Singapore Aquathlon – Calling All Asia Biathletes!

Do you swim, and do you run? – Calling the aspiring and the experienced! Calling all Swimming Runners and Running Swimmers! The Singapore Aquathlon 2017 is back for you to challenge yourself in both worlds – Land and Sea! The stage is set for 22 October 2017 at the Casuarina Grove, East Coast Park, F2 with 6 categories and 4 different distances to cater for different ages and capabilities. Whether you are a seasoned aquathlete or just a freshmen, Singapore Aquathlon 2017 has got you covered. What better way is there to spend your weekend than to take up this challenge?

Why Aquathlon?

BECAUSE BEING GREAT AT ONE SPORT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH! OR SUCKING IN ONE SPORT IS NOT ENOUGH?

The Aquathlon event is a very simple concept involving 2 sports – swimming and running. It is a sport that challenges you athletically, cardiovascular-wise and endurance-wise. This is really a sport to outdo your physical and mental limits. The excitement and the adrenaline rush you get when you transition from swim to run is really an athlete’s high like no other.

Race Format

There are 4 different distances. For the seasoned athletes looking to better their personal bests in the standard Aquathlon distance, there is the 1.5km followed by a 10km run. There is the sprint distance for those who fancy something more fast and furious – 750m swim followed by a 5km run. For those just starting out, there is the mini distance – 400m swim and a 3km run! And of course everyone’s favourite category – the kid’s distance! Start your kid young and make them swim a 200m and run a kilometre!

The more the merrier no? Form a team with your best mate in the relay category! It’s bonding time!

Race Course

This is a spectator friendly course. The routes are in close proximity – so bring your family and friends to cheer you on! The festive atmosphere will ensure you enhance your strides as you run down the finishing chute to achieving Singapore Aquathlon greatness.

The start of this race will be in wave start format. This is to avoid congestion and ease race flow. And of course safety is of utmost priority in any sport event, even more so for the Singapore Aquathlon – the swim course will be completely roped off with big marker buoys and lifeguards on kayaks, jetskis and boats to ensure safety for all participants as they give their best shot. The run course is shaded and there are drink stations every 1.5km so no worries about staying cool and hydrated.

This is going to be Singapore’s ICONIC Aquathlon!  Waters are going to be great for a nice swim – certainly not choppy, and the fast pancake flat course makes it an opportunity for you to gun for a personal best! It’s going to be a great race course!

Challenge yourself this October! Swim and Run with the Singapore Aquathlon 2017!


Preparation for my First 21.1KM

Time really flies and we are already into the final weeks of March 2017. 38 days more to my first 21.1KM Half Marathon Run Event! I am soooo not looking forward to it. To me a half marathon is something mammoth! I have never attempted a run event which is more than 10 KM! I’m not a runner by nature but this was one of my New Year’s resolutions. As such, I had to prepare myself mentally and physically for it. Like with all things unknown, there is a fear that I have as I have not attempted something like that before.

PS: You can click here to read my write-up on 2017 resolutions.

My fears…

Attempting something for the first time is scary. I have that unsettling fear that I might not be able to run again! I know I’m being dramatic here but being an ex-avid step class junkie and sustaining old injures from bad falls, my knee caps are paying the price now every time after training sessions. My legs would ache and I take a longer time to recover from those workouts. With those considerations, I sometimes question myself why did I even sign up to do a half marathon! I think I’m just crazy.

To ease those doubts I have,  I decided to to talk to some of my friends who had suffered knees injuries due to running. I found it helpful hearing and learning from their experience. Some of the suggestions provided have been really helpful.  One of them, also a fellow blogger shared with me regarding his experience on what he did to alleviate the pain while training. He introduced the Patellar Tendon Strap from Protec to me and noted that it helped in his recovery. He also noted that once I felt better, I can slowly go for my runs without it.  I tried the Patellar Tendon Strap from Protec and it did help without restricting my movements.

Despite these fears, I’m not going to pull out from this event. I will put in the effort to keep up with the training requirements and complete the race on event day. I’m not setting a time goal for this event but my main aim is to cross the finish line before cut-off timing. I will listen to my body and not push till the limit at the expense of suffering permanent injuries.

 Training…

Training for this half marathon is not an easy one. I have been slowly trying to increase my weekly distance to get myself prepared mentally and physically. As a guide I am also following the training plan provided by Dr Mok Ying Ren on the NTUC Income Eco Run website.

[Photo: Training Plan for 21.1KM by Dr Mok Ying Ren from NTUC Income Eco Run website]

Weekends are the long distance training and I’m glad that I have my running buddy, Cheng Yee, to accompany and motivate me to push onwards. I’m still not used to keeping at a constant speed and I get tired out really easily. The suggested timings for these long distance trainings range from 80 minutes to 120 minutes. This is a big change from my normal weekend routine because normally I will just do a quick 5 KM run but now it’s not about speed; it’s about endurance especially with the increase with distance and time!

Besides the increase in distance, I have also started doing some fitness interval training exercise. These exercises are meant to compliment the running and to work out the other parts of the body. Workouts include exercise such as push ups, a variety of planks, sit-ups, lunges etc. According to some running articles, these workouts yield better performance and also help you stay injury free.

[Photos from some of my training runs]

So to sum up, this half marathon is really like pushing my limiting and conquering my fears. It is an uphill task but it’s something I want to do. I will continue to write about my 21 KM training progress and my thoughts on it. Till my next write-up! Stay strong and go the distance!


The First (DNF) Cut is The Deepest

If it’s worth it, you won’t give up. If you give up, you’re not worthy. … Truth is, everything is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.” – slight tweak of Bob Marley’s insights.

Fresh from the previous Gunung Nuang Ultra Challenge 2017, I thought I was ready for my first ever 100km, in the form of Titi Ultra 2017.

I was told to ‘keep chill and relax’, to ‘run the way we’ve trained’, to go over the map and route elevations, to rest well, to eat properly, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

‘You wish and I wish; but Allah does what He wills’.

