Being a master runner brings your body immense benefits. Contrary to popular belief that running past a certain age carries with it certain risks, running brings you far more benefits particularly since the reality of ageing and degeneration is inevitable. Running can delay many of the inevitable effects of ageing. You will experience better mobility, coordination, weight control, bone density, muscle strength and just an overall improved sense of wellbeing. So. lace on your shoes and you’ll be cheating the years!
#1 Stretch before and after EVERY run! The importance of stretching cannot be stressed more! Especially when we are ageing!
#2 Sleep adequately to recover well from a run! Don’t be a superhero! You can’t take care of the grandkids, send the grandkid to school, cook breakfast lunch and dinner and be a record breaking runner! Remember to recover well. Remember to sleep adequately. This is to avoid injuries.
#3 Cross Train! Vary the workout to prevent muscle exhaustion! Maintain your fitness doing other sports – swim, hike, bike maybe? Or you could even try yoga!
#4 Join a running group! The camaraderie and support will keep you going!
#5 Get a family member to run with you. You could join races with your son or your grandchildren. Did you know 85 year old South African Deirdre Larkin who holds the half marathon world record in her age category started running with her son? Family members can become a great support system and inspiration.
#6 Join races at places you’ve never been before! Running can take you to new heights and new places. Pick a place you’ve always wanted to visit and go son a race-cation! It could be in Mount blanc or the streets of Tokyo!
#7 Set a goal for yourself and work towards that goal. Pick a race to test your running out!
#8 Volunteer for races! As we age, we want to inspire people but also draw inspiration from people. Run to inspire, and be inspired! You won’t be able to imagine who can inspire you when you volunteer for a race. It’s a different kind of experience – one that will bring you a long way in your running journey!
Come join Singapore’s pioneer triathlon event – Singapore Triathlon 2017! Happening on the 10th September 2017, come swim-bike-run the Lion City. With a mini, sprint, standard olympic and kid distance – there is a distance for everyone. Come challenge yourself with this 3 discipline sport!
Register Now and Stand a Chance to Win a Uvex S5314252250 Crow Pro Polavision Polarized Sports Sunglasses – Black Frame & Changeable Lenses
Great news for JustRunLah! readers! 3 lucky winners will stand a chance to win a brand new Uvex S5314252250 Crow Pro Polavision Polarized Sports Sunglasses – Black Frame & Changeable Lenses when you register for the Singapore International Triathlon 2017.
If you’ve already signed up, just fill in the form below to stand a chance to win! If you haven’t registered, just follow the steps below:
Come join Singapore’s pioneer triathlon event – Singapore Triathlon 2017! Happening on the 10th September 2017, come swim-bike-run the Lion City. With a mini, sprint, standard olympic and kid distance – there is a distance for everyone. Come challenge yourself with this 3 discipline sport!
Register Now and Stand a Chance to Win An Ultraspire UA105 Alpha 3.0 Hydration Race Vest Red
Great news for JustRunLah! readers! 3 lucky winners will stand a chance to win a brand new Ultraspire UA105 Alpha 3.0 Hydration Race Vest Red when you register for the Singapore International Triathlon 2017.
If you’ve already signed up, just fill in the form below to stand a chance to win! If you haven’t registered, just follow the steps below:
Kuching is a City of Culture but is still an untrodden gem in Malaysia. It is an interesting state indeed. Being on the other side of Malaysia, there are a lot of cultural differences that are reflected in their architecture, traditions and also food. Eat, Explore and Run Kuching! Experience a total different side of Malaysia!
Eat: Hunt For Food
You can’t go to Sarawak and not have tried these 2 delicacies.
Start your food journey with a bowl of Sarawak Laksa. Sarawak Laksa is a dish of vermicelli rice noodles cooked in a shrimp base broth. This broth has a Sarawakian flair to it – having a Sarawak influence. It is cooked with Sambal belacan, tamarind, galangal, lemongrass and thickened with coconut milk. Sounds like a standard laksa, but oh-so-different.
Photo Credits: VKeong
Then there is the Sarawak Kolo Mee. This is a simple bowl of springy noodles with char siew slices and minced pork. There are 2 variations – the original and the BBQ flavour. It’s a very simple dish but it’s a bowl packed full of flavour. It will keep you coming back for more.
Explore & Discover The Magical Kuching
Explore the magical fairy caves in Kuching. It is an impressive show cave – with plants growing within the caves. The combination of light, water and the guano-enriched soil makes it conducive for the growth of flora. It is quite a magical sight to see a whole ecosystem in a cave. The Bak national park also boasts great views of flora and fauna. Or a short hike at Santubong will give you some breathtaking views.
Photo Credits: Sunrise Odyssey
Carpenter Street is a place to immerse yourself in food and culture. The fascination on Carpenter street doesn’t just end with the food but extends to the old buildings housing them. It’s a step into the past, and you will definitely be enchanted by the charm of the old city feel.
