Monday, 23 June 2014

The Beaufort 100 Race Report : Azrul Deo Hussin

I would very much like to call this race the triple 7 edition, for reasons you will understand later. First, a little background about the race…

Beaufort Ultra Marathon is a road race held on the West Coast of Sabah, from the town of Beaufort to the coastal village of Kuala Penyu, which is rated as one of the hottest sections of asphalt in Malaysia. It was first held in December 2012 and continued a year later in 2013 before being moved to June for its 3rd edition in 2014. The first two editions were a 60km race before it was upgraded to 100km this year. The race has also been dubbed the hottest race in Malaysia due to the notorious heat and humidity, despite its flat route for the first two editions. In 2012, the temperature went up as high as close to 40-degree Celcius on midday and it stayed hot all day long. However, last year the Mother Nature blessed the runners with heavy downpour in the last quarter of the race after roasting us up earlier.

For 2014, the event took a little twist (or actually a giant leap), from 60km to the full 100km in distance. To make it harder, the Race Director has imposed a strict cut-off time to all participants, 15 hours, which is relatively short as compared to other 100km races I have experienced or read about (normally, the shortest cut off time would be 18 hours). Additionally, the all-flat route in the first two editions was replaced with rolling elevation from KM35 onwards. And when the number of participants is capped at 50, I already anticipated a lonely race where you wouldn’t be able to see any runner in front or behind you in most part of the race

This third edition would also mean my third Beaufort Ultra Marathon, having finished the first two editions. It would also be an attempt to complete my 7th 100km Ultra Marathon and befittingly, I was given a race bib with number 7!

Moving on to the race, the race started at 3am on Saturday morning just outside the River Park Hotel in the town of Beaufort. The RD informed that 38 participants actually made the start line this year, against 50 who had registered. A more lonely race, I reckoned. The spirit was high among participants that morning, probably as high as the humidity level. I know most of them from past races or from the social media and we exchanged well wishes before being whistled off by the RD to mark the start of the race.

The route:
The 100km race route
We started out of Beaufort new town heading in a Northern direction towards Klias and Kuala Penyu along the Beaufort-Kuala Penyu/Klias highway. It is a 30km section before reaching the main round about before headed towards the village of Menumbok and Mempakul, a busy little port that is the landing point for car and passenger ferries plying the Menumbok-Labuan and Menumbok-Brunei route. There was the KM64.5 checkpoint, by the seaside where you can see the huge ferry to Labuan crossing nearby. We headed out from the checkpoint towards Kuala Penyu on the same route when we came for about 10km before the race took us off the main road and on to the never-ending village roads along the beach to get to the finish line, also by the sea, somewhere in Kuala Penyu.

The Race:
The morning before we were flagged off at 3am. It was easy to spot me in the dark as I was wearing the glowing Skechers GOrun Ultra Nite Owl.
[photo by Hong Lan Tan]
My plan for the race is to finish within the cut-off time of 15 hours, which is equivalent to an average of 1 hour and 30 minutes per 10km, or 9-minute per km pace. I reckoned that this is easily achieved so I had upped the ante to try to challenge myself to finish under 12 hours and 30 minutes. A simple calculation is to do 50km in 6 hours for the first and second half of the race, with a 30-minute break at the designated midway checkpoint. I know it looks tough to move at the same pace in the second half of the race as in the first half, but I thought it would be good to have a simple plan and try to achieve it.

