Monday, September 23, 2013

Reebok ONE Challenge 2013 Race Report

Hi peeps! Just finish cleaning the dust and spider webs from this blog. Surprise it is still here. Hehe!!

With the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2013 next week, the crowd is expectedly smaller in this race. It was the first race for me for the year or two years I think. Hehe! It was the Reebok ONE challenge; an 18.95km run with 9 obstacles squeezed in between in Putrajaya. Race plan was to try to run non-stop and tackle all the obstacles.

The race was started a bit later then 6.30am starting time. I started somewhere towards the end as I knew I do not have enough training and I do not want to get dragged by the fast speed front pack runners right from the start. This being the first time I am running in Putrajaya, I never expected it to have so many slopes, which by the end of the 9km initial run; before the start of the first obstacle I have passed by quite many of the runners running ahead of me earlier.

I always love hill but I think I am a better downhill runner now as the past one year I have been practising it so as not to get injured again but… going uphill… I think I need to start doing something about it.

Approaching the first obstacle, which was hidden after a corner, I met Nick who was with the Orange man during this Challenge simulation run. It was a downhill and he seems to slow down a bit and I wonder why but very soon it seems rational as the first obstacle was right there which was a task of carrying a 15kg sand bag for a distance which felt like 40 meters with the first half going up a slight slope. 

Next was the monkey bar, which was just around another corner. It was a short one I would say so no problem hanging like a monkey to go through it even with slightly sweaty palms.

Next up after like two minutes of running was the orange/white barricade that you normally see on the road or construction site. Three rows of it put as a hurdle and there I was jumping over them imitating the hurdler... I wish I looked so. :P

After that was a steep climb on the tarmac and guess WHAT? The next obstacle - the anthills; six of them are right there half way up the incline. Two in one obstacle, I got to say I love the organiser for this one. Those anthills are pretty high and I think it is around 6-7 foot and steep too that I need to sprint up to get over it. Here is where I think  I need to get some sprinting work that I have neglected back into my run. After that I went on to finish that steep climb which my run felt like a crawling.

Right after that was the trail run which I love most as it was all downhill hence I was charging down at my full speed.

The tyres speed challenge is up next and you will not like this high knee speed stuff right after the downhill run and some more it was arranged in a "U" shape so you basically need to do a U-turn in this challenge. Few are walking but being the playful me, I went through it like a rugby player doing the speed drill.

The second last challenge was a 9-foot wall if I was not misjudging its height. One step on the step around the hip height of the wall and jump up to grab the top of it and off I went to the other side of the wall. Not long after this obstacle that I was over taken by the first female runner that started like 10 minutes after the men were flagged off. Shame shame...

Then, I went on running expecting the last obstacle, which was nowhere to be seen. Run and run I went for about 4km but this whole race distance of 18.95km being my single longest distance run non-stop this year, it was not easy. Finally, at about 200-300 meters from the finishing line, two of those Hilux like trucks parked back to back and you need to climb up the back of it from the side and jump off another side. They should have put some mud with worms and leeches in the back of the truck to get a little screaming effect and we would look like it was a tough race going towards the finishing line. Hehe!!

To me, this event is more of a running race than an obstacle race. With regards to the organisation, I am not someone who join races year round but in my opinion, it was a very well organised race with plenty of water stations (six of it - a bit too many I think) and aid stations  located as planned with cheerful volunteers and also the marshals at every junction and corners. Two thumbs up for the organiser. However, the obstacle can be a little tougher. Do not underestimate us runner. Hehehe!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Building From Scratch

My runs can be counted with the fingers on one hand since my last race on the 16th April 2011. Since then I only did some easy body weight workout plus some stretching so that not to exaggerate my knee injury. Apart from that, busy with the renovation and moving into a new house gave me some excuse from pounding the road or trail since then.

If it was few years back, I would keep on running even if it is just for 15 minutes but getting injured again and again from running or playing other sports had make me more patient, and this time I took time chilling off with the hope to build everything from scratch and to stay injury free as long as possible.

The last two weekends I had been pounding the FRIM trail again and really glad that I can go down the hill running cautiously without my knee guard although the uphill is a totally different story as I need to build up the endurance again from roughly three month of not running at all.

I am trying a new routine which will includes weight training twice a week and maybe a little bit time spending on the stationery bike and dipping in the pool at my apartment's gym and pool to give the legs more rest while building up the mileage again. Got to fully utilised the facilities. :)

Selamat berpuasa to all my Muslim friends. Till the next blog.... which I do not know when... kehkehkeh! :p

Enjoy the random shots taken during my run at Frim last Saturday......