Run – The Performance Series Kuching
Explore, discover and #TranscendYourself with The Performance Series in Kuching on the 3rd September 2017. Take a look at the race pack! Earn a stunning finisher tee, a great medal, possibly a personal best and a great experience #TranscendingYourself with your family and friends! What you waiting for? Join in the fun!
The ASICS Relay 2017 is back on the 7th October 2017 in Putrajaya – demonstrating ASICS commitment to running as a sport and its salute to team spirit. This time round, runners will run through the garden city of Kuala Lumpur – Putrajaya which offers a different kind of city view, both magnificent and scenic! This year, the ASICS Relay will kick-off in Jakarta (19th August), coming to Malaysia (7th October), heading to Singapore (4th November) and ending in Thailand.
Team Spirit – 4 Is Better Than One
The uniqueness of the team relay shines heavily on the beauty of team work and allows runners to bond with their team mates. The idea of running a 21km or 42km distance may seem daunting to most aspiring runners, however, the relay concept offers runners the opportunity to bag their first marathon or half marathon experience.
Individual team members will need to complete 2 loops of the 5.25km distance for the Full Marathon category or just 1 loop of the 5.25km distance for the half marathon category. The relay token is then handed over to next runner within the designated transition zone. Unite your team for a truly memorable bonding night with your buddies!
The run will kickoff from the Ceremonial Seri Gemilang Bridge leading runners to the heritage square where the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) is situated. Runners will also run around Dataran Gemilang, passing many iconic building such as the Attorney General Chambers of Malaysia offices and the Tunki Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque. This mosque has a unique stainless steel structure which is quite a sight!
The Event Tee Shirt
Parade around in the event tee shirt with pride! There is nothing greater than achieving something together with your friends! Fighting together to accomplish something together- is an experience like no other! The support you give one another is truly priceless!
The Finisher Medal
Earn your finisher medal with your buddies! Now, this medal is going to be special. It’s going to be a memorable experience because of the bonding experience with your team mates.
Stand a chance to win a free slot by spending MYR 430 in a single receipt in ASICS (Midvalley, 1 Utama or Pavilion). Also the first 50 registered runners will receive a complimentary ASICS shoebag. Just present your confirmation slip at ASICS Suria KLCC to redeem your free shoe bag. The first 100 teams to register will receive an ASICS sling bag during race pack collection. Hurry hurry and take advantage of these promotions!
The much anticipated RunNUS is back! This year, RunNUS will be held on 3rd September 2017 (Sunday) at NUS UTown from 7am to 11.30am.
For those who are new to RunNUS, RunNUS is an annual running event organized by NUS Students’ Sports Club to promote healthy lifestyles among the NUS population and the public.
RunNUS is also a partner of the NUS Annual Giving Campaign since 2010. The net proceeds from race registration fees and individual pledges will be donated towards the Annual Giving Bursary Fund to support financially needy NUS students.
Unlike previous years, in its 11th year running, RunNUS 2017 will feature a brand new ‘climb’ element, in addition to running, to further challenge its participants.
Participants can look forward to a fun-filled carnival with live entertainment and games after the race.
Sounds quite like the run for you?
Don’t miss the chance to register at the ongoing early bird prices for RunNUS 2017, ending on 6 August 2017!
JustRunLah! readers can enjoy special Loyalty Rates from now till 6 August 2017. Use code ‘JRLNUS17’ during check-out to enjoy the exclusive discount!
Last but not least, here’s a preview of the RunNUS 2017 race apparel:
Active people are constantly down for new things and new places. We are constantly looking for new places to explore and discover. We like to run new places, we like to do new things, we like to run new routes. It gives us an excitement like no-other. Here are 3 new locations in Singapore all active individuals must explore and discover.
#1 Tampines Hub
New lifestyle mall – Tampines Hub is a good place for a full day out with friends and family for some good ol’ fun. Tampines Hub hosts an indoor climbing wall theme park. Choose from 19 different climbing walls, all at 8m high – not for the faint hearted. Afraid of heights? – James Bond your way around the Laser Quest Arena with your friends. Oh and did we mention an indoor running track on level 5 of the mall? – how much cooler can this mall get?
#2 Tanah Merah Coast Road
The new extended Tanah Merah Coast Road features a demarcated on-road cycling lane on both sides. It’s really wonderful because it’s a lane dedicated to cyclists, so at any point of time, cyclists can feel safe. They are not affected by oncoming vehicle traffic. They have their own lane. It is a 10 kilometre cycling lane – definitely to the delight of cyclists.
#3 Glow In The Dark Track
A stretch at the Rail Corridor lights up in the dark to give a starry effect. Four different surface materials each take up a 100m stretch of the track – grass and gravel, fine gravel, earth-coloured porous concrete and natural non-toxic light green strontium aluminate minerals, which absorb ultra-violet light during the day that enables the track to emit a soft glow at night. It’s definitely a luminous experience!
