Sunday, December 13, 2009

Broga ride in heat

The eastern wind was blowing hard...which we find refreshing.

Broga loop is one of those loops, that can be rated as medium to tough, depending on weather conditions. If you are used to hot weather and hill climbs, it's probably enjoyable, but ain't so if you are doing it the first time.

Together with some first timers, we started from bt 14 hulu langat. Since my house is just 14km, so I rode there.

Just a few km into the ride, we were passed by MSN riders who rode at least 30km/h above. Faisal and I hitched the train for a speedy trip to the climb proper to Peres. Met with one dude who was just riding with one leg (the other is a steel one), which really had us in awe, when we found out the lightest he could have at the back is size 19. And up Peres?

Well, had some fun racing with Shang Leong up to Peres. For a big size rider like him, it was surprising he could climb so well..

Then it was heading towards klawang, where we regrouped at Petronas. Up to know, it had been nicely cloudy with not much sun. But as the ride to bkt tangga went on, heat was on the way.

We also passed through the tragic fuel tanker and house collision, which claimed 3 lives on the way. At first I thought it's just the house which went up in flames, but further scrutiny, I could see vehicle wreckage amidst the burned terrain. 3 lives, including the driver were lost.

Bukit tangga climb from klawang is 3km with no flats. I put the legs to work and try to sustain a moderate pace up, just as to keep the back riders at bay. Then it was attacking another 2 hills near Lenggeng, before stopping for lunch.

At this hour, the sun is right above. It was so hot we stopped at another Petronas in Semenyih for drinks.

Then it was heading towards Tekala, which is not really pleasant with so many potholes to evade. Had a regroup session at the base of Bkt Hantu climb. Now, broga loop is tough indeed, but with a bkt hantu finale is pretty pretty tough. Come to think about it, it was not about the climb, but the heat. Leonard went up the hill pretty fast, which I find incredible. I had to stopped by the waterfall to get some water.

Then it was 50-60kmh speeding all the way down. But I have yet another Ampang hill to climb. Tough but if you done it a million times, it's really just another climb.

Total mileage: 166km

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Testing the new wheels...

Frankly, the tri spokes looks nice, but they weigh a lot. In fact, they are exactly 1.9kg both. Compared to the previous Mavic Ksyrium, I think it's an additional 400 grams.

But they are pretty pretty fast. I had no problems going uphills with them to Genting Peres, or up Genting Sempah. In fact, I felt it sort of propelling the bike upwards.

Had a bike ride to Bentong last week, and it was a blast. Onwards from Sempah downhill, I could easily reached 42km/h sustaining pace.

However, frankly my cycling legs were kind of lost after weeks of running. High profiles are really excellent, if and only if you have the power to push them.

I'll look into serious cycling next january for the coming IM 2010.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

ultra run: 100km bukit aman done

Going 3rd lap: Pictures from Ray Ng and Mich Looi

A day before the run, I had some pain on my left shoulder. It was so bad, I needed to use my right hand to shift gears while driving. You may not need to use your arm while running, but it will affect if each swing spells pain.

Sunday came and it was bearable or somehow disappeared. I think I started around 7:28.

First round. Started on an easy pace. Met with lawrence, john before the 5km mark. Approaching petronas, met with bobby. I didn't stop at the station. Then on the way back I was chasing down a pacesetter t-shirt guy. Managed to squeeze into the lead for a few k after that, but I had to kick it off as I approach the slope up the car park. No point racing if you are going to do this 5 laps.
Time: 1:49:23

Second round. Took 2 bananas, refilled the bottle, and went back running. Surprisingly I didn't find the route boring going twice. Manage to find some folks still running although it's getting hot.
Didn't felt so bad as I completed it. But opted to have iced milo and soya at the nearby stall.
Time: 2:14:04

Third round. Things are getting tougher. As usual pain is creeping in. Had a call from Raymond Ng. It was nice of him to drop by. Ray and Mich took the trouble to drive around, just to took some photos. I had mixed feelings about it. Should I show I am enjoying the run, or for the fact, the truth is, my legs are indeed in pain. And it was only 5 hours into running. However this is the part where it's the hottest. Gladly, the sun was shaded from clouds, but you still feel the afternoon heat and humidity.
Time: 2:44:49

