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Monday, October 29, 2012

BSN Putrajaya Night Marathon 2012

Recently I manage to complete another 21km marathon and this time we got 9 of us in the run. One of my friends manage to convince our company to sponsor us for the registration fees, and he successfully did it. Special thanks to our compny, truly encouraging healthy lifestyle for the employees. We have some new comers this time, so we train together but some are particularly lacking in training because they always never show up. So we already expecting them to suffer during the run, true enough, they struggled. Did they complete the run? Let's find out.

We joined the BSN Putrajaya Night Marathon 2012 and we travelled there in 2 cars. We all met nearby my house, and heavy rain just started pouring with thunderstorm! All of us were so worry as we would be running in the rain, but luck is on our side. The rain didn't reach Putrajaya area, and it was all clear sky when we reached there. We had some bread, water and took photos then the event is near starting at 8.30pm.

This run, I acted as the sweeper, partly because I didn't train enough to do time attack, but main reason were to take care of our new comers into their 1st 21km marathon event. True enough, 2 friends that's lacking in training, struggled along the race. I ran along with them, helped them and gave them encouragement. The lady that started off with stomach pain, I suspected she ate too much and she felt pain on the right side of the abdomen. I slowed her down and she felt better after drinking some water along the way. She also made a big mistake by wearing her new Reebok shoe for the run, and the shoe is a size smaller for marathon run (normally we buy a size bigger). Her feet started to feel the pain and finally she couldn't take it anymore upon 10km distance. She took it off and I carried the shoes for her, and she speed up like a leopard. Problem then started for my 2nd friend, the macho guy.

Initially, he seemed to be running good, and he pounded away from us after 10km mark, but we picked him back in 12-13km, he was struggling to continue to run as the pain started to attack his feet. This is the common problem for new comers, as they didn't put enough distance into their training, so their body can't take the punishment. He struggled badly that we have to run and walk along the way. I can see he is really suffering with the feet pain, and he felt like giving up, asking question about why people so stupid joining these kind of marathon. Gave some encouragements, we continued to push our limit and after over 2 hours, we were finally reaching the final few kms. I pushed them to complete the run, and the lady took off going ahead of us. I waited for my other friend, and his face started to turn pale. I were so worry that he will pass out. Persistent paid off, we both crossed the finishing line just a minute after 3 hours.

All of us completed the run safely, and as expected, some suffered the pain for days after the event, part and parcel of the marathon experience. They swear not to join again, but I'm sure they will run again next round =) Well done to all my friends.

I told them every run is a new experience, and for me, what's new?
1. I run with 4 shoes for the first time in my life on a 21km marathon (carrying shoes for the lady)
2. My first run in Putrajaya, and boy the place is beautiful. Too bad the route got too many slope, struggled a little over the marathon.

Cheers, and keep running =) Respect the Distance ...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Which Smartphone to Buy?

My ownership of the iPhone4 is near the end, reaching the usual 2 years circle as my contract with carrier end this year. So as usual, we are out to hunt for our next smartphone that will accompany us for the coming 2 years. My wife has basically decided to go for the new iPhone 5, as she is so comfortable with the iOS operation, then the headache is for mine.

I look at the market, and there are only a few notable players, namely Apple, Samsung, HTC, Nokia. There are others, but not really big players, so let's stick to the big names only, shall we?

    photo courtesy of

 For Apple, there is only 1 product. iPhone 5 that's just announced, and it's not even in Malaysia yet. The iOS is a great operating system, I've been using it for 2 years, and it's all great, predictable and functional. There is no problem for me to continue with another iPhone for another 2 years, but I just dying for something different, to try out something else. However, the iPhone 5 still marvel in the following, which I'm still holding my grounds towards other brand.
Most notable feature: Incredible Retina Display (no matter what pixel you are advertising, nothing beats the Retina Display as of today!), excellent iOS system on functionality and stability, incredible built quality (premiumly built, and I dropped it multiple times, still functioning with only minor scratches).

    photo courtesy of

For Samsung, I'm particularly looking at the Galaxy Note 2, incredible 5.5" size and I'm a man that's always looking for bigger stuff! I'm very much attracted to the sreen size and the 1.6GHz Quad Core Processor is just a no brainer features! However, the superb screen size is also a concern as I've personally play with a Galaxy Note 1 before, and it's not really ergonomics for our hand size. Further, the infamous plastic built quality of Samsung device is not really to my liking. I love the device, the specs tick all my boxes, but the size and plastic built is holding me back. What other choice I have? Galaxy S3? It's the same with a smaller screen, I would probably be prefer to go for iPhone 5 in that case.

    photo courtesy of

For HTC, their trademark set named One X is almost the same as the Galaxy S3, only with a better built quality, much better and going head to head with iPhone. Performance wise still lose to S3 but if you are looking for a good built quality set on Android, One X is the only choice. For the size of 4.7", I'm torn between S3 or One X.

    photo courtesy of

For Nokia, Microsoft based Lumia seems to take the world by storms, but it is still at its infancy, and they are growing fast. I've play with one before too, and the interface is definitely refreshing with lots of potential. I would say it's better than the Android, but due to its late entry, the concern is still on the apps availability and future potential. Lumia 920 the crown of model line-up, seems to be still running on dual core, but that's not a real concern as long as the Windows is running well.

I still can't make up my mind, and all above are almost in the same price range, only package by carrier will need a microscope to determine the best deal. With same price, concern is still on which to choose, as it's a 2 year commitment. It's sad to stuck with something you don't like, so I will spend some more time to think this through, I got 2 weeks more =)

You will notice that I don't stress on the specification, as they are mostly in the same. However, the operation of the smartphone does not rely on the processor, RAM, pixels and etc alone. It's a whole package, that's why Apple iOS is the most stable as they controlled everything. For top range smartphone, their performance is comparable, only consideration is the operating system if it's to your liking, and also the screen display and sizes.