Monday, March 26, 2012

The Malaysian F1 GP 2012

The last time I was in Sepang for the Malaysian GP, they canceled the whole damn thing after a few laps. Yup, that was in 2009 when Jenson Button was declared the winner of the "twilight race" that saw heavy rain and dark skies stopping the race with a lot more laps to go. People booed and threw stuff everywhere in disgust; so no, that wasn't such a great day out.

I'd be lying if I said I was not worried about this year's race meeting with the same fate. The weather's been extremely erratic in this country off late, and while a little bit of rain would certainly make the race much more exciting, a mini hurricane would mean another total washout and unruly behaviour from the stands.

Whatever it was, armed with a Diamond Grandstand ticket courtesy of Petronas, and given to me by a colleague, I was pumped up for a good race. The 2012 season has shown that it won't be another Red Bull year and I'm more than ecstatic that the Ice Man Kimi Raikkonen is back on the grid.

My friends and I left USJ at around 1.30pm, but guess what? None of us had a parking sticker. No matter, I told my peeps, they usually sell it on race day after the roundabout near the Sepang mosque. But as it turned out, there's no such thing this time around. So we had to make one big round around the circuit and finally found a spot at Bay 14. From there, we took two shuttle buses up to the main grandstand.

I was also told that SIC had hired 3 "weather consultants" to make sure it was a dry race, but whaddyaknow, this was what greeted us when we got there!

I must say that it didn't feel as crowded in the mall area as compared to the few times I was there. A daily reported that the 3-day total attendance was close to 120k people, but I'm not sure if race day's attendance touched the 100k mark. It certainly didn't feel like it. 

And yes, as it took us a while just to find parking space, we were left with only a few minutes to roam around the mall area after getting in. My mission was simple: buy myself a Kimi Raikkonen merchandise. ANY type of merchandise. But I was told everything was sold out since yesterday! Boohoo.

Then I got to the stand, and as the cars were being prepped on the grid, I could feel raindrops falling on my spf30-protected skin. A few minutes later, full-blown rain came down. Bomoh schmomoh, huh?

I won't go too much into the race save to say that it was indeed a scintillating one, especially during the first part which saw drivers trying to figure out what sort of grip they had with some inevitably spinning.

And of course there was a sense of deja vu when the race was red-flagged after a mere 7 laps. That gave me a chance to go and get the free sandwich from Petronas and switch seats to the lower terrace, but the look of concern was written all over the faces of the spectators. I myself had to rely on twitter for updates, and when it was announced that the race would re-start at 5.15pm, I knew we didn't have to throw any tantrum this time around. Haha.

After the restart, Jenson Button got ahead of Hamilton but got bumped down again after an accident. Suddenly it was Alonso leading while Raikkonen was holding his own in 6th, and later on, 5th position. The surprise of the day was of course Sauber's Sergio Perez who came THIS close to winning it all, but his inexperience proved to be his undoing, and so he had to settle for 2nd while Alonso took the highest step on the podium. For the full report, click HERE .

It was close to 7pm when it ended, and the sights around the circuit was simply breathtaking.

Overall, a great day out at the race it was! But no, I won't go into the whole hell of going home with long queues for the shuttle buses and massive congestion for kms and kms. I'll just save the rant for another day....

Friday, March 23, 2012

Larian 40 Taman: Taman Jaya & Taman Tasik Shah Alam

A 2-in-1 post as I just couldn't find the time to update this last week. Well, the 9th Larian 40 Taman was held on the 10th of March at Taman Jaya in PJ. Here's the ironic bit about the location; I once worked right across the park a few years ago, but not once did I ever run or do anything sporty there. Maybe I thought about it, but that was all.

So it was still technically my first time there, a nice little park which is located right beside the very busy Federal Highway.

We had a pretty decent turnout that day comprising regulars and first-timers. Also present were reps from Tourism Selangor! These kind folks had been helping us to promote the run as well, especially on twitter (follow @TourismSelangor), so it was great to have them run with us!

