Nagano Marathon Race Report

A short a trip to Japan but what a trip it was as I caught the Sakura season and there was a marathon too! Read about the race here.

Gear Reviews

All the reviews here...

Trans Nuang 2013

5 runners. 42km. 16 hours. Elevation gain 2,878 meters / 9,442 feet. All here.

Gold Coast Airport Marathon 2014 Race Report

After a long long wait, I finally nailed it. Full story here...

 

It’ll Be Worth It

It’s under 50 days to GCAM15. Just about the time when doubts start to creep in. Even after 28 marathons, each time another race draws nearer, I can’t help but have this nagging feeling if I’m ever going to be ready.

Have I adopted a way too aggressive goal? Will the missed days come back to haunt me? Since these unproductive thoughts can’t be avoided at least for me, it’s a matter of managing them or somehow turning them into positive affirmations, if that’s possible! One thing I know for sure is that I’m looking forward to the day when I can sleep in over the weekends .

There are no certainties in a marathon no matter how well one’s training went. And I’ve had some frustrating weeks to be sure. There’s no point in dwelling on those but keep forging forward for the remaining crucial weeks. That said, I’ve been running better than ever – greater consistency the last 2 weeks are reasons for a little optimism. I’m monitoring the body and recovery closely while going through the race strategies based on 3 goal times. It’s all these and playing the correct mind games in the pursuit of running better that makes the marathon such an intriguing prospect.

 

Press Release: Standard Chartered KL Marathon Returns For The 7th Time

Standard Chartered KL Marathon Returns For The 7th Time
35,000 runners from all around the world expected to participate in Malaysia’s premier running event

Kuala Lumpur, 18 May 2015 – Malaysia’s premier running event, the Standard Chartered KL Marathon (SCKLM) returns for the 7th time to test the physical and mental endurance of runners.

Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2015 has been confirmed to be held at Dataran Merdeka on Sunday, 4th October.

Officially launched at the Standard Chartered KL Park, the event was officiated by the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Yang Berbahagia Datuk Seri Hj. Ahmad Phesal bin Hj. Talib. All categories of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon will be open for registration from 18th May onwards.

35,000 runners from all around the world are expected to participate in various distance categories, positioning Standard Chartered KL Marathon as an international sporting event that is accessible to everybody, from all walks of life. Since its inception, over 115,000 runners from more than 48 countries have participated in the Standard Chartered KL Marathon.

The running routes that were launched last year have been well received by runners and will be maintained for this year. Runners will start from the historic Dataran Merdeka, with the full marathon route taking them through highways which provides them a vista of the scenic cityscape of Kuala Lumpur.

Elite runners will also be competing for a total of USD 125,000 in prize money; making the Standard Chartered KL Marathon one of the most lucrative races in Malaysia.

Mr. Rainer Biemans, Director of Dirigo Events Sdn. Bhd, Owner and Organiser of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon., giving the opening address during the launch of Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2015.

“The Standard Chartered KL Marathon is an annual event that appeals to everyone. What we hope to achieve is a great and memorable experience not just for runners but for spectators, supporters and volunteers alike. We are also looking forward to welcoming international runners and supporters and we hope that they will bring with them good memories when they return home,” said Rainer Biemans, Director of Dirigo Events Sdn. Bhd.

“The Standard Chartered KL Marathon is also an endurance challenge of both mental and physical abilities and promises to put elite runners to the test. Every year, we look forward to somebody breaking our race record which currently stands at 2:14:45,” he adds.

Mr. Mahendra Gursahani, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia sharing the Bank’s vision of Standard Chartered KL Marathon.

“As the proud title sponsor of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon, we are delighted to be involved in an event that has put Malaysia on the sporting world map. We also hope to inspire and motivate runners to give something back to the communities and support a good cause in line with “Run for a Cause”, the theme for the Standard Chartered KL Marathon,” said Mahendra Gursahani, Managing Director and CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia.

To celebrate Standard Chartered Bank’s 140th anniversary, the Bank recently ran a contest on SCKLM’s Instagram account inviting participants to submit the best photos of the Marathon. A total of 140 winners were selected, and they won complimentary entries to the Full Marathon.

Yang Berbahagia Datuk Seri Hj. Ahmad Phesal B. Hj. Talib, Mayor of Kuala Lumpur delivering his keynote address on the contribution of Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2015.

