Thursday, April 30, 2009

KL Marathon - Video

(Courtesy of SCKLIM and Tey)

This is very cool albeit I feel a bit sick having watched it. I know KL pretty well but this takes a bit of working out in terms of instant recognition. Have a look it's a fun way to cover a marathon anyway.

KL Cycle Racing - now known as RICE Racing

Here's how Nick explains it: -

Okay... But Why RICE?

After our first race graphic desinger, artists and fellow cyclist Razl Ibrahim came to us with a great idea for a logo.His concept is that we RIde together and we raCE together... so we RICE. I think it is catchy and ties in great with the concept that rice is the fuel that allows us to race.So from now on we dont race we RICE!

Simon says: - I also like the tag line which is "Get cooked on a bike" - Very appropriate especially in the tropical heat of Malaysia.

Here's a picture of me and Abu Soffian in reflective mood.

Villagers use scarecrow policeman to slow traffic

(Courtesy of the Telegraph)

Villagers in Cumbria have set up a scarecrow policeman after becoming fed up with speeding motorists.

The scarecrow is armed with a plastic bottle for a 'speed camera' and dressed in policeman's hat and black suit made to look like a uniform with a flourescent yellow jacket.

The tactic has so far been a success in the village of Crosby-on-Eden, Cumbria.

Sandra McKeane, 43, who made the 'sleeping policeman', is worried there will be an accident if cars do not start slowing down.

She said: "Speeding is quite a problem in the village.

"It has been amazing to see them all slowing down thinking it's a real policeman.

"We've lived here 15-years and there are more cars driving through faster than ever.

"We're worried there could be an accident - it's busy with the children."

Simon says: - "They've been doing this for years in Malaysia on the highway, especially on the way to Ipoh. They stick dummies dressed up as policemen in the roadside speedtrap tents - never works with me because I never see the tent anyway until I've gone past it.

Also battery operated dummies waving red flags in front of roadworks is another favourite here - seems to work reasonably well and saves some poor smuck going brain dead waving a flag all day. I guess it could also be argued that it puts someone out of a job too. Blimey, isn't the world full of conflicts?"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The race that wasn't (for me at least)

I thought I'd better say something about Sunday's race before I was accused of sour grapes. Yes I am spitting bricks about it but not at anyone other than myself. There was a great turnout again of over 50+ riders.

Nick suggested that there would be two divisions one for the faster riders and one for the slower riders. Unfortunately no one wanted to admit they were in the slower pack so we all started together.


On this note I'll make an observation if I may: - For this race series to survive THERE MUST BE TWO OR EVEN THREE DIVISIONS. If not the guys that get dropped simply aren't going to keep coming just to ride around by themselves. No doubt they'll stay away until they "get better" but without organised races they won't get better and we'll never see them again.

No one wants to admit that they are in the slower group but if there is Div 1, Div 2 and perhaps even Div 3 then there is no shame, just a fun race series that you have a chance of winning and then getting promoted to the next division up.

So my advice to Nick is to insist that there are two divisions at least - easily said of course because without volunteers to record names and organise the rankings this cannot happen and needless to say it shouldn't fall entirely on Nick to organise.

So back to the race (that wasn't - for me at least). I actually had a reasonably early night, a couple of beers but no hangover and despite the fact that I ran the day before I was feeling in good shape.

The first lap was a neutral lap and then soon after the race started proper the attacks started. I felt that I covered any dangerous attacks but didn't really expect anything significant to happen until lap four (1 additional lap from the previous week). That's where I was wrong, Wong At Thiam attacked and a few went out and reeled him in, phew I thought lucky they didn't get away. Then Wong At Thiam attacked again, blimey what a waste of energy I thought and that was the end of the race for me!!!! The sorrowful look of realisation on my face must have been something to behold!

What an idiot I was - the guys that went with him were all top notch racers but in the chasing group there were Simon Lim, Gary, Terry, Tony Harvey and Daniel. What I didn't know was that Simon and Gary were blocking for the three P2K team members in the breakaway and Terry also was with another team with someone in the breakaway - I assume Daniel had some vested interest too as he tootled along with these other guys ensuring that the breakaway pulled into the distance.

Great credit to Tony, he was the only one that really tried anything, I had a couple of dabbles but nothing significant - I remarked to Tony how grim it was playing follow my leader for two laps just to get to the end of the race. VERY DEPRESSING - I hated it, not really, but I hated myself for missing the break. Oh well ay, a lesson learned.

Looks like I might have to invite myself into a team or try to create one if the team tactics continue otherwise there's going to be too many similarly sole destroying races.

