Prior to my retirement from PACM, other than my work,
my focus was very much on leading PACM. In other words
I now have more brain compartment to deploy, to think
about the future, how I am going to live my years to
come in a meaningful manner.
Realistically, an average Malaysian would have 15 good
years to do something they love to do after turning
50. Beyond 65, it would have been bonus years if you
still have an able body. Therefore it is important that
we make full use of this period to add meaning to our
second life, life after the conclusion of your first
life in your chosen career or profession. I have decided
that My Second Life is very family/friends centric and
I have to make full use of this period of time to guide
my teenage kids into adulthood. I will also contribute
back to society by sharing my experience accumulated
over the last 30 years. One of the websites that I go
to in my research is www.yoursecondlife.org
and I have been sharing this web address with my friends
who are approaching retirement. Another good website
to go to is www.aarp.org,
the website of American Association of Retired Persons.
We need to plan in advance for our second life just
like when we plan our career when we first join the
workforce. While this is not a retirement website, senior
runners would agree that running still can fit in very
well into our life and have lots of fun pursuing it.
The secret is to pace yourself, listen to your body
and don’t get injured.
My Senior Veteran Running Group.
|Since my retirement
from PACM in March 2005, I have been socializing
with a small group of PACM members that I used to
service personally as we all run in the morning
at Bukit Aman Car-park. They are Chai Weng Moon,
Dr. Tan Tah Ming, Ngae Koh Hieng, Bruce Wun and
Chua Keng Huat. As most of us are no longer very
competitive in our runs except for Ngae, we make
it a little more interesting with a handicap system
with side bets thrown in. The incentive is a good
lunch somewhere on Saturday once a month. I suppose
this is a great way to keep us motivated in these
events, run, have fun, go holidays and have a good
lunch. All six of us are rather different in our
approach to running, Ngae, Dr. Tan and Bruce take
things to the extreme, still doing ironman, triathlons
and marathons. Ngae and Dr. Tan are doing the Sahara
Extreme Marathon this coming March. You can read
about their intention, their charitable effort for
Hospis in the PACM
The Senior Veteran Runners enjoying
their roast goose lunch at Imbi Chinese Food Village
to usher the new year
Bruce is still trying to run as many marathons as he
could. Chai and I are more sober, we stick to a given
routine of 30km a week over 5 mornings. We intend to
keep fit and stay injury free. Our maximum is 21km (half
marathon), about 5 half marathons in a year. Chua does
irregular training but would come for certain races.
Somehow we gel together with the common passion for
running, good company and good food once a while. We
started the year with a celebration lunch at the Chinese
Food Village at Imbi Area for a roast goose lunch, compliment
of Bruce for losing his bet with Dr. Tan at the Standard
Chartered Singapore Marathon. Bruce gave a 2 hours handicap
and lost. Through these regular lunches, we discover
quite a few good eating places through Dr. Tan and Chua.
The best we have been so far is at Langat Seafood And
Beer Garden, Lot 100, Jalan Sungei Sop, Batu 14, Pekan
Hulu Langat, Selangor. (Tel:03-9021 7215/6, 019-228
6037). Well this column could well develop into a Where
to Eat Column over time!
Beginners’ Program Revisited
This program was started on 6th May 2006 to help individuals
who wish to run get started and motivated. It was loosely
based on the Beginners’ Program by the New York Road
Runners, the largest road runners club in the world
with 40,000 members. After running the program for 8
months, we have a small following from individuals who
wish to run. There is some disappointment when some
gave up easily and stop turning up. We have a few successes
and they went on even to share their stories in our
Wan leading the stretching session at a recent Beginner's
The adidas Footscan session in progress
I do sometimes question myself as to whether we
could sustain this program, given that only two
of us are pushing it. During these 8 months, I have
to lead it alone on certain Saturdays as Jamie was
preparing to welcome another child to his family
in January 2007. On certain Saturdays, the turn
out was pretty bad and it did discouraged me a little.
