Just when you think you can’t get enough of hilly routes…

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His & Hers – Me in Ultra Top while our 2:10 pacer is in Luke Top

When Sis Eliza (founder of Nashata.com) asked me if I would like to join Men’s Health Women’s Health (MHWH) Night Run 2017, I said YES in a heartbeat. I joined the 12km category this time, compared to 21km at the Johor edition because I had plans to run PJ Half Marathon the following morning (Kids, don’t try this back-to-back event thingy at home!) but however, that plan did not materialize because I had a family event.

This is not my first MHWH event. I have been a fan of this event since 2015, and it has expanded ever since. Why MHWH Night Run is one of my favourite running event:

  • Generous contests and giveaway. AIA Vitality and MHWH chanelled plenty of free slots through various groups and organizations, and luckily Nashata was one of them.
  • Exhibition seem to be one of the highlight of the event. Plenty of lounging spots for supporters to just chill and enjoy the night. There were plenty of food trucks too
  • I love the fun, party-like vibe to the event. Meriah!
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Pacers need to fuel up too! Image courtesy of Kyserun Krew

I had no ambitions to renew my personal best (PB) once the organizers announced that they changed the venue to MARDI Maeps. I had experiences running there previously, and it is known for the rolling hills compared to their original route at Putrajaya. Hence, my aim was to just keep going and don’t give in the the hills – just run to enjoy the view, and that’s precisely what I did.

For example:

Enjoying the view #1

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I did not detour to see what they had inside, but the cute statues did catch my eyes

Enjoying the view #2

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The half marathoners had to go in a loop twice, hence this screen was very useful to keep count if they have completed the second loop

And the rest was too dark to be captured. I knew MARDI Maeps has some pretty calming countryside views in the day; you can see horses running around and some cows grazing. However since it was night time and insufficient lighting even the roads became hard to see. Oh well, at least I can’t properly see the rolling hills ahead of me until I started to ascend it.

When I reached the finishing line at around 10pm the crowd was still buzzing and there was no signs of slowing down. We tried several food trucks however I was already exhausted from running, I did not walk around the exhibition area. Eventually, it was time to go back. I went home with a full belly and only good memories about this event, and hope to run for another MHWH event again in the future.

Ending the night by bumping into a familiar face

Ending the night by bumping into a familiar face

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An event will be incomplete without a group photo with them

City Spin & Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2017

Diversity is beautiful – everyone is unique, yet we should celebrate the difference. Due to it’s immense popularity, history, and significance, SCKLM 2017 is one of the highlights for most runners. Never have I ever seen a running event which brings thousands of people from various background, fitness level, and goals! The beauty of diversity among runners was highlighted and deeply appreciated both before and during the event.

Before The Big Day

My running group, Kyserun Krew, organized a friendly, fun run called City Spin 2017. It was a short 4.5K run around KLCC and Jalan Ampang, giving runners a quick tour of KL and what to anticipate for tomorrow’s event. Everyone had a good time, taking photos of the iconic buildings and landmarks in the city. Thankfully, the morning rain was starting to subside so the weather was good too!

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Besides shaking out the butterflies in your stomach before the big day and to stretch out those legs, the main aim of this event was to gather various running crews through out Malaysia, as well as welcome those who came from abroad such as Indonesia, Korea, and other countries. After all, what better way to break the ice among runners other than to run? Every running crew might have different principles and culture, yet united by the same, common love for running.

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All photo credit belongs to Syahiran of Kyserun Krew. Thank you!

On the Big Day

At 4 in the morning, I found myself catching the train among a sea of blue sleeveless tops. I was glad that I will be able to arrive early and not worry about parking at the event venue. On the train, I can hear different conversations; some were really serious yet confident, discussing about their strategies and training for the past few months, while others were nervous, excited, or sleepy. Yet, everyone had a single goal in mind: To complete SCKLM, in whatever distance that they chose.

Never have I ever seen so many runners congregate in a single location, except at SCKLM events! Besides runners, the crowd was overwhelming; the streets were packed with not only runners, but supporters, curious on-lookers, and security enforcers too. SCKLM has turned into an event that should be celebrated and inclusive to everyone. To overcome the massive crowd, take advantage of the facilities that the organizer have provided for this event, such as the free train service (my favorite part of the event), bag drop (pack everything that you need, it’s going to be a loooong day), and freebies from the sponsors. Most importantly, come early and prepared, at least 45 mins before your starting to time so you are not rushed to go to the bag drop counter, do your pre-race rituals, and get into the correct starting pen.

