Winners of 2018 Asia Pacific Publishing Awards and MPAS Awards

The Asia Pacific Publishing Awards (APPA) and MPAS Awards 2018 — organised by Media Publishers Association Singapore — took part last night, the 8th of November 2018, in One Farrer Hotel Grand Ballroom, Singapore.

On its 12th year, the awards ceremony was attended by over 35 publishing companies and 180 stakeholders in the industry.

Recent elected President of the media association, Mr John Thet said, “The MPAS and APPA Awards represent the best of industry practice in published media – whether it is in print, online, or across a variety of platforms.

“Our industry is facing its share of disruption, but it’s also loaded with creativity, boldness, and a love of hard work that is helping many businesses to thrive in difficult times. It’s heartening to know that so many media members of the association look forward to our annual awards gala dinner,” said Miss Chrystal Wong, Executive Director of MPAS.

JustRunLah! (www.justrunlah.com) is honored to have won the Consumer Website of the Year – SILVER award. “Thank you MPAS for acknowledging our hard work. We love what we do and we hope to continue to inspire more people to get fit and healthy through our content.“, said Mr. Brian Liu Zhiyong, co-founder of JustConnect Pte Ltd, holding company of JustRunLah!

Photo credit: MPAS.org.sg

The awards were judged by a panel of 6, ranging of veterans in the creative sector, public relations and media publishing. The panel also includes fresh faces like James Lim, Creative Director of Hakuhodo, Dean Carroll, Publisher of Mumbrella Asia, James Hewes, President and CEO of FIPP and David Tay, former President of Photographic Society. Miss Lynda Williams, Managing Director of Vim & Vigour, was one of the only 2 judges retained from last year’s panel, together with Ms Marina Mathews.

ASIA PACIFIC PUBLISHING AWARDS WINNERS

Business/ Professional Media of the Year – GOLD
Asian Banking & Finance
Charlton Media Group

Food Media of the Year – GOLD
epicure
Magazines Integrated

In-Flight Media of the Year – GOLD
Smile
INK

Integrated Media of the Year – GOLD
ScubaDiver Ocean Planet
Asian Geographic Magazines

Lifestyle Media of the Year – GOLD
We the Pvblic

News Media of the Year – GOLD
Mumbrella
Mumbrella Asia

Media of the Year (Original Content) – GOLD
Asian Geographic
Asian Geographic Magazines

Luxury Media of the Year – GOLD
Prestige Singapore
Burda

Men’s Media of the Year – GOLD
AugustMan Singapore
Burda

Special Edition of the Year – SILVER
India needs proper Biosuppliers’ ecosystem
MM Activ Sci-Tech Communications

Special Edition of the Year – GOLD
ScubaDiver Ocean Planet : Celebrating Sharks
Asian Geographic Magazines

Special Interest Media of the Year – SILVER
Insurance Asia
Charlton Media Group

Special Interest Media of the Year – GOLD
ScubaDiver Ocean Planet
Asian Geographic Magazines

Sports and Recreation Media of the Year – GOLD
ScubaDiver Ocean Planet
Asian Geographic Magazines

Trade Media of the Year – SILVER
HRM Magazine Asia
HRM Asia

Trade Media of the Year – GOLD
Mumbrella
Mumbrella Asia

Travel Media of the Year – GOLD
Asian Geographic Passport
Asian Geographic Magazines

Personality Awards

Art Director of the Year
Marlon Espino
INK

Blogger of the Year
Nic Tse
SeriouslyMan

Editor of the Year
Stefan Pertz
Asian Trucker Media

Designer of the Year (Runner up)
Justin Tin Htwe
Asian Geographic Magazines

Designer of the Year
Tio Pei Moon
MIMS Pte Ltd

Journalist/ Writer of the Year
Melinda Murphy
Expat Living Publications

Digital Awards

Consumer Website of the Year – SILVER
JustRunLah! – www.justrunlah.com
Just Connect

Consumer Website of the Year – GOLD
Expat Living – www.expatliving.sg
Expat Living Publications

Trade Website of the Year – GOLD
Underwater 360 – www.adex.asia

Conference/Exhibition of the Year – Silver

Underwater360: ADEX Singapore 2018
Asian Geographic Magazines

Conference/Exhibition of the Year – Gold
MillionaireAsia Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Summit – The Future Of Money MillionaireAsia

Event/Party of the Year – Gold
ONE: Unstoppable Dreams
ONE Championship

Feature Article of the Year (Consumer) – Bronze
AUGUSTMAN Singapore – Wild Nights: The Women of Thai Discos
Burda Singapore

Feature Article of the Year (Consumer) – Silver
Asian Geographic – Back from the Dead
Asian Geographic Magazines

Feature Article Of The Year (Consumer) – Gold
Asian Geographic – China Manufactures the Future
Asian Geographic Magazines

Feature Article of the Year (Trade) – Bronze
Asian Trucker Singapore – Challenges & Opportunities in Timor-Leste
FCowan Media

Feature Article of the Year (Trade) – Silver
TTG Asia April 2018 Issue
TTG Asia Media Pte Ltd

Feature Article of the Year (Trade) – Gold
SilverKris – Wild Kitchen
INK

Front Cover of the Year (Consumer) – Bronze
NÜYOU December 2017 Issue
SPH Magazines

Front Cover of the Year (Consumer) – Silver
Prestige Singapore August 2018 Issue
Burda Singapore

Front Cover of the Year (Consumer) – Gold
Asian Geographic 2017 Issue 126
Asian Geographic Magazines Pte Ltd

Front Cover of the Year (Trade) – Bronze
MIMS DOCTOR February 2018 Issue
MIMS

Front Cover of the Year (Trade) – Silver
H4ufme June/July 2018 Issue
Colour Symphony

Front Cover of the Year (Trade) – Gold
MIMS DOCTOR July 2018 Issue
MIMS

Illustration of the Year – Bronze
SilverKris – Curators
INK

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Food Habits and Hacks for Runners

The average athlete will burn through 2822 calories during a marathon, which is roughly the same as your recommended daily intake when sedentary. Even if you aren’t planning on running a marathon, the physical exertion for any race will leave you feeling hungry. However, runners don’t just need energy, but the right nutrients as well. A fast food burger and fries may have enough calories to last 26.2 miles, but you won’t perform on that alone. Trying to consume the right amount of calories and ensuring that it is nutritionally valuable is a difficult task for any runner, but below are two hacks which can really help out.

Snack Regularly

For people trying to lose weight, snacks are usually the first thing to go. However, the danger of being a regular runner is that you may enter a calorie deficit. Therefore snacks are essential. While a full meal is a quicker way to consume calories, it will leave you with a blood sugar crash later in the day, making running difficult. You may also feel fatigued as you try and digest all the food in one go. By stocking up on healthy foods, such as fruit and protein bars, you will maintain stable energy levels and find it easier to consume a range of vitamins. Snack on superfoods like blueberries and avocado, focusing on calcium to protect bones, protein for muscle growth, and replenishing sodium which is lost through sweat.

Monitor Your Water Intake

Like three quarters of Americans, you may be chronically dehydrated. Most people don’t realize just how lacking in water intake they are. The stuff is freely running from the faucet, so there is no excuse not to be getting enough. As a runner, you will never perform without proper hydration. If you can’t seem to get past your runner’s wall or experience post-workout headaches, then lack of water is probably the cause. While you should be drinking around two liters of water on a rest day, this should be at least doubled when you are going for a run. Increasing water intake is so simple, yet could prove extremely valuable.

