Rock to Rock Run 2013 Race Report

Rock to Rock Run 2013

The Rock to Rock Run 2013 is a charity event with all the profits from this run donated to a local school, SJK(C) Permatang Tinggi, Bukit Mertajam, Penang. There were two run categories, the 3.8km Fun Run which my lady joined and the 10.2km Competitive Run which I joined. The fun run promise a mystery gift at the end of the line while the competitive run promises a medal. As I have not joined the previous 4 runs before, I didn’t know what to expect, except that there is also a best dress category and people go all out on this. The event only take 2200 participants and so right after the registration was open, I quickly registered for myself and family. Many of my office colleagues also joined and many were also disappointed because they procrastinated too long and the registration was closed.

The race pack collection was a week before the event and held in front of the Rock Shop Bungalow at the Hard Rock Hotel Penang. The race pack had only the Run Shirt, which is made by Brooks two tiny pins and a whole stack of sponsor adverts / discount vouchers. The shirt was a light weight polyester material and look great, it felt comfy and nice also, however, after the run, it was another story and I will talk about that more later.

We woke up early and only had little sleep the night before. All due to the race excitement and I myself wasn’t sleeping much. I’ve yet to overcome the race day excitement to get a good night rest. We arrived at about 6.00am and got a nice parking spot on the roadside opposite the hotel. The event site was still relatively quiet with the organisers still setting up and not many participants has arrived yet. We first collected our wristband. The organisers insisted the bib to be worn and has to be in front before giving out the wristband. My sister inlaw had the bib pin at the back of her shirt and she had to move it to the front before getting her wrist band. The uncle and aunties at the wrist band distribution centre was very ascertain to have the bib infront. I didn’t understand why at first, later at the finishing line I understood why. At the finishing line, the aunty had to write down the top 10 finisher bib numbers as they come in. She has to do it quick and imagine the stress where you have a few participants coming in at the same time. There was one runner with her bib moved to the back and the aunty was screaming at her for her bib number.

After collecting the wristband, there was nothing else to do but wait, stretch and move around the sponsor tents. Luckily I brought some money. We bought the Hard Rock Pink Umbrella and car sticker in support of Pinktober (Pink October Breast Cancer Month), a running short pants and shirt from Brooks booth for RM30 each. Right at 7am, the event gun of and 2200 runners flood the narrow and winding road. We ran on the road as if the road belongs to us, well, it was a closed road, so everyone just ran. I pity the other road users who had to wait for quite a while before the road re-opens.

Rock to Rock Run 2013

View from the Run

I log the run using two devices. On my left hand, my gps cycling computer Cateye Stealth 50 and on the right hand, my iphone 3gs with Strava Run app. I wanted to try out my cycling computer to see if I can export the gpx file after the run and import into Strava. It works great to my surprise. I did not expect the run route to be so hilly and I was telling my sister inlaw that this is an easy run for her. I was wrong and surprise as there was quite a few ascend and descend to the Butterfly Farm, which is the 5km mark and u-turn. My initial goal was to run non-stop to the 5km mark and so I push myself km by km navigating the narrow winding roads. I was pushing and waiting for the body to give way, it didn’t, well, not till the 7-8km mark where I really felt that I’ve ran out of energy. I was keeping the mind busy and not think of stopping. I came up with a nice quote. “You run till the body tells you to stop, not when the mind tells you to stop!” I was waiting for my muscle to give way or running out of breath. Both did not come, just my mind keep asking me to stop. It was a battle to conquer the mind.

There was a water station at the Butterfly farm, it was the only water station. I took a brief stop to down two cups of water before pushing on. At this point, my legs felt like jelly, especially right after I stop. I just push on with a combination of run walk run walk till I completed the race. An hour into the run, I was at the 7.7km point and the run back was not as pleasant as it started. The road was already open at this point and there were cars and buses smogering us while we try to complete the run. I was surprise that I maintain an average steady pace of 7.43/km and I manage to complete the run in 1hr 22 min.

