Monday, December 18, 2006

Kilometer challenge

I have a friendly challenge to those of you who drive either a Waja, any 1600cc car or any vehicle with a 60 litre fuel tank. Try to beat my record of 900kms on one tank of petrol.

Penang Island Relay 2006

I must begin by saying this was absolutely the most enjoyable event I've taken part in since starting to run. A big thanks to the entire team of runners and supporters! We might not have won but we did our best and had fun so that really is whats important.

This was a relay around Penang island covering a total distance of 72.6km. Each runner had to run different legs covering various distances. There were a total of 12 runners in the team and I was running the 5th leg, covering a distance of 5km.

The Adidas Pacemakers team!

We had chartered a bus that would take us to the starting point, and also to be uses for transporting our supporters from point to point where we can cheer our runners. The bus would also then pick up the runners who had completed their legs. Other teams used vans or cars and some waited for the organiser bus to pick them up.

Arriving at the starting point before 6am, the site was still quite empty. We got our bibs and started pinning them on. After some briefing from the PAAA officials, we were soon put on different buses to be transported to our various stations.

Our first and last two runners

Richard in the starting lineup, ready to pia!

I was able to see some action from the first runners while being transported to my station. My bus had runners from the 5th, 6th and 7th legs. Exchanged the usual 'Pia kau kau' with Ronnie and Khoo before getting off the bus at the station. I didn't know any of the other runners there except for Naidu.

I was feeling nervous when I saw that the hill that I would start on was quite steep. I just tried to calm myself and relax as much as possible. The first runner to arrive was from Ah Choon club (Team A), followed by Brooks running club (Team C).

Then there was a small gap before the next runner from 02 Hiking (Team F) arrived with the runner from BM Leopard (Team E) just few hundred metres behind. Wow.. where was Sim??? That's when all of a sudden from nowhere a busload of PMs arrived. 'Sim is coming... Sim is coming!!' they said. Yayyyy it's time for some action... but my heart was going DUGUP DUGUP DUGUP by then haha!

Sim passing me the baton

Once Sim arrived and had passed me the baton, I shot of as fast as I could up the hill. Only 500m I told myself... only 500m uphill then all the way down.. come on Dinesh you can do this! In just a few minutes you could hear me breathing 'HOO HAA HOO HAA'... looked at the watch.. 2m30s, can't be long now DK!

A minute later... ok anytime now... its gonna be a breeze, looking at the watch awhile later 4min and still no sign of the hill ending. What the heck is happening?? Thinking to myself by now "I am going to kill the person who game me the wrong info!" Thats when a bunch of rowdy PMs passed by in the bus and started screaming GO DK!!

Grrrrr! Still 'HOO HAA HOO HAA' up and up and up.. watch shows 5mins... watch shows 6mins... 'HOO HAA HOO HAA' ... almost 7min... ahhhh finally YES!! YES!! I see the light! By then I was almost wrecked for pushing my limit on the hill, that I just could not get back my breath soon enough on the downhill to take advantage of it.

A couple of kilometers down, I saw my loyal fans once again.. oh yes it's finally going to be over I thought!! They had disembarked from the bus and were waving at me from a distance. As I got closer... something was amiss... no sign of any other teams. "Where is the finishing?" I asked. "Not far DK... go DK".

By then I had gotten back my breath and was able to push the pace again. The team passed me on the bus cheering me again and this gave me some strength to push harder. About 5 minutes later when I turned a corner I was able to see the runners and supporters at station 6. Khoo was already ready in position to take the baton from me. With just over hundred meters to go I dug deep into my reserve tank and made a mad dash to the finish before handing Khoo the baton.

Passing the baton to Khoo. My overall timing for 5k was 22m25s.

I was feeling very happy and excited by then and had forgotten my intentions to kill the person who had given me the wrong info about the route. Later I found out from one of the veteran team runners who had run leg 5 for the past few years that the distance uphill was actually 1.6km before the downhill stretch starts. I'll be better prepared next year!

After warming down a little we had to quickly get on the bus and follow Khoo to give him our support. The rest of the event was filled with fun for me. Following the runners from point to point and cheering them and taking pictures while waiting for batons to be passed on. It was an amazing experience and I hope to take part in this relay again next year.

Adam, our video camera man and reserve runner waiting for more action to capture

Group picture with Abu (pm44) while he waits for the baton

Lai passing the baton to Abu

CM (in blue), our timekeeper and reserve runner

Mr. Pia catching his breath before getting on the bus

Fun on the bus

More fun on the bus

The noisiest bunch in the bus

Captain carrying out his duties as a waterboy

Discussing strategy

Our biggest supporter

Powerman Eric trying his level best to make up for the lost time

Our superstar Kelvin finally gets his chance to pia after waiting for 5 hours

Yes!! Yes!! We made it!

