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Monday, June 29, 2009

My First Marathon

[Warning: This is a super long entry. So, unless your boss is not around, please ask a friend to watch over your back to make sure your “line is clear”]

I have lots of things to share that I don’t know from where to start. I have been collecting all those key points on what to blog about in my head (mind blogging) since Saturday, but I believe most of them have been lost somewhere while I was running the 42km marathon.

OK, let’s just start with a little bit of how I prepared for my maiden marathon.

First, I just had the intention to do a 21km or 30km run after seeing some friends crossing the finishing line at the GE run in January this year. I never thought of doing a marathon yet at that time. Running for 42km for me at that time would be a suicidal move. Plus, for an Olympic distance triathlon which the running distance is only 10km, I did not do much of running other then the once in a while 40~50 minutes run.

Having the intention to perhaps one day join a long distance run, and while training for Kenyir triathlon (April), I added my running mileage bit by bit in the interest to know whether I can run further. I started off with 1hr 20minutes run, then increased to 2hours run, and then 24km run, 30km, and peaked at 35km. The excitement of being able to beat yourself (as in adding more mileage) is great.

At the end, I registered myself for a marathon. And now I’m blogging about how my first marathon went.

Race Bib Collection, Saturday
The afternoon of last Saturday, I went to Dataran Merdeka to collect the race bib. Please don’t laugh but that’s the first time I stepped my foot at Dataran Merdeka. So, on that Saturday, I felt like a tourist. Snap photos here, snap photos there.

I then made my way to the many tents and glad to clearly see where I should be heading with the aid of signs in front of each tents.

At first, I was surprised to see that there were actually not so many runners at the registration tent at that time. Not only later at night that I read from blogs that many have turned up on Friday for the collection, and it was not a smooth sailing one. As for me, I grabbed my race package in a blink of an eye (please blink slowly ok) and I then toured around to observe what else were going on over there.

There were a few sponsors’ tents nearby, but none of them really caught my attention. I was keener to see if there is anyone who I know. Nope, nobody recognizable was in sight. So, I walked back towards Masjid Jamek LRT station and made myself looked like a tourist again, snapping photos here and there.

Once at home, I had a late lunch and dozed off for couple of hours.

Night Before The Race
I did not dare taking huge amount of food for dinner, as I was afraid it will cause me problem the next morning. Once settled with dinner, I prepared the stuffs needed for race day. The race number on race belt, Powerbar Gels, ORS, tri top, long tights, cap, shades, shoes, etcetera. Other than the goodie bag itself, the contents of it was not up to my expectations. There was the race vest, a face towel, runners guide book and the race number. Other contents are worthless to be mentioned here. No Powerbar gels, no nothing.

Goodie bags (the bag itself) for triathlon events should be as good quality as this one. No more paper bags please.

Oh yeah, a bit of free advertising here. Since I’ve decided to use my sleeveless tri-top, I bought a Body Glide anti-chafing stick from The Bike Boutique. It really does the job. I get zero chafing at the marathon.

The Sleepless Sleep
At 11pm, I tried my best to get some eyes shut. Knowing that my brain will be active and causing me to be unable to sleep, I opted to plunge my ears with songs from my handphone. After three songs from the play list, I get bored (instead of sleepy) and switched on to the radio instead. Even worse! Listening to the DJ’s voices did not help much, so I switched back to my play list.

Suddenly, a loud sound of ‘incoming message’ tune blew into my ears (I was using headphones).

”Good luck marathongers!”, the sms said.

Nope, I did not do any typo error here. I just copied it down 100% as how I received it. And I got the sms at 12:05am from a good friend of mine, when I was semi-sleep and semi-awake.

12:05 MID NIGHT!!!

I wonder whether the sms was sent really to wish me luck, or to sabotage my sleep. Knowing that a single reply to that single sms will spread into a chat with multiple sms-es, I chose to reply it with other means, some other time (just kidding, hehehehe). I continued trying to sleep.

I don’t know whether I really fell asleep or not, but it was good enough that I was able to wake up at 2.45am.

Race Morning
After a quick shower and a breakfast of bread and cheese, I hopped on a ride with Kash and Rais to event location. As we arrived at Lake Garden to park the car, we met Day-O and her two friends. We then walked to the Dataran.

At this point, I had to leave the camera and other belongings in the car, so no more pictures from my camera from now onwards.

It started to drizzle as we arrived at dataran. I’m so not ready to run with wet shoes. Anyway, we did some warming up run together with some Kenyan runners. I can tell you one thing. If I can run with their warming up run pace all the way (those Kenyans’), I could have clocked a sub 4 hours marathon very easily. That’s how fast they ran during the warming up.

All runners were called to gather at the starting line at 4:45am albeit the drizzle. I just kept myself close to Kash and Day-O as I wanted to pace with them. I was looking around in the crowd to see if there’s anyone else that I know, just to give a final word of encouragement. I did not feel so nervous standing at the starting line in spite of this being my first time doing a marathon.

”I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this” was all I have in my mind at that time.

The gun went off at 5am and about 20 or 30 seconds later I started to run with the crowd, slowly. It was truly amazing to be in that atmosphere, not knowing many of the people around, and yet, we were all aiming one thing for sure – to cross the finish line.

The Run
To help make things clearer, I put here the map of the 42km route we had to go through.

The tricky bit during the first kilos of the run was to keep on at your own pace. You better not go too fast of a pace following the runners in front of you, as you will end up suffering later on. You have to tell yourself that it’s ok to be running slower than other people. At one point I too had increased my pace unintentionally, but once I noticed it, I slowed back and re-joined the group.

The drizzle had somehow stopped, but the road was pretty wet. I accidentally ran over a water spot and wet the toes of my shoes. Arggghhh. I was so not prepared to run with wet shoes and socks, but in that condition I got no other choice. I did not bring any spare socks. Thus, my shoes and socks remained wet throughout the entire run.

During the first 5 or 8 km or so, I observed something very interesting (not sure if the word interesting is the best to describe it though). At every few hundred meters between here and there for the first 5 to 8km, lots of male runners made a quick stop for pee by the bushes, or lamp posts, or billboard pillar posts, or big ditch, or wherever they felt appropriate in the given situation (dark, no one will care, no dogs, no police, no cameraman). It was like a “pee fiesta” to me. I even heard a dialogue between two guys who were running besides me;

”Eh, why only men peeing while running hah? The ladies no need to pee meh?”

“Maybe the ladies pee in their pants lor”, said the other guy.

