Monday, 29 December 2014

Travel: Bergama Hand Crafted Turkish Carpets and Rugs (Türkiye)


Turkish carpets and rugs, whether hand knotted or flat woven are among the most well known and established hand crafted art works in the world.

Hand knotted rugs are made on a specially designed loom and are knotted by hand. The size of the loom depends on the size of the rug and the weaving is done from the bottom to the top which is a very tedious and time consuming operation.

The length of time to produce a hand knotted rug depends on the size and intricacy of the pattern. It is not unheard of for a super fine quality 12’ x 15’ rug to take over a year to produce.

In this post, I want to share my first-hand experience of this Turkish carpet in one of the villages around Bergama, Turkey. Just a piece of note that there are approximately eighty villages around Bergama that still weave carpets traditionally.

The history of carpet weaving in Bergama dates back to the 11th century (when Turkish migration started to the area).


Tukish carpet material production
Bergama carpets are of all-wool construction and have a knotting density of around 12 knots per cm². They are typically three to four meters square in size and originated from around the 14th to 15th century.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Travel: Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise (Türkiye)


Last winter, went for a short gateway trip to Türkiye, the land of the crescent moon.

Weather was chilly at about 6 - 8 degrees Celsius in Istanbul City during the day. Went on the one of the most popular tourist attraction, the Bosphorus Cruise to see and get close to the historical sightseeing spots in Istanbul city. 

About Bosphorus Cruise

A 32 km (20-mile)-long strait which joins the Sea of Marmara to the south with the Black Sea to the north of Istanbul. The Bosphorus is the unique strategic waterway which connects the two continents -Europe and Asia- so it is a bridge between European and Asian Sides that makes Istanbul unique as well.

Sharing you some photos taken with my D7000 with no flash. Shooting was made at a chilly weather nearing to sundown.




Saturday, 27 December 2014

Running: HCMC Run 2015 (Vietnam)



Introduction
HCMC Run 2015 proudly invites you to the upcoming running challenges with a continuous support from the Athletics Federation of Ho Chi Minh City. The event will be held on January 18th, 2015, to encourage people who love running to get over their limitation and freely experience the race divisions.

Date: 18/01/2015
Venue: PHU MY HUNG, DIST 7 
Category: 5KM l 10KM l 21KM

Running Map
With the route around Crescent Lake and Phu My Bridge, get ready to enjoy the beautiful view of the new urban development Phu My Hung when you reach the top of Phu My Bridge, the most beautiful bridge in Ho Chi Minh City



Race Entitlements
For every registration, you will receive 01 T-shirt, 01 BIB, 01 Bag, 01 Event Booklet. 
For 21km runnes, you will get the finisher half marathon T-shirt at the finish area after completing the race.

Note: the B-tag timing Chip will be attached in the 21km and 10km BIB number.
Race Kit Pick-up: 5 Jan - 11 Jan, 2015, 11am - 9pm
Pick-up location: Ground Floor, Ton Dat Tien Str., Phu My Hung, Tan Phu Ward, Dist. 7

Running Tee (Front)
Running Tee (Back)
Finisher Medal

Friday, 26 December 2014

Running: Salomon X-Trail Run 2014 (Selangor)



It's been a while since I did an actual trail running. Not really a fan of trail type due to certain reasons like muddy shoes and extreme high-elevation route.

Have been deciding to close my 2014 running calendar with either Newton Challenge or Salomon X-Trail Run. Ended up choosing Salomon X-Trail Run instead since I had started my 2014 running journey on trail early February at XTerra Night Trail 2014.

Signed-up for the 10K distance race on October with a fee of RM60. This was actually my first time running in this particular event by Salomon Malaysia.

The Salomon X-Trail Run 2014 was held at MAEPS, Serdang on 21 December 2014.


Race Day
Finding the event area was easy as direction signboards have been placed from MAEPS / MARDI Gate 2 entrance. Reached the start area 10 minutes before flag-off at 7am. However, the flag-off time was delayed 15 minutes to ensure the running trail was safe for participants. The 10K distance was changed to 12KM instead too, which was much interesting.

