Tag Archives: team

Post-Race Report: Shape Night Run 2015

The Shape Night Run is back! I remember running the Shape/Men’s Health Night run way back in 2010! I was still new to running, jogging maybe, and it was probably the second or third run that I took part in.FullSizeRender(1)

I didn’t have plans to join this particular race (you know how I like to procrastinate till the very last minute!), so when Michelle asked to join her team, I agreed.

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Somewhere towards the end of last year, this team was born – The Experience and Youth. That was the best team name that we (or rather, Jeff) could come up with!

We hadn’t met up as a team before the race itself. Everything was done and settled “online” (except the running). The onus was on us to make sure that we prepared well for the big day. That’s the beauty of a team event! Whether you like it or not, everyone is depending on each other. So, you have to pull your weight and play your part.


Pre-Race Day

I was doing okay in terms of running and fitness throughout the past few months until after the Malaysia Women’s Marathon (MWM) in March. I had missed 2 races between MWM and Shape Night Run. One (TARC Run) was because my alarm decided to fail on me on the morning of the race (AGAIN!!!!!!!!) and the other (Possible Run) was because my stomach wasn’t feeling too good. I was also busy running around (not actual running) and settling some personal stuff. Safe to say that running and training were not among my top priorities. But I did make it a point to put in 2 quality runs each week.

FullSizeRenderRacing is all about getting used to that feeling. As I was out from racing for more than a month, I was VERY nervous for this team event. The worst part is that if you don’t feel good, YOU CANNOT BACK OUT. I have never given up on a race before but this wild card option is always available. Sadly, this wild card does NOT exist in a team event.

The week preceding race day was good. In terms of running, I completed most of the quality runs and workouts that I had planned (probably went a little overboard). I had a full day of REST on Friday.


Race Day

The day was a typical family day spent chilling out and getting errands done. I managed to collect my Puma Ignite shoes at the store, just in time for the race. YES, I know, nothing new on race day right? This was how much confidence I had in them (and they did NOT fail me!).

The sun was scorching hot (as usual) and I was feeling a little miserable. By 4-ish, the sun was still shining. Judging from past weather trends, it usually means heavy downpour in the evening. I checked the weather app on my phone and it indicated 100% rain at 8pm!

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Picked Michelle up at 5.50pm and we headed straight for Putrajaya. After having raced around that area a number of times, we got there without any hiccups.

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Met up with the team (Mark and Jeff) at the starting area. We hung around the area for a bit, discussing “race tactics” and such.

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Bumped into Jing Jing!

When it was close to 7pm, we headed off for our warm up. The sky was looking a bit sad and gloomy but we remained optimistic. We ran all the way down to the lake before stopping for a light stretch.

The sky was getting darker by the minute. Mark decided that we should look for cover. Good call because as soon as we found shelter, the rain came crashing down. We thought that it’d be a light shower with a little lightning and thunder. We were wrong, so wrong. It kept going……and going. So there, the 4 of us and one other race volunteer, stranded under the shelter of the public toilet. We wondered if the race would be cancelled or delayed.

It was around 7.15pm at that time. Oh well, it looked like our warm up came to nothing and we spent the next 45 minutes waiting it out. There was nothing much we could do except gaze out and watch God do His thing. The wait certainly calmed the nerves but it also sucked the adrenaline and excitement out of me.

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At about 7.45pm, Mark decided that we should make a run for it back to the starting area. The rain had not subsided and we splashed through wet roads and flooded pavements. I was completely DRENCHED! My shoes, socks and clothes were soaked. And with the wind and rain against us, my contact lenses started swimming around in my eye. We stopped at one of the buildings. Michelle and I got our caps from Kevin (our stuff keeper for the day) to protect our eyes from the rain.

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We ran across to the main stage area and continued to wait. Snacked on a packet of Meiji biscuits because I was feeling SO HUNGRY. Finally, the organizers announced that the race would be delayed till 8.30pm but will be called off if lightning and thunder persisted. The LAST thing I wanted was this race to be cancelled. I wasn’t going to miss a race because of bad weather! I was feeling fresh and ready to run.

As 8.30pm approached, the weather was looking good with occasional flashes of lightning. We decided to head towards the starting pen. The mood was there, runners were pumped and the crowd roared when they blasted the music through the speakers. The marshals opened up the barriers and we made our way to the starting line. At 8.45pm, there was the countdown and we were off (finally!)! We had a good start! After the first KM marker, I realised that I didn’t start the timer on my watch. Bummer!

