Monday, July 27, 2015

I'm Back (actually, never left)

Hi everyone. I've been suffering from the worse possible writer's block and apart from doing the "Cut and Paste" announcement of a few advertorial (that kept me smelling good physically) and the few races that was highlighted of interest (and you will realised I never did bothered to post the change or update SCKLM reverting back to October 4, 2015. Why? Because the postponement SHOULD not had even happen in the first place short major disaster or bad haze).

First FR225 in Malaysia. July 3. Anson Chong
My last product review was for Jabra Rox Wireless and I have at least 3-4 more in draft including a long-term review of the Garmin 920XT. Interestingly, Garmin has brought in many new models since the 920XT. I may unlikely to obtain them and to share the write up. Only through the Garmin Running Clinic, myself and my teammates has been able to see it first hand how they look. Lucky participants were able to see and try for themselves how these function before committing to an unit. The most recent would be the ForeRunner 225 which has built in heartrate reading function via opto-LED. 
I tried it and I can tell you it's faster than the Samsung GearFit I've reviewed and do not require a proprietary apps to run. Here hoping Garmin Malaysia will read this and send me an unit! Yes, I am not shy "like that"!
Moving along, I've not raced for the longest time. The much awaited Ironman Putrajaya 70.3 were a "Did Not Start" or DNS for me due to work commitment. As it turned out, I have to be in Toronto the day after the race. With the total travelling time of 22hours, that was near impossible. However, I tried making the best out of the opportunity to travel (for work) - so I quell the frustration with almost a daily run through Toronto.
-4 deg C with 35-40km/h wind. Even the Toronto folks think it's insane to run in that weather.
That was of course, 2-weeks after my trip to Amsterdam where I would had used it to taper for my 70.3 if I had the opportunity to race. And I was also part of the Garmin Run Clinic in the morning the day I left for Amsterdam.
Amssterdam at equally cold -2 Deg C which was my first time runing at sub-zero temperature. Fun? Of course!
My current job is demanding in terms of travel and responsibilities. Beneath those chances of running in places I only dream of visiting (or on Google Map), it is actually mentally tiring and physically challenging. This is above the regional travel I am doing to countries like China, India, Oman, Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Pakistan and of course, Malaysia. 
And that explained the lack of updates in this blog. 
Just over the weekend, I've been part of two separate running clinic. I've been trying to get myself involved beyond the "blog" and with some real human interaction. Been working well so far and I've proven not to be a social in-ept person ;-)
Garmin Running Clinic July 25, 2015
With the VI Boys from Batch 88
Do I miss racing? Yes very much. Do I miss writing? Most definitely. For those of you new to this blog, do a search using "tristupe" in the search for possible older entries on running, triathlon, race report, healthy eating, tips on food and just about anything incoherent. Make use of the Tag at each of the entries to find similar write up. I will start writing more and will revive or update older post to make it relevant. Most of the sharing that I was told, "useful for runners" were completed in 2011 to 2013 period. That was when i was at the "all out mission" to reset my living habit and start to live healthier. It has not change since and that change has been sustainable and is now a lifestyle. 
Iromman Langkawi 2014
I will be missing Ironman Malaysia 2015 due to work travel. It is very disheartening, more so when I am looking forward to the race. I've gotten my 25% refund as I waited until the very last confirmation that I have no choice but to be in London during the Ironman week. As a consolation, I will be able to run the October 4th SCKLM - and hopefully I will not be in Pakistan that week or the week before. So while the madness of regional and continental travels happen, it is "business as usual" on the road, trainer and swimming pool. It is a lifestyle I embrace - and a lifestyle that will stick for life. I will start sharing the challenges of having to train while travelling - the food and the dealing with time differences. This is perhaps, a direction that will be more relevant as we move towards a different level in career and amateur racing.
Feb 2015 to July 2015 Mileage. Consistently Inconsistent
Stay with me a while longer, I am back.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Running Your First Marathon in 12 Months

Team Athlete Annie Yee
You wipe the sweat from your brow, and almost immediately another drop takes its place. You look further ahead and you see the road takes a turn upwards. Your head pounds as you lost count of the number of climbs you have endured. Your calves are screaming and your shoulders are heavy. Your drenched shirt clings to your body like a second skin as you make your way over the hill and towards the finish line. 300 meters to go. You can see the crowd lining the finishing chute, and photographers snapping away. Your mind goes blank. Months of training and sacrifice has brought you to this moment. You can hear every beat of your heart and every breath you take as you close your eyes for a split second to savour the moment. 10 meters from the finishing arch, you pump both hands in the air and grit your teeth in satisfaction. As you cross the line and the race volunteers put a medal around your neck and hand you an ice cold bottle of water, you realize that you have just put your body and mind through an arduous endurance feat that tested the limits of your physical and mental capacities. You have just earned the accolade of a Marathon Finisher.

