Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013

This is how it has been looking from my own perspective. in 2011, i did a The Good, The Bad and The Ugly comparison and matrix my year according to the items i noted down. As this year has been very kind to me with only one or two incidences of the Bad and maybe just ONE Ugly, I can quickly sum it up to be a GOOD year.
Family
On the family front, having able to spend more time with the family by getting to go home earlier has been the biggest perks in my career in the past five years. In the past 12 months, It has been eye opening for me to be able to wake up when the kids does, prepare them for school and be home before the sun set to spend a bit more time with them. Now with one going to Primary school, I still can't believe how fast time has past, or where has the time go. Embracing fatherhood was what 2012 has taught me. I will be spending the first 3 days of his Primary school life close to him (or as far as I can distance myself).
Cleaner Eating
Wifey has embraced my passion for clean eating and has been very involved with cooking and baking good healthy food at home. So much so that we are having thoughts of having a small setup done in the new future to cater for more personalised cooking that people would appreciate. Maybe that would set us for retirement.
Simple Pesto Tuna Spread with Avocado on Homemade Toasted Bread
The home cook trend became a lifestyle change where we do not eat out unless it is for occasions such as birthday of family members or if we want to treat ourselves to something different. But over the months, with more experimenting and refinement in all existing recipes, we now find burger patties, ribs, fish, noodles and anything outside to be "question mark" about the price and the quality of the ingredient involved. More healthy food recipe can be found here.
Sports
One of the most significant event that happened in 2012 was when me and wifey ran 3-marathons in 64 days. It started in Bali, then Borneo and ended with SCKLM. While it is usual for the more hardcore to score a least one marathon a month, I see this as an achievement for myself and wifey due to the fact that wifey has only ran her first marathon a year before and scored her second marathon finish at SCSM in 2011. So, her Marathon number 3 to 5 was done in a rather "rushed" scheduled. Wifey too has started running trails and loving it and has taken up cycling. We signed up for Powerman to do the full distance individually. All were well until a motorbike ran into her from the back.
Ouch.
She is still recovering but getting stronger as the day passes (i hope).
As for me, Sports has been great personally. I've buffed up on my own running fitness. Previously, ability to run at sustain 6:00 pace (min/km) is an achievement. Who would had thought I would be running at a sustained 4:20 pace (for up to 5km) or having a speed threshold of 4:39 pace (aka my 80% effort)? Personal best record fell like bowling pins as each run/race i begin to score a new PB. It was satisfying personally. For the record, below is my current PB for various distances.
1km : 3:38
1mile: 6:17
5K: 21:58
10K: 45:56
12K: 58:52
15K: 1:14:00
21K: 1:46:20
42K: 5:17:23
Will I swim longer, cycle faster and run stronger? 2013 will be interesting year to monitor my own progress.
As of December 29, 2012
My mileage (Swim, Bike, Run) for 2012 up to today is 2518km. If not because of the Chicken Pox, i would had likey wrap up 2012 with no less than 2580km. In 2012, I Swam 9km, Bike 653km and Ran 1770km. I also Walked a total of 86km. Compare this to my mileage in 2011 of 1010km total, I must say I not only shrunk (in size), but almost tripled in Mileage.
As of Today, December 31, 2012
The year 2012 got better towards the end with me being part of the Brooks Frunners. This has allowed me receive some of the new shoes (mostly not launched model) for me to try out and review. Then it went up one whole level with me being chosen by 2ndSkin Asia to be part of their Sponsored Athletes program! With that, it brought in Skechers and Hammer Nutrition too!
2013 only promises to get better with all these extras in place.
Career
The year started with me starting fresh in a new company that dealt with renewable energy. Having a bunch of fantastic colleagues that has shared and shown me what I need to know and grow together was the best feeling ever. There was just one common aim and that is to make the project work. 
It has been a fantastic LIFE-WORK BALANCED year. I am happy i managed to change it from WORK-LIFE Balance. Some might ask me "what's the differences". A lot. I would say. To start with, it's LIFE first before WORK. Something many can't achieve. And the "balance", well, it is NOT really a balance but definitely more weightage to LIFE itself. After all, having a family and watching the kids grow, something got to give. Truly, this balance can be achieved if we set our mind to it. 
As a dynamic person, I try not to limit myself to just this. There are so much to do out there. I've had it played in my mind in 2012 if i want to take the leap and turn into a Physical Trainer. Perhaps even a Life Coach? How about a Nutrition Advisor? Me and wifey too have a few plans and perhaps exploit her prowess in the kitchen with something more rewarding? I a not one that would talk about work in my blog. Suffice to say there are challenges and as wage earners, we have to be able to adapt and "make things work". Constantly changing and evolving, I am always open to opportunity. So, if any bosses read this and want someone as dynamic as myself to be in your institution, drop me an email. Never know what you (or myself) could get ;-)
Social
2012 has seen me engaged more in the social media. Launched my own Facebook Page as a mean to interact with people I will know. I have taken Twitter and use it as a mean to share healthy tips and training lifestyle. Learnt to utilise LinkedIn more for possible networking (and has gotten a lot of calls from headhunters). My blog (aka this one you are reading) has taken a life of it's own and the unique views are climbing steadily. The decision to use www.tristupe.com was a good one. At the same time, I saw the opportunity to use this blog to propogate healthy living and also training tips. It has became an extension to my lifestyle and I wil continue to strive to ensure more good articles are written. Indeed, it is a challenge to consistently write.
In 2012 too, I've used this blog as a form of activism. With Bukit Kiara very close to my heart (as I train and uses the hills almost daily), it become natural that I get involved and try to raise awareness about the destructions that are happening. You can read more about it all here.
Wrapping 2012 Up
Better Health. Better Life. Better everything. 2013 already looked and sound like a fantastic year. No doubt there will be road-blocks, but there is nothing a little flexibility and working as a team with my dearest family can't manage. So, here to a fantastic 2013 to you personally and your family too. May it bring a lot of health and much more joy that it ever did in 2012. See you all in 2013!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Xterra Malaysia 2013 Open For Registration