The trail at about 7am

Taman Botani Kepong's lake from the trail

Green scenery

Overlooking Kepong township from the top of Bukit Hari (helipad) aka Steroid hill

Going down the steep trail

Friday, April 29, 2011


With the left knee injury I got a week from my maiden marathon race still giving me problem to charge down even a slightly steeper slope, I'll have two choices...

One is to continue doing what I like most, that is running with the pain even running for as little as 1km... irrational but I get to do what I love most just as the time I contracted iliotibial band syndrome on my right leg a few years back.Back then I would go out for a run of 5k plus up to 8km even though I usually felt the pain around the 5km mark.

The second choice is to stop running completely and build up from scratch... this is really hard to do... :(

What should I do...?

It had been two weeks since the race which I was so glad to finish and I am still thinking about which one should I choose... hmmm.... It is very hard to do but I have chosen the second option and I am going to build up my run as slow as it required and at the same time start lifting some weight again to build up some strength and a more balanced muscle to try to avoid injury in the future.

I have come to this decision after a long thought, running for me will be a lifelong thing to do and if that means I need to stop running for some time and doing other form of exercise so that I can continue running freely again then that would be the thing I should do for the time being.

Now, it will all down to my heart to resist the temptation to go out and run hard, run long, charging the trail... The trail will be very hard to resist as last weekend run revealed that I can still charge hard going uphill at FRIM, Kepong without any pain on the knee but when it come to downhill it is so painful that I can only walk down the hilll and with the help of the knee guard.

I hope I am strong enough to resist it......

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'm Still A Marathon Virgin

The Race
Registered for the Energizer Night Race in early January and so started the 16 weeks of training towards it. Most probably you have heard a lot about the race which had attracted the attention for all the wrong reasons with the majority of the participants complaining about the race from the parking fee charged till the collection of goodies bag at the end of the race and they even set up a boycott fanpage on facebook.

The Training
It's a long four month with some weeks went by without logging any mileage due to work commitment but glad that I was able to logged a few 30km long run in building up to the race. It's definitely a boost in confident when you still feel you can still keep going after finishing the 30km long run.

Those long runs were not only trained my endurance but to test the fueling that to be used during the race which so far is my biggest obstacle as I have a very sensitive stomach.

In total I managed to logged a total of 475km over the 16 weeks which only average to 29 plus km a week. It is really seems not enough when I have a plan to run a 4 hours and 30 minutes race for my maiden marathon.

With the race a week away, during my last long run of roughly 19km of the Bukit Aman-Hartamas route, my old knee injury (which I got during my college days like 13 years back from basketball game and pounding the hill at Bukit Pelindung, Kuantan before the game every evening) decided to pay me a visit. Very bad time for a visit buddy. It was so painful that I walked all the way for the remaining 5km of the run.

Anyway, it all me to be blamed - DO NOT push hard when you have a yo-yo mileage and MAKE SURE you have a strong quads muscle if you want to charge all out on the downhill (got to get back to lifting weight which I have been neglecting lately) especially with a history of knee injury.

Spent the week preceding to the race icing and stretching was all I can do while hoping to still able to run it. A day before the race.... I decided to run a test run to find out whether I would be able to run comfortably with the injury. One good thing of getting an old injury is that I had faced it before so I roughly know how to handle it. So... instead of long stride, i resorted to those choppy-cartoon-like step which equal to strides that you would run when you are running barefooted. Test run done and I am quite comfortable with it. I did not feel any soreness in the evening nor in the morning of the race day

Race Day
Wake up early to a rainy morning with some chores to settle. I actually forgotten all about the carbo-loading stuff for the race until the lunch on the race day where I down 2 plates of rice around noon and plan to have a quick meal around 5pm but instead I settled for a sardine sandwich and a can of Nescafe about an hour before the race from the Petronas petrol station near the race venue.

Bumped into Zaki, Ijam, Azuan and Azu at the car park and those were the only familiar faces for me before the race started.... oh and Ian of Corporate Athlete who came sweating like he had just finish the race right before the gun off.

Walking to the starting line was another long journey as well and I had to do it twice before the race started as I forgotten the timing chip and left it in my car (being a first timer that I am :p). Please do not bother to mention the long stuffy tunnel that the participants had to walk through to go to the starting line which was made worst by the organiser whom decided to distribute the headlamps to participants at the end of the tunnel. Well... let the
Facebook tell you about the rest about what had happened.

