It’s been such a long time since I last blogged and with the never-ending pile of work that makes finding time to blog so difficult, I hope that I can strike a fine balance in the months to come.
Thankfully, I was able to get my mind away from work over the weekends at the Mizuno Ekiden 2017 and I had a great time catching up with my friends. Though my running pace was quite far off from what I had planned, I was glad that I finished and survived the race.
Compared to previous editions of the Mizuno Ekiden, I personally enjoyed this year’s edition because the race route was much simpler and flatter. The weather was also quite bearable and I must say, the race volunteers did a great job of paving the way for the runners (especially at the Jubilee Bridge and One Fullerton where there were many visitors). The cashless transactions at the various F&B booths also made things more convenient!
I also feel that there are room for improvements and some areas of consideration for the race organisers are:
Shifting the race flag-off time to an earlier time
I’m not sure how many people would be in favour of such an arrangement but I would think that an earlier race flag-off time (for teams participating in the full marathon) might be more ideal.
More Japanese F&B options
The F&B options at this year’s Mizuno Ekiden 2017 are very limited. Although there’s Hokkaido Green Tea Ice-Cream, Ramen, Sushi, Suntory Beer and Takoyaki, I’m pretty sure Japanese cuisine in general has so much more to offer than just those which I have mentioned!
A More Efficient Way of Tracking Team Mates’ Location
The tracking system that’s used at the Mizuno Ekiden is pretty complex to understand and most of the time, majority of the runners find themselves in the transition pen way too early, thus crowding up the area even before their team mates arrive for the changeover.
Now that all is said and done, this shouldn’t discount the many new improvements that the race organiser had made for this year’s race and I believe next year’s race will be an even better one!
Overall, I am glad that my team mates and I enjoyed the race and we certainly look forward to next year’s edition of the Mizuno Ekiden!
I have participated in the Mizuno Ekiden Run since it’s inauguration in 2015 and every edition of the race is different because there are always new developments that cater to runners of all ages and background. This year will see Mizuno Singapore staging the third edition of the Mizuno Ekiden Run, which is a relay-styled long distance run and it will be held at The Promontory @ Marina Bay on 19 August 2017.
Capping the capacity at 5,000 runners, this year’s race hopes to target an increased participation from regional countries with the introduction of the ‘Running Club Category’. The Running Club category is open to all running clubs in Southeast Asia that have been active for at least three months and all team members must be residents or permanent residents of any ASEAN country. The winning team of the ‘Running Club Category’ can stand to win the top prize of SGD$2,200 worth of cash and vouchers.
If you have not participated in the Mizuno Ekiden Run before and you’re wondering how such a relay-styled long distance run is carried out, here’s how it is done; runners will participate in teams of four where the first runners of each team will flag off while donning a traditional tasuki sash. Upon completing his or her leg of the relay, the sash will be passed to the second runner who will be waiting at the transition area. This process will continue until the sash is donned by the fourth runner, who will then finish the race and join the rest of his or her team members at the finish line.
The first ekiden race was held in 1917, in conjunction with celebrating the anniversary of the moving of the capital to Tokyo. The ekiden race was held over three days between the old Japanese capital of Kyoto and the modern capital of Tokyo with the total distance amounting to 508 km.
The original concept of the race stems from Japan’s communication and transportation system during the olden days, in which stations were posted at intervals along the road. The word Eki, means station and den, represents transmit. The tasuki can be likened by many to a baton in track-and-field relay races, but in actual fact, the tasuki means more than just a baton. Each tasuki is thought to represent the honour not only of the team itself but of the university, company, or region that the team comes from. Thus, it is the tasuki’s symbolic significance that makes an ekiden race unique.
On a more personal note, I have always enjoyed running the Mizuno Ekiden because it spurs my team to display remarkable performance in intense and challenging situations while fostering friendship and showcasing commendable Japanese values such as perseverance, resilience and teamwork.
Since this year’s race will take place from 4 pm in the late afternoon onwards, the weather will be pretty hot so do hydrate yourselves sufficiently and strategize accordingly to get the most out of the race.
