Friday, March 07, 2008

Der Pacemakers #9

Name: Yip Kit weng
Date of Birth:
12 November 1971


Year of Running:

Contact No.:
016 222 9598


Born in Seremban and grew up in PJ and currently living in Damansara Utama. I was not born as talented or good runner and I have been considered with a big build all my life. During primary school until secondary school, I was quite exposed in sport like football, basketball, tennis, volleyball and handball. I represented my school in Basketball and Handball. However, I was not a good runner and would really not enjoy our long distance cross country runs although I liked the sh
ort sprints. I went on to Australia for my pre u and college and even then, my focus was more on football, basketball and other team sports where I represented my college in student games. However, I picked up smoking in Australia which was quite detrimental to my health. After graduating in Australia I returned to Malaysia in 1993 to work in PWC. After three years there, I joined a local merchant bank and the stress and work levels were quite severe resulting in me having unhealthy dinners in office, late nights with crazy deadlines and more smoking. I was still playing occasional football and futsal but still was not in good shape physically. I used to get injured or sick quite often! The 1997 economic crisis triggered many changes in all out lives. I quite smoking but was putting on more weight as food taste much better than before. My weight was a shocking 98 kg at one stage but I was averaging 95 kg and feeling really unhealthy.

In January 1998, I constructed a new years resolution to lose weight. I started going to the Lake Club gym. At first, ev
erything seemed hard. After running 2 km on the treadmill, I was out of breath! But I did not give up. I ran every day or every other day and did circuit training with weights. Everyone in the gym was pretty slim, fit or well toned except me. I had to wear a big T Shirt to cover my fat physique. After 5 months running on the treadmill, an older gentlemen aged around early 50’s named Gordon Kong, (who happen to run next to me a lot on the treadmill), made friends with me. He encouraged me to train harder and to run with him outside on the treadmill. By then, I had lost some weight and I could run around 4-5 km on the treadmill. However, the thought of running outside scared me! I started running around the lake gardens and then gradually, Carcosa. My confidence was improving as my distance started to increase to 5-7 km per run. Then we started going to Federal hill, around 9.5 km. In September 1998, I entered my first 10 km race, the lake club 10 km run. It was my first time running a proper race in my adult life and I could not sleep the night before. I finished second in a time of 56 mins in a hilly route which started at lake club, through BNM, tugu, Carcosa, and back to the club. I never felt so happy although the number of participants was not big, I was happy to overtake a few people midway through the race. I felt great when I attended the simple prize giving ceremony. I started to train harder for the rest of the year.

In early 1999, I signed up for the power run, a tough and competitive 10.6 km route. I did fairly well, coming in just under an hour. I was happy with the performance but somehow I did not get any medal as only the top 50 or 100 runners get medals. I made new friends from the gym as well. Two girls, Joanne (Accountant) and Shazlina (family business), Robin (a la
te 30’s banker), Philip, (a Chartered Accountant) and of course Gordon Kong (Telekom Malaysia), the man who encouraged me.

Then we started running more. We did the 1999 Penang Bridge Half Marathon, Seremban Half Marathon, Trengganu Bridge Run, and PJ Half Marathon. I had decent times in all races.

In 2000, we all did the KLIM Half Marathon, Penang Bridge Half Marathon, Seremban and PJ Half Marathon. We were all flying. Joanne and Lina were getting top ten finishes. My best half marathon time was around 1.43 (PH Half). I decided to go for the full mara
thon in 2001.

In 2001, after six months of intense training, I did my first full marathon, 42.194 km of the KLIM. My weight at this stage was around 78-79 kg, a massive 20 kg difference from when I first started running. In that particular year, the race started at Dataran Merdeka and ended in KLCC. I ran way too fast being naïve and overeager, clocking in 48 mins at the first 10 km. Then I clocked 1 hr 41 at the 20 km mark. Still going strong at 30 km mark, 2 hours 56 mins. Then at the 33 km mark I had a massive cram on both legs at the long and torturous Jalan Duta stretch. I had to walk and run and apply deep heat at every opportunity from the Red Cresent boys. I finally finished in 4 hrs 34 mins in the blazing sun in 96th position for the Mens Open. I was not discouraged and continued that year to run the Penang Bridge Half, PJ Half and Seremban Half Marathon.

