Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Korean Marathon Food

Choco Pies In Singapore

I recently made an interesting discovery at the grocery store near home. It immediately brought back memories of the ChunCheon Marathon 2008 where I first experienced the Choco Pie at the mid point of the race. It was a staple marathon food handed out at Korean Marathons, and I found them to be most palatable and smooth. The chocolate outer with jelly inner made for good marathon refuel, and is quite easy to eat on the run.

They were handed out the following Sunday at the Joongang Seoul Marathon, in which I took part as well. After the races, I brought quite a number of boxes back to Singapore. It is timely that they are now available locally...a good opportunity to try them out and see if they are suitable for the Singapore Marathon as well. Now, I better buy a few boxes to keep :)

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Back To Nature @ MacRitchie

Team FatBird Runners @ MacRitchie Reservoir

After a relatively long absence, we finally found time to revisit MacRitchie Reservoir this Saturday morning for a 'Back To Nature' run in the trails amongst the flora and fauna. Although the many weeks of training at ECP and City area on hard concrete surfaces have been good conditioning for Sundown Marathon and Army Half Marathon, with NorthFace100 looming, some of the FatBird runners have to begin running more on the hilly, but soft slopes of MR and Reservoir District.

Mini-briefing @ Ranger Hut about Rifle Range Trails

A few groups gathered at the MR carpark by 7am....The SAFRA MF Runners, Team FatBird & Friendz, SgRunners, MR25 and some of the schools....I guess cross-country must be coming up soon. Exchanged greetings with many familiar faces and lots of catching up on recent races ensued, before our informal TFB grouping took off towards The Northern Route. Many of those who joined us were new to the MR trails and routes, and we wanted to run at 'sight-seeing' pace to show them around. It took us about 25min to exit the 4km Northern Trails, before proceeding to the Ranger Hut for a water break.

hmmm...let us study the terrain

From there, we proceeded along the hilly Rifle Range Trails to the entrance to Rifle Range Road. We will take the runners onto the road portion towards Bukit Timah area sometime when the opportunity arises. Back to the Ranger Hut for yet another water break after having covered the 5km Rifle Range portion. All were in high spirits, and were enjoying the trails and nature, something not often done as most run mainly in ECP and the City area.

The final stretch....we can see the light :)

The pace for the final 6km back was a tad faster as we entered familiar territory. Beverly did a good job of showing Charlene and Joe around the trails, short of 1 or 2 short cuts around the stumpy 'tree-roots' area...hehe. I saw a couple of Raffles Insitution runners doing the 2.5km Lornie Trails and decided to follow them behind for some tempo. It was fun watching them running the slopes, with me trying to keep up. We completed the 15km run in about 1hr50min, including breaks and all. All the MR newbies enjoyed the trails very much and were already asking for more, and when we would be back again.

For sure, I will be back with the FatBirds for more MR soon....the MR25 Progressive Runs, the NorthFace training runs, TFB 'Back To Nature' fun runs. I also want to take some time out to recce for a nice gathering spot near the newly set-up 'Club-House' which gives a sense of proximity to nature. I would love to have a nest for the FatBirds in that natural habitat, one that can be pleasing and comfortable for the flock.

FaceBook Photos by acleong


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Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Army Half Marathon 2009

Photos from DO, Melvin Jnr, Tekko

I had 2 good days of carbo-loading leading up to this yearly 21.1km race, the Singapore Bay Run/Army Half Marathon 2009. Team FatBird Runners donning their TFB Running Tops gathered at 5am at the Esplanade sunken amphitheater. We had a few group photos, before proceeding to the start line at 5.10am. The few of us guys were frantically trying to locate toilets, and was aghast to find that the public toilets around the area were closed, and there were long queues at the porta-loos. By the time we were done, it was 5.20am. We managed to squeeze through but we were quite far back from the start this year.

