Monday, October 31, 2011

Project Love Sneaker

We all love promotions of any sort. I was informed of this earlier last week on my Facebook page by Jason on  an initiative by Running Lab’s founder Walter Tan since 2008 in Singapore, this is a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. It has been 3rd year running and they are looking to collect shoes for the less fortunate who cannot afford to have proper shoes in their daily lives. 
So, in commemoration of Running Lab’s fourth (4th) branch in Kuala Lumpur (More specifically at Tropicana Mall Petaling Jaya), Project Love Sneaker will once again lead the way to lend a helping hand in providing the donated shoes to the Orang Asli/Indigenous Community of Malaysia at the end of this campaign.
“Regular runners are advised to replace their running shoes after clocking about 800km mileage in order to prevent from running injuries. Most of the time, these shoes are still in relatively good condition and it is too wasteful to dump them. Hence, instead of throwing them away, we want to provide an avenue for runners to give a second life to these used running shoes. The shoes can be donated to protect the feet and make a difference to the lives of the less fortunate people locally and abroad”, said Karen Chua, Marketing Manager, Outdoor Venture Pte Ltd.


Terms and Conditions
Take a stroll to Running Lab at Tropicana City Mall and donate your pair of previously loved running shoes* and receive one RM100.00 shoe voucher from Running Lab!
*Adult sizes in cleaned and reusable condition. We are looking for footwear that is in good condition that might be useful to someone who is less fortunate, including Running Shoes, Cross Trainers, Walking Shoes, Hiking Shoes and Trail Shoes.
Collection Period: 09 Nov – 11 Dec 2011.
Terms and Conditions of the RM100.00 shoe voucher are as follows:
  1. This voucher is valid until 31 December 2011.
  2. This voucher is valid for one time use only.
  3. This voucher is valid for purchase(s) of regular priced running footwear, excluding purchase(s) from “ASICS”.
  4. This voucher value cannot not be combined.
  5. This voucher is not exchangeable or redeemable for cash or credit.
  6. This voucher is invalid if any of its part is found tampered with and/or in any way.
  7. Running Lab shall not be responsible for any loss, damages or theft of this voucher.
  8. This voucher cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotions or discounts of Running Lab.
  9. Terms & Conditions are correct at the time of printing, and Running Lab reserves the rights to amend the Terms & Conditions at any time.
I have checked with Running Lab - you can only use one coupon for one purchase and no combined coupon are to be used. Meaning, if you have 5 sneakers, you can still redeem it for RM100x5coupons. But you can only use ONE coupon per SHOE (excluding ASICS).
Go donate your sneakers for a good noble purpose! Remember ONLY CLEANED GOOD CONDITIONED Sneakers! Don't treat this as a "dumping" ground for your old salted fish! ;-)