For the full story on the run at Taman Jaya, do click HERE

And last Saturday, we hit a mini milestone of sorts. The 10th run was held at Taman Tasik Shah Alam! Yes, the 10th run! And I'm proud to share the stats so far: 10 runs, 200 participants, 30kms covered. So a special thanks go out to every one of you who has ran/walked with us!

We also started a new partnership with Alla Fonte, who sponsored the mineral water for all the runners that morning.

Not only that, for the first time too, we had a lucky draw where we gave away a shopping voucher worth RM50! Not much, but hey, we gotta start somewhere right? : )

For the full report on the Taman Tasik Shah Alam run, do click HERE

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Food, Glorious Food!: The Comeback Edition (Lazio, Mukha Cafe, Rebung & Asam Pedas Melaka)

OK OK, I know. Where are all the new food posts here, huh? Has this become an entirely running blog? Well, no way, I say! The truth is, they've not been many new places I've explored these past couple of months, and yes, I've been busy with the Larian 40 Taman project as well. But hey, let's get the ball rolling again, shall we?

First up is an Italian joint... in JB. Yes, indeed. The fact is, Johor is known for its local food in moderate settings, but there are a few good fancy establishments as well, including this one, Lazio Italian Restaurant & Cafe at Danga Bay.

We've been here before ages ago and I can tell you that this was where we had one of the best Fillet Mignons ever. Surprising eh?  And so, it was exactly the Fillet Mignon that we had on our minds on our second visit this past January. Unfortunately, it's no longer on the menu. Boo hoo. So we had the regular Italian staples...

The pizza and soup were pretty OK, nothing spectacular. And we also tried the steak...

Which turned out to be average as well. But Lazio is not really a lost cause. We enjoyed the ambience and the view over Danga Bay. Service was not bad as well : )

Up next is the new favourite amongst many of my peeps: Mukha Cafe in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (same row as Penang Village). It's an east meets west meets middle eastern concept here and is the chill joint of choice for those who work and/or live in the vicinity.

I've been here a few times, and I must say the food has remained consistently good, while the service has remained consistently so-so. Haha! My favourite? The steak sandwich, definitely. The beef is always nice and tender and the portion is just enough for a good meal. The sweet potato curls could get a tad oily sometimes though.

Fans of Johor food must be delighted by the inclusion of Kacal Pol (spelt here as "Fol") in the menu. Do order the additional egg as well to make it 100% authentic. We've also tried the lamb cutlets and big brekky (although the place doesn't open for breakfast), and they were all worth the RM.

But seriously, if you're at Mukha, it would be a grave mistake not to try their desserts.The dilemma I'm faced with every time would be, which one to choose?? The pavlova? Red velvet? Banoffee? You simply can't go wrong with any of these, my friends.

Meanwhile, if you're a fan of straight up Malay food, you can't go wrong with the weekend lunch buffet at Rebung, Bangsar. Yes, this is the one owned by celebrity chef, Chef Ismail. A friendly word of advice: Make sure you get there early cos 1. there's a lack of parking space around that area, 2. loads of other people will be there too!

As for the food, it's not an exaggeration to say that this was one of the best Malay buffets we've ever had. Everything tasted good and authentic. Apologies cos this was a few months back so I can't quite recall all the specific dishes, and the pics don't really do the food any justice. But I do remember trying almost everything and being impressed every time. The spread wasn't that excessive in terms of the choices but it definitely had the best of what Malay cuisine have to offer.

Also can't remember how much we paid per pax, but it was also worth every sen of our RM.

One more place to share for good Malay food, but this time I'm taking you guys down to Melaka. And as they say, "When in Melaka, eat asam pedas!" Hehe. But where exactly? Well, allow me to suggest the Pasar Borong at Batu Berendam. Yes, Pasar Borong. There's a whole row of makan stalls next to the pasar and most of them sell scrumptious, authentic Melaka asam pedas.

