Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Malacca River International Marathon 2014 - Truly Awesome Hot & Humid Run... =P

Hello there fellow good followers and readers of my blog. Welcome back once again to all of you.

I really felt the urge to share with all of you out there on my not so recent experience running Melaka River International Marathon (MRIM) 2014. For the record, it was my 12th Full Marathon. A marathon that was full with lots of drama. High and low definitely. =I

Actually I was hesitated to sign up for this inaugural event after I heard so many negative feedbacks from the running community via FB about the previous running events in Malacca (except Skyhawk Nature Run, it was a-ma-zing). Somehow I did registered for MRIM 2014 after the early bird rate. (too late already...)

I planned to go to Malacca as early as possible to collect my racekit but I've already commited to do a fun filled photoshoot projects for Doof Industries first thing in the Saturday morning. It was my first time jumping and walking around KL. I was super excited and really nervous at the same time. More about this awesome project will be shared with you guys soon. In the meantime, here's some sneek peek of the photoshoot session... ;D

#Doofster pose in Bukit Bintang yaw! 

After the photoshoots, I had a hearty lunch at Johnny Rockets, more like a carboloading + cholestrol for me. Around 3.30pm I went back and started packing up my stuffs and off I went to Malacca. Knowing that it's gonna be a massive traffic congestion along PLUS highway, I've decided to take LEKAS highway and exited via Senawang (traffic smooth and silky bebeh!)

Last minute so called Carboloading? hohoho... 
Once I reached Malacca Town, the traffic jam was unbearable. It was a gridlocked due to a perfect combo of public holiday + school holidays. To make it worse, some of the roads were closed in conjuction of Malacca River International Festival 2014. I was already exhausted from the photoshoot and driving through the heavy traffic when I reached the guesthouse. Rest for a while and off I go to meet Mr Azmi n k.Romzy for dinner and collected my racekit. (Thank you so much Gme!)

                                       My comfy room for the night.... Cheap only (RM45) So clean and cold!

Dinner time with the Divas! =P (Pic by GME)
Had a suicidal stingray assam pedas for dinner. Luckily it was not that super spicy as I thought. After the light dinner and some juicy gossiping session with both of them hohoho, I went back and arrange some of my running apparel before I tried to have some decent sleep.

Sedapnya pari asam pedas nih.... My feberet!
As always, it was hard to have a good sleep at a new place. I was easily awakened at every hour. Maybe because of the jitters although I thought I had a very deep sleep already, hehee... Finally I woke up around 2.45 am, guling2 on the bed first, felt so reluctant to get up and have a shower, get ready with all the stuffs.About 3.20 am, I was ready to walk towards the starting line, 500 m from the guesthouse on that fateful Sunday morning, 8 June 2014

Met so many familiar faces at the starting line. Took lots of pictures with them too. Including the usual suspects, Azlan Aiman, Yim, Ezam, Yum KK, Uncle Oliver, Annie Yee, Man Shukor, Maggie, Lina Kamarudin, Hezrina, k.Romzy and Roby. It was good feeling to see many familiar happy fresh faces at the beginning of any run.


Pre-marathon photoshoot with the marathon kakis... Super awesome!

We were being flagged off 17minutes  late for no apparent reason. Then there's little voice in my head screamed disaster in the making. I tried to run at an easy pace during the 1st 10km but the extreme humidity really took a toll on me. Regretted wearing a black and yellow tee but it was too late... Hahaha... "suicidal" run sangat... Luckily there were plenty of WSs at every 2.5km or so. But it was sad to see the volunteers were handing out a 500ml drinking water and a small medicine cup of 100plus. When I reached the 2nd WS at KM7.5, they ran out of drinking water already and I had to scavenge for the leftovers on the road to topup my Gatorade drink. What a waste to see those unfinished water bottles all over the place.

Here we go! ( Picture courtesy of Mr ET Tey)
From the starting line, we ran towards Jonker Street and Kg. Morten. The streets were brightly lit and there was hardly a breeze along the way. Once I reached 10km, the route was getting dull and mental, even when I was listening to my mp3 player while running.