Despite the photo and my own failure I still loved every minute of it. Nick has delivered a fabulous gift to anyone that wants to have a bash at bike racing. Can't wait to the next race on the 17th May which will be on a new course. Check out Nicks site at and see what he had to say about Sunday's race click here. A slight correction though Nick, there were over 50 riders not 40, you've got to remember I had time to count them as I tootled around in the "chasing/following" pack.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Update from Hayley - "The Marathon Woman"

Hey - just home. Well I did it! Beautiful day - crowds were amazing. . . For me it was a huge mental battle - already from 5 miles/8 k - I was in pain. Because I was trying 2 spare my foot , my knee also started 2 go- from my strange landing n weak take off. Plus my watch conked out ! Despite all that finished in a respectable 3:09, smiling. I won't do a marathon with an injury again. Was so focused on ignoring the pain - couldn't really enjoy the atmosphere. C u soon

Simon says: - Hayley has for months been struggling with severe Plantar fasciitis (Click for overview) she could barely walk leading up to the race but still knocked out a 3:09 marathon - WOW!

Aim High

(Coutesy of Nick Flynn)

Cringeful or Creative Marketing?

Am I just showing a homophobic side or is this new Adidas marketing campaign bordering on cringeful? Is it catering for girls or guys that appreciate rugby players taking their clothes off. It's got me and it left Will Carling speechless - I got this from his Twitter post - "WillCarling: I am lost for words....."

Anyway, you judge for yourself -

Monday, April 27, 2009

Update from Ngae "The UltraMarathon Man"

(Photo courtesy of Tey)

Yes buddy. Feeling all fine. Only refrain from run. I will race walk KL marathon. Sub 6 should be feasible. On saturday I was at Lake Garden training and on sunday I did the trek climb up Gasing Hill leading 6 newbies (2 have registered for maiden 42km in KL marathon). Beside training, also act like trek guide, talking to them about flora and fauna there. Have not been there for years, happy to note the trek path at Gasing with a suspended cable bridge over a ravine is still well maintained. Frequented by hashers.

Update from Chris "The Marathon Man"

Feel OK now......had really bad headache last night.....and sweated badly all night (I had a really bad chest in the week before....race morning it actually seemed OK)....hope I now don't go down with a big time chest infection (like you do!!)

Pretty chuffed with time.......first half went to plan nicely (1:37).....miles 17-20 were bad......and managed to step up a little over last 6 miles, but it was still a real struggle......very painful though and just just relieved to have finished in 3:24. Got well sun burnt in my little camp top! (bizzare seeing forcast a couple of days before was cold and heavy rain!!)

Will call later this a mad one today


Chris Wayman throws down the gauntlet

Chris finished the London Marathon on Sunday in 3 hours 24 minutes, which is 21 minutes faster than his previous personal best - AWESOME! He trained for and was targeting a sub 3:30 so he blew that away easily.

Prior to the race he noticed that I was aiming for a Boston qualifying time and suggested that he'd try for that too. Bearing in mind he didn't train specifically for that he came amazingly close but the beauty of it is, that if I do qualify in the KL Marathon then he'll have to do another marathon this year - now the evil side of me likes that as an incentive, chuckle chuckle.

By the way, does anyone else think he looks particularly fresh for someone that has just run a marathon in 3:24? I only realised that these were taken after the race when I noticed Indie holding the medal.

This is MENTAL

If you watch nothing else on YouTube fine but you have to watch this - it's mental, amazing and total spellbinding. (Great soundtrack too).

Friday, April 24, 2009

KL Marathon to Boston Marathon

OK so here it is, the official announcement: -

I'm aiming for qualification to the Boston Marathon when competing in the KL Marathon this year. I need to sub 3:20:59 and my previous PB for a marathon is 3:53 so this is a big ask but hey if you don't set yourself mountains to climb how will you ever know what is possible - and just think of the view up there.

Just for clarity if I do qualify I am not necessarily going to go to Boston as I'm not into all the "Boston Marathon Mecca" hoopla - We all know that the real "Sporting Mecca" is Hawaii Ironman. It might even be cool to be able to say "Yeah, I qualified but couldn't be bothered to go". Mind you it would be a good excuse for a holiday, Boston's a nice city.

Check out the table below for Boston age-group qualifying times: -

Click on picture to enlarge

Thursday, April 23, 2009

WTF is That?

(Courtesy of Nick Flynn - maybe it is Nick Flynn????!!!!)

Level 70, Grandma or Triathlon?

(Courtesy of Nick Flynn)

This kid needs to take up triathlon.

How about completing Level 70 in the car on the way to a triathlon that grandma is going to come and watch?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Theo Bos pulls Daryl Impey into the barriers

Guilty or not guilty? I blind man could see exactly what he did. How he got away without a ban I'll never know.

