Monday, August 21, 2006

AXN Amazing Mall Challenge 2006

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Think racing in a shopping complex is easy? Think you know 1 Utama well like the back of your hand? Think again.

Me and Azly (Bandit) signed up for this race the moment we found out about it from Azman. Thinking that there won't be any other AXN organised race this year compared to previous year's race like in 2004 and 2005, we won't let this chance slip past us.

I signed up for the selection process and aptly told them that "we only want to be on AXN" as the reason why we want to race. Honesty works best la.

And so, i received an email from SPE (That's Sony Picture Entertainment) that we are chosen (THANK YOU Chelsey of SPE!!!)

OK, the frustration that we lost Explorace Bangkok that was shown on TV3 on 17th August was still fresh. We came that close, but not close enough, and racing again seems to be second nature for us.

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Sizing up the competition...

I too, found out that Carmen and Lela from Explorace Season 3 will be racing with us as well in AXN Mall Race, so is David and his brother (unfortunately, James aren't racing this time around).

And so, there i was, with Bandit, racing against Carmen & Lela, David & Justin and Mr & Mrs Chocolate.

The ground floor of the 1 Utama new wing looked jammed packed with people. AXN conquered the whole middle portion of this mall at High Street. We lined up and jestered around with people we could recognise. Again, the *skill* we had while doing Explorace came in handy. We we all whoring for the camera. I could swear the camera were avoiding us because we were posing for them! hahahahahaah!

While lining up, there was a couple infront of us that recognise both me and bandit from Explorace. We almost blushed. I mean, we aren't used to people recognising us in public. So, these two babe and dude were the first to recognise us in KL/PJ, which aren't our friends to begin with! Thank you for making us felt like star!

At about 1300hours, Chelsey of SPE called all participants for a briefing and then Taufik from SpannerWorks gave us a briefing as he is the Race Director.

Soon after, we were all give the first envelope, which contains 3 clues. Of which, we get to choose which Check Point (CP) we want to go first.

The race begin
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Too easy!!!
Easy one. We ran to the golf shop on lower ground and we were the second team there, putting 2 balls is not a problem as me and Bandit took one each. We were out to the next CP in a jiffy, we were given a clue which say " I am C4"

Whatever that meant!

We decided to go for CP3, which was rahter straight forward...

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Ikan Besaq? I thought Pak Besaq???

Next CP was found without any problem. It was the Movie Magic store on lower ground, a stone throw away from the Golf Shop. We went in and was given a clue that we are supposed to find the word highlighted in the poster.

This one had us scrambling around looking for the movie BIG FISH. Nada...That was until Bandit saw Nelly Furtado poster of her new album Loose. There was a sticker below the FURTADO and we have our CP3 chopped on passport. Now, onwards to CP2!!!

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Frank Sinatra wannabe
CP2 has us a bit dumfounded. We went to the Galatica playpen, we went to all the music store (Tower Records and Rock Records) but those aren't the place. I even suggested karaoke, which we went to NEWAY on 5th floor next to Camp 5.

We thought we found CP2 at Camp 5, only to find out it was false alarm! Hahahahaha...Taufik was there to laugh at us.

Walking around aimlessly and regrouping with the other 3 teams, we sat outside Shakeys at the sky bridge on first floor.

Chelsey and representative from AXN (I'm sorry Ma'am, i did not ask what's your name!!!) was smiling at us and all we could do was just to tell them we are waiting to be seated in Shakeys.

Then we started walking and saw another team...which we traded with, the location of CP1 and CP3 for CP2!!!

It was the All Travel shop...selling luggages. Damn!

There we had to look for an AXN luggage tag, which i found with much ease...it was right under everyone's nose, if anyone care to look down, that is.

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With this tag, you could be stop at airport...AXN what...for sure FEAR FACTOR!!!

Back of the tag, there was this next clue:

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how did they know???

Easy one. Celebrity Fitness on Second Floor of SkyBridge.

There, we were the second team that reached the destination. Just right behind a all female team.

At CF, we were asked to do these:
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I knew it...