By taking on board these two simple daily habits, you will find reaching your athletic goals much easier. Always having a healthy snack around ensures that your energy levels stay stable and allow you to gradually meet your nutritional needs. Meanwhile, tracking your water intake will keep your body functionally properly between workouts, so that you can always perform at your best.

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Breaking 2:40: HomeTeamNS REAL Run 2018 [21 km] (by KenJoe)

One week after TPS, 21 Aug,  I was back at The Meadow, Gardens By the Bay.  Coincidentally, this seemed like a rehearsal for me.  The Saturday before I was at Gardens by the Bay for YOLO and then Sunday for TPS at East Coast, both 10 km races.  This time the half marathon route of HomeTeamNS Real Run will bring me from Gardens by the Bay (Meadow) through East Coast and then back.

I have a free slot from JustRunLah! (Thank You!) for this half marathon race.  This complimentary slot has not affected my evaluation and if anything, I took every race seriously, paid or unpaid.  My philosophy is simple – given my age and my amateurish status as a runner, I only want to improve and if in the process, I could share and motivate one more person to take up running or run better, I’m inspired myself.

Back to the race: the race pack collection again saw me completing within 5 minutes, no queue.  I believe this is the new trend – 3 races in a row that I just walked in and collected the race pack right away and not seeing any others at the queue.  Or this is month of October, Halloween and folks don’t come out in crowds ?

Jokes aside, I thought I would share what I did before this half marathon after a few months’ of inactivity.  Looking back at my Garmin, I did a total of 38.2 and 28.86 km respectively in August and September, doing up to max of 10 km (13 km once) but usually between 3.5 to 4.3 km.  By October, I had stepped up to just under 100 km before the half marathon without a real intensive plan.  As I didn’t want to aggravate my back injury, I just went on short runs usually between 3.5 to 4.3 km.  I did squeeze in a 13 km distance though I’ve remembered wrongly as 12 km mentioned in the previous blog.

So as I started to go into the week of race, I was back to just doing short runs.  Perhaps less is more.  One thing though different since March of this year, had been that I was hitting the target of walking at least 13500 steps each day.  This was in conjunction with a paid research programme and I was one of the guinea pigs.  If I am able to keep up a week of meeting the target of 13500 steps per day then I would be paid $14 each week.  But it is drastically reduced should I miss by a day, in other words it has to be consecutive days without breaks – a break would reset the count.  In the process, I find that walking is a good way to keep the body active.  As this had become a habit, I took it as allowance for just being able to move.  Not too bad ! (?)  I was quite surprised recently when I saw all the other participants who turned up for the follow-up survey recently, were young working men!  Do they really need the incentives to exercise?

Anyway, after Sunday’s TPS, I ran on Tuesday – 1 km repeated twice, Wednesday – 4.4 km, Thursday 2.1 km, then 3 km. So rest days were Monday and Friday, Saturday.  When race day – Sunday morning came, 45 minutes before 5.30 am I was at The Meadow start line once again.  This time, there wasn’t any rain.  It was humid and the air was still.  As I waited, some folks tried to make their way towards the front of the start line.  These are probably the faster runners and I recognized one of them as a fellow blogger.  I stood aside to let them pass.  I recognized faces more from either reading the blogs posted or had seen them in previous races.  After a while you tend to know who is who (by face, maybe not by name) in races.  They didn’t know me which was good.

I am common Joe, there to run against myself.  I was hoping to stick to an average pace of 7.5 min/km making it just 2:38 which was my usual finishing time before injury.  Break 2:40 was my mission, my focus for this race, possibly the last half marathon this year (number 13th half marathon).

On flagoff, I started the Garmin as I got past the start line.  I felt stiff and the windless humid weather didn’t help.  After about 1 km, I glanced at my watch and thought I saw close to 8 min pace.  I thought this was not too good.  I fastened my pace but at the same time, I felt heavy.  I tried to pace by feel after that.  I skipped the hydration stops the first 10 km.  It felt more windy only when we got to East Coast.  Still, luckily it was early morning and there was no sun.

I kept reminding myself to keep a certain momentum regardless of what the watch was telling me.   Other than the initial stiffness in the back, I felt fine after the first few km of warm up.  Then towards the end, I could feel a drain on my energy level.  I had taken a packet of energy gel at the beginning and then near the 10 km hydration point.  After 10 km,  I allowed myself a quick cup of Pocari Sweat at each hydration point till the end.

Photo Credit : Runcapture

I felt myself slowing down with just 3 km to go.  Then I kept up the pace with as much energy as I could muster for the last 2 km.  There was no bottleneck and probably also because I was in wave 1 there was no unnecessary obstruction of any kind.  Got myself shot by both Runcapture and Running Shots (Sotong) at the race.  Missed my running friend/photographer Terence as I was too ‘spent’ at that point to call out in advance and wanted to get to my target set from start.

Was happy to complete with average pace of 7:30 and better.   It was quite a stretch of a few hundred metres to the medal collection for this race.  Still, I thought it worked out fine as runners took time to cool down and this helped to distribute the crowd of runners coming in at the more ‘popular’ time.

In the end the official net time showed a PB for me post-injury, it was probably the second best time I have for a half marathon – 2:34:56.  This was a good time to beat for the next half marathon target should I be up to it.

Mission accomplished for this race.  The race was well organized and reasonably efficient in logistics.  The medal was one of the better-designed ones this year (other runners’ comments besides mine).  Hydration was adequate and volunteers were superb as usual.

The next run would usually be classified as a fun run.  It is the Lunghi Run but it was held this year in memory of Ali Akbar, the founder who had passed away due to cancer recently.  I have no plans at this point to write about it, as I thought I would just go for a quiet run for this man whom I got to know better only just last year, because of the Lunghi Run itself.  We shall see, in the meantime, run safe and run happy.

Photo Credits to Running Shots and Runcapture, thank you for being always there.

(Parting Notes: just wondering if I should also Break 6 this year or next – more in next blog perhaps…)

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Gear Review: Jaybird RUN Wireless Headphones

There seems to be a hype about truly wireless headphones recently since Apple started the AirPods. However, there are always questions about how well they fit in the ears and how stylish they look. As a fairly sporty person, I will definitely want a pair of headphones which will not drop off easily while I enjoy my music and the sport at the same time.

I came across the Jaybird X3 Wireless (not totally though) Sports headphones about a year ago and have been using them for my gym runs and workouts. Before I embarked on the wireless headphones, I had doubts about the sound quality through Bluetooth connection as compared to wired earphones. Other concerns include the durability of the material due to my active (sweaty) lifestyle and the comfort of the headphones during vigorous workout routines.

The sound quality is great especially when I use the foam ear tips (as pictured above) and I was able to customise how I would like my music to sound through the Jaybird mobile app’s equaliser setting.

The build of the headphones are also pleasantly durable and easy to maintain as I do not see any signs of wear and tear (except the foam ear tips losing their spongy feel) after frequent use in sweaty conditions. The headphones are also pretty comfortable at the ears (when you have fitted them with the right sizes of ear fins and tips). The only imperfection was the restrictions I felt when moving my head as the cord runs behind my neck even after I tucked it nicely using the cord-shortening accessory which came with the headphones.

Now that I own a pair of Jaybird RUN headphones, I am excited to hop on the truly wireless headphones trend.