The comentator said that what he saw was disgusting and disgraceful and he'd never seen anything like it in his life.

Lance Armstrong said "Bos doesn't even get disqualified. pitiful. he deserves a long suspension."

German Coastguard

For my family in Germany, fortunately they have a sense of humour.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The painful truth about trainers: Are running shoes a waste of money?

(Courtesy of plee and The Mailonline)

Thrust enhancers, roll bars, microchips...the $20 billion running - shoe industry wants us to believe that the latest technologies will cushion every stride. Yet in this extract from his controversial new book, Christopher McDougall claims that injury rates for runners are actually on the rise, that everything we've been told about running shoes is wrong - and that it might even be better to go barefoot...

At Stanford University, California, two sales representatives from Nike were watching the athletics team practise. Part of their job was to gather feedback from the company's sponsored runners about which shoes they preferred.
Unfortunately, it was proving difficult that day as the runners all seemed to prefer... nothing.

'Didn't we send you enough shoes?' they asked head coach Vin Lananna. They had, he was just refusing to use them.
'I can't prove this,' the well-respected coach told them.

'But I believe that when my runners train barefoot they run faster and suffer fewer injuries.'

Nike sponsored the Stanford team as they were the best of the very best. Needless to say, the reps were a little disturbed to hear that Lananna felt the best shoes they had to offer them were not as good as no shoes at all.
When I was told this anecdote it came as no surprise. I'd spent years struggling with a variety of running-related injuries, each time trading up to more expensive shoes, which seemed to make no difference. I'd lost count of the amount of money I'd handed over at shops and sports-injury clinics - eventually ending with advice from my doctor to give it up and 'buy a bike'.

And I wasn't on my own. Every year, anywhere from 65 to 80 per cent of all runners suffer an injury. No matter who you are, no matter how much you run, your odds of getting hurt are the same. It doesn't matter if you're male or female, fast or slow, pudgy or taut as a racehorse, your feet are still in the danger zone.

But why? How come Roger Bannister could charge out of his Oxford lab every day, pound around a hard cinder track in thin leather slippers, not only getting faster but never getting hurt, and set a record before lunch?

Then there's the secretive Tarahumara tribe, the best long-distance runners in the world. These are a people who live in basic conditions in Mexico, often in caves without running water, and run with only strips of old tyre or leather thongs strapped to the bottom of their feet. They are virtually barefoot.

Come race day, the Tarahumara don't train. They don't stretch or warm up. They just stroll to the starting line, laughing and bantering, and then go for it, ultra-running for two full days, sometimes covering over 300 miles, non-stop. For the fun of it. One of them recently came first in a prestigious 100-mile race wearing nothing but a toga and sandals. He was 57 years old.

When it comes to preparation, the Tarahumara prefer more of a Mardi Gras approach. In terms of diet, lifestyle and training technique, they're a track coach's nightmare. They drink like New Year's Eve is a weekly event, tossing back enough corn-based beer and homemade tequila brewed from rattlesnake corpses to floor an army.

Unlike their Western counterparts, the Tarahumara don't replenish their bodies with electrolyte-rich sports drinks. They don't rebuild between workouts with protein bars; in fact, they barely eat any protein at all, living on little more than ground corn spiced up by their favourite delicacy, barbecued mouse.


Simon says: - This is a really long article but very very interesting reading - you instinctively know that what it's telling you is spot on - we've been conned by the running shoe manufacturers for decades. A few touch points that I took from the article: -

1) The most expensive shoes cause the most injuries - statistically this is a fact although it may have something to do with the people investing the most may be doing so because they run the most. Equally, they may be like I was when I was a bit naive, I bought the most expensive Nike's the shop had and then trained and ran a 1/2 marathon and couldn't run for 18 months afterwards due to them being completely the wrong shoe for my running gait.

2) I like the fact that the Tarahumara tribe drink like madmen and still run - I do often find myself in that boat - I wonder if I was a Tarahumara Indian in some previous life?

3) Stretching before running causes injury - ABSOLUTELY - I've been telling people this for years - stretch when you're warmed up but not before - overstretching afterwards has also caused me terrible Achilles Tendinitis too so be careful.

I was chatting with my spin class coach this afternoon after I'd soaked his floor with a pool, of sweat again (I sweat a lot). He mentioned that he was involved with a fitness website particularly designed for Malaysians. There is also an associated blog and magazine.