DEL CARMEN, Surigao del Norte – Joseph Mururi of Kenya and Ryzan Lacson of the Philippines were hailed as the champions of the First Siargao International Marathon held last Sunday (July 23). The footrace started and ended at the Del Carmen Elementary School via the Siargao Circumferential Road and passing the adjacent towns of San Benito and Santa Monica on the western coast of the island tourism hotspot.
Mururi, who registered just hours before the rainy early morning gun start, breezed throughout the 42.195 kilometers with a winning time of 2:43:43. Second Place went to Cris Aclo (3:22:54) while July Bandojo (3:37:19) took Third Place.
Lacson had a relatively easier time in the Women’s Division with her clocking of 4:21:19 almost an hour faster than closest pursuer Pam Apuhin (5:19:16). Third Place went to Sheila Mae Montero (5:31:27).
Aside from the full marathon, a half-marathon was also staged. Elmer Bartolo (1:15:38), Johnrey Tumanda (1:24:56) and Aldrin Batac (1:25:08) and Michelle Aclo (1:47:31), Madelyn Carter (1:55:30) and Andrea Calleja (1:59:17) landed podium finishes in the Men’s and Women’s Divisions respectively.
There was also a five-kilometer fun run exclusive for the youth and residents of Siargao. All the 42 and 21-kilometer winners received their trophies, cash prizes and gifts from sponsors at the post-race party held that same evening at the Boulevard in General Luna town.
The First Siargao International Marathon was staged in order to raise awareness and educate the public about propagating and preserving our mangrove forests. According to Mayor Alfredo Matugas Coro II, his town of Del Carmen is where one can find one of the largest mangrove forest in the Philippines.
The young mayor also expressed elation that the marathon was successfully completed and that another international sporting event has come to Siargao after Surfing and Game Fishing. The SIM 2017 was organized by RunRio Events of Coach Rio de la Cruz with the help of the Municipal Government of Del Carmen, Gov. Soledad F. Matugas of Surigao del Norte, Rep. Francisco Jose “Bingo” Matugas II of the First District of Surigao del Norte, Department of Tourism, Skyjet Airlines, H & M Sport, Pascual Greek Yogurt, The Live Fit Lab, Tetra Pak and Gatorade.
The fun does not end with the last runner crossing the finish line. A mangrove planting activity and talk will be held on July 25 (Tuesday) in Del Carmen with one seedling pledged in the name of every runner who signed up.
The research examined the associations of running with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality risks in 55,137 adults, between the age of 18 to 100, who received at least 1 extensive medical examination between 1974 and 2002. Out of 5,089 of adults who ran 51-80mins and 81-119mins reported a death rate of 29.7% and 29.8% respectively.
On the other hand, among the 42,121 sedentary non-runners, there is a death rate of a whopping 45.9%. Death rate due to cardiovascular diseases for non-runners is at 17.8%, compared to the mean death rate of 9.6 among runners of various intensity.
Moving is Key
The key to a healthier lifestyle is to keep active. According to the aforementioned report, the group of participants who do not run accounted for 16% of all-cause and 25% of cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality.
Another study, The Copenhagen City Heart Study, done in 2015 also managed to support the report. The result from the later study claimed that “compared with sedentary nonjoggers, 1 to 2.4 hour(s) of jogging per week was associated with the lowest mortality”.
The reason behind this is simple. When you exercise, your heart beat increases in order to pump more blood to supply your muscle tissues with oxygen. Over time, such involuntary actions will help to expand both the atria (the top part of your heart where blood return from the rest of your body – except for your lungs) and the ventricles (the bottom part of your heart where blood is pumped out of your heart) to be enlarged. This is, therefore, help to increase the efficiency of your heart.
As more blood is able to be pumped out of the body, it will increase the flexibility of the arteries too. This is to allow more blood flow during exercise and also prevent arteries blockage even when you are in sedentary position. As a result, the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease (CAD) will be greatly reduced.
More doesn’t mean better
However, although we always encourage everyone to push their limits, it is advisable not to overdo and overexert yourself. It is especially so when your primary goal is just to be healthy.
Serdang, 22 July 2017– The largest and most anticipated night run series in Malaysia, the Men͛s Health Women͛s Health Night Run by AIA Vitality, attracted an eager crowd of 13,000 runners to this year͛s race. Participants from around the country gathered in high spirits on the grounds of the event͛s new venue, the Malaysian Agro Exposition Park, Serdang (MAEPS).
For this year͛s Run, Men͛s Health and Women͛s Health once again teamed up with AIA Bhd., who came in as the official title sponsor under the banner of AIA Vitality –a unique health and insurance programme that gives Malaysians the tools, knowledge and motivation they need to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Emceed by Natalie Kniese, the Night Run welcomed participants and their supporters to the Race Village as early as 5pm with a fun warm-up session hosted by Fitness First. An array of sponsor booths and food trucks greeted runners and supporters alike to enjoy some fun activities and F&B delights before the flag-offs. One of the main highlights was the interactive AIA booth, which provided guests with complimentary health checks as well as pre- and post-run games to encourage runners as well as their family and friends to keep active and stay healthy.