The Marathon is a running event with an official distance of 42.195 kilometers and it evokes feelings of awe and respect amongst runners and non-runners even. Imagine running from Klang town all the way to Kuala Lumpur City Centre. You get tired even thinking about driving that distance, what more going on 2 feet. What makes a person willing to run for 42 kilometers? Is it the sheer satisfaction and sense of achievement? Is it the hard-earned finisher’s medal? Is it the marathon finisher’s shirt that you will cherish and have a special place in your wardrobe? Or maybe, it is just bragging rights. Whatever the reason, taking up a marathon challenge is a lifestyle change. It is a test of one’s physical stamina and mental strength and months of hard work and sacrifice leading up to the big event. Every year, thousands of runners take up the challenge of running a full marathon distance race all over the world. Many complete the distance, some struggle through it, others fail in their attempt. It is said that only 1% of the world’s population has completed a full marathon. Will you take up the challenge?

What do runners who have completed the marathon distance have to say about the experience of running one? We asked a simple question to several runners to gauge their response – “What inspired you to take part in your first full marathon?”

The wakeup call was when I discovered during a medical checkup, my cholesterol level was high and because of that, migraine hit me almost every week. It took me a year of training before my first marathon. The aim was to complete the race and with this aim, it kept me motivated to train week after week. At the end, the feeling of crossing the finishing line for my very first marathon was priceless” – Imran, 30, SCKLM 2013, Lecturer

When I saw runners older than me who can complete a full marathon, it spurred my instinct to sign up for my very first marathon. I felt that If they can do it, so can I. Other than that, influence from friends did play a part in motivating me to sign up my very first full marathon.” - Vivienne Loo, Energizer Night Marathon 2010, Self-Employed.

My running experience is less than a year and what really inspired me are other runners in the community who have completed the marathon and beyond. I wanted to put myself in their shoes, to feel what they have gone through and all the sacrifice that is required in completing such a journey. No matter how fast or how slow they ran, they finished it and completed it. Running has taught me a lot of respect and to praise God that how lucky we are to be given such strength and determination to achieve and go beyond the boundaries of human capabilities.” – Man Abdul Shukor, 37, Melaka International River Marathon 2014, Senior Engineer

My main inspiration to enter my 1st FM was to reduce my weight.  My weight was around 85kg and the BMI test showed I am in an unhealthy position. Thus, I took up running and eventually ran a full marathon after 10 months of running.” – Puvan Maha Iswara, 29, Putrajaya Night Marathon 2011, Engineer

This is the first of a series of 6 articles that will guide the runner to complete his or her first marathon race in 12 months time. For a start, the 2015 Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon (SCKLM) will most probably be held in the month of October if everything goes according to plan and it is one of the most well organized marathon events in Malaysia. It is also one of the most popular choices for runners who want to register for their first marathon race. The marathon race scene in Malaysia has grown by leaps and bounds and this is evident from the number of full marathon events you can sign up for today compared to 5 years ago. Some of the marathon events worth mentioning are of course the above Standard Chartered KL Marathon, Penang Bridge International Marathon (PBIM), Putrajaya Night Marathon (PNM), Kuching International Marathon, Borneo International Marathon in Sabah, Island Ocean Marathon in Langkawi and the River Jungle Marathon in Klang Valley. With the boom in running, there is also a marathon event that caters for women called the Malaysia Women Marathon and is a day to celebrate the strength of women and empowerment of sisters in running.

This series of articles will encompass different slices of the marathon pie, and when put together, will enable the runner to have adequate knowledge, information and tips to confidently participate in their first 42.195km road race. The articles will cover progressive training programs that cater to running the full distance; nutrition, fuel and hydration requirements; training gear and race essentials; injury prevention and valuable tips for the big day! Knowing that a first full marathon is one of the defining moments in a runner’s career, it is imperative to be as best prepared as possible approaching the big day.

