Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Do the DU: IIUM Duathlon “Godzilla” Conquest

It was a fine evening when June suddenly asked us in our WhatsApp group about this particular duathlon relay. I replied stating I’m interested. No reply from other members. Few hours later, Khai contacted me about the relay. He had already pm’ed June and now he asked me if I’m still interested with that relay. I said yes! I created our WhatsApp group on 14th April 2015 and June proceeded with our registration. I put ‘Let’s DU it’ as our generic WhatsApp group name. We brainstormed ourselves and they agreed with my suggestion to use RJK, our initial name. From RJK, we expanded it to RaJuK, JaRak, RaJniKan (Sivaji The Boss!), Sivani Ummah and Redah Jangan Kalah. Creative right haahaha. June suggested RJK Avengers and we agreed. RJK Avengers is now ready to make a grand appearance in UIAM! 

Our poster!
This event, IIUM Duathlon Godzilla Conquest will be held in IIUM (UIAM) and only got 1 category, team of 3 relay. One woman participant is a must. The fee is RM90 per team which is quite reasonable. The disciplines consist of 5km road run, 10km offroad bike and 5km trail run. Prize for top3 teams only. Why Godzilla? I don’t know perhaps due to up and down elevation in UIA trail section that feels like riding on Godzilla back.

Event logo. Godzilla yeahhhh!
Event poster
Event tee 
Cycling route
Trail running route
They asked my analysis for the race and I said we have a chance. I cannot disclose the analysis details since it was private and confidential hihi. As for strategy, Khai will run the 1st 5k road, June will do the cyling and I’ll be the last trail runner. We trained ourselves like usual and a week before the race, Khai and I agreed to do trail run together. We contacted Abg Shah and he agreed to lead our run at Putrajaya Challenge Park (PCP). Khai and I followed Abg Shah’s steady pace but halfway through I felt too tired after series of up and down. Couldn’t keep up. Elevated heart rate. Jelly legs. Their steady pace was a torture to me. I slowed my run and fast-walked. Glad it was over after few km. I wasn’t a fast trail runner, never been one. That night I told June we need to do a slight change to the relay. I’ll run the 1st road run leg and Khai will be the last runner. Better. Cannot risk the whole team if I screw up at the trail run. Road run suits me well. They agreed.

PCP training: before and after
I picked up Tarmizi (Kodeng) and Khai and we went to UIA very early in the morning. We prayed Subuh at UIA mosque and went to the race site afterwards. Tarmizi was part of Nanei’s team and he contacted me a day before as he wanted to hitchhike to UIA. Khai and I met June there as she was assembling and testing her bike. We saw Merlin, her brother and their cyclist (Tongga). Competitor alert! After warming up, I went to the starting line. Other than Merlin, I saw this skinny guys wearing pink BSNPNM 2014 finisher tee and 2XU full tights. He seemed like a fast runner. Many women runners actually for the 1st road run leg.

Bergabung meletop ah!
Ready to DU this!
We were flagged off at 8am. I didn’t want to go all out like what I used to do back in my early running days. However, this pink shirt wearer ran fast. Real fast. I hastened my pace and trying to keep up with kimK. I wasn’t able to follow his pace and was left 200m behind. I tried hard to make this distance lesser and ready to overtake him anytime when his pace suffers. We were given a rubberband halfway. 3km had passed but he showed no sign of slowing. Dang! Our distance grew bigger at this hilly section. Double dang! The third runner (Kodeng) was quite far from me. I maintained my pace as catching up task was impossible.

Calm before the storm
Bang! Start your engine!
Roarrrrr!!!! Run!!!!!
I arrived at the finishing line few minutes later and passed my rubberband to June at the transition area. June sped off and trying to catch up with the 1st rider. We were few minutes behind the 1st group. Kodeng arrived few minutes behind me while Merlin was the 5th or 7th person.

1st runner!
Sampai sudah!