Patrick Brennan, Group CEO of Mongoose Publishing Sdn Bhd, the publisher of Men͛s Health and Women͛s Health in Malaysia said,
“We are delighted to bring back the Men͛s Health Women͛s Health Night Run by AIA Vitality for the third time, and encouraged to see that so many people have been inspired to join our journey towards health, wellness and fun. In addition to promoting wellness and health, it is our goal to make these runs exciting and memorable for every participant, and it is particularly gratifying to partner with title sponsor AIA, which shares our commitment to these goals.”
Eric Chang, Chief Marketing Officer of AIA Bhd., added,
“We are proud to have been part of yet another successful Men͛s Health Women͛s Health Night Run. As Malaysia͛s leading life insurer, we believe in empowering people to take charge of their health and to embrace what it means to be healthier Malaysians. Being part of the Night Run is an excellent way to get Malaysians started on their journey to better health. It was such a joy to see adults, and this time the young ones too, unite again for this purpose.”
The newest additions to the Men͛s Health Women͛s Health Night Run by AIA Vitality, the 700-metre and 3KM Kids Run categories, kick-started the #MHWHNightRun by #AIAVitalityMY at 6pm; while the 5km, 12km and 21km started from 7.00pm onwards. The last flag-off queued runners to endure their challenges through the lush green terrains and fresh air under the night sky. Prizes were up for grabs throughout the event, while Shaheed Naz of the electro DJ duo Dangerdisko kept the energy high for runners returning from their races with his up-tempo beats right until midnight.
Runners who triumphed in the competitive 12KM and 21KM categories received attractive prizes, while those participating in the non-competitive 5KM fun run had a blast sealing personal bests. Winners͛prizes were courtesy of Le Meridien Putrajaya, Schick, New Balance, Fitness First, Lo Hong Ka, Fossil, Compressport & Devers, and Energy Day Spa.
Familiar faces in the running crowd were Fuad Alhabshi, frontman of Kyoto Protocol, and Davina Goh, performer and plant-based lifestyle advocate. Both influencers went through a Fitness First journey preparing for their run and roped in their fans who won tickets from their social media contests. They joined Fuad for the 12KM race while Davina toughened up for 21KM.
Hopping on the bandwagon was the #ELLERunSquad, which comprised the ELLE Malaysia editorial team and their contest winners.
Organised by Mongoose Publishing Sdn Bhd, the 2017 Men͛s Health Women͛s Health Night Run by AIA Vitality was supported by title sponsor AIA and gold sponsor, Ultron. Bronze sponsors were Fitness First, Schick, Fossil, Compresport, Dever and Clear. Kids Run sponsors were Time Out Malaysia Kids, The Children͛s House, Club Med and Clarks. Official partners included Lucozade, Lo Hong Ka, Energy Spa & Wellness, The Children͛s House, Clarks, New Balance, Jussu and Le Meridien Putrajaya. Ticketing partner for the event was Twenty First Century Sports and venues sponsored by MAEPS and Atria. Additional prize sponsors include Club Med, Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa and SquEEEze Me Baby.
Runners are more often than not trying to lose weight. We either run to lose weight, or start losing weight to run faster – the idea of the perfect racing weight. And there are so many diet methods out there these days – man it can get confusing!
As a general rule of thumb, healthy weight lost is at 0.5kg – 1kg a week or 10 per cent of your weight over the course of 6 months. Anything more than that is considered unhealthy weight loss.
#1 High Intensity Interval Workouts
Interval workouts involve short bursts of high intensity training followed by brief recovery periods. It torches maximum amounts of calories in a minimum amount of time. It makes your body work really hard, but of course with hard work comes great reward. Speed intervals is a great example of a HIIT workout. Run 800m repetitions 8 times at a 6 minute interval for instance. Run as fast as you can for 800m. Your recovery time will be the time remaining to 6 minutes after you have completed the 800m distance. 8 sets is a killer but is great for burning calories.
#2 Muscle Strengthening Exercises
Engaging in regular muscle strengthening exercises will increase your muscle mass and this helps your body burn more calories while at rest. Although resistance training does not burn as much as cardio training, increasing your muscle mass means you’re increasing your resting metabolism rate. Your body burns more calories while at rest. Examples of resistance training are like push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, burpees, squat jumps, and the plank. Do a combination of 8-20 different muscle strengthening exercises, working the different muscles in your body.
#3 Watch What You Eat But Don’t Go Overboard
You can’t expect to lose weight if your downing 5 pints and 10 hamburgers every time after you workout. It just won’t work. You need to watch what you eat. Fuel yourself well. Cut out the sugary drinks and deep fried food. Drink plain water instead of carbonated soda. Swap out the white bread for wholemeal. But you don’t have to go too extreme. Many people go out too extreme on their diet, to crash and burn and end up binging on all things they miss. Give yourself that cake as a reward for that extra hard workout session you put in. It’s all about balance!