Check them out: -

Posting this at the top of the screen helps me to stop looking at the post below - I'm starting to really dislike Sir Richard Branson

Reason 5437 why Sir Richard Branson is a hero

(Courtesy of Sir Dick via Twitter & The Mailonline)

It is said that billionaires can be magnets for pretty girls but this is ridiculous.

With his eyes fixed firmly in front, kite surfer Sir Richard Branson seems not to have noticed that he has a naked girl clinging to his back.

In fact, Branson agreed to model for the risque shot while enjoying a visit to his private Caribbean island, Necker, after photographer Stephane Gautronneau suggested his girlfriend, model Denni Parkinson, also took part in the shoot.

See the full article and more "interesting" pictures HERE

Monday, April 20, 2009

Back to Bike Racing - This was fun

Nick Flyger - race organiser

Last week I got wind of a bike race series being launched on Saturday. Nick Flyger of the National Sports Institute (ISN) had decided to do something about the lack of amateur bike races in Malaysia. See KL Cycle Racing.

Nick says that this is a none profit set up, in fact there are no entry fees, no sponsorship and no prizes. The idea is to get something going for the love of the sport and the love of racing - Nick says that this is purely selfish - I beg to differ though, Nick has put time into this and no doubt will continue to do so - the series is in its embryonic stage but what a great initiative and Nick deserves a tremendous amount of kudos, support and thanks for launching this.

The first race was in Putrajaya and as it was only about 25k from my house I decided to ride there. What I hadn't planned is that the night before I attended two functions back to back and although I thought I'd moderated my drinking I still managed a bottle of wine and a few beers - this resulting in the inevitable hangover. I really am a lightweight these days when it comes to drinking and staying up late!

By the time I got there I felt marginally better but still rough as a dog. There seemed to be a reasonable turnout but none of the big guns that I'd have expected. That was until the P2K squad turned up in matching livery and all looking very psyched for the morning's fun - oh dear. In all a fantastic turnout of 50+ riders were there - this number will no doubt escalate as time goes by.

My plan was simple, draft at the back of the pack but concentrating on not getting dropped if there was a surge or a weak link in front of me. My goal was solely to contest the sprint finish - placing didn't matter as I hadn't done an "intense" pack ride for a couple of years and I was a numty for having turned up with a handover (not the first time either).

All went according to the script and I only had to bridge a couple of dangerous gaps while P2K were controlling the race (and doing much of the work too, to their credit). With less than two K's to go I'd identified on the earlier loops that there was a slight hill which was likely to be an attack point for the finish. I moved up into the front pack and BANG! as they hit the hill the attacks started. PAIN PAIN PAIN. I had to somehow stay with them otherwise the real sprint finish was already lost. Bikes were whizzing past me on both sides, I just didn't have the legs to accelerate with them.

Somehow I hung on to the last wheel and then it was a case of who was prepared to suffer the most pain the longest. That's a department I am good at - forget skill, power, technique, I just work on the basis of bloody-mindedness and suffering.

With 100 metres to go I was in third place, P2K first and second. Then to my right another P2K blue and white shirt came into view - boy oh boy was he hammering (and hurting) - great job dude and nothing I could do - I settled for 4th place and was stoked with that result. See the official write up HERE

There had been a suggestion that some riders might do a bit of training afterwards so I asked around and tried to raise a posse but there were no takers - everyone headed home except me. I headed off for a much needed ride. The race I guess was about 50k so all in all I put in about 130k in a round trip back via the airport and Salak - nice!

Once again Nick, awesome job and thanks.

There's another race scheduled for this Sunday at 8a.m. if anyone is up for it. Trust me, you don't need to be a "racer" per se, just confident at riding in a pack and prepared to hurt a bit at the end. See News and Next Race HERE It'll be on the same circuit which isn't technical nor hilly, come and try it out - I promise it'll be fun.

Ironman China

Simon says: - I briefly flirted with the idea of doing Ironman China after my success in Ironman Malaysia. The thought process being that with the focus of another race only being 6 weeks away I'd be able to retain my fitness while losing a few more critical kgs. The goal would have been qualifying for Hawaii.

So that was the theory but then I started doing a bit of research - the thing that destroys me in any race over 3 hours is heat and dehydration regardless of how much I drink (I lose about 2.7 litres of fluid per hour in the heat). I decided that this race wasn't for me - check out what had to say about the temperature.

On a day that saw temperatures rise to 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) survival became the mantra for the athletes in both the Ironman and Ironman 70.3 races here in Haikou, Hainan, China. In the end it was two-time Danish Olympian Rasmus Henning and Australia's Charlotte Paul who prevailed in the Ironman race, while Aussies Chris McCormack and Amanda Balding took the Ironman 70.3 titles

Friday, April 17, 2009

Soccer Heroes

Check out me boys!!! Sid and Seb were awesome I'm told. I'm still hoping they'll be the next Tiger woods or Roger Federer because soccer is so nonsy but hey I'll settle for them being the next Beckham sensations.