I was among the top half of the runners throughout the race. I remembered that the first 10km of the race was pretty fast with runners doing between 5:45- to 6:15-minute pace, as if it was a marathon race. I myself completed the first 10k in 1 hour and 5 minutes in 12th position. The legs feel strong although it was really humid that I was sweating a bucket like running in the middle of the day. In the first 30km, I could still have the sight of runners in front of me and tried to follow their pace. But the front five runners, they were gone from my sight little by little. I kept on hydrating myself every one or two kilometer with a sip of my Hammer Endurolytes Fizz and plain water.  I had never been this disciplined in hydrating myself that I would have to fill up at least half of each of my two 600-ml drinking bottles at every water station / checkpoint. Besides cold water and ice, there were cold sponges provided as well. The runners were also blessed with the presence of God-sent ‘independent, mobile support stations’ by Hong Lan Tan and Renee as well as Erwan’s team who provided us with icy cold Coke, 100 Plus as well as sponges.
Enjoying a dose of icy cold Coke from the God-sent Renee and Hong Lan Tan entourage, who supported the runners throughout the race.[photo by Hong Lan Tan]
From KM10 to KM20 checkpoint, I ran slightly faster as my body has warmed up and I tried to cover as much distance as possible before daylight. Managed to reach the KM30 checkpoint (the big Kuala Penyu roundabout) at the break of dawn and when the sun started to peek out looking at us. My timing in the first thirty kilometers as recorded at the checkpoints: 1 hour and 5 minutes (KM10), 2 hours and 4 minutes (KM20), and 3 hours 15 minutes (KM30).

As the day got brighter, the sun came out a little by little, the humidity level got higher, my pace got slower and slower. Nevertheless, I could still run decently and in a long continuous stretch. I took some walk breaks but just for one or two minutes every three to four kilometers or when we had to go up on the elevation. As mentioned earlier, the route was rolling after KM35 so does my pace – faster as we go downhill and slower going uphill. The weather remained hot and humid without any sign that it will rain of get cloudy. Only in certain stretched of the road that it got cloudy for a short while (because of the clouds) before we were exposed to the sun again. I was still on track of my target, doing 50km in 6 hours. In fact, my 42.2km (marathon distance) was done under 5 hours (4 hours and 53 seconds), very much to my delight! while I completed my 50km just a minute under 6 hours.

I could not see other runners in front or at the back of me except for the first four runners (Westerlin, Ahmad Fathi, Aliakbar and Jiffrey) who were already making their ways back from Menumbok to the finish line in Kuala Penyu. I started to walk more and by this time, I knew my target of 12 hours and 30 minutes would just gone in smoke. Nevermind the target, I still had the comfort of 9 remaining hours to complete my second 50km so I told myself to go easy in order to safely finish the race but still be cautious with the cut-off time. It was an uneventful stretch until the checkpoint at KM64.5.
Signing in at KM64.5 checkpoint. [photo by Hong Lan Tan]
I was very looking forward to arrive at the checkpoint as I knew that foods awaited us and as soon as I arrived there after 8 hours and 8 minutes racing, I signed in, put down my hydration bag, and right away took a packet of the ‘expedition dried meal’ of savory beef with rice and while waiting for my meal to be ready, I munched on Pringles while preparing my hydration for the rest of the race. The dried meal that comes in many flavors and can be purchased from Racing the Planet store are those being consumed by participants of 4Desert Race participants.  They’re delicious too! especially when you can’t find other foods around. There were also coffee, tea, 100 Plus and some other foods at the checkpoint.
Please do not disturb me! I was busy and in my elements with the foods served at the checkpoint.[photo by Hong Lan Tan]
I arrived at the checkpoint in 9th place. Not long after I arrived, the three runners in front of me (Herddy, Paviter and Ewegene) were about to leave while Judy Leslie, who eventually became the only lady finisher) took her sweet time to stretch, lay down and changed into fresh clothes while I took my own sweet time to enjoy my meal. There were no other runners arrived at the checkpoint while I was there and I overheard some communication took place saying that there would be a cutoff time imposed at that checkpoint, which is 10 hours, something I don’t have to worry about. Spent a good 40 minutes before decided to make my move to complete the remaining 35km or so. I was in 8th position as I went out ahead of Judy.

Not long after I got out from the checkpoint, I came across other runners making their ways to the checkpoint. Saw one after another, they were between 500m to as much as 2km apart, and we kept encouraging each other. As I knew there would be a 10-hour cutoff to be imposed at KM64.5 checkpoint, I could already estimated runners that would make the cutoff time but I still encouraged them to keep going strong, to at least make it to the checkpoint. It was again, a long and rolling road towards KM74.5, the same road we traveled on earlier but this time on different direction and different side of the road. I arrived at KM74.5 checkpoint at 1.13am which means that I had been in the race for more than 10 hours. It also means that I took about 1 hour and 15 minutes to travel the last 10km.

