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My Sports History

I am not an expert in any ball games. I will roll the ball into the drain, I will smash the ball onto the net, I will kick the ball out of the pitch. I can only fish the ball into my mouth.

I do not pick up any kind of sports when I was a teenager. Be it swimming, running, cycling or weight-lifting. I do them as only when I like, mostly for leisure, without any coaching.

The 2004 SCMS 10km race was the first event that I signed up myself. It was just a "join in the carnival" when I ran at that time. After which, I signed up as a member with True Fitness, under the gym instructor Mohd Hafiz after sometimes. My motive was also very simple then -- to gain some strength to give my mother a lift when she gets older. I would jog on the treadmill, do presses with weights, and stretch my muscles like a spiderman crawling on the floor.

But somehow my mother "rejected" my goodwill in 2009.

I continued my gym routine, from Raffles Place Chevron House to Suntec City Tower 5. My aim was to keep fit and never to get sick easily, so that I need not trouble anyone to look after me, a single then, when I get old.

But the cost of keeping fit was getting higher and higher as a gym member. I have come to a point to "borrow" money if I want to continue to use the gym.

That's where the turning point in 2011 came about. I was introduced to a running school called Mileage in August 2011. My motive was to get myself proper running instructions to run a marathon well. And it worked. I did my first 42km marathon in 2010, with a time of more than 5 hours, and I did achieve a 40 mins improvement in 2011!

I stopped my gym trainings from then on. I continue to run in races, before and after my wedding. I run on grass, I run on roads, I run on sands, I just keep on running.

It comes to a point this year when I ask myself: What am I running for? Why do I take running as a sport? These questions came into my mind after I completed my 6th marathon in Hong Kong recently. When I look at the run medals that I took part in past races, I would feel that I may be satisfied with what I have achieved all these years. I will continue to run, but my motive of running may be changing.

Maybe I will pick up another sport? Maybe I will just take running as a leisure? Maybe I should set my target higher, push my trainings harder? Time will tell. My age will tell. My body will tell...

Mistakes I made in SCHKM 2015

schkm 2015
Despite knowing that the course in Hong Kong consisis of more tunnels and bridges, I have always aimed to maintain at 4h30m, the record finish time during SCMS 2013.

I trained myself at Upper Pierce, Lower Pierce and Old Upper Thomson Road, and even went to Macau to feel the cold air. I tried out with different running attires that I had wanted to use during the marathon, I felt I am ready for Hong Kong.

I didn't tire out myself when in Hong Kong before the marathon, all fun and sight-seeings were planned after the marathon. I even arranged for 2 legs massage sessions with Pauline to loosen the muscles. Did a short 5km jog along Avenue of Stars the next day upon arrival to feel the cold strong winds.

Raisin breads, hot milo, hand gloves, waist belt, GU gels, Garmin watch, thick socks... all checked.

Woke up one hour before the start time, I turned on the Garmin watch in the hotel room (Mistake 1), had breakfast. I did some warm-up running and stretches just in front of the hotel. The start line along Nathan Road is close to the hotel that I stayed.

I assembled at the start box half an hour before the start time. Garmin watch, waist belt with GU gels and handphone (Mistake 2), Bib number, hand gloves... all checked again.

6.40am, the race began.

Cool breeze along the run, I never felt any difficulty when climbing the slopes. It was later recorded in the website with my timings at 10km was 01:00:50, at Halfway was: 02:07:14, at 30km was: 03:05:44.

After I crossed the sea from Kowloon to Hong Kong island, I have cleared at least 35km of the marathon route. I felt a sharp pain at the back, near the left shoulder when climbing the highway bridge. I raised my left arm high in the air, but it didn't help. It forced me to slow down my pace, and turned to walking instead.

When I come to the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, I stopped to do some legs stretches. It did relieve some of the back pain, afterwhich I can only walk and jog slowly, totally out of my normal running pace.

Then at the last Killer Bridge, I walked. I started to jog again only when I have cleared the bridge. From the videos captured by the organiser, I saw myself limping badly all the way to the finish line. It turned out that my Official Time was 04:55:09, and my Nett Time was 04:54:20.