It was still drizzling and the roads were wet. I always thought that I liked running in the rain (and I do!) except for the fact that the roads were so slippery. My shoes had no traction and it felt like I was not moving forward with every stride. Michelle and I paced each other until the 4-5th KM. After that, I gave her the sign to go ahead without me. I had a side stitch and I guess my head was all over the place. I was struggling to keep it together. Everything else was a blur.

IMG_3423Source: Run and Explore

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The guys giving it all they’ve got towards the finish line.

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Michelle totally killed it! So proud of her. 🙂

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The girls… we were a bit more smiley. But that doesn’t mean that we didn’t push as hard! We just know when to smile. 😉

At the U-turn, Jeff called out to me to PUSH! Thanks for that. That was the only thing that kept me running – THE TEAM! From there, it was just a long stretch back home. In a team event, you have to push as hard as possible. You’re not there to secure your position; it all comes down to time.

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Couldn’t be happier to cross that finish line. It was a tough one.

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It was also my first time wearing a cap to run! I have never worn a cap to run, not even during my training. New shoes, new cap, new top…hmmmm! Kids, do NOT try this ‘at home’.

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We managed to catch up with some friends, hang around the booths that were set up and take a few photos. Kudos to Angel who ran even though she was SICK! We were still unsure of our position at that time but we had a good feeling about it. Our hearts sunk when we heard that we came in second. Oh well, at least it was better than nothing.

IMG_3388Source: http://2009tonton.blogspot.com

I completely lost track of time but we hung around the winner’s tent.

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Photobombed by Mark’s little cutie.

IMG_3390Source: Jeff’s cam

Finally, the marshal walked over to announce that we were the Team CHAMPIONS! We screamed and gave each other high-5s. It was a new high because we had already settled for second place.

YEAH! CHINA BABEH (1st prize includes Tickets to China)!

FullSizeRender(2)Congrats to all the teams! 🙂

And you know what, we won by 12 SECONDS! That is 3 seconds each of slack time. If Mark had taken an extra sip of water or if Jeff had cheered me on a little harder or if Michelle kept looking back or if I had fallen down…… that’s 12 seconds gone. So glad the team managed to pull this off! Phew!

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Went back with a big box of goodies.

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RM6000 worth of goodies… so they say.

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So, there you go! The end of our rather dramatic night! I must say that it was a pretty amazing experience! Thanks Team Experience and Youth for having me. It was a lot of fun!

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Also, many thanks to the race organizers for keeping it together and making this run possible despite the weather! Volunteers were energetic and road marshals were sufficient.

Great event! Till next time!

Keep Running! 🙂

 

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!

Pacemakers Anniversary Run X 2014

WOWEE!

Excuse my unnecessary excitement. I am still feeling very high from last weekend’s relay race.

This race, to me, was no ordinary race. It was nothing like the other races that I’ve participated in. The race itself and how this team came about is something I hold close to my heart.

Pre-Race

We would have to go all the way back to February 2014 – where it all began with an invitation. The team captain, Shu Wei, asked if I was interested in taking part in a relay race. At that time, I didn’t even know relay races (on the road) existed (shh, don’t judge). I was pretty surprised when he asked because he (and the rest of the guys) only knew me through the Puma Running Club and it was only over a few weeks.

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The thing about relay races is that you are not alone. This is no longer your race. You are running for your team. Your performance affects everyone on the team. One member can either make it or break it. And I definitely didn’t want to be the one to break it. But for some bizarre reason, I agreed, even though I had doubts about myself and my abilities.

Given enough thought, I probably would have declined. I guess this is one of those rash “20 seconds of insane courage” decisions.

And it was one of the best decisions ever.

I am grateful that they had the slightest hope in me, believing that I could do it.

10301587_10204730948733209_6182466560356890844_nThe Cari Runners.

This was the stepping stone as to how I came to know this huge running community that I never knew existed and which I can now call family – the Cari Runners, the Puma Running Club…… Becoming a part of a community was a huge step for me. It was out of my comfort zone.

Training and running around with a bunch of people that I had just came to know is not something that I would normally do. Thankfully, they welcomed me with open arms. The immense support, encouragement and motivation from this group made running that much more fun.

10450151_10152613999071388_7449508673096383075_nThe months leading up to race day were filled (okay, I’m exaggerating. It was countable. Haaaaaa!) with training sessions. Slowly, I got to know my teammates. Most of which I have been communicating with via social media and haven’t actually met them in person.

Yeah, I agreed to run a relay without knowing who my teammates were. Crazy stuff.

10502431_10152614003481388_7038502936883867803_nThe “original” team.

In April, one of our teammates, Fabio, met with an unfortunate accident in the Ironman event. Thank God that he was alright. The problem was that he had to pull out from the team because he needed time to recover and could not start running/training just yet.