So last Sunday (09/07/17), The Performance Series(TPS) – Malaysia, Race 1 took place at Penang, Malaysia.
As we all know, Penang is Malaysia’s food haven with it’s delicious food such as Char Koay Teow, Asam Laksa, Hokkien Mee, Cendol, Oh Chien, Lobak, Nasi Kandar and many more!
(First part of this post will be about our food adventure, if you would like to skip to the running part, scroll down to the second part.)
I would like to appologise for the late posting because I was lazy just had so much to write and too many pictures to share.
Eat, eat, eat
My group of friends drove up to Penang from KL for the weekend to participate in the run and also to satisfy their food cravings. They had planned this trip months back and everybody was so excited for the trip. Since I was based in Penang for work, it was convenient for me to meet up with them and become their local food guide(although not a good/adventurous one).
There were 18 of us so we booked the whole house/shoplot through Airbnb in Armenian Street, where most of the famous street art and food hotspots were closeby.
My friends arrived in Penang on Friday afternoon. After checking in to the hotel house, we proceeded to Air Itam for it’s famous Asam Laksa(beside the wet market). We also wanted to get some Sisters curry mee but it was opened until 12pm only.
Almost everybody had a bowl each, some shared a bowl as they were saving their stomachs for other food.
Then of course, we went up to Kek Lok Si. Apparently it was under renovation and the pathway to the Pagoda was blocked and we only managed to visit the temple.
Next destination was Penang Road Teochew Cendol.
The cendol was soft and silky, coconut milk was cold, perfect for a sunny day. We were so tempted to order the Char Koay Teow(CKT) at the stall just beside it but decided to visit the famous one at Siam Road, ranked 14 on the World Street Food Top 50 list.
We arrived at Siam Road to see quite a number of people already waiting inside the restaurant. The uncle who sells the CKT was no where to be seen yet, so we ordered some drinks and waited in the restaurant. Apparently the uncle was on a 10-day leave and that particular day we visited was the day he “reopened”. As the clock hit 3:05, we see an old uncle pushing his cart to his usual spot, everybody started whipping out their cameras to snap a picture of him, he was like a celebrity! A queuing line started to appear right beside his stall.
We waited for almost an hour before we finally got to taste his CKT. I am no food critic, but the CKT was delicious nonetheless, serving size was just nice and the prawns were juicy and aplenty there are better CKT elsewhere #myownopinion.
We were also featured on StarTV, our local news portal, you can see us here.
For dinner, we went to New Lane, a street that is closed at 4pm everyday and turned into an outdoor hawker food centre. Again, not being a food critic, I felt that the food here is pricey and the standard is so-so only. However, there are many choices and one doesn’t have to travel elsewhere to look for their favourite penang dish.
After filling our stomachs to the brim, we decided to have a walk and visited the “Secret Garden” of Tanjung Tokong. The garden beside the Tua Pek Kong temple was decorated with an array of LED lights, causing it to look like a garden from the movie AVATAR, so mysterious and magical. I will let the pictures do the talking.
The next morning, I decided to do a short warm-up run at one of my favourite running spots – Air Itam Dam. We drove up all the way to the dam, I used to hike up to this running spot as the road leading to the dam was closed for almost a year due to landslide. Luck was on our side as the road was re-opened the day before.
One loop around the dam is approximately 2.8KM and we managed to do one round. The air was fresh, plenty of greens everywhere, a few hills to climb, perfect place for running. We weren’t the only ones there, a group of hikers were seen getting their equipment ready for a long hike.
After our run, we had breakfast at Air Itam market of course. This time, we got to order the famous Air Itam Sisters Curry Mee. I used to eat this when I was a little kid. My grandmother used to walk to the market from her house and buy us this for breakfast. The taste of the curry noodles were very familiar and the only difference is that the old aunty has more wrinkles on her face and her ever graying hair.
After breakfast, went back to shower and got ready for our next food adventure.
We went to this cake shop – The Moody Cow Cafe. They had all kinds of cake: Durian, Nangka/Cempedak, Salted Egg. We ordered like 3 slices, they were huge slices enough to be shared among 17 people and each slices was around RM30? Nevertheless, it was creamy, salty, tasty, all in one.
After all the eating, we went back to our house. Hanged out around the streets and also went for a massage.
Came dinner time, we had seafood dinner at a nearby restaurant. We couldn’t drive out for dinner as the street was closed for some activities in conjunction with Penang Heritage Day.
The meal was not satisfying but it was enough to fill our stomachs. What is seafood without crab and prawns?! I guess everybody was quite full in some sense and were afraid the meal would be costly.
After our dinner, we walked to the nearby Chew Jetty. Most of the stalls were closed but we had a view of the Penang bridge and the sea, which was nice.
Then, we walked around the street we lived at and bought some snacks. We retired early as our run was to take place the very next morning.
