Monday, October 02, 2023

KLSCM 2023 : Half Marathon Race Report

First of all, allow me to congratulate all of you that has braved the KLSCM REPC, Race and Post Race. It was indeed a huge event with no less than 55,000 participants, not counting the manpower involved in the whole event proper. No matter which state of achievement you did, you all deserved a big pat on your back. Extra shout out if this is your FIRST ever proper running race - remember to sign up for more in the future and make this a healthy option in your life.

Now, onwards to my race report.

Evidence I Ran and Finished the Half Marathon

The biggest run annually took place last weekend with an almost even split of 27K runners on Saturday running the Kid Dash. 5 and 10KM categories and Full Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday. It was a build up that many season runners were looking forward to. Many had trained just for this one race, with mission 

This year is my 12th time taking part in KLSCM with my participation record showing I ran 10KM once (2009), Half Marathon twice (2010 and 2023 this year), with remaining 10 times FM (2010-2015, 2019, 2020 VR, 2021 VR, 2022) only missing 3 years where I had to juggle work and other priorities that clashes with the race. While it seems strange to "downgrade" to a Half Marathon when record has shown I have been running Marathon all these while, it was done with a lot of consideration and calculated risk.

Some of you may remember my KLSCM 2022 where it happened on my birthday. While i clocked my personal best in a standalone marathon, I must relive the fact that it was a race that got away - I was very prepared, primed for the race. But I overestimated my personal condition having landed back from a 33hours journey. You can read about it here

Decision to run the Half was with the intend to renew a 3-years old Half Marathon distance that I clocked while travelling on the eve of the Pandemic. A solid 1:34 HM around Central Park NYC could not be sweeter. Naturally, to match or to break this timing I set back in 2020 would be sweet in an accredited race route and on home ground. Thanks to my sponsor Sports Paragon, I secured a slot to race despite having priority registration.

October 1, 2023 marked Day 1320 of Runstreak. That is also how many days it was since the country went into lockdown. The training has not ceased. Unlearning, relearning, restarting everything from scratch because there isn't really anything more to do during the 18 months plus of lock down - and dare I say, that many days of showing up was what gave me the confidence in setting a 3:30 Marathon in 2022. As they say, we can train, we can plan. Come race day, things can change.

Pre-Race Flat Lay: Brooks racing top, Pressio Arahi shorts, Brooks Hyperion Elite 2, Stryd Pod, Pacific and Co Socks, Shokz OpenRun Pro, Garmin FR965, Hammer Nutrition Espresso 50mg Caff Gel, Hammer race belt
Waking up at 2.45am after a good 4 hours and 30mins of sleep, me and my wife got ready to head down to Dataran. We spent 20mins to ensure we got everything we need, including a quick breakfast which will give us a good 2-hours buffer before the race. We brought some pre-race snacks too, to ensure we do not start on an empty tank. A bottle of plain water to hydrate and some spare nutrition, in case we drop it along the way. I plan to bring two gels with me but decided one will be, or may be more than suffice. For a short distance below 30km, I hardly hydrate or fuel up. I envision that i be choking if I be when running at my threshold. But I will bring one.
One BEFORE photo at the bike parking area

Took the motorbike down and we arrived at Dataran by 3.30am, from the distance we could hear the Marathon flag off and the thunderous cheers from the ground. Secured the motorbike and belongings, we headed to the race start. Bumped into Fiza which told us Kam was in the Marathon. Then we make our way around Dataran to get to the other end near to Dayabumi to cross the road to get to our starting Pen. We registered under fast finish because we could do so (sub 2hours HM). As the Pen wasn't opened yet, we parked ourselves at one of the building staircase and took a short nap of about 45mins before waking up and walking to the starting Pen. By then, more familiar faces, more people warming up, and we both came to realisation that the race is finally happening. I did not race with my handphone, so no photos if you are looking for them.

I stood near the start line. Likely third row as I lined up with Syafiq, Farhan, Jessie and Idzham. Syafiq is treating it as an LSD and aiming for sub 150, Idzham is doing this as his last LSD before Ironman this weekend. Farhan has a mission to break his PB, and Jessie was brave to toe the line despite nursing an injury. Wifey decided to stay a few rows back. She too, has picked up injuries over the months - some due to carelessness (weak ankle, sprained/dislocate it twice while trying to stand up from sitting!), bruised hip due and ITBS due to run mileage. Her start was a suspect too, but this woman won't take no for an answer.