The Standard Chartered KL Marathon has also positioned Kuala Lumpur as an ideal destination for sports tourism. In recognition of this effort, the Standard Chartered KL Marathon was awarded the ‘Platinum Award for Events Category’ at the 2014 Kuala Lumpur Mayor’s Tourism Awards; making it the only running event to have won the award.

Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia, Race Owner and Organiser of Standard Chartered KL Marathon, Dirigo Events Sdn. Bhd., together with Gold Sponsors MSIG Insurance and Honda Malaysia, with their official partners: Seiko, Pacific Regency Hotel Group and F&N, accompanied by official apparel brand, adidas and official suppliers: Salonpas, GP Battery and Repucom.

The 2015 Standard Chartered KL Marathon is once again made possible by title sponsor Standard Chartered Bank, and along with event owner and organiser, Dirigo Events Sdn. Bhd. and co-organiser Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur.

It is also supported by Gold Sponsors, MSIG Insurance and Honda Malaysia, as well as Official Partners, Seiko, Pacific Regency Hotel Group and F&N. Race owner and organiser, Dirigo Events Sdn. Bhd. also welcomes German sports-goods maker; adidas who is the Official Apparel brand for the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2015. Additionally, Salonpas, GP Battery and Repucom join the Standard Chartered KL Marathon as Official Suppliers completing the list of supporting brands.

Registrations for the race will open from 18th May onwards, and runners interested in signing up can register at www.kl-marathon.com.

For more information and updates on SCKLM please visit:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SCKLmarathon
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SCKLmarathon
Instagram: https://instagram.com/SCKLmarathon
Website: www.kl-marathon.com

For more information, please contact:
David Joshua Lau | 03.7483.5588 | david@my-essence.com
Hijas Fizzri | 03.7483.5588 | hijas@my-essence.com

For more information on Standard Chartered KL Marathon:
Gloria Ng | 603.7887.4717 | 2015@kl-marathon.com

For more information on Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad:
Mastura Adnan | 03.2781.7257 | Mastura.Adnan@sc.com
Nadia Khan | 03.2781.7351 | nadia.khan@sc.com

### End ###

About the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2015
Back for the seventh year, the Standard Chartered KL Marathon is scheduled to take place on 4 October 2015. The marathon will open to 35,000 participants, ranging from elite athletes to first-time distance runners. A truly international event, the Standard Chartered KL Marathon boasts participants from all over Malaysia and over 48 countries. The Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2015 continues as Malaysia’s premier running event with top runners competing for a total of USD 125,000 prize money.

For more information on the Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon, please refer to: http://www.kl-marathon.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/SCKLmarathon.

About Standard Chartered
We are a leading international banking group, with more than 90,000 employees and a 150-year history in some of the world’s most dynamic markets. We bank the people and companies driving investment, trade and the creation of wealth across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our heritage and values are expressed in our brand promise, Here for good.

Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges as well as the Bombay and National Stock Exchanges in India.

For more information please visit www.sc.com. Explore our insights and comment on our blog, BeyondBorders. Follow Standard Chartered on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

About Standard Chartered in Malaysia
Standard Chartered Bank, a member of the Standard Chartered Group was established in Malaysia in 1875 and incorporated as Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad in 1984. As Malaysia’s first bank, Standard Chartered leads the way through product innovation, consistent and strong growth performance and sustainability initiatives. The Bank provides a comprehensive range of financial products and services to corporates, institutions, small and medium-sized enterprises and individuals through its network of over 40 branches across Malaysia.

In 2001, Standard Chartered PLC established its third global technology & operations centre, Scope International, in Malaysia – the first international bank to do so in the country. Scope International provides software development, banking operations, IT support services and customer service capabilities to the Bank in up to 70 countries. It now houses the biggest software development company in the country, International Software Centre Malaysia (ISCM) and has a total workforce of more than 3,200 people.

Price Solutions Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Chartered PLC is also located in Malaysia. The company promotes and markets Standard Chartered’s financial products in Malaysia through a network of direct sales agents.

Standard Chartered Saadiq Berhad (Saadiq), Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia’s Islamic Banking subsidiary was established in November 2008. It offers a full suite of Syariah-compliant products and services to individuals and corporates through its dedicated branches. In 2012, Saadiq established Kuala Lumpur as its global hub for Islamic consumer banking.

Standard Chartered employs close to 7,000 employees in all its Malaysian operations.

