Race Journal: Dali 100 Ultra Endurance Race 2019 (by Supertramp)

Dali, a city I have read more about in the novel; Demi-gods and Semi-devils, by the late Jin Yong then ever in my daily life. Never would I expect myself to visit this city (it really exists by the way) in person, even more so to be here for a race. But that was exactly what happened.

I was in Dali for the Dali 100 Ultra Endurance Race in May this year, taking part in the 100km category.

After a 17hrs journey comprising of 2 flights, a high-speed rail, a train and a bus, I finally arrived at this city that is already about 2000m above sea level.

I went for a short run around this ancient city the next day morning in part to see if there will be any effect of running at such high altitude. I did feel a little laborious as I could not seem to breathe as I usually do during a run. So I could only hope the effect will not be worse than this during the race proper the next day.

Attended the race briefing shortly after collecting my race pack in the afternoon. Must say it was a very detailed briefing as they ran through with us every section from start to finishing, highlighting areas that needed special mention. I must also add that in order for us to collect our BIBs we were required to submit our medical report including an ECG. So I got all these done prior to setting off from Singapore.

Checking my blood pressure while they checked my medical report
The briefing
Here I am

Special mention here on a last minute course change that happened 3 days before the race. Due to the drier than usual climate the local city council decided to forbid anyone from going above 2600m in the famed Cang Mountain as the threat of forest fire was very real. Our original course was to have taken us up to about 4700m at the mountain top but sadly that could no longer take place. Kudos to the race director, Yu Lei and his team to immediately scout an alternate course the very next day and within 2 days a new course was set for us. So instead of scaling the mountain to the peak we now had to go up and down along the mountain ranges a few more times.

The new course

As the only Asian runner outside China to be present, I am honoured to be invited on stage for the opening ceremony together with the many Da Shens aka elites. And at 0730hrs, we were off.

Rare stage moment
Spot me

Having misread the Cut Off Time (COT) for the first CP, I went out too fast. thinking I had just 1hr when I actually had 1hr 20mins.. Slowed down attempting to get back my usual rhythm but I found it hard to come by. The adrenaline rush that usually comes right after flag offs failed to appear this time and I laboured. Perhaps it was the high altitude playing its part but the show must go on. A runner I ran alongside later on told me laboured breathing is a mild sign of acute mountain sickness (AMS) and AMS was something the organisers told us to be mindful of and to stop immediately if the condition worsens. Luckily for me that was about as bad as it gets. However it was only during a close to 6km descent after CP2 that I managed to find my wind and started to manage my running better.

CP2
CP3
Passed some toursit spots
Erhai Lake from Cang Mountain

My target was to reach CP5, which was the 59km mark before nightfall wanting to make full use of the expected late sunset (sun set the previous day at around 2000hrs) to get ready for the steepest climb on the course in the night. And I managed to do just that reaching CP5 by 1900hrs. After a short break I set myself up for the upcoming night segment before moving out again.

The toughest section came next. There was this part of the trail going up that was bordered by some tall plants and they caved inwards from the side. The problem was they were tall but not tall ENOUGH. So I cannot walk straight as my head will bump into the plants. So for that 2km or so I had to literally hunch to pass through. As if that was not challenging enough, I was constantly slipping. Not from mud but from dried pine leaves. For some reason my shoes (megagrip notwithstanding) always slips whenever I stepped on them and they were all over the place. So I had to focus on not slipping while keeping my head low to avoid the overhanging plants. I think that took a toll on me as coupled with fatigue I lost focus for a while and took a tumble shortly after during a descent. I was not injured but I landed ‘turtle up’ and got stuck there for a while as I did not have manoeuvring space to flip myself over. When I finally managed to get up I laughed instead. Somehow I found that fall very amusing.

Knowing I have some buffer time and not wanting to risk sleep walking again though I was already out of the mountains, I decided to hunker down for some sleep at CP7. And I slept for an hour. Waking up feeling a little recharged later I moved towards the finishing now just a Half Marathon distance away.

Day broke close to 0600hrs and I had 2 bowls of delicious seaweed soup at the last CP – CP8. I did not really eat at all the CPs as I felt the need to drink more than the need to eat. So I drank a lot (they served Gatorade, 3 flavours somemore) but hardly ate. So now knowing I have more than sufficient time to finish the game (3hrs for just 10km) I decided to have the soup, served very enthusiastically by the volunteers there.

My delicious seaweed soup

Spent the last 10km slowly admiring the farms all around me as I know I will unlikely be back at this part of the world again. And at 0800hrs, I reached the Finish CP.

Witnessed a magnificent sunrise
Where my timing stopped

This was the interesting part. The Finish CP is NOT the finishing line. It was just the point where our timing will be stopped with our official race time taken. The actual finishing line was about 300m away. Now the reason for this we were told, was for us, the runners, especially the girls, to tidy up a little, before getting a cool looking photo finish crossing the finishing line without the pressure of time. Now how cool is that? But it gets better. The race director, Yu Lei, actually waits at the finishing line whenever possible to give all finishers a ‘bridal carry’. Yes, ALL finishers; male and female, got that treatment as long as he was available there. I got to know later that that is actually his trademark and he does that at all 6 of his races.

My bridal carry

So with that, I completed my 4th 100km trail.

I am done
More plaque than a medal
Advertisement

My Craze Ultra 2019 [as a supporter] (by Lingderella)

If you run, you’re a runner. If you run 42.195km you’re a marathoner. And there’s ultramarathoner, which according to wikipedia, is a distance longer than 42.195km. So it means any centimetres more than 42.195km qualifies a person to be an ultramarathoner? But I don’t consider myself as an ultramarathoner this way, I want to attempt at least a 50km to get the title of ultramarathoner 💪

To me, the most insane and godly term a runner could achieve would be ultra trail marathoner, which is really not a title that could be easily earned. It will need great courage to attempt these ultra distances and in crazy terrains or weather conditions depending on your luck you may get heavy rain or even typhoon maybe. It needs lots of determination and perseverance to cross the finishing line.

This time I participated in Craze Ultra as an “extra”, I wouldn’t say I’m a pacer, but I’m accompanying Rey in parts of the distances, he was in the 72km category. There’s 101km, 72km, 55km, 45km and 27km with the most participants in 101km category with 105 finishers completing within the cut off time of 24 hours 😍 For 72km category there’s isn’t much participants, there were only 9 finishers with the rest which I think is about the 6 of them DNF or DNS.

Flag off was at MacRitchie Reservoir at 7.30am for the 72km category on Saturday morning and the cut off time is 7am the next morning. Willis and I decided to wait for Rey at a bus stop near to where I stay in Yishun, by the time Rey will be here it would be his 11km mark and I would already have enough beauty sleep and wake up naturally without any alarm set 😊

I thought why not while waiting for Rey we might as well get something to give the runners who ran passed? So the night before, we bought some ice popsicles and froze them. It’s my first time showing runners some little support in this way. At first, I was quite paiseh and even asked Willis what if nobody want to take? 😂 I thought I’ll be disappointed if nobody take. It would be the exact feeling like a kid coming to cheer for runners in a marathon and put out the hand for a high 5 but nobody gives the kid a high 5 back. But luckily we gave all the ice popsicles away ❤ I know it will be just damn shiok to eat something cold when running in hot weather.

It’s 9.08am when I started my sports watch. It’s a super hot and sunny morning, Willis and I accompanied Rey at his pace. It’s some walking some running and some chit chatting. Its the companionship. We cheered for those overtaking us, those we overtake and those who are already u-turning back. It’s not easy to do 72km, I can imagine if I’m the person who is doing the 72km I will be damn grumpy. Only the 101km category participants can have a pacer bib for their pacer.

My Google Map with 72km route

I can’t remember what I had pressed on the website but the map route appeared on my Google map for the race period! 😍 One of the most important skills actually is actually Google map reading and I think I’m pretty good at it. Though there’s signages along the route to point the directions but unless the eyes is as sharp as eagle’s there’s still possibility of missing a turn or go to the wrong path. For ultra distances if lost the way is sibeh hoseh, can do a lot of additional distances for free sia 😂 Rey downloaded the map as gpx file into his watch, I still haven’t explored the function of it yet even though my watch have that function 😆

There’s a total of 5 checkpoints but only the 101km participants will go to all the 5 checkpoints. I only went to checkpoints located in a small park in Yishun and another one in Sembawamg park. The checkpoints were all very bubbly and supportive volunteers. There were sports drink, coke, water and some food and fruits available at certain checkpoints for the participants.