Arrived at the same spot, again. It was KM40 before but now, KM74.5. The point also marked the start of the long, long, long section before the finish line.[photo by Hong Lan Tan]
At KM74.5, runners were detoured from the main road and took the winding, rolling, and never-ending village route along the beach towards the finish line in Kuala Penyu. But before we arrived at the village, it was a boring route with only palm oil estates on both sides of the road. It was really rolling, beginning with a 10-degree elevation. I made my move slowly but surely, mixing my runs with short but more frequent walk breaks as well as the common strategy of running downhill and walking uphill. Luckily, the weather was on our sides, remained cloudy after noon. At times, I doubted that I was on the right route as I might have overlooked certain junctions or turns while my mind was not concentrating on the race. But once I got into the village area, I knew I was on the right track but I still stopped to ask the villagers and the kids whether I was on the right route to Kuala Penyu.  They could only affirm that but could not tell me how long more to go. Some said, “dekaaatt saja…” (just nearby) while some said “jauuuhh bah…” (still a long way). The funny thing is that, I have my Garmin watch with the race distance recorded and should know how long more to go but I just asked them to get some level of assurance and to get rid of the boredom.

I caught up with Ewegene near the final water station at around KM84.5 and moved into 7th position, which I kept until the end of the race. Now, did you get what number 7 means to me in this race? Bib number 7 for my 7th 100km Ultra Marathon, which I eventually finished in 7th position.
Caught up with Ewegene here. Cold sponges were our runners’ best friends during the race. [photo by Hong Lan Tan]
The two mobile, independent water stations roamed ups and downs checking on us whether there could be anything that we want to have (how I wish I could ask for shredded ice with rose syrup topping!). With around 15km to go, I still have 3 hours and 20 minutes from the cutoff time of 15 hours, which is more than enough even if I were to walk all the way from there onwards to the finish line. As timing is no longer a factor for me, it was all about finishing the race, no matter what my finishing time is. I walked more often and longer but when I ran, I ran relatively faster too. Arrived at KM95 at about 13 hours and 20 minutes but the final 6km++ was really a lazy, painful section for me. It was the longest 6km+, which I could only walk as my thighs and calves were already stiff and painful. I had to walk to avoid any cramp. So, I walked. All the way until 200m from the finish line. And safely, and proudly arrived at the finish line in about 14 hours and 31 minutes (still waiting for the official timing), greeted by Aman, the Race Director, who congratulated me as personally handed out my finisher t-shirt and token.
Finally! Completed my 3rd Beaufort Ultra Marathon and my 7th 100km Ultra Marathon in 14 hours and 31 minutes.
Not long after I arrived, Kian Chong arrived in 8th position, followed by Ewegene, Judy and Khairul Anwar to round up the top 10 positions. We were informed later that only 14 participants met the KM64.5 cutoff time and allowed to continue the race hence the Race Director nicknamed us as the #brave14. The low finishing percentage of 37% proved how tough the race was.  The Race Director had even warned in the race registration page that this race was meant for experienced (and serious) runners and again warned the participants during the pre-race briefing that we have to run and go hard during the race, and we should not expect to finish the race within cutoff time just by walking the entire course. All true! And I was glad that I ran hard in the first half of the race, that allowed me to have a good and lengthy break at KM64.5 checkpoint and took it easy during the remaining 35km of the race as I had a lot of time to spare.

Gear and supplements used:
For gears, I used 2ndSkin World Domination team t-shirt in VaporLite material, Kraftfit compression long bottom, Skechers GOrun Ultra Nite Owl, Wrightsock Coolmesh II socks, Garmin FR910XT watch, TeamSpyder shades, Ultimate Direction Krupicka hydration vest, Nathan waist pouch.

While for my supplements, besides Hammer Endurolytes Fizz which I used one tablet for every 300ml of water top-up, I also consumed 6 packs of Hammer Gel, 4 caps of Hammer Perpetuem Solid and 8 caps of Hammer Anti Fatigue Caps. For foods, I just consumed half of bun before the race and the meals provided at KM64.5.

