Tuesday, May 31, 2005

What a Lovely Marriage!

As reported in yesterday’s The Star, there was a bridegroom who ran 8km from TTDI to Bandar Sri Damansara, accompanied by his 3 other friends, to his loved one’s house to marry her. The idea was actually initiated by his wife as the groom has a passion for running.

Interesting? Yes, I’m fascinated by it as I recalled I almost did the same four years ago. Then, my plan was to run 20km, with accompany of my buddies from the PACM in one of our Sunday long runs. The finishing line would be at the beautiful Lake Garden. After the run, we would exchange vows and wedding rings in the open field, well decorated with arch and pretty flowers, and witnessed by our distinguished guests, friends and relatives. There would also be a couple of lovely and white swan walking and swimming around.

Well, the plan did not kick off as we expected some logistic problems. Nevertheless, we did it at the Concorde Hotel, Grand Ballroom on the 7th Jan 2001 -- Both of us had the pleasure of running one round inside the ballroom before our dinner function start!

Here’s the poem written by my beloved wife on our unique Invitation Card:

“John & Wai Mun are runners of merit.
Both of them kept a similar spirit.
It happened just 3 years ago,
when they were both not so old!

Romance took place here,
where some Pacesetters used to go,
and sportwear were sold.
“A matching couple”, they were told.
Here, a love story unfolds…

“At the Lake Gardens we both met.
Since then my eyes on her I only set.
Getting to know her then became my quest,
for I know she is someone nobody can mess.
Although her impulsiveness I sometimes detest,
her down-to-earth nature surely beats the rest.
So, my love to her, I confessed.
For I am certain, I have found the best.
Wai Mun, she is my special asset”. -john

“When I found my Mr. Right,
I must admit it was not love at first sight.
He is a really nice fella,
there’s no airs about him,
he is very humble.
I love him for his good-natured character,
couldn’t resist his good sense of humour,
and will not exchange his smile for the world.
Most importantly, we can run a marathon together!” -waimun

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Happy Birthday to me...the "Fast Runner"? How does my 7-year old nephew know I'm fast...hmmm. Posted by Hello

My Two Cents on NB Pacesetters 15KM

Generally, the event was well organised with :-
1) punctual start time.
2) 3 barricades segregated into 3 groups of runners based on their own estimated finishing time, ie below 65 minutes, 65-90 minutes and more than 90 minutes.
3) plenty of water and sport drink at the water stations.
4) the water stations were strategically located, ie 5km & 10km.
5) distance markers at every kilometre.
6) a uniquely-designed finishing medal for each runner.
7) plenty of food, fruits and drinks at the finishing area.

Personally, I feel there are still rooms for improvement:
1) implementing the timing-chip system.
2) adding one more barricade for 65-75 minutes group.
3) having more cheering teams or brass bands.
4) encouraging more family members and friends to come up to cheer the runners.
5) having the MC to announce the name of runners as they approach the finishing line.
6) making sure that the t-shirt size based on the standard Asian measurement.
7) better traffic cordination at the foot of major hills, eg. at Seri Carcosa hill & Double Hill.
8) ensure sufficient parking lots.
9) organising side events to generate Carnival atmosphere, eg. face painting,line dancing, BMI test.
10) reduce the number of lucky draws.

Runners Are Real Winners

The following article was extracted from The Metro, Star, 24 May 2005.

MORE than 1,200 runners took part in the New Balance Pacesetters 15km Run at the Lake Gardens last Sunday. Despite no prize money, all the participants turned out to be winners.

Runners were presented with a medal each when they crossed the finishing line. After that, they were treated to breakfast.

Before the run, they had received a running vest. A few weeks after the run, the finishers will also receive a photograph of themselves courtesy from sponsor Bee Loh.

“At RM30 per entry, our run is the most expensive in the country,” said former Pacesetters Athletics Club Malaysia (PACM) president Wan Yew Leong after leading a group of VIP runners for a 4km.

“But, we had to close entry weeks before the run when our entries were full. It is our belief that we should make the running experience as enjoyable and memorable as possible. In fact, what we're giving back to the runners like breakfast, medals, running vests and photographs, are worth RM50. We are only charging RM30 for it. That's why we can get full entries despite it being the most expensive run in the country.”

Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary-general Datuk Sieh Kok Chi, who flagged off the run, said it was obvious that people were willing to take part in the run.

“And that’s something that Pacesetters can be proud of. They have succeeded in creating a carnival atmosphere and getting people to take part in the run. I think no one who took part in the run had any regret doing so,’’ said Sieh.