Rock to Rock Run 2013

Fancy Dress Runners

Right after the run, we hang around the hotel car park taking free Milo, 100 Plus and bought some dehydrated crispy longan from Thailand. I met up with my work colleagues and cam whore a few photos with our company banner. As the heat start to take a toll on us, we went across the street malay stall for some roti canai and teh tarik. After a quick bite, we decided to go home and gave up our hope for winning the lucky draw. It was a good and enjoyable run and maybe next year, I will come with a costume to win the nice guitar medal… 

Other Runners Comments & Photos:


Thor’s Running Journey 

Penang Butterfly Farm

Rock to Rock Run Facebook (Loads of Photos)

Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2013

KL Marathon 2013 Goodie Bag

I did not initially plan to join this Marathon as it is located in Kuala Lumpur. Fate has it, Honda was giving away free slots for the Marathon and I decided to sign myself and the lady up for the 10k run. I found out later that it was the leisure run, which has the 2hr cut off time, it was fine for us as we did not train much for the event.

We arrived on Saturday evening and checked into the Frenz hotel. The Frenz hotel was very convenient as it was just a few hundred meters away from the event. Its like waking up to a marathon that starts from your back yard. That’s just how close and cool it was to stay there.

2013 KL Marathon

As in all sports events that we joined, the night before was mostly sleepless and when the time comes, we drag ourselves out of bed and got ready. The first thing we did was to hit the local Roti Canai shop and enjoy marathon runners watching. Those full, half and 10k Sprint runners have started wee hours in the morning, and are returning. What I was amaze was that we were at the end zone, but almost all the runners look fresh and they had a fast steady pace. If it was us, we would have been panting or crawling.

2013 KL Marathon

It was only 7.30am and the mood was filled with carnival. There were drummers everywhere providing a rhythmic trance like state. We took a right turn just before the finishing line and proceed to the 10k starting point, which was located at Tugu Kebangsaan. Sharp at8am, we started running. The crowd was huge and so, it was sometime before the human traffic started to ease. We semi jog and walk based on the lady’s pace. We completed the race a few minutes just before cutoff. I was proud of the lady as she manage to finish the event within the cut off time and earn a nice shining medal to remember this time by.

The heat was getting to the lady and we skip all the sponsors tent and headed straight to the hotel room for a nice cool recuperation and much needed rest before we adjourn to Madras Lane Yong Tau Foo for lunch. We went back to Penang straight after lunch.

Other blogs and photos of this event:

JamiePang Blog

Kia Kaha

Happy Feet

Twilight Zone

Ken Wooi 

Ipoh City Fun Ride 2013

The week after CFAL 5, Ipoh City had a 50km fun ride on Sept 15, 2013. This was an Ipoh City hall initiative with Mica as the appointed event manager. This 50km ride goes through the heart and all the scenic locations within and around the city. The event caught my eye as I figure 50km ride to be a challenge right after CFAL’s 82.8km ride the week before. Looking more into what the even had to offer, not only I sign myself up, I even sign my wife up together with my KL friends. The registration fee was only RM60, it comes with an event jersey, cycling sunglass and hand warmers for ladies.

Goodie Bag

When the goodie bag was collected, I was quite surprise on the freebies inside it. There was Old Town & Kaw Kaw White Coffee sachets, Meiji Yan Yan(my childhood favourite), salonplas, bovid vitamin C and a medicated balm sample. Of all the events that I have joined, this has the most stuff in the goodie bag, and this is what I call a real goodie bag, where the bag is just filled with goodies.

For this ride, me and the lady sign up and so I decided to take it slow with her. We depart Taiping wee hours in the morning and arrived at the venue 20minutes before flag off. Jeeves and his wife were also with us on this ride. I told them not to wait for us as we are taking it slow.

Ipoh Fun Ride

After the Mayor gave his short speech, the cyclist was flag off. VIPs (include officials, sponsors, international riders, eg. Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, etc and beauty queens) were all in front. The officials and sponsors cycle a two-three person tandem bike with a huge umbrella. It sure look funny and difficult to cycle as I see many of the cyclist on these bikes going left and right along a straight road.

Beauty Queen Ipoh Fun Ride

After making a short loop around the city, we arrived at the Seenivasagam Park next to the Kinta River. We were surprise as this was also a launch event for the the Kinta River Front which was nicely made up with stalls, LED light trees and nice huge pavements for joggers and cyclist.

