Meebo Bar

Thursday, 30 June 2011

gold coast airport marathon – 2-3 july 2011

gold coast marathon After the hype of last weekend’s KL Marathon and Sundown 100, the running contingent will be participating in the Gold Coast Airport Marathon this Sunday. It is considered the flattest and fastest marathon route in Australia and will have runners running along the scenic coastline of the city of Gold Coast.

I would want to wish the best to these runners who will be running in the GCAM 2011.

Irwan (M3718)
Jamie Pang (M4419)
Nana (M3505)
Azhar (M3366)
Yum KK (M0420)
Lily (M3766)
Irina (M2115)
Kak Jenap

and all other runners not mentioned in this post. For supporters like you and me, we can also send these runners messages to accompany them while they are running, providing you know their bib numbers. I’ve provided some for any you to refer. So c’mon y’all, show your support! Visit Asics Run With Me and follow the instructions to leave your support messages. Let’s help them bring home that Pee-Bee!! Big Grin

kl marathon 2011 – 26 June 2011

Finally a latest addition to my list of marathons. And this was a BIG one! Happy This year’s event was held in the wee hours of Sunday, 26 June 2011. Flag-off location? As usual, Dataran Merdeka. I registered for 2 prior editions of KL Marathons before (2009, 2010) for 10km runs, but I gave both events the pass, as that time, sleeping was of the higher priority. But this year, being now familiar with the ever growing running community, I was already hyped-up to join, as it will be my debut in the country’s premier running event. KL Marathon was my 4th full marathon which I’ve registered for this year, after ENR, BIM and Sundown Singapore. Missing Sundown made me more determined not to miss this one.

The irony of it, running KL Marathon in a Sundown Singapore running vest! :)

The Full Marathoners were scheduled to flag-off at 5 am. I was there at 4 am, and as usual with other race events, the place was buzzing with the hustles and bustles of other runners excited to burn the roads for a good 6-7 hours. My body was feeling good, and after 2 marathon experiences, I felt that mentally I was ready this time. ENR was a nightmare, BIM was okay until the final 10km, I didn’t even start in Sundown, so I will try to make it up this time. My personal best was achieved during BIM where I clocked 5:07, just short of a sub-5 timing. I remembered a discussion with Shanaz, Azu and Nana, target 4:45 to dip below 5 hours, a sub-4:30 would be a bonus. Little did I know what was to transpire in 5 hours’ time. Big Grin For the record, to get a 4:45 timing, my average pace had to be 6:45 mins/km.

With some of the runner friends before flag-off (L-R): Meor, Mawar, KayDee, Azhar, KC, Ena, Dzul, Yani, Me

The minutes leading up to the flag-off was filled with some light warm-ups and stretching, clowning around and sometimes some photographic sessions. Butterflies were still rampant during this time, but I tried to calm myself by looking up familiar faces, and not letting the occasion get the better of me. Vivid thoughts of another disastrous marathon came about occasionally, but the smiles and laughter from my running buddies at least eliminated all doubts.

Clowning around with Saiful and Fazli

All anticipation and the wait ended the moment the gun sounded at 5 am sharp. I was just next to Erwan during this time, but he was gone after 2 minutes! Tongue So I started my 42.195km journey at my own pace. Not like BIM, I kept myself light this time, not even my fuel bottles to accompany me. I was so sure that this will be a well organized race, with water stations available as duly promised. Winking The only problem was without any belts, there was no place to hold my packets of GU Gels and ORS. I slipped them in between the waist of my shorts, knowing the risks of chaffing later.

With Erwan near the starting line

The first 10km, which was just after passing the Sungai Besi Airport, going into Jalan Istana, went really well in my reckoning. My Garmin showed that I was slightly below an hour (00:58). The mind was playing around to get me go faster, but I just calmed down and kept the focus. “Izuan, your target is a sub-5, so this pace is good enough…” I gulped down my first GU Gel, as I was taught by Irwan to be disciplined when running a marathon, and that was just what I was going to do. Gels every 10km. By the time I reached 20km, my legs were still strong, lungs were okay, and my Garmin showed 1:58, and I had my second GU Gel. My half-marathon time was 2:03, which in it’s right was my PB for the distance. Never had I thought that I would dip below 2 hours in my first 20km. I was elated! But focus was still the name of the game, as I knew the next 22km would be the hardest to come by.

The next 10km was still good, but I could feel that the legs were already tiring. The Bukit Bintang-KLCC route provided good distractions. There were plenty of support around this area; cheer leading teams, volunteers, members of the public. While the Tun Razak route was full of music when impatient drivers were honking towards the runners. Well done to the traffic police and DBKL, for their good job prevented unnecessary incidents from happening. At 25-26km, I saw a fellow Sabahan, Jiki, and we paced together for a good 3-4km. This was also the time when I saw Dzul. To my surprise he was walking, so I gave him all the motivation I could, and I believe it had a great effect on him, because he finished ahead of me at the finishing line. Darn you Dzul! HAHAHA!! Tongue At 30km, I downed my now routine third GU Gel, and when I looked down my Garmin, it showed exactly 3 hours! Surprise With 2 hours to go, a sub-5 is a definite bet now with 12km remaining, but question at this point of time was, can I go below 4.5 hours?

