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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!

Meet the Puma Pacers – Puma Night Run 2015

The Puma Night Run is back!

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If we are blessed with clear blue skies, we will be running the streets of Setia Alam on the 31st of October 2015 (Saturday NIGHT!). It happens to fall on Halloween too, anyone dressing up? I’ll be going as a Puma Pacer ;).

Every year, the Puma Night Running Club Pacers have the pleasure of pacing the runners through their happiest (or maybe not?) run!

Whether this is your first run or you are wanting to smash your previous PB, it is good to plan ahead (and decide which pacer grp to follow!). Here’s a visual introduction of the Puma Night Running Club Pacers and Guest Pacers starting from 50 minutes right through to 90 minutes in intervals of 10 minutes.

5 min/km

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Daniel, Khairul and Chris

6 min/km

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Goh Shu Wei, Hong Zi Shen and Myself

7 min/km

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Michael Wong, Kartini and Lucas

8 min/kmIMG_9332

William, Peng Peng and Felix

9 min/km

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Elaine Tan, Zhaff and Victor

If you can complete the run below 50 minutes, you’re on your own (heehee).

*Please note that the route is roughly 11.3KM (our pacers went for a test run). The organisers have said that they will try to adjust the start/finish line but keep in mind that it will be over distance. The pacers will stick to their paces*

So, WHO do you plan to follow?

All the best and remember to HAVE FUN!


23rd October 2015 – Launch of the new Ignite PwrCool and the Puma Night Run 2015

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Behind the scenes on the right of how I took the picture on the left.

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Reuben, Shah, Myself, Moey, Michelle and Zi Shen.

Puma FriendsProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWith the new Ignite PwrCool

Have an AWESOME day ahead!

Post-race Report: Allianz Pacesetters Relay

My first all-girls relay team event!

The decision to join this race was rather spontaneous. I didn’t have any plans to take part in this relay. To cut the long story short (there were many obstacles and decision making along the way), we formed our own PUMA team to compete in the Women’s Open category.

Since it was pretty last minute, we didn’t have time to train together. We just trusted that each of us would do our very best for the team! And we delivered! Very proud of this team of strong women.

We did a bit of planning on whom would go first, second, third and fourth, but we didn’t have a concrete plan or strategy. We did, however, put quite a bit of thought into what we were going to wear on race day! Oh, you know, FASHION FIRST, RUN LATER! At least, if we didn’t win, we’d still look good.10270600_10152967900966388_4440921778844475019_n

We had a lot of fun in motivating each other and adding a little spark of excitement here and there throughout the week leading up to race day. Angel was so nervous that she had a nightmare about the race! PHEW! The pressure was definitely on. When it comes to a team event, you have to perform for yourself AND your teammates! Everybody is dependent on each other. And that is the beauty of relay races!10714560_10152490055816048_4169086941689649075_o

Serious stuff, don’t mess. Or maybe not. Michelle was probably thinking of what to eat post race. HAHA!

The first half of the route was hilly. We had to control our paces at the start to be able to survive the rest of the way. My legs were SO heavy at the start! GAH! 10801934_10152967915711388_135880156933732139_nChooi Fern was the first to go! She did an amazing job in pulling a huge gap for the rest of us. She was the first female to come back and the rest of us maintained the position all the way! YAY! Thank God Michelle agreed to run the last leg. I don’t think I could have handled that level of STRESS! GO MICHELLE!

10370888_10152967915726388_3260157988714327767_nWe were shouting and screaming our lungs out for each other. Got a few stares from the other runners. WHOOPS! We waited at the end for Michelle to come in. We couldn’t contain our excitement the minute she crossed the finish line! Thanks to Kevin for being there and recording each of our start, pass and finish!

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TEAM PUMA IN RED! 10450797_10152967915466388_2055905110660099358_n

Champion!10873625_10152967915721388_5783350751524576706_o

Very proud of Angel. She has improved so much! Despite being so worried before the race, she did an awesome job! Don’t ever doubt your ability. Believe in yourself and strive for the best!1511735_10152967915486388_4144789173914312684_n

The champs of each category.1669875_10152492015491048_6112850447887302593_o

Puma represent! Podium finish for the whole Puma team!

Peng Peng’s Team – 2nd place (U26 Women)

Daniel’s Team – 2nd place (U26 Men)

Goh Shu Wei’s Team – 5th place (Men Open)

Yung Hui’s Team – 5th place (U26 Men)

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My girls.10689427_10152967900961388_9192645460837005624_n

Nuff’ said.

We stand together, hand in hand, till the very end!

Let’s do this again! Can’t wait for our next relay event.

Keep Running!