About the Event Owner and Organiser
The Standard Chartered KL Marathon is owned by Dirigo Events Sdn. Bhd, an award-winning event management company founded in 2011 by Rainer Biemans and Gloria Ng. The event has attracted not only Malaysian runners, but runners from 48 countries.

Standard Chartered KL Marathon was awarded the Platinum award in the Kuala Lumpur Mayor’s Tourism award in 2014 for attracting tourists to Kuala Lumpur. The award is a demonstration to Rainer Biemans’ and Gloria Ng’s combined experience of over 48 years in executing and creating world-class and impactful events for international clients around the world such as Europe, Brunei, India and Singapore.

For more information on Dirigo Events, please contact +603 7887 1717 or email dirigo@dirigo.com.my.

Gold Coast Airport Marathon Finisher Medals

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon (GCAM) have seen a year-on-year improvement, from the race organization to the quality of the field assembled. It helps that legendary Australian marathoners like Rob De Castella, Steve Moneghetti and Lee Troop have supported the event and that the number of participants are kept manageable such that everyone has a great time out on the scenic course. I say that with certainty because I’ve ran it since 2011! You could say that I’m on a streak!

It helps that the Gold Coast won its bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and is currently upgrading its infrastructure, most notably the rail services that run through the major spots along the city and last year’s marathon was an IAAF Gold Label event, the first one accorded to a race Down Under.

The finisher medals and t-shirts are awesome too, and if last year’s are anything to go by, I’m looking forward to a memorable run and post-race celebrations. Meanwhile, feast your eyes on these.

2011. The first time will always be special. Solid block of metal.

2012. Better than 2011’s.

2013. Dropped down to the Half. Crowd was bigger and more competitive!

2014. Finally the barrier was broken with a well-executed race plan. And the medal is, well, WOW! Reflective of the IAAF Gold Label award.

The only medal and t-shirt to have eluded me are those of the Southern Cross 10K which will kick off on Saturday, the eve of the main event. This year will be year I finally get my hands on them to complete my collection as I’ll be toeing the line to run that as a shake-out run before Sunday’s marathon. It’ll be a fun, photo-laden outing with the group of friends to stretch out the legs. There’s still time to register for GCAM15, although the early bird fees have ended. Take advantage of the many airline offers available today, and head on to www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au to lock down your key race of the year.

The team from Malaysia is already knee deep in training and we’d love to have you join us in our weekend sessions or in Gold Coast itself. To read my previous years’ race reports, just head on to the Race Report link in the top menu bar.

How to Start Running: A Step By Step Guide for Beginners by Mark Moers

I believe more people would run if they knew how.  That may confuse some people that figure all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other and pump your arms up and down and you are running. There is a difference between “running” to catch the bus and focused “running”. Focused running is a purposeful attempt at challenging your body.

Running offers so many benefits that it is hard not to recommend it. This heart healthy activity can help you to get in shape, burn fat, lower cholesterol, build muscle,  lose weight, build endurance, build strength and feel well. A runners high is produced by endorphins that are released when you run it helps to battle stress.

Enough about all the good things that running is going to do for you. Lets talk about the steps you have to take to start running.

Step 1
A lot of people make the costly mistake of going out and buying all the clothes and shoes that they need to start their running. The reality is you need loose fitting clothes that are appropriate for the season and a good pair of running shoes. You do not need to spend hundreds of dollars are running shoes and you do not need “special” running clothes. Shorts and a tank top for the warmer weather is fine and long pants with a hooded sweat shirt in the winter works well.

Don’t invest hundreds of dollars in clothing and shoes, it is not necessary to get started. Down the road if you want to purchase specialty items than that is a good idea.

You can purchase a portable watering system like a Camel Back so you will have plenty of water during your run.  Here is what you need:

  •       Loose clothing
  •       Good running shoes

Step 2
Create a schedule. This may sound like a lot to do to start running but if you have your schedule put together before hand it is a lot easier to stick to.  Plan 20 minutes the first week. 30 minutes the next. Only schedule out two weeks at a time so you  can have a realistic look at what time frames are available based on other commitments.

Plan on running 3 days out of the week to get started. Pick what ever three days you like but be sure to have a rest day in between. In other words not Mon, Tue, Fri, schedule instead consider M, W , F so you have that rest day in between.  As you build your tolerance you will be able to add days to your schedule.

