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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Race Etiquette

Some cool tips from Dr Jia Jia for runners for this year SCMS. But hey it can applies to all races as well.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Emirates Stadium - The Home of Arsenal

Over in London, we didn't have much time to do much sight seeing but one thing I knew I had to do was do a pilgrimage to one of the Premier League Club's stadium and in London there is non bigger and better than the Emirates Stadium. Unfortunately as it is now, the team with the bigger better stadium is not necessarily the better team.

Enough of words, for all the Arsenal football fans, here are the highlights of the Emirates Stadium

A very bold declaration in a very understated manner

This is more like it!

Guess who is this fella? No no not that smiling goondu in the green jacket. The statue, the guy with the outstretched hands

Is this all there is to the Arsenal's haul?

A time capsule.  Wonder what went into it?

And finally, the very familiar sights to all soccer fans:

The tunnel to the field

And of course the beautiful pitch. 

I think the fellas from our sports hub need to come here and learn from them how to maintain the pitch.

And some places we don't get to see on the television:

The VIP dining room. There is even a celebrity chef to cook for the guests! Unfortunately we were not considered "guest" so no nice meal for us.

This is the physiotherapy room where the players get their massage and do their recovery
 And this is the hydro therapy pool. Only for the home team. Wish I can go soak inside too

The shower room. Why no doors and partition?

The Changing Room. The kitman will lay out the players's attire and everything else here

In comparison, the visitor changing room is so plain.

That's me, ahem, giving my end of game press conference

There is even an Arsenal Museum. 

Those were the days when policemen worn shorts and Arsenal was known as Woolwich Arsenal and playing in Division Two at Highbury.

Anybody young enough to have ever worn wooden soccer boots?

And do you know Arsenal ever had such a colorful top?

And a screen grab from one of the many videos featuring one of the greatest Arsenal star

Last but not least, a giant poster with the very best of Arsenal!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Love is in the Air - Swissotel Vertical Marathon

Maybe it is the altitude. Maybe it is what people call the dizzying height of love. But whatever it is, the top of the Swissotel Hotel, seems to bring out the love in people. On Sunday at the Swissotel Vertical Marathon, there were not one but 2 wedding proposals plus many couples getting all lovey dovey up in the sky. One exciting guy didn't even think it was high enough and had to carry his partner on his shoulder to really get the top of the world feeling!

Here are some of the lovebirds

The first wedding proposal

And a lip smacking kiss to seal the pact

The 2nd wedding proposal

Of course must sealed with a kiss

This one a chaste kiss

This one must be a top of the world kiss

No kiss for this couple but they just couldn't get high enough!

Congratulations to the 2 couples and to the others - may your love grow as high as the highest building.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pernaton Gel

There has been studies out there claiming that glucosamine is not really effective for joint pain and treatment. But I have been using a combination of pills and cream since 2006 and I am a firm believer that even if it doesn't heal, at least it is effective in warding off knee pain. I have been running and now more than 8 years after my knee problems, I am still running without any major problems. Sure there are the occasional aches and pains but nothing really problematic like runner knees and I attribute this to my constant use of glucosamine.

Usually I am game to try new products and so when I was given a tube of Pernaton Gel to try, I was most happy to do so.

What exactly is Pernaton Gel. 

"Pernaton Gel is an unique massage gel, contains the original Perna extract and the vital GAGs extracted from Green Lipped Mussels. GAGs consists of naturally occurring glucosamine and other amino sugars"

In another word, Pernaton Gel is actually glucosamine and therefore suitable for the elderly to maintain joints mobility, sports people for joint maintenance and generally anybody with joint problems caused by osteoarthritis.

Most glucosamine extracts are from shellfish while a minority are from grains. According to the manufacturer, what set Pernaton gel apart from other in the market is that it is made in Switzerland and from mussels farmed off the coast of uncontaminated water of New Zealand and not manufactured in some "Asian" country with shellfish of unknown background! (My words - not the manufacturer)

According to the local distributor, many of her clients have expressed satisfaction with the result. This was especially evidenced in the elderly who suffered from osteoarthritis of the finger joints.

