Monday, September 27, 2004

Perhentian Race Final preparation

Date: 25th September 2004

Time: 1400Hours - 1730 hours

In Attendance:
OP Asfani @ Upak
Op Azly @ Bandit
OP Hisyam @ Doc
OP Riza @ Mat Gan
OP Amir @ Amir
OP Ee-Van @ Stupe
Padzli @ Bacin
Azman @ Man

It was raining since 1pm on that day. Since plans has been made days before this rehearsal, it is all system go. Rain or shine.

As expected, everyone met up in Universiti Malaya's bus parking. From there, the swimmers part ways with the bikers. Swimmers headed towards the 5th College swimming pool for the compulsory 1.5km of swim. Upon paying and entering the pool area, we were dumbfounded. Not only there isn't any lockers to place our valuables(then again, thre wasn't anything valuable anyway, but that's beside the point, no?), we were required to wear swimming caps before we are allowed to enter (but there wasn't any sign to ask us to SHOWER before entering the pool...kinda defeats the purpose of the cap, isn't it?). I've come to the conclusion that any UM students wishing to swim in UM's pool will come in their bathing suit and towel and swimming caps and googles ONLY. Hmm...but i do not recall seeing anyone riding motorikes or driving topless or in swim suit also?

Guess that would be the last time we will swim there. The only saving grace is that this place was deserted, each swimmer could have 2 lanes for themselves. maybe it was raining still and the students are still comfy in their bed/bunk/room.

The cyclist went cycling from the parking space passing 5th college, up the major hill, passing through 8th College and following the one way street back to the parking space. The did 3 laps totalling about 15km....

Time taken for 1.5km swim and 15km ride running concurently : 45 minutes max - a very good indication.

After all the initial huffing and puffing and Bandit telling the cyclist that he lost his balls (to numbness), the 8 of us went for the 7km run. Following the route, against traffic from the parking towards the UM's KL gate and towards 5th college and up the big hill and back through the same way, it took some of us a good 50 minutes to accomplish this. Doc was on steroids that day and went on to give a few of us lil prep talk while running to psyche us up. Bacin was like not adhering to the 35km/h speed limit while going uphill. Amir was running with Azman, this was also the first time that these two heroes trained with each other. A pretty lethal mix, if you ask me, as despite the last minute *aye* for this race, Amir showed tremendous spirit and improvement (he claimed he can't do 1.5km of swimming, but he did 2 km consecutively on two continious days!).

Time taken for 7km run : a leisure stroll of 50 minutes.

We then move on towards the lake infront of 2nd college. This also marks the first time that all of us are exposed to tandem paddling using those old type canoe (those with 2 holes la, not like those canggih ones in Putrajaya). Azman parted some knowledge to us all, about paddling and techniques and everyone listened attentively.

We did about 20 laps around the lake enclosed area, totalling circa about 2km max. It took us about an hour to complete it.

We all felt that if there is an event that we could gain some position in this coming race, it will be the kayaking, as triatheletes are NOT exposed to kayaking compared to running, cycling and swimming. Furthermore, with the depletion of possible kayaking ground in KL/Selangor, our *intelligence* report stated that no teams has actually went to anywhere remotely possible for any kayaking, except this 6 teams that will be in Perhentian this weekend, to create some impacts...

Wish us lucks guys and girls.

bonus pics:

Monday, September 20, 2004

PJ Half Marathon 2004 - 20th Edition

Did my first competitive road run.

I was never any athelete back in college days. Excelling only in sports that utilise more brute force than stamina or endurance.

Because of the proximity of the Perhentian Island Challenge this early October. A few of us OPs decided to see where we stand in our own preparation for the race.

Me (92.93B), OP Noorhisyam(87.91A) and OP Syahrir(86.90D) and another non-OP participant(OP Syahrir's teammate, Muliadi@Blanka) did the 10KM section of the PJ Half Marathon.

We were at the Kelana Jaya Stadium as early as 5am to firstly ensure us of a good parking space (or call us kiasu if you want) and to avoid being sucked into the euphoria at the starting line.

At 6.30am, the 21Km section was flagged off and briefly after that, the 10KM was flagged off.

