Friday, 26 April 2013

Project Dignity CARES – Campaign Closure

Team 2ndskin’s Project Dignity CARES campaign which was run from 27th February to 3rd April 2013, has finally seen closure with the passing of the fund-raising cheque to Dignity for Children Foundation. A total of RM4,188.00 was raised via the generous contributions of society who want to make a difference to these underserved childrens’ lives.
Dignity for Children Foundation
Any of them maybe our future leader(s) of tomorrow
 Enthusiastic and dynamic children
Roy getting lessons on badminton play from Po Po
Dignity for Children Foundation provides education to children from desolate homes, refugee children and the hardcore poor kids. Currently the foundation serves as a school to approximately 800 children, from Taska age all the way up to Secondary 5. These kids a provided not only with proper education, but a wholesome meal, good moral and cultural teachings and instilled with values like teamwork and cooperation via the foundation’s programs. The volunteer teachers, caretakers and care givers are dedicated and give their all whole-heartedly to the students and children.
Having a conversation with a couple of the students who were in Primary 5 and 6 when we were there, we were pleasantly surprised by their enthusiasm, their ability to get their thoughts across and their confidence in speaking to strangers (like us). They were not the shy and reserved children you would have painted a picture of, when you speak of underserved children.
Possibly, if given the right opportunities, these children who come from poor broken homes may one day find themselves to be the future leaders of our community and society. What we can see is, education and proper attention given to children during their formative years will help shape their lives and very likely help get another child / teenager off the streets.
Team 2ndskin is proud to be able to do our part for the children.
PeopleGiving Organization
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank PeopleGiving Organization for being the enablers for this campaign. They are a group of dynamic young volunteers who have selflessly sacrificed their time to setup the PeopleGiving Organization and portal to enable individuals and corporate alike to use their online platform for fund-raising activities. PeopleGiving are fully dependent on sponsorship to stay afloat as they do not take any commission or fee from the use of their platform as well as the funds raised. Special thanks to GekWe and Jason from PeopleGiving who were also present with us when we handed the cheque over to Miss Beant from Dignity.
Presenting the cheque to Ms Beant of Dignity
Group shot
Appreciation certificates given by Dignity and PeopleGiving for the campaign effort
Last but not least, Team 2ndskin sponsors deserve a mention for fully supporting us throughout the Project Dignity CARES campaign. Here’s to Garmin Malaysia, Skechers Performance Malaysia and Hammer Nutrition Malaysia!!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Tri Stupe : Sabah Adventure Challenge Race Reports

As some of you might know, one of our team mate, Ee-Van, otherwise known as Tri Stupe recently took part in Sabah Adventure Challenge in the 75km Solo Ultra category. Little did he know the race covered close to 85km more due to elevation/vertical distance (Garmin tracked this!) and route diversion. He relied 100% on Hammer Nutrition (and mind you, he believes in real food) and came out happy to see how proper race nutrition and planning helped him not only race, but recovered as well. The Skechers GoTrail not only protected his feet over the distance, but offered superb traction in the wet jungle and good cushioning (despite being minimalist) on the dusty gravel road that seems to last forever.
He has written his report in 3-parts, one for each day and here is his story.
By the way - he was with his wife throughout the whole race. What better way to "give back" as he  always say "She has supported me through all my races, now is my turn to do so". Sweet!
We would like to thanks the sponsors - Skechers, Garmin and Hammer Nutrition for the support they have given to him. Also to all of you readers that has contributed to the Team 2ndSkin Project DIGNITY CARES. This one is for Dignity for Children Foundation.  
Sabah Adventure Challenge Race Report : Longest Day 1

The phone alarm went off at 4.45am sharp and it was shut off almost immediately. Laying down in bed covered by the comforter and warmed by the room's heater, i inhaled cold air.
Despite wearing a light jacket over a t-shirt to sleep, i still felt cold. I woke wifey up and I was not sure how she will be feeling that day. It will be her longest day racing.
Camelbak Octane 18X packed and ready
That was an eerie silence as I mix the Hammer Nutrition Perpetuem powder to be taken as breakfast. One pack/serving provides 270kcal in 20oz water. Cafe Latte was the choice of the day.
Continue Reading Day 1
Sabah Adventure Challenge 2013 Race Report : Hottest Day 2