So, the 1km was ran in the fastest time possible, i was clocking in 3:45 pace and forced Bandit to run at 5:30pace. It was done before we knew it and more teams were coming in. David were unfortunate as he pulled the EMERGENCY STOP lanyard and all his effort of clocking in 300meters went to nothing.

The pull up was super easy, as it was assited. No problem there and lastly, me and Bandit did the cross trainer, looking like some lost tranny on the machine, no less, and cam whoring for the AXN camera guy and the AXN lady rep. :)

We finished the CP4 and headed for CP5.

At the entrance of CF, we were given a baseball. Not very hard, considering that there is a place in 1 Utama called BATTING CAGES. So, off we go to the topmost floor. Some asking around the Pak Guard and we soon found ourselves on the Upper Roof. We were the first team there!

We were told to hit a minimum of 6 balls there. One token gives u 15 balls. Bandit did it all with ease, and i don't get to do anything about it!

From CP5, we were given the next clue.

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Cold Turkey..yeah, we can't eat that...

"Bowling!!!", Bandit exclaimed!

"3 strikes is a Turkey!!" I replied.

All we need was to accumulate 10 pin drop in 2 frames. Easily done la, but of course, that took us 4 frames, with each of us throwing the ball into the drain. How unglamorous!

We received the next clue which reads as...

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We have to look for Jane?

Another easy one. Rainforest. We ran to the rainforest section and went all the way down the escalator as we saw the marshalls down at the ground floor waiting.

Again, we're the first team to arrive.

The task was for us to find 2 members of the public to drink/finish up a bottle of 500ml water each. Two men came to our rescue and we couldn't thanks them enough!

From there, Marshall told us that one of us will have to go to Berjaya Times Square and a stronger member would remain here for more physical task.

And so, we went our seprate way, bandit taking the route of 7B and 7C and 7D.

On route 7B and 7C, Bandit took a Motorbike to Berjaya Times Square, riding pillion behind a rider from hell. He swore the biker whizzed in and out of the traffic like some devil possesed.

There he had to go on this ride and solve a maths question. Failing which, you take the ride and do it until you get it right. Bandit got it right the first time. Well done bro! I later found out the ride's name is DNA. It's like a washing machine, going tumbling all over...

Task 7C was to find AXN tags in the complete darkness of the IMAX cinema. Bandit has problem dechipering the clue which was just an OSCAR statue...but he got it right in the end. Wasted 15 minutes there!

Meanwhile, i received my clue. CP8 reads as follow:
"Rock a Bye Baby"

Easy!

I dashed all the way up to Camp 5. It's ROCK climbing.

I was the first person there and i was geared up after signing all the idenimity forms avialable at C5.

The climb was easy and it was on Auto-Belay. No worries there about your belayer falling asleep, or getting distracted by climber chic like Anna or yoga chic like Yoga Instructor???

I climbed the vertical wall with ease and was given my next clue.

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So tall one...

Easy...GIANT!

I then saw Carmen and Lela going for the baseball CP. Wow, i must had done all these pretty fast...

And so, at Giant, i was clocked in as the first team again and i was given a shopping list...

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Nothing a Domesticated male can't handle...

I've no problem looking for all the items except 3 of them. I couldn't find the Dafha fish fillet snack and cheezel original flavour. I found them in other sizes, but not the one stipulated. Apparently, it was only after i complained, the staff of giant brought it out and placed it at the far end of the market near their bakery.

And the biggest joke of all? Anyone knows what Cha Cher Sunflower Coconut Flavoured Dried Fruit is???

Carmen and one more team was already in Giant by the time i handed over my items to the marshalls...

I completed the task and was given my next clue. The most mind busting one in fact...

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WWF or WTF???

I lost a lot of precious time doing this one. I went to pet shop, i went to all the booth, i went to organic shop, i went to shop selling fake fur/animal skin lookalike...

Almost giving up, i return to Giant and saw Mr. Chocolat there...We shared info and he told me he saw that CP while looking for other CP. God Bless him!

I followed him there and by the time i reach that place, which was actually the canopy walk at Rainforest by the way...Carmen was already there....so, our task?

To lower 5 hardboiled eggs using only rope provided to the ground floor from the 3rd floor, one by one.

And so, forget the rope skills or knots i know, i just wrap the egg one by one in the rope, circling them until it looked like some salted eggs before the other ash was washed off and lowered them.