Bumped into Gme again around 15km and off we ran along the Eye on Malaysia beach. It reminded me of ECP stretch and it was getting bright too. We aimed to complete 21km under 3 hours (well, sort of..)

Best lari area sinih.... Banyak gak runners and joggers running along here at this wee hours...
After that, it was getting shining bright as we reached Klebang Besar. I was running along a beautiful stretch and bumped into Gme once again when he came out from a grocery store with a COLD Coca Cola... It was almost 25km at that time. I had a sip or two and it taste like a heaven send! From there onwards, Gme seemed like he had his second wind and sped off all the way, fueled by that Coke, I bet.. While I kept on huffing and puffing with my tortoise pace along the boring + neverending road towards Batu Berendam Industrial Park (KM30 - 31). 

Ok, I did remembered seeing some of the landmarks along the route. Kinda helpful to keep my mind sane...
Then somehow I was shocked when I found out there was NO drinking water or 100 Plus at WS KM32... There were only wet sponges and bananas for the late runners like me. Luckily I was really expecting all this mishaps and prepared by bringing a Gatorade drink along my run. But how about other late runners behind me? Poor thing. 

The final 10 km felt like forever to reach. All the sudden I felt so hungry and really need to stop at the gas station nearby and buy some buns or ice-cream. Hahaha... But I tried to remain calm and keep on shuffling. My knees were aching so badly and my hamstrings were already started to cramp. Fortunately I brought a lot of Hammer Anti Fatigue Caps along. I had to stop for a while at a bus stop near Jalan Semabok and applied Perskindol hot cream on my thighs. The sun was scorching hot but it's bearable, unlike Hatyai's... hehee... 

As it was getting hot and the traffic started to build up along Jalan Parameswara in Banda Hilir, I've decided to do walk 300-400m and run the rest 700-600m. I kept on doing some slow jogs along the shophouses along Jalan Melati and Jalan Merdeka, Melaka Raya (KM 38-39). Luckily I didn't get any honks from the vehicles. But of the car drivers even shouted some encourage words to me, I think. My mind was already wonky and went somewhere else at that time hahaa... 

Spot the tiny red arrow at the right side of this stretch, can you? (Pic courtesy of Gme)
Once I reached the KM 40 mark, I had to carefully look for the cute petite little red arrow amidst the heavy traffic along  Jalan Merdeka. Fortunately I found that tiny RED arrow and off I go towards Jalan Chan Koon Cheng and ran past my guesthouse. I had to run along the heavily congested road. Saw William Cheah in his car along the stretch and some of the drivers cheered for me too. The drivers here were very supportive and patient too. I saw there were two runners who seems lost searching for the red arrow at the Lorong Bukit Cina. I pointed at them to follow me as I was confident that we have to run in front of iconic red The Stadthuys towards Jalan Laksamana and passed Taming Sari Tower and back to Jalan Merdeka. Once I reached 42.195km, I just walked all the way.. huhu... Fatigue really sink in at that moment.

Finally I managed to cross the finishing arch with no timing mat already at 6:38:54... Timing ke Laut Selat Melaka (literally hohoho!) pun tak kesah janji abess hahaa.... Syukur Alhamdulillah sangat2....

Yayyy... budak boyot berjaya habiskan Full Marathon yang ke-12 di Kota Melaka!!! (Pics courtesy of ET Tey)

Didn't stay long for the lucky draw session as Gme and I went to A Famosa to take some divalicious pictures there. Kaki toksah cakap lah, My feet were killing me literally! Those two emcees were kinda annoying by making fun of the participants' names. So unprofessional of them... Dah la banyak cakap merapu and dragging the time too. Urghh... Really really disappointed when Gme told me that there was no distance on the finisher medal. First time for me... It's ok as long as there were distances being mentioned on the hard earned finisher tee. Low quality? Xkesahla labu... kuikui...

