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Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Energizer Night Race Shambles!

Wonderful organization, great support staff, excellent signages, loads of water stations, numerous medical stations, skilled marshals, polite officials and professional accountability. That was everything the Energizer Night Race was not!!!

The run itself was wonderful, to say the least. The thrill of running on the very same track that formula 1 drivers race on was out of this world. But that's about all that was great about the ENR, a race I'm NEVER taking part in again.

I knew there would be some issues with the race, most races don't always go very smoothly. But I thought since they did organize this race last year, the organizers would be more experienced in organizing a marathon but how wrong I was.

I should have realized things were going to be bad when I had to pay the exorbitant parking and then had to be content with no proper signages on what to do and where to report for the race. Never mind, I said, after all, I'm here to run and after slogging it out for 21K and crossing the line exhausted and then standing in a long queue to collect the goodie bag and finishers medal, they decide to shut down the collection centre cos they cannot ascertain if some runners actually did two loops around the track.

And the worst part was they were not even apologetic about the entire screw up. I mean, if some of the runners wanted to cheat themselves and not do two loops, that's their problem but you should have been prepared for something like this when you decided on the route. Having to make runners run two loops in the track without a proper way of distinguishing if they really did was asking for trouble. What happens? Yes, chaos reigned.

I heard people in the 5.5K category  was given the 42K finishers medal. How in heaven's name that happened I really can't say seeing as how the 5.5K runners would have come in about half an hour to an hour and it's easy to tell that they're NOT 42K runners. I even heard that the winner of the 21K was classified as coming in 74th placing (shocked, cos timing chips were issued). I don't know if all that are really true or not by chaos did reign and I felt cheated after the run.

Let's just say that I'm not ever taking part in any Energizer organized events in the future and would just stick to running events that are organized by professionals.

But all that said and done, I had a great time with my run. I managed to keep to my goal of doing a sub two hour for my run. I was a little off my normal pace cos I was a little thrown off by the inclines that littered my run, from the outer loop to the inside of the track. While I've seen the track on TV and knew that there would be inclines but the inclines were in reality much steeper than what the darned TV camera's aired during the F1 race.

By the second loop around the track I was already tiring out considerably and was on the verge of getting cramps in my legs at the final 1K to the finish line. But I managed to hold on and crossed that finish line in my targeted time :D It would have been a wonderful evenings event if it wasn't for the lousy organization on the part of Energizer.

I wonder how they're gonna make this right. They mentioned that they're gonna post the goodie bags and the finishers medals but I seriously don't expect to receive anything. No loss I suppose. What matters most is that I enjoyed my run and can't wait for my next race.

From now on, it's gonna be Duracell batteries for me ... LOL!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sun Med Jogathon 2011

Took a couple of hours off work today to head to Sunway Medical Centre with wifey. No, nothing is wrong with either of us and no, we also weren't visiting anyone in the hospital. We actually went there to register for the SunMed Jogathon that's slated for the end of May.

While it's only a 6K race, both wifey and me decided to take part seeing as how it's not too far from our home. Besides, like I said in my previous post, a run is still a run, distance notwithstanding.

The run is organized in conjunction with Better Hearing and Speech month. Proceeds will go towards fulfilling a child’s wish from the Children’s Wish Society of Malaysia, a charity for terminally ill children. Since it's for a good cause, we didn't mind signing up.

After that we headed to Runnerz Circle, a specialty running shop recommended by Jamie Pang. Wifey was getting a little annoyed with her laces always coming undone during her runs and I saw on his blog that he had on a pair of lock laces on his shoes. After inquiring with him, he so kindly directed me to get in touch with Frank Chong of Runnerz Circle and today we went over there to get her lock laces and in the process I got myself a Spibelt to lug around my ID, keys and some cash for my runs.

I must say that Frank is a very friendly and extremely helpful guy and I most definitely am going to make more visits to his place, seeing as how I do travel to his shop location quite a bit in my daily work day. I'm glad to know that we have a place like Runnerz Circle nearby cos finding a dedicated running specialty store in this country is really non existent, as far as I'm concerned anyway.

Well, wifey is pretty happy with her lock laces and can't wait to go for her run tomorrow :D Besides tomorrow will be our final training session until this Saturday where we'll be running in the Energizer Night Race. Though it's quite a distance away, both of us are looking forward to that run. Wish us luck :D

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weekend Running

The weather looks a little gloomy out there. Hoping it doesn't rain cos it'll ruin my scheduled weekend run with wifey. For one day of the week, I'm her unofficial coach (LOL!) and I'm planning a little different route than what we did last week, something a little longer.

I love scouting these new routes so that I can try them out on my own the following day when I do run on my own. There really isn't much good running routes in USJ where I live. Most of it is through residential areas and 90% of it is mostly heavy with traffic, even on a Sunday.

I try to find routes that I don't have to make loops just to accumulate the miles cos I'm a person who hates running in loops, it can get pretty boring. I like to source one huge big loop for my runs and so far, the longest distance I can find for my runs without having to make repetitive loops is close to 12K and even then I have to brave some pretty heavy traffic and crossing some busy junctions.