PJ Half 2011 Race Report

The dilemma of yesterday's race was whether to wear my Nike Triax or my Nike Pegasus, as the Lunarglide has been donated to someone in Kinabalu. I chose the Pegasus and i just found out it is already 3 years old!
The next dilemma was trying to find all my racing stuff since we just shifted back home. With all the items everywhere and in every other bag, it was pretty stressful. To put it mildly, wifey woke up race morning telling me she forgot to pin the bib number - of which, i already dug out the race belt to fix it late night before.
The last dilemma was Wifey having to nurse an injured right ankle that she sustained last Sunday on our way back from Kinabalu Climbathon. We were lining up for Taxi at LCCT and i asked her to walk up to ask the man if this is the line for the "budget" (my ass, RM100 for taxi to Damansara Utama pass midnight!) taxi. She walked on uneven surface and twisted her ankle. I should had went and ask her to be in the queue instead.
I assured her it is ok if she wants to stop and turn back. But knowing her, she don't take NO for an answer.
We were near Kelana Jaya at about 6am yesterday and as usual, bumped into many friends before race start.
I ran the race in good pace. After Kinabalu Climbathon, i know the Sciatica has improved by leaps and bounce. In fact, my recovery from Kinabalu was good as i was able to ride on Wednesday up Peras with not much problem (only slower).
The usual corny smile.
I was pacing with wifey for the first 8km before she left me wondering where she went. I was on constant 6:30 - 7:00 pace pushing pretty alright the first 5km (to the hanging bridge). I was also constantly running up and down to take photos.
The weather was good with slight breeze helping to keep the humidity off a little bit. I recalled sweating bucket before the first drink station and the new found joy with the HALO band sort of managed to keep those eye-stinging sweat off. Perhaps i should consider making a review of this HALO band - i was thinking about this as i was running.
I must commend the organiser for a well stocked up water and sponging station along the way. Per IAAF, water station was provided at every 4km mark. Sponging station about 1km after the water station. 100Plus being one of the sponsors really did well - perhaps because this is also a local municipal driven event?
The theme for the run was "Running For A Greener PJ". I was told that they will plant a tree for every registered participants. So, i supposed yesterday, there should be about 4,500 trees being planted somewhere in PJ?
But where?
PJ Half was like a complete circle for me actually. I remember taking part in my first official 10km race many moons ago and it was during the PJ Half. I recal seeing the Kenyans blazing past opposite side of the road when i was still struggling as a newcomer in official races. I recalled running along SS3 and the industrial area before ending the race in the stadium. I recalled i clocked a 1:10 for my first 10km. Subsequently, i stopped taking part in PJ Half as the then small four lane to the old Subang Airport underwent extensive upgrading work to link up Ara Damansara and the surrounding area, including the starting of the project to build Guthrie Highway. With super dusty condition and crazy traffic, i don't feel like putting myself at risk.
The race went into a hiatus for many years and surfaced again this year. From RM20/entry to now RM50/entry, that was how much inflation has creep into simple sporting activities in our country.
But the T-shirts got better from cotton "i wear to sleep" to quick drying material you can wear for light sporting or walk in the park.
Yesterday's race was pretty well organised. Sufficient water and medical (seen at every water station), good waste management (thank you to these men and women that cleaned up the street after the runners threw those paper cups and sponges away) and perhaps the only thing to improve vastly is traffic control.
Traffic control was available but seriously need some sort of looking into. On the road were many officers from PDRM manning the streets. While they performed their job flawlessly, we must remember that Malaysian traffic are not used to seeing human in anything less than a motorbike sharing a road with them.
This meant cyclists and runners are greatly being taken for granted when they use the public road.
It is no fun when you are running in the middle of the road and wonder if the car behind you will come and hit you like a bowling pin.
It was a lazy Sunday morning definitely
Safety aside, I was running at a pretty comfortable pace for up to 15km (before the U-turn) when the Sciatica pain comes back. In just 200m, i felt the my right legs starting to get numb and i had to stop running as the whole right leg got numb. It was like a major needles and pin sensation where every landing steps i take send jolt of electricity that became increasingly uncomfortable to maintain the pace. That was also the last i saw wifey as she ran past me after the U-turn. She was about 1km away from me at that moment or about 10minutes away.

I slowly made my way back the final 6km in the fastest way i could. Hobbled and walked like how i did in my last Ironman. I know it is possible to walk a marathon (42km) in about 7hours as long as i don't stop moving. I noticed that my walk actually overtakes more people that was "running" or "jogging". Clearly, many at the back has ran thin of any energy. Not helping the hot sun has finally showed itself burning down mercilessly across the clear blue sky.
I ran past the last sponge station and was delighted to see a sight that reminds me of my Ironman in 2010. With colorful sponges strewn on the road, it is sure a nice reminder of those "days".
It's also ironic that i reminiscence about those old days when i was fit and fighting to be at racing weight when now i am at my racing weight (of 73kg) and fighting to be fit. I guess life is such. We never know how long we will live anyway.
As i hobbled into the Stadium, there were insufficient signage on where to go. I went in through the wrong door (right behind the finish line) and had to run an extra 100m for the official "victory run" around the stadium. Wifey waited for me at the 300m mark and we ran together to the finish.
Thanks Tey for the pic!
Wifey finished her race in 2:40, a vast improvement from her PB of 3:00 in last years's SCKLM 21km. She finished the race despite the swelling on her right ankle. She did said that it was painful. But being her, she set aside the pain and went on to run the race her way. One week after climbathon, i believe she is now fully recovered (muscle ache wise) and has completed the first LSD towards Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon in December. She told me she won't want to run another 42km, but guess the running bug has bitten her, hard. There is no stopping this woman now.
I crossed the line in 3:05. I was told that the medal ran out after 2hours. They have limited 200 finisher medals that was made from pewter. I am glad that i finished the race despite the timing. With about a month to go for SCSM, i guess i have to really start clocking in the mileage.
To those of you that ran yesterday's race. Congrats for finishing it. Some of you might had clocked better timing, big clap for that. Some of you had placing, major clap for that!
Until the next race, stay healthy, keep drinking those water and clock in the mileage to respect the distance!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

