Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Skydiving Vid

I owe some ppl this video....

TQ Unker!!

Stories from the past... 2007 Kinabalu Climbathon

My old personal blog entry of Kinabalu Climbathon 2007. The 2009 edition just passed us by, and somehow, reading entries from it reminded me of this unforgettable race. I remembered it as the second race I in my life.. as well as the most important event that has ever happened to me.... (those who know me better knows why)... Haven't had the chance to join it again since.. but hmm.. who knows.. hehe..

Here goes..


It’s over, really really over…..I actually summitted. Yep, all the way up the mountain. The race was amazing, I really enjoyed it. It was fun, torturous, refreshing from all the other runs I’ve done before. In short, I plan to do it again next year.

Training…(lest I forget) was 3 and a ½ months of pure torture.. 1-2hrs of strength and cardio training (stairmasters and Personal Training) and 10-20km runs in the evening. Will need to do more trails next year and maybe do a preview run up before the real race itself in August. May join up with the NTUC team next year for their training, but they usually start 6mths before hand. Lazy….

24th August 2007
Flew in from JB Senai airport to KKIA. Flight took 2hrs 30mins and was uneventful. Was sleeping all the way and arrived refreshed. At KKIA, Bobby from Exotic-adventures picked me up in a shuttle van. Nice local guy. We picked Francis ( an event organizer) from his hotel and proceeded on to Kinabalu Park itself. It seems that most of the other contestants were already there at the Park. On the way, we stopped at Tamparuli for their famous Tamparuli noodles which was amazing. Francis kindly paid for the meal…hehe

Arrived at Liwagu resort at Kinabalu Park and proceeded on to register for the race – RM60. Yay!!! Got the race pack which contained:
1. Official Buff SkyRunner headgear
2. Race booklet
3. T-shirt (which I’m wearing now)
4. Other Sabah tourism booklets
5. BIB no. 219 and hairpins
Ok..off to the hotel to chk-in

The Hotel Perkasa was about 10 mins from the Park by van. Bobby shuttled me there. It was on a hill on the mountain. The room was nice, simple, with a good view of the mountains and the peaks. Unfortunately, it was misty when I arrived. Can’t get a good shot today. Rested a while before heading down to the shuttle that brought me to the Kinabalu Park Hall for briefing. Ate some of the chocolate bars and half a can of Pringles during the rest….yummy…. CARBO LOADING TIME!!! The part of the race I really enjoyed…
Hotel Perkasa’s room…nice double bed..haven’t slept in one in ages

Mist surrounding the mountain top…

The briefing started at 6pm. Given by Mr Bhalwant Singh – Race Director – started with a video made for the Climbathon. It showed the women’s winner – Anna Pitchorva – amazing how she runs – gg up and down the mountain. The top 3 runners (heed the word runners, not walkers) were really competitive. To them, timing is everything. This was followed by race rules and Q&A. That’s it, on to the hotels for a good night’s rest.

25th August 2007
Race day
Had a wake up call at 4am in the morning but already had a bad night’s rest. The kids in the room next to mine were shouting till 12am. Put my running clothes on – orange tee with the sleeveless blue dri-fit on top. I looked ridiculous.. Wore an extra T to keep me warm before the race. Haha..better. Had the black shorts and the buff head scarf on.

Bib number in place, shoes tightened and locked. Time to head out.

Breakfast was light and simple at the hotel’s cafeteria, usual bfast, toast, eggs, fried noodles. Skipped the cereal this time round. Saw some other runners there as well before the race. All eating up. The shuttle picked us up at 5am.

Arrived at Liwagu resort around 5.30am as we picked some other runners on the way. Some of them I met the night before on the way back to the hotels. A group of elderly ppl were there too. Seems that they are regulars for the race. They were surprised to hear that I had come alone and fished out as much advise as they can to me about the race. Most important advice: TRY TO REACH THE SUMMIT. It seems that the organizers will turn racers away if they can’t reach certain chkpoints in time, thereby hampering the already tortured spirits from summititng. The cut off for the summit today will be 3hrs30mins, so to reach the summit, must try to arrive at Laban Rata at least in 2 to 2 and a half hrs.

Arriving at Liwagu resort, I decided to at least reach Laban Rata, which is at KM 6. Sayat-sayat hut was at KM6.5 and the summit (Low’s Peak) at KM8.72. Cold, dark but the whole place was filled with eager runners, ready to start the race.The wind was howling as though to give us an early warning of how bad the race will be. Starting point was about 4km in from Liwagu resort. So another shuttle brought us there.