Mr. Chocolat and Ms. Carmen has to eat 2 hardboiled eggs as they dropped it from the 3rd floor...That was my lucky break (no pun intended).

Getting down the escalator, i got my passport for CP10 chopped and was told "to head to the taxi stand and wait for your partner there"

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Ms. Task Marshall, sorry i did not get your name, but it was you that told me to head to the taxi stand...

And so i did...and saw Bandit, waiting for me there...we are the first team to arrive!

At CP11, we have to solve a jigsaw puzzle which looked like this:

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the top portion minus the traffic light la...

We got it solved within minutes with cheers coming from friends and fellow racers....thanks Mis, MJ and James for being there too! It was also then that Carmen and Mr. Choco and Justin reached the CP, waiting for their partners to be back.

Our last clue read like this:

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What the...

So, we went to the cinema on the top floor, we checked everywhere, including the kiddy ride, we checked all the cinema, we even check the travel ticketing agency on the old wing, then it occured to me...KLUANG STATION.

We walked fast to that shop on the lower ground of the new wing, we asked the staff if they see any AXN marshall...all the say was, "nak tarpau Nasi Lemak ke Laksa?" i looked around, i can't see any marshalls. Bandit ran behind, he didn't see any marshalls.

We went bac to the taxi stand. Non of any other competitor was there still. We shared the info with the other teams but non of them could tell us anything or have any idea.

For the first time, both of us didn't know what to do.

At long last, we went back again to Kluang Station...and this time...we saw the marshall. He was sitting happily sipping his coffee behind near the kitchen. No wonder we can't see him! Doesn't help with the AXN t-shirt being in white and could appear like any other people wearing them!

Our last clue were HOME SWEET HOME!!!

Any racer worth their salt would know that the last checkpoint is the final race destination. Where else but the finishing line?

And so, me and Bandit walked ourselves to the finishing line, with the AXN reps waiting, Chelsey of SPE waiting, the press waiting, the Astro news crew waiting and basically everyone else waiting!

We did the final task which was walking backwards in some giant wooden clog on the reverse direction, then crawl on reflexology stones (ouch!) and emerge on the other end to ring the bell!!!

WE WON!!!

It felt surreal as we handed over our passport to the race official to clock us in.

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First team in at 4h 45min and 52 seconds

It was estatic...we never won any race before and there we are, being interviewed on TV (again) and to be broadcasted on Astro channel 4 (Astro Ria - which we never get to see because we tuned into Astro Prima..hahahah).

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Passport all completely chopped!!!

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With Mr & Mrs. Chocolate

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Carmen & Lela

Carmen and Lela came in 4th because they strayed past the last CP...Anyway,well done girls!!

And so the top 3 winner...

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Never felt this good!

The second team came in half an hour after we did and the last team of mohter and son came in soon after.

Here are the goodies...

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First Prize Cash...

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Hamper...Thank you Brylcreem

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We arrrrrrreeee the chaaaaammmppppiiiooonnnnn....

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Amazing Race Asia Bag

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and of course...the Champ's Plaque

It was an Amazing race by itself. Nevermind the pain on the calves the next day. As we aren't allowed to run, walking takes more of the calf than anything else. We reckon we travelled at least 35km in 1 Utama. That is very conservative as i estimated we walked at about 7km/h (that's about the speed of a very slow jog up a hill, or a granny gear on offroad climb)...and taking in consideration of racing for 4 hours...that's already 28km...now, that haven't taking into account of us walking so fast at certain CP to CP.

Thank you AXN. Thank you SPE. Thank you Spanner Works. Thank you all that has helped out during the race!!!

Other participant's report:

Runwitme
HCFoo
Queensleen
Kuaci Eyes
Anyone else that did their report, kindly email me, or jsut leave a comment, i'll link you guys/girls up.


PS - Char Cha Sunflower coconut flavour dried fruit is KUACI!!! how in the world this become a kuaci beats me!

I've been spotted at AXN-Asia website here!!! this livejournal is my alternative(secondary) blog which i cross post to, in case either blog goes into oblivion (barang free, so can't complain much about free hostings, no???)

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