The biggest task ever for anyone attempting SAC is to wake up the next morning after a tough Day 1 and continue to do the race again. While it is not a norm that Day 1 will always be tougher, participants need to remember that in adventure race, anything can happen - and getting lost is top of the list.
Immediately after Day 1 over, we have to prep for Day 2. This was at 11pm. Clearly shown me and Bandit refilling and refuelling for the next day. Photo thanks to Kam.
Day 2 for us started right after the Day 1 race was over. Re-planning and obviously missing the race briefing doesn't help. Our main aim was to get back to Mesilau, take dinner, stay warm and plan for Day 2. Kam finished Day 1 early and will be our eyes and ears during the briefing. 
Sabah Adventure Challenge 2013 : Scenic Day 3
I can't believe i wrote a 3-parts race report like what I did for Bali Marathon 2012. I hope you readers enjoyed the sharing. It has been tough and tight for me, time wise to produce more write ups as I am in the midst of a career move. It was a mixed feeling on Day3. One small part of us were glad the race will finally be over and the larger part were upset that we have no more race tomorrow when we wake up! Yes. Race withdrawal syndrome even before the race actually ends. The past two days has been great and the last day looked promising with 15km more to go. While the other two days has been pretty "off the mark" in terms of mileage, no one actually complained. A testament that those that was participating were there for the pain!
Skechers GoTrail clocked it's 90th Mile before today (Day 3).
It was a mixed feeling Sunday for us. Easter Sunday. It was strange for wifey not to be home with her family (she and the kids are Catholic) for this festivities. I told her if we see a church (very likely), we will drop by for the mass. Promise.
Continue Reading Day 3 

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Annie Yee : Malaysia Women Marathon 2013 Race Report

One week after the race, we present to you her race report. What goes in the mind of the inaugural Malaysia Women Marathon winner?  You have to read to find out. This is Annie Yee story.
Malaysia Women Marathon - By Annie Yee
Malaysia First Women International Marathon. What do you think of when you see this? Yes, I am telling you on last Sunday I took part in Malaysia First Women International Marathon, 42.195km. It was my 15th marathon within the past four years since 2009.
Reminiscing back for few months, I ran everyday and increased my mileage since I started to have my internship in February. Despite increasing my mileage, it was still far from the ideal mileage for a full marathon training. As lectured by my coach before, the preparations starting from a week till a day before the marathon are crucial for every runner. I used to think those preparations are a waste of time and effort. However, I tried to set my mind positively.

As the preparation of carbo-loading, I started to eat chicken (source of protein) and half bowl of rice as the fuel of carbohydrates since Wednesday. Typically, I don’t eat chicken, meat sources. Of course, I ate more chocolates than usual (LOL).  I doubled up my fruits intake every day as well.
A day before the race, I had claypot chicken rice as my lunch. In the evening, after having my simple broiled Japanese noodles with soy sauce, the clock showed seven sharp. After I pin my bib number on my favourite, superlight 2ndSkin Vaporlight LEGENDARY tee and stuffed two Hammer Nutrition Espresso flavor gels into the SPI belt, I went to bed.

2am in the morning, with a refreshing shower and a cup of Annie’s coffee plus two slices of wholegrain bread, I pushed off to the destination. Upon reaching, there were so many guys with the bib of PACER on their vests. Two thoughts appeared in my mind, “Why are there guys in this marathon?” and “Luckily I am running alone without any pacer.” (LOL, I am evil and I know that). Coach reminded me to warm up at least twenty minutes and have a dash before the race starts. So, I did that in a corner.

4.27am: Kathrine Switzer and Karen Loh flagged off the pretties and there we went! I kept my pace to about 4:55-5:00 min/km and tried not to run too fast at first. There were 5 runners in front of me for the first two km. RELA, policemen on bikes, marshals were directing the first runner. She was leading the runners and Annie Lee, another slim, fast and steady veteran was the second. I tried focusing on the road ahead instead of the runners beside me. Siak Yeng was pacing with me for 1km and I remembered it was about 5:15 min/km. I knew it was slow. I have to run faster. Another female suddenly appeared and we ran for 3km and eventually she couldn’t catch up. Her striding was quite loud and I tried to avoid from pacing with her.

