The beginning of an amazing adventure…It only gets better from here at Thistle Port Dickson

Family holidays are about the sun, sand and spending time together- but at Thistle Port Dickson- they do even better than that!

Thistle is an absolute gem. The family suite is divine.It never ceases to amaze me when I checked into a higher-end hotel room, I was totally amazed, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share the details found in their newly refurbished family room.

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Spacious, bright and outward facing rooms and totally refurbished. The room comes with one king size bed and one children’s double-decker bed, a modern, fully equipped bathroom finished in top quality bronze colored ceramics and a stunning view from the balcony.

It provides views over landscaped gardens and the pool. It has a seating area, ample storage, digital safe, minibar and even bath time toys such as the “rubber duckies”. Allow you and your family to indulge and experience, fall asleep in a wonderfully comfortable bed, listening to your own lullaby.

When you stay at Thistle Port Dickson, you’ll enjoy the excellent service and premium amenities of a hotel- for example free wi-fi throughout the resort. But more important, you’ll enjoy the warm hospitality of a friend. That’s what sets Thistle Port Dickson apart! And it starts with the friendly smile they welcome you with.

What are you waiting for? Plan your holidays now at Thistle Port Dickson. For more information please log in to www.thistle.com/portdickson

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PROTON HSN21KM Race Review

In conjuction of Hari Sukan Negara celebration, Proton HSN21KM is an initiative by renowned event organiser Muse Group Asia, supported by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Malaysia. The run, in line with the mission of Hari Sukan Negara, is aimed at further igniting and strenghtening the desire to keep fit and be healthy among Malaysians and to create a sporting nation. Held in the heart of Kuala Lumpur with over 10,000 runners this year!

Days before the race, I was totally scared, nervous and excited all at the same time! And honestly, I had every right to be..Don’t get me wrong, I trained, but it was tough sticking to a strict plan that I made out months ago. (Life happens)

My mantra was to do what you can do-no matter what-just keep going. It’s time to nut up or shut up! And off I go…….

And all the traffic was headed the same place we are. What does that say about me and other runners? Up to run a grueling test of personal endurance at 8.30pm just for a finisher T-shirt, a medal and bragging rights.

I am trying to stay calm and pace myself, but let me be honest here, I had adrenaline pumping like mad. The atmosphere was just awesome. The set up was really fantastic! We were entertained by the Buskers as well as a super hyper warm up zumba session and then at 8.25pm all the 21km runners elite and ‘not so’ elite runners like me were called to enter the pen and head to the start line. We sang our national anthem “Negaraku” and few minutes later we were flagged off. The highlight of my day was, I had the opportunity to high five the Minister of Youth and Sports, Khairy Jamaluddin woot woot! One of the best feeling ever is standing at the start line, next to my hubby, who decided to stay and run with me-Thank you for your love and support, without you, I don’t think I would have been able to make it through Bukit Tunku.

I am not being dramatic when I say this, but I was so impressed by those running around (and past) me. It was hot, humid and hilly (The 3 Hs’), but even though it was evidence, at 2 KM we were all struggling, everyone pushed on.

I was enjoying the crowds and cruising along happily putting no thought into what lay ahead. All I thought about how this was my day. And the joy was running at Bukit Tunku (ONLY THE BRAVE, right?) I had done all the hard work and deserved to be there and it was absolutely splendid. At 2 km, I see the big hill coming up and felt like I could take on anything the world through me. The route literally went up that hill so I mean it was right in my path. It wasn’t that steep but it just kept going. I noticed a lot of people had to stop and walk at this point. I told myself just clear the hill because what goes up, must come down…. and like a lot of others around me, I had to stop and walk. Breaking laws of physics, the top of the hill somehow kept getting farther away.

Make no mistake, running hills is not easy. It leaves your legs aching and burning and you are bound to reach the top hufting and puffing. The route was tougher in the second half of the race, but thankfully the hydration and water stations were plenty and they were very well organised. Volunteers handed out water and Lucozade efficiently.

At the 10KM, our route headed into Jalan Kuching, we were out running on a pretty main road in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Kudos to the organiser for the excellent traffic control and marshaling. It was great to see drivers on the other side of the road with their windows down watching us and grinning, shouting support for people that they didn’t even know!

The route was altered slightly after that- we were back into those glorious hills! The hills, how do I put this, the hills are alive! After winding around through parts of Bukit Tunku, passed the Botanical gardens and more hills- But we soldiered on. There were marshals and police at every major junctions and corners.

