Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Team 2ndskin Partners For 2014

It is with great pleasure and honour that we would like to take this opportunity to announce our Team 2ndskin Partnerships for 2014.

2013 has been a fantastic year and we would like to thank all our partners and sponsors who have stood behind us and supported us throughout the entire year. Special mention to Skechers Performance Malaysia who have supplied the entire team with great performance shoes, advice and endless support from the first day they came on board.

Thanks to Garmin Malaysia and AECO Technologies for their highly regarded Garmin GPS units for the whole team, from the triathlon designed 910XT to the rugged FENIX which served the team well in all training sessions and races.

Hammer Nutrition have been a pillar of strength from behind the scenes for Team 2ndskin in 2013. Not only supplying world-class nutrition and supplements, but for also extending informative nutritional advice and support for the team. The whole team has definitely benefited from being associated with Hammer in terms of race nutrition standpoint.

Local brand Kraftfit has also come good this year with Team 2ndskin. Established in early 2013, Kraftfit have produced some mighty fine compression wear, with good emphasis on functionality and design and at a stunning price-point to boot. We are proud to partner a home-grown brand and we look forward to seeing this partnership forge ahead in 2014.
 The best partners any team could ever wish for
2014 looks to be a challenging but definitely exciting year for Team 2ndskin. Races abound and Ironman Malaysia is back. We’re also looking at bringing the sport to the public and community and we will have some events lined up for the next 12 months.

It is our privilege to say that all our core partners for 2013 have decided to extend their partnership with Team 2ndskin for 2014. Skechers Malaysia, Garmin Malaysia, Hammer Nutrition and Kraftfit are all back on board with Team 2ndskin and we are definitely proud to be associated with all these world-class names in the sporting industry. Thank you for having faith in the Team and for the belief that Team 2ndskin endorses your brand the way it should.

For serious athletes, eyewear is an essential component to maximizing performance during race day. International brand Spyder with their extensive range of technical and functional eyewear bring an element of style and completeness to Team 2ndskin. Team 2ndskin will be decked in a variety of sports eyewear by Spyder and complemented by their range of cycling helmets as well for triathlon and bike races. Spyder brings a dash of cool to their high performance gear and Team 2ndskin is excited to be collaborating with them.

New to the fold for 2014 is Get Active Personal Trainers. Get Active is a band of fitness experts who’s clientele include Malaysian sports personalities like water skier Philippa Yoong. Seeing that Team 2ndskin Athletes are made up of individuals with different goals and targets, Get Active fills the missing puzzle piece by providing specialized and specific training programs for each Team Athlete. Each member of the team will benefit from an individualized designed program to achieve their respective goals and correct their weaknesses, with professional guidance in terms of fitness and nutrition. This will definitely elevate the athletes to a whole new level in terms of sports knowledge and lifestyle.

Official Boardman Bikes dealer, Bike Elementz is also stepping into the scene with Team 2ndskin for 2014 as official bike support partner. Bike Elementz retails a variety of performance bikes as well as leisure machines. Accessories are aplenty in store, and their dedicated technical staff ensure your bikes are well handled and serviced in immaculate fashion.

Team 2ndskin takes this opportunity again to thank all collaborating partners for 2014 for your belief, trust and commitment to work together with us for the next 12 months. Let us all take 2014 to newer heights and make it a year to remember!

Friday, 27 December 2013

Ride4Sight : Kuala Lumpur - Singapore On Bicycle

Day 1 – KL Ampang to Alor Gajah, Melaka. 176km with 2 major climbs.
The ride started at Flamingo Hotel in Ampang. The riders were flagged off at 7am in 15 minutes intervals for each group. Group 2 (my group consist of 8 riders) set-off at 7:45am and we made our way through the morning traffic congestion. Each group had a motorcyclist who provided directions and alerting us of potholes along the way. There was a support car for each group as well.
Starting out at Flamingo
The 1st short climb started at Hulu Langat. Total 4km of uphill and followed by another major 10km major climb known as Genting Perez. It was my first time riding this route. The group split at this point and my “partner in climb” of the day was Teik. The rest of the guys were all far in front. We regrouped at the summit (km41) with Group 3 to rehydrate.

It started to rain cats and dogs at about 110km. I remembered during the briefing that we are to find shelter if it rains. I was with Ethan, Clement, Chun Wei and Ray. Danny, Pascal and Teik was about 2km behind us. The rain was so heavy that I couldn’t see the road properly. Ethan was leading the pack. I was hoping that he would find a shelter to stop. We then stopped at a bus stop where Group 1 was. The rain stopped after a while and we went for lunch at Kuala Pilah (km132). Lunch menu was all high carbs food. As we were all soaking wet from the rain, we asked the waitress to turn off the aircond. 

We took off immediately after lunch and arrived at A’Famosa resort in Alor Gajah at 4pm. I was with Ray the last few kms. He is a 60 years old grandfather but he was very energetic and strong. I was panting to trying to keep up with him. Ethan, Clement and Chun Wei were in front. Day 1 ended at the resort and we had our rest and refueling before Day 2 starts.