Year after year, SCKLM has been a good and memorable experience for me. What I love most about it was not the route or the medal, but the high spirit and energy through out the event. Every runner will feel like a winner! Without a doubt, I will definitely be back again for more next year.

A familiar face that requires no introduction

A familiar face that requires no introduction

One with my Krew!

One with my Krew!

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Thanks to Nashata’s Iman Hijab range, you can now match your hijab with your bib number too!

Read about last year’s SCKLM 2016 experience here

Until next week,

The Weekend Runner

Monochrome Sportswear – Sharp for the Modest

Monochrome is not black and white. It is not grey either. Monochrome is use of shades of a single color and it is the foundation of our designs first half of 2017.

MONOCHROMATIC SPORTSWEAR

We use shades of maroon, blue, turquoise, beige and black in our recent collection. We also apply some traditional flair into our designs with the Kebaya Sports. Yes, we just love adding hints of cultural elements into sportswear, just like the Pesaque in 2016. The shades of one color gives soft touch to sportswear.

Monochrome Nashata Kebaya Sports

Monochrome Nashata Kebaya Sports in Turquoise & Maroon

The kebaya sports are monochrome, long and modest, making it suitable for all body types and dressing preferences. After testing for many months in many runs, we released it in 2 colors ; maroon and turquoise. This is to suit the young and gold hearts of kebaya lovers.

EXQUISITE MONOCHROME FABRICS

We use different types of breathable fabrics – all lightweight with different textures. From monochrome tops, hijabs and pants, we apply monochromatic design philosophy with use of intricate fabric texture and patterns from head to toe. It is actually quite FUN and CHALLENGING.

Pattern Fabric Kebaya Sports

Intricate and Different Textures in Kebaya Sports

Monochrome Hot Pink Hooda Racerback Fabric : Smooth & Wafer-like Combination

Smooth & Wafer-like Combination Texture on  Hooda Racerback  Sports Hijab – the Limited Edition

SIMPLE YET SHARP – Is what you need for training and working out. Sometimes, you just want to wear something that does not attract attention but feels so good working out in. That is why we focus on using high quality and lightweight fabric. The Hoodie Top below for example is so lightweight that you could run swiftly in stealth mode, without being noticed.

Monochrome Hoodie

The Monochrome Hoodie – Stripey & Sporty

DIFFERENT COLORS of MONOCHROME IN ACTION!

The less contrast, the better. Reveal your sportiness with your character and activities. Improve performance and elevate confidence. Not convinced yet? Scroll further.

Runnning Monochrome @ Raub Village

Runnning  21km in Monochrome @ Raub Village – Finished Second! Intan wears the Hooda Racerback Sports Hijab, Tron Ultra Top and Fitness Leggings by Nashata

Same Tone Nashata Ulttra Top & Hooda Racerback Sports Hijab - the limited edition

Same Tone  Gives her More Confidence. She wears Blue Hoodie Ultra Top & Hooda Racerback Sports Hijab (Navy) – the Limited Edition by Nashata

Running in Kebaya Sports

Running 7km on a windy day in  Turquoise EZ Tazz Sports Hijab, Kebaya Sports and Riada Pants by Nashata

MONOCHROME can be BRIGHT!

Don’t forget! You can still wear bright colors in monochromatic outfits. You can try shades of hot pink, green and turquoise. Monochrome is just subtle, yet sharp.  It is beyond black and white and you can look Simple, Sporty and Stylish – just what a modest lady needs!

 

Which Mom are you? Stylo, Super or Spiritual?

Everyday is a Mother’s Day. Despite of that, let’s Rejoice Motherhood this 14th May when family members come together to celebrate motherhood. You can treat your mom, spend time with other mothers, or you can treat yourself.

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Free Mother’s Day Card

MOTHER’S DAY CARD

As much as we love to reduce use of paper, don’t you just LOVE it when you receive a card or postcard from someone in your mailbox? That is why, this year we are offering FREE Mother’s Day cards for all our customers. You can add a personal note on this glittery card if you wish. The A6 size postcard has a silhouette of a lady in hijab with caption “MOM, You are my Queen”. You can also send the digital version to all moms.

