Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New York Marathon 2011 ( Saturday before The Race )

Sat 5 Nov was the day before The Day. the NYRR organized a 5 km in the Central Park called the NYRR Dash to the Finish Line. It is at 830am and temperature was 3 Celsius. I didn't signed up for that race. My Singaporean friends went to collect the bib and I brought my group to the Top Of The Rock.

This is the observation deck on the 66 floor of the GE tower at The Rockefeller Plaza at midtown Manhattan. From there we can take nice shots of The Empire State building, central park, New Jersey, Queens, Brooklyn and even Staten island. Anyway,One can't snap empire state when one is in then empire state! And we took the walking tour that goes in and out of the 14 buildings of the Rockefeller Center plus the famous skating rink too. Yup, it's already a skating rink by Nov. Or else it's just a foot court. Sadly, they haven't installed the giant christmas tree yet.
Empire State Building from Rockefeller Center

Then we walked to Times Sq and I got us tickets to watch the matinee for Spiderman Turn Off The Dark musical at Broadway. At least I get to sit down for the next 3 hours. I was enchanted by the grand Foxwoods Theatre. Loved the new and most high tech Broadway musical with the technology from the Beijing Games opening. Humans are held by 4 tight ropes so that they can fly around the theatre, seriously . In actual fact there 9 spidermen in the show because they appeared from all corners of the theatre. Of course, only one is seen at any given time.
Spiderman on Broadway

After the show, I felt a need to have a herbal drink..where else but Chinatown! So we took the train no 1 to Canal St and found a Taiwanese honey lemon bubble tea. The closest to herbal drink. Eventually, Esther did got me herbal drink and she brought it back to me at night.

My New Yorker friend Will organized a pre marathon carbo loading dinner at the 85th st upper west which is very close to where I stayed. We met at the Standard Chartered KL Marathon this year. I was pacing the 5:30 group and he followed us. Met his wife, Karen plus 10 others marathon maniacs. Will has been most helpful in my preparation to NYC , from describing the NYC marathon route to teaching me to use the Baltimore DC Parkway. I sat next to a Thai who worked for ING in Seattle.
Dean's Pizzeria & Restaurant 85th St

Dean's Pizzeria & Restaurant 85th St

After dinner, i went back to the room and saw Aileen, Wen Wen and Oscar busy preparing for our big day tomorrow. As usual, it's almost like preparing for war! Set my alarm to 3 am. I tried to sleep at 11pm with butterflies in my stomach ...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New York Marathon 2011 Part 1

New York Marathon 2011 ( Friday before The Race )