Day 2 – Alor Gajah to Pontian, Johor 222km
It was a long day on the saddle. While Day 1 was ridden partly in rain, Day 2 saw the sun shining down on us. The organizer told us that the Day 2 route will be FLAT. It turned out to be rolling hills. The moment I was going downhill, I saw a long 45 degrees climb in front of me. My chain dropped twice. Ethan had to stop to help me. I was hoping that the rolling hill route was going to end soon. We stopped at every 40-45km for refilling. Lunch was at 147km but we stopped at 80km to have some bread and peanut butter. We finally arrived at Batu Pahat for lunch at 1:45pm. We were overjoyed that we arrived before Group 1. We then found out Group 1 started about 40mins after us instead of 15minutes due to 2 sleeping beauties in their group ;-)
NOT the sleeping beauties ;-), Just Beauties.
We continued the journey. There were few kms of rolling and followed by the flat road all the way to Pontian. Ethan, Clement and Chun Wei were taking turn to pull us. Pascal and Teik was dropped at the last 10km, they told us to carry on and not to wait for them. We arrived at Pontian Hotel at 5pm. The hotel does not have a lift; luckily our rooms are at level 1. We were told that Group 2 team work amazed others. I felt proud to have the most sensible (and hardworking) team mates. J

Day 3 – 103km Pontian to Singapore
All groups started together at 8am with police escort. It was drizzling and the pot-holes were endless. I shouted “hole” countless times! We were told to ride at the speed of 25-26kmph so that the slower group could keep up. The marshal riders did not allow us to pedal any faster than 26kmph. Gosh, it was not easy to cycle at a control speed. :P

We rode slowly into Johor Bahru and arrived at the custom at about 10:30am. It was my first time crossing the Malaysia – Singapore border on a bicycle. Lunch was at Poison Ivy in Kranji. The food was awesome! After lunch, we head towards Marina Bay Financial Center (MBFC). We passed by Lim Chu Kang, Boon Lay and the West Coast Highway. To my surprised, the drivers in Singapore are not so friendly compare to Malaysia. I heard some foreign riders praising the Malaysian drivers once we were at the 1st traffic lights in Singapore. I felt proud as a Malaysian. J
Get Set...GO!
We arrived at Six Battery Road to regroup and took some group photos before riding to the finish line at MBFC. The ride ended with a big celebration party at our head office in Singapore. The cyclists were reunited with friends and family.
Besides of raising fund and awareness, I had a splendid cycling tour around the places that many of us will never drive there. I had a blast. I had the best team mates ever. We also received the best team award and Ethan received the “super domestique” award in recognition of his selfless support of others.

The Singapore Ride for Sight 2013 raised more than USD 270,000 including bank matching the amount we raised dollar to dollar.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Skechers GoBionic Trail Review by TriStupe

Have you placed order for the new 2ndSkin Go Trail in new Vaporlite material? If you haven't, perhaps it is not too late to do so and stand a chance to own a pair of Skechers GoBionic Trail

You may have read about the unboxing review by our team athlete Tri Stupe, here is the full review of the shoe at 200++km. The real condition of the shoe after being used and abused in the trail sort of provide us a good insight (and opportunity to feedback to Skechers Malaysia for product improvement) on this retail priced RM399 (men) trail shoe. As they say, seeing is believing. This is what Tri Stupe has to show.
Skechers GoBionic Trail Review
<Excerpt from the review>...

The GoBionicTrail or GBT in short (in this blog, not officially by Skechers) is a replacement to the GoTrail (GT) that has served me really well. In case you miss this gem of a trail shoe, read them here.
To reiterate, the GBT is NOT an "upgraded" version of GoTrail, in fact, it's a brand new trail shoe as the design and features were totally different from GT.
GoBionicTrail in Orange.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

The Tale Of Two Extreme Weathers By Roy Yeow

Does the weather affect our performance? What is the ideal weather for optimum performance? How do we go about preparing for these weathers? In December, by chance, I signed up for 2 races that has two different extreme weather - the cold winter weather of Shanghai Marathon and the hottest stretch of tar sealed road in Malaysia, Beaufort Ultra Marathon 60K.

The main concern for Malaysian runner when faced with a cold weather race is what to wear. This is where a balance of wearing enough to keep warm and yet not too heavy is important. I decided to go with a base layer top plus the team tee, compression short with calf compression sleeve, running gloves plus a beanie. It ends up as a good option as I found that the parts that need the most protection from the cold are the ears, neck and upper limbs. 

Shanghai Marathon is one of the main marathon in China. I found the setup to be very similar to other major races that I have participated. Timing are recorded every 5KM, water station every 2.5KM, bib quality (size and material) equivalent to other major marathons. Bag drop is also smooth and easy, identify the bus number you need to drop your bag and just walk up to the bus and give them your bag, done! The route is pretty good, wide and spacious, where the race started from the famous Bund. From there the race will take you through the main shopping area of the city. The second part of the routes is a little boring though as we go through the slightly outskirt of the city with nothing prominent in sight. The crowd support though is definitely better than in Malaysia. The drivers are better behaved as they waited for the police to allow them to continue their journey, there are also some crowds that cheer the runners on the way. The one issue I have is the control into the seeding area during the start of the race. As all category (FM, HM, 10K, fun run) starts together, I ended up entering the race from the back as the B seeding area is already filled with runners from other categories. There are even family/friends in the starting area taking photos with their beloved and one of the support car was parked at the road side blocking runners from moving forward during the flagged off. So if you aim to start from the front in a China race, get yourself to the starting point real early.

Oh ya, toilet visit in cold weather seems to be more common too. Even though I relieved myself before the race, 5KM into the race I have the urged to use the toilet again. And for some reasons, there seems to be lack of toilets along the route. I decided to run straight in when I saw a rare toilet (lucky it was empty) at around 13KM to relieve myself. Even though I lost about 2-3 minutes there, I reckoned I would be able to recover the time back from running stress and bladder free.