At the eleventh hour, things happened. As they would, of course. They just had to happen at the very last minute.

But I digress, and no use to cry over spilled milk now.

But it sucked. Big time.

And I sulked. Big time.

But thanks to the never-ending support, love and encouragement from family and friends met and made for life – I’ve got through and here’s the account of my first ever DNF (Did Not Finish) status.

“He is not breaking you; He is training you. Learn to recognise the difference and your heart will change” – Yasmin Mogahed

D-day : Waterview Restaurant, Hulu Langat, Selangor – a hot-then-turned-drizzling-which-became-rainy afternoon.

I was a nervous wreck up until we were all at the starting line. Bumping into fellow runner buddies seemed to calm me down a bit.

Still, all I could feel was ‘I’m so nervous, worried, anxious and it feels like a herd of buffaloes are in my tummy’. (well, the actual version is rather X-rated, but don’t worry JustRunLah, I’ll keep this piece clean).

Don’t worry, we’ll run and end this together’. And with a pat on my back, we were all ‘let go into the wild’.

Real life is more complicated than a slogan on a bumper sticker” – Zootopia.
And the real, first time 100km ever run is getting more real than ever.

The organisers have set on upholding the safety regulations – in which all runners must adhere to, including putting on the headlights, safety vests and blinkers from 7pm – 7am.

But not all played by the rules. I might be a (self-proclaimed) rebel, but when it comes to running safely – I followed what’s instructed.

Better be safer, than mightily sorry later.

It started off okay at first, going slow and steady up the hills, posing happily for the photographers to capture our souls.

And then it rained. And we could see thunders and lightnings added to the background.

But that wasn’t the major hindrance.

We might have figured out the distances between the Check Points (CP), but we neglected the Cut Off Time (COT) for each of them.

We took our time to get to the U-turn for 100kmers, where I was already half-asleep and knackered.

Communication is the fuel which keeps the wheels of a (running) relationship, well, running – that was the plan.

I didn’t know what happened then, but my lips were shut tight and I was eerily quiet while sleep-walking to get to the other CP.

Which was out of character, as I am known as a chatterbox who wouldn’t stop talking – only to those who know me well.

There were several ‘I-could-have’ thoughts that came into my head:

– I could’ve kept going by telling anecdotes and stories as agreed upon.

– I could’ve tried to push myself at least to slow jog until the next crucial CP.

– I should’ve been more alert not to be in the state of dazed and confused.

– I shouldn’t have stopped for a break by the roadside.

– I shouldn’t have let negative things consume me, which include not letting my mind to play tricks on me, especially while running in the dark, gloomy roads.

And at around KM78, we were picked up by the ambulance, taking us to the ‘sweeper van’, when the next CP was just a kilometer away.

The waterworks just kept flowing, I was a crybaby.

‘The biggest competitor of your life is looking right back at you, in the mirror.’

Consumed with remorse and guilt, I felt I had let my loved ones down.

But there they were, feeling immensely proud that I didn’t give up and kept pushing until stopped by the officials for not meeting the COT.

There they were, feeling so relieved and glad that I was safe and (not-so) sound – with all organs and limbs still intact.

There they were, feeling I have achieved what I thought was impossible.

There they were, showering me with love and words of encouragement.

I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.” ― Ransom Riggs

I might be so hard on myself for my first DNF status, but I was made realised of the silver lining of the incident.

My first ever DNF was filled with unforgettable memories – some were captured on camera, while others were etched in my mind and heart.

And so I’ve got to KM78, at 13 hours and 25 minutes – short of 22KM and around 4.5 hours more before the COT for 100kmers.

It was a bittersweet experience, made bitter by myself, and made sweet by others.

And the reward – was even gratifying, in the form of finger lick’ good stuff!

Thanks for the memories TITI ULTRA, I’ll see you next year!

Wonderful shout-out to fellow runners, friends met and made along the way, and hard-snapping photographers Rany Tan, AKU, WONG, Seven Chiam Hooi See Photography, MY Runners, CH Lim, and you, and you, and you-know-who-you-are!


My Race in Review: Kyoto Marathon 2017

Nothing went to plan. It wasn’t supposed to be Kyoto Marathon, it was supposed to be Tokyo Marathon 2017! I was supposed to finally run my dream race. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the ballot. So, in Kyoto I was.

Okay, I admit I was still excited lah. I mean people told me that running in cold weather – confirm PB. And also it would be my first trip to Japan. And people have also said how much they love Japan. So, although disappointed about Tokyo, I was still pretty excited.

Pre-Marathon

Weird injuries and health issues also forced me to take a break from running. After my Cyberjaya Twincity win in mid January, I had to stop running. Only after the CNY holidays did I start running again – to be exact the 7th of February 2017. I had 12 days! I can do this! But, after a week of starting to run, i instant fell sick. But okay lah right, kind of tapering already. So a lot less excited, I thought of even giving this race a miss. But, I paid so much for the registration fee, 680 ringgit i think – damn bloody expensive okay. So, I guess i better damn run it no matter what. Walk also better walk and eat everything on the course and make my 680 bucks worth it!

Things NOT to do before your overseas marathon.

We touched down in Osaka on Friday morning and initially wanted to do a test run, but it rained the moment we stepped out from our airbnb. So the plan was to tryout the next morning instead.

So, EAT – probably walked almost the whole Osaka (okaylah i’m exaggerating). But seriously, walked almost 8 hours in total that kind. Came back to the airbnb at night and my knee totally died. My left knee couldn’t bend (this one not exaggerating). I woke up the next day, still couldn’t bend. It was till the extent that I thought I needed to DNS Kyoto Marathon the next day. So, no test run again. My best bet was to just rest it out and hope for the best on Sunday slash pray for a miracle. I must have been a pretty good person lah in my past life (because I’m not that great in this one) because I did get some miracle and my knee was so much better by nightfall. But it really did seem like the world was against me running Kyoto.