Step 3
Today is the day you start running! You have your gear and you have your schedule now it is time to take those first steps. You should pace yourself. Do not overdo it and do not expect to run miles your first day or you will be sorely disappointed and sorely is the keyword.  Overdoing it will tear your muscles up and make it very uncomfortable to run again.

If you have scheduled 20 minutes but are breathing hard and heavy for 15 it is fine to say “okay for now” and start again toward your 20 minute goal on your next scheduled day.  For some people getting out there and doing 10 minutes is all they can do for right now but sticking with running will easily build your endurance and making that 20 minute mark will be possible before you know it.

Step 4

A lot of new runners are concerned about the pain that they will feel after the run. Your legs may feel a little achy but it is not a terrible ache and with the right recovery steps you may not feel any discomfort at all. Those all important days in between your runs is when your body is going to bounce back.  A few little tricks that you can try to keep the aches and pains to a minimum include:

  •       Epsom salt bath
  •       Massage with heat
  •       Being sure that you spend a few minutes cooling down after the run

Epsom salt in a warm bath has great healing properties it can help your muscles to get right back into shape after a run.  You can also try a little self massage with some heat (warm heating pad).  When you finish your run each day do not come to a complete stop and go sit on the couch instead walk it out for a few minutes to help your muscles calm.

The bottom line is your discomfort level should not be beyond the curative properties of two Tylenol. If you are in that much pain that a warm bath and some Tylenol does not make you feel better than you may have injured yourself and you may want to speak to a health care professional.  Expect soreness but not pain.

Step 5
You can run on a treadmill and get the same workout you do running on a track. In either case as a beginner you want to stay off inclines at first. They are more challenging. As a novice runner you also want to stay off the pavement initially. Run on the treadmill, grass or a track. The pavement is hard on your shins and joints give yourself time to build up resistance.

The Formula
There are different formulas for running that are guided by what you hope to achieve from running. For example weight loss looks like:

  1.     Jog
  2.     Sprint
  3.     Jog
  4.     Sprint
  5.     Rest

For endurance it looks like this:

  1.     Jog
  2.     Run at a pace that does not cause heavy breathing
  3.     Run at a pace that does not cause heavy breathing
  4.     Run at a pace that does not cause heavy breathing
  5.     Jog/Rest

If running is your goal following these step by step directions will get you moving and help you to achieve your goal. Take the first steps today.

About the Author:
Mark Moers is a 29-year-old running lover and an outdoor enthusiasts. He just launched his new running blog. You can follow his personal experiences with foot health, diet plan, fun, fitness and all you need to know about running at RunningInfoGuide.com.

Press Release: Standard Chartered KL Marathon “Run For A Cause” Initiative Opens For Registration

Run For A Cause charity initiative has raised almost RM3 million for various charities in different areas since 2009

Kuala Lumpur, 6 May 2015 – Malaysia’s premier running event, the Standard Chartered KL Marathon (SCKLM), is calling all runners to take part in its ‘Run For A Cause’ (RFAC) charity initiative. The programme is a community initiative to bring runners and individuals from all walks of life to raise funds for a cause.

This year, the four participating beneficiary partners and their causes are:

  • The Standard Chartered Foundation – Funds raised will be used for the awareness of autism
  • Hospis Malaysia – Funds raised will be used to provide palliative care for patients and training for healthcare professionals
  • The National Cancer Society Malaysia – Raising funds for the expansion of the Survivorship programme
  • EcoKnights – Funds will be raised for the Seletar Project; focused on providing the basic education needs and safe living condition for Orang Asli Seletar.

Since its inception, SCKLM has been providing a fun and healthy platform for all runners, individuals and corporations to support a charitable organisation of their choice and to raise awareness for its causes.

“Every year SCKLM becomes bigger, and it has become a well-supported event among the runners. With so much visibility, we wanted to pay it forward with the ‘Run For A Cause’ programme with all our charity partners” said Rainer Biemans, Director of Dirigo Events Sdn Bhd.

“Standard Chartered Bank is proud to be the title sponsor of SCKLM again, and we hope the ‘Run For A Cause’ programme will inspire and motivate runners to not just run for themselves but also for their chosen beneficiaries and causes.” said Mahendra Gursahani, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia.

Runners and corporations interested in running for a cause can do so by visiting www.kl-marathon.com.

This year marks the seventh installation of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon, and the race attracts over 35,000 runners locally and internationally.

