Sunday, August 31, 2008

Kangoo Running?

Spent a lazy Sunday morning with the family at guess where, haha...the PlayGround @ Big Splash. As I drove in, I recalled the nice Nike Human Series Training runs FatBirds were supporting, of which a few sessions were started there. The Human Race was to be run this evening 31.08.08, and I was inicidentally wearing the maroon Human Race 'teaser' apt....hehe. The Human Race boards were still standing tall, alonside the newer Aviva 70.3 Half-Ironman billboards.

3 of us went to the Kangoo shoe shop, and ordered 3 pairs of those springy shoes to try them out. It was a lot easier to adapt than we thought, but the workout we received was easily more than twice that of just plain I was perspiring like rain, and my face and T-Shirt were soaked. We had loads of fun, and we bounced like Kangaroos and ran like humans on spring coils...haha. There were many curious onlookers, and on the way bumped into Stazla who was quite keen to know how well the shoes worked.

I must say that the shoes really gave me a hard cardio and my quads felt like jello afterwards. A nice cross-training and recovery session indeed. I felt so hungry from that 40min workout and was glad to cocoon inside quaint OldTown CoffeeHouse for some good Ipoh fare....yummilicious.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Interesting Finisher Cert

An interesting way to present finisher timing...wraparound cover on the EzyHealth magazine (EzyHealth)...let's have it for the Saucony Passion Run folks :)

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

SAFRA Singapore Bay Run 2008

SgRunners @ Bay Run 2008 Collage, Courtesy Rachstar

I wasn't in the least bit prepared for this year's Singapore Bay Run (aka Army Half Marathon) as I had planned to take a break after the grueling Sundown Ultra-Marathon training runs and race. Up till Saturday, I still didn't know what the actual route would be like, other than there will be muddy spots along the gravel road to the Marina Barrage...whatever that was...haha. With the heavy rains falling on Saturday, I decided to wear my soon to be End-Of-Life Nike Katana IV for this mission (to avoid dirtying my shwe Nike Lunar).

Late on Saturday, the FatBird ladies, including Bev received news from SAFRA of their seeding and were told to report to the front of the startline earlier. Wow, special treatment for their good performance last year, so they get a better start to avoid being blocked by slower runners and walkers. I had to start quite a distance behind, and while waiting, chatted with David Tay about the Marathon Pacers training. I also acknowledged SAFRA MF chairman. FatBirds Niwas and Keng Siak were also nearby with me at the start.

FatBirds amongst SgRunners, Courtesy Amaranthine

The weather threatened to rain, and I brought along my cap just in case. The race was flagged off at 6.35am, and the initial 2km was quite packed in for me. As I moved into open spaces, I managed to spot FatBirds Jancy, Helen and Charmane. By the 3km, I realized I was behind at 15min...gotta move a little faster. Managed to get it to 39min at 8km at ECP area....still slow, but at least I could take a breather if I wanted to finish sub 1hr45min...hehe. Saw the very fast Indian and Thai armies returning from the other side, followed by some Singapore local elite runners...whoosh!

This stretch of ECP and U-turning at C4 towards Fort Road is always quite 'mental', with the hard grounds. Spotted FeetOfFury and a few others in front. As I moved along, saw SC5 in his very shwe aniMILES running top, and also Jimmy Chow from SAFRA. The other side was just so crowded with runners moving towards C4. The stretch from Fort Road along the gravel trail was new. The entrance to the route was greeted by a '14km' Engineers' banner. Time check for me was 1hr5min....wah, how come I have gained so much time? It was later confirmed further up that that sign should have read 13km instead....haiz.

The gravel portion of the route was soft, undulating and muddy at certain spots. A lot of runners slowed down as the soft gravel grounds sucked up the 'power' from the runners. I lost some momentum in there, and after encouraging Anna and Walfisch, I moved along towards the 15km mark. I found that I was pretty drained by then, as I embarked onto the Barrage...there wasn't much scenery to speak off; the nice part of that route being that it was away from traffic. After the barrage, we moved along Marina South before I saw the 17km mark.

