I reached the Lembah Kiara Park just before 9am with the kiddo in tow, armed with sunscreen. It turned out I didn’t need the sunscreen after all; the rows of Lucozade flag banners led us to a small complex of tents complete with ventilated stand fans. I picked up my blogger press kit and immediately took a sip of that refreshing golden liquid.
The Lucozade brand brings back fond memories of my university days in England. The No. 1 isotonic drink in the United Kingdom has finally reached Malaysian shores, and I was attending its launch of the ‘Fuel Your Performance’ Campaign to reach out to citizen athletes, through the Pacesetters Athletic Club, SMART Athletics Club and Tadonamo Triathletes.
I was duly greeted by Janet, whom I had been liaising with on the event, and then found fellow bloggers Max (Runwitme), Julie and Aizat, and also Mr Wan of the Pacesetters Athletic Club (who apparently recognised my name from my posts of my Running Toons drawings – ah well, the running community is a small one after all 😀 )
The event kicked off with a runners’ warm-up routine led by Alex Au-Yong, who would be introduced as one of the campaign’s advocates later that morning.
Lee Hon Tong, the Regional General Manager of Suntory Beverage & Food Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong, delivered a welcome address, where he spoke on Lucozade’s goal to help athletes to perform stronger and for a longer time while staying hydrated throughout through electrolyte replenishment. The aim of the campaign was to encourage Malaysians to live active lifestyles, by reaching out to citizen athletes and sharing resources and knowledge from its research and development efforts.
Lucozade ‘Fuel Your Performance’ Advocates
Four Malaysians were introduced as advocates for Lucozade’s ‘Fuel Your Performance’ campaign. These individuals (only three were present on the day) would serve as role models not just for members of the running community but also for aspiring runners to hopefully take the first step towards achieving their dreams.
The first advocate, Edan Syah, qualified for the 119th Boston Marathon 2015 and finished with a time of 2:41:55, making him the fastest and the youngest Malaysian to have run the prestigious marathon. Edan is currently ranked as the fastest marathoner in Malaysia, with a personal best of 2:38:55 clocked at the recent Tokyo Marathon 2016. Edan aspires to be the youngest and fastest Malaysian to complete all 6 World Marathon Majors under 2 hours 45 minutes, by 2018.
Mohamed Allie Helmy was next to take to the stage. A Corporal in the Armed Forces, Allie keeps fit out of passion and not just because of his line of work. Allie is an avid triathlete who has emerged champion in various local triathlon events, and was the second Malaysian in the IRONMAN Langkawi 2015. He aspires to race at the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii next year.
The next advocate, Mohd Amran bin Abdul Ghani, an experienced fire fighter, is also an accomplished triathlete, having been crowned best Malaysian at the IRONMAN 70.3 Putrajaya and IRONMAN Langkawi in 2014. Amran was however unable to attend the event that morning.
Alex Au-Yong then returned to the stage to be introduced as the final ‘Fuel Your Performance’ advocate. When asked what got him into running, Alex quipped that he decided he needed to get fit when an elderly man passed him while he was running around a park. There was no turning back thereafter; Alex now runs not just for himself, but for a cause or a purpose, in particular for students – through the XtraMile Run, Malaysia’s first-of-its-kind 100km charity run, he has raised RM111,000 for StART Academy in 2011, and RM165,000 for the Dignity for Children Foundation in 2013. Alex’s goal for 2016 is to raise RM500,000 to ignite community development and to provide education on holistic nutrition to children; in his words, “to bring nutrition back to schools”.
The importance of nutrition
Speaking of nutrition – April also happened to be Nutrition Month in Malaysia, with the tagline ‘Eat Smart, Get Fit & Feel Great’. Dr Mahenderan Appukutty, an exercise and sports nutritionist from the Faculty of Sports Science and Recreation at Universiti Teknologi MARA, spoke on the need to educate Malaysians on what we’re eating (not least since good food in Malaysia is available 24/7!), the importance of knowing how to manage one’s daily caloric intake, and, of course, hydration. In addition to consulting a medical doctor before beginning any exercise regime, Dr Mahenderan also recommended that a nutritionist and dietician be consulted, too.
Advice for beginners
With the ‘Fuel Your Performance’ campaign being targeted at the citizen athlete, the advocates also provided sound advice for people who would like to start running. Edan emphasised the importance of strength and conditioning and to train ideally at 70-80% of one’s maximum heart rate for endurance purposes. Running form and technique also play a role in improving one’s performance and minimising injury. Common mistakes by beginners include the use of inappropriate shoes that do not cater for their foot type, and doing too much too soon.
The athletes also agreed that cross-training was essential for runners – from pilates and yoga to strengthen your core and to give your muscles a good stretch, to circuit training (there are phone apps that help with that!)
I was pleased to see Lucozade at an event the very next morning – the Compressport Road Challenge 2016 at Cyberjaya!
At the time of writing, Lucozade will be involved in two upcoming runs – the BMW Wheelcorp Premium Setia Alam Charity Run and the Malacca Possible Run 2016, both on 29 May 2016. Do click on the links to find out more about the two events. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing more Lucozade at local running events!