by Yum Kin Kok on Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 5:32pm
I read somewhere that the NYC marathon is the marathon where the world comes together to run. That was the very reason that prompted me to signed up for that marathon. I watched on TV for the 2010 race and put my name in the ballot immediately after that. The ballot usually opens few days after the race which is usually the first Sunday of November.
They charged a balloting fee of USD11 whether the ballot is successful or not.
NYRR ( The New York Road Rrunners) will make the announcement by April 2011. They charged the USD 285 entry fee immediately but we can defer the entry to the next year provided we pay again in 2012. I heard this fee will go up in 2012. By then, I would have done Hong Kong and Tokyo marathon on a back to back weekend, thus qualifying me to the Marathon Maniacs. In fact , I also has a streak of marathons that was planned from the end of May up to the 1st week of July which is the Sundown Singapore, Christchurch, Phuket, KL and GoldCoast. These marathons elevated me to a Marathon Maniac Gold status.
In the 2nd half of 2011, I would not do any marathons but to prepare for the NYC marathon in Nov. I maintained my weekly mileage of 40-50km. I do 3 weekly short runs of 10km and at least a LSD of 20km on a weekend plus a short race.
My longest run about 3 weeks before NYC was 25km. My toughest race before the NYC marathon was the Perhentian Island Eco Challenge which is a 25km trail run traversing the island and took me 4 hours to complete.
I arrived in Manhattan on Friday 4th of Nov. I drove my rental car from New Jersey using the George Washington bridge and right into Harlem in Manhattan. I was in a hurry for my bib collection , so I drove from 135th St to the Jacob Javitts Convention Center on 35th St which is in midtown. I lost my my voice at the end of the almost hour long drive.
I double parked my car in front of the Convention Center with 3 occupants in it. God bless my friends for their patience. I walked in very very happy. This is the start of my NYC marathon adventure. Firstly, you get your ID CHECKED before entering the expo. As for us foreigners, passport is the easiest form of identification. The official will stamp on your confirmation slip once they have verified your name. Then you have to look for the book which contains your bib no. It's arranged by the thousand. Therefore, I would queue at the 16000-16999. This goes the same for the baggage truck as well.
After we got the all important bib which contains the B tag timing chip, we will go to collect our event T. It's a long sleeve technical tee shirt and you get to choose your size on the spot. There are volunteers who hold samples of T shirt sizes. This is why we should go early to collect our bib. A quick dash through the Asics counter, I got myself 3 more event T shirt. In actual fact,the merchandise are sold in the Asics shop or Foot Locker near Times Square so it is not necessary to rush with everyone at the expo. In addition , Nike and Saucony would also do their own NYC commerative T shirts, so the choices are abundant. In fact, Tiffany's of New York produces NYC marathon commerative items if one decided to splurge.
After a mad 2 hour dash to unload 10 pieces of luggages, wait for check in, settle down into our room, change into my baju Melayu, wear something over, looking for the misplaced car key, looked for the nearest petrol station to refill the car back to full and returning the car back to Hertz on 95th St ...my companions and I took the subway to Columbus Circle near Central Park. In the midst of those madness, I almost gave up the idea of going to The Parade of Nations organized by the NYRR. This is a 1 mile walk to the finishing line for all foreign participants.
But I am glad I didn't . I was late but still in time for the parade. By then, my Singaporean friends are all there. I looked for the Malaysian flag and found it. Met a New Yorker Malaysian Wei Jun and a lady called Lai Kuan. We marched together and later a family of Malaysian came to join us. In total there was 6 of us, nothing compared to the 20+ Singaporeans, 50+ Filipinos and 200+ Indonesian who sent their cultural troop. I was proud to be representing my country in the national costume and not felt out of place for a single moment where I see Indians and Nepali donning their kurtas and Japanese wearing the happy coats and with faces painted white. So this is a event to go ALL OUT dressing wise.
The organizers provide a big flag on pole and some smaller flags. But Lai Kuan and I brought our own flags which we draped on ourselves. As the the Olympics, the Greeks get to march first and followed by the countries in alphabetical order such as Australia, Canada and so on. The smaller groups like Malaysia and Singapore are placed together with the nations of the world at the back. USA as the host nation comes out last. Finally, the elite runners like the Mutais will run out on their own. There are also other performances going but we were too busy taking photographs.
I left before the end of all the events because I havent had a proper meal since breakfast. Had a taste of my first roadside NY pretzel and eventually had a large Singaporean mee Hoon from a takeaway before calling it a long day from upstate New York to New Jersey to Manhattan.
I shall continue with my Saturday before marathon and the actual marathon itself in another installment...
NYC Marathon Opening Ceremony 4.11.11. Parade of the Nations.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Gold Coast Airport Marathon 2011

I wanted to go Gold Coast Marathon last year but couldn't find a partner so I opted for Melbourne Marathon instead.

This year I booked early (Aug 2010) with a big group of 8 too.

We took a overnight flight on Thursday 30 June and touched down in the Gold Coast Aiport at 730am. We cleared immigration and went through our food checks at the customs accordingly.

As this is a Airasiago cum Pacesetters package, the transfer bus waited for us and brought us to the convention centre for the bib collection. The wait was a bit long as some of us went shopping and we could not gather all the Malaysians for the group photo. However, I managed a photo with Michael Shelley who eventually won the 10km on Saturday, He is also vying for a spot in the Olympics.

After , the hotel drop off..It was almost 1pm and we managed to grab a quick bite.

On Saturday, I woke very early at alomost 330am as I slept at 730pm the night before. Wanted to grab the public bus to race site but I bumped into June from Batu Pahat in the lobby. She told me that Rustam will drive there at 6am.

The 5 of us went in Rustam's car for the Saturday 10km race. Rustam and his 2 children, June and I. There was 2 wave ie 7am and 745am. As we didn't want to stand in the cold, some of us who are registered for the 2nd wave decided to run in the 1st wave as well.