Credits: Craze Ultra

I must really clap clap clap for the very well done website, it’s very informative and all the important stuffssss and information, such as map, safety, route what food and drinks is available at their checkpoints etc etc all can be found on their official website.

Willis and I accompanied Rey till back to Checkpoint 1 where Rey had already completed about 30 over km and we had completed almost 20km with him and I was very very burnt and exhausted. We took a bus home though it’s just about 1.7km away but I’m already super drained. Head home, shower had a nice lunch and took a nap before I meet Rey again for part II as Willis have to work the next day, he did not joined us. Eleanor accompanied him after we left and meet him at a point near Punggol. Rey was very lucky that he avoided the super heavy rain in Yishun. Drastic change in weather conditions I can only imagined falling sick.


When they returned to the bus stop where I was waiting earlier, it was around 8pm and Rey only have the last 11km left, can see that he’s already super tired. It’s a long journey of brisk walking with a little bit of running and we reached the finishing at Macritchie Reservoir. They have finisher beers from different brands ready for Rey to choose from 😍

The registration fee was expensive at $100 and it does not include finisher tee and medal which have to be purchase. But if I were to run the crazy ultra distances I will definitely buy the medal and tee shirt 😆 I would like to attempt the 101km category next year as it’s quite a interesting concept and I think the only ultra race that covers the most surface area of Singapore. Hope I have the courage to register for it when registration opens for it next year! 😆 I want to get a ultra trail marathoner title as well 💪

Advertisement

Race Review: CSC Run By The Bay 2019 [21 km] (by stargazer)

This is my first time participating in the CSC Run. I had previously read many good comments regarding this race. Hence, this year I decided to take part in the event on 12 Oct at the Gardens By the Bay East (GBBE). In addition, this was a nice run up before the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon and I had the intention to use this race to gauge my fitness level to progress beyond 21 km. It certainly has not been easy training for the full marathon because I got to stop during runs to address my knee pain.

Race Day

It started to drizzle at 3.30 pm in the afternoon. I was wondering if the race would still carry on. There was no mention of cancellation in the event facebook. Fortunately the rain stopped by 4.30 pm. I took the train and alighted at Stadium MRT, taking a slow walk to the event site. As I walked on, I saw Soh Rui Yong doing his warm-up run along the Tanjong Rhu Promenade Park Connector. I wish him well.

There were quite a number of activities lined up, such as Pilates and stretching exercises. A booth called The Mix Bar provided complimentary drinks and there was a small bouncy castle for kids.

The 21 km runners were flagged off at 5.45 pm. There were 3 phases to the run route, according to how I perceived it. The first phase brought the runners to Marina East Drive and East Coast Park (ECP). We U turned after a short distance into ECP and headed back towards GBBE.

This was where a small confusion occurred. At GBBE, we were required to enter the event site in order to re-run the GBBE Park Connector towards Marina Barrage. Although this was highlighted in the route map, I thought it wasn’t very clearly indicated. There was also no crew on ground to guide runners towards the right direction. Hence, I was not surprised to see some runners stopped, looking lost and trying to find the correct way.

The second phase took the runners to Gardens By The Bay (GBB), Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Downtown Singapore. As it was the weekend, there were many visitors and the pathway became slightly congested due to the influx of runners. Also, I felt the GBB and MBS were not conducive places for night running as these places were not brightly lit. The stretch of roads along Downtown were not broad enough for so many runners running together at the same time.

The third phase took the runners to F1 Pit, Kallang Riverside Park and finished back at GBBE. I had been to these places and somehow I find them, as in phase 2, more suitable for a day run.

I managed to complete the race within 3 hrs. Though I did not hit a PB, I had deliberately  run at a slower and comfortable pace to assess if I still had the ‘energy’ to progress beyond 21 km.

I rested a while before taking the shuttle service back to Sports Hub.

Comments

1) Hydration stations were sufficient, at approximately every 2 km. However, cups were  depleted at most stations after 10 km.

2) Event organizer Metasport usually engages Finisherpix to take race photos. While many moments were captured, I do mind paying for these photos since we had paid quite a price for the race. The event organizer or owner should have been more generous and upload the photos for free.

3) The design of the medal looks like a water droplet. I think there is little correlation to the race. Or was there a theme which I was not aware of?

4) I feel by virtue of its race routes, this event is more suited for a day race. Perhaps a “spectacular sunrise race” next year?

Advertisement

Trials and tribulations of the 11th edition Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon #KLSCM 2019

Credit: Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon 2019

The trials and tribulations have finally arrived in the form of one of the biggest running events in Malaysia, the Standard Chartered KL Marathon, and all runners in the running community from all over the country want a piece of the action!

So, it would be impolite of me not to join them!

The Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon 2019 (SCKLM2019) was the 11th edition of SCKLM and the largest edition yet with over 40,000 participants converging on Dataran Merdeka over the 28-29 September weekend. For the first time, the 5km category was held the day before together with the Friendship Run, which meant to be a warm-up run for the Full Marathon, thus created an opportunity and platform for runners from around the world to network and forge friendships.

There were 1,900 running tourists participated in the race this year, representing 49 countries from all over the world. There were also 10,020 Malaysians who came from outside of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. In light of this, the Kuala Lumpur Mayor has proposed that the name of the event be altered to give the city more prominence in order to encourage more running tourists and their entourages to the city. Henceforth, this premier distance running event will be called the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon (KLSCM) to highlights its tourism potential.

KLSCM is sanctioned and supported by the Malaysia Athletics Federation (MAF), Federal Territory Kuala Lumpur Athletic Federation (FTKLAA), International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and Association of International Marathons, Distance Races (AIMS).

The Haze situation

Days and weeks into the biggest and boldest KL Marathon, our country was hit with the haze crisis. Runners were uncertain if the race was on or cancelled.  As a result, most runners, including myself did not have enough training (longer distance in outdoor) thus motivation level was not at our very best!

Over the past 2 weeks prior to the final week, there have been many discussions and worry about the haze situation and the possibility of cancellation.  Finally, the organiser of KLSCM released an announcement that a decision would be made on 27 Sep 2019 7:30 pm, less than 2 days before the big day.

However, the haze situation has improved on Tuesday 24 Sep 2019 with rain over Klang Valley in the evening.  Wednesday and Thursday were rainy and windy. API reading dropped to less than 100. API reading rose a little on Friday but overall was below 100. It looked as though the event might be going ahead and everyone was on their edge waiting for the official announcement which finally came.

Get ready, gun time (or is it honky time) and let the journey begin

The clock started ticking towards the 3:45 am mark… almost there 3:40, 3:42…and suddenly there were 3 to 4 confetti canons released at different parts of the starting line and created a very exhilarating atmosphere.  Drones flown by and the MC was shouting at the top of her lung for all the runner to waive at it.  And then the countdown started…. Calm down, calm down, control the nerve, slow down your heart rate, breathe in deeply….phew.  And the horn was released.  The horn signalled the start of the race and the march went on.

As Stephen Covey said ‘to begin with the end in mind, but it doesn’t mean for you to end without starting’.  With this in mind, I was ready.  My plan was to break the whole course into blocks – my initial playbook was a block of 14km i.e. 14km – 8mins pace, 14km – 7:40mins pace, 14km – 7mins pace.  I crossed the starting line whilst switching the GPS on my watch and ran pass a blare of music, confetti and cheering which slowly turned into the steady rhythm of footfalls and breathing.

These 2 years starting somehow lack the impact I remember from when I first joined this prestigious event; it was my first half marathon in 2016.  I could still remember clearly the lines of drums, drumming as we marched towards the starting line.  The beat of the drums amplified my heartbeat and it was so loud that it was impossible to hear anything else or the person next to you trying to talk to you.  It was like marching to a battlefield.  But that was 3 years ago.  Now the economy is soft, the budget cut was everywhere I guess.

