Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Brooks Half Marathon Race Report

This is the 2nd race of mine in year 2012 after New Year Newton Challenge. I was so excited until I can’t sleep well on the night before. Waked up by 3:30am and decided to prepare myself for the race. The routine chores done and I left home around 4:30am. Reached the Stadium around 5:20am, but the organizer only open a small passage for ~3k runners to enter the field. Caused some delay in the flag off. Most of the participants only enter the field before the flag off at 5:37am.
The starting line is really packed, it took me 3 minutes to cross the line. The packed feeling continue until 4km when we heading back to the bus station next to the Stadium. I ran this part of the route before, kept a good sub-6 minutes pace all the way. Planned to go faster but the traffic and participants were really packed, some time I need to go outside the barriers in order to keep my pace. Hit the first climb in front of the bus station, the pace still maintained quite well. Still ok at the second climb entering the Happy Garden. After the climb, I charged at 5.5/min all the way to 11km. Then, flatten by the back to back 3rd & 4th climbs near the new apartment/condo project site. After that, my mind didn’t register any other significant climbs until the last km heading back to the Stadium on TPM highway. Good thing is, I didn’t walked on these climbs (though I ran at 9~10min/km pace).

Similar to PJ Half Marathon 2011, we entered the Stadium and ran the oval track towards the finish line. Completed the race by running into the Stadium really gave some difference feeling. Passed the finish line on 2:17 (gun time, net time 2:14). Although I missed my target to sub-2, but looking at the tough terrain on today’s route, I think I completed in a reasonable result. May be I can train harder and plan for my sub-2 HM again in PJ Dawn.
Leaving the field and rested at seat had a good chat with Nick. He ran with some injury on the tight but still completed in a decent timing. He is also doing the review of the very handsome running shoes from Skechers, click HERE to find out more.

Overall, this is a good event that I will be returning next year.
1. Challenging route
2. Starting point and finish line inside the Stadium

1. Crowd control. Organizer need to consider the movement of the participants, pre & post race. Pre-race, we were entering the field by a single man passage. Post-race, we needed to walk up the seating area again via some narrow passage.  
2. Traffic control on the route. We ran on the main access roads to Bukit Jalil area, is there anything we can do to avoid holding up the traffic for too long? The exhaust from these running engines not good for runners too.

Btw, I ran with Garmin Forerunner 910XT. Will post some review about this unit later.

Next race, full marathon @ Energizer Night Race.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Garmin Forerunner 405CX (Part III & Final)

I am with Garmin Forerunner 405CX since May 2011, until now, been through 3 units of the watch already. 1st one got from Singapore (purchase in March by my brother, but only start using in May), dead after my first Marathon in September. Sent the unit for warranty claim, AECO MAL/Garmin Taiwan return a reclaimed unit from some way else in November only (about 6 weeks down time). After my complaint, they swap a new unit with the reclaimed unit in December.
GF405CX in action during PBIM 2011.
The last unit only worked until end Feb, and its dead now. As there is no service report provided from the last warranty claim, I can’t tell if there is any abuse in my way of using it (I suspected some water slip into the unit when I rinse the unit under the tap after each run). The only thing I can confirm now is Garmin doesn’t suit my uses. May be the GF910XT with full water proof can stand on this, but I had not plan to get another into Triathlon so I will waste money for the over designed GF910XT.

2 key points you need to consider if you are in the mid of considering Garmin Forerunner as your next GPS training device (in Malaysia),
1. Service, the distributor have good network coverage with few branches in Klang Valley, but most of the outlet and even the HQ don’t have the capability to do anything on Forerunner. In most of the complaint case, your unit will be return to Garmin Factory in Taiwan for further inspection and troubleshooting. Prepare for some down time. And if you are getting your unit outside of Malaysia (not AECO authorized), you will need to pay postage for the trip to Taiwan.
2. Battery, lots of complaint about the battery life, but there are some users reporting a very good battery life (>2 years). It is a factory installed battery means you will not able to change battery yourself. In the event of battery dead, you can send your unit for reconditions in Garmin with some charges. Do factor the cost of refurbishment and down time in if you plan to use it for long term.

I am now running with the Polar FT4 and all routine workouts done in a fixed 3.2km course (a straight road near by my home). Long run will depend on the Nokia SportsTracker. I am looking for suitable GPS/footpod unit as replacement. Eying on Polar RCX5 and Timex Run Trainer but my running budget running low lately. For time being, I just need to wait! 

GF405CX Part I
GF405CX Part II