I choose not to give any comments here.

10km
I’m not so familiar with KL so I did not really recognize where I was running. I could only recognize KL Sentral. Other than that, they were all buildings and roads to me. I did not stop at the first and second water stations as I am already used to running 10km without drinking in the middle. Coming to the third water station, I heard Day-O and Kash said they wanted to stop for drink and toilet stop. Still feeling good, I decided to continue my run – solo this time.

I remembered clocking 1hr 08min for the first 10km of the run. By this time, I can’t see Kash and Day-O at the back anymore. Still feeling strong, I proceeded with my run, keeping at a very comfortable pace. How did I tell I was comfortable – my breathing said it all. I was feeling good that my breathing was constant all the way, so does the heartbeat. I was not pushing it at all (which explains why I am yet unable to target super duper fast timing).

At about the 12km mark, there was a small mosque just by the road side where I went in to perform Subuh prayer and then make my toilet visit. As I got in, one runner was about to finish his prayer and as I was about to finish, another runner just arrived. Whether this is a coincident or not, I would like to thank the organizer who have chosen or designed this route. The timing to get to this location was just nice, still ample of time to perform the prayer even if you run quite slowly.

I spent about 5 minutes at the mosque. Bladder was emptied, so I’m happy that I can now run without any further urge to pee. Not long after resuming the run, I felt hungry and fortunately a few kilos ahead there was the water station with bananas. Gulped two cups of drinks and grabbed one banana. I was surprised that the effort to swallow the banana was like, effortless. I tried chewing and swallowing a Milo bar in one of my long run training, but I could barely get that done successfully. So, banana is my new choice of running food for now.

Then, we get into the very long stretch of Jalan Tun Razak. I could now recognize the IJN, the national library, the Hospital Pusrawi and Istana Buadya alongside it. Traffic was already building up at some intersections where the traffic officers closed them. It’s true with what other runners said in their blogs, that Malaysia citizens are yet to have higher civilization in the sense of doing something or giving something for free, as in cheering for marathon runners. But they would go crazy to get things for free.

18km into the run, I started to feel the pain at my toes. Ouch! This pain is rather quick arrival as compared to those I had during my training sessions. I downed a Powerbar gel, somehow with the hope that it would stop the surfacing pain. The clouds on top of me had started to get dark, literally speaking.

From then on, I stopped at every water station, not much of wanting to drink and drink and drink, but also as a quick break for my run. The pain was still bearable at this time, but not later towards the end.

20km
Passing the 20km mark, I still couldn’t see any glimpse of Kash and Day-O. I’m sure they were already in front when I stopped for my prayer at 12km. I’ve been running almost another one hour and still can’t see any shadows of them. They must have been running pretty steadily.

A few kilos later, I started to see them far in front. And with that, I was glad to know that somehow I was running slightly faster than them, as I can catch up with them. I can’t really tell my pace, and I don’t have any other means to gauge my pace other than knowing that if I can catch up with the guys in front, that means I’m running a bit faster than them.

I caught up with them exactly in front of KL Convention Center. We stopped for a quick photo snap with Kash’s handphone, and then I continued my run with the hurting legs.

Me, Day-O and Kash in front of KLCC – photo courtesy of Kash.

From then onwards, I can’t really tell what was going on and I can’t remember much of anything things else other than the feeling of pain creeping in from my toes, to the calves, to the thighs. It started to transform from a bearable one, to, obviously, unbearable. More than meets the eye?

I forgot where it was actually, but I first started to include a walk break into my run as I was running up one slope. I so much wanted to continue running, but I guess I may have lost it to my brain who was telling me to walk it up and save some energy for the remaining of the run.

”Nevermind, just walk if I have to. I’m not aiming for a podium finish by the way”, a sweet talk to myself (lots’ more of this will come later on).

30km
Every kilos after the 30km mark was like a never ending journeys. Checking my time, it has already been near to 4hours as I passed the 30km mark, much slower that what I did during my long distance training (which was done in 3hrs40minutes if I’m not mistaken).

”Nevermind, it’s ok to slow down. I’m already having this pain in the legs. Just keep on going”, another sweet self talk.

There were a few water stations that already went out of water supply. Gosh, what a bad situation that was for us the marathon runners. I was already running low on my fuel belt bottles I carried and without proper and continuous dehydration, things can turn ugly as we still have around 10km to run.

At 35km mark, which is equal to the longest distance I’ve ran in my life, I was so determined to keep on running and just get to the 42km mark, i.e. the finishing line. The pain in the legs were already unbearable but I gathered as much mental strength as I could to ignore the pain. I know if I could continue the run without much walk breaks, I can do a sub 5 hours marathon.

I’m having difficulty now (as I blog) to recall what went on and what I saw, because all I could remember was the pain in my legs. I was just hoping that the pain just remain as pain, and not turn into a cramp. Cramp is far more painful than pain.

I know the organizer may have put some initiative to locate some supporters by the roadside to cheer the runners. But, why only starting from 35km mark onwards? Was the supporters located there mainly to cheer for full marathon runners, or was it mainly just for 10km runner who shared the same route? Plus, at each locations of those supporters, they were only three of them cheering in a blue ‘volunteer’ t-shirts and caps!

Shame, shame, shame.

I would applause more to those individuals who were standing alone in the middle of no where just to cheer and clap for marathon runners. I saw a few, mainly foreigners. Every time I passed them and each of them cheered on me, I would say “thanks’ to them, without a miss. I’m trying to show some appreciation to their effort, something that I wish to see more runners doing so. It’s too bad to see even some runners just pretended like there was nobody there cheering them. Yes, we are all in pain for the long run, but it does not cost anything just to say thanks, right?

I would say the 35 to 39km was the most painful period of the run, which made the distance travelled felt like the longest ones. At one point, I started to feel a glitch of a cramp on my left calf, and with not much water left to dilute one ORS sachet that I carried, I just simply strip off the ORS sachet and put all the contents into my mouth, and forcing it down my throat then only sipped a little bit of water. Ugly, very ugly. Don’t try this even when you are at home.

Getting to 39km, I get this funny thing that whenever I started to walk, I will start to feel cramp in my legs. When I run, the cramp disappeared and the pain in the legs took over. And when I started to walk again, I started to feel that the cramp is coming. So, which one to choose? Run and bare the pain, or walk and get the cramps?

40km
On the left is the 39km mark, and on the right is already Dataran Merdeka and I could already see the finishing chute. And why on earth did they make us see the finishing line and still we have to run another 3km? They wanted us to start sprinting, was it?