Since the hotel is about a kilometer away from the starting point, the walk to the start point is a good warm up and getting the engine (body) to start. With the number of runners involved and all category starting together, there is no point trying to hammer the pace during the first half of the race, I let the shorter distance runners sped off and ran their races while I slowly increased my pace.

Since it has been more than a year since I clocked a sub-4 hours FM, it was my silent goal to try to achieve this in cold weather, and to prove that the colder weather actually helps you to run faster. This is a summary of how the race unfolded:
- At 10KM, I clocked 58 mins, 3 mins slower from my targeted 55 mins, but no worries, still long way to go.
- Once the route split for the HM and FM, I stepped it up and clocked in at 1:53 for 20KM. I was now within sight of the elusive sub-4 that has avoided me since my injury more than a year ago. The calculator app in my brain is now working overtime every km as I evaluated my chance of dipping below 4 hrs. 
- By the 24KM, I have managed to track down the 4:15 hrs pacers. My next goal is to go nearer to the 4 hrs pacers. 
- Hitting 30KM at 2:49, I only have 1:11 to complete the final 12KM, doable but tight. Equipped with Hammer Gels and Endurolytes for this race, I have prepared myself well for the final push.
- When I look at the time at 40KM, I know that all I need now is to avoid cramp and get myself through the finishing line. Although I was still not able to chase down the 4 hrs pacers, I know my chip time is below 4 hours. Finishing strongly as the crowds cheer us on, the clock shows 4:03:45 - calculator app automatically minus 5 minutes to the total - 3:58! I did enough just to dip below 4 hours, job done, rest time!
Roy after finishing Shanghai with fellow Malaysian runner from BKLTL Running Group. Image from BKLTL.
Two weeks later, it is back to the drawing board again as I started my planning for another type of race - hot weather ultra starting at Beaufort.
A 2 hours drive from Kota Kinabalu to the starting point, most of the runners took the opportunity to get extra rest before arriving. As this is a small ultra event, it was totally the opposite of a major marathon. With only about 73 registered participants and I estimated the participants that actually starts to be around 60 persons, this is a small no frills no hype event, which is great considering that the participants are actually all season runners.

The race started at 7AM, which means this is similar to around 8AM in Peninsula Malaysia. With a cut-off of 9 hours for 60KM on flat terrain, this race on paper is runable. If I calculated my sub 4 hours for 42KM in Shanghai, that means I have 5 hours to do another 18KM. That of course is only on paper and not considering the effect of weather. And to add to this, Klang Valley has been raining cats and dogs for the past few weeks, not allowing for any heat running sessions.
The calm (and handsome) before the heat on Beaufort
I divided this race into 3 segments of 20KM each. The goal was to go fast for the first 20KM (about 2:15 hrs) and then slower for the next 20KM (3 hrs) before bringing it home in the last 20KM (3 hrs).
Decided to go as minimal as possible, I opt to carry hydration belt instead of bag, fueled again by Hammer gels, perpetuem solids, endurolytes and anti-fatigue capsules. Sunblock, cap, sunglasses and anything that possible helps you from the sun ray is a must! Started the first 10KM fairly well (1:03) paced by other fast runners, and then hit the 20KM mark around 2:16 (still within plan). However disaster struck here as suddenly, there was an acute back and shoulder pain. Not knowing why it happens, the game plan now is to look forward to the next water support station (every 5KM after 20KM) and to reevaluate the pain. It was tough with the shoulder pain to swing the hand while running so got into walking mode more than running. Tried to include more power walk through the next 20KM, stop for a cool refreshing coke I get from a grocery shop, manage my core body temperature through sponges and hydration, I managed to get to 40KM by 5:34 (about 20 minutes behind my goal). At this point of time, clouds began to appear and there were hope of rains. When the rain started to pour, my pace increased slightly as core temperature is now under control and I just need to make sure I bring it home smoothly. The last 20KM was about 3 hours - job done again around 8:35, finisher number 18 among the starters.
No Monkey Business this.
From these experience I deduced the following important points
1) Core temperature management
- if you can manage your core temperature, you can run. Otherwise your body is in survival mode, aka dangerous time.
2) Adequate hydration/nutrition
- you may not feel like you need water, but you do. You need to figure out the amount you need for any type of weather. Also nutrition will ensure you do not end up with a flat battery.
3) Attire/equipment planning
- Not too much or too less, these planning will help you through your races.

Both cold and hot weathers require a reset of our mental. It looks to me that our body has an automatic fail safe mechanism that limits what we can do when the weather is in extreme condition. Training in the right weather will allow us to manage this limit better and perform better. Make sure you train well in that particular condition if you plan to race in that condition.

For more details on how to handle certain weather, do drop us a line at http://team2ndskin.blogspot.com/p/ask-expert.html

Friday, 20 December 2013

Team Update : Thank you Steven Yip for 2013

It is with great regret that we announce that Team Athlete Steven Yip will no longer be with Team 2ndskin for 2014.

Discussions went on between Steven and the Team and the decision was made last week. We would like to wish Steven all the best in 2014 and his future endeavours, whether in the sporting path or other aspects of his life.

The Team take this opportunity to thank Steven for all his contribution and support to Team 2ndskin for 2013 and for all his achievements this year.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Skechers GoBionic Trail Unboxing

Heard about the contest where you stand a chance to win a pair of GoBionic Trail from Skechers Performance? No? It's not too late, read it here

Now, heard about the new Skechers GoBionic Trail? It was launched about two months ago and our athlete TriStupe was the first lucky person to take it out for a run. After 200++km, he will be writing a full review as to provide a good feedback on the shoes.