My good friend, Chong Ting Chow stood by the program
and gave his full support week after week. The program
got more consistency in December 2006 when we started
to get a core group in Chong Ting Chow, Ivy Lim,
Audrey, Patricia Limbang, Azleen, Peter Kuan, Alvin
Kuan, Din, Siew Kee, David, Kim and Rizal as regulars.
The turnout on 13th January 2007 was by far the
best record as we have nearly 20 turning up.
Jamie and I were very motivated with such a large group.
Ng Wei Loon from the Star who wrote
a feature when the website was launched in March
2006 was around to cover this program. We hope with
this news feature in the Star, the response will get
even better and more sustainable. adidas who was around
that morning to carry their routine feet profiling was
equally enthusiastic about it. Krishnan Karuppan, Head
of Running, adidas is very keen to have adidas to support
it. Hopefully with adidas involvement, we could take
this program to a higher level. It is our wish to see
such a program being initiated in every park in the
country. The program is simple and it is proven that
even an elderly person (at 50), not running previously
for most part of his adult life could get into the program
and became a converted “runner”. Perhaps the program
is too simple for people to give it a serious thought.
A number of callers actually asked me how much we charge
and were still skeptical when we told them we are doing
it as a community service in a small way. We hope more
media coverage would give a clear message that there
are ordinary folks like us who are prepared to do something
for free. I believe our greatest satisfaction is that
we are able to change the life of a few individuals
who will now lead a healthier life. Chong has admitted
that he seldom fall sick after started running. We even
discover a fine gem like Kim who has exceeded all my
expectation as a new runner. (story on her first 20km
is in the following section on the Their First 20km).
Great Eastern Pacesetters 30km 2007
Last year I was the Race Director of the event, a very
challenging event to organize, considering the logistics
and details involved. The duration of the event is 4.5
hours on the road and safety became a prime concern.
On the eve of the event, I came by to lend support to
my wife, Clara who is the secretary to Kiwanis Club
KL. Kiwanis was provided a tent by PACM to promote awareness
to their activities. This is sort of a warm up exposure
to the coming New Balance Pacesetters 15km 2007; incorporating
the Pacesetters Kiwanis Charity Fun Run. The weather
was rather unkind on Saturday, it rained twice, once
in the afternoon and once in the evening. I could appreciate
how tough is it to work under those circumstances, having
brazed the rain when we did the Mizuno Wave Run in 2005
at Padang Merbuk.
I can see that things are very organized with many individuals
carried out the same role that they used to do; example
Law Lai Huat setting up the Event Backdrop and Finishers’
Gate. I did feel a little left out as I was not doing
anything, except getting the Kiwanis people introduced.
On the other hand I can see that the management structure
I started in event management is more or less intact with
further improvements on certain processes like the preparation
of Powerbar Endurance Drinks. I can say that the PACM
can match any road event organizer in the country. Many
runners actually think that we are the best, given that
we always have the runners in mind in almost everything
we do. The results speak for itself as we have a mark
increase in the registration to over 1,400. Many of the
runners are repeat customers! Well done! Munning and team,
you have made it worth the while for us to compete in
such a tough road event.
fruits and fruits - always a key feature in Pacesetters'
All the winners from each category. On the left
is PACM president, Munning Jamaluddin
Sunny Lee & Angie from the Kiwanis Club of KL
This year, the event gets very little pre-event publicity.
Notwithstanding that, the registration went up strongly
towards December 2006 and it crossed 1,400 by closing
date, a marked improvement over 901 recorded in 2006.
The ratio of 30km to 20km runners is 60/40. When we
first started this event, we have the developmental
role in mind; to increase the base of the longer distance
runners to feed the local marathon. I believe we are
achieving the objective and we hope the PACM could continue
with their commitment and the sponsors continue to support
Their First 20km Race
This year my participation as a runner in the
GE30km has added meaning, first I am able to migrate
from Race Director to a runner in the 20km category.