BIG Congrats to GME on his 20th Full Marathon so far! Super Awesome woot2!
Here's the pros and cons of this MRIM 2014

(1) Awesome traffic control by the police traffic, tourist police and RELA. They really did their job very well, way better than traffic police in KL! Great job guys and ladies. I felt so safe running across the major critical junctions. 

(2) Plenty of Water Stations, equally spreaded out every 2.5km. The volunteers were very friendly too. 

(3) The paramedics were standby with enough muscle spray at some WS. That's good enough for me

(4) Patient Malaccan drivers. There were no honking at all from them along the busy route. Some of them were very supportive too. 

(1) Lack of distance markers and tiny red arrows especially after 38km. Dah la penat gila time tuh jenuh nak cari arrows. Felt like a Amazing Race run la pulak. Mujurlah nampak arrow cinonet tuh.

(2) No running cones, especially at some narrow stretches. Some of the vehicles were zooming by so fast. I really felt unsafe running along some stretches. 

(3) I felt a bit creepy running along Jalan Puteri Hang Li Poh where I had to pass some old chinese cemetery at Bukit Cina and several Muslim cemeteries too. I really had some goosebumps (no jokes!) as I heard some dogs were barking along Bukit Cina.

(4) NO water at KM32 WS. That's a big NO NO.

(5) NO timings for the late finishers as the timing mat was already took out even though we were being flagged off 18minutes late! Then no point of us wearing the B-Tag and had to stomp on the timing mat along the way... Huh

(6) NO distance on the finisher medal. We might as well ran fun run 5km and get the same medal. Cost effective izzit? 

(7) The most irritating part was I had to wait for them to check the list first before they handed out my finisher medal and finisher tee at the finishing tent. Afraid I might be cheating, izzit? Haish... Penat giler kot time tuh, still had to queue some more...

(8) NO refreshments or goodie for late finishers as well. Those who reached the finishing line in 6hours 15minutes onwards didn't get those cheapo plastik pasar malam pack (1 apple, 1 banana, 1 bun). Only one drinking bottle. Felt like running for hari sukan sekolah rendah only... Haiyah...

(9) Late flag off for no solid reasons at all. They were not waiting for any VVIP to arrive and do the flag off thingy. So weird la... Oh nevermind... 

Overall, since it was their first time organizing such "INTERNATIONAL" running event, I must say that the organizer was doing a so-so job. We runners were running at our own risk. I on the other hand, had a blast, the scenery especially along the paddy field was to die for. Kg Morten was brightly decorated and nice too. 

Will I run again for MRIM 2015? Hmmmm...


 My GARMIN data HERE... 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hat Yai International Marathon 2014 (8th) - Double The Fun, Double The Heat!

Tudiah Rombongan Makhayam Gme @ Cik Kiah  9 Bersaudara di Hat Yai... Hohoho... 

Helo there! Welcome once again to my humble warm fuzzy running blog...

Today I wanted to share with you on my not so recent Hat Yai International Marathon 2014. For the record, it was my 11th Full Marathon till date. I haven't give my review on my 10th FM (2XU Compression Run SG) yet due to the traumatic severe chafings experience. Even don't want to remember about it at all hohoho... (Read: Traumatic)

Occay, enough of whining. Let's get back to the real story. I was so looking forward to come back here again after having such a great time running a good race last year (feel free to read it HERE).

Super comfy room and the bathroom was spacious too... Luv it!!!  Value for your money =)
This year I planned to go there on a very tight budget. I've booked a return trip bus ticket. Decided to go there on Friday night and arrived in Hat Yai on Saturday, 24 May 2014 around 9.30 am local time. Had a light breakfast before went to Green View Hotel for an early check in. The room was spacious and cheap too (RM75++ per night for two). Plus it was quite near to the starting line and within walking distance, about 1 km. Gme decided to stay with me during the 2D1N stay in Hat Yai. Cost effective totally.. =D

Rombongan Cik Kiah Berenam Pose2 Depan Hotel Green View Dolu....
From the hotel, Gme, Yours Truly, Ruud, Suhirman, Baizatul and An walked towards the Jiranakorn Stadium to collect our racekit. The process was very smooth and we're done in a jiffy. Met several Malaysian running groups too at the venue, including bf Kahwai, Uncle Tan & friends. We took some photos together. Plus the mini expo was totally irresistable. Bought some running shorts at a very cheap prices and good quality too (although imitation one).