What I enjoy most about the Mizuno Ekiden is the Matsuri Race Village where I could have a nice celebratory dinner with my teammates over a wide array of traditional and popular Japanese gourmet such as sushi, ramen, and desserts after a good race. If you’re a fan of all things Japanese; you should definitely head down to the Matsuri Race Village since entry is free and there’s a string of Japanese activities and performances lined up for everyone to enjoy and appreciate.
As for the race registration, runners can register in teams of four across four categories; the Open Category (42.195km), the Open Category (21.1km), the Corporate category (21.1km), and the newest category in 2017, the Running Club category.
As we step into 2017, I’m sure many of you are busy cracking your heads on some worthy New Year resolutions. Wealth, happiness, travel, and many more along those lines could very well top your list but let’s be real here – we’re not accomplishing anything without health.
2016 was a year plagued by newborn diseases like MERS, Zika and strains of the Avian Influenza so it is no understatement to say our health is constantly threatened. While we put our faith in the hands of scientists and doctors to develop vaccines and cures, there is much we can do to safeguard our health.
If you’ve been exercising regularly, good on you! BUT – healthy living is not just about working out regularly.
It is a lifestyle that’s all about balance. I know it can be a real challenge to switch up your current lifestyle when you are so used to living this way. (We’re all creatures of habit after all.)
No one is expecting you to make a 360degree change overnight but we got to start somewhere and, fortunately, that somewhere starts with these simple steps. Here are some tips endorsed by dietitian Wong Hui Xin from Mount Elizabeth Hospital, to help you fulfil that 2017 resolution of eating healthy!
Spice Up Your Water
Now, we know water is great for us. But it’s tasteless, and it can sometimes be a chore to drink water. (I feel you, mate.) What do you say about spicing up that boring cup of water with a slice of lemon?
Lemon water is definitely more flavourful than regular water. But it’s also beneficial in several other ways, including raising antioxidant levels, which in turns lowers the risk of several diseases, improving digestion leaving you less bloated, and helping with detoxification so you potentially save big bucks you might have spent on a detox programme elsewhere.
Lemon is just one way you can spice up your water. If you find it too much of a hassle to carry a lemon around (because it honestly can be quite the weight), teabags are a much more viable option. Apart from increasing antioxidant levels, teas like green tea also boost metabolism and kill bacteria.
Choose The Healthier Snacks
Less ice-cream and chocolate bars, more fruits.
I’m guessing you’ve heard this one too many times but fruits definitely make a much more healthier choice of sugary snacks. They’re a great source of vitamins and nutrients that help strengthen your immune system to keep viruses at bay. So the old saying that goes “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is kind of true.
That being said, we all would appreciate some variation too, right?
Bring those nuts and seeds on!
Instead of munching on chips and biscuits (especially during office hours when you’re desk-bound for 8 hours – let’s not even get started on how detrimental that can be for your health!), go for almonds! Almonds are loaded with all the good nutrients you need to keep maintain healthy levels of blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure. If nuts aren’t your favourite, go for sunflower seeds! They are as beneficial as almonds.
Not to mention they’re easy to buy from any convenient store!
Have A Salad
You already know you should aim to consume 2 servings of vegetables and fruits a day yet many of us don’t. Salads are the easiest way to work those into your meals.
As a general guide to deciding what goes into your salad, you should always aim for a colourful bowl of vegetables to get a wide range of nutrients. As for proteins, opt for grilled options, or tofu for vegans. Finally, don’t forget some carbohydrates! Foods like corns, beans, and potatoes make for a balanced meal.
Remember that not all salads are created equal – creamy dressings are a major no-no. For healthier dressings, opt for vinaigrettes or olive oil.
The Healthier Choice Label
It’s easy to miss but products endorsed by the Health Promotion Board are lower in fat, sodium, and sugar, and some are also higher in calcium and dietary fibre compared to other options within the same food category.