June was like a hare and no where to be seen. Redzwan and Aimi was also fast initially while Rustam and I decided to go on a chit chat pace. Eventually we caught up with them at km 2. We continue to run at the same pace. Made the U turn at km 5 and it was actually a preview of my km30-42km for tomorrow. I am so glad I did the 10km.

At km 8 , Rustam decided to boogie with the Disco machine. Wished I had a camera then so that I can snap him. The km8-10 was the sea front and I said to myself that I must bring the camera for tomorrow.

We crossed the finish at 1:11 gun time or 1:08 nett time. Meet Yin's mom SH Tan , June and the rest .Took our usual photos and go home for the rest.

The Sunday was a full marathon event that starts at 710am. My gang of 5 will also run the 5km which starts at 740am. We left the hotel in our rented car at 6am. The atmosphere was of course lively. Meet Rose and Nyna at the deposit area. Plus all the Chap Ayam gang.

The race start at 710am sharp and I was standung way back at the 5hour area. I ran with Leo the Tuba man from Japan. We chatted for awhile and I even snapped a photo of him from the back. He can even play Oh when the saints ....

My first 5km was 33:55. A easy cool run up to Surfers Paradise beach front. I crossed the 10km mark at Broadbeach at 1:07. Right after, I saw the elite runners heading back. The 1st U turn was at 15km which I did in 1:37. my 20k was at 2:11 and my 21.1 km (halfway) was at 2:16. At this point, I was thinking at Christchurch when I crossed this mark at the same time, I was so fresh and smiling with Winnie Wong. But this time , I was feeling more fatigue. But I still want to try for a negative pace.

The sun was up and I crossed the 30km mark at 3:15. This is back to the starting point and climb the only hill back to my yesterday's 10km route.

I did 35km at 4:25 which means my 4:30 target was also out of the window.  I saw Azri walking at the opposite side and the Cari runners too...Chau and Fabio.

I caught with Zukahiri at 41.5km and I asked him to enjoy the last km..We paced together and waved at people. I crossed the finishing line at 4:44.

I guess many people underestimated the route. It may be cooler than here but it is cool and warm when the sun is up.

But all in all, I still enjoyed the race because I feel that the whole city is behind it. Great friends and great companies too.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Adidas King of The Road - Bangkok

Hi guys,

Sorry for this late entry..I did the Adidas King of The Road 16.8km in the City of Angels on the 15th May 2011.

Bib collection was done at the event area ie the National Stadium which is a cluster of sport buildings in central Bangkok. In fact, it is next Mah Boon Krong..or MBK shopping mall.

Registration was also possible on the Saturday before. The run was great because I had the opportunity to reconnect with Thai friend Sasie. She was indeed the hostest with the mostest. Yup, to the extend that she even decided to sign up for the race on Saturday.

There are 2 categories ie  the 8km and the 16.8km.

The 16.8km started at 5:30 am and the 8km started at 6am. We arrived at the race site before 5am. 

The route was interesting because it runs through central Bangkok in comparison to the Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon which runs on the highway towards the south.

The 16.8 km route will bring you to a grand tour of Bangkok.,the learning, tourist and business districts. We started by running next to prestigious Chulalongkorn University..Ask any Thai and they will tell you that this is the No 1 university in Thailand. After 2km, we will reach Rama 4 road.. At the end of this road will be the Hualampong Railway Station ( A Grand looking terminus thats connects all of Thailand)

From Rama 4 road, we turned right into Surawong Road. The Jim Thompson's boutique and headquarters will greet you there.  Surawong is also famous for a lane or Soi ..Soi Patpong.

From Surawong we turned left into Mahesak road. This is just a small road except  that you will pass Silom Road and The Holiday Inn Silom. Silom Road is also another famous tourist district and the imposing Bangkok Bank HQ.

From Silom, we turned left again into Sathorn Road..That is the business district of Bangkok where a lot of the companies and banks HQ are located. The Malaysian embassy is also located here. From there, we turned right into Rama 4 again. The Suan Lum night market is no longer there but nearby will be the Lumphini Muay Thai stadium. This stadium is hallowed ground for any inspiring Muay Thai boxer.

Before we turn left into Soi Asoke, you can see the Klong Toey slum on your right. This is the poorest part of Bangkok. Many charities and missionaries do their work here.

