Friday, November 30, 2007


Red 9 - Squadron Leader Martin Higgins (Squadron Leader = Major)
Squadron Leader Martin Higgins (35) is in his third year on the Red Arrows. Higgy was born in Bristol and educated at Colston School, Stapleton where he was a member of the Combined Cadet Force. Higgy studied Aeronautics and Astronautics at Southampton University, before joining the Royal Air Force at the age of 21.
After completing initial flying training, Higgy undertook a Qualified Flying Instructor tour at Royal Air Force Valley on the Hawk aircraft. He was then was selected to fly the Tornado F3 aircraft, a two-seat supersonic fighter used by the Royal Air Force in an air defence role. During his time flying the Tornado F3, Higgy served on No. 43 (Fighter) Squadron and No. 56 (Reserve) Squadron at Royal Air Force Leuchars, and amassed 800 hours on this aircraft type. He flew in exercises in the USA, Canada and Belgium, and operationally in Iraq.
Higgy is married to Shazia, also an officer in the Royal Air Force. When he can find the time, Higgy enjoys surfing and scuba diving and hopes to complete an Ironman Triathlon in the near future.
“Flying as a member of the Red Arrows is still as challenging as my first training sortie with the Team.”
Inspirational! Thats the word to explain these 9 daredevil pilots whom had travelled everywhere in the world to show their skills. Probably meet him in Langkawi next week and start talking about his Ironman craze! So next photo probably a short Major and tall Squadron Leader who wish to complete their Ironman race.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Tmorrow 29 November at 3pm:
Airshow by 'Red Arrows' at Subang Airforce base.
free entrance
If you've never seen this aerobatic jetfighter team before pls go and see. The split second precision these pilots show flying their jets is hair raising!!!
(Kalam will go with the kids, Mum is stuck at work GRR//##@!!)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I've spend exactly 45 minutes training in the past 6 days!!! Surely my times will be improving soon...(only in my dreams).
In the weekend I attended a conference in Penang together with 2 college's. I've been living in M'sia since 1992 and this was the first time I visited Penang. My friends took me around, theresults are imaginable, a marathon of sorts (SHOPPING AND FOOD). Had the best laksa I've ever tasted, we did a bit of sightseeing and mostly shopping. With my male-dominated family shopping is no fun. After a few minutes they will start sighing deeply and checking their watches super obviously. 'What are you looking for actually?', 'How much longer is this gonna take?', 'Is that all or do you need to buy anything else?' etc etc NO FUN AT ALL
The three of us spend hours checking out all kinds of little shops, earrrings, accesories, shoes, clothes, souvenirs and other cutesy stuff. We only arrived back in the hotel at 10pm when the shops closed!!! Crazily we hardly bought anything, just had fun looking....

Today is Danial's birthday, just a small celebration with a home-made chocolate cake.

Janie gave birth again, this time 4 cute white kittens. Love those little balls of fluff. She gave birth while we were in Lumut for Powerman, we were really worried when we came back and couldn't find her. She showed up the next evening and the next day she took us to her kittens (she gave birth in a empty house down the road)

Tomorrow I'm gonna start training seriously (ahum)

Monday, November 12, 2007

I eat my words

Race report time; Powerman Malaysia

Unfortunately no pictures, it's time we start thinking about buying our own camera!

This picture has been pinjammed from Jaja

Our tri-family during Powerman briefing
Pre-training was minimal! Half hours in the afternoon a few times a week was all I've managed to do since fasting month. Kalam's training hasn't been much more either. Danial and Dayan spend lots of time in front of their playstation and hardly any time training; of course we can all take part in Powerman, yeah right....

We arrived in Manjung lunchtime saturday, met lots of friends walking around. The pro's were staying in the same hotel, saw some really beautiful bikes.

Last minute repairs for Danial and Dayan's bikes. Danial had a flat tire once again (I don't know how he does it, but tires on his bike rarely last more than a week!!!). Dayan's bike had problem with one of the pedals coming off.