If you absolutely have to get your sugared drinks fix, although I’d highly suggest you skip the midday bubble tea, the least you could do is to purchase those with lower sugar content. That way, you can have the cake and eat it too!
Order Only What You Can Eat
We’re all guilty of it – over-ordering. We walk into a fancy café and everything on the menu suddenly looks mouth-watering so we make a pact to order a dish each and share. But we don’t forget to pile on the dessert and appetisers as well. More often than not, we end up with more than enough food.
Over-ordering, and then over-eating, can lead to indigestion and bloat. More importantly, if you do finish all that food, you are bound to exceed your recommended daily calorie intake and all the suggested nutrients levels as well.
The best way to not do so is to opt for smaller servings. It can be as simple as asking for a smaller serving of rice or just holding off orders until you’ve cleared all the food on the table.
Now that wasn’t so difficult, was it? These are some handy tips that will make changing your lifestyle a tad easier.
So before we dive into how we want to embark on a month-long tour around Europe, or scoot on a beach holiday to Boracay, let us go forth and create a healthier us!
I am a big fan of water sports and I have been at it since I was 9. Whether it is swimming, kayaking, dragon-boating, or even jet-skiing; I honestly enjoy all sorts of water sports. Apart from windsurfing and sailing which I haven’t got the opportunity to explore yet; I am really glad that I recently had the chance to pick up some basic wakeboarding skills at Singapore’s new cable-ski park, the Singapore Wake Park at East Coast Park (no, this post has got absolutely nothing to do with anything Korean).
While I am not exactly sure how big Singapore’s wakeboarding scene is, I really do hope to gain mastery of the sport over time and be able to teach the sport to others in the future. In fact, after a few try-outs at Singapore Wake Park (the only local cable-ski park); I am totally hooked to the sport.
For those who are entirely new to wakeboarding (myself included), you might have the impression that this sport is super expensive and that it is only meant for the angmohs. You might even have doubted yourself and thought that wakeboarding is a difficult sport to learn.
Well, after my first wakeboarding experience at the Singapore Wake Park, I am more than happy to tell you that wakeboarding is an affordable sport for everyone; yes including children above 6 years old to seniors in their 50s! I honestly thought that wakeboarding is a difficult sport to pick up but much to my delight; the new cable-ski park at East Coast features three state-of-the-art cable systems comprising two System 2.0s designed for beginners and a full-size cable system for experienced wakeboard enthusiasts all in an enclosed body of water.
If you have previously been to East Coast Park (2015 and earlier)and passed by the cable-ski park; you might have noticed that the previous cable-ski park had only one full-size cable system where amateurs and even experienced wakeboarders go onto the same system which made the sport pretty unsafe.
The new management (Island Lifestyle Group) partnered Sesitec, the German company renowned for designing and building cable systems worldwide, to install the latest cable-ski systems in the park to cater to both beginners and experienced wakeboarders at the same time.
The System 2.0 marked its first set-up in Singapore, featuring a two-tower system that is especially well-suited to novices, with only one wakeboarder allowed at a single time, thus allowing the instructor to focus fully on the individual. This makes wakeboarding more accessible for adventure seekers, groups of friends, and families who wish to try a new sport. Furthermore, it has a gentle increase in speed from 0 km/h to 25 km/h, which helps the wakeboarder anticipate the pull of the cable and is controlled manually to allow for personalised adjustments.
Honestly, for the rate of SGD$40/hour (weekdays) and SGD$60/hour (weekends); I really feel that it is worth the money to have an instructor who is fully present to take you through the basics of wakeboarding while enjoying a good workout. My muscles were aching the day after and yes; it worked my abs too.
The new Sesitec full-size cable system has size towers and six evenly-spaced carriers to take experienced wakeboarders around the cable-ski park. It uses advanced sensor technology to ensure reliable interaction among all components of the system. Stable floating walkways on the edges of the lagoon both serve as wave breakers for a smoother riding experience as well as platforms for wakeboarders to climb on and walk safely back to the starting docks.