But we walked again the whole Kyoto. Walk to RECP, walk to find nice food, walk to find dessert, walk to find even nicer food! So much so my inner thighs were sore before the marathon! So guys, don’t go walk the whole japan before your marathon. You can walk from Japan to Korea after your marathon unless you don’t care about your timing lah. But I did. So remember, do not tour the whole of Japan on foot before your marathon!

Thankfully for me I have Mr. Lim who is my manager, makeshift physiotherapist, slave? to massage my legs. Teehee!

Marathon Day

I don’t know why I didn’t check the weather before heading out – I think normal people do that kinda thing. And I don’t know why I decided shorts should be fine (and I don’t deal with the cold very well). And, it was a blistering 2 degrees. I died. Getting to the start line itself I was super regretting what I wore.

Actually initially, the plan was to wear long tights, maybe a thin jacket. But then,  I watched a video of Soh Rui Yoong running a Japan race the week before. He was wearing a singlet, shorts, arm warmers and gloves. So naturally I thought, whoah this is what I should wear too. Elite can’t go wrong right? Yea, I probably was one of the very little people just looking like an elite at the start line.  Looks only LOL! But I really did feel like quite stupid to be wearing that. So I guess that’s another lesson learnt – check the weather forecast! Don’t know why I thought it would be like Genting weather slash 16 – 17 degrees!

Mr. Lim sent me off. Off I went into Zone A. Damn sad okay – poor cold shivering LONELY girl, standing ALONE! Lucky William Lim spotted me. Not so lonely anymore hehe!

3 2 1 GO

Flagoff! I ran the first kilometre with William before he ditched me! I guess I was really surprised by the field of runners. I mean Pikachu was running faster than me. Aunties probably almost twice my age were running in front of me. I felt – slow and unfit!

I think quite ridiculous things when I run. Maybe it’s all that time of being alone! When Pikachu passed me I was like whoah, wad seriously even Pikachu is faster than me! But I turned back and saw other Pokemon behind me. So I thought to myself, it’s okay, Pikachu is a special Pokemon that’s why so fast. I’m still faster than normal Pokemon! Okay noone cares but me!

I was really impressed by the entire Kyoto Marathon. The views were beautiful! The favourite person took a few shots along the route,. Lucky I carried no phone if not I may have stopped to take some photos too. So pretty! Not that I’ve done any pretty marathons before lah but hands down the prettiest marathon I’ve ran. The water stations were impressive – even got plenty of food – Chocolate bread, Vanilla bread, Custard bread, Red Bean bread – you name it! How they handle the traffic, pedestrian crossings were also impressive! I’ve not seen it done before. And the supporters from start to end was amazing!

But I guess it’s the course that made it easy for supporters to come out and cheer! I mean in Standard Chartered KL Marathon, how do people even get on the DUKE highway to cheer runners on!?!? HAHA!

Anyways the course is slightly hilly in the initial 15km, then pretty much flat. You run along the famous Kyoto riverbanks, past temples and basically pretty much the whole Kyoto.

Suffer-fest

The first 10km was okay for me. The sun was starting to come out. I was feeling quite warm and nice. I discarded my neck buff. I was looking for a volunteer to discard my arm sleeves as well – but THANKFULLY i didn’t. Suddenly 13km ish onwards – it was, man where is my sun? The sun disappeared! Felt like temperatures were dropping again. I started to feel cold again. My knees started to hurt – both knees! My quads started to numb. At 20km point I felt like I was dying already.

I saw Mr. Lim at the 20km point and i continued to push on. By 28km, entering the Kyoto Botanical Gardens, I felt like I kind of hit the wall. It was one of those what am I doing moments. It was one of those I felt like okay-lah I did quite a good long run – sub 5 minute pace, my knees were hurting, I already did a good job, maybe I should stop and walk moments. But I guess it’s really one of those low points everyone experiences when they do something like this. It was really a suffering remaining 14km for me to the finish line. It was really me against my thoughts and the temptation to just give up. But I also did think, man if I stopped, then what? I had no money no phone, and probably freeze to death walking back to the finish line. So I guess, I just kept moving. And favourite person always tells me this.

everyone is hurting. everyone is in pain. it’s who handles the pain better that will come out on top!

So, that’s what normally keeps me going! Think I smiled abit here because I saw favourite person! It’s always nice to have support when running a tough marathon! It’s these little things that keeps you moving!

But when I finished, man, I was so overjoyed. It was a PB for me! It wasn’t my target – but nevertheless a PB! Looking back at my splits, I slowed down at the final 5km but thankfully still maintained a sub 5 minute pace.

The best part was of course having favourite person Mr. Lim and my best friend Steph waiting at the finish line for me. That really was the best part. I look forward to many more moments like this.

Unofficially an ULTRA-MARATHONER

So favourite person and best friend and bestfriend’s boyfriend waited for me for almost 4 hours whilst I got to see the whole of Kyoto. So naturally, it was their turn to see Kyoto. Favourite person wanted to do the Fuhimi-Inari hike which was an 8km hike up and down. So I pocketed a 50km that day and unofficially became an ultramarathoner.

Thanks

The thanks of course goes out to the people who have supported me in my running – Mizuno, Garmin, JustRunLah! and Lifeline-ID. Dynamique has also helped me with my weird pains and injuries. And as I’ve always said, my run accomplishments are always as much mine as favourite person’s. Thanks for always pushing me, and treating my like a princess! And always to my family (Cousin and Uncle included) – their neverending patience and support for me has been extraordinary!

It’s time to train harder =)


Win A Free Slot To STAR WARS™ RUN Singapore 2017

The Walt Disney Company South East Asia and local organizer Esprimo brings us the STAR WARS RUN Singapore on 6th May 2017! This is as part of the ‘May The 4th’ celebrations. Isn’t this just amazing news for all STAR WARS fans? Join the very first STAR WARS RUN in Singapore where fans, families and run enthusiasts can look forward to a night filled with all things STAR WARS!