I guess, after conquering this 100km race, the Bridge is not too far, after all. And after three times participating in this race, would I go for the 4th time? The answer is yes, I would, only if the organizer decides to continue with the race as earlier on, we were told by the Race Director that this would be the last of Beaufort Ultra Marathon.

<i>For my race details on Garmin Connect, click here for the first 660 meters and here for the rest of the race.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Melaka Marathon 2014 : Annie Yee

The marathon event turned out to leave a bitter taste in my mouth and something which I don’t know where should I start writing from… (Well, let me start from a good and enjoyable writing)

When the day my running mates aka my boyfriend, Jin Kuang persuaded me to sign up for this marathon, I had a bad feeling that something is going to go wrong in this race. At the same time, it coincided with the same day with another tower run which I had registered earlier. Nonetheless, to test my own lost confidence since Penang Bridge International marathon and my episode of falling down from my bike, I guessed this was the right timing for me to test myself. The quote of “DOWN BUT NOT OUT” popped out in my head when I clicked on the Malaysian women open category to register myself. 
Upon reaching Melaka, we went to collect our bibs as well as our friends bibs. It was a chaotic situation there. We were informed to wait while the crews went to take M size tees for us. Ultimately, the person in charged told us she has lost our friends bib in the recycle bags and probably other crew members have taken the bags away. Without wasting time, we asked for replacement but were told that they did not have extra chip and asked for our permission if they could just give us the bib number without the timing. How could this happen?! We sorted out the solution after that anyway.

There were a lot of familiar faces around the collection. I wouldn’t have known that the starting time of each category differed by 10 mins if Yum Kim Kok didn’t inform me. Great thanks to him! Apart from him, I bumped into Weng Woo from KL, Alvin from Klang and some runners who I haven’t met for some while.

Jin  Kuang and I walked to our place of accommodation which was located just few meters from the starting point, Hotel Sixty Six at Jalan Melaka Raya 3. The hotel is strategically located as surroundings are convenient stores (7-11, 24hours Marts), restaurants (Station One, Hailam Kopitiam, Ah Hui Bak Kut Theh) and banks. My boyfriend suggested the food for best carbo-loading would be as follows and I agreed that because I have been craving for spaghetti since long long time ago!!!
That night we tried to get an early sleep but there was a lot of noise and activity going on outside the hotel as it was a Saturday night.
I woke up right after the alarm rang. We prepared our gears and met our buddies. We met more and more familiar faces at the starting line. Not forget to thank Lee Lee's homemade muffins and her big smile did really soothe my nervous feeling. We wished every runner good luck and waited and waited..............17 mins past 4 in the morning and we were supposedly to start at 4:00 am. Runners started to make a commotion and the emcee just neglected the complains and kept on talking. Each sentence from the speaker sounded like lullaby to me, I wasn't focus on what he was saying. While seeking for the moon and praying hard, I heard was, " 3..2..1...."
REMARKS: As seen in above diagram, the last part of the marathon is so complicated....

I was running with moderate pace, around 4:40-4:50 km/hour. It was very humid and I could feel the heat was burning up my body. We went through some small streets and turned left and turned right which I didn’t know where I was heading to. There was a lady in front of me stopped for several times to ask for the direction while we passed by the seaside (I guess). There were a lot of cyclists dating hanging around and sitting on the bench looking at us passing by. “It is 4am in the morning, what are they doing at this time, aren’t they supposed to sleep at home instead of hanging out here?” Feeling uneasy, I followed the lady, trying to catch up with her. Still, I couldn’t make it. At 3.5km, I reached the first water station. But the board was written 5km. I assumed this marathon was going to be under distance.

I was running with a weak will, my mind kept telling me to stop and walk. Fighting with the devil, I chose to continue but with slow pace and counting each kilometer I passed through. I came to a roundabout at 15km and the lady stopped and doubted. I shouted at her to turn right.  When I ran towards the 20km water station, from far I saw the familiar face, Chooi Hooi standing there, had his hand on his waist. I pushed myself and he told me he had been there for the last 4 minutes waiting for me. Thanks God!