In 2002 April 2002, my first child was born. I still ran but less. I missed the marathon in 2002 but still participated in KL, Penang, and PJ Half Marathons. I then started training with Lina for
the 2003 KL full marathon. However, in 2003, I went to Perth, Western Australia for Cny with my family and my nine month old son. It was supposed to be a short 1 week holiday but on the day I was supposed to return to KL, my son developed Chicken pox! We ended up staying in Perth for three weeks as the airline would not allow him to board the flight. Much to my disappointment, I missed the KLIM 42 km in 2003. By this time my running kaki was being broken up. Joanne had a couple of kids and dropped out of racing. Robin migrated to Australia. Kong and Philip also retired from races. Lina also was injured and running less. We had great fun on the weekends and traveling together. I strived to keep on running. I ran the Penang Bridge, Seremban Half and PJ Half in 2003. Seremban in 2003 was my best time of 1 hr 37 mins. I really gave it my best shot and was rewarded with a good time but I was also feeling the strain. When I did the PJ Half, the route was changed that year to start and end at Padang Timor which was a change from the normal Kelana Jaya stadium. I also did quite well in PJ and really pushed hard and got a very decent time of 1 hr 38 mins a good position.

Then the dreaded injury came shortly after the PH Half. I tore my Achilles tendon on my left ankle. It hurt really badly and I had to see several doctors. I could not run for six months. All I did was light swimming and some gym work. I put on some weight again. After the initial six months I started from the basics, 5km, 7km etc. For the next two years, I became a lonely runner, running alone for 5 to 10 km every other day just to keep my sanity and fitness. I hardly did a run longer than 10 km as I was running alone most of the time. I did not run Hartamas or double hill for two years! My life was also developing with my new job in early 2004 and the arrival of my daughter in late 2005.

After a gap of two years, I attempted the KL half marathon on 5 March 2006. I had been training hard over the past six or seven weeks culminating with a few long 20 km runs on two consecutive Sundays in Feb 2006. I felt good considering my heel injury in late 2003. My speed was not as fast as before but I had experience on my side. For the record, my personal best is 1 hour 38 mins in for the half marathon in Seremban 2003. The main reason I started running competitively is because of this new running group that I met. No, it's not the Pacesetters although I am still a member of Malaysia's largest running group (around 5,000 members). Yoong Fu Yee introduced me to this new group, consisting of eager runners who want to try 10 km, 15 km and 21 km races. The Group consists of Victor, my good friend Fu Yee (who has two kids), Davie, Srejeet, Anil, Wilson and Siew. My time was 1hr 58 mins for the Half marathon. It felt good to get back into it. I then encouraged the rest to do the Penang, and PJ Half Marathon. Everyone did well! I then decided to go for the Singapore Marathon in Dec 2006. We trained hard all year round and almost every weekend.

After an intensive 3 month training, I did a time of 4 hr 33 min in Singapore 2006, 1 minute faster than 2001. I did not run too fast but on that day, I just could not get into any rhythm. I enjoyed the run though.
In 2007, there was even more running although I traveled a lot for work. Most of our group were regular at the races now, KLIM, PJ Half, Seremban, Penang and Singapore. I did a time of 1 hr 50 mins for Seremban Half 2007 and finished 29th position. In Singapore 2007, I did my 3rd full marathon and was pacing with Kenny Tan and Victor very comfortably until the 20 km mark. I developed massive crams at the 30 km mark. I suffered immensely, falling once 1 km from the finish line. I finished in my personal worst time of 4 hr 51 mins.

After the PAR run in Sepetmber 2007, I have been invited by Ronnie @ PM1 @ Captain to join Der_Pacemaker family network. I was happy to be invited as a Pacemaker member and it will definitely encourage me to be improve and enjoy my runs. As a heavier than normal runner like, I am always open to advice and tips Ronnie, Choi, Justin, John, Kenny, Jaime etc.
A special note to my wife and two children for their support. As the famous saying goes: “You’ll never run alone…”

Kit @ Pm9


C-CUBE said...

welcome to der fun group of Pia Kau Kau Lat, fast or no fast there is always a place for you in der group.

CP Waterman said...

Welcome Bigman Yip!
A very inspiring 20kg weight lost.
Run happy!