Monday, December 31, 2012

Running Into 2013...

By Frank

Back in year 2009, I blog about running into the next year. This time, I am going to recycle the blog title for while this is being published, I am in fact in the midst of running an event. Of course this entry was well written even before today, in fact before I flew to South Africa. Had it first drafted before slowly improving it. And yeah, it's the final day of the year again. Time for some farewell note to 2012 and say HELLO to year 2013!

And so, I am into my 5th day of running at the Year To Year Circuit Race at Pretoria, South Africa. And at time of posting this, with a busted left Achilles  I am still running clocking a distance of of 463 loops which equals to 231.5KM. It's 31 December 2012, 11.35pm here and there is still around 1.5 days to go and hopefully I will keep running! Running from the final hour or even minutes of year 2012 to the first second of year 2013. Certainly a first time for me.

The Year 2012 has been another up and down and even twisting around roller coaster ride for me. Been so tide down with work and also the establishment of a new department within the company, how do I get myself out there to run? But I managed to survive through and am now a member again at the gym where I will be running "hamster" style on the treadmill.

The highlight of the year will certainly be the Comrades Marathon 2012, my toughest, dearest and biggest accomplishment to date. Not only completing the run in a very tense finishing moment, I even ran it for charity in raising funds cancer research under CARIF (Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation) which I now champion. And a few months later, I was appointed the official Malaysia Ambassador for Comrades Marathon, a role which I am so honoured to carry.

Proudest moment of our running career with Wong and Chee Kong upon completion of the Comrades Marathon 2012...

Presentation of my Comrades Marathon 2012 to Professor Dr. Teo So Hwang, CEO of CARIF...

Then came the heartbreak event, the Craze Ultra 2012, my first attempt at the 100 miles distance. I suffered my very first "Did Not Finish" as I called it quits upon arriving at the half way point. The weather was terribly HOT and I experienced chest discomfort and breathing difficulties as I tried to tackle the distance. Sad indeed, but I managed to get over with and the positive thing is that I am still here in 1 piece.

Beside the 2 above and some other events like Twilight Ultra Challenge, Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon, The North Face 100 Singapore and Penang Bridge International Marathon, the other more important highlights of the year will be the number of new friends I made. It will always be through events like these especially ultra marathons that new friends are made whom I cherished.

So in the year 2013, I will be returning again to the Comrades Marathon and also attempting at the 100 miles distance again at the same Craze Ultra. Though I still see the following year to be a busy one in terms of my job, I hope I will be able to manage it even better compared to 2012. Am so currently out of shape now and I hope to return to my year 2009 self.

So yeah. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013 everyone! Till I get home (wish I could stay longer at South Africa), do enjoy yourselves and may the new year be a greater one than before! * Back to running now!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

6 Days of Craziness...

By Frank

The Two Oceans Marathon at Cape Town, South Africa's second largest scale ultra marathon at 56KM to be held at the end of March on an annual basis was suppose to be on my to-do list for next year's running calendar. However, due to the arrival of someone very important to Chee Kong and Mei-Ee, I had to cancel it and thus came the idea of trying something new. Something I have not tried before. Running on a 500m field track for 6 days! Yes, it's not a typing error. It's 6 days and you though Twilight Ultra Challenge or 12 Hour Walk is already crazy! And it's IAAF certified. Don't play play!

I would not have though that I will be travelling off to South Africa again this year. That's twice in a year in a matter of 6 months! But the 6 days event is something I really want to try, running from year 2012 into the new year of 2013. The event is call the Year to Year Festival of Running 2012 to be held at Pretoria, some 50KM away from Johannesburg.  Running from 12.00pm (South Africa time) 26 December 2012 till 12.00pm (South Africa time) 1 January 2013, this common event is certainly a very unique to us from this part of the world. For more info, fire on this LINK.

Year To Year Festival of Running 2012. Notice the Malaysian flag...

The event has many categories though with 12 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours, 3 days and 6 days worth of running. Myself and Chee Kong will be taking part in the 6 days event while Mei-Ee in the 24 hours category. Salute to her! However, we do not need to run throughout the entire duration of the event as we are able to rest in between. Participants will be allowed to set-up our own camps, tents or even canopies around the vicinity. Even a swimming pool and braai pit is there to pamper ourselves and to kill boredom, just in case we go "crazy".

At the end of the event, we will be presented a finisher's medal plus a trophy. The trophy has 3 categories though being Gold, Silver and Bronze depending on the distance we cover. But as my last long run was at Penang Bridge International Marathon 2012 about a month ago, I know I am under train for this and it's fun and  fun and a bit of craziness that I am seeking.. It's plainly for experience,  fun and a little training for next year's Comrades Marathon. But for the past 2 weeks or so, I've put in some serious speed training on the treadmill to raise my heart rate a little. This hopefully will give me some "kick" to last the entire 6 days. Oooh... And also, they recently announced that this is a certified Comrades Qualifier.  But it won't be easy.

The trophies for the 6 days race is allocated to the below distance:

Gold trophy: 690KM
Silver trophy: 403KM
Bronze trophy: Lesser distances

Sneak preview of the trophies...

I be leaving on board the Emirates Airlines on 20 December 2012 and will do a lay over at Dubai before continuing to Johannesburg. Upon arrival, I will have one night there before flying off to Durban before continuing on backpacking trip to East London. And on Christmas Day, we will fly from Port Elizabeth back to Johannesburg to prepare for the running event the next day and in the meantime to celebrate Christmas. So as usual like my all previous long haul trip, the following will be my packing list.

Packing list galore. Don't mind the bak kwa and coffee...

As you can see, I have prepared 2 of my current loved running shoes being the Saucony Kinvara 3 and Hattori to be my run shoe of choice. Although the race director did mention to prepare 3 pairs and also to alternate them between around 30KM or so, I will probably go barefoot at times as the event is being run on grass which Chee Kong has told me that it is pretty well maintained. Besides, it may rain so I do not want to dirty my shoes. Just hope it does not rain hail else I might suffer a knockout! Hahaha...

Race shoe of choice, the Saucony Kinvara 3 and Hattori with the Yurbuds IM Inspire Duro ...

And also, thanks to Techventis International for sending me just in time a pair of Yurbuds IM Inspire Duro. I've put on the past couple of weeks during my training runs and am simply loving it. This will help keep me entertain while I go running round and round.