David Ong, a CARI runner, cycled beside me to escort me. All the while, I ran and when I passed by two Mamak restaurants on my right, I saw the people there were watching us. The road was lit up with the neon lights and the sky. Upon looking up to the sky, the moon shadowed by the clouds was there. I have always searched for the moon when I run. I have always pledged the moon to let me be strong and to finish the races. I believe it is God. He looks down on us and gives us spiritual support. I counted the hills I passed and when I reached the third hill, a guy under the neon light, holding a DSLR was snapping photos. By the time he gave me a high-5, only I realized it was CP Tan. Wao! 4am plus and he was standing there to support the women.

By the time I passed by the RHB bank, my distance and Annie Lee’s was 10 meter. Initially, I thought of running behind her. But, she seemed to be slowing down a bit so I overtook her. 
“Wah, very fast huh you…”
“hehe..” I said.
I didn’t want to talk and smile. I need to be focused on the race.
I met a lot of my friends as marshals and policemen were doing their duties well. Many cars were stopped every time I passed the traffic lights. I nodded and smiled to policemen. I was running alone from 10km and I tried to catch up with the first runner. I didn’t know where David has gone and I passed by Dataran Shah Alam. I was astonished to see so many guys were sitting on the bench with McDonalds food. I assumed that they stayed there and didn’t even go back home.

At 21km, I checked my watch, 1:44. 6 minutes faster than I thought. From 21-22km, I downed a Hammer Nutrition espresso gel and have a quick sip of water. From 22km-26km, though the road was elevated, the gel was working well. I came very near to the first runner and at 25km, I overtook her and I gulped a small cup of water provided and followed Raymond, the cyclist. He was leading the road and when he turned over, he said something to me but I couldn’t actually hear it. I didn’t know my distance difference between me and the runner. I was hoping that I reached 27km where it was a support station from my 2ndSkin teammates. 

But, I couldn’t see any of them until I turned to a dark corner and the guys were just starting to set up the support station and some of them were actually peeping to see who the first runner was. In panic and exciting moment, I guessed it was Roy who passed me a Hammer gel. The situation was so “kelam-kabut”. I grabbed it very rapidly and continued running. Undoubtedly, their support made me energetic and determined to keep my pace. The watch showed 2:15.

The sky was getting brighter as I continued my journey accompanied by Raymond and two policemen and made uncountable roundabouts. I realized that runners were opposite the road from me. Some of them cheered for me, I guess but I couldn’t look up to them. I knew I need to look at the road ahead and focus. It was 33km. I took another Hammer gel which was given by my team. I faced problem of tearing open the gel. The adhesive part of the gel was very strong and it took some time for me. I ran and ran….37km reached. Saw LYN runners, I signaled two, two and they understood well. One of the LYN runners passed me the chilled water. I gulped it down quickly. God, it was so refreshing!
The devil started to appear in my mind, giving me negative thoughts after passing 37km. An elevated hill AGAIN!!! I knew I smiled when seeing a board written ANNIE, JIAYOU!!! It was CP Tan who encouraged me. I pushed more and past him. I was so touched but at the same time, I knew I needed to keep on going. The devil in my mind was getting stronger and stronger, I stopped and drank at a water station, walked for 1min and ran again.

Talking to myself, telling myself to keep on going, keep on going. 38km, 39km….I walked several times and I was cursing myself.
Angel: “It is just 12 laps in the stadium, why can’t you make it? Annie, you can, you can…”
Devil: “Nobody behind you, take your time. You can’t make it to sub330 though.”
“Bang, cakap dengan saya. Bang umur berapa?”I asked one of the policeman.
This was how I talked to the policemen. I needed distraction. I guess he must be thinking that this girl “Gila”. 

I merged with other categories runners and the policemen were honking so that they didn’t block my way. The last two km seemed to be 20km for me. I walked, ran, walked and Raymond reminded me of the runner behind me.
“Annie, 200m from you, go go…”
“Moi, sikit lagi, sikit lagi, tahan..”
“ Tepi sikit, champion ni, tepi tepi..”
Voices lingered around me but I was so tired. I knew, the devil won!