Although disappointed, I am still anticipating SCHKM 2016.


Jalan Membina 1969
1970年我就已经搬到大巴窑新镇,所以当年在惹兰孟比那的生活是怎样的,我一无所知。要不是父母有时候逢年过节会探访一下老邻居,我对老家的回忆就仅是这样少。大牌16 跟以上黑白照片的样子相似。

门牌183A 即是二楼的一个单位,楼下是一间面包店,每天都生产面包。妈妈就说过,当时面包店产生的热气升上楼,我和哥哥就常常容易得到皮肤病。楼下角头有一间咖啡店,如果要吃云吞面,只需要喊下楼,摊主就准备好热腾腾的云吞面端上楼。当年不流行自助服务,我们吃完云吞面时,也很自动地把碗碟洗干净了,才还给摊主。这就是所谓的甘榜精神。


在我念幼稚园的时候,老家还在。爸爸妈妈就因为我老是考到前三名,向老邻居炫耀一下。吴女士有四个孩子,我们也叫她阿妗。当年这四位哥哥姐姐是我最好的玩伴,我们常常在大牌16 的后方游乐场玩,荡秋千,爬铁球,东奔西跑捉迷藏。两年前,我还很荣幸邀请到吴女士参加我的喜宴,见证我结婚了。

妈妈当时有拿些工作回家做,帮补家用,有时会忙不过来。幸好有位好心的婆婆帮忙照顾我,喂我喝玻璃奶瓶。有一回,要不是婆婆,爸爸妈妈会看不成一场电影。事由当电影院熄灯时,彩色的霓虹灯转瞬间变得黑漆漆,吓得我号啕大哭。戏未开场,爸爸妈妈被迫离开。热心的婆婆于是自愿代为照顾我,爸爸妈妈才得以看电影-- 负心的人。


我想,大牌16 始终在80 年代拆除了,新组屋随后建起来。彩色照片中的大牌118D,也即是以前大牌16 的所在地。山坡依旧,人事已非。现在毗邻有中峇鲁地铁站,出入比较方便了。想当年,我要走去位于林烈街祖母的家也是很方便的。
Jalan Membina 2015


Jalan Membina

It is indicated in my Birth Certificate, I was born on 13 January 1969 at KK Hospital at 5.01am. The home address I got then was Blk 16 Jalan Membina, unit 183A, Kampong Tiong Bahru.
Jalan Membina 1969
I have no idea how was life back then in Jalan Membina, as I shifted to Toa Payoh new town one year later in 1970. The flat, simliar to the one in the black and white photo, I have the memories of it only when I returned to visit the old neighbours there together with my parents.

Unit 183A means I was staying at level 2 back then. Below was a confectionery shop where breads were baked everyday. My mum used to say that brother and I suffered from skin rashes easily, due to the heat created from the shop. There's a wanton mee stall at the corner coffeeshop, whereby we could place orders by shouting down, and the stall owner would bring the food right up to our doorstep. There's no such thing as self service back then, of cos we would automatically wash the bowls before we brought them down to return to the stall owner. Kampong spirit was very strong then.

The kitchen has a balcony, enclosed with grills. When I was learning to crawl, my mum has told an exciting story about my father crying for help. I must have seen a cat downstairs which made me trying ways to reach it. I struggled to slid out of the grills. My tiny body was able to slid through the grills, but my bigger head got stuck at the neck. I must be crying in pain then. Father saw me like this and he was too terrified what to do. My mum helped me back into the house in the end. The kitchen grills were covered with wooden planks after that. If not, I might not have lived so healthly today.

I knew the old flat was not demolished yet when I was growing up. I used to boast about my top 3 standings at the Kindergarten class when I visited the old neighbours. Madam Goh, who is also known as Ah Kim, has four children to play with me. The big brothers and sisters were my best playmates then. We would take the swing, climb the metal globe, running about the playground that was just behind the flat. I am happy and honoured to have invited Madam Goh to my wedding dinner 2 years ago.