If you are still curious, he has written a pretty detailed unboxing write up here

Read On:
Skechers Malaysia has been generous and arranged for a pair of brand new trail shoe model for me to try ahead of the launch in Malaysia. I previously written about GoTrail here and here and here. This pair of new trail shoe will replace the GoTrail.  Some of the shortcoming of the GoTrail were noted in my previous write ups. Most notably how the back of the shoe actually collapsed after about 200km of trail usage. While that was not expected, but I have came to the conclusion that the GoTrail advantage of being a light trail shoe has it's disadvantage in the "structure" department, which has contributed to the observed collapse. Do bear in mind this does not change the shoe's performance at all. For the record, the GoTrail is still in service (for training/spare) and now coming to 300km mileage. I brought this up and provide feedback to Skechers Malaysia and apparently they listened. So, somewhere about a month ago, I was informed that a replacement is coming and it has only been "launched" at selected (five to be exact) shops in USA!
The GoBionic Trail
The teaser with less than hi-res photo fishing for color choices
Taking the Minimalist approach and riding on the GoBionic platform, the new trail shoe is known as GoBionic Trail. At time of writing, I've clocked no less than 25km over the long weekend running exclusively using this GoBionic Trail. For purpose of breverity, lets all call it GBT.
US11 GoBionic Trail - In Orange. Click here for larger image
Immediately after the Men's Health/Shape Run (that Skechers was the sponsor), I was told by Ivan and Adeline, the good people in Skechers that my GBT is "in the sky and to land soon". It then happened two days later. I drove to the outlet at 1Utama to collect it. As the shoe requested is already "my size", there were no trying needed and I must say it was quite a gamble for me. 
What if it's too big? or Small?
Full write up, here

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Skechers - 2ndskin FB Contest

New Go Trail Vaporlite - any lighter you have to run topless
Wear. Click. Win.
Stand a chance to win a pair of Skechers GoBionic Trail (worth RM399) for men and (worth RM369) for women when you submit your most creative photo wearing the latest 2ndSkin Go Trail Shirt!

Contest ends 14th January 2014. Hurry over to www.2ndskin.asia now!

Contest description:
Log on to www.2ndskin.asia and click on the contest tab banner.
Purchase the latest 2ndSkin Go Trail Vaporlite shirt and it will be delivered to your door.
Take several crazy creative photos of yourself wearing the shirt.
Submit a maximum of 2 photos no larger than 1MB each to info@2ndskin.asia
Please include your full name and contact number with your submitted entry.

Contest ends on the 14th January 2014. Results will be announced within a week of contest closure.

There will be one grand prize winner of Men's Skechers GoBionic Trail and one grand prize winner of Women's Skechers GoBionic Trail.

2ndskin and Skechers reserve the right to publish all photos submitted for this contest.

Monday, 9 December 2013


Team 2ndskin was formally established in Dec 2012 and it has been a whirlwind year for the team as we close in on our first 12 months as a unit. Along the way, we have interviewed all the team athletes one by one for you to get to know them better. As we draw a close to our first year and head on down towards 2014, let’s have a heart-to-heart chat with Team 2ndskin Principal Eugene and see what he has to say about the team….

Good morning, Eugene. We normally start off our athlete profile with some background. Let’s do the same for you. Tell us your story.
Good morning! I’m not sure exactly where to start, but here goes. I have a loving wife and 2 beautiful daughters who I come home to every day. I hold a 9-6 job in a dynamic and fast-paced industry that keeps me on my toes all the time. Being ambitious and fueled by passion, I run the 2ndskin brand together with my awesome buddy Jason and at the same time, I’m a strategic partner/owner in a retail brick & mortar bike store. If that wasn’t enough to fill my plate, I’m also the Team Principal of Team 2ndskin, a group of committed and passionate athletes who have become like family to me. I also indulge in quite a bit of running and cycling (more out of passion and fitness rather than competition) and I strive to keep myself fit as much as I can.

And we keep hearing excuses from people who say they don’t have time to exercise! How do you juggle your time with all your commitments?
I live on 2 principles - Prioritizing and Multi-tasking. My brain only gets to sleep when I sleep. I plan my day and what I need to accomplish when I go for my early morning runs/rides. Most of the time, I brain-storm business strategies or team directions during my workouts. I do the same on my drive to work, during lunch hour and on my drive home. Its mentally exhausting, but I love what I do, so it keeps me going.
At home, we don’t have any domestic help, so I take my fair share of household chores and squeeze in the family time. There’s honestly not much I can fit into 24 hours a day, so I make do and prioritize. It has worked so far for me.
Fitness is a way of life
You say you enjoy running and cycling. Tell us more about that. Have you been running / cycling all your life?
No I’ve not. It has been a pretty recent indulgence. I won’t go so far as to say that I have been an athletic person from young, I was always a bit on the chubbier side (for a better term!) all my life. I did represent my school in handball and was always active in intra-school sports. Most people don’t know this, but I ran my first half marathon at PBIM in 1995 at the age of 16. My passion in life has always been football and I played some competitive football during my university years. However, in 2003 and 2005 I injured my knee playing football and I underwent surgery twice to my left knee, a major one too (reconstruction of the ACL). After the 2nd surgery, the orthopedic surgeon advised me to give up multi-directional movement sports (football, squash, tennis, badminton, etc). After rehabilitation, I decided to take up running and cycling for fitness and I have not looked back since.