Fourth round. Had some plantar pain on the right foot. But kept it going. Pace is terribly slow. Then as I approached Plaza Damas, it started to rain. My shoes and socks was a bit wet, but that was enough to cause 2 blisters on both feet. Now, the rule to ultra running is always take care of your feet, before things get worse. And, I've forgotten to bring plasters. Tried to tape up the blister with some tape I bought from petronas, but that proved futile. So, then, it was running in pain. A few k before the car park, I found it odd to have sand rubbing on my top right foot. Opened it up, and it was an exposed blister. Great. Now the problem was partly the thick socks I've been wearing. I resorted to walking right-bare footed, but then wore it back and walked back to the parking.

Then I sat down using plasters to fix both feet, and I opted for another thinner socks. Hope this helps. Time was pretty slow with all the walking.
Time: 3:27:50

Fifth round. With both feet fixed, the pain from blisters was managable. And running was getting easier. But it doesn't mean pain is not there. It had been there since the 3 loop. Just that you try to pull yourself through it. From the start, I objectified this run, as trying to run as much as possible, and resting set to a minimal.

When things get tougher, I said to myself "I want my 100km". Automatically the mind resets, and I am back to running.
Time: 2:51:30

Game the whole thing in 13 hr 7 min.

Running bukit aman is not easy with hills, but certain parts are easier for the downhills. Good thing was I didn't bonked, or had cramps. Only pain and blisters.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ultraman Hawaii: This is better than Ironman

3 days: swim 10km, bike 421km, run 84km.

I want to do this one day.

Don't blame me. Keat Seong wants to do it too.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bukit Aman ultra run 100km

Now...the furthest I've ran Bkt aman was 4 loops last year for sundown training, which I managed to reach 84km just shy of 12 hours.

I will try to do a 100km this sunday morning. That would be at least 12 hours.

There's no guarantee I could make it...and that's why it's so enticing. Anything can happen...lets see where this goes...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lost at Sea: Would you do this?

I've just watched 'Lost at Sea', which tells the story of Andrew McAuley's solo kayak attempt across the Tasmanian sea to New Zealand. That's 1000 miles of pedalling. However, his kayak sank 30 miles off the coast, and his body never found.

He left behind a wife and a son.

The big question is, would you do this? Depends on whom you asked.
Many will comment that it isn't.

Sometimes it's good that humans can't see all the potential problems coming, or else they won't attempt the craziest challenge. The best you could do is make the best preparation, know the risk involved, and try to game it.

That had me thinking, what is the limit of human endurance? And I think the answer is pretty well 'death'. There's many stories about how long a human can go on without food, water, and we are talking about the average joe who was thrown into these situations involuntarily. Somehow, they made it back, while on the verge of crossing the line.

However, if men were not willing to go beyond his capacity, then he would not had made history. The past human achievements are men who went beyond the known limit, in any endeavor. It could be a ground breaking theory, space exploration or endurance sports.

Andrew, knew of course, he won't come back. He made the bet, but he lost it. But he didn't truly lost, because either way, he's now in the annals of human history.

"All men die...but few men truly live."


Note: Try finding the torrent for this video.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Here's the new weapon for IM 2010 langkawi. Two new upgrades are in. Notably is the Carbona 60mm tri spokes, which I got 2nd hand, but still quite new. The other is a Fizik seat.

But it's not a guaranteed ticket to going fast. For still have to train.

And train you must.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ultra run 63km Hulu Langat

Running up Ampang hill

Then down...

Reaching bt 14 hulu langat.

Bukit hantu..

I am wearing mizuno...very light.

Descending bkt hantu...

Hardly see any cyclist...I think met 3. Going straight will be leading towards Genting peres.


Finally, this is my first ultra run for this year.

I started out around 7:16am in the morning, and ran towards the Ampang lookout point. The road is not a nice one with the usual motor exhaust polluting the air, but somehow it's manageable. As I ran up the hill, a Kancil car with 3 ladies needed help changing their tyre. They had tried to stop a few people for help, but no one came to their help. So, after some 10 minutes, I did managed to get the thing done. Frankly I didn't know if I can unscrew the nuts, because I did try it once on my car, and it won't budge. Had to call the mechanic, and he used a steel pipe to add more lever. Luckily, I had trained more on the upper body, so the strength was there. So peeps, it's good to have strong arms.

