Category Archives: Puma Night Running Club

The Puma Night Run 2015 – An Unfortunate Event

A glimpse from a Pacer’s point of view:

We were thrilled and honoured to be given yet another chance to be Pacers at the Puma Night Run 2015.IMG_9646

Our task:

As pacers, we were well aware of our roles in keeping to our respective paces and motivating/helping the runners to complete their run.IMG_9533

We had a jillion things to do before the big day! This included the hype that was created on various social media platforms. You would have noticed if you were involved in ‘liking’ our photos. Thank you! I think you could sense our excitement!

Training:

In light of the upcoming event, we tailored our workouts for our Puma Night Running Club members in hopes of helping them to either complete the run comfortably or finish with a new PB. We did a mixture of intervals, hill sprints, tempo runs and negative splits. Even with the haze, many of our members found alternatives to keep their fitness levels up.

The BIG day:

After the string of disappointing event cancellations, this was going to be the next big thing (finally!)! Everything was going perfectly well – the haze had cleared up and the sky was crystal clear.IMG_9544

The pacers were there by 5pm for a mini briefing session.  We were ready. We had planned our paces and pace groups, made sure the printing on the balloons were correct and tested the route to make sure the distance was accurate.IMG_9539

We grabbed a light bite before heading backstage with our balloons.

We were introduced to the runners on the main stage, so that they could identify which pacer/pace group to follow. After the warm up session, we made our way to the starting line.IMG_9555

Everything went downhill from there.

Dark clouds began to creep in. Just as we were about to be flagged off, we felt the first drops of rain. The MC announced the delay and we went to look for cover.

10 minutes in and the rain subsided to a very light drizzle. At around 7.50pm, we were all ushered back to the starting line. I thought the starting was a bit haphazard. Many of the runners were not aware of the ‘sudden’ flag off. Those who went to the mall/convention centre to seek cover would not have made it in time to the starting line. I had to squeeze my way through the crowd to get to the front.

Shortly after, the count down was on and we were off! By then, the light drizzle was no longer a light drizzle, the drops were heavy and the wind was strong.

By km 2, it was a full blown thunder storm. Running with the balloon tied to your wrist with the wind blowing against you is NO EASY FEAT! It was a tough battle. But I must say, the wind did force me to run at my designated pace (5:50-6:00 mins/km).

Thankfully, Zi Shen’s balloon flew away with the wind. Without hesitating, I handed him my balloon. Even without the balloon, my petite figure was not built for such harsh weather conditions.

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With the resistance from the wind, the weight of our soaked gear and with the rain blurring our vision, every step felt like a burden. I wanted to give up. But when I looked around at the runners who were struggling along, I felt motivated!

I thought they were crazy. Runners are CRAZY people! If I did not have pacer duties to fulfil, I would have stopped. With the positive atmosphere from the crowd, I decided to have a little fun. After all, it is not every day that you get to run under the thunderstorm with 8 thousand people.

We continued to cheer for the runners and notified them of their current pace. The volunteers at the water stations were also happily handing out cups of water…… as if we didn’t already have enough of it (haha!).

At about km 8.5, we saw the 7, 8 and 9 min/km pacers along the side of the road saying that they were not allowed to continue. I was confused for a moment but decided to continue running. As we approached the 9 km marker, I shouted to everyone who wanted to do a sub 1 hour 10KM to follow me, with no knowledge of the non-existent finishing line (and cancellation). Everyone pushed, HARD!

But instead of turning into the finishing area, we were directed towards the convention centre! I thought they had shifted the finishing line, so we continued running, threading through the sea of people……until we were greeted with a metal gate that stopped us in our tracks. It was a nightmare!

We climb through the gate and made our way to the finishing area. We met up with the other runners and only then did we find out that the race was cancelled! I couldn’t believe my ears.


 

Post-race thoughts:

Everything was a mess. From the race to the finisher entitlements to the baggage collection. But only under such conditions, that the true colours of people are revealed(both good and bad). The Puma team, the pacers and some of the runners joined forces to help the technical team/organisers. I was happy to see everyone pulling in to minimise the damage.IMG_9554

I am not writing this post to defend or fight against anybody. I may be a Puma ambassador, but I am also a RUNNER. I KNOW how YOU feel. Believe me, I was just as disappointed! We were not informed by the technical team that the race was cancelled. I ran the whole course, I was wet, cold and shivering, I had a headache, my stomach was not feeling too good (women problems) and I had a race to run the next day!