All Team 2ndskin members are very strong athletes in their individual ways. Do you feel that as the Team Principal, you need to be on par or better than them in their sport, to gain their respect?
I think it’s a misconception that the team leader needs to be better than the team members in terms of skill or capacity. I know I’m not better than any one of them (If I am, then they’d better buck up! LOL). My role is a strategic one. I plan, formalize and strategize what the team should do and achieve. I look at things in a high-level manner and I try my best to give the best to the team and try to make their achievements recognizable. I work with partners and sponsors and create engagement for the team. I know the team respects me for what I do and that is enough for me to carry this through. All said and done, I have to walk the talk too, so I definitely cannot lag too far behind in terms of training and competition, so I put in my fair share of training as well. I also take a lot of advice from the team athletes when it comes to training and nutrition and I must say it has served me very well!
The world is your playground. Have fun!
There’s a good mix of gender and age in the team. Did that come along naturally, or was that planned?
You can say that it was naturally planned. Haha.
My intention from the start when the plan to formalize Team 2ndskin took place was to have a group of people, who could reach out to the community and this group of athletes has to be easily embraced by the public. All of Team 2ndskin athletes have a story to tell; their backgrounds are diverse and their experiences different and their strengths individual. Put them together though, they are the Super Six.
That was the high-level mould. Delving deeper, we definitely needed several seasoned athletes and those who have experience on their side, to guide the younger athletes and upcoming ones. Therefore, it was practical to have a mix of younger team members with lots of potential to tap on, and seasoned team members who have lots of experience to learn from. Our youngest athlete is only 24 this year and our oldest is 36, so with an age gap of only 12 years, we’re not really experiencing the generation gap and the synergy within the team is very very good. I try to play a role as a mentor to the younger team members as well, and they know that they can come to me for guidance as well as advice in all aspects of life, not just sports.

In the last 12 months, do you think Team 2ndskin has progressed in the manner that you had envisioned it to?
Honestly, I think we have come a long way in the last 12 months. We have exceeded my initial expectations for the team, but we’re definitely not resting on our laurels. More and more people are recognizing the team now and that is a good thing. Since the start of the year, we have had increasing numbers of people who have asked the team for advice, tips and generally opinion on running, nutrition and gear and we welcome all queries and approach without any restrictions. We will endeavour to provide as accurate information to the best of our experience and knowledge at all times.
Look at Ee-Van, he is always sharing information, training tips and advice without restriction. People should value him for his efforts. Roy is a 2x stroke survivor who has gone on to finish a 160km ultra. How many ‘clean’ medical history runners can claim to have done 160km? Chan juggles heavy responsibility and commitment as a Navy Officer and keeps himself in tip-top condition year in year out. Annie is a role model for women in running and her achievements speak for itself. Steven is the most humble person I know, who has bags of experience behind him. He has done what others only dream of and has lots to share. Irene lives the life where many of us do not dare. She is putting her passion in sports ahead of her studies and she is committed to her dream to turn professional one day. My vision is to have this team of outstanding individuals inspire people to live a healthy and active lifestyle and that juggling a full time job, family commitments and passion for sports is very achievable.
This year we have accomplished several good initiatives. Project CARES was a success for both beneficiaries, Dignity For Children Foundation and NASAM. We will definitely continue with this for 2014 and hopefully beyond. We had an opportunity for direct engagement with runners at our support station at MWM as well as a fitness talk we conducted that was organized by Garmin Malaysia. Both were also well received and that was very encouraging.
2014 will be very challenging. Internally within the team, 2013 has been a bar that has been set to a level that we will want to surpass. Fingers crossed, we will.

Very encouraging indeed! Am sure it would not have been possible without support. Tell us about Team 2ndskin sponsors and partners. How has the relationship been with them?
I am very grateful to our 3 main sponsors for 2013, Skechers Malaysia, Hammer Nutrition (Global Aerotech) and Garmin Malaysia (AECO Technologies) for believing in us and supporting us 110% all the time. When Team 2ndskin started out in Dec 2012, we were “nobodies”, so to speak. Skechers, Hammer and Garmin are all giants in their respective industry, with a long history of outstanding products, but they took the time to listen to us and they believed in our team vision and plan. Throughout the year, they have been behind us all the way and have never put pressure or unreasonable expectations on the team. Midway through 2013, we hooked up with a local setup, Kraftfit Compression who are also a bunch of passionate sports people and live the same dreams and visions as us. We are also proud to be associated with Kraftfit and hope to help them establish themselves as a brand to be reckoned with in the future.
I am lucky to come into contact with the people behind Skechers, Hammer, Garmin and Kraftfit in Malaysia, both on a working as well as personal level as they are some of the most amazing people you will ever meet. I take this opportunity to thank all Team 2ndskin sponsors for 2013 for the supply of excellent products and support as well as being a pillar of strength for the last 12 months.