Then I continued my running. Up the hill and reaching Batu 14. Stopped for a 100 plus before going for the Semenyih Dam. Now, running up bukit hantu is as tough as cycling it. With the clouds lay hanging low, it was a pretty misty affair.

Then, it was heading northwards. I was getting pretty low on energy. Actually had forgot to bring any food or gels, so I stopped an ice cream seller and had two red bean ice cream.

Managed to reach the junction to Peres in about 3 hours. Then it was running towards batu 18. But after 5km, the rain suddenly poured. So, I stopped at a sundry store, got some plastics to wrap the phone and also had soya bean drink. I didn't want to stay too long, so I kept on running in the rain. Well..the rain somehow eased off.

Then just before 2km to bt 18, I stopped at an eatery beside a stream, for some lunch. At this point it's around 40km with the time of 4:11

After like half an hour rest, it's back to pounding the roads. But it proved harder as it was noon, and the heat from the sun is raising the humidity level. Now running in heat alone is suffering, but with both it's real tough. Had to stopped for drinks a couple of times.

Soon I reached bt 18, and then another time up the Ampang hill to get back home. This time I did the fastest time of 7:19:59. A chap from my neighborhood had noticed me running at the start around 7, and he was surprised to see me running at 2 sth.

"Another run?"

I replied "Yea.." but I didn't tell him I had been running since then.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Help needed for Isidro

Here's a letter I received from Isidro, the paralympic runner from Philippines whom I met during Kinabalu Climbathon. While 2k is quite a lot, you can send in RM 50.00 through Western Union (plus fees is 67.03) via CIMB.

His details are:

Isidro P. Vildosola,Philsports Complex,Meralco Avenue,Pasig City,Philippines 1600

All help are welcomed. You may contact him directly through email :


Dear Mr. Yip:

Greetings from the Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled, National Paralympic Committee of the Philippines (PHILSPADA-NPC Philippines)!

The PHILSPADA-NPC Philippines is preparing athletes to represent the Philippines in the upcoming IWAS WORLD GAMES 2009 to be held in Bangalore, India this November 22 to December 2, 2009.

We are glad to inform you that one of your friend, MR. ISIDRO VILDOSOLA of Barrio 5, Koronadal City, Philippines is one of the candidate athletes chosen for ATHLETICS in the abovementioned event.

It is our contention that this international competition shall be a good indicator and excellent opportunity for us to evaluate the performances of our athletes in preparation for the Asian Games in 2010 and the London Paralympic Games in 2012. All athletes listed in the IWAS games are gold medalist in the recent ASEAN Paragames and are the best prospects for the future of Paralympic sports.

We, therefore, would like to request you to extend food assistance amounting RM2,000 or 28,000 in Philippine value and support you may consider to give to the said athlete as he prepares for the abovementioned sporting event.

Thank you in anticipation of your positive response as we all promote sports for all to include disabled pinoy athletes.

Respectfully yours,

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ride to Manjung : Powerman lumut 2009

Mainly road are straight and flat.

At Kuala Selangor

I think this is just after the left turn heading towards Lumut. Go straight and you'll reach Teluk Intan

Didn't know they would have rice fields here..

Pic by Tanjung Nana...

With friends doing the powerman lumut this year, I thought a ride to Manjung (lumut) would be nice. Not knowing that place well, I googled up the direction that have to be taken using the shortest path. Map says it's around 200km starting from Damansara Perdana to lumut.

I was going to travel light so I just brought a pair of clothing, since I've no need to race.

Got started out at 7:40am, and headed towards Damansara Perdana. This would be an additional 20km plus. There's also another group cycling northwards (KK, Lisar, Ghani and Randy) but I think they left much earlier.

Well, the route was not much of a scenery on the path towards kuala selangor. Not that much flat either. But after Kuala Selangor, it was all the way flat and straight. Now, if I had brought my TT bike, I would be flying, but on the roadie, I could only sustain 36kmh.

And the heat was getting hotter. Almost no clouds and mostly sunshine. I had to stopped for a few times to quench on some cool drinks.