Will have another 4 days after the event so hopefully, my legs will be able to hold on to further activities which is to visit Krueger National Park at Skukuza and Satara. It's one of the most prestigious national park in the world and if not mistaken, the biggest in South Africa. It's about 500KM from Johannesburg and Chee Kong will be driving there. Will spend 2 nights there before returning to Johannesburg for 1 more night there.  Will fly back on board an Emirates A380 on 6 January 2013 noon and my first time on this jumbo airline!

I am very looking forward to my second trip to South Africa again. Missed the beautiful country and also my South African friends there! Oooh... And also the food of course. And hopefully when I am back home, I won't be already a crazy nut counting the number of loops. Numbers by then should be something I will be really afraid of then.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Saucony ProGrid Kinvara 3...

By Frank

It's been a while since I put on a pair of Saucony. In fact, it has been 4 years since I had the Saucony Fastwitch 3. Didn't really like the pair very much at that time as Saucony was producing shoes that were too soft for me. As time goes by, and as the "barefoot" trend sets in, the direction changes too. Enter the Saucony ProGrid Kinvara 3 (K3), Saucony best selling running footwear.

The Saucony ProGrid Kinvara 3...

The K3 marks my return to the Saucony line-up as my preference towards the minimalist shoes continues here. Saucony introduce for the first time 2E widths to the Kinvara stable, but the one I got here is of the normal D width. I have put it to a few short runs on the road and treadmill and also the recent Penang Bridge International Marathon running the marathon distance, hence I guess its about time, I gave it a review.

Lateral view of the Kinvara 3...

Medial view of the Kinvara 3...

I personally do not own a Kinvara 2 hence I can't compare it with the K3. I did however put on the Kinvara 2 while I had it in store at Running Lab and upon trying it on, it felt way too soft for me. The K3 weighting in at around 216 grams  for size US8.5 however was firmer as Saucony had added more blown rubber to it outsole hence making it not only firmer but also more durable. To be more precise, Saucony actually moved the rubber from the medial portion of the heel to the front part of the outsole hence reinforcing the area there while taking into account the weight. Measuring at 4mm heel to toe differential to assist in mid to forefoot striking, the K3 offers 22mm stack height at the heel and 18mm at the forefoot which I felt rather a little on the high side thus making the shoe very cushiony indeed.

The Kinvara 3 above as per compared with the Kinvara 2 on the bottom...

4mm heel to toe differential...

Pretty high stack high providing very cushiony feel...

A decoupled heel is now introduced with the XT-900 carbon rubber reinforcing it. At the forefoot, 14 triangular lugs is used acting like "trampolines" to help the wearer propel the next step. And the midsole is made of EVA+, a cushiony yet durable rubber piece.

Closeup of the triangular lugs acting as "trampolines"...

Decoupled heel...

The upper of the K3 is now replaced from the traditional synthetic mesh from the K2 to the now Flexfilm, which Saucony ported over from the track and field department. The design of the Flexfilm is actually from projecting shadows in a dark room hence the grooves and this made the colourways very interesting indeed. Adding support and grip to the wearer's feet without making one feeling being "suffocated", it actually felt good and also giving me the confidence in the durability of the upper. It does look solid with all the quality finishing grooves without compromising ventilation which is good.

The Flexfilm grooves...

Flat shoe laces are used again to reduce the weight. This is one shoe lace that I often had problems with as it comes off too easily. However, this time round, I did felt a bit of confidence in it as it did not come untie during a 5KM fast run on the treadmill. But I still did not risk it and I still went for double tie for most of the time cause after all, it's still flat laces to me!

After all the technology introduction, how about the running in it? 3 words to describe it. Light, Fast and Comfy. At 220 grams, the K3 is one very light shoe to fall under the performance series. Not only that weight has been reduced to allow the runner to run fast in it, it still provided the enough support and stability. As for the cushioning, I still felt a bit too much on it. The  K3 personally for me although is much firmer now, it still felt a bit soft for me. The propulsion rate isn't something I enjoy a lot on it due to the "sinking" feeling but I did almost enjoy it during the third quarter of the recent Penang Bridge International Marathon when my legs were already tired and especially when heel striking is almost "natural" at that time. Therefore, I guess it's a 50-50 thing to like for the cushioning on the K3.

Comfort of the K3 is provided by a snug feet all over my feet. I am lucky I don't have wide feet so the D width does just fine by me. But as mentioned, there is a 2E width available but not too sure if it is available locally. Not only the Flexfilm does its trick, the 2 memory foam padding around the collar call the HydraMax hugs my heel nicely. And as for the tongue, it stayed in place firmly as it is a one piece construction thus allowing no slippage to the side.

The HydraMax memory foam padding...

During an accident at my recent marathon when I accidently spilled a little of my GU Brew Roctane on my K3's upper, not only did the liquid did no sip into the shoe, it actually just glide away instantly like the shoe had water proofing on it. I felt really happy with this result but I am not going to risk it the next time as there is no water shielding on this shoe. As for the shoe's inner, it was kept to minimal wetness and this must have been due to the excellent ventilation.

Still looking very healthy after running close to a 100KM...

Overall, the Kinvara 3 should follow suit the reason why the Kinvara is so successful in Saucony's line-up. It's an overall much improved model without any major modification which should suit most minimalist shoe wearer if not, probably everyone. It's an overall feel good shoe for me but if I were to play a part in the design of the Kinvara 4, here's what I probably do:

1) Reduce stack height of heel to toe differential to 18mm to 14mm or even better 16mm to 12mm
2) Use beaded shoe laces
3) Add in more choices for wide widths
4) Add in some drainage port on the outsole

The Saucony ProGrid Kinvara 3 retails at RM399.00 and is available now at Running Lab Malaysia at Tropicana City Mall, Stadium and Royal Sporting House stores nationwide.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Penang Bridge International Marathon 2012...

Event: Penang Bridge International Marathon 2012
Venue: Queensbay Mall, Penang
Date: 18 November 2012
Time: 2.00am
Distance: 42.195KM (42.8KM by Garmin Forerunner 910XT)
Shoe: Saucony Kinvara 3
By Frank

My 6th and final attempt on the current Penang Bridge. I said it long time ago that I wanted to improve my Comrades Marathon seeding a spot higher to "G" at my only chance at the Penang Bridge International Marathon (PNIM) for it's the only locally certified AIMS marathon race. However, I eventually gave up any hope on it 2 months ago due to my ill preparation and also my body condition. My longest run was only 11KM on the treadmill and that happened a week before the event itself. The rest was only about a 5KM run each on the treadmill too. Besides that, there was a scare of fever 5 days before the event when it struck me due to the fact I was in the rain for 3 hours during the Terry Fox Run setup. Was glad it eventually went away after some medication and lots of sleep.