Teaser from yesterday's announcement
You Read That Right. Registration is open TODAY at 11am.

The organiser has created two separate registration to ensure smoother process for everyone as not to jam up the system. Please click on the appropriate link stated below (they are DATE SPECIFIC AND HIGHLIGHTED IN BOLD AND CAPITAL) and make sure you are signing up for the correct day/event!


The Xterra Sprint and Trail Run Registration Interface
27th APRIL 2013 : REGISTRATION HERE
XTERRA MALAYSIA TRIATHLON – SPRINT
Distance: 750m swim, 20km cycle, 5km run
Fee: USD80 (Malaysian), USD 100 (non-Malaysian)
Early bird: USD68 (Malaysian), USD85 (non-Malaysian)

XTERRA MALAYSIA – TRAIL RUN (11km & 5km)
Distance: 11km
Fee: USD40
Early bird: USD34

Distance: 5km
Fee: USD15
Early Bird: USD13


The Xterra World Championship Event and the Relay Interface
28th APRIL 2013 : REGISTRATION HERE
XTERRA MALAYSIA TRIATHLON – WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Distance: 1.5km swim, 30km cycle, 11km run
Fee: USD100 (Malaysian), USD150 (non-Malaysian)
Early bird: USD85 (Malaysian), USD128 (non-Malaysian)
  
XTERRA MALAYSIA TRIATHLON – RELAY (3 members in a team)
Distance: 1.5km swim, 30km cycle, 11km run
Fee: USD225/team (Malaysian), USD250/team (non-Malaysian)
Early bird: USD190/team (Malaysian), USD213/team (non-Malaysian)

** Teams must consist of three individuals, and please indicate clearly what each team member will do (swim, bike, or run). Mixed teams can be two (2) males and one (1) female; or two (2) females and one (1) male.


Head over to Xterra Malaysia for more Dirty Details!

28/12/12 Update : The organiser has informed me that the Xterra Malaysia website is not fully up yet. The registration link is above in yellow highlight, bold and capital.


More Updates on the participants' entitlements:

FOR TRIATHLON (SPRINT) & TRAIL RUN (11KM & 5KM)
- EACH PARTICIPATION THAT COMPLETED THE COURSE WILL BE GETTING:
: XTERRA MALAYSIA 2013 FINISHER TEE
: XTERRA MALAYSIA 2013 FINISHER MEDAL
: POST RECOVERY MEAL

FOR TRIATHLON (WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP & RELAY)
- CARBO LOADING NIGHT
- EACH PARTICIPATION THAT COMPLETED THE COURSE WILL BE GETTING:
: XTERRA MALAYSIA 2013 FINISHER TEE
: XTERRA MALAYSIA 2013 FINISHER MEDAL
: POST RECOVERY MEAL

