The Weekend Runner: Spartan Race 2015



Let me start off with a confession: I am scared of heights. Maybe it’s because I overthink about the risk of falling, but most of the time it’s about having confidence that I can do it. The phobia is not mind crippling or hinders me in any way, but I wish I was one of those people who can confidently take the plunge to “Just do it”. (Cliché, but true)


So to challenge all the little voices of doubts in my mind, I signed up for an obstacle race called Spartan Race. The last time I entered an obstacle race was Viper Challenge (read about it here). In Viper Challenge, you were allowed to skip the obstacle if you’re not up for it, but this was not the case for Spartan Race; every incomplete obstacle will cost a penalty burpee. So, I had to choice but to suck it up, face my fears, and force myself to do it.


Spartan Race consisted of 6+km run and 22+ obstacles. The challenges will involve monkey bars, ‘burden runs’ such as running while carrying 20lbs sand bag or medicine ball, and yes, as expected, lots of climbing. The day before the race I kept saying to myself over and over again that I will not surrender to any challenges without a fight. Facing my fears in the eyes is the only way to overcome it, avoiding it will only make it worst.


12107069_521358164693423_1631315325869293329_nThis is moment that you have been waiting for: the most highest obstacle that you had to scale. (Picture courtesy of the Spartan Race Malaysia Facebook page)

 IMG_1187There’s no turning back now. 


There were lots of slippery mud too, and sometimes the safest way to descend a steep surface was just to slide down. Luckily, my Nashata compression pants came attached with a skirt so I was confident that the skirt will prevent any thorns or stones from getting into the pants or worse, cause the pants to tear. (Imagine the unnecessary bum show if that happened!)


IMG_1168 This pants-skirt was a lifesaver.

IMG_1176 Team Ayam Goreng 2.0 after a ‘refreshing’ swim in the mud.


Overall, it took me about 2 hours and 33 minutes (official timing) to complete the race. I believe it will take more than just an obstacle race to ‘cure’ myself from this fear of heights, but at least I have installed the confidence needed and remind myself that sometimes it’s just all in the head.



Sometimes it is more challenging to overcome your mind than it is to overcome a physical barrier. (Picture courtesy of @nakedspiritrunners)


Until next week,

The Weekend Runner.

The Weekend Runner: Men’s Health Women’s Health (MHWH) Night Run

When it comes to running I am more of a morning person than a night person, because I think I perform better when I am still fresh out of bed. However, I could not pass up the opportunity to join a night run. So last Saturday I was in Putrajaya for the Men’s Health Women’s Health (MHWH) Night Run for the 12 km category.

I did not prepare much, as I was still sore from last week’s Viper Challenge. Earlier in the week I did 30 minutes of brisk walking, then a few light 5 km runs. On the day of the race I took a power nap for 15-30 minutes, and a heavy lunch 4 hours prior to flag-off time.

It was drizzling slightly but a little bit of rain did not hamper our spirits. Overall, the race went smoothly. The flag-off venue was right across the Tunku Mizan Mosque, so after prayers there was no need to rush to get to the starting line. Plenty of parking space too, as long you get to the venue at least 1 hour before starting time. Running in Putrajaya was a breeze, as the road is smooth and there is minimal elevation. I completed the race in 90 minutes, which is my personal best so far.


Finisher medal close up. Love the colours!



Plenty of freebies too! Check out the 1 month deodorant, soap, and lotion supply!


I had a great time, and this event might just be a yearly thing for me if they decide to do it again next year.


Until next week,

The Weekend Runner,


The Weekend Runner: Viper Challenge.

Ever since I started running I have drafted a Running Bucket List to make sure I cover all important and interesting events. It also gave me motivation to keep running and training. After contemplating for a few months, last Sunday I finally had the guts to join Viper Challenge. What separated Viper Challenge from other runs was their unique 20 obstacles, set in a 20km course. It is also known as the toughest obstacle run in Asia. Personally, I don’t think you have to be really fit to join Viper Challenge, as long as you have been working out regularly and have ran a half marathon prior to this event. I have ran 2 half marathons and a few 10-12km runs as one of my training programs, plus some gym sessions to work out my upper body. I was mentally and physically prepared to push myself, but little did I know it would take my team about 6 hours to complete! (This is equivalent to the time taken to complete a full marathon (42km) for an average runner).

Overall, it was a good event. The organizers were experienced, decent surau and wash down facilities were provided, and sufficient water and banana stations. Plus crews were stationed at every obstacle should something go wrong.

Registering as a team is highly recommended. Ours was called ‘Team Ayam Goreng’, consisting of 5 guys and 2 girls. Prior to Viper Challenge we ran a few races together, so all of us acknowledged each other’s fitness level and group dynamics. However, this was the first Viper Challenge for all of us. We will take our time, as long as we complete the whole course without any serious injury, I think we did a good job as a team. But not to worry if you registered as an individual, because there are plenty of helpful people to push or pull you up along the way should you encounter a difficult obstacle.

We started off light and slow, jogging for the first few kilometres and after several obstacles. However at about halfway of the course we slowed down to walking as the trail gets increasingly challenging and hilly. Plus the obstacles gets harder and harder towards the finishing line, with more emphasis on core and upper body strength such as climbing ramps, ladders, monkey bars, balancing, and even some swimming. There were also some fun obstacles as well, such as a water slide and crawling.


In conclusion, I would definitely join again next year! And hopefully, I can complete it in under 6 hours. For the mean time, I shall reward myself with a nice foot massage and a manicure.



Your Weekend Runner,





Some tips on Viper Challenge:

1)      Get there early, and secure a good parking spot. If your flag off time is 6.30am, yes, be there at 4.30am just as the organizers suggested. Line up for baggage check in is long.

2)      There is going to be loads of mud and water. Wear a dark colour, dri-fit shirt that dries up quickly before you get to the next obstacle. Do not wear anything that you do not plan to throw away. Trail shoes and gloves are highly recommended. Girls, if you wear hijab keep it simple with an instant shawl or tudung bawal. Bring a fresh set of clothes and to change into after the event.

3)      Do not bring your smartphone, unless you have a waterproof pouch. I put mine in an impact-proof case, triple-bagged it in a ziplock and plastic bag, carried it in a pouch, and to my surprise it survived the whole course.

4)      Try out everything, as long as it is within your limits. Make full use of the experience. Keep up with a positive spirit. This is not a race!


Team Ayam Goreng enjoying our 'teh tarik' breakfast. What is Viper Challenge without some mud


Team Ayam Goreng is clearly enjoying our ‘teh tarik’ breakfast. What is Viper Challenge without some mud!