Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Charity walk with TYT on Saturday

THE Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas and his consort Toh Puan Majimor Shariff will lead over 500 people including children with special abilities, blind senior citizens and orphans at the ‘Charity Walk with TYT’ on Saturday.
The event organised by the Senior Citizens’ Association here will be held at the Botanic Gardens at 8am.
State Welfare, Health and Caring Society Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the 1km walk would see residents from the St Nichola’s Home, Ramakrishna Orphanage and the Spastic Children’s Association taking part.
“The event will be a fun-filled carnival aimed at raising funds for the hardcore poor under the state government’s ‘Partners Against Poverty’ programme.
“Firefly Berhad will give away five complimentary flight tickets to Medan, Phuket, Langkawi, Subang and Acheh to lucky winners at the event,” he told a press conference on Monday.
Phee said the Penang Turf Club would also sponsor RM3,000 for the children with special abilities and blind senior citizens to take part in the walk.
Association president Lawrence Cheah, who was present, said those interested can turn up at the Botanic Gardens on the day and sign up for the walk.
“They only need to pay RM10 for the participation and they will receive a goodie bag and be entitled to a lucky draw.
“All the proceeds from the registration fee will be channelled to the ‘Partners Against Poverty’ programme,” he said.
For further details, call 012-4882419.

650 sign up for walk

THE Race Walkers Association of Malaysia (RWAM) are on course to get 750 participants for the Putrajaya International 12-Hour Walk at Boulevard Putrajaya on Dec 12.
RWAM president Datuk Eddy Chen said about 650 participants had already signed up for the event being held for the second year in Putrajaya.
“We are confident of hitting the target of 750 participants before the closing date. The 12-hour walk has become a popular event among Malaysians. We expect 85% of the participants to be local. Some of the foreign participants are seasoned walkers.
“We anticipate an exciting field for this year’s event,’’ said Chen after a sponsorship ceremony in Kuala Lumpur recently.
The sponsors for the 12-hour walk are Rockport, Johnson and Johnson, Sloan’s, Proviton, Isotnic H-Two-O; Resorts World and Eagle brand.
Last year, about 60 participants took part in the 12-hour walk held for the first time in Putrajaya. Last year Belgian Alexander Vandenhoe completed 94km to win the men’s Open category. He was also the winner in the 12-hour walk held in Penang in 2007.
In the women’s category, the winner was Hong Kong’s Kwok Chik Ha with a distance of 83km.
The best Malaysian in the men’s category was R. Thevendra, who completed 91km for a second spot while in the women’s category, Lim Siew Lean completed 71km to finish third.
Chen said the 12-hour walk was not just a competition but very much a physical and mental challenge.
“Participants must be well prepared for the event,’’ added Chen.
The RWAM are organising the 12-hour walk, with support from the Putrajaya Holdings and Fedearl Territory Amateur Athletics Association (FTAAA). The event will start at 8pm on Dec 12 and end at 8am the following morning.
There will be two categories — men and women — and the top 30 participants who cover the longest distance will receive cash prizes.
The champions in both categories will receive RM1,500 each.
The organisers are also offering cash incentives to the top three participants completing the 50km and 70km in both the men and women’s categories.
The entry fee is RM70. For more information, visit http://racewalkermalaysia.synthasite.com/ or www.championchip.com.my.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Firm marks anniversary with walk

IN conjunction with Nutrilite’s 75th anniversary, Amway Malaysia which distributes the brand’s wide range of health food supplements, held a Nutrilite Walk and Health Carnival recently.
More than 3,500 Amway distributors and the public gathered at 4.45am to take part in the 7.5km walk.
Amway (Malaysia) Holdings Bhd executive director Paul Yee flagged off the walk.
Special guest from the United States and president of the Nutrilite Health Institute Dr Sam Rehnborg, 73, walked the entire route with his wife, Francesca.
They were in Malaysia as part of their global Super Tour to celebrate Nutrilite’s anniversary.
Dr Rehnborg’s father, Carl Rehnborg, founded Nutrilite 75 years ago after developing a multivitamin product based on plant materials.
“We have had a few carnivals over the years but never one this big. Nutrilite’s 75th anniversary is an important milestone for us not just in Malaysia, but across the world,” said Yee.
“Today’s carnival is about celebrating with our distributors and customers.
“It is about celebrating their hard work and perseverance in striving to achieve optimal health through exercise and a balanced diet,” he added.
Many distributors took the opportunity to turn the carnival into a family affair and brought their family and friends to join in the celebration.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Lack Of Sleep Can Kill

A month ago, many of us heard about the sad demise of Ranjan Das from Bandra, Mumbai. Ranjan, just 42 years of age, was the CEO of SAP-Indian Subcontinent, the youngest CEO of an MNC in India. He was very active in sports, was a fitness freak and a marathon runner. It was common to see him run on Bandra's Carter Road. Just after Diwali, on 21st Oct, he returned home from his gym after a workout, collapsed with a massive heart attack and died. He is survived by his wife and two very young kids.