A few runners slowed down at that point, and I almost wanted to join them too...hehe. I took a final sip of my PowerGel mix, and pushed towards the finish. It was bad at the final 2km mark with the heavy traffic, smog, and construction workers trying to race us tired runners. Sensing that I was not going to make PB by then, I decided to put on my running cap for a different finishing photo....haha. I grappled with it for a good 300m, aiya, I was really not used to putting on a cap.....finally managed to velcro it right, and moved that time, a few runners have passed me liao.

I saw the 1.5km mark, and before I knew it, I was at Shenton Way and moving towards the final 1km. Time then was 1hr38min. I picked up speed a little, overtook a few slowing runners, moved towards the 500m mark, heard the cheers of the DJs and applause of the crowd, and perked myself up for a good finishing pose. The clock showed 1hr43min10sec as I crossed the finish, which meant that I should have registered a 1hr42min nett chip time....similar time as last year, no improvement, boo! However, I will take that timing as positive, as I have not really put in much effort for this race.

Good Run: SgRunners, Courtesy Raven

Team FatBird runners did very well indeed. David at 1hr40min, Bev with a PB of 2hr01min, Niwas 1hr44min, Helen at 1hr51min, Charmane 1hr51min, Jancy 1hr56min, acleong sub-2hr, with the rest doing very good timings too.....must have been the fartleks and tempos they have been doing with the I-Runners at River Promenade every Tuesday and Thursday....haha.

SgRunners @ Bay Run 2008, Courtesy Amaranthine

In traditional spirit, the group gathered at the Cenotaph with SgRunners for some very nice photo and VR shots to serve as memories for all in the years to come. I enjoyed the whole run, although I found the going pretty tough at the final 5km....but that is pretty normal for a half-marathon at race pace. With the Singapore Bay Run behind me, I look forward now to begin the SCSM Marathon Pacers/Pacees Training Program starting next weekend. Join me for this annual full marathon journey in December.

Distance: 21.1km__Time: 1hr42min
Pace: 4:51min/km__Shoes: Nike Katana IV

Official Results: Men's Veteran
Official Results: ALL

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

I-Runners @ New Balance Real Run 2008

Final Call -> Please hand in the forms and money to Team FatBird's desks at I-Run @ International Business Park on Aug27, and I-Run @ River Promendade on Aug28.

To promote the I-Run spirit, there is a drive to have at least a team of 50 I-Runners at the New Balance Real Run 2008. I-Runners will be getting a special sign up rate for the coming Real Run in September. To enjoy this special sign up rate (Group Discount) you have to sign up as a group with us. Just download the registration form from the official website, fill up accordingly, duly signed and submit to us with exact cash amount. ($28).

To qualify for this you must be a registered I-Run participant and must have a minimum of 4 attendances in the month of August – September. Please inform your friends who are planning/training for the Real Run to join us and enjoy the Special Group Rate.

Special I-Run rate for Real Run - $28.

Person in-charge for I-Run location for Real Run Registration forms.
River Promenade – Anthony Sum (Team FatBird)
International Business Park – Maverick S (Exer-Fit)
Science Park – Maverick S (Exer-Fit)

Drop me a note or come up during the I-Runs if you are interested.

PS: Please do not do an on-line sign up but register through us. We will consolidate all the registrations and submit for you. The confirmation forms for your race pack collection will be given to you soon after that. Please submit all your registration forms by 29th Aug.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

My-Lunar @ I-Run

Brought my new Nike Lunar shoes to the two I-Runs @ River Promenade for trials this week. It attracted quite a fair bit of attention from the runners, as it was probably the first time many of them have laid eyes on the 'candy'. A few of them even thought that they were shoes for streetwear and gai gai, and didn't really thought it was for running; but their impressions immediately changed when they heard about the Phylon & LunarLite Foam technology and how the cushion was supposed to help with defying gravity (when running) to some extent...hehe

As I ran in them at the very hard surfaces along the River Promenade and Esplanade area, the Lunar Trainer really proved its mettle in the area of impact cushioning and shock absorption. I could feel the firm bounce with every stride, as the shoes took most of the impact instead of my, I finally found some relief for my poor legs who were taking lots of pounding on those hard grounds. Of course it helped that the Lunars were very light, making my running form look even more effortless than before; maybe I even looked like running on the moon from the back? hehe

After using the shoes a couple of times now, it has more or less been broken in, and the feeling gets better each time as I feel the shoes wrap around my feet pretty snugly, contributing to a cushy and pampered feel.