At 5:10am, the organisers has started the countdown for flag off. Deputy Youth and Sports Minister, Adam Adli was there to flag us off. On time. I like. As the final minute started, we (myself, Syafiq, Farhan, Jessie and Idzham) fist-bumped each other and wished each other luck.

I had a mission. I want to break my 1:34. I was confident I may even touch 1:30. I will be pacing with Power from my Stryd Pod. It predict at 94% of my Critical Power, I can (+/- 90seconds). I was hopeful if i can keep to the 274W to 283W range, I be nailing it. But there is that fear and self-doubt as always. I felt the task (to 1:30) will be tough - but i was prepared for it mentally. 10...9...8...7...

This is it.

I started my Garmin FR965 and ran a bit harder than I should to clear the crowd. Having stood so close to the front made it a bit easier than to try to avoid bumping into others - but still a challenge as some slower runners (remember, this is Pen 1 for those that can run below 2hours) set into their pace while you are trying to get ahead. It wasn't until KM1 that I managed to set into my pace. By then, I was running a pretty fast pace.
KM0 to KM5
I was using the Garmin PacePro together with my Stryd to monitor my progress. Up until KM5, I was still ahead of my target by 45s. Making good progress with my HR broadcasted to be at a steady sub-threshold of 155bpm. Thanks to my Shokz OpenPro Run, I have full data relayed to my ear via bone conduction while having upbeat music pushing me on. a very decent sub22 5km. Important to note that at KM3, Noramin which is my other teammate from Everymove overtook me and was running at pace 3:50. I was tempted to catch on, as he is on a mission to do a 1:30 like me. I decided to be more conservative and told myself to trust the plan. It took great discipline, those running this distance would know what can happen if you busted too early.

The road was pretty empty at 5.30am and the first sign of life came about near Odean where the first water station was at. I skipped it, focusing on the task ahead. This was at KM4. KM6 saw us turning into Jalan Sultan Ismail and the slight climb towards Lot10/Pavi cross junction. KM 6 to KM9 was around Sultan Ismail. And we the front HM pack has the mid-HM pack cheering them as we cross path before turning into Jalan Ampang for KM10.
KM6 to KM10
I was holding the Power effort really well, and the PacePro was reducted to about 10s ahead. I knew I had slowed down - but the KM10 timing was faster than my 10km PB (also created at the same HM 1:34 run). I was a minute under my best 10km timing. I broke my 44mins PB to clock in a 43mins PB. It was a major confidence booster. All I need now is to keep to the same pace or push harder for a negative split at the final 5km. It can happen. HR was hanging around 155bpm, legs were superb. Passed another water station (third to be exact with second one at KM7), skipped it, pushed on.

I then passed another water station at KM11, where Gel and banana were given out. I was assessing my breathing - nope, this won't be good to take any. Do i need it? Maybe. Can I do without it? Yes, most certainly. Water? Nah. Pushed on as I passed Ampang Park and running towards RRI before turning left into Jalan Jelatek to enter Akleh. At KM12, the PacePro was alerting me of the upcoming climb at Jelatek towards Akleh. It was also then I was informed I am now a good 2mins behind my target time. OK. Chill. That would meant a 1:32 and I am still a happy person. What I did realized too was that I was struggling to keep to the 94% CP and was hovering around 88%. Fatigue is setting in, and I know no amount of nutrition even if i taken it earlier would help. 
KM11 to KM15

Having run this route many times in the past, I know being slow here is nothing to be worried about. Elevation changes on Akleh is pretty fast and sharp, I just have to make up the time when going down the slope. At KM14, I was clocking in 61minutes. Which meant the final 7km would need to be wrapped up within 33minutes if I want to break my PB. 

KM15 was the Toll Plaza. On the opposite site was the FM runners between 4hours to 6hours timing. I know I am still making good progress. PacePro however, is telling me I am not a good 5minutes behind my targeted time. Not good. I told myself there is still chances as the remaining distance (6km) is flattish. I can cover this distance in sub 30mins. No issues. 67mins at KM15.

