Tuesday, 19 September 2017


Hailed as the ultimate festival on the run in Asia, registration is now open at www.illumirun.com/my
Kuala Lumpur, 19 Sept 2017: After glowing success in Singapore, Australia and China, ILLUMI RUN willmake its debut in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Saturday, 13 January 2018 at Selangor Turf Club. Infinitus Productions Pte Ltd announced the launch of ILLUMI RUN today at Sunway Velocity Mall, together with presenting sponsor, MPI Generali Insurans Berhad. 
The first of its kind in Asia, ILLUMI RUN is set to give runners an exhilarating neon experience with its iconic ILLUMI Glow Water. This non-competitive run will see participants run, walk and dance through the different themed ultraviolet music zones whilst being splashed with ILLUMI Glow Water. The fun continues after the run with a music festival at Selangor Turf Club. There, they will be treated to a line-up of LIVE acts against the backdrop of psychedelic neon displays.

Oliver Tan, CEO of MPI Generali Insurans Berhad said, as the pioneer general insurer to organize community based runs in Malaysia, MPI Generali Run has been kick-starting the local running calendar since 2012 to encourage healthy lifestyle. After six years, we felt it is the right time to seek a more engaging activity with our base of runners, new runners, business partners, employees and customers. We are proud to have the opportunity to present this first in Malaysia ultimate festival on the run experience that combines wholesome fun, community spirit and promote running at the same time.

We are thrilled to have this opportunity to bring ILLUMI RUN to Malaysia for the very first time. The reception from our partners here in Malaysia has given us the confidence that this event will be an even more epic experience. We are committed to creating a glowing experience for all our runners and we promise an evening of good clean fun. Get ready to run and glow, said Jeffrey Foo, Director of Infinitus Productions Pte Ltd.

Targeting over 8,000 participants, each of them will be equipped with a SWAG bag full of cool merchandise that will get them revel in neon vibes. The event will be complemented with a nightlife atmosphere, creating a clubbing experience enroute, bringing the ultimate neon night run to life.

ILLUMI RUN also believes in giving back to the community and will be pledging monetary support to S.O.S Kids, a community support group who aims to improve the care of the critically sick and underprivileged children based in Sarawak. The funds will be raised through registration fees as well as add-on donations from participants. Through ILLUMI RUN, the event hopes to raise awareness for S.O.S kids and contribute more funds towards their efforts to provide better medical care for these children.

For more information, please go to www.illumirun.com/my

Fact sheets:
Date : 13 January 2018
Time : 7.00pm – 11.30pm
 Venue : Selangor Turf Club
Distance : 4km with 5 different glow zones along the route
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/illumirun
Instagram : http://www.instagram.com/illumirunmy

Registration Fees : RM80
Registration Period : 19/09/2017 – 27/10/2017
Age Limit : For age 13 years old and above.
Fear of missing out?
Sign up NOW to enjoy early bird rates!

Registration Fees : RM90
Registration Period: 28/10/2017 – 8/12/2017
Age Limit: For age 13 years old and above.
It’s YOUR last chance to be part of Asia’s WILDEST party on the run. You only live once!

Registration Fees : RM150
Registration Period: 19/09/2017 – 8/12/2017
Age Limit: For age 13 years old and above.Good things come in pairs! Get some company, sign up NOW with your best buddy.

Registration Fees : RM280
Registration Period: 19/09/2017 – 8/12/2017
Age Limit: For age 13 years old and above.2’s a Company, 3’s a Crowd, 4’s a Party!
Sign up NOW with your friends!