FOR FURTHER INQUIRIES ON THE RACE, PLEASE EMAIL US AT info@xterramy.com 

Chicken Pox at 36 Years Young

It all started after the run I did last Sunday. Never mind it was done right under the afternoon hot sun, the condition of which the run was executed should not bother me as I am pretty acclimatised come rain or shine (not tested in snow).
All Weather I Am - just NOT all sickness
It was one of my usual running training. I wanted a Hill Circuits - repeating 1km up hill and downhill for 10km. But my body was feeling a bit sore, likely from some of the HIIT and Race-pace Tempo I've been doing the past few days. So, i decided to just execute the Power Hill training.
It wasn't a satisfying run due to the timing and the more than usual lethargic feeling. I put my all in every training session, committing to what I planned out to do. 6.5km in 38minutes was slower than my usual timing. I knew something was wrong. What should I do? Am I Overtraining? Should I rest for two days
Immediately after the run, I went to pick wifey up from her trip to 1Utama. She noticed a blister near my armpit.
"Eh, got a boil here lah", she said as she proceed to burst it.
"could be chaffing", I said. Small blisters sometimes do form and that day, i was wearing a XS running vest that belongs to wifey. It was the SCKLM vest that got mixed up in my closet.
When I got home, I noticed another boil like lesion, this time on my inner thigh, and it correspond to the usual spot I will chaff. I burst it too.
The whole day went on with me feeling nauseated and having a headache. I kept drinking water and stayed hydrated - I have a date with my parents later that night (yes, read about the Dining In The Dark, here). 
Once we were home, I noticed small bumps around my jaw line, and my scalp get uncomfortably itchy with pimple-like bumps. I then realised that it could be Chicken Pox.
Posting by Poc Poc Boy
The very next day, I went to my usual GP and he verified I had Chicken Pox as the rashes/blisters were all over my body and not in patches like Shingles. I was immediately told to stop all exercises (my GP knows i does triathlon and train on regular basis - he just has no idea about my mileage). That hit me harder than the news I have chicken pox. I was given three medication. One for the itch, one for the pain and one for the pox. The anti-histamine was the drowsy type as I felt sleepy within 15minutes of taking it, so i reserves it for night time only. The medication for the pain has not been taken yet, as so far the joint pain and headache is still very bearable. The medication for the Pox specific is interesting. I need to take this for 7 days, every 4hours, each tablets contain 800mg of acyclovir. 
7-11-3-7-11. Alarm all set.
I was given this as it is within 24-48 hours of the rash first appearing. The drugs will stop the virus from multiplying and shorten the course of the disease, drying up faster. I am given a 10days MC which effectively cancelled out all the days I've officially taken leave from work.
First MC in 13 years of working. Potential employers, take note
Today, at the time of writing, It is my 3rd day and things has turned rather nasty. My face has been covered with pockmarks and so is every part of my body imaginable (I i meant where the sun don't usually shine too) That include my mouth, gum and tongue. Now I know why they say it's more suffering in adults contracting Chicken Pox at an older age, and why it could potentially be fatal.
It get worse after the photo was taken
In fact, with calamine lotion all over my body, I could passed off as an Aboriginal Warrior. 
the original pics were taken from Google. Below is me, obviously.
Today, as you are reading this, marks the 5th day of the Pox. Technically, it should already start to dry up and i desperately need them to be so. My son is starting school next week on the 2nd January and It is "just in time" for the pox to stop being contagious. I wouldn't want half the school missing because of me.
What I learnt from this Chicken Pox
1. If you have not had any, it will happen to you. All it takes is your immune system to be weak and you are exposed to the virus. In my case, my hard training and my daughter being the propagator of the virus about 3 weeks prior to me getting it.
2. Vaccination will not prevent you from not having chicken pox. You will still have it if the conditions are all correct. 
3. The itchiness is easily controlled if you are an adult. I have very little issue with it. The Calamine doesn't really reduce the itch, it just act as a barrier and soak up any sweat/perspiration
4. The virus are easily killed with raised temperature, mild detergent and soap. Personal hygiene is important to help reduce the chances of the virus being airborne as your skin dries.
5. Tend to any broken skin with some antiseptic cream of generous amount of calamine lotion. This is to prevent secondary infection and the sore become a boil, leaving huge scars.
6. Light exercises is OK. I realised my heart rate were erratic during this period, with my resting heart rate going up almost 50% of my usual reading. It was constantly at 62bpm and that is above (way up) from my usual 40bpm.
7. Chicken Pox will appear everywhere and at all part of your body, including under your eyelid and even inside the nose. And that is me just being 13PG about the other locations.
8. It is harder to manage NOT running that to manage Chicken Pox.
Perhaps, in a bigger picture, God wants me to rest for just this once (a year). 2012 has been a good year health-wise. I look forward to what 2013 has in store for me. *staring at my GoBionic*