The difference between the gun-time and nett time is surprisingly short, less than 2 minutes.  I’d tried to run as per my plan, 7:30-7:40 pace for the first km.  But alas, things were not as planned again this year.  I did not follow my own plan and my blocks turned into 10km – 6min, 10k – 8 mins.  I did not need the genius to tell me why I ran out-breath and hit whatever walls I could hit in the form of the water stations.  It was hard to measure my effort when I was in full swing.  The lap reading in the first km was ridiculously at 6:35min.  I was trying to slow down, but I was affected by the sea of runners surrounding me who were running at the same or even faster pace.  The sound of thousands of footsteps kept drumming and I kept urging for my nerve to be calmed and steady.  I was doomed when the next 5km was at an average pace of 6:30min.  I was desperately looking around for some familiar faces who I knew were slower who could be my pacemaker.  But those familiar faces were also at a faster pace…oh man.  I had no choice but to march on.  The feeling of greed crept in as I thought I would save more time at the later stage of the race.  Imagine 1min saving for every km.  I know, I know, this is wrong thinking but I was desperate, remember?

Seeing my friends just sped off passing me from left and right I was starting to think I was running to slow…or am I?

We then had a further drizzle of rain which was good.  I was trying to cut into the inner lane of every curve of the road and found some water puddle in some corners.  Trying to stop and ran around the puddles to avoid wet feet consumed more energy.  There was one particularly big puddle that I thought I would sink if I stepped into it.  So I pulled an emergency stop and felt a few runners crashed into my back and with a few grunts before they ran around me.  Don’t blame me! Blame the rain!

For further reading, please refer to the full review at this blog.

Advertisement

Race Reflections: The Straits Time Run 2019 (18.45KM) (by Rebekah Ong)

Have you ever wondered or questioned yourself “Why did I do this again?!”  Well, that happened to me when I signed up for this year Straits Times Run 18.45KM category.  I told myself never would I participate in a run category which is more than 10KM but I had a moment of insanity, which I thought since it’s not a half marathon and I can get a Finisher Tee! Why not?!

ABOUT THE STRAITS TIME RUN 2019

The Straits Times Run is now in its seventh year and it was held on29 September 2019 at the Singapore Sports Hub. This year, they had a special category, the ST Run’s SPH35 – Panasonic Schools Challenge where it encourages students to take part in a mass event. The distance was 3.5km and there were two divisions; one catering to those in tertiary institutions and the other for secondary students aged 17 and below.

My first 18.45KM run event

While the 10KM and 18.45KM distances returned, there was also a new 3.5KM Fun Run for the public this time. It’s a shorter distance from the previous 5km and it was created this year to mark ST publisher Singapore Press Holdings’ 35th anniversary.

GETTING THERE

Well, signing up for the 18.45KM was not a regrettable mistake but an interesting experience. In fact, this is my first time joining The Straits Times Run. Having signed up for the longest category in this event, the flag-off timing was at an ungodly hour of 05:30hrs! It’s at times like this where I wonder why I signed up for races which have a super early start! I dragged myself out of bed in the wee hours of the morning and headed out to catch the shuttle bus at Northpoint at 04:10hrs. Coincidentally met one of my secondary school friends, Ping Hao on board and it was a nice catch-up while on that journey to the Sports Hub. The shuttle bus service was provided by Share Transport which is s a “bus pooling” app. Purchasing of tickets via the app is very simple and efficient. Cost-wise, it was $7 and it’s a very comfortable and convenient ride.

Race start photos. Photo Credits: Straits Time Run Facebook

RACE SITE

I arrived at the race site at 04:40hrs and I had to walk quite a distance to the OCBC Arena where Cheng Yee (CY) was waiting for me. We went to drop our bags off before heading to the START pen. The hall where we deposited our bags was sooo huge that it reminded me collecting race pack at a location like Marina Bay Sands Expo Hall or Expo! The athletes’ welfare area where participants can enjoy a massage after their race was located there too.  The queue for the bag drop was fast and efficient.

Once done, we decided to use the “portaloos” before heading into the START pen. What a wait it was!!!  The queues were soooo looooonnnngggg!!! We had to wait for 15 minutes before it was our turn.  Let’s hope that next year when they organize this run, they can provide more toilets or place signages to inform participants of alternative locations of toilets.

RACE

The walk from the OCBC Arena to the START pen was quite a distance away and after that long wait for the toilets, we could not make it be in the first wave.  We were flagged off 10 minutes after the first wave.  It was still dark when we set off but and there was a light breeze blowing which made my run enjoyable.

Map: Race Route. Photo Credits: Straits Times Run

As I did not train or prepare myself for this event, I estimated to keep within the pace of 07:30 to 08:00 minutes per kilometre so that I would not “kill” myself at the end of it. I was happy to have the company of CY for the first 5KM before she disappeared haha…  This was the first time that I’m running this route where we passed some of Singapore iconic sites like the F1 Pit Building, Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands, Gardens By The Bay Domes, Marina Golf Course and ending inside the Sports Hub! It was a really scenic route and I really enjoyed it.

The Final Stretch! Photo credits – Running Shots

Hydration points were placed along the route at every 3KM mark. This was one of the best-planned hydration layouts among all the races that I’ve joined. It made it convenient for participants to quench their thirst and rehydrate during the run.

Completed my first ever Straits Times Run and soooo cool ending inside the Singapore Sport Hub! Sooo nice to receive my Finisher Tee and medal!

This was one of the rare runs that had the Finish point ending inside the Sports Hub. As I neared the finishing line, it was quite an awesome feeling running through the tunnel that led into the heart of the stadium. I was sooo happy to complete the run!

POST RACE

Collection of the finisher entitlements was organised and fast. I was given a banana, bottle of water, chilled 100 Plus, cold wet towel, my medal and my Finisher Tee. I found CY who had finished too and looked for a place to sit down and stretch. We were soooo tired. After cooling down and taking our photos I went to look for the ONE Management team to catch up. It was nice seeing them. Job well done to all the One Athletes who had done well at the event! Congrats to Banjamin Quek on his 2nd place win in the 10KM Men’s Competitive Run category.

Overall I had a good time at the event, did I regret the decision to sign up for the 18.45KM? Well, no I did not as it was quite a fun experience and I shall wear my Finisher Tee with pride 😉

Till my next write-up! Run Happy always!

Advertisement

Hands-on review: Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100

The Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 are a pair of true-wireless earbuds from Plantronics, aimed to athletes, promising stability and comfort. They are an upgrade from the BackBeat Fit 2100 series, a model I had personally owned and loved, that came with behind-the-ear hooks and a neckband proving a good fit and stability throughout the workout.

The BackBeat Fit 3100 kept the behind-the-ear hook design, but dropped the neckband. The headphones come in a case that acts as a portable charger that gives up to 10 extra hours of battery life (on top of the 5 hours the earbuds hold themselves).

I’ve now run over 15 hours with the BackBeat Fit 3100, and here is what I think.

Things that I loved

Comfort / Design

In contrast to most other wireless buds, the BackBeat Fit 3100 use ear hooks to stay put. The hooks act as a support, making it literally impossible for the earbuds to slip out while exercising or running.

The in-ears are quite different from others as well: they aren’t soft, but rather rubbery instead. I found that they sit nicely and I didn’t feel any discomfort even after wearing them up to 2 hours. I should note that they don’t come with differently-sized tips or wings to alter the fit. This is really a one-size-fits-all deal, and even though it worked very well for me, you should try them out before buying to avoid disappointment.

The charging case is compact enough to fit in your pocket. Placing in and taking out the buds is easy as there seems to be a magnet for guidance. On the case itself there are LEDs to indicate how many charges are left, and a small button to start the charging.

Just like the older Plantronics models, the material used feels very durable and rugged. The set is sweat-proof and waterproof, like all fitness gadgets should be.

Connectivity

I haven’t experienced any lag or interruptions during my runs. What’s more, the pairing over Bluetooth 5.0 is the simplest and fastest I’ve ever seen. There is no need to download any apps or follow any special instructions for them to work. Once the earbuds are on, they are ‘seen’ by the iPhone and you are really good to go. They also behave well when other Bluetooth devices are around, for example, I was able to switch seamlessly between the new set and my older BackBeat Fit 2100 set. An app is available for those who want to dig deeper into the settings and modify the default functionalities of the buttons.

Sound quality

Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 are open to ambient noise, and there is no noise-cancellation or active insulation features. I personally like that, as I prefer to be aware of my surroundings. It’s a good safety enhancement for those who run outdoors like I do. Inevitably, the audio quality takes a hit due to this open-to-ambience design, but I think that it’s a small price to pay for the safety, stability and comfort of fit. If you are someone who would rather shut everything out acoustically, these earbuds are not for you.

