What Went Down at #IWillBeOkay Trail Hike Event – The Highs, Lows, and The Drama

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Wow. I cannot believe it has been a month since #IWillBeOkay Trail Hike event was held. Everything happened so fast! The idea to have this event came right after I ended my 2nd campaign, which was the #IWillBeOkay Beauty Bag. Then the sourcing for sponsorship starts after I made a call to Ariff to ask him if he would lead the runners for my event. He said yes and I started making plans. Comparing to the beauty bag, this was much more easier as it does not involved a lot of sponsors or rather no key sponsors at all that I need to answer to. Everything was down to me and what I want basically.

 

Behind The Scene Planning

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The plan was to have a morning day out so everyone could enjoy the nature, the hike and meet new friends. So I wanted to kept everything simple. No T-shirt. But I did tried to talk to a few of my contacts to get one title/main sponsor. PUMA was a grain of sugar close to becoming my main sponsor as they did have about 150 pieces of plain T-shirt left. I was at PUMA office and my friend walked back into his office to check the stock balance and he came out with a bad news. His colleague had just used those plain T-shirts for other engagements. Bummer. No title sponsor means no T-shirt. I do not have the budget to print T-shirt to be honest. But I did not go home empty handed. PUMA had promised to sponsor all participants goodie bag. We even agreed on what to give. I specially requested for the PUMA shoe bag, PUMA neck towel, drawstring bags and whatever it is they can include in. I do remember my friend saying things like the little PUMA notebook, landyard etc. I asked for water bottle but they had none.

I did approached Salomon, which the Marketing Manager for the brand principle came for the event. I was told to approach the distributor, for which I did and the lady did not even bother picking up the phone call. So I leave it as it is as I could not be bothered. Adidas heard about the event and also told me to send in my proposal, which I did not as I was told they cannot sponsor T-shirt. If Adidas is unable to sponsor T-shirt, there is no point for me to send in the proposal. I don’t see a point. To cut the story short, after a few weeks I decided to go ahead and print my own T-shirt. I managed to find a printing company and was blessed to dealt with a nice lady. She gave me a good price for the T-shirt. I went over to the office to have a look at the material and even gotten a better price for a 2-color printing. So instead of the 1-color printing T-shirt, we gotten 2-color T-shirt in the end.

Funnily, I ordered those mini Tiger Balm for the goodie bags because I get that all the time from running event race pack. And Guardian was having sale last year so I bought 60 pieces. I wanted to buy SUNPLAY sunblock but it was expensive and out of my budget so I emailed SUNPLAY to check if they are keen in sponsoring 50 pieces and they are! Super blessed to have it in my goodie bag <3

 

Event Morning

The last week before the event was the busiest. Lots of things to buy, to prepare, to coordinate with the event company, crews, with my own brain, checklist to tick off and so on. I did not sleep. I was so afraid that I will forget something. I carried everything to the car the night before so that I could just hop into the car in the morning and drive away. I woke up at 4am, had a cup of coffee as I was zombiefied and left the house at 5ish am. The plan was to arrive TTDI park parking at 6am in order to park my car on the inside parking as I have tons to unload. Reached late to the park as I received a sms to fetch one of the participant from KL Sentral. Lingered a bit in the parking and finally managed to find a parking slot. Phew!

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I said, “let’s take a picture since nothing to do” while waiting for participants to arrive.

Roughly 2 weeks before the event, I had a rundown meeting with the crew. I asked if I needed to have banners. I know I needed to but I was hoping he said no lol. Of course he said yes I do need banners and I panicked a little. I have no design, no logo and I did not know where to get it done. Best of all, I have no designer. It took me a few days to decide on the design(s). Yes designs with an ‘s’ as I did a few lol. I settled with the simplest design. I am quite happy with it as it turned out nicely. White and bright. Even a mile away can spot my banner.

I had everyone came at 7am for registration. I was there by 6.30am but the parking took me some time. My plan to setup the registration by 6.45am was slightly delayed. There are some participants who arrived the same time I did. Amazing. Probably because the reminder email I sent out stated if they are late or missed the group at flag off, there will be no deposit refund 😛 . That got everyone panicked lol.

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Chatting with Rane of www.ranechin.com.