And so, I travelled up to Penang hitching a ride with Cham on her very big and spacious Toyota Harrier. Roy, Karen and Cynthia (not Gan) was the others. We started our journey at around 8.15am and the journey was a smooth one. Managed to catch some sleep during the journey there but other wise, had fun chatting away during the 4 hours plus drive.

Upon arriving at Penang, we headed straight to the "race expo" site just outside Queenbay Mall for all of them needed to collect their race pack. Managed to meet some friends there and also catching up with my new sponsor, Yurbuds. Then a simple lunch at the food court though I bought my food consisting of a bento set from the Jusco take away food counter. I still had phobia from 2 years back after eating at the food court with Luc where we both suffered stomach discomfort during the run that year. Chee Kong and Mei Ee joined us for a while before we drop off Karen at her hotel and then zooming off to our backpackers hostel, Red Inn Court.

With Karen and Roy at the so call "race expo" site. * Photo credits to Kim Lai...

Upon checking in at Red Inn Court, we were simply blown away by it for it was so cozy and it only cost us RM27 per head! Rested for a while before heading off to dinner at Macalister Road. A simply one with economy noodles before I spotted flaming handburger. Yeap, it's handburger for it is handmade. Had one before calling it a day. It was already 8.30pm.

My secret power and it's flaming...

Woke up with only close to 2 hours of sleep. Had a cup of Old Town Coffee with cane sugar before doing all the pre-race necessity. One final check on my race gear and pinning up my purple cancer awareness ribbon, by 12.15am, everyone was ready and Cham volunteered to drive us there for we do not want to trouble Roy. By the way, Mun Seng and Superman (not sure of his name) joined us in the room while I was asleep.

Accompanying me on the bridge, my purple ribbon for cancer awareness and my very green and handsome Saucony Kinvara 3...

I started chomping on GU Chomps and made sure I had one serving in me before the race started. At the race site which was a major improvement over the last few years for the ambiance was definitely much better, I managed to bump into some friends before checking into the starting pent. Was in the middle pack with Dzul, Regina and Jamie Saw. And at 2am, the air horn was let off and off we went.

3,000 runners is not a lot but due to the very narrow start, I had difficulties breaking away from the crowd. Even upon entering the Jelutong highway, I still had difficulties but eventually broke free at around 2KM or so. But that helped me a lot as I managed to keep my pace at a comfy level of 6 minutes per kilometer. I had 500ml of the new GU Brew Roctane with me and I had very small sips at every 2.5KM. This new product from GU is actually very good and it kept me going.

The forecasted weather of thunderstorm was no where to be seen. In fact, it was so humid that I sweated a bucket with only 1KM into the run. And I quickly notice that I forgotten to gel my hair hence the sweat kept coming down stinging my eyes.

At the 5KM mark back at the Eastin Hotel stretch, there was a scare for me as I felt my chest tightening up. I reduced my pace a little but still running, and switching my bottle to my right hand to release any stress on my left. Eventually it went off, and I carried on comfortably. At 10KM, I clocked 1:00:05 hours and things was looking good. Even I felt great.

Into the bridge I ran, I spotted James Fong holding his head in frustration walking. Ran to him to check  him out and he mentioned that both his legs were tight. Told him to walk it off before I continued on. At about 13KM or so, I spotted another James, this time James Wong. He recently participated in Australia's Great North Walk 100KM and hurt his hips. He was running a bit slower than usual and it can be seen how much his fall affected him. We ran together for about 3KM before he dropped out. I was alone again and surprisingly  I was still doing great. Still had my GU Brew Roctane with me and I continued with my nutrition plan of having small sips. Till this stage, I have not consume any of my GU Roctane Gels yet. I've prepared 3 of them.

Just before the u-turn point at the end of the bridge, I ran together with Guan Choon and he shared with me something about chest discomfort. It was always good to hear from a heart specialist and I really appreciate his kind gesture of helping me to check on my problem.

I arrived at the 20KM mark at 2:00:03! OOooh... Still doing great I told myself! I continued on, now on the return span to the island. I was running alone for a moment before I spotted Azrul. We ran together though we did not exchange any conversation. Guess that's our style. Then came the crowd from the half marathoners when we clash into them near the bridge's mid span. I did not had any problems navigating through and had my last sip of my GU Roctane Brew here. I believe it was like 25KM here.

Exiting the bridge was a sad affair as it will mark my final time running on the current bridge. As I exited, I took my first GU Roctane Gel and "accidentally" passed Poh Chye. True to his style, he hasten up and cut into my front before slowing down. And knowing this will happen a few times if I continue to pass him, I let him go. I also began to slow down here.

I arrived at the 30KM mark at 3:10:14 hours and this was where I made my first walk. Still ok and I thought that there is chance now for a "G" seeding at Comrades next year. At about 32KM, I spotted Chee Kong making his return trip. He was slowing down perhaps due to his knee discomfort and also a very long hiatus from running in the Malaysian weather. Nevertheless, he was still running great.

Arriving in 3:39:51 hours at the 33KM at Gat Macalister which was the final u-turn point for full marathoners, I took my second GU Roctane Gel but things started to change due to my poor judgement. The buffer I built started fading away as I spent too much time walking from here onwards. I even cam whore with Kim Lai and Boon Yeong near the 35KM mark, but that was something I truly enjoy for its the memories that count.

The final 5KM, I tried to push a little and down my third and final GU Roctane Gel. I managed to find some strength back but still failed to catch Soon Chung as he rocketed away from me with about 4KM more to go. I felt proud of him.

2.5KM to go, I ran together with Kelvin telling him to finish this together. He was in pain for a while and was reduced to walking. I accompanied him before he rocketed off himself with 1.5KM to go. I maintained my composure making sure to complete the run safely and just my own pace into the final stretch. Some familiar faces like Tatt King, Yi Mei, Vivien, Kah Wai, Kwang Leng, Sunny and more was there to cheer. I was really thankful for their kind gesture as I just ran and ran and finally into the finish gantry completing my 6th Penang Bridge International Marathon in a time of 4:52:24 hours!

Completing my 6th PBIM. *Photo credits to Chew Shu Yang...

Yeap. Although I did not improve my Comrades seeding to "G", I was still very happy and satisfied with my result. It was still better than last year and I got to know myself that my preparation was very very very far from ideal. In fact, how can 11KM LSD with 5KM runs be a preparation for a full marathon?  To me, this result I achieved is in fact a very surprise package for me already.