KM16 to KM20
Right at KM16, Farhan overtook me. I tried to keep up, but It was tough. The legs were alright, but it lacked the power. Fatigue has officially sets in. 5km to finish and I knew it will take a miracle for me to break 1:34, nevermind 1:30. Stryd was buzzing me that I am running below my required CP. at KM18, another water station and this time with sponge. I will try to get the cold water to wake me up, perhaps jolt the legs up as well. Only to be majorly disappointed that the water was warm. Organiser must had left the water overnight and it soak up the ground/road heat. For the sponge water to be warmer than the body (which is in motion and drenched the past 70mins), it's telling. It wasn't what I wished for, but it is what it is. 

I merged into Jalan Kuching and was joined by the Marathoners that is well within finishing in 3:30 timing. inspiring. And at the same time, I know I won't get to renew my PB. At KM19, with the impossible task to cover the last 2km in less than 9minutes, I decided to hold back and run at my easier pace. 

KM19. Decision point. Thank you VE Picture!

Up ahead with Bulatan Kinabalu to the u-turn point at KM20, it's a slight slope. Then right after the u-Turn, there is the cheer crowd up ahead. It makes perfect reason to cheer back for them, and this was how I did it. 

Thank you my senior RKShoot
Thank you Hazreeq, Zideen, Nik Hazry, Teaqah for the video. It meant a lot for me to see myself actually enjoying the whole process. I was at zen with the outcome without a renewed PB for HM. 

As I ran towards the finishing line. I told myself it is ok. We have another chance in 3-weeks time to try it again. It may be be easy, but perhaps a bit of tweaking and a more realistic timing instead of a very ambitious 1:30, would be better. I crossed the line unofficially at time of writing at 1:39:20. 

"No Eye See". Thank you House24a!

Still very proud of what I had achieved. Being 139th overall that morning for HM, and turning up as 21st in Malaysia Veteran Category.
Thank you Bukan Run Club

very likely the highest nearest to podium i ever gotten to!
More infographic from RunPix.Co Awesome to see where you are at
My age group all category I am at 31st position

Malaysia all age i am at 102nd position

I was at KM16 when the champion finished his race!

How about My Binister?

My wife did well despite the condition she is in. Physically she is in way better shape than she was in 2020 as we used the privilege during the pandemic to revamp our lifestyle. She has started lifting weights to put on and maintain muscle mass, took up a very daring challenge with aerial yoga and hoop yoga, she eating much healthier (than me). However, old injuries on the ankle, coupled with hip and back injury, she was confident for a sub-2 (she did a 2:05 last year and she wasn't pushing and was stopping at every water station to chit chat) until about 2 months ago where visit to physio, mobility specialist, massage and taping could not help improve the situation. 

She did a 2:15:51 and shed some tears of pain as I capture her final 100meters. I know it was not pleasant to be running in the pain.

In her own words...

Retirement plans deferred
85th position for Division!

1536th Malaysian of all gender

Above the median

She was 7km behind the Lady winner!

We both finished the race injury free (except the injury that is already sustained pre-race of course). I have another mission in 3-weeks time. Was warned that it won't be easy to ace the Garmin HM route due to the bigger elevation synonymous with Putrajaya route. But hey, if it was ever easy, everyone will be going to be breaking their PB. Until next race report... See you all soon

After Race... high spirit despite the outcome

Thank you to all friends and sponsors that has made this happened. I wore my the Brooks Running Elite top for my runs. Coupled with the super awesome Pressio Arahi shorts. Both lightweight super breathable. You can get them from Sports Paragon. Was geared with the Pacific and Co FunRun socks that can be purchased from Cyclopath Cycling Syndicate Impressive performance socks, and you know I don’t wear socks much. I had zero blisters, not even the socks usually (ugly) garter marks on the ankle and still look good pre-during and post run. Of course the Garmin provided to me by Aeco Technologies FR965 worked reliably with my Stryd Malaysia power pod. And the Shokz Malaysia OpenRun Pro which streamed data and music for the 100minutes I was out there alone fighting the devil in my head. The unconsumed Hammer Nutrition Gel will go back to the fridge to support my wife's next race :D

Some photo drop of captured images during the REPC and post run with friends!

Wednesday, September 27, 2023


This comes on the back of many breakthroughs for female triathlon, including an all-female race at the 2023 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii 

KUALA LUMPUR, 25 Sept 2023: The prominent footprints that women continue to build in triathlon where endurance, physical prowess and mental fortitude form the core fundamentals of the sport come as no surprise. 