Design & Comfort

 

I love the headphones from the moment I got them out of the box. The design looks stylish and elegant which I would use them for my daily commute. Similar to the X3, the Jaybird RUN headphones come with various sizes of the ear fins and tips which I can match to my comfort. Lucky for me, the headphones suited me like a charm right out of the box. They also feel very light on my ears.

Sound Quality & Features

As I was used to the sound setting on my X3, the Jaybird RUN’s sounded flat when I first put them on. I then found out that “flat” was the default sound setting. I would then switch on the Jaybird mobile app and put my favourite settings on with a few clicks. However, I feel that the sound quality could not match up to the X3 even with similar settings. I reckon that it may be due to the ear tips being less noise-cancelling (silicone vs foam) and perhaps the cable between the 2 buds of the X3 helps to improve sound transmission. Nonetheless, the sound quality is still acceptable to me as I use them for my daily commute and sports activities more than for any theatrical enjoyment.

There are 3 great features which I like about these truly wireless headphones. One of them is the ultra-portable fast charging case. They are small and easy to bring around, acts as both storage and on-the-go charger for the headphones. The 2nd feature which I find useful is to be able to listen to music or answer phone calls by just switching and putting on one side of the earbuds. This adds some flexibility to my usage for different situations. The third feature will be the “Find My Buds” function accessible via the mobile app. It works like “Find my iPhone” feature so that I will not misplace my earbuds that easily.

Performance

For performance, I also see it from 2 aspects. Firstly, battery life is relatively short at 4 hours of continuous playback. For sports people who are going to engage in long-duration endurance sports like marathons or ultra-marathons, they will have a problem having music for the full duration and the mobile charging case will not be helpful in this case. On the other hand, the Jaybird RUN headphones serve its purpose very well in providing me full range of motions during my workouts while fitting snugly in my ears.

To put the truly wireless headphones to a test (compiled a short video below), I carried out my routine set of High-Intensity Interval Workout and I must say it was very enjoyable to have music to company me when I needed the extra push, and without having the slightest discomfort of a wire dragging behind my neck or feeling of the buds jumping or dropping off.

Conclusion

Sound quality is not fantastic but is acceptable for daily commuting and exercise and the battery life may not be feasible for long-duration sports. Nonetheless, I like it very much for its design, comfort and lightweight. The Jaybird RUN also lives up to its name as the “True Wireless Sports Headphones”.

* Disclaimer: This review represents the genuine, unbiased views of the author. The author was provided with a free unit. Jaybird’s products have been and might currently be advertised on JustRunLah! via different channels, however, these relationships do not influence the editorial content of reviews.
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Singapore National Athletes took top spots at Singapore Aquathlon 2018

Singapore Aquathon 2018 attracted an 800 participants athletes racing while Singapore National Athletes took top spots across their age group categories. 21-year-old Singapore Bryce Chong claimed the championship for the standard distance of 1.5km swim and 10km run with a formidable time of 1 hour 10 minutes and 44 seconds. 44-year-old British Timothy Kelsall and 47-year-old Singaporean Danny Lim took second and thirds spots with a time of 1 hour and 12 minutes and 1 hour and 14 minutes respectively.

Singapore YOG representative Emma Middleditch took the top spot for the sprint category with a time of 35 minutes and 27 seconds racing ahead with her father coach James Middleditch who also took a podium spot at the sprint category with a time of 40 minutes and 1 second. Nicholas Rachmadi was crowned champions in the sprint category with a time of 34 minutes and 10 seconds ahead of French Valentin Van Wersch and Singaporean Samir Varma who finished second and third spot.

This event is specially designed to be fully inclusive for all fitness levels and ages, with physically challenged Emma Oldager completing the 750m swim leg of the Sprint relay category along with friend Laura Young who finished 11th place with a time of 48 minutes and 24 seconds.

Managing Director Orange Room, Elvin Ting mentioned: “As the years go by, the Singapore Aquathlon goes from strength to strength. This year’s race is a dazzling display of how far multisport has come in our nation and we hope to continue encouraging everyone to tap into their competitive spirit, get healthy, and enjoy this amazing sport.

* Adapted from Press Release

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Race Review: Garmin The Performance Series Singapore Race 4 – East Coast [10 km] (by KenJoe)

After completing the YOLO run the morning before, I woke up again early the next day for The Performance Series (TPS) Race 4.  I had signed up for this race with a generous discount from JustRunLah! as a past blogger.  But this has not affected my review in any way.  TPS started since 2016 and this is the third series and finale race for the year.  TPS is also done in Malaysia.  The theme is around promoting healthy lifestyle through the appreciation of iconic landmarks in Singapore and Malaysia within the local and foreign/expatriate community.

This series was first of its kind to encourage individuals of all levels, from non-active to leisure to competitive, to have a schedule of races to work towards and progress along with the series.  Hence Transcending Yourself !

Garmin has incorporated its name to the series this year as the main sponsor.  The race pack collection also took less than 5 minutes (same as YOLO) and I was a bit surprised too at seeing nobody queuing that weekend afternoon.  I was wondering if the lustre has worn off or just that there were too many races these days.

I was again early at the venue, East Coast this time.  And it was the good cooling weather with rain coming down till the last minute.  Still, there was a good crowd – and I saw some runners who had participated in YOLO Run the day before too.   The race this time was postponed by 15 minutes.  At 7.45 am, the race was flagged off punctually as announced.

Nice cool weather and a simple loop back route for the 10 km distance.  I felt good and ran as per planned.  No muddy shoes this time despite the downpour earlier.  To be fair, the East Coast Park surface is more similar to the hard unyielding surface I found myself pounding at the Pangsua Network Connector most mornings.

I’ve participated in TPS since its inaugural session and liked the theme of improving yourself, transforming yourself through these races, through running.  Folks who had read my accounts knew that I had started with running only early 2015 more seriously, after age 51 then.  Since then, I’ve done biathlons (run and swim), spartan races, swim for hope challenges, vertical marathons and even cycling challenges.  Running became a preoccupation and maybe obsession even as I went on to an ultra 50 km and the Relay For Life event (overnight running, jogging, walking in the stadium) last 1 year.  Yes, even as I was nursing my fractured lumbar (spine) back to health, which I incurred during one of the virtual cycling challenges.

Reflecting back, it was probably foolhardy to still run with an unstable spine and this might explain why the back stiffness and tailbone pain has repeatedly visited me till today.  Pain became my teacher as I struggled through the distances in the past 1.5 years or more after sustaining the injury.  My body adapted, whether it is deeper puffing to get rid of the pain, or an imperfect gait.  I recently found out that my left leg was longer than my right leg.  So it wasn’t just a bigger left foot which was one size bigger.

In the past couple of years too, my black toe nails and plantar fasciitis had plagued me constantly but luckily in the past few months, I’ve gotten back to almost normal.  That may explain why I’m able to keep a relatively faster pace vs before – still below the average runner.  One easier change I did was to reduce my footwear choice to just two brands these days – first letter starting with A and N.  The shoes helped too because I’ve now tried to be nicer to myself by changing the shoes when they wore out.  I used to patch the bottom left heel with rubber that was shed by other runners on the trail.  While it worked to some extent, I seemed to have much less issues these days if I just stuck to the worn out shoes but rotate them regularly.  The patched surface might have caused some misguided adaptation of the foot as I ran.