I was under a lot of stress that day and I could go on complaining. But let’s look on the brighter side of things. Now you can all say that you ran in the storm with strong winds and flashes of lightning with 8 thousand other runners! Definitely an experience that I will remember for life. I also read that many of the runners managed a PB. Say what?!

Jokes aside, there is no excuse for the fact that there was no proper crisis management by the technical team. I totally agree that things could have been handled differently. But before you open your mouth or move your fingers to criticise Puma/the organisers/technical team, please make sure that you are making sense. I am seeing the silliest of comments on social media (honestly, it is quite entertaining. You can head on over to our FB page to check it out!), from phones to parking lots to smashed car windows……


Perfect weather on race day is never guaranteed. Even if the organisers made a wrong decision to flag the runners off in the rain, the ultimate decision is still IN YOUR HANDS. Elite runner Nik Fakaruddin, who would have easily placed top 3 that night, decided to watch the rest of us run from the comfort of his vehicle which was parked right next to the starting line. He made a WISE decision to NOT run even though the organisers carried on with the race.

What am I trying to say?

Take RESPONSIBILITY for YOUR own decisions. And LIVE with the CONSEQUENCES of those decisions. There are risks involved. Making a decision would mean that you would have considered ALL the risks. I think we should all stop pointing fingers unnecessarily and move on with our lives.

All I can say is that we, the pacers, did whatever we could to the best of our abilities. Special thanks to PUMA MALAYSIA for all the love, support and this awesome experience! WE LOVE YOU GUYS TOO!

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We showed up. We ran. We conquered. We were HAPPY!

I hope you guys are having a good day!

Keep Running!

Preparing For Your First 10KM – The Dos and Don’ts

These are some of the questions that I answered for Puma Malaysia.

If you’re preparing to run your first 10KM, I hope you find this useful!IMG_9210


 

1. The running programs are divided into two categories, the pacers, and the runners. Who are these pacers and what are their roles? 

The Puma Night Running Club is run by 11 dedicated and capable pacers. We come from all ends of the spectrum in terms of experience, speed and knowledge. Every week, the pacers are tasked to help the members reach their respective running goals. The pacers will pace the members according to their pace groups, guide, motivate, support and bring an element of fun to the running club. The pacers are basically a bunch of very passionate runners and we aim to create a space where we can share what we love – RUNNING!IMG_5423

#throwback: Puma Night Run Pacers 2014!

2. What are the types of training done to help all running enthusiast improve or complete their first 10KM?

Anybody can complete their first 10KM just by dedicating 3-4 days of running per week. But if you aim to improve your time, you need targeted workouts. Throwing in intervals, tempo runs, hill training and some mileage will help you run that much faster!

3. Is there a specific training programme that the pacers have set?

We just completed our 10KM training programme in July. In the weeks left before the Puma Night Run, we will be doing a lot of speed work and tempo runs to prepare the runners.

4. What are the importance of training before a 10KM run? 

Training prepares both the body and the mind. It ensures that you are able to complete the run smoothly and injury free. Running 10KM without training puts your body in a state of shock as it is not adapted to the distance and the speed. You are likely to finish the race in pain (if you push) and you are not likely to sign up for the next one!

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5. What are the dos and don’ts during the preparation of a 10KM run?  

What To Do:

  • Test your running gear/attire

 

What you wear on race day should have already gone through a period of “testing” during your training runs. The GOLDEN RULE is to not try anything new on race day, from what you wear to what you eat. Make sure you have proper running shoes and Dri-Fit clothing that wicks sweat away from your skin.

  • Eat Well and Drink Up!

 

It is important that you eat well-balanced meals with a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. You need these nutrients to recover from tough workouts during training. Remember to drink plenty of water too!

  • Listen to Your Body

We like to do and listen to what other people say. We tend to disregard how WE feel. Listen to your body! Nobody knows you better than you. Try not to do more than what your body can cope with. Push when you can and rest when you should. You don’t want to overtrain and burn out before race day!