Selfie dulu!
While waiting for June, we chitchatted and took snapshots. 1st rider arrived but unluckily not June. 2nd rider arrived but still not June. Worried. June arrived as the 5th rider, almost same time with Merlin’s rider. Her bike and body was covered with mud. Weird. The gap between June and other rider was quite far when she took off. She passed the rubberband to Khai and Khai ran fast in order to catch up with other runners. June explained there was problem with the route and volunter. June and rider for pink tee runner were directed to ride inside UIA loop before heading to the trail section. She was shocked upon seeing many riders were in front of her at the trail section. It was learned that only June and Ayoee (rider for pink tee runners) were directed to UIA road loop while other riders were directed to the trail without doing the loop. Not fair! Yes, we complained to the race director. He listened and contacted his team through walkie talkie. He realized their mistake and willing to deduct June’s total biking time. It was a relief but then the wasted effort and energy possibly made June slower than what she could possibly do. We waited for Khai, chitchatted and selfie-ed with Merlin and Kodeng’s team.

The end of misery!

Amik rubberband!

Lari Khai lari!
Selfie lagik!
After almost half an hour, 1st trail runner arrived. Not Khai. 2nd runner arrived, not Khai. Even after 5th runner also not Khai. Worried sick. Top 3 spot was quite impossible and far-fetched at this moment even after deduction of June’s cycling time. Suddenly we saw Khai and joined him sprinting towards the finishing line. We were the 7th team to complete the relay. Our top 3 dream went down the drain. However, all hope was not lost. Khai complained he got lost with other runners as the mark was confusing. Khai took the long way before u-turning. Few runners ran the shorter path. We complained again to the race director. Let’s argue again. Argue part 2. Khai showed the map from the Garmin GPS watch. The RD again took note and discussed with their group. He then assured us they will deduct our time for trail run. Still got hope yeay! Star Wars A new hope!

Finish strong, together!
The result was out few moments later. We got 2nd place behind Merlin’s team. 3rd place was IIUM team. Yeay! Top 3 spot and podium at last. We waited for VIP and prize giving ceremony. We sang Negaraku and UIA song before the prize ceremony. All teams received their medal on the stage. We received cash in an envelope. Unluckily no mock cheque and trophy only for number 1 group. Ah well. We went home happy as our 1st collaboration resulted a superb winning.

Waiting for prize presentation
3rd place
Us, 2nd place
1st place
Loot of the day
Event tee
Nice rubberbands
It's was a (team category) winning streak for me since February this year. Started with Spartan (2nd place), proceeded with Saisoku (9th place) and finally RJK Avengers (2nd place). Beginner’s luck I guess. By the way, the man in pink shirt was Haziq and he became my teammate after this event. Interesting story right hihi. I’ll elaborate more in my next entry post. Thanks for reading ;)

Friday, November 27, 2015

Shaping our future together – Top 10 @ Shape Night Run 2015

Oh my! I need to gather energy, willpower and courage to write this one. So many things to tell, so much drama. A friendly reminder to my readers, please bear with the long write up or just skip to photo only hihi. Ok let’s start the journey.

Category analysis and teammates selection

It was all started in August last year. I really wanted to participate in any team race. However, a good and dedicated teammate is so hard to come by. Some already got their well-established team, some are just looking for fun and some are just not cut out. There are so many team effort based races and I was so keen to participate.  I found the Shape Night Run 2015 ad from Facebook. It’s not a surprise that they are no longer with Men’s Health due to corporate takeover. I went through the details and very well enticed with their new category, TEAM Category 4 in a group (2 Men 2 Women). The team with the fastest accumulated time will be the winner. Interesting! Meaning that we don’t need to run in a group and finish together. We just need to push ourselves to oblivion PB and our total time will be ranked. This category was limited to 50 teams only. However, the prize was for top 3 teams only. So hard to secure one. The odds was obviously not in my favour. Ah well, let’s get rich and die trying eh (50 Cents). My shot was better with team category as I believe I won’t stand a chance with open category. Super competitive and top runners sure fast.
The poster!

The category and prize
The major problem was looking for teammates. I started with my [Putrajaya Night Marathon (HM) B2B SCKLM (10k)] accomplice/frenemy, Ariff. He was my worthy opponent and a tough one. Both of us screwed up big time for PNM and SCKLM B2B, sigh. Surprisingly he agreed. Yatta! Now need to look for women runners. I knew a handful of (slightly) fast women runners. Fast women runners? You crazy, even my current speed can’t match theirs hahaha. I wasn’t worthy to be their teammates. I contacted Mariah and Ryna. We used to train together occasionally. Plus their record and pace fall into slight to medium fast category for women. Both of them agreed. My dream team was now complete. Assembling this team was easier than I predicted. Menangis kegembiraan, dalam hati huhu. I created whatsapp group and we had a lengthy discussion on many topics. One of it was team name. The spirit was high. After some heated debate, google-ing activities, asking around, we finally agreed with Saisoku. It was Ariff idea by the way. Saisoku means fast in Japanese and we want to run fast and be a winner for this run, hoyeah. Now it’s time to register the run with newly formed Saisoku team. A promising team or at least we thought so.