Judy Collins co-founded IRONMAN with her husband John and co-organized the first ever race of the worldwide renown series back in 1978 through the Hawaiian Iron Man Triathlon. A year later, Lyn Lemaire was crowned the first female IRONMAN World Champion after becoming the first woman to complete the iconic race in Hawaii. Julie Moss crawling across the finish line at the 1982 IRONMAN World Championship remains one of the most powerful images of the multisport series, and just last year women had their own day of racing at the IRONMAN World Championship. 

This was to ensure gender equality, which means equal participation for both male and female athletes. More importantly, it was also to ensure a cleaner race for the women and to give them a stage of their own to shine and showcase their true potential. 

Dr Au Yong Pui San, a Sports & Exercise Medicine Physician explains that when it comes to competing in triathlon, women are equal to men. “Finishing times may favour male athletes but that in itself is the anatomical and physiological differences based on sex. 

Physiologically, both women and men can excel in any endurance sports with adequate and proper training.” 

“In the past decade, the popularity of triathlon has been on the rise, and so has female participation in this sport. I would like to think that this trend is due to more exposure to prominent female triathletes both local and international, and more female friendly training environments,” notes Dr Pui San, who works at the Hospital Tuanku Ja’afar in Seremban. 

According to the 41-year-old who was a 2014 IRONMAN Malaysia finisher, there is a rise in female awareness of “cycle-syncing” their training to their menstrual cycle to optimize training and performance. “A lot of women juggle work and triathlon training with the responsibility of family, household chores and childcare. 

This may contribute to intrinsic stressors that may affect her ability to recover well and take on high quality training sessions.” Dr Pui San also notes that many women started in this sport as a way to manage their body weight. However, with increased training volume, the right nutrition is pivotal when it comes to recovery. 

“While there are benefits in each individual diets, someone training hard for triathlon should avoid being too rigid with their diet, unless medically advised. Calorie restricting or macronutrient restricting are not recommended for heavy volume training, especially in women as we do not respond well with strict chronic dietary restriction.” 

With the ideal nutrition and training plan, it is definitely a great time to be a female triathlete. What comes as a significant breakthrough is gains made in female-specific research for endurance sports to help guide female athletes through menopause, providing crucial information to guide them through the most challenging times of their lives. 

Women For Tri, a program launched to increase female participation in triathlon back in 2015 has also amassed over $300,000 (RM1.4 million) in grants. As for this year, a huge advancement for female triathlon comes in the form of the all-female race at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. 

For 53-year-old Jazmina Yean Abdullah who will compete at the upcoming 2023 IRONMAN 70.3 Langkawi, her opportunity to shout to the world that anything is possible couldn’t come soon enough. “I have always been a challenger in life as a career woman and a young widow, and I want to affirm that it is never too late to do anything in life. 

I needed to set a right role model for my two young teens. Joining IRONMAN has expanded my horizon and the best part is my kids were so supportive. I think some of the advantages for women over 50 to join a sport like triathlon is our wisdom, determination to succeed, and a strong, happy mind body and soul,” she said. 

Registration for the IRONMAN Malaysia and IRONMAN 70.3 Langkawi are still available on and respectively. 

See you there ladies! 

About 2023 IRONMAN 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship & IRONMAN Malaysia 
Date : 7 October 2023 
Venue : Langkawi, Malaysia 

About Langkawi : Located within a cluster of tropical islands that attract visitors the world over, the race will take athletes on a truly Malaysian cultural journey through tropical, hilly and demanding terrain passing traditional kampungs (villages), mangrove clusters and rainforest vistas. 

IRONMAN Malaysia has been accorded with : 
· Overall Swim Experience (2018) 
· Best Post-race Celebration (2018, 2017, 2016) 
· Will Attend Next Year (2018, 2017, 2016) 

2. 2018 Best Triathlon Races in Asia Awards by 

The Event Experience : IRONMAN 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship, Langkawi (Half Distance) – Swim 1.9km, Bike 90km, Run 21.1km 

The ocean swim starts from the picturesque white sandy beach of Pantai Kok with a triangle out and back course. The one loop bike course heads out of Pantai Kok towards Jalan Teluk Yu on a clockwise loop from the Northwest point of the island around the rolling hills of Datai towards the southeastern part of the island. Passing through several local villages ‘Kampungs’, athletes will get a true taste of the colourful sights and sounds and local communities of the island. 