Team FatBird Runners readying for the start

As we were trying to inch ourselves a little further up, the MC suddenly announced that the race had started...a good 5min before the pre-determined 5.30am flag-off. A minute elapsed, and I was not moving much. I started my Garmin 405 as we walked towards the ChampionChip mat. By the time we crossed the mats, another minute went by. The initial 3km was one of braking, slowing down and weaving around the bunched up pack, who were running at about 6min/km pace....shucks! There was a clearer opening as we ascended the Sheares Bridge. I took the opportunity to break free and moved ahead to make up for lost time. The pace then was 5.45min/km....fwah!

As I passed familiar faces and Team FatBird Runners, I gave them the thumbs up and told them to 'Keep It Up'. I was trying to make up for 'lost' time, and did not have the luxury to chit-chat too much, not that the runners wanted to talk anyway....haha. Everyone was focused, and all I heard at that early morning hour were sounds of breathing, footsteps pounding the roads, and the sloshing of water as we passed water stations. As I had my fuel belt with me, I skipped the first 2 water stations to avoid getting in the way of the crowd.

By the time I entered Fort Road, about the 7km mark, I had brought the average pace down to about 5:05min/km....ok, time to take a breather...hehe. As I trotted along, still trying to find ample space along the narrow pathway along the ECP, I passed Li Lian, and then YN....both were doing very well. Up to 9km mark, I spotted Han Low, and then Silvia, Cheow. They were all on track for 1:45min/km up to the 12km mark. Then Lexus ran past at fast speed....oops, he must have been caught by the earlier start, just like Ben Swee, who had earlier caught up with me at Fort Road. After a breather, I had to increase the pace to bring it down to a sub 1:45hr target...Han and Cheow were maintaining too. Then spotted Roonz and aerosolcan, very steady pacing. Anna was around the vicinity as well.

It was still dark as I turned out onto Mountbatten Road. The distance marker earlier showed 13km. I saw Roentgen doing a steady 4:58min/km, this guy had really improved heaps since his one year stay in the USA, running with the local clubs and all. I was feeling quite alright at that point, and decided to move ahead. The drinks stations were great this time around, with the marshals coming out and handing out cups of isotonic and plain water. I drank mostly on the run to save more time...hehe. With 6km to go, the crowd had thinned, and I was able to move about quite freely. Some of the slopes were a welcomed change for me to capitalize on the different styles of running. The Newton Racers I had on were behaving well, with good ventilation...not much heat generated, and I didn't really feel them at all.

With 5km to go, I passed Johnny and then caught up with Lai Chee. She seemed to be conserving for the final I moved up to a group of guys and ran alongside for a bit. There were 2 slopes to tackle, and a few were slowing down. As I moved forward, there were more girls up pleasant surprise to see so many more strong lady runners this year. When we entered the F1 Pit area, it was just down to 2.5km....time check showed 1:30hr. Knowing that I have made up most of the 'lost' time, I slowed down to soak in the sights and sounds of the 'happening' cheerleaders and the final push for the 'rear' runners of the competitive army units. I could see Donald from MR25 taking count of his runners, and then followed by Eugene further up.

The final stretch for a 1:41h finish

As I turned back to Esplanade Drive, I was in the mood for some photo taking...ran past Tekko who was there snapping away, but he just missed me...haha. There were a couple more photographers snapping away, and from a distance, we could see the army boys and friends cheering and welcoming the runners. Since I had some reserves left, I decided to pick up the pace, overtook another 10-15 runners, and crossed the finish line in 1:42:30....the nett time should be 1:41h or so. James Lua was just behind me, and we also saw Lim Lian Hock. It was nice catching up with James as we proceeded to get our finisher medals. Darren (1:40), Spencer (1:41), Keonz (1:30), Max (1:28), Aaron (1:33), Teck Hou (1:33) and many of them had already finished. After grabbing a 100plus, I went back to the finish line to welcome back the finishing runners....YN (1:49), Silvia (1:52), Li Lian (1:52), Eileen (1:52), Yong (1:56), Zhilei (1:59) & Max (1:54), June (2:01) and many TFB runners who did so well.