Win A Free Slot!

Greater news for JustRunLah! readers. We are happy to be giving away 8 complimentary slots! Fill in the form below to take part in the contest!

[Optional] I give permission to JustRunLah Pte Ltd to contact me via SMS about promotions, discounts and news. Personal information will not be shared or sold to any third parties and it is possible to leave the list at any time.

Contest terms

  • The winners will be notified by email.
  • By entering this contest you agree to periodically receive emails with news, stories and promotions.
  • We do not spam and you are free to leave the mailing list any time you wish.
"Contest will end on 29th March 2017 (23:59pm)"

The winners’ names will be published here and via e-mail.


Run, Learn & Explore at the Pesta Ubin Run 2017

The 2nd edition of the Pesta Ubin Run is back, happening on the 20th May 2017! With more co-partners and sponsors coming on board to do our part for the environment, the Pesta Ubin Run 2017 promises to be bigger, better and more environmentally friendly.

There will be 2 categories: 5km and 2.5km. The 5km category will flagoff at 8am whereas the 2.5km flagsoff at 9am.

Kampung Ubin has a green spirit – and this run will showcase Pulau Ubin’s clean and green environment, bringing you through scenic rustic kampungs and fruit orchards! We’re talking about cool durian trees and coconut trees! And do not forget to greet the friendly locals along your run!

When They Say Green, They Really Mean Green!

Participants are reminded to bring your own bottle! The BYOB concept has become popular with environmental friendly runs! Imagine the paper cups wastage! They really mean it! If you do not have your own bottle, you will be directed to the nearby provision shops to purchase your drinks!

More Than A Run!

The Pesta Ubin Run doubles up as a prelude as to the beautiful Ubin. Continue exploring Pulau Ubin and discover the rich heritage and vast biodiversity Ubin has to offer. Pulau Ubin even has something for the adventurous – check out their water sports post run!

Make it a day for the outdoors with your friends and family! Run Pulau Ubin!


Preparing for my First Marathon with YouTube

Hello everyone, my name is Andy and this is my first blog post with JustRunLah!
2017 Sundown will be my first Marathon too!

If you are a first time Marathoner, a few questions might follow you along your running journey. Yes, I am still having these self-doubts, even when we are only days away from Sundown Marathon 🙂

Am I training enough for 42.195km?
Am I happy with my own efforts?
Am I READY for a Marathon?

Then I heard from regulars that even if you are running a Marathon for the 3rd or 10th time, you will still have doubts, as 42.195 KM is a r-e-a-l-l-y long distance!

Allow me (a novice runner) to share a few points which I pickup up along the training journey:

1) Enjoy the training routine, celebrate your own development and improvement.
Your fitness will definitely improve. Week by week, your stamina and pace will improve, you will be tired too but recovery is easier and faster.

2) We all have only 24 hours a day, Family, Work and other commitments keep us busy and we sometimes sacrifice REST (and sleep). This is the most neglected component in my training routine, it sucks when we fall sick and have to train harder again.

3) Running is tough, but finding SPARE TIME to run is even harder! When I am trying to clock the mileage for a Marathon (40 to 50 KM per week), you can literally count the number of hours needed.

4) Have Fun! Be it running with friends or enjoying a new route (sightseeing), it makes it easier to pass time (literally). If you need additional fuel and motivation for your running adrenaline, follow JustRunLah!’s fellow runners’ experiences 🙂

5) I joined all 5 TPS (ThePerformanceSeries) 10 KM in 2016. Although my personal best never went under 60 minutes, but it did build my appetite for more runs. Having said that, 42.195 KM is a huge difference from the 10 KM race!

Apart from getting some tips from friends, I pick up more tips from YouTube (Go ahead and laugh at me hee hee). Marathon is not something which we can attempt without training, you need to start preparing at least four to six months beforehand.

You might read up some YouTube or Google some of this running terms (and there are many terminologies out there!) :
Breathing, Running style, Hydration, Injury prevention, Stride, Eat (gel) and nutrition, Tapering,  Recuperation etc.

The first thing I did for myself was to come up with a training plan, and STICKING to it. (How long, how fast to run in the weeks before race day etc).

Some will recommend non-running exercises like Cross, Hike, Steps, Yoga Pilates or Aerobics to train other muscle groups. This will enhance our overall running performance, by having stronger core and flexibility (eg).

6) Join the lead-up runs (with pacers) organised by your Running event.
After all your training, this is the moment to validate whether you are ready for the race.

It is not about running Fast or even strong, but maintaining a constant (and comfortable) pace.

As this is my first Marathon, any timing below 6 hours is an achievement for me. I will be trying to run with the 5.30 pacers. Mathematically, if I can maintain a pace of 7.30 Min/Km, then I should be good 🙂

Then again, you will read that the real Marathon starts at 30 KM (the WALL).
And I am not sure how my body will adjust to running at 3 or 4am in the wee hours :p

My running journey has just started. By keeping fit myself, I hope to motivate my family to keep fit too. Cheers to many more running milestones down the road.

You can read more about my 42.195 KM Marathon motivation and bucket-list here or Instagram #Training42Sundown2017. Wish me Luck !


#Make1KWetChallenge – Are You Ready To Take The Pool For A Change?

Speedo introduces to you the #Make1KWetChallenge. Broaden your horizons and challenge your limits. Do you think you can swim a kilometre in the same time you can run 5 or cycle 10? Are you as speedy in the water as you are on ground?

Tell Me More About #Make1KWetChallenge

The kilometre distance is a really good distance in terms of being a challenge. The challenge here is – to at the end of the day, be able to swim the 1k distance in the same time you can run a 5km or cycle a 10km. Devised by 3 time National Triathlon Champion and Training Coach – Annie Emmerson, this challenge is designed to take your fitness to a new level. This challenge will shake up your fitness routine, and is a great form of cross training. We’ll let you in on a secret – swimming will bring immense benefits to your fitness.

