Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Trip to Laguna Redang Island Resort

Swimming among fishes, white snowy sandy beaches, and having great food. I had a memorable trip to Redang last weekend. We stayed at the Laguna Redang Island Resort. Although tagged as 4 star, but according to some, it's better than Berjaya Redang Resort. I could attest to that. Food was buffet style, and pretty tasty. Accomdation is great. Staff are helpful and friendly.

We had snorkelling trips in the morning and evenings. I went to all since it's my first time there. Once in the sea, I could see myriads of fishes, coloured like rainbows for some. There were some dissappointment at seeing dead corals. However, it's a comercialised island. Some mishaps is bound to happen when humans are there.

I had a marine tank myself, so I looked in glee at every fish swimming by. Wished I could get a few small damsels and clown fishes. For corals, there's not much variety at the snorkelling parts. I think you could see more if you went scuba diving. Mostly are stony corals, brown, and green. And lots of brain corals too. I did see some anemones with nemo clown fish, but I had to swim quite a distance away. And best of all, I did see a baby shark.

I had too much good food and felt a bit bad. So on saturday morning, I ran 6km along the beach to burn some off.

As for swimming, since snorkelling is part of the activities, I did away with the snorkelling mask and life vest. Just a pair of googles will do. Swimming in the sea is so much fun, compared to 50 metres olympic sized pools. The view is great, with corals and fishes everywhere. I don't mind having this view everyday for training.

Although it's only a 3 day 2 night stay, but it's long enough to soak and relax to feel Redang island.

At Merang Jetty, I drove 8 hours with no sleep from KL..to reach this place

setMok Mok Cha...or More More Tea. Redang got famous from a Hong Kong movie. Open the TV at the room, and you can watch it.

Laguna Redang Island Resort Main Lobby

Morning view at Redang Island

All the while...I am thinking...could I swim from Redang to the mainland? It's only 20km plus.
By boat it's an hour ride.

Even at the jetty, the water is clear.

On the way to Marine Park Redang Island

Marine Park Redang Island...fishes are so friendly...just because you brought bread.

Marine Park...you got to pay 5 bucks to get there. Lots of fishes indeed, but corals are
just so so.

Greenback turtle on display...

Naga Fish...it only surface to the sea when dying...

I think it's a dolphin...

Last day at Redang Island...going to miss this place.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Badwater Ultramarathon Webcast: 135 miles run (217km)

Taken from: http://www.badwater.com/2007web/shows/2007showCK01/pages/DSC01243.html

Badwater Ultra has started. This is a 135 miles run from the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere (US) of -85 meters to Mt. Whitney Portals at 2530 meters. It's known as one of the toughest ultra because of the sheer heat the runners has to face. To train, runners will cycle in a sauna for hours just to acclimatized to the heat condition.

You can keep track of the race as it goes here:


And Dean Karnazes is running (bib 4). His weblog is here:


Anyone of you guys insane enough to run this?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Iron Hill 2: Hiking Genting Klang Quartz Ridge

Still high from yesterdays iron hill run, I called up my younger brother to hike the ridge. From Kuala Lumpur, the view of the hills are breathtaking. It' s situated nearby Taman Melawati, which is very near and easily accessible.

So we drove to the road which leads to the starting of the path. However, there's a bit of rain, but this didn't dampen our spirits to go up.

You can park somewhere near the dam...

I thought the path would be easy, but really it's not only hard, but dangerous as well. Climbing would require fitness, and not a walk in the park. Some parts, you would have to climb almost vertically.

Most of the parts have trails on them, but some requires careful negotiations of rock climbing. A mistep spells fatality. The view from the top was nice. Soon, we were able to see the dam itself, which I didn't thought was that small, but it is. And we could see Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) or Islamic International University. In fact we could see the whole campus. And for the lake, the view was greater. Around it, is untouched pristine tropical forest.

What strikes me was the different vegetation on the quartz ridge. It has beautiful plants growing on them, which I have never seen at other places. You could say, it's a place by it's own.

Slowly ascending the ridge...the view is already better...

You could see the Klang Gates Dam

The eastern ridge shrouded in mist...

Notice the unique vegetation?

Some parts requires you to be spiderman

The path on top of the ridge is not dirt..but fragments of quartz.

This one is steep.

You have to pass through this dangerous part to get to the other side.

It was already misty due to the cloudy and raining wheather..

UIA in full view.

Wind and mist blowing across the ridge...

This is the top of the western ridge.

It was raining when I took this pic...on the way down.

We managed to go up to the top of the highest part of the ridge. It was already raining.
So we headed down through the fruit orchards and safely, but gladly, back to the car.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Race Day: UPNM Iron Hill Run 2007

I reached Kem Sungai Besi at around 6:30am. Still pretty dark. Then got myself registered. My bib was A001. It would be nice if my final position was one.

Soon, more people came. I saw a bunch of veterans, and chat them up. Tey was there to take photos. Great to meet him in person. I met another guy from my hometown kuantan. So we talked for awhile, while waiting for the time to start. Apparently, the organisers want us all to do some aerobic exercise with loud blaring music. This delayed the time which ought to be 7:30am. Malaysian time lah..

Soon, all of us gathered at the starting line. And the VIP let us loose with a shot from the gun. I started off at a moderate pace, while the pack in front sped off. I didn't want to push myself so much at this point. But still I did ran a bit faster.

There's one water station at 1km before the foot hills. But I forgo it. I have been running enough 12k to know that I didn't need water at all. I managed to reach the foothills just before 30 minutes. Then started the arduous climb up.

What path laid in front, is really an eye opener. It's harder than the road up Genting Highlands, and certainly 10 times harder than Genting Peres. But luckily it's only 1.5km up. The elevation is almost 45 degrees, and 30 degrees. All the way up. No joke. There's not much flat terrain.

At the start, I tried to stay running although a bit slow. I passed by a lot of runners who were already walking. But almost on top, I had to walk a bit. And finally at last, I reached the top, and was given a white band.

With no more uphills...it's downhill. As I raced down, more runners were walking and running up. Soon I reached the bottom, and ran a moderate pace back to the finishing line.

By the way. I mapped this run, at I don't think it's 12km. It's 10.28km. You can view it here.

Time was 52 min 34 sec. Position 21. For your information, the first guy time is 39 min 48 sec.

Runners coming back.

Tey in front photographing runners...

The crowd after the run...I had hoped they would serve more drinks..

Me running very slowly...

A group photo before the race..

See....number 1...only on bib.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Going for Adidas King of The Road 2007

After finding out that the dateline for registration is 21 this month, I quickly drove to KL Sentral to register. But later I found out this:

Damn, wasted 3 bucks for parking...So I head to Petaling Jaya section 14. I manage to get myself registered at the Adidas Factory Outlet Jaya. It's has a nice interior, and I found out that the price of the goods are way cheaper. That's odd..

So I did some enquiry from the sales person. He mentioned that most of the products here are 30% cheaper! So, you could get a pair of racing shoes which cost 300+ for only 220.

During registration they also gave a voucher for Adidas worth 50 bucks. But it could not be used at this store. Only the one in KLCC is redeemable.

But one thing about the qualification time for category A. It's 1 hr 45 mins. Which means, if you want to qualify for some goodies...you have to run 5 min /km pace. Shit...it's quite fast for me.

On another note, I ran another record time for my normal training route (58 min 58 secs) today.
But in my mind, I am already thinking of what route to run for training for 21km.