Race registration and briefing. But even more, catch up with so many friends: ladies 1st -Jaja, Aini, Robika, Susi, Hiroko, Faiza (coming to watch), May Senn, Fong, Karen, May Ang,Kim...gents - Mac, Shazly, Zebets, Wong, Shahrom, Azmar, Jamil, Zabil, Krishna, Guna, Adrian, Ihsal, Nik Ariff etc etc
Only a small number of UPNM's cadets were able to join Powerman, most were in the middle of exams. Navy's gang was around of course (being near to Lumut-navy base) but only a few joined the race, others like Joyo and Ramunjan claimed lack of training...
Arman, Sanggup and Jasmi joined UPNM's team.
Lots of stories about the 3rd bridge on the bikeroute having a real nasty hill- yikes I hate hills!
Sudden panic; Kalam left his race numbers in KL. (Luckily he got a replacement number from the management).Phew

On sunday morning the usual nerves after a fretfull sleep (why should I be nervous beats me, it's not as if our family is gonna set any world records). Managed to swallow half a powerbar.
The four of us cycled to the race site half a kilometer away.

Individual racers flagged off at 7.30 followed by the relayers(somehow this word sounds funny). Lastly it was our turn, Dayan looked extremely nervous and asked me to stay with him during the race, but he's old enough to start taking part on his own. Salman discovered last minute he didn't have a timing-chip but the management efficiently got him a chip just a few minutes before the start.

The pro's were allready into their second loop when they flagged us off. Immediately i was at the back of the pack together with Dayan who started to walk soon. For a change I managed to run and keep running and in the end overtook several others. Ok ok, my running is a snail's pace but it's a huge difference for me. Finished the first run in 40 minutes or so and felt really good. Quick sip and unto the bike....
Disaster struck -front tire nearly flat. Some of the bystanders helped to pump the tire but it immediately went flat again, ahyo . Then I had a 'What Would Terry Fox Do Now? moment' . I remembered spotting a bicycle-shop opposite our hotel the day before. So I ran there with my bike. Of course the shop was closed -8.30 on sunday morning what was I expecting-. But lady luck smiled on me (or Terry fox or whoever) and the owners son was watching the cyclists. I got him to call his dad and he agreed to change the tire for me (wonder what he thought of this crazy matsalleh woman bugging him on his off-day). While the tire was being checked and changed I ran to the hotel to get some money to pay for the new tire.
Bike okay again I finally took off on the bike-leg. (Offical rules don't allow outside help during the race but being at the end of the pack rules can be twisted a bit). By now I was truly the last one (if you talk all the time about being the last you'll get what you deserve- EAT YOUR WORDS).
Pro's were allready passing by on their second loop of the bike. Half a kilometer later I came across Dayan sitting at the roadside with tears in his eyes and the peddle of the bike in his hands. I stopped for awhile to console him. Promised him a better bike. No use sending him to the bicycle-shop as his bike would need a whole new set.

Finally on my way out of town I felt good, just enjoy the wind in my hair and the sun on my face. Better than sitting at home watching the world go by. Of course one after another cyclist overtook me. But lots of them had words of encouragement.
I reached the dreaded hill at the 3rd bridge but it wasn't nearly as nasty as I feared. I've come across lots of nastier hills in the past year -this one is more or less like the hill before UPNM.
On the way back I spotted a yellow number in the distance and my first thought "Yeah, if I can overtake that one I won't be last anymore". Slowly i neared the cyclist (later i found out his name is Md Isa - a stroke-survivor), when i was about to overtake him suddenly 'PSSHHT' and his tire went flat. As I don't carry any tires or pump I couldn't help him. Any way now I was last again.
By now the lack of training started taking effect, feeling tired and cramps in my legs but just continued to cycle. Transition 2 a quick powergel in the hope the cramps would settle but this didn't work. Couldn't run, but being a long-distance WALKER I know I can easily finish 5km. so I walked. Nearly at the end I spotted another yellow number, also walking, but a bit slower than me. I caught up with her, a new duathlete named Sandy. Together we walked/ran to the finishline and crossed together.
In the final results it turns out I was 2 seconds faster than her (haha would need a photo-finish), Md Isa also finished the race (kudos to you Sir, proud to shake your hand!). Final results; I'm number 110 out of 112.......yieehaah

Me and Sandy running to the finish-line

Picture thanks to Tey

Mumma's or Papa's son?