Down a Chocolate flavour Powerbar gel right before the race. The race started smoothly as I was standing at the back of the crowd so no elbowing here. Ran through a tunnel heading out from the
Sepang F1 Circuit and come across a water station soon after but do not bother to stop as I was still holding half a bottle of a self made isotonic drink in addition to the 2 bottle of 300ml that I had on my fuel belt.

My race plan is to run comfortably with small stride and to down a Powerbar gel every one hour from the star. Things went pretty smooth on the 1st loops outside the circuit except for the headwind at the hill near the Aviation Academy and was thankful that was the only part of the race with a headwind. I get a ribbon as a marker for finishing the first loop which happened to be the only marker that I have got for the race... hmmm... will they disqualified me later...

When I finish the first outer loop in about 50 minutes I knew I still can go for a 5 hours maiden marathon provided my injured knee doesn't acts up in the later stage of the race.

The water stations which served Gatorade and plain water were quite sufficient for me on the outer loops and I didn't even touch my homemade drink on my fuel belt. I stop on every other water station to have a cup of Gatorade and a cup of plain water.

The plan to have a Powerbar gel every one hour didn't really go smooth as I felt like vomiting after downing the third pack at 2 hours mark and from then on I just drank two to three cups of Gatorade on every water station.

I pretty much enjoyed the outer loops with it undulating route and the journey out there were lit by the moonlight. I have to really slow down during the downhill as not to exaggerate my knee injury which might lead to a big DID NOT FINISHED to my maiden marathon race. Bumped into Frank , Yim and Pui San towards the end of my last outer loop.

The inner loop on the Sepang International Circuit track seems like a never ending journey and it was so quiet and definitely don't feel like running a race. The worst part is I initially expected the track to be flat (It's my first time to the circuit as I have never been to the F1 race before) but it is not hence bring my already slow pace to occasional walk and even slower running pace.

Ran the last kilometer of the race with Malcalm whom I met during that last stretch on the track
who said it's only 38+ km around the last kilometer mark mean I wouldn't be running a full marathon distance race that particular night. That's where the title came from. Hehe!!

Came to the finishing line to find out a very quiet finishing gantry with only runners there to cheers on the finisher. I later found out that there was not a single official from the organiser at the finishing line... no giving of medal... no finisher-T... nothing accept runners and worst not a single medic were seen. A very disappointing first marathon finishing I would say but I am still glad to finish the race although it was under distance.

My Result

















Now, it's time to build a pair of stronger legs before I can go all out on my run again.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


So what is the announcement all about?

Joining a race again?? Yes.

Popping my cherry in marathon...?? Another yes.

I have registered for the Energizer Night Race on the 16th of April 2011 in the 42km event, and yes it is my first ever marathon race but that is not what I am going to announce here. I have got something more insane in my mind.

After reading about the MR25 race report recently, I got this thought about doing an ultra but what if it is not an official race, what if I just do it just for the sake of doing it. No organiser, no supporter, no race support, no free vest, no medal, no finisher tee and of course free of charge which mean I need to get all the food ready for my ultra, all the drink and medical supplies just in case...... (touch wood)

Would I be disciplined enough to train for it? Would I just stop after just 10km into it? 15km ? 20km? Even if one have paid to join a race, they might even stop half way. Tonnes of question cross my mind about running this ultra that I want to do. The major one would be what will be my motivation to keep on running for 12 hours.

I had a trail run on the first day of the year and I was thinking what I want to do on the last day of the year and then I asked my girlfriend,"How about I run a 12 hours trail run from 7am to 7pm on the last day of the year (i.e.: 31 December 2011)". Well... of course the answer was a big "CRAZY"! Hehe!! What else could I expected with such an idea.

Anyway, I have decided to do it. So, my plan is, the first three months of the year would be to train for my maiden marathon race, and use the experience especially the fuelling part and the timing to set the benchmark for my ultra. The remaining eight months would be to brace myself ready for this crazy stuff. Some might say one single marathon race would not serve enough experience to run an ultra, what else when there is no medical support, no support crew and doing it all alone... in the trail... Fuh!! Just the thought of doing it sound crazy and I want to do as much as possible in 12 hours (I has actually set to finish at least 5 loops of it which is roughly 75km)!! I would definitely get a big NO NO from all the experience runner's friends i bet. But... well... I will just go for it!!

Am I too naive and make a such decision? Or am I too arrogant and over estimate myself? Come the last day of the year... it will be answered. For now, all I can do is plan my training and try to follow it as close as possible and hope that I will stay injury free through out the year.