To make my participation meaningful, I am guiding
two young runners, 16 year old Joseph Cheah and
Teh Seok Im (Kim as we call her). I first ran
with Joseph about two months ago when his mother
first brought him to run with us on Sunday. He
is eager to take part in some run but there was
no event available then.
Kim pacing Wan stride for stride as per race strategy
for the first 15km
I was asked whether he should sign
up for the GE30km, I thought it may be too soon
as I always feel, younger runners should take
their time before going for distance events such
as a 20km. Somehow he decided to go ahead and
signed up for the 20km on the same day I signed
up. One Sunday before the event, he asked me to
show him the route but I was not doing 20km the
week before a 20km race. I asked him to join Kim
and I for the 15km practice instead. Kim is a
new comer to running, started about 5 months ago
on her own as part of her employer’s Staff Wellness
Program, a program to encourage the staff to challenge
themselves to get fitter and healthier.
Joseph Cheah finishing his first 20km race in
sub 1hr 50mins
Kim racing towards her first 20km finishing
Wan in full concentration, pushing towards the
After running on her own for a few months, she
joined our Beginners’ Program on 2nd December
2006, the Saturday that I went to Singapore for
the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. I met
her in the middle of December 2006 and found that
she is very fit for someone who has started running
for just a few months. I invited her to join me
for a 10km run on the Double Hill Route on Sunday
and she did. She passed with flying colors even
though she had not done any 10km event before.
I suggested that she may want to try the GE30km,
the 20km version and she thought for a moment
and did sign up for the run and as a member of
PACM. I must qualify myself here as I normally
do not encourage any new runners to do too much
too soon, a statement that was drummed in by Dr.
William Chan. After having convinced Kim to try
a 20km race, I am obligated to guide her through.
I told her to join me for the next 3 Sundays for
the long run, one more 10km, then two 15kms and
we are ready. Kim was extremely disciplined and
punctual on the next three Sundays, we did the
first 15km in 1hr 30mins and the next week, we
did 1 hr 29 mins. I knew she is ready and she
has the capability to finish ahead of me. I dictated
to her a race plan, meet me at 6.15am at the check-in,
follow my pace for the first 15km, we should clocked
1hr 30mins at the 15km mark.
At the 15km mark, see how you feel, if you feel
good, leave me behind, run your own race to finish
sub 2 hours. She followed my instruction and she
did 1 hr 52 mins 4 secs, placed 9th in the women
category, a great achievement for a first timer.
Joseph found our pace a little too slow right
from the start and went on his own pace. I can
see him from a distance and saw that he was pacing
himself fine till, he disappeared from my sight.
Joseph finished in an incredible 1hr 40mins 27
secs to place 18th. I completed in 1hr 54 mins
58 secs, placed 63rd and I am extremely satisfied
with my results. After the run, I got Clara to
take a nice picture of 3 of us with our medals,
a picture we cherish for our effort. My little
project is done and I look forward to be able
to guide them in more ways. Needless to say, I
feel great about the event.
The police did a fabulous job at the Jalan Duta
crossing, my main safety concern as the Race Director
last year. It feels so great to be able to run
at the club event for the first time (Mizuno Wave
Run 2006 which I took part is not considered a
The next big event is the Ambank Kuala Lumpur International
Marathon on 18th March 2007. I have to give the
Xiamen Marathon on 31st March 2007 a miss as my
wife is unable to take leave during that period.
Never mind, I do it in 2008. Chong Him Shoong, president
of Ipoh Road Runners told me that they have fixed
18th November 2007 for their annual run. This year
they are doing both the 21km and 10km at a different
venue. I look forward to that as well. During the
Ambank KL Marathon, we would be helping Kiwanis
to promote their Charity Run. I write a little more
on this in my next article.
Kim, Wan & Joseph Cheah with their medals after
Wan Yew Leong
31 January 2007