Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Mouth-Watering Sports Attire

Congratulations to Malaysian athletes who won gold medals in the SEA Games in the Philippines.

What attracted me the most is their sports attire - so trendy and stylish. The colour and the design is also outstanding unlike the previous series. What make it so special this year is that male athletes got the chance to match their female counterparts in this area. It's good to see that whenever there is a Malaysian athlete on the starting block, they have already won a "gold medal" - in terms of presentation. Way to go, Malaysia!

By the way, are they for sale to the public?

Hari Raya Open House

Attended Azwar's Open House last Sunday. Most of the PM members were there. There is one obvious strength in all runners - punctuality. In all the functions I attended to, runners would be the first to arrive - on time, on the dot! Even the host's wife commended it. Keep it up, fella.

We had a good time together, served with lots of good food and entertained by the latest hot-in-town news-turn-jokes.

Azwar has a very nice house. If I have a house like his, I will install some simulators - swim like Ian Thorpe, cycle like Lance Armstrong and run like Haile Gebrselassie! How nice.....!

Again, thank you for the invite, Azwar.

Friday, November 25, 2005

KRI 2005 Full Results

Click the URL below for the full results of the 2005 KRI 10km Run :


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

No Medal For Me in the KRI 2005

My wife and I went to Ipoh International School to collect her BIB last Saturday. Incidentally, we attended a talk by Dr Ron Hill on his running experience.

This averaged-built and soft spoken 67-year-old Englishman is the first Briton to complete a marathon under 2:10 - a feat he accomplished by clocking 2:09:28 during the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. Wow! What is he doing in such a small race like KRI then? Apparently, he aims to run in 100 different countries before he turns 70! Double Wow! Sound familiar? Yes, I hope The Running Couple can do that too!

I picked up a few tips from this legend during his sharing:
1) High weekly mileage - the longer the better. He did more than 250km per week! No wonder he has been running EVERYDAY since 1964.
2) He has got achilles tendon injury before. And what he did to his injury? He continued running...SLOWLY. Eventually, the pain went off! That really excited me and I'm looking forward to my running again.
3) No cross training is required. His method is a pure running.


I started very slowly at 6:02 for the first km. Gradually, I increased my pace. By the 3rd km, I was back on track - 15:38. But there was no panic button to press as I took this "race" as my normal Sunday training run. I cheered and motivated the fellow runners especially our friends in PACM.

At the u-turn in the mid-way point, I finally saw my wife in front. She was running very well this morning. In fact I was supposedly pacing her. But now I trailed her!

After the u-turn, I ran more seriously. At the 6th km, my time has dipped below 29 minutes. At this point, I overtook Dr Ron Hill - the winner of 1970 Boston Marathon. With due respect, he has run very well in his age and in this hot and high humidity country like ours! Furthermore, he didn't aim to win the race. Otherwise, a small fly like me has got no chance at all!

With about 2 more km to go, I caught up with Khee Meng and Mr Yee from Seremban. Both told me my wife was just in front. I nodded and tried to catch her.

With about 500 metres to go, I caught up and said hi to my wife. I increased my speed a little so that she could overtake a girl in front of her. I paced her until the entrant of the finishing point at the football field. I stopped and checked my watch. To my surprise, it showed 47:56!

No medal for the pacer, yet I was very satisfied with the work-out. By the way, my wife got second in her category in 48:30 unofficial time. Well done, dear!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Hot, Hot, Hot Taroko International Marathon

“Oh yes! I finally reached the turning point,” I whispered inside my heart with much relief. The heat was getting on me. It was so scorching hot. I reckoned it was equivalent to 10am Malaysia time (30 degree Celcius perhaps). I bade farewell to the full marathoners and sincerely wished them luck as I made my u-turn back.

We were only about 40 minutes into the running yet I have started to struggle. “Maybe I should be joining the 8am running group in Bukit Aman next time. It is too late now as I am in the midst of a race of the Taroko International Marathon.”

One month before the race on 5 November, we weren’t sure if this year’s competition would be on or not. The official website has not been updated and worse still, it was removed all together sometime in October. We were informed that this year’s event was a go through our counterpart in Taipei - Yung Ho Running Club (YHRC). We quickly gathered our PACM members who had expressed their interest to participate earlier. In the end, 8 of us made the trip. They were Hooi Siew Weng, Ong Boon Hin, Ng Soo Fin (for the full marathon) and Teresa Goh, Phua Qui Thin, Yap Wai Mun and I (for the half marathon) and Chan Wing Kai (the cameraman). Special thanks to the YHRC and the ever-helpful Tey Eng Tiong for helping us with the registration.

At 5.00am, 8 of us assembled at our hotel lobby for the official bus to shuttle us to the starting point which was located some 40 minutes away. There were many other runners as well in the bus comprising mainly locals from other cities in Taiwan.

