Sunday, June 19, 2011


PENANG, 11 Jun 2011: Switching gears to a different kind of challenge: when I found out about the AXN Big Challenge, a big part of me had already resigned to the fact that the impending dare would be a physically demanding one. Yet a small part of me had harboured hopes that the organizers would design-in an Amazing Race fashioned quest - to prove that these old bones can still give the youths of our nation a run for their money.

So armed with this glimmmer of hope, I approached YL and we both registered as a team for the Penang leg of this event.  

And within a few days we were informed by Geraldine that we had been shortlisted together with about 160 other teams. That was the easy part!

In order to get to the main event we first had to get past the qualifiers. The qualifying rounds for the AXN Big Challenge is held in 3 cities, Johor Bahru, Penang and Kuala Lumpur to select 10 teams that will compete for the RM15,000 grand prize in 1 Utama Shopping Center on 26 Jun 2011. At press time the registration for the final qualifying leg in Kuala Lumpur is still open.

Vanessa Chong of TARA Season 2 fame and Jentzen Lim (林震前) were the emcees for the Penang leg.

As expected, in true Malaysian spirit, not all the teams who were shortlisted emerged on the morning of the event (free entry mah!). In the end, I counted not more than 80 teams (give and take) present at Berjaya Times Square to compete for the 3 finals spots on offer from the Penang leg. The format required all teams to compete in a Qualifying challenge from which 10 teams would be shortlisted for the Qualifying round main event. As many of our opponents looked like they still needed parental approval to take part, we sensed that we had our work cut out for us.

Our initial enthusiasm melted when we were briefed that the Qualifying challenge required teams to accumulate as many push-ups and sit-ups as possible in 30 seconds. There was no way in hell that we were going to survive this challenge - I've not set foot in a gym for the last 5 years, while YL confessed that he visits the gym only once a week (that too to utilize the shower facilities).

We were one of the early teams to attempt this challenge and between the two of us we recorded a decent count in the 70s (not bad eh!). But from watching the other teams perform we knew that we were in for an early shower when we counted easily 20 teams exceeding our number.

After the results were tallied, 3 teams were recalled to the stage for a play-off for 10th spot. Not long after, Vanessa and Jentzen announced the remaining 9 successful teams and one-by-one they ascended up the stage .... Innebandy! Co .... Twincredibles .... We were walking towards the escalator when the 10th and final team was announced ....... "And last but not least the team with the longest name .... Not As Lean, Not As Mean, Still As Keen !", Vanessa grumbled.

"No way!", we both shooked our heads in unison as we made a u-turn and headed for the stage.

The Qualifying round main event was a battle between old versus young .... brain versus brawn ... us against 18 other college kids. There were 3 challenges in the main event, and the total time taken would determine the top 3 teams who would represent Penang in the AXN Big Challenge.

Challenge 1: Zorbing blind-folded through an obstacle course, with each obstacle knocked down incurring a 30 second penalty.

Challenge 2: Cycling around an obstacle course, with each obstacle knocked down or feet let down incurring a 30 second penalty.

Challenge 3: Scaling a cable ladder up-and-down half a dozen times to pluck six pieces of puzzle.

In the end, brawn won! We were outclassed both physically and mentally by the college kids! But we can take heart that we finished in the top 10 despite the age handicap, and that we had given it our all (just that our all wasn't good enough).

Looking forward to the next one ......... not! (hee hee)

AXN Big Challenge

The Winners

1st: (Innebandy! Co) Sam Teoh Jiun Haur, Deswyn Wan Yee Weng .... 11 mins 21 secs
2nd: (i-Run) Lee Chun How, Ong Leng Hin .... 11 mins 26 secs
3rd: (Twincredibles) Tang Khai Shing, Tang Khai Sheng .... 12+ mins

The Finalists


Divan said...

TOP 10! Kudos to you both yea !
i'm joining the axn challenge in KL. Hope it goes well for me and my partner ! cheers.

2 Romans 1 Impostor said...

Thanks Divan. Keep me in the loop about your own AXN adventure ya.

Linda Shamsuddin said...

Well Done VK! Am super impressed!

2 Romans 1 Impostor said...

Thanks Linda. Miracles happen.