Former international S. Muthiah, who took part in the VIP category, was surprised by the response for the run, organised by Pacesetters for the third consecutive year.

“It’s more than a run. It’s an event for those who love running to get together for an enjoyable outing. It was like a carnival and I certainly enjoyed myself,’’ said Muthiah.

Seasoned runner Oon Kian Khoong, who also took part in the run last year, said the hilly terrain posed a challenge and he felt happy to complete the run.

Three records were also set during the run. Iwata Takatoshi won the men’s veteran category with a new record of 55:10. The old mark of 55:31 was set in 2003.

In the men’s senior veteran category, Tony Seakins completed the 15km run in 55:33 to erase the old mark of 58.35 set by K. Subramanie last year.

Popular road runner S. Devamani set a new record of 1’02:43 in the women's junior veteran category. The old record of 1’05:16 was set by Pauline Elizabeth Mulroy two years ago.

Another interesting feature of the run was the the part played by volunteers. About 80 volunteers manned the food outlets and drinking stations along the route.

Resorts World Marketing vice-president Chow Wei Heng said he was impressed by the contribution from volunteers and the organisation of the run.

Title sponsor New Balance has pledged to continue their support for the run scheduled for May 21 next year.


Men's Open: 1. G. Elangovan 52:35; 2. Fong Phong Lim 53:20; 3. Heidilee Mohammad 54:12.

Men's Veteran: 1. Iwata Takatoshi 55:10; 2. Sithon Kaew Muang 57:37; 3. Goh Choon Aun 57:39.

Men's Senior Veteran: 1 Tony Seakins 55:33; 2. S. Appaman 59:18; 3. Yasan Rahmin 1’00:39.

Women's Open: 1. G. Susila 1’05:56; 2. Oon Li Sar 1’11:03; 3. Patsy Yong Lai Chee 1’11:23.

Women's Veteran: 1. Devamani 1’02:43; 2. Pauline Elizabeth Mulroy 1’06:50; 3. Julie Foreman 1’07:11.

Women's Senior Veteran: 1. Lim Siew Ngoh 1’16:09; Hilary Collins Smiles 1’20:04; Tee Boon Eng 1’25:04.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Make a wish...."stay healthy, keep fit and happy running". Posted by Hello
Enjoy our Running Couple's cake. Posted by Hello
Happy Birthday to the 3 birthday boys...John, Huat & Mr Lee!!! Posted by Hello
The friendly Japanese cheerleader, Tomoko. Arigato for the Kanmate.... Posted by Hello
Fruits anyone...? Posted by Hello
Me & KL Penguins... hey! they ain't slow penguins. Posted by Hello
Me & the strong Pacemaker team. Posted by Hello
What a nice medal. Posted by Hello

D Day - The NB PACM 15K Run

I woke up at 5.15am. Woke up? Actually, I didn't sleep at all the whole night. I always feel the jitters when it comes to taking part in my targeted road races. Images of me running in the course keep playing in my mind. This normally affected my heart to beat harder than usual. But this problem will never occur if I take part in minor races as I treat them as another training.

After freshening up, I ate one pao and a snack bar with a bottle of sport drink before leaving our house.

At 6.15am, Wai Mun and I reached the Lake Garden. There were already many cars in the car park. We were lucky enough to find an empty lot near the children playground.

As we walked to the starting area, we met so many PACM members and friends. We wished each other good luck. To me, the event was more like a gathering instead of a serious competition.

With another 15 minutes to start, the organiser wanted us to check into the respective barricades according to our own estimated finishing time. Wai Mun and I went into the second barricade as we expected to complete within 65 to 90 minutes.

At 7.00am sharp, the gun fired and off we ran. As the course was ascending in the beginning, we were blocked by some slower runners. I was fine with my pace as I needed some time warm up. There were already some casualties on the first hill at the Deer Park.

After a while, I saw one big "1 KM" distance marker. Excellent job! It would certainly help us in our pacing. Upon reaching the Jalan Parlimen junction, noises could be heard as the kind and pretty cheering teams were busy cheering every runners on. My adrenalin was high and automatically I step up my pace. Fearing that I might lose steam, I overtook the ever-sexy and ever-fast-paced Li Sar, who was in red top today, without saying "hello". Sorry about that, Li Sar.

Then at the Bank Negara hill, I caught up with Agnes Tee who still had the chance to ask me if Wai Mun was running this morning. To which, I replied with a short "Yes and she is coming". In fact, at this point in time, my wife was probably trailing by one kilometre behind.