  • Keep a log

 

It is a good habit to keep a training log. That way, you can see your progress through the weeks and make the necessary adjustments to your training. Also, you can keep a record of what you eat to make sure that you are refuelling after your workouts.

  • Set a goal

 

The best thing about running your first 10K is that there wouldn’t be a past record for comparison. Whatever time you complete it in will be your Personal Best. You can still set some goals based on your training. It can be as simple as simply completing the race or maybe you have a set time to complete it. Whatever the goal, make sure that it is realistic and achievable. If you have done it before, aim to beat your best time!

What Not To Do:

  • Don’t Over Train

 

If this is your first 10KM, take it slow and easy. Build up a good base and keep it consistent. We know how excited you are to start training! The last thing you want is to be pushing the pace (beyond your capability) only to end up getting side lined by injury!

  • Don’t Do Anything New On Race Day

 

Practice what you will do on race day. Eat the same breakfast, wear the same clothes and shoes and go with what you have tested during your training. When you feel prepared, you will be more confident!

  • Don’t Carbo Load

 

You often hear people carbo loading before a race. Contrary to what you might have read or heard, you don’t need to carbo load for a 10KM race! We are not running a marathon. Stick to your normal routine on the days leading up to race day. Just make sure you are not under eating!

All the best for the run! Remember, HAVE FUN!

Keep Running! 🙂

 

 

Run Society Interview

I did an interview with Run Society recently.

I talked a little bit about myself (running, training, races, experience etc) and the PUMA RUNNING CLUB. You can CHECK IT OUT here.

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The Team.

Thank You Run Society for the feature.

Keep Running!

 

 

2014 in a FLASH!

Is it just me or did 2014 passed by in two blinks? We have come to the last page of the last chapter of the year. To say that 2014 was an awesome year is an UNDERSTATEMENT!1620520_10153006265161388_8679834674850829399_nI don’t even know where to start! It has been a big year of experiences, learning, triumphs, celebration, failures, lessons, discoveries, realisation and such. I will try (YES, TRY!) to summarise the running/fitness related aspects of 2014.1620470_689034887876265_5509030869444227803_n

This year, my running life has taken a huge leap. What started out as a mere pass time evolved into one of the main players for much of 2014. I didn’t even know running was THIS big of a thing. I mean, look at the number of running groups and the number of people running! Before 2014, I knew nobody in the running community (I didn’t even know it existed!). Now, I am blessed with so many of them!

So, let’s see what I got up to!10885314_10153006293721388_3457171254213537215_nFirst win of the year!

A few note-worthy points (in no particular order):

– Became a Puma Pacer (and now one of the leaders of the Puma Running Club)

-Competed in 25 races

-Finished on the podium/within the prizes for 24/25 of them

-First year being up on ANY podium and finishing within the prizes (Never came close to winning before 2014)

-Managed 5 champion titles in a row

-Became a part of Team Dirigo

-Ran my first Half Marathon (2XU Compression Run 2014 – 3rd place)

-Ran my first Full Marathon (SCKLM 2014) and finished in 3rd place (BQ too!)

-Featured in a magazine and having my running/health related articles published on Healthworks.my

-Meeting a whole COMMUNITY of runners

-Being able to inspire other people

-One of the pacers for the Puma Night Run 2014

-Became a Puma Sponsored Athlete

-Ran my first trail run

-Took part in my first relay race followed by a few more (Mix team of 5 – ParX 2014, All-girls team – Allianz Pacesetters Relay 2014, 2-women team – Putrajaya Relay Trail Run 2014, Mix team of 2 – Serama Adventure Race 2014)

These are just a few of the many significant moments in my running life. I have much to be grateful and thankful for.10415655_10153006265271388_4515075272361293232_nLive with no regrets! I am truly humbled by all the experiences, both the good and the bad. Learn from your bad experiences. Your best stories stem from overcoming past failures.

KEEP LEARNING, STAND TALL & NEVER GIVE UP!