Bear Necessities

(Courtesy of the Telegraph)

CLICK TO ENLARGE - read it all - made me belly laugh.

Lance Armstrong confirms Giro d'Italia entry

(Courtesy of the Telegraph)

Lance Armstrong has told race organisers that he will compete in this year's Giro d'Italia, between May 9-31.

The announcement removed doubts that the seven-time Tour de France champion, who is currently training in Colorado, would miss the race after having surgery to fix his broken right collarbone last month.

"The recovery has been going well and the plan is to be there," Armstrong's spokesman Mark Higgins said.

It will mark the first time Armstrong races in the Italian classic, considered cycling's second most important race after the Tour.

Susan Boyle - Wonderful

If you haven't seen this yet then do yourself a pre-weekend favour - a feelgood factor of 11 out of 10.


Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Drive with caution...A chucklefest

Without wishing to be accused of sexism I challenge you to spot the common denominator in all of these clips...comments welcome.

Disclaimer: - In an attempt to avoid an angry wife and my mother on the phone as soon as she sees this, I hasten to point out that women are proven to be the safest drivers of the two sexes as confirmed by the fact that insurance premiums are generally lower for ladies!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Personal ID - a MUST for triathletes & cyclists

Recently Mohan sent me an article on IDBand which is very much along the lines of RoadID which I use. Rather than promoting either product in particular I'd just like to put my 10 cents worth out there.

I ride with a Road ID, basically it's a wrist strap with a lightweight ID tag attached that has my personal details laser etched onto it. Having visited the inside of a van via its windscreen (see Alive and Kicking) I decided that this would be a sensible purchase - fortunately I was conscious throughout but I was incredibly lucky. Not only can it give vital information like blood type, allergies but also the contact details of your loved ones.

A buddy saw me wearing it and remarked that I'd bought myself an early Christmas present, I replied that in fact it was a gift for my family. I'm sure my wife would prefer if I didn't ride at all but she's certainly a lot more at ease when she knows that should anything happen she will be contacted without delay.

I am very passionate that no one should ride without lights or a helmet but once these essentials are purchased I'd strongly advise you purchase some sort of ID band and use it on every ride; if not only for your own well being but for the peace of mind of your loved ones.

RoadID costs US$19.99 (Click on name for link to web site)
IDBand costs SGD18.00 (Click on name for link to web site)

Of course you can simply carry a card with your details together with your phone and cash - perhaps we should do that as well!!!

Ride safe, ride hard

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

You've heard of "Crop Circles" well....

(Courtesy of Nick Flynn - now Nick really has got time on his hands...he has spent much of the last three years surfing in Bali but recently announced that the corporate call was drawing him towards Sydney, a suit and hey still a bit of surfing down Bondi way...WELL, stop press, Nick has a new plan and it involves at least another 6 months surfing in Bali - YES OF COURSE I'M JEALOUS)

Happy Easter

(Who hid the Easter Bunny? - courtesy of Nick Flynn)

Sorry but this somehow tickles my sick sense of humour - and I'm a vegetarian so go figure how that works!!!!

Latest update from Ngae

I am back on the road this morning. One hour brisk walk carrying dumbbells. Walking is encouraged because of low impact. Left side of the head still throb a bit. Not as bad as during IM Langkawi. Cannot run or drive for 3 months at least.

Now focussing on June 28 Marathon by race walking.

Did under 6 hour walking marathon before. Also did 7 hour walking marathon carrying 18kg backpack.

Be seeing you guys...Cheer

Monday, April 13, 2009

A torrid time and the alternative Orange Run

Last week PIB hit me hard, in fact I'll rename it DOPIB - For those of you that don't know this phenomenon then you probably haven't done a long distance endurance event that entailed a big build up, huge amounts of anticipation, camaraderie and ultimately euphoric filled success. The down side is PIB (POST IRONMAN BLUES) or in my case this year DOPIB (DELAYED ONSET POST IRONMAN BLUES).

I had a torrid week, eating rubbish food (and lots of it), having drinks after work most nights and the only training I managed was one pathetic spin class. Oh woe is me!

I had it all worked out in my head though, I'd let it go on as it was until Saturday morning and then BANG back out on the bike with the group and a swift 4.4k brick run straight afterwards and then all would be right with the world and I'd be back on track. The only spanner in the works was a farewell drink on Friday night for a buddy heading off to Sao Paulo.