You will see the Sirikit Convention Center along soi Asoke. This building is a grand old dame more..almost 20 years old. I visited an architecture exhibition here in 1994!

From Asoke right before the turn into Sukhumvit, will be the check point..On Sukhumvit, we will pass the Sheraton Grande before heading to Soi Nana..Another famous tourist district.

We will run towards Chitlom . Pass the Central Department store. This is the flagship store and HQ. After that, we will pass by the big juction of Ratchaprasong remenicent of the Red Shirts demonstrations.

Passed the Siam Square and the MBK again, we almost home.. But we have to do one lap around  the stadium before finish.

I wasn't chasing for time. I didn't even have bench mark for a 16.8km. But I took my camera and had a wonderful time in the City of Angels..

Khawp Kun Krub Krung Thep Mahanakorn..(thank you the City of Angels)

You can view the photographs of the run by clicking this link

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I just can't wait to be King..

15 May -Thailand28 August -Singapore25 September -Indonesia2 October -Malaysia23 October -Philippines

Yup, I have a date in 5 cities. Running 16.8km each to total the 84km. That 2 marathons. I can't wait to see all my friends in the region. Like I said to my Filipinos friends this year..there's is no barrier in running. I can't wait to see the Team Salomon group.

In Thailand, I will meet the Bangkok runners who took nice photos of me during the Penang Bridge Marathon. By the Thai and foreigners are paying the same amount of fee for this race.

Singapore..who can forget them..My home for a year...This is my country This is my land...this is my future this is my life..I actually enjoy Sing Singapore more than Majulah Singapura.

I only have work friends in Indonesia but it would not my 1st run there. I did a 5km run down the Jeneral Sudirman Boulevard as organised by the Four Seasons few years back.

Of course, nothing like running it in my home grown in KL. This is the second time they will run the New Pantai Expressway. I did it in 2007 too.

By the way, Adidas is giving a finisher T-shirt for the 84km finisher. And you will get 10% discount for subsequent registrations. Just register at http://adidaskingoftheroad.com/

Just like the song from Lion King..I just can't wait to be King ..  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXs8OS6EdAE

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tokyo Marathon 2011

Last year Hong Kong and Tokyo marathon falls on the same day 28 Feb 2010. I chose Hong Kong. This year HK was on 20 Feb 2011 and Tokyo on 27 Feb 2011. So I take it as a sign from above that I should do both.

I balloted last year and was confident enough to purchase my air tickets even before the resuts were out.

24 February 2011 , Thursday
I flew in a most happening flight with Kak J, Alexis, Lee Lee and Francis on board. We touched down almost 1030pm. I had a booking with Toyoko Inn Haneda. I am a fan of Toyoko Inn , having stayed there from Tokyo to Hakodate to Sapporo.

I looked for the Toyoko shutte bus and due to some miscommunication, I was shown to the domestic terminal. I hopped on the complimentary transfer bus and found the Toyoko shuttle waiting there. Then, the Toyoko Inn shuttle went back to pick up passengers in the international terminal..Haha.. Anyway , I was already in my room by 1145pm and got my shower and a few sushi from Lawson ( a Japanese 24 convenience store )

25 February 2011, Friday

I got up and had a nice breakfast in the hotel and took the Keihin Keikyu line to Suidobashi where I will staying for the next 3 nights. I couldn't understand the annoucement and didnt get off the train at Kawasaki Station and realised that the train was heading to Yokohama. Luckily, I got up at the 1st stop and managed to take the right train to Shingawa. From Shingawa, I took a train to Kanda to get to the Chuo Line . Then took the wrong train because it is a rapid train and doesn't stop at Suidobashi. I ended up in Yotsuya. I made this mistake 3 more times during the trip.

Met my long lost friend who works at the Hotel Niwa and we left our bags there. We hurried to meet Lee Lee at Shimbashi station as we are already late. Kak J arrived shortly and all of us hopped on the Yukarimome monorail line to go Tokyo Bay. It's my 1st time to Tokyo Bay as the monorail was temporary closed during my last trip.

The Tokyo Big sight is a big convention center and you can recognise it by the Big Saw gigantic sculpture planted in the ground and the inverted pyramid structure. We spent at least 4 hours there. This is the biggest run expo I have ever been to. There are numerous acts playing at the atrium and fashion shows by Asics. Many places to take photographs and many giveaways too.