I wish I can go back and re-measure the 39km to 40km distance with a meter or something to make sure it was really 1km. Because it did look as it was 1km at all. It was like 2km, or maybe 1.5km.

Too close, yet still too far.

Upon seeing and passing through the 41km distance marker, I started to push myself in the sense of wanting to run to the finish line without any more walk breaks. I wanted to finish strong. But, just few minutes after that, I really got attached with cramp in my legs – the real one. The one where I could see the muscle in the calves getting squeezed inwards, on my both legs. Luckily I did not fell down like a timber. I know I need to stretch out the legs or else the cramps will stay there. The only thing I could think of was to grab the tree besides the road, and do what I can do to stretch my legs. I did not want to sit myself down as I was afraid I could never stand up.

As I was grabbing this tree and stretching both my legs out, I noticed people at the surrounding were already looking at me with a question marks on their forehead. I guess they may be thinking what on earth was this guy doing, trying to push down the tree.

When the cramp subsided, I continued a bit of walking before finally running my way through towards the finishing line. I could not really smile as I was holding to the great pain of another cramp attack in my legs. Some runners were really sprinting to the finish line. I wanted to do the same, but I just don’t want to get embarrassed by falling down just meters from the finishing line with all the crowds looking at me crying for the cramps I have in my legs.

By running slowly doesn't mean I can't finish the race strong, right?

I finally crossed the 42.195km distance with an official time from my stopwatch of 5 hours and 16 minutes.

”Yes, I did it. I did it!!! I’ve done a marathon, yeay!!!”, I was smiling in my heart.

After The Run
It was not as I would have anticipated as I crossed the finishing line. The finishing medal or icy cold face towel were not given as soon as we crossed the finishing line, unlike in triathlon events. And water stations or fruit stations were no where to be found. I thought re-hydration is the first thing to do after finishing a marathon, but where on earth is the water station?

I did not see any familiar faces as I crossed the finishing line, and not knowing what exactly to do I walked to the massage tent. I told the nurses that I got cramps at both legs, at the calves. They ran ice and cold water on my calves as I lay on the portable bed (like those used by the army). What a sensational feeling. At the same time, I was being interviewed for a quick questionnaire by another nurse to which some of the questions I answered her with, “So sorry but I’m so tired now and my brain is not working well. Just tick any of the answers on the questionnaire for me please, I don’t mind at all.”

Soon later, I saw Kash running cross the finishing line with a time of roughly 5 hours 25 minutes. Day-O was not with her, so I thought she might got dropped somewhere, or Kash must have sprinted since 39km distance marker.

After that, we walked to the tent to claim our medal and finishers' t-shirt. Another big dissapoinment as there were no more M size t-shirts. They've taken our data (of what size of t-shirt we wanted), but yet they said M size have finished? I could still see loads of L and XL sizes on the table and don't tell me they were much more big size marathon runners than smaller size runners. Not that I'm disrespecting the capabilities of big size runners, but it was just weird of what the organizers were doing. Very dissapointing indeed.

I then took the opportunity to meet and make new friends. Among others were Juliana (missjewelz), Abu-tersangat-power together with his family members, Shah, Nik Arif, Dicky, Fairul, Syukri, Zulhassan and Haza the famous runningmom. There maybe others that I met, but please accept my apology for not being able to remember every one's names now.

At the finishing line – photo courtesy of Kash again

The Conclusion
As a whole, I was glad that I signed up for it and trained as much as I could before attempting it. At least, I started the run with enough confidence that I can finish the run, although I know it was going to be painful.

The experience to have done a marathon was simply – priceless.

Whether I’ll do another marathon?

Well, ask me this question again after Hari Raya ok.

Well done to others who have ran the full marathon, or half marathon, or 10km. You surely did a great job. Keep it up okay! Till we meet again at another events, triathlon or marathon.

- THE END -

p/s: I took roughly the same amount of time to write this blog entry as I took to finish my marathon. More than 3750 words altogether (count if you wish). This is the longest entry in my blog, so far. I’ve told you it is a super long entry, haven’t I? Well, hope you enjoy it.

SCKLIM - quickie

Luckily keyboard was not invented to be used by legs, or else I won't be able to update this blog for another three days, ermm, maybe four days.

Just for a quick update, yes folks, I survived my first marathon!

And yes, I'm now walking like a limping little duck. Muscle soreness all over the body, especially the legs. I'd kill slap anyone who ask me to go up or down on a staircase. I'm serious. Dead serious!

I resume working as normal today morning, as if nothing big had happened during last weekend. And I'm going to use this lame excuse to kindly ask you to re-visit this blog after 24hours to see if I could already manage to put up a full story of my first marathon

Friday, June 26, 2009

Time to go

To all who are taking part in the SCKLIM 2009, whether the 5km, or 10km, 21km or the full 42km categories...

ALL THE BEST OF LUCK TO YOU ALL!!!

To those who are not taking part, but have some time to spare on this Sunday morning, we would love to invite you all to come and witness. Who knows, it might boost or spark an interest inside your heart into running as you may see all kind of people, big and small, young and old, battling the pain and agony to run or walk, or even crawl to the finishing line. Bring along your family, and digital camera. More info about it can be found here.

It's going to be my first time running the full marathon - 42.195km altogether.

It's also going to be my first time travelling around KL on foot.

It's going to be the longest physical endurance activity for me for now (lasting for more than 4 hours, or 5 hours, or 6 hours, gulp!).

It's time to make and meet new friends, to smile at each other, to encourage each other.

It's time to have fun.

Yeah, it's time to have fun.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tapering is weird

I was an active school boy who never fails to sweat out every evening. It would either be playing volleyball, tennis, ping-pong, hockey, or whatever they have back there in school. As far as I was concerned, to be better at sports, you have to keep on training, training and training. You will only rest if you are having fever, or injured your body parts, or when the weather does not permit.

At that time, the word taper meant nothing to me. Never heard of it before.

Yes, I’ve done Olympic distance triathlon twice, but I did not train for them to my fullest satisfaction, if you can understand what I mean. And for that reason, I didn’t remember whether I did tapering or not. I was more nervous for not clocking enough training mileage that I never really bothered about tapering well.

Can a reduced mileage of swim, bike or run training just few days before a triathlon event be considered as tapering?

However, I’ve started my preparation for marathon quite a long time ago that there was a point where I felt training is becoming a burden. My training started off with building up the base strength, then increasing the running mileage from week to week, then peaking at one point, and now am slowing down, with the respect of tapering. Oh gosh, I can’t wait to get done with the marathon.