Woke up at 4am. Washed up and then had breakfast consisting of peanut butter and bread, bananas and plenty of water. As usual, tried to do a number 2, but end up only a number 1. Waited for the rest to get ready, and started walking to Fort Cornwalis at around 5:10am. It was a good 10 minute walk and we could already see people on Beach Street setting up their stalls; an empty club with a mix of smoke and alcohol stench filled our noses; some restaurants were already opened, ready to greet their ever hungry customers.
It was my first time in Fort Cornwalis, maybe some of them too. Many people could be seen sitting and standing at the stairs/stage. We decided to make that our meeting point. Flagoff for 21KM was at 6am. We found ourselves a spot near the starting line, did warmups and exchanged some last minute advice. My two buddies were running their first 21KM, kudos to them.
10 minutes to 6, announcer told us to get into the starting line. The starting and finishing line was at the entrance of Fort Cornwalis with the big ancient steel door, perfect for a great shot. I wasn’t feeling pumped up, felt sluggish, sloppy, probably due to all the good food I had been eating the past few days. I controlled my breathing, ignored my surrounding environment, started visualising the race route, visualised I was running easily, visualised how I would look and feel like crossing the finishing line.
Countdown initiated. With the pull of the trigger, the race has begun!
Started with a 6 min/km pace and maintained throughout.
The race route brought us through beach street and armenian street, the streets we took to reach the race venue. We also managed to pass by the famous “girl and boy on bike” street art and consequently our airbnb house.
The weather was fine, streets were still quiet enough to hear our footsteps and the panting of the runners. I was running hard but also trying to look at my surroundings, trying to familiarise myself with the streets of Penang.
We slowly made our way to Tanjung Tokong, passing the secret garden we visited the previous day. The road started to slowly ascend as we made our way up the slope towards Tanjung Bungah.
As the day started to brighten up, we began to see the beautiful coastline and sea of Penang Island. Before making a u-turn, saw my running buddy, Jo ahead of me and I tried very hard to chase her.
After the u-turn, it was a downhill slope and I quickly picked up my pace, still trying hard to catchup with Jo but to no avail. She was way too fast!
The last few KM brought us to Gurney Drive. Could already see many runners (non-participants) running along this route, probably completing their long run for the week.
1 more KM to go, still running very hard, trying to chase Jo but still couldn’t see her!
Fort Cornwalis was finally in sight, few hundred more meters to finishing line.
Posed for the photographer, again tried hard to smile and look good, still failed.
Crossed the finishing line but doesn’t feel like one because there was no timing display at the top of the gates. Checked my GPS watch to confirm the time, again less than 21KM, stopped the GPS watch anyway.
After collecting my finisher T and medal, rushed off to basketball court beside Fort Cornwalis and ran a few loops to complete 21KM on my watch.
Felt very happy to have beaten my PB again. This time did 2:03:37 for 21.01KM. Made another stupid mistake, watch didn’t register new PB for HM because Half Marathon is supposed to be 21.1KM, less 900m oh my gosh. Fine, I guess I just have to do better at my next HM which is at Kuching, Sarawak.
Met up with my friends at the stairs. Met my running buddy Jo and immediately congratulated her. She completed her HM in under 2 hours and was placed 7th in her category(like her previous HM at Bukit Jalil, lucky seven?)! #transcendyourself
Waited for the rest of my friends running 21KM.
As soon as everyone has arrived, we took a group photo to celebrate our achievement.
Was extremely happy for everyone and hope this will continue for until who knows when, our first running/eating vacation.
Until then, happy eating and happy running! See you at TPS – Kuching Race 2.
*credits to my friends for some of the pictures and also to TPS – Malaysia.
The half-marathon is my favourite race among all distance events.
I’ve often felt that the half-marathon is an appropriate distance to challenge the mind, body, and soul: it does not tax the body too much as other endurance races, and yet it is long enough to dispel the doubts a person might have about his or her stamina levels. I usually join two to three half-marathons a year just to see where I stand in terms of fitness.
No effort was spared by the organisers in advertising The Performance Series. Smitten, I made the decision to run the 21 km race in Penang after the daily bombardment of advertisements on my Facebook wall. Being an ardent collector and wearer of race T-shirts, I was especially taken by the tee designed for this event. A plus point for this race was that it was being held in Penang, and I love running in Penang!
As all on race days, I could not help but feel a little nervous as dawn began to break at Fort Cornwallis on 9 July 2017. Loud music and bright lights electrified the air as race participants arrived at the event and began warming up. I chugged down the last of my sports drink and made my way to the starting point as the clock ticked down to 6 am.
The 21 km race began on time, with a gun sounding off the participants. The runners meandered through famous landmarks and World Heritage sites in Penang at the beginning and end of the race, making their way up to the almost zero-gradient Jalan Burma, Jalan Kelawai and the sloping hills of Jalan Tanjung Bungah before looping at the Flamingo Hotel and returning via Persiaran Gurney.