Both the full-size cable system and the System 2.0s are environmentally friendly, with low noise and zero greenhouse gas emissions. This improves the overall wakeboarding experience where the water quality in the lagoon is not compromised. What’s more, the lagoon is also equipped with floodlights to illuminate the area so that wakeboarders can enjoy themselves until 10pm daily.
Aside from the three cable systems, what I really like about the Singapore Wake Park is that it also features many amenities such as shower facilities, changing rooms, lockers for the safekeeping of belongings (you have to bring your own personal padlock though), and free wireless connectivity!
Cable-ski equipment, vests, and helmets are included in the cable-ski package although you are welcome to purchase your own wakeboard and swimwear accessories from their pro shop onsite. If you’re a regular wakeboarder, you can also have the option of renting storage space at the park for added convenience.
Furthermore, the park offers many spots for people to gather and relax. Wooden decks next to the lagoon allow for comfortable lounging by wakeboarders who wish to take a breather or for spectators who wish to get a closer look. The café and bar next to the lagoon, Coastal Rhythm, is another great spot to watch the action on water. It is open to the public and it serves a full food and drinks menu, so family and friends can chill out over food while joggers and cyclists at East Coast Park can grab a bite before going on their way. I personally feel that the café and bar is a good place to hangout and chill.
I am so looking forward to wakeboarding again and just so you know, the Singapore Wake Park is having an exclusive one-for-one promotion that starts from today till the end of November 2016. What this means is that for SGD$40, you can bring another friend to come and wakeboard with you for free!
I’m so going to jio my siblings for some core body workout!
Operating Hours of the Park’s Cable Systems:
10am to 10pm daily
Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays: 9am to 10pm
Operating Hours of Coastal Rhythm Café and Bar:
Mondays to Thursdays: 10am to 11pm
Fridays and Eve of Public Holidays: 10am to 1am (next morning)
Saturdays: 9am to 1am (next morning)
Sundays and Public Holidays: 9am to 11pm
Being a frequent baker, it is important to me that I use only the finest ingredients that I can find in the market but the truth is, premium baking ingredients are not only expensive; they are hard to find as well.
When Nehal Patel from Foodsterr dropped us an email a few months back, boy were we so glad because in the midst of our busy schedules, we really had no time to go shop around for ingredients and Foodsterr came at the right time to answer to our baking needs.
Not only that, Foodsterr also has a whole range of other products that really intrigued me because recently, I have been trying to lose some weight and I honestly enjoy having my daily cup of coffee with full cream milk but I have since decided to substitute dairy milk with almond milk instead. Now, those of us who frequent the supermarket would know that the almond milk that is being sold in cartons are completely devoid of nutrients and I would very much prefer to make my own almond milk; which is really easy, but the most difficult part about making my own almond milk was to find whole almonds that are wallet-friendly.
So, here comes Foodsterr to the rescue!
For 500 grams of Natural Almonds from the USA, it cost SGD$18.90 and it is really more affordable when compared to buying almonds from a Brick and Mortar shop.
We are really pleased to announce that we have just signed a new partnership with Foodsterr, an online specialty foods marketplace (nuts, dried fruits, seeds, superfoods, flour and etc.) sourced from around the globe for wholesale and retail.
We’re pleased to share that Foodsterr is offering all our readers 10% off the total bill with the coupon code WINSOME. (key in the coupon code in your order)
*A minimum order of SGD$30 is required.
In case you’re wondering how you too can make almond milk; here’s a recipe that I follow which will yield about 470ml of almond milk
140 grams of raw almonds, preferably organic
470 ml of water, plus some more water set aside for soaking the raw almonds
Sweeteners like honey, sugar, agave syrup, or maple syrup, to taste, (optional)
Fine-Mesh Nut Bag or Coffee Sock
Soak the almonds overnight or up to 2 days.
Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with about an inch of water. They will plump as they absorb water. Let stand on the counter, covered with a cloth, overnight, or refrigerate for up to 2 days. The longer the almonds soak, the creamier the almond milk.
Drain and rinse the almonds.