Sharing their valuable experience and in-depth knowledge in running for the benefit of the runners who would like to take up the first marathon challenge; is Team 2ndskin who were featured in the May/June 2014 issue of Running Malaysia. Team 2ndskin are a team of accomplished runners and triathletes, who amongst themselves have amassed a combined total of 88 marathon finishes and 38 ultramarathon races under their belt (or shoes!). Their combined running mileage easily exceeds 15,000km a year and on average they wear out about 4 pairs of running shoes each in 12 months!  The regular marathon and ultramarathon runners in Team 2ndskin are Roy Yeow, Azrulhisyam Hussin, Lim Ee-Van, Annie Yee and Eugene Teoh. They have run marathons in different conditions and weather, in multiple countries and on different terrains. Having tried and tested different running gears and products along the way, Team 2ndskin are well placed to offer advice on the right choice of equipments and gear required to complete your first marathon. They have also tried different training programs and methodologies and are well-versed with different running workout types and the benefits of each type of workout session to the overall goal of a marathon finish.

Ready to take up the challenge of running your first marathon in 12 months? Look out for the next article on basic and progressive training programs that will kick-start your goal to join the ranks of runners who call themselves Marathoners.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2015 Moves To October 10th As Part Of National Sports Day

A week after the announcement, the ministry decided to revert back to the original date of October 4, 2015. Many runners has subsequently cancelled their trips (outstation or overseas) and this incident remain a black spot in SCKLM history. Reason why POLITICS should stay out of SPORTS!

PUTRAJAYA, 13 JULY- The inaugural National Sports Day which will fall on the 10th of October 2015 will see the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2015 as the flagship event in its activity line-up.

The Marathon, which saw all 35,000 spots snapped up within 4 days, will lend a big boost to the targeted 3 million participants for the inaugural National Sports Day. This means that the iconic race will move from its announced date of Sunday, October 4 to Saturday, October 10, 2015.

National Sports Day will be celebrated simultaneously at district, state and national levels on the second Saturday of October each year following the inaugural event. The celebration has multiple objectives of inculcating a sporting culture, promoting unity, stimulating economic growth, growing sporting knowledge and recognising sporting talent.

“We thank Dirigo Events and Standard Chartered Bank for agreeing to move the Marathon date in support of the National Sports Day,” said Minister of Youth and Sports, Khairy Jamaluddin.

“It’s very significant to have the support of the 35,000 runners. Since 2009, the Standard Chartered KL Marathon has attracted participation from all over the country and abroad. We recognise that the date change will pose some challenges to runners and organizers,” he said.

He added that the ministry will work closely with the organisers to make the transition as smooth as possible for participants.

The race organiser, Dirigo Events, will be contacting all participants of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon (SCKLM) to provide some options soon. Runners are also advised to check the official website: for more information and follow them on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Maxis Waze Safe Mode Kids : Making Drive Safer

Safe Mode Kids is a first of its kind collaboration between Google-owned Waze and Maxis.

Inspired by a survey finding that 97% of Malaysian parents claiming they drive much safer when children are in the car, the Safe Mode Kids project "kidsourced”voices of Malaysian children aged 3 to 12 to develop an innovative way of reminding parents to drive safer.

Different from other Waze special voice packs that usually feature a single celebrity voice, Maxis’ Safe Mode Kids invited different children to donate their voices for Waze directional prompts with charming reminders to drive safe. Instead of the standard Waze navigation prompts you will hear: ‘All set. Don’t forget your seatbelt’, ‘Rerouting. Eyes on the Road!’ and “Accident reported ahead. Please be careful, ok?”

The launch of Safe Mode Kids is also timely in view of the festive season which makes up the busiest travel periods of the year.