Registration steps
Registration for Team category was different unlike other categories. There was no column in Hooha for team category. We have to email the organizer 1st stating our interest. Walawei. As the team leader, I emailed them but no reply even after a few days. I called them and they said they are well aware with my email and will reply soon. They did reply to my email (thanks God!) stating that I have to bank in fees for whole team and need to show them proof of payment. Only after that they will give registration code. I banked in, emailed to them, they replied with registration code and we registered ourselves. Fuhhh our registration complete finally. Long process. Saisoku will compete for the 1st time! Time to train! I took the liberty to collage our photos with team name and Shape Night Run poster and posted it to FB. Macam gila publisiti plak haha. Excited actually ;)

Training and drama in between

Ariff offered to train all of us especially the bodyweight workout. He was the personal trainer once. Gathering all of us wasn’t easy as all of us busy with commitments. We did meet one or two times. Jadilah. Other than this meeting, we still train individually. We also met at races.

Saisoku minus one POJ training! The reward was Baskin Robbins 31% discount LOL
It was a long period between registration and the race itself, from September 2014 to April 2015. Many notable moments happened. I had a bad shin splint in March and took few weeks rest. My teammates worried but I assured them I’ll get better before Shape Night Run 2015 (before Men’s Health and Women’s Health Nigh Run in March). Luckily I did huhu. That’s not the only problem we were facing. Mariah wanted to quit from this group. She was having some personal matters. Oh dear. We need all of us or else we’ll be disqualified. We convinced her to stay as we still got time to train. She agreed to stay. Crisis averted. It was not long before she wanted to quit once again. Her problems got the best of her. We have no option but to agree. No point forcing someone who wasn’t ready. She suggested Scha as her replacement and Scha already agreed beforehand. Mariah emailed organizer about the replacement and luckily they accept. She felt bad for quitting but that’s the wise decision she made for the team. We felt sad for losing her but life must goes on. Scha was a strong woman runner too. Bukan calang-calang orang. We must win this run!  Or at least get a great placing. Ariff collected the race kit for all of us and surprisingly our bib numbers was in order of 1 to 4. Saisoku was team numero uno! We were the first team to register for this category hahahaha. No wonder the late reply from organizer and so many instructions for registration LOL.

The Route
Saisoku race kit. Numero uno team!

Race Day

Calm before the storm, pic taken in the morning
I came early to the venue. It was raining cats and dogs in the evening. Thunders were apparent and scary. I parked at open space behind Palace of Justice and having difficulty heading to the flag off area. I took out umbrella and walk as fast as possible under the heavy rain to the nearest tent beside POJ. All of my teammates were in Auditorium Cempaka Sari already. I was waiting the rain to subside but to no avail. After 15min, I decided to go to the Auditorium Cempaka Sari. Many runners were sheltering inside the Dewan Melati and became restless. There was possibility of this run getting cancelled. Met friends and many familiar faces. The moment I met my teammates was priceless. Reunion. Somehow we just found out the prize was way different from the original from their FB. It was no longer top3 but top10 instead. Woohoo more chances for us. Top10 mission then!

Bergabung meletop ah!
Generous top 10 prize! 
The Shape Night Run organizer posted to their official FB/IG about the fate of this run. They were waiting for the rain to subside and will cancel it if the situation not getting any better. Luckily, the heavy rain turned into drizzle after 30min. We went to the starting line as fast as possible because we want to standby at the very front of the line. I didn’t have enough time to warm up. The organizer decided to proceed the race but those who didn’t want to race can collect their medal and goodies at designated place and time later.