Suddenly someone held my hand when it was 20meter. It was last elevated hill again! She, the lady held my hand, I held her very tightly and ran together to the finishing line! People cheered for us. I hugged her so tight the moment I passed the finishing line and realizing that she was a Japanese!  We congratulated each other and I didn’t know where she has been and I walked to take my fruits, medals and support station when I saw Pat was there.
While waiting for the prize ceremony, I chit-chatted with some friends, talked about the race.

I was so happy when I got my prize and Kathrine Switzer came up to the stage to present me her book! It was my best luck to get the autographed book. She told me I can make it to sub3 in future. It was a big support for me!!! She achieved her 2:51 after 35 marathons. She gave me the confidence which I am seeking for many years. My team members have finally came back as the last runner has passed the 27km mark and their support station. We had meet-up, photo sessions and chit-chatting. It was our first meet up and it was family for me. I was the princess for these guys. Their support gave me a really warm feeling.

I have to say this marathon was organized well:
  • Water stations were very sufficient. Every 2-2.5km, there was a water station and they provided isotonic drinks.
  • The runners as marshals. They did their jobs very well as they understood the participants.
  • The policemen. They directed the runners and blocked the roads to avoid vehicles from disrupting the runners.
  • The fruits, food, medals supplied after the race were sufficient.
  • The baggage deposit staffs were well organized.
However, some improvements can be done in future:
  • Since it is a women race, the male pacers shouldn’t be there. They should just be the spectators and cheer for us along the road. This is just my personal opinion.
  • A nice reusable bag should be given to the participants instead of the dark, blue bag with blank design. It should have some logos of Malaysia Women Marathon for foreign participants.
There are some preparations I need to highlight for other runners:
  • Sleep sufficiently!! Even though you can’t sleep but just lay on the bed and relax the mind instead staying up late and think you’re the hero for not sleeping.
  • Prepare the clothes, drinks, breakfast, etc which needed for tomorrow race.
  • Wear proper attire so that no chafing of body especially long distance. 2ndSkin does work very well even though it is in tee design. The Vaporlite/Vaporskin technology expel the sweat rapidly. No heavy feeling even after the race.
  • Take sufficient gels for refuel and select the right one. There are a lot of gels in the market. Before a race, try them out and feel the body. Is it working well to provide the immediate energy? So far, I think Hammer Nutrition Gel really does well. There is no sticky after taste and it is digested easily. However, we need to cut the sachet a little before a race to make it easy to be torn while running.
  • Hydrate and eat high protein food after a race. Normally, I drink a lot of water after a race and after half an hour, I eat banana, milk, soy milk and bars. Another option is Hammer Nutrition Recoverite which is good for muscle repair and recovery.
Of course, for myself, I think I need to change my bad habits in order to improve my time:
  • I need to train LSD!!!!!!So far, I can only run 15km the most in the stadium where I train. I have to achieve at least 30km.
  • My mind set. I need to change to very positive and determined. I don’t aim and target timing in marathons. I have always thought that I can’t make it. It is very bad!
I would like to thank my parents, especially my mom who is really supportive, my coach, my team (2ndSkin), the team sponsors (Hammer Nutrition/Skechers Malaysia/Garmin Malaysia), friends and photographers. You guys made my Sunday!

Kudos to all the runners who accomplished the marathon, 42.195km and I shall see you in future races. :)

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Race Schedule for Q2 2013

Hi all!
Hope the year's racing so far has been good for all of you. We at 2ndSkin definitely had fun (loads of them) and this is our team race schedule for Q2, 2013.
The Team's schedule can be accessed at this page : 2013 Race Schedule. It will be updated from time to time as some of us might see an opportunity and time to commit to more races as the date draw closer.