Po Po (grandma), was another good neighbour who would look after me when my mum could not cope with the works she brought home to do. Po Po would help to feed me with the glass bottle. At one time, when mum and father took time to go for a cinema movie show, I cried so loud when the colour lights were turned off. They have no choice but to leave the cinema before the show began. Not until Po Po initiated to take care of me, mum and father would have to miss the movie show. Thanks to Po Po. I was told the movie title was 负心的人.

Another old neighbour who stayed near the other stairway has 3 younger children. I could remember he was the only neighbour who owned a colour television in the 70s. The brand of the television was Telefunken, a big conventional television in a wooden case that stood on the floor. Ah Hong was one of the children, about the same age as my brother, and neighbours like to made fun of them by saying that they were a heavenly matched couple. I love their peddle car instead. I can peddle along the long corridor from one end to another, but Ah Heng, the owner of the car, did not like me to touch his car often.

I think Block 16 was finally demolished in the 80s, and new flats were built after that. The Block 118D in the colour photo is the exact spot where the Block 16 last stood. The slope was still there but "modified". It is actually very close to the Tiong Bahru MRT station now. I used to walk to my grandmother's place at Lim Liak Street myself, not very far from Jalan Membina.
Jalan Membina 2015

Today I am already 46 years old. Maybe I should pay a visit to my old home one of these days, to bring back all those good memories when I was a kid.

Remembering 2014 - Milestones

It's new year eve. In less than 24 hours we'll be welcoming 2015.

For the past one year, what I have been busy with are basically work, run and houseworks. The changing work culture in my present workplace has resulted me to report for work at 9.30am and leave the office as early as 5.30pm. Boss has scrapped his SFN number plated car in October, thus I have to drive to work everyday from then on.

Chingay practises covered most of my weekend in the beginning of the year. I actually have made a wish in this Year of the Horse. There's a saying 马到功成, but in the end I couldn't see any outcome after so many hard works... on the bed at nights. What's a wet blanket. I used to mark down whenever we turned on our production engines, but gave up to take note after I have lost counts of the times we work on it.

NDP comes next. The nation marks 49 years this year. I dance like a motivator to the audience to encourage them to sing along this time. I performed on the track. Karen became an Indian and she danced on the platform. We had a good fun with Singapura, 小人物的心声, Chan Mali Chan and Munneru Vaalibba.

Mileage runs for the whole year round. For most Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturadays, I have been training a couple of hours for the races I've signed up. There's no marathon for me in 2014. I started to prepare for the Hong Kong Marathon right after NDP, with minor races in between. The Hong Kong Standard Chartered Marathon will happen in 25 January 2015. Hope the protests are over by then.

I guess I have become more active using the Whatapps, Line and Facebook from my Samsung Galaxy Ace3 this year. I need to charge my phone at least 2 times to 100% daily. Maybe I have downloaded new applications to view the weather map on NEA, road traffic conditions on LTA, and sometimes check the flight times on SIA.

2 new members are added to the house this year. I welcome Panasonic washing machine on 23-3-14 and Joven water heater on 14-8-14. I hope there will be a new member running around in the house by next year, and not because of SG50.

Let there be world peace, no disasters, no illness, no poverty in the new year... although everybody has wished for the same every year. Happy New Year 2015!

Remembering 2014 - Events Summary

I made at least 6 trips overseas in 2014, with 4 flying in planes.
13Feb - 16Feb : Hong Kong. Taking part in SCHKM 21km and celebrate Valentine's Day.
9May -12May : KL / Sri Petaling. Attending a friend's wedding and be the Cantonese host during her wedding dinner.
11Oct : JB. Shop at KSL & City Square and see Doraemon
25Oct : JB. taste chicken chop
5Dec - 8Dec : Macau / Zhuhai. Taking part in Macau Marathon 21km and short visit to Zhuhai.
18Dec - 21Dec : Bangkok. Follow wife to her company holidays trip.