After the run, we had a relatively trouble free collection of the finisher medal, finisher Tee and drinks.  East Coast area would probably be one of the better race grounds for its terrain and ‘convenience’ for running – free from traffic.  It was nice too to run close to the sea and take in the morning sun and wind.  I had probably the best if not one of the better timings for my 10 km run in recent times.  I didn’t take the hydration but saw a few hydration points so it was probably more than adequate for most runners.

Enjoyed myself and happy with the results.  So on to the HomeTeam NS Real Run half marathon one week away from this race.  This would be my first half marathon after a fairly long break.  I had been making good progress despite the stiff back last few weeks but have not attempted any longer distance than 12 km leading up to it.   Would be interesting to see how I do for myself.

Meantime run safe and run happy.

(Author’s Note: I started writing this about the same time as YOLO run but got delayed by works of my own – hence the reference to YOLO run that took place one day before this race.  The nice photos on the race are with credits to JustRunLah! photographer too – thank you.)

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Race Review: 2018 Goodlife Rottnest Island Marathon (by Doctor Will)

Rottnest Island Marathon

Ten years ago, when I first started running, I ran my second marathon only 6 weeks after my first. I told myself I wouldn’t do that again, and I haven’t. Instead, this month, I ran a marathon only 1 week after another one.

The Goodlife Rottnest Island Marathon celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, and the race was more fun that I could have imagined. It’s held on Rottnest Island, a nice little getaway 18km off the coast of Perth, Australia, and is organized by the West Australian Marathon Club. These folks know how to put on a good race.

Why was I running marathons two weekends in a row? Well, I’d been planning all year to run the Melbourne Marathon, and one of my friends saw that and sent me a note. It seems a bunch of my running mates from the 2014 Antarctic Ice Marathon and 2016 North Pole Marathon were gathering for the Rottnest race (a couple folks in this group live in Perth and invited people to join this year). My friend’s point was, “you’re already in Australia, just stay an extra week and come on over,” and that was pretty convincing, so I did.

Most of us arrived by ferry on Friday, and immediately started taking photos of quokkas, the little marsupials that are indigenous to the island and that are incredibly cute. Rottnest Island has a range of accommodations, and most of us stayed at the budget end of the spectrum in a pair of cabins, old World War II barracks that now hold up to 13 guests. At least I wouldn’t have to worry about sleeping through my alarm; surely, someone would wake me on race day.

Quokka on Rottnest Island
Quokkas are like junior kangaroos

I had been warned that Rottnest Island would be even hotter than Melbourne, perhaps up to 30C on race day, so I’d left my cool weather running gear in my big suitcase back at my hotel on the mainland. Naturally, upon arriving, it was cloudy, windy, and cold. The forecast for race day kept changing, between 12-18C and with high chances, then low chances, of rain. One thing that didn’t change was the forecast for high winds. Despite all the catching up we wanted to do with each other, the biggest topic of conversation was, “What are you going to wear for the race?”

Rottnest Island Marathon
Still smiling, so it must be the first half of the race.

Race day came, and I had decided to add a performance t-shirt under my singlet, and a cap in case it rained, but otherwise go with my normal gear. We arrived at the Starting Line for the 630am start, greeted by the sound of bagpipes. The pipers are a tradition at Rottnest, and we would see them again.

There were 182 runners, and at the beginning we ran a 2.2km out-and-back loop, then followed that with four laps of a 10km course on the roads around the eastern end of the island. Our group of friends spread out pretty quickly, though I always had at least one of them in sight. About 7km in I met a Taiwanese runner who is working in Australia, and after chatting a bit we realized we were both hoping to finish around the same time, so we decided to run together.

If the weather forecasts during the previous week seemed to be fluctuating, that was nothing compared to the fluctuations in the actual weather on race day. To start with, the winds got up to around 35kph, and for some reason, no matter which direction we were running, they always seemed to be a headwind. There were times when the clouds would seem to drift away and the sun would be beating down on us, then suddenly we were getting rained on. It seemed like there were little microclimates all around the island, and after a couple laps I knew what to expect at different points.Rottnest Island Marathon

I didn’t see many animals along the course other than the 18 species of birds who call it home. The quokkas are mostly nocturnal so they were still sleeping off their shenanigans from the night before, and I didn’t see any snakes, though some of my friends did; since the Dugite snakes are among the 10 most venomous snakes in the world, that offered a pretty good motivation for them to run faster.

For some reason, I had come to the island thinking it would be flat. What a joke. I never really appreciated what the term “rolling hills” means until I ran over the rolling hills on Rottnest Island. Once again, since we were running four laps, we could at least get used to the terrain changes and know what to expect. The bagpipers made another appearance at what appeared to be the highest point on the course, and here I discovered another Rottnest tradition. As you made your ascent toward the pipers there were two very energetic cheerleaders on the road, with a sign that said, “Yell when it’s your last lap!” The reason for the yell – which I was very happy to finally do – was that they would hand you a gold coin so that when you got atop the hill you could “pay the piper,” dropping the coin into a bucket there. It felt really, really good to do that, because I knew I only had about 5 kilometers remaining.

By this point my Taiwanese colleague had cramped up and suggested I keep going and he would catch up. Since I was feeling surprisingly good, I had gone ahead, and even in the final lap I was amazed by how much energy I had. I would normally expect to hit the wall around 30km, but for some reason I entered that last lap feeling very strong. The climb up the hill to “pay the piper” was tough, but I still had a good stride coming off of that. Entering the final two kilometers I felt myself starting to fade, and one of my North Pole mates who had been just behind me for much of the race caught up and passed me. We stayed pretty even with each other as we came down the final hill and entered the last kilometer toward the Finish.

Rottnest Island Marathon Finish
Start strong, finish stronger

I had not been paying much attention to my time; unlike Melbourne the previous weekend, this race was just supposed to be fun, without worrying about specific goals. After all, if I was ever going to have an excuse for running slow, “I ran a marathon a week ago” was a pretty good one. The sun was very bright and I wasn’t able to read my Fitbit clearly, so I just ignored it. But as I approached the Finish I could see the clock, and it appeared to be about 1 minute below my timing goal from the previous week. I suddenly kicked it into gear, passing my North Pole friend, then realized the clock was actually 6 minutes below my previous timing goal, so I slowed down and we ran across the Finish Line together. In the end, I was 13 minutes faster than I’d been in Melbourne – my fastest race in over three years – which made me think maybe I should run a marathon every weekend, if that’s going to be the result.

This was the smallest marathon I’ve ever run, and in some ways that made it a lot more fun. Sometimes, instead of the large expos and the big city streets and the bands and cheerleading squads, it’s nice to just get out there and run, to see what your body can do and how you respond to different challenges. I highly recommend this race for city runners looking for something different. Go with family or a group of friends, stay on the island a few days, meet the quokkas, and just have a good time.

Rottnest Island quokka
Making new friends
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Q&A With Shahrom Abdullah, The Extreme Sports Junkie & South Pole Conqueror

Shahrom Abdullah is a triathlete and extreme sports enthusiast from Gua Musang, Kelantan. Shahrom is a proud owner of a bicycle shop and also works as a part-time coach; coaches his students who are participating in IRONMAN Malaysia.

Without further ado, here is the Q&A with Shahrom Abdullah!

The Basics

Full name            : Shahrom Abdullah
Place of Birth      : Kelantan
Date of Birth       : 20 July 1979
Occupation         : Bicycle shop owner

1) What is your greatest strength?

Strong determination 

2) How do you handle stress and pressure?