From there, we took the Rinkai line to Shinkiba before we change to the JR line to Maihama. Yes, we went Tokyo Disney with Kak J, Lee Lee and Alexis. Had a quick burger dinner before we enter at 6pm for the twiight package. We just wanted to watch some shows starting with Minnie oh Minnie and follow by the Electric Parade. As it was a Friday evening, the queues were quite long, so we skipped some rides and went shopping instead. I had a memorable electric car ride with Kak J though. I was knocking the car to the sides mostly and frightening her.

I left the girls at Akihabara Station on the Yamanote line and heading to my nice room that my friend upgraded me to.

26 February 2011, Saturday

I skipped Tsukiji market and had a late morning. I only meet Lee Lee and Lee Fueng in Ueno Station after 11am. They are promoting the latest Shinkasen (bullet train) there to Tohoku (north Honshu). The most northern terminal used to be Hachinohe but now they have extended the line to Aomori and built a station called Shin Aomori. From we can change regular train and go Hokkaido.

This trip is mainly dedicated to Hachiko the dog. So we got to the National Museum of Science in Ueno Park to see Hachiko. It's a big museum with a new wing and it's like a London Natural Museum and Singapore Science Centre all rolled into one.

After that, we hopped over to Ginza. Had our first meal in the soba shop for this trip. Lee Lee truly enjoyed it that we kept going on Monday and Tuesday.

They closed main road in Ginza on Saturday afternoon and we went into Abercombie and Fitch and it is decorated like a club. There were bouncers in front of the small entrance and they were throbbing music inside..all the 11 levels. We even took a photo with a model inside and a polaroid was given to the 3 of us..

I found some great bargains at H&M and UniQlo. Got my compression underwears. Then we quickly took the Marounichi subway line to Shinjuku. We found Star hotel and Kak J was already there. She told me a Malay boy was stalking her and it turned to be Azam.

Later the whole gang came, I met Takeshi..Lee Lee's friend from UPM. Karen's hubby and her Japanese landlady, Alexis and the rest. We had a most happening meal in aover heated restaurant called Pronto. It all Italian food but we had to eat with chopsticks.

After the meal, we followed Kak J to a medicine shop to buy our Japanese power gel and she also kind enough to show me the walking route to the starting line of the Tokyo Marathon.

27 February 2011, Sunday

I woke up at 520am, even though I asked for a 6am morning call. I made my coffee and had my buns and even updated my facebook.

I left my hotel slightly before 7 am and arrive at Shinjuku before 730am. Lee Lee and Lee Fueng was already at the meeting place. Lee Lee had to look for a toilet due to the Japanese power gel. Alexis texted me and said she already went in with Yee Choi. Later , we said bye bye to Lee Fueng and the 2 of us followed the big crowd. They were placards everywhere at Shinjuku and everybody is waiting for somebody.

Imagine 35000 people gathering at one place plus their families too and this is not even a open area or a stadium. We found this gaijin (white guy) who will be running with 4 I-phones and one I-Pad.I accompanied Lee Lee to her deposit truck no 51 and the poor girl forgot to take her poncho. I offered my space blanket  but she declined. Then we went to my truck no 39. The queues to the portable toilets were so long so I had to climb onto the roadside and did it in the bushes with the guys.

Lee Lee queued and I lost her. It almost 830 and I went to into my Corral J. I stood somewhere near the BMW building and couldn't find Karen or Alexis who is in the same corral as I. There were also 2 helicopters hovering above us. At 910am sharp, we heard the explosion at the starting gantry and everyone around me clapped. We started slowly and the first building I saw is the Washington Hotel where Kak J and Francis stayed.

There 2 grandstands at the starting and it took me about 10 minutes to cross the starting. I saw the Hilton and even pass the Pronto at Star Hotel. I even saw Kabukicho in Shinjuku. Then after 2 km, i desicarded my poncho and saw the Military Band playing at about the same time. There were people left and right of the streets. I saw a pair of Mario Brothers running , people carrying Snoopy , brides, hula girls. minnie mouses etc etc

I passed the 5km mark at 33 minutes 59 sec. It's a comfortable pace. After that, we made a right turn into the Idabashi station and right under the Chuo line. I saw one guy running with the new Tokyo Tower model on his head.  Then I saw someone brought 2 huge speakers and played the song YMCA...All of us just spontaneously did the YMCA. It was so much fun.