Date : 13 January 2018
Time : 7.00am – 11.30pm
Venue : Selangor Turf Club
Distance : 2km run with Parent
On-Route Zones: 2
Registration Period: 19/09/2017 – 8/12/2017Age
Limit: For age 4 to 12 years old.
Registration Fees : RM 40

For the young ones, turn yourself into a colourful piece of art!
*One parent/guardian is required to accompany the child in the “ILLUMI Kids category”. Only the child will receive the runner’s entitlement. *Each accompanying parent/guardian will receive a wrist tag at the Swag Ball Collection which has to been worn at the event for identification


Monday, 18 September 2017

Bangi Wonderland Nature Run - A Mix Of Road And Trail Run

Bangi Wonderland Theme Park & Resort is the region’s newest water theme park and resort located in Bangi, Selangor and in conjunction with its 1-year anniversary, a running event was be held on 17 September 2017, with the Start and Finish line located at Bangi Wonderland Theme Park. It was also the first nature run held inside the UKM nature forest reserve for 10km (20% flat road & 80% off road inside UKM forest reserve) / 3km Fun Run.
There was a bit of drama in me joining the race as I actually forgot to register for it but it was all sorted out, thanks to the kind organiser. Thank you!

Hubby and I made our way to Bangi Wonderland Theme Park at around 6.00am and we arrived 30 minutes later. RELA members were hard at work helping out with parking and that went smoothly.

We had joined P.S.P King of Forest in July, which was also organised by the same organiser; CentriSoh Sales & Marketing and that was a great event so I was really looking forward for this run too.

There was a bit of issues with cones placing and marshalls so the 7.00am flag-off for 10K was delayed to 7.15am. The 3K Fun Run was later flagged-off at 7.30am.
The 10K route saw us running at the road section for 1K before we enter the UKM Forest Reserve (which was actually a plantation) for the off-road section for about 8K before exiting and back to the road section for the final 1K.
The trail was very runnable and despite the organiser's update on Facebook about the possibility of slippery route, due to rain on Saturday morning; it was dry when we ran there on Sunday morning.

The route was undulating but nothing that made one suffer that much. Just like Saturday's 10K run at Run For National Unity, I decided to take it easy.

I alternated running with walking on uphills and also taking photos.
Medic team with race marshall.

Marshalls were placed at junctions to ensure runners run through the correct path and there were tapes to close off areas that we were not supposed to enter.
Go this way, please. :P

To ensure that we're not creating unnecessary garbage, the organiser had adopted a bring-your-own-bottle concept for this race, just like at P.S.P King of Forest.

One water station was placed at around KM5 mark but I didn't stop to drink. I brought a bottle of mineral water but I didn't feel I needed a drink. Same thing when I ran in the Run For National Unity the day before too.

Just like the Run For National Unity, my "engine" only got properly warmed up after around 6K so I picked up speed after that. Managed to "pangkah" a few runners during the last 3K too. Hehehe

I only set a target of a slow 1:40 for this run but I was happy that I managed to finish faster.
Then it was time to look for post-run refreshments. Nasi lemak, watermelons and 100-Plus. Mighty White gave out a whole lot of free samples so we enjoyed that too. I even got free samples of Laurier sanitary pad! Syiok. Hahaha
Hubby mentioned that a company, Mr D.I.Y to be exact send a bus loads of runners from their company to join the run. How cool was that!
Overall, I really enjoyed the run. It went smoothly. The trail section was nice and it was sure great to enjoy fresh air and nature.

Thank you to the organiser, crew and volunteers for a really great morning outing.

And also, thanks for the complimentary Bangi Wonderland Theme Park ticket which the first 800 participants who registered get with their race entries.

Later can go and play water at the theme park lah!

Photos taken at Bangi Wonderland Nature Run 2017 can be seen at my Facebook page: Cik Arnab & En Kura-Kura. Please feel free to tag your friends. :)

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Run For National Unity 2017

Run For National Unity 2017 was held on Malaysia Day, Sep 16th 2017. Just like their first edition last year. The event was organised by HELP University and Redberry Group with the aim of promoting national unity and harmony and also to raise funds for deserving students to pursue their tertiary education.

All nett proceeds from the Run will be channeled to a scholarship fund for these students from all races.