I try to look at the positive side of things, don’t make excuses and always look for a solution.

3) What was your greatest accomplishment as an athlete?

Ranked amongst the top 15 Elite at the Powerman Zofingen Long Distance Duathlon World Championship.

4) What excites you the most about a career as an athlete?

It’s my passion for the sport. Being able to do what I love every day for the past 20 years have been great.

5) You are a bicycle shop owner. How do you find time for training?

I only have time for 1 session a day now. I start my day early with training almost every day. I am at my bike shop at 11 am and the day ends at about 9-10pm as I also coach my students at night who are doing the IRONMAN Malaysia. Time management is key.

6) Can you list down 5 Fun Facts about yourself?

  • I love to dance
  • I like pranking people when they are stressed
  • I enjoy cooking
  • Enjoy watching motorsports
  • Enjoy watching movies

 7) What is your favourite discipline and why?

Running as I can go run anywhere and explore places. Cycling/MTB especially when I am traveling, as I love to explore the countryside on my bike.

 8) List down your achievements as an athlete:

I have been consistently at the top in the duathlon scene for many years. But have recently attempted the 2017 IRONMAN Malaysia and emerged as the 1st Malaysian finisher after my last attempt at full IM distance 13 years ago. 

9) Can you share with us your nutrition plan when doing a triathlon?

I take the usual energy gels and bars. But during long bike rides, I consume raw honey to keep my body going.

10) What is your advice to people who wants to try a triathlon?

Do it because you love it and not because others are doing it. Consistency is king and listen to your body. If you are tired then rest, if you feel good then push on.

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My Run For Good – Coconut Run [4km] (by Lingderella)

Registration fee was just a cheap cheap $10 and best of all, the registration fees goes into the welfare communities in Jalan Besar GRC and Potong Pasir GRC. Thanks to the sponsors, event pack collected before the event day includes event tee, umbrella, draw string bag,
National Geographic magazine and a wall hanger that you can hook whatever you think you want to hook you can hook 😆

It’s my 5th running event of the month. Last week, after Real Run I was already exhausted and I asked Willis could we give this a miss instead? But Willis had only participated in a few runs this year due to busy work schedule and 3 runs he registered isn’t happening. He didn’t heard anything about Run Free, Halloween by the Bay was cancelled due to low registration rate and Gold Coast Marathon for us didn’t happen because of blah blah blah.

So, on event morning, I took about 5 minutes before Grab arrives to cut away the sleeves and length of the event tee after trying it on and feel it’s gonna be hot run since flag off gonna be at 8am. The tee length was also too long or either way, I’m also fine to say that I’m short instead of blaming the tee 😂 I’m glad I chopped off the sleeves as its indeed a HOT HOT morning! 但本宫针线活不精,得空时必需找绣娘把衣服缝制好,不要糟蹋了衣服 😆

We arrived minutes before 7.30am at event venue and was quite sian as queue for registration to get the coconut and the wrist tag (wrist tag for identification purpose to collect finisher entitlements such as medal and isotonic drinks after the run) was super long, but the volunteers did a great job as more of them come forward and expedite on the registration process and within minutes, the long queue was gone.

While waiting for the flag off, I’m pretty entertained by the emcee, he’s quite funny and he’s giving safety advice and also advising runners not to carry coconuts in the plastic bags and run as its not nice for photos 😆 At about 7.50am, after the Grassroots advisor of the GRC gives a short welcome speech, warm up was K-pop dance routine. The dance instructor and his assistant were so smiley and full or energy in a morning which I wish I could stay in bed but it sure was a fun work out as I could see everyone was enjoying. Just me and Willis stood there like a log but we really enjoyed just by eye power 😁

I thought the coconut will only be given after the completion of the run because it’s like so irritating to carry it and run right? So, Willis and I instead or running, we do a pak tor 4km hold hand stroll, we finished with only a mother and her daughter behind us 😆 Though it’s hot and glaringly sunny but honestly I really enjoyed the stroll and pak tor-ing with Willis ❤

It’s not a big event with I think maybe about 400 participants at a glance. There’s 2 different distance categories of 2km and 4km. Both were different route and for the 4km categories, we thought that there’s many volunteers along the route and not exaggerating, we estimated 1 volunteer every 30 metres(after 2km it’s a loop back) 😆

Though it’s at a inconvenient location at Lavender as I stay in Yishun but I love these type of runs and don’t mind to travel for the run as it’s not expensive, it’s run for a good cause, it’s fun themes of coconuts this year and last year it’s balloon theme. And it’s really well organised and most of all I enjoyed it. Wondering what’s next year theme might be?

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Gear Review: Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit

I have been running regularly for the past 5 years and have received questions from peers on how to choose a good pair of running shoes or which shoes do I recommend. The sharing of personal and other running enthusiasts’ experiences had always been casual and face-to-face. This post will be the first official shoes review which I will be doing through writing.

Having run more than 800km with my existing 2 pairs of Nike Zoom Fly (a pair of blue ones and a pair of black ones-pictured below), I am happy to be given the opportunity to try on this Flyknit version of the Nike Zoom Fly.

I must admit when I first opened the box, my first reaction was that the shoes looked kind of feminine to me.

 

Design & Comfort

 

To my surprise, the shoes looked great when I put them on! The colours blend well and they were not too loud for my liking. Having worn the non-Flyknit version (Lunarlon material) in the past, the breathability of Flyknit material is a blessing for some heat dissipation in the hot climate in Singapore. However, the feet still heat up after some running under the sun.

The Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit also fits true to my usual US size 10. The material is stretchy and light which fills my feet more snugly and comfortably as compared to the stiffer Lunarlon material. Featured with full-length carbon fiber plate found in the “legendary” Zoom Vaporfly 4% and Nike React cushioning foam, this pair of shoes felt like a bouncy cushioned trainer which can also be used for longer distances pounding on the roads.

Another lovely feature about the Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit is the lightweight cushioning and support (weighs about 272g according to online sources). Gone are the days when thick cushy stabilising running shoes were heavy and bulky.

Performance

After admiring the design and comfort of the Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit, I decided to put them to a test across different terrains. The shoes are actually very responsive on the 4 terrains which I tested on: Road, Grass, Track and Treadmill.

 

On the road: My feet felt very protected from the hard pounding on the road. The Nike React Cushion absorbs the impact very well and is also very responsive in propelling my feet forward. It was a joy running on the road with this pair of shoes.

On the grass: The shoes felt sunken into the soft grass terrain upon the landing of my feet and I could not feel much of the cushioning effect. Running on the grass terrain with these shoes gives me relatively good support and stability nonetheless.

 

On the track: I enjoyed the most running on the track with the Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit. The cushion felt optimum and the propulsion from the carbon fiber plate makes me fly literally on the track.

On the treadmill: Similar to the track, there is a very balanced feel when the feet land with the shoes’ cushion touching the slightly soft and bouncy surface. Every step feels comfortable, making the run enjoyable.

Conclusion

I will continue to use these shoes for both short interval runs at the track/treadmill as well as longer runs on the park connectors. The lightweight cushion and the propulsive carbon fibre plate make the Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit a versatile pair of shoes for running both long slow distances as well as fast uptempo intervals.

Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit is available in Singapore via www.nike.com for S$239

* Disclaimer: This review represents the genuine, unbiased views of the author. The author was provided with a free unit. Nike’s products have been and might currently be advertised on JustRunLah! via different channels, however, these relationships do not influence the editorial content of reviews.
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Your Key To Success: Run

Different individuals have a different meaning of success. Most of us equate success to goals, and we work so hard to achieve it. But you wanna know a secret? Your key to success is actually to run.