The Standard Chartered KL Marathon is the only running event in Kuala Lumpur to have won the ‘Platinum Award for Events Category’ of the 2014 Kuala Lumpur Mayor’s Tourism Awards.

More information on the causes and beneficiaries:

Funds raised will be used for the awareness of autism
Standard Chartered Foundation
, formerly known as the Standard Chartered Trust Fund is one of the returning charity partners in SCKLM this year. The Standard Chartered Foundation is the charity arm of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad. The foundation identifies and channels financial support to community programmes that require aid. Runners across the nation who would like to support the cause will be championing for Autism Education in Malaysia.

To date, Standard Chartered Foundation works strategically with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia to increase awareness and provide better education accessibility for the autism community in Malaysia. Funds will be channelled to the development of autism focused books and training programmes, amongst other initiatives.

Funds raised will be used to provide palliative care for patients and training for healthcare professionals
Hospis Malaysia
is returning as a RFAC charity partner for the third time. Having established itself over the years, Hospis Malaysia is a strong advocate for professional palliative care. The charity organisation acts on an approach to improve its patients’ quality of life and their families who are facing challenges associated with life-limiting illness.

Striving to focus on advancing the research, education and improved training for its cause, the cost of this programme is projected to be more than RM 3 million.

Using SCKLM 2015 as a platform to raise funds and awareness, Hospis Malaysia is expecting to treat more than 2,200 patients in Klang Valley and to train over 1,000 healthcare professionals in the country in the area of palliative care.

Raising funds expansion for Survivorship programme
Established in 1966, the National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM) is the first cancer related NGO in the country that provides education, care and support services for people affected by cancer.

Based in Kuala Lumpur, and supported by a network of 5 branches nationwide, the charity body also raises public awareness through education on prevention, screening and early detection of cancer.

NCSM is looking to raise funds to help empower individuals and those affected with cancer through the Survivorship programme via four different centres – Resource and Wellness Centre, Cancer and Health Screening Clinic, Nuclear Medical Centre and the Children’s Home of Hope. Runners who choose to support the cause will contribute to NCSM’s Survivorship programme which targets to help and support a greater number of cancer patients.

Funds will be raised for the Seletar Project; focused on providing the basic education needs and safe living condition for Orang Asli Seletar
Founded in 2006, EcoKnights’ objective is to provide an environmental outreach programme for communities and corporations to raise awareness on the cause of environmental issues.

Runners who choose to run for this charity body will help fund the welfare and capability enhancement programme, focusing specifically on the Seletar Project. The project is an environmental initiative between EcoKnights and Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Holdings Berhad (MHB) with the objective of providing the basic education needs and safe living condition for the Indigenous First People (Orang Asli Seletar) who form the fishing community of Kampung Pasir Putih in Johor. The goal of the Seletar Project is to gradually improve quality of life for the indigenous communities.

Corporations are also welcomed to support the ‘Run for a Cause’ initiative by joining the Corporate Challenge category. Corporations will be able to compete in the race event as a team by supporting one of their selected charity partners and giving back to the community at the same time.

For more information or to register for ‘Run For a Cause’ and the ‘Corporate Challenge’, please visit www.kl-marathon.com to support the programme and contribute towards a good cause.

Stay updated through SCKLM’s social media channels:
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/SCKLmarathon
Twitter: www.twitter.com/scklmarathon
Instagram: https://instagram.com/SCKLmarathon

For more information please contact:
David Joshua Lau | 012.207.9960 | david@my-essence.com
Hijas Fizzri | 016.208.4560 | hijas@my-essence.com
Shu Ting | 012.663.6905 | shuting@my-essence.com

### End ###

About the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2015
Back for the seventh year, the Standard Chartered KL Marathon is scheduled to take place on 4 October 2015. The marathon will open to 35,000 participants, ranging from elite athletes to first-time distance runners. A truly international event, the Standard Chartered KL Marathon boasts participants from all over Malaysia and over 48 countries. The Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2015 continues as Malaysia’s premier running event with top runners competing for a total of USD 124,280 prize money.

For more information on the Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon, please refer to: http://www.kl-marathon.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/SCKLmarathon.

About Standard Chartered
We are a leading international banking group, with more than 90,000 employees and a 150-year history in some of the world’s most dynamic markets. We bank the people and companies driving investment, trade and the creation of wealth across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our heritage and values are expressed in our brand promise, Here for good.

Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges as well as the Bombay and National Stock Exchanges in India.