Running the route was a pleasant experience, especially made so by the cool temperature and low humidity level in Penang that morning. Safety personnel were amply provided at every junction along the race route to man the traffic flow as the race progressed. Five hydration stations were provided along the route for the 21 km race, all supplying water and Lucozade, and bananas at the 11 km mark.
I found full support as I raced along the route that day. Helpers at the event shouted words of encouragement as runners kept to their battles. Many regular Sunday morning runners and cyclists waved, smiled and called out their support to the race participants as well! Their support was a definite spiritual boost at the hilly Tanjung Bungah road, where many runners were depleted in strength after struggling up the hills in the first half of the race.
A great relief washed over me as I made the final loop at Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah and headed back into Fort Cornwallis, with a time of 1:51:30 (gun time). I was immediately given a medal, a potential podium finisher card and a finisher tee, as well as food and drinks a few steps away from the finishing line. Participants of the 5, 10 and 21 km race began to arrive in droves at the finishing line. Everyone mingled and relaxed as the organisers scurried to prepare the results as fast as they can.
The organisers of the race did not dally in announcing the results, as the first batch of prizes were given out at 8.30 am. I was surprised and thankful to discover that I was the champion of the 21 km Women Closed category. I was gifted with RM 200 and an RM 300 shopping voucher from Qoolmart.com. I was also fortunate to have been asked to comment on healthy lifestyle choices by Pride Foundation Malaysia, a charitable organisation that champions efforts to enhance awareness and improve accessibility to treatment and care of breast cancer.
The event wrapped up at around 9.30 am, with most runners scrambling to look for breakfast joints in the local food paradise located just a short jog away from Fort Cornwallis.
As I was halfway back home, I realised that I misplaced my winning bib number and potential finisher card at Fort Cornwallis in my excitement of winning the race.
Images sourced from https://www.facebook.com/ThePerformanceSeriesMY/
This year is the fifth year of the Straits Times Run. Straits Times decided to do something special by partnering with SCMS (standard Chartered Marathon Singapore) and also offer a gift to those who signed up for both Straits Times Run and SCMS half or full marathon run. I didn’t sign up for SCMS run as I don’t have enough confidence to complete a half marathon at that point of time. There were 3 categories to choose: 18.45 km, 10 km, and 5 km, I chose the 10 km one.
The run was held at the Padang on 16 July 2017, flag off timing for the 10 km runners was at 6:30am. This was my second 10 km race and also my first time waking up early for a race. My first 10 km race was the Star Wars Run Singapore which started on a Saturday night. Took some supplements such as an assortment of vitamin B3, B6, B12, and C before I left my house. Thankfully, I managed to take a cab that came straight away and reach the race venue at 6am.
When I arrived at the race venue, I could find any of my friends who also signed up for the run. So, I went to deposit my bag at the bag deposit counter and make my way to the start pen alone by myself. The flag off for the 10km runners wasn’t delayed. I was flagged off in the second wave of runners which was 10 minutes apart from the first wave.
During the run, everything was good until I reached the 2 km distance marker where I felt soreness on my right calf muscle. Thankfully though, my stamina never fail me throughout the entire race. Despite of the pain, I ran most of the time, stopped only at the water points along the race route to rehydrate and stretch whatever sored muscles.
My official nett time was 58 mins and 10 secs but on my Garmin watch it recorded 59 mins 14 secs because I didn’t stop the tracking on time.
I didn’t expect a good 10 km timing as I didn’t sleep well before the race. I was really happy and satisfied with my timing and it was also my personal best for a 10K race. Timing for my previous race was about 11 mins slower.
After the race, I decided to stay back for the lucky dip. Though I waited for over an hour, it was worth it, I won a steam iron from the lucky dip. It Took me about 3 days to recover my sored muscles after the run. After all, It’s God who enabled me to achieve my PB (personal best) and blessed me with the steam iron as my lucky dip prize.
The first half of 2017 has quickly came and gone. Just the first half of this year I have taken part in 6 run events, my last one being Run Free which was at the beginning of May 2017. Though I may not have any run events lined up till August 2017, I have been keeping to my weekly running routines.
Not having any run events doesn’t mean it’s an excuse for me to stop running. Having recently read an article titled “Losing Motivation? Here Are 5 tips To Keep You Training, Running and Racing!” on JustRunLah website, I thought “Tip #5 – Find A Running Buddy/ Running Group” was is a really useful tip. For those that follow me on Instagram, you will know that I recently joined the Superhero Runners for their weekly Tuesday training sessions.
TRAINING WITH THE SUPERHERO RUNNERS
The Superhero Runners were founded by four friends (Nelson, Neyton, Sebastian and Paul) who loved running and wanted to encourage running as an exercise, and to inspire others to adopt a healthy lifestyle. With their prominent superhero outfits, they are easily spotted at local run events!
Joining this group has kept me motivated to keep running! I might have mentioned that I am not a fast runner in my previous posts but with the Superheroes giving me the encouragement, I do see myself wanting to do better. During these training runs, I would be one of the last few runners to finish but that does not discourage me because I know I have put in the effort in trying.
