Monday, May 31, 2010
I attended the event late, due to clashing of my programme for the weekend. I have to attend a close friend’s wedding dinner in Cyberjaya. I had previously successfully registered for the RFL and paid online, and two days before the event I had received a call from NCSM secretariat to confirm my registration and that I could come to the event late. Ms Irene Yap would be at the stadium to attend to me. How nice.
I arrived at the NSC sports stadium in Bukit Jalil a little past midnight. I was spared the heavy shower drenching the event, celebrities and all. I had missed the main programme of lighting the Luminaria, doing the survivors/caregivers lap and the most meaningful walk with a survivor lap.
I reported to the registration for cancer survivors and was pleasantly surprised that the staff on duty was briefed of my late arrival. That augurs well for organizational efficiency, customer contact, PR and all that jazz. NCSM sure knows how to welcome a new client. I was warmly welcomed. The staff apologized that Ms Irene would not be able to attend to me, as she would most likely be at the Survivors Tent or had possibly left for home earlier.
I was given my goodies pack complete with my purple T shirt. I asked and was told that cancer survivors wore purple coloured T shirts, whilst yellow and blue and predesigned T shirts were for volunteers and all other participants. The pack had an entry wristband, a set for luminary, some cosmetics, a glow wristband and free RM10.00 cash coupons for the event. I had very mixed feelings when I donned my purple T shirt. A Relay For Life event was organized for people like me and I was informed that the RFL event is a world wide event originating from the US.
I was a bit disappointed with this year’s event, compounded by the unfortunate weather. Mainstream media had played up the hype. ASTRO TV included. I stared at the empty bitumen track in the stadium. No relay ? Event finished ? I was quickly informed that this year’s event could not be held in the stadium proper and hence it was relocated to the small training grass field adjacent to the track. A small patch of green grass like a primary school padang. A small circuit “track” was lined up for the relay and a main stage and camping tentages were set up around the “track”. The rain had stopped leaving behind a very messy, gloomy and muddy field.
I went straight to the Survivors Tent. It was empty of survivors. Ok, maybe they were still on the track with 10 of the 16 hours to go. I asked for Ms Irene Yap and was told that she had just left for home. Somebody paged for Ms Adeline who was on duty. Adeline introduced herself as a permanent staff of NCSM and also a survivor. She asked if I was a blogger, seeing some give away signs. I had my Nikon D200 round my neck and a camera bag on my shoulders. Typical profile. Adeline informed me that there was a special tentage over there for bloggers this year. No I said I am not a blogger per se, although I have a blog site where I share with my readership.
Adeline was the only other person wearing purple T Shirt late that night. All others had gone home to rest. We chatted for a while to get a feel of NCSM and the RFL event. NCSM could not organize a real relay without proper tracks and other race features. The next best thing was to make it out ala carnival, lap runs for survivors, celebrities and care givers. Singing on stage and telematch activities would be fun in the early hours of the morning.
I was jolted to life when I saw the big lighted sign HOPE and the Relay For Life balloon. Then I read Giving Hope and Celebrate Life in a poster. Yes Celebrate life. Life is not always a bed of roses. Life is a constant challenge. A muddy field will do as I reflect my school days playing ruck and muck with mud, making the perfect rugby game.
I went round the field taking photos and blended into the event. There was still a fairly big group of people in yellow T shirts walking round the “track”. Most participants were already grouping around their tents chit chatting in low voices or are already sleeping inside their tents. They were waiting for daybreak with Qi Gong demonstrations and to do the final laps of the relay.
I said Hello to all my subjects before I took their pictures. They had asked me to post my photos into Facebook. I told them that I’ll put them up in my blog Paceputrajaya.blogspot.com. I was indirectly promoting my blogsite as they jotted it down in their phones. Most had said “Uncle take again, tadi no flash.” I explained that I preferred no flash photos as they are more alive. I had maxed my ISO to 1600 and set lower White Balance. Photos should be OK, but I confess I am no professional photographer. Touch up can always be done after the picture was taken. Thanks to Photoshop and other photo programmes. I use Light Room 2.
Then I met “her”. He had smiled at me with the cutest pout and a voice to match. “Hi” he said cutely “Take my picture? I am from Damasara. These are my boyfriends”. Whew! I obliged and took “her” picture. I know I’ll have new followers in this blog from now on.
I had met many true and dedicated supporters in yellow T shirts. One had remarked that she was surprised that I wore a purple T shirt. “Uncle you should be resting at home”. They had sensed my tiredness, having just completed my radiotherapy sessions. It had really zapped up all my energy and left me feeling lethargic. I decided not to push myself too hard. There will always be another RFL next year. I will be more organized by them.
I bade goodnight to all and also to Adeline, promising to keep in touch. I then left for home.
Thank you all, for participating, and for being at RLF for us. Thank You NCSM. We are fighting back.