Teruja sangat nih pose2 patriotic selepas mengambil running bib dan baju event... Huhuu
This is a must pose in front of the Jiranakorn Stadium... Nice lucky number though =D
After the REPC, we took a tuktuk and went straight away to Kay Tod Daycha (Pokok Mangga) for our non spicy lunch. We really ate a hearty authentic Thai cuisine, I tell you. So delicious! *Martylar bermulanya makanthon sampai lebam!
Tanda2 kebuluran jelas terpancar di wajah masing- masing... hohohoo
Siakap Stim Halia nih memang sedap khap khun khap!!! 
Later on we decided to pay a visit to the famous Klonghae Floating Market. But before that we stopped by at the hotel to fetch forever gorgeous Miss Aeda, Am and Wani. So now there were 9 of us squeezed in a small tuktuk. Felt like in a sardine can hewhewhew... 

Once we reached the floating market, we went for a stroll on the new bridge. Took some selfie picture on a very hot and bright sunny Saturday! Bumped into Ezam and his super friends there. Not many tourists were spotted on that day, probably due to the fear of series of bombings in the Southern Thailand and martial law enforcement in Thailand. I just bought myself a tantalizing creamy glutinous sticky rice mango (pulut mangga). And It was just 30 Baht!  Woot2..
Malaysian running contingent.... Woot2!
Hantu2 Pulut Mangga Siam Girang Gumbira! 
Pics Courtesy of Miss Aeda & Mr Am GR 
Look At Us! Wajah - wajah ceria beria di atas jambatan Klonghae...
[ Pic courtesy of Kahwai ] 
After that we went back to the stadium to attend the free carboloading session. Didn't eat any as I was still full from the heavy lunch + pulut mangga. Met the global marathon icon YKK (42 FMs total on his belt) and the Southern Thailand sweetheart, Ms Thilda Sanjoren. She was so friendly! Didn't miss the opportunity to take some pics with them. ;D
Sebelum upacara free carboloading di dalam stadium huhu...
Rombongan Cik Kiah Bergambar Kenang2an Bersama Miss Thilda Super Gorgeous! 
Later on, we went for a walk around the city centre. Honestly my feet were killing me after an all day long walk and wanted a rest so badly. Once we tapaued our dinner, we went straight ahead to the hotel for an early rest. I dozed off while those marathon maniacs trio went to the huge night market in the search of Gme's glamorous wigs. Hahaa. Talking about sheer determination!

Kami lah geng yang x pernah kenal erti penat lelah setiap kali melancong di tempat orang heheee
Capek Lumayan bersama Cik Gme Yang Forever Energetik ehh...
I woke up around 2.15 am. Feeling so fresh but still a bit sleepy. Thanks to Aeda's wake up call. Hahaa! Felt like kicking myself for not preparing all the apparel in advance... Dang! Rushed towards the starting line and managed to reach there around 3 am! Took some photos before the flagoff and by 3.30 am off we go!

Sempat lagik nih pose2 Malaysia Boleh di hadapan hotel pagi2 buta tuh... 

Capturing the fresh faces before the super hot hot marathon! [ Pic by Ezam]
There were not so many people running the FM that morning. Around 300-400 I think. Running in a pelikat pants and Indo batik shirt screamed suicidal to me since I could feel the extreme humidity even at this wee hours! I could not run any faster in this Nusantara theme apparel. I completed my 8KM run under 1hour. From there I had to take it as my long run, knowing that a PB is not within my grasp anymore. At first, I was aiming for a Sub 6 finishing. However I was punished by the merciless sun starting from 8 am onwards.