Bumped into my usual running friends like Kakai with his running buddies and Taariq with the Trailblazerz at the start area as I was depositing my baggage at the baggage counter. Regrouped with Hadi, Yen Yen and Azrul just few minutes before the Men's Open flag-off.

Friendly Volunteers
Start Area
Start Area
It was a challenging race for me as the race trail was really muddy and slippery due to wet weather conditions the night earlier. At about KM3, participants have to run uphill and downhill through slippery muddy trail. Luckily, I have been prepared with my Nike Trail Wildhorse running shoes which was suitable for the route conditions.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Running: Nike We Run Jakarta 2014 (Indonesia) #BAJAKJKT2014


Opted for Nike We Run Jakarta or locally known as Bajak JKT during its registration period on October 2014 as my previous wonderful experience at Bajak JKT last year. Read my BAJAKJKT2013 post for more info.

Furthermore, missed to sign up for the "returned" of Nike We Run KL 2014 which had opened during SCKLM 2014 race day event.

Signed up for Bajak JKT 2014 together with my local Indonesian friends whom I have met throughout my running days in Jakarta especially from Indo Runners.

Race Day
Flew in to Jakarta city early in the morning same day as race day, 13 December 2014. Regrouped with my running buddy, Surya few hours earlier for a quick story catch-up and carbo-load.

Nike Bajak JKT 2014 Race Pack
Changed into my running attire there then straight to the race venue at 2.30pm (local time). The race venue for Bajak JKT this year was held at Lapangan Benteng, few KM away from iconic Monas Monument.

Race Village Entrance
Baggage Deposit Tent
Baggage Tag
Fast and organised baggage deposit service by friendly volunteers. I was given a baggage wrist tag for collection afterwards. 

Nice Nike deco and brand positioning made by the organisor at the race area. Spotted tons of photowalls to take photograph at later after the race. Mobile toilets were available and sufficient inside the race village. Met a few Indo Runners like Yomi (met during SCMS 2014) and Ichsan Hanip (met during Pocari Sweat Run ID 2014) while I was strolling around the area.
Race Village
Race Village
Race Village

Race Village
Race Village (Mobile Toilets)
Race Village (Free Shoe Shine)
I was introduced by my buddy Surya to Rush Runners Crew and his running buddies. They are one of the Nike running crew that actively conducts running training sessions in Jakarta. It was really nice to be part of a family-oriented running crew. There are also other Nike running crew there such as EJR, Galaxy Running Club and Running Rage.

Nike Indonesia Run Clubs

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Running: Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2014 (Singapore) #SCMS2014


Registered and completed the HM category at the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2014 #SCMS2014 last 7 December 2014. This was my 3rd Standard Chartered Marathon "Run For A Reason" series for the year 2014, after 2014's SCBKKMarathon and SCKLM. 

My young brother +Shafwan Wahab was running FM, flying from Kota Kinabalu as usual.


About SCMS
The Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) has established itself as the marquee running event on Singapore’s sporting calendar. Every first Sunday of December, thousands of participants from all walks of life run past some of Singapore’s iconic landmarks such as the Esplanade and Sentosa. Marathon runners also get to soak up the festive atmosphere as they run under the twinkling lights of Orchard Road.

In 2014, SCMS retained its Gold Label status by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), placing it among the company of the world’s elite races such as the New York City Marathon and the London Marathon. As the highlight of Singapore’s running calendar, the Marathon has helped grow the running culture in Singapore.

Race Entry Pack Collection
Went for REPC 2 days earlier which was held at Singapore Expo by MRT once safely landed at Changi International Airport, Singapore. Took me about 10 - 15 minutes in queue to reach the collection counter. Collection was open from 10:00am until 9:00pm.

REPC Counters
A lot of booths by event sponsors and partners with promotions and special discounts for SCMS2014 participants. 