The ‘kidsourcing’ phase started with 100 parents who volunteered their kids. A total of 60 children then auditioned and were given lines to record. 20 voices were finally selected for the voice pack. To see what the kids got up to, click here:

Here’s how to get the Safe Mode Kids voice pack :
1) Download/open Waze
2) Select Settings
3) Click on Sound
4) Go to Voice Language
5) Select “English (US) – Safe Mode with Kids” (powered by Maxis)

For more information, please visit

They’re counting on you, think about your kids!
I had my fair share of distracted driving many years ago when mobile phones were more easily accessible and owned. Texting while driving and talking on the phone were a norm. Until I realised just how dangerous that was. Then smart phones became the next big thing and obviously with GPS-enabled apps, we started to fiddle more with the phone while driving. Voice feedback is good, but it only does that much to take away potential distraction on the road. 

On a personal level, I've not used Waze for the past 3 years, as I've adopted the "engine on, phone off" policy. However, this collaboration between Maxis and Waze does piqued my interest to try it out one more time. 

Having voices of kids is good especially when you are driving alone - as a reminder of your own kids at home. If you are single or have not started a family, you may have nephews or nieces that you adore. 

If you are a long time user of Waze, this initiatives by Maxis may just help you to drive a bit safer and potentially remind you of those precious cargoes at home. 

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on distracted driving, and what you are doing to reduce or eliminate them; I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Gucci Bamboo : A New Fragrance For Her

Strong and graceful, one of Gucci’s most recognizable design signatures has defined references in today’s Gucci woman. Bamboo flourishes in extreme conditions. Its natural strength compares to steel. Slender and elegant, bamboo soars willowy over other vegetation. The modern Gucci woman shares bamboo’s characteristics. She balances strength and confidence with her innate femininity.
Like bamboo, she is an alluring mix of many sides.

Gucci Bamboo emanates the Gucci woman’s diverse sides: her femininity, confidence, savvy and strength. The fragrance represents her essence. A fragrance that is so true to her spirit, it’s tailor-made precisely for the Gucci woman.
Natural and resonant ingredients create a captivating olfactory story. Woody and warm notes vibrate through the heart and base. Deep Sandalwood, heady Tahitian Vanilla and unique grey Amber accords strike a complementary contrast with the exotic floral notes of soft Casablanca Lily, feminine Orange Blossom and delicate Ylang Ylang.

Melding delicate sensibility with strong lines, the bottle becomes a visual statement. The distinctive bottle reveals the scent’s inspiration and Gucci’s famed design signature. Boldly cut art deco, diamond-style glass facets are juxtaposed against the curved, feminine cap and the pale blush scent inside. The sleek cap reveals bamboo’s unmistakable ridged contours in polished silver metal.

The epitome of strength combined with feminine allure. Intriguingly beautiful, emerging star Gal Gadot is the face of Gucci Bamboo.
Gal Gadot
Gal stars in a compelling video campaign directed by Fabien Baron. The film reveals the Gucci woman’s distinct sides: her passion, her softness and her fascination.

Lensed by Mert and Marcus, the print campaign transfixes its viewers. An expression of irrepressible allure, the visuals depict a beautifully feminine Gal as the Gucci woman against an elegant bamboo motif. A juxtaposition of undeniable femininity and strength.

Gucci Bamboo EDP 30 ml RM 260
Gucci Bamboo EDP 50 ml RM 361
Gucci Bamboo EDP 75 ml RM 463

My Review
New in Spring 2015, Gucci introduced the Bamboo fragrance, which is in line with their range of accessories (handbag with bamboo handle). Personally, I find a frgrance named Bamboo to be strange. Being an ourdoor person and has seen many bamboo forest, I equate the fragrance to be awe-inspiring, strong, tall and sexy. With every wind or breeze, the bamboo would move and there isa refreshing nature scent that comes along.
Bamboo Forest at Genting Sempah
After having the privilege of trying many different fragrances that are more masculine, trying on a feminine note is a refreshing change. The top note were citrus with flowery (lily) fragrance and it disappear fast (Citrus less than 5 seconds!) before the midtone Vanilla takes over. The base note of sandalwood radiates subtlety. I noticed that the fragrance do not last the whole day but sort of slowly disappear or weaken after about 4-hours. For those of you that love your fragrances long lasting, Bamboo may not appeal too strongly for you - but it promises a new breath of change and allow pleasant whiff of floral woody scent.

The bottle is very nicely designed and as a man, I find it appealing and sexy. Maybe that is the feminine side of me talking. Go check the fragrance out from July 1, 2015 at Parkson and KL Sogo. You may find yourself loving the fragrance like I did.