Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fubon Taipei Marathon 2011 - A Memoir

Fubon Taipei Marathon 2012 is taking place this weekend... and I just thought what better time to do a memoir recap of me & vonsy's experience in 2011 when we decided to make Fubon our first overseas marathon event!

We were planning to make it a nice holiday trip too of course - and with Taiwan - you know you can't go wrong with all the night markets & historical beautiful tourist spots. We did consider doing the Taroko Marathon until we saw the elevation profile (ie. 21k uphill & 21k downhill!) it was easy choice from then on to choose Fubon instead - right in the heart of Taipei city, and a perfect excuse to carbo-load at all the night markets! As for Taroko, we saved it as part of our tour itinerary after the marathon  (which I thought was most clever - coz I had planned to check out the hot springs in that area - and what better way to soothe the tired marathon muscles!)

So I remember planning for the trip already took place 2 months before - researching where to go, what to do, booking places (yes, even making a long distance phone call to a hostel in Taroko), and I remember being well pleased with what I had installed for the wife & I, hehe.. in brief it was going to be:

1) Arrive few days earlier in Taipei - eat! tour around
2) Run the marathon
3) Take a train to Taroko in Hualien the next day (highly recommended place btw)
4) Spend 3D2N enjoying Taroko

Our arrival wasn't very fantastic, it was already dark, cold & drizzling - the wife must've been cursing in silence (only deafened by her love for me of course) - but she's a good sport I know she is, and we ventured across the road to buy snacks & instant noodles & all that.. subsequent days were much better, still bit cold, but we started munching all the good taiwanese food (which helped) & even squeezed in a little 'climatisation' run.. we were definitely expecting a cold & chilly run - all the forecast certainly told us that. But as it turned out it was bladdy warm!
Us attempting to climatise ourselves before the run.. bunch of newbies we were :)
The marathon route! to be honest I do not remember seeing any of those buildings in the picture above coz I was too focused on the race. 
To be honest Fubon's best memories were these silly supporters.. their costumes & their high spirits were so crucial in pushing me forward at the 35k mark when I was in total agony!!!  

I am so sure these guys were paid to dress up!! Super super silly :D

hahahahaha.. how can you not love Taiwan :)

Oooo my idol ironman uncle - saw him overtaking me & was just in awe someone could run with what seem like his bag of 'stuff' in one hand & a pair of FLIP-FLOPS!!!!!
Yours truly in full agony - thinking about it brings back the pain like it was yesterday. I do miss it.

Champions of the world!

And a can of red bean to wash it all down.. :D
It was a good laugh - Taiwan - and we had such great memories on this trip. I always attribute my trips to Taiwan to the colorful & friendly people. They are as outspoken and friendly as one would expect, and truly colorful & helpful bunch of people.

If you've contemplated before going to Taiwan to do the Fubon or Taroko marathon - plan it well - and just go for it. Make it a week long holiday if you can coz it's a beautiful country with so much to offer! We'll be back one day Taiwan.

More pictures here:

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Melbourne weather...

Well. for the fresh migrants such as myself, the Melbourne weather is certainly an experience all on its own. And due to my lack of understanding how true it is being described ie '4 seasons in a day', has resulted in me falling sick & bed-ridden for the past 3 days.

SO YES. heed thy advice. know your Melbourne weather. Read your forecasts!

So while one can wait for the body to slowly adapt & be hardened against the Ozzie weather, in the meantime the best short-term solution is if you're out perhaps it's good idea to always bring a thin, wind/rain-proof jacket. Because it can be scorching roasting warm in the evening, and you think it's gonna be OK, u get bit sweaty & then suddenly the gust of wind comes or the temperature starts to drop as the evening wears on... and you find yourself catching a chill.

Same goes with running. Gusty winds are very common. You're sweating so much, and as soon as you stop for a breather - u can easily catch a chill - so invest in some good attire, that will wick your sweat off, keep you warm when it's chilly, & vice versa.

Up in the alpines, I know for a fact that temperatures and weather can change in an instant too - so you definitely need to bring extra jackets & prepare for showers. It's just the way it is here I guess. Experiencing all kinds of extremes in a day. I remember a friend saying "This is Australia, everything's extreme!"

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Two Bays...

Mmm.. looks like two bays tak jadi.. bus is full for 28k, and don't qualify comfortably for the 50k. Oh well. It's no big deal :)

And total registered already close to their cap of 1000 runners.. if not already.

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