For me, I started tapering the next week after I reached the longest mileage training of 35km, which was 3 or 4 weeks ago. Now, coming to the very last week before marathon, things are getting a little bit weird.

Weird because, I have to tell myself not to go running at all in the evening as to rest my body and leg muscles. It’s like forbidding myself from taking daily shower.

Weird because, I used to carry my running gear to work everyday (to go running after work), and now I don’t bring anything to work. Can I say “I feel like I’m naked”?

Weird because, it’s difficult to digest that resting is part of the training.

Well, perhaps I should just live with this weirdness – for the time being.

M.A.R.A.T.H.O.N

M – Mind over body, as some people would think about it

A – A good 42km of distance to cover. Flat or hilly, rain or shine

R – Run would be good, walk if you get tired, and crawl if you have to

A – After all, you are only racing with yourself

T – Time to prove that you can do it, time to believe in yourself

H – Hours upon hours of training have been done

O – On the race day, just go for it

N – Never give up… and you will cross the finishing line.

Monday, June 22, 2009

OMGIMA!

My weekend was great, had lots of activities (read: more than one activity) and I’m still tired (actually I’m sleepy) to blog much about it today. I arrived JB by bus from KL at 3am-ish this morning, and tried to get better sleep (read: with my back laying flat on the bed, not crooked like on the bus seat) at the house before having to wake up for the normal weekly routine – WORK!

In short, this was how I spent my weekend:

Saturday morning
Had a short run with Kash at Kiara Park. Hills, hills and hills! I attacked them all (“attack” in my vocabulary simply means, run up the hills slowly and try not to walk). Total of only about 10 ~ 11km, done within 1.5hr (I told you it was a short run), that would be my last training for marathon.

Err, maybe I’ll just do some fast walking tomorrow for half an hour. But will definitely do ZERO sports related physical activities from Thursday onwards. No swim, no bike, no run.

Saturday noon
After the run, I quickly get changed and together with my brother and sister in law, we all went to KL Bird Park. This was my first time going to the bird park, and it was awesomely fun bringing the family there, especially my beloved wife and daughter. They had a blast there and I shot lots of photos. Hopefully I got some spare time to blog about it.

Saturday night
Met some old school friends at Island Red Café, at Sunway Damansara. Food was great. The bonus of the night – food was free! Yummy…

Sunday
Spent most of the morning time sleeping (read: resting) at mom-in-law’s place, and wifey cooked my favorite dish as to celebrate Father’s day – a superlicious roasted chicken.

[Photo had to kidnap from internet, because I forgot to snap it before eating]

What a healthy and delicious menu for lunch. "Thank you daun keladi my dear, lain kali buat lagi ye".

And I continued a little bit more of resting activity after the lunch.

”Gendang gendut tali kecapi…
Kenyang perut.. tido laaaa apa lagi…”

Ok, need to get back to work. And I’m still sleepy.

OhMyGodIt’sMondayAgain

OMGIMA

Friday, June 19, 2009

Free Tests

Yes, I love FREE stuffs. Who doesn’t, right?

Though what was advertised did not come out 100%, there was a free blood pressure and urine test (and supposedly a cholesterol test) held at my working place today. Free test, so I did not let go of that chance.

Three leng-lui were already in the conference room upstairs, waiting for employees to come and get their free deals of tests. From downstairs, I walked up the staircase (which may have boosted a little bit of my blood pressure and heart rate pulse) and was then given a colorful strip.

”Ok, you pee on all five colors ya…”, I was told by one of them.

Hmm, this is kind of new to me. I thought I would be given the usual transparent urine container with yellow cap that I used to be given every time I do urine test. I still remember on my very first urine test which I did for a medical check-up, I almost overflowed the urine container. Can’t stop the pee, and the medical office never told me to fill it up, or just to gather a little bit of urine (well, I was a naïve 17 years old boy that time, and it was in the morning after a breakfast, surely my bladder was full maa).

Ok, back to the colorful urine strip.

I was just done with my morning rituals before heading up to the conference room, and it was not without a little bit of ‘forcing’ that I managed to wet the urine test strip. Not much of what I anticipated to happen to the strip (I was hoping to see some blinking or shining or discoloration to the strip), but it just stayed on with the original colors, only this time wet with my pee on it.

The strip was then being analyzed very scientifically with the precision ability of the eyes to match the color on the strip, with the reference they had on the bottle of the test strips.

My urine test result came out as, ”Hmm, everything looks ok. No blood, no ketone, no glucose, a little bit of protein and the pH was a bit less than normal which means you need to drink more water”

I almost shouted, ”What?? No glucose? But I’m an athlete and I just had a breakfast of nasi lemak and you are saying that there’s no glucose? How on earth am I going to run a marathon next week without any glucose in my body hah?”

Suddenly I realized that this is only a urine test, not a blood test.

If there is glucose in my urine, that would mean that I have diabetic problem. Thank goodness. Phew, luckily I did not sleep during biology lectures during schooldays.

Next was the blood pressure and pulse test. It was done with the electronic device at which I need to slid in the arm band above the elbow, and with one push of a button the device does its job to take the measurements.

Everything’s under control. Not high of a possibility for me to turn green and tear off my shirts and jeans and shoes today.

”I’m resting today lah... I’ll go broke if everyday needs to buy new shirts and jeans and shoes you know…”

Thursday, June 18, 2009

T-Minus 10 days

Well folks, it’s another 10 days before the marathon. So, what can you do in these final days? This is what I plan to do.

I will just sit back, relax and try to update this blog as to distract my nervousness most importantly, inject as much positive thinking as I could possibly do.

As a newbie in this endurance running sport, I may be called an insane to do my first ever running race in a 42km category. No, I’ve never done any running race before other than those 10km run I needed to do as part of triathlon events. That’s why apart from sufficient training and proper eating and resting for the body, the brain also needs its own ‘food’, in the form of positive thoughts.

I shall be thinking that the marathon is for me to enjoy or celebrate what I’ve been doing prior to it. I shall also be thinking of it as an opportunity for me to get around Kuala Lumpur on my foot. As well as using that chance to meet and make more friends among the athletes. It will definitely be an amazing experience.

”If other people can do it, so can I…”

“Our body and mind can be trained to adapt to the challenge…”

“To be, or not to be… it’s up to you”

I mean, it's up to me.