Why Swim, When You Can Run – I’ll Tell You Why

Swimming is one of the best sports in terms of all round fitness. It helps develop upper body strength, a good core and increased lung capacity. Naturally, this becomes a big plus for other sports such as running or cycling. The benefits of water is just waiting for you to be discovered. Test your results against your running routine!

NO DOUBT SWIM TRAINING HAD A BIG PART IN HELPING ME QUALIFY FOR THE WORLD HALF MARATHON TEAM – ANNIE EMERSON

See the challenge in action

Watch Charlie Watson, Elle Linton and Rick Pearson challenge the 1k distance! They post a 16 – 18 minutes 5k times, but can they do the same in the water?

Did you try and fail too? – The 1K Wet Training Plans

You’ve got to admit it, it’s a pretty tough challenge! Hence, Annie has developed the 1K Wet Training Plans that suit different levels – beginner, intermediate and the advanced! This is to help fitness enthusiasts hit their 1k target in the pool. In the plans, Annie uses drills, change of pace, and the grasp of breathing techniques to enable you to swim below your 5km run time.


Mok Qualfies for SEA Alongside Compatriot Soh

The SEA games marathon stage is slowly being set up. With the likes of Soh, Jasmine Goh, Rachel See all hitting the qualifying mark already, today we have even more good news. Mok will toe the start line at the SEA games 2017 in Kuala Lumpur after a blistering 2h 26min 7sec in the Seoul Marathon this morning. It was not only a SEA games qualifying time for Mok, but also a PB!

Photo Credits: Mok Ying Ren

The stage is set for August 19th 2017! It’s going to be a great showdown between Soh and Mok. Add Agus into the mix and really this will be one run you cannot miss watching! It’s going to be competitive! Agus also qualified with a 2h 21mins 35sec in Seoul this morning. Do not count out Malaysian Tan Huong Leong who also managed a 2h28mins PB in Tokyo. And how can we forget Boonthung Srisung?

So, who’s coming back with the gold? Watch them take centre stage!


5 Local Foods To Try When You Are In Australia For Your Next Race

The land of kangaroos and koalas, Australia is well known to be the destination to head to when you need to get away from it all. The pace is relatively slower and the people are usually friendly. Depending on which state you head to, there are usually a number of outdoor activities for you to do.

And when it comes to their food, the Australians sure know how to get cooking. Here are 5 foods you have to try if you are heading there for a run anytime soon.

#1 Fish and Chips

Photo Credits: Canberra Times

Surprised? You don’t have to be. In fact, because the entire country is surrounded by ocean, you are pretty much guaranteed to have really fresh seafood. Although fish and chips are considered an English specialty, the Australians don’t have theirs with vinegar and they pair their fish with crispy chips instead. The prices may not be very cheap but definitely reasonable for the level of freshness you are getting.

#2 Vegemite

Photo Credits: Blogs.acu

I’m putting this second because Australians adore their vegemite. They have it with EVERYTHING, even on their toasts. For those who have no idea what vegemite is, it is a dark brown paste made from various vegetables, yeast extract and spice additives. And If you are thinking “Oh, since they have it with their toasts, it should taste sweet right?” Wrong! Vegemite is salty and unless you have tasted Bovril before, the taste of this will most likely make you back peddle a few kilometres from the product. To put it nicely, it is an acquired taste.

#3 Tim Tams

Photo Credits: Arnotts

Now this one is a delicious treat and definitely sweet! Although the usual flavours can be found in most good supermarkets worldwide, the new and unique flavours can only be found in Aussieland. Tim Tams, according to the Australians, are best consumed with a hot cuppa because that’s where the fun comes in. To most effectively eat a Tim Tam, you stick one end in your coffee and then suck the drink from the other side of the biscuit. The chocolate-y Tim Tam goes really well with the coffee and you have got yourself a dessert or a sweet snack.

#4 Barbeque

Photo Credits: Oz Safari

Considered almost like a pastime for many Australians, throwing heaps of seafood and meat on the “barbie” is a great way to socialise with friends and family and have a couple of beers and some grub, especially when the weather is good. There’s also usually salad as an accompaniment (got to have your greens!). If you are one of the lucky ones who have family or friends (or both), residing in Australia, you can have one at home. If not, there are also tours that take tourists and locals for barbeques at the beach or anywhere else.

#5 Kangaroo meat

Photo Credits: Butcherman

You may find this in good supermarkets in many countries nowadays but in Australia, as easily as you can see kangaroos hopping around, it is just as easy to find their meat in supermarkets. It’s lean red meat so it’s really healthy and can be prepared in many ways like steaks, burgers, sausages, and so on. Kangaroo meat is especially delicious when it is marinated well and since you are in Australia, you may as well try it!

Read More:

  1. 5 Local Food To Try When You Are In Hong Kong For Your Next Race 
  2. 5 Local Food To Try When You Are In Thailand For Your Next Race 
  3. 5 Local Food To Try When You Are In Philippines For Your Next Race 

Cycling Routes: South East Asia’s Top 5

Pilot Wilderness Mountain Bike Ride (Cascade Hut to Barry Way), Kosciuszko National Park

If you are not one for running, perhaps cycling then is your thing. Besides the adrenaline rush you can expect from the trails, some routes even give you eyes a treat with awesome scenery and views of mountains and rivers or perhaps just really nice foliage.

So if you are looking for some great cycling trails, you may want to consider one, or all, of these.

#1 Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Known as the best mountain biking spot in Kuala Lumpur, it is not difficult to see why. Whether you are a beginner biker or a seasoned one, this spot has trails that range from simple to highly technical ones with tricky loops and tight sections. If you are looking for something challenging, you may want to seek out some of the harder trails like ‘Snakes and Ladders’ and the lung-busting ‘Twin Peaks’.

