Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Press Release: MPI Generali Run 2016

MPI Generali Run 2016 offers community more than running

The fifth MPI Generali Insurans Berhad’s annual community run continues to promote healthy lifestyle and work-life balance

Family day concept debuted

Project Good Deeds collected 267 pairs of sports shoes and around 1,490 T-shirts

Kuala Lumpur – MPI Generali Insurans Berhad held its fifth annual community run at Padang Merbuk last Sunday.

Participants gathered as early as 6:00am at the heart of the city for the event. After an aerobic warm-up session by Pilatique, MPI Generali Run 2016 officially started with the first flag-off. Soon, Bukit Tunku was awash with the bright orange T-shirt of the Run, which represents the last colour block in the Run’s logo.

Participants waiting for the signal to kickstart a healthy year

Runners were categorised by gender, seniority and route distances 5km, 9km and 12km. There was also a 3km Fun Walk for participants who wanted in on the exercise but prefer a more leisurely pace. These categories serve the Run’s theme of “Healthy Lifestyle – Work-Life Balance” well and continue to promote the Run’s objective of encouraging the general public from all walks of life to take up running as a healthy and sustainable recreational activity.

For the first time, the Run introduced the Speedsters and Cruisers groupings, which are MPI Generali Run’s version of the Wave Start practice. They enable runners with similar abilities to start the race together. This way, the race route would be less congested and contribute to a safer and more enjoyable experience for all categories.

Besides the usual Sponsors’ and Partners’ booths, participants were treated to a bustling atmosphere at Padang Merbuk Car Park where they could find bubble performances, balloon sculptors and assorted refreshments like popcorn, cotton candy and Indian snacks.

Project Leader Ms Jayne Liew approved of the atmosphere: “We want this Run to be a family day affair for our loyal followers. Some of them have been with us since the first Run, and they would bring their friends and family members who would also run or take part in the Fun Walk. Now, instead of just fun from running their own races, they get to enjoy some quality time together after the Race.”

MPI Generali Run 2016 paints Kuala Lumpur orange with runners on 10 January 2016!

The Run’s corporate social responsibility aspect, Project Good Deeds, continues to make another record collection of pre-loved sports shoes and T-shirts for the Orang Asli community: 267 pairs of sports shoes and around 1,490 T-shirts [compared to 207 pairs of shoes and around 1,282 T-shirts previously]. The recycling project has now increased its total number of beneficiaries to 10 since the 2014 Run.

All the Champions were new faces to the top spot in the Run except for Ms Sheela a/p Samivellu, the Champion of Women’s Veteran (12km) category. Ms Sheela a/p Samivellu clinched the first prize in the Women’s Open (12km) category in MPIB Run 2013 (the previous name of the Run).

Ultimately, MPI Generali Run is never about the winning, but the doing. The annual run will continue to help the community start the new year on a healthy footing!

Triumphant MPI Generali Run 2016 Champions with Project Leader Ms Jayne Liew (first from left), MPI Generali’s CEO Mr Oliver Tan (fourth from left), Chairman En Mohd Azlan bin Mohammed (sixth from left), Director Madam Tam Chiew Lin (sixth from right), COO Mr Liew Yaw Lian (third from right), Director Kheoh And Yeng (second from right) and Mr Wan Yew Leong (first from right)

MPI GENERALI INSURANS BERHAD

MPI Generali Insurans Berhad (“MPI Generali”), formerly known as Multi-Purpose Insurans Bhd, is a strategic partnership between Multi-Purpose Capital Holdings Berhad, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of MPHB Capital Berhad, a public-listed company, and Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A., one of the largest global insurance providers with a rich heritage going back to 1831. MPI Generali Insurans Berhad’s core business is underwriting of general insurance.

MPI GENERALI RUN 2016

Back for the fifth year, MPI Generali Run 2016 (formerly known as Multi-Purpose Insurans Run or MPIB Run) kickstarts the Malaysian running calendar on 10 January 2016. This annual community run once again took place at Padang Merbuk, Jalan Parlimen, KL. MPI Generali is proud to position itself as the pioneer general insurer in organising a community-based run in Malaysia in 2012. The inaugural event successfully gathered 3,750 runners, and for the second, third and fourth years between 2013 and 2015 respectively, 5,000 runners participated – an increase of 33% from the inaugural run.


MPI Generali Run’s theme of Healthy Lifestyle – Work-Life Balance strikes a timely chord for modern lives. The Run’s objective is to inspire a love for running among members of the community.

Pre-race day running clinic sessions are organised for new and seasoned runners to familiarise themselves with the run routes and to encourage first-time runners to take up running as a sustainable recreational activity.

The sponsors and partners for MPI Generali Run 2016 include New Balance (Official Apparel), 100 Plus (Official Isotonic), Pacific Regency (Hotel Partner), Running Malaysia (Media Partner – Magazine), Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur (Medical Partner), Affin Hwang Capital, BP Healthcare Group, Mamee, Sworke, Magnum, NestlĂ© Fitnesse, NestlĂ© Milo, Pilatique, Garmin, KT Tape, Leong Adjustment Sdn. Bhd., Massimo, Penyelarasan Angkasa Sdn Bhd, Simply Juice and Sugar Kid Malaysia.

Balloon sculptor entertaining the crowd with his skills during MPI Generali Run 2016, which also doubles up as a family day for the runners

PROJECT GOOD DEEDS

Project Good Deeds is the corporate social responsibility initiative that has complemented MPI Generali Run since 2014. The recycling project collects pre-loved sports shoes and T-shirts to be donated to the Orang Asli community.

