Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Photo Essay : "Crossing A Bridge"


I now personally know 3 Ironmans!

The team of 3 touched down in Singapore from their amazing journey on Sunday. Does anyone think my brother looks 4kg lighter? If I knew he would lose 4kg, I would have given him some of mine to throw away there. Ha ha.

Hmmm.. Ironman or Ironlady?
(Haha... I just couldn't resist it!!!)


Sunday, February 25, 2007

I am an Architect of Man, but a Servant of God

My new blog, "I am an Architect of Man, but a Servant of God" is up and running. I will be writing on my experiences as a youth leader in church and also blogging my daily devotions.

Check it out here!


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Live coverage of Lotto Ironman Malaysia! (Final)

There were 549 athletes from 33 countries who started the swim this morning.

Of that group, 545 started the bike.

512 of those started the run.

As we hit the 15-hour barrier, we've had 354 finishers.

My brother came in at 189.

That's almost 13 hours of non-stop racing! I think that is a major achievement! I am inspired. To go and take pictures next time. Ha ha ha. (Now what were you thinking!) But seriously, this makes me want to train more for the Osim olympic distance tri. Not just to complete, but to do well. I like that spirit. Excellent job bro!

My brother's results.

Both Yong Howe and Jaclyn are back too! I think it's incredible enough that all 3 of them completed. I must commend them on their perseverance and determination! To the 3 of you, well done! All the training have finally bore fruit! Have a good rest now and we'll see you soon! Thank God for His protection throughout! I just heard that my brother lost 4kg racing! Wah. Only ah...

Yong Howe's race timing

Jaclyn's race timing


Live coverage of Lotto Ironman Malaysia! (Pt 3)

My bro should be finishing the race within the next 30-40min! I'm so proud of him! And look at his positioning! Going steadily down, down, down!

And if you were wondering just how hot is it over there, here are some pics fresh off the Ironman website for you to have a better idea.

The jetty where the participants finish the swim leg.

By this time, one would have swam for an average of 1hr 30min!

The cycling leg should start in the late morning for most and extend into the early afternoon.

Participants due with the heat in many different ways.

This should give you an idea just how hot it is. Look at how red this guy has turned!

The winner of the Lotto Ironman Malaysia, 2007, Xavier Le Floch.
(Hope I got the picture right...)


Live coverage of Lotto Ironman Malaysia! (Pt 2)

Wooo hoo! It's 10 hours into the race and at the last timing update, my bro is in the 197th position! And seriously... look at those timings for his run. That's about 1hr 47min for a half marathon! Many of us can't even make that timing after tons of rest, what more after a 3.8km swim and a 180.2km cycle! I think my brother is going to make it way below his target of under 15 hours. Bravo!!!

In case you were wondering, the race has already been won by the pros. The first professional triathlete, Xavier Le Floch, came in with a time of 8:43:52. Now that's just insane! Below are his race timing details.

Nicole Leder won the women's race in 9:42:33. Overall, she is in 22nd position. Wow. Here are her results.

More updates soon...


Live coverage of Lotto Ironman Malaysia! (Pt 1)

The wonders of technology. I'm currently tracking my brother's race progress live on the internet while trying to get some drawing out for my archi presentation on Tue! How cool is that?! So far, he is on time for his target - under 15 hours, and he is in the 216th position which I reckon is a mighty credible position! Let's hope he can maintain his pace and go under 200! Wow! what a blast!

Some screen shots from the live coverage site...
(Click to enlarge)

Here's some more information about the race if you happen to be one of those sports junkies. It's taken off the Ironman Langkawi website. Also to give you a better idea what my bro is going through.

Lotto Ironman Malaysia takes place on Langkawi, a popular island resort destination in Malaysia. It's tough not because of the course, which consists of a very warm swim, a rolling bike and a relatively flat run course. It's tough because it can get really hot, especially during the run. How hot? In 2001 temperatures that reached 43 degrees Celsius (which is very close to 110 degrees Fahrenheit for anyone who thinks in those terms).

The day begins with a two-loop swim in Kuah Bay which starts and finishes alongside a giant eagle statue that dominates the Jetty Point port area.

Once they're out of the water, the athletes run up a short jetty to T1, grab their bikes, and get started on the three-loop bike course. The "loops" are actually out and back stretches that take the athletes from Kuah to the other side of the island before they turn around and come back. The turnaround at the end of each bike loop is right outside the Seaview Hotel, which serves as the race headquarters.

It is the run that makes the race in Langkawi so tough. The terrain isn't that challenging - it's the heat that the athletes face as they go through the marathon that makes things difficult. After the fourth loop is complete, they run one kilometer back to the jetty, and end the day at the beautiful finish line which is just meters short of the spectacular eagle statue, a welcome beacon at the end of what will no-doubt be a tough day of racing.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Photo Essay : "A Road Less Travelled"


Emergence of an Iron Man

My brother is going to take part in what I consider one of the craziest things people do in their lives. He is going to take part in the Ironman Malaysia Triathlon, this Saturday in Langkawi, Malaysia. The race comprises of 3.8km of swim, 180.2km of cycling and finally 42.2km of running. Why do I call it crazy? Well for one, you better not attempt it unless you have trained for it. It is practically live-threatening if you just decide one day on a whim, "Oh! What a bright and sunny day! I think I might just go and sign up for the Ironman race since the sky is blue and the clouds are white and fluffy!" Good luck to you, I hope you bring your handphone along with the ambulance hotline on speed dial.