It was certainly a wake-up call for corporate India. However, it was even more disastrous for runners amongst us. Since Ranjan was an avid marathoner ( in Feb 09, he ran Chennai Marathon at the same time some of us were running Pondicherry Marathon 180 km away ), the question came as to why an exceptionally active, athletic person succumb to heart attack at 42 years of age.

Was it the stress?
A couple of you called me asking about the reasons. While Ranjan had mentioned that he faced a lot of stress, that is a common element in most of our lives. We used to think that by being fit, one can conquer the bad effects of stress. So I doubted if the cause was stress.
The Real Reason
However, everyone missed out a small line in the reports that Ranjan used to make do with 4-5 hours of sleep. This is an earlier interview of Ranjan on NDTV in the program 'Boss' Day Out': Boss' Day Out: Ranjan Das of SAP India.
Here he himself admits that he would love to get more sleep ( and that he was not proud of his ability to manage without sleep, contrary to what others extolled ).
The Evidence
Last week, I was working with a well-known cardiologist on the subject of ‘Heart Disease caused by Lack of Sleep’. While I cannot share the video nor the slides because of confidentiality reasons, I have distilled the key points below in the hope it will save some of our lives.
Some Excerpts:
· Short sleep duration ( <5 or 5-6 hours ) increased risk for high BP by 350% to 500% compared to those who slept longer than 6 hours per night. Paper published in 2009. As you know, high BP kills.
· Young people ( 25-49 years of age ) are twice as likely to get high BP if they sleep less. Paper published in 2006.
· Individuals who slept less than 5 hours a night had a 3-fold increased risk of heart attacks. Paper published in 1999.
· Complete and partial lack of sleep increased the blood concentrations of High sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-cRP), the strongest predictor of heart attacks. Even after getting adequate sleep later, the levels stayed high!!
· Just one night of sleep loss increases very toxic substances in body such as Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Tumour Necrosis Factor-Alpha (TNF-alpha) and C-reactive protein (cRP). They increase risks of many medical conditions, including cancer, arthritis and heart disease. Paper published in 2004.
· Sleeping for <=5 hours per night leads to 39% increase in heart disease. Sleeping for <=6 hours per night leads to 18% increase in heart disease. Paper published in 2006.
Ideal Sleep
For lack of space, I cannot explain here the ideal sleep architecture. But in brief, sleep is composed of two stages: REM ( Rapid Eye Movement ) and non-REM. The former helps in mental consolidation while the latter helps in physical repair and rebuilding. During the night, you alternate between REM and non-REM stages 4-5 times.
The earlier part of sleep is mostly non-REM. During that period, your pituitary gland releases growth hormones that repair your body. The latter part of sleep is more and more REM type.
For you to be mentally alert during the day, the latter part of sleep is more important. No wonder when you wake up with an alarm clock after 5-6 hours of sleep, you are mentally irritable throughout the day (lack of REM sleep). And if you have slept for less than 5 hours, your body is in a complete physical mess ( lack of non-REM sleep ), you are tired throughout the day, moving like a zombie and your immunity is way down ( I’ve been there, done that ).
Finally, as long-distance runners, you need an hour of extra sleep to repair the running related damage.
If you want to know if you are getting adequate sleep, take Epworth Sleepiness Test below.
Interpretation: Score of 0-9 is considered normal while 10 and above abnormal. Many a times, I have clocked 21 out the maximum possible 24, the only saving grace being the last situation, since I don’t like to drive ( maybe, I should ask my driver to answer that line ).
In conclusion:
Barring stress control, Ranjan Das did everything right: eating proper food, exercising ( marathoning! ), maintaining proper weight. But he missed getting proper and adequate sleep, minimum 7 hours. In my opinion, that killed him.If you are not getting enough sleep ( 7 hours ), you are playing with fire, even if you have low stress.
I always took pride in my ability to work 50 hours at a stretch whenever the situation warranted. But I was so spooked after seeing the scientific evidence last week that since Saturday night, I ensure I do not even set the alarm clock under 7 hours. Now, that is a nice excuse to get some more sleep.
Unfortunately, Ranjan Das is not alone when it comes to missing sleep. Many of us are doing exactly the same, perhaps out of ignorance.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bridge to be closed for marathon

THOSE from the mainland who wish to cross over to the island this Sunday are urged to use the ferry services, as the Penang Bridge will be closed from 2am until 10am for the Penang Bridge International Marathon 2009.

