Saturday, 29 March 2014

BSN Putrajaya Night Marathon 2014 - When will the date be fixed?

Four Saturdays in October

Dare we hope for two FMs within 24 hours?

The last time I looked there are four Saturdays in October, 2014. We now know that the BSN Putrajaya Night Marathon will not be held on the first Saturday, 4th October, since the next day is Hari Raya Haji. There is no way outstation runners can return home in time after running a full marathon. The next logical date is the second Satuday, 11th October.  The only problem is that it falls the day before the Standard Chartered KL Marathon.  The moment the date was announced for that marathon I had booked my flight. There was no way I was giving SCKLM a miss this year. So it would be much like killing two marathons with one trip if PNM was really held on the second Saturday. Last year I ran PNM on very fresh legs and got my PB. The temptation to run it again is great. However if push comes to shove I will still choose the KL Marathon. Yes I am tempted to do two FMs in less than 24 hours. Could do so by treating it like an ultra. So any ultra running I will do before this will prepare me for such an occurrence.

Am sure the race director of PNM knows that SCKLM is the bigger marathon. So it's a no brainer that runners will choose the latter if it were back to back. Not many are crazy enough to run both. In fact one of my good friends told me he will consider doing the HM at PNM first because he can also get a finisher t-shirt for it. That of course leaves open the 18th and 25th of October. This would be the dates I would choose. Though to be fair asking someone to run two FMs in one week is also a big ask for anyone. That then leaves us with the last Saturday of October. Truth be told I would be very happy indeed to run it then. My legs would have been sufficiently recovered from the KL Marathon, and I would have enough time to recover for the Penang Bridge International Marathon. Common sense dictates that that should be the date chosen.  However I have realised a long time ago, when it comes to ego, common sense gets thrown out the door.

I have just learned through a constant runner that the  official Putrajaya calendar of events, click here, shows PNM to be slated for 25th October!  Unfortunately sharing the same date is Awal Muharram and the national level Maal Hijrah celebrations. The day after is the Malakoff Powerman Challenge, also at Putrajaya. So the organisers of PNM are in a bind for this date too. Now my constant runners can see the dilemma they are facing. Each Saturday they choose has it's pros and cons. What's for sure is that they cannot make all runners happy. Whatever the participation target is this year, they know they will face registration loses on any Saturday they choose. All I can say about this is that I wouldn't want to be in their running shoes.  

So when the date for PNM 2014 is announced, I won't even blink if it were the 11th October. All I say is that on that night they will be many half marathon runners. Lets just hope that sanity prevails and the most ideal date is chosen. We in Malaysia are blessed with lot FMs and ultras this year. However runners are only human. As hard as we train we still need to rest and recover. We aren't running machines. I know there will be those who beg to differ. However I am talking about the majority of us.  PNM should do the right thing and put us all out of our misery and announced the date as soon as possible. Then we runners can just concentrate on our training and run the marathons we want. Of course PNM can always pull a shocker by announcing a September date. All we can do is wait. When SCKLM registration opens in April I will most definitely sign up for the early bird. It's not to say that I don't want to run PNM, but if they don't come up with a date soon, how are we going to adjust our running calendar and training schedule?

Penang International 12 Hours Walk 2014

Calling all long distance walkers!

For those who are not confident enough to run 50km, then why not walk it? You can do so at the Esplanade, Padang Kota Lama. The distance for one loop is 1,078m. So each participant has to walk round and round till they achieve the desired distance to medal. This is very similar to the 12 hour walk at Putrajaya. Those who want to know more about this event and who also want to register can click here.

Kuching Marathon - Roadshow

Register this weekend at KM booth and get a free t-shirt

The Kuching Marathon Association (KMA) is holding a roadshow to promote the Kuching Marathon 2014 at the Let's Share The Road event at Padang Merdeka, Kuching.  The booth will be open today (29th March 2014) from 4pm to 8pm, and on Sunday (30th March 2014), from 8am to 12nn. Runners who have yet to register are welcome to visit KMA's booth for registration. A free t-shirt courtesy of Trinity Hub will be given to participants who have successfully registered for the Full Marathon (42km) and the Half Marathon (21km) at the booth.  The free t-shirts and the size of which are subject to availability and on first come first serve basis. 

The free KMA t-shirt as used by us at Brooks Half Marathon 2014
Close-up of the t-shirt
The KM Booth

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Batu Cave - Maran (Pahang) Ultra Marathon Walk

Date: Thursday 10th April 2014 - Saturday 12th April 2014
Time: 3.30am
Starting point: Batu Cave Temple
Organizer: Tamil Nesan Newspaper
Registration fees: RM30
DistanceL 208km (Three Stages)

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Marathon Series - Is back!

Malaysia's Premier Boutique Marathons returns!