We started to pace each other up to a slightly steep slope and it was pitch dark. There was a tiny rat ran across the road and I was almost walking. I told him to ignore me if he wanted to go faster. Instead, he told me to hold on and there was left 7 water stations to go. I held the water bottle so tightly. I guess he saw it and asked me to throw away in order to run faster. We ran and saw Choy (sub3 runner) ahead of us and we sped off to pass him. Gradually, around 27km, Chooi Hooi slowed down and I ran alone....I ate my first Hammer Gel at 27.5km water station and one tablet of Endurolyte.

Once I ran down the slope, I turned around to see if Chooi Hooi had catched up with me but he did not. Choy’s strides were getting nearer and I thought he wanted to pace me but in fact no. He ran faster and faster...I passed by buildings on my left and right but the area was quiet. Suddenly, I felt my right butt was touched. One motorbike with two riders, in brown complexion flew off.
“Shall I shout?” I couldn’t recall. The immediate action I did was to run on the grassy side away from the road. A bus rumbled past me. I just kept on running with small strides. There was a guy 50 metres ahead of me. I ran besides him and talked to him. He came from Johor and he told me he wanted to speed after we reached a T-Junction. I saw Loh Choi Fern, known as Yuan Yu Fang’s apprentice was walking. She became aware that we were coming and she ran off. I tried to catch up with her but she was fast. Few hundred metres, she walked again.
I encouraged her when I ran besides her and had a chit-chat there. Her pace was slower, so I remained my pace and ran off.

Upon reaching the Melaka Raya street, I walked. It was almost 35 km. I was exhausted mentally. I took out another Hammer Gel and gorged it down. Left two water stations, Annie Go! Annie Go!!!I didn’t know when a motorbike appeared from out of nowhere leading me and I saw the finishing line. I thought I was going to there, instead of that, the motorcyclist brought me left-right-left junction till I stopped. My Garmin have shown 42.2km yet he led me astray and he even asked the police for direction. OMG!!
With 42.6km, finally I ran up the slope and to the finishing line.
Photo from Tey Eng Tiong. Thank you Sir!
A rank 9th tag was given by an Indian lady and I followed her instruction to a booth to claim my finishing tee and medal in a red plastic bag. The standard of the event was nowhere near international standard in my opinion~ I was looking around my boyfriend and asked around but no one saw him. I got nervous and worried that he didn’t not finish his marathon or he ran on the wrong route. At the same time, Chooi Hooi was back and I told him about that. He was really exhausted. We rested for a short while and walked back to the hotel to refresh ourselves. Thank God my boyfriend called just after I reached the hotel and he was in a rage and described how he ended up in police patrol car which was following the last participant of 21km. 

Everything was a mess. Even the prize ceremony happened in a chaotic situation. We were told that there was no Malaysian category anymore and many winners gathered beside the stage to find out the final decision. After all the VIP went off, only they gave the prizes for the Malaysian category

In summary, 8th of June 2014, I had a very bad experience which I don’t wish to mention anymore and lessons learnt. 
1. Ain’t going to support local and small marathons anymore. (my opinion)
2. Bring pepper spray along during training, especially for ladies.
3. Study the route in details before the race.

Last but not least, I am really grateful for the sponsorship, and my team members’ support and a lot of friends’ concerns. 2ndskintee has never disappointed me, never experienced chaffing and blisters .Kraftfitcompression pants has protected my recurring knee pain and Skechers Gorun Speed is my first choice for racing. Lastly, the Hammer Nutrition products, Perpetuem before racing, Gels and Endurolytes tablets during racing increased my energy level. This is undeniable. Of course, my advise to all still is train hard for a marathon! 

