Sundown Marathon Returns 1 June 2019, Champions Inclusivity in Sports

The Osim Sundown Marathon will return on 1 June next year, with Infinitus Production newly appointed as its event management partner. As per previous editions, the Sundown Marathon will include 4 categories: 5KM, 10KM (individual or team of 4), Half-Marathon and Full Marathon.

For those who know me for quite some time, y’all would realise that I’ve kept sort of like a personal running calendar where I would select a few races to run in the calendar year (like a race season) since 2016. The Sundown Marathon has become somewhat of a fixed fixture ever since. You can click on the following links read about my past experience: 2016, 2017, 2018

So days ago, when the organisers updated the Facebook page with a contest to reward loyal runners with race slots for the next edition of Sundown, I was thrilled. Although I didn’t expect myself to win anything because 3 years – in fact – was rather pale in comparison compared to those who’ve been taking part since their inaugural edition back in 2008. So when I received the news that I was one of the lucky winners, I was over the moon.

We were invited to the launch event on 29 November at the Marina Bay Event Square. I was running late (no pun intended), so I rushed my way through The Shoppes@Marina Bay Sands, hoping that I’ll be able to reach in time. It was till later that I realised there were people still on their way here. It is kind of heartening to see how participants were so willing to rush down from work and school or whatever they were doing to grace the event. That’s why I love our running community here — the dedication is beyond question.

We were given a limited edition pink-coloured Sundown Marathon t-shirt and a pair of light bands — maybe so that we could light up the night during the run we had later on. 

It was not long before Max Phua, director of F4U, went on stage to address us. He spoke about how Sundown started out with about 6,000 participants in 2008 before growing into 25,800 this year. F4U acquired the rights of Sundown Marathon back in 2016 and has since brought the event to other Asian cities like Penang and Taipei. It was revealed that the organisers are eyeing an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)’s certification, thus becoming the second event to do so after the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. 

Furthermore, as part of the efforts of being inclusive, the organiser has partnered 3 main beneficiaries – ST School Pocket Money Fund, Singapore Disability Sport Council and Running Hour – and others via its ongoing Sundown with Love initiative. Under this initiative, the organiser will donate $1 from the registration fund to the adopted beneficiaries. Participants could also donate additional funds through the official event website. They even invited national para sailor Ng Xiu Zhen to the launch!

Speaking about Sundown with Love, I remembered running a donation drive under the initiative last year, as Fitspo People ran together for the second year. I couldn’t remember the amount we managed to collect and donated at the end of the day. I think I might be running a similar donation drive next year as I gear up for June 1.

After the address, we were release for ‘the thing that we enjoyed most’. Pacers from Running Department brought us for a 4KM run around Marina Bay to mark the official launch. I think I’ve grown a bit too familiar with RD people that I could recognise them just by their faces. (Sorry guys, the names will take quite a while). I’ve been training with them since last month by taking part in the pacer runs as lead ups to the upcoming Singapore Marathon on 9 December and probably one last time this year tomorrow. 

It was a short yet scenic run. I’ve ran Marina Bay countless of times but this time, because we were running on a completely different direction, I finally be able to view the evening skyline from a brand new angle. Such wow factor really drives you to put in more efforts in the run.

Because I need to rush off, I didn’t stay for the buffet and sharing session after the run. I merely took some photos and left. It was really a fun evening because you just feel so much different and refreshed running with a group of like-minded people.

So if you guys want to challenge yourself or join me in running, do take note that the registration will start on 5 December. There will also be a roadshow launch at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2018 Expo where participants will get to enjoy a special registration rate and receive a goodie bag as well. Check below for the registration fees:

Hope to see you guys then!

Getting The Right Nutrients

It is not easy to sustain my fitness goals. I mean, I’ve been trying relatively hard over the past year to get back in shape but I am still far fetched from the fitspo I once was. I never want to give up my resolution in getting back in better shape.