Will they still be supporting Team 2ndskin for 2014?
Wouldn’t you like to know! For now, I’m keeping all potential partnerships and sponsorships for the team for 2014 under wraps. None of the team athletes know about next year’s plans yet so don’t even think about trying to pry information from them! I will definitely make an announcement come end Dec when we launch the 2014 plan.
Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.
Guess we will just have to wait for that! So what are your plans for Team 2ndskin for 2014?
I’m definitely looking at a higher level of engagement with the sports community for 2014, especially with beginners and those who have just started running / cycling / fitness as a lifestyle. The plan is to have several community programs organized by Team 2ndskin that will help beginners to the sport embrace the lifestyle and continue the momentum. This is definitely one of the ways the team can give a little back to the community. I have done something similar on a personal level and smaller scale with a group of runners who do 10km and were stepping up to the 21km distance. They have been very receptive and appreciative of advice and guidance I have given to them and I would like to take that to a larger level with the community, via Team 2ndskin.
On a more individual level with the team athletes, I am looking at assisting them to reach their potential and to achieve the goals they have set for themselves in 2014. There will be more one-to-one sessions that I will have to see which areas that I can help them with to the best of my capacity.

It looks like exciting times ahead in store for the team. What about yourself? What are your plans for 2014 outside of Team 2ndskin?
Yes it is! I am very excited for 2014 to kick off for Team 2ndskin and I believe the team will embrace the challenges ahead in a positive manner.
On a personal front, I would definitely like to spend more quality time with my family, take more breaks and smell the roses a little bit more. I also hope that 2ndskin as a brand keeps growing and will reach further shores and gain more prominence. I can definitely tell you that I have a big surprise in store for 2014, but it is too early to say anything right now. Will definitely share the news when the time is right!

Thank you very much for taking time out for this. Before we end this chat, is there anything else you want to share or say?
One last thing…. Jason, EV, Annie, Chan, Roy, Steven and Irene; I am very proud to know all of you and what you continuously do inspire me. Thank you all for being a part of this team. It is definitely my honour to walk down this road with each and every one of you. Let’s make 2014 memorable!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Skechers Malaysia Warehouse Sales!

Fan of Skechers or wanting to try a pair? Good news - Head over to Skechers Malaysia HQ and see if you can get something for yourself (and family) to try!

Exact GPS Location : 3.117291,101.736476

Friday, 29 November 2013

Skechers GoRun3 Review

Eugene's Skechers Shoe review has laid out the guidance to what Skechers has to offer (the range). Stupe has written about the (yet to be launced) GoRun3 (GR3) that he has been clocking decent mileage in since mid-November. If you missed out on his posting (which is unlikely if you have been following his blog), here is a cross-posting as part of "share more" concept in Team 2ndSkin.
GR2 (top) and GR3 (bottom)
What is evident is that the GR3 ride-height has been increased slightly, which lend more cushioning without adding on more weight to the shoe. It surprises us in the team as well that both the GR2 and GR3 weight almost the same despite the additional "plushness". Material advancement has definitely placed this long-time best seller (GoRun) series top of it's game. Interested to know more? Including seeing Stupe's antic of running with TWO different side of the GR2 and GR3 simultaneously? Head over to the review below.

<Snippet from the blog>
Real Feel GR2 vs GR3
Things I do to review shoes and for general masses to make more informed choices. Yes, I've been running with one side of each shoe, opposite side at different occasion just to get a feel and feedback of how it could be different. The results were pretty good though after about 10km, it doesn't really felt significantly different as the muscles starts to fatigue over faster pace.
Click here to read the full review

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Jun Shen : Penang International Marathon 2013 Race Report

PBIM 2013 Race Report By Chan Jun Shen.
Penang Bridge International Marathon is a race full of uncertainties for me. I have never raced this event before, I thought of training hard to aim for another PB in marathon since my very last marathon was 3 years ago. However, my tour of duty as a young Navy Officer on board Frigate KD JEBAT requires me to participate in a few international military exercises and represent Malaysia for the Sydney International Fleet Review.
Officers on board KD Jebat
Thinking of changing my plan, my workouts on board the ship was mostly focusing on strengthening my cores due to space constraint. I was away for 68 days sailing across 4 straits and 7 seas, and came back 3 days before Penang Bridge International Marathon. From Team 2ndSkin, Roy Yeow, Annie Yee and I will be participating. After some discussion with Annie, I have decided to run with her. With all her marathons in hand, she is a more experienced marathoner compared to me, I dare not call myself her pacer.
I stayed with Michael’s family in Penang, my relation with them started way back during my student years when I came to Penang for internship, I coached their son Ethan swimming. They are such a warm family; my presence in Penang will be treated with Makanthon every single day. I drove to Queensbay Mall around 6pm, had to cancel my meeting with Jin Aik due to time constraint and super congested traffic. After massage, I camped in the car near Eastin Hotel. I couldn’t sleep due to my pre race jitters, so I went to Facebook and start writing “pantuns” on my wall =p
Camp in the car I cannot sleep,
Why the hell I'm counting sheeps,
2am we run penang bridge,
Naik podium sure become rich:-P
12.30am, I walked towards the starting point. The VIP’s were there with some singing performances and band music to entertain the runners. I had my energy gels, hammer endurolytes, hammer perpetuem solid and a few capsules of pain killers just in case we need it. Annie’s racing schedule is so packed that she is still not fully recovered from her old injury.
Race started at 2am, the first 4km was blazing fast with undulating pace; it didn’t take too long for all the 4700 marathoners to scatter into echelons. This is my Skechers GOSpeed’s maiden race, I felt very comfortable with it, stiff enough to be picked as my marathon shoes. The water stations were adequate and very well prepared, they had long tables with hundred over cups of water to cater for so many runners. Those students from secondary schools wearing scout uniform, police cadet and a few other uniform bodies were very helpful; I believe they take pride for serving the runners.
Annie, who was still nursing her injury, told me that her legs were starting to ache at km20, I kept checking my Garmin 910xt to make sure we were not speeding too fast. Having a GPS watch helps a lot in running long distance. I have customized all the data displays before the race; my very first screen was showing: 
1.    Distance
2.    Pace
3.    Elapsed Time
4.    Average Pace
I’m a big eater when running long distance, I can keep eating gels every 10kms, that’s why I had 5 perpetuem solids, 4 capsules of endurolytes, and 7 gels with me. I know my body well, I can get hungry very fast, so perpetuem solids is my choice of “hunger management” food. Every now and then I’ll offer Annie gels but she kept refusing to take them.. Hahaha. Km24 was a nightmare, Annie started walking and telling me that she wants to go into the ambulance, as her injury was acting up. Gave her another pain killer and gel, but she refused to take the gel. Her brisk walking was fast though, I had to run baby steps to keep up with her. I guess she was in a lot of pain and she was expressing her disappointment and wanting to quit. More and more female runners overtook us. People running past yelling “what happened to you Annie?” didn’t make things better. It was saddening to see her struggling to continue. By km30, the hope to score sub 4 became hopeless, I would have lost my 300 bucks if I bet with Eugene. =p I was running with a bottle of mineral water in my hand all the time just in case she needs it.
Equipped for the race
We walked and ran and chatted, took it easy. I was hoping that talking can distract her from all the negative thoughts. It took forever waiting for my Garmin 910xt to beep. I set my Auto Lap for every 5km, strides are becoming heavier and slower, the run took longer time than what I expected. Thousands of shorter distance runners were on the same course as us, it was tough to make our own way in a sea of runners. Finally the finishing arch was within sight, I crossed the finishing line in 4 hours 22 minutes. Throughout the race, we did not see Roy at all. Don’t know where he went missing. =p
Team's 42km report book
Overall, this run was a great experience for me running as an unofficial pacer for my team mate. I was focusing on my posture and strides all the way, even after 68 days way from home and low in training mileage, I can still finish the race with a satisfactory timing. Driving back to Butterworth was another torture; the queue for ferry was extremely long. I was dead tired and kept falling asleep, had to call my close friend Jamie Ng to drive me back to KL. I would have done better and raced painlessly if I had the chance to put in more mileage during my tour of duty. Anyway, slowly but surely, I will start picking up my long lost fitness and get back to competitive endurance racing in as soon as possible.
Thanks to all sponsors for Team2ndSkin especially Skechers, Garmin, Hammer and KraftFit.  