Then suddenly I felt something shift in my body…If you’ve ever heard a runner talk about “hitting the wall” or “bonking”, that was exactly what happened. Then I started talking ‘gibberish’ to my hubby, asking him just like how my ten year old son would asked,,,” how far more’? and “Are we there yet”? for a dozen times I kept asking my hubby but all he said was- keep going! Run Chrisy! Run Chrisy! At 18KM, my body just quit on me. Then, I had to switched gears in my brain….it’s now mental! I got this! I am not going to stop! Just keep going….. I can do this! I can! I will! and once again my hubby made me re-focus!

At the route near PWTC- Sunway Putra Mall, I managed to keep going but in a bit of a painful blur. I was just focused on trying to keep up with my hubby and just kept my legs moving. I kept repeating my mantra…Don’t quit! Don’t quit!

I am not quite certain how it works, but it always amazes me how the body can do things on race day that you really don’t think possible! After that Everest Climb to base camp we come to a water station. All I can see are determined faces. Everyone was beginning to look beat down and yet smiling cause they know after having come this far they will finish the race!

Then I saw the sign 20KM, runner’s favourite number..just one more KM to go..with sweat dripping every part of my body, fatigue increasing, I really started to struggle with my breathing, just one more KM to go, sounds like making excuses, it sort of is….LOL..

The final 1Km was quiet and tranquil. Runners wore few and far between. Most runners, including me, alternated between running and walking.

At the finished line, we were given fininsher’s entitlement, which include a medal, water and a 21KM finisher’s T-shirt. At the race village, there were plenty of booths, food trucks and entertainment too….

I have nothing but amazing things to say about PROTON HSN21KM. The course was a real challenge! A mixture of hills and hills and the hills are alive……LOL. The support from friends and spectators was amazing. The Staff and volunteers were beyond amazing and awesome! Water stations, markers and signages were sufficient and well placed and organised. The organiser did a tremendous job with traffic control and marshling. A huge kudos and congratulations to each and everyone of  you for actually being out there running, walking or crawling!

 

Are you ready for HSN21km?

Every race tells a story….

Marathons are for mad people! That’s what I’d always thought and I didn’t fit in the club….until…….HARI SUKAN NEGARA!

In just two days, HSN21km will be held held on 14 October at Dataran Merdeka at 6pm onwards. This half marathon is ‘extra special’ to me…Why? Because, a year ago I did the Impossible, the Inconceivable, the Extraordinary! I completed my first half marathon race at HSN21KM run last year 2016.

Leading up to my first half marathon, there was pain, there was progress and despite some nerves and struggles in the beginning…that being said, none of my training compares to everything I learned on race day and the days leading up to it.

It became clear early on that to be a runner it wasn’t as simple as putting on a pair of shoes and running. Unless you are Kenyan of course.

I became a runner who wasn’t training for any particular race. Running was just something I did. People would ask me what I was training for and I would reply “Life”. My hubby aka my ‘sole’ mate- was the dose of maturity I needed to run long distances. He helped foster myself-belief, resist the urge to surge and above all RUN RUN RUN!

Running is an adventure that has produced beautiful lessons, truths involving friendships an incredible amount of dedication and courage.

And at 21km, take off! Give it EVERYTHING you’ve got! And out that smile on your face because cameras are ready! Don’t just blow through the finish line. Throw your arms wide, jump, do something awesome because that is the moment you are going to want to remember for the REST of your life. You just ran a HALF MARATHON! A HALF MARATHON! YOU! AMAZING! You are incredible! Wear your medal with pride, grab your goodies, eat your banana, take pictures with your friends. Do that happy dance!

I might have crossed the finished line of my first half marathon after 3 hours and 24 minutes, but I have accomplished so much more! I pushed my limits and got to know myself! I shattered expectations and started my journey and enjoy running. I became fitter and healthier. I became a better version of myself.See you at Hari Sukan Negara @ HSN21KM at Dataran Merdeka at 6pm onwards.

MAKNA Founder’s Night Run Race Review

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Behind each participant is a story of love, hope and courage that inspires them to run…and run to the finish line. While reflecting on the many lessons I have learned on this journey, one of the most important lesson is to ‘ Always do what you are afraid to do’, but remember, whatever you do, means so much more, when you do it for someone else. Last Saturday, I was given the privileged to run 21 km half marathon for MAKNA Founder’s Night Run at Putrajaya.

MAKNA Founder’s Night Run is a race to save lives, aiming to raise funds for cancer treatment subsidies, awareness, welfare assistance and more- No one should fight cancer alone- this event invites people of all walks of life to join in the fight and run alongside those who are impacted by cancer.

This run is special and it’s close to my heart. Why? Because this time I ran with my heart and not with my legs, this 21 km half marathon is not achieving a certain time or individual goal, this race is about making a difference!