10888750_10153006300126388_4729946694401520071_n 10882284_10153006300131388_7424685058556949884_nOk, show and tell is over (teehee!). Now all I gotta’ do is find a place to stash my trophies and medals. It is important to not let your victories go to your head, or your failures to go to your heart. Try not to dwell in your wins and achievements. Yes, they are a form of motivation and it is okay to celebrate but remember to move on. Life is about continuous improvement and moving forward. Never settle for less when you can do SO MUCH MORE!

Ok… MOVING ON!10551723_10152188831976048_5235394676202937990_o

Running has been very rewarding. It works both ways. You can help yourself AND other people along the way.

This year, I realised how important it is to surround yourself with people who truly love, grow and respect you for who you are.

The Puma Running Club

1013612_10153006265136388_2505356129743788350_nI have blogged about this before but it deserves another mention!

This was where it ALL BEGAN (in Dec 2013). It was my first running club and also my first time running with a group of runners. Gone were the days where I ran alone and knew nobody whenever I took part in races. The Puma Family took me in and sucked me into the running world. From there, I came to know even MORE running groups (Cari Runners etc) as well as other runners. For the first time, I was exposed to specific training sessions (Intervals, hill sprints, tempo, etc.). I could see how these sessions were beneficial – I joined more races after taking running more seriously.

10418338_10153006266911388_5341767127642031668_nThe Puma Running Club has been a way for me to help other runners attain their running goals. This was why I agreed to be a part of the Puma Pacer team – to give back to the running community. I know what it takes to work hard for something and reaping the rewards. I want everyone to have that experience. I love to see people achieving their goals through pure blood, sweat and tears. Their expressions are almost always PRICELESS!

1458523_10205867507186460_7536537097201103768_nIn just one year, the Puma Running Club has grown from a few members to a group so big that we can barely handle!

10393881_10153006265451388_6187128639751867794_nThank you for the immense support. Look out for 2015! We have a lot in store for you. We promise to do our best to make every session a smashing one.10403650_10205625191848728_628064876195492104_n

We want to help YOU!

The Running Community

10897776_10153006266451388_3001890739474425903_nThe A TEAM!

The Puma Running Club was the stepping stone to a huge running community that I hadn’t known existed – the Cari Runners and all the friends that I have met along the way! 10882285_10153006265236388_3250072281001828173_nMy ultimate supporter! He wakes up at ungodly hours, drives me to races, waits for me, takes photos/videos and cheers me on! Who else does that? HAH! Thank you for always waiting at the finishing line and being there at my most difficult times! You’re the best! 10888760_10153006265361388_1417554876376447945_nMore than just my training partner. Thank you for teaching me a thing or two about running! I was always the blur one. I don’t know what I’d do without you! She’s an inspiration, a girl with a big heart and a strong mind. 1459303_10153006264936388_2416102104081054634_nFunny how we were all at the same race back in  2013 (we didn’t know each other back then) and look at where we are today!10385376_10152877422980798_8783970220212712765_n10846221_10205960870400482_1256925157986124445_n 1970551_10152773734976388_2562369935450847234_n 15903_10153006266406388_3024720723238382524_n10357513_4681225566059_1085154803915653212_nThe big brother when it comes to running. He knows what he’s talking about! Thank you for bringing me into the Puma Running Club (and then quitting at the end!). Also, for your advice and support!10644790_10153006300136388_1007695928296009072_nThe ever friendly ATM gang.10882309_10153006266866388_2063760121912757528_n 1940020_10152492822162146_6244093865986023529_nTraining and running with a bunch of people that I had just came to know is not something that I would normally do. The immense support, encouragement and motivation from this group made running that much more fun and exciting! THANK YOU!

Team Dirigo

This was probably THE BIGGEST thing that happened. 10881565_10153006266791388_8749098935376212435_n

The try-outs.10384194_10153006266556388_2144342878471011419_n

Trying out for Team Dirigo was something I did out of curiosity. I wanted to see where I stood, and what I was capable of with my new found dedication to the sport. I didn’t expect to be picked for the team! I initially signed up for the 21KM category for SCKLM 2014. That would have been my first 21KM, and my longest race ever. Little did I know that I was required to run the full marathon with Team Dirigo!