Tranquility before the scorching bloody merciless Hatyai Sun! [ Pic by Gme ]
Running on the same route just like last year was no longer an advantage. I was running on an Ultra pace I tell ya. Could not muster any faster as the pelikat pants restricted my knees movement. Hahaa my bad! Reached the 25.5km U-Turn in 26.5 km and I could see Ruud n Suhirman were catching up on me after the u-turn. I really had to pangsai around 27km. The bush near the road served it purpose. Hahaa darurat weh! Bad news was I accumulated a serious chaffing around my bumbum due to the sweaty compression tights and undies... Ouch! I ignored the pain and kept soldier on... It was already started to get shining bright and hot! Struggled to reach the WS at 30km despite there were still some shades along the highway. From 30KM onwards, the real nightmare began!

Masih mampu lagik tersenyum ceria beria di pagi yang mendung selepas U-Turn...
Siap sempat amik selfie lagik kami berempat yang sakan bergambaq nih hohoo! 
It was a clear sky. The merciless sun was shining so bright high up on the sky. The intense heat was unbearable as there were no shades available along the highway. The final 12.195km felt like a neverending journey. Running was almost impossible due to my wet shoes and I could already feel some blisters formed on both of my feet. Tried to speed walk-slow jog strategy.

Keep holding on ehh walaupon dah mula mental gilerrr.... [ Pic courtesy of Mr. Tan ]
Almost had a heat stroke coz I could feel my heart rate was almost off the chart. I Felt like I want to lay down and rest every time I found a shade along the way. Luckily there were plenty of iced cold water to quench my thirst and I splashed some on my head and back! I was toasted on the blazing Sunny Sunday! T_T

I knew I almost hit the wall after the KM36. My mental was tested to the max. I could only do some speed walk until KM41! It was super blazing hot and already past 6 hours and 30 minutes! Thank goodness once I saw the finishing arch within my sight and a runner waving our Jalur Gemilang, I dashed through the finishing line in 6:46:35. Heard the emcee announcing my name and i'm from Malaysia! Thank goodness! PW? Who cares, my moving time was 6:35:00. hohohoo 

Once I received the finisher medal and tshirt, I went straight towards the food tent as I was ravished in hunger. Almost took a pork meal and luckily Ms Thilda came offering me with the heaven sent Thailand Chicken Yellow Rice. After that I went towards the FL and took photos with fellow Malaysian runners and with our finisher tee too ;D
Taubat dah xmahu lari dalam pelikat pants nih.... Insaf2! Panas wehh!

Later we took a tuktuk and went back to the hotel to pack our stuffs up before we checked out at 1230pm. Gme and I put our bags at Am's room and we went for a self rewarding lunch at Pokok Mangga. Again. But this time we had a spicy mixed tom yum, mango salad, deep fried battered calamari, fried chicken and steamed barramundi with lime. Totally yummeh! I met Azrie and Sis Lily here too.

Pose2 kekenyangan sejurus selepas puas melantak sakan makanan yang enak2....
[ Pic courtesy of Miss Aeda ]
After the dellghtful lunch, we went back to the hotel and managed to doze off a bit while waiting for our bus on 7 pm.  The journey back home was a breeze.

Overall my marathon + makanthon + photothon went well just like I've planned... Not much issues except for the chaffings and small blisters. I was glad that I took Hammer Anti Fatigue Caps accordingly. Should take Endurolyte caps too next time.  A very well organised event with plenty of iced drinking water, sweet syrup, watermelon cut, banana, herbal jelly and icy coke at some WS. Love the golden finisher medal this year, it was heavier than last year hohoho... =P

Highlights of JJCM Hat Yai 2014
Insaf? Biasalah tuh selepas habis sahaja acara... Hahaa... Next time I have to be more careful in selecting my running apparel especially when running in a tropical country like Thailand. Less cotton, more dri fit material then. I think I'll stick to wearing a pelikat pants for a 10km fun run only.

Till then, cheers mate! 


P/S: For those who are looking forward to run Hat Yai Marathon 2015, please save and block this date in advance 31 May 2015 yaa.... Toodles! =)

Feel free to refer to my GARMIN data HERE....  Merci!