Front view of the finisher's medal...

Rear view of the finisher's medal...

Post run was to catch up with other fellow runners in the full marathoner runners privilege rest area, a nice gesture for us from the organisers. Some photos taken for memories and I even met some fellow runners who attended the 5 running clinics I conducted in conjunction with his event. They managed to complete their run and thanked me for the tips and advice given. But to me, their achievement is down to themselves and I felt happy for them.

I made my way to the car to await for the rest before adjourning back to the hostel to clean ourselves up before taking a short nap. With only myself, Cham and Roy, we went to indulge in some local specialities at Lorong Selamat before departing Penang at about 2.30pm. Was lucky the traffic was smooth as I arrived safely home within 5 hours. And with his, comes to a close a chapter of running on the current Penang Bridge. Next year onwards, we runners will be trying to conquer the new and longer Penang 2nd Link Bridge.

Over rated RM7.50 Lorong Selamat char kuey teow that made me wait half an hour. At least the prawns were big...

My many thanks to Cham for allowing the use of her super comfy Toyota Harrier for our journey to and from Penang and also to Roy for being there. And also to my friends and runners I met along the run course, after the run itself and even those from the running clinic, I thank you all for another amazing journey in my running career.

And before closing my chapter to this year's local running event, here's a toast to one my close friend Soon Chung who managed to complete his maiden marathon with a very impressive time. My next adventure for this year and one final one before 2012 comes to an end, will be at South Africa!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Terry Fox Run 2012...

By Frank

The Terry Fox Run 2012 for cancer research was successfully held this morning, Sunday, 11 November 2012. Supporting it since year 2006, this year saw me joining the organising committee and also volunteering for my first time. I missed it for the last 2 years for hurting my lower back in 2010 and due to Powerman Malaysia last year.

I was certainly green  in organising an event and was learning from the fellow seniors like Sook Yee, Peter and Bennie. Just like each every other year, it will all start with brainstorming of venue, date and of course t-shirt sales. The committee only had clearance at about 2 months before the run day itself to actually prepare all the necessities. 

The first batch of t-shirts arrived in mid October 2012 and as usual, I helped sell it. The only difference this year was that no public announcement was made to inform that Running Lab actually sells it. Only those who knew me, casual shoppers and those who bought from me the previous years will know. A "secretive" place indeed, but yet, the sales were strong!

A couple of weeks ago, I visited the Stella Maris high school to share my cancer days and running story together with Peter. This is part of the campaign to actually share Terry Fox's and other cancer survivor's stories. A pretty nervous moment as there were at least 400 plus strong student crowd that I need to share my story with, but I was glad it went well.

Fast forwarding to yesterday, volunteers were given briefing. However, the sky opened up and we all walked the 3KM family route under it. I was drenched!  An hour later, together with Bennie and Harriet, we install the directional markers one by one on the 3KM and 5KM route. Took us about 3 hours plus to complete and by the time I'm done, it was already 9PM. Drenched and feeling cold, I quickly drove back home with a sense of satisfaction and hope, and quickly had a hot shower before turning in as the challenge begins the next day.

Terry Fox Run 2012 contributors...

With the photo wall filled with inspirational messages...

Directional markers installed...

Run day. I arrived at Padang Merbok at around 6.15AM. Some other volunteers were already there and soon Sook Yee came by and I collected my Team Terry's shirt from her. The Team Terry's shirt is the same design except for the red colour which is given to cancer survivors. The field of Padang Merbuk was muddy and soft due to the rain but that did not stop us volunteers form working. During the process of setting up, I guided the lorry ferrying the water to the midway point of the 3KM route before running back. Hey, I technically ran half the route of the family route! Hehehe...

Having a banana break while the runners went for the run (and walk)...

And from there, I was helping out with the t-shirt sales which also consist of the editions from the last 2 years. I was together with Siak Chung, Shin Tatt, Tatyana, Mrs. Kang, Helen and many others trying our very best to sell the t-shirts as fast as possible as the crowd was just unbelievable  It's not an easy task but it was certainly fun and yet rewarding. During the sales itself, I was even asked to take photographs together with the runners as they knew I am a survivor.Very busy indeed but for a good reason. By the way, beside myself, Tatyana and Lyana was also downing the Team Terry's shirt.

With Sook Ching, Lyana and Tatyana...

And here's a shout out to Professor Teo, CEO of CARIF. She was so busy herself, but she still helped out during the t-shirt sales. And not only that, she was moving the tables, chairs and other heavy objects all by herself. 

Overall, I had a good and rewarding time at the Terry Fox Run 2012. I hope to be part of it in the many more editions to come as it's really a rewarding experience in this very meaningful event. It's really great to have meet up with lots of people whether runners, supporters of cancer research and also those from the foundation that I support that is organising this for a good cause.

And MANY THANKS to the organising committee and also volunteers for this year's edition as the Terry Fox Run continues the tradition of a 100% volunteer driven event. KUDOS to all for the time and strength given!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The North Face 100 Singapore 2012...

Event: The North Face 100 Singapore 2012
Venue: MacRitchie Reservoir, Singapore
Date: 13 October 2012
Time: 6.45am
Distance: 50KM (48KM by Polar RCX5 G5 GPS)
Shoe: ASICS GEL-Fuji Racer
By Frank

The 5th and the annual event organised by the parent company I worked in, The North Face 100 Singapore saw a different refreshing twist to this year's edition. Not only was it well improved over last year's fiasco, this year also saw a much improved route despite shorter and also a cooler weather.

3 of us from Running Lab Malaysia which includes myself, Syah and Roy were to run this year's edition. However, Roy had to pull out a week before as he sprained his ankle. Not wanting to to waste the race bib, Ben took over his slot.

I travelled down via coach on Friday itself and made my way to office to have some office matters settled before hand. And when all is done, together with the team, we all proceeded to MacRitchie Reservoir which happens to be the race site to finalised the setup there. I was helping out setting up the tear drop flags and anything else that came in my way. I tried to keep some energy for myself too so I hope I did not get into the way of the others. Once everything was done, I went over to Walter's house which was nearby to clean myself up before heading to Singapore Polo Ground for dinner with Nic and also a personnel from The North Face's principal office.

Once dinner is done, it's off to my cousin, Eugene's house to prepare my race gear before calling it a night.