Those are among few quotes or thoughts that have initiated my intention to run a marathon. I have no other reasons on why I choose to do a marathon other than,

I JUST WANT TO DO IT. Period.

Things to do (i.e. things learnt from mistakes):

1) I shall not forget to cut my toe nails. I had one occasion where my toe nails were a bit long, and it causes a discomfort and slight pain while running.

2) I tried using my tri-top (sleeveless) for running 25km last weekend and I get a little bit of chaffing under the arms. If I am to use tri-top for marathon, I shall get some lubricants (I think they call it anti-chaffing cream, right?), or I shall settle with my dry-fit running top (with short sleeves).

3) Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS) or endurance drink in addition to Powergels are among other things I shall not forget to bring along during the run.

4) I should slowly start adjusting my sleeping time, i.e. to sleep earlier so that my body gets more rest and be able to wake up earlier. Well, marathon starts at 5am this time, and by 3am I should already be awake (ooh.. so difficult!!!).

5) I should start eating more, mainly carbohydrate and protein, as well as drinking more plain water. Nowadays I get hungry every 3 hours. Not sure whether that’s normal or not, but I know my body needs more fuel, healthy fuel.

6) I should remember to do more stretching and warming up before the run.

7) Sunblock? Hmm, maybe yes, maybe no.

8) What else huh?

By the way, this is not a professional or official advice for marathoners. You may choose to follow any or all of them, at your own risk. Don’t come and blame me later on if you are not able to clock sub 3hrs or 4hrs, ok. This comes straight from my little brain, based on what I experienced and some of those I remembered throughout my readings (from blogs and books), and I just feel like sharing it (and for me to re-visit this post one or two days before race day, for self reminder).

Oh yeah, on a separate note, I did a mistake during cycling last night. I was enjoying the ride using aerobars and I pushed my limit too hard, too early. My fresh legs immediately lost their power after cruising at 45 ~ 46 km/hr for about 3km on the flat portion on the second loop (normally we’d do 5 loops to total the distance to 30km). I then had to cycle very slowly for the remaining 3 loops, can’t push it any more. It was fun though, I would say that’s the fastest cruising speed I’ve ever done. And I now know for sure that my riding mileage is super low that I started to freak out as PD triathlon is only few weeks to go. One of the ways to power up your cycling is to do long rides (more than 100km), which I had none since two months ago. Oh no!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Motivation

Just like when we were still in the school or college, when it is time for a big exam, we would already be thinking of the reward that we would like to ask from our parents if we pass the exam with flying colors. Let it be a snack plate treat at KFC (how fortunate kids nowadays who are treated at KFC or McD every weekends by their lazy-to-cook wealthy parents), or a new pair of Pallas Jazz shoes to replace the ones with holes here and there, or anything a kid would like to have.

It surely will be a good source of motivation to study harder, and to do the best in the exam so that we can get what we wanted – free of charge. What it takes was just the effort to burn the midnight oil and reduce the hours sitting in front of the telly, trying to memorize every sentences and formulas in the text books. Not an easy task to be done by a kid, not even by adults.

Same goes for my maiden full marathon run, coming this June 28th. I need a source of motivation to keep me strong to keep on going with the very demanding training regime and be ready at the starting line. Something really strong. Something I’d like to have with the success of crossing the finishing line after the torturous running and walking effort for 42km. Finishing it injury free will be an added bonus.

This is what I reaaaaallly want. Though, it won’t be free of charge, and of course I won’t ask this from my parents.

No. I don’t want to be like them. I just want to watch them at movie theatre. That’s all.

For other movies, I can live with watching them on DVD. But for this particular one, it’s a must-watch-at-a-movie-theatre for me, once at least. (I watched the earlier Transformers twice!) Hehehe.

So, what is your motivation?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Small

Last weekend, as we (me, my wife and my daughter) were walking towards the car at the parking area of my house, my daughter asked me to carry her. She’s 2.5 years old now and likes me to carry her whenever I’m at home or when we are going somewhere. Not that she hates to walk, but maybe she just want some tender love care from her daddy who are at home only during weekends, or sometimes alternate weekends.

Daughter: ”Daddy, carry me daddy, carry me!!!”
Me: Ok, come here. Let me carry you to the car.

Walking towards the car, I asked her,

Me: ”Why do you always want me to carry you? You are now a big girl, and you can walk by yourself, can’t you?”
Daughter: ”Alaa daddy, I want you to carry me. I’m still a small girl, not yet a big girl. Carry me laa daddy…”
Me: ”It’s always me who has to carry you. When do you want to carry me?”

I purposely asked her like that. Just wanted to let her mind do some creative thinking. There was a moment of silence before she said,

Daughter: ”When you become small, I’ll carry you, ok daddy!”

Note: No, my daughter cannot speak in English as fluent as above modified dialogue yet. Or else I’ll put her to sit for SPM and she’ll be the first 2.5 years old student to pass it. Hehehe.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Two weeks to go

My last long run was the 35km I did about three weeks ago. It took me 4 hours to complete the distance, and had caused me to walk in great pain at the knees for couple of days. Going down a staircase was a thing I hated the most in that situation. I then started to take some supplements with the hope that my knee joints won’t suffer that much for the 42km distance I’ll be running in two freaking weeks time from now.

Glucosamine with chondroitin sulphate, calcium & magnesium, omega-3 fish oil

The next weekend after that, I was busy with JB City Eco Challenge. Hence, no long distance running at all. The legs were having a holiday on their own.

Another weekend after that (the Xterra weekend), I did 2 hours run for which I thought as a start of my slowing down, i.e. tapering. Rough guess would say I ran 18km. At once, I felt easy and not having any knee pain, and the breathing was surprisingly calm and smooth all the way. I even thought that if it was not for the empty and growling tummy I had after 1.5 hours of running, I could still go on for another hour or so and not stop running at 2 hours. But it was OK. 2 hours should be good for my tapering, so I thought.

So, last Friday I sms-ed Kash to ask her for the Saturday’s LSD menu. She said 28km - start at same place, same time. ”Gulp! 28km?”. I felt a bit uneasy with the planned distance, because mainly I’ve been heavily infected with the lazybird bug, i.e. I was feeling super-lazy to run anything longer than half marathon distance (21km). I don’t know whether I’ve overtrained myself, or because I was contemplating whether to proceed running the marathon or not.

And it’s true as what people were saying; ”…the journey towards the starting line of a marathon is much more demanding than the marathon itself…”

Anyway, after a difficult waking up effort on Saturday morning, I was there at Kiara park 6.25am. Kash arrived 5 minutes later. And at 6.40am, we started another long run training.