1) Running allows you to set higher goals.

You may run or maybe jog for a good 15 minutes at the beginning of your workout session. Once you get used to that routine, you set higher goals. Maybe next time, you’re already running for an hour nonstop. This is a significant improvement. Every time you successfully manage to achieve your goal, immediately set a higher one. A lot of studies has shown that those who effectively set goals tend to achieve more. Setting goals will always keep your focus and do what is required, and this will always keep you motivated. With that, you will be able to see success soon!

2) Running reminds you to finish what you started

We all have days that we don’t feel like doing anything, and all we want to do is lie on our bed. We sometimes feel down because despite the hard work and effort we put in to achieve it, we are still far from it. This time is critical. You should always keep in mind your end goal and practice self-discipline. Don’t cave in to such thoughts and remember why you started and finish it. Like what Joe Namath mentioned, “if you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?”. Being persistent, tenacious and having self-discipline helps anyone to thrive in life.

3) Running makes you realize your pace

It is normal during a marathon that some people will pass you, and some people might fall behind. But you are going on your own pace. There’s no need to rush and don’t compare yourself with others. It’s always okay to run slower and take it easy. You are different from others. As long as you continue to look ahead and make it through the finish line, you are already doing well. You can also use your surrounding to motivate yourself and thus improving your pace. As long as you finish strong, that’s what matters the most. Relating back to real life, some of your friends might achieve more at your age and that’s okay. As long as you are focused and know your goals, you will eventually get there. The most important thing is not to compare yourself with others, but to know your true capability and work towards it. You do you. You are still successful.

Running improves your life and makes you a stronger and better person. It is definitely your key to success. So what are you waiting for? Start running today and be successful!

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166 teams battled at Bloomberg Square Mile Relay 2018; Standard Chartered Bank wins

Runners taking off from the start line at flag off // Photo credit: Bloomberg Square Mile Relay Singapore

Standard Chartered Bank were crowned the “fastest firm in the city” following their first-place finish in the sixth running of the Bloomberg Square Mile Relay Singapore, as 166 teams took to the city’s financial district to battle it out for top spot in the annual event, with 22% more teams on the start line than previous years.

Each team consisted of 10 members who were tasked with running the one-mile course in the fastest possible time before passing on the baton to the next colleague. The team to complete its 10 cumulative one-mile laps in the fastest time was Standard Chartered Bank who were winning the race for the very first time, with the firm crossing the line in 53 minutes and 50 seconds. In second place, were Macquarie completing the course in 54 minutes and 35 seconds and Norges Bank Investment Management finished third with a time of 1 hour and 41 seconds.

Standard Chartered Bank team captain, Mohammed Rahim said: “This is our sixth attempt at the relay, and it feels great to have finally won! This year, we had more training sessions and worked at maintaining our consistency throughout the race. The team performance exceeded our expectations and we are extremely proud of our achievement.”

The fastest runner on the night was Ashley Miles from Macquarie, who ran his leg in 4 minutes and 51 seconds. The highly competitive Fastest Mixed Team award was won by GIC with a time of 1 hour, 1 minute and 58 seconds. Their team captain Sylvester Wee said, “We are ecstatic about our securing our first win at the Bloomberg Square Mile Relay! It was a great team bonding experience, and to be part of an event that is supporting the community is even better. We have been training together with weekly runs and occasional time trials, so we are glad that our efforts have paid off! This is our fourth year participating in the relay, and we definitely hope to be back next year.”

Building on Bloomberg’s long-standing tradition of supporting local communities and giving back, the Bloomberg Square Mile Relay in Singapore teamed up with sport-for-development charity SportCares to give back to the community as part of the global “The Extra Mile” initiative. The Extra Mile aims to address unique social challenges in each city where the relay race takes place.

Runners are encouraged to vote for one of three causes that will have yearlong support via a US$25,000 donation and runners will have a chance to volunteer in activities that address the winning challenge.

Maggie Ng, Head of ASEAN Bloomberg, said: “Square Mile Relay offers a perfect opportunity for the city’s most competitive runners to come together for a night of camaraderie, teamwork, celebration and networking. At the same time, it gives us the chance to contribute to the overall wellness of the communities we operate in. We hope to see more teams next year, as more companies continue to instill healthy lifestyles within the workplace!”

166 teams competed in the Singapore leg of the global race series, which takes place annually in 10 cities world-wide, with two more cities being added in 2019. Headline sponsor Bloomberg returned for its sixth year of sponsorship in Singapore, joined by Virgin Active as fitness partner, Conrad Centennial Singapore as hotel accommodation partner, Grand Hyatt Singapore as catering supplier and Peroni as beer supplier.

“Our global race series is like no other sporting event, as the city’s workers come together for a night of camaraderie, teamwork, celebration and networking, all whilst supporting a fantastic cause. We are excited to announce that two new cities are being added to the annual series next year, but we now look ahead to our final race of the global series which will be hosted in Hong Kong on 8th November,” said James Hassett, Managing Director of event organizer Square Mile Sport.

Adapted from Press Release

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Race Review: 2018 Medibank Melbourne Marathon (by Dr. Will)

On a work trip to Melbourne three years ago, a friend told me about running toward the Melbourne Marathon’s Finish Line by taking a lap inside the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, and ever since then this race has been on my list. Finally, this month, I saw what all the fuss is about.

The organizers of the Medibank Melbourne Running Festival say that this is biggest field of runners in Australia, and once you add the 21km, 10km, 5km, and 3km events to the 6,000+ marathoners, I see how that can be true. I’ve run Sydney and Gold Coast before, so I’ve seen that Australian hospitality tends to create a good event, and that was definitely on display here.

After arriving Thursday morning following an overnight flight, I decided Thursday would not be my day to visit the expo and race pack collection. Instead, it would be a day for taking a nap and then enjoying some of the cafes for which Melbourne is known. The desk agent at my hotel was suggesting a 3-hour walking tour of the central city, but I tried to explain that with the marathon coming up on Sunday, I would do my touring in smaller doses.

I finally wandered over to the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday to pick up my bib and figure out how I would get there on race day. The expo itself was outdoors and fairly small compared to others like Gold Coast, but they had someone selling Gu, so I had all I needed. The Starting Line would be nearby, close to the Rod Lever Arena at the tennis center, but they would have a bag drop-off at the MCG, near the Finish. The website called it the Warm Clothing Drop-Off, so that gave me some expectations for race day, expectations that were about to be destroyed.

One reason I was excited about the race was the prospect of cool temperatures, which would be a nice change from running in Southeast Asia. However, on Friday, things seemed to be warming up, and when I finally checked the weather forecast, I saw that Sunday’s temperatures were projected to be 17-26C, not exactly what I was hoping for. The Warm Clothing Drop-Off suddenly seemed to be a cruel joke. Local folks whom I talked to told me they had the heat on in their homes just a few days earlier, but the temperature had spiked. Wonderful.

Getting ready for the start
The Warm Clothing Drop-Off, under the MCG

Race day arrived, and I took the tram to the station closest to the MCG. Start time was 7am, and I got there a little before 6, early enough to duck into the Warm Clothing Drop-Off (I still had my fleece in my bag, in hopes that a sudden Antarctic cold front would come whistling through). Everything there was very well organized, and soon enough I was walking over the Starting Line. There were no waves, no corrals, everyone just lined up, and when the gun went off, then off we went. It was all very relaxed, fun, and friendly.