I had only 4 hours of sleep and I was a little tired. Did all my preparation and it all went well and I was all ready an hour before my schedule time to leave at 5am. Eugene drove me to the race site at 5.30am and the place was already packed with runners. Did all my necessary and met up with Ben, Hong Soon, Mohan, Foo, David and many others.

And just after checking after checking in myself to start, I heard a familiar voice calling out "MR AFRICA"! It was Yim who had just completed his first 50KM loop of this total running distance of 100KM! An amazing feat from him, we all motivated him and took the chance for some photos together. And while we 50KM runners line up for our start, we all cheered for him as he made his way out followed shortly by another Malaysian runner friend of mine, Razif!

Priceless shot of 50KM runners with Yim (2nd from left), the 100KM runner just before exiting for his next 50KM...

The 50KM start this year was a much better affair compared to previous year. The ambience and mood was good as I started with Hong Soon who will immediately went missing after crossing the start gantry. Not intending to follow as I just had doctor's clearance to run this event with caution, I ran on my own comfy pace following what my heart rate monitor has been set to do.

The first 6KM plus or so on trails was a rather fast affair for me. As my body was still fresh, my heart rate was beating strongly. I lost my control here and it was the moment when I exited the trail for a moment that I started to slow down, and told myself to just make it back to the finish safely on 2 legs.

The GU support station. Gels and Chomps galore...

Into dairy farm where I got lost last year, this part saw a change of route which is very refreshing for me. Mixture of trail and tarmac, I truly enjoyed this area as the volunteers were cheerful here too! The first and probably the biggest GU Energy support station was also here. Fueled myself up here before going into the trails again and soon arriving at Zhenghua Park. Familiar place here, I spotted Yek Bun and a few others cheering for runners just below the overhead bridge here.

Running through the thick bushes at the KTM track...

As I make my way to Mandai, the sun began to shine. A new friend and customer at my work place, Jamie passed me here near Mandai Orchard Garden, a place which I did not like due to lack of trees. Haha... Spotted a fellow runner who is suffering cramps here and I stopped to help him and to make sure he will shake it off. And he did, continuing his adventure slowly but safely from there.

Finally arriving at the crossing of Mandai Road, Lorong Asrama is next to welcome the runners. and just before entering that area, Yek Bun was there again and he offered me a refreshing cold barley drink! I must say it was HEAVENLY! 

Inside Lorong Asrama this area is a love and hate area. Not easy to run here due to the heat and also the big rocky terrain with ascend and descend, but this area is also filled with memories I had with my friends. David passed me steadily at this area. Seeing him running so well, I did not want to call out to him for fears he will slow down to accompany me. And when I got to Hill 265, I was hoping that Syah will catch up, which he DID! Just like last year, we pose for a photo again before attacking it. And this year, I did not go down on 4 as the shoes I wore this time provided the sufficient traction to bring me up.

Cam-whoring with Syah before attacking Hill 265...

I ran with Syah for a while before I spotted Fred who is cramping all over running his maiden 100KM. Although he is complaining, I can see that he is still in a good shape and with only 20KM plus to go, I know he will nail it. Just before exiting Loron Asrama, I met an Indonesian Chinese runner Zedy and we spend a few moments together walking till the support station. And just when I was about to cross the Mandari Road crossing again, I saw James Liew whom I met during Craze Ultra 2012 running strongly on his second loop. Way to go! Yek Bun was still here and this time he offered me some grapes which I politely rejected as I just something earlier. Can't go in mate but thanks yeah!

Continuing on, the weather took a change for a better. Of all the 3 The North Face 100 Singapore I did, this year rather different. There were signs of rain but it held on. The clouds kept the sun ray's at bay. Fast forwarding to the entrance of dairy farm where I pop out somewhere near the rifle range, I saw Lin Hong manning the support station there and gave him a wave! Took a break here chatting with him before I continued on. As every step forward nears me to the finish, I began to find some extra strength in me and I began to run more often now but still keeping it to a very easy pace.

And finally, into the area which I like a lot, the golf course area. I continue my walk and running here till I suddenly heard someone shouting to me "MR BURGER". I looked back and to my surprise I saw Ben! I would have though he will have been far far ahead of me. However, due to his recent viral infection, he walked all the way from the start only to start running when he saw me. And I was like OMG! He walked all the way here and still managed to pass me? I better go find a hole and hide myself in there, I joked.

Into the final stretch where Lornie Trail is, I know the end is near. I met Zedy again and we ran for a moment together. And when I finally saw the light at the end of the trail, I was going strong until I saw a guy wearing a 2ndskin shirt. I slowed down wanting to snap a photo of it to show to Eugene of 2ndskin but when that particular person turned around, I was shocked to see that it was Roy! Hahaha... Then at the exit, Nic called me to ask where I was as I earlier text him a cheeky message. Haha... 

Then 500M became 400M and shorter as I near the finish line. Friends like Azrul, Syed, Nyoman and many others were at the side cheering. And finally, I ran through the finish gantry clocking a personal worst timing of mine from all the 3 editions I've ran in, in 07:46:38 hours. Hahaha... I was glad though that I made it back with no discomfort to the chest and it's one event that I truly enjoyed.

The finisher's medal...

Rested while exchanging our running experience with some others and also awaiting others to return, it was a great bonding session with the others. And the moment of truth happen when our hero Yim who completed his 100KM TMBT trail and 100 miles Craze Ultra 3 weeks ago returned! Am so proud of him and certainly an inspiration to many others for his physical and mental strength is something truly admirable. 

Chilling out with my ice cream and Roy...

Despite the shorter distance of just 48KM and the hiccups of the finisher medals being a 100KM finisher version (rectified medal will be send out on a later date), the event this year round was a major success. It's a step forward and I can see the effort being put in by the team and I'm proud of them. 

I had fun running this event this year and again, more friends were made as this is certainly one beauty of running ultra events. And it's also god to see many new runners especially those whom I have given advise to tackling the distance successfully.

I would like to thank Walter for sponsoring Team Running Lab Malaysia 3 complimentary race slots for our runners. And also to thank and congratulate the team from Outdoor Venture, The North Face, organisers and sponsors for a job well done this year. Despite a few hiccups, I would say this is a very positive result and improvement from last year's edition. Keep up the good work and we hope to run an even better The North Face 100 Singapore next year!

* a note of THANKS to the photographers who took excellent shots as posted above that will serve as a lifetime memories.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

ASICS Piranha SP4...