First loop at Kiara parking area, we chat all the way. Exchanging stories about Xterra, JB Eco Challenge, PD triathlon planning, etcetra. Come to second loop before we headed to main road towards KLGCC, I noticed Kash had heavy breathing and she started to get dropped.

No, I was not over the speed limit and I was running as slow as I normally do, but it clearly seemed like Kash was not in her fittest form that morning. She mentioned that she already can feel the pain at her ankle, the normal spot.

I had my own pain that morning, but not at the legs or knees – but at the rectum!!! Golly, the sensation to burst was on and off just as we were about to finish the second loop at Kiara. I was about to turn back to the toilet to relieve myself and when I turned back, Kash shouted from far, “Nik, go straight ahead, masuk jalan besar”. I cannot make up my mind, so I headed straight, saying bye-bye to the toilet at Kiara Park without visiting it.

Next thing on my mind from then on was, ”Petronas stop – toilet de saviour”. I stopped at the top of the climb at KLGCC to wait for Kash, and then continued running with her. Few minutes later, she got dropped again. Obviously, something was not going right with her. So, I continued my run like a runner who can’t wait to go to the toilet. Ops, was I being too honest?

Arriving Petronas Hartamas at last, and the first thing I did was to settle my twisting stomach, felt like a mini diarrhea. I hope I won’t get this kind of stomach ache during the marathon day or else I’ll be in great trouble. A taxi driver who came to the toilet was also in uneasy situation waiting for me to finish my deal. “Sorry to let you waiting uncle, I was having a bad morning myself”. I even made Kash worried by being in the loo for quite some time. Her sweat had even dried up, that’s how long she waited for me. Sorry Kash.

After a quick thirst quenching with a can of Gatorade from the Petronas shop, we continued our run. I saw 4 runners somewhere along that Plaza Damas, perhaps they ran from Lake Garden to Hartamas. We made our u-turn at the traffic light nearby the Hartamas condominium.

Suddenly, I felt very hungry and to avoid from having heart burn or whatsoever, I finished up whatever fluid left in my fuel belt bottles. At first, we plan not to do another stop at Petronas on our way back, but with me running totally out of water we had to make another quick stop at Petronas. A bottle of Gatorade went straight into my body, another bottle was transferred to my fuel belt bottles.

One worker at the Petronas station asked me how far had I run, to which I said, ”It will be 24km when we finish this run at Kiara Park, we are already on our way back”. His eyes almost exploded upon hearing my answer, and he said that’s a very long distance to run. I told him not to be surprised as many others are also doing the same thing, and we have to do this kind of long distance training if we are to run a marathon, a 42km run.

And his eyes popped out and dropped on the floor and he fainted on the spot.

Continuing the run back, I tried to push a bit harder just to see whether my knees can take the burden or not. I kept on turning my head back to check on Kash who was struggling a bit with her run. I then stopped in front of the Kiara sports center, waiting for her. She asked whether I was bored running alone. ”Nope”. I told her I just wanted to wait for her and run together.

As we arrived at the final climbs besides KLGCC, she told me to carry on as she wanted to walk. From her expression I know she’s having a lot of pain at her ankle. I pushed myself up the climbs, running slowly and as my stopwatch showed 2hr40min, I arrived at the Kiara Park.

Kash arrived few minutes later, and I acted like a water station boy, passing her a can of iced cold 100 plus while jokingly cheering “Go Kash go, another 20km to go!!”. Ahahaha…

So, it was a 25km run altogether. And I completed it with the same timing as my first long distance run training of 24km. What a confidence boost, especially with the knee pain staying below the surface all the way through.

Stretching was then carried on while chatting about this and that. It was a great run for me, and hopefully my condition stays like this or better, two weeks from now.

Kash & I - after the 25km run

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Nok Tanyo Gapo?

Yes, I'm a Kelantanese who works in JB and have a family living in PJ. So, I can speak in JB and PJ dialects (they are different, trust me), as well as being very fluent in Kelantan dialects (orang kata ada bau budu). Having seen this picture above which I get from a friend via email, made me smile. And you’ve guessed it right. It is a superimposed picture of a signboard at Kota Bharu’s airport.

Well, I’ve been quite slow lately on updating this boring blog. Mainly due to excessive work load during the official working time. Yet, a minimal blog surfing could still be done during the remaining of lunch break times though plenty of mengular activities have been cut pretty dramatically. Have to lah.

So, I pretty much still getting up to date information on the inaugural (as they called it) Xterra off road triathlon which just took place in Kuantan, last weekend. And as always, I enjoyed reading the many blogs that covered the event, with their own lingo and stylo. Whether they raced individually, or in relay, or just being there as part of the crew or crowd, their stories always trigger my inner motivation and inspired me to do as they did. That’s one good thing about blogging – sharing the enthusiasm, spreading the inspiration.

That might also prove that bloggers are among the people who are not stingy in the sense of sharing knowledge or experience. (Gosh, such a self defending statement here.. hahaha).

Getting back to I-donno-what-I-was-going-to-write-about, though I’ve been busy with work, I still leave the office as sharp as 5pm (whenever possible) to fulfill my desire to either run, swim or ride the bike. Normally it would be either run-only, or run-and-swim, or gym-and-bike. With KL marathon coming in fast, surprisingly I am still feeling quite calm. Before that I was nervous. Not to say that I’m now fully confident to run all the 42km distance, or clocking sub 5hr, or whatsoever kind of target, but I just kind of distracted a little bit with my work-life-family-financial-triathlon balancing act. There are too many things to do, too many expectations to fulfill, too many problems to solve, too many hours need to spend for training, blablabla the list goes on.

It’s like, once I’ve changed to my athlete mode (cheh poyo gile) and hit the road or swimming pool, I just kept moving on and finish what I’ve planned to train for each particular day.

Or, maybe I’m just emotionally tired of training for marathon. I mean, I’ve hit the peak three weeks ago (which some say very early) and tapering is something I’m not sure whether I’m doing it right or not.

Geez, I sounded too emotionally-disturbed blurry already (because I’ve lost the direction of my story line here). Time to hit the stop button.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Oil Pulling

[I got this via email from a friend]

Oil Pulling for a Brighter Smile and Better Health
by Dr. Bruce Fife,
Coconut Research Center.org, Healthy Ways Newsletter

"That sounds ridiculous," exclaimed Rick in disbelief. "It will never work. How could it? It doesn't make any sense." Rick suffered from chronic sinusitis. At night when lying down, his nose would stop up, making it difficult for him to breathe and to sleep.. The congestion also caused him to experience frequent headaches.