If you are joining any of the above races, do say HI! to us when you see us. Catch you all soon!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Project CARES - Team 2ndskin Support Station at Malaysia Women Marathon

As part of our activities lined up under Team 2ndskin’s Project CARES, we put together a little support station at the inaugural Malaysia Women Marathon held at Shah Alam on the 7th of April 2013. The intention of this support station was to offer complimentary electrolyte drinks (Hammer FIZZ), water, cut watermelons, basic first aid and support, ice-cold water sprays for cooling off and generally just moral support for the runners. As runners ourselves, we understand how the little things help to motivate the runners who are putting their physical and mental conditions to the test, especially out on the race course of a full marathon. It gives us great satisfaction to be able to give a little back to the running community and at the same time foster camaraderie amongst all runners.

We are glad that the support station was well received by the runners and that everyone generally had a great time at our pit-stop. Kudos to the team for getting up in the wee hours to be at the 27th km mark early so that we could prepare and setup for even the fastest runner to come through. The following photo-log will tell a little bit more about the story.

Setting Up
Setting Up The Sponsors' Banners
All Done and Ready!
Making Hammer Nutrition Endurolyte FIZZ - Ice COLD, no less
Team Skechers
Team Garmin
Picnic time! Huge crowd at Team 2ndSkin Booth
Having Fun!
Low Crowd = Reloading time. Where is the ice?
Very F1 Pit-stop like!
The Ultra-runners antic!
Hammer FIZZ, Watermelon and cold water spray for everyone running past our station
We have Fans!!! (we hope they are...haha!)
The Team (L-R) : Ee-Van, Annie, Yip, Chan, Eugene, Roy and Jason
Special thanks to be accorded to Team 2ndskin’s sponsors for 2013:
Hammer Nutrition for supplying the Hammer FIZZ electrolytes that were a hit with the runners! Special mention also to Liz Roberts from Hammer who completed her first Marathon at this event!

Skechers Performance Malaysia and also Garmin Malaysia for always being there to support us in all our activities.

Kudos also to Karen Loh and her team of organizers who made this inaugural Malaysia Women Marathon a success. We believe all the runners had an amazing time (judging from the response and feedback from the crowd) and the participation will definitely grow with the coming years.

Team 2ndskin will also continue to support the MWM in the coming years, in whatever way possible.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Roy : The Twilight Ultra Challenge TUC 2013

Last weekend, our athlete Roy and Eugene went to Singapore for the Twilight Ultra Challenge (TUC) to see how far they can cover in the stipulated 16 hours. Armed with hope and determination, powered with tenacity and will power, this is Roy's story.
Twilight Ultra Challenge - Roy Yeow
Twilight Ultra Challenge (TUC) is now into the 3rd edition and the only things that has changed is that it just got better and better. The race format was pretty simple, run till you drop within the 16 hours limit given through a 10KM loop with water stations every 2.5KM (well there are runners that run 5KM and decided to call it a day). As the race starts at 7PM, we will run through the night while the rest of Singapore is either sleeping or partying somewhere till 11AM the next morning. My strategy is basically to stay awake through the night and let the distance build up by itself.

For this race, team 2ndSkin through Project CARES was raising fund for DIGNITY for Children Foundation. Together with Eugene and Ee-Van that is racing in SAC (read his SAC Intro report), we are to put our physical and mental capacities to test while trying to raise RM3000 through People Giving website. And we are proud that we manage to raise 140% of our target,RM4188 at the end of the campaign.

As the race starts during dinner time, we have opt to eat our dinner around 4PM and I took a Hammer Bar before the race to fill my tummy. The race provides Hammer Fizz, while makes my nutrition plan easy and pure Hammer Nutrition products only:
- Hammer Fizz and water as hydration at the u-turn point
- Hammer Perpetuem Solids - 3 solids every hour from 20KM onwards
- Hammer Endurolytes as backup in case there is a need
- Hammer Recoverite after the race