After the running portion of the training, there’s normally a short core training or stretch session but sometimes it could be a combination of both! Though these sessions are short, they do pack a punch especially after a training run. These are essential for us as it helps train and strengthen the other parts of your body. I find these sessions helpful as sometimes I lack the discipline to do them on my own.
Joining the Superhero Runners is also a great way to make new friends. Arrive early, during runs or after training session are fantastic opportunities to mingle with the group. They are a fantastic bunch and super friendly! Conversations are never boring and definitely filled with laughter!
If you would like to join the Superhero Runners, be it you are a beginner or veteran, all are welcomed to drop in every Tuesday to enjoy an evening run with the group. You can follow the group on Instagram @Superherorunners or Facebook at SuperheroRunnersSG. The Superhero Runners are the motivational run leaders at 2017 Singapore edition of The Performance Series. So keep your eyes peeled and catch them at The Performance Series!
TRY SOMETHING NEW: AQUA AEROBICS CLASS
Another that I did to keep myself active and not slack was to sign up for an Aqua Aerobics class.
I previously mentioned that I was keen to try out an aqua spin class but there was none that fit my schedule and budget! I was lucky to find an alternative which was Aqua Aerobics from the ActiveSG website! The Aqua Aerobics class would be held at Yishun Swimming Complex for a period of three months and it starts in August 2017. Aqua aerobics is a low impact aqua workout with music accompaniment that requires no swimming skills. I used to do traditional aerobics during my gym days and I wonder how different it’ll be from the norm which I’m used to. I’m actually excited for that class and will probably share more of my experience when the time comes.
TRY DIFFERENT RUN ROUTES
Besides the training with the Superheros Runners on Tuesday and the upcoming Aqua Aerobics class, I still do my weekend runs with my awesome running buddy, Cheng Yee! To keep things interesting, we make it a point to run at different places and try different routes. We do enjoy a change once a while and it motivates you to get up and keep moving. So far, we have ventured to the Marina Promontory, Bishan Park, MacRitchie Reservoir Park etc. Other places in the works would be Woodlands Waterfront, Lower Pierce Reservoir etc.
Well, hope with my sharing you’ll be able to find that motivation to keep that workout routine alive and fun! I’m definitely looking forward to my next run event and as always, I’ll share with you what I thought about the event. Till my next write-up! Let’s all #RunHappy to stay happy!
The wisdom of running doesn’t always just come with spending your time pounding the pavement. Sometimes, it is moments spent curled up on a couch reading a good run book that takes your running a step further. Books may not give you a runners high, but it may give you a different perspective – something for you to contemplate on to become faster and stronger. Here are 5 books every runner must read.
#1 Running With Kenyans: Discovering the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth
This book unfolds Adharanand Finn’s incredible journey to the elite training camps of Kenya. His goal was to uncover the secrets of the fastest people on earth. Finn travelled to the Mecca of distance running to run with his childhood heroes. It is an interesting read – his take on barefoot running, his running with Olympians, his running with young hopefuls and his practical advice on distance running given the time he spent in Kenya learning from the best.
#2 Alberto Salazar’s Guide To Road Racing: Championship Advice For After Timies From 5K To Marathons
Alberto Salazar has crafted a great name in the running world. Just his name holds so much prestige. Former marathon world record holder, Coach of the Nike Oregon Project, Coach of Mo Farah and 2016 Bronze Medallist Galen Rupp, Jordan Hasay – he really has built quite a name for himself.
This book arms the novice and veteran runners with a great programme to run further and faster. He draws on his experience to offer tailored advice based on his own experiences. He gives advice on how to tailor your own workouts for maximum mental and physical fortitude. Looking to improve your timings? – this is the book to read!
#3 Scott Jurek’s Eat & Run
Scott Jurek has been a dominant force in the endurance running scene. In this book Scott talks about his life as a running champion athlete with a plant based diet. His vegan diet inspired runners at so many levels. His vegan-ism challenges the stereotypes on what an athlete should eat for optimal performance. It is interesting to read how being vegan helped him with his performance. you can even get some of his recipes from his book. This book expands your food horizons. It is a shockingly inspiring memoir.
#4 Meb For Mortals
Meb Keflezighi cemented his legacy with a historic win in the Boston Marathon 2014, in addition to his 2009 New York City Marathon Champion title and an Olympic Silver. How did someone turning 39 beat the best field in Boston Marathon history to come out on top? Meb really showed that old is gold. This book unfolds how Meb implements training, nutritional and mental principles that have guided him through his running career.
#5 The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It
Like breaking 2, there was once when running the mile under 4 minutes was considered to be beyond the limitation of the human body. This was considered to be the elusive holy grail of sport. Read about the quest of 3 athletes, defying all odds in pursuit of something everyone deemed impossible. It is an interesting read because the book draws on exclusive interviews and makes the technical stuff more accessible to the reader. You gain a better understanding of the training and analysis involved – lactate counts and fartleks.