Monday, 18 November 2013

GO Ahead, Make your Choice

Team 2ndskin, being partners with Skechers Malaysia for the year of 2013, are Skechers Performance Series Ambassadors. Since the start of the year, the team athletes have been wearing the range of Skechers Performance Series shoes, modeled by the GO range series. The team has been “pampered” by an excellent range of shoes from the cushy GoRun Ride early in the year, to the GoBionic Trail that eats up beaten tracks like a mountain goat. On our team blog, we have also been reviewing the wide range of Skechers Performance Series shoes and giving our honest thoughts on the subject. With that, naturally comes the question that I have been fielded numerous times since the start of the year.

“Which Skechers Performance model is suitable for me?”

I have given my feedback and thoughts personally to those who have asked me, either face to face, via social media or even on messaging systems. With the same question coming up again and again, I thought it would be best to share my recommendations here so that when you walk into a Skechers store, you already have an idea of which model to look for and try out, based on your running style and current type of running shoes you wear. Please do note that all recommendations here are purely based on my personal experience in trying out the different ranges of Skechers Performance Series shoes and in not an official recommendation from Skechers themselves. Also, I will only be discussing the shoes that are currently on the shelves and older models that are discontinued from production shall not be addressed. 
So many to choose from
The Categorization
Before we hit straight into the discussion about the shoes, I would like to first make some categorization so that you (the reader) can see best where you fit in and make a more informative choice.
Shoe model: Tells you what model this is
Shoe type: Tells you in general what type of shoe this is and its suitability
Heel to toe drop: Tells you what the difference in height from heel to toe is
Shoe fit: Tells you in general terms how the shoe fits
Shoe build: Tells you in general terms about the structure and build of the shoe
Shoe mileage: Recommends the average mileage you will get out of the shoe
Shoe highlights: Quick highlights of the selling points of the shoe
Shoe description: My personal view of the shoe and what I would recommend it for
OK, without any further ado, let’s GO! (pun intended)

GoRun Series:
Designed for speed
Shoe model: GoRun 2
Shoe type: Road shoe. High mileage trainer. All purpose shoe.
Heel to toe drop: 4mm drop heel to toe
Shoe fit: Averagely wide forefoot. Snug lacing.
Shoe build: Comparatively more structured than the rest of the Go series. Lightweight trainer. Midfoot bump in original GoRun is not as pronounced here.
Shoe mileage: At least 600km of tarmac. I’m up to about 450km and shoe shows excellent wear. Original GoRun lasted me close to 800km.
Shoe highlights: Lightweight, encourages mid-forefoot strike, well built, value for money in terms of durability and wear.
Shoe description: I fell in love with the original GoRun, and I still love the shoe. This revision to the GoRun has given it a new outlook, and in my opinion has increased the built but retained the lightweight benefits. It is an all purpose shoe, capable of long training runs and also fast races if you just want a “one shoe that does everything option”. In my case, I use it for my long (and short) training runs and reserve the GoSpeed (more of that later) for races.
Recommended for the runner who is transitioning from traditional structured/cushioned shoes to a more minimalist style shoe and for those who want a shoe that does everything from 10ks to full marathons.
If you are currently wearing a pair of stability / structured shoes from other brands, then this is the shoe model you should consider.