Drain the almonds from their soaking water and rinse them thoroughly under cool running water. At this point, the almonds should feel a little squishy if you pinch them. It’s best to discard the soaking water because it contains phytic acid, which inhibits the body’s ability to absorb nutrients (you can also use the water to water the plants if you don’t want to discard it).
Combine the almonds and water in a blender.
Place the almonds in the blender and cover with 470ml of water.
Blend at the highest speed for 2 minutes.
Pulse the blender a few times to break up the almonds, then blend continuously for two minutes. The almonds should be broken down into a very fine meal and the water should be white and opaque.
Strain the almonds.
Line the strainer with either the opened nut bag or coffee sock, and place over a measuring cup.
Pour the almond mixture into the strainer.
Press all the almond milk from the almond meal. Gather the nut bag or coffee sock around the almond meal and twist close. Squeeze and press with clean hands to extract as much almond milk as possible. You should get about 470ml of almond milk.
Sweeten to taste.
Taste the almond milk, and if a sweeter drink is desired, add sweetener to taste.
Refrigerate almond milk.
Store the almond milk in sealed containers in the fridge for up to two days.
The leftover almond meal can be added to oatmeal, smoothies, and muffins as it is. You can also spread it out onto a baking sheet and bake it for 2 to 3 hours in an oven until it is completely dry. Dry almond meal can be kept frozen for several months and used in baked goods such as macarons.
For all you running fans, we have some pretty exciting news for all of you today so read on to find out more! To celebrate the spirit of running, LIV3LY has rolled out a slew of fun activities just for you! It will be exciting, exhilarating and yes, rewarding!
Get Your RunStyle
Curious to learn your RunStyle? LIV3LY has released a short and fun quiz to help you find out if you lean more towards running solo or with a group of friends.
Stand to win FREE slots to race events for completing the quiz. Numerous running personalities like Rachel Ng and Melvin Wong have figured out their RunStyles with LIV3LY. Don’t miss out!
The LIV3LY Challenge
Do you want to win a pair of FREE adidas footwear (hint: one of the latest models), slots to race events, and a one-year LIV3LY premium membership, all in one? Now you have a chance to be one of the 12 winners!
To participate, simply:
1. Join as a LIV3LY member (no fees needed) 2. Like / Follow either LIV3LY Facebook OR Instagram 3. Snap a photo of you doing one of the LIV3LY challenges 4. Upload the photo to your Facebook OR Instagram 5. Hashtag #liv3lychallenge
That’s it! Also, the more you do, the higher your chance of winning. So start participating today!
Also, in the last segment, LIV3LY has analysed 10,000 runners across major races such as the NTUC Income Run 350 to zap your brain juices! Get set for some awesome findings about runners in Singapore that will blow your mind away. The findings will be released on 25 July 2016 so do look out for it!
So are you in or ‘inner’?
Get on board with LIV3LY as they bring you a series of exhilarating activities. Celebrating running has never been more rewarding!
1. Nespresso Lattissima Touch Coffee Machine
I have owned 2 coffee machines in the last 3 years; the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Piccolo and the Nescafe Gold Blend Barista Machine. Both of these machines work pretty well but they are pretty basic for the frequent coffee drinker. As a former barista myself, I felt that that the coffee capsules for the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Coffee Machines were lacking the robust coffee flavour and even though they have a wide range of other beverage selections like Milo or even the Nestea Iced Peach Tea; it didn’t quite convinced me to go any further than that.
As for the Nescafe Gold Blend Barista Machine, even though the soluble coffee (which I feed to the machine every week) is a good upgrade to the coffee capsules that I got for the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine, I really can’t stand the noise it emits every single morning when I make coffee. What’s more, cleaning the machine can be quite a hassle but oh well, I shan’t complain since I had encounters that are worse than this.
So, when I went shopping with Jacqueline at Takashimaya last weekend (it was pretty timely that Takashimaya Shopping Centre had some promotion which lasted only for that weekend); Nespresso was giving Takashimaya Members an exclusive SGD$200 discount off for the Nespresso Lattissima Touch Coffee Machine and without much hesitation, we bought it for a steal at SGD$349.20 (the original price for it is SGD$588).