By Frank

The lightest shoe ever made by ASICS weighting at just about 120grams, the ASICS Piranha SP 4 (PSP4) is a racing flat that I truly enjoy very much. Coming in a very sleek white, black and gold finish. the PSP4 has a very low heel to toe differential measuring at only 5mm.

The ASICS Piranha SP4...

Lateral view of the shoes...

Medial view of the shoe...

The upper of the PSP4 is made of some lightweight mesh that offers a very excellent finish as most graphics are heat welded on it, thus minimising seams within the shoe. Both lateral and medial toebox areas of the shoe has no seams at all thus allowing excellent fit for the toes. Being offered in only a "D" width, a seamless option will allow some expandable feature from the material itself hence offering a hugging but yet snug fit.

Heat welded graphics hence no seams and an expandable toebox...

To reduce weight, flat laces are used again just like in the ASICS GEL-Hyper Speed 5. It kept coming loose and it will be best to choose to stay tied laces or even bungee cord laces. The tongue offers no padding but a very cleaver feature is that it is a continuous structure continuing from the shoe's medial side hence offers no movement during running.

The continuous tongue...

The collar too offers minimal padding. However, a very tough structure is used at the heel counter to protect the Achilles region which may be plastic reinforcement. However sadly to say, the poor finishing at this area gave me a poor impression to this great shoe. The joint on a particular black stripe are not done properly hence leaving an impression of a poor cosmetic design. And a quick check with my friend Jimmy who happens to have the same shoe too had his one peeled off.

Noticed the badly done joint just above the number "4"...

The midsole is built using Solyte EVA material, the lighter yet softer cousin of the tougher and heavier SpEVA. I guess I understand the reason as a shoe being this thin, a little cushioning may help hence I truly agree on the use of it.

The outsole is totally flat with ASICS High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR) placed at strategic placed at strategic high wear and tear area, which one of them at the ball of the feet forefoot area! A 5mm differential shoe, this is one area that needs reinforcement as mid to forefoot striking is made quite possible. Black beads are placed at the forefoot area to offer traction and of course durability. And speaking of durability, the outsole of this shoe does not last! Although AHAR is used, the amount is of very thin and it only takes a couple of marathon distance or so to probably eat into it.

Outsole of the forefoot area...

Reinforcement of AHAR at the heel outsole...

The PSP4 is an overall great shoe probably just plagued by a few cosmetic problem and a very steep price. If you want speed and instant feedback from the very low profile stack height that offers superior propulsion and don't mind the very high wear and tear rate, look no further than this very deadly "fish".If there is only 1 improvement that I will like to have in its successor, ASICS can consider to reduce the heel to toe differential to either maybe 4mm or go totally flat at 0mm! Oh and yes. The PSP4 is of the ASICS Japanese line-up hence do try out for size first before committing as it truly is very different.

The ASICS Piranha SP 4 is now available at major ASICS authorised dealer and retails at a recommended selling price of RM429.00

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

DNF, Check-Up and A Lesson Learnt...

By Frank

As most of you will have known, I suffered my first Did Not Finish (DNF) at the Craze Ultra 2012 slightly more than a couple of weeks ago due to chest tightness and shortness of breathe. It was a bitter pill to swallow for being my first but I was glad that nothing happen to me and that I get a chance to run yet another day.

So what happened that day? At the morning before the race, I was tired and a little grumpy too. I did not have a good pre-race preparation hence that may have contributed to it. And from my blood and urine test that was released to me by Phil just last week, both my blood and urine sodium level was a little on the low side. Not that it is alarming or did I suffered cramps during the race, it is something I need to look into still.

During the race itself, despite the crazy hot and humid weather, I was all OK till hitting the 60KM plus mark when I felt my first problem. And upon arriving at the checkpoint, I took a rest and felt better before continuing on to the half way point at 82KM before calling it a day there after suffering the second round of symptoms and as per advised by the medics and friends.

So upon returning home, I took a week's plus long rest to allow my body to settle down before going for a medical check-up. And the result was out yesterday. All is good from my heart size, heart rate, cholesterol level to uric acid level. But the exception was my blood pressure which was a little on the high side.

What may have attributed to my blood pressure result was probably due to my stress, fatigue and also most likely from the happenings that affected my mood lately thanks to a certain company.

So lesson learnt from my first DNF:
1) Spend less time on the legs especially the day before the race.
2) Have a good rest, turn in early the night before and get to know your travel mates way before travelling together.
3) Call it quits when you have to especially when symptoms appears for the second time.

So from this entry, I hope to share with everyone that there is no point to continue on during an event or even a normal workout should you feel uncomfortable. There is always another to join in. Most important is that we are still breathing and still living in this world. Cast aside your ego, call it quits when you have to, and the reward will be more and more things to look out for in the future. And for me, I now have the clearance to participate in this weekend's The North Face Singapore 50KM Ultra. Yeap, and this is my reward for being smart (self praise can? :p)

* Also I would like to take this opportunity to THANK everyone who has shown their concern towards me and also to those who have visited me at my work place throughout the last 2 weeks or so.

Friday, October 05, 2012

ASICS GEL-Hyper Speed 5...

By Frank

A favourite racing shoe for the current American top half marathoner Ryan Hall. the ASICS GEL-Hyper Speed 5 (HS5) as the name suggest is built for speed. With a stack height of 14mm and with a heel to toe differential of 7mm, this is one shoe that is probably considered close to minimalist since barely any of ASICS proprietary technologies are built into it.

The ASICS GEL-Hyper Speed 5...

I received the HS5 courtesy of ASICS Malaysia for my participation in the Craze Ultra 2012. It'a a perfect race to put the shoe to test on how well it will stack against the many odds.

Lateral view of the shoe...

Medial view of the shoe...

The shoe's upper is made of complete traditional overlays that looks like any other traditional shoes. The material looks cheap but it does its job holding up pretty well. I will rather to have a synthetic material like those found on the ASICS Gel-DS Racer 9 (DSR9) as it saves weight, allows better ventilation and also minimize the seams within the shoe's interior. Although seams were very noticeable, it did not cause me any irritation at all. Fit wise, I found the size to be slight a little bigger than the DSR9. Though being a racing shoe, the toebox is of reasonable space and I've no problems with it despite after running 82KM at Craze Ultra 2012.

Traditional overlays with lots of stitching...

The tongue is well padded but it does seem to move around which was very irritating. And as for the laces, ASICS chose to use the flat laces to save weight. I'm no fan of flat laces as it tends to loosen easily. I had to double or even triple tie it to prevent it and that may cause some problems undoing it to take off the shoes especially during an ultra race when I just had to relieve my poor feet. The collar was reasonable padded to give a secure hug for the Achilles region.