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dining In The Dark Kuala Lumpur : An Experience

Let me warn you that today's posting will be so devoid of photos that all you could possibly get are words. This will be challenging as a food/restaurant review without any source of lights (and i meant total darkness) and no food photos, will be a tough blog entry to do.
Like seriously pitch dark
I received an invitation to savour this experience about two weeks ago. What makes this a more unique experience was that I will be double-dating my parents. Yes. Me, my wife, my mum and my dad. I don't believe this has ever happened (and without the kids aka grand kids). According to my dad, Dining in the Dark is not a new concept having seen a following in places like Bangkok and Japan. It is however, something very daring by a Malaysian eateries in a larger establishment.
Achluophobia
The fear of Darkness. That was what it is. I know wifey is borderline in this case and she was daring to agree to this outing. She is known to leave me behind when we runs through tunnel and her biggest fear come SAC2013 is running in the complete darkness. The trip down town, which rarely happen and the opportunity to be at Changkat (the last she went there was almost 4 years ago) was too much to let go. My mum too, has never been downtown since almost forever. Yes, KL has changed a lot even for the KLites. It can be daunting. It's forever changing.
Constantly Changing Skyline. Only things certain is the jam, even on weekend
The trip down to KL via the smaller road was educational to a large extend. Most of the double storey or triple storey townhouse has turned into  home for the immigrants. No longer you see locals staying - saved for one or two houses we saw along Jalan Berangan before turning off to Jalan Nagasari. Best parking area to visit the eateries along Changkat is at Radius International Hotel. Warning though if you drive a truck or one of those larger that usual SUV, there are sections at the parking that will only allow a maximum clearing of 5-feet 5-inches by 7-feet wide. Exiting the Hotel lobby at M1, you just need to cross the road to Werner's At Changkat. Dining In The Dark is situated right on top of Werner's and Whisky Bar.
The entrance is situated between Werner's and Whisky Bar.
In The Family
Dining In The Dark is part of the Werner's group of restaurant. I am sure many of you are not stranger to El Cerdo & El Cerdito, The Bier Bar, The Whisky Bar and Werner's at Changkat. Most of you would know the food would be good coming from the this group. This is important as Dining In The Dark concept will NOT allow you to KNOW and SEE the food you will be eating. So at the very least, you know the food that will be served, will be good, if not better. 
The last place you will see "lights"
The Adventure Starts
The family arrived and was greeted by Raine. She sat us down and offered us some welcome drinks. She took the time to explain to us the mechanics of the dining which includes telling us that "no camera, phones, watches or anything that will emit lights will be allowed". Here are some of the  information I remembered, and that will help you to "prepare for the experience".
1. It will be pitch dark. You will not be able to see your own nose or your hands even if you put it inches from your eyes.
2. ALL staffs behind the door (of the dining area) are visually impaired or completely blind. They are the Darkness Experts.
3. You will be served a multi-course meal : appetisers, mains and desserts. The whole experience will be RM88++ per person. Your name will be taken with the preferences (my dad is vegetarian), drinks and such taken note off.
Yes, the welcome drink is included, so is coffee or tea at the end of the dining
4. There will not be any BEEF or PORK served so that all races and religion can enjoy this experience, as long as they do not mind alcoholic beverages being served in the same establishment. In other words, it's not Halal.
5. If you are allergic to any food, or a vegetarian, do let them know. Your food will then be customised accordingly. Remember, you will be eating in total darkness. Trust is important.
6. The food that will be served : A mystery. But it changes once every few weeks. 
7. You can order a drink with your meal. The cost is additional to the RM88++. You can request for plain water. It's free.
The Red wine was good. :)
8. Lockers will be available outside to safe keep your belongings. Now, you are ready to go into the Dark Side. Sorry, couldn't resist the pun.
What? No phone to Instagram?
We were lead by Raine to meet up with Thong, the diner's waiter. He is visually impaired. We were asked to place our hands on each other's shoulder, with Thong leading the way. As we enter the door, lights slowly leave us behind. Going through a dark curtain and suddenly everything went pitch dark. Saved for the iR cameras installed on the ceiling, there is NO lights. So, if you really do need some lights, just look at the camera to know that you aren't alone. Now that you know there are cameras, remember not to try anything funny, like streaking while eating, groping, having your date as desserts etc etc. 