The sun was not out yet at 6.00am when we reached the starting point. Again, strong winds, but otherwise the sky was clear- good, hopefully no rain in the morning. Only had my running clothes on and was shivering cold. Darn, forgot a jacket. Checked in my extra tshirt and bag at the luggage counter. 30 minutes before starting, bib numbers started to be called out to register in the racers. There were a few DNS’s, it seems.

The starting point buzzing with anxious people..

Soon the sun came out and the sky brightened up. The trail became more obvious. Still cold, I went for a short jog into the starting area to warm myself up . Worked up a bit of a sweat that evaporated almost immediately. Man, the wind blows again….. Feeling cold again. My heart races faster as the clock ticks down.
Bhalwat Singh gave a short speech…who cares!!…boring…. 3…..2……1......
The starting flag came down…. OFF WE GO!!!

Initial part of the trek started with a tarped road towards the timpohon gate. Only managed to run slowly up to 2/3 of the way to the first checkpoint at 0.5km. The top runners just sped on, running without looking back. Racers around me also started to walk, evidence of how being at a high altitude really kills the energy to run. Started to walk then and there itself.

The trek was, luckily not too wet. Started out mainly steps cut into the trail with some stairs interlaced in between. The steps are high, and the stairs narrow… phew, can really fall down on this treacherous trek if not careful… HOW IN THE WORLD DO THE TOP RUNNERS RUN????

Anyways… working my way up the trek one step at a time were easy until… I started to run out of breath. The scenery was amazing when you could look out into the mountains, otherwise, the fresh cool mountain air invigorates me with life. I miss all this, being in an urban jungle for far too long already. Right then and there, I decided that I’ll do the race over and over again, if only to feel alive again in the wild outdoors. I stopped at times, but with all the there runners moving, I knew I could not stop long. On the way up, we helped each other with words of encouragement to continue, not to give up till we reach the top. Wen Siong’s words kept playing in my head, come on Jonie, just another one more. Gotta thank him for this when I see him next. Soon, after 2 hrs of torture, Laban Rata was in sight…YES!!!.... Approaching Laban Rata itself was fun, the people who were staying there all came out to cheer the runners… some were even standing on the roofs of the other small huts in the vicinity. Man, I need to climb this mountain again soon…

OK, The summit next!!. The next part of the trek will be highly dangerous, if my memory does not fail. This is where all the rope works begin. My hands were starting to feel really cold as the ropes were cold and wet. Note for next year’s race… bring gloves. Some areas were too steep to just walk upright, and some were like walking sideways while splaying your body on the mountain wall. The top runners were now in sight, running DOWN… RUNNNING DOWN!!!... Amazing, seeing them fly over the rocks, racing against time and one another to reach the end of the race. Nevermind them…. Just continue on. Will make it….

Towards the end, I can feel the air getting thinner and thinner…breathing becomes more and more deeper, and my steps becoming slower. One peak looms ahead, nope..not Low’s Peak. Nevermind, continue to walk

Come on Jonie, another one…. Wen Siong in my head again.

Finally, there it is…Low’s Peak. Ropes were outlining the trek, showing the best way to go up the mountain. There was a huge yellow umbrella marking the last chkpoint of the race… Another 10 mins?...5mins….I look at my watch.. 4098m above sea level. OK.. last push now to the top!!

Low’s Peak.. way at the end there…

I’m THERE!!!!!!
I look at my watch….10:48
SUMMITTED IN 3:48 !!!!

Whoa.. the feeling of achievement was amazing…
The Summit officials held out their hands to congratulate me… Nina ( Phillipino runner) and Lee (from Tawau) did the same… heheh I could only congratulate them back and hand them a huge smile…

At the summit!!!!

Nina, Lee (race official- not racer Lee) and Me on the summit…

I took a breather up there….

Amazing… the air up there was cold but fresh. Can I just stay up here?... Brr… getting colder tho….

After 5 mins at the top.. time to go down… darn.. the hard part begins. Up climb was easy as you only depended on sheer endurance to propel you. Downclimb, is, well downright scary. Especially when it started to rain!!!..No….even the slightest drizzle can make the trek 10x harder…slippery…

Slowly now, one step at a time. Luckily my shoes were able to grip quite well to the rocks so far, if not I would be falling with each step I take. I remembered the last time I went up with tennis shoes… since then, I learned to wear proper footwear to sport events.