WOWLoud! Review

Imagine having a media player that plays endless streaming of songs without having to download, rip or copy them into you hard disk. The layout is simple and straight forward like the Windows Media Player.
I recently had the chance to be among the lucky group to test WOWLOUD.
WOWLOUD is "Music Discovery On Demand".
Currently, there is two option to get WOWLOUD in your PC. They have the FREE account, which has a limit of 20hours of play time (good enough for 2.5days of listening at 8hours each day) and has the occasional advertisements promoting WOWLOUD.
Then, there is the PREMIUM account, which is advertisements free and with higher fidelity audio.
As i am part of the "test" user, i was given the free account. During this trail, i have unlimited hours of playback.
You can sign up at their website now to be part of the "free" users to experience the WOWLOUD experience.
WOWLOUD requires you to download the media player, which essentially install and reside in your PC. Once you have installed it, you will need to Log In to run the media player.
If your account has been approved, you will be able to log in and will be presented with a basic screen that looked like this one below.
As you can see, they already have "compiled" play list where you can choose (each with 50 songs) to play immediately. I went to choose the "Halloween" play list and was rewarded with all the "ghoul" sounding (name) songs.
Click to enlarge
The streaming is impressive even on slow broadband. There is no stoppages like on Youtube or any other video/audio streaming. I was briefed that the songs are actually "downloaded" into your PC for even OFFLINE listening. I am yet to "locate" where they are kept.
Some will say this service is no different from an online radio station. I beg to differ as compared to radio station, there is no DJ and you get uninterrupted streaming of music.
If that is not impressive enough, you can even create your own play list and drag-drop songs into the play list as you like. I have created TWO play list for now. Elvis and Metallica.
It also has a "SEARCH" function and this will allow you to find even the most obscure of artist to play. I decided to test the system by test searching for a song named "Green Onion". This is a 60's song made famous with their instrumental guitar hum that remain evergreen till today. The system returned more than three hits on the song. Impressive.
Then i went to search for more stuff like Paul Anka. Believe me i found him doing cover for the like of Oasis and even Nirvana (fancy Wonderwall and Smell Like Teen Spirit, Paul Anka style?)

I must say i truly enjoy this experience and news has it that WOWLOUD will soon be releasing an Apps for Android and Apple (iDevices) users to stream music on their mobile devices. I am afraid to say the days of conventional media player will come to an end.
Where i see this will work is on small establishment such as cafe or even in the clinic waiting room where endless selected non-repeating songs and music can be played without having to worry about contravening any copyright issues. WOWLOUD is completely legal. The fact that you paid subscription fees for the service should be enough reasons why you can play this on a commercial premise (I will need to re-read the T&C again ;-))
But of course, WOWLOUD staffs do not get full breathing air and accolades, there will be charges involved (like a monthly subscription to continue to enjoy the music).
Until this unlimited free trail lives, i shall continue to listen to WOWLOUD on my working day.
Music, like clothes, reflects the man. What is in your playlist today?


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Genting Peras - Tribute Ride to TSB

On Deepavali, some of us went out to ride Batu 18 - Genting Peras- Batu 18. This route is not alien to many weekend cyclist and hardcore cyclist alike. We know of one person that rides up this hill hoping to be have a race with a pack of local dogs going uphill.
Genting Peras is the Late Tuan Senang Besar aka Kharis Idris favourite route as well. Touted as a Cat 2 climb in the le Tour le Langkawi, this 10km uphill sure gives the lung and legs a good workout.
Wednesday's ride was a memorial ride for our dear friend TSB that passed away on October 13. His passion for the sports and also for food willl not be forgotten.
The group congregated at  the usual parking space next to the river and it was a huge crowd that showed up.


Batu 18 to the T-junction of Genting Peras/Tekala is a flat 10km that will give sufficient opportunity to warm up before the big climb. It has minimal traffic but one have to watch out for local kampong folks moving about in their motorbikes or cars. They are aware of cyclists presences and are always careful and not rude to be driving at 20km/h until an opportunity for them to overtake arise. Usual warm up speed will be slightly over 25km/h which is over-easy for most cyclists.