And just like that, we lost a teammate. Despite Fabio’s condition, he was still a team player. He supported all our training sessions by being there either as the time keeper or the photographer or both.

Around the same time, Bryan showed up. We knew him as that-super-fast-kid through the Puma Running Club. We didn’t hesitate to ask if he was interested to join us. He agreed without (if any) hassle. So, we were back on track (although we weren’t exactly desperately looking for a replacement).

1606840_10152577727816388_7915750910349523621_nThe solid team. From Left: Goh Jing Jing, Hoo Yeen Ho, Me, Bryan, Hong Zi Shen

We only managed to train once as a team because Hoo Yeen Ho was from Melacca. He came over one weekend to join us (this is dedication people!).

We practiced the race route 2 weeks before race day. The route had a mixture of flat road, uphill and stairs (total distance of 3.14KM). This was not only a test of speed but also a test of strategy and pace.

Here’s the breakdown of the route:

1600m | flat

300m | uphill

130m | downhill

110m | flat

100m | stairs

870m | downhill

Go too fast at the start and you risk exhausting all of your energy stores before reaching the hill and the stairs.

Race Day

It was finally time to put our training to the test.

Although I only had 5 hours of sleep the night before, I was feeling pretty good. We (HYH, Zi Shen, Kevin and myself) arrived at about 6.30am. I was still pretty cool and calm. Slowly, as the crowd began to fill the area, my nerves were through the roof!

We gathered the team, took a few photos, met a few people, did a quick warm up and I was off to the starting line.

10456134_10204729968748710_1720960547435678492_n148 teams. Scary stuff.

10487544_10204729972428802_1291410970631592978_nAt 7.30am, we were off. I had a mini “UH-OH, THIS IS IT, WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO” moment. The pressure came from needing to pull a big time gap from the other runners. Every second counts. I had to give everything I had in 3.14KM.

10500359_812896708741011_8924752237345703780_nThe killer stretch.

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The last bend.

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Some support from my teammate. Zi Shen has been the main motivator in this team. Always stirring up the race mood by monitoring our performance and keeping the team together.

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Almost there!

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JJ was ready and I couldn’t wait to hand the baton over.

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Done! I came in 3rd, behind Amelia and Chooi Fern.

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I was so happy when JJ came back (screaming and jumping up and down), because he still held us in 3rd place!

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And of course, Bryan. Although he managed to continue to keep us in 3rd place, the pressure was still on.

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Cari B team leader, Zi Shen, also came in 3rd. By then, we knew we had secured our placing.

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It was so intense. I was on the “edge of my seat” the whole time. Running up and down, waiting for my teammates to reach the stairs and cheering them on at the finish line. Our 5th leg runner checked in and we were DONE! Felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

We had loads of time to kill while waiting for everyone to complete the race.

THEY SERVED WATERMELON! OH YUM! And Nasi Lemak, assorted buns, soya bean, isotonic drinks and tao foo fah. But I was only interested in the watermelon.

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We agreed to bring our shades (to take “cool” pictures of ourselves). Just for the fun of it.

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Oh, the silly things you do with your teammates.

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Shoe wheel!10520097_10152613998356388_9087833050714225270_n

Cari B selfies galore.

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Team Captain (Overall Cari A and B), Goh Shu Wei.

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Cari A’s female runner, Chooi Fern.

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Bunch of blind runners.

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WHOOP! Successful jump shot (after many attempts).

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My ultimate supporter. Thanks for accommodating my hectic running schedule and just being there for me. From seeing me at my worst to being there at my highest, I truly am blessed to have you.

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After about 2 hours, it was finally time for the prize giving ceremony.

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Top 3. Not too shabby.

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Cari A and Cari B. Top 2 and 3! POWAHHHHH!

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We took SO many pictures, this was us laughing at ourselves.

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Sum-up collage courtesy of JJ.

Post-Race

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I am so happy with this team and what we have achieved together. Honestly, I was only aiming to be in the top 10. We may not know each other that well but that kind of team spirit (so strong, so solid) was there. Everyone gave their 100% and we pushed ourselves beyond our limits, for each other.

All 5 of us managed to hold the team in 3rd place throughout the race. And that is the beauty of any team sport. Fighting all the way, not only for yourself but also for your teammates.

I love you guys! Thanks for this memorable experience.

10556406_10152614003446388_8265566949667819977_nOh and errrrrr, this happened

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Growth begins when you step out of your comfort zone.

So, what are you waiting for? GET OUT THERE!

That’s all for the day folks!

Word text images from various sources: Tumblr, Instagram, Google etc