The verdict

I’ve tried a number of true-wireless earbuds from various brands, many of which came packed with smart features that I found I don’t really need. I like to keep things simple, and at the end of the day what matters to me is a comfortable fit, decent battery life and good connectivity.

The Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 tick all the checkboxes for me, and so I will continue using them. If you are looking for a reliable and comfortable wireless earbud set at an affordable price, I really suggest that you give them a chance.

Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 are now available in Singapore in select online and offline stores. For more information check the official site.

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

5 Things To Look Forward To 2019 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon

It’s Ours to Run

The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ (SCSM) is a running event where individual stories and personal battles converge, and people from all walks of life run alongside each other, cheered on by a supportive community.

It is a race where no one has to lose, so someone else can win; it’s one where we root equally for everybody to cross the finish line.

While we are preparing ourselves to experience this world-class event this November, here are five things everyone should look forward to!

1) First-ever SCSM evening race experience

SCSM was thrilled to announce that the 2019 edition of the race will upgrade the athlete experience with a new 6:00 pm evening flag off on Saturday 30 November for the Marathon, Half Marathon and Ekiden distances while shifting to a three-day event format. The Kids Dash will take place on Friday 29 November while the 5K and 10k races will take place on Sunday 1 December providing a distance for everyone.

These steps were taken to further the appeal of the race for participants and spectators and are a significant step towards the goal of SCSM being inducted into the illustrious Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM), a series of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world.

2) A visual tour for all runners!

Runners, locals and also run-cation visitors, can expect to experience a visual tour in the heart of the lion city for this year’s SCSM. Cultural and historical diversity to lush greenery and a buzzing metropolis that includes modern marvels such as the Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, and The Singapore Flyer will accompany the runners throughout their race.

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2019 Full Marathon Map

3) You will never be alone

It won’t be a lonely battle for the runners as the organisers are introducing the all-new spectator zones! There will be a total of 27 spectators zones expected. These zones will feature a myriad of lifestyle and entertainment offerings across the island for the spectators to cheer you on. With that, it will create a vibrant and uplifting atmosphere for both runners and supporters.

4) A Roaring Front: SCSM 2019 Finisher Medal

Organisers of the SCSM recently unveiled the official medal design for this year’s Marathon category, a second rendition of the “Bold Gold” series. The medal design is fronted by the Merlion, a unique yet deeply-rooted symbol of Singapore, with key elements of the city’s iconic skyline in the background.

5) Exclusive entitlements!

Be Part of The Sea of Blue. The race singlet for this year’s SCSM, by Compressport, is made up of microfibers and is designed to be ultra-light and breathable to keep runners cool throughout the race, no matter the weather.

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2019 Official Race Apparel

Your Ultimate Bragging Rights. Wear it with pride when you crossed the finishing line at SCSM 2019 on 30th November. Exclusive Finisher T-shirts for Marathon (42.195km) finishers only! The Royal Blue T-shirts are for the gentlemen and the ladies will earn a Cool Green Finisher T-shirt.

Exclusive Finisher T-shirt for all Marathon (42.195km) finishers

A phone card case, a cold towel and a digital photo will also be included in your race pack!

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2019 Official Race Pack

Start preparing for the biggest running event of the year!

For more information about the race, please visit Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2019 (Day 2).

Exclusive: Up to 30% OFF for all our fans!

Promo Code - SCSM 2019
Subscribe to JustRunLah! email promo newsletter *
We promise to deliver only quality content. We don't spam, and you can change your subscription settings or leave any time you wish.

Advertisement

Kill Two Birds With One Stone At NUS Bizad Charity Run 2020

Are you a running junkie or do you prefer to Netflix your day away? Regardless of that, NUS Bizad Charity Run 2020 is a running event made for you. It is a perfect opportunity for you to keep fit, have fun with your family and friends while giving back to society!

About NUS Bizad Charity Run

The year 2020 marks NUS Bizad Charity Run‘s 10th year in contributing back to society. It is a flagship fundraising event organised by the NUS Business School Alumni Association and Bizad Club. They aim to raise funds for those in need while promoting the spirit of contributing to the community by rallying students, staff and alumni of NUS Business School and their friends.

Paying It Forward

All participants (except students) amount will go to NUSBSA Bursary Fund unless specifically specified to:

1) Touch Community Services
A not-for-profit organisation that reaches out to needy people from low-income and single-parent families with difficulties in making ends meet.
– Touch Home Care: taking care of the needs of disadvantaged elderly who are homebound

2) Lim Chin Memorial Fund
Lim Chin Memorial Fund was set up to commemorate the late Professor Lim Chin, who was a faculty at NUS Business School for more than 25 years. This Fund will assist Business undergraduate students with financial burdens in pursuing their tertiary education.

3) Malaysian Community Bursary Fund
To support their fellow Malaysians who are financially-needy Undergraduates by mitigating the costs of obtaining tertiary education in Singapore.

Event Information

When: 11 January 2020, 3:00pm
Where: NUS Business School

Be part of the ‘STARS’

The 5km Fun Run is a fun-filled interactive run around the campus of NUS. With the theme of “STARS”, run with your family and friends and get to play carnival-like games along the run. Complete the three-station games and stand a chance of winning the lucky draw which includes exciting gifts such a Jimmy Choo handbag and more!

Fees:

*Student rate is only applicable for those studying in a primary/secondary/tertiary institution of Singapore with a valid pass.
**Alumni/staff rate is only applicable for all NUS Business School Alumni and staff. NUS MBA/ EMBA Alumni are included.
For FAQ on ticket pricing, please click
here.

5KM Race Route:

Register now!

Wish to Challenge Yourself?

The 10km Run is a competitive/casual run around the campus of NUS. The famous hilly slopes of NUS will challenge runners – it is unlike any other!

Fees:

*Student rate is only applicable for those studying in a primary/secondary/tertiary institution of Singapore under the age of 26.
**Alumni/staff rate is only applicable for all NUS Business School Alumni and staff. NUS MBA/ EMBA Alumni are included.
For FAQ on ticket pricing, please click
here.

10KM Race Route

Register now!

Entitlements for Everyone

Finishers of all categories will receive an official race T-shirt and a dry bag with the commemorative logo. You can also pick the colour of your race pack – Navy blue, black or white! Additionally, 10km participants will receive an exclusive finisher shirt. So, register for 10km if you wish to complete your entitlement set!

10KM Finisher T-shirt

Come and Have Fun!

Bring your family and friends to enjoy a day filled with fun and laughter and at the same time, contribute back to society. There will also be a variety of performances for everyone to enjoy and chill. It is an event made for you.

Looks fun, right? Follow NUS Bizad Charity Run 2020 on Facebook and Instagram for updates. #BCR2020 #10YearsofGiving #arunforALL

What else are you waiting for?
Register now!

Advertisement

Race Review: HomeTeamNS Real Run 2019 [10km] (by KenJoe)

Photo Credit: Mr Tan Kim Lai.

About #RealRun2019

An annual event, it sets out to promote Regular Exercise and an Active Lifestyle among the Home Team Guardians and their families. As we celebrate Singapore’s Bicentennial in this 24th edition, recognition was given to Lifesavers (SCDF) and Protectors (SPF) who have worked hand-in-hand as Guardians of Singapore to ensure we continue to enjoy safety and security. So it was an elaborate 3 part series run for this year’s RealRun. There were a new bicentennial 18.19km Virtual Lifesavers Run, a 5km Protectors Run, culminating in this October 5th’s RealRun2019. I was given a free slot by JustRunLah for the RealRun2019. I take this opportunity to also thank JRL for giving me support and inspiration as an ordinary Joe to continue running into my second half of my half-century.

Race Pack Collection

I collected the race pack from Velocity@Novena Square without any queuing time using my contact number instead of the usual NRIC. This was to safeguard the protection of personal data which took effect from 1st Sep this year. For me, it was the first time using my contact number as the identifier.