The Run had 13 categories:

Men Open International (All Ages) – 10km
Women Open International (All Ages) – 10km
Men Open Malaysian (18 years – 39 years) – 10km
Women Open Malaysian (18 years – 39 years) – 10km
Men Open Veteran Malaysian (40 years and above) – 10km
Women Open Veteran Malaysian (40 years and above) – 10km
Primary School Boys (7 years – 12 years) – 5km
Primary School Girls (7 years – 12 years) – 5km
Secondary School Boys (13 years – 17 years – 7km
Secondary School Girls (13 years – 17 years) -7km
Family team – 5km
Corporate Team- 5km
Special/OKU- 5km

Instead of joining the family category run like we did last year, I ran alone this time; in the 10K category.
I haven't been running since Sep 4th (that's almost 2 weeks! *gasp*) so I wasn't looking for a fast run at this race. I was just looking forward to meeting friends at the race as I was unable to run in the NPE Highway Challenge the weekend before.

A friend had kindly helped by collecting my race kit and we met-up before the start of the race.
A friend who joined the run with her daughter. 
The route was the familiar Bukit Tunku route that most runners are familiar with. There were two water stations located along the route serving water (only) but I didn't stop at either WS for a drink. 

Marshalls and crews were at a minimum but there were ample signages and distance markers were placed at 1K apart. Traffic police were present at critical junctions so that was good. Otherwise, it was just a run with an LSD feel. 

And because this was a run with FTAA as technical team, we get ribbons at the starting line and also midway through the run for checkpoints. Very old school. Hahaha

But this was a nice run as I chit-chat with friends as we completed the run. Banyak gossip. LOL

There weren't that much post-run activities but Hubby and I stayed on for the lucky draw. Alas, we didn't have any luck this time.

A friend managed to bag one of the foldable bicycle which was the grand prize. So nice!

Got some famous Malay actors who came to the event, brought by Astro Prima to promote their drama or something but since I don't have Astro or watch TV dramas, dunno who they are also lah. But plenty of makciks were excitedly taking photos with the male actor.

All in all, it was a simple, no frills run for me. I was glad I joined it, just for the hills we got served along the route and the mileage. ^^

Afterwards, the family headed to Bangi Wonderland Theme Park to collect my race kit for Bangi Wonderland Nature Run held on Sunday, Sep 17th. Now, that was a really nice event and I enjoyed Bangi Wonderland Nature Run a lot!

Race recap coming up soon.

Some photos taken at Run For National Unity can be found at my Facebook page: Cik Arnab & En Kura-Kura.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Learning To Appreciate Maiko Tea's Gyokuro

Just a week after our trip to Osaka (for dunno how many times go already), I attended a Japanese tea making class at Iloha Art and Culture located in Jalan Telawi 2 Bangsar.

I drink tea and enjoyed Japanese tea too (the common ones la, like sencha, genmaicha and mugicha) so I thought a chance to learn the art of a more refined tea drinking would be fun.
Photo from Maiko Tea website
The Japanese tea making session was organised by Maiko Tea, an award winning brand from Kyotanabe, Kyoto Japan; known throughout Japan as the capital of high-grade Gyokuro.
Around 20 bloggers and representative from magazines (Japanese and Malaysian) attended the session and we were guided by tea master, Toshiya Nakabo.
We first learn about the different types of tea, shown here are: Sencha, Matcha, Shiawase, Kangane, Hojicha, Genmaicha, Gyokuro and Tencha.

Some are familiar to me, some aren't and Nakabo-san let us feel and smell all the different types of tea to see their differences.

Most important, I learn about the high quality Gyokuro tea and was able to drink it. *shiawase* Oh by the way, Maiko Tea also has a tea called Shiawase tea which means Happiness Tea.
Gyokuro is the highest grade of Japanese tea available, and is characterized by a fine green colour, rich aroma, and mellow, sweet flavour. We learn that the tea plants are grown in "ooishita en" (covered) fields that are shaded from mid-April until harvest time.

Once the buds are ready and picked, they are steamed, dried, and kneaded.

Even for Gyokuro tea, there are many types of Gyokuro and the exceptionally high quality is grown at the tea gardens surrounding the residence of MaikoTea's renowned tea expert Yamashita Toshikazu. He has even shown the "Teamaster Temomi" skill to Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress of Japan.

So, when I learn that we will first be taught how to make Gyokuro tea (we also learn how to make matcha later), I was pretty excited. Drinking high grade tea is not something I get to do often. And I mean, high grade.
The utensils needed for tea making.