Kinta River Front Ipoh Fun Ride

After a short launch ceremony, we continued to the Lost World of Tambun hotspring theme park. The weather was wonderful and the lady was doing a nice 18-20kmph speed. Best of all, she was enjoying the ride.

Medic Ipoh Fun Ride

An unfortunate event happen 14km into the ride. One part of the front tyre swell up like a ballon and exploded. Yes, no drama here, it really exploded and left an inch long hole. The lady stop with me and we started to walk as there is nothing we can do.

Exploded Tyre

A few minutes later, the Sweeper truck came and we hop on. There were a few kids on the truck with a puncture as well. After changing the spare, they try to inflate the tyre but couldn’t. Their foot pump had a hole in it as well and was not delivering air to the tyre.

Sweeper Truck

We just enjoyed and waved to cyclist for the rest of the truck ride to Lost World of Tambun. The tandem bikes and the beauty queens all went onto the sweeper truck to be transported back to the main event site. We were the first to arrive at the event site and missed the rest of the ride. Jeeves later described the ride to be one of the most beautiful ride he has been. You can also see some nice photos from the blogs below that I’ve found.

Ipoh City Fun Ride Event Site

At the event site, we first went to collect our food. There was Nasi Lemak, Ice Cream, Bun, Cookie, Tambun Biscuit and a bottle of water. The ice-cream was refreshing. The event site did not have many stalls and there were nothing much to do, except for chillin in the heat, yes at this point, the sun starts to peak out and the heat starts to becomes unbearable. We seek refuge below a small tree and pretty much stayed there till the even ended. There was a handful of bikes for lucky draw. I though that with only 2k participants, I should have a better luck, I guess not.


After the event, we went to have dim sum at Ming Court Dim Sum restaurant. It was already quite late, so the choices was not that much. Jeeves went back to KL directly and we went back to Taiping for a quick stop before continuing back to Penang and retire for the day. It was overall a fun day, it was unfortunate to have the tyre burst and felt not satisfied for not completing the ride. I later found out that one of the major reason was over inflate. I remembering inflating up to the max, maybe a little more than max. As the heat starts to warm up the road, the tyre also heats up and I guess it the pressure went over the max capacity and it exploded. A lesson well learnt. Looking forward to go back for this event again next year.

Other Blog Post on this event:

Siputeh Riders

Green Butts Gears


CFAL 5th Edition 2013

This is the 5ft time G-Club is organising CFAL and its my 3rd time participating in it. Last year, I finish the entire course in 4hrs 19m with the Fixie. While it is tempting to repeat it, I decided to take the Road Bike instead. I wanted to find out how fast I can finish the course and also look to improve the timing. All the excitement kept me up almost all night and as a result, I only manage to catch snippets of sleep. The adrenalin kicks in and by 6.10am, I was already at the starting line waiting for my friends.

CFAL 5 2013

Sharp at 7am, the Chief Minister flag off the three thousand riders and we started at a steady pace. The pace continue till we hit the Tun Dr. Lim Chong Eu Highway where I signal my friends to speed up to 30kmph. I was leading the pack and by the time we come to the Penang Bridge, I took a photo of my rear and to my surprise, they were not there. They were having a hard time to keep up due to their mountain bike smaller wheel set.  I slowed down a little and told them that I am going to push on to shoot for a record time and continue with the journey.

CFAL 5 2013

Coming into Queensbay, dark clouds was visible at the southern part of the island and I made a brief stop to pack all my electronics into plastic. Soon enough, when I arrived at Automotive Lighting, it started to rain. The rest of the journey were laced with spots of rain which felt refreshing and at one point, which is at the Teluk Bahang Dam area, where the rain is the heaviest, one start to challenge nature on weather this is the best It got.

