Sunday, July 25, 2010

Shape Run 2010

It's Shape Run 2010 this morning and there were no rooms for guys, for it was an all ladies affair only.

Winnie had registered the 10km event and she was lucky this time to have booked early for this spot, being one of the hottest run events for ladies here. Again, due to her tight work schedule, she did not do enough training prior to this event. She only managed to sneak one run on treadmills, covering some 5km this week, sigh.

As I had no event this morning, I volunteered to pick her at her place and sent her to the venue. Got up this morning at 5am and left my house at about 5.15am for Winnie's place. I gave her a morning call before setting off, targeted to reach her place before 5.45am. Well, she came out of her house a little over 6am.

The flag-off was scheduled at 7am at Nicoll Highway just behind Golden Mile Complex. We reached the basement car park of Golden Mile Complex at about 6.30am and proceeded to move on foot to the start point by following the throngs of female runners. I understand there were some 8,000 runners this morning.

Helped her with the number bib and after that, she did some warming up. When done, queued for the toilet which took quite a while. It was nearing 7am by then, she proceeded to the start line and almost immediately, the two MCs, a lady & a guy announced the arrival of guest-of-honour, Mr Teo Ser Luck who was to flag-off the runners. Off they went to the applause of the spectators, mostly guys who could only watch. I had this adrenalin rush to run but hey, this was an all-ladies event.

Had an hour to kill before bulk of the runners including Winnie would make the final dash to the tape, I made a slow walk to the hawker centre opposite Golden Mile Complex for my regular morning cuppa, my tea. But when I walked back to the finishing line, I missed the first runner and no prizes for the right answer, it was Vivian Tang who hit the tape first. I managed to hear the announcers congratulating the second runner who finished around 40 minutes, reckon Vivian Tang should have come under 40 mins. More and more runners were making their final dash to the finish. Finally, I saw Winnie at the turn before the straight dash to the finish. Quickly, I took out my handphone from my pocket to catch a shot of her running. The time board above showed her gun finish at 1 hr 7 mins and taking out 2 mins, her chip finish should be around 1 hr 5 mins.

The weather was fine throughout, helped with early start at 7am though it was reported heavy downpour expected. I can hear people talking about the good weather this morning.

While it was not a bad race from start to finish but the queue for runner kits could have been better organised. The organisers should have arranged for all finishers walk into one queue to pick up their runner kits instead of carving out another area for collection of the runner kits. It was confusing to say the least, there more many queues but no signs directing people correctly. This was probably the only blemish for this event, other than that, it was a good event. To Winnie, congratulation for the completion of this race and in the next event, GE Run, aim for under one hour. You can do it, challenge yourself for personal satisfaction. Hooray!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Weird Wedding

Captured this news article which I find interesting, read on...

This Indian man, Selva Kumar married a 10-year old female dog named Selvi to atone for stoning to death two dogs he found engaging in mating when he was teenager. "After that my legs and hands got paralyzed and I lost hearing in one ear", Kumar said. The groom also said that he would take care of it until its death.

I wonder, who is the lucky one? The man or the dog?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Meaningful Morning

Initiated by Chao Loy of Apex Club, a lunch gathering for some 400 old folks at Tse Toh Aum Buddhist Temple in Sin Ming was arranged today and as many volunteers were required. Both Winnie and Irene agreed to join me.

Winnie had to work this morning, thus at about 0930 hrs I arranged to pick up Irene at her house first and then, drove over to HarbourFront to pick up Winnie before heading to Telok Blangah Crescent, one of the pick-up venues for the old folks. We arrived slightly early at Blk 5 but Nicole, the assigned co-ordinator called to inform that the pick-up venue had been changed to the Community Centre, not too far away from Blk 5. While walking to the CC, we witnessed a brawl at the coffeeshop. A fat man who was bloodied on the face, was seen gesturing & shouting at someone and bystanders were simply watching the fracas. We were walking on the opposite of the road to the direction of the CC. What an ugly morning unfolding before us, couldn't some people just exercise restrain instead of coming to blows? Sigh!