The Race

I woke up at 5.10 am on race day.  After doing my usual pre-race routine I took my cup of coffee and double slices of bread with peanut butter and drove to Gardens By the Bay, the Meadows as I needed to be back for my Tai Chi regular Saturday’s session. I reached the venue by 6:30 am and a fit-looking man in his 50s or perhaps older indicated a gap between the barrier by which I could enter. Later I found out this man was an ‘Encik’ (Warrant Officer in the army) and he was ranked number one in his category. As I walked nearer the Start Line, I saw the word Finish. I started to look around and the Encik said to me, ‘yes, this is correct, this is the Start’. There were only him and myself and another chap further down. Slowly the runners started to walk in and I move myself a bit further behind to let the fast runners and elite runners have their positions. I also saw Runner Kao, a ‘new’ character on the scene who had started producing videos of his running and training quite recently. We are FB friends but he was much farther in front with the crowd that has thickened now.

The race was flagged off in time. The DJs did pre-warn us that there was a little surprise but most of us couldn’t see what was lined up. It was actually the firemen hosing water, crisscrossing the path as the runners were flagged off. I only heard squeals or squawks as the folks dashed across right in front of me as they tried to avoid the full ‘splash’ of water.  After that, it was just ‘serious’ running for me.

The weather was cooperative and it was only after 7.30 am that it felt warmer and when perhaps slower runners would wish for an earlier start. I enjoyed the run. A simple run mostly through the Gardens by the Bay to the Tanjong Rhu Promenade and back. It was 10 km, accurate by any measure, though the markers were slightly off with the second one if I wasn’t mistaken. But subsequent ones make up for it. There were at least two hydration (Pocari Sweat) points but I wasn’t paying much attention as I didn’t plan to stop at any. I had not done as many 10 km races this year so I was testing out my inadequate fast split muscles. And I still had Plantar Fasciitis on my left foot. Got it back somehow after I was recovering from a bad bout of flu-like symptoms through most of August, unfortunately.

In the end, it was not my fastest 10 km pace but I was happy with the timing of 1:09:04.  After grabbing the medal, t-shirt and Pocari Sweat I was back for a quick shower before changing into my usual clothes for the Tai Chi session. Thank you too, to the organizers for a well-organized event. I had noticed different booths on displays and interesting activities going on but didn’t have the time that day to browse through. Results and certificates were also ready within 48 hours.

So next race will be one of the longer distances I use to prep myself up for the SCSM that is coming. Till then, run free, run happy and run safe.

Advertisement

Review: HomeTeamNS REAL Run 2019 [10KM] (by maylindateo)

This is my first time taking part in HomeTeamNS Real Run. It is an annual run organised by HomeTeamNS. Thank you JustRunLah! for the race slot.

The race was held at The Meadow, Gardens By The Bay on Saturday, 5th October 2019 and flagged off at 7.00 am in waves.

I arrived pretty early at around 6.15 am and many runners had already arrived. I saw many NS men took part in the run. Baggage deposit was available. I did not hear any announcements to gather runners at the starting pen and missed the first wave. The starting and finishing arch was put on the wrong side. At the start, you see the word ‘Finish’ and at the finish, you see the word ‘Start’.

SCDF sprayed water into the sky at the starting line when runners were crossing, making everybody wet. But it was quite an interesting start. We ran around Gardens by the Bay towards Marina Barrage, Gardens by the Bay East and made a U-turn at Tanjong Rhu Promenade. It was a scenic route and the usual training ground for many runners.

Hydration stations were available throughout the route but I only drank at the first station and skipped the others. They served cold Pocari Sweat and Water.

I was running with pain in my left foot and did not have any expectations in terms of timing and just did the best I could. I finished at 1:11 on my watch and was quite satisfied, even though it was not my best time.

Upon finishing, I had to queue for about 5 – 8 minutes to get the finisher entitlements. I was not sure what was the reason for this queue as I seldom encountered this situation. I received a can of Pocari Sweat, a banana, medal and finisher tee.

At the race village, there was a Starbalm massage booth, Pocari Sweat photo booth, hydration, various games available such as shooting, archery, etc. As I needed to rush back home to bring my child to her tuition centre, I did not stay around for long and quickly left.

Other than the minor issues highlighted, the race was well-organised and I enjoyed the run. Well done HomeTeamNS!

Advertisement

Review: KL Standard Chartered Marathon 2019 (by healthobeing)

First time doing this race although the venue is very near to Singapore.  I was never drawn to do the capital races around ASEAN region except for Jakarta Marathon which was done because a friend happened to be posted there for work.

Registration for the race is the same online form.  The good thing is there is no need to ballot unlike most SCMs.  Taking the Half Marathon instead of FM, as I kind of felt I did too much FM and it is not quality enough. Maybe I should perfect the HM then think about running so much FM.  Well, many schools of thoughts on this.  Bought a small elephant plush toy at the same time for donation to a local hospice.  The elephant plush turns out to be quite cute and a perfect gift for my nieces.

My favourite Uncle Chin chicken rice on Air Asia

Elephant Plush toy for SCMKL charity hospice

Race pack collection venue

Race Goodie bag

Race Pack Collection

At the race venue

Collection was at the Tun Razak Plaza, it is quite a huge convention centre and there were many participants from around the world.  Really good to see so many runners coming together again.  There is also a race expo after the collection where the runners can buy some last-minute products for preparation of the race.

Crowded at the entrance

Felt like in Singapore SCMS

The green drawstring bag holds your running bib, with the event tee and also some coupons for discounts and stuff.  There was also a sunscreen which you can use for shielding off the sun.

Collection Counter

Rest and Relax Before the Race

Our Hotel room

This time, I went with the Tortoise runners again.  A small gang of 3 ladies and 2 men.  We have 2 people doing the half marathon, me and Alice, the rest, Daphne, Fowler and Kevin were doing the 10km.  So this time no one did the Full marathon.

We stayed at the Arenaa Star Hotel which was very near to the start and finish line for HM and FM.  It is rather spacious and the toilets were good and functioning.

This time I did not get to shop much only went to a mall near to KLCC just to meet our other 2 friends, Gary and Suat Har and have dinner.  After dinner, I did a one hour massage.  It really helped to relief some of the muscle stress that I had since I had been running a bit more to train for a marathon.

Race Route

Along the route

The race starts at 5:30 am at the Dataran Merdeka.  This is like a big open field in the city centre.  The area is huge and good for races as the big field serves as a good event space for all.  For the 21km route, it is simply one big loop start from the same place and end the same place.  Much of the route was on high way, although there were slopes here and there, I felt it was manageable.  We were lucky that the infamous haze was cleared before we came and the air quality was good.  This was coupled by the cool weather with a light shower the night before.  The full marathoners got caught in the rain but not for long.

Bag drop area

With Alice, only both of us were doing the HM

To the start line

There were really quite ample space for all to run and the water stations were long enough with volunteers dishing out water and isotonic drinks for all. Some stations were equipped with cold sponges which really helped to relief the heat and also bananas.

In the beginning

About 5km before the ending ( so I remember) there was an arch of mist for those who needed some cooldown. But I personally felt that it was not that great and did not like it.

Photographers could be seen all around.  So there is not worry not to get any photos.  I must say, there were many strong female runners at the HM this time.  As usual, I got overtaken by some of them towards the end.

Finishing

Finisher Medal

So the last 2 km sees us right back through to the Merdeka Square.  Already quite tired and lost of motivation.  I pushed myself through, the best part is from afar you could see the finishing line and the timing clock.  Makes you want to push just a little bit more to finish it all up.  Was surprised when I crossed the line and one volunteer passed me the Potential Winner tag.  I was really not expecting and just wanted to push myself for the best that’s all.

Finishers get a medal (only FM gets the Finisher tee).  A bag filled with refreshment was dished out to the finishers.  It was good so you can put all your stuff inside while making your way to the bag drop tent which was quite a distance from the ending.  This time round I was kind of stuck in the winners’ tent and did not walk around to see what was in store at the finish line.  Met many people along the way, mostly Singaporean and Malaysian friend runners and of course the good friend I met in Malaysia Women Marathon , Ms Bee Hong, who is also a running star in Malaysia.  Missed my target with a slower gun time, I hope I will be able to improve it in the up coming race.