Thong put us all at the designated seats. This way, he will always remember where we are seating. We were then "shown" where the cutleries were on the table. The water glass on the top right, below it is the fork and spoon (no knife for obvious safety reasons), On your 12 o clock is the dessert spoon and fork, and on top of that is a napkin. Simple set up and you can imagine your space as you run your fingers around the table. Soon after, the drinks we ordered arrived with Thong announcing it. We just need to remember to reply to him or the waiter/waitress so they know where to find you. The drinks will be placed next to your water cup. Thong speaks good English and has been trained appropriately in the art of fine dining. Though visually impaired, just remember that you are in "his world". A world without sight. It makes you humble and appreciate how we with sight-ability sometimes failed to appreciate even this gift.
Wifey were fearful of the dark and it showed with her holding onto my hands tightly for the first 5-minutes. Assuring that all will be OK she told me that if she can survive this pitch darkness, Sabah Adventure Challenge should not be an issue if needed to run in the dark. She slowly warmed up to this whole idea of total darkness and once the food was served, we were slowly exploring with our senses.
Sense of Smell was heighten as the warm food were placed in front of us.
Sense of Taste became more sensitive as we became more aware of what we are putting into our mouth, the texture, the taste, the warmness or the coldness.
Sense of Touch were used to feel around the plate, and for me, IN the plate to "visualise" the placement of the food presentation.
Sense of Hearing became more acute, as we listen to each other and started to have conversations - instead of Facebooking, Tweeting, Instagraming or just Whatapps-ing.
We learnt to rely of the other senses to "See". Half way through, Nicole, the Restaurant Manageress stopped by and greeted us. She spoke fluently in English, Bahasa and most Chinese dialects. Her sweet voice and friendly charms keep you at ease and if you were lucky enough during your dine-in, she might just play the Piano for you, in the dark! By the way, Nicole is also visually impaired. How she manages all these? Inspiring.
That night, we had exactly what the menu stated - 3 appetisers, 3 main courses and (not 4, but) 5 desserts. All portioned to satisfy an average eater. Just remember that this is not a Buffet where you stuff yourself, neither is this fine dining that has plates bigger than the food served. The plate that were used for both appetisers and main were about 30cm by 15cm, sectioned into three recessed part, and in each holds the mysterious meal. We were suggested to eat it "Chinese style" aka from right to left (as in like reading a Chinese book from right to left). That way, you will have a chance to appreciate what you take a portion-at-a-time.
As there are no rules to eat with the cutleries, I find eating with my fingers and occasionally using the spoon, instead of the fork, to be more enjoyable. Some of the food are very very obvious to what they are (Spoiler : like baby tomato with it's acidic taste) - but most of it, it was a guessing game. 
My mum is a very picky eater, she is not a fan of western dining - preferring her salad cooked rather than raw. So it was indeed "eye-opening to see" her eating what was served. Truly, if you can't see what you eat, you will just ignore and eat it (as long as it's not alive). The funniest moment was when wifey reaches out to my mother's plate and realised that my mum has only eaten ONE portion with the other two portions still perfectly intact (see how powerful the sense of touch is?) Not helping that her (my mum) insistent not to use her fingers has actually pushed off the food onto the table. 
By the way, the dessert (spoiler again) was awesome. It was sinful for me and wifey said she licked off the plate. 
Soon after our meal was over, we announced to Thong and we were led out by Nicole in the same manner that we were led in by Thong. We said our very appreciative thanks to Nicole and her team and were sat down again by Raine where we were asked if we knew what we ate...we then had the menu of what we ate revealed to us. And I am not going to spoil if for you. 
She Survived!
We were then told to head to Ten @ Changkat (Or Werner's @ Changkat) for our coffee or tea to complete the meal. With the eyes slowly getting accustomed to the bright lights, my parents were sitting down in what could be my first time with them having coffee al-freso style.
Not everyday you get to see them do this
Some Tips and Pointers for Dining In The Dark KL
1. Speak softly. Our voice tend to amplify a few folds simply because we lost the sense of space to the person next to us and we felt there is a need to speak louder.
2. Try not to reveal what you are eating too loudly. Let the other around you make their guesswork. It's ok to share within the same table of same diners, but don't assume the other diners on the other table would want to know what will be served before they get their food.
3. Go with your eyes wide open. That way, you will be able to enjoy and suck in the whole experience. No, you won't bite off your own fingers and no, they would not serve anything that they will not eat themselves.
4. Remember this : None is as blind as those that do not want to see. ;-) 

