Monday, October 31, 2016

Four Years on...

Sigh... it's quite bad that I missed my own blog's anniversary. And here I was wondering why people were congratulating me on LinkedIn. 

But yes, it has been four years. It's my blog's fourth anniversary and of late, I have questioned and pondered the direction of my creative medium amongst other other things. 

Four year ago, I started this blog to allow me to continue writing as I used when I was a writer at a magazine. It was quite simple then, the content potential unhindered and unbound but eventually I realised things were changing.

Things have changed. I've changed and those changes reflects in the way I write and what I write about on this site. From general lifestyle to food and travel to its current status - fitness, OCR and travel oriented.

It has been a long journey but I finally found my passion, my niche. I've been blogging about OCR when it first landed in Malaysia with Viper Challenge leading the way. Alongside the growing OCR scene in Malaysia, I hope to see this site grow with it.

Happy Anniversary and Happy Halloween, blog. 


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ezbuy Malaysia: Taobao in English

In this day and age, online shopping is the way to go. Easy, hassle free and your boss won’t catch you running off to a mall for a new wardrobe now and then. We are literally spoiled for choice with sites like Zalora, Lazada and Taobao for us to shop on for our fashion and gadget fixes.

While I have shopped plenty on Zalora and Lazada, I have not purchased anything from Taobao for one simple yet significant reason….EVERYTHING IS IN CHINESE. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Southeast Asia's first Kit Kat Concept Store opens in Midvalley

I super love Kit Kat, especially those from Japan for their variety of flavours unique to the prefecture and season in Japan. Sakura match, hojicha, raspberry, cheesecake, red bean (not so much) and so on. I could go on and on about my favourite flavours but....oh wait I already did (link).

So when I heard that Midvalley was to house the first Kit Kat Concept Store in Southeast Asia, I was elated. Woohoo, odd, weird flavoured Kit Kat come to me!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Spartan Race Putrajaya 2016 - Sprint and Beast

The Kuala Lumpur leg of Spartan Race Malaysia concluded itself in a spectacular fashion with two back-to-back events, a Sprint and a Beast over one weekend. It was the final stretch for many pursuing their Trifecta, having completed their first ever Sprint event in October 2015 and the Super in March 2016.

Normally Trifectas are completed within a calendar year (Jan-Dec) but due to the requests of Asians who got their first taste of Spartan Race end of last year, Big Boss Joe DeSena made an exemption for the KL and Singapore Sprint and announced that it counted towards the 2016 Trifecta.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Indonesia: Tough Mudder Bali 2016

It was exciting news for OCR junkies in Malaysia to hear that Tough Mudder was finally coming to Asia, set to take place in beautiful Bali. And since Bali was sort of a part of Australia, it drew heaps of Aussies over as well. Malaysia and Australia weren't the only excited nations.

According to Coconut Bali, mudders from over 37 countries flew into Bali for what was deemed "probably the toughest event on the planet." For many, it was their first Tough Mudder. For a few other members of my team, the Mudder-in-Laws and myself, it was our second and third respectively. I had my eye on that blue headband and I wasn't going to let even a nagging hip pain and cramps get in my way.

The morning of the race, it was so humid. Imagine that. Our wave was 7:30am and we were already sweating. I loved that they brought down a few of the Australian Tough Mudder team to lead the warm up and especially the emcee who successfully got the crowd revved up. Tough Mudder always had the best pre-race routines where we had to incite the Tough Mudder code to look out for each other.

At 7:30am on the dot, we were released onto the course and off we went into the 13km course. I had heard the organisers had to shorten the route on account of the Bali heat. A wise decision I thought as heat stroke and dehydration were no joke. The heat and terrain also limited the types of obstacles they could bring to Bali.

However Tough Mudder does not fail to live up to its name as there was mud albeit not as much as Australia. But enough that everyone came away muddy at the first obstacle.

Of course, what was an obstacle race without wall obstacles? Tough Mudder was not without Skidmarked (slanted walls) and the Berlin walls. There were some obstacle that could be conquered alone like the Cage Crawl and the sand bag carry.

The infamous Artic Enema 2.0, a dread feature obstacle overseas was one to look forward to to combat the Bali heat. At least until we found our legs seizing up from the icy cold waters. What sorcery is this??

Still the nice cooling effects lasted about another kilometer before we came across the ever scenic Life is a Beach obstacle.

Which wasn't an obstacle but a photo backdrop....sighhhhh.

Quite a number of the obstacles were a disappointment as they were merely part of the terrain like the Gorilla Killer (which was actually a killer hike in the Melbourne Tough Mudder so that was legit), Bushwhacked, Stairway to Heaven and Cliffhanger. Like why....

Where Tough Mudder really excelled were their teamwork-oriented obstacles. The Pyramid Scheme and the ever iconic Everest 2.0 were my favourites because it basically forces everyone to work together.

Blockness Monster was a new obstacle for 2016 and one where we had to work with other racers. It also got us all nice and wet for the next and final obstacle........Electroshock Therapy.

Ah, what is Tough Mudder without Electroshock Therapy?

Also what is Tough Mudder without a cold bottle of beer and its orange headbands?

The first Tough Mudder in Asia clocked in 13km, the shortest TM I've done but on account of the blazing heat, it was a good call. As for the obstacles, well, let's just say the terrain should not be counted as obstacles. Loved the course though for its scenic views but wished there was more beach running and obstacles. 

Psst - I heard Jakarta is next on their list for a Tough Mudder Half and another full Tough Mudder for Bali next year. 

Ps: Sorry for the crappy action pics. They were taken with my iPhone 4s, securely protected in a waterproof bag. 

Pss - I missed my Olympus camera.... Olympus Malaysia, why you take so long to service my camera? It's been two months T_T

Thursday, October 6, 2016

How I prevent cramps

Cramps suck.

There is no denying that sudden seizing of your muscle into a tight knot in that one brief second is perhaps the worst pain you can experience in that moment. Unfortunately, some people are more prone to cramps than others.

I am one of those unfortunate souls. I even remember my first cramp. A 2km run followed by a round of waterpolo does not do wonders to your muscles...

However after many years of experimenting, I finally figured out a near cramp proof way of preventing cramps. Load the hell up on isotonic sport drinks a day or two before the race.

Isotonic sport drinks are a crucial part of my race preparation; long distance running and obstacle course racing wise. Two days before the race, I would load up on a bottle of isotonic drink and this has so far prevented me from getting a cramp as proven by my Kyoto Marathon and the numerous OCR races I have done this year. So far, cramp free to date.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

[Hokkaido 2016] Day 4 part 2 - Self Drive to Biei and Furano

I was lucky that my car came equipped with an easy-to-use GPS because without it, I would have been hopelessly lost in the countryside of Hokkaido. Forever doomed to wonder the roads in a rented Toyata Vitz with dysfunctional family in the passenger seats.... *Shudder*

We had many places to hit in Biei and Furano and so much driving to do and so little time.
1. Zerubu Hill
2. Mac OS X backdrop, less commonly known as Blue Pond
3. Shirahige Falls and Blue River
4. Shikisai no Oka
5. Tomita Farm 
6. Furano Cheese Factory

After my near encounter with a speeding ticket in part 1, we arrived at our first stop of the day, Zerubu Hill. Because it was still early in the season, the flowers weren't at full bloom so there wasn't much to see. However, it gave us a lovely view of the snow-capped mountains in the distance. Little did we know that we would be driving towards those snow-capped mountains and would be seeing plenty of them later on.