I run, I gym and I try different ways to reduce my calorie intake. It is a no brainer that a combination of a well-balanced diet and exercise makes up the no-so-secret recipe to fitness. Of course, those who know me well knows that fitness might be something I yearn for but in fact, I was more inclined towards sustaining an active and healthy lifestyle. You have to be healthy and energetic to continue the endless struggle to full fitness.

So where do I get the vitality from? Well, I turn to Centrum, the world’s no. 1 multivitamin brand for assistance. Here is the review based on what I think about Centrum.

Centrum for Men is complete multivitamin specially formulated for men. Men and women have different body compositions and nutritional needs so I have to make sure that I am having the adequate and correct intake of nutrients. This multivitamin contains over 20 important nutrients that I find beneficial

It contains Vitamin B which plays an important role in converting protein, fats and carbohydrates into the energy I require for my runs and workouts. Furthermore, the Vitamins B6, D and magnesium help promote healthy muscles and hence doubling the recovery time I need before my next workout.

It needs no health scientist to advise you how crucial the role a strong heart plays while engaging in endurance sport. The lycopene, Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acids found in the multivitamin provides the necessary support. For those who ain’t an endurance athlete of any sort, these nutrients are still helpful since a strong heart translates into a lower risk of heart attack. 

On top of my multivitamins, I will start the day with a packet of Centrum Vitamin C 1000mg. All I need to do is to grab one sachet and pour the content into the cup of water. It’s part of my daily morning routine immediately upon waking up because I believe that an intake of water on an empty stomach will boost metabolic rate by 24% — especially important for someone like me with pathetically low metabolism.

The Centrum Vitamin C 1000mg is a delicious way to get my daily dose of immunity. It contains actual fruit juice extract. Every fizzy sip supports the immune system further with all the essential nutrients, electrolytes, and antioxidants that fill my nutritional gap in a refreshing burst of citrusy goodness.

Furthermore, as a runner, Vitamin C proves to be the key to sustaining performance as well as aiding in recovering. Vitamin C forms a protein which makes our tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. In addition, it helps to metabolise protein and repair the muscle fibre that might have been damaged by the long, exhausting run.

That Night, They Brought Chomp Chomp to the Indoor Stadium

It looked like a normal Saturday evening. I was due to have a short run with Vivian. Initially, I was planning to go for a 12km but my schedule was screwed up and I ended up rushing for time. Sometimes I just have nothing to say about my time management.

Viv reached before me so I’ve got to make her wait for me while I went to change into my outfit. The sky started to become dark as we walked out of OCBC Arena. Viv was like asking me if we are going to run outside or at 100plus Promenade. I took the risk to run outside.

It was a bad bet. About 500m out, the rain came and we were forced to head back. Even before we were able to seek shelter, the rain became too big that we were so close to being drenched. We headed up to the Promenade to continue with our run.

I screwed up the run. It was the worst run I’ve done so far. I felt so disgusted and uneasy throughout the entire run. I slowed down so much to the point that Viv was like saying, “You know you can just run faster, don’t need wait for me.” I struggled a little inside. “I couldn’t go any faster now.”

Painful reality check just one month before my first full marathon.

Anyway, by 7pm, we were returned back to OCBC Arena to wash up and get ready for dinner. Viv initially wanted dinner at Old Airport Road but changed her mind to settle it at Kallang Wave since ‘it was nearer’.

We ended up walking around Kallang Wave looking at clothes. From H&M to Cotton On to Weston, we covered clothing ranges across the gender spectrum. She still offered no hint on where in the mall are we going to have out dinner at. I didn’t even bother to ask. Then, she brought me out of the mall, wandering into Cheers. Thereafter, we left Cheers and I followed her up the stairs leading to the Indoor Stadium because she ‘wanted to take photos’.

She took over my camera and started filming as we walked up. At least for once, I’ve got my own videographer.

We reached the top and walked towards the Lawn Bowls playing area. A group of people were seated in the middle of the place. “Did you see that?” Viv asked. I nodded. At the point of time, even though that I kind of expected something, I was touched and quite lost for words.

Kishan and I trying to save the flames so that I could take photos with the tiramisu.