The aid stations along the bike course are all supported by the local communities in Langkawi.Athletes will enjoy the local wildlife and winding terrain, passing The Langkawi Falls on route to the Datai turnaround. The run course will showcase the best Malaysia has to offer as athletes pass through the scenic ocean front of Cenang Beach. 

Athletes will run along the side of the Langkawi International Airport runway. The tropical flat run course brings athletes into the beach front of Pelangi Beach Resort and Spa to finish. 

IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship Qualifying Race - There are 40 qualifying slots to the 2024 VinFast IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Taupo, New Zealand on 14-15 December 2024.

IRONMAN Malaysia (Full Distance) - Swim 3.8km, Bike 180km, Run 42.2km 

The ocean swim starts from the picturesque white sandy beach of Pantai Kok with a two-loop triangle out and back course. 

The two-loop bike course heads out of Pantai Kok towards Jalan Teluk Yu on a clockwise loop from the Northwest point of the island around the rolling hills of Datai towards the southeastern part of the island. Passing through several local villages ‘Kampungs’, athletes will get a true taste of the colourful sights and sounds and local communities of the island. The aid stations along the bike course are all supported by the local communities in Langkawi.Athletes will enjoy the local wildlife and winding terrain, passing The Langkawi Falls on route to the Datai turnaround. 

At the end of the 2nd loop, athletes will continue along the coastline of Pantai Kok heading towards Transition (T2). The run course will showcase the best Malaysia has to offer as athletes pass through the scenic ocean front of Cenang Beach. Athletes will run along the side of the Langkawi International Airport runway. 

The tropical flat run course brings athletes into the beach front of Pelangi Beach Resort and Spa for their 2 lap run. 

IRONMAN World Championship Qualifying Race - There are 70 qualifying slots to the 2024 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (20 slots for Men) on 26 October 2024 and in Nice, France (50 slots for Women) on 22 September 2024. 

About The IRONMAN Group    
The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® Virtual Racing™ (VR™) Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Running Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running™ Series, IRONKIDS®, World Triathlon Championship Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and City2Surf®, UTMB® World Series events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, Epic Series™ mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events including Haute Route®, and other multisport races. 

The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Catering to the full athlete experience, the company portfolio also includes FulGaz, the most realistic indoor riding experience connected fitness application aimed at preparing athletes for real-world events. 

Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with hundreds of events across 55+ countries. The IRONMAN Group is owned by Advance, a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit   

About Advance   
Advance is a private, family-held business that owns and invests in companies across media, entertainment, technology, communications, education and other promising growth sectors. Our mission is to build the value of our companies over the long-term by fostering growth and innovation. Advance’s portfolio includes Condé Nast, Advance Local, Stage Entertainment, The IRONMAN Group, American City Business Journals, Leaders Group, Turnitin, 1010data and Pop. Together these operating companies employ more than 17,000 people in 29 countries. Advance is also among the largest shareholders in Charter Communications, Warner Bros. Discovery and Reddit. For more information visit

Monday, September 25, 2023

Shokz OpenRun Pro : Unboxing and Review

Sharing the news that I was recently signed up by Shokz Malaysia as one of their brand ambassador. Not shy to admit that I have been courting this brand when it was first known as Aftershokz. Took me long enough to be part of this family.

With Brand Team from Shokz Malaysia. Thank you!

I have used many different systems for workout from wired earphones to wireless earbuds, from MP3 players to iPods - nothing beats the draw of a non-intrusive-in-ear-wireless setup such as offered by Shokz.

Image from

Throw in the bone-conduction technology and if you are new to this - you will be Shokz by how sound transmit over your cheekbone into your hearing system. I was sold and the closest i got to, was using the unit that belongs to my wife which I gifted her during the pandemic.