Monday, 16 June 2014

Skechers GoRun Ultra NiteOwl Edition Unboxing : Tri Stupe

Ed: Fresh out of the over, Stupe writes about the new NiteOwl in GoRun Ultra edition. It turned some of us in the team green with envy. But we are all happy it's glowing for him. Here is his unboxing review.
Skechers GoRun Ultra NiteOwl Edition Unboxing
Skechers GoRunUltra has been in store for the past few months and I've used it past 250km to date specifically just for trail running and shorter run on the tarmac. If you missed the review and unboxing of this model, head over to these links:
Skechers GoRunUltra [Unboxing][Review 1][Review 2]
My last use of the shoe was at Sabah Adventure Challenge 2014 where it clocked no less than 80km over 3-days back to back. Cycled through a full dry-wet-dry condition over different type of terrain and soil condition. While clearly worn off at the sole, the shoe is still serving me for my runs in the trails and road. 
part of product testing (and torturing)
Then there were talk about "If The Trail Shoes comes with NiteOwl version". Imagine the shoe glowing in the trail or the darker/shadier part of the trail. It would be cool, isn't it?
And It Happened
I received a message last week asking me to head over to the HQ as there is a new stock of shoes arriving and the NiteOwl now comes in GoRunUltra and GoRunRide3 variant. Instantly, I could not resist to request for the GRU Niteowl. 
As it turned out, the new Niteowl now comes in different (color) glow. It was previously blue as seen on the GoRunRide2. Now, the additional would be Green and Fuchsia (pink). Ready for the Green RunUltra?
A Quick Unboxing
I was too excited that the GRU Niteowl came right out of the box the moment I got home. On the first impression, you will not noticed anything different compared to the existing GRU.
Glow, in capital E(xcitement)
That is until you take a longer look and realised that the shoe's material has been changed at most parts except the dual-density sole. Starting with the top layer of the new GoRunUltra, the material appears to be thinner and more cloth-like, lending even more flexibility. I am awaiting confirmation from Skechers on what they are naming this material.
The GoRunUltra NiteOwl
The 4-way mesh of GoRunUltra
 The side synthetic mesh and overlay too, received a refresh of new material.
More mesh-like to promote air circulation?
Original GRU with the closer mesh-like material
Essentially, there was the only differences (not counting one GLOW in the dark). The sole is the dual-density material that offer both stability and support. The Rigid Resagrip offers the stability while the softer midsole layer offers support. The design of the GoImpulse sensor or pods were the exact same. Other features of the shoes between the non-NiteOwl version and this is the same. M-Strike and integrated sewn down tongue just to name two obvious same.
Old (left) and New (Right)
One of the key issue is that the GRU pods doesn't seems to last too long. The wear and tear looked extreme when compared to the other model. I am not entirely sure if this is true or otherwise but I did noticed the differences especially the forefoot area. I have clocked about 250km on the older (red) GRU.
See the wear in the old shoe?
The grip or traction in the trails, however were the same as day 1 if you ask me. Seems the function of the pod to grip/provide traction did not diminish despite the seems like high wear rates. Perhaps there are material refresh for the GRU NiteOwl, and I can only tell once I put the shoe through the usual running route and abuse. 
A 360 view of the GRU NiteOwl
The GRU NiteOwl has Glow in dark material at the appropriate places such as the front, side, the back (heel cup) and the tongue. Reflective material was placed in the same location as the original.
Charging it under the sun
view from 7'oclock position
Back of Heel. The "Nite Owl" is reflective
The Tongue
The Glow
Ready? The photos will speak for itself. This was taken inside the home's slightly darker corner in mid afternoon, after leaving the shoe under the sun for about 2-hours. Photo as it is taken using my hand phone at approximate ISO1600 and 1/14s exposure.

To be tested side by side in a run, soon?
Note: This pair of Skechers GoRunUltra in NiteOwl variation is sponsored by Skechers Malaysia via collaboration with 2ndSkin Asia Athletes program. Thank you Skechers Malaysia and 2ndSkin! This pair is retails for RM449(men) and RM429 (women) in Peninsular Malaysia and will be available in all stores this week. Opinion in this write up is my own and not influenced by Skechers Malaysia or 2ndSkin program.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Komtar Tower Run Race Report : Jun Shen

Initially I thought I have to give this event a miss as my ship was scheduled to come back Lumut on the 7th of June. I checked out the website knowing that I had to collect my race kit in Penang on the 31st, which is impossible for me because I was in the middle of the sea participating in a joint nation military exercise. I immediately contacted my 2ndskin teammate Annie Yee, and without hesitation she agreed to help me with it. Obviously, my mileage says I’m not gonna be a competitive racer this time. My working environment this time just doesn’t allow me to run around the ship, we had jets flying over our ships simulating air attack, helicopters ready on the helo deck for anti submarine operations, loaded canon for firing practice and so on. It was an intense joint military exercise and I can’t be running around with all this hazards around me. However, I’m a strong believer that I could do something about it. Every day I’ll be spending total of 40 minutes doing strength training whenever I can squeeze in sometime to work on core muscles. I use a lung trainer to improve my breathing and started packing my race kits when I was at sea, I needed every single advantage to cover up on my lack of mileage. 