2. What can you get for MOMS?

What you wear is a expression of who you are. Here are the many styles of beautiful moms you can choose from: Supermom, Stylo Mom, Spiritual Mom.

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  1. STYLO-MOMS

    Stylo-moms are trendy, up-to-date and looks youthful at all times.

    Hoodies

    We have got many hoodie styles : Our best-selling hoodie is the Stripey Smokey Hoodie – it is so lightweight that you can wear it for a run in a humid weather. The LATEST is the hooded cardigan.

    Nashata Hooded Cardigan, Stripey Hoodie, Riada Hoodie

    Nashata Hooded Cardigan, Stripey Hoodie, Riada Hoodie: Price Range RM89 – RM159

    What about traditionally stylo?

    Nashata Kebaya Sports

    NEW Nashata Kebaya Sports RM99

    Hooda Racerback Sports Hijab, Raazglove & Amin Extended Hijab

    Sports hijabs that are bright, fashionable and practical are suitable for stylo-moms. The Nashata Hooda Racerback would make one stand out in the crowd – as the sporty hijabi trend-setter!

    Nashata Hooda Racerback Sports Hijab, Raazglove and Amin Extended

    Nashata Hooda Racerback Sports Hijab, Raazglove and Amin Extended : Price Range : RM19 – RM89

    Sweatpants & Leggings

    Monochrome prints with unique designs, be it tight or loose are simply elegant. Our leggings are designed to make you legs slimmer and the sweatpants make you look good while working out, even on lazy days!

    Nashata Leggings and Sweatpants

    Nashata Leggings and Sweatpants. Price Range : RM79 – RM99

  2. SUPER-MOMS

    The ultra tops are made for super-moms who work, cook, nursing, clean, drive around and always need to be on their toes; on the go. Sounds like a stressful role to be in, but when they are geared-up, supermoms in today’s era look simply fabulous! High quality fabric that is anti-odor, fast drying and lightweight keeps supermom comfy and jiffy at all times.

    Nashata Heather ULtra & Zip Up Azeeza

    Nashata Heather ULtra & Zip Up Azeeza : RM129 – RM149

    The riada active pants offers you casual flair and practical use. That is why many super-moms love them. You can dress up in riada pants the whole day at work and while working out and no one would notice the difference.

    Nashata Riada Pants and Skirt Pants

    Nashata Riada Pants and Skirt Pants : RM99 – RM189

    Raazbelt is something useful for supermoms. It gives extra hidden pockets around the waist, keeping important items secure with hands free!

  3. SPIRITUAL-MOMS

    Age is just a number and spiritual moms can be as young as early 20s. They prefer something long, loose, comfortable and do not stand out.

    Nashata Riada Nahl

    Nashata Riada Nahl : RM89

    The Riada Pesaque, Riada Peplum and Riada Nahl range are available for RM89. Wear them with Nashata Riada Pants for modest yet sporty look.

    Spiritual Moms

    Riada Peplum : RM89

    riada pesaque

    Riada Pesaque : RM89

    The mumtaz sports hijab is the most sought after hijabs among all – it is long, made of lightweight fabric and so simple that it goes with any tops.

Nashata Mumtaz Sports Hijab

Nashata Mumtaz Sports Hijab – sporty hijabi’s favourite! RM79

RM30 is approximately SD10 and USD7. We ship to Asean countries for RM35 only and it takes 1-2 working days to reach you.

Have a splendid Mother’s Day!

 

Running the Tokyo Marathon

Well, my Tokyo Marathon journey has come to an end. It’s been almost a week since I, along with 36,000 other runners from all over the world, braved the cold weather and harsh winds and ran the streets of Tokyo. And I’m still on a runner’s high!

I had traveled to Tokyo with my new runner friend, Iman, who was introduced to me by another runner friend, Melisa. In fact, the first time we met face-to-face was at the airport, LOL! But, this is what I love about the running community. With our love for running as our common denominator, we immediately clicked and had a great time exploring Tokyo together.

Once we had landed in Tokyo, our first area of business was to pick up our bibs and running packs at the Expo. After buying our Subway tickets and getting directions from the super friendly people at the Tourist Information Center, we were on our way to the Expo at Tokyo Big Sight. There were hundreds of runners there but the system set up was so efficient, we had our bibs, timing chips, race t-shirts and goodie bags in record time.