The current 8k plus route that I run with wifey is pretty decent with very low volume traffic but it's just too short so today I'm adding some additional distance to the run. She's shaping up pretty well for the Energizer Night Race next week and I expect her to do some decent times :D I'm also really looking forward to the race and to be honest, I do have some butterflies in my stomach anticipating race day.

I haven't participated in any races this year and this will be the first so to say I'm excited is putting it mildly. I've been training pretty hard for this race to the point of over-training a month or two ago and suffering from some excruciating shin splints which thank the running gods above has completely healed. I'm planning to do a sub two hour run for Energizer 21K and I think I should be able to complete in that time.

I've run a few 21K training runs and so far have come in at 1 hour 50 minutes on average so putting a target of sub 2 hours is pretty reasonable, barring an injury (touchwood!). After the Energizer race, I'll be running in a fun run event in Sunway called the Sun Med Jogathon or something, I totally forgot what it's really called. It's a 6K charity run in conjunction with Better Hearing and Speech month. Proceeds will go towards fulfilling a child’s wish from the Children’s Wish Society of Malaysia, a charity for terminally ill children.

I'm not too keen on runs under 10K but since it's nearby the place I live and it's for charity, so what the heck :D It's slated for the 29th of May and the closing date for registration is the 15th of April, something which I should do fast seeing as how I haven't even signed up for it yet ... LOL!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Nike+ GPS SportsWatch

I went for a run with wifey yesterday and for the first time since she got hooked on running, we started and finished together :D We normally have very different pace and speeds. I'm competitive and technical about my running and am concerned about my pace, type of run, speeds, etc while she's the more leisurely runner who just runs cause she enjoys the exhilaration of running.

Because of that, we don't get to run together. I'm way faster than her (LOL!) but yesterday I thought it would be fun to run with her at her pace, which is pretty good, mind you and found it to be an entirely different experience. It was a nice paced run, very relaxed and easy for me and I even managed to enjoy the scenery for once. I'm normally too focused on my run that I don't bother much about my surroundings.

It was nice to be able to run with her and we've set a run together once a week :D It'll be a day after one of my long run sessions. I'm actually already looking forward to our next run together. And speaking of wifey, her running has improved by leaps and bounds and she's able to complete distances like 10K non-stop in very respectable timing too. For someone who never liked running, I take my hat (if I wore one that is) off to her :D

On a different topic altogether, I have found new love! Yes, as much as I love wifey from the bottom of my heart, I have fallen for a new love. The moment I laid my eyes on my new love, I couldn't stop drooling. My new love is none other than the new Nike+ GPS Sportswatch that has been released in the US and UK a few days back ... LOL!

I read a tweet from Jamie Pang who tweeted about this new love of mine and the moment I saw the picture of it, I made up my mind that I'm gonna buy this the moment it comes to our shores! This thing beats any other GPS enabled watch hands down in terms of looks and it has one advantage that the other GPS watches (at least I think so) doesn't. If there's no GPS lock up, you can still use the Nike+ GPS SportsWatch to record your stats cos it still works with your shoe sensor. Awesome!

I already own the Nike+ SportsBand but the moment this comes here, I'm ditching the SportsBand and getting this. It's a thing of beauty and it doesn't hurt that it comes in my favourite black and lime green color scheme too :D It's touted to be priced in the range of $199-$299 and is expected to be launched here in July or August. I'm still drooling looking at this thing of beauty.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Time To Run ...

April is here and I'm kinda excited. First off, my first competitive race for the year will be starting in about two weeks time. I can hardly wait for that. I'm been having race withdrawal symptoms for quite a while now ... LOL!

The last race I ran was last year and if I'm not mistaken, it was the Asia Masters Race or something along those lines. See, I told you its been a while since I ran a race. I've got my eye set on quite a few events this year namely the NTV7 run, the Adidas King of the Road, The Standard Chartered Marathon (where I insanely want to run in the 42K event!), The PJ Half Marathon (The race event that got me hooked on running all those years ago), The Mizuno Wave run, The MPSJ run (for some very personal reasons), The Coca-Cola run, The Malakoff 12K, The Penang Bridge International Marathon, just to name a few.

Wifey thinks I'm a little crazy in wanting to take part in as many events as possible this year though she has her sights set on a few herself :D Right now, we're both looking forward to the Energizer Night Race. We've both taken a a step up in our training at the moment to prepare for the event and hopefully we'll do well :D The only thing is we won't be in the same event. She's in the 11K and I'm going for the 21K. I just hope it doesn't rain. I hate running in the rain.

Took a two day break from running this week. Was planning a run with wifey this evening but that didn't work out cos I was stuck in a two and a half hour traffic snarl and by the time I reached home, it was a little too late to run, besides my left leg hurt like crazy. Yes, I still drive a manual car. In situations like these, I wish I was driving an auto.

Since it's the weekend, it's going to be a long run session tomorrow evening. Would love to run in the morning but lazy old me is simply NOT a morning person ... LOL! Anyways, have a happy weekend and if you're hitting the roads tomorrow, remember, run happy :D