Friday, February 15, 2008
Der Pacemakers #6
MY RUNNING STORY
Name: Cheang Meng Wai
Date of Birth: 21st May 1968
Hometown: Georgetown, Penang
Year of Running: May 2007
Contact No.: 012-3006125
Since childhood I was not a ‘sports’ person. Although I like to read sports column/news and watch sports games, I seldom play any games. I still remember I was very weak physically and not only fall sick but also fall down frequently even just walking. Therefore I like to read books and study and don’t really like to go outdoor to sweat it out.
When I was a teenager, I would follow my father to go to run/jog every Sunday morning at various places in Penang like Air Itam Dam, Bukit Dumbar, Youth Park, Botanical Garden, Gurney Drive, etc. I would run for about half an hour and wait for my father to finish his run then looked forward to a sumptous breakfast after that. Besides, I would participate in my secondary school annual cross country run. I joined the Star Walk in year 1984/85(?) and completed the walk.
I came to KL to pursue my tertiary education and would jog occasionally around the campus although I cycled a lot. After graduated and started working, my weight was always on upward trend especially ever since a few years after I got married. In year 2003 together with my wife I started to go to the gym for workout. However few months after that due to work stress, time factor, children and family commitment, we cut down our gmn time and eventually stopped going.
Then I got to know an avid runner, Leow Choen Beng aka CB Leow when I helped out in a church in Klang in year 2005. I was introduced to Pacesetters but I don’t know why he didn’t mortivate me to run (maybe I don’t look like one who will involve in running!!)
The urge to run came when I organised a Community Carnival in conjunction with the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Sunway University College in May 2007. One of the key events is Community Run. We have about 400 participants comprised of students, staff and their families. As the chairperson, I participated in the family category (4km) without any prior training and only slpet for less than 2 hours. I managed to complete the run in around 35 mins and together with my family won the first medal in my life (2nd placing).
After that big event, I felt that I need to venture into something different and new to release my stress and fatigue. I decided to go for jogging. In the same time I surf the internet and found many valuable info on running. I read almost all the Malaysian running blogs and websites, like pm1, pmtey, ccube, carboman, runwitme, abangtan, alharis, running couple, running mom, etc. I also found out an interesting chatbox aka shoutbox and read all the chats for a few months before posting messages and got to know the captain Ronnie See and other PMs. I found that Pacemakers is very unique group of runners. They are full of energy of ‘pia’, great passion and very serious in running. I really learned a lot from the blogs and chat of der Pacemakers. I thought in my heart how nice if I can join the PM group one day.
Then I joined the Pacesetters Club and signed up for Penang Bridge Half Marathon. When I told CB about that he was kinda shocked and kept on advising me to get a good pair of shoes. So obviously I bought a NB, CB’s favourite brand. I trained for less than 2 months and injured my knee one week due to overtrained before the race but thank God I managed to complete the race in 2:45. After that I had to go to see consultant orthopaedic and had physiotherapy for two months. It was painful experience for me but didn’t dampen my spirit to run. I even registered for Singapore Marathon at that time (and again shocked CB!!)
My next events were the back to back adidas KOTR and International 24 Hour Walk in August 2007. I braved myself for the KOTR although I was still nursing my knee pain. I managed to finished the race but way out the qualifying time. I was glad that I managed to survive that and it gave me confidence to go for the 24 Hour Walk at Dataran Merdeka. I was amazed by my endurance and determination to walk 154 laps (96.4km) and ranked 55 out of 172 walkers in the men category. This is my biggest achievement thus far besides running full marathon. I also realised that I enjoy race walking more than running, haha.
After that I also found out an interesting chatbox aka shoutbox and read all the chats for a few months before posting messages and got to know the captain Ronnie See and other PMs. I found that Pacemakers is very unique group of runners. They are full of energy of ‘pia’, great passion and very serious in running. I really enjoy the chat and learned a lot on running. It is a new area for me and my teachers are mostly the PMs. I also found many new friends after my involvement in running. This motivated me to continue to run.
My highlight of the year was the Singapore Marathon on 3/12/07. I really put my heart and soul into the training. I remember going to MPSJ Stadium to run like crazy man running 40 laps for 16km after work and most of the time would have to run in the dark for the last few km as they don’t switch on stadium light at night. The preparation was not very smooth though as it was raining most of the days before the day. I was down with viral fever 2 weeks before the run. I just wanted to complete it and I did it in 6:09:19 (net time). I was satisfied although the timing was way below my target of 5:30.
My first contact with the PM group were the LSD with KP Tan and his kuncu-kuncu together with CB on Deepavali day in preparation of Singapore Marathon. I registered in the Network Run on 1/1/08 and after that started to know more PMs in person like Ronnie, Kevin, Kelvin, Lai, Justin, DK, Tey, Choy, Chen, etc.
Now running is part of my life. I hope I will continue running and jogging as long as I can. My goal in 2008 is to run 3 full marathon (KLIM, Penang Bridge, Singapore) and few more half marathon and shorter race.) My main aim is to improve my timing by running more mileage and doing speed training.
Thank you to all PM members, your running passion and Pia KKL (kau-kau lat) spirit have motivated me to continue to run. For me it’s really an honour and pleasure to be a part of the Pacemakers’ family.
Cheang Meng Wai @ Pm6