As everyone jostled for position to be infront (adrenalin rush babe...), me and doc decided to just keep our pace. OP Syahrir has a personal agenda to complete the 10km run in sub-50 minutes and Muliadi wants to get it over with in 60 minutes max.

Me and Doc decided that we should just pace ourselves, and finish teh race in whatever time, as long as we do not hold back the ambulance from going back too late after the race.

Ran we did, and soon after, we were touching the 3km mark at Federal highway, that is also where we first caught the first 21km runner running on the opposite site of the highway, this meant, he already finished running at least 7km at that point.

As we reached the first water station, we saw an old man, circa mid 60s or early 70s, running with jest and spirit. We cheered him on and we found out he was doing the 10km veteran category. Well, 40 years from now, i'll be glad if i could still do that...

Soon after, we reached the 5km mark at the Western Digital turnoff. Still pacing each other, we, by this time, managed to overtake loads of people, problem is, there is 5500 people running in this edition and the numbers that we overtook over and over again, seems to be endless...

Doc was obviously not even exerting himself as he wasn't running his 10km pace actually, but more of my pace. He reckon that if we wanted to do it, we should do it as a team, as it is more important to finish the race together, than to leave the other behind for whatever reason.

We chatted. We talked. We gossiped. We cheered people and ourselves on.

When the clock touched the 1 hour mark, we reached the Kelana Jaya Swimming pool. Great, almost there. We entered the stadium and it was the last 300 meter to the finish line that me and doc decided to quicken our pace. That was when we were overtaken by the runner up for the 21KM men category.

Delirious that the finishing line was 100 meters ahead, i decided to sprint for it, after doc gave me the go ahead. I crossed the finishing line in 1hour 4 minutes and 8 seconds( using my own Heart rate monitor of course) and doc was just right behind me.

It was the first for me. I managed to finish the 10km in less than 70 minutes (before this, i was told that 70minutes is the minimal time for someone that is fairly, it sorta become a benchmark for myself)

Refreshements and cooling down soon after, we all left the stadium, with everyone feeling a sense of acheivement, overcoming our own personal battle inside.

Finishing time:
OP Syahrir - 49minutes
Muliadi - 59 minutes (he was in the top 10 at the first corner, soemthing like F 1 race la, complete with screeching of his adidas as he sapu the corner)
OP Doc Hisyam & me - 64 minutes

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Hospital badly hit by faulty air-conds

Recieved an SMS early this morning from a particular doctor asking me to check out the front page of The Star.

As usual, since this Doctor is moi's senior and moi's partner in two races, i decided to check the paper, before he ask me to take 10 like he did last Sunday, for finishing the swimming late.

Hmm...Hospital running without air cond and only the ICU has one operating aircond. I can only imagine those doctors, nurses and patients sweating profusely in the corridor of the hospital.

Being the second busiest hospital (Emergency Ward) in the country, imagine the smell of the sweat, coupled with shriek of horror and blood stains whereever a victim is being brought in. As if it is not enough that the hospital is like some *taboo* place for certain race, now, add to the woe of the non existence air flow (ie air conditioning la...)...hmm...i could see at teh abck of my head, pictures of doctors using more gauge to have their sweat wipe off by the nurses while at the operating table(OT).

Now, the medical fraternities was riddled with a few items the last two days. One of them was that the medicine that was bought was very expensive because there is only that many suppliers. Rising medication/health care expenditure won't augur well for the economics isn't it?

The, Pak lah urges every youth to be active in at least 2 sports (hey you OPs, at least we are playing more than 2 actively, we should be used as examples..what say you all?)

With the recent budget just tabled in the Parliment on Friday, ciggie now cost RM6.50/pack, all time high and beers/stouts will now cost RM1.00 extra per pint or RM2.00 per big bottle. all now fall into place, isn't it?

We are talking about health here.

We are talking about having a quality life.

Then again, i've read in some bulletin sent by this particular ayurvedic company that highlighted that a few particular lifestyle diseases are racist. Well, racist in the sense that it is prevalent in only one particular race/disease.