IMG-20170224-WA0011 (1)The day of the race was nerve wrecking to say the least. The race didn’t start until 9:10am but we were advised to arrive early as the security clearance and baggage drop-off process would take a while. In the end, we headed out from our Airbnb around 7am, with sufficient time to make it to the starting area, drop off our baggage, hydrate and make the ever important bathroom stop. The gates to the different starting pens opened at about 8:15am so it was here that I separated with the other Malaysian runners (they were in the quicker pace group).

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What I wore for the race: Riada Active Pants, Zip Up Azeeza Lite top, Hooda Racerback hijab with two Raazgloves (One underneath my hijab for added coverage and another as a neck warmer/face cover). All available from Nashata. I also wore and inner top ad inner pants for added warmth, compression socks and gloves.

IMG_20170226_085945  The 5:30 pacers in front of us, calmly waiting for the go ahead signal.

At 9:10am sharp, we heard the gun go off for the elite runners category. About 10 minutes later, we were released into the wave of runners heading towards the starting mat. We passed it 10 minutes later, which made it the longest delay to the starting mat after flagoff I’ve ever had. However, once we all started running, it was all good.

We started from the Shinjuku area, near the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building. Sidenote: Instead of paying to get a birds-eye view of Tokyo at the Tokyo Tower or Tokyo Skytree, go here instead. There are two observatory towers and both are accessible for free! The first 6km of the race took us past the Shinjuku-Gyoen national park and also the Science Musuem. It was also mostly downhill so unintentionally, I ran it at a much faster pace than intended. It wasn’t until I reached that first checkpoint did I look down at my pace and decided to slow down a bit.

The next 6km had us running parts of the Kanda and Ningyocho area. It was here that several performances were being performed to give the runners a boost if needed and also entertain the many spectators of the race.

IMG_20170226_101820Cultural dance performances made the race special and were a treat for international and local runners alike.

The first loop of the race came about km15, near the Asakusa area. It was here we got glimpses of the elite runners as they had already made the turn way ahead of us. Asakusa’s most recognizable landmark is the Kaminarimon Gate, where one can see the huge red lantern, protected by the Gods, Fujin and Raijin.

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Funfact: That huge red lantern weighs about 700 kilograms!

Heading towards the 25km mark, the race heated up as more and more supporters lined up to cheer the runners along. This Ryogoku – Fukagawa area showcased many landmarks such as the Tomika Hachimangu Shrine, the Edo-Tokyo Museum, the Ekoin Temple and the Sumida Hokusai Museum.

IMG_20170226_115356The cheerleaders were a welcome sight after reaching the halfway point.

After the 25km mark, we started to see a lot of runners stop beside the road to stretch and walk around a bit. I have to admit, I was one of them. The cold really got to me, despite my many layers of clothing. However, the cheers of the crowd yelling “Gambatte” and “Fighto” pushed us to carry on.

Heading towards the finishing line, we were treated to sights of the Tokyo Tower and parts of Hibiya Park.

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Modeled after the Eiffel Tower, the Tokyo Tower stands at 333 meters and is the world’s tallest, self-supported steel tower.

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The last stretch before the turn towards the finishing line was, in my opinion, the most emotional I’ve ever ran. Hundreds of supporters were cheering the runners on, many of whom I took time to give and receive high-fives and shouts of congratulations. Turning the last corner, I almost cried seeing the finishing line. The pain I felt throughout the race, fighting the cold, the leg cramps…it all disappeared once I crossed that mat. Volunteers rushed ahead to make sure I was OK then directed me towards my baggage pickup area.

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All finishers were given a medal and a finisher’s towel. Awesome!!

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Proud Malaysians with the Jalur Gemilang after the race.

Eventhough this is not my first Full Marathon, it is certainly the most memorable yet. I don’t know if it’s just a Japanese culture but the crowds and volunteers were top-notch. From start to finish, spectators were lined up along the roads, cheering and providing provisions for the runners. Some had drinks, some had candies, some had chocolate, some even had cooling sprays! I saw parents hold up signboards with pictures of their children, crying with joy when they spotted him/her along the course. Drones of families, some with small children (so cute!!), some even in wheelchairs came out to give their support. I can’t tell you how many times my spirit got lifted by the crowd. Even the volunteers were amazing; always serving with a smile, a high-five and words of encouragement. Eventhough I didn’t achieve my target time of 5:30, this Tokyo Marathon experience will certainly be one to remember fondly for all time.