#2 Kirirom National Park, Cambodia

Photo Credits: Cambodia Travel

Fancy a cooler ride? Then Kirirom, also known as Preah Soramarith National Park, is probably the biking trail for you. Popular with mountain bikers for its single tracking leading up to a 700-metre hill, the cooler temperatures and picturesque landscape are also hugely welcomed by cyclists. And if you are looking for some form of race, it may be good for you to know that Kirirom us also the site of an annual mountain bike race called the Kirirom Mountain Bike Challenge – one of Cambodia’s biggest cycling events.

#3 Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Photo Credits: Chiang Mai

If you are a casual rider just out to enjoy some views while getting onto an easy track out of Singapore, perhaps this one may work well for you. Offering some of the best downhill biking trails in Southeast Asia, you can opt for The Eagles Route through bike tour company, Mountain Biking Chiang Mai that’s mostly downhill with only a section or two of uphills. Starting from the summit of Doi Pui at over 1,600 metres above sea level, you will pass by cultural and scenic spots, including a Hmong Village, until you get to your destination of Lake Huay Tueng Tao.

#4 Maarat, San Mateo, Rizal, Philippines

Photo Credits: Patrick Pantangco

You cannot talk about biking without mentioning the town of San Mateo. Dubbed as the mountain bike capital of the Philippines, there are several trails to choose from, the most popular and possibly most challenging being the Blue Zone trail. And while the Blue Zone trail is recommended for more experienced riders on a usual basis, it has to be noted that the trail gets harder in the wet season when mud puddles and pools will make the steering and climbing harder. If you wish to be merciless to yourself, you can try The Wall where you ascend over 240 metres in less than two kilometres.

#5 Ketam Mountain Bike Park, Pulau Ubin, Singapore

Photo Credits: ASEAN Tourism Travel

Closer to home, we have this bike park that is located off the northeast coast of Singapore. Ketam boasts about 10 kilometres of mountain bike trails that were constructed to meet International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMB) standards and while it may require a bit of effort to get there, it is worth every single bit. It is good to note that Ketam’s trails are in the three highest difficulty ratings in the IMBA’s five-point ratings system, namely Blue Square, Black Diamond and Double Black Diamond. But of course if you prefer to just go for a leisurely cycle around the island, you can still do so by renting a bike from the several shops at the main village near the jetty and follow a 14 kilometres scenic route without getting onto the Ketam trail.

Read More:

  1. Hiking Trails: Top 5 in Asia Pacific
  2. Hiking Trails: Top 5 in South East Asia
  3. I’m Cooler Because I Qualified for the World Marathon Majors

5 Local Foods To Try When You Are In Japan For Your Next Race

When it comes to Japan, Japanoholics will tell you that besides the culture, the people and the shopping, it is also the food that tickles their fancy.

It may have used to cost a pretty penny to make your way to the Land of the Rising Sun but in recent years, many tourists are flocking there due to the more affordable travel and hotel prices.

So with this in mind, should you make your way there for a run, make sure you treat your taste buds to these 5 local foods.

#1 Sushi and Sashimi

Photo Credits: Mode Sushi

If you are wondering why I’m putting these two food items together in the same category, it is only for the simple reason that one comes with rice and the other, without. Both of these can be considered Japan’s most iconic dishes to date and nobody ever goes there without having at least one piece of sushi, if sashimi isn’t up their alley. While many may say that sashimi, which is raw seafood you consume after dipping it in a soya sauce, is a healthier option because there is no carbs, the carb count with sushi isn’t that scary either since the rice is vinegar-ed.

#2 Okonomiyaki

Imagine a savoury pancake batter. Now imagine that it is filled with loads of seafood, meat and vegetables and then pan fried until the outsides are crispy and golden brown, while the centre retains its fluffiness and moisture. A dish that originated from Osaka, there are several okonomiyaki restaurants all over Japan where you can either get a wait staff to cook it for you or you can opt to do it on your own. In my opinion, it’s always best to do it yourself so that for one, it’s fun and two, you get to cook the pancake to your desired crispness.

#3 Takoyaki

Little balls of deliciousness, these octopus balls (tako means octopus in Japanese), are bits of octopus wrapped in a round case of flour and cooked in a special takoyaki pan. Like the okonomiyaki, the outside of the balls is crispy while the insides are hot and fluffy. Also a dish originating from Osaka, this is a great snack to have especially when the weather gets a little chilly.

#4 Yakitori

If you are familiar with satay, this is almost similar. Basically all types of meat and vegetables skewered on a stick and grilled to perfection, the Japanese version is slathered with a sweet sauce to give it that awesome sweet-savoury caramelised flavour. Another low carb option since there isn’t any involved, you can find these at most restaurants or izakayas in Japan. The best way to enjoy yakitori is with some alcohol and a group of friends.

#5 Ramen

I left the most iconic and best for last. While there are so many ramen stalls and restaurants all over Japan, there are only handfuls that can really cook up a great bowl. A steaming bowl of ramen is a highly welcomed dish for busy Japanese who are always on the go. Springy noodles usually served in a pork bone or chicken broth, accompanied with a generous serving of meat and vegetables, tourists literally flock to Japan just to taste an authentic bowl. And of course it is the dish to go to when it gets a little chilly outside.

Read More:

  1. 5 Local Foods To Try When You Are In Indonesia For Your Next Race
  2. 5 Local Foods To Try When You Are In Hong Kong For Your Next Race
  3. 5 Local Foods To Try When You Are In Malaysia For Your Next Race

5 Local Foods To Try When You Are In Philippines For Your Next Race

Ah Philippines! The land of super talented singers, dancers, beautiful beaches and really friendly people. Becoming more popular amongst tourists in the last few years, people are starting to appreciate the food that can be found all over the country. With a huge Spanish influence, Filipino food is just that – a mixture of awesome Spanish cooking methods together with undeniably delicious Filipino style.