Well, most of you would know that my interest in tris (triathlons) was sparked off by watching my brother go for one race after another. The Ironman by the way, is considered the most trying tri (pun intended) one can participate in (though I heard there is something called the Deca-Iroman). It takes much discipline, perseverance and determination to plan, train and execute the race itself. Watching my brother go through all these as he prepares for his race only makes me admire and respect even more these qualities that I see in him.

If I didn't have to prepare for my architecture interim crit on Tuesday, I would be there right with him to document the race for him and some of our mutual friends the way I know best - through photos. It's amazing to be just there observing the race. Each of the competitors come from different walks of life but have one thing that binds them - a dream. And the heart to complete it. I don't think I will ever have the heart to attempt an Ironman. My heart is big for other things. But then again, I have learnt to never say never. I said never to tris before. Look where it got me. (For those who don't know, I am attempting the Osim olimpic distance tri this year.)

It's inspiring to have a brother who constantly pushes you to re-think what is possibly achievable when you put your heart to it. I think it is testament to the potential that God created us with. Check out my brother's blog entry on his thoughts regarding the race. Here's an excerpt:

"Why do I still do it? Apart from the passion and love for endurance sports, I think in many ways, Ironman is a metaphor for life. During the course of training and the race itself, you go through physical and mental trials mirrored in real life. I like this aspect because it builds CHARACTER, knowing that I can apply the same principles in being successful getting through an Ironman and its training to other areas of my life, such as being successful as a corporate trainer or musician or in relationships."
Here are some other photos of my brother with the other 2 friends he is going to the race with. Look out for my pre-race interview with them soon.

Who says sportsmen don't know how to have fun? Ha!


Global Emergency - The 2010 Imperative

The world is in a crisis. Resource depletion and global warming threaten our very survival. We can no longer ignore the fact that we have an impending crisis if we do not learn to use the earth's resources in a more responsible way. Buildings consume 40% of the world’s energy every year and generate almost half of the carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming. Immediate action in the building industry is essential if we are to avoid hazardous change to our climate.

There have been many calls to do something about the way we build and design. Yet, we see ecological literacy sadly absent from our design education. To meet the immediate and future challenges facing our professions, a major transformation of the academic design community must begin today. To accomplish this, The 2010 Imperative calls upon this community to adopt changes in design curriculum that promote ecological and sustainable concepts. (Find out more here.)

Today a critical event is taking place in downtown Manhattan to discuss architecture’s impact on climate change:

The 2010 Imperative Global Emergency Teach-In addressing global warming and climate change is an interactive web-cast broadcast live from New York, reaching more than 500,000 students, faculty, deans and practicing professionals in the architecture, planning and design communities in both North and South America.

The SPEAKERS for this live webcast include:
Dr. James Hansen, NASA GISS
Edward Mazria, AIA, Architecture 2030
Chris Luebkeman, Arup
Susan Szenasy, Metropolis Magazine

PROGRAM SCHEDULE: (click here for detailed schedule)
Time given is in EST (Eastern Standard Time)
Singapore Time (GMT + 8) is in brackets

The webcast begins at noon on 20 Feb 07 (1am, 21 Feb 07).

Live broadcast ends at 3:30pm (4.30am).
A web archive of the webcast will be posted the following morning.

Click here to go to the Live webcast.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

A great day for family

We had our mini reunion dinner last night at home with my parents, my brother, my cousin and me! It was a home cooked steamboat dinner with prawns, sliced pork, lettuce, fish balls, sotong balls, prawn balls, meat balls and more balls. Ha ha.

I have always wondered how celebrating Chinese New Year would be like 10 years from now. Most of our parents would have grown up in pretty big families, hence can visit all the various aunties and uncles and cousins during CNY. 10 years down the road, my children will visit their only uncle - my brother and perhaps an auntie? (my cousin who is as good as our sister.) Hmmm. Looks like my brother better prepare for a huge ang pow cos the children aren't going to have that many relatives to collect from! Ha ha. But of course, there are still the other cousins and not forgetting church friends!

I always enjoy CNY for the interesting conversations we have with relatives. Look out for some of those in the next few days! They are a must read! Ha ha. Well, we did have one yesterday. It went something like this...

Me: (showing off my new found knowledge of Islam from the recent completed SIFY Forum) No lah, in Islam the prophet did not claim to be God.

Cousin: Oh, is that right? You mean he is not Allah?

Me: No no. He was a prophet. Prophet Muhammad Ali.

Everyone: Stunned silence.

Brother: Prophet Muhammad lah! Muhammad Ali is the boxer!!!!!!!

Me: (sheepishly) Oh yah hor....

Anyway, here are 2 pics from yesterday. Notice my brother's Mr Spock ears... (cue X-files theme song...) Stay tuned!


A touch of Magic

The following are winners in the World Press Photo Contest. These few caught my eye for their interesting composition and the story that they tell. It is one of my dreams to be able to take photographs like that one day. It is all about being at the right place, at the right time and pressing the shutter button just at the right moment. All these call for experience, a good eye, an acute awareness of your surroundings and a critical mind. When all these come together behind a good lense and a reliable camera, magic happens. At this moment, I am at best an amateur.

I did go on a mini shoot today though. It was to take pics of my brother and some mutual friends as they prepare for their Ironman race next Saturday. More on that later. Meanwhile, enjoy the pics.