Why are there small plates, you wonder? I wondered too, until I learn why. ^^

What we have here are:
1. Tea (in the red casing) of about 8gm
2. 4 teacups
3. Kyusu (teapot)
4. Yuzumashi ( that sampan like thing used to cool off boiling water)
5. Plates
First, we pour boiling water into the yuzumashi (as you probably can guess, the amount of water is not that much). The water will cool off slightly and to further let it cool, we pout the water from the yuzumashi into the teapot.
Then, from the teapot into the all the teacups equally. The water which has now cooled significantly, was poured back into the yuzumashi.

Remember the steps, or not? ;-)
Then, we put the Gyokuro tea leaves into the teapot and we pour the water that had been cooled into the teapot. The amount of water should be just enough to cover the tea leaves.

Yup, just a little bit only.

Put the teapot lid on, and wait for a while.
Then, pour a little into each of the teacups, making 1-2-3-4, 4-3-2-1 motion and make sure even the last drop is poured. The leaves in the teapot should be as dry as possible.
And, we get our tea. Gyokuro is best enjoyed by sipping slowly and I took slow sips and let it rest on my tongue and enjoyed the unique taste as it spreads through my whole mouth.
The tea can be re-infused up to five times, I was told. The taste of the tea of course changed a bit as we infused it the second or the third time.
After drinking the Gyokuro tea, we could also enjoy eating the tea leaves, It has a nice mellow taste to me and it also can be eaten as is or with a dash of soy sauce.

The session is indeed a new learning experience to me and I enjoyed it a lot. I also learn to appreciate finer teas and Gyokuro Tea is a tea for special occasions or guests.

More about the tea can be found at their English language website - link here.  You can shop for their tea there too!

Or you can buy them at Iloha!

Next, I will share about the preparation of Matcha. That was quite fun too.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Tatami Room For A Night At Hotel Sunplaza, Shin-Imamiya

For our first night in Osaka, we decided to stay at a budget hotel, Hotel Sunplaza and chose a tatami room before checking-in to a better hotel the next day.

Located just steps away from Shin-Imamiya Station, it is quite a convenient choice for us - with konbini (convenience store) and supa (supermarkets) nearby.
The entrance to Shin-Imamiya Station is literally just behind the hotel's rate signboard. That's how near it is to the station!

Do note though, the area felt kinda seedy and truthfully, when I did my morning run around the area (which included running around Shinsekai), it didn't really feel quite comfortable. Safe, yes. I guess. But errmmm... Shinsekai still has drunk people around at 5.00am lah. Hahaha
After completing our check-ins at Hotel Sunplaza, we were provided with these items for our use. A hand towel, face mask, toothbrush and a packet of tissue.
Our room for a night. Quite comfy despite only 3-tatami sized room.

It comes equipped with a flat-screen TV, a mini fridge, two sets of futon and a table.What more do we need?

No towels provided but we made do with the hand towel that were provided to us earlier.

Crazy ah, wanna bring our own towel all the way from KL?
Showers, toilets and baths are communal, with female only showers available on the ground floor (keys for showers can be obtained from the reception desk but with limited hours, as shown on the photo above) and also on the ladies floor on 6th floor. Shower facilities and toilets at other floors are unisex and are open 24-hours.
Common baths are also available - female at the ground floor (alas, no view).

The female bath area is small but then again, when I went there for a soak, I was the only guest enjoying it so I had the place all for myself.
The changing room before I enter the bath.
Photo nicked from Booking.com
Male guests have a nicer bathing option that comes with a view. Hubby soaked while looking at Tsutenkaku.

Male bath is bigger and there are of course more male guests going for a soak at all hours.
At around 2,400 yen per night for two pax, we enjoyed a cheap stay at a decent hotel with privacy. We had expected the place to be rather noisy but guests were mindful of each other and it was relatively quiet and we really had a good sleep there.
I woke up the early the next day and decided to go out for a short run around the area and run towards Tsutenkaku before going out at 7.00am for our train ride to Koyasan.


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