Brenda’s stories – New York Marathon

Finally the day had come. I had been training for months to be able to run in the biggest running event in the world.
 
It was the 1st of November and even though it was well into autumn already, the sun was burning like it was midsummer at the start of the New York Marathon. 42.195 kilometers were ahead of me and the start less then 5 minutes off. I was getting nervous now, not sure if I would make the finish line. For the last time I went over all my preparations. Were my shoelaces tied properly, did I have enough to drink until the first checkpoint, was I well protected against the relentless burning sun? Well, if anything, I could rest assured on the latter. My sunscreen was by Paul Penders. Natural organic sunscreen with SPF 22. No worries there.

And then off we were. Together with 44,176 other runners, all of them completely unknown to me, but feeling like one huge family, I started my first (and very possibly last) New York Marathon. Later I found out that from that big family, only 4 were actually called Brenda, one of them being me. Funny how internet reveals all those stats.
 
While running that was however not on my mind at all. I so desperately wanted to make the finish line that that was all I could think of. At least, that was all I could think for the first 5 kilometers or so. After that my mind became numb and empty and running just a trance. My legs went automatically for the next 25 kilometers. That was about as much as I had done in training.
The last 12.195 kilometers became more and more hell on earth.
 
Everything hurt, from the tips of my toes (obviously) to the ends of my hair (which I actually don’t use for running). Again my mind was full of reaching the finish and I started to envy my husband who had chosen to spend his time, not running, but eating and drinking away at “The Finish Line Banquet.” I just hoped he would not be too occupied with that to miss my finish for I would kill him if he did just that.

Then finally, there it was. I could see the entrance of Central Park and knew I would make it. The Park was even more crowded with spectators then the rest of the course. Everybody was cheering and waving and encouraging the runners and all of a sudden all the pain and fatigue left my body. It almost felt as if I could do another marathon right after this one. I could now actually see the finish line and there, in between all the others, I saw that one person I most wanted to see. He was holding a glass of champagne. For me.
 
  

Fasting in Langkawi UNESCO Geopark !

            
 
I am Lily and assistant to Faye in the marketing department of Paul Penders Co in Langkawi UNESCO Geopark. I wish to tell you little bit about a very special time we have right now. The month of Ramadhan is where Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise till sunset. It is a special month for spiritual reflection, prayers, and training the body and mind to be a good, righteous, complete and trying to be a perfect Muslim.
 
            
 
Fasting during an entire month is not only forgoing food and drinks from sunrise till sunset. It is also “fasting” from unhealthy thoughts, from uttering bad words and even from listening to gossips as well!
 
            
 
For non-Muslims it must be quite strange talking about fasting, but at the same time see all these pictures from mouth watering food, isn’t? But that is because some 14 hours without any food and without anything to drink, especially in hot countries like in Malaysia is not easy, believe me!
 
            
 
Therefore all Muslims look forward to the end of every day!! To be able to eat and drink again, although it must be done with moderation as well. Muslims all over the world then are allowed to eat and drink till the next morning… it is then when fasting starts all over again…. This for an entire month. It is really not all that easy… believe me
 
Here in Langkawi UNESCO Geopark in Malaysia you can find stalls everywhere selling varieties of wonderful locally prepared food and drinks for “breaking the fast”. That is when the sun sets. These bazaars open at 3pm and close right before the breaking of fast.
 
            
 
I hope you enjoy looking at some of these images of our local foods. We very much enjoy them here at our small island, especially during the month of Ramadhan. In the spirit of the fasting month too, we always look forward to see as many friends and tourists as possible to join us with the daily breaking of fast.
 
Yes, fasting still can be a feast indeed! Fasting can be our best “health friend”. Many religions fast from time to time in order to free our bodies from toxics while fasting also brings peace to our mind. Also many beauty treatments offered today include fasting as well. Fasting is healthy and very good for our body! The cleansing effect it brings follows by radiant looking skin as well!
 
The fasting month ends with the new moon coming with a wonderful festival called in Malaysia “Hari Raya” and we will be visiting friends and relatives wherever we can. We also welcome everyone to my house and in case you happen to be in Malaysia… please join me and my family for a wonderful traditional Hari Raya meal