Thank you Nicole and team for the wonderful unforgettable experience. I know most, if not all of you will not be able to read this unless someone reads them, but i hope the management sees this and let you all know about the good job your team are doing. Awesome.

Reservations/booking/group booking can be done here:
Dining in the Dark Kuala Lumpur (on top of Werners’ or now it is Ten @ Changkat)
44A & 46A Changkat Bukit Bintang
Tel: +603 2110 0431
Reservation: +6012 251 5797 / 03-2110-0431
Email: info@dininginthedarkkl.com
Opening hours: 6.30pm – 10.30pm (Tuesday – Sunday) These good people rest on Monday
Like their Facebook Page Here and follow them on twitter here
My friend Rebecca Saw has posted a superb review on her blog too. You might want to go and read it there.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Kiara Trail Run

Last Saturday I attended the trail run organised by Raymond "Tomatoman" Ng. It was a Christmas trail run that involve a small gift exchange, breakfast and a visit to an old folks home to share the festivities.

It has been almost 3-months since my last trail run proper. Due to preparation for Desaru 116 and also a few other races that doesn't require any action in the dirt, it has taken a back seat at training. I've responded for the run almost a month ago only to find out on the eve that it was on Dec22. Thank you Johnson for alerting me. When he called me earlier in the afternoon asking about hydration pack vs waist pack, i did offer to take him into the trails. Little did i know...his intention was to get one for the trail (and HM/FM/training).
The Run
We made a lot of noise at the park
The usual suspects were there and there were at least 20 of us congregating that morning. The plan was the usual route and take on more (distance) if time permits. I was happy to see Boss man showing up with Shang and Hafidz.
Try catching a 58 years old man. :D 
And Johnson took my advice and got the same hydration pack as me. :D Now you are as awesome as me (haha)
Johnson (left) with Raymond
At about 7.30am, we had a group photo taken by KC Leong. :) Thanks KC!
Thank you KC.
The run start from Office and headed towards Coronary Bypass, up Lung Buster and towards Twin Peak before going down Dirty Deeds and congregating at the "very confusing interchange".
Out of Office
Down coronary bypass
Ronnie (back) taking the trail like it's flat.
Stopping at the clearance half way up Lung Buster, we were greeted by the hatching of a whole bunch of baby millipedes. Yes, these are babies and their exo-skeletons are still semi-soft (I pressed them). These could be potential good protein source.
Yummeh (?)
The distance covered at that stage was just 2.5km, or thereabout. Check out the sweat on my face and arms. Running trails takes a lot out of you and it's super enjoyable.
Boss man lurking behind
It was a new experience for most that came to Kiara the first time. In fact, for a mountain biking friend, Ronald, the experience of running the trail he usually cycle pushes him to run like he never did.  I took the lead while KC and Raymond stayed in the middle pack to sweep and to guide. That too, we lost two person. Raymond back-tracked and managed to find the two and they headed back to the park. From the "confused interchange" we head to Look-Out point. A sad looking piece of land overlooking the overdeveloped Desa Sri Hartamas. The installation of the fences has turned the once secondary jungle into a piece of barren land with gravel road large enough to accommodate a 5-tonne truck.
Thank you again KC.
The Group then move towards the interchange and we did the 2K loop before re-grouping. Some of us decided to take the Magic Carpet via 4K loop before running back to the park.