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Arigato and Sayonara, Tokyo!

Hiking essentials

I run and work out more often than I hike, hence, I have never called myself as a “hiker”. Occasionally, I do enjoy being disconnected and off the grid for a few hours, and I find that Gunung Nuang is one of my favourite places to “escape” (it feels like a quick holiday!). As beginner, I learnt the hard way about some of the items that you must have. Based on my limited knowledge, I think that this list is very basic, yet I am still finding a balance between packing light and being prepared. Let me know what you think, and I’ll add on more to the list!

Disclaimer: This list is only suitable for day trips, not for overnight stays.

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Until next week,

The Weekender Runner and Newbie Hiker.

 

Travelling essentials

Scratching your head over packing for traveling? This post is for you!

Scratching your head over packing for travelling? This post is for you!

Besides working out, I wear my activewear from Nashata to almost everywhere – while running errands, buying groceries, lounging at home, and most importantly, while travelling. They are practical, modest, functional, and you have to admit, with their flattering cut I feel good wearing most of Nashata’s outfit. Almost all of Nashata’s range of products make good travelling outfits, but after experimenting a few pieces on short and long haul flights for vacations of various purposes, I have short-listed 4 of my favourite that I simply cannot leave home without:

  1. Riada SweatpantsSlide1

  2. Sibaha Modest SwimsuitSlide2

  3. Heather HoodieSlide3

  4. BackpackSlide4

I hope that this will be helpful for ladies who are always on-the-go and wants to find practical solutions for their holiday outfits. Do you have any favourite products from Nashata that you just cannot live without?

 

Until next week,

The Weekend Runner

 

 

Our Hong Kong Trekking Adventures

My new year began with a promising trip to Hong Kong for an overseas assignment. Needless to say, we immediately planned for new terrains to explore, to be inserted in-between assignments. Why waste an overseas opportunity right? Surprisingly there were many highly recommended ones. One would not normally associate “Hiking” with Hong Kong you see. We finally decided to indulge in two of the more popular sites, The Dragon’s Back Trail and Ng Tung Chai Waterfall.

The Dragon’s Back is a popular escape that deservedly gets regular mentions in travel guidebooks. A short hop from the bustle of Hong Kong East, the trail provides stunning views of Shek O, Tai Long Wan, Stanley, Tai Tam, and the South China Sea. The Dragon’s Back is a path connecting Wan Cham Shan (226m) and Shek O Peak (284m), stretching vertically over D’Aguilar Peninsula. The path undulates between these hill tops, reminiscent of the shape of a dragon’s backbone.

The Dragon's Back  - 8.5km undulating path of connecting hills

The Dragon’s Back – 8.5km undulating path of connecting hills

The Start Point - Shek O Wan

The Start Point – Shek O Wan

We started in the late morning after a good breakfast and completing my first assignment. The start point was easily accessible by bus but we took a cab since we were residing at Repulse Bay which was quite near. Do note that cab fares are rather high in Hong Kong. It was a sunny day and the temperature was between 14-15 degree Celsius. We dressed lightly and traveled light with just water, some energy boosters (chocolates and nuts!) and warm clothing just in case. A caution we took because the wind could be icy cold they say.

The initial climb up was a steep 60-75 degree elevation, mostly steps. We were surrounded by mainly shrubs and the view was awesome. It became magnificent as we reached the first peak. Do pardon us Singaporeans as the little red dot is although rich in other things, we are not blessed with natural monuments which our neighbours have aplenty. We get dumbstruck at the first sight of natural beauty hehe. We were struck first by the biting coldness of the wind which was blowing us off-balance!

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                                              The journey ahead from the first peak

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The view of South China Sea

We continue the hike along the undulating hill tops that made up the dragon’s back, enjoying the fantastic view of the beaches, islands and South China Sea. Back in the army, walking along the ridgeline was a big mistake. I’m sure glad to be here today as a tourist! The highest peak was at 284 metres and it took us about 45mins. We stayed awhile to admire His wonderful creations, refuel and continue the remaining 7km towards the end point which is Big Wave Bay.

Difficulty level : 3/10 Beginners Total time Taken : 3hrs  Satisfaction level : 100%

The peak at 284m

The peak at 284m

Look at the wind!

Look at the wind!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Two days later, we set off again across mainland Hong Kong towards the north.