The only Rose among the Thorns.
At the T-junction, it is usually the recce point for any group. Turning left will immediately bring you up against a 8degree gradient climb over 500m and going right will be a gentle ride up over a very scenic Semenyih Dam.
The menu for the day was Genting Peras and then rv at Haji Ramli for TSB's favourite Nasi Lemak haunt.
Left side of T-Junction. Taking the road behind will lead you to Tekala.
The climb up Peras is a love-hate relationship for me. The route is 10km from the T-junction all the way to the top where it marks the state border between Selangor and Negeri Sembilan. It takes about 4.5km to touch the first orang asli settlement and from there onwards, it is a winding climb up to the peak. I used to be able to ride up this mountain on big crank and 17 cog behind at 17km/h with PB time of about 40minutes. That is on a good day. On a bad day, you will want to come down and push when you saw the waterfall on your way up. On really really bad day, you will want to skip this and take the less intimidating but longer Tekala route. I used to tell myself not to waste time riding 40km on a weekend - as time is precious and you will want to maximize the available hours before dedicating the rest to the family.
sideway already...
I was averaging 12km/h up the mountain. Struggled i did as my last session on the saddle was during PD Tri - a good 3 months ago.
It was a struggle but what made it easy was that i had TSB in my mind. He won't ride fast - we all know that. I was riding at his pace.
I reached the peak in about an hour and was greeted by the other riders. Battling the aches in my glutes, thigh and calves, i am glad that i made it up without pushing the bike.
A quick rest later, we went down freewheeling at close to 50km/h even on corners as the 10km downhill return to the T-junction was covered in less than 20minutes. The occasional brakes and taking the corner wider were in place to ensure smooth transition into and out of the corner. In motor racing, they call it as "taking the line".
With Bahri behind me, i managed to catch up with him as he cycled in a faster speed (abouve ave 32km/h) returning to Batu 18. The return journey is when most of us will hammer the pedal hard in time-trailist style. Not unusual to be going at close to 45km/h if the pelathon was up to it.
The last 10km was covered in about 30minutes with Bahri heading to Haji Ramli at Sg Congkak to meet up with the rest. I decided to drive there as i wanted to get home immediately after breakfast.
Haji Ramli gained fame when a writer by the name of Hissamuddin Rais wrote about the food exploit available at this unassuming shop by the side of Sg. Congkak.
The speciality here is the Nasi Lemak which i believe uses 100% coconut milk (santan). No funny creamer used to cut cost or to get the results fast. The rice looked normal and not oily and the unmistaken fragrance of the coconut milk covered rice will reminds you of the best home cooked nasi lemak you have tasted. It's humble looking too.
The sambal was not overly spicy with the right tinge of zing to the tongue. instead of hard boiled egg, a portion or omelets was given which was sufficient for the rice.
One will know why TSB call this his favourite Nasi Lemak joint. Those that know him will know why. Wednesday's ride was a tribute to him on the two things he love most (apart from his family, which is first place all the time) - cycling and food. He know best. Unmistaken.
The paper cutting where he introduced the writer Hissamuddin Rais to the greatness of Haji Ramli Nasi Lemak.
Back when he was riding his white Scott. TSB in white, second from left. Article dated October 2007.
The gang rested a bit and had their Nasi Lemak with gusto. The joke and the drinks between chewing of the food would be something TSB would had given two thumbs up - well, that is until he finished his food, take a smoke of his Salem light and goes to check out the bikes that everyone rides. I can almost imagine him say "Kelas", "Best Sial", "Dayem" to these series of bike porns.









It was a good outing. One that i can relate to. One that make us all glad and happy that we are all still very much alive, lucky to be still be around for many more things.
Lets not forget friends that has came past our way. Lets not forget the camaraderie's we all have. Lets continue to ride. And eat.
Rest in Peace Brah.


How To Remove Leech Like A Man

Some discussion has been going on in a Facebook group about leeches and how to handle them.
I had some fair share of experiences with these creature that really, by no fault of theirs, are blood sucker.
Here is two video i would like to share on how they behaves. Most of the time, the leeches bite is painless and you hardly know they are there until much later. When they bite, they release a pain killer and anti-coagulant. You won't bleed to death and they blood loss is not significant. 
The biggest I've seen on my ankle. Quite a joy to see it wiggle. Video quality not the best. Taken on Sony Ericsson K610i ;-)