Whole group on the way to the airport

Advertisement

My Running Injuries and My Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur 2019 [HM] (by Lingderella)

A few days before SCKLM I thought haze seems gone and it looks safe to say the race may carry on and indeed race did went ahead and it’s really lucky as the previous week many races around Malaysia was cancelled due to haze. But just two days before race, it wasn’t so lucky for me. On Friday early morning when the sky still dark dark I very hardworking went for a run, then tripped on a tree root that protrudes out from the pavement and I flew for three seconds in the air then piak on the floor with 2 knees and 2 palms down 😭 It felt like a three seconds fall as I have the time to scold myself before I found myself on the ground. I do need a pair of glasses actually so pardon me if I didn’t say hi first as I can’t recognise you unless you are just 5 centimetres near 😆

To consider the amount of days I run compared to the number of times I fell and injured myself during a run, after doing some PSLE maths calculation is an estimation of perhaps just 0.3% 😙 Not that bad though. At least there’s no strain or sprain. At least nobody saw. Damn, I’m good at consoling myself 😂 It’s not a light fall so I sat aside to make sure other than the bleeding parts I am not nauseous or giddy before I go wash up.

Didn’t attend any first aid course before but well, it’s not the first time I had a fall 😂 When I was 12, I had a very bad fall and I consulted a GP because I vomited after that fall. After that went to the nurses for a couple of times for dressing till I feel that I’m rather good at handling minor wounds and be able to do some simple dressing myself. So I cleaned my wound and make sure no more soil or debris or hair which I found on my wounds remains there 😫 Fortunately, my wound is healing well now.

This was my 4th SCKLM, Willis and I ran the half marathon category. It was guaranteed slots for us as we were past participants. We collected our race pack on Saturday at Putra World Trade Centre where the race expo was held. It was rather out of the way and I prefer it to be at the location near Petronas Twin Tower. It’s a long but fast moving queue for collection of bib and singlet/tee and we were out shortly. It’s also the day for kids dash and the 5km race and friendship run as well whereas the rest of the categories flags off the next day.

Don’t say bo jio, there’s 7 Standard Chartered Marathons on Earth. In Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taipei, Dubai, Jersey and Nairobi. I’ve so far ran in 3 countries and I think this would be the sequence I hope to complete all the 7 SCM if I were to complete the whole series 😊 If got a special medal or something like the Abott WMM I might be motivated to complete all the 7 SCM. Hong Kong for the next year have to consider wisely for those who wants to go as protests is still ongoing. Taipei’s Standard Chartered Marathon registration for January 2020 is now opened 😏

On race day, Willis and I walked to the race site near to our stay at Space Hotel. It’s very interesting as we sleeps inside a capsule designed like space capsule. It’s an awesome stay and it’s cheap, will definitely want to stay there again as it’s clean, I had good sleeps and it’s a comfortable stay. I give it 2 thumbs up! 😍 It’s also just about a 5 minutes walk to Dataran Merdeka the race venue.

Flag off was on time at 5.30am. It was a great morning without haze. Not sure of the temperature but it’s Malaysia and there’s no winter here. I got all sweaty and wet by the first few km.

Sibeh sian 1/2, it’s the time of the month for me again. Comparing the pain ratio of my wound from the fall to the pain from dysmenorrhea is 2:7. Think I will just cry father cry mother all the way till I hit menopause maybe? 😂 Well, the correct thing to do ladies, is to visit the gynaecologist and find the cause and solve the problem.

As usual, the pampered me got Willis to run the entire distance with me except for that 2 to 3km when he went to the portable toilet and catch up with me shortly. Then it’s my turn for the toilet, I went twice 🐒 The toilet on the expressway after the toll was really a heaven compared to the portable toilet which I can faint 😖 But no choice I gotta use the toilet so I just train my legs like a kungfu half-squat 😂 Willis waited for me. I’m an injured person so I have the privilege to run first while he catch up 😆


I think that about 3/4 of the route is running on the expressway so not really much to sightsee. There’s many upslopes as well but still manageable for me as it’s a rather lazy run for me as my average heart rate was rather low and I only have a total of 5 minutes in zone 4 and 5. Not every race must chiong, when the time not right just enjoy the race and complete will be good enough. Since I wasn’t feeling well, shouldn’t torture myself. Not worth to take my health and life up for a gamble.

Unfortunately, there was an accident of hit and run and the injured runners was sent to the hospital. It was a rented car and the driver was arrested as the car rental company lodge a police report.

About every 2km there’s hydration point off carbonated 100 Plus and Plain water but I aim for the cold ones which the volunteers just freshly poured 😂 Not cold not shiok lah! 😆 Also, I took cold sponges and enjoyed the bananas.

Something new this year was that the aid station provides ice cubes inside surgical gloves 😍 It’s for icing purpose lah but I put one of the ice cube inside my mouth hoping the hygiene was alright then held it in my neck to cool myself 😆

Like always, very soon Willis and I were finishing the race. Like always, the last km is full of supporters and photographers. The spirit was high and shortly we are collecting our finisher entitlements. A pretty finisher medal and a cold can of 100 Plus, a banana and a pear. There’s mostly the booths from the race expo at the race village as well but Willis and I left immediately as we have plans for a day trip to go Genting Highlands for sight seeing.

I will want to run SCKLM again next year as it’s like a short vacation away from the hectic life in Singapore and KL is quite convenient to get to from Singapore. Though it’s my 4th year at KL, every year there’s different tourist attractions to go to and I still have places in KL I want to visit 😊

Advertisement

The Best Strength Training Exercises for Your Next 10K

Strength training has been well established as an important part of a healthy lifestyle. It is even more important for runners for optimal performance. A large amount of time they spend running puts a large amount of strain on their joints, ligaments, and bones; and this is true for the entire body, not just the legs. However, with the right exercise regimen, this strain can be beneficial by providing an adequate balance of strength, endurance and flexibility throughout the body.

Strength Training Is Imperative To Full Body Stability

Running can easily lead to injury from the use of the same muscles and joints over and over again. Strength training can help maintain a healthy balance of muscle strength and flexibility, minimizing any compensatory movements or habits the body could attain with a singular activity (like running!). Plus, lifting promotes optimized oxygen utilization of the muscles and increases the health and tensile capabilities of connective tissue (ligaments and tendons).

The Power Of Specificity

Some runners still think that strength training can affect their running form negatively. They argue that to improve and stay fit for running, all they have to do is run. While it is essential to run regularly if you want to be a good runner, strength training can magnify it. Of course, a runner’s strength routine should be specific to the muscle groups that are commonly used and prone to developing injuries or imbalances with running. This means a generic lifting routine won’t cut it.

According to Treadmill Reviews, “with the right routine, you will maximize your strength, endurance, and speed for running in addition to minimizing injury risk.”

Basic Strength Routine You Should Start Today:

Opt for 2-3 times per week for 30-60 minutes. To build endurance try 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions (or more!), to build strength try for 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions. Choose weight or resistance that is challenging but still allows good form. For added cardio benefits, try taking fewer breaks between sets.

Mix these 5 basic categories up each week to keep your muscles from plateauing and make steady progress.

Core

Core strength is important for good running power, particularly with rotation since it is a key motion for coordinated running.

  • Planks. Get on your hands and knees to start. Keep your hands directly under your shoulders as you lift your knees off the ground to assume a straight line from your head to toes. Keep your abdominals tight. You can start on your knees if needed instead. To progress, try adding alternating leg and/or arm lifts.
  • Standing rotation. Stand perpendicular to a secured resistance cable or band (the secured band will face one of your sides), assume a slight squat while holding the cable with both hands in the center of your chest. Tighten your core as you push the cable straight out in front of you. The resistance will try to rotate your spine, your goal is to maintain control and prevent this rotation. To progress, try standing on one leg or a Bosu ball. (Confused? Check out this video.)

Lunge

This move challenges the body in a position that is very functional for running while addressing hip strength and balance.

  • Static lunge with bicep curls. Assume a deep lunge position (ensuring the knee of the front leg stays behind the toes). Holding a weight in both hands, complete a bicep curl by bending the elbows to bring the weight up toward the shoulders. Don’t forget to switch legs. To progress, try adding a small downward pulse with each arm curl to deepen the lunge. You can also try other various arm movements in this position, such as tricep extensions, an upright row, or an overhead press.
  • Half-kneeling with an overhead press. This is a great way to build hip and core stability. Assume a half-kneeling position (you’re on one knee while the other leg is out in front balancing on the foot), the closer the front leg is to the middle of your body, the more challenging it is for balance (again make sure the knee is behind the toes). With a lighter weight in the arm opposite the front leg, lift overhead until you reach a “Y” position. To progress, try kneeling on a softer surface. You can also add other movements with the arms such as a one-armed row or bicep curl.