Kenny Hill was neither easy. I had to constantly monitor my pace by listening to my body. I was happy to just stick to 80% of my capabilities.

At the 5KM mark, my time was 23'05". I estimated that I should be able to finish in 69 minutes. Upon reaching the water station, I quickly grabbed a cup of water and swallowed it into my stomach.

I managed to overtake some runners on the flat road before reaching the dreadful Double Hill. I shortened my strides and tried running on my toe as much as possible on my way up the hill. There were some victims who chose to walk up the hill instead. I saw one tall African runner with an interesting hairstyle ala "Alleycats". As he was wearing a singlet with "SMK Cheras Perdana", I assumed he was a student from that secondary school.

Before arriving at the second of the Double Hill, I could see Siah struggling a little. Siah had beaten me by a good 4 minutes during the KLIM full marathon. I supposed the lack of training after the KLIM had slowed him down.

At 8KM mark, I believe I had caught my second wind and suddenly had this good feeling. I lengthened my strides and still felt comfortable. I reached 10KM mark at 46'34".

At the Wisma Tani, I suddenly saw one runner with a familiar running style - the toe running. Oh dear! What had happened to Justin? Is he hurt? As I ran pass him, he cheered me on and told me he has been over-training. I gave him a thumb up signaling that he should be alright and continue to complete his run.

At this juncture, I was in an intense competition with the popular Ironman-cum-Powerbarman, Richard Tang. In fact, our race started since the second of the Double Hill. We had exchanged lead a couple of times. This guy is really good at the downhill. He literally rolled down the hill. Meanwhile, I had an upperhand on the uphill. Thanks to my recent hill training.

Upon reaching the Jalan Parlimen and Lake Garden junction, with the full support of Tomoko and her children and friends and Kelvin Ng's do re mi, I decided to increase my tempo and surged ahead. However, it was not long as Richard overtook me again.

As we turned into the Seri Carcosa hill, we both ran pass KK Onn and Azwar. The much-improved Azwar was kind enough to cheer me on, "John. Go. John". He then added, "From the shadow, I could tell it's you". I knew he was laughing at the way I swing my hand while running. "The helicopter style", he always says. "Ok, Mr Azwar. You don't like me when I'm angry". Zooooom, and he was nowhere to be seen.

I pushed hard on the downhill before entering the Lake Garden. Surprisingly, Richard didn't follow me anymore. With 400 metres to go, I gave my final shot and pushed myself all the way to the finishing line.

By the way, as I was crossing the line, I raised both my hands and then gave a flying kiss on my second and third fingers. I had rehearsed this many times in my "sleep". I hope the photographer would do a good job!

And, finally, my time was .......(insert a drum beating sound effect)....
I managed to cut down 3 minutes from last year's time!

Meanwhile, my dearest wife, Wai Mun also came back with a PB of 1:15:48!

What a great day for two of us!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Take My Breath Away

Today would be my last training before the 15Km race this Sunday. I decided to do hill training to strengthen my leg muscles.

After some warm-up and light stretching, I attacked the steepest hill in Taman Tasik Permaisuri. First 4 repetitions were tired but manageable. I had to catch my breath real hard and at the same time control my already-weaken legs (due to the lactic acid) for the next 4 repetitions. The last 2 repetitions were sorely dependant on my will power to push me up. It was a real struggle!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

More Good News To Come

Sunday - Wai Mun and I ran on the same 15k course in the morning. It was an easy run with some occasional surges especially at the hills. In the end, I considered it as a good warm-up run en route to this Sunday's NB PACM 15K race.

Monday - Went for the third treatment on my achilles tendon. Again, I came back with blue black on my back and leg. Waited for 4 hours before I could take my shower. During that time, I have to bear with an oily body. Yaks!

Had a short and slow jog with Kelvin Ng in the evening before it started to drizzle.

Tuesday - Got a good news! No, no, no, my wife is not pregnant... The swell on my achilles tendon area had subsided a little and is not that hard rock anymore. It is definately a good sign of recovery. Hope for more good news to come.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


Woke up this morning and immediately checked on my back. Wookey dookey...the blue black is getting better and not that obvious now. Perhaps, drinking lots and lots of water helps. In addition, I think yesterday's slow jog has made some wonders too.

Yesterday's jog was really unplanned for. Because of the need to pick my wife up from work, I went to KLCC area where her office is. While waiting, I might as well do some running at the KLCC Park, I thought. So, at 4.00pm, off I ran!