CFAL 5 2013

At the hour mark, I arrived at Kampung Sungai Batu, which was ~26km from the starting point. This was just a couple of km before the first water point. I manage to grab the Red Bull and a couple of bananas from the first water station and pushes on. As I brought my own 100plus and water, I did not take more water from this station. This water station also mark the beginning of the Bukit Genting climb. From the water station, it was a slow ascend, about 1km on, the road bend right and the category 4 climb appears. The climb was only about 3km long, but the gradient is so steep that I had to stop and push the bike many rides previously. This time I stayed on the bike and paddle on with a steady pace of 9-10kph. I keep telling myself that the climb will be over soon, it felt like forever and as the road bend left and then right again, I could see the peak ahead, it was just another short 300m to go and I pushes on. Many stop at the peak taking a break or cigarette break, I just continue on and enjoy the fast and winding descend. I was reaching the speed of 52kph and I started to slow down as the road becomes narrower. We had to turn a hard left right at the bottom to go to Pulau Betong. This is the flattest and most straight stretch of the entire route. This is also where all the road bikes overtaking the mountain bikes with lower wheel size.

I was relaxing a little here and enjoyed the village and paddy field view. Before I know it, I arrived at the second water station. Here I took one can o f 100Plus, down it, got the can into the trash and moved on. At this point, there were some sun and the heat start to get to me. The cold 100Plus was refreshing. I arrived at Kampung Sg. Pinang 5 minutes ahead of my target time of 2hrs. This is the start of the second daunting climb, the Teluk Bahang Climb, which is 6km long. Last year when I arrived at this point, there was a guy holding a sign saying 6km climb ahead, my heart sank at that time. I knew what I was getting into this time round and was better prepared. Know what to expect, the climb still felt endlessly long. Similar to Bukit Genting climb, the pain is rewarded with beautiful scenery. As I was pushing for time, I only enjoyed the micro glimpse of the view. After the climb, the long descend was rewarding and equally dangerous. The road was slippery and many slip and fell.  At one point one support truck stopped in the middle of the road helping a cyclist who fell to load the bike into the truck. Me and a few cyclist lock our brakes and my rear tyre skidded right. Fortunately, I was in control and nothing happen. I had a fright of my life as I thought I would fall. I guess I need to learn to skid more.

Coming down to the Teluk Bahang Dam, the rain was the heaviest. By the time I reach Ferringhi, I was quite spent. I remembered I had some sultanas which I had prepared for the ride and I took them. It only manage to give me small burst of energy and I had to keep consuming it. It was awfully sweet, so taking a whole bunch of them was difficult. Nevertheless, the pack of sultanas took me to the finishing line. I finally clock 3.5hrs for the entire ride beating last year’s time. I was glad to see my wife waiting for me at the finishing line with the camera.

CFAL 5 2013

I collected my medal and look for a place to sit and rest. My friends later came in after the 4hr mark and the clouds was gone and the heat start to set in. The lucky draw started and the organisers had to make a last minute change where they call the names instead of numbers as many riders number flew off their bikes after the rain wet the paper stickers and made it soft. Through out the Southern part of the island, the road was filled with lucky draw numbers. I walk away empty handed this year. It was ok, as I had achieved my goals and enjoyed the entire ride. Kudos to G-Club for this event, I hope there will be another CFAL 6 next year.

CFAL 5 2013

CFAL 2013 Pack Collection

After one year of training and waiting, CFAL 2013 is right at the doorsteps. In less than 24hrs time, thousands of cyclist will throng the streets and be the traffic. I am as excited as ever. This year, with a road bike, I am looking to beat my last year’s performance. 

I arrived at the goodie bag collection early this year at 10.30. It was already quite crowded, but mostly from participants that hang around and test the jersey sizing. I collected my packs without having to queue like last year. So, it pays to be early. There was a few stalls from sponsors, Nich, a Thai bike custom company was displaying two of their bike models. They will be opening a branch in Penang soon. There was also the mytriathlonshop selling endurance sports essentials. QuickSport, another endurance specialist shop was also there. 

The Goodie Bag this year came in MaplePlace Restaurant sponsored red bag. In the bag, the Jersey, made by Ciclista, a nice bookmark, a GoGood granola bar, Deep Heating pain relieving cream, lucky draw number sticker, food coupon, medal coupon, Blackball discount coupon, Thule & PC Bike Shop Brochure and the Event Booklet. 

With this I am all set for tomorrow. Carbo loading tonight…