10892021_10153006265721388_5992085982191018718_nTraining alongside other professional athletes under a proper running coach was an experience of a lifetime. Any form of proper training was new to me. We had a structured training program to follow and many intense track sessions. Serious stuff! All the athletes displayed focus, dedication, discipline and determination. I was exposed to a whole new world of running. It was a different ball game and I had much to learn. Thankfully, Coach Mark and my Dirigo mates were with me at every step of the way.

10334328_10153006265806388_5552079757136952395_nBig thanks to Coach Mark and Team Dirigo for seeing me through my FIRST FULL MARATHON! I have always hated long distance running. Anything beyond 10KM was crazy far. I was actually looking forward to the day when I would actually run my first full marathon, which was probably somewhere in the distant future. I guess being a part of Team Dirigo accelerated that process!

10885023_10153006265501388_817482605669920992_n 10474454_10153006265556388_1592770420384951914_nI didn’t expect to complete, BQ AND be up on the podium for my first full marathon. Truly an experience to remember. I want to thank everyone that helped me get up there. Your support means the world to me. I couldn’t have done it without you guys!

1606392_10152272435546048_6098132874055233043_oStill, I wouldn’t consider myself as a long distance runner, far from it actually. But I am slowly learning what it takes to become one. I am truly honoured to be part of Team Dirigo and to be training under Coach Mark Williams. Thank you for not giving up on me.

10676247_10153006265981388_5709845855204752351_nThis year has taught me a lot on how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I have never pushed myself so hard and so far before. I have achieved PBs that I never thought was possible. There really is no limit when it comes to running. Sometimes, it’s not about what you have. It’s about what you do with what you have.

10336688_10153006264781388_2870504447090831086_nWith the new-year upon us, take some time to reflect and to determine your next step. Take on challenges and new experiences. Head confidently into adventures that would take you to new horizons. Believe in yourself and keep an open mind.

10906284_10153006264796388_2984097916222741365_nI pray to God for a good 2015, giving all praise and glory to Him for whatever happened in 2014! 10603720_10153006266246388_3815644368845847000_nSo stoked for what is yet to come! THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING.

 

PUMA NIGHT RUN 2014

IMG_5423The Puma Running Club has a special place in my heart. It was where my running journey really began. It was a society where I felt that I was cared for, loved and wanted. From being a member, to a pacer and now, one of the leaders of the club, all I can say is that this group is SOLID. With the Puma Running Club, many of us achieved our running goals and PBs. Together (both the pacers and our running club members), we grew in our running abilities and our love for the sport.

IMG_5420The Puma Night Run 2014 was the first ever of its worldwide series in Malaysia. This was the club’s major highlight event. It was where we could showcase what we have been doing every week, pacing our members and helping them reach their goals. We also had a 10KM program that was tailored for this event.

10733769_10152856017696388_96275407701808454_oThe months and weeks leading up to the big day were stressful for us. Although we were not part of the organizing team, we felt responsible for anything that could possibly ruin the whole event. We highlighted every single detail to the organizers and made sure that they met our needs. Stuff like the route being under distance was out of our control as we couldn’t get pass the authorities. All we hoped for was a killer event for the runners!  IMG_5419I was down with fever on the morning of the big day (of all the days to fall sick, it had to be on this day!). I was thinking of giving the event a miss but I knew that I HAD to be there. I had 2 panadols before making my way to Setia Alam.

Upon arrival, I was impressed with the Village Area. It was like a mini Puma carnival with large canopies, a stage and many miscellaneous stalls around. Honestly, this event exceeded my expectations. Judging from what we had to deal with the few weeks leading up to this event, I wasn’t expecting this.

IMG_5426We gathered at the Convention Centre for a briefing session and also to get our pacer balloons. LED BALLOONS! How cool is that?

IMG_5429 IMG_5422Lighting up the night!

IMG_5428We had some time to catch up with each other, take photos and walk around the Village Area before gathering backstage. The whole atmosphere was just really chilled and relaxed. I felt really good! For once, I will be pacing the runners instead of competing with them.

IMG_5435Going crazy backstage!

IMG_5436After the short warm up session by our celebrity guests, it was our turn to go on stage.