Here is the unboxing video

Higher resolution Video in my YouTube here

Items you get in this box consist of

  • The OpenRun Pro
  • Charging cable
  • Premium Case
  • Manual and warranty card
The Shokz OpenRun Pro specification (that is important to know):
  • 29 grams - lightweight
  • IP55 protection - water resistance (meaning, do not immerse in water), sweat proof, splash proof
  • 10hours of battery life with Quick Charge - 5mins charge allow 90mins usage
  • Latest (9th) generation Bone Conduction technology with TurboPitch™) allowing enhanced bass with clearer vocal
  • 2 Years Warranty
Full specification: Here

Now for the review

Shokz is not new when it comes to brand, technology and usage. I have gotten one for my wife during the pandemic and it has been almost 2 years since. She enjoyed using it and I enjoyed taking it from her to use it when she isn't using it. So, you can consider this to be a version of "extended" user review based on real experience in the past 18 months at least.

I have used it for run exclusively and love the fact my surrounding is audible even down to my own footstep. I felt safer and felt way less guilty using headphone for a workout in a trafficked public area. Best of all, at a conversational volume, i can have music playing in the background like white noise while still having a chat while running with friends. 

Getting to know the device (parts)

Charging (magnetic) port

Status LED (Red-Blue)

On/Off (+) volume and (-) down button

Dual Noise-Cancelling Mic on right side

Speaker (red) and speaker air-vent (yellow) on both sides (left and right)

Multifunction button (on right). Visible is the mic and the speaker air-vents

Speaker air-vents on the top
Speaker air-vents at the bottom
The Bone-conduction unit vibrates as it send them to your cheekbone for the whole music/sound production. The speakers and the air-vents gives the overall surround experience, apart from allowing the driver unit to push air from the vibration (hence the bass enhancement) sound delivery.

Full titanium band construction covered in silicon


The Pro comes with Bluetooth V5.1 and allow Multipoint pairing. I have the unit paired to my Garmin FR965, Fenix7ProSolar, iPhone12 and my work laptop. You can link up to two devices at any one time. It however require activation of Multipoint connection. The instruction is here or you can also do it via the Shokz App

Straight forward with a few steps to follow

Using it with Multipoint meant I have the freedom to switch between two devices without needing to disconnect from other devices. At work, I switch between phone (for Spotify) and laptop (for meeting/calls). you are limited by the 10 hours battery life. If you are a heavy user, do keep your device charged to avoid interruption. It is sufficient for a day or two use (assume up to 4hours of total usage per day).
On my laptop as Handsfree (Voice and Music) and Headset (Music only)
On the laptop, the connection requires some understanding of the limitation of each function between using it as a headset and headphone.
  • Headset - allow full usage for both voice (usage of the mic on Shokz) and music/playback (anything streamed from the laptop)
  • Headphone - only music/playback
The separation meant the playback as headset is biased to vocal. This meant the music streaming will be subpar and sound really bad. However on Headphone, the quality is as good as streaming from the phone.

On my Garmin FR965

On my phone as Bluetooth connection
Some delay expected and in some cases, pressing the multifunction button (on the left) is required to restart playback. 

The Multifunction button allow for playing/pausing, switching music, answering and ending calls. 
Find the complete guide here

The complete user guide can be found here


The unit hook over your ears, it clasps lightly over the top of your ear with the driver unit sitting on your face, parallel to the ear canal on this area called the Auricle.

Ideal position. Note the multifunction button on this left side

Once placed in position, you hardly will notice it weigh wise, but you know it's there due to the light pressure the titanium band holds it against your face. There is a "mini" version where the band is shorter - I was tempted to get that instead, but at the risk that it may restrict some movement if i move my head left or right or if i move my ear. 

So, if you have a small (circumference) head, you may want to consider going the "mini" version with 1.5inches shorter band. Having said this, if you are planning to use the normal sized band over a hoodie, it will interfere with the clothing. Some adjustment to the unit to move the rear side downwards/towards the neck may be needed at the expense of the bone-conduction driver sitting slightly higher on the cheekbone.
Can, but not ideal. Suitable if you want the rear end band to not bulge out. This allow your head to completely rest on sofa or bed while using

If you using it while cycling, the OpenRun Pro won't interfere with the positioning as long as it's not an aero-helmet (the one that covers your ears and with cool visor at the front), you certainly can't wear them on a fullface mountain biking helmet or anything that covers the back of your head and cover your ears, like a motorcycle helmet. 

Infact, no earphone, buds or any contraption ever fits into these helmet. Exception is if you install the bluetooth communication set where two mini speakers are stuck inside your helmet. But that is a story for another day.