I watched only 4 movies in cinemas in 2014.
20May : Godzilla. Cathay Ang Mo Kio. with wife.
27May : 我是孝子. GV Plaza. with wife.
22Jul : Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Shaw Nex.
31Jul : Hercules. Shaw Nex. with wife.

I took part in 10 races in 2014, otherwise I was just involved in it.
16.2.14 SCHKM C3268 21km 1:59:34
27.4.14 Run350 U11017 21km becomes 10km 57:05
18.5.14 RealRun MV3834 10km 58:31
31.5.14 Sundown T9805  10km 54:36 - Team with Isa, Randy & Joseph
8.6.14 Pocari Sweat 30145 5km 1:16:58  - Walk with family
3.8.14 Tri-factor Run 2492 21km 1:58:28
17.8.14 Shape Run 5km - Walk with wife
31.8.14 SBR & AHM 06722 21km 2:03:04 - Run with someone's bib
14.9.14 YRPR 12390 10km 55:55 - Wife sponsers
28.9.14 ST Run 15752 10km 55:07:32
1.11.14 Hello Kitty Run 10341 5km - Fun walk in the rain with friends
2.11.14 SIA Charity Run M4166 10km 51:55
9.11.14 Great Eastern Women Run 5km - Walk with wife
16.11.14 Run for Hope 10097A 10km - No run as wife was not feeling well
23.11.14 Swissotel Vertical Marathon 40M2181 13:58
7.12.14 Macau Marathon B3178 21km 1:59:36

Of  faith and condolences...
2Feb - Pray Grandpa 祖父 at 大巴窑修德善堂 (年初三)
9Mar - Qingming prayers at Moulmein Road 宽济堂
30Mar - Pray Grandpa 外公 at Moulmein Road 宽济堂
31Mar - Pray Father Mother Grandma Grandpa at Mount Vernon
13Apr - NFP at Holy Cross Church
6May - Vesak Day prayers at Lor 24A Geylang temple
13May - Vesak Day vegetarian treat at Moulmein Road 宽济堂
24Jun - 愚大婶's mum funeral wake
3Aug - 7th month prayers at Blk 53 Toa Payoh with the Lees (初八)
10Aug - 7th month prayers at 大巴窑修德善堂 (中元节)
30Sep - Relative at Mount Vernon Purity Hall funeral wake
6Oct - Maevis's mother funeral wake at Lorong 1 Toa Payoh
16Nov - Insurance Agent at Bedok South funeral wake


Remembering 2014 - Bonding

When we want to keep our food warm, we need to heat it up under the fire. When we want to maintain a relationship, I believe in bonding. When I talk about bonding, I don't mean by using electronics gadgets to Whatapps or Facebook or Twitter to keep in touch. We have to sit down together, face to face and communicate by mouth. Then this is the real bonding.

Over the years, I have been shutting my doors to outside world because I think it is a waste of time. But thanks to my wife, she reopens it when she came to me in 2011. Since then, I think I spend more time outdoors rather than rotting at home. New friends were introduced to me through her. I believe I got to maintain even the bond between my old friends and relatives from her too.

This Christmas, I have been out celebrating. 13-12-14 Satay by the Bay/Christmas Wonderland (Eric), 17-12-14 CCAB/Mr Prata (Mileage), 24-12-14 Trinity Christian Church (Jan), 25-12-14 Heaven is for Real (Citystate), 25-12-14 Seasonal Salad Bar (In Law).

It was a rare occassion that cousins could meet over a dinner at Merchant Court Hotel on 18-11-14. We hardly get to meet when most of us got married and started our own families, all thanks to Jamie.

On 16-9-14, 小天使 Vivian Yong visited RWS casino, she came so suddenly that no one got time to meet her, I helped her to pass the presents to 花花 Winnie Chew in Tampines, before I proceeded to my daily works. Although tired, but I feel satisfied for what I have done, because they are my friends. And I was repaid in the evening when Eric Tan passed me the tickets to F1 race. I was overjoyed.