Then I passed the Imperial Palace and the Hibiya park. That is also the ending of the 10km race. I passed the 10km mark at 1:07. A little faster than my Hong Kong , perhaps I was too excited... I even saw Jesus Christ running with the bib tagged onto a big cross.He must take the prize for the best costume. Then I saw all the fast runners already U turned and coming back from Shingawa. I tried to look for familiar faces coming back but couldn't see anyone. Some fellow maniacs yelled at me..Hey Maniac ..so that's the advantage of wearing MM gear..at least fellow MM will say hi to you.

After my U turn at Shingawa, I saw a familiar running vest Mizuno Wave Run 2010. It was Alexis, I paced and chatted with her almost 7km . We took photos of each other and even helped ourselves to the food provided. We took bananas, raisin, chocolate buns and even sour plums. I never had sour plum during a race before and I certainly needed the salt.

We were already at Ginza. I was busy snapping photos of my favourite boutiques, department store and even my favourite book store ie Maruzen.

I lost Alexis before the 25km mark because I ran my fastest 5km split between 20-25km and went straight into the Asakusa U turn. There were a Geisha group playing traditional musical instruments and a host of characters greeting us in front of the Sensoji temple. This is the first tourist place I been to in Japan. That's 5 years ago.

As I was heading back to Ginza, I heard a familiar voice from the opposite side. It was Kak J. I turned back and we took our famous hugging photo in the shade. We had a similar one in HK. Mission accomplished.

The journey of out Ginza took forever..well 33 minutes actually and the sun is already up. It's actually 1230pm . I missed the Kabukiza theatre near Tsukiji.. After 35km at 110pm, it was my slowest 5km. I took 34 minutes. There was a climb through the bridge back into Tokyo Bay. I saw a felllow American NYC girl at km 40 and she struggled. I encouraged her and even took a photo with her. She was ahead of me all

I too struggled under the Ariake station. The Big Sight finishing was getting nearer . I finally crossed the finishing with much fanfare. There were long queue to get our food, returning of chips ( a young Japanese volunteer boy untied and retied my shoe laces as I didn't used the cable tied supplied) I collected my hard earned medal and finishing towel although it was so hot..so I didnt need it.

I met Lee Lee waiting there inside and she looked pale. She finsihed at 4:23. I changed and asked her to go out as my friends are all waiting there. It was a long walk from East Hall to Main Hall. up and down the escalator and finally going down to the main atrium again.

I told Lee Lee that the place is like an airport. For every runner, there are 3 family members waiting there.
We met up for a meal at Cafe Restaurant till 5pm and Alexis had to go off earlier as she was leaving that night.

All the train stations has long queues but luckily we walked to Ariake Station ( one station before Big Sight). so we had seats all the way to Shim bashi)

It was the biggest race of my life so far. All throughout the 42km, there were people cheering offering food and even tissue paper. The biggest parade of costumes I ever seen. I had a hard time looking for Kak J because so many people wearing wigs. But I will always the little voices yelling out Gambatte. It still rings in my mind.

Here are my split times

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2011

This is my first entry for 2011, exactly one year after my first marathon. You can say I am back to HK with a vengence.

For my first marathon, my aim was just to complete the course. When I crossed the 30km mark at 3:29, I even raised my hope for sub 5 hour completion. Alas, that didn't happened. I did it in 5:01.

So, you can say this is my Revenge Marathon.

Friday 18 Feb 2011

Arrived in HKIA before 8pm and saw the Thai Airways parked 2 gates away. So, I knew Sir Henry has just touched down.

He was kind enough to wait for at the Airport Link station and I managed to convinced him to take the Airbus to Kowloon. I said that I can introduced the marathon route from the double decked bus. After all, the train goes under the Tsing Ma bridge and you can't see a thing.

Upon arrival at Nathan Road's Parklane, we got down and walked across the Kowloon Park to the hotel. Dropped our bags and went to meet up with Bernard Loke and wife at Mongkok. Bernard has just collected Henry's bib.