What we really like about the Nespresso Lattissima Touch Coffee Machine is that it comes with a 2-year onsite warranty! In case you’re wondering, the cheapest coffee capsule cost just SGD$0.91 and the most expensive coffee capsule cost SGD$1.15 (considerably cheaper than if you visit Starbucks or The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf).
Speaking of coffee capsules, Cafédirect, UK’s largest award-winning 100% Fairtrade hot drinks company, recently launched its line of premium coffee capsules and they are compatible with any Nespresso machine. Made from 100% Arabica beans, each capsule has an intensity of 8 out of 12 and contains a 5.3g blend of Tanzanian and Mexican coffee. Costing just SGD$8.90 for a pack of 10 capsules (which works out to be SGD$0.89 per capsule), Cafédirect’s Americano coffee capsules can be found at all FairPrice Xtra and FairPrice Finest outlets. We have personally tried Cafédirect’s Americano coffee capsules and we really like its refined taste!
2. Yankee Candles
Our first encounter with Yankee Candles was at Suntec City Mall a year ago and ever since we made our first candle purchased, we have never looked back and we have been enjoying the sweet and authentic raspberry aroma before we head to bed every night.
An American company that started from a humble beginning, Yankee Candle has become the number 1 most-recognized name in the candle business and with over 150 fragrances, they offer the world’s largest and most compelling selection of candle and home fragrance scents. In addition to Yankee Candle’s renowned Housewarmer® line of scented candles, they also provide a wide range of seasonal and specialty scented candles, home fragrance products, car fresheners and candle accessories.
Just so you know, Yankee Candles have recently launched their very own Mini Reed Diffuser and I am so going to get it and place it on my office desk because there is a 20% discount in lieu of the Great Singapore Sale!
If you are keen to check out their products, you can visit Yankee Candles Singapore Website or head down to their retail stores! In fact, I personally find Yankee Candles to be fantastic gifts for gifting.
3. Method’s Household Cleaning Products
It has been more than 5 months since we moved to the growing town of Punggol and over the past few months, we have experimented with a couple of household cleaning products and boy were we glad that we chanced upon Method’s range of household cleaning products.
Our first encounter with Method was its squirt + mop all floor cleaner (ginger yuzu) and its dish pump (ginger yuzu). We absolutely loved the citrusy fragrance but more than that, it works the same like all other household cleaning products except that 100% of the functioning ingredients are naturally derived from plant-based, mineral, or water sources. What this means is that Method’s products are safe for health, non-toxic, and guaranteed not to cause skin or respiratory irritations!
Although Method’s products are slightly more expensive than the conventional household cleaning products, what we really like about Method is that their products are super environmentally-friendly. The next Method product that we will want to try is their laundry detergent and fabric softener!
If you want to purchase Method’s products and try it out for yourself, you can check out Method Singapore’s Website and if you spend more than SGD$30, you can have your purchase delivered to your doorstep free of charge! Should you prefer shopping in a brick and mortar store, you can find Method’s products at Cold Storage, NTUC FairPrice, and C.K Tang Department Store.
Wow, time really flies and it has already been 2 months since I last blogged. For a start, I will like to thank all visitors and readers for your continuous support because even though I haven’t been sharing much, our page views have not been adversely affected and we still get emails and questions from time to time. This blog post will be very much a rojak piece as I have a flurry of thoughts going through in my mind right now and I don’t exactly know how to organise them. On Car Ownership…
I scrapped my car before Chinese New Year this year and as much as I couldn’t bear to see my car being scrapped, I had no other options since my COE was due to expire. Car ownership in Singapore is expensive and as long as you want to have a vehicle on Singapore roads, you have to be prepared to pay a high price for it. So far, public transport has been a viable option for me and with a monthly fixed price of SGD$120, I could enjoy unlimited rides on the buses and trains. However, travelling via the public transportation has its own set of problems as well and I don’t have to elaborate on that.