We picked the second stall from the far left, a favourite with our own peeps in Melaka. You can choose any type of asam pedas here, not just the normal fish or beef. And so, we ordered two different types, asam pedas tetel and asam pedas telur ikan.

Fuyooo, memang terangkat! That's about the best description I could give it. Of course you don't eat it just like that, as each set comes with rice, some vege, papadom and telur masin; the perfect combination! And it was pretty cheap too, less than RM10 per set.

So that's it folks for this "comeback edition". I've got loads more to share soon, so do stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

ntv7 Feel Good Run 2012

Indeed! The event that first got me to run returns this year, bigger and better -- the ntv7 Feel Good Run! Quite sad about missing the launch yesterday, but here's the press release...


A long-distance running event that is usually run as a road race is called the “marathon”. What then do you call a run that lets you sweat and have fun, while doing charity AND running alongside your favourite celebrities? As surreal as it may sound, ntv7 made it all possible a year ago with the inauguration of Feel Good Run. Returning for a second year in 2012, the one and only Feel Good Run continues its pledge in bringing the “feel good” factor to all participating runners.

The fun run which attracted amazing numbers in its first year including over 5,000 runners and close to 10,000 visitors, and raised more than RM140,000 for its beneficiaries, will be doing it all over again this year in Sri Pentas, Bandar Utama on 8th July, Sunday.

The mastermind behind this amazing effort is none other than Ms. Airin Zainul, Group General Manager of ntv7 & 8TV. Being an avid runner herself, Airin envisioned a platform which could cultivate healthy lifestyle amongst Malaysians, while encouraging the act of giving to those who are less fortunate. “We are truly grateful to the support given by the public in the first year where we took a leap of faith in organising this fun run. We were overjoyed when runners thank us for making their day a “feel good day” – that’s the kind of feeling which we get that’s priceless,” says Airin.

Coming in as main sponsors for Feel Good Run 2012 are world’s leading cat and dog food – WHISKAS and PEDIGREE – both of which are brands under MARS, world’s renowned petcare, chocolate, confection, food & drink company.

We take pride in being a responsible organisation so when the opportunity came for us to support an initiative that will eventually benefit PAWS Animal Welfare Society Malaysia amongst others, we did not hesitate to participate. As a leading global food company, Mars is committed to addressing health and wellness issues and promoting healthy lifestyles. And events like Feel Good Run by ntv7 is definitely in line with this commitment,” says Ms. Ng See Meng, Marketing Director of MARS Southeast Asia.

“As the main sponsor, we will be driving communication efforts to maximize exposure of the Feel Good Run 2012 and ultimately the beneficiaries of the initiative,” she added.

With Twenty First Century Sports being appointed again as the Run Management, Feel Good Run 2012 offers the following categories:
  • Feel Good Run – 7km, aged 13 and above
  • Run with Celebrities – 3km, aged 13 and above
  • Costume Fun Run –  3km, aged 13 and above
  • Kids Run – 700m, aged 12 and below

The Organising Committee has also came out with a tagline this year – Do Good, Feel Good! – created to inspire the public to have a big heart for those in need, which not only include humans, but also animals with proceeds to be channeled equally to four participating beneficiaries – Kiwanis Down Syndrome Foundation, Pure Life Society, PAWS Animal Welfare Society Malaysia, and Yayasan Chow Kit.

Pet lovers will also be thrilled to know that there will be something special for the animals too. Feel Good Run will be introducing a unique platform for pet lovers to run with their pets on special circuit. Stay tune for more details from the Organiser.

Meanwhile, registration is open from 21st March and closes on 1st June with registration fees of RM25 for participants aged 13 and above and RM10 for those aged 12 years and below. Registration can be done online at Feel Good Run’s official website,, while manual registrations can be done at the following:
  • Federal Territory Amateur Athletic Association (FTAAA), Level 2C, Multipurpose Hall, Wisma OCM, Jalan Hang Jebat 50150, Kuala Lumpur
  • Twenty First Century Sports (M) Sdn Bhd, No 51 Jln SS 18/6, 47500 Subang Jaya

Interested participants can also email their enquiries to or call 03-56373821 for more information.