Phew, tiring. Going down requires more vigilance, can’t shut the mind off just like that. The slightest miscalculations, and down,…..all the way down you go … once again…

The initial downclimb, was hmm… slow… not used to rocks already since my last climb in 2004 at Nepal. Can’t make it for Finisher already, so might as well make it down ALIVE. After about an hour, I made it back to Laban Rata, but with my knees already killing me. Old sport injuries really picks the best time to present itself again. Aargh. will need to be more careful when I restart training next when I get down. Don’t wanna lose my knees so soon.

After Laban Rata, the trek returned to the normal soft muddy mountain trails. At first rocky, gradually, changed to the soft mud tracks I’m more used to. Navigating through the rocks, I think I fell twice on my buttocks.. luckily got fat pad to cushion the fall..hahah. On the way down, many whom I passed on the way up started to cut in front of me… evidently they were better than me at down climb..hehe ☺. Yup need more practice for next yr’s event. Ok…..slowly now…

Hmm… around KM 5 on the way down, I met Lee (from Tawau).. amazingly, he was jes recce-ing the race for today as his event is actually tomorrow. Hahah… no wonder he was wearing a runner’s tag and not a numbered bib. Tall and lanky, he was a policeman from Penang who was posted in Tawau. We started talking and thankfully for him, he became my partner during the downclimb, and that helped me a lot. That said, I still fell down again…twice …on my bum. Haha…

The drizzle continued, but as there were trees around, I couldn’t really feel the full effect of the rain. The trek was still wet though and at some areas, small streams of water were gushing down the steps. The narrow stairs at this point became even narrower, and soggy from the rain. Slowly, KM 4.5…..3.0….2.0….1.0….Timpohon Gate!!!

Lee bought me a 100 plus then, as he was equally parched. The officials there congratulated up for reaching the summit and waved us through the gate. We continued on. My knees then were already on the verge of giving way, but my spirit was growing with each second that the torture was going to end soon. Hahah

Hmm… we reached the starting point in less then 10mins, and we saw 2 guys walking back in the rain as well. They were drenched. Only then did I realized that the rain was actually heavier than I initially thought. Fairus and Diony, they were out taking photos of Carson’s fall and got caught in the rain. With nothing better to do, all four of us started to head back.

The Finishing Line

We had a lively chat on the way back and managed to hitch a ride with one of the transport (which luckily had 4 empty seats left) bringing the racers back to the ending point. The rain started to lighten up.. and as we reached the end point, a sense of relief and achievement filled me again. I made it to the top… and that felt just great….

Me and Diony at the guy's event the next day


Hey, I still go the Finisher's Medal after all"

Try onz again next yearr!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sth I wrote looong ago...

The light grows dimmer, the glow slowly disappears. My breaths gets weaker and weaker. Who knew, it would end like this.. least of all me, as I lay on the floor, tears rolling down my face in a never ending chase to reach the ground... Like a circle coming to an end, only that the end is nigh, and there is no starting point again...

My feeling were now empty, like a cup that was full minutes ago, only to have its contents poured away. Nothing mirrored how I felt, except that of a shattered glass, falling to the ground. No one can ever fix it... no one can ever mend it.... I could not, and will never be able to pick up the pieces to put it back together, and as I let it get swept away.. I just let it go...

They say happiness comes when you least expected it... so I let it come.. but it never did. Or did it just past me by while I wallow in self pity and in its deprivation, missed the gust of many other fleeting moments? Time heals everything, another old saying... give it time.. but has Father Time forgotten about me? Will I forever be stuck in the entropy of this dark black hole and let Mother Nature runs its course and wear me down till the end?...

Facing the real world is tough, living a lie is tough, being strong for others is tough..Pray tell, when will it ever be easy then..

As my vision disappears.. as my thoughts disarray themselves.. as my lungs take its in its final breath of fresh air.. I finally understood the secret to it all... the agony and pain, the neverending sorrow.. and I let it all go...


Sunday, October 25, 2009

My first time hosting... STEAMBOAT!!