 Go like never before
Shoe model: GoRunRide 2 / Night Owl
Shoe type: Road shoe. High mileage training shoe.
Heel to toe drop: 4mm drop heel to toe
Shoe fit: Averagely wide forefoot. Nice wraparound at the heel area.
Shoe build: The most cushioned and structured shoe in the Go series of shoes.
Shoe mileage: At least 600km – 800km of tarmac.
Shoe highlights: Lightweight, promotes mid-forefoot strike, soft cushioning absorbs impact well, value for money in terms of durability and wear.
Shoe description: This is the choice of Go series for the runner who has just started running and requires a bit more cushioning to adapt to the rigours and stress of running on road. On the other hand, it works as well for those who take their weekly mileage very high and require a pair of shoes that gives ample cushioning and support to the joints during recovery runs and more relaxed efforts. However, that’s not to say this shoe is not built to go hard and fast. All Skechers Performance series shoes are lightweight and designed for speed too.
Recommended for the runner who requires structured/cushioned shoes and is looking for a high mileage running shoe built to last. Shoe of choice for those who are currently wearing cushioned shoes or shoes with more than 6mm drop.

Endorsed by an Olympic Medalist
Shoe model: GoRun Speed / GoMeb
Shoe type: Road shoe. Racing shoe.
Heel to toe drop: 4mm drop heel to toe
Shoe fit: Narrow forefoot. Snug lacing.
Shoe build: The stiffest shoe in the series. Low to ground feel. Very lightweight. Secure heel cup, personal opinion is the mesh upper of shoe is the most breathable in the series A stability carbon plate provides the additional stiffness to the shoe.
Shoe mileage: Estimated about 300 – 400km of tarmac. I’ve done about 130kms in the shoe and they are holding up great.
Shoe highlights: Lightweight, encourages fast cadence, good road feedback feel, very breathable mesh upper.
Shoe description: This is my choice of shoe if I want to go fast (as fast as my feet can take me that is). Everytime I put this shoe on, I tend to run faster than my normal training routine. It makes you do that. I would say this is the official racing shoe (in traditional terms) under Skechers Performance Series.
Recommended for the runner who is used to running in traditional racers and lightweight minimalist shoes. The choice of wear if you are looking for a pair of shoes for race day.

GoBionic Series:
Minimal Never Felt So Good
Shoe model: GoBionic Ride
Shoe type: Road shoe. Minimalist classification.
Heel to toe drop: 4mm drop heel to toe with removable insole. 0mm drop heel to toe without insole.
Shoe fit: Very wide forefoot. Low to ground feel. Soft heel cup.
Shoe build: Sneaker like flat sole with good ground feel. Internal stitching seamless and good to go sockless. Front end wide for good toe splay.
Shoe mileage: Estimated at 400km. I am up to about 150km on this shoe and I use it for all purposes. 10km runs, gym workout sessions and even walks in the park.
Shoe highlights: One of the few shoes in the Skechers Performance lineup that allows you to have a choice between 0mm and 4mm drop by removing the insoles. This is the more cushy update to the original 0mm only GoBionic. Shoe works well without socks and is breathable.
Shoe description: This is my personal all purpose shoe for everything from runs to indoor gym sessions and even for travelling. Love the barefoot feel and never had blisters from running sockless. There are no circular pods on this shoe, but have squarish individual structures that allow for the flexibility of the shoe as well.
Recommended for the runner who is transitioning from 4-6mm drop shoes to 0mm drop type shoes. It allows the runner to get the barefoot experience without the immediate harsh feel of running in 0mm drop shoes (before adaptation occurs).
This shoe is slotted right in the class between minimalist to barefoot.
Back to Nature
Shoe model: GoBionic Trail
Shoe type: Offroad trail shoe.
Heel to toe drop: 4mm drop heel to toe with removable insole. 0mm drop heel to toe without insole.
Shoe fit: Averagely wide forefoot. Holds the foot well all-around.
Shoe build: For a lightweight trail shoe, the GoBionic Trail surprises with its structure. It has a robust sole with multi-directional lugs for better grip and has average ground feel. The mesh upper feels durable to the touch and looks to be able to withstand the wear and tear associated with offroad environments.
Shoe mileage: Good trail shoe mileage of about 600 – 700km..
Shoe highlights: The GoBionic Trail has hydrophobic treatment which repels water. At the same time, it dries up pretty quickly if the internals of your shoe gets drenched. It is also an excellent road-to-trail shoe in that it does very well on tarmac surfaces as well giving you enough cushioning on hard road surfaces. Shoe is also equipped with their Resagrip outsole which increases durability.
Shoe description: I had the original GoTrail to run in before and one thing I found about the original shoe was that it didn’t really grip well on wet/slippery surfaces. This update to the original incorporates multi-directional lugs which I tested to be more effective on slippery rocks and mossy surfaces. Another thing which impressed me was the insoles were ribbed at the underside, to create resistance and reduce slippage incidents when worn.
I will be getting more mileage in the trail shoe in the next couple of months with a few trail races slotted in, but initial test runs in them seem very favourable.

I hope that the above views and recommendations are able to allow you (the reader) to make a more informed choice when selecting the model of choice at a Skechers store. No worries though, you can always approach any of us at Team 2ndskin to ask us more about the range of Skechers Performance series shoes to get a better idea of what would suit you.
Go try one pair out today!