The therapy I was telling him about was oil pulling. Although oil pulling has its origins in Ayurvedic medicine, which dates back thousands of years, this modern version is relatively new, at least in the United States.

Oil pulling is very simple. Basically all you do is rinse your mouth out with vegetable oil, much like you would with a mouthwash. As simple as it sounds, if done correctly it has a very powerful cleansing and healing affect not only on the mouth and sinuses, but the entire body.

A few days later, Rick called me on the phone. "Wow! This oil pulling stuff really works," he exclaimed. "My sinuses began to drain immediately. I expelled a lot of dark yellow, gross looking mucous.. I'm breathing easier and sleeping better and my headaches are gone!"

I wasn't surprised with Rick's success. I hear many similar responses from others with various health problems.

"I was skeptical at first," says Cynthia. "I couldn't see how swishing oil in my mouth could help with my arthritis. After eight days I noticed the pain in my hands diminished considerably. There was also marked improvement in my neck and I could move my head from side to side without any pain. I was amazed at how quickly I got results. I haven't felt this good in along time!"

Some people think I'm crazy when I tell them that oil pulling can help those with asthma, allergies, chronic fatigue, diabetes, migraine headaches, PMS, and chronic skin problems. Oil pulling works by detoxifying or cleansing the body. In this way, disease promoting toxins are removed, thus allowing the body to heal itself.. As a consequence, health problems of all types improve.

"I've suffered for several years with joint and lower back pain," says Anna... "Every morning it was difficult getting out of bed because of the pain. After two months of oil pulling the pain is all but gone. I'm amazed. Although I began oil pulling to relieve the joint pain, a few other things happened that I didn't expect. I'm surprised to see that the eczema on my arm and hand disappearing and my skin becoming smoother and softer. Nothing I had tried before had helped. I sleep better at night too, so I have more energy during the day. I no longer need my mid-day naps. I have so much energy I almost feel like a teenager again. My periods have become more regular with less cramping and less mood swings. Also, my teeth, gums, and tongue are cleaner than they've ever been."

The first thing that most people notice when they start oil pulling is an improvement in their oral health. Teeth become whiter, breath becomes fresher, and the tongue and gums take on a healthy pink color. Even problems such as bleeding gums, tooth decay, and gum disease are greatly diminished or completely healed.

"I had a really bad infection in my mouth," says Brittany . "It was so painful that I could not sleep. Pain medication helped temporarily. I was sure that I needed another root canal. After hearing about oil pulling I decided to give it a try before going to the dentist. I began oil pulling three times a day. By the very next day the pain was gone! No soreness, nothing.. I was shocked.

I continue to oil pull and my teeth are whiter and healthier looking then they have ever been. My gums have stopped bleeding, they used to bleed after every brushing. They are no longer receding and my teeth feel tighter. On my last visit to the dentist he was amazed at how much better my teeth and gums looked. He told me to continue to do whatever I was doing."

Oil pulling traces it roots to oil gargling practiced in Ayurvedic medicine. Oil pulling as we know it today, was introduced in 1992 by Dr. F. Karach, MD.

Dr. Karach claimed that oil pulling could cure a variety of illnesses ranging from heart disease and digestive troubles to hormonal disorders. He said it cured him of a chronic blood disorder of 15 years duration and within three days it cured his arthritis, which at times was so painful he was bed ridden. He used the method in his medical practice with great success.

Dr. Karach's method of oil pulling consists of swishing, not gargling, vegetable oil in the mouth. The oil is "worked" in the mouth by pushing, pulling, and drawing it through the teeth for a period of 15 to 20 minutes. It is done one to three times a day on an empty stomach. The best time is in the morning before eating breakfast, but can be done before any meal. The used oil is discarded and the mouth rinsed out with water. The oil is never swallowed because it is loaded with bacteria, toxins, pus, and mucous.

Sunflower and sesame seed oils are the most commonly used for oil pulling, but any vegetable oil will work. People have had success with olive, coconut, almond, and other oils. I prefer to use coconut oil because of its many health benefits. If you use a mild flavored coconut oil it is very pleasant in the mouth. Some oils, such as extra virgin olive oil, are so strong flavored that many people find them difficult to use.

The oil acts like a cleanser. When you put it in your mouth and work it around your teeth and gums it "pulls" out bacteria and other debris. It acts much like the oil you put in your car engine. The oil picks up dirt and grime. When you drain the oil, it pulls out the dirt and grime with it, leaving the engine relatively clean.. Consequently, the engine runs smoother and lasts longer. Likewise, when we expel harmful substances from our bodies our health is improved and we run smoother and last longer.

As simple as it is, oil pulling has a very powerful detoxifying effect.. Our mouths are the home to billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites and their toxins. Candida and Streptococcus are common residents in our mouths. It is these types of germs and their toxic waste products that cause gum disease and tooth decay and contribute to many other health problems including arthritis and heart disease. Our immune system is constantly fighting these troublemakers. If our immune system becomes overloaded or burdened by excessive stress, poor diet, environmental toxins and such, these organisms can spread throughout the body causing secondary infections and chronic inflammation, leading to any number of health problems.

Oil pulling is one of the most remarkable methods of detoxification and healing I have ever experienced in my career as a naturopathic physician. It helped me overcome a chronic skin problem that other forms of detoxification, including numerous juice fasts lasting up to 30 days, were unable to cure.

Oil pulling can work its magic almost instantly.. Some people report relief from certain conditions after doing it only once. Minor problems often clear up within a few days. More serious, chronic problems may require a few weeks or several months or more depending on lifestyle issues.

Toxins are pulled from the body the very first time you try it.. One of the first cleansing symptoms you will experience is an increased flow of mucous from your throat and sinuses. Mucous drainage is one of the body's methods of removing toxins. While you are pulling, mucous may build in the back of your throat. You may even have to expel the oil and clear the mucous from your throat before reaching a full 20 minutes.

That's okay, take another spoonful of oil and continue until you've pulled for a total of 15-20 minutes. You may also experience a little nausea and perhaps even need to vomit as your body expels toxic waste. Other symptoms may also arise temporarily. These symptoms will subside as your body becomes cleaner and you become more comfortable with oil pulling.

Unlike other methods of detoxification that last for only a short time, oil pulling should become a regular part of your daily schedule, like brushing your teeth. Oil pulling is incredibly effective in brightening teeth, healing gums, preventing bad breath, quenching inflammation, and healing oral infections. It is also effective in treating many systemic conditions throughout the body.