 

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Early risers.

 

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Crew chilling while waiting for the event to start.

I had my friend Jason to take care of the registration. But I was also there to boss him around. Most of the time you will find me asking him “have you call them yet?”, “why haven’t you start calling them?”, “how many more that is not here yet?” 😛 . Jason also helped me in a few other stuff such as taking care of the food, grabbing the meal packs from Meraki Kitchen delivery, hand them the cash, help to take care of bag-drop for some participants and be on standby at the finishing line to take some photos when we all came down, handing out the breakfast and goodie bags. He was pretty occupied lol.

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My friend Jason who has been very supportive towards #IWillBeOkay campaign since the very beginning.

 

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I thought this is the crew group shot but turns out it’s not and I somehow ended up in the “secret training” group shot hehe!

We adjourned to the stairway to start the event. It started with me giving a quick talk. I knew what I wanted to say but everyone looked so sleepy for waking up so early in the morning that I cut my talk short and quickly hand over to Ariff the Race Director for safety briefing.

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Photo grabbed from Ariff’s Facebook.

 

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Photo grabbed from Ariff’s Facebook.

 

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Safety briefing by Race Director, Ariff.

 

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After the safety briefing was the warm up conducted by fitness trainer, Hafiz.

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Just a random photo of us talking about iPhone taking great photos LOL.

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The group was divided into two – one who has itchy legs to run, the other group who wanted to hike. We had this last minute changes a few weeks before as we understand half of the participants are runners.

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The running group flags off a few minutes earlier than the hiking group.

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The hiking group was larger. Weirdly some who can run decided to join the hike instead 😀

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I love the moment when we entered the trail. As soon as I am in the nature, I felt more relax. That is my favourite part.

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A few days before the event, I was told to make some signages. I am glad I had some yellow papers lying around. I was told to print colorful signage on a white paper. My home printer can only print black so I changed it up a bit. Yellow paper is more visible. From far you will know that is our event route signage. I had 14 signages done. Now that I have gone through the entire 4km, 14 signages is definitely not enough. Next time I should print at least 30 pieces. But these 14 signages covered the confusing hike up route. Going down was OK without signage. But up? You need the signage definitely.

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These signages was placed at 6am in the morning. The crews wanted to place it the night before but it was raining so they are unable to hike up. In the morning when I arrived, I said goodbye to the race directors and crews who were heading up to place the signages and markers.

The sweeper at the end of the trail was put on a responsibility to take off these signages. Bukit Kiara park is a reserved park. When we applied for permission to have the event at the park, we were told strictly no mineral bottles or littering is allowed. Taking off these signages means we did not harm any of the tree in the long run. No rubbish were left behind as well as everyone was told prior to bring their own water bottle. Not that I am stingy in not providing water, in fact I did provide just in case anyone did not bring any. Think of this. If it is your own water bottle, you will not throw it. If it is mineral water bottle, possibility of discarding the empty bottle in the trail is much more higher.

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And I was also told to buy these “crime scene” ribbons. One roll is definitely not enough. Should have gotten at least 2 or 3 rolls.

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As for the T-shirt, I had the participants in orange while the crew in green. Initially I thought the orange is as mellow as the crew’s green. When I collect those T-shirts, I had a shock. It was so orange! But turns out all good as we can easily spot our runners in the trail from far. So easy to recognize who is our event runners and who is not. TTDI Park is so crowded with runners, trail runners, hikers, mountain bikers etc. If there was anyone left behind, all we need is just a glance and we will know 😉

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The hiking group was delayed for a bit as one of the participant had difficulty in breathing due to heart condition. That happened not long after we hike up. Then the friend of my friend, Julian had difficulty in breathing too. I gave her my only 250ml water I had in my backpack. We had to stopped for some time for both to rest and catch their breath. So we were kinda left behind but the crew in front of us are constantly checking to see what’s the delay and how we are. Plus there was a sweeper at the back so I was not concerned.

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The route was quite challenging at certain area. Some are very steep while some are manageable.

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We had a good laugh going up rejoining the rest of the group as the photographer tried to captured our photo as we were told that our walk are “too fake” lol.