Finally, we met up with Nicole and some volunteers at the CC. Many elderly folks were already waiting for the coach. We realised the coach capacity will be filled to the brink, there were no enough seats for us. I then told Winnie & Irene that I'll walk back to the carpark to pick up my car while they stayed back to assist the embarkation of the old folks. On my walk back, I saw policemen talking to someone at the coffeeshop and that fat man, now calmer was seated at one side waiting to take his statement I suppose.

I was not too sure of the direction, therefore took the route I am more familiar with though it was a longer distance. When we arrived, the coach had also just arrived. It was drizzling, Winnie and Irene dropped off first with the umbrellas to help with the disembarkation while I find parking.

I saw Chao Loy who was busy arranging the table setting and I had quick word with him. Everyone went into auto-gear with chores. There were no specified instructions who was to do what but simply, 'see-what and do-what lor'. Winnie and Irene were preparing the Chinese tea, I went to help them out. We had to wait for more groups from other pick-up venues before lunch can be served.

Finally, lunch was ready to be served. The kitchen was packed with eager volunteers who can't wait to bring out the dishes to the old folks. I had a big tray which can contain 5 different dishes for one table, once ready to be taken out, I simply carried it on my shoulder - remembrance of my student days when I part-timed as banquet waiter on weekends...hehe! Man, I enjoyed it. I went back to the kitchen, filled up another 5 dishes and I think I repeated the drill for 3 or 4 times. Everyone was helping out, either at the kitchen or serving at the tables. Very quickly, all the dishes despatched were out. By the way, it was a vegetarian meal. We had our fills too, quickly tucking in the simple but savoury veggies meal.

After lunch, we had to get ready to escort the old folks back to the coaches, area by area. Again, no specified instructions on 'who was to do what', it was an automatic drills for all. Still drizzling, we needed as many umbrellas to cover the old folks from the elements. Some carried the goodies to the coaches, some escorted & held on to those weaker old folks on wheelchairs or clutches, some held the umbrellas to keep them dry while some cleaned up the area. Winnie was doing the escorting, helping out the folks and I did likewise while Irene was cleaning up the area.

By 1400 hrs or about, we had despatched all the old folks and the area was also cleaned up. Satisfied with our feat, we were ready to leave too and bid good-bye to Chao Loy and rest of the volunteers. What a fulfilling day for us, truly meaningful task and I felt fantastic. Thanks too to Winnie and Irene for their hep.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Laughter, The Best Medicine of The Day

Husband Store, A store that sells new husbands has opened in New York City , where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:

You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are six floors and the value of the products increase as the shopper ascends the flights. The shopper may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!

So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads:

Floor 1 - These men Have Jobs
She is intrigued, but continues to the second floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 2 - These men Have Jobs and Love Kids.
'That's nice,' she thinks, 'but I want more.'

So she continues upward. The third floor sign reads:

Floor 3 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, and are Extremely Good Looking.

'Wow, ' she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.

She goes to the fourth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 4 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help With Housework.

'Oh, mercy me!' she exclaims, 'I can hardly stand it!'

Still, she goes to the fifth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 5 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, Help with Housework, and Have a Strong Romantic Streak.

She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 6 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.

To avoid gender bias charges, the store's owner opened a New Wives store just across the street.

The first floor has wives that love sex.

The second floor has wives that love sex and have money and like beer.

The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited.
Men are much easier to please and obviously are faster shoppers!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Race Against Cancer - 4 July 2010

I am honoured to play a part in this race when Nazlin from Singapore Cancer Society invited me to be one of their charity athletes during their preparation stage. This was my second participation in their annual event for the cancer cause, the last time was in 2008 with Winnie but I gave 2009 a miss, no particular reasons.

Set my alarm at 0615 hrs before retiring to bed after watching the thrashing of Argentina by the mighty Germans, 4 nothing to be exact and it was already near midnight. Around 0200 hrs, I was waken up by an sms from Mark Soh but I couldn't open my eyes fully to read his text. Ignoring the sms, I continued my sleep. At about 0500 hrs I think, a sharp pain on the left leg shook me up from my bed. It was a bad cramp, the pain was unbearable and I had to stay down for it to subside. One minute or so later, the pain finally relented and I continued my sleep. From that moment on, I was actually, half awake and half asleep till the alarm struck exactly at 0615 hrs.