The sun was just coming up, and the streets were wide enough that we didn’t feel too crowded, with no need to weave around each other. There was one small bottleneck a couple kilometers in, where there was some construction going on, but otherwise things moved smoothly. The early part took us through the city, and but within a few kilometers we had moved into a park. I’m not always a big fan of spending a lot of time in parks, unless they are down near the city center, because it’s hard for supporters to get there, and I always get a lot of motivation from cheering spectators. Plus, I like to break up my run into a series of little landmarks instead of just going for the next kilometer marker, so I aim for a building or a sign or a streetlight, then pick the next…but in a big open park, you don’t have many landmarks. So instead, I aimed for a pacer group ahead that I wanted to pass, and made it my mission to get beyond them. It worked, but about 10km later they passed me. Oh well.

Once we got out of the park, we had a lot of local folks along the roads helping us out. Kids were out there giving us candy, or just some high-fives, and that’s always awesome. At one point I saw two guys with a small hibachi grilling prawns, literally putting “another shrimp on the barbie, mate,” which was fantastic and not at all feeding into stereotypes haha. As we ran around the bay, the sky was a gorgeous blue, and the water looked wonderful, and it was a really good day for a run.

I entered the race with two timing goals: first, to shave time off my races from the last few years, and secondly, to come in below a particular time. I’ve been getting progressively slower the last three years, but I’d recently seen some positive changes in my running and fitness, and combining that with the low temperatures (which turned out to be a fantasy) I set some ambitious goals. At the 28km point, 2/3 of the way through, I was on track to finish 30min faster than my timing goal, which would be amazing. I had tried to slow down a little bit early on, because I was getting overeager, but doing well at this point was very encouraging. Looking back at my splits, I was still in good shape at the 36km point, and was predicted to come in 19 minutes below my goal, but that’s when the trouble started.

Flinders Street Station
Turning into the final 3km at Flinders Street Station

Though the course was mostly flat, there were some hills toward the end that proved a little painful. The real problem, though, was I developed a tingling sensation in my fingers, which is a sign of heat problems, either dehydration or heatstroke. I started doubling my water intake at each station, but I knew I needed to be careful. Looking at my watch, I still had a shot at making that second goal, but I would need to keep a steady pace. When I hit 39km, I could feel the tingling again, but now I was feeling dizzy, too. I had seen plenty of runners lying on the sidewalk with medics, and didn’t want to join them, so I started walking and tried to concentrate through the dizziness. If I had started seeing blue spots in front of my eyes I would have sat down, but fortunately it didn’t get that bad. I quit looking at my watch and just tried to run, albeit slowly, through the end. I was pretty upset at this point; it sucks to be so close to a goal and feel it slip away. Ultimately, though, you have to listen to your body.

MCG
Approaching the Finish Line in the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

During the final kilometer I quit worrying about goals and just focused on the finish. Entering the MCG was as cool as everyone said it was, and taking a lap around the inside was a great feeling. The stands were crowded in the final few hundred meters, and I yelled at them to “make some noise!,” getting some chants of “U-S-A, U-S-A!” in response. It’s pretty awesome to run through a 100,000-person stadium, even when there aren’t 100,000 people in it.

Crossing the Finish, I sat down until the lightheadedness disappeared, then made my way back to the Warm Clothing Drop-Off (by now, just something to laugh about) and collected my gear. By the time I got back outside I was feeling ok, and happy to have finished rather than upset about my missed goal. Of course, the fact I was faster than I’d been in three years took some of the sting out of it.

Melbourne is a great city, and the Melbourne Marathon is a fun race. A course made up of wide roads, a crowd that is big enough to be exciting but small enough not to be overwhelming, and (usually) cool temperatures, make this a great event for people from warmer climates to come and do well. And maybe, if you’re feeling up to it, you can do that 3-hour walking tour a day or two after the race.

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Veteran Cameron Brown wins TRI-Factor Quzhou after KONA 2018

Photo courtesy of Orange Room

About 400 hundred triathletes joined the first ever Tri-Factor event in China, Quzhou TRI-Factor International Triathlon 2018. The participants came from more than 20 provinces and cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Anhui and also had 17 countries and regions represented like New Zealand, Singapore and the Philippines.

The Triathlon event was hosted the people’s government of Quzhou, Quzhou City Sports Bureau, Quzhou City Water Conservancy Bureau and Shanghai Orange Room Co. Ltd. There five categories for TF Quzhou with TF-ENDRO, Standard Distance, Standard Relay, Sprint Distance and Run-Bike-Run. The main category was the TF-ENDRO with a swim distance of 1.5 km, bicycle ride of 80 km and a 20 km run.

Quzhou TF Triathlon 2018 Race also showcased a lot of heritage and culture of Quzhou with race starting in the historic Shuiting Gate right in the heart of the city centre. The swim event was at the Qu River, which was at the west side of Shuiting Gate. The bike and run route were along the Qu River and visited the new and old urban areas such as ancient city wall of Quzhou, the Lixian Bridge and other historic sites of Quzhou.

New Zealand World Champion Cameron Brown graced the event as an ambassador of Quzhou TF Triathlon 2018 Race.  Brown also got to appreciate Quzhou as a sports destination when he visited the place last June 2018.  Also, several top-tier international triathletes including first Japanese Olympian Triathlete Mr Hiroyuki Nishiuchi and Top Chinese Triathlon Mr Fang Zhou were invited to join the event.

Cameron Brown topped the Men’s TF-ENDRO distance with a time of 3:36:40. John Chicano topped the Men’s Standard distance with a time of 2:09:17 while Li Jianqiang won the Men’s Sprint distance with a time of 1:16:16.  Chen Cheng was the top female on the TF-ENDRO distance with a time of 4:41:25. Heather De Freitas won the Women’s standard distance with a time of 2:35:14 while Li Fang topped the Women’s sprint distance with a time of 1:34:17

Triathlon, which combines the disciplines of swimming, biking and running, has been among the growing its roster of athletes around the world.  Tri-Factor is organized by Orange Room Co. Ltd.  Tri-Factor Asian Championship Series is currently the largest and fastest growing private brand event in Asia, suitable for all age groups and different levels of participants. The event has hosted nearly 70 Triathlon competitions in six countries, including Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand, with more than 90,000 participants. The formation of a triathlon community of more than 100,000 people in the Asia-Pacific region by 2020 is their immediate goal.

Quzhou TF Triathlon 2018 Race is the first event in China to enter the Tri-Factor Asian Championship Series.  This is the start of Tri-Factors presence in China with a long term partnership with the state of Quzhou being in the center of triathlon in the country.

“Orange Room hopes to help Quzhou develop the sports + tourism industry through its rich experience in sports events, professional teams and international resources, and bring a healthier lifestyle to the people of Quzhou through competitions and build a relationship between domestic and international athletes. We aim to set up a more participatory sports community. We are very honored to be able to participate in the implementation of the national fitness strategy plan,” says Elvin Ting, co-founder of Orange Room.

TF Triathlon Quzhou 2018 hopes to grow the awareness on the sports of triathlon in within the Zhejiang Province starting at the state of Quzhou in preparation for the 2022 Asian Games that is scheduled in the same province of Hangzhou. The event also hopes to promote Quzhou as a sports + tourism destination and a sporting hub for triathlon in China.