Also deemed as the nation’s most prestigious celebrity running event with over 70 participating celebrities last year including Nazrudin Rahman, Aishah Sinclair, Jehan Miskin, Jaclyn Victor, Dynas Mokhtar, Leslie Chai, and Debbie Goh, Feel Good Run 2012 will once again be enlivened with the participation of a host of beloved entertainment and media personalities. Joining the press conference today to witness the launch of Feel Good Run 2012 are ntv7 hosts and news anchors, Nazrudin Rahman, Joanne de Rozario, Daphne Iking, Melissa Ong, and Fazilah Hani Harun; 8TV host, Julie Woon; Hot FM radio announcers, Suraya and Deen; Fly FM radio announcers, Phat Fabes and Ben; and one FM radio announcers, William and Wayne. The full list of 2012’s participating celebrities will only be announced by the Organiser in early May.

While Airin admits that the planning and execution of a mass run as this is as hard as running a TV station, she also assures runners that Feel Good Run 2012 will be a unique and exciting run to look forward to. “No run out there has what Feel Good Run is offering. First timers will be able to enjoy the short 3km run, while experienced runners could take on the 7km route as a recovery run after and before other marathons. What’s more exciting, runners will also get a rare opportunity to run alongside their favourite celebrities. And for those who wish to express themselves creatively could also sign up for the Costume Run, while doing charity at the same time,” Airin adds.

“We strongly urge participation from the public as well as corporations to support this initiative,” she concludes.

Joining forces to make the event a success are running partners from Hot FM, Fly FM, one FM, New Straits Times, Berita Harian, and Health Today. For more information on the run, log on to

The inaugural Feel Good Run is organised in conjunction with ntv7’s 13th anniversary and aims to spread joy among friends and family while having fun and getting healthy. The TV station will also be celebrating its 14th anniversary this year with Feel Good Run 2012.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Brooks Half Marathon 2012

The last competitive run before Sunday's Brooks Half Marathon 2012 was more than a month and a half ago and I was looking forward to this one. Well, until someone pointed out how hilly this route was gonna be. Haha. I mean, the last two runs (Newton New Year Challenge & the Mizuno Wave Run), were the same so I was hoping for a flat route to negotiate a personal best.

Left home at around 5.30am and got there in 5mins. BUT parking proved to be a problem. Half of the huge main car park was closed for some kind of event, and by the time I got there, the other half was already almost full. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts to still make an entry there, I had no choice but to park on the elevated divider. By that time, it was 10mins before the 10km run was gonna be flagged off!

I jogged into the stadium and used whatever time that was left to warmup. Must say that it was pretty awesome that we were going to start on the Stadium Nasional's running track. Don't think I'd ever been on the track there before.

As usual, I started from the back and it took a few minutes to get past the Start line.

The first few kms were pretty good for me, actually. My pace was consistent and there were no problems with the route. Well, save for some parts being rather narrow and some impatient motorists were basically harrassing the runners with persistent honking.

The first water station came after 4km, and after that point, the inclines came. Teruk jugaklah nak mendaki bukit. Haha. After a couple more hilly stretches to negotiate, I knew a personal best time was well out the window.

The worst part was the last 2kms when the bukit showed us no mercy. But with the stadium in sight, I just used up whatever will power was left as I felt cramps on my right calf, no thanks to the express warmup.

We got into the stadium and did one round of the track before crossing the Finish line. What a relief!

For a big stadium, the dispersel of runners wasn't that great. There was a long queue for the water and medal, and we had to go through the seats and narrow lanes to get to the taufu fah and watermelon (highlight of the day!).

And oh, we actually did 11+kms instead of 10. Personally, I could have, and should have done better. Ah well, on to the next run!


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