If your next run takes place in the Philippines, let yourself go a little and indulge in their awesome local delicacies like the 5 below. It isn’t all about Jollibee!

#1 Chicken Adobo

Photo Credits: Budget Bytes

You may have heard of this several times but many may not have tried it or even seen it before. A delectable savoury dish, it is basically chicken or pork marinated in a mixture of soya sauce and vinegar. This is usually eaten with a side of steamed white rice. It’s good to know too that some places create their own recipe of this dish and add it more mouth-watering ingredients to amp up the flavour even further.

#2 Kare Kare

Photo Credits: Kawaling Pinoy

Fancy some oxtail and ox tripe stew Filipino style? A famous dish throughout the whole country, many locals have this as a form of comfort food. The dish is cooked with an array of vegetables and flavoured with roasted peanuts or peanut butter, onions and garlic. It is usually served with bagoong (shrimp sauce), and sometimes spiced with chili and sprinkled with calamansi juice.

#3 Paksiw Na Lechon

Photo Credits: Ang Sarap

If you find yourself craving for some good old suckling pig while you are there, your best bet would be to savour this national dish of the Philippines. While the most famous city to have this is the city of Cebu, you can find this pretty easily across the nation. A whole suckling pig is roasted over charcoal for many hours to achieve the crackling skin and super juicy meat within. The leftovers are not thrown away but are stewed with vinegar and spices and becomes this delicious dish – Paksiw Na Lechon, with the word paksiw literally meaning “to cook and simmer with vinegar”.

#4 Balut

Photo Credits: The Food Bible

Duck embryo anyone? Looking (and some say tasting), like something out of a bizarre food challenge, balut is actually a developing duck embryo boiled and eaten as a snack (or as a challenge for tourists), in the shell with a splash of vinegar. Apparently, the best age of the duck embryo is 17 days when the chick is not old enough to have been fully formed. But you can still hear the crunch of tiny bones when you bite into one. A popular street food, it is possibly one of the strangest foods to try.

#5 Halo Halo

Photo Credits: NY Times

A famous Filipino dessert, Halo Halo, which also means “mixed together”, is a sweet dessert that include boiled kidney beans, chickpeas, sugar palm fruit, jackfruit, tapioca, sweet potato, sweet bean, coconut gel, ice cream, guava paste, purple yam and a whole lot more, depending on how much else can be added! Served in a tall glass containing ice shavings and evaporated, this is the perfect dessert to end off any meal you have in the Philippines.

Read More:

  1. 5 Local Foods To Try When You Are In Thailand For Your Next Race
  2. 5 Local Foods To Try When You Are In Taiwan For Your Next Race
  3. 5 Local Foods To Try When You Are In Malaysia For Your Next Race

Ed Whitlock – Celebrating His Inspirational Running Journey

Ed Whitlock is a true marathon legend. The running world has suffered a great loss with Ed Whitlock’s death (just a week after his 86th birthday), but his wisdom, guidance and strength of character will live on.

YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO CHASE YOUR DREAMS

His story is inspiring. He is the epitome of you are never too old. If you haven’t heard, while many of us- young and dangerous, are struggling to hit that sub3 marathon mark, Ed casually ran a 2h 59 minutes 10 seconds marathon at the age of 72. Told you he is legend-wait for it-ary. A year later, he improved that record with a time of 2:54:49. If age-graded, this would be equivalent to a 20 year old running a 2:03:57 which would also be the fastest marathon time posted for the year 2010. Talk about impressive! He recently posted a sub4 timing, setting another world record for the 85 – 89 age group for the marathon.

Photo Credits: CBC

Ed holds 36 records in the Masters Athletics. Able to run a 1:22:23 half marathon in his seventies – how many of us can do that in our twenties? Not many of us can relate to running a sub2 marathon, but many of us can relate to running a sub3 marathon, but at his age – it’s just world class! Ed is truly an inspiration to thousands and millions of regular runners.

Considered a true inspiration by many, Ed sees himself as just a guy who loves to run. His recent death is certainly an enormous loss, but his legacy will live on.

If you need motivation, think Ed Whitlock!


Marathon Day Recap: Clark Animo 8

PR set! Feeling pretty proud.

I did it! It’s done. This 42 year old female ran 42 kilometers and 195 meters. I’m ecstatic because not only did I finish my marathon injury-free, I finished it ahead of my predicted race time of somewhere between 6:17-6:30. My gun time was 05:52:23.687.

And no, I’m not raring to sign up for another race, thank you. Gonna savor my sweet time off from months of running.

This was how the day went down.

The bright full moon was still up during the early hours of March 12, Sunday when 42km runners gathered at the starting line of the 8th annual Clark Animo Marathon.

I asked another runner to snap my customary pre-race photo. “You’re by yourself?” He asked quite surprised. I said yes. And mentally added “as usual.”

A race briefing was held a few minutes before gun start. And at exactly 2:30 A.M. we were off.

“I’m going to stick to my own pace” I kept telling myself as runners passed me by. Still, I knew I was running a bit faster than I’m used to.

My Nike app announced the 1k mark and my pace. Seven something kilometers per hour. Whoa! I needed to slow down. It should’ve been 8’30″/km. But I knew the course well and this bit was a bit of a downhill. I decided that I should take advantage of it. Besides, I knew that I couldn’t be this fast the second time around. The route was two loops on a 21km course around the Clark Freeport Zone.

At the 7km point, I see a girl running barefoot. Oh how I wished I could run barefoot. Years ago, I tried running wearing a pair of those shoes that supposedly mimicked the barefoot experience. I got Achilles tendonitis.

I smiled and asked her as I passed her if she was running barefoot all the way. She said she had a pair of flipflops with her for emergency use.

I check my watch. 45 minutes into the race. It’s time to eat my banana.

At 10km, I was still going faster than my normal pace. And the pain that occurs just below my knees which usually happens to me at around 21k made its presence felt.