The last weekend was great.. fun.. and phew.. BOOMZ!! First was the TNF100 on Saturday.. and yesterday.. well.. I hosted my first Steamboat in my place!!! haha.. proud achievement cos I rarely host ppl in my place and I had fun doing it. Here's the lowdown :

Date: 25.10.09
Venue: jonie's Home in HV, SG
VIP: Callie Liew
Guests: Priscilla, Nick, Timmy, Diana, Gucci aka ST

Food: Chicken, Mince pork, Meatballs, Fishballs, Veggies, Mushroom, Prawns, Corn, Yong tau fu
Soup base: Ikan bilis, Corn, Chinese Cabbage

Pris came early to help prepare the stuff. Did the groceries, marination and stuffed them all in the fridge.

Adjourned after that for a short afternoon nap (it's Sunday, after all) while I continued on with "Long Way Round".

Finally, the time has come... First, the guys, Nick and Timmy came, followed by Diana and Gucci. Too hungry already, we went ahead and started the cooking and eating.. then, finally, the VIP arrives.. Hooray!! and so we can start "officially" steamboat dinner (though half the food was gone already by then...)

After food, we had dessert, pears and chocs that Timmy brought over and gathered around to watch some viral Youtube vids (ie, Ris Low, PCK as Ris Low, Kumar.. etc)

.. before heading over to Coffee Club for more desserts.. hehe.. we ordered in total 6 servings.. one of them being the ever delicious Muddy Mud Pie.. yummers...

Finishing up da foodzzz...

Dispersed close to 11 pm, still got to work tomorrow mah... and met YZ on the way back.

Someone trying to do "biz" here

Had a good discussion with YZ about the upcoming residency thingy in Singapore.. and after sending him off.. went to upload pics and zzz ...

Hahaha... had a terrific weekend indeed. Thanks goes out to all who made it happen, and to those who ate all the food, and to Timmy who paid for Coffee Club.. hehe.... ;)

Trudge on....

PS: I just realised we forgot to take out the prawns.. and I'm ALLERGIC to prawns.. so now I have close to 1kg of inedible (to me) prawns in my freezers... 0_O...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Trail Running, the Endurance style.. (where TNF100 becomes Trek NF100)

Alritey!! Finished "The North Face 100" with BK yesterday.. phew.. was worried that I wouldn't be able to pull through.. for those who don't know anything about, here's an earlier post about the race pack collection about 2 weeks ago - http://lalaneedsalife.blogspot.com/2009/10/next-up-tnf100.html

The race for the 100km Duo started at 7am, with registration and hydration pack weighing at the starting point. And as usual, I saw Mohan there!! hehe... finally, with my camera, I managed to take a good pic with him after him taking so many pics of me.. I salute him, he just got back from Beijing marathon the weekend before.

Weighing the hydration pack

MOHAN, my man!!!

Yee Hua was racing too

Nothing much to shout about for this race start.. just.. countdown.. 3..2..1... go!! Tt's all.. haha... think I've been through too many of this to get overtly excited about race starts. OK!! Time to go..

The start was ok, not too bad, with the usual slopes and light trails easy enough to run through. Finally, we reached Bukit Timah, and here is where all the quad and hams torture starts. Ugh.. starting from the base, we tracked the road trek up, just missing the steps up to the summit where we turned off and reentered the trails after a bit. Then it was rockky downhill all the way till we hit ZhengHua.
At the first run off to the second part of the trails..

Met some cute MTB'ers on the way.. wanted to hitch a ride...

From ZhengHua to Mandai, the trek was ok, not too bad... and we did a quick run here. We didn't go through Gangsa Trek on the way to Hill 265, so was spared of the trails there for now.

Finally, at Mandai Rd, and crossed a traffic light to .... Lorong Asrama up to Hill 265. There was a water point and chk point here.. and it is this 9km round this hill that totally shattered a lot of runners (inc me).. The upslopes were for some literal upslopes and well.. turn after turns, it only felt like we were fighting a never ending battle... tahan tahan.. I thought the end was near when we started moving downslopes, but oh no.... one left turn... *shingzzz*... a huge red laterite wall appeared in front of me.. and the arrow says.. UP!! bloody f***!!! ok.. nvm.. start trekking again..

Yes... Hill 265 was this bad..

Roadkill at Hill 265

Continued on, and finally, saw the turnoff point where lorong asrama started, and the water point again... hooray!!! Finished this torturous part.. !!! OK, fill up with 100plus, back to Mandai and another 20km more to go...

Now we go through Gangsa trek towards Bukit Timah, and yes, BK's fave part.. the undulating, shadeless slopes.. the killer slopes after all the trail running. Just want to say that here.. I should have just rolled down the hill..