Just like the one above, this one are more ferocious. We let it suck until it dropped off itself.
Many school of thoughts were shared with regards to "avoiding" these creatures. Let me just tell you it is futile. Especially if the area you walked through are infested with them. They are persistent creature and the two above actually got to me and Dr. Amir while we were riding our mountain bike! Go figure!
Leech bite after effect is more irritating that the bite itself. You will itch as it heals. Worry not as they are usually small bite only.
So, how do you remove a leech? Follow these steps.
1. Use your fingernail and place it next to the sucker or place where it attached itself.
2. Slowly but firmly slide your fingernail towards the place they are feeding. You are trying to "scrape" it off your body.
3. Once you have removed it, it will try reattaching itself, quickly flick it away with your other hand or with the same finger that is pushing it.
4. If you have antiseptic ointment, it's perhaps, a good time to apply some. If not, an hour or three later will be fine.
5. Never attempt to burn, salt, "tug" or "pull" the leech away as it will regurgitate back into the wound and might cause more infection.
Here is some good to know facts so that you will be less grossed out with these creature.
A leech will expand up to 10 times when feeding
A single feeding will allow it to live for months
They find you by odor and by sound-vibration
They can drop on you like homing missile from the top, if have to.
No, they can't jump.
Now that you are more informed, you can now Do It Like A Man (but little missy scream in your heart is OK as you learn to scrape them away!)


Food That Will Kill You Slowly - Part 3

After having enough of Part 1 and Part 2. I sure hope your diet and choices of food has changed to accommodate better food and help make more informed choices. In today's Part 3, the quest to educate and raise awareness continues. Today, i will talk extensively about the number one enemy of Malaysian food.
Sugar.
Malaysian have sweet tooth. The amount of sugar used in the food preparation daily is enormous. It is estimated by Food & Agriculture Organisation of United Nations (FAO), the consumption of sugar annually in Malaysia has increased from 1976 at 372,000 metric tonne to 1,031,000 metric tonne in 1995. At the rate it is going, It will not be a surprise if the consumption of sugar in Malaysia runs into at least 2 Million tonne now in 2011.
Taken from FAO report here
Sugar exist in everything we eat - including that spicy sambal belacan that you just had for lunch. Even in "flavoured" water marketed by certain mineral water producer. The list is long and as long as they are sweet, chances are, sugar lingers.
In a study conducted by Persatuan Diabetes Malaysia or Malaysia Diabetes Association in 2007, up to 8.3% of adults aged 30 and above has diabetes. While some can argue that it's "inherited", more often than not, disease such as these are attributed to lifestyle and what we eat.
How well do you know your sugar?
To start with, not all sugar are created equal. Here is a rough guideline to what sugar there are in the market and what they are actually.
1. Ordinary Table Sugar - the usual sugar you buy off the rack to be used at home. Found in all food requiring sugar.
2. Castor sugar - superfine sugar made from ordinary table sugar. Used mostly in cake recipe.
3. Cube sugar - usual sugar, only that they are pressed into mold and then dried. Used as it gives a sense of "proportion" when you use i.e. "one sugar cube or two"?
4. Icing sugar - contain corn starch to prevent the fine sugar from caking up. Corn starch in sugar? Your donut was delicious isn't it?
5. Brown sugar - otherwise known as sugar with the molasses still intact.
Item 1 to 4 is highly refined cane sugar that has stripped off all nutrients available in sugar cane leaving simple carbohydrates that can be utilised by the body as energy instantly. It gives what is known as "sugar high", which can contribute to hyperactive child or provide instantaneous energy to a tired sports person.
This "sugar high" will not last long and once the fuel (sugar) is depleted, you will feel more tired/lose more energy than you should.
"Sugar high" will spike insulin level in your body and will make your body immune to insulin. This will lead to more complication (health wise) in the near future. Insulin regulates the sugar content in your blood. Every time you take something sweet, insulin will be released to send signal to the body cells to "absorb" up these excess to be used as energy.
If you constantly takes sugary meal/drinks, what will happen is that your body will be immune to this insulin spike resulting in your bloodstream rich with sugar.
When your body has a lot of sugar in the system, you will have a lot of insulin floating around as well. Insulin promotes fat storage. Excess insulin will reduce magnesium, which is essential to keep blood vessels soft and supple.Your body sodium will also increase, which will lead to higher water retention and will cause high blood pressure. As insulin will promote cell growth, it can potentially cause cancer via a sugar rich diet.
This will ultimately leads to diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases and obesity.
It is no wonder that an obese person will show symptoms, or already suffering from the disease above.
This notion applies to "processed" honey as well. Most honey we get commercially has been processed, diluted and with sugar added. Expensive honey or unrefined honey is hard to obtain and do not have the commercial appeal due to the residue (of bee wax, bees etc) in them. Buy your honey carefully and look at the ingredient (yes, you be surprised that they even have preservatives despite being honey!)
I left out item 5. Brown Sugar. With specific wording that the molasses remain on the sugar. What is molasses? Molasses is a by product during the processing of sugar cane into the white sugar we are used to seeing. Molasses puts the "brown" into brown sugar. The higher the content of molasses, the darker your brown sugar will be.
Molasses has high content of chelated mineral that can be utilised straight away by the body and can be used by the cell. Unlike "added" nutrient such as "iron", "magnesium", "potassium" of which are metal origin, chelated mineral is small in size and occurs naturally in whole food.
Molasses is produced through the process of sugar refining. The first molasses is dark and bitter and usually the third molasses are used for commercial purposes.
You can get molasses from organic stores and they are very low in GI, which makes them very ideal sweetener for diabetic patients and generally used as a good sugar substitute. It is cheaper compared to the more expensive Agave Syrup by at least two fold.
I have used molasses and agave syrup extensively in my homemade energy gel that has powered me through 17hours of Ironman races in 2008-2010.
I have made pledges to reduce sugar intake and my first commitment is to stop buying the high-sugared Cola drink no matter how delicious it will be on a hot sunny afternoon.
So, if you must sweeten your meal or drinks, consider using brown sugar as a substitute. If budget permits, consider molasses or agave syrup.
Make the informed choice the next time you put in another spoon of sugar into your coffee, tea or drinks!
Healthier Substitution : Brown Sugar, Molasses, Agave Syrup, Pure Honey.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Map Reading 101