Flag off was done at 830pm and I ran with 4-4:30min/km pace. My strategy plan was to complete this race with average pace of 4:30min/km or lower. Ariff was slightly in front of me and I made sure he didn’t disappear from my sight. The road was slightly wet. Running on the wet road caused a not so efficient run. All went well but all hell broke loose at 7th km after the u-turn. Side stitches suddenly came and I couldn’t ran any faster. I maintained my pace and tried whatever steps possible to eliminate that stitches. All not working. Side stitches most probably happened because I didn’t warm up at all. Even after 2km the pain was still there. I managed to catch up with Ariff at 10km and he was having the same side stitches problem. We paced each other. Running side by side has positive impact on us. Even though we suffered from side stitches, running together has lifted our spirit and we could push ourselves a little bit. It became a sprint race for two of us for the last 200m. Ariff and I sped off and we were determined to outrun each other. Clash of the titans. All out all might. The winner for this race was meeeee!!!!!!! Yeay I won this short self-proclaimed race by few seconds hahaha. It was 7s actually. Moral winning. I gave Ariff a #brohug, both of us did well despite the side stitches problem. I did 11.31km in 52:25min with average pace of 4:38min/km. Hmmm bolehlah.

My race result
Cute? Obviously not hahhaa
We took goodies and lepak with friends while waiting for other teammates. I went to the finishing line again to give my moral support to Ryna and Scha. Ryna did well with 59:17 min. When Scha nearing finishing line, I ran beside her while encouraging her to finish asap. Scha did 1:07:56 hour. It was too early to predict our result but it’s not going to be easy. Few elites were spotted in the same category with us. We did our best and hopefully it’ll get translated into a great placing.
Y so serious? Peace y'all!
Y so serious? Let's peace berjemaah!
While waiting for the result, we met friends and hung out. Many didn’t realize about this team category. Well they didn’t read the info thoroughly. Lucky for us then hihi. I went to the official tent, want to ask about the result. Saw other team was looking at the result sheet and they were arguing with the officials as their team result was not in the top10 list. I took a peek and I saw our team was in number 8 spot! Yatta, hoyeah, woohoo! Top10 at last! Menangis kegembiraan huhu. Syukur. Mission accomplished. However, after talking to the team, most probably our team placing will be pushed to no 9. Didn’t matter as it was still in top10 position huhu. Need to wait a little longer for verification. I went back to my team and delivering this good news. All were delighted and excited. We went to the tent altogether and found out we were in number 9 spot. Final official result. Top10, yeay! 

No 9, top 10 at last! Yeay!
Result page 2
We made it! Menangis kegembiraan T_T
We did it! Saisoku top 10!

Our joy was a little short-lived when the official said the prize was not ready yet and they will deliver it to us soon. Oh okay. They will deliver the prize to the team representative and I volunteered myself. We took snapshots in front of the prize claim tent. A little bit off because we didn’t receive any tag, any paper or any memento as a winning proof. It was more like we won something but went home empty handed and without proof. All self-proclaimed. Ah well the most important thing was winning. We took snapshots a lil more, goofing around. Not every day you have chance like this.

Pose 1st

Pose 2nd

Pose 3rd

Serious vs not so serious ;)
Gorgeous ladies
With Pacemamam Om nom nom
Selfie lagi
 Fast forward to few weeks later, their representative contacted me and came to my office. She came with Kelisa and I could saw her Kelisa was chock full with stuffs. We went through the prize checklist together and I unloaded the items afterwards. It was a lot! Literally a lot! It was RM10k worth goodies after all. RM2500 each. Took a selfie/wefie with her and I put all goodies onto a trolley. Izwan spotted me and I asked him to take photo of me with trolley. I went to my room, unloaded them all and susun accordingly. Took photos and updated it to my whatsapp group. All excited but shocked with that volume of goodies. They will pick the stuffs on a later date. I uploaded to Facebook and it’s not a surprise when friends shocked upon seeing the picture. I gave away few stuffs to my family and friends. They supported me and helped in many ways and it was the right time to return the favour.
Our prizes! Banyaknya!
Women prize

Men prize
Our prizes! Right for men and left for women
Okay, let’s not jump to conclusion haha. Such a long post. This was my 1st mixed team and also 1st time won this big. Really grateful. Without the support and cooperation with other teammates, this feat was totally impossible. We won’t stop and we'll become the unstoppable. Thanks for reading ;)
Related links
Result – Team Category

Shape Night Run details