State Tourism Development, Arts and Culture Committee chairman Danny Law Heng Kiang said the ferries would operate every 20 minutes from midnight on Sunday to facilitate a smooth flow of traffic from Seberang Prai to Penang and vice versa.

He added that public bus operator — Rapid Penang — would also provide free shuttle services from the ferry terminal to Queensbay Mall and vice versa with only one stop to pick passengers at Kristal Point near the Bayan Baru roundabout.

He added that the shuttle services would commence every 30 minutes from 11pm on Saturday to 11am on Sunday.

About 19,000 participants have registered for the international marathon which will be divided into four categories — Full Marathon (850 participants), Quarter Marathon (about 2,000), Half Marathon (about 6,000) and Fun Run (about 10,000).

Law was speaking at a press conference in Komtar on Tuesday to announce the road closure for the Penang Bridge International Marathon.

State traffic police operations chief Deputy Supt K. Wari, who was present, said the Jelutong Expressway would be closed to ensure the safety of the runners.

Other road closures included Jalan Aziz Ibrahim to the Gold Coast roundabout, the road from Pulau Jerejak Jetty heading towards the Gold Coast roundabout, the road leading to Queensbay Mall and Jalan Batu Maung from Bayan Baru roundabout and the junction of Lebuhraya Kampung Jawa leading to Batu Maung.

He added that vehicles entering the Gold Coast area would be diverted to Lebuhraya Sungai Nibong via Pantai Jerejak.

“Only vehicles with working passes (issued by the organiser) will be allowed on these roads,” he added.

Supt Wari said the police anticipated between 4,000 and 5,000 vehicles to be at Queensbay Mall on Sunday and that the mall had a total of 5,500 parking bays to accommodate the vehicles.

Two tow trucks will also be on stand-by at the mall to tow away vehicles that are left in non-designated parking areas.

“Vehicle owners are reminded to park their cars at the designated parking lots. Those who park their vehicles along the roadside and in non-designated areas will find their cars towed away by the enforcement team from the Penang Municipal Council. Vehicle owners will have to pay some amount of money when they go to retrieve their vehicles,” he added.

He also reminded owners to keep their valuables safely due to the rampant car break-ins during the previous marathons.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Three more companies sponsor items for Penang Starwalk 2009

IN SUPPORT of a healthy cause, Kellogg’s Asia Sdn Bhd is sponsoring Special K cereals worth RM31,500 for the Starwalk Penang 2009 on Dec 13.

The company believes that its sponsorship is in line with its healthy lifestyle promotion.

Brand manager Charlene Yeo said Special K was a product created for women or those who would like to keep in shape.

The cereal, which is low in fat and high in protein, is created to keep one stay fuller for longer, and it only has 165 calories per serving of 45gm.

“It’s tasty and packed with a lot of goodness. That’s why we find the product relevant to Starwalk as it’s all about leading a healthy lifestyle,” she said during the sponsorship event at Menara Star recently.

Meanwhile, Ginvera would be sponsoring products worth RM13,000.

Ginvera product manager Eddie Kwong said the company was giving out Ginvera shower scrubs and Olive Bio Oil for Starwalk 2009.

“Staying clean and refreshed after a cardio work-out is equally important and that’s how we find our products relevant to the event.

The company is also the distributor of Ebene, which has a range of bio-ray healthcare products.

To quench your thirst Cotra Enterprises is sponsoring Marigold UHT Asian Drinks (in six flavours) worth RM5,000.

Its deputy general manager, Michael Ong, said it was the third Starwalk that the company was sponsoring.

“Over the years, we have always found our products relevant to the event.” he said.

Penang Starwalk 2009, jointly organised by Star Publications (M) Bhd and the Penang Amateur Athletics Association, is divided into competition and non-competition categories with both covering 10km.

The registration fee is RM8 for non-competition walkers and RM12 for competition walkers. All participants will receive a T-shirt and a goodie bag. Those who complete the walk within two hours will also be eligible for a lucky contest.

Competition walkers will be flagged off at 7am by Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas from the Penang International Sports Arena (Jalan Mahsuri) while non-competition walkers will start the walk at 7.30am from SMK Raja Tun Uda in Jalan Tengah.

Registration is open from 9.15am to 5pm on weekdays, except public holidays, at the Star Northern Hub at 202, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah in Bayan Lepas or the newspaper’s George Town office at 15, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling.