Zong Ye was admitted to KK for stomach upset. Rong Hai has been staying TTSH over a long period since the first operations. As a friend, I ought to visit them. I visited them on 1-6-14 with my wife. Hope we have brought some cheerful smile on them.

A group of long distant relatives (二哥) from Shenzhen came to Singapore on 3-7-14. The Yap family take turns to spend time with them for a week. We have been to the Flyer, GBTB and dinner at Casuarina Road.

Most of the gatherings this year were with the Lee families and PA friends. I hope in times to come, I am not restricted to just the same groups of people. I wish I could hang out with friends and relatives from other groups too. Bonding doesn't mean to sign a bond, it doesn't carry any terms and conditions. Bo jio is not a good feeling afterall.

Summary: 11Mar - Todai/i Light(Yap), 23Mar - i Light(Eric), 30Mar - Keng Eng restaurant dinner(Cai), 16Apr - Clementi Blk 325 dinner(Mileage), 3Aug - 7th month prayers at Blk 53(Lee), 9Aug - Paulaner Brauhaus Millenia Walk(Eric), 24Aug - 10 Dollars Karaoke(Karen), 8Sep - United Square Korean buffet(Yap), 5Oct - Teochew Festival/Carousel hi-tea(Yap), 17Oct - Kallang Wave Old Town/ New Balance(Eileen), 27Nov - Mushroom Pot steamboat(Sandra)

Remembering 2014 - Happiness

Winter comes to Singapore today. The temperature dropped rapidly as rain was poured whole day. It's a good time for me to recall all that happened in 2014 though. Let me begin it with the romantic Happiness.

I attended at least 4 weddings if I remembered correctly. Frederick & Chloe at Fullerton Hotel (26-1-14), Steven & Alison at Restaurant Overseas Sri Petaling (10-5-14), Wei Xiong & Ellise at Grand Copthrone Waterfront (31-8-14), Derek & Edlyn at Church of the Holy Cross (27-9-14). As for me, Karen & I celebrated our 1st ROM anniversary at Swatow Restaurant instead. On 18-1-14, we had Dim Sum hi-tea as there's Chingay rehearsal duties later in the evening. On 21-9-14, we celebrated our 1st Wedding anniversary together with family over lunch at Manhatten Fish Market. Thanks to Eric Tan for giving us a romantic treat to watch F1 race the night before. We were partially drenched shortly when the race ended. So romantic to run under the rain.

Birthdays are not forgotten. I wished Toa Ng a happy birthday when I went to Tiong Bahru on 25-1-14 (十二月廿五) to give her the blessing personally. Julia 小姨's lunar birthday at Suntec Soup Restaurant on 9-3-14. Sister Jean early celebration at Shin Tokyo/ Pasarbella MBS on 27-3-14. Daddy and Mummy at LHT home on 8-4-14 and 29-4-14. Cousin Jamie's son, Verrill's 1st birthday at NSRCC on 17-4-14. Lunch with Grandma 外婆 at Furama Riverfront on 20-4-14. Lyn's 'surprise' celebration at Empirestate at Causeway Point right after our NDP rehearsal. Grandma 祖母 at 醉花林品 on 2-6-14. We also celebrated Daddy and Mummy's Day together at Blisshouse on 17-6-14. Jett's simple 2 years birthday dinner at 莆田 19-6-14. We rushed between NDP and ECP for the BBQ at Pit F64 on 28-6-14, to celebrate a mysterious birthday? 5-8-14 I celebrated my friend/tenant Adrian's birthday at Blk 18 煮炒. Cousin Cindy's son, Jayrus full moon celebration at NSRCC on 6-9-14. Xuanxuan and Feifei celebrated their birthdays at Bukit Merah on 12-10-14 and 19-10-14. Min Rui celebrated her full moon at Bukit Merah on 2-11-14 too. I arranged all cousins to meet for the early celebration of sister Laura's birthday at Carousel on 14-12-14.

As for my wife Karen, I chose to let her enjoy a night stay at Swissotel Hotel as I climbed the stairs the next day on 22-11-14.

More celebrations are expected to come in 2015. Anticipating...