Drinks started at 5 p.m. and finished at about 1 a.m. Ooops! My alarm went off at 5 a.m. on Saturday morning and I dutifully got up and headed for the bathroom - it took me no more than a few minutes to realise I was somewhere between still being drunk and a hell of a hangover setting in. I SMS'd KK with my apologies and returned to bed - I spent the rest of the day nursing a hangover and feeling like an even bigger looser than I had all week. WHAT AN IDIOT.

Sunday morning came around, the alarm went of at 5 a.m. and the excuses started flowing through my brain but somehow I had to break this vicious cycle and soon found myself driving to Bukit Aman car par for a 21k run. Today was the Orange Run and since their tag line is FOREIGNERS NOT WELCOME I donned my orange Nike running kit and did my own alternative "Orange Run" alone to Sri Hartamas, round the petrol station and back again.

I felt awful but pegged on anyway only to get to the petrol station realising I'd forgotten to bring any money - a long drink out of the forecourt water tap and images of Cholera, Typhoid or worse ensued and it was back to Bukit Aman again. I was back at the car, although the last 3k were miserably hard and everything hurt but to my amazement it was my fastest ever run on this course.

So I'M BACK - although as I write this on Monday morning I'm very, VERY, very sore. Not to worry, this just reminds me not to let things slip quite so far again (not for a while anyway).

Friday, April 10, 2009

Now here's something different

From Mohan the Great - this is what he had to say: - "I tried on a pair during the Disney World Marathon Fair. Frankly, I did not like them - perhaps they were just different. Certainly lacked the cushion, in fact felt like having car tyre treads pasted on the sole of my feet."


Thursday, April 09, 2009

EU Directive No. 456179

(Courtesy of Ian)

Attention, all Europeans!

EU Directive No. 456179

In order to meet the conditions for joining the Single European currency,
all citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
must be made aware that the phrase 'Spending a Penny' is not to be used as a euphemism for going to the bathroom after 31st December 2009.

From this date, the correct terminology to be used will be: 'Euronating'.

Thank you for your attention.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Wake up and smell the coffee

(Courtesy of Mohan the Great)

If you haven't woken up to the positive attributes of coffee for athletes (of any standard) then you really need to sit down, have a double espresso and read these articles. I've been saying it for years but more importantly so have the experts, coffee significantly improves performance, especially for endurance athletes. Additionally studies are now saying that coffee improves health, reduces the risk of cancer and increases life expectancy. Read on and make sure you take the black elixir before your next race.


A few recent large-scale studies have uncovered some new by-the-cup health benefits of coffee. Check 'em out:

1 cup . . . may lower your risk of cancer. A 13-year Japanese study revealed that men and women who drank a cup or more a day were half as likely to develop cancer of the mouth, pharynx, and esophagus compared with people who didn't drink coffee.

2 cups . . . may fend off strokes. In a 24-year study, women who drank 2-3 cups a day were 19 percent less likely to have a stroke compared with women who drank less than a cup a month. One caveat: The benefit applied only to nonsmoking women with no history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.

3 cups . . . may safeguard your neurons. Middle-aged adults who reported drinking at least 3 cups of coffee a day were 65 percent less likely to have developed dementia or Alzheimer's by the time most of the group had reached their mid-sixties to seventies. Now, that's a lotta coffee. But not for everyone.

What's in Those Magic Beans?
Although it's not clear how coffee does all of these wonderful, protective things, researchers suspect that the coffee bean's high level of inflammation-fighting antioxidants (called polyphenols) may have something to do with it.

Also you should take a look at "Kudos for Coffee"

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Football's for girls

(Courtesy of Ian)

Running back from Sri Hartamas on Sunday I was chatting with Sofian about football, he's an ardent Man U supporter and I'm a long suffering Leeds United supporter. I must admit though I can't say I'm that passionate about the game and I think this clip sums "The Beautiful Game" up quite nicely and puts a different spin on the word "beautiful".

Monday, April 06, 2009

New Faces, Long Runs & GOOD MORNING

I put together my first long run since Ironman yesterday. Usual Sri Hartamas, round the petrol station loop and then back again. I ran the first half with Shilpa and then the return leg with Sofian - he kept telling me he wasn't a runner but he's got a great rhythm on the flats and downhills it's just the hills that slow him down - here's my prediction for 2009 - if he can drop a few kg's Sofian is going to amaze everyone with his ever increasing pace.

Anyway, on to the subject listed above, it was great to be back out on a Sunday morning, I've really missed it, there's nothing like knocking out a brisk half marathon, or more, before breakfast - it doesn't matter what the day holds after that the run is in the bank.

