left shoulder and both legs were not co-operative anymore. My inner thighs, heels, toes, knees and the back of the knees one-by-one failed me. Pain! Pain! Pain! To add to my misery, I had a big blister on my left heel.

Thanks but no thanks to our St John Ambulance. When I pleaded for a massage and a pin to poke the water out of the blister, what they could offer was only a bag of ice cube and some plasters. And I had to DIY myself!

At 4.21am, the mist was so heavy that I bumped into a rubbish bin which I think was intentionally put in the middle of our path so that we stayed awake all the time! The wake-up call obviously told me that I was too tired and painful to continue my journey. I sadly called for a long break and ended prematurely.

The Finishing
I woke up at 5.30am inside my car. I realized then the rain became heavier. My heartfelt salute those who were still walking under such challenging condition. And, I thought I had made a wise decision to stop early.

After freshening up, I stayed on to cheer the walkers. At 12.00noon, 19th Sep, the gun went off again signaling the end of the 3rd edition of the 24-hour Walk.

I was glad that I managed to cover 89 laps or 77.9km in position 52 and my wife 153 laps or 133.96km in 6th position.

We would like to congratulate the following persons for their outstanding result and good spirit:
Men:- Keshab – 144 laps/ Alan Tiang – 133/ PK Chan – 130/ Tey Eng Tiong – 127/ Law Lai Huat – 120/ Tan Khee Meng – 94/ Siah Leong Hooi – 79/ Bruce Wun – 64

Women:- Wong Ha Mooi – 127 laps/ Lim Peck Yah – 123

Team:- Pace Walker (Francis, Melvin, Sook Ying, Huat’s sister) – 4th placing
Pace Setter Gasing (SK Goh, Ken Kan, Teresa & Carol) – 7th placing

and all the other walkers and friends.

Sayonara! See you in 2007.

Click here for Tey's report on the event.

Friday, September 23, 2005

3rd Malaysia International 24 Hour Walk - Photos & Results

1) Photos courtesy of Tey. Click here.

2) Photos from us. Click here.

3) Full Results
- Men Open
- Women Open
- Overall (Men & Women)
- Team Relay

More write-up coming soon! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Putrajaya Half Marathon 2005

"Take on the challenge! Capture the splendour!". This is the tagline for the competition and it couldn't be more true having experienced it myself!

The moment my wife and I arrived at the exit to Putrajaya from Seri Kembangan direction, our nightmare started. There were signboards to other Precincts but not one to the Precinct One where the starting point was! Poor my wife for having to listen to my grumbling for a good 20 minutes.

First 5km
It was flat for the first 3km. So it was quite easy for most runners. I felt my pacing was too fast. "Control, control, control", I kept reminding myself. After our first U-turn, I struggled a little. My time was 21:56".

Second 5km
Saw Kenny Tan coming out from his "pit lane" and continued chasing Adam Loh. After conquering the second bridge (hill), I turned on my "auto-cruise". I did 25:22" in this half. My 10km time was 47:18"

Third 5km
So surprised to see power gels being given out to the runners. Good gesture but no thanks, I ain't hungry. My stomach was full of isotonic drink! At this moment, I wished that we had some cheering teams by the roadside cheering us on to beat our boredom and tireness. My time was 24:54".

Last 5km
I will never forget this hilly section of last 4km and last 3km to go. Felt so terrible. It's like "people hit the wall, I hit the hill" kind of feeling! The hot and humid weather added to my agony! I clocked a poor 25:48".

Final 1km
My longest 1km ever in 5:34"! By now I was a total spent force... even a snail will beat me! And the many turnings didn't help at all. With 100 metres to go, I could hear some cheering from Cecil, Richard Ng and some friends. The motivation has certainly helped and I pushed all the way to the finishing line in 1:43:35!

I achieved my target of below 1:45. I will do more hill training to prepare for next year's race. The hill-after-hill course has overwhelmed me even being warned of it earlier.

My rating of the race (of max 6*): ****

P/S Pictures courtesy of Penguin 1