Left my house at 0700 hrs and it looked like any moment rain will come. I arrived at Pasir Ris, managed to find a carpark lot in one of the blocks nearby Pasir Ris Park. It was about 0720 hrs, so I should have some 30 mins before the flagged-off. The walk to the start-point at Pasir Ris took slightly over 5 mins and though it was around 0730 hrs, it was still dark. Many runners were making their way to the same direction where I was heading. Did some warm-up, as usual while looking out for familiar faces. From our SANL group, I know Carmen and Yan Ming had signed-up and I was hoping to spot them in the crowd, no luck though. I made my way to the start-point, waited with the rest for the arrival of the VVIP, Dy PM Teo Chee Hean. Winnie was supposed to join but what a pity, she had to forfeit due to last minute pressing matter to attend to. The day before, I had a tiring outing with another adventurous group doing 50km cycling from Changi Point down to East Coast and then looped over to Siglap, Bedok Reservoir, Tampines, Pasir Ris and finally back to Changi Point. Hwee was with me on this cycling trip and we had an enjoyable outing with the group I must say. In the evening, I went out with my some of my Mt Ophir group to celebrate Shu's posting to Taiwan till about 2200 hrs. And this morning, the 7.5 km run. I was quite tired, actually...mind and body. Also, the pain in the my left calf did not go away completely, sigh.

Finally, DPM Teo appeared with his entourage. The flagged-off was scheduled to be at 0750 hrs but the VIP and his entourage arrived at about 0810 hrs. The weather was still gloomy and I was hoping they flag us off before the rain really poured on us. I checked my watch, it was about 0810 hrs when we were flagged-off. There were at least 5,000 runners in the 7.5 km competitive run. The cemented path is not wide for over-taking, thus I had to overtake some on the wet glass path. I started off on quicker pace to overtake as many runners infront of me or be held behind, due to the narrow path. About 3 km into the run, I slowed down to maintain my normal pace and to preserve some energy for the last leg, for the last burst. Just ahead of me, I saw a father and son running together. The boy should be around 10 years of age or probably younger but boy, he was running like a pro. It took me a while to overtake them. I was thinking, this boy could probably be our national runner in the future. He has potentials, lots of potentials. At the 4 km mark, anyone who overtook me must be a fitter runner and also, somehow I was too tired mentally & physically to try to overtake them. I just pressed on. My legs were tired, cannot surmount the extra power to quicken the pace. Before the 5 km mark (the final turn to the finishing), there was this young Malay boy who looks a little older than 10 years of age (taller than that Chinese boy whom I overtook earlier), he just shot past me. He had good long stride, opening up his pace slowly and steady. Before long, I lost sight of him after he strode past me.

Past the 6 km marker, then the 7 m marker and finally, only 500 metres to the finish. My legs were still tired and I can sense the finishing in front. Few runners shot past me but I still couldn't muster my reserve energy to speed up the last few hundred metres. When I reached the finishing, I looked at my watch and it showed a little over 0840 hrs. I should have clocked between 35 to 40 mins in this 7.5 km event.

At the finishing, I saw the Caucasian photographer who took my pictures for the promotion collaterals. He recognised me, gave me a smile which I returned the smile too. Also, I saw Fiona, the event organiser from Hive-locity who was busy taking down notes. I walked up to her to have a quick chat with her. I asked her whether she is keen to organise a run event in Batam and she expressed interest.

Though it didn't rain, the ground was very soggy at the finishing venue and hardly anyone was gathering around the stage and tents. I managed to catch up with Nazlin who was busy arranging the silat performance. I rested for a while, didn't stay to watch the performance and prize giving and finally, I made my way to the carpark. Another event, another day for me. Though tired, I felt satisfied as this was a worthy cause for cancer.