Friday, October 17, 2014


"Welcome to Kuching, Sarawak, Land of the Hornbills!"
Hi there... Happy Friday to all of you guys out there... Have a nice day ahead!

I know, I know this is a long over due entry. I have to admit, I was pretty lazy to blog about it before. Maybe I was bedazzled by its beauty? Or perhaps I really need a proper time to sit down and pour my heart and soul out for this special race report? Hohoho... Ngengada la ko Hafiz Aizat...

Actually I'm sooooo looking forward to come to Kuching for this inaugural Kuching Marathon 2014. For the record, once the announcement has been made for its date, I've booked the flight tickets and secured the accommodation immediately. Rashid and I also registered on the very first day they opened for the online registration. Punyelah teruja punya pasal... All the basic preparation had been made in advance despite knowing that I had to run in Kuching 20 days after Eid ul Fitr... Because I had faith and believed that the organizer of KM 2014 had already did their homework and vowed to offer an unforgettable experience running in Kuching to all the runners. =D

So on the Friday, Rashid and I took on the night flight to Kuching. Met Gme at the KLIA 2. Apparently we were on the same flight. What a lovely co-incidence. It was a bumpy flight indeed due to the bad weather and strong winds. Thankfully we landed safely and took a taxi to our hotel. Had a lovely dinner while waiting for others to arrive. Mr Faiez and Khubaib also joined us for the dinner and some chit chats. We kept on talking about running events, what else la kan! =P

Sarawak signature Nasi Goreng Dabai and Pisang Goreng Cheese... Drooled!
After a nice lovely dinner, both of us went to Tune Hotel for the check in. It was still drizzling ya that night. The room was so cozy and I dozed off once checked in. Oh before that, we've planned to have a nice stroll @ easy morning run along the famous Waterfront and around the Kuching.

Credits to Uncle TLK for this picture... =D 
Funtastic Three ehh... Rashid, Me, Pais
Sesekali feeling elite runner in style... Gaya je lebih nih hahaa
It was a wet Saturday morning. There were five of  us at first but only four of us (Rashid, Gme Idola, Faiez and I) wanted to run. We could not resist to snap some photos at the well known landmark Cats statues before we start running... Even had some selfies along the route. From the waterfront to Kuching Reservoir Park. We had a lot of fun running while gossiping eh.... We ran towards Satok Market just want to savour the famous mee kolok @ sapi. Gme had two bowls all for himself! It was super yummy and worth running to this famous resto! Hehee... Easy fun fun run done in 8-9km on that wet morning.

Mi Kolok tok nang wajib makan mun kitak orang ke Satok... Sik lengkap asanya eh... 
We headed back to the hotel and had a rest before we went to Kuching Merdeka Plaza to collect our race pack. We heard that there were some problems regarding the REPC in the afternoon due to the huge surge of participants during the lunch hour. The runners had to wait long to collect their race pack. So we decided to come and collect it around 2pm. Luckily there was no crowd and the REPC went smooth and silky. Met Azim and his sister, Kak Tie, Yahya Iskandar, Shin Wong and Mohan during REPC and took some photos too. =D
Met Yahya the well known FOMR Blogger Marathoner there....
The usual cuplrits with a FMV runner... hehee...
Bumped into Gjoll at the G Floor... Nice knowing ya bro...
After having our lunch there, we've decided to go to the hotel and getting ready for our evening stroll across the Sarawak River. By this time, Mr. Taufik has arrived and joined us. We went to Dayang Salhah Kek Lapis Sarawak for some layered cakes shopping. We had a simple dinner before we headed back to get some early sleep. Early la sangat... I was already felt so tired and really need to hit the sack asap. Couldn't care less to prepare my running apparel before I dozed off... Decent rest is numero uno priority...
Rombongan Kak Ti dah bersedia nih shoppingthon!
Wajin singgah yer beli belah di Kek Lapis Sarawak Dayang Salhah nih... Meriah!
Simple dinner carboloading light2 gittew before the most anticipated run
On that Sunday morning, I woke up lazily and getting myself ready for the run. Luckily the starting line was 1.5km from our hotel, just nice for us to do a warming up run. Saw some familiar faces at the venue and took some photos with them. Snapped some pics with Meek Soon, Gme, Azim, etc... Exactly at 3am, we were being flagged off.

The first 10km we were running through several Malay villages. Kg. Masjid, Kg. No.2, Kg. No.5, Kg. No. 6, Kg. Sungai Lajim and Kg. Tupong Batu, just to name a few. I was amazed by the support from the fellow villagers who were still awake at that ungodly hours. They stood in front of their houses. Some even cheered and gave us high 5s. I still remembered this one particular makcik said to me, "Laju gik, laju gik berekot ya" (Run Faster, Run Faster!) I was pumped upon seeing there was this band of young men playing kompang and gendang while singing joyful patriotic songs and waving Jalur Gemilang too. Felt like running in the overseas where there were so many spectators along the way,  well at least for the first 10km. Did 1:16:52 for my first 10km.