Click here for more photos:
Friday, May 28, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Mr Ngae Koh Hieng passed away on 15 May 2010. He was a respected and popular participant in all major running and triathlete events. Mr Ngae’s signature wear had always been his broad smile and sarong, not to mention running bare footed. Most would still enjoy his sense of humour and envy his joy for life. I met Mr Ngae once only, sometime last year in one of PACM’s regular events.
A Memorial Run in memory of Mr Ngae was organized. A more than expected number of runners turned up and met at 0600 for the event. Mostly old friends and regular runners. Quite a few of us came to run in colourful sarongs. A short thank you message from Mr Ngae’s wife, Pin Pin was read by Ms Julie and this was followed by observing one minute silence before flag off. Limited souvenir blib numbers were issued to commemorate the occasion. There was no specific route and participants were free to run their routes and distances. A light breakfast was served after the run.
GOD bless you Mr Ngae, We will always cherish your friendship and remember you with fond memories. Rest in Peace and continue to guide us from Heaven.
Please see some photos taken by me in my Picasa Web Album here.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
I am not a tech geek who writes reviews on new gadgets. I am just an end user who likes to use gadgets if it is a useable. I’ll pen my experience with the new iPAD. I won’t go through the specs, type of apps available and write my comments as they are readily available in Apple’s website and all over the internet. I will write how useful the iPAD is for me and my family or otherwise.
The iPad is a nice present from my son Voon Lok. He knows my adage and philosophy in life of why live tomorrow, tomorrow, when you can live tomorrow today. I took to the iPAD like a duck to water. I did because I am an Apple Mac user all the while. I had owned Apples, Pineapples (fake apples) and early Macs. I even had an Apple PDA called Newton in the 80s, the best PDA innovation at that point of time. I only use the PC at the office, but never liked it. Further more I am already using the iPhone 3GS.
The iPAD in not a great innovation by Apple. Such technologies with the iPAD already exist in the iPhone, Ipod Touch, and hey, even Apple’s competitors had better innovations. I believe Apple’s success stems from brand loyalty and the iPAD is a natural upgrade for Ipod Touch users. Apple has already a captive market. No needs for the hypes, bells and whistles and trumpets.
So how do I sum up my experience with the iPAD ? How it relates to my lifestyle and needs for it. I’ll pen them under useful /good and disappointments
Useful /Good (Not in any order of goodness).
The screen resolution is almost perfect like full HD. Very pleasing.
The screen area is 9.7 inch, LED backlit, 1024 X 767, just nice to read a full webpage ibook. No need to scroll.
I can use the iPAD anywhere in the house including reading sitting on my throne. My mac is upstairs in my pad and my Powerbook is 15 inches which is too heavy to lug around the house. Malas aku.
It has plus of 11 hours battery time.
It NEVER gets hot, even after 11 hours continuous and intensive use. Something amazing and no other computing gadget can beat.
Plenty of apps that are still free, particularly ebooks.
It has a built in mike.
I use the free SKYPE programme to talk to my relatives all over the world.
It has a fantastic number of very, very good and practical educational and development apps for kids. I download tons of such apps for Voon Lok’s kids to ‘play’. They call it big Nintendo. So now I’ll have to fight with my grand kids for right of usage time.
My favourite app is Apple’s X-plane. This is a very good flight simulator. I feel like a pilot. Not good for stress management though. I still crash land sometimes.
It is really very easy to use. My grand kids take it like ducks to water too.
It has a beautiful alarm clock, with large analog or digital formats.
The touch screen keyboard is large, intelligent and easy to use. Never makes any typos mistakes.
Double finger flicking good.
Cut copy and paste easily
Easy to join any WIFI set ups.
Easy to search/read my emails
Able to blog directly from my iPAD.
Lovely ( but expensive photo frame) Gaya mau.
Will have plenty of potential uses.
My model was bought direct from the USA, hence not supported by Apple Apps store and Apple iTunes store. First time users will have difficulties.
Iphone and Ipod Touch apps can be used by the iPAD, but with a small screen mode. This is not satisfactory. However there will be more and more native iPAD apps in the stores soon.
Direct sound not too impressive. Poor internal speakers. Haven’t tested with my HiFi system yet.
Cannot use it in non WIFI surrounding. The iPAD with the 3G feature is already out, but its usage will be costly.
Screen rotation and lock if necessary.
No SMS , MMS feature with my model. I suppose it is not a phone. Maybe available with the 3G model ?
Poor hardware backwards compatibility. Cannot charge the iPAD using the USB cable connected to my MacMini.
Needs the latest itunes software. Ver 9.1. Not backwards compatible.
Slow TV, movies and uTube downloads. Maybe it is my broadband line at only 1 Mbyte/sec. Recommends at least 4 Mbytes/sec line. Waiting for my new fibre optic line from TM. Already laid in front of my house. Hope it is not too expensive to use. It is more than 10 Mbte/sec.
Don’t buy a jail broken model from Low Yat. Wait for a couple of months more.
Wait for more iPAD native apps to be available.
Join the revolution. Get one for your kids if not good for yourself.
