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Monday, January 31, 2011

The Missing Route

It used to be that when a race is launched, everything is up on the event’s website. But nowadays, almost all events except those in the East Coast Park do not broadcast the race route until the registration is closed Take for example the following races: 

If I remember correctly, last year it was only the Sundown Marathon that adopted this practice. Subsequently, the SCMS followed. This year, it looks like a lot more has decided to follow the trend.

I not too sure why this is so? No approval from the authorities? Or kiasu mentality. Let the runners sign up first otherwise they go for other races?

Will runners who sign up earlier cry father cry mother later when they discovered the route is not to their expectation? Can they get a refund on the race fee if they discover that they do not like the route? On the other hand, can runners afford to wait until the route is out before they sign up and miss out on the early bird fee or worse risk missing the race altogether if the race closes early?

Race organizer should be fair to the participants and finalise all details before launching their event.  After all, the most important part of racing for us recreational racers is the race experience and the race route undoubtedly makes up the biggest portion of the experience.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Search for a Gym

Been searching for a gym since I moved out from the old place. While the gym was small, It was adequate for my need. There was 3 treadmill, 2 bicycle, 1 rower, 1 x-trainer, 1 multi-gym and some dumb bells. Now that I moved out and no longer has access to the gym, I really appreciate the convenience of having one right downstair. So my hunt for a gym begins.

Being the kiamseap guy, I will not pay the exorbitant membership fee and monthly fee for one of those atas gym like First, True or California. Since I reckon I will only goes once a week at most, it is not worth it. And what if the gym closes down?

Then I discovered that there was a small gym at the CC near my new place. The gym charges a cheapo $2 admission fee very very affordable  and it just 1km away. So I jogged there one evening as a warm up and got my first shock of the evening. At the counter, the girl told me to wait. The gym was full! And so I sat there while my warm up went to waste. Finally after almost 20 minutes I got to go in. And the 2nd shock of the evening. The place was crowded with those beefcakes  - those muscled guys with the 1 size too small cut off tees and who only uses the dumb and bar bells and preened into the mirror every other seconds. They were everywhere and sitting on very available bench or chair nevermind that they were not using them It seems like there was a large group of them who trains together. Worst thing is, those guys look like they could eat me for breakfast/supper so I made a quick exit after 30 minutes on the bike.

Then a colleague told me there was a gym beneath her block of flat in Tampines and it was empty most of the time. So first opportunity I had, I checked it out. Imagine my joy when I saw it was totally empty and at 7.30 pm in the evening! 4 treadmills, 2 bikes, 2 steppers, 1 x-trainer, 1 multi-gym and some weights including 1 bar bell. Great! But the joy was short-lived. Half the equipment were not working. The dumb bells were all rusty and there was no bench for the bar bell. No wonder the gym was empty! Sighed. So the hunt continues.

The HDB Void Deck gym

The HDB void deck gym
The lady at this gym told me there was a big gym on top of the swimming pool. So another day I dutifully made my way there. It turns out to be the Club Fitt gym managed by the SSC. Rows and rows of gleaming equipment. You name it they have it. It was almost enough to make a beefcake weep. And it was only $2.50 per entry. No lumpsum fee, no monthly fees. Have I found gym utopia? Not quite. There is a time limit of 25 minutes on the cardio machine and some of the equipments looked very dated. And there were more beefcakes hogging the free weight sections. Guess I can’t have my cake and eat it too? Can I? 

The Club Fitt Gym
The Club Fitt gym

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Terry Fox Run 2011

My first Running non-running event of the year. Running because it was a non-competitive charity run and non-running because I was participating not as a runner but as a helper.

The Terry Fox Run used to be held regularly in Singapore until a few years back before it changed its name to Run for Cancer. This year the Canadian Association finally decided to reclaim their event. However, with the limited financial resources, it was a small affair with about a 1500 participants. However, the atmosphere was great and I am sure everybody enjoyed the event. There were free coffee (from Starbucks!), free cookies (from Fairmont Hotel), oranges, bananas, water and best of all, it was all free. There was no registration fee. Just a t-shirt purchase price and each dri-fit tee cost only $20.00 for adult and $15.00 for youth. Yes they were that thoughtful to have 2 different sizes.

M and me got assigned to the t-shirt selling desk. It was gratifying to see many people just signing up without taking the t-shirt and also those who put some more money into the donation box. A total of $40,000.00 was raised and donated to the Singapore Cancer Society. Not really a big sum of money but certainly a lot considering that there were only 1500 participants.

There was no start and finish gantry.  Just a simple go and the participants went off. There were also no medal, finishing tees or isotonic drinks but I didn't think anymore complained and everybody had fun and most important of all, it was for a good cause.

More pictures here

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Brokie Smell Flower Run

Another weekend another group run.  This time it is Brokie's Smell Flower Run at the CCAB at Evans Rd and the surrounding Botanic Garden. A very big group of runners turned up. I guess that is the star attraction of RSM Brokie.

Cutting through a big field
Anyway, with a few of the runners leading the way, we visited the NUS Law Faculty, the Evolution Garden, the Swan Lake, Ridout Road (took a wrong turn) and ended up at a dead end and had to wade through a big field before getting onto Dempsey Hill and then Ridleys Road where everybody jaw dropped at all the big fierce Ferraris at No 2. We passed embassy row before going into Cluny Road and then Tyersall Rd before turning back to Botanic Garden. Some extra 'on' runners did an extra 2km to Dalvy estate. Bravo.