Ng Tung Chai Waterfall is the best-known and biggest waterfall in Hong Kong. Located at the northern side of Tai Mo Shan, Ng Tung Chai Waterfall consists of 4 waterfalls at different altitudes. From bottom to top, you will see Bottom Fall (Fall under the well), Middle Fall (Horse Tail Fall), Main Fall (Long Fall) and Scatter Fall. The steady flow of water of Ng Tung Chai Waterfall comes from Tai Mo Shan and irrigates the farmlands around Lam Tsuen River, and ends at Tolo Harbour.

The scenic route towards the first fall

The scenic route towards the first fall 

We took the MTR to Tai Poi Market Station followed by Bus 64k to the start point. It was drizzling and temperature was between 16-18 degree Celcius. My last visit to a waterfall was donkey years ago, so i was really excited for this trip. Again, do keep in mind that we are Singaporeans and there are no natural waterfalls here. Do excuse my raging excitement. The journey to the start point took nearly 2hrs. We started climbing around 3pm knowing that we had to start descending before dark which was by 6pm due to winter.

The initial climb was a series of steep winding slopes through a village, a cemetery, many dogs and a monastery. I would be kidding if i said that I did not feel frightened at all. I was! Kecut kejab jantung akak! I was well-trained in the army to somehow mask the expression and keep the fear in control. Fortunately, I have my partner to protect me Yeaaay! If I have long nails, it would have cut into his poor hands… (Good for him that I don’t).

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Are we there yet??

Anyway, the ground was wet. The mud and slippery rocks made the climb much harder than it was and it took longer. We took great caution throughout as I remind myself that I was here in Hong Kong for work so, I couldn’t afford to get injured.  Looking up and welcomed by more steps and up-slopes, the sight began to suck the life out of me. These are moments when I question myself why..Efah? Why did I choose to do this? (This usually happens around the 30km mark of a marathon, halfway through a round-island canoeing expedition and the likes. When your energy level in nearly used up and motivation is down low). However, the sounds of the roaring fall and snippet sights of its magnificence amidst the beautiful canopy, propelled us to continue climbing regardless of the exhaustion.

Alas, the first fall came into view. It was love at first sight. The sun was still shining and the reflection from the water made it magical. Allahu Akbar!

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The Bottom Fall

I was reluctant to leave but I knew we were short for time. The Middle Fall was not too far away and it was more awesome ma shaa Allah. As darkness slowly looms above, we took a few moment to admire its magnificence before we hike on towards the last fall.

The Middle Fall

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The Main Fall – We took a dip! If you can see my face, it was all frozen from the cold. I couldn’t feel my legs!

We took a wrong turn and had to retrace our steps. I was actually quite concern about time but I knew I had to reach the Main Fall regardless. The last one was much further than expected and I was totally exhausted but the view that welcomed us was worth every ounce of pain and effort! We performed Asr by the fall which was totally invigorating. The experience brought khusyuk and gratitude towards the blessings of the AlMighty to a whole different level.

Darkness falls and out came the headlamps! We changed and made our way down the same path. The trek continues to the peak of Tai Mo Shan but we only planned to visit the falls so down we go, back to reality.

Descending was easier of course but much tougher for our aged and torn knees. After “swimming” in the icy cold water, I couldn’t feel my toes so my shoes felt empty. It was rocky, muddy and slippery from the rain so it was doubly hard to get down. Every step was a calculated one. I slipped a few times, heart dropping moments as I see the steep fall below.

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As we stride towards the last stretch, hand in hand, (limbs no longer cooperating), I reflected on the journey we took. Like life itself, I know that in my best and toughest moments, He will always be there and He gives me the best company always.

To more adventures!

Difficulty level: 5/10   Satisfaction level : 100%   Total Time Taken : 4hrs

Things to note: Wearing the right attire is of utmost important to ensure safety and comfort throughout the whole journey. I am glad I have on comfortable and modest ones. Ensure you have sufficient water and food to sustain and replenish your energy. Do read about the destination, heed warnings and check the weather condition especially if you are going up by yourself. Get a great buddy for your trips! Enjoy and be safe!

Love, Efah Anuar

Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

A few weeks ago, we were fortunate to have Jason Robinson during our regular Tuesday night runs with Kyserun Krew. Jason Robinson from Mont Kiara Running Club (MKRC) is a well-known ultra running figure in the local community who won 1st place in TMMT 2016 100km and 4th place in TMBT 2016 100km. He shared his experience and a few training tips, stating that his regular training grounds are Kiara Park Trail and occasionally Gunung Nuang.