Entry forms can be downloaded from http://thestar.com.my/starwalk.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Bauerfeind presents a special training workshop focus on Vertical Marathon running.

Conducted by some of the best runners and speicalists in the region, this is definitely a session you wouldn't want to miss!

Date : 21st November 2009 (Saturday)

Time : 10.30am - 12.30noon (registration starts at 10am)

Venue : Raffles City Convention Centre - Orchard Room (Level 4)

Fee : $10 (redeemable upon purchase of any Bauerfeind products)

*Attractive goodie bag for the first 50 pre-registered participants.

*Light refreshments will be provided

"It's All Running.....Your Choice!" Forward, Backward and Upward Running

Men Health Urbanathlon 2010

Monday, November 16, 2009

Entries extended to Monday

THE closing date for Penang Starwalk 2009 entries has been extended over the weekend until Monday due to overwhelming response.

Registration for the Dec 13 walk is open from 10am to 4pm at the Star Northern Hub in Bayan Lepas and the newspaper’s George Town office at 15, Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling, over the weekend. On Monday, registration is open from 9.15am until 5pm.

However, the cut-off point for the total number of participants is 15,000. If the number is reached before the closing date on Monday, registration will automatically close.

Entry forms can also be obtained online at http://thestar.com.my/starwalk

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Five bikes for lucky draw

FIVE Modenas CT110 motorcycles, worth RM3,888 each, will be up for grabs at the Penang Starwalk 2009 on Dec 13.

They are among the many attractive prizes which participants stand to win in the post-walk lucky contest.

Three of the motorcycles are sponsored by Motosikal dan Enjin Nasional Sdn Bhd (Modenas) while the other two are from the organisers. Other prizes include RM20,000 worth of home appliances.

Lucky participants will also get a chance to stay at the hip and happening Hard Rock Hotel Penang which is sponsoring two 3D/2N vouchers, worth a total of RM4,600, at its seaview deluxe room.

“Starwalk is a fun event so we are happy to participate as part of our corporate social responsibility programme.

“We want to give lucky participants a rocking good time at our new hotel,” hotel general manager John Primmer said before presenting the sponsorship to The Star’s advertisement manager (north) Simone Liong on Monday.

Penang Starwalk 2009, jointly organised by Star Publications (M) Bhd and the Penang Amateur Athletics Association, is divided into competition and non-competition categories with both covering 10km.

Competition walkers will be flagged off at 7am by Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas from the Penang International Sports Arena (Jalan Mahsuri) while non-competition walkers will start off from SMK Raja Tun Uda in Jalan Tengah at 7.30am.

The registration fee is RM8 for non-competition walkers and RM12 for competition walkers.

All participants will receive a T-shirt and a goodie bag.

Those who complete the walk within two hours will be eligible for a lucky contest.

The main sponsors of the walk are Modenas, Pallas, Eastin Hotel, Malta, Milo, 100Plus, DiGi, Eagle Brand, Spritzer, Magnum, Sunquick and BreatheRight.

Registration is open from 9.15am to 5pm at the Star Northern Hub in Bayan Lepas or the newspaper’s George Town office at 15, Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling.

Those who want to take part in the walk however have to sign up fast as entries close on Friday.

The entry form can be downloaded from http://thestar.com.my/starwalk.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Diabetes walk

Hospital Putrajaya is organising a Putrajaya Global Diabetes Walk to be held on Nov 14 at Perbadanan Putrajaya from 7am.

The campaign, themed Understand Diabetes and Take Control, calls on all those responsible for diabetes care to understand diabetes and take control, be it for people with diabetes, for the government, for healthcare professsionals, and for the public.

By joining the walk, you join hands with the international diabetes community in celebrating World Diabetes Day on Nov 14.

Call the hospital’s endocrine department at 03-8312 4312 or visit: www.worlddiabetesfoundation.org

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

RM15,000 in prizes for Dukethon

A total cash purse of RM15,000 is up for grabs in the inaugural Dukethon at the Duke Highway on Nov 22.

The top three winners in each category will receive cash prizes. The run, to be flagged at exit 33 of the Duke Highway, has six categories — men’s open, women’s open, men’s senior, women’s senior, boys and girls - and also a 1Malaysia Fun Walk.

The champions in the men’s open and women’s open will receive RM2,000 followed by RM1,500 and RM1,000.

The men’s senior and women’s senior offers RM1,000 to the champions while the second and third placed runners will receive RM750 and RM500 respectively.

Participants in the fun walk will cover 1km and the best dressed participant will receive RM500.

The entry fee per participant is RM5.

Entry forms are available at www.duke.com.my, Batu toll plaza and FTAAA office at Wisma OCM