Chinese woman are known to be prone to oesteporosis. This got to do with the fact that chinese/asian woman who are fairer, has less melonin in their skin to produce the much needed Vitamin D, that help absorb calcium into their bones.

Indians are known to be prime candidate of heart diseases. Banana leaves rice (remember how it looked like? with rice pilled up mountain high?), being a high glycemic value item(ie Rice) are the main culprit. it doesn't help that most indian food are usually prepared beyond recognition(ie deep fried etc etc) and the so called vegetarian diet has limited them to sources of protien (some are octo-vegetarian, meaning even no dairy products)., back to the hospital story...isn't it counter productive that despite what the government preach and despite what good health book said about being healthy and all, and here we got, a hospital that dosn't even have a proper air conditioning!!!

Oh ya, did i tell you my that doctor friend was operating without any form of air conditioning in the OT? well, at least he sweat it all out there..LOL...

Lets not even get into this private hospital in Jalan Pahang that was certified to be a fire trap a few months ago....

Full Dress Rehearsal - PIC 04

The guys had a full dress rehearsal yesterday. We tried to mimic the whole condition as close as possible to the actual race day event.

Here is what took place:

9.30am - Swimmers gathered at KL Swimming Pool in Bandar Tun Razak for the swimming section. Some miscommunication happened and one of the swimmer went swimming in USJ. Nevertheless, everyone swam and made it a point to finish at least 30 laps to emulate the 1.5km swim. Crowd presences in the public pool helped, as during the race, no competitor will make way for you, just because you can swim a lil bit faster. The swimmer finished the 30 laps in less than an hour and left the pool area by 11am to meet the Mtbers in Putrajaya by 12pm.

10.30am - MTBers met at Putrajaya and do the full 16km round around the wetland vicinity. This 16km is definately 100% more than the race 7km requirement, but since most cyclist are super fit human, 16km to them was more like some warm up exercise. Bandit didn't get lost in putrajaya today.

11.30am - by now, the MTBers has already finished their laps and swimmers had also arrived at the wetland area. After a brief rest, 11 of us went for a run around the wetland smaller loop. It should be almost a 7km run, incl the uphill scrambling route. Teammates paced each other and the afternoon heat was more than bearable as Bandit and Stupe was seen taking off their tops to reveal 80kgs(total) of flesh and fats bouncing around...well, it wasn't a pretty sight, but who cares since anyone could ride/walk/run naked in Putrajaya Wetland. (Some of us are seriously thinking of applying to work at the park as Park Ranger, since we know the park better than the Putrajaya Ppl!!!)

12.30pm - We finished the run and sweaty bodies abound, we move to Precint 8 to do the kayaking.

1.00pm - 5 double kayak and 1 single kayak was moved from the storage area to the lake area. Flanking us on the right is Masjid Putrajaya and Sultan of Selangor's palace and on our left was The Jambatan Perdana and Pak Lah's home. Infront of us was JPM. We are not allowed to kayak into JPM, as we were told they rear some vicious great whites in there to deter intruders.

Pairing up with each other's teammate, we kayaked for the whole 1 hour. Our usual training ground for kayak, we are pretty familiar with the whole area surrounding the lake and we paddled to Pak Lah's home and to the Sultan's Palace. A journey worthy of the 1 hour paddling, with distance covered of at least 5 km.

Afternoon heat was more than some of us could handle, and if we thought that this is hot, wait until when we are at the island, and the wind and sun will be stronger than what we are experiencing in Putrajaya Wetland and lake.

We went to have lunch in Dataran Putra and we are currently trying to persuade Dr. Amir to join us for the race, as we are desperate for ONE more racer to make up the space left by one lady that was supposed to follow us for the race.

Everyone went back happy. Happy to be able to complete the whole course in about 3.5 hours, very much before the cut off time for the actual race.

Attendance (in no particular order)

Bandit + Mat Gan (OP)
Bean/Lebet + Blanka (OP)
Upak + Chipok (OP)
Alle + Stupe (OP)
Bacin + Asry (OP's biking friend)
Amir (OP - Possible contestant)

Mrs Upak @ Cik Nurashikin - Cheerleader.