I couldn't really remember the small towns I've passed, but I think they were Sekinchan, Sg Besar, Sabak Bernam and countless others. Not that the route was memorable anyway, except nearing Teluk intan, where there were fields of rice, and coconut plantations.

At the last 15km, I had to stopped for another coconut drink, when Raymond's car stopped for a chat. Well, the last few miles was pretty slow, but when I noticed my avg was hovering around 29.9, that had me pushing the speed.

I reached Manjung around 4plus with an avg of 29.7 but that was because of the traffics into the town. Distance is 219km.

Glad to meet friends at the registration hall, and I was just glad I wasn't going to do the race tomorrow...or so I thought.


Now, Victor Loh had an unfortunate crash on the same morning. Tony called and asked if I could take his place. I thought it's possible, but I wouldn't be in the best shape to race. I've just got my road bike, and more than 8 hours on the road with the heat and all.

Well, why not. Raymond Ng and Michelle was gracious to lend their tri gears.

However, it was only in the morning I noticed the back wheel had a puncture. Did a quick change for the tube, and hope for the best. Anyway, I still had a feeling it would puncture again.

The race started at 7:30am, and I found myself running on the streets of Manjung. I saw Raymond Ng way in front, so I thought it would be a good idea to see if I could reach him. Then saw Emma, then Sam. Yes, I was pushing it, but not to the point of exhaustion, because there's still a bike race and another run. Somehow, the cycling legs and running legs are mutually exclusive...I managed to clocked 46:58 (11km) as I reached the transition.

Now for the bike, that's another story. I didn't pushed so hard, just mainly focusing on cadence. Saw Emma cruising pass in high gears. Well the view was kind of nice when reaching the 2nd bridge. Not much of a climb on that one.

The only notable experience was racing with a guy in an orange Trek TTX with a disc wheel at the back. He was... on the slow side. Perhaps 31, 32kmh, which is not how you should ride one. With this kind of ride, you should go as fast as 35 at least to gain the most out of it. Managed to pass him a few times, and then...the dreadful puncture happened at 26km mark.

Well, I didn't actually wanted to do this, so I guess everything else is a bonus. So I had a van ride back.

Then, met with CK and Jaja, and we chatted while looking at the athletes went pass for their 2nd run. It was only when Roger came at 10:30 that I decided to suffer as well. Tried to asked him to match my pace, but he was in some kind of back pain. Oh well...then, I saw Razani way in front. So that's my carrot.

I chased him down and managed to caught up with him. Actually I just wanted to see how fast he was running, so I maintained the pace. It was his 2nd lap actually. At the pace we're running, we are zooming the rest of the field.

Then on the 2nd loop, saw Keat Seong and Mich. I noticed KS could do a sub 4 hour, so I goaded with to come with me. He did managed to score a sub 4, while I just detour from the finishing line. It would be nice to cross it, but it's not proper to celebrate the whole thing if you didn't complete it.


Would I do a Powerman next year? Probably yes...but of course not cycling there.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Genting Highlands: Mud and Fun at Awana

Visibility was marred by heavy fog.

I've learned that dudes who ride these...aren't always as macho as their rides.

This is just before the steep hairpin at 4.4km mark

The temple...before this is also another hard climb.

500 meters I decided to stop to enjoy some scenery.

Finally at the top...

Shih Ming and San bagged 2nd prize for Women's competitive.!

With the Genting Trailblazer happening at Awana, which I didn't registered, I thought it would be a good idea to head there with a bike.

Climb was tough as usual, and the misty conditions made visibility down to 100 meters.

I was thinking of just reaching Awana, but since there's another 6km to go, I thought why not the peak.

Although this is now the 6th time I've went up, it doesn't mean it's easier. It only makes you wiser.

Then I head down to join the THG group who were all having great fun and covered in mud. The girls did pretty well, bagging prizes in their respective categories.


Now, actually for the past 1 year, I've laid off most of running to train harder at cycling. As a result, the running mileage has really dropped significantly whereas, the cycling went up. I think I've reached what I wanted to achieve in cycling. I couldn't go fast for sure, but at least I could put on a decent speed.

One big misconception I had before cycling, was that it shouldn't be harder than cycling, can it? Well, it's generally not harder, but if you want to go fast, then that's another story. To be a good cyclist, you've got to build the right muscle configuration, and that comes through lots of training. I've noticed I had muscles at parts that I wouldn't have just by running.