Last Sunday, just like most running Sundays, I was excited to participate in an event called Conquer the Trails @ Kiara Trail Run 2017. With Jason Robinson’s tips still fresh in my mind, I was excited to run through the same training grounds as an ultramarathoner! I was unable to verify if this was the same route taken by MKRC, but while running they looked pretty confident and they know where they are going so I guess they are familiar with this route. The total elevation gained with the 13km course was around 530 – 550m (depending on your GPS watch), so if you are training for an ultramarathon, repeat the loop several times so get enough mileage and total elevation gained.

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Never too bright or pink for the trails

Never too bright or pink for the trails. A little bit too optimistic for what lies ahead I guess?

And as for me, I have only ran on the road portion of this park during my Tuesday night runs or on weekends. The trails, on the other hand, is a total uncharted territory for me. Elevation is no stranger in any trail run, however, this time I allowed it to get the best of me. I had to stop in the middle of my climb to catch my breath – a sign that I need to work on my endurance and stamina again. I admit that since this is the first trail run of the year, I have not set foot in any trails for quite some time. I forgot how it felt to be agile yet nimble while running in the trail – my feet were clumsy and my movements were too calculative. All of these cost precious time, so it took me 3 hours 31 minutes to complete the route, with a sinking feeling that I knew I could do better.

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Not my best race but I'll be back!

Not my best race but I’ll be back!

This trail run serves as a hard reminder that I need to train more off-road to build again the skills, stamina, and endurance that was lost during my off-season for the past few months. It looks like I have some serious catching-up to do, so expect more trail runs for the next few months!

Until next week,

The Weekend Runner

I love this BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) concept at any trail run. Look at how clean this water station is!

I love this BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) concept at any trail run. Look at how clean this water station is!

Run. Eat. Repeat!

If there’s anything that I love more than running or working out is food. Combine those 2 things together, you get a marathon that is worth repeating year after year! Twincity Marathon is unique because it is a big-scaled running event that has an abundance of food (the only event that I have experienced lots and lots of food are ultramarathons because there are not many participants). On top of that, it also provides prayer facilities at several water stations that is well-planned for both fast and slow runners.

Our big family of runners and pacers

Our big family of runners and pacers

I decided to participate again in this year’s half marathon category. Last year, I went as a “ghost” runner in the same category (run without a bib, no medal at the finishing line waiting for you, and pray you don’t get caught!) so I did not have the privilege and luxury of time to enjoy the generous spread of food at several water stations. However, I still had a great experience so it was worth paying and registering instead of participating as a “ghost” again.

Me after crossing the finishing line last year. Run at your own risk, "ghost" runners

Me after crossing the finishing line last year. Run at your own risk, “ghost” runners.

Except for the inconveniences during the bib collection (the Men’s 21km bib were not ready on time), Twincity Marathon was certainly an event not to be missed. Besides the food and the thoughtful prayer facilities, it is also a relatively flat route with minimal elevation. It would have been a great opportunity for me to set another PB, however I admit I did not train enough prior to this event but mainly, I was distracted by so much food. Blame it on my short attention span!

Do you expect me to choose between running and eating?

Do you expect me to choose between running and nasi lemak?

Can you make mine with those swirly leafs on top with extra foam?

Can you make mine with those swirly leafs on top with extra foam?

After all of that good food, you need dessert at the end to top it all off

After all of that good food, you need dessert at the end to top it all off. This is Malaysian ice cream by the way, with frozen pink syrup and condensed milk.

Even more food at the finishing line! Wait, there was a finishing line? I forgot that this was a running event, not a feast

Even more food at the finishing line! Wait, there was a finishing line? I forgot that this was a running event, not a feast

For once, I was not really disappointed about not hitting any PB or target. I might have not been able to perform my best for that day, but I still had a good time because I really enjoyed myself. I would do this run all over again next year, and I hope that the organizers keep up the fun vibe for this event!

Too much sugar and ice cream, girls?

Too much sugar and ice cream, girls?

A familiar face that requires no introduction. So glad to be seeing you back in running events, buddy!

A familiar face that requires no introduction. So glad to be seeing you back in running events, buddy!

Until next week,

The Weekend Runner.