Official SCMS 2014 Pacers
Sponsors and Partners
Sponsors and Partners
Sponsors and Partners
Race Day
The HM category flag off time was at 6:30am at the Sentosa Bridge, near to VIVO City Mall. Had to take the MRT towards Harbour Front station 2 hours earlier together with other runners. Had the chance to make some new-found-friends along the way.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Running: New Balance Half Marathon 2014 (Selangor)

Photo courtesy of Run & Explore
Tried a new running route at Setia City Mall located near to Shah Alam on 23 November 2014 at the New Balance Half Marathon 2014 #NBMYHalfMarathon2014

What makes me keen to participate in this race was the race area and the HM Finisher race tee design.

The registration had open since October 2014 with RM70 fee for the HM category. Online registration was via the Marathon Shop portal. 

Race Day
Took me about 20 - 30 minutes drive from my home to the race area. Designated parking area was OK but at a first-come-first-serve basis. There was a baggage deposit tent but I didn't deposit any baggage this time. Was looking for a pre-run water station but couldn't find one. Had to wait until the first water station at about KM3 to drink some water. There was a designated tent for Muslim subuh prayers too.

Flag Off
The 21K HM category was flagged at 6.15am. A little bit of traffic at the beginning due to road space and some slow-runners but managed to get my usual pace few minutes after. Water station supplies was sufficient. There was one fruit station at KM12 with banana supplies.

Water and Fruit Station / Medical Station

Excellent traffic control by PDRM and marshals along the route. One thing that disappointed me was no distance markers along the race route. I could only see a few direction signages, but not the KM. Had to rely on my Nike+ Running app for remaining distance to go.

Running Buddy (Photo courtesy of Run & Explore)

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Running: Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon 2014 (Bangkok) #SCBKKMarathon2014


Had the opportunity to explore the old Bangkok city recently by signing up in Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon 2014 #SCBKKMarathon2014 on 16 November 2014.

This was my first official Thai race and seventh international race event after #JAKMAR2014.

Since the race venue was held in front of the Grand Palace, I decided to bunked at a hotel in Khao San, 1KM away from the flag off area 1 day earlier.


About #SCBKKMarathon
The Standard Chartered Bank supports marathon running in nine markets spanning four continents. The marathon characterise the values and attitude that Standard Chartered believes in, and lives by everyday - a 'can-do' attitude, a priority on strength of trust, will power, stamina, and determination to go the distance.

In Thailand, this is the 27th Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon. It is a world standard athletic event which is popular among Thais and foreign runners alike. Bangkok is known as the City of Angels, to whom the glittering roof of the Grand Palace is said to reach. The scenic course travels past many historical landmarks through cultural and ethnic communities. All race distances start and finish at Sanam Chai Road located in the front of The Royal Grand Palace. 

Race Pack Collection
The RPEC was held at the Royal Army Club. Had some issues on my registration ID but were handled fast and professionally by the volunteers. Somehow my registration ID was for 10K instead of 21K. The volunteer routed me to the Go Adventure Asia personnel which handed me a new 21K BIB with timing chip. I was a bit disappointed as I was looking forward for my own personalised BIB with my name and country flag like the other runners.


Race BIB
Race Pack Collection
Race Pack Collection
Race Pack Collection
In the race pack, runner will have their BIB, race guide leaflet, running tee, a muscle cream and (guess what) finisher medal. Totally kills the run spirit. However, 'real runners' will still complete the distance.

There were sponsors and partners booths in the area, promoting their merchandise and also upcoming races in Thailand. Was interested in the North Face Thailand race next January 2015. 

Race Day
Heading my way to the starting line 1 hour before flag off time at 4.00 am (local time). Did a little walk and slow jog towards the area with some other participants from Khao San.

Left my bag at the baggage area which was separated by run categories. A number with marker pen was written on my BIB by the volunteer for collection afterwards. There was an ice cold soft drink water station near to the starting line which I found refreshing.

Baggage Deposit
Pre-Race Water Station
There was more than 5000 participants running in the 21K category distance which include local Thai and oversea runners. Started my run from the middle of the race pack which took almost 2 - 3 minutes for me to cross the starting line.