The past six beneficiaries of Project Good Deeds are Kampung Orang Asli Bakok, Kampung Orang Asli Bukit Damar, Kampung Orang Asli Bukit Jenuk, Kampung Orang Asli Sungai Lalang, Kampung Orang Asli Sungai Mai and Kampung Orang Asli Ulu Yam.

The present Project Good Deeds will benefit Kampung Orang Ali Air Terentang, Kampung Orang Asli Bukit Baja, Kampung Orang Asli Ulu Tual Pos Sinderut.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Skechers GOrun Ride 5 Review

Just two days before the new year I received a pleasant surprise in the form of a Skechers GOrun Ride 5 (GRR5). I wasn't really expecting to end 2015 with a new shoe to try out but I wasn't complaining. Aside from the Skechers GOrun Ultra Road, it has been a while since I've gotten my hands or rather feet on a new Skechers model.


I've always been a fan of most of the Skechers Performance series of shoes right back from the Skechers GObionic to the GOspeed and my all time favourite Skechers shoe, the GOrun 4 that gave me my marathon personal best. While I thought the GOrun Ride series were a decent pair of running shoes, they weren't really my favourite of the lot.

That has now changed with the Skechers GOrun Ride 5, the latest iteration of the GRR series. The GRR5 is a day to day neutral trainer that weighs in at a decent 8.4oz for the men's size 9. The first thing that caught my attention with the GRR5 was that it looked a little bulkier than its predecessor and resembled the GOrun Strada visually.


The Skechers GOrun Ride 5 is a totally new update of the GRR4 with a completely new upper and outsole. The first thing that you'd notice about the GRR5's new upper the moment you slip them on is that they fit a lot narrower than the GRR4 but that's not a bad thing.

The upper is constructed with a breathable diamond synthetic mesh that provides lateral and medial stability support for the feet. A virtually seamless 3D printed synthetic overlay sits atop the upper mesh keeping the overlays as minimal as possible with an oblique last for additional toe splay area and a secure fit. A removeable insole is added for a custom fit. The laces are of the flat "ribbon" type.


Now, remember I said the GRR5 had a much narrower fit (it fit more like the GOrun 4), well it didn't really pose too much problems cos the mesh had more than enough give to accommodate wider feet and comfortable toe splaying. In fact I really like the fit of the GRR5 compared to the GRR4. That was a big plus for me.

The one thing that I didn't really like about the GRR5 was that the "Quick Fit Portal" (QFP) was still apparent on the shoe. The QFP is a somewhat triangular hole on the back of the shoe that makes the shoe easier to pull on. Aside from maybe giving it a little less weight, it doesn't do much for me and is more of an annoyance cos I find small stones being, for want of a better word, sucked in and we all know trying to run with pebbles or debris inside your shoe can be damn irritating. To be fair, the roads where I run is not the cleanest, debris wise, so maybe on a much cleaner road or pavement, this wouldn't be an issue.


The midsole is made up of the same flexible proprietary Resaltyte® injection molded compound for impact protection and response but with an increase to the Resalyte® compound this time around which makes the outsole look a lot bulkier than its predecessor. The increased Resaltyte® strangely enough gave the GRR5 a much firmer feel than the GRR4 with a much faster response time. Another plus for me cos I lean towards the much more firmer shoes spectrum. In fact, I would closely say that the GRR5 feels and looks more like the muscle bound cousin of the GOrun 4 than an update for the GOrun Ride series.

This begs an interesting question of how the next GOrun 5 update will look like since the GRR5 already bears a startlingly similar characteristics to the GR4. Guess only time will tell and I'll just have to patiently wait for the release of the GR5, if at all there is going to be one.

The outsole of the GRR5 has also seen some changes. It now looks a lot more closer to the outsole of the GR4. The GOimpulse® Sensors are now re-positioned along the outsole. I thought the re-positioning of the harder rubber lugs especially around the ball of the foot was a good move as this section of the outsole wears out a lot faster and the added protection does help considerably. In all honesty, the outsole of all Skechers shoes really aren't all that durable to begin with.


The Skechers GOrun Ride 5 is a 4mm drop shoe (6mm with the insole) and has a stack height of 16mm in the forefoot and 20mm in the heel (this specifications were taken off Running Warehouse). The GRR5 also features the same M-Strike Technology promoting mid-foot string as you run though I still scrape the heel every now and then, especially when I get tired.

I've so far run about 80 plus kilometers in them and I'm just loving them more with each mile I take. The GRR5 is a much firmer ride than its older sibling and is very much more responsive as well. I've done runs in the ranges of 10km and half marathon distances in them and they stepped up each and every time. They're able to handle pace changes effortlessly and has just enough cushioning (though not as cushy as the GOrun Strada) that it feels right at home for a short fast run or for those longer slow runs.


Ultimately, liking a shoe depends on the individual but if you need a little more shoe than the GOrun series, this would be it. A smooth, firm ride with a fast response yet easy and comfortable enough to go the miles. That said, there are two more things that could be improved with the GRR5 namely I'd have prefer to see more reflective details around the shoe and some much more groovy and loud colorways. Of late, the colorway of the Skechers Performance series seems a little on the mellow side.

The GOrun Ride 4 on the left in comparison with the GOrun Ride 5 on the right ...

The Skechers GOrun Ride 5 retails at RM439 for the men's and RM399 for the women's and based on my last conversation with Skechers Malaysia, the GGR5 was supposed to be out in stores last week but I've yet to see any in the stores just yet. I'll update the release dates once I get more information.

The pair of Skechers GOrun Ride 5 above was kindly provided by Skechers Malaysia. This review is of my own personal experience with the shoe and is in no way influenced by Skechers Malaysia whatsoever.