But the prove of the pudding must of course comes from the eating and after using it for the past 3 weeks (no I didn't eat it), did I see any results? Unfortunately to be honest, since I have not been experiencing knee pain, I really cannot tell. For sure, I like the nice smell and the non-greasy gel. I especially like that it does not have the strong menthol/campor  smell which a lot of other brands put in as a pain reliever. Another plus point for this product is that it is very reasonably priced if you buy it online from It cost more at the retail outlets though. 

For those who are experiencing knee pain or suffering from joint pains due to osteoarthritis, I highly recommend trying this out. After all, there is really no harm. It is cheaper than most other brands in the market costing less than the price of a dinner at a mid priced restaurant and if there is no improvement after using a tube, just move on to the next available brand. What do you got to lose?

Non greasy, Nice smell, Handy size
Dislikes: Errr nil so far but a word of caution - it may not be suitable for those with seafood allergies since it contains extracts from mussels

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Laksa Run (The Remake)

In 2006 when social group running was still in its infancy, I joined a group of the Sgrunners for what was known as the Laksa Run where we ran, took photos and end up with a nice meal. Since then, such group run has ran out of fashion with so many races every weekend. 

Fast forward 8 years later and finally we have a remake of the Laksa Run!  This is the then and now photo.
Photo Credit: Jancy
But so much has changed since then. For one thing, the railway track is no longer there. Now this place is called the Green Corridor. And of course back then quite a lot of people have much more hair. Now some have less - almost to zero! And some are of course no longer into running. And last but not least of the original cast of 15, only 4 turned up this time round. Can you identify them?

One of the highlight and sometimes bane of this sort of run is the crazy time taken to cover the route. Like this run which has a distance of just under 10 km but we took more than 1 hour 30 minutes to complete it stopping constantly to "smell flowers" and take photos. Of course it didn't help that there were plenty of slopes to challenge our creaking joints.

Up the slope at Kent Ridge Park
Up another slope at another part of Kent Ridge Park
The infamous zig zig path at Hort Park
Plenty of slope at Canterbury estate
 There used to be a tank here but it is gone now replaced by this information board.

Canterbury estate has plenty of this type of beautiful black and white bungalow. The air is so fresh and crisp here. 

The last stretch down the Alexandra Park Trail before our final destination

Our final destination. This claypot laksa at Alexandra Village Food Centre.

Our reward after 1 hour 45 minutes of sweat and toil. 

Sighed... the things we do to burn away the calories so that we can enjoy sinful delicious food.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh, Scotland

In Edinburgh, we were a bit lost what to do. We had visited the Royal Mile the day before and didn't particularly fancy going back there. We also had no desire to visit castles and museums of which there are plenty.

Then we discovered Arthur's Seat, an extinct volcano. But we didn't know that. We only knew there was a hiking trail just 20 minutes walk from our B&B and there was a small hill to climb. After getting direction from the boss of the B&B, we walked and came to this place with this signboard

Alright, we were right on target. No losing the way this time round.

And this was our target or so we thought.

But actually this is just the first of the range we got to climb to get to the top which is this one.

Yep, the pointy one right at the back at the far left corner

The climb up the 250 metres summit was fairly easy and straight forward. We could follow this road 

Or just walk up the side of the hill

In cool weather, the climb up was much easier than climbing our 163 metres Bukit Timah Hill. But even at a miserly 250 metres, the view it offered of the surrounding city of Edinburgh was stunning. 

The view of Edinburgh at mid point

And the views from the summit

Yes we almost there at the summit

 I want to fly up instead of climb up

And we there

Coming down, we transverse another few hills with tracks and trails leading left right centre

This has got to be a trail runners dream training ground. And indeed there were a few runners criss crossing the hills.  How I wish I was dressed for running!

And then there this ruins of an old abbey which overlooks one of the smallest loch in Scotland and a real life Palace!

St Margaret Loch

Holyrood Palace

But all good things must come to an end and so finally we reluctantly made our way down to find lunch. Now who want to join me come here chiong sua?