Read Engadget’ review below:
Well Yimster, Hope I have answered your interest. Call me if you want a hands on. Mobile 0133948839.
I had really, really wanted to run this event. I was one of the few early birds who registered early. Why would I really, really want to run this one? It is a personal pledge. I believe if I can run even one step, I will live one more day and if I can run one kilometer, I will live one more year longer. Like that who wouldn’t want to run?
I am a cancer patient. For the past eight months I have being up and down like a roller coaster. Mood swings, hypersensitivity, dizziness and worries comes with cancer. I am currently under hormone and radiotherapies. The later BBQed me ready to eat. I had discussed with my Oncologist, he had encouraged light exercises and plenty of rest. I asked him if I could run for exercise. If I could run in half marathons which was within my capacity. He said no problem, provided I have the energy and CAN STILL RUN that is. Radiotherapy really zaps up one’s energy. I had already 20 sessions of daily zaps. I feel lethargic and actually lacks energy and strength in my muzzle groups. I have to climb 27 steps from the car park to the hospital lobby in HUKM daily. I wished it was 26 steps. Seriously.
But run, I will. I know the importance of race preparation. I was committed mentally. I will have to put back some strength into my legs. I did short daily walks (my version of LSDs). The week before I did two walks round Jalan Beringin, Bukit Damansara and a slow climb up Bukit Gasing, PJ. I need 3 full days off to charge my battery.
The run was res-venued to Padang Merbok, with the famous double hills. Reality hit home when I studied the route map. Double hills TWICE. I am in trouble. OK I said no need to kill myself. Cancer is already doing it. I will not set any PB or any timings. Just run.
Sunday morning May Senn and Arif picked me up at 05.45 am. May Senn wanted to pirate and ‘pace’ me. I know she actually wanted to be with me should anything happen, as she normally would want to run herself, and I am glad for that. She was always a couple of steps behind me throughout the run.
It was a nice and beautiful Sunday morning and we had a better than expected crowd. Met the usual kakis. I started at the rear of the pack, with a short prayer just to finish the run, whatever the timing. I had a slow and easy pace. Not too uncomfortable, until the Double hills hit me. Yak! my legs wouldn’t lift. No energy to climb. Overall I was OK, I did a quick chectlist, breathing OK, legs OK, chest OK, but pace slowing and stopping. I breathed hard and walked. I was beginning to feel dizzy, I was wandering/swaying from side to side. Though I did not tell May Senn, she saw and knew and she guided me back to the side of the road each time I strayed into the middle of the road. I was OK once up on top of the hills and I am thankful that every time there is a hill climb, there is also a downhill after that.
My usual heartbeat for normal runs would be 120 – 140 BPM. My max is 160 BPM. This time my heartbeat was constantly plus of 150 BPM. It was 160 – 165 climbing the hills. I was actually within the 90% zone on my heart beat. And I know that is no good. I have nothing to prove.
With 2 Km to go I ‘caught up’ with Mac and Adeliene. Mac would always be well ahead of me in previous runs. Yeh, I said to myself I must take on Mac. It is now or never. It must have been one of Mac’s bad hair days. Hi Mac, I puffed, Home run. Woot woot. My heart beat maxed at 176 BPM. Something else worried me. My heart beat recovery time. I usually recover 20 to 30 BPM as I start to slow down. But this did not happen. It was still 170 plus, and didn’t seem to slow down at all. But I was breathing fairly easy. I pushed on for the last kilometer. Then I saw the policemen removing the traffic cones. I know it was their job, but at least let us finish the run first. Taking the traffic cones away was like main battle tanks retreating in the mist of a battle. It effected me with low morale. We may be with the rear pack, but we are in the home run. I came home at 2 hours 20 mins gun time. My kakis were all there to greet me. What a run. I had a bit of collateral damage though. As my skin throughout my body is very dry and brittle caused by radiation, the rubber lining for my knee guards and underwear had braised and tore into my skin at the knees and in between my legs. Otherwise I am feeling very good and pleased with myself. Thanks May Senn.
After this experience, I will take a break and not run until at least after August 2010. I will resign to taking photographs during events until I am well again. I am no Terry Fox nor Lance Armstrong.
View some photos at my previous post. Enjoy.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Due to unforeseen circumstances the venue for the said event has been changed to
"PADANG MERBOK, KUALA LUMPUR"
Race Details as follows:
Date/Time: 16th May 2010, 7:00am
Venue: Padang Merbok, Kuala Lumpur
For Map, click here.
Race Kit Collection:
1. 8th & 9th May 2010, 11.00am - 6.00pm - New Balance Concept Shop [New Wing]
Sunway Pyramid, Petaling Jaya. Direction, click here.
2. 15th May 2010, 10.00am - 6.00pm - Padang Merbok, Kuala Lumpur.
Vest design and measurement - Click here.
Volunteers Recruitment - We are once again looking for volunteers in making the above event a success. Click here for more information.
For New Balance Pacesetters 15KM prizes, click here for more information.