Once I reached this huge roundabout, it was almost 11km. Nothing much to see here along this stretch until I ran along Jalan Tun Abdul Rahman, moving towards Jalan Semariang and Jalan Sultan Tengah. It was a long boring stretch along Jalan Sultan Tengah. Bumped into Azim at KM18-19 and requested him to be my pacer from there onwards. Hit 21km mark at this dull stretch with the cumulative time of 3:03:55. Not a bad timing despite my bugging knee and mental chalengging route hehee..

From KM22 to KM30, we were running side by side, sometimes we sang out heart out, just want to kill the boredom and simply easing my mind off the dreadful neverending straight flat stretch. Maklumlah pace sendu super selo melo saja... Around 8-10 minutes per km during that time. Circa KM29, we passed through Bako National Park and crossed the first bridge Managed to clock in 4:31:03 for my KM30. huhu.. There were many Water Stations along the route, each WS was equipped with enough drinking water, isotonics and bananas at KM34/35. I was relieved upon seeing Borneo Convention Centre Kuching at KM34. 8KM to go.. Must keep moving no matter what... Saw Mohan and his disciples at this stretch. Tried my best to keep my feet moving eventhough my knees and hamstring were screaming at that moment. It was already bright with less traffic.

Marvelous view of mighty Sungai Sarawak

From Jalan Keruing we ran towards Jalan Pelabuhan and crossed another bridge. I could see Santubong River on my right side and Sarawak River on my left side. I thought I was looking at the sea already! It was huge. Reached KM40 at Jalan Padungan in 6:25:05 and tried to finish my run within the 7 hours cut off time. It was tough. I had to run carefully along the last 5km, especially along the China Town as they have already opened the road to the traffic. No safety cone anymore. The last thing I wanted to avoid was to be hit by a vehicle at this final stage of my run. Saw Yahya Iskandar, Arman and Sis Suzie along the last 1km. Thank goodness, I managed to cross the Finishing Line in 6:49:22 (6:42:50 moving time according to my GARMIN watch). Yayyy...

Almost there... Credits to Divana Gme for this picture! =D
I was super tired and overjoyed at the same time. Too bad there were no more refreshment and snacks for late finishers like me. Thanks to Kak Tie for taking the big bottle of 100 Plus for me and Azim. I took my finisher tee and medal and it was time for photo ops. Didn't wait any longer and went to the Rajah Brooke Cafe for my brunch with all my running buddies... =D

Me, Gme & Rashid... Congrats Divana Icona Idola Gme on your PB of 4:55 uols!!! Nangess kagumzz!

Rashid, Me and Eina... Congrats Eina on your FMV in Kuching... Laju btol, xnampak bayang pun... =D

Kita makan dulu!
Sarawak Laksa, creamy spicy laksa... Simply delicious!
Overall, it was a very well organized running event. Excellent traffic control, sufficient amount of WS with cold drinking water, isotonics, iced sponge and bananas. Super friendly volunteers at every WS. Cheerful and chirpy villagers were a winner for me... It was totally unexpected and definitely unforgettable moments ever. Plus the finisher medal and tee design was ok simple and nice. Not bad for an inaugural race. Well done organizer, Kuching Marathon Association (KMA) for being one of the best organizer in Malaysia... Glad I finished my #13th Full Marathon here... hehee =D

Kamek Sayang Sarawak! Kelak kamek balit sinun gik owhh hehee... =D

P/S: My GARMIN data is HERE.... =D

Monday, October 6, 2014

Park Marathon 2014 - It's A Wet (Not so Wild) Full Marathon Hamster Style... =D

Helo there fellow silent readers and dear followers... Sorry for the super delay... Happy Eid Adha to all my muslim friends and happy holidays to my non Muslim friends...  Enjoy your holidays and makan-makan yaa =D

It all started when I was looking for a decent 14th full marathon to run somewhere in September. At first, BII Bali Marathon sounds like a good plan and very interesting. But somehow the air tickets were so expensive so I had to ditch it in the end. Hope to run in Bali next year then sob2...T_T

Fortunately, I came across reading this inaugural event from Yahya Iskandar's blog, one of my MM compatriot. The format reminded me of running my 1st Back 2 Endurance back then in 2013. Park Marathon (PM) 2014 was the brainchild of the respected Race Director (RD), the Ultra Man himself, Mr. Jeff Ooi. The only difference was you just have to run 16 loops of 2.7km within the cutoff time to finish the total of 43.2km, whereas for B2E you have to run as many loops of 2.3km in Lake Garden as you can within the 12 hours.

I am so looking forward to run this inaugural Bukit Jalil Park Marathon 2014 because I like the runners friendly concept where the one and only WS, which was situated at the Start/Finish line. I didn't have to bring my drinking bottle along the route. I could even stop for a while to get my drinks, eat my energy gels and change my apparel hoho... How cool and convenient is that. :D

Furthermore, I would love to dedicate my run for Malaysia Day since the celebration was on 16 September, two days after the event. Feeling all patriotic deep inside, I wore my Team Malaysia TM Fan Run tee. Ready to roar like a Tiger huhu... I didn't take a long time to decide and I registered it immediately. That explained my running bib number was #10. Super Top10 kiasu me hohoho...