It’s all about mental strength now, and to my delight, 6km later, I was approaching the familiar Bukit Tunku route. This was also where Kak June’s ‘Kedai Runcit’ was stationed. I grabbed a Snickers bar (by the way Kak June, that was the best Snickers ever! HAHAHA!), chatted for a while, shared a few hugs, and continued running. Thank you so much to Kak June, Nik and Maya for the support. Although the Bukit Tunku route was all so familiar, a hilly route at the end of a 42km run was a killer. At this point fatigue was already filling up in the legs, my only worry were if cramps came creeping up hence I downed the ORS to neutralize the lactics. I was already doing a run-walk-run this time, but was still determine to try beat 4:30 hours.

After all the inclines and declines of Bukit Tunku, I finally reached the 40th kilometer near Bank Negara. I quickly downed my last GU Gel, and started preparing myself mentally for the finishing line. I had 18 minutes to complete the last 2.195km. Barring any unfortunate incidents, I would be able to achieve a sub-4.5 marathon. I kept my composure, kept the focus, kept pushing, and by the time I turned into Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, I knew I would beg a good timing if I pushed harder. With 800 meters to go, I dashed my way as quick as I could. I remember the last time I looked up on the time counter, it showed 4:28:33. No one could ever describe the feeling, when I passed the finishing line. A Personal Best, way above my expectation, and to do it in such short time, I feel was quite an achievement. When the official results were out, the net time read 4:27:51, ranked 197. I’ve shaved about 40 minutes of my previous Personal Best! WOOHOO!! Big Grin

SCKLM 2011 Official Result

Huge gratitude I believe are overdue to my friends, their support and advice were so useful. Strategy, technique and discipline are very important aspects when running long distances. Hours spent training and running with them, ‘mamak’ing, chatting, gossiping, talking about running, definitely made everything a lot better. A million hugs goes to each one of them. Big Hug I know this is not as if I have qualified for an Olympic, it was not even a sub-4, or a sub-3! But doing something you love since you were a little kid, this was a huge achievement for me.  Star

Congratulations also to everyone who made Standard Chartered KL Marathon a success. Organizers, sponsors, sanctioning bodies, local authorities, police, medics, volunteers, runners, the people, all contributed to a race event worthy of its publicities. To all runners; Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10km, 5km, Kids Dash, Ekiden, kudos to all of them! To Mr. Rainer Biemans, Congratulations once again!

I believe, with more consistent and discipline training, plus passion, I will be able to do much better in the many more races to come. Maybe a sub-4? But right now, at this moment, I would like myself to be soaked in my achievement, even if it has to take a week to die down!


The Route

Yeay!A PB! :)

With fellow Sabahan Runners
Fellow Sabahan Runner Friends (L-R): Ajan, Erwan, Yatim, Me, Zairol, Fabian, Joe, Kicie

The Running Away From Skool Girls (L-R): Selly, Nana, Marlin, Shanaz, Azu

Just a glimpse of the running community
Standing (L-R): Azu, Marlin, Selly, Johan, Azhar, KC, Nana, Ena, Shanaz
Sitting (L-R): Meor, Me, Fiki, Karen, Dzul

Sunday, 19 June 2011

RIP Mr. Andrew Voon

The running community was deeply shocked and saddened by the sudden demise of Mr. Andrew Voon, who collapsed after his routine run in Likas, Sabah yesterday morning. This was the person instrumental in organizing the Borneo International Marathon since 2008, with much success. Our thoughts are with him, his wife Carol, and his family.

the xtra mile run – Hail Alex!


The Xtra Mile Run, a charity run to raise fund for StART Society, an academy serving the underprivileged children located in PJ, successfully achieved its objectives yesterday with. The superstar, Alex, completed his 100 km, in 17 hours plus, stopping at various check points to the cheers of his crew, members of the public, fellow pacers, runners, volunteers, supporters, and the campaign achieved its target of RM100,000 pledged for the cause. The run was truly an enjoyable one, and I am glad I took part (as did Irwan, KC, KA, Karen, Syah, Azhar, Shanaz, Nana, Azu, Alvin, Azril, Hafeez, and others) supporting Alex during the Kelana Jaya – TTDI route. Runners were providing constant support to him by cheering (it was Nana mostly! Hyper! Winking), singing songs, quizzes (name a country which starts with mehhh.. Big Grin), in which he too participated. Such spirit for a man who had run 30, 40, 50 km or so!

DSC03901 Us waiting for Alex and his entourage in KJ

DSC03942 One of the placards

DSC03948 At the StART Society

Alex’s final couple of kilometers were joined by children from StART Society, and students of Carolyn’s School of Rhythmic Gymnastics, owned and managed by Alex’s sister, Carolyn Au-Yong, who if you remember, a member of the Malaysia’s Rhythmic Gymnastics Team, who won gold at the KL ‘98 Commonwealth Games. The sight of him smiling from ear-to-ear, next to his sister, running with these children, the main reason he organized this event, was a satisfying, at the same time, a moving one.