Turned out at Bukit Timah, water point, and turned in to the trails to MacRitchie again to hit the 40km mark.. I was happy, my spirit brightened up again, and with newly found energy, run/trekked all the way back to MacRitchie.. (BK helped me with my bag the last 5km.. tq tq tq.. )

So happy at the 40k mark, BK did the VISA dance!!

YES YES YES!!! Saw the end is nigh.. and started to plan another dramatic ending.. the CRAWL.. part 2.. hahahah.. this time.. caught it nice on video :) :)

OK.. time 8+ hrs, happy, got the medals, went to get Subway sandwiches and more food and drinks. Sat on the grass, ate the food, talked a bit more.. and basked in the glory of finishing another race. ahh... now, just got another few thousands to go... haha.. jes kidding.. :)

Trudge on... and trail onz!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Progress so far.. and time to move on....

Things are moving fast for me nowadays, and its starting to remind me of the days of yesteryears in Houseman year where Murphy's Law prevails and any rests at all were precious (I remember feeling ultimately helpless at many points in that year yet it's something we all go through as part of our training).. those were the good ole days...

Also, studies started already, and even with only 2 modules, I spent hours on them, pouring over all the notes to read, lectures to listen to, assignments to finish; it seems like it never ends. Then, I got to wrap up work before the Nov change of posting.. which is not that much considering that the CGH is quite quiet right now, since CPOE has been implemented already. Travel and sports still take priority though, with all my remaining few races to finish up with... and well, I've always made it a point to have a life. But still, my feelings remain unsettled of what the future holds..

I know for sure, I will miss my current colleagues at CGH and Singhealth and Serangoon North; after all, I've been there for a year and a half already. I feel that it's now a good time for me to move on and explore the other aspects of my job, and see where that takes me. I'm scared, yet excited and the aspect of going to a new place, meeting fresh new faces , rejoining other old colleagues sounds like another interesting phase in my life. A phase which I know will be hard,
but which I also know I can tackle it and come out alive...

Sometimes I wonder how it felt like when my friends changed jobs... and now I get the front row seat of it all..

As a final note.. to all my soon to be ex-colleagues... I love y'all.. TQ for making my time in MI SHS a miserable Hell.. haha.. jes jk.. actually....

---->TQ for all the memories :)

Yours truly,

PS Keng Hwang arr... I really wanna see u order ur special drink.. hahahah

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Checking the months...

Realised I haven't done my monthly uptodates properly... so here goes...

January - Callie came, and went back; Wakeboarding; Banana Relay Race, Whitewater kayaking in Tjg Malim

February - CNY- IPOH!!; Whitewater rafting in Singoh, Skydiving in Udon Thani; IM Langkawi

March - *Jason Mraz's concert!!! - corrected by May!! ; AVIVA HIM Singapore; KL for bdae!!

April - Skydiving in UT (bombed), IM China (DNF.. hehe), RAW duathlon;

May - *KL + Genting with the girls!!... corrected by Callie.. ;Kuching- went trekking in Bako; Florida, USA!!

June - Skydive in UT (bombed); MR25 marathon; Nite safari Singapore; Snowboarding; KL marathon

July - Kuching to makan and beach!!, someone visited...; Shape Run; started Bikram Yoga

August - Desaru LTU; Bali; Army Half Marathon

Sept - Rafting in Ulu Slim; Mum and bro and Aunty Julie visited; Kiteboarding in Kuantan; started Grad studies...

Oct - FeeYen's wedding - IPOH!!; TNF100, Midterms....

Phew.. tired liao.. I love my life :)

Desaru Long Distance Triathlon 2009

The Desaru - Pengerang Long Distance and Sprint Triathlon has long been a favourite among both Malaysian and Singaporean triathletes for a long time now. Every year, hordes of athletes, their families and bikes make the annual pilgramage to Desaru to take part just to be a part of this event... and so did I this year. The event was held on the first Sat of August this year, and as usual, I went up with a new bunch of friends. Thanks goes to Teryn who organised everything sui sui for me.. hehe... 

