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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!

5 Ways to Get BACK into the Game

You’ve got a solid training plan, you’ve successfully incorporated “health and fitness” time into your busy schedule, you’re on a roll, you’re seeing results, you’re at your peak…… and BAM!

125806194609612954500101197_Life_PRETRAILERSource: www.discovery.com

Life gets in the way – family, work, injury, sickness. Keeping up with your fitness regime is the last thing on your list. You’re forced to take a few days off or maybe even weeks (or months!). Your fitness level is not the only thing that you lose. Your motivation will probably go along with it. Getting your butt out the door is ALWAYS the HARDEST part. No more excuses! Time to kick start your engine.

Side note: Taking time off is good especially if your body is craving for a time out.


 

  1. Don’t Beat Yourself Up

You’re probably feeling guilty. And you decide to punish yourself by going all out, doing as much as you can. This is a recipe for disaster. You simply cannot pick up where you left off (depends on how long you’ve been out. But I’m assuming it is long enough for you to lose some fitness gains). Not only are you setting yourself up for potential injury, your confidence level might suffer a huge blow. Setting high expectations which you know you cannot reach is only going to leave you demotivated.

Let’s face the facts: You’re not going to be as fit. You need to drill that into your head.

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Take it easy, be silly and have fun!

I should be the last person to say this because I can be very hard on myself. And it was and still is very hard for me. I know that I am not at the peak of my fitness just yet. So, I have to remind myself to do what I can with what I can.

What to do:

Take it slow. Step by step. You’ve got to learn how to walk before you start running again! Whatever the reason for your time off, your muscles mass and fitness level would have deteriorated. Your body will need time to adapt and adopt a “new” routine.

If you ran every day of the week, you might want to start off with running 3-4 days a week. If weights were your thing, you can opt to reduce the weight, reps and sets. By doing that, you are gradually building your body up, regaining strength and endurance. Try not to overdo it by trying to hit your previous PB. Do more when you feel more confident with your ability.

Set REALISTIC goals. Goals that are high but achievable at the present moment. Remember that your fitness and health is a lifelong journey, not a destination. Get excited to be embarking on a new journey with new goals!

  1. Seek Fun and Joy

For your first session, ditch your gadgets! We’re not going to get into the nitty gritty details of your training. No time, no pace, no distance. Just GET OUT THERE and be grateful that you can be back on your feet. Whether it’s in the gym or out on the road, just aim to get a good sweat sesh!

What to do:

IMG_4962Remember why you started running/working out. Remember how it felt after every session. Get those happy hormones flowing!

  1. Try Something New

To keep things fresh and exciting, try something new!

Not only will this prevent you from hitting a plateau, it might also boost your performance! Remember that your body adapts to your style of training. After some time, it gets bored and your body stops reacting to the stimulus of change.

What to do:

If you’re a runner or an athlete, switch up your training plan! Try a new route for your long run, add in a day where you run by how you feel, change the menu of your speed workouts. For example, you can take a scenic route for your long run and for your speed workouts, you can change the volume and intensity (there is a lot that you can play around with).

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If you’re a fitness enthusiast, join a dance class, bootcamp session, group running, go rock climbing or hiking.

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The most important thing is to find what you LOVE to do. If you love what you do, it makes it more sustainable! You should not be dreading every session/class/workout.

IMG_4971Try group running!

  1. Get Organised

Once you have found your ultimate sport/training plan, it is time to pen down when/how you are going to execute them. Being mentally and physically prepared means you are that much closer to achieving your goals!

What to do:

I like to have a physical planner and calendar. I like to WRITE DOWN (not type) my plans and goals. Not everything has to be digital. There’s something about picking up a pen and physically mapping it out on a big sheet of A3 cardboard.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThis is exactly what I do! I like making my own calendars.

Plan your days and set a time. That way, you are more likely to follow through with your plan. With a set time, you can plan your meals around it too. This ensures that you are properly fuelled both before and after your workout. It will also help you to avoid unnecessary clashes with meetings, work, family time or dinner dates with your friends!

  1. Find Your “WHY”

You need to look for the “why”. If you cannot think of why you want to do this, chances are you’re going to either give up DURING your workout or you’re not even going to begin your workout.

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If you can’t justify the sweat and the pain, you won’t do it! Come on, why do we want to put ourselves through torture, right?!