Big abandon house at Tyersall Ave
We saw big  house, small house, abandon house, embassies, consulates and lots of fast cars.
Big house at Ridout Rd
Lots of Ferraris
I don't know whether I like group run or not. On the one hand, getting to know all the runners, the banter as we run, the jokes the laughter, it is fun. On the other hand, taking 2 hours to run a distance that can be normally covered in half the time is rather tiring and tedious. But luckily, the weather was kind to us today and so although we took 2 hours to run 12 km, it wasn't really that bad although the stomach was growling half way into the run. Nah I think I will continue to join but maybe once a month will do.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Miracle Product?

Some time ago, I was at RL and being the naturally kapo old man, I eavesdrop on the conversation between one of the staff and a customer. This lady customer was trying on a pair of Chot-Pat. She was explaining to the staff that she was doing the SCMS but her knees were swollen and painful and she wanted to use the Chot-Pat so that she can do the SCMS which was just 1 week away. Naturally, I was a bit puzzled. Having used a Chot-pat extensively in the past, I couldn’t figure out how the Chot-Pad could enable her to run on her swollen and painful knees.

Recently, I met another runner. He had bad knees and had stopped running. Apparently he had after a recommendation by a friend, bought a pair of Vibram Five Fingers. And he was now running again! And this seems to be a very common story. People who had some injuries in their legs switched to the VFF and volia, everything is cured!

Then there is this runner friend I know who wears an ITB strap and continue to run.

Miracle products?

With due respect to my friends in the same situation and are wearing the ITB strap; Ebene knee guard, VFF or whatever, there is no such things as a miracle product that can cure injury just by wearing it. If there is an injury, wearing any of these products probably will relieve the pressure and possibly allow one to do normal activities including running for a short distance but the underlying problem remains and will most likely become worse if the person continues without seeking proper medical care. Read this sentence from the Chot-Pad website: As such, while it may alleviate the symptoms of Iliotibial Band Syndrome, the cause of the affliction may still be present. It is suggested the user seek evaluation and treatment by a medical professional in conjunction with the band’s use.

What I am trying to say is, get real. If there is an injury, be it knee, ankle or arch, stop running for a while and rest. A 2 week break is not going to kill! If the injury is still there after a break, seek medical attention. Don’t ignore the pain and continue running because that will make the injury worse.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Green is the color of nature which I love very much. Green is also the color of envy which I really dislike. And green is the primary color of the latest 2 pair of shoes that I bought recently!

I am partial to one particular color and almost all my self-paid running shoes come with that particular color but somehow this time round, it seems that I am out of luck with getting the shoe of my choice in the color of my choice.

First one was the New Balance MT101 which I got in Hong Kong and which was in a beautiful sparkling green. Now the MT101 was a shoe I been eyeing since I first read about it and so I had to buy it regardless of its color.

Then yesterday I went down to the local Saucony distributor to get the Kinvara. In the US, the Kinvara comes in various color combination out of which 2 variations comes in the color that I want so I was all hyped up that surely I will be able to get one here as well. 

Imagine my dismay when the friendly guy showed me the luminous shocking lime green pair and happily told me that was the only color they had and were bringing in. 
Photos from the Saucony website
My jaw dropped, my heart sunk. Should I just walk out? But the price he was offering to me was too good to resist and so I went along with the purchase. But just so that I get my fix of my fave color, I went and bought a pair of Grid Type A4 which of course comes with a few strip of my color! 
But this pair will goes to the kid and the Kinvara will follow the MT101 and stay in the boxes for the time being until I retire a few more shoes. 

Friday, January 07, 2011

Energy Source

I realise I ran out of energy during my races most of the time. I figure I need more energy. Stamina. Whatever. But I am too lazy to do all the intervals, speed works, lsds to get it. Now in this modern age and time, I am sure there are some stuff that can provide all this without me going through all the tough and long boring runs. Of course, one option is to go get some energy generating drugs from those miracle working doctors and sports trainers in the US. Whatever stuff they are giving to the cyclists and sprinters seem to be working. Problem is, I wouldn’t know how to get hold of them and I don’t think I can afford them either.

Then I remember this thing called Phiten necklace. I used to have one. I bought it in Japan where it was first invented. Worn it like twice and then gave it to the toy soft dog. The toy soft dog is dead, gnawed to death by the real dog. The necklace? Probably buried along with the dog or somewhere. But anyway, the Phiten manufacturer claimed that it will increase energy. Quote from their website: Phiten’s exclusive process enhances your body’s energy management system by increasing the capacity of every cell. This increased energy means more power and less fatigue. There you have it. Increased energy – more power – less fatigue. Need to get one. I think this one will increase my energy level by at least 10%.

After that I got to thinking. If 1 Phiten necklace can increase my energy by 10%, what about wearing 10 of them? 100%? No. Maybe like that a bit kiasu.

But what if I combine the Phiten with a Power Balance wristband. The Power Balance is the latest in-thing. From their website: They utilize holograms which are specifically designed to work with your body's natural energy flow, and in turn increase endurance, balance, strength, and flexibility. ………..Wow. Increase endurance. Just what I need for marathon. So I get one. Wait better still get 2. One for each arm. Double the power. I can feel the power! Amazing! And I haven’t even bought it.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Eastside Run 01012011

After a long break, finally managed to get a Eastside Run going. Good start for the new year?

The turnout was better than expected. Almost 25 persons turned up including a big group from the CrazyBonkersDeranged Running group. [No offence guys]. We met up at Bedok Reservoir Park and ran to East Coast Park. But everyone was still enjoining the festive holidays and wasn't really in the mood for a long run and nobody took the long route. Some turned back at Kembangan MRT and the rest continuing on to East Coast Park.
The runners doing what they do best
The obligatory group photo at the end of the run.

 What's that behind the runners? Some graffiti? Isn't that a no no here? Find out what it is here.