I have never run at that hour of the day in my life. Thank goodness, the weather was not hot. In fact, it drizzled for a minute or two. I thought I would be the first crazy nut to hit the track. I was proven wrong! There were already two runners jogging around - one lady and another gentleman. Okay! I am not that crazy after all.

I jogged easily and completed 8 laps, ie. 10.4km in 51'48". It's time to take my wife home.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Blue Black Everywhere

Went for a traditional Chinese treatment on my achilles tendon.

First, the practitioner gave me a massage on my back to loosen up the muscles. Then, she applied oil and did a "guasa" - a traditional way of rubbing your body with a "comb" made by bone to smoothen the blood flow. After the guasa, we normally feel very relieved and light. However, as the result of the rubbing, there will be red and sometimes blue back marks on the areas that are rubbed - a sign of body tireness.

After my guasa, the practitioner heat up my tendon area by using a burning "joss-stick". Then, she put empty bottles above my ankle and pumped the air out. After a while, she released the bottles and poked the swollen area with a needle. She put the bottles back on the area and pumped the air out again. You could see that the blood flowing out! What a scary view!

Now, I had to skip my training for the next few days. Otherwise, the blue black marks will certainly frighten off many people!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Amazing Race

Did a 30-minute hill workout today at the Deer Park hill, Lake Garden. It's a 100m dash uphill and 100m slow jog on the downhill. Completed 15 repetitions. Feeling tired but not as bad as last week's training at Tasik Permaisuri. Probably the slope is not steep enough. Here it's about 30 degree incline wherelse it's 50 degree in Tasik Permaisuri.

After the training, I quickly rushed back to the Bukit Aman car park to meet up with Camen. Apparently, she is selling her Giant racing bike. However, when she arrived, she told me her bike has just been sold. So sad ... but the search goes on. Anyone has a XS or S-sized racing bike for sale?

Today, my wife and I was looking forward to watch the Finale of the Amazing Race 7. We both have been following the game show since ASTRO started showing the series. For those who don't know about the show, it's about a few teams of American couple travelling around the world to perform all kind of tasks in their quest to win the USD 1 million! It's a test of human's strength, both physically and mentally, including the couple's relationship! Sometimes, luck plays a major role in determining the winners. In the end, our favourite team, Uchenna and Joyce, won the race! Bravo!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Secret Training?

Skipped the usual Tuesday's track work-out. Instead, I had an easy 1 hour jog around Tasik Permaisuri. It's a combination of flat and hilly route made up of synthetic and tile tracks. There is an open lake and also lots of tree. Very interesting layout and definately more relaxing compared to the Kampung Pandan's track!

Met a new friend, Vincent Tiong, who has just joined PACM last Sunday. I think this guy can really run as he used to represent his bank. Welcome to the family of PACM, Vincent. Hope to see you more often in the running circuits.

I was recruited by Kelvin Ng for the coming 3km x 4 relay run. I'm flattered to be able to represent his Permaisuri Team. I hope I won't fail them.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

What's in your blood type?

Read today's The Star newspaper and came across this interesting article:

"To many Japanese, the key to their personality lies not in their stars but in their blood type. Type A's, they believe, are perfectionists and make good accountants; Type B's are sociable but selfish. Type O's are said to be decisive and curious, while type AB's are supposedly complex and suited for research and art."

"A, B and O blood classification is an effective, common indicator that can judge human beings regardless of race and religion".

I don't agree with this belief because as an O's type, I am indecisive and can't care less at times. However, I strongly believe there is relationship between one's Star and Animal Sign and one's personality. One good example is that both Lok and I who are Monkeys, have had a bad year last year due to injuries and sickness. My wife and one of her close friends of the same animal (zodiac) sign must spend all their money to the last cent before they come back from their overseas holiday!

Believe it or not? You'd better believe it...

Monday, May 09, 2005

Happy 15K Trial Run

PACM organised a trial run this morning on the actual route of their upcoming 15K race in 2 weeks time. It is to enable the participants, especially the public to familiarize themselves with the hilly course and its environment.

Reached Bukit Aman car park at 6.00am and found a limited empty lot to park. After a short briefing by the PACM ex-President, Mr Wan and a group stretching session led by KK Onn, the 100-odd runners from all walks of life were flagged off at 6.30am sharp.

I had an easy start. From behind, I could view the crowd of runners bouncing off the road of about 70-80 metres long was simply spectacular! It's kind of the King of The Road feeling.