The group then proceed for a Christmas gifts exchange and I received a multi tool from my mystery Santa (or Santarina). Thank you!
Merry Christmas!
I then parted way with the rest as my son has class at the park. Raymond lead the group for breakfast and subsequently to visit an old folks home for some festive sharing.
Well done you all for the selfless sharing. 
I am currently down with Chicken Pox (got it on the night of 23rd December, flared up December 24th). My running might only be confined in the trails for now as to minimise human contact. :)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas And Happy New Year

We all survived the End Of Day (yes, it's so lame) last week and tomorrow, we celebrate Christmas. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for the wonderful 2012 (in this blog). I believe I've not missed a posting except during major festivities, weekends or falling sick!
Me and my lovely family would love to wish all of you readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We wish that your years to come will be filled with much health and everything you wanted (but go easy on those burgers ya).
As the year draw to an end, the next few following days will be more of me wrapping up the year by revamping the blog layout. As you can see, or noticed, there are a few tabs at the top of the blog and my intention is to segregate my postings according to topic of interest for easy searching. I might not be able to "wrap everything up" by end of the year, and it will be work in progress (WIP) mostly. 
More good stuff coming up soon
Now, be nice, Santa will visit tonight and I hope you will all receive your gifts of health and vitality!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Rest In Peace Abang Rabani Ayub

Today, a Friday, is dedicated to a friend and mentor that has passed away. 
The last photo on Abang Rabani's Timeline.
His message read:
Some of the attending photographers and KOPEL rangers working along the trail on a night photography practical in the Tungug Rainforest of Kinabatangan. 

This weekend, they would be working in the caves and rainforest of Supu Rainforest Reserve. Saturday, December 15 at 4:00pm
Wednesday morning, I was woken up by a nudge from my wife.
"Hey, Rabani passed away", she told me.
I sat up and it was 7am. Sabah Adventure Challenge Facebook Page posted this on their page.
Sad News.
The cause of his passing is unknown at the time of posting. Abang Rabani is very passionate and professional about his work. He always share tips and stories on his Facebook page and his generousity is well known. I am sharing a few images from his Facebook Page so that everyone can draw inspiration from him. If you note, there is the EXIF data on every photo. He share and he wants you to learn. Be inspired.
Tip Of Borneo. Night Photography. December 2, 2012.
Gunung Kinabalu from Kundasang. 
The moonlight view of Sungai Kadamaian at Kg Tambatuon during the night/lowlight practical exercise for a group of photographers.
26th Mt. Kinabalu International Climbathon, Mount Kinabalu:
Spaniard Killian Jornet, the Winner of the Men's Open Category after bursting through the narrow Lompoyou Ridge with a view of the enveloping mist of Eastern Plateau. He completed the mountain race in 2:11:45 and also holding the number one position in the Skyrunning World Series.

Lompoyou, about 1.5km from the Mesilou-Summit junction was one of the two photo checkpoints along the Mesilou Trail where photographers were assigned to cover the international climbathon. The other checkpoint was Schima about the same distance from Mesilou Gate. 
Raymond Ng - as captured by Abang Rabani during TMBT2012
Tony, As captured climbing up Hamburger Hill during SAC2011
In case you are wondering how does the person who has been commenting critically your works, here's an up close work of me...
Rest In Eternal Peace Abang Rabani. You will forever be missed.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Xterra Malaysia 2013

Logo from my 2009 Blog Entry
Got a note from a friend that Xterra Malaysia will be back in 2013. Having being involved heavily as the organiser for the first Xterra Malaysia in 2009 in Kuantan, this offroad triathlon has it's own following and excitement. 
From the Race Organiser. You See it here, first.
Looked like 2013 will start to see the return of many races that many loves. Stay tuned to this blog for more info as the registration to be announced. The event already slotted to happen on April 28, 2013 in Xterra website.
Spot MALAYSIA. The website/link, unfortunately, is not working yet.
I am in touch with the organiser of Xterra Malaysia and was told that the weekend will be filled with activities that includes trail running as well. So, there is something for everyone (that does not swim or mountain bike). Stay tuned at this blog for more updates!

Thank you notes for the successful event in 2009

December 20, 2012 Updates: I've recieved from the Race Organisers the "Sneak Preview" on what will happen on both 27th and 28th April, 2013 for the Xterra Malaysia Weekend.

27TH APRIL 2013
XTERRA MALAYSIA TRIATHLON - SPRINT
DISTANCE: 750M SWIM, 20KM CYCLE, 5KM RUN

XTERRA MALAYSIA - TRAIL RUN
DISTANCE: 11KM & 5KM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
28TH APRIL 2013
XTERRA MALAYSIA TRIATHLON - WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
DISTANCE: 1.5KM SWIM, 30KM CYCLE, 11KM RUN

XTERRA MALAYSIA TRIATHLON - RELAY
DISTANCE: 1.5KM SWIM, 30KM CYCLE, 11KM RUN
** 3 MEMBERS IN A TEAM
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