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Race Review: HomeTeamNS Real Run 2018 [21 km] (by stargazer)

This year’s Home TeamNS Real Run is held at The Meadow, Gardens By The Bay on 21st October. Compared to last year’s run at Punggol Waterway,  this year’s incorporates 2 new categories: 3 km fun walk and 21 km run. I am participating in the 21 km run, while my friends Angie and Kamal are participating in the 10 km category – all thanks to JustRunLah! for providing us with 3 complimentary slots (thank you, JRL!).

The 21 km route brings the runners to East Coast Park, u-turn and back to The Meadow via Gardens By The Bay East. It is different from the 10 km route, which covers mainly Gardens By The Bay East. This must be one of the few morning races where the 21 km flags off late at 5.30 am and the 10 km flags off early at 5.50 am, a mere 20 mins apart. I believe the organizers made this arrangement to facilitate a single shuttle service pick up time for all runners and at the same time, minimal ‘idle time’ for the 10 km runners awaiting for their flag off.

Race pack collection at Novena Square was relatively fast and done within 5 mins. There were quite a few useful items in the race pack, such as the Superbowl vouchers.

My 2 Goals for this Run

I never enjoy long distance running. But I do like to challenge that distance once in a while. So I set a rule that I will not run more than 2 half marathons within in a year and they should preferably be at least 4 months apart.

Having said that, my last half marathon was The Income Eco Run at end April. I completed that race at a time of 3 hr 07 mins and with knee pain. For this Real Run, I decided to try a different approach, with a primary goal to eliminate the knee pain. I think it just doesn’t make sense to complete a race resulting in pain or injury. Finish the race within 3 hrs is my secondary goal. This was my plan:

  1. After the 12 km mark, slow to a walk for a min or two before covering the next 1 km. I used my Runkeeper app to monitor and repeat this cycle.
  2. Perform quadricep stretches during each walk/stop.
  3. Apply pain relief (‘Star Balm’) if necessary. So yes, I actually brought it along with me for the run.

Race Day

It was warm and humid on race day morning. I took the shuttle service at 4 am at Bedok and reached the race site at 4.30 am. Volunteers were setting up the various booths and the bouncy castle. I was pleasantly surprised that drinks were already available at the hydration point. I think this is good as runners could hydrate themselves before their run. I deposited my bag and explored the site with my friend, Angie, who was taking part in the 10 km run. We had a good catch-up before we proceed to the Start Point.

There were 2 waves to the 21 km flag off at 5.30 am. I joined the 2nd wave. This was my first time running at Gardens By the Bay, Marina Barrage and East Coast Park (ECP) at this early hour. The surroundings were quiet and peaceful, though there were already pockets of other runners enjoying their morning jog. By the time I hit the 9 km u-turn mark at ECP, it was already 7 am and the sun was up. The weather was hot. Apart from hydrating myself with pocari sweat at the hydration stations, I wet my face and neck with water to cool down. I have been to ECP many times, hence did not specifically take time to enjoy the scenery and sea views. I guess my focus was on the run itself.

Once I reached the 12 km mark, I slowed and acted according to my plan, performing quadricep stretching and taking it easy. So much so that a volunteer thought I was in ‘trouble’ ! I repeat this cycle until I reached the Marina Barrage, where I felt exhausted. There was still 2 km to clear and I did it with a mixture of running and walking.

I managed to complete the race at a net time of 2 hr 45 mins and most importantly, without any knee pain. I had achieved my goals, feeling great and not overly exhausted.

Post Race

There wasn’t much activities at the race site, apart from the free massage for the runners and the awards presentation to the top runners. I believe many runners (and their families) had left after collecting their entitlements, as the day was getting very hot and there was no shelter to offer respite from the sweltering heat.

I took some photos at the photo booth and lingered a while before making my way home.

Did My Plan Work?

Frankly, I am not sure. What I know is that patellofemoral pain can occur when the muscles around the hip and knee don’t keep the kneecap properly aligned due to repetitive stress on the knee joint. Hence, what I did was to prevent it from even happening by inducing lesser stress and periodically ‘align’ the kneecap. I have been doing vertical runs too. Perhaps the strengthening of core muscles help in some ways also.

Comments

1) The carrier bag for the race pack appears to be an ‘over-kill’. I think a drawstring bag is more suitable and practical.

2) I didn’t notice any sign directing to the Start Point. There was a white arch at the venue which I mistakenly thought was the Start Point. It was only after the race I realized that was the start for the 3 km walk.

3) There were sufficient hydration stations throughout the run. And they provided good choice of pocari sweat and water. But I feel the water was too chilled for consumption when you were exhausted. Having it just ‘cold’ may have been better.

4) There were sufficient volunteers and road marshalls. Many of them were enthusiatic and gave words of encouragement to runners to persist to the end.

5) I didn’t notice medical support along the run. I thought an ambulance on standby at an ‘out-lying’ area such as ECP for a long distance run would have been re-assuring. Perhaps I didn’t notice there was.

6) Personally, I prefer last year’s edition at Punggol Waterway. There was a good theme (fire-fighters vs law enforcers) and the route took us to Coney island. City areas and ECP are just too common places to provide a refreshing experience. Perhaps for next year’s edition, if it is feasible, could be held in conjunction with the SCDF Exhibition at the Singapore Expo? I believe such an experience would be more unique as participants can explore additional activities at the Expo after their run.

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How The Keto Diet Can Improve Your Running

The keto diet has taken the world by storm recently. With the diet restricting carbohydrate intake to between 20 and 50 grams a day, it’s been shown to improve focus and energy levels  – both of which are handy traits for runners who want to push themselves and their bodies as far as they will go. Athletes like LeBron James have made it public that they’ve followed a keto-related diet, too – suggesting it’s something that’s becoming more popular among athletes.

Yet what exactly does this diet involve? And is it suitable for runners who need a lot of firepower and fuel in order to achieve their goals? This article will explore the relationship between this innovative diet and running.

What is the keto diet?

For most people, including runners, food is a source of pleasure – but it’s also a way to provide your body with fuel, and a way to shape it into a fat-burning machine. It encourages ketosis, which is your body’s way of tapping into its fatty energy resources when carbohydrates are no longer there. As a result, substances called ketones are released – which means your body burns fat faster.

Carbs have to be cut out almost entirely for the diet to work, and many on the keto diet actually consume between 20 and 50 grams per day when the recommended level is over 200. But the keto diet doesn’t have to sacrifice the pleasure of eating. Grabbing a nut-based snack with coconut oil after a run is a delicious way to satisfy sugar cravings while also contributing to ketosis. Delicious fatty foods like bacon are also often used!

How can it help runners?

The main way in which a keto diet can help runners is in terms of bodily function and composition. One study focusing on runners following a keto diet found that fat was more effectively burned – and while they experienced a slight drop in energy at first, high performance was eventually achieved. “All athletes increased their ability to utilise fat as a fuel source, including at higher exercise intensities,” the study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found. There’s also evidence to suggest that ketones are a much better source for brainpower than the sugars found in carbs or elsewhere – meaning focus and drive may be improved.

The keto diet, then, has a number of benefits for those who want to enhance their running skills as far as possible. While the thought of restricting carbohydrate intake to well below the recommended level may put some people off, there’s lots of evidence to show that it can help burn fat faster and boost energy levels. As a runner, then, the ketogenic diet may well be the way for you to go.

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