A group of friends will be embarking in an ultra trail run next weekend and all of us as "urban warrior" familiar with the route from Bukit Aman to Hartamas and back would be lost in the jungle where there is no landmark to help us to navigate ourselves to the designated area.
As such, i am posting this Map Reading 101, based on my experience of being trained in Royal Military College, as an adventure racer and most importantly, as someone not being able to be in Sabah for The Most Beautiful Thing (TMBT) Trail and Ultra-Trail race.
Equipment
You will need a compass. There are a few types of compass out there actually and i am covering the most usually found and easy to use type. The concept is the same. However, make sure your compass North, points north. There has been cases where a friend bought a defective compass where his "south" was painted "north" and that render his compass to constantly points to SOUTH as NORTH. Easy to spot, if you are in the shop and you found one compass behaving differently from the others, don't buy it. There is no margin of error to be "different".
I was trained to use a lensatic compass. The military version has "Mil" as the units and the usual one sold is in degree. They are sometimes known as "Engineer Compass". If you have no choice, you can learn to use Lensatic compass like how i did.
Lensatic Compass
Don't be overly concerned about the whole setup. This compass is actually very easy to use.  It consist of the base (where the NSWE sits), the cover (the round thing you see with a gap in the middle and a wire runs across the length) and the rear, which looked like some aiming apparatus. It is not too expensive and will set you back less than RM30.
How you use this is once the direction/coordinate has been established, you use the rear sight, aimed it through the front cover, using the cable as your foresight. What you see beyond the foresight is what you should be aiming for, so you can confidently walks towards that known object before taking out the compass to "realign" your line of sight again.
The other type of compass will be the sports compass or base compass. It is a simple more easily available compass. I know Coleman sell them at about RM20. It is a good start up compass and something you won't mind losing.
Sports or Base Compass. Image taken from Silva Compass.
Base compass is easier to use and simpler. They are often called sports compass as they are extensively used for sports navigating where speed and ease of use plays a pivotal part to locate certain markers on the map.
My personal favourite is the combination compass i have that are made up of both. Call me Kiasu.
Keeping fingers cross in locating where i left this one after SAC :(
There are those Button Compass that can be attached to the wrist watch strap. They functions the same and most important is that you know the general idea how to use them to your advantage. The only setback is that they do not have the versatility to function like a full compass should a full blown navigation is needed.
I assume you have your compass with you, and for the purpose of this tutorial, i will use the only compass i have now with me, which is the Lensatic Compass. I will also do my best to show how to use the Base Compass. Map reading is not rocket science, it is common sense at best.
Knowing Your Map
A map is essentially a piece of paper with information such as, and not limited to contour (or topo), location, distance, extend of vegetation/growth, scale, North direction. A map can be as simple as a piece of paper with just a few essential information such as the North, distance, crude representation of the terrain etc. The best map available for a certain purpose is useless if the user do not know how to utilise the map or to read the map.
There is a few representation of the NORTH in a map. There is the TRUE North, the MAGNETIC North and there is the GRID North. True north usually has a STAR denoting it at the top, Magnetic north points to the magnetic pole and all compass points to this direction. It is represented as a half-headed arrow or a full allow. Grid north basically uses the vertical Gridline as the North. I am going to use the example of TMBT map as reference.
Yes, Can You Now Show Me How To Navigate?
Official Map For TMBT 2011. I Wish I Am There. Map posted with Permission from Race Director
1. Locating the North