With its simple, clean top and colorful, patterned bottom, the Lunars look great, and has been a attention magnet, good conversation piece and topic opener. It is not too loud, yet stand out in a cool, subtle manner. Incidentally, while following the Olympics, I have spotted the Lunars being donned by the women marathoners and triathletes. The distinctive yellow/black bottom of the shoes really make them stand out and are easily spotted from among the crowd....chio!

My initial impressions are that the Lunar has both looks and function, and is set to be one of the running gems from Nike in the years to come.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

An evening at I-Run @ River Promenade

Photo Slideshow - Courtesy of FatBird J

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Final Human Race Training Run

FatBirds & EKIN & Racers ToolBoxer

FatBirds & SgRunners

The 5th and final Human Race Training Run once again returned to the PlayGround @ Big Splash, East Coast Parkway. FatBirds went down quite early, and immediately went to look for Sacha, with his new offerings....yes, the Nike Cushion Light Trainers (Spiders), which I have been looking forward to take it on the road. Assistants from Nike, Racers ToolBox, MR25 were already there, setting up the registration and shoe trials.

Ben gave FatBirds a short brief of the 8km route, from Big Splash to Cable Ski area and back. As the time went past 8am, lots of runners, including many SgRunners and Human Racers turned up. Jonathan from Racers Toolbox gave a final word on tapering and preparing for race day, followed by the customary dynamic warm-ups from Ben, supported by Team FatBird (members from SgRunners, MR25, SAFRA).

The pace this morning was rather balanced, not too fast, just nice for the group to stay closer together. The weather was cool, and all of us were prepared with caps and shades. The Spider had very good forefoot cushion, and was very responsive. I did not feel any heavy impact from the hard concrete surface of the Pedestrian Path we were keeping too. The yellow colour was bright and eye-catching, and quite a few compliments from other runners about the looks of the shoes...hehe.

The bulk of the Human Racers turned at halfway point in 24min-28min. Jancy and myself were cheering and motivating them at the U-turn, along with the new NZ guy from Racers T. The Human Racers have progressed very well through the 5 training runs, and many of them are a lot more confident about their pace and breathing as compared with their capabilities a month ago. I am confident they will do well on 31.08.08. In true Nike and FatBird spirit, we cheered, paced and ran along with all runners for the final 100m of the run. That added a lot of excitement and fun to the finish, and hopefully, will give nice memories to the Human Racers to keep for some time. The Nike Spider shoes passed with flying colours as far as I am concerned, and I could wear them for at least a 21.1km race.

This final Human Race Training Run was an interesting and fun journey for myself and the 7-8 FatBird Team members who were involved in the run-leading and helping out from the first run. In retrospect, I am glad that we volunteered to help out through MR25, and got to know the Nike and Racers Toolbox crew along the way....thanks for all the chats, fun and laughter we guys rock! And of course to the Human Race participants, it was great running along and getting to know you guys and gals....all to best for your 10km race....and remember, Focus On Your Breathing :)

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Nike LunarTrainer: Over The Moon

An enthusiastic Lunar Bunch

It was an appointment I have been waiting for in anticipation. About 15 of us gathered at Nike Singapore's HQ at Changi Business Park for a trial of the highly anticipated Nike LunarTrainer+. I have heard quite a lot about these shoes and its latest technology, and was just waiting to try them out. FatBirds were in the company of very fast runners; the likes of Vivian Tang, Lim Kien Mau and Ben Pulham. It was good to meet with Shirlyn, Jack from the shoes and events management companies, and a few other runners from the media.

After Glenn extended a warm welcome, and Sacha gave a brief of the technology and how Jeanette Wang used these LunarTrainers as her 'secret weapon' at Sundown 84km, each of us were handed our very own pair of LunarTrainers, all pre-packed with socks and a towel. My first feel of the shoes were 'WOW, they are so light'.....little wonder that a size 10 like mine weigh only 8.8ounces. We took some nice group shots in front of the Nike showroom, before assembling at the lobby for the 4.5km run around Changi Business Park.