Upon my arrival at Lumut Naval Base, I settled all my taskings and pushed off to Penang in the evening. Met up with Michael’s family, had good Penang food and settled myself down after getting all my race kits ready. Team2ndskin vapor skin super lightweight racing tee, kraftfit ultralight compression wear, Hammer Anti Fatigue Caps to keep my sore muscles aside, and not forgetting my superfast Skechers Limited Edition GoSpeed. Everything checked! To get rid of my pre race jitters, I had two bowls of sup kambing and chapati, nasi kandar sotong and kuah kambing, mango lassi and durian. My eyelids were really heavy after the awesome carboloading, I felt so sleepy that it overcame my jittery feelings. I had a really good sleep. I have finally found a good method to solve my nervousness.

This is a bottleneck race where everyone gotta sprint 2km and then squeeze into the narrow staircase of Komtar Tower to climb our way up to 58th floor.  Bumped into many familiar faces, chit chat while warming up, choke in 2 gels and Hammer Anti Fatigue Caps, I was ready for it. My game plan was easy, ran as hard as possible to place myself in the front pack so that I won’t be blocked by other racers before climbing. First loop for the run, Ong Wei Xiang and I were in front tailing the Kenyans. Although it feels great running below 4mins/km, I didn’t know what was happening behind us. 500m before entering the tower, Calvin Boon came passed me with 4 other runners and he yelled my name “Hey Chan!”, he made it look so easy. I think they were flying at 3.30mins/km.

The position of front pack doesn’t change much once we entered the stairs, that’s why I wanted to squeeze into the stairs as fast as possible. Overtaking in such narrow and stuffy place can take bigger effort than overtaking on the road. First 20 floors I was running up the stairs, then the sufferfest starts at 30th floor. I kept asking the volunteers how many floors to go despite I was aware that I have to go all the way up to 58th floor. Hahaha. I started panting like an 80 years old man, my muscles was screaming in agony while I silently said Shut Up Legs! =p Anyway, this race is not as stuffy as KL Towerthon, the stairs are wider and higher, I had to run with “bigger gear”. 
By the time I reached 40th floor, I was overtaken and overtaking a few runners, I wasn’t sure what was my position, but I’m damn sure top 10 in hand already. I believe my pia face must be looking really ugly at the 50th floor. Hahaha! Picking Skechers Limited Edition Go Speed was an aweome choice, I didn’t want too much cushion to slow me down every stride I make. GoSpeed is stiff and responsive, ultra lightweight and very breathable, the carbon plate under the sole kept flexing and bounce back to help me run at higher pace. It’s the best shoes I can ever ask for! In my training I normally alternate Skechers GoBionicRide and Skechers GoSpeed, so that I could get my running techniques right and test my top speed. Despite my horrible training mileage, I managed to score 16 mins and got 8th placing in men open category, one place behind my long time rival Ong Wei Xiang. I consider this as a competitive performance, not too bad! =) 

Overall the race organizing was average, traffic control was average due to cars coming into our race course, drinks were adequate, marshals and volunteers were sufficient, splitting the racers into two waves and two different staircase for each wave was a great idea, staircase was very well ventilated, and I like the prize giving area inside the dome that kept all of us away from the sun. Gonna get some rest and prepare for my Penang Urban Triathlon next weekend, hopefully I can settle all my taskings on my ship and put myself on the starting line next week. 

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Team 2ndSkin Running Clinic No. 4


Team 2ndskin will be conducting the next Running Workshop for Beginners as per below details:

Date: 7th June 2014 (Saturday)
Time: 0645 - 0830
Location: Desa Park City (Meetup at open free carpark next to football field)
Registration: email your details to to book your slot (first come, first get a slot)

Please bring your own water/hydration and come in running attire and running shoes. Punctuality is of utmost importance!

See you there!!