SAFRA Mt. Faber Running Club @ AHM2009

DO and I then joined the SAFRA MF group for more photos, as well as catch up with running friends and kakis. Jackie (1:34), Melvin (1:32), WenLong (1:26) and many of the SAFRA Runners did extremely well. Colleen and William had a nice outing too. Jaime and Ong were still not too well to run, as were a few other runners who took up the responsibilities of being cameramen and supporting crew :). Thereafter, we proceeded to the Cenotaph for the 9am Team FatBird Group Photo sessions. Lots of runners had already gathered by then, many sharing their trials and tribulations of the AHM2009 experience...many like Amy, SC Lim, Wai Pong did very well at their maiden half-marathons. Berno, Han, Eline and many more new FatBird Runners achieved personal bests. We waited till 9.15am for the 10km finishers who started their race under the blistering sun at 8am. Rose and her team did well to finish the race under trying conditions.

Overall, it was a great outing, although the initial human-jam and earlier start did put a small dampener on the good overall organization of the entire AHM2009. Till AHM2010!


Net Finish: 01:41:34.40
Category: 21KM MEN'S VETERAN

All registered 21km and 10 km competitive runners will receive a personalised Certificate of Achievement with individual net timing imprinted,One month after the race.Please ensure that YOUR MAILING ADDRESS is correct as your Personalised Certificate of Achievement will be mailed to you by post. Do feel free to visit the event website at to update your personal particular before Mon, 24 Aug 2009. Replacemnet of certificate will not be issued.
To review your race performance, click this link to see a cool graphical interpretation of your achievement

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

AHM2009 Show Time

The Bib

The Gear

The Shoes

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

SAFRA MF 20km Time Trial Cert

Thanks to Dave Poh of SAFRA Tampines and friend of Team FatBird who made this beautiful certificate to commemorate our participation at the recent SAFRA MF Location Run (20km Time Trial).

More Photos of the day's run can be found HERE, courtesy DO & DavePoh!

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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Gliding along Bedok Reservoir Park

Photo SlideShow By FatBird DO

On this National Day morning, I assembled at the Bedok Reservoir Park with Team FatBird, Racers Toolbox and the Nike Runners, to do the first in a series of four LunarGlide+ shoe trial training runs. The morning was cloudy with a thin cloud of haze, but that did not deter about 50 of us from doing a 6km morning run along the sandy trails....I have raced at the location a couple of times during the Public Service Runs...brought back nice memories of the BBQ dinners we would have at Adam's condominium just across the Park after each run.

Met Ming, Alvin, Ben, Gana and the familiar Nike run coaches and trainers. Our Team FatBird pacers were early as well, with YN, Spencer, Terry, Beng, Suan already mingling and chatting with the runners. It was nice to see Tekko, Molly and Ayin, who normally do the Eastside runs. The Philippino group whom we met at previous Nike runs were there too. Ming did the opening, Ben the stretching and Team FatBird marshaled the running. It was good fun chatting with the new runners, and encouraging them along, especially the slopes near to the end. The feedback on the LunarGlide+ was very positive, as the shoes performed well on both the sandy as well as grass surfaces.

It was the first time I tried the 'Glides' on a sandy surface, and I was happy with the traction it longer had I the feeling of sliding backwards nor feeling 'slippery'. The Dynamic Support System kicked in well in certain uneven areas, and although the shoes might not be that comfy for walking or standing around, they really are smooth on the run. With the final slope conquered, the runners finished off the 6km with a sense of satisfaction, made good with the cushion and support of the LunarGlide+.

Team FatBird did an earlier Review of the LunarGlide+ for distances of up to 21km...we hope to bring the shoes for longer runs and into marathon training soon. We hope to do more reviews of the shoes over longer distances, and will provide more runners' feedback as we have them. We will experience more of the shoes over the next 2 shoe trial training sign up for them at the Nike Run Club site to get an early slot.

Let It Slide, Let It Glide, What A Ride!

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

National Day Celebrations with Team FatBird

Team FatBird celebrated Singapore's Birthday with 255 runners and supporters to create a new record attendance for I-Run @ River Promenade. Join Team FatBird Fan Page for more nice pics and videos of the celebrations!

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

A Hilly Homecoming...