After running for 5 minutes, I finally saw Wai Mun who was surprisingly fast at this early stage. My beloved wife cheered me on. Well, I just couldn't let her down, could I? I increased my tempo a little and caught up with Adam. Then came the first hill at the Bank Negara and I paced with Kenny Tan. Kenny had just came back from Acheh doing some volunteering job in this Tsunami worstly-hit town.

Then came the second hill - a long, steadily incline and winding road. Conduct a breathing and leg cycle check. Superb! I think my hill work-out has bore fruit. This time, I caught up with Chee Chung and Lisa. I cruised awhile together with them.

It's show time! We reached the steepest hill or better known as Double Hill. Again, I attacked the hills and surprisingly, I felt good and strong. I quickly grabbed hold a bottle of water at the water station near the Bukit Tunku roundabout. Then, it was down hill all the way till the main road of Wisma Tani.

I still felt good, probably due to the cool and wet weather. On the flat road, I tried out my striding and it was perfect! I maintained the same stride until I reached another hill which we usually call The Monkey Hill. Amazingly, there were no monkeys this morning. Maybe they were still soundly asleep. "What a cool morning, you silly runners!" if they could reply me.

Upon reaching the Monument, I made a right turn heading towards the Seri Carcosa hill. As the pavement was quite slippery, I ran at the brink of the road. My alertness was at all time high as I reminded myself what happened to Jenny.

Feeling pretty relaxed and strong, I surged up the Seri Carcosa hill. At the end of the hill, I made a left turn into the Lake Garden. Saw Jason Tiang and his Jr jogging. Jason told me I was the number seventh runner. I gave him a smile. Inside my heart I knew it wouldn't be that easy on the race day. Thank you, Jason for your encouragement.

Finally, I made a right turn into the last hill - the Deer Park hill. I was so focus that I had no time to look at any of the deers. Turned left at the gate and headed straight to the car park.

My time was 1:13:38 and I am looking forward to dip below last year's time of 1:10 on May 22!

Friday, May 06, 2005

False Alarm?

Have not been running much this week. Did a slow jog for about 45 minutes on Tuesday and another 20 minutes this morning. Very worry now how I am going to dip below 1:10 in the upcoming 15km PACM Run in 17 days. The hilly course is really a daunting thought!

After my trip back from Ipoh on 2 May, the usual uncomfortable pain at the archilles tendon was surprising "disappeared" even though the swell was there. I was expecting something positive to come by. Then after the Tuesday work-out, the pain wasn't there. I secretly told Wai Mun that my unwanted "guest" might have gone for good.

However, I could feel a slight pain at the spot right now. Sigh! Please leave me alone, my dear "guest".

Please tell me what I can do now - to train or not to train? By the way, the evening rain doesn't help either!

Monday, May 02, 2005

May Day! May Day!

Have an easy run this morning at the 15km NB/PACM route. Total mileage for this week is 40km.

Hope I will quickly recover from the archilles tendon injury so that I can focus on this 15km NB/PACM race which will be held on May 22. I wish to better last year's time of 1:10.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

3K Time Trial

Having run only 22km in total mileage this week and carrying the achilles tendon injury, obviously I am far from being fit. It is quite frustrating to pick up the injury again as my form has improved since training for the KLIM. Of late I have to cut down my weekly mileage to around 50km and reduce the intensity.

When PACM and especially PM gang announced that they were going to do a 3K time trial this morning, I was excited yet worry if I should take the risk to join in. I still have this doubt while I was driving to Kampung Pandan Track. To do it or not to do it? But I hate missing out the fun! I wanted to be on the track not off the track!

"Peep", off we ran and there was no turning back. Immediately, I was in the leading pack together with Tomoko. As she is a very good runner, I knew I have found a reliable "pacer". After clocking 1'32" for the first lap, I was still feeling comfortable. I decided to up the tempo to dip below 1'30" per lap. I was leading the group of about 10 runners laps after laps. With almost 1km to go, my breathing was hard and my arms and legs felt so weak. At the last lap, the acid started accumulating and I had to slow down tremendously. I crossed the finishing line at 12'17.92" and my doubt was finally over!

Here's the lap split:
1) 1'32.98" >> 1'32.98"
2) 3'09.01" >> 1'36.03"
3) 4'45.04" >> 1'36.03"
4) 6'21.27" >> 1'36.23"
5) 8'00.88" >> 1'39.61"
6) 9'43.40" >> 1'42.52"
7) 11'27.17" >> 1'43.77"
8) 12'17.92" >> 50.75"

As I am writing this report, I apply ice to my tendon area which is often sore after each run.

P/S Congrats to Jamie and Jason for clocking their personal best time in the trial. Keep up the good job, mates!