...oh yes, the subject "New Faces" - it struck me yesterday how many new faces there were along the route. Shilpa suggested that it might be because we left a little later than normal but I don't think so - it's out and back so you see most people anyway.

There were also a lot of expats that I haven't seen before - I wonder what that's all about???

It might be that people are now training for the KL Marathon and Half Marathon that haven't done before as it is later in the year i.e. training doesn't fall over Xmas, New Year and CNY. Who knows why it was but it was great to see - hopefully more and more will join.

On a final point - whether you like it or not, if you're out there on a Sunday morning, you're going to get a "GOOD MORNING" from me. I didn't get up at 5:00a.m. only to then run 21k in a state of misery, head down, ignoring my fellow suffers. I run because I chose to run, because I enjoy it and I'm assuming that those out there too are like minded. Come on guys, cheer up and don't just acknowledge me acknowledge everyone out there - we're all on the same team.

As for cyclists - don't get me started on cyclists...but that's another blog.

Great Website from Sam

Sam sent me this site which looks like a great tool. It posts bike routes from all over the world including Malaysia. Have a look

We should probably upload our favourite rides on it - there's no mention of Titi or Broga for example nor Hulu Langat etc. If everyone that reads this uploads just one route then it'll be a really useful database of rides for everyone in Malaysia and for those visiting too.

A message from Ngae

Simon says: - Ngae left this message in comments but I thought I'd post it in case anyone missed it.

"Thank you to all friends for the prayers, care and concerned over the last few days. This is to give you a detailed explanation.

Thank you for wishing to visit me. Certainly I appreciate your wish in my heart. At the moment, I like the quiet rest. Dont worry about visiting me. Online I am reading all the time your hearts in this.

I feel just as much connection with your thoughts care and concern even though you are not here visiting me physically.

I will be seeing you as I recover. Hey, in the marathons, ultramarathons, IMs and such events I may be physically alone doing them but I dont feel alone because I know my friends think about me. So similarly I feel the touch of my friends all the time over the last few days.

I just got back home to rest. What led to my brain op was this. I went thru preventive radiation after occurence of benign parotid gland tumour near the left ear in 2004. But radiation has side effect. After many years, the effect of radiation caused what is called radiation necrosis. This is cumulative damaging effect to an area near my left ear in the lower brain. In fact the left lower lobe has swollen and pushed the centre line right. I could have gone into more serious condition and more brain damage. I was experiencing some vision problem, ringing ear and throbbing head in IM Langkawi . Good thing during the layoff period after IM I have time going around doctors. Dr Tan and Wife referred me to neurologist and MRI Scan showed the need for an urgent brain op. The surgeon needed to cut the skull an opening above my left ear at the troubled lower brain spot and took out the damaged tissues concerned. These were tested and today I got the result confirming they are non-malignant. The reattached bone piece near my left ear needs to fuse safely with the skull in about 3 months. I need to be on medication for next 6 months to remedy the damage in the brain over the years.

Due to brain op, I was first time through ICU and now need the rest. Certainly it was an unique experience for me.

Thank you Simon for your heart in this and for so much help in passing out the updates.

So friends dont worry about where to visit me now. Will surely be seeing you guys as I slowly come back and do what I love over the next 3 months. And talk about this with friends. Thank you all again.

God bless us all."

Friday, April 03, 2009

Bike Maintenance 101

I was searching the web to check out some basic bike maintenance techniques and recommendations and came across this site. It's all very basic but extremely useful. I consider myself pretty adept at bicycle maintenance but instantly found this site extremely informative with user friendly videos on such things as re taping handlebars, measuring chain wear etc... Check it out I highly recommend it whether you're a bike mechanic or conversely suffer from bike maitenancephobia.

Enjoy - and perhaps now when asked by a fellow cyclist how to fix something your stock answer won't be "Simple I take it down to the shop" - yes, you know who I'm talking to.

Great News on Ngae - Biospy non-malignant

Tey just emailed me and also left a comment on the previous post as he contacted Ngae earlier today and this is what Ngae wrote: -

"Biopsy report today confirms non-malignancy in my brain. Thank you for your concern buddy. Likely discharged today. With the urgent op thru my skull on Monday I cant be active in sport for 3 months. Will see you guys a bit later. It was a special experience. Thank all friends for the care and feeling. God bless us all. Ngae"

Simon says: - What wonderful news, hopefully he'll be home for the weekend and really and truly on the road to recovery - no doubt he'll be out running again by the beginning of July (or earlier if I know Ngae).

This news has certainly put a smile on my face and sets up a happy weekend.

Latest on Ngae

Nothing to report today I'm afraid. I've heard nothing from him and don't want to stress him out or hassle him so I'm working on the basis that no news is good news again.