As good as it is, the simple oil pulling method described in this article isn't always enough. Some people and some conditions require a little extra care. For this reason, I took oil pulling and developed it into a more complete, more effective method that I call Oil Pulling Therapy.

This program incorporates medicated coconut oil (which you can make yourself), diet, select nutrients, oral pH balancing procedures, and, for those who have amalgam (mercury) fillings or metal crowns, a detox procedure designed specifically for removing heavy metals, all of which combine to greatly enhance the effects and healing properties of oil pulling.

The details of this program are covered in my new book Oil Pulling Therapy: Detoxifying and Healing the Body Through Oral Cleansing..

Oil pulling is cheap; the only expense is for the oil you use... It is very easy; you simply swish oil in your mouth. Compared to other forms of detoxification it is relatively effortless. It doesn't require dieting, fasting, or consuming unpleasant, and often bowel loosening, mixes of herbs and pills. And it is completely harmless. All you are doing is rinsing your mouth out with vegetable oil. You're not even swallowing the oil. What can be more benign than that? Nearly anyone can do it, regardless of their level of health. If you have health issues, don't let the simplicity of oil pulling detour you from trying it. Sometimes the simplest procedures produce the greatest results.

If you wish to apply oil pulling, spit the gargled oil in tissue paper and throw into the trash can or spit into used bottle and throw into waste can. Too much oil in the drain pipe might clog it up. Don't flush the oil down the toilet either.

Monday, June 1, 2009

JB City Eco Challenge – Race Day

Sunday, May 31st, 2009 – Dataran Bandaraya Johor Bahru.

My day started as early as 0615hrs when Mahdhir woke me up. I was supposed to wake half an hour earlier, but my dream kept me deaf from hearing the alarm. At 0635hrs, we shoot off to Dataran Bandaraya, arriving there 10minutes before 7am.

The weather that morning was amazing. Bright and shiny, perfect for a race. I had to do the race registration again, to make sure all participants have arrived at the starting point. Lucky that we did this as there was one elite team who arrived late for the race. At least we know where everybody is.

By 0730hrs, almost all participants started to do warm ups on their bikes and legs. Some just sat down and chat with friends. I could see some nervous faces, maybe they were first timers. As for me personally, I enjoyed being the official/marshal for this particular event because with not so many participants, I could get to know the elite triathletes better (I mean, I could easily walk to them and get their autographs if I wanted to). Let these photos do the talking (it’s almost midnight now as I’m typing this offline, and my brain is getting to slow down on ideas).

The atmosphere of the morning was awesome. I secretly was wishing that I was one of them participating. Maybe next year.

Hiroko-san

Major Kalam & MissJewelz

In JB, we call him 'TOING'

Stephanie Chok & Hafiz Wong

Shahrom giving tips on how to win the race

The Race

The participants were released by the sound of horn by the Datuk Bandar MBJB himself, at 0800hrs sharp. The elite teams started off with biking and the novice teams began with their runs.

My apology for not having the time now to fully explain to you about the detailed race course. One thing for sure, it sounded fun, it looked fun, and the participants said it was fun and challenging. If you want to know better, perhaps you can participate next year.

The bikers getting ready for the start of the race

Blast off!!!

The novice teams running towards Pantai Lido

That was the last photo I took before I get myself busy again standing by to assist the participants as they came in after their biking leg. Since the bike rack was not that properly being made, not many bikes can fit their tires inside the rack and many ended up slanting or fell down. So, I was there to help reducing and avoiding the damage to those bikes as participants gushing in and out from the transition area. Together with another crew member, we managed to make sure none of the bikes were lying down on the floor. I got my jeans and t-shirt dirty with some mud from the bikes, but it was OK. The dirt can be removed very easily with water, but the experience as race official/marshal will remain for quite a long time in my memory box.

My next task was to be the time keeper for the elite team. For novice teams, another crew took care of them. And since novice teams arrived much earlier than the elites, I took the chance to snap more photos of the finishers.

See their face expressions as they crossed the finishing line. Most of them, if not everybody, would cross the finish line smiling. Many people may not understand how you could still smile after being that tired running and cycling and kayaking and swimming to cross a pond. The only way to know is, to do it yourself. Well, of course you have to train first before attempting this kind of sports. With enough training, your smile may be bigger as you step your foot at the finishing line.

And you can also see how important TEAM WORK in this kind of eco challenge race means. No matter what you do or how fast you could run, you have to finish the race TOGETHER!

I heard this guy has been carrying his cramped partner for about 1km

There were also some dramatic scenes where one or two athletes fell down with cramps and dehydration. I guess they must have pushed themselves over the limit this time. One elite guy has to be ambulanced to the hospital to get further treatment (hope he recovers the soonest, he’s a commando anyway), and another guy fell down immediately upon crossing the finishing line with massive cramp attack on his leg.

Overpushed himself and got heat stroke

This guy got massive cramp that he was limping with one leg towards the finishing line before falling down

Finally, no matter how slow or how fast you are as an athlete in this kind of endurance race, there’s always one spirit that makes more and more people doing it. It’s the spirit of “No matter what and how, just FINISH THE RACE”.

Nah, they were not dying due to over-exhaustion. They just know how to have fun, crawling to the finishing line. They could still stand up and put on a big smile after crossing the finishing line.

The Crew

This first JB City Eco Challenge won’t be a success without their hard work and effort. A big round of applause to them all.

The crew members won't let go of the chance to pose in front of the finishing line

The Closing

The last participants crossed the finishing line with the time of 2:56, i.e. somewhere around 1055hrs (since the race started off at 0800hrs). By 1110hrs, we already put up the full results for display. Everybody rushed to the board to see their official timing. With such a big prize money and wide range of receivers (almost 50% from each category will bring back some cash), that morning saw lots of happy faces.

Just before the prize giving ceremony, Datuk Bandar MBJB gave some closing speech. He seemed to be happy with the overall events, and he’s looking forward to seeing more participants in the coming years’ events in JB.

I can’t remember all of the prize winners, and I did not snap everybody’s photos. So, here are just some of what I have taken during the prize giving ceremony.

Finally, we had a big group photo session. This is also something we rarely see during a triathlon or marathon events.

The End

Well, that’s all I have so far. I’ve mentioned it’s The End, haven’t I?

I’m glad to know that the participants had great fun racing their JB City Eco Challenge!