“See. I told you to slow down.” I scolded myself. Besides, coach Sage (on YouTube) emphasized the importance of an even, sustainable pace.

An older runner passed me. He was tall and looked like a seasoned marathoner. He had that built. We greeted each other a good morning.

At about 14km, I passed him. He gave me a thumbs up and said “You’re pretty strong!” I said “Yeah I’m expecting to crash later.” Self-deprecating mode on.

The course made a right turn, I saw the Air Force City welcome sign. I sang “Paradise City” in my head. Earphones and other such devices were not allowed by the race organizers because only a section of the roads were closed off for runners. Too bad, I prepared a killer marathon playlist. But I was also relieved. I could focus 100% on my running and be in the present moment.

At 16km, I needed to pee. The course took us through the airport grounds and so I dashed to the bathroom. Better a real bathroom than a port-a-potty (which I haven’t yet spotted along the race course.)

I reached the half-way point. Hey, 21km! I believe I have achieved a PR: 2:39:42. I was expecting a 3 hour time. Wow.

Time for another “snack.” Just like in my training, I included real foods in addition to an energy chew and gel. It was pretzels time for some quick energy and some extra salt.

I was on my second loop. I still felt pretty good. But I relaxed a bit since the fear of not making it to the 3:30 half-marathon cut off no longer worried me. I now readjusted to my normal pace.

The 21km-32Km range was what I called the desert area. If I conserved energy and rehydrated properly, I’d have a better chance of finishing the marathon strong. This was also the part of the race where I started swearing to myself. I took a 10 minute walk break here as well. My leg muscles were very tight and the top of my right thigh felt like it was getting hacked. Here, a fellow runner reminded me to keep my head up so I don’t get dizzy. I thanked him for his advice. It’s just that sometimes if I looked at the horizon and see how far the road still stretched, it zaps my motivation and energy.

After I felt better, I pushed myself to run again. I found it very hard to gather enough energy to run again so I made a mental note to keep walking breaks to a minimum. I did it again though at 35km because I started feeling the onset of a stomach cramp. Luckily, it came and went.

I check the time. I told my husband and my nine year old brother (who ran in the 2.5K fun run) to expect me at the finish line at about 8:30 AM or so, which is about 6 hours from gun start.

I think I had about 45 minutes left till 8:30. I thought to myself I should just keep going and if 8:30 came and I still wasn’t at the finish line, I’d just relax and walk.

Luckily the last 2km of the course was a slight slope so I was even able to pick up my pace from 10’34” to 8’13”, passing a few runners this late in the game. Woohoo. I felt good. A fellow lady runner cheered and shouted “Go, go, go” while another guy also told me “You’re tough!”

When I made the right turn towards the finish line and saw that the clock hadn’t reached 6 hours just yet, I made a go for it. I wasn’t totally expecting a PR but there it was. I finished with an 8’06” pace and about 8 minutes ahead of my time goal.

What a day! Although I’m not in the fast runner category (my data showed 65% were ahead of me and there were 81 runners behind me), I really thought this was a great run. I pushed myself hard, respected the distance and did my training.


Your Running Journey. Our Passion. Progressively Working Towards Your Goals, #TranscendYourself.

The Performance Series is a series of running races throughout the year that brings you to iconic landmarks of Singapore and Malaysia. Don’t stop at just one race – because TPS is about making a lifestyle change. Achieving goals is about setting mini ones on the way to make sure you are on track. Keep your eyes on the gold, but have mini milestones to be sure you are getting closer to your goal. TPS 2017 will be your mini checks on your way to a bigger goal – Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2017!

MAKE THE YEAR 2017 GREAT WITH TPS AND SCMS 2017!

#1 Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

Every body begins somewhere. Take the first step and never turn back. Consistency is key. For those just starting out – looking to just become consistent in this new thing called running, join the 5km distance in the TPS Running series and SCMS 2017, making it 5km every quarter. Make running a constant in your life by taking little steps!

#2 Progressive Improvement

Being a little more ambitious for the year 2017? – Increase your distance with every race you join! Start with a 5km, move up to complete a 10km, hit a half marathon distance  in TPS 2017 and complete your running journey by accomplishing the infamous marathon distance of 42.195km at the SCMS 2017. There is just something cooler to be able to call yourself a marathon runner! We know it’s just a label, but it’s a cool label.

#3 To Constantly Stay In The Zone

You are pretty good at running. Running a half marathon is no problemo! But just because you can run 21km now, does not mean 3 years down the road 21 kilometres will still be easy-peasy! Keep yourself in the zone and keep on running! Register for a 21km every quarter and just to challenge yourself, end your year with the marathon distance! You can certainly be sure you’ll still be able to run a 21km 5 years down the road then. Fitness is something to be maintained!

#4 To Improve On Your Personal Best

It’s time to challenge your limits and see how far you can go! Train hard, trust the process and put your training to the test! Sign up for a 10km distance or half marathon distance every quarter and see how much you have bettered! That satisfaction when you hit a new personal best is going to be addictive! At the end of the year, give yourself the ultimate test on the Gold Label SCMS Course and target a new PB! You’re going to be left wanting more!

Come progressively work towards your goal with the TPS 2017 and Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore Running Series, and #TranscendYourself.

Surprise Surprise – The Performance Series Malaysia

Yes, you heard right, The Performance Series is crossing borders, bringing you to Malaysia! Challenge yourself in Penang on the 9th July, or Kuching on the 3rd September, or come to Kuala Lumpur on the 19th November! And really, all these heritage places will make it a great run-cation, at the same time, you get see how much you’ve progressed towards your goals! Come #TranscendYourself with the TPS running series!

Read More about TPS

  1. TPS Run Malaysia One Race At A Time
  2. The Performance Series Is Back In 2017 – New And Refreshing Elements

Latest Editorials


JustRunLah! is owned and managed by JustConnect Media