Went up on Friday by ferry, and met Tommy and his bunch of personal trainers who were going up to race as well. It's kinda interesting, cos this is the first time I went up to Desaru with my bike from Changi Village Ferry Terminal. The ferry ride was about 45mins long and from there, we took the organiser's bus/truck (humans on bus/ bikes on trucks) to the race hotel. Arrived, collected the bikes and collected the race pack at the hotel. Couldn't figure out which room I was sharing with Teryn, so sticked to Tommy's group while waiting for her to arrive... (actually, they went for test swim, bike, run, I just watch TV in the room.. talk about slacking)

In the evening, Teryn arrived, with Chris... and I got to settle into my room. Parked my bike, and slacked summore... Teryn couldn't believe how slack I was when I said I just wanted to lie down... haha.. but as my ole adage goes...  "why run when u can walk, why walk when u can stand, why stand when u can sit, and why sit when u can lie down." Anyways, Teryn brought her wheelchair down to Desaru too.. and well.. at least we have a spare chair :). That night, malay food dinner at Renggit and Chris spent time sourcing out ice, and drinks for the race the next day.... and that night too, I found out what was so special about the race (at least, why its so special to me)

The race is really simple, the fees really cheap compared to other similar distance races. That means, very few aid stations along the way. For the biking length, only one refilling station, and its a do urself station. For the run, more aid stations but mainly water. And this race is known to be a HOT race. So, to help aid the participants, each big group comes and sets up their own aid stations... really... HUGE groups come and set up aid stations... with 100plus, water, sem bueh (Chris swears by it... so I'm gonna test it out in IMWA), etc etc etc.. hehe.. this is the first time I've been in a race ran by the supporters.. hehe.. and it was fun planning it out.. since then, I've decided to be a aid station manager one day.. and practice the zen of aid station management.. 

OK.. so all set out... in bed, and slept sui sui all throughout the nite (got some noise when Chong arrived.. but I was so zzzz)

Woke up in the morning, got some breakfast (found out tt Chris already went to buy ice and set up the station) and got number-ed with the markers Teryn had(this girl really thinks of everything). Hung the bike at my spot, said Gd Luck to everyone, smiled abit, arrange Transitions stuff, and head on to the beach for the swim. Wah...really washing machine waves oooo. Had a short fun time trying to jump the waves.. haha ... Uncle Chan gave a small speech again while I was hanging with Toh Chen... and made a pact to swim SLOWLY together.. hehe...countdown as usu.. and off we go!!!

As usu, open water swim.. got kicked a few times, and one quite serious one which almost dislocated my jaw.. I couldn't open my mouth.. sighs.. stopped a while to hit it back.. The swim was short, apparently, it was shortened.. good good.. I'm not a good swimmer.

Came out, showered, (should have brought a shampoo or sth) and went to T1. Took my time as usual, and started the biking leg. Had to clip in and pedal as hard as I can up the short steep slope coming outta T1.. omos fell down. Biking was ok, except that my chain popped out 3x during shifting gears.. need to service liao. 

I look cool here (courtesy of Bernard Soh.. :) TQ)

T2 was fast for me, cos I wanted to finish the race as fast as I can and go to zzz. Was running when I found a toilet at the golf course's shed.. lucky.. But anyways, the run was fast and the heat was furious... the aids station was superbly helpful here. Right before the end, stopped at Teryn's station and asked for room key.. She called me siao and asked me to fin the race first... hey.. I just wanted a shower.. ok 

...so ran to the finishing and finished the race. yayy!!!
(courtesy of Ben Swee)

Got my medal, my wet towel, my Tshirt, some congratulations.. and I was done.. Rehydrated, showered and slacked in the room after that.. haha.... OK, Dinner was at the town, Chinese food.. yummers... mmm...

The next day was the sprint event, and I was there to cheer for everyone.. Apparently, some of the prev day's athlete's were in for the sprint as well.... oooo... POWER!!! 

POWER!! Ben did both long and sprint distance.. again.. POWER (well.. it's his own photo.. :))

The lady who had the wheelchair... 

 The Desaru triathlon was finally over... Stayed till the prize giving lunch before heading back to the jetty by the organiser's bus/truck again...Time to leave this magnificent place.. :( but this was one of the best races I've ever been to.. The organisers were great, the race was just right and best of all, the company was just more than I could've ever bargain for... so.. next year onz??... hehe.. I might just be the person handing out the drinks.. hehe...

Trudge on... (Chris behind me, BTWs)

My Chinese name...

One thing I always get asked about.. wat's my chinese name....

It's... so for those who can read my name..

蔡柔妮 !!!!