My running buddy, Suhirman collected my racekit in Running Lab since I had to work on Friday and Saturday.  Thanks bud! =D

I haven't run much after my First DNF experience in Penang Ultra 2014 which was a week before this event. So I was hoping the 47km of mileage before I decided to DNF in that race would be enough to prepare me for this FM run. Only one subtle 7-8km easy run three days before the event. Plus, I had some works to be done in Kuala Selangor for two days prior to PM 2014.

Me & Suhirman, both were psyched to run this inaugural PM...
Fast forward to the event day. It was a wet morning. I could see the sky started to rain cats and dogs as I drove towards the starting venue. It was a heavy rain with thunderstorms so I prepped myself up in the car and made my way towards the starting line in the heavy rain. My clothes and running shoes were super drenched. I took a shelter at the starting line while waiting for the downpour to subside. So I hung my wet socks and shoes to let it dry during the long wait. Finally the rain stopped circa 7.30am and we were flagged off by 7.45am. RD mentioned that the cutoff time was extended to 7h15m during the briefing due to the late start.
2nd loop.... Still ok, all fresh and chirpy... Pic Credits to Eugene Teoh..
It was raining and I'm still got to run and run the hamster loop... Pic Credits to Ms. Hong Lan Tan
Roar Like Fat Tiger Boy! lols - Pic credits to Mr Eugene Teoh =)
I took it easy for the 1st and 2nd loops. Just want to have a feel of the 2.7km route. There were three inclines along the way that I had to deal with physically and mentally too. I decided to break my run into three sections, 6:5:5 loops. Easier for me to digest mentally. It was not that dull during the first 6 loops. Many runners, joggers, walkers were spotted along the route. Some were gathering for their tai chi @ chit chat sessions, while others were seen having a great morning run with their families and friends. The weather was still overcast and windy too. I had to go for my toilet break twice during the run. So cold, cannot tahan one. ;P

Somehow after the 7 loops, it started to rain again. Luckily I had my rain jacket on and my cap so that I didn't feel that freezing cold. I had a nice icy cold ice cream batang, sweetcorn flavour some more at the WS. I even had it in the pouring drizzle. Could not resist it definitely. Yummeh! Takdela rasa mental sgt hehee

I had to stop almost every 2.7km because I need to spray my aching knees and readjusted my knee strap.   There were plenty of drinking water, Coke and Revive Isotonic drinks at the WS. We were served with watermelon slices, bananas and duku/langsat too. So juicy! I ate quite a lot of bananas since I felt hungry that morning huhu... Had two energy gels after 8km and 16km weren't enough for my bulging belly...

I managed to do 21km in 3:06:41. Saw Suhirman, Yahya Nizar, Rafizudin and many runners along the hamster loop. The weather remained cloudy until 12.15 pm. Ideal for a mental FM loop, I said to myself.

I forgot to bring my Hammer Anti Fatigue Caps (I really need to kick myself for the silliness). Luckily they offered us some potatoes chips just to satisfy my hunger pang and my sodium intake. Did not want to catch a cramp along the way. Plus I started to experience some chafings due to the soaking wet compression tight. However the show must go on.

Me dashing towards the Finishing Line... Awesome! Pic credits to Kah Wai

The run didn't feel that mental at all. We were cheering for each others whenever we met along the loop. Exchanging high fives and cheer really lifted my spirits. Plus there were some photographers took our pictures along the loop. I've decided to wear my tiger beanie cap when it was not raining anymore because it was not a hot day. I felt more in the zone whenever I had my tiger beanie on. Some strangers even cheered for me as I ran past them. Plus Kah Wai the famous bf photographer was taking the next shift after Eugene. He waited patiently for us at the WS to take our pictures. That's what makes me want to finish my 16 loops as quickly as possible. Huhu..

Pic candid taken by Ms. Hong Lan Tan during the selfie.... So hilarious ya...

Our Groupfie... Thanks to Madame Karen Loh... Best of luck for your Chicago M ya... =D
Saw Karen Loh the RD for MWM at the WS after my 12 loops. She was there to give her support and managed to take a groupfie with her, Jeff Ooi and Jason Tan. Thanks Madame, it was so much fun... :)

Finally I completed the 16th loops in 7:13:14 (moving time 6:53:54). What a relief and joy! It's already around 2pm... Overall, I was at no.38 out of 48 and 31st in Men's Category. Unfortunately, 7 runners DNFed the run. Collected my cool finisher medal and striking bold finisher tee. Glad my size was just nice... Took some pictures with the fellow remaining runners and off I went back home. Super tired but really satisfied. I will never see the dreadful incline in Bukit Jalil Recreational Park the same way ever again... Huhuu... In fact I still don't feel like running there yet ever since the PM 2014. Felt like a fat chubby hamster running the route... Hahaha....

Congrats to all of us, the inaugural finishers of PM 2014!
Happy 51st Malaysia Day 2014.... 
Cool finisher medal and Water Bottle from 2ndSkin Asia
The Finisher tee by 2ndSkin Asia was mind blowing, super bold fluorescent orange!

Till we meet again PM 2015.... Let's mental game begins....again, shall we?  =D

P/S: My GARMIN data here ya...