But, cycling still doesn't hurt as much as running. I've cycled hundreds of KMs, and I was still ok after that. On the other end, I've ran ultras to the point I can't run.

Running itself is alluring because it's the most basic human movement, while cycling is machine assisted.

So, for now, it's back to running. I've signed up for MR25, and maybe, sundown next year would be in. I am planning to run some ultras back. Cycling will now take a back seat.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sabah Mount Kinabalu Climbathon 2009: Another DNF

Mount kinabalu view from the park

At the start of the race, just a few hundred meters from Timpohan gate.

This is as far as I went up. Almost 7.5km mark.

Freezing cold...

A runner going down..

Another rest house at Gunting Lagalan...

Going down...

The prize giving ceremony...

With Isidro (center), who reach the peak in 2:25. He's also in the Philippines para Olympic team. His marathon PB is a 2:36

Chong would made it to the top in 2:45 and he only runs indoors and MTB!

As part of the sky running circuit, this is labeled as the steepest mountain run compared to the other nations. 2300meters vertical up in 9km..This year, it was my 2nd run up.

After Tony, Tey, and Yee Choy came back from the men veteran, Raymond and I was left with a bunch of advises on how to tackle it. Tony managed to reach Sayat-sayat, while Tey reached laban rata and decided to snap photos afterwards. Yee Choy did superbly well and game the peak in 3:13, and reach the finishing line just after 5 hours. Georgie, an aussie girl, even managed to get 15th.

It's only this year, I finally figured out the right strategy to tackle the mountain within 2.5 hours. You've got to reach laban rata in 1.5 hours, and another hour to reach the peak.

I wasn't nervous of the race as last year, but I knew, it won't be easy. No, suffering would be the right word.

The horn blew at 7am, and the whole bunch of us ran. Passed right through Timpohon gate, for a brief downhill before slowly running uphill. As I was wearing the heart rate monitor, I could see I was pushing 170..then 180 as we reach the stairs. Everyone was panting, and trying to push as hard as possible going up.

I think I made the first 1km mark in 11 minutes. Roughly, you'll need to run at least 15min/km just to reach laban rata. So I was pretty happy about it. But how long could I pushed in this zone?

Soon, I'd figured out using huge steps might helped. Rather than using cadence, I was trying to gain as much height per step. Cycling does helped in this case, if you've train on high gear. It works almost the same way. However, at 5km mark, I had some cramps in the left calf, and had to stop to nurse it.

With some rest, and caution, I was able to continue.

But with higher altitude, I could sense my movement was slowing down. And it was getting colder.

And I finally reached Laban rata at 1:43. However the next route up Sayat-sayat wasn't easy. I think I did pushed too hard, and was left with not much energy to tackle the rest of the route. It was going a few steps up, stop to take a breather, then continue on.

The clouds have settled and it was sure cold. And my fingers went numb.

To my dismay, I reached Sayat2 at 2:30, which is at 7km mark. I knew it was futile, but continued nevertheless, as I wanted to see how far I could go.

Then I was surprised to see Leonard from behind. He didn't made it last year, and had wanted to try it out again, but he said it's always the same spot he had reached. Now, the air was really cold. Walking up seems like impossible without stopping for a few breath.

I was amazed with the guys coming back from the peak with wristbands. They ran down the slopes like it was a flat.

Soon, I turn around and headed down as fast as possible. The path down wasn't a fast one. I had worn the Adidas Kampung and it's only good for uphills, but downhill, you would go limping if you stepped on a sharp rock.

At the finishing line, was happy seeing the rest of the gang. However Raymond Ng had a fracture on his finger after falling down the steep stairs. And I've seen some blood on the trails as well.

Although it's another DNF, but I think I've given all I got. The thing lacking was having an inferior engine to do it. So, for next year, it'll be high heart rate zone training.


The race is tough because of the cut off time of 2.5 hours up to low's peak, then another 2 to reach the finishing line. You just got to be able to hold a high heart rate zone for at least 2 hours to make it to the top, which is pretty hard. But not impossible.

The best option is to reach laban rata less than 1.5 hours, and given you have still gas in the tank, make it up to Low's peak within the next.