Kelvin's coach having a personal word with him... "Why so slow ah?"

Our latest Pacemaker members.. Abu(elder brother) and Saiful(younger brother)

Chilling out in the shade while waiting for the last few teams to finish

Every team gets a finisher medal. The top 3 teams get position medals

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A thing of the past

How many of you have realised by now that the parking charges at the car park next to the KLCC mosque has been increased from the RM1 per entry (after 6pm) to a tier system where we now pay RM2 for the first one hour and followed by RM1 per subsequent hour?

The moment they increased these charges, the car park was more than half empty and some desperate people started parking at the road shoulders. There was one day when I was paying the new parking charges and I was laughing when I heard the car park booth attendant speaking to the management office and was being instructed to call the authorities to fine the cars parked at the roadside.

I was not at all surprised when this happenned, since the price or cost of almost everything is just going up every other day. However it made my decision of not running at KLCC regularly anymore much easier. Another reason why I was already contemplating this move was because of the terrible traffic congestion from Jln Tun Razak all the way to the turn off onto Kesas no matter what time I left. I can leave at 3pm...4pm...5pm...6pm...7pm...8pm...9pm...and sometimes even 10pm and it would make no difference.

Traffic jam on the KL-Seremban road at 9.30pm on Friday

The traffic on Friday night was the last straw for me. I shall be going back home as soon as I finish my work each day regardless of the time. It will be much easier to just put on my shoes when I get home, do a little running and then spend more time with the family. I shall miss my runs with some of you guys but thats the way it has to be for now.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Nick turns 3

Eagarly opening the biggest parcel

A full set of his favourite toys "Bob The Builder" including Muck, Scoop, Dizzy, Lofty & Roley

Exercising his vocal chords

Thank you... thank you!

Hey papa, I have great big lungs like you too!

Mummy, should I really cut this pretty cake?

Well, what the heck... here goes nothing!

Oh yummmmmyyy!!

Friday, December 01, 2006

My runs in Australia

I shall be getting on the plane back to Malaysia tomorrow night. It's been a good holiday and some good running. My mileage logged over the past one week here...

Sat, Nov 25 - 10km (Riverstone, Sydney)
Sun, Nov 26 - 10km (Riverstone, Sydney)
Tue, Nov 28 - 6km (Clayton, Melbourne)
Wed, Nov 29 - 15km (Clayton, Melbourne)
Friday, Dec 1 - 18km (Clayton, Melbourne)

I planned a 21k today and was all for it, but tripped and fell right after the 18k mark and cut myself in a few places. Nothing too serious but I decided to call it a day. I'm generally happy with my last two runs. Clocked 15km on Wed in 1h 20mins, and 18km today in 1h 40mins. There was hardly any fatigue and I'm as fresh as before I started running as I type this. How I wish we had such weather in Malaysia!

Should be fine in a couple of days

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sister's graduation

Introducing Dr. Shalini Kumaran

Picture of the graduation hall

Waiting anxiously for the big moment

Sha with her best friends of five years

Sha and her Ozy mates

The paper they all worked so hard for the last seven years! I'm sure there is more to it than that paper right gals?

Could be the last family shot in a long time. Too bad dad could not make it.

The cameraman of the day. Had to attend to both the video camera and digital still camera.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Update from the land down under

It's been a good 5 days with lots of time spent with my sisters and mum. I was in Sydney from Saturday till Tuesday visiting my elder sister, and just flew in to Melbourne yesterday. The last 5 days was spent mainly sight seeing and relaxing. Tomorrow shall be the main event on my calendar... my younger sister's graduation at Monash. After 5 years of hard work she is finally graduating as a medical doctor. I am very proud of her! Congrats sis!!

Dr. Shalini enjoying her food at Sydney's famous Fish Market

Mum and younger sis at the harbour bridge

Me and sis at the Opera House

Mum and me at Bondi Beach

Hey aren't we going in the water today?

Elder sister Kalpana with my mum at the Blue Mountains

Family picture at the Blue Mountains

Three siblings finally together again!

Breathtaking view at Great Ocean Road in Melbourne

This has to be one of the wonders of the world.

And of course I have not been enjoying myself until I've forgotten to run. In the last 5 days, I've only rested on Monday. The weather here is just great for running. No soaked socks and shorts and you can just keep running without feeling tired. This evening I just ran another 15k and still felt like I could keep going. More photos coming soon of the graduation!