I did it! If we go by the exact distance of 10km, I would have another personal best in the pocket! However officially my timing for the 10km in the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2010 (SCMS) would stand at 54:52 minutes. My Garmin clocked 54:49 minutes for 10.64km with an average pace of 5:09 min/km. This is by far my best pace and I still am stoked by the initial splits. Up to the 5km mark (before the merger of the routes), I was clocking just a tad under the 5 min/km mark – I have not been able to sustain this for the longest time possible. Oh well, as always, the first km was a washout at 5:40 min/km. [Psssttt…I came in 16th and 4th in my age group!]
(a) Relatively well organized event. Sure you have probably read some of the less-than-stellar reviews in both the mainstream media (print or online) and blogs but hey, there are bound to be hiccups and areas for improvement in any event, especially so for an event catering to 60,000 runners (and a lot more supporters!).
(b) Corrals for the 42km guys (not sure how strictly enforced was this) and wave starts for the 10km (every 10-15 minutes I think) helped ease the congestion. Not much but just so. Anyway, I was lucky start in the first wave and when the route merged, I was running alongside the 3:30-3:40 42km runners – these folks are still running and probably at a faster or same pace as me. Mind you, it was still crowded (since only two lanes were closed) but there were not any walkers taking up the entire road.
(c) I also scored some goodies at the finishing point – SCMS has plenty of generous sponsors (unlike their Malaysian counterparts). A recount of goodies:
• a can of 100Plus (usual in Singapore events)
• , a bar of Nature Valley Honey & Oats granola bar AND a box of 12 bars of the Almond Crunch flavoured (they had an event form where you fill up answers for their product – me being pushy me, copied some answers from a group of volunteers and asked the guy holding the banner on the final query)
• swag for supporters (markers, whistle, placards, balloons)
• swag from Pure Yoga (squeeze ball; I gave them my Malaysian mobile…well, good luck to their sales team)
• GNC Livewell Whey Protein bar (ok, I had to pose for a picture for this…but heck, I don’t stay in Singapore and what happens in Singapore stays in Singapore)
(d) There were about 3-4 water and isotonic points along the route – as usual, I skipped these. They also handed out a bottle at the finishing point and I grabbed a can of 100Plus (for use in the gym the next day lah!).
(e) I was not paying attention to the km markers – I remember the 5km one only but since the route is [almost] similar to last year’s event (and just about any event in Singapore), I knew the pit stop would mark the 8km point. It was also here I was disheartened to learn that the time was 8:30 am (another runner asked one of the volunteers) and knew that a 50-53 minute timing was out. There was no way I could manage 2 km in 5 minutes.
(f) There was great support along the route – the volunteers were enthusiastic and Aunty Moey spotted me at the Esplanade bridge heading back and cheered me too.
(g) The Bikilas worked perfectly! Oh sure, the soles of the feet were sore and the hamstrings and calves were tight after the run but hey, the muscles were working. Of course, the deep tissue massage session with Diane later that afternoon helped. Ok, I lie…it was pure bliss!
(h) I found a lot more photos of me this year notwithstanding that there were super “un-glam” (la senza’s favourite phrase) and most of these are free! Thanks brother Tey. Yes, there are eight official photos from Marathon Photos but at $39 a piece, they are out of the range for me.
(i) The 7:45 am start meant I could take the train to City Hall; no, scrap that. SMRT were running a trial service to cater for future SCMS and the trains were running earlier than usual.
(j) The combined men and women start was another plus point – I did not have to weave my way through the walkers.
(k) Nice squarish gun metal black medal.
(a) I was going to post a lengthy tirade on the route but after reading the posts on SgRunners decided otherwise. At least on the slopes – there were 2 this year: Helix Bridge at the Marina Sands and the uber favourite Sheares Bridge. Hey, race routes are meant to be tough; so if I want to conquer them, I will just have to train for it. I was not too affected by the maddening crowds when the routes merge because of the timing but it was still crowded.
(b) The route was longer than 10km!