What to do:

Write down a few “WHYs” starting from the most important one.

Why are you doing this? What do you want to achieve? What are your goals? Maybe you know of a family member who is battling with a health related condition or maybe you’ve signed up for your first run.

Those answers are going to help you stay committed to your plan. When you have a clear goal and a focused mind, you will be motivated to achieve it!


 General Advice:

If you haven’t been active for quite some time, your muscles may have become weak, imbalanced or stiff.

For your first few sessions, work on your stability and mobility, cardiovascular fitness and flexibility. Stretching, power walking, pilates, jogging or light body weight exercises are all great choices to kick start your routine. These will help get your heart pumping and increase blood circulation to your muscles and cells.

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Always begin with a proper warm up sesh and end with a cool down and some light stretching. Foam roll every now and then. This avoids any unnecessary pain/injury.

Remember to always listen to your body. You know how you feel and nobody else knows your body better than YOU! If you need an extra rest day, TAKE IT! You don’t want to burn out before you even begin!FullSizeRender

I hope this helps! Before you convince your body, remember to convince your mind! Your mind is a powerful tool. If you think you can do it, you can! Set your mind straight, be confident and I’m sure you’ll bounce back to where you were before!

Don’t give up!

 

Post-Race Report: Kiara Trail Run 2015

Pre-Race

Took a break from racing for the last 2 weeks before the Kiara Trail run.

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Spent one of the weekends at Penang with my girls. It was one of the most fulfilling trips with loads of good food, deep and meaningful conversations, time-out from the world and just pure relaxation.

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I love how I can be my crazy self whenever I am with them.

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Raw. Straight up. No judgements.

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Although it was an awesome weekend, there was a twist to what was supposed to be a happy ending. 3 hours after arriving home from Penang, I suffered a sharp pain to my stomach.

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I thought it was just the case of indigestion because we had a lot of food throughout our trip. I had diarrhoea and vomited a few times. I went to bed thinking I could sleep it off. It was 12 am at that time. I was wrong. The pain did not go away. I spent the next 3 hours rolling on the bed and enduring every random wave of stabbing pain. I finally gave in to pain and had to call my dad on his phone because I could not walk.

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I was wheeled into the emergency room, curled up into a ball, shivering and shaking. I had a very high fever and the doctors were concerned that it was more than just food poisoning. I remember having my blood tested, a few jabs and 2 packs of IV drip. Thank God the pain went away and it was nothing more than severe food poisoning!

I took a few days off from running to fully recover. I had a lot of rest (adding up the rest days in Penang and when I fell sick)! The first day back on the road was tough. It felt like I was running for the first time! It was mentally tough too. Everything was BLAH and it just felt like I could not do it anymore, it was a real stab to my confidence level.

I took it slow. Did a bit more of strength training and stretching to work on my flexibility. I was feeling tight all over!


Race Day

The Kiara park was closed a few days before the race because apparently 6 armed men ran off into the trails. Michelle and I wondered if the race would go on. Thankfully, the park reopened just 2 days before race day. But we were still concerned over the thought of 6 armed men being somewhere in there.

I woke up that morning feeling like I had been hit by a truck. I was feeling very tired and sore all over. That was because I was doing all sorts of running and strength training throughout the week. My left foot was hurting too. It had been hurting since last Wednesday. It hurt whenever I walked but seemed ok when I ran.

The race flag off was at 8am, so I had a bit more time to sleep. Dragged my 2 feet to the race venue.

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Source: ET Tey

It seemed as though Coach Mark photobomed a rather decent picture of us.

Put in a mini warm up before heading to the start line.The flag off was odd! We had 3 different “flag offs” because the runners didn’t know if they should start running! It was a mess! We were finally off after the 3rd sound of the horn.

I was told that the entrance to the trail was very narrow. Coach Mark said that we had about 700m of road before heading into the trails. To avoid being jammed up at the start of the trail, it was important to get a good lead during the first 700m.

I was following Michelle and Danielle during the first part of the race. We were just behind the lead pack and we entered the trail head with ease. After about 1KM, the crowd started to space out and there were only a few guys behind and in front of me.

IMG_5032Source: ET Tey

The guys were really supportive! They let me pass whenever I came near, cheered me on whenever I slowed down and asked if I was ok whenever I slipped. THANK YOU! I slipped and tripped quite a bit but thank God I did not fall or twist/break anything! My foot was already feeling a bit weak and the last thing I wanted was to twist it!