Congratulations to Alex, the whole of his crew, who did a superb job of keeping him in check, the pacers, the forerunners, the sweepers, the volunteer runners who never fail to cheer, the sponsors, to those who held up motivational placards, the traffic police, local authorities, those who pledged, and everyone else who has been there since the very beginning, and ensured the event a success. His feat will always be an inspiration to everyone involved directly and indirectly. It’s not really the distance, or the timing this time that matters, but it’s his will, his belief and his spirit that will become a benchmark for everyone. Salute! Happy

Friday, 17 June 2011

the xtra mile run

The Xtra Mile RunXtra Mile Run: 1 Man, 10 Suburbs, 100 km, 16 hours

As we speak now, a charity running event called The Xtra Mile Run had flagged off from the Palace of Justice, Putrajaya. The Xtra Mile Run is the brain child of a friend, Alex Au-Yong, himself an ultra-marathoner, who is determined to raise money for the StART Society, an academy dedicated to serving the underprivileged children in PJ. Alex, for this purpose have pledged 100 km, yes the whole of one-hundred-kilometers, in 16 hours, in the name of charity. Every 10 meters of it, is equivalent to RM10.

Alex’s running route will start in front of the Palace of Justice, Putrajaya, from there on zig-zagging all over Klang Valley, passing through the likes of Puchong, Sunway, Subang Jaya, Kelana Jaya, Damansara, Bandar Utama, TTDI, Hartamas, Bangsar before ending his run tomorrow at StART in Petaling Jaya, at around 10 am. He will be supported by his official pacers and other runners, so if you are located anywhere near the places mentioned above, you might be able to see Alex and his running crew. Wave and cheer for him if you see him yeah! WaveAs for myself, I will be running with the group from the Kelana Jaya LRT Station to 7-Eleven TTDI.

So show your support! You can do so by pledging some donation for Alex’s cause through the website (you can click the logo above). You can also ‘like’ the facebook site and follow @xtramileday on Twitter.

You can check out The Xtra Mile Run route here! Big Grin

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

new balance pacesetters 15km


This year’s New Balance Pacesetters 15km was held in Putrajaya on June 5th, 2011. Flag-off was 6:30 am in front of the Palace of Justice. Weather was nice (it rained the day prior), slightly overcast, breezy, route was rather flat, organizers were awesome, definitely a recipe for a fast finish, well at least for me! Big Grin. I didn’t actually register for the event as I missed the deadline, but Pacesetters allocated another 180 additional slots for manual registration the day before the race.

I spent most of the time the night before trying to figure out how I’d run the race. I was knocked down by food poisoning a few days back. I missed 10 days of running, as the body switched off because of dehydration. I even had to give Singapore Sundown Marathon a miss the weekend before Sad. I was not sure how the body will cope after all that. So this event was quite important, to get the confidence needed before my 3rd (2nd? 3rd? 2nd?I dont know) full marathon in a full 3 weeks time. 1:30:00 was the target.

All ended well in the end. I was running at a 5:20 average pace throughout the route, which was already very fast to my standard. By the time I reached passed the finishing line, I was quite consumed, but happy because I knew then that I’ve build up all the confidence to be able to do the SCKLM. After the event, all remaining energy was focused on the familiar faces, and the camera! Camera

Official time was 1:20:35. Position, 89th. Big Grin

Friday, 3 June 2011

it all started when..


It feels like yesterday when I thought of the first running event I participated which was the Newton 25km & 12km Challenge Kuala Lumpur. The date was 26th September 2010. I was persuaded by a certain colleague by the name of Zuki to join the 12km, although he did the longer 25km. I was already pondering for a while to join one of these running events but never had the motivation to do them.

Historically in my whole life, I never ran long distance prior. Oh yes, I was a sprinter and hurdler in school (and a good one too! Tongue), and to some extent during my uni years, but I would never go beyond 400 meters. I remember taking part in a 1,500 meters event when I was 13, I swore that would be the last middle (or long?) distance event I’d ever took part in. So after 9 years away from competitive running (my last event was the inter-college 200 meters in uni in 2001), there I was, inching my way through the hilly route to complete the whole 12 kilometers of it. Little did I know that the Newton route in Kinrara is one of the most challenging running route around Klang Valley. In the end, I managed to complete the race. My chip time read 1:38:21.14 (phew! Whew) and I was placed 284th amongst 392 participants in my category. That’s top 73% finishers HAHAHAH!! I received a medal as a reward. I was like, “Wow, nombor belakang-belakang pun dapat medal?” LOL!


More runs were to follow after this. And more friends to add on Facebook! Big Grin More friends, the more inspiration you get from them. The more inspiration you get, the harder and farther you push yourself, the better you become. But at the end of the day, it’s the fun you get from running, and from the new friends you’d never thought you’d meet.

As for my running buddy Zuki, I just remember he did quite well in the 25km. And he continued to do so in the later events he joined. And he will continue to do better. I wonder how.. Tongue

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