Photo Slideshow by DO
FB Photos by Melvin Lee, Dave Poh

SAFRA Runners @ MF Location Run (20km Race)

It has been more than a year since I have been back to SAFRA Mt. Faber (MF) for a group run with the guys. There were a couple of times when I went back on Sundays, but the crowd was real small, and we didn't quite do the hilly slopes that SAFRA MF is known for. So, in spite of the 18km Kingfisher run I had yesterday, I was actually looking forward to the 20km Location Run at MF; more so to meet up with running friends and kakis from the various SAFRA Running Clubs.

When DO and I reached MF Clubhouse at 7am, Chairman and his team of volunteers were already busy with registration and the setting up of support points. There was a system to identify the veteran runners too, which Chairman was only too proud to announce with gusto...haha. Met a few SgRunners and Team FatBird runners there too, which was nice.

Running Kakis and Friends

After the group photo and briefing by Chairman, we were flagged off to run the 2 x 10km MF loops, going up by the steep Kampong Bahru side, and descending by the long downslopes to Morse Road. The usual fast ones like Wen Long, Goh, Teck Hou, Alan, Ong, Derrick, Eric, Colleen, Julie and a couple more went ahead. I was quite happy to do a 5:10min/km pace with DO, David Shum, Johnny, Jason and a couple more. The rest of the pack, some doing only 1 loop of 10km, were enjoying themselves. Dave Poh was there with his nice camera covering all the strategic spots.

The first loop up Kampong Bahru took some wind out of me. I have not run up those MF slopes, or many slopes for that matter, for some time. It was a happy moment to see the support station of Melvin, Jancy, Trevor, Bug up there offering iced-cold 100plus. Johnny, David Shum and DO were just behind as I finished my drink, and enjoyed the downslopes. All the way out through Morse Road, and going back by Telok Blangah Way for 10km in 50min...Chairman, Yean, Eng Hwa and many supporters provided cheers and drinks at the mid-point. Johnny was just behind, but his stomach gave him some issues, while the two Davids decided to call it a day.

Finishing the first 10km lap

Without the mini group, I went for my second 10km loop pretty much alone. I was still running conservative, although my Lunar Racers were pushing the legs...haha, that was when I needed a break man. The second time up Kampong Bahru slopes was a real bugger. I could see Colleen chugging up the meandering slopes steadily. I slowed down the pace sufficiently for the climb up. My cardio was being pushed, and my heart was pumping furiously....wah, I almost wanted to stop and walk. I just kept one leg in front of the other, and using my arms to pump, managed to reach the top after a struggle. I was so happy to see Jancy and gang up there, and that time, I stopped for a longer time to gulp down 2 cups of 100plus and made small-talk with the group.

Up the final slope to the cafe, I saw ZhiLei waiting for Justin and her friends. That was the point of release for me, as it was just downslope all the way. I sucked in good oxygen as I let my body loose with my legs maintaining steady strides. By the time I was down the slope, my heart rate was back to a comfortable zone. A biker shouted at me, and I heard 'Anthony....Kenneth here'...nice that you called out to me Kenneth. When I reached down to Morse Road, I could see Colleen yet again....she was still the leading woman runner then. At Kampong Bahru, I spotted Derrick....he was slowing...he signaled me to pass. By the time I hit Telok Blangah Way, it was just 2km to go....I slowed to a comfortable pace and finished back at ClubHouse in 1hr41min...the second loop took me 51min. I was handed a position card of 4 for the veteran category...hehe.

Goh Lean Seng was 1st in the veteran category, his time way ahead of mine. Alan Chao was second, while Eric Koa was third. I was fourth, and Derrick took 5th. I got an adidias bottle, but I guess it was the participation and support for the event that mattered more to me...hehe. Wen Long was first in the Men's Open category, while Colleen took pole position in the Women's Open. After gulping many cups of 100plus, I went to the end-point to cheer and chat with the runners there. Chairman and senza were having a fun time talking about the training and runners at MF. There was a mini buffet spread, followed by a talk on the Suunto Training Computer/Watch. It was a nice homecoming of sorts for me, and I hope I can run more at MF whenever I am able to.

Distance: 20km__Time: 1hr41min__Pace: 5:04min/km

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