Back And Arms

These extension biased moves will help keep your butt and entire back strong.

  • Prone extension. Lying on your stomach, assume a starfish position. Tighten the core (to prevent overextending the back) as you lift the arms and legs off the ground. Focus on squeezing the glutes and shoulder blades as you hold for 3-5 seconds. To progress try bringing the arms overhead as you lift or alternate lifting the opposite arm and leg together.
  • Bent over row. With the legs, a comfortable distance apart, lean forward until the back is parallel with the floor. With weights in your hands in front, bend the elbows (while keeping them close to the body) as you bring the arms back and squeeze the shoulder blades together. Focus on keeping the neck relaxed. To progress or modify, try a fly motion by bringing the arms out to the side (into a “T”) or adding a tricep extension at the end of each motion repetition.
  • Squats with an arm “chop.” With a weight in one hand, squat to touch the weight to your opposite ankle. As you come back up to standing, push the weight up overhead (above the same shoulder you’re holding the weight in). Using one arm at a time promotes rotational strength of the body. Make sure to keep good squat form with a neutral spine and knees behind the toes. To progress move to a single leg squat (try without any arm movements first and progress if tolerated).

Ankle Stability

Having good strength and stability at each part of the lower body promotes optimal balance for running. Ankles can often be the “weakest link.”

  • Heel raises. The simple exercise of lifting the heels is great for runners. It should be easy to progress to single leg raises and standing on unstable surfaces like foam while performing them.
  • Single leg balance on an unstable surface. This can include a bosu ball, dynamics disk, grass, foam pad, etc. Just standing and breathing may be enough of a challenge. Eventually progress by adding wavelike motions, such as bringing the knee to chest or arms out to the side or up.

The Butt

The glute muscles are large powerhouses for hip extension with running. The main focus should be on the gluteus medius, a smaller muscle group that helps provide lateral stability of the hip with single leg activity.

  • Bridges. Lying on your back with the knees bent, lift the butt and hips off the ground. Keep the core tight and focus on squeezing the butt. To progress, try lifting one leg off the ground first before coming up with the other. You can also add alternating overhead arm movements with or without weight in your hands.
  • Standing hip abduction. A burner for that gluteus medius! Stand with a cable or band tied around the ankle that is farthest away (again facing perpendicular), the cable should come across the front of your body to attach. Balancing on the opposite leg, bring the leg out to the side. Don’t bend forward at the hips and keep the toes pointing forward (not out to the side). To further challenge your balance, try adding arm exercises with it or standing on a softer surface.

Running is basically an extended series of alternating single leg balance while rotating the body in a coordinated fashion. With this in mind, you can see there are lots of options to challenge these key components. You don’t have to get bored or feel strength training has no place for you. With the right exercises, your running experience will only get better.

Good luck!

Guest author bio: Kevin Jones is a full-time professional fitness expert. When he isn’t in the gym, he is offering practical research, fitness plans and nutritional tips to the world. Kevin regularly contributes to many fitness and health authority websites. With a passion for family, fun, and fitness, Kevin has found a way to manage and combine these three aspects in an effective and successful way.

Advertisement

Race Review: Bangkok Midnight Marathon 2019 (Full Marathon) by Neyton Tan

Few days before I stumbled across this Bangkok Midnight Marathon ad on Facebook, my wife told me that she doesn’t mind going for a weekend trip to Bangkok for shopping and massage. When I saw it, I thought it was perfect timing! It would add nicely to our long list of runcation (or tri-cation, if it’s a thing) this year.

Race Expo

The race expo was located just within Makkasan BTS – Airport Rail Link and it was very convenient to go there by train. There were not that many people when we came to collect the race pack. Everything was prompt and we got our bags in no time. Interestingly, when we received our bags, we were asked to choose A, B, or C sticker which indicates our running pace (fast, medium, slow). There’s no clear indication of what is considered fast/medium/slow pace (in terms of mins/km) so it’s based on each individual perception. I chose A and wondered how this method would turn out on the race day.

There were sponsor booths, shoes and apparels booths, stage for games and lucky draw announcement, and food vendors at the expo. The best part of the expo is the shoe spa where you can bring your running shoes for cleaning. The results seemed to be really good and the service was fast. It was too bad I didn’t bring my running shoes then. 

Time-lapse of the Expo from start to end

Race

The full marathon started at 1 am. Considering the roadblock, I decided to take Grab Bike at 12midnight to start point and it seemed to be a good decision. It only took me 5 mins to get there! It was cheap, fast and no communication required to the driver as the destination was already on the map. There were already a lot of people in each pen (A, B, C) doing their warm-up exercise. The Thais do take their warm-up seriously. There were few pacer groups with time splits already body-stickered to their arms (good idea). The race started on time and surprisingly, the A/B/C ‘self-decide’ pace turned out pretty well. Runners in my pen had a relatively similar pace and no human traffic jam.

Overall, the route was good – big roads, plenty fairy lights at the streets, passing by quite a few of landmarks along the way which I never knew they exist, plenty of hydration points and the distance was quite accurate. It was a flat route with few slopes heading up the highway. The highway was a long stretch out and back, so there was nothing else to see here. Z monster was the main concern here, and luckily for me, I was running with a Thai runner where there were no conversations but just rhythmic cadence for both of us along the route. Once we made the U-turn, he picked up speed and I continued to keep to my pace alone.

It was then that I was hit by ITB flare and decided to slow down knowing that I was well before my target sub 4-hour pace. Once I head down the highway back to the streets I knew that it was the home stretch. The only minor setback was there were few junctions at the latter half of the route which was not completely closed to motorists and runners were occasionally stopped to give way to the cars and bikes. Weather was fine, not hot nor humid though I can’t say it was cooling considering it was 1 – 5 am. There were zero spectators throughout the route so not much for ambience but again, it was a midnight marathon. There were tons of photographers along the route and I wonder how many of them were official photographers. Camera flashes were non-stop during the first and last 10km so I tried to keep my best smile always while kept pushing for the run.

Post Race

After crossing the finish line, I was directed to a booth where the volunteer scanned my bib and gave me a print out of my timing and rank. I finished 8th out of 132 foreigner male category and 75th out of 2053 male finisher for male marathon category! My finish time is far from my personal best but the rank is good enough that I am entitled to get cute monkey plushie given to the first 100th finisher. I realized that there are different animal plushie given for different category as my wife got an elephant plushie for finishing 100th in female half marathon category. Interesting concept I must say to give a gift (though small) to motivate participants to do better.

The finisher area looks like a huge expo with many food vendors, photo backgrounds, sponsor booths, medical and massage tents. Finisher area for the full marathon and other distance categories are separated with almost equal size. I have never seen so much food provided after a race. Pad thai, noodle soup, dumplings, chocolate milk, Thai milk tea, you name it. They come from different vendors with a separate tent and queue for each vendor.

Technically, you can only choose one as the volunteer ticked the bib to indicate food has been collected but some of them are free for all. I went for a few rounds of food (who eats so much after running a marathon? I do!) and walked around the finisher area while waiting for the plushie collection time.

Verdict

It’s pleasant to be able to enjoy Bangkok night view with no traffic jam, something that you’ll never get to see in the city centre of Bangkok unless you run at wee hours. Overall, it was a well-organized race, fuss-free trip, relatively low budget and no leave required. Also, if you’re into ranking, you might have a shot to the podium here. Will I be back? Sure, why not!

Advertisement

40,000 Runners Turn Dataran Into Sea of Blue For KLSCM2019

KUALA LUMPUR, Sunday, 29 September 2019: Dataran Merdeka was awash in blue when 40,000 runners took part in the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon (KLSCM) 2019 today. The 11 th edition of the premier distance running event in Malaysia also saw YB Syed Saddiq, Minister of Youth and Sports, make his debut in the event by participating in the Half Marathon category. Also present were YB Khalid Samad, Minister of Federal Territories and YB, Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industries, who also took part in the Half Marathon.

Contributing to the record participation numbers was one of the largest Full Marathon fields seen in an event in Malaysia when more than 13,000 runners took part in the category. An equally impressive 12,500 runners ran in the Half Marathon, making two of the longer distance categories the most well-represented, which is a testimony to the growing popularity of distance running in the country.