IMG_5066Source: EnAikAY

The body is able but the mind says no. Strengthen the mind and harness your will to succeed. Running sucks, giving up sucks too. PICK ONE!

I love trail running because it is both very challenging and technical. The techniques you use to steer your way through, up, down, shuffle from side to side, crawl, avoiding the mud and jumping over branches/rocks are all very different and not what you would encounter during road running. This was a pretty tough course with a good mix of uphill and downhill. The regular strength sessions and drills that I do certainly helped a lot!

Trail running is a lot harder to navigate because the route is not always clear. We got lost twice. Danielle was ahead of me and at one point a group of them were on the road shouting for the right way to go. Luckily the marshal saw us and pointed us in the right direction. I waited for her to come back up from the road and back onto the trail.

I saw all the route markers – 6, 8, 10 and 11. It felt like I had completed 10KM when I saw the 6KM marker. My legs were dead! There was definitely some crawling involved. I slowed down to a jog quite a bit and surged up the hills whenever I had regained my strength.

IMG_5071Source: ET Tey

The second half of the route had white picture markers all over the trail so I knew I was headed in the right direction.

There was another major turning where there were no marshals and I caught up with Danielle again (because she was lost). I think many people got lost here. During the first part of the race, Jessica was running quite closely behind me. I lost her somewhere after the 6/7KM marker. She appeared in front of me during the last stretch of the race. I was shocked and she was shocked too. She had the courtesy to let me pass :). It was not her fault if she took a wrong turn because it was not clearly marked! She was looking really good and strong at that point. Whoop!

After the end of the trail, there were a few meters of road to the finish line! Thankfully, that was the end of it and nothing more because my limbs were jelly-fied. I waited for Jessica at the finish line. We gave each other a pat on the back for surviving this race!

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Michelle conquered her first full-fledged trail run! Happy for you, twinny! But I think she won’t be joining another trail run anytime soon. She probably cursed her way through!

IMG_5078Source: Tan Tai Nyee

Managed to catch up with a few other runners. Bumped into some of the people from OBC too!

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Yes, Michelle carried pepper spray throughout the run to errrr, spray the 6 armed men in the eyes? Right…… (bahhaha!)

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After the adrenaline rush, my whole body felt like it was about to crash. Michelle and I just wanted to lie flat on the ground! Thank God the prizes were given out soon after. Overall, it was a good run. Relatively well organised and I enjoyed the tough route!

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BURN!

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Time for a good stretch and foam rolling sesh! AND SLEEP!

Hope you guys had fun at the trails! If you haven’t tried it before, GO!

Keep Running!

Post-Race Report: Superheroes Race 2015

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“I’m the best there is at what I do, and what I do best isn’t very nice. I’m the Wolverine.”

My all-time favourite Superhero – THE WOLVERINE!

The Superheroes race was yet another last minute sign up! My legs were itching to run and I realised that the Superheroes Race was coming up! Ariff and Rashid spoke of this race earlier on in Feb/March. But as usual, I procrastinated. I think I like the thrill of signing up at the very last minute!

I buzzed Ariff about the race and he so graciously offered a FREE SLOT! Thanks man! (This was Wednesday, 29th April)


Pre-Race

The flu bug hit me 2 weeks ago (after Earth Day Run) and my body was still picking up from where it left off. Mileage has been relatively steady but I was lacking key workouts. I kept it nice and easy throughout the week focusing more on my core and cross training. I didn’t want to do too much too soon!

I spent much of my Labour Day (Friday) morning stretching and foam rolling after missing out on Cari’s training session at Desa Park City. This alarm issue is not limited to race day!

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Labour Day lunch! Healthy food to prep my body for race day!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThe carrot cake was infused with RUM! SO GOOD! Topping off my glycogen stores (Haaaaa!).

The rest of the day was spent cleaning out my room and packing some stuff for donation. It was a SERIOUS WORKOUT! My body was aching the next day!

fsafeAlso, it was my Dad’s Birthday! The man who has supported EVERYTHING I did/do. He was always there for me, through thick and thin. Words cannot express how much he means to me. I thank God for blessing me with an amazing Dad.

I LOVE YOU, DAD! 