I have contemplated getting a motorcycle to travel around but I honestly don’t have the confidence that I will be able to ride safely after seeing multiple videos of how drivers and riders operate their vehicles in Singapore. Then again, it is an option that I still keep with an open mind.
Another interesting option to get around is cycling and I have tried to cycle from Dairy Farm (my workplace) all the way to Punggol (where I currently stay). I have to say, it was indeed a fun but tiring way to get around and will I ever do it again? Yes, I will! With NParks, LTA, and URA working on improving accessibility, I am looking forward to more cycling tracks and park connectors to get around.
MyRepublic looks set to be Singapore’s 4th telco and consumers like myself certainly welcome their entry to this oligopoly that is currently dominated by SingTel, M1, and StarHub. Back then, StarHub Mobile was a game changer when it introduced free incoming calls but now, MyRepublic is going to be the next game changer with unlimited data plans and I foresee it will become Singapore’s fastest growing telco if the other telcos still decide to have a data cap on all their mobile plans.
On a more serious note, I was very angry when I recontracted my StarHub mobile plan on 6 March 2016 because on 10 March 2016, StarHub announced their latest 3GB for SGD$3 promotion and it was applicable only to new lines and recontract lines from 10 March 2016 onwards. Had I known that the promotion will be rolled out on 10 March 2016, I would have chose to recontract my line later so that I can be eligible for the promotion. Now, I can’t wait for my contract with StarHub to expire so that I can make the switch over to MyRepublic… all thanks to StarHub’s unethical business and marketing promotion.
On The Outdoors…
Some of you might have noticed that my focus right now is very much based on the outdoors and it will be the direction that I will be heading towards in the next 2-3 years. This will also mean more sharing about the outdoors and some pretty personal reflections. Sponsors in the sports, adventure and outdoors arena are welcome and I am open to reviewing apparels, equipment, and footwear. Companies who have upcoming events in these fields are also welcome to email me for event listings.
Mizuno Ekiden is back in Singapore after its successful inauguration in 2015 and for its second edition that will be taking place at The Promontory @ Marina Bay on 16 July, the race will take place in the evening!
I would say, the decision to hold the race in the evening is a welcomed one because previously when the race was held in the morning, the weather turned extremely hotter towards the early afternoon and it was very challenging to run.
In Japanese terms, Ekiden refers to a relay-styled long distance running and the Mizuno Ekiden 2016 strives to instill and portray remarkable Japanese values such as individual perseverance, teamwork and the ability to showcase a high level of performance in intense and challenging situations.
Runners will participate in teams of four where the first runners of each team will start at The Promontory @ Marina Bay while donning a traditional tasuki sash. Upon completing his or her leg of the relay race, the sash will be passed to the second runner who will be waiting at the transition area. This process will continue until the sash is donned by the fourth runner, who will finish the race and join the rest of his or her team members at the finish line.
While waiting for the final runner to cross the finish line, the rest of the team members can enjoy a spread of Japanese gourmet such as ramen and desserts at the Matsuri Race Village. Matsuri refers to a festival or a holiday in the Japanese context.
I have been reading a lot recently (especially now that I have a little bit of spare time) and I just finished reading the book, “Eat Move Sleep” by Tom Rath. When I first chanced upon this book in 2013 while browsing around at the POPULAR bookstore, I bought it but I haven’t got the time to sit down and read it. Fast forward 2 years later, I now kick myself in the foot for not having read this book earlier as it contains many valuable nuggets of information for living right. If you have been reading a lot of self-help/self-improvement books, you probably would have come across books (such as “Strengths Finder 2.0” and “Strengths Based Leadership”) by Tom Rath and this book, “Eat Move Sleep” is definitely one of the must-have/must-read books in your bookshelf.
So what is this book all about?
“Eat Move Sleep” will give you a pretty practical guide for living healthily and it goes beyond doing just that because many of the ideas for healthy-living that are found in the book are the result of more than a decade of credible research.