10734001_10152399456776048_5303479239131490496_nThey introduced the pacers. Our 1 minute of fame?

IMG_5437I was the 60 minute pacer, along with Yung Hui and Felix. As I don’t own a GPS watch, I had to rely on them to make sure that we were getting our paces correct. We stayed within 5:45 to 5:55, with a few minutes of buffer. It was an enjoyable run. The route was pretty much flat with one small hill (element of challenge?). There were many U-turns which I thought was great! I love U-turns because you get to see the other runners on the opposite side of the road. I cheered for all the top runners when I saw them running pass. SO EXCITING! And of course, seeing the other pacers and runners go by was also very exhilarating. I felt so good that I had forgotten that I was sick. Running is the cure!

I was surprised to see water stations at every 3KM (total of 3 water stations). I don’t normally drink for 10KM races but you would usually find 2 water stations. So, thumbs up for 3 water stations! I would have preferred if they had placed the last water station at the finish line. Also, traffic control was a bit poor. During the final KM, I had a few cars getting in my way.

75935_10152856017886388_1457225353403871153_nAs a pacer, I am glad that I was able to help motivate and push some of the runners to the finish line. Some of them managed to hit their Personal Best! Way to go! When the runners thank you personally at the finish line or through social media (Facebook, Instagram, twitter etc), you know that all your hard work has paid off. It is so rewarding. Their faces and their expressions – Priceless! I feel so happy for them!

10702011_10152856018061388_7944656669250686649_nWhen you are dedicated enough, you will find a way.

Before the big day, all of the pacers met up during the Deepavali Holiday to test the route. Although it was a Public Holiday, everyone made it for the trial run.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our guest pacers: Zi Shen, Hui Xin, Lucas, Yuki, Michael, Xiao Jin and Seven. Thanks for helping us out! And of course, our core pacers: Victor, Elaine, Daniel, Shu Wei, Yung Hui, Felix, Peng Peng and Brian. Special thanks to Zi Shen and Victor who made many other small arrangements and making sure everyone did their best.

As pacers, we NAILED our timings and I am so proud of them.

IMG_543350 minute Pacers:

0:47:59 – Zi Shen

0:47:59 – Daniel Lai

0:48:06 – Shu Wei

IMG_543460 minute Pacers:

0:57:32 – Yung Hui

0:57:33 – Felix Boi

0:57:36 – Adele Wong

IMG_543170 minute Pacers:

1:06:37 – Peng Peng

1:06:39 – Hui Xin

1:06:43 – Lucas Ng

IMG_543280 minute Pacers:

1:16:22 – Yuki

1:16:23 – Michael

1:16:25 – Xiao Jin

IMG_5430Sweepers:

2:08:30 – Victor Cheong, Elaine Tan, Brian Kit and Seven

IMG_5440After our run, we went to look for the sweepers. We ran/walked all the way back to the finish line together. No one was left behind.

10556307_10152856017441388_1518777635714235246_n63952_10205589844325062_3185327727986011138_nThe Puma Night Run 2014 winners! Congrats! Psssst, 3 of them are our running club members!IMG_5442The night ended with fireworks! SUPER!

All in all, I think it was a pretty good event! The pacers had loads of fun at the after party concert! You should have seen some of them. Everyone was out of their “running element”.

IMG_5445Errrrr…presenting…our fastest runner. IMG_5444We received quite a number of feedback from the runners, both good and bad. Thank you for all of them! No event is perfect, the organizers are humans as well and sometimes, we make mistakes. On behalf of Puma Malaysia and the organizing committee, we apologize for any mishaps that occurred along the way. We value all of your comments and we will forward them to Puma Malaysia. We hope that the Puma Night Run 2015 will be even bigger and better! Thank you for all of your support! It means the world to us!

10556316_10152856017471388_9171922350484687040_nOh and ummm, post run fuel with the Puma gang.

IMG_5441We came and we conquered! GOOD JOB GUYS!

At the end of the day, it all boils down to our love for running. We are all in this together. We are here because we share the same passion. Let us encourage and empower each other, instead of bringing each other down! Spread the love people! Love you guys! Thanks for making it an awesome one!

See you at the Puma Night Run 2015!