Picture thanks to Tey

Danial did well and finished without much problems, Gosh if that boy started training a bit he could really improve.
Kalam finished 10 minutes before cut-off time (4 minutes faster than his previous Powerman).
But he was struggling during the second run, maybe now he realises that attempting an Ironman while training just a few half hours a week is NOT a brilliant idea.
Darimi's favorite abang, Salman finished 5th in the sprint.
Jeffri, Sanggup and Jasmi did well...
Robika due to injury, was unable to take part in the long distance, but she finished second in the sprint (women). She's a real supermom (which makes Jeffri a superdad o'course)

Kalam struggling during the run

Ironman 2008 here he comes

picture thanks to Tey

Trying to advertise for powergels

Picture thanks to Tey

Some afterthoughts.
Powerman Malaysia is not very sprint-friendly. No medal, no wet towel at the finish, no t-shirt and according to the website not even a certificate. All we got was a bottle of water.... Ah well, like Kalam says 'Sprint untuk kanak-kanak aje'
Otherwise the event was organised very well.

I'm quite happy just because I managed to run nearly 5 km. I now realise that it has a lot to do with what I wear. Being 'top-heavy' makes running difficult, but with a exercise-top and a sports-bra I can run without having to press my arms to my chest for support.

If there was a prize for 'Most disorganised family' we'd have good chances to win 1st prize;
* Kalam left his race numbers in KL
* i lost my new sunglasses during the race, put them down somewhere during the hassle wiuth my bike- no clue where
* Danial left his complete bag behind. We're not sure whether the bag was accidently left behind in the lobby of the hotel or it got mixed up with the bags of other athletes checking out at the same time. If anyone has found an unidentified black bag with a few sets of clothes in it, likely it belongs to my son... (drop me a mail if found pls)

Congrats to all who finished the race....,
try again next time for those who didn't....

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Good times, bad times

It has been a week of ups and downs. On sunday the 28th Oct. I attended to a symposium together with a collegea. The talks were given by various cardiologist and cardiacthoracic surgeons from Gleneagles. Especially the talk by dato' Nik Zainal was very good. The next day he died in a traffic accident.

On friday morning I woke up with a sore neck and stiff shoulder. Ahja, usual lah, use computer too much. Go for a good swim in the afternoon to loosen up. The next day the pain was worse and some fingers in my hand were cold and numb. Better check this out. Got my X-rays back today; extensive sclerosis and cervical spondylosis. I'm not really surprised by the findings, the symptoms were there for quite a long time. Now learning how to live with this, weeh can't use computer for long periods -have to restrict my blogging.....

Sunday morning we took the whole family to FRIM for the 'Brooks fun run'. Quite a good turnout for a first time non-competitive event; more than 600 participants. Darimi was proud and excited to have a number pinned unto his shirt.

Dr. Chua joined the run with his son and also some of the OT-nurses. Dr Chin C.H. was supposed to join but didn't show up.
Our little athletes complained a bit halfway the walk/run but managed to finish the run without much problem.
All four kids had a nice time playing in the stream afterwards...

Fun run pictures by Chan Wing Kai from the pacesetters website

Back to work on monday, first news of the week; Dr. Chin CH's wife died of cancer the previous day.

Rest of the week; work, half hours of training in the afternoons. I really wished I could cycle to work. It wouldn't take me any longer, unfortunately cycling on MRR2 and Jln Ampang is for kamikazies only.
GERAM; i applied for leave the 1st week of december so I would be able to join 'International Life Saver' course in UPNM. Can become a lifeguard (but no garantuees you're looks will become like David Hasselhof or Pamela Anderson). BUT:

My .....boss doesn't want to approve my leave. Work would be interrupted too long if I take off for 5 days!!!! Yet he can tell me if i want to go for cuti he can approve (don't ask me to explain the workings of a brain like his). I've only rejoined Gleneagles half a year ago and thought I would be happy staying for years, instead find myself restless again. Job-opportunities abound - just a matter of choosing the right one....

Looking forward to Powerman this weekend, see all the gang after a long break. I really missed not seeing all our frens.... The friendships are as important as the sport itself.

Oops, Mrs Senile posted the wrong map on this blog: this one is Ipoh-run

thousand apologies

Race route Powerman

Look on this map coming sunday and you will be able to see a chubby cyclist followed by a motorcyclist holding a red flag: THAT"S ME

Ultraman-boy (alias brooks run finisher) had quite a fall yesterday.

Trying to show off to guests how fast he runs, he slipped and fell flat on his face; swollen lip but luckily no need for a trip to the emergency ward