The padded collar which does a good job...

Earlier, I mentioned that although with a 7mm heel to toe differential, this shoe is only close to minimalist as there is still a midfoot arch shank to assist in pronation control. I rather it not be there and just leave the overall to be flat like the K-Swiss Blade-Foot Run or Blade-Light Run.

The shoe's midsole is made of SpEVA instead of the lighter yet softer Solyte with a rear foot GEL cushioning system. I've grown to actually like the harder and more responsive SpEVA rubber as I don't feel being "drown" by a softer material. However, being at 14mm stack height, and for some reasons, I still found myself being "drown" with every step and a little bit more effort is needed to propel my next step. And to protect the midsole from wear and tear, the ever trustworthy ASICS High Abrasion Rubber is placed at strategic areas. The forefoot area is design like a web to provide traction especially on wet surfaces and the design is pretty similar to the ASICS Skysensor Neo. The outsol alsoe consist of a few ventilation and drainage ports which come in handy when the weather either gets too hot or wet. 

The durability of the shoe was put to the maximum test at the harsh conditions of the Craze Ultra 2012. Though most parts of the shoes held up well, the same can't be said with the outsole. After running 82KM, the forefoot area melted away literary leaving only a piece of smoothen rubber under the intense heat of say about 40 degree Celsius. The heel area was fine though and this has proven what a 7mm or lower  heel to toe differential can do to our running gait. 

Gone after 82KM of torture...

Overall and personally speaking, the HS5 is an over-rated shoe. It's still a good shoe but I would not call it great. The ASICS Skysensor Neo and also the GEL-DS Racer 9 deserves a much more better attention. And I do think that the colour-way can be improved. The one strength of this shoe is probably the affordable price.

The ASICS GEL-Hyper Speed 5 retails at a recommended selling price of RM349.00 and is now available at major ASICS authorised dealers.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Craze Ultra 2012...

Event: Craze Ultra 2012
Venue: MacRitchie Reservoir
Date: 22 September 2012
Time: 7.00am
Distance: 100 miles / 161KM
Shoe: ASICS GEL-Hyper Speed 5
By Frank

My longest running distance has been clocked at the 100KM Sundown Marathon 2011. And my toughest run to date will be the Comrades Marathon 2012 "Down" run. Then came the chance to change all that when my good friend Ben of Running Guild Singapore, the brainchild behind the Twilight Ultra Challenge came up with the idea of Craze Ultra with the distance of 100 miles or 160KM!

A last minute arrangement, I was to run my first ever 100 miles race, in helping to raise funds for the cause I am championing for CARIF. Arrangement was put in and by the evening of 21 September 2012, a website was launch hoping that with my running effort, I can raise about RM5,000 within a month. It was certainly an honour to raise funds once again, but there was a little pressure indeed as the distance is certainly unknown to me. To know more about it, hit this LINK.

Fast forwarding to the event, I travelled down to Singapore a day before the event on board Jetstar with Bernard, Boon, Steven and Uncle. Roy is greatly missed here. Upon arrival and doing all the necessary checking in at The Hive Backpackers near Boon Keng MRT, we proceeded to the race venue of MacRitchie Reservoir to collect our race pack in the evening. And once done, it's back to the hostel to call it a day. I was really tired and it wasn't a good sign. I've spend too much time on foot and I was "boiling".

I didn't sleep well. In fact I woke up even before my alarm went off. All I put in was only like 4 hours and not a quality one too. No turning back, I did all my necessary pre run ritual before leaving for race site at 6am. And arriving there, the place was a lively one. Met familiar faces and new friends too. Had my blood drawn by Phil's associate to studies which I myself am interested to know. It's only 15ml by the way.

Part of the Malaysian Craze contingent...

The race was flag off sharply at 7am. I quickly settled into a comfy pace at about 7.30 minutes per kilometer. I was soon called out by Adam 1Arm Runner and we ran and chatted together before another familiar face join in, the ever inspirational Yim. We continued on till we hit the first checkpoint (CP1) which I did not stop as I am still fully equipped.

On the way to CP2, I was again with Yim and together, we ran pass the old now abandoned Woodlands Immigration. It was memories for me as this is where I travelled along during my treatment days some 20 years ago. And by the coastal stretch, I can see my hometown Johor Bahru though covered in haze. Soon, CP2 appeared and I absolutely like this area, located within a small cozy park. Hydrated myself and powered up my phone to post updates on my Facebook before continuing on.

To CP3 at Sembawang, the weather was still pretty OK though signs of a burning sun is quickly showing. I quickly settled in with a group of runners with Tammy, Kartono and Chee Ming being the first, followed by another group of 100KM runners. It's good to be running with a group and though I kept loosing them due to my slower pace, we always regrouped at the traffic light junction when the light turns red. Hahaha...

At CP3 with Chee Ming, Kartono and Tammy...

Arriving at CP3, I was glad to see Phil and Yee Hua there. Took some watermelons and hydrated myself with water before continuing on to CP4 located at Yishun. And along the route, met more runners which include seasoned ultra runner James.

Got lost for a while, but the map saved us and we arrived safely at CP4 after running pass many traffic lights, MRT station, bus stations and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. But that's not before a familiar face appear some 500M before the checkpoint. It was Kash with family! And she brought along supplies which we runners under the heat are needing for. Took 2 gulps of Cola before carrying on to the checkpoint and that's where Poh Chye and Jeff caught up. Spent a longer time here as the journey to the next checkpoint will be a torturous one as per advised by Yek Bun. It's going to BURN!

Thank you Kash for the support...

Applied sunscreen to almost every exposed skin and carried on. And yes, it was an open route with the sun blazing hot! It was the journey to the Punggol Waterway. Most runners were reduced to walking here, and by the time we hit the park, it was the sand dunes that welcomed us. It was just as hot but as the journey continued, I spotted a lady selling cold drinks by the side. Without any hesitation, I bought a bottle of isotonic drink and gulp it down. I was joined by many other which includes David Wong, a fellow Comrades runner too which I continued on with him sharing ideas on our passion of Comrades. We walked together as our tummies was filled with the drinks we gulped down instantly. We were too bloated to run. Hahaha...