We arrived at Putrajaya at 6.00pm. Headed to the starting point. The set-up was pretty fantastic. It was like a carnival atmosphere. Music, balloons, parents and children were seen all around with happy faces. At 7.50pm, the announcers called all the 21 km half marathon runners into the pen, to the starting line….instead of a flagged off, we were led by three gorgeous ladies for about 20 minutes for a warm up Zumba Session. Don’t get me wrong- I love Zumba and I was enjoying every minute of it, until I turned around and realised that I was the only one dancing and moving to the beat- all the other 21 km runners (probably elite and PRO) were getting annoyed and some even were venting out their frustrations by protesting and yelling and shouting for the race to start!

Then at 8.10pm, a chap says go and blows the whistle/horn and the 400 runners for the 21 km half marathon shuffle into life! A stunning diversity of masses bouncing around for position.

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This is a funny time where you are not really sure who is in front of you and who is behind of you. The next 5 km, I actually got a decent pace going, I overtook a few runners. The organisers did a good job, roads and routes were well condone, marshals were on standby and traffic police were placed at every traffic lights and junctions.

Then, after the 5 km, we were running in darkness, I was solely depending on the moonlight-however, it was a very dim moonlight on that particular night, there were no street lights for about 1 km, the first check point came at last, then we had to make a U-turn and run once more about 1 km in the darkness.

6 km to 10km : This is the best…..such beautiful night, the weather was great and this pace feels so easy….Life is so amazing, enjoyed the views in Putrajaya and this breeze feels so good! These downhills make me happy. I was extremely glad that there were sufficient hydration points with 100 plus and mineral water.

At about 15 km, my lower legs felt fatigued. My legs became heavy. Cramps! Glorious! Cramps! It was then I understood the mental aspect of endurance running. I would have to dig deep within myself to reach the finish line! I kept pushing myself! Then the opposite side I saw my brother, Bufford and he kept saying – GO GO GO! See you at the finish line!

Then came the 17 km, my calves threatened to cramp, my hips tightened. My shoulders tensed. I had become hyper-aware of each and everybody part, those parts that hurt as well as those parts that didn’t! I shrank into my head, slowed to walk and started thinking of my mum, a breast cancer survivor, my aunt Doris, my iron lady aunt, my cousin, Annalee- a strong woman, and fighter and never gave up her battle against Cancer and my sister’s BFF- Jen who never ever quits and Sibendina, my childhood friend- a tough cookie…Then I told myself, this pain that I am going through is nothing compared to theirs! And in that moment, tears just flowed down my cheeks as I thought of these awesome warriors and this is the reason I am here, this is the reason I am running a half marathon and I am gonna cross that finishing line. THEY ARE MY REASON!

With those thoughts on my mind, suddenly I realised that I have reached the last hydration station and only 2 km to go and I will have finished! The true moment where I realized no matter how bad I may hurt, no matter how tired I am, I will be crossing the finish line- and more awesome! I ran in honour of my mum, my aunt, my cousin, my friend and the Cancer warriors!

I finished it! I crossed the finishing line…with tears in my eyes, grinning like an idiot, limping like a clown…but loving every second of it! Now excuse me while I go get myself some first aid help at the medical station.

OVERALL:

Entry and information: Regular updates of information regarding all aspects of the venue.

Race registration/pack: Collection was well organised,quick and easy.

Venue: Plenty of space at the venue,porta-porties were plentiful.There were plenty of volunteers around if anyone needed assistance.

Parking: There were several large parking areas near the start point.

Organisation:The event was organised to the highest level.

Course: A good city road course,rarely what you could call interesting,especially at       night,no steep climbs but some long tough inclines to test legs,lungs and will power.Overall, a not too tough course that most runners throughly enjoyed.If anyone set a PB on this course,I would be suprised and they should be very proud! (Congrats! My dear brother, Bufford for doing your PB)

Marshaling and water stations: The course was for the most part, run on unclosed roads, being a night run the roads were generally not too busy but due to the excellent and abundant marshals,it would not have caused a problem.Very impressive.

Water stations were ample in number and well stocked as I went through.The duty marshals were very well drilled, a great bunch of happy and encouraging people.

Post race: The post-race was smooth and efficient and although when I reached the finishing line,most of the booths were closed… Plenty of resting area available and all the medical requirement were well in place.The full result were available in a very high timely manner,yes,full results!

Overall,I think the Race Director and all who have been involved can be very proud of  a well managed,enjoyable and safe event.

   *People say there are many reasons that we run,

I run because I can…!*