Upon stepping down from the bus, we were welcomed by cool breeze and magnificent view of the mountains. The atmosphere was very carnival-liked with lots of banner, loud music and of course the toilets. There was also an aerobic warming up session.

We quickly did some stretching, took some photos and went to the toilet before checking in our luggage. We walked slowly to the starting line which was situated right at the famous entrance arch of the Taroko National Park.

The 5km fun run was flagged off at 7.00am. We were supposed to flag off 10 minutes later. However, due to the uncontrollable crowd, the run was further delayed by another 15 minutes. The MC had to repeatedly announce for the runners to move behind the starting line. That shows the enthusiasm of the full and half marathoners to start the race!

“Bang!” I started slowly but steadily. I kept to the left which is the fastest lane in the Taiwanese traffic system. After just 2-3km, I started to sweat heavily and the sun was already on top of my head. I could actually see my own shadow running beside me. The course was straight and flat. At some point, we were sandwiched by seaside on the left and mountains on the right.

After the u-turn, there were not many runners in front of me anymore. It was kind of boring running alone! The heat had taken its toil on me and my armpit started to ache! A Caucasian runner was seen running without his shirt.

We were cheered on by some of the villagers and young children along the way. At one section, the workers from a nearby cement factory turned up to cheer us at the roadside. How sweet!

After crossing the starting arch, we were required to run another 5-6km inside the Taroko National Park. I rejoiced as the environment here was much cooler. There were many caves and tunnels. I could imagine we were like rats running from one hole to another! The view here was magnificent with waterfall flowing and the beautiful rocks just next to you. That’s the reward/incentive for traveling this far for a marathon. This is also the reason for running the Taroko Marathon, for I am so sure that we can never get to run into such a beautiful gorge with such magnificent scenes back home in Malaysia or anywhere else!

Some of the tunnels were quite dark. However, the ventilation was good. With about 1km to go, I could hear some cheering from the spectators outside the long tunnel. Suddenly I saw sunlight and I knew the finishing line was near. I pushed as hard as I could to complete this hottest half marathon that I had ever run!

The Results

NameCategoryNet TimeOverallPosPos by GenderPos by Age Group

Tan John YamMen 36-451:44:471029626
Yap Wai MunWomen 36-451:54:04228182
Teresa GohWomen 56 above2:11:50602441
Phua Qui ThinMen 56-652:58:481867163468

1st runner 1:14:13 Last runner 3:12:57


Ong Boon HinMen 46-554:37:48305287104
Ng Soo FinMen 46-555:09:17485456161
Hooi Siew WengMen 66 above5:38:236566145

1st runner 2:44:14 Last runner 6:11:53

For complete result, click on the link below:
Full marathon

Half marathon

What they said:
, “The run was generally well organized. If the starting time can be earlier and the route remains inside the Taroko National Park, I think it will be wonderful.”

Ong, “I’m satisfied with my time today even though it got tougher at the end of the race. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the scenery here. After my run in Beijing and Taroko, I’m looking forward for a better result in the coming Singapore Full Marathon.”

Hooi, “This is the toughest and hottest in my 23 full marathons experience so far. Physically I’m still very tired and have not recovered from my tracking trip from Nepal the week before.”

Teresa, “I had a pleasant run here except for the heat. At my age, to be able to run, I’m already happy. Coming back 1st is a bonus!”

Wai Mun, “I came to view the beautiful Taroko Gorge and not only have I seen it, I’m glad I left my footprints there. It was another memorable experience for John & I.”

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A Frightening Car Park Encounter

To all runners and readers of this blog,

Be alert at all times when you are in any car park as there may be someone who will try to take away your vehicle and other belongings or even cause harm to you physically!

My wife has a close encounter this morning.

At approximately 6.20am, she reached the Taman Tasik Permaisuri, Cheras. She parked the car in an open and well-lit car park near the children playground. There were some joggers around. She stepped out of the car and started to do her stretching near the car before her jog.

Suddenly, a lady jogger whom we know as Ah Yeng shouted to my wife to ask her to quickly come up to the playground. Luckily she did because right at the same time, one white van and one red car turned on their vehicle light and started to approach the two of them. Fortunately, they were saved by the knee-height pavement! According to my wife, there were many Indian guys inside the car and the van. Both vehicles were without their number plates. The drivers pedalled hard and the engines were screaming! They shouted some foul words. They even have the guts to show their face out of their winded window. Obviously they were very upset because their operation has failed. They were rallying around the car park in high speed before they left a few minutes later.

After recovering from the shock, Ah Yeng told my wife that it happened last Saturday morning too. Their strategy is to hit a car when the owner just parks his/her car in the parking lot. They will either demand for money, steal the car away or worst kidnap the owner as he/she comes out from their car to inspect the damage.

Again, please be extremely careful especially if you are alone in a car park, either you are preparing for a run, to work or to shop.