If you haven’t been eating well, staying active, and sleeping soundly or if you are currently battling an illness/sickness, this is just the right book for you. A dedicated website just for the book is also available and there, you will be able to find some useful tools and resources (for free).
Some Excerpts From The Book…
“Starting your day with a healthy breakfast increases your odds of being active in the hours that follows.”
“Sugar is a toxin. It fuels diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and cancer.”
“Exercise alone is not enough. Working out three times a week is not enough. Being active throughout the day is what keeps you healthy.”
“On average, we now spend more time sitting down (9.3 hours) than sleeping in a given day.”
“One less hour of sleep does not equal an extra hour of achievement or enjoyment.”
“In some workplaces, it is a badge of honour to “pull an all-nighter” to get work done. Then comes boasting about having only four hours of sleep the night before a meeting to show your colleagues just how hard you are working.”
Should you like to have a preview of the book, Amazon allows you to do just that and if you can’t find this book at the local bookstores, you can order the hardcover book or e-book version directly from Amazon too.
I certainly hope that this book recommendation will help you and the people you love eat healthily, move actively, and sleep soundly.
The inaugural Mizuno Ekiden Race concluded today with a flurry of activities as some 3,000 people gathered at The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay this morning. I formed a team with 3 other runners and together, we challenged ourselves to complete the 42.195km open category. Despite the extremely hot weather and the pretty challenging running route towards the end, we finished the race with a timing of 4:36:50.
This photo is short of a team member [who is also our fastest runner] and he had to leave early to take care of his children. All photos in this post were taken by Jacqueline.
Just so you know, Mizuno Ekiden 2015 is a first full-fledged Ekiden relay race in Singapore and it features teams of four runners [of the same or mixed gender] competing in a relay race over the same race course before finishing at a Matsuri race village. This inaugural event was held with the aim of delivering an experience that focuses on Japanese values such as teamwork, performance, and perseverance.
To be honest, I was totally unprepared for the race as it has been more than 3 months since I last completed a long distance run. I was literally struggling throughout the run and though the race route was relatively easy [except for the last few kilometres], I felt that I could have been more mentally prepared.
The words of encouragement and support by the race officials and ushers kept me going throughout and I really want to thank them for motivating me to keep on running. Had it not been for them, I wouldn’t know how I was going to pull myself through the entire run.
A pretty apt photo of how I was really feeling when I crossed the finishing line. Injured sole, aching leg muscles, and hot weather.
I am glad that I participated in the Mizuno Ekiden Race because the Japanese values of teamwork, performance, and perseverance were deeply imprinted in me. Physically, I am not the best runner but because I know my teammate is waiting for me to pass the sash to him, I had to put in my best effort and keep on running so that my team can complete the entire route in the best weather and timing possible.
The very unique Finisher Medal that forms a complete circle [symbolises strength in unity] when all 4 are combined.
I must say, the Mizuno Ekiden 2015 is a very successful event as it was very well-organised by the team at Infinitus Production. What I like about the Mizuno Ekiden Race is the very scenic and spacious running route. The directional signs are very clear and the hydrating stations are fairly spaced out.
There were also many post-race activities at the Japanese themed Matsuri race village that kept friends, families, supporters and the public entertained throughout the day.
Carnival-goers at the Matsuri race village got to try their hands at Kendama, which is a traditional Japanese toy consisting of a ken [sword] and tama [ball] connected by a string. The ken has three cups and a spike that fits into the hole of the ball and with some skills and quick training, participants were soon learning to catch the ball in the cups and on the spike.
What we really like about the Matsuri race village was that there was an array of Japanese centric food and beverage stores offering ramen, sushi, delectable desserts, and beer.
Handsome Chef from Soup Stock Tokyo serving some delightful soups!
It was a really unique experience and not only that, Mizuno had a pop-up store where everyone could purchase sports apparels and running shoes with a 30% discount.
Should there be a Mizuno Ekiden 2016, I will definitely love to participate again and personally, we highly recommend that you consider taking part in this team relay race! It will be fun!