Victor Kipchirchir, from Kenya, who was making his debut appearance at KLSCM won the Full Marathon Men’s Open category in a time of 2:19:41 to take home USD17,500 while the Full Marathon Women’s Open category was won by Gladys Jepkemoi Chemweno from Kenya in a time of 2:36:45 also earning USD17,500 in the process.

Kiprop Tonui from Kenya came in second in the Full Marathon Men’s Open with a time of 2:20:05 while Tallam James Cherutich, also from Kenya finished third in a time of 2:21:04. In the Full Marathon Women’s Open, defending champion Elizabeth Chepkanan Rumokol from Kenya had to settle for second place in a time of 2:41:48 while Ngigi Pauline from Kenya took third place with a time of 2:45:44.

The Full Marathon Malaysian Men’s category was a keenly contested affair as Muhaizar bin Mohamad and his compatriot in the Armed Forces Nik Fakaruddin bin Ismail went toe-to-toe for most of the race. KL SEA Games bronze medallist Muhaizar though broke away towards the end, managing to defend his title and in doing so won this category for an astonishing fifth consecutive time, finishing in 2:35:23. Nik Fakaruddin finished second in 2:40:31 while Fabian @ Osmond bin Daimon came in third in a time of 2:45:06. The Full Marathon Malaysian Women’s category saw Loh Chooi Fern defend her maiden win in KLSCM2018 in a time of 3:21:33 while Tho Siaw Khim clocked 3:29:42 to come in second and Yap Yee Ling got third place in a time of 3:30:50.

FM Open winner Kipchirchir was delighted with his maiden Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon win. “It was a tough race as I have never run in this type of heat before but my preparation was good,” Kipchirchir said. “I am happy to be able to win in my first race in Kuala Lumpur and I hope to come back next year,” he continued.

Muhaizar was also thrilled to have retained his title, especially after the intense competition with training partner Nik Fakaruddin. “I think running and winning in KLSCM before gave me a slight advantage over the other competitors as I know what to expect and so made the right strategy,” he said. “This win will help boost my confidence ahead of the SEA Games in Manila in November and I hope to be able to bring back a medal,” he added.

Rainer Biemans, Project Director of KLSCM and Director of Dirigo Events, said “The 11th edition of KLSCM has proven to be an exciting two days that has seen some great competitions in our top categories, which has added to the lustre of our biggest event yet. It has also been and honour and a privilege having both YB Syed Saddiq and YB Dr. Ong Kian Ming participate in our Half Marathon, and my heartfelt thanks go out to them for supporting our event and I hope they enjoyed themselves out there today. We are also grateful for YB Khalid Samad’s presence and for giving out prizes”, he continued.

Syed Saddiq flagged off the Half Marathon category along with Abrar A. Anwar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of title sponsor Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia before joining in the run.

Credit: Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon 2019

“For someone who’s more a cyclist than a runner, that was pretty challenging! But crossing that finish line was extremely fulfilling and I’m really happy to have made it within the cut-off time. I can see now how participating in distance running events such as this can be tremendously rewarding so kudos to Dirigo Events, Standard Chartered Bank and to everyone else who had a hand in putting together this fantastic event,” said Syed Saddiq. “My congratulations as well to all the winners and to all who participated and achieved their running goals,” he continued.

Anwar. A. Abrar, MD and CEO of Standard Chartered Malaysia, who took part in yesterday’s Friendship Run as well, was delighted with the massive turnout over the two days and hoped the event would continue to attract the running masses for many more years to come.

“Being title sponsor for the last 11 years, Standard Chartered Malaysia is delighted that we’ve once again managed to successfully pull off this event with our biggest numbers to date.

From pioneering the concept of being the first running event to run through iconic landmarks in Kuala Lumpur, KLSCM has never stood still and has set the benchmark and gold standard for running events in Malaysia,” said Abrar.

Credit: Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon 2019

While KLSCM is a competitive event, it has been built with a community focus at its core and that community element was brought to the fore this year when KLSCM’s Run For A Reason (RFAR) charity initiative raised its highest amount in terms of funds raised compared to previous years. RFAR is an integral component of KLSCM and this year, participating charities the National Cancer Society of Malaysia, Dignity for Children Foundation and Hospis Malaysia will benefit from over RM890,000 worth of funds raised by over 1,000 RFAR participants, together with the Corporate Challenge. “We are extremely happy to have raised a record amount under our RFAR charity banner and our sincere thanks go out to all involved who made this possible,” said Biemans.

The record numbers did not end there as the event also saw its largest number of running tourists as well when more than 1,900 from 49 countries arrived in Kuala Lumpur to take part in the iconic event. Add another 10,020 Malaysians who came from outside of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor to make it a particularly busy weekend for the city.

One particularly inspiring tourist was Chris Koch, a farmer, athlete, adventurer and motivational speaker who flew in from Canada to participate. Born without limbs, Chris has been travelling the world and participating in marathons to spread his “If I Can” message to as many people as possible in the hopes of motivating them to get the most out of their lives. Using a longboard to traverse the Full Marathon route, Chris took part in his eighth marathon on a third continent when he completed his marathon here. “I was prepared for the heat and humidity because I knew it would be way more than I’m used to, however, starting so early was different. On the course, other marathoners are usually so encouraging and supportive but here, they were even more so. That definitely has me wanting to come back for another,” Koch said.

KLSCM2019 began with the Kids Dash categories yesterday morning that saw another record when 1,000 children participated in the 1km and 3km categories. Both categories were expanded this year to encourage more children to participate and also saw speed categories introduced for both distances in a move to separate the competitive children from the fun runners.

For the first time, the 5km category was also held yesterday morning to allow for larger participation numbers today and incorporated the Friendship Run, meant to be a warm-up run for those taking part in the Full Marathon, as well as an opportunity for runners from around the world to meet and forge friendships.

Credit: Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon 2019

Towards the end of the event, the KLSCM running community gathered at the Finish Line to cheer and provide moral support to the last runners to finish within the check-out time of 7:15 hours. These runners had given their all to finish the race and were given a rousing end replete with confetti blasts to coax them home within the required time.

The Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon has grown year-on-year to become the most anticipated distance running event in Malaysia, where for the first time this year public registrations had to be balloted. The premier running event once again saw Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia returning as title sponsor, along with a host of returning and new sponsors, including Seiko, Under Armour, 100 Plus, Jaybird, TudungPeople, Banana Boat and Pacific Regency. The event is owned and organised by Dirigo Events with venue host Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur.

KLSCM is sanctioned and supported by the Malaysia Athletics Federation (MAF), Federal Territory Kuala Lumpur Athletic Federation (FTKLAA), International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and Association of International Marathons, Distance Races (AIMS).

For more information about the event,
click here.

Advertisement

2017 SEA Games Medalist Clement Chow Tops At Inaugural Singapore National Triathlon Championship

Photo Credit: Orange Room

A week after Sebastian Vettel dethrone reigning Singapore F1 Champion Lewis Hamilton in Singapore, Singapore East Coast Park saw a surge of more 1500 local and foreign triathletes from 6 continents from Asia, Oceania, Africa, North and South America and Europe to race the lion city.

Singaporean male triathletes clean swept all 3 top sots at the Singapore National Triathlon Championship with 2017 SEA Games Medalist Clement Chow took the top spot with a time of 2 hours 5 minutes and 59 seconds ahead of Wille Loo and Aaron Lee who competed in 2 hours 6 minutes and 34 seconds and 2 hours 19 minutes and 17 seconds respectively.

Photo Credit: Orange Room

25-year-old Vietnamese Ms Kim Tuyen Nguyen Thi took the crown of the Singapore National Championship with an excellent swim leg of 27 minutes with more than 4 minutes ahead and finished with a time of 2 hours 31 minutes and 52 seconds. Malaysian Aimi Iwasaki and Vietnamese Thuy Vi Pham finished closed with a time of 2 hours 34 minutes and 5 seconds and 2 hours 38 minutes and 9 seconds respectively.

Elvin Ting, Managing Director of Orange Room Pte Ltd said, “Almost 11 years in hosting the triathlon makes it enjoyable for not only season athletes but also first-timers in a short fast racecourse. Through this race, we also hope to attract more foreign triathletes to join in the Singapore triathlon scene and also to motivate local Singapore to join in the sport.”

Photo Credit: Orange Room

For full results of the Singapore International Triathlon do check out at triathlon.sg.

Advertisement

Latest


JustRunLah! is owned and managed by JustConnect Media