Saturday 19 Feb 2011

Really wanted to sleep in but somehow still got up at my usual 8am. First thing I heard was Sir Henry's dream of his car being stolen.

Anyway, got up at 9am and went for a typical HK breakfast..You tiau and cheong fun. No hot soya this time though.

Meet bro Joe TTT at Tsim Tsa Tsui Station and went for bib collection together. Henry tagged along as he missed out on the 'bib collection experience'. Camwhore a bit at the finishing gantry.

We rushed back to Tsim Tsa Tsui to meet up with Bernard and wife for dim sum. Lost Joe otw and waited for at station. That's when I bumped into Lee Meng Yong and Cynthia Gan.

Anyway thanks to Henry for bringing us to his nice dim sum restaurant called Tao Heong at the 3rd floor of Carnovan Plaza. Really enjoyed it! That's what travelling to HK is about.

After a hearty lunch, we went for a walk at the Harbour City. I went to do my own shopping and later we met again in the hotel room.

We joined Terence Poon and gang for carbo loading dinner. It was fun and I was glad that we chose to eat in the Spaghetti House.

After quick dinner, time to head back for a early night.

Sunday 20 Feb 2011

We got up at 5 am and made coffee. I had 2 buns for breakfast. The baggage deposit trucks were just in front of our hotel. We managed to meet Bernard at the TST MTR entrance at 615am . It was also the starting of the first group. Took a few photos and meet Nik and David Tan from Singapore.

At 6:43am , according to my watch, we started the marathon. I paced with Henry, Bernard and Nik. After 2km, Nik blazed ahead and I kept myself with this 2 guys.

After the Stonecutters Bridge, Bernard wanted to go to the loo. I told myself from the beginning that I shall not repeat what I did last year during the marathon, I partly attribute the reason I couldn't hit sub 5 hour because I had to queue for the loo during the marathon.

So that's when I left them . When I reached the entrance to Tsing Ma bridge , I saw Aileen and Joe pacing together. Not far from them is Vincent Yeo. Then I met my kakak..and we took this wonderful photo together. We have been texting and only meet in HK for that fleeting moment. It was still wonderful.

I caught up with Nik and told her to get ready to camwhore as the TV camera is usually at the turning point of the Tsing Ma bridge..Alas..this year , they didnt place the camera there.

I left Nik and caught up with Khairul Anuar after the Ting Kau bridge. I saw my friend Gila Bola Karim at KM 23 and we took this photo. after the 2nd tunnel, i saw somemore wearing a yellow top with the words ..Don't give up ..printed at the back..I overtook her and it was YenErl... So I paced with her till km 30..I told her we are running at 4:40 completion time pace.

After a while I left her and meet most people before the cross harbour tunnel like Mohan Marathon, Winnie cheh and Asree from SG. I didnt struggle at the cross harbour tunnel cause I am mentally prepared for the climb at Sheung Wan. But I wasn't prepared for the merging of all runners and 2 categories into one single lane. I also didn't recall that the climb at the underpass at Central was that steep. Anyway, I also took the drink at the last water station before Marsh Road. I skipped it last year. I was doing everything the opposite this year. I saw my watch at 4:12. So I knew it was be a sub 4:30 completion.

I enjoyed the last 2 km immensely. I was aware of the cameras pointing at me and the crowds cheering. The people waiting for cross the marathon path. The police was controlling them. I was aware of everything.

I crossed the finishing with a most jubilant mood and had the strength to run from one side to the other. It was for me a sweet revenge. I now awaits my certificate of improvement from the organiser.

Till my next one this coming weekend at Tokyo...it will even be bigger and more overwhelming.


                       2010                2011

10km              1:09                  1:09
20km              2:19                  2:11
30km              3:29                  3:12
42.195km       5:01:06             4:26:23

My 5km sub laps are

0-5km    - 35:38 ---> 35:28
5-10km  - 34:11 ---> 1:09:39
10-15km- 31:19 ---> 1:40:58
15-20km- 30:31 ---> 2:11:29
Halfway mark     --->  2:18:16
20-25km- 29:51 ---> 2:41:21
25-30km- 31:10 ---> 3:12:32
30-35km- 29:27 ---> 3:41:59
35-40km- 30:26 ---> 4:12:26
40-42km- 13:57 ---> 4:26:23