My LunarTrainer: Out Of The Box

Initially, my feet found the shoes a little wobbly, like as though I had 1 size too big. As I ran, and the feet got 'moulded in' and took shape, I could feel the Trainers getting snug and comfy. The forefoot cushion was ample, and I noticed that all the runners were running very silent....very likely due to the single-piece cushion that helps to even out the impact force. Jancy and I had fun taking turns to snap photos of the group on the run, and we chatted and laughed as we all enjoyed the sheer comfort of the shoes. I realized that Nike might have a Marathon winning shoe this time...a good balance between the cushy Vomeros and the light, speedy Katana range.

I felt I could run long in those shoes without feeling strained or tired. I will be looking forward to take the LunarTrainers for longer runs of 18km-25km at ECP, and also to hard concrete surfaces at I-Run @ Promenade. After the run, all the runners were treated to some refreshments. I had the good fortune to try out the Nike Spider on the treadmill, and my short experience told me that this shoe will be good for short runs of up to 15km. I hope to give it a road-trial before confirming my suspicions.

Overall, the Lunar range is very good, and I heard great reviews from Ben Pulham and those who have tried the Racers. I just hope to be able to test the LunarRacer when they are available in my size. Till then, I should be bringing my LunarTrainers along wherever I go...hehe.

The Day's Highlights from Jancy's Camera

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Human Racers GO WEST

FatBirds were bright and early to West Coast Park by 7.15am. Already the bright-colored red Nike tents were set up, and registrations were under way. Since we had some time, I decided to trial the Vomero 3 for good measure....hmm, the shoes felt a little firmer than the earlier Vomero versions, but still offered a reasonably cushy ride.

Because of the PI Run in town, we had less SgRunners join us, but still a large turnout of about 100+ Human Race participants. It was good to see familiar faces like Sacha, Andrew, Siong, NomadRunner, PassionRunner, Wendy, Vincent, Lawrence and the MR25 Runners. Ben Pulham from Racers Toolbox brought our team for a quick recce of the route, before we all settled on stage to do the dynamic warm-up exercises. Fatbirds were on stage to back Ben up for his interesting and challenging warm-up!

It was a scenic start-off from the Pier along the seaside, overlooking monstrous cranes. FatBirds led the start, flagged off by Racers Toolbox, and as a group we descended onto shady West Coast Park. The Human Racers were cheery this morning as they headed towards the Dog Field, and back for 2 loops of 3.8km. Along the way, FatBirds, decked in their bright-red Human Race Tops, ran along with the runners, dispensing tips on breathing and proper running posture.

The runners were happy with the hard workout, and all had very good photographic finishes, with high knee-lifts and driving arms for that stylo-mylo finish, amidst loud cheers by supporters and finishers at the end point along the Pier. There were treats of 100plus, SubWay sandwiches and bananas. The weather held up well, and everyone had a great time....looking forward to the final Huamn Race Training Run #5 next sunday at East Coast Park....we can expect an even larger turnout then :)

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Marathon Pacers Kick-Off Run

About 25 of us gathered at ECP this morning for the 2008 Marathon Pacers kick-off. It was good to meet our Pacer kakis from 2007, and immediately memories of last year's run were revived. DO and myself were 4hr pacers last year, and we enjoyed the entire journey of bringing those runners across within the magic 4-mark.

This morning we had very steady runners like Ultraman, Charmane, Brokie, Vincent, Raven join David Tay, Dream, DO, Cokiee, cfred, Marcus, Henry, Kok Sin and the many more TriFam, FatBird and Sg runners to form a good base team, from which we will build upon for a trained Pacers team. Since this was the kick-off, we did a 16km to-fro MacD-NSRCC. The weather was rather cool on the way to NSRCC, and maybe it was National Day, the crowd of inline-skaters, bikers, park visitors at ECP was strikingly small. We enjoyed a good pace of about 5:15min/km for the first 8km.

On the return, the sun came up, and it was incentive for us to hurry along. David Tay was pacing along the bulk of us, as he was into his final 7 week of training for Berlin. Raven too was doing his own 32km in preparation for Berlin. I moved ahead by the mid-point to catch up with Ultra, Charmane and cfred. By then we were at sub-5min/km pace. David Tay too came along as we neared the Chalets. With 1km to go, we saw AiChai and the group in front, taking a nice stroll....hehe.