We finally saw a red bridge in the distance. The checkpoint is near. But we were still walking till we are very near to the bridge cause there was a photographer there! Hahaha... We were welcomed by Steven and Uncle who is waiting for Bernard and Boon from the 100KM category. Checked in and other runners soon arrived too from Jeff to Sallehan. Kash was here too and again, I took Cola from her as the station ran out of ice to keep the beverage cold. I was also given an apple. Though my appetite wasn't there, I knew I had to eat and so did I. It was quite a long stop here but when I was ready, I departed with Sallehan.

The journey from CP5 to CP6 was horrendous! It was a giant 15KM loop which will bring us back to the same checkpoint. Both 5th and 6th is actually the same. But the problem with this loop is an open space concrete jungle. I was searching for a washroom to wet myself but to no avail. Myself and Sallehan was heating up badly. We walked together for about 7KM or so before I started running myself again. Then I took a long stop with Bryan who was resting shortly in front. Off we went together and soon, some trees greeted us.

At Buangkok Drive, where the Institute of Mental Health was. Perhaps I shall just check in here...

Nearly got lost but there's always Ben. Gave him a call at the crossing between Hougang Avenue 10 and Buangkok Drive. The directional marker board was there but the arrowhead was missing hence my story. A volunteer came by, and soon I was on track again. I needed the checkpoint badly as I felt something is going wrong with me. I pushed on and I could finally see the red bridge ahead. Sallehan overtook me to it as I could no longer run. I walked to it and was greeted by Yek Bun. Told him about my discomfort before I removed my race gear and went into sleep mode. My chest was tight and I was short of breath. I was blowing up. I rested and dozed off pretty instantly for about 15 minutes. A power nap indeed.

I felt better after waking up but I did some extra settings on my Polar heart rate monitor as I knew chest tightness is something I had to look into. I was supposed to meet up with Karen on my return trip here at midnight but the chances are really low and I did not want to hold her back. Hence I text her to carry on without me should I not arrive on time. Cooled myself down with some cold water and hydrated myself. Packed some ice into my hydration pack before continuing off with Sallehan into the darkness. It has been around 12 hours on the road for us already. I told him to carry on by himself as I did not want to slow him down. However, he soon detoured to the side and laid by the grass. He was experiencing dizziness and I accompanied him till a volunteer arrived and we radioed the medic for assistance before I carried on myself.

I felt better after walking for a bit. I began to jog a little and the rhythm began to showed again. Navigated some dark stretch before arriving at the town of Pasir Ris. I spotted a McDonalds across the street and I knew I had to eat despite my poor appetite. Bought myself a small fries and a large Cola before carrying on. I only managed half the pack of fries and I think I overdid it on the large Cola.

CP7 showed up shortly at 70KM and I was greeted by a close Facebook friend Zin whom I am meeting for the first time. It was really nice of her to show her support for the runners for dropping by at such a late hour. I really appreciate it. I had to leave though as I only had about 2 hours left to meet the cut off point at CP8 which is 80KM.

Blazing off from CP7 with a large Cola...

I continued on after being recharged a little and despite getting lost twice in the darkness, I managed to arrive at CP8 along Changi Beach with 30 minutes to spare and was greeted by Christopher who was volunteering here. Bryan arrived earlier and had already called it a day As for myself, as I pushed hard to arrive here before being cut off, my chest tightness returned and I started asking myself if this was it. I knew myself that sometimes, there is no such thing as third time lucky. Took a long break there and soon consulted the medic if I should continue on. Her reply as much as expected was to call it day. And from here, I consulted 3 of my friends over the phone, Chee Kong, Roy and Pui San. Although I knew it myself, I just had to hear it from someone. And after close to an hour of decision making, I finally threw in my towel. I told Christopher I am pulling out and he took note of it before Ben was informed. And so, I waited for my pick-up to be ferry back to MacRtichie Reservoir.

And in a blink of an eye, it was all over. My resume has now a DNF (Did Not Finish) status. I continued resting there and soon other Fred too arrive to support the runners. Adam 1Arm Runner and Carin arrived too though outside the cut off time. But as long Ben did not instruct anything, Christopher told them to continued on. Carin tried to ask me to tag along but I did not want to give her any problem should anything happens to me.

Kash then arrived shortly and she volunteered to drive me back to MacRitchie Reservoir. I accepted her kind gesture and was soon back there with Ben, Yee Hua, Phil and the other volunteers where I rested. I was getting better just like how it did earlier at CP6 but I just did not want to risk it to continue on with the run. I stayed to wait on for the arrival of other runners but more and more runners who came back in taxis appeared instead. Carin and Sallehan showed up, followed by Jamie, Hayden and then more and more 100 miles runners appeared. It was a a sad scene. Then, the first leading 100 miles runner appeared and this brought joy to the scene as he completed his epic run in just below 20 hours! What an inspiration and mood lifter!

The DNF club! :( With Sallehan and Carin

And so, my first official DNFand I have the honoured of giving it to Ben (*grin). Craze Ultra is certainly a tough nut to crack. The route was actually nice and not too tough. The issue was with the weather as it was blazing hot and probably my lack of rest. As life progresses, I will analyse myself on what went wrong and right now at the time of writing this, I can think of the following:

1) Pre run day events
2) Lack of sleep
3) Side effects from my treatment days
4) Lack of training
5) Stress at work

The overall statistics..

Although it's a bitter pill to swallow especially being my first time, I knew it's all over. Time to move on and learn from the experience to become stronger next. Sometimes, its good to gamble, but to gamble wisely we must. However, I really felt sad that I failed in my mission for CARIF. Though I know I tried my best and gave my everything, I still felt I let my donors down. I am truly SORRY to all.

The only positive thing is that I am still standing and moving on 2 legs and there is always another event to run at!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who had played a part and cared for me through my entire journey and in no order, they are:

1) Ben, Yee Hua, Phil, Yek Bun and the rest of the oganising committee and volunteers from Running Guild for this truly crazy but amazing event.
2) Professor Teo, Datin Dr. Amy, CARIF and Simply Giving for the last minute job in helping me setup a fund raising cause for cancer research.
3) Kash for popping out of no where and showering everyone with her care, motivation and of course supplies of drinks and food. And also for the drive back to MacRitchie Reservoir.
4) Zin for taking time off to pay me a surprise motivational visit at CP7 during the night
5) The medic plus XiuFang and Christopher at CP8 for the care and advise given to me. And the call to throw in the towel by Chee Kong, Roy and Pui San. I just needed someone to decide for me.
6) To all runners I met along the way for the friendship and companionship throughout this ridiculous event!
7) Too all donors for my cause for the contribution.
8) And to everyone else who have message me along the way or even after the event for your care and concern.