First thing i noticed on the map was the missing NORTH. But as the Map is the official race map and having taken part in Sabah Adventure Challenge 2011, knowing the race director and what to expect, my common sense tells me that the map uses ALREADY POINT NORTH, unless you read sideway or upside down. What this meant is the vertical lines (straight line down) can be used to represent the North. So, again, the orientation of the map above is already pointing north. 
So Far So Good?
2. What's the Grid?
The STARTING point for the TMBT100KM race is at the top corner of GRID REFERENCE F12 (in Map reading/military, we call it as Golf-Romeo F- Twelve, Golf-Romeo being used to represent GR or Grid Reference). There is a missing scale on the map as well. Printing the map on an A4 paper, each grid measures 2cmx2cm.
Bring along a good ruler too for the race, if your compass doesn't have a scale.
Looking at it further, we now know that this map is a "special" map. Why is this "special"? It does not fall into the typical 1:1,000,000 or 1:500,000 or 1: 250,000 map scale. Before you start freaking out what these numbers meant, in the most simple laymen term, it shows that 1 cm or 1 inch on the map represent 1,000,000cm or 1,000,000 inches respectively. Bear in mind the smaller the last number, the bigger and more detailed the map will be.
*Update : I received a confirmation from Aman Avtar the Race Director for SAC (that organises this TMBT) that the map used is a 5km sq box. Meaning, each box in the grid represent an area of 5km square. Thanks Aman.
Taking the distance from START (GR F12) to CP1 (GR H10) to be 9.5km and dividing it over the length of  2-map square, you now know that 2cm is about 4km or 1cm is 2km. This is a 1:2,000,000 map. Understandable as the ultimate distance to be covered is 100km.
Looked like the TMBT map is made purely for one purpose only and that is to help/aid you to get from one point to anohter point. I now know why SAC Race Director decided to share the map more than a week in advance before the race - this is so you will have enough time and chances to scrutinise them. I noticed the map is very high resolution as well. Which will give good enough details to you to be utilised. So, if you have not printed out the map, it's high time to do so.
3. How Many Portion Should I Break My Maps Up?
How to print, you may want to ask. The race has a total of 11 check-point or CP Including FINISH but excl START). I would suggest that you plan to cluster your CP up in the most efficient manner. I will leave it to you reader to plan it yourself. Just remember that the less map you carry, the less confused you will be. Ensure the maps are sufficiently detailed to aid your navigation. To start with, one map for one CP will be good. You then aim to cluster them and reduce it for efficiency. Don't forget to number your map too, else, in the confusion, you might not know what map talks to which map. Ensure you have ONE whole map with you (can be up to A3) so it can be used as backup. I print my map on A4 sized paper, which sufficiently gives enough details.
4. Now Come The Fun Part.
We now know the NORTH (Map faces up) and know the estimated scale. Lets navigate from START to CP1. It would help if you have a notepad, a pencil (i suggest pencil as it works even when wet. Just make sure you bring a pocket knife to sharpen it when needed), A permanent fine tip marker (optional).
Map blown up to 600%. It is now an impressive 1:42,000 scaled map! Military map is 1:25,000, giving higher precision
a. Establish the scale on the individual printed map. This is important as it will function as a good estimated distance and duration for your navigation. When the above are printed on A4 paper, the representation has now become 9.5cm = 4km. It works out to be 1cm=0.42km. It might make sense to write down in marker pen the estimated scale.
b. Open up your compass (lensatic) or place your compass on the map (base compass)
c. Align the Map and your compass to point to the same NORTH. This is the single MOST important step. To read map correctly, you must always align your MAP NORTH with your COMPASS NORTH.
My compass north aligned with the grid line, indicating north.
Now, lets navigate to just out of the starting point, crossing the bridge using Lensatic Compass. 
If you have a base compass, you can skip this portion and scroll down.
d. Draw a straight line out from the START point as close as possible to the marked dotted blue trail. It is evidence that the you need to move directly EAST (90deg) for about 1.2km (3cmx0.42km) before taking your next or setting your next coordinates.