That song by the Pointer Sisters comes to mind again. The one that goes, "I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it / I'm about to lose control and I think I like it / I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it / And I know, I know, I know, I know / I know I want...," (here is where I change things around and say), "...sign up!" Well, it's true! The moment I heard that The Marathon Series was back I knew I was going to run it. Forget that the inaugural Kuching Marathon would be a week after Island Ocean Marathon and that River Jungle Marathon would clash with the Penang Ultra. I run marathons for the sheer joy of it, and the most fun I had running marathons last year was at IOM and RJM.  What's more MBF lost her FMV at RJM. Who could ask for anything more?  Pictures don't lie. If you want to know what went on at both marathons, click here for IOM and here for RJM. This is definitely the ideal marathon to run for first timers.

Those who need no convincing can click their Facebook pages, here for IOM and here for RJM. Yes both runs will be run at the same venue again. I heard there have been some changes at The Marathon Shop. The fact that they brought back The Marathon Series shows that they know a good thing when they see one. It will yet again be sponsored by Volkswagen. Who knows, maybe they will yet again repeat what they did last year and give an extra finisher to those who sign up for the combo and finish both marathons. I was told that only 500 men and 195 women earned that special finisher. For those who worry they might not have the legs for the Kuching Marathon after running IOM, fret not, like last year, both marathons will not have a cut off. What I do know is that both marathons are really popular and demand far exceeded the 1,000 slot supply, to the point that RJM intake had to be increased. 

So circle these dates on your running calendar folks - 10th August 2014, for the Island Ocean Marathon, and 7th September 2014, for the River Jungle Marathon. Trust me when I say you will have the time of your life running both. Treat it as a runcation.  My major sadness for last year's IOM was that I ran it without MBF, since she wasn't ready to run a full marathon. Imagine my joy several months later when she finished with me at RJM. If you have a friend, a relative, a loved one, who is thinking of running their first full marathon, look no further than The Marathon Series. I can vouched for it, having been there and done that. So do keep an eye up for updates and when the registration goes online sign up as fast as you can.  Below I have included pics from my runs at both marathons. Happy running always!

Testing out new sunglasses at IOM

At the finish with Mohan Marathon at IOM

Nasa meets up with Mohan and wacky friend at RJM

Look at all that water in the lake behind us at IOM


Monday, 24 March 2014

Nathan Project 1.0 - Report

First Run Clinic with Alvine Nathan

We in Kuching were lucky to be graced with the presence of Coach Alvine Nathan, President of Nathan Project. His running bio-data can reduce most runners in Malaysia to shame. Here he was spending the weekend in Kuching to help our runners learn about all aspects of running, from the theoretical to the practical.  Runners from all categories were there. There were those who had just started running and wanted to learn more, and also the elite runners, who wanted to improve on what they already had. Many of the runners were from the O-Run-Utan Running Club. Early Saturday morning (22nd March 2014) they were led by Coach Nathan on a 10km run.  Those training for the Borneo International Marathon went on a 21km run following the Spring Live Active Run half marathon route.  It was also the opportunity for me to test my new Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14 on a much longer run.

We all finished our run right outside a famous laksa eatery. This was pre-planned motivation for our runners. I cannot eat any laksa if I run hard. Me running 2:37, meant I didn't dare go for it, otherwise I know what will happen later. While I didn't have any laksa, others did, and kolo mee too for that matter. We all did one thing in abundance - chat, while drinking our morning cuppa. Later that afternoon we all headed to Level Up Fitness for the first part of the run clinic. Coach Alvine gave his talk to over seventy of us runners. Lots of questions were asked, to which he patiently answered. We were treated to tea time snacks and prizes and gifts of towels. That last gift made me smile when I remembered how hard it was to earn another towel this year. For this one I had to listen to a four hour talk, for the other I had to run close to 10 hours. Many thanks to Albert Tan and his crew from Revolution Run Company for taking care of us all.

The next day we all went early to the Reservoir Park to meet up with Coach Nathan again. He made us do warm up stretches. After that we all did a leisurely 1km jog, some not so leisurely though. Then it was striding lessons. It looked easy enough, but we all had to improve on our striding technique. Then we all did a 5km run. I must admit in the early going I went at a much faster pace than I usually do only to slow down drastically towards the end. It was nice seeing many new runners attempt the distance.  The fact that they joined the run clinic showed their determination to improve. That in my book is what counts. Then we all did a 500m cool down. Coach Nathan taught us what to do foot exercises. From there it was hill runs. It was fun seeing everyone attempt it. Some would keep on going till they met with Coach Nathan's approval. Lots of questions were asked too.

Over American breakfast out in the open, with lots of refreshment, many again approached Coach Nathan for his advice. He even drew out training plans for the runners. Suffice to say there were many a happy face after the event. Am hoping what the runners learned during the weekend will hold them in good stead for future runs. We in Kuching are blessed that we have several active running clubs. It was nice to see runners from outside these clubs participate too. Hopefully there will be many more coaching clinics like this in the new future to help train up our runners. There are now many runs in Kuching.  This is especially so with the Momentum Run Series.  The Kuching Marathon is also not too far away. I know that several of the runners from the clinic have signed up for the full distance. Lets hope that there too will run happy after attending Nathan Project 1.0.