Once back, we gathered for some isotonic drinks, as we discussed the training schedule and marathon training program. August will still be used to gather more Pacers and because of the weekend races, we would not be too aggressive with the training intensity. It will also be a good time for the Pacers to settle into the training system and routine, as we begin our 2008 Marathon Pacing Journey :)

Distance: 16km__Time: 1hr19min__4:56min/km

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Tuesday's I-Run @ River Promenade

Quite a few happenings for this evening's run.
About 130 runners turned up.
Weather was good, and a few fresh PBs from the runners....well done.
A number of guests showed up, and one of our trainers was I stood in for the warm-up portion....too bad the mic wasn't working today, and my voice was a tad soft to be heard by those at the back....but well, it was a good impromptu stretching experience for me...hehe

Slideshow From Dream's Camera

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Nike Human Race Training #3

FatBirds to lead the Human Race (Singapore vs The World)

L-R Ultraman, Jancy, David, Anthony, Charmane, Beverly, Ronnie, Benny, Sacha

I started to have a sniffly and blocked nose on Saturday morning, and was nursing a cold by Sat evening. Still it was not enough to stop me from going down to ECP PlayGround @ Big Splash at 5.30am to do a morning run, before helping out with Team FatBird at the Nike Human Race Training Run.

With the many short run-leading sesssions I have been doing, I was looking to do a slightly longer distance to maintain my endurance. Started off with DO and Bev, and maintained an estimated 5:30min/km pace throughout until the 8km mark near the Sailing Club toilet. Along the way, we bumped into David Tay and Benny who were up early doing their Pacer training run recce. I had to go to the toilet, and DO U-turned back.

On the return, Bev and I were running together. Brokie, Passion and Cokiee were seen running up against the flow, and they aiming to do about 18km. I was real nasal, and had quite a number of water stops. I reached back in about 1hr30min, after doing 16km. Ultraman, the MR25 runners, FatBirds, the Nike guys and SgRunners were already there. I then had the good opportunity to try out the Katana Racer 3 for the Human Race Training Run. It was a very light pair of shoes, good for up to 10km according to the MR25 speedy sifus.

FatBirds & Human Racers At The Start

Quite a good crowd showed up by 8am, and after a good round of stretching, and introductions of the few of us by Sacha as the front guides of the run, we set off towards the Chalets with about 100 runners. FatBirds and MR25 pacers spread ourselves out to guide and cheer the Human Racers on. It was good fun and quite inspiring to see all the human race runners giving their best, and showing very positive attitudes to complete the 6km run.

It was nice to see a couple of RP I-Runners at the Human Race training too, and they told me their I-Run training have made them better runners, showing good improvements. It was satisfying to get positive feedback from the runners on the good work we have done with run-leading and motivating. At the end of the training run, we were rewarded with cold 100-plus, bananas and chewies....healthy replenishment for the good workout. FatBirds and some SgRunners took some nice group photos, ending the morning session on a very high note.

Enjoy The Day's Slideshow

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Friday, August 01, 2008

FatBirds Run!

Team FatBird @ I-Run, River Promenade was a field day for Team FatBird with a record turnout of more than 140 I-Runners at the I-Run @ River Promenade on Thursday evening....I had to go a long way to fit all the I-Runners into the pics...haha. FatBirds were out in full force with 12 Run Leaders and Run Assistants providing full support to what turned out to be quite a 'happening' evening :)

The FatBird Warm Up

It was great having some very fast, stylo-mylo rabbits do the chiong-ing at the start, which escalated the excitement levels a few levels up lah....hehe

We had earlier asked for more drinks, and the kind people at HPB responded with 5 crates of 100plus + plus 1 crate of ice-mountain. I initially thought it would be enough, and finally some FatBirds might get our 100plus at the end of a day's sweeping, was I so wrong smile.gif


The weather was good, and the scenes along the scenic River Promenade certainly came alive with so many I-Runners dashing about all over the place...some real eye candy too....well done to all who completed their runs in PBs.....yes there is a large digital display clocking in the times of runners as they return to rousing cheers of the party smilie_daumen1.gif

And yes, Team FatBird's Benny, David, Charmane and Helen were the poster boys and gals for the day....excellent!

Photo SlideShow, courtesy of Brokie's camera.

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