I have tested OpenMove (most basic), OpenRun and OpenRun Pro. All three comes with different bone conduction technology. The music/sound quality definitely was different between the three of them - very obvious when you shift between Move and Pro where the "noise" become "music". 

On the OpenRun and the Pro, the differences is there too, and most noticeable if you are listening to music with more bass (think Queen Another One Bites The Dust) - the Pro comes alive and you e impressed by how the small driver are able to deliver that amount of bass better. This technology is made possible with the Shokz TurboPitch where it pulls the mid to high pretty well. 

Having said that, you should not compare the Bone Conduction to in-ear or over-ear headphones as the sound production on these are simpler better. Same way you can't compare them to Shokz when it comes to user safety when using in your workout.

For the record, my choices of songs is as basic as these two playlist in my Spotify here and here

Sound quality wise, the best would be streaming from phone or laptop/computer BUT must be using the HEADPHONE function (see above), followed by from my Garmin and lastly from the computer/laptop as HEADSET function. 

This is because the quality is significantly impacted by the sound codec of your device and limited by what Shokz can process. In this case, OpenRun Pro uses sub-band codec or SBC which allow up to 300kbps transfer rate. This is also the most general codec compatible with all Bluetooth transmission, at the expense of quality. 

The Shokz is compatible with profiles such as A2DP (high quality audio signals profile), AVRCP (remote control profile for sending command such as play, skip, pause etc), HSP (Headset profile aka to be used for communication) and HFP (handsfree profile). 

About IP55 Protection
The IP protection of Pro is lesser than the non-Pro version. Which I find it strange. The OpenRun comes with IP67, and the OpenRun Pro is IP55. Now before we get worked up over the differences, it is good to understand what these numbers meant. Thankfully my years in managing machineries hardware and electronics protection help.

IP stands for International Protection (rating). It comes with two numbers and an optional letter. It defines the degree of protection against solid contact and water in electrical enclosures.

The first digit defines the level of protection the enclosure provide against access to hazardous parts such as electrical contacts, moving parts, and ingress of solid objects (like dust, sand, finger)

The second digit refers to liquid protection against well, water or liquid, generally.

The bigger the number, the better the protection. Naturally the IP67 would meant better protection versus IP55. 
  • IP55 protection against limited dust ingress and protected from low-pressure water jets from all direction
  • IP67 protection against total dust ingress and immersion up to 1m depth, but not meant for swimming
Looking at it, it is evidence enough that IP55 is sufficient protection taking into account splashes of water from heavy rain or sweat. I would not worry too much as my wife's unit has been in service for the past 2 years with no issues.

  • Because of open ear concept, you can hear your surroundings and still able to have a conversation while running or cycling or in the gym. Beyond sports-usage, the ability to hear your water boiling, fire alarm and other surrounding noises. 
  • Less potential for in-ear infection or impacted ear-wax as it does not go into the ear. No sweat or heating/hot issue as the unit doesn't sit in the ear canal or has the earpad covering like the traditional headphones.
  • Comfortable fit, doesn't fall out. Difficult to lose as it is secured in a band-construction
  • Suitable for those with medical or auditory condition. Those with ringing ear (tinnitus) condition may be able to enjoy music better as it does not rely on the eardrums to transmit sound vibration. Works well with hearing aid as the vibration helps amplify the sound picked up by the bone conduction.
  • Lower sound quality. While the frequency response is between 20hz to 20khz, in reality it is mid-heavy with bass coming in from amplified vibration feel
  • Pricier - but this in my mind is subjective if you were to compare to the higher end earbuds or bluetooth communicator devices (specific for work)
  • Sound leakage if you bump the sound too high. If you are in a quiet environment or taking a confidential call/privacy matters, it is best to lower the volume or find a more secure place.
  • Can potentially cause hearing loss much like traditional headphone/earphone due to exposure to loud noises for much longer hours.
Personally, the pros outweigh the cons especually when the unit is used for sports. If sound quality matters, perhaps the OpenFit could be an option. I have not tried/test the OpenFit, but when I do, you will read it here. Hopefully soon!

Thank You Shokz Malaysia

This unit of Shokz OpenRun Pro (blue) is provided to me under the Shokz Malaysia and Nove Marketing Sports Ambassador program for a year. The unit retail for RM899.00 and comes with 2-years warranty. To purchase, please click this link