Wanz became my main photographer/videographer of the day. She shot in her Olympus Pen E-PL7. Maybe next time I could loan it from her and do some test shootouts with it HAHA.

So, they actually got the food all the way from Chomp Chomp and brought it over to the Indoor Stadium. This is like Chomp2 under the stars (okay, not much about the stars because the skies were still misty after the heavy downpour earlier on). 

Actually, little did anyone know that those food (the prawn noodles, BBQ Chicken Wings, Satay and Orh Luak) fell easily within my Top 10 all-time favourite delicacies. Prawn noodles comes second after the undisputed wanton mee. I know it’s a bit hard to believe because almost everyone perceived me to be a clean eater but hey, how clean can I be.

The usual chat sessions begin with Kishan and me knowing near to zero what the girls were talking about. I just sat there, enjoying the food and most importantly, the company. It has been too long since I see them all again (we were still short of Nic’s presence though).

We ended the night with a group photo. But it seems like I ended up having fun taking candid shots of them.

Can’t be more thankful enough for their existence. <3

Happy Birthday to Me

Once again, it has been long since I posted an update on this blog. Being in a camp that is so far away from home means that it is more convenient and comfortable for me to stay in in camp instead of travelling through and fro every single day. It’s not easy to focus too much time to blogging these days but I will still try my very best to update this blog every now and then.

Anyway! I’ve decided to venture back into vlogging so yay Youtube, here I come! I used to vlog last time and had thoughts of turning it into some sort of a daily commitment. It is obvious now that such thoughts had not come into fruition.

Recently, while I was surfing through YouTube randomly, I came across various vlogs that caught my attention. Nope, not NAS Daily (since he only post his one minute video on Facebook) but Casey Neistat. I was amazed at how vlogs can be presented with such beautiful cinematography. Then I came across other vloggers such as iJustine, MKBHD and Jon Olsson.

I was impressed with the different ways vlogs are being done and how much of an artwork each individual vlogs are. Vlogs can be simple — just grab your smartphone and start filming yourself, but it can also be complex — production-like vlogs setups including the use of proper lightings, proper audio and equipment. I told myself that maybe I could use vlogging as a way to upgrade my videography and editing skills so why not? It is impossible for me to work on any films during this period but I could do at least a vlog each week as some sort of a scaled-down production.

Also, since I’ve got those under-used gears lying everywhere in my room, I should start utilising it before it becomes some evidences of me overspending. Oops

I decided, at the start of last month, I would focus my time on vlogging and crafting story ideas. I’ve place a link of my latest vlog down below, and it included more reasons why I’ve decided to vlog!

Ok, now back to topic. Last week I was on a 5-day vacation so that I could find time to enjoy and rest during my birthday. Birthday is nothing special actually, at least to me, but I tend to favour using this day as a time to really rest my soul and to enjoy myself a little after long period of work. It’s like my own version of Thanksgiving weekend — giving thanks to myself as well as people who’ve done so much for me.

It was a simple vacation.

20th October 2018

Started off the weekend with a long-distance run with Justin and the folks from Running Department. It was the first time I ran with RD but it was really quite fun. Despite most of them being running enthusiast, me as a novice was able to blend into the crowd. 

There were difference paces led by RD pacers as preparation for the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon at the end of the year. That morning, we were all ready for a 30km pacer run. I think running is the only thing that could wake me up as early as 0400. It was raining by the time I reached the meeting point at East Coast Park, so the run got slightly delayed. Obviously, that doesn’t dampen the mood of everyone there. We waited and eventually started running around 0630.

Justin, being a much better runner than I am, joined the faster pacers. I followed the 6:45 pacers and I was all-good until I hit the 19km mark, when I started to lag behind them and slowly, by the time I crossed the 22km mark, I couldn’t take it anymore. I mean I could still run back I was close to drop dead. I changed strategy: to run and walk alternatively every 1km. I kept to that strategy until the end of 27km. I told myself to stop right there because I would be way too late for work had I continue on. HAHAHA EXCUSES.