I know.. it doesn't sound like me... but it's a nice name.... Kudos to dad for giving me such a nice and beautiful name. I'm half Hainanese (where the "Sua" comes from) and half foochow.. and only recently I learnt that another close friend of mine is also foochow.. small world.. small world... hehe

Trudge on...

Rafting @ Ulu Slim...

Okays... finally, after a long hiatus from rafting, I finally went back to it last last weekend (about the first weekend of Sept) with Ivy, Fipink, Kenny and Kevin. We rafted at Ulu Slim this time, as KKB dam was closed during the drought and the water level there was pretty low. But after a week of planning, emails and FB-ing.. the plan was finally set and hopefully casted in stone.
I was down in KL on Friday, the day before, and had a scrumptious pan mee (with some soybean soup) meal with the ppeps, after which we went to watch UP.. non-3D la. It was cute and fun... and we found out that Kevin, was a girl after all. I liked that movie... and the dogs... hahaha.. ok.. after tt, went back to zzz and prep our mind and body for the next day.
Saturday finally came and we were off to Tanjung Malim exit meeting point to meet up with Bai and Surin, then to the the rafting storehouse where all the equipments were kept. We met another group of rafters ( 7 of them) who would be joining us... most of them were first timers as well but they weren't exactly the friendliest bunch i've been with. OK.. each of us collected out life vest and on we were to the truck.

The 'before' shot

The ride to the start point was on a logging track, and somehow reminded me of the track to Singor (in January 2009). There was one point where we had to squeeze in with a HUGE logging truck gg in the opposite direction... The truck driver was real gooood... RESPECT RESPECT!!

Well.. anyways.. arrived at the starting point safe and sound. Bai gave the ever loooooong lecture on rafting while I chatted with the guides.. missed them lots and well, updated myself with the gossips flying arn ... hehe...
Cikgu Yap... fokus sikit!!

And I helped to pump a bit....

Next, we split into 3 groups and I joined the other group while the Ivy, Fipink, Kenny and Kevin formed a group on their own. Got into the raft.. and hey, the journey starts. 

Ulu Slim has mainly grade 2-3 rapids with one Grade 3 rapid. It was fun again to be in the waters, paddling my heart out.. but this time.. sitting in the front, I tried to understand the water flow. Same as every other rivers I've been into, the trick is to keep the raft/kayak with the front pointing forward as much as possible.. Also played photographer and videographer this time with my Olympus SW1030 which so far hasn't disappoint me ...yet. 

The Grade 3 rapid

Rafting lasted about an hour and at the end of it, was playing time.. we all jumped into the river.. and went water boarding... including making a water boarding train.. hehe...tore my shorts there, dunno how tho.
Everybody wanted to pee...

Picked up by the same truck and returned to the storehouse.. had a quick shower and lunch there. Everyone was happy in the end and all agreed that rafting was fun. Even, the girls were keen on gg for more in soon, and am aiming for KKB already when it opens.. hehe.. Will try to arrange again in the future.. and ?? Singor again in January.. hmm.. oh well, till then.. later peeps.. :)
The 'after' shot...
Trudge on... and Raft on...

Kuantan.. the slack holiday..

About a month ago, I went to Kuantan.. mainly to learn kiteboarding... but I learned to slack like a beach bum instead.. and damn, it's too darn addictive. I haven't been to Kuantan in years as I only have not too fond memories of that place.. (my childhood was spent DIY-ing -painting, repairing, building walls, cementing floors- and in Kuantan, my dad had a house to DIY all the time) ...

I was mainly at Pantai Balok, the place all kiteboarders go, and it was great. Very little wind, but learned a bit on controlling the kite (although it looked more like a mini-parachute). Most days were spent looking at the beach with a beer in hand. Sometimes, there'd be other stuff like wakeboarding to fill the time... or just hanging around Kuantan including Telok Cempedak... I'll definitely return to kiteboard during the monsoon again.. which will prob be in January 2010.. Hope I can catch some wind then...

Till then, just enjoy the photos ..

Firefly flight SIN-Kuantan.. hope it stays.. but it's bloody ex

Yup.. the only budget with food so far.

The Beach.. and a kite

Bear bear looking at the beach..

Wolfgang holding bear bear

Me waiting to kite

Nearby island of rocks... I wakeboard all the way here

On the boardwalk at Telok Cempedak

MTB tracks at Telok Cempedak

What we did at night....

Trudge on....