If I hear from him over the weekend then I'll post it here as soon as I receive news.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Ngae SMS this morning

"Hi buddy. Thanks 4 lending the mags. Always love reading about Chrissie (Wellington). Emma must be inspired by her. I am still waiting for the biopsy report. Will update. Looking forward finishing 4th Ironman. God willing."

Simon say: - That's the spirit Ngae - not that we expected anything less.

On another note I've been receiving lots of thanks for keeping everyone up to date regarding Ngae's health. Quite honestly it's no trouble at all and the least I can do. My preference would be for you to direct all your comments and positive thoughts towards Ngae - thanks guys - keep the comments coming though, Ngae's eyes lit up when he saw them and started reading them.

I will be respecting his request for no more visits until he's home but I'll periodically fax him the comments as I know he'll get a real boost from this.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Weight Loss Programme

(Courtesy of Mohan the Great)

A guy calls a company and orders their 5-day, 5kg weight loss program.

The next day, there's a knock on the door and there stands before him a voluptuous, athletic, 19 year old babe dressed in nothing but a pair of Nike running shoes and a sign around her neck.

She introduces herself as a representative of the weight loss company. The sign reads, "If you can catch me, you can have me."

Without a second thought, he takes off after her. A few miles later puffing and puffing, he finally gives up.

The same girl shows up for the next four days and the same thing

On the fifth day, he weighs himself and is delighted to find he has
lost 5kg as promised.

He calls the company and orders their 5-day/10kg program. T he next day there's a knock at the door and there stands the most stunning, beautiful, sexy woman he has ever seen in his life. She is wearing nothing but Reebok running shoes and a sign around her neck that reads, "If you catch me, you can have me".

Well, he's out the door after her like a shot. This girl is in excellent shape and he does his best, but no such luck. So for the next four days, the same routine happens with him gradually getting in better and better shape.

Much to his delight on the fifth day when he weighs himself, he discovers that he has lost another 10kg as promised.

He decides to go for broke and calls the company to order the
7-day/25kg program.

"Are you sure?" asks the representative on the phone. " This is our
most rigorous program."

"Absolutely," he replies, "I haven't felt this good in years."

The next day there's a knock at the door; and when he opens it he finds a huge muscular guy standing there wearing nothing but pink new balance running shoes and a sign around his neck that reads, "If I catch you, you are mine."

He lost 33 kilos that week.

Bump Keys - Home Security

(Courtesy of Disco Dave)

Dave just sent me this as he has been broken into while he was away (hope they didn't steal your bike dude). I watched this out of idle curiosity but having watched it I STRONGLY suggest that everyone watches it. That done, I suggest that you seriously ask yourself some searching questions about your home security - then do something about it before it's too late.

Breaking News - Today's visit to Ngae

I have just stepped back into my office having been to visit Ngae in hospital. He's looking his usual self other than a whacking big plaster on the side of his head. He's as smiley as ever, very pragmatic about his condition and of course as optimistic as ever.

He was a little groggy which is to be expected but amazingly lucid all things considered. I took him printouts of all the emails and comments that you'd all left for him which he was extremely appreciative of and started reading them all as soon as I arrived.

The results of the biopsy have not come out yet so we're still waiting on that with fingers crossed, although the doctors think that the tumour may have been a side effect of surgery that he had some years ago. If that's the case then I assume it will likely be benign - we have to wait and see though.

Ngae does not yet know when he'll be released but requested that I ask anyone who was planning to visit to wait until he is back home. I also met his wife and son while I was there and they suggested we might even have a bit of a get together once he's stronger and on the road to recovery - rather than lots of people visiting while he is still in hospital.

Ngae's biggest concern was that he probably wouldn't be able to train for the next three months - typical!!! Mind you I seem to remember the same concerns when I was last in hospital - I guess we all suffer from the same obsessive compulsive disorder. Needless to say my advice to him was to rest and enjoy the time off - his reply was "That's what I do, enjoy life as much as I can, ALWAYS", with a big smile on his face.

I left Ngae with my collection of 2008's "220 Triathlon" magazine so no doubt he'll be raring to go and better "educated" about the world of triathlon than most of us by the time he's back on his feet.

I left the hospital with a broad grin and a tremendous feeling of well-being but then that shouldn't surprise anyone as Ngae instills these feelings in just about everyone he meets. He is an inspiration to us all - if you're reading this and you haven't yet met him - make it a point when he's back amongst us as the world will look a little brighter and the air will taste a little fresher.

Get well soon brother.

I'll keep updating this blog whenever I get news and as before feel free to add messages under cooments on this post and I will be sure to pass them on to Ngae.