For more information please visit www.sc.com. Explore our insights and comment on our blog, BeyondBorders. Follow Standard Chartered on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

About Standard Chartered in Malaysia
Standard Chartered Bank, a member of the Standard Chartered Group was established in Malaysia in 1875 and incorporated as Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad in 1984. As Malaysia’s first bank, Standard Chartered leads the way through product innovation, consistent and strong growth performance and sustainability initiatives. The Bank provides a comprehensive range of financial products and services to corporates, institutions, small and medium-sized enterprises and individuals through its network of over 40 branches across Malaysia.

In 2001, Standard Chartered PLC established its third global technology & operations centre, Scope International, in Malaysia – the first international bank to do so in the country. Scope International provides software development, banking operations, IT support services and customer service capabilities to the Bank in up to 70 countries. It now houses the biggest software development company in the country, International Software Centre Malaysia (ISCM) and has a total workforce of more than 3,200 people.

Price Solutions Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Chartered PLC is also located in Malaysia. The company promotes and markets Standard Chartered’s financial products in Malaysia through a network of direct sales agents.

Standard Chartered Saadiq Berhad (Saadiq), Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia’s Islamic Banking subsidiary was established in November 2008. It offers a full suite of Syariah-compliant products and services to individuals and corporates through its dedicated branches. In 2012, Saadiq established Kuala Lumpur as its global hub for Islamic consumer banking.

Standard Chartered employs close to 7,000 employees in all its Malaysian operations.

About the Event Owner and Organiser
The Standard Chartered KL Marathon is owned by Dirigo Events Sdn. Bhd, an award-winning event management company founded in 2011 by Rainer Biermans and Gloria Ng. The event has attracted not only Malaysian runners, but runners from 48 countries.

Standard Chartered KL Marathon was awarded the Platinum award in the Kuala Lumpur Mayor’s Tourism award in 2014 for attracting tourists to Kuala Lumpur. The award is a demonstration to Rainer Biemans’ and Gloria Ng’s combined experience of over 48 years in executing and creating world-class and impactful events for international clients around the world such as Europe, Brunei, India and Singapore.

For more information on Dirigo Events, please contact +603 7887 1717 or email dirigo@dirigo.com.my.

Keen UNEEK Sandals

I’m a practical fella when it comes to the choice if apparel and footwear.  Function trumps glamor. I don’t even have a suit in my wardrobe. On weekends, I do “some” running, catch up on a movie or two, and have noon siestas. If you see me at the malls or running the errands,  sandals or flip-flops would be on my feet.

When I was handed the UNEEK, I didn’t know what to make of it. The official blurb from Keen, the purveyor of hybrid outdoor and casual footwear, mentions that the UNEEK (a nicely coined palindrome) is a shoe. To me, it’s more along the alley of sandals.

At 11.35oz for my US10, the UNEEK isn’t in the weight territory of the running shoes I wear but it is in the realm of sports sandals and sandal-shoe hybrids. My recently departed Teva weighed approximately the same too. Utilizing an unconventional 2-cord construction, unusual is an understatement when describing the look of the sandal. The cords are soft, free-moving, and water-repellant which means you can pretty much wear the UNEEK anywhere. Your pinkies will get plenty of air-time and in this hot weather, that’s the way to go.

The quick-lacing system is convenient but I’ve never had to tweak it once I opted for a loose fit. The heel strap is more than adequate to lock down the foot. The black upper material is actually microfiber, thus

The footbed/midsole is made of PU and is anatomically molded. The full rubber outsole is quite a performer. It looks unassuming as you can see from the photo below. But when flexed, the razor sipes reveal themselves. These give the UNEEK excellent traction on wet conditions and I’ve worn them enough to confirm that they work as advertized.

Basically the UNEEK has been my weekend shods since I’ve got them and they felt comfortable enough for all-day wear. I wore them for 5 hours, looking like a hipster, after a recent 28K run and the next day, my legs and feet were still good for a 16K. The UNEEK has a high build quality and I expect them to last as many years as my previous sports sandals.

Here’s the video behind the UNEEK.

Disclaimer: The Keen UNEEK is a review pair courtesy of W.O.S. World of Sports (M) Sdn Bhd and is available today from Urban Adventure outlets, the World of Sports’s Gardens and e@Curve boutiques. It retails for RM479.00 and RM459.00 for the men and women versions respectively. More info about the UNEEK can be found here on its website.