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While at that, I had some fun running up as the sweeper behind me said I got to run. Then we came across two huge tree trunk and he challenged me to run across it. Of course I did not lol. I could not. But it was hilarious.

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My itchy legs could not wait anymore so my friend, the photographer and I hike up on our own. With no signages and markers, I did what I was told by the crew – just go straight up. Straight is definitely not the right word as the route was slightly curvy LOL. Makes me panic a little seeing junctions at one point.

Both running and hiking group reunited at the top of the trail, which we referred to as the bamboo area. The idea is to take a group photo before continuing downhill. That’s the photo you see at the beginning of this post. Beautiful, eh?

While waiting for the two who had difficulties breathing, we of course take more photos. I absolutely love this photo. I have my friends with me. Love.

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After the huge group photo at the bamboo area, we started hiking down.

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Not much photos of us heading down as we were really just enjoying the moment, the chat and laughter. I was doing Insta Live while going down 😀 . So if you hear me talking alone that day, I have not gone crazy if you are wondering. It is just me talking to Instagram 😛

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As we were reaching the finishing line, one of the crew broadcasted through the talkie telling us to smile as we were heading to the finishing line as there are photographer waiting haha. I thought that was so cute of her giving us the reminder. Runners will know why. So everyone was pretty happy and chirpy as they reached the end. Jason called me asking me to hurry up as most people are already down and he need to distribute the breakfast 😛

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And I did the happy jump with another queen of happy jump. We both are quite the expert in doing happy jump lol.

P/S: Did you notice there was someone at the back of the banner holding the banner up for us? Now you know!

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I did not want to work after I got down (truth) but due to manpower issue, I had to work lol. To make sure the breakfast and goodie bags distribution goes on smooth and faster, I took over. Everyone would need to come to me, tell me their name to collect their breakfast and PUMA goodie bag. Jason and Irfan helped me with handing over the goodies.

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Fatimah of fatimahearts from Instagram came all the way from Kuantan for the event. Such a great support. Thank you for coming Fatimah! <3 . She is also a beauty blogger and into fitness too 😉

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Here I am talking to the girl (on the left) who had difficulty breathing. She told me this is her first time hiking as she had never done it before and she wanted to adopt fitness into her lifestyle for a change. I told her she should start slow first i.e. brisk walking to slow jog to running then to hiking.

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Thai Buddha Bowl and PUMA goodie bags as promised.

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I was so happy that everyone commented that Meraki Kitchen’s Thai Buddha Bowl was delicious! I had people calling for me and telling me that was so good. And huge portion too 🙂

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Photo grabbed from Rane’s Facebook page as I did not have time to take photos.

 

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Photo grabbed from Rane’s Facebook page as I did not have time to take photos.

It was such a great event and the turnout was far more better than what I expected. Everyone came early and changed into the event T-shirt as per requirement of the event for safety purposes. Some were lost on the way as Waze brought them to the other part of the trail. Somehow my Waze and their Waze gave different direction. They must have missed the part in the email about the park being opposite SK TTDI (2) school 😛

I did a post-mortem event rundown when I got home and found that there was 3 missing breakfast and PUMA goodie bag. I started to dig further and investigate the issue only to find that there was one obvious event crasher. You can spot him at below photo on the front left, wearing ICE watch T-shirt. But the other 2 missing sets? I have no idea who took it. It must have been stolen either when my friend Jason was at the finishing line taking photos or after the distribution when I was walking around talking to the runners. Either way, shame on you who steal from me. THIS IS A NON-SPONSORED EVENT and you stealing from me, stealing from the charity campaign which is just shameful and pathetic. I will not do free event anymore after this. You have to thank the 3 thieves for changing my perspective on doing a free event “to give back to the community”. Because from now on, giving back to the community will involve me charging a small fee. Win-win situation.

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Other than that, #IWillBeOkay Trail Hike was a great success! Just as my first two campaign, the third #IWillBeOkay ‘Fight Against Depression’ Awareness Campaign has been nothing but another satisfying and successful campaign. Let’s hope for more successful campaign to come.

#IWillBeOkay Fight Against Depression Awareness Campaign was initiated to educate and create awareness on mental illness as well as to encourage those who are suffering from depression to seek the help they need.

 



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