27.2km is the final distance I clocked. The longest run I’ve ever done, both in terms of distance and duration. Despite both my legs screaming for help, I felt good after the run. Maybe one reason is due to the sense of satisfaction and achievement. It’ll be 30km the next time with RD.

21 October 2018

It was a simple Sunday. I was primarily using it as a recovery day after the run. But yet, I decided to head down to BloodBank@Douby Ghaut for blood donation. 

The fun thing about blood donation here in Singapore is that there are freebies given to you, especially when you reached a certain milestone or when it’s your birthday. HAHA I sound like a cheapo but I find fun collecting all these. That day, I was given a face towel with a little note hung outside. So cute I cannot.

22 October 2018

Despite being the cheaper alternative to the a6500, the a6300 provides stunning quality that I become so impressed with Sony that my loyalty to Canon has shaken.

I haven’t been spending actual quality time with my parents since enlistment, so times like this provided chances for me to do so. It was the eve of my birthday and I went wandering around the town, doing some photoshoot with a new camera — the Sony a6300 — that I’ve gotten lately. I’ve gotten it to replace my current 70D as my main vlogging & videography camara. The reason is simple, Sony range of mirrorless cameras has been in the lead for the past 5 years and the ability to shoot in 4K really deserve the I think I might replace the 70D completely with a full frame after ORD for better photography experience but I shall leave it to my discipline to save up the necessary money and whatever Canon’s going to reveal later next year.

I couldn’t be much more impressed by the quality of image I got from such a lightweight camera. I’ll probably write a post in the near future about the experience I have about this new gear. 

Things started getting boring because there wasn’t much event on a Monday in town so I went to Cineleisure to catch a movie.

Yes, it was Johnny English Strikes Again. I haven’t really been catching any movie since Chinese New Year so I guess it’s a good time to catch one that day. I need to admit that the amount of movies I watched thus far ain’t really enough to prove that I am a former media student (or film student, though not really specialised in that aspect) and a filmography enthusiast. Maybe I should really get my ass down and start reviewing films and learn from those cinematography masters on how to plan shots and how to tell a story.

Johnny English was nice, I managed to laugh a lot although it wasn’t that kind of movie that I would walk out of the theatre and say, “Hey, I want to rewatch it again.” It’s more of like laugh and move on. I understand why it wasn’t that well rated on many review sites.

After the movie, I head to Somerset MRT Station to meet up with Pa & Ma and we headed off for a birthday dinner. It’s one of the rare occasion that we eat out because we have a culinary master in Pa.

We settled the dinner over at Kiseki because I was in the mood for some Japanese food. This was the third time I’ve been to Kiseki and I need to admit that I am getting bored of the selection of food there. Well, maybe because it was on a Monday so the variety of food isn’t as much as previously? Or maybe I was full from the sushi and prawns that we’ve gotten before I could go around searching for more food.

23 October 2018

My actual birthday was marked with a rather impromptu lunch with Huiqi. It wasn’t planned long ago but just a few days back. She wanted to pass me my birthday present on the upcoming Saturday but unfortunate I would be on duty that day. In the end, it was suggested that we could meet up on 23rd and maybe have a quick birthday lunch together. 

We decided on settling the lunch over at Forty Hands, a cafe at the heritage Yong Siak Street in the vicinity of Tiong Bahru. Although I’ve sort of been to the area before, especially during the times when I was teaching tuition at Redhill, I am still mesmerised by the architectural style of the buildings around there.  

I realised that whenever we went out to eat, just the both of us, we tend to explore cafe that we don’t normally visit. The previous time was Brawn & Brains.

Such thoughtful presents. It looks like I need not buy an everyday carry weekly diary for next year since I was given this personalised planner. Silver on black, how classy! There’s also book that Huiqi got from China which is quite apt for me right now because of how I perceived the world to be rather cruel. As the title goes, “This world can be cruel, yet gentle.” 

As we left the area, we stumble upon another cafe at the other corner of the street. Could this be our next cafe destination?