With that in mind, you now sight through the rear sight, turn your body until you see E or 90degree in the lense. Then you look up through the cover to locate the front sight and see what is behind the sight. That is the location you need to walk to before taking the compass out and sighting it again.

How do you know it is 1200m that you walked? It will be rough estimation again. If you noticed, the trail follows parallel to the (red) road before turning towards a populated area (black spot on map). I assume all those reading this are average athlete that has done long distance running before. With that, we all know our own pace (minutes per km) when running on the road or in the trail. A typical trail walk over rolling terrains will be about 12mins/km. Estimated this first 1.2k will be covered within 15minutes.
So far so good?
Great.
Next, will be the very long trail run towards CP1. If you look at the map, you will run into a small settlement called Kampung Mangkulat about 4km from starting point.  elevation gain, seen through the contour line (brown dotted) seems to be only 100m over the 4km distance. This is a gentle gradient that can move through pretty fast. Expect to cover the 4.5km within an hour if you WALK. Next question will be, WHERE TO WALK?
e. Draw a straight line from KM1.2 to Kg. Mangkulat. Keep the compass align like a. and b., and repeat c.
f. The estimated coordinate is now about 160deg. With that in mind, repeat the sighting again and keep moving towards that coordinate.

For better accuracy, you need to really plan in details the route you will take. Noticed in the TMBT map, the route to CP1 is mainly running parallel with the (red) road. That road could be an unpaved road or even logging road.This is when your preplanning before the race come into play.
If you plan properly, your notebook now should look like this:
To CP1
1. Starting point -cross bridge - 1.2km :90deg
2. 1.2km - Kg. Mangkulat - 4km :160deg
3. Kg Mangkulat - GR H11(end of red road) - 3.0km : 160deg
4. GR H11 to about 800m EAST : 90deg
5. 800m SOUTH :180deg
6. 1.2km :240deg.
(*this is just an estimated example, use only as a guidance).
Getting to CP1 on a base compass.
Base compass is easier to use compared to lensatic compass. It is really a matter of preference, which is why the compass i have functions as both. Base compass has an outer bezel than can be turned/moved 360degree. The principle of action is same as lensatic compass, just more simplified. As i do not have a base compass with me, i am using graphical representation to show how that is done.
Lets Start Using Base Compass.
To use the base compass, repeat step a. b. and c. above.
Align the Map North with the Compass North.

Next align the edge of the compass to the direction you want to go. The North of the compass MUST continue to point North. This way, the MAP remains to be orientated.
d. Once you complete the above, it is time to turn the outer bezel and align the bezel N(orth) with the needle and the map.
When you do that, you are essentially "automatically" setting the coordinate. In this case, the EAST or 90degree will be at the "Direction Arrow".
e. You can now remove the compass and use it. You need to keep the compass at your waist level, with your hand close to your body. You will then continue to TURN your BODY until the compass NEEDLE align with the DIRECTION ARROW.
If you noticed, the OUTER BEZEL N remains where it is. On a proper compass (i.e. not the one i drew as an imaginery one), you will notice that the coordinate is also 90Deg on the outer bezel or points to E(ast). Simply look up and see what is infront of you, walks towards it and check your line of sight again per step e.
Per lensatic compass, do your homework before the race and write in your notebook how you plan to use these information.
So How Now?
The usage of compass is a basic mean of navigation. With lensatic or base compass, the basic principle remains the same. You have to establish and align the MAP and COMPASS with NORTH. Then work to obtain the coordinate/degree of where you want to go. It is important to keep the coordinate/degree correct, as that is your LIFELINE. Say if you are not sure where you are, and out of some luck, you twisted the outer bezel of the base compass and now you are NOT sure where you are supposed to be heading. Setting the outer bezel coordinate/degree to align with the DIRECTION ARROW will almost ensure you get back right on track.
I sometimes get really anal and hum the coordinate in my head as i navigate through.
"160degree. 160degree. Check. 160degree. 160degree"
TMBT is a "controlled" race in the sense that the route are made known and the map shared prior to the race. Each participants are responsible to do their own homework and ensure that they practice as much as they can with their compass to get familiarized.
Once you are familiar with the basic principle, you can be like me, able to use whichever type of compass to help navigate through the terrain and map.
After reading this simple tutorial, i hope i make it a little easier for all of you To Do It Like A Man.
*I am available for practical if you are really not sure, just email me and i will see what i can do to help. A Cup of Kopi O Kosong can be used to barter trade this skill.
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