Shoe Review: Nike Lunar Tempo

Choon Yuen returns with another shoe review. We collectively wish he buys more shoes.

————————————————-

Here I am again hijacking the blog, pretending the blog is mine and spending a few minutes blabbing about shoes LOL. With my first major race for 2015 over back in early April, I was looking around for a nice pair of shoes to replace my current favorites the Asics Electro33 (my PB shoes, mind you) for the upcoming Gold Coast Airport Marathon (GCAM) in July. Come to think of it, I really didn’t need to look for a new pair as I’m pretty sure the Asics still have enough life to carry me for another race before officially retiring it into my walking shoes. Nevertheless hanging out with Jamie and Nick, you will always be poisoned with buying new pair of shoes even you really didn’t need to.

Now let’s see what we have here. My first pair of running shoes purchased was the original Nike LunaRacer then followed by Nike LunaRacer+3 (Racer) skipping the version 2. When Jamie poisoned me with the Nike Lunar Tempo (Tempo) which is the trainer version of the racer, immediately I was sold even before looking at the actual shoes. True enough the Lunar Tempo according to Nike, was designed for runners who often take the Racer for long run training. In other words, you will have the best from the Racer (lightweight and fast) plus the extra cushion you need for day to day training from the LunarTempo. Judging from experience with the Racer, I upsized my purchase with a full size to combat the narrow toe box which was a big mistake…well not that big, but still a mistake.

Honestly, after 40km or so I didn’t feel right at home with the Tempo, something just didn’t feel quite right. Nick advised me to try on thicker shocks, and it worked!! In hindsight, I should have tried upsizing by only half instead of the full size due to a welcome improvement on the upper mesh which I will explain later. For the next 20km +, it felt like I have found my shoes for GCAM, at least for now, let’s wait until I test run the NB Zante in the coming weeks before deciding which pair flies with me hehe.

The Racer (top) and the Tempo.

The Tempo’s (left) outsole, which have thicker blown rubber coverage, suggests greater durability than the Racer.

The Tempo by nature is designed to be the trainer version of the Racer, naturally you are right to expect a few familiar characteristics brought over from the Racer+3. First off, on the weight department, weighing at 6.8oz for a Size 9, it’s just a mere 0.4oz heavier than the Racer, impressive for a trainer. Secondly, the responsive Lunarlon midsole are retained with a slight tweak in the groove pattern near the heel area. Then there is the Nike Flywire system used for fit adjustment wrapping your feet like what a pair of socks would do holding your feet firmly preventing any slide. Other than the above, the Tempo is a different shoe from the Racer+3.

Breathable mesh.

Lightly padded tongue.

The highly breathable seamless upper mesh has a slight tweak; it now feels softer and it is more stretchable, effectively taking away the narrow toe box feeling experienced from the Racer (my mistake to upsize by a full size). Couple with the Flywire over the midfoot allowing variable wraparound pressure/tightness adjustment depending on individual preferences holding your feet in place. Once it is adjusted properly, I did not notice any foot sliding even with upsizing. The heel collar as with the shoe tongue is slightly padded and there are no visible plastic/film over the heel counter. Instead the heel counter is packed with patterned reflective material, effective and pleasing the eyes.

The softer (and floppier) Ortholite insole of the Tempo compared to the Racer’s stiffer version.

The thicker midsole of the Tempo (right) compared to the Racer.

The insole sees a change; it is softer and thinner compare to the Racer version and is made with Ortholite material. Lunarlon midsole are slightly thicker as you can see from the picture below. It delivers sufficient cushioning yet not taking away the ground feel returning the rebound energy that one would expect from a racing flat. Carbon rubbers are placed strategically at the wear zones with very minimal visible wear noticed after closed to 70km now. Overall the ride is comfortable and smooth.

Although it is still too early to draw a conclusion on durability with merely 70km mileage, but there isn’t anything to pick on the shoe. It is lightweight, responsive, flexible, has good ground feel and fit snugly thanks to the stretchable mesh and Flywire system. The shoes has grown on me since the initial rubbish 40km that I’ve done earlier and this little package can double as a my racing shoes too (note: I am not a fast runner and you may not agree with me on the racing bits). Okay perhaps there is one thing I want to pick on the shoe which is the colorway available in this part of market…boring!!!

Nike LunarTempo is retailing at RM379 but strangely you will not find it in Nike store in Malaysia. This pair was purchased at Stadium KLCC.

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