Powered by Hammer Nutrition and equipped with Garmin Fenix watch and Skechers GoBionic shoe, I lined up with the rest of the ultra-runners at East Coast Park (known for its hard surface that hurt your feet) at 7PM. Obviously, with Tey Eng Tiong around and a bunch of regular runners, taking photos are the warm up sessions for this race.
Some Malaysian runners before the race
From KM1 to KM40, I actually did not feel comfortable and decided to go slow and listen to my body. It seems the lack of sleep due to "surround sound system" (see Frank's blog) may have caused this and I do not want to risk it so early in the race, thus the very conservative pace. I joined up with Frank at 37.5KM mark and started run/walk with him until KM50 where we stopped and had our long supper break (biscuit, bread, noodle, coffee.... told you this is a well organized race right?). We completed the first 50KM around 6hrs 45 minutes and took a long break before resuming as we battled the feeling of sleepiness and the urge to nap.
Lucky draw before the race, was discussing race strategy with Yim and Frank as we know we are not lucky to win anything.
This long rest actually helps and Frank and I continued on to 60KM before I decided to move into the next gear alone. With project CARES in mind and having hit 80KM with almost 5 hours to spare, the goal to hit the century mark is real then and knowing there is enough time to make it, the plan is just to enjoy the Sunday crowds that has started to flood the park for their activities - cycling, skating, camping, running, family outings, picnics…... It makes the running less boring and doable, considering we have been running over 10 hours. At this point of time, every single KM marker is celebrated in my mind with a big yahoo!!!
Travelling slowly but surely progressing with every slow steps, I cross the 100KM mark with a timing of 14:51 and decided immediately it is time to rest, even though there is enough time for another 5KM (or if I start
to sprint, maybe another 10KM in :P). The goal has been achieved for the project CARES and nothing matters more than to get a well deserved rest after almost 15 hours of action. Dip my leg into the cold ice water and being served Hammer Recoverite while Frank help to bring me food, and not forgetting haagen-dazs ice creams, yeah!!! I said it many times, this is a very well and friendly race!
Completing 90KM and relieve only 1 more loop to go.
The GoBionic did well to carry me through the race even though my feet started to feel the impact after 70KM. The concrete race course indeed is a killer to many, some runners opt to run on the road adjacent to the route. A few runners ended with slippers as they walk the last few laps to finish off their races. As for me, the race however took a lot out of the shoe sole and it looks like a replacement is required soon for the next race. After 100KM in this race and at least 300KM of training and other races, this shoe has indeed serve me well. It is one shoe that works well if you are a fan of 0mm drop.

In general, Garmin Fenix gave me a reading of about 10.2KM per loop (over distance of 200 meters every lap, which ended with a whooping 2KM extra of run, not including of those detour to toilet, pit stops etc). Unfortunately, as I did not fully charged the watch, it stopped as I was looking at completing my last KM of the 100KM. The watch however is intelligent enough to save the workout (called track in Fenix) before it stops recording. It also has a range of information that is useful if you are a fan of data and information. The temperature as measured by Fenix range from 27 to 32 C throughout the race which is humid and warm while the elevation on the watch prove that East Coast Park is really a flat course with elevation ranging from 1m to 28m above sea level.
Wearing 2ndskin team t-shirt, Garmin Fenix, Skechers GoBionic passing through the checkpoint in the wee hours

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Project Dignity CARES : Exceeding Expectation

We have just concluded our Project DIGNITY CARES Campaign, whereby Team 2ndskin participated in a gruelling weekend of endurance racing in a bid to raise funds and create awareness for Dignity for Children Foundation. Our initial target to raise RM3,000.00 was not only achieved, but surpassed as at the end of the campaign, we managed to raise a total of RM4,188.00 !!! All of the funds collected will be channeled to Dignity for Children Foundation and Team 2ndskin and People Giving Organization do not take any amount from the proceeds.
Thank you to all of you that has sponsored!
The Team would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who have contributed, not only in terms of funds, but also moral support and sharing of awareness and of our campaign. Special thanks to People Giving Organization for creating this online portal and making campaigns easy to manage.

Our gratitude also to our band of sponsors, Skechers Malaysia (Adeline), Garmin Malaysia (Ivan) and Hammer Nutrition (Liz) for providing us with the necessary means and support during the entire campaign and throughout the calendar year 2013.

The Team believes in giving back to society and this campaign is just one of the many ways we can help in doing so. There will be many other activities we will line up for the rest of the year, so stay tuned for more update from Team 2ndskin's Project CARES!
All you contributors and sponsors help make the difference for the kids requiring education. We at Team 2ndSkin THANK YOU ALL again!