Thursday, July 29, 2010

Singapore Shape Run 2010

This is probably the most popular and anticipated race in Singapore because of the generous goodies dished out in the Runner’s Kit; mind you, the race fee is also on the top end. I gathered from the comments on Sg Runners and noticed last year (and again, this year) that many ladies signed up for the Runner’s Kit rather than actually running. Even switching the collection of the Runner’s Kit to after the run did not deter many ladies from signing up – they either walked the 5km race or show up about 30 minutes after flag off to get the bag.


(a) Massive improvement in the route design compared to last year. The route for the 10km and 5km were kept separate and hence there was not any nightmare of congestions due to the 5km walkers.

(b) Deeper field of runners – I felt and saw many ladies actually running or at least making the effort to do so. In addition, there were a lot more who finished ahead of me; the competition level is probably about 80% of that of the Great Eastern Women’s 10K.

(c) Better queue management system for the collection of the Runner’s Kit and Nike bracelet although I heard that those who finished later had a different experience. The distribution of the bracelet was definitely an improvement since this year, runners exchange the bottom portion of their bib for the Runner’s Kit and Nike bracelet vs the ugly incidents last year where some ladies (and including a few boyfriends and husbands) grabbed a few bracelets from the volunteers dressed up as waiters.

(d) As usual, the substantial goodies in the Runner’s Kit: dozens of vouchers, Swiss Alpine muesli oats, Kellogg’s K corn flakes, H-Two-O isotonic drink, Darlie toothpaste, Yu Ean Sang soup herbal essence, Ascience hair treatment samples, Biotherm facial moisturizer samples, Osteo joint care pills, Calcium & Magnesium pills, Rexona deodarant, Vitagen toiletries bag, baggage tags etc.

(e) Convenient race venue at Nicoll Highway especially now that the Circle Line is operating; it sure beats the Marina Bay venue – I was almost late last year because Marina Bay is a bit of a distance from the City Hall MRT stop. Due to the early 7 am start, I had to take a cab to the Paya Lebar MRT station, the closest station for the Circle Line on the east instead of transiting with the East-West line.

(f) The weather held up perfectly on Sunday – there were reports that rain might be in the offing. The early start also meant the sun only comes out (in full force) and the temperature rises a bit later. I am in two minds if an early start is a good thing or not since I rely on public transport and train services begins only at 6 am on Sundays.

(g) My better than expected timing – at least I am now closer to a sub-55 goal! I finished the 10.12km in 55:17 minutes (got to remember to check the official timing later this week) – significant improvement from the 56 minutes and 58 minutes at the Adidas Sundown 2010 (10.03km) and Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon 2010 (SCKLM) (10.54km).


(a) The turns and double backs along the route can be demotivating when you see runners at the opposite end. And tiring! I especially hated the one in the last 500 meters.

(b) The bag for the Runner’s Kit this year is just an upgraded version of the SCKLM and a smaller one at that! Last year, they provided a patented large sports/gym bag – that was probably the draw to this event this year. Many ladies must have left sorely disappointed.

(c) The early morning start can be a good or bad thing.

(d) Having to run across the path of runners coming in to get across to the MRT station after finishing the race.

Photo credits to Haris.

I had a recovery cardio session on Monday by cross training on the Elliptical and I made a mental note to myself to take it easy – and not succeeding! I have read numerous posts/articles etc about the importance of recovery runs after a race – something about moving the muscles to let the lactic acid flow through – and Kei Ming is prove positive that it works. So what it any surprise when my quads and hamstrings tighten up on Monday morning and I had trouble “navigating” the pedestrian overhead bridge at Vinz’s place? Oh, to be fair, my hamstrings started to bother me on Sunday night.

Therefore, I had absolutely no choice but to book an appointment with Margaret’s girls. Yes, that is my excuse for a pampering session. Sirka did not disappoint me!

There is a dearth of races during August, at least in the Klang Valley, because of Ramadhan. So far, I have only spotted the Clark Hatch – National Kidney Foundation Race on 8 August, Pacemaker Network Relay on 29 August and CARI Runners’ Merdeka Fun Run on 31 August. Over in Singapore, things are also at a standstill but for a different reason – the Youth Olympic Games which will be held between 14 and 30 August. They have more or less the same number of events but all of them seem to fall on the same weekend: 14-15 August; Run NUS of 10km, Republic Run of 5km and the Waterfront Scramble of 13km and 5km.

Things start picking up again in September and we will be seeing a few races each weekend up to mid December. Then it is a lull as everyone goes off for his or her annual year-end vacation. Races will pick up speed up to Chinese New year, die off and speed up again. The cycle continues – I am sure you get the idea.

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