Race Day

I had planned to go to bed by 11pm but “The Fault in Our Stars” ruined everything. The next few hours were spent bawling my eyes out. Yes, I’m pretty sensitive.

Anyway, I still managed to put in 4 hours of quality sleep! And, I set 3 alarms!

Breakfast was biscuits and banana because I ran out of bread! GAH!

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The race was at the Bukit Jalil Stadium. Funnily enough, there was another race going on at the same place, side by side (Carpark B and C respectively).

We were there by 5.20am to collect my race kit! Kevin and I parked our car and we went straight to the counter. I was standing in line for about 20 minutes before I finally got my bib! I was feeling a bit queasy and my stomach was acting up. Took 2 gastric pills 20 minutes before the flag off.

By the time I got my race kit, I didn’t have enough time to warm up. Strolled to the starting line at 6.20am. It was great to see a few familiar faces before heading off!

The crowd was small and manageable. I don’t like it when I have to stand shoulder to shoulder with everyone towering over me.

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Because there was another race going on, some of them (who were supposed to be at the other race) were standing with us before the flag off! That’s the problem when you have two different races side by side. It was funny to watch!

The countdown was on and we were off! I love the fact that the flag off was early. It was still nice, dark and cool! The weather was great but the roads were wet! I faced the same resistance struggle as I did during the Shape Night Run! URGH! Every stride was tough. FullSizeRender

The struggle is REAL. It is a constant fight with the part of me that wants to give up! You just have to dig DEEP and pull through!

I started out pretty fast to pull away from the crowd. Spotted a foreign lady runner ahead of me but I kept to my pace. The route was relatively flat with a few hills that were evenly spaced out! Enough recovery time before the next one!

This route is my new favourite! I don’t like running around Bukit Jalil but things have certainly changed! Oh, and the distance was pretty accurate too (10.0KM-10.2KM)!

IMG_4090Thanks to my MIO Alpha 2, I can finally see my effort in numbers! Drop me an email/comment if you are interested in getting yourself a MIO watch (special discount!).

I don’t exactly know what pace (ignore the pace and distance) I was going at but I made sure that my watch flashed one colour – RED (zone 5). I was running alongside this other guy. I guess we were both pushing each other! It is always fun to use somebody as a point of reference.

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As you can see, much of my time was spent in Zone 5.

There were not many road marshals along the way to direct the runners but it was not easy to get lost. So, that wasn’t a big problem. When we made the final U-turn, I could almost smell the finish line!

As I was approaching the stadium, I sprinted a bit too early because I saw the wrong finishing line (it was the Larian.my finish line)! That was a real killer. Just when you thought it was coming to an end and then BOOM, you have another 300m to go!

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Thanks to Running Malaysia for this picture. The final sprint! This counts as my “Superhero suit” because Superheroes love the colour RED, right?!

Made the final turn where Khairul was at (marshal) and he cheered me on! And then YAY! The No. 2 tag was hung around my neck. FINALLY, IT WAS ALL OVER! They were serving 100plus at the end but I needed water! Thanks to Zhaff who went and got me a 1.5L bottle of water! Such a dedicated team of people! Thanks a lot!IMG_4115Always refusing to take a decent shot! Grrrr!

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Oh hey, fancy meeting you here! Bestie alert! So happy to see her there!

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Ariff! The organiser and also the reason I got a chance to participate in this fun-filled event!

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They were all in sync. 2 thumbs up and 2 peace signs! Haaaaaaa!

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The after run party! There were many things going on that morning (Zumba dance, Lucky Draw, Superhero appearances etc). The energy from the crowd was amazing. It was so fun to watch everyone dress up AND run! Omg, I don’t know how they do it! Kudos to those who did. It was a great family event where parents and kids can have fun while doing something HEALTHY together!

We had more than 2 whole hours to kill! It was a great time catching up with all the runners. Spotted some Puma Running Club members too! They all did so well! WHOOP!

IMG_4084After the big hoo-ha, the lady who came in first was disqualified and I made my way to 1st place. Pleasant surprise! 🙂

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Group pic.

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Post-race grub!

Ahhhhhhh! 🙂 Thank you once again for having me at this awesome event! It has been a long time since I had this much fun post-race! Perfect ending to this 4-day holiday!

So, uhhhh, when’s the next Superheroes race? 😉

Keep Running!