Tuesday, March 8, 2011

NTUC Healthcare U Run 2011 – 10km Challenge

Venue: 1 Marina Boulevard, Singapore

Distance: 10km (Garmin: 10.06km)

Timing: 52:01 minutes or 5:11 min/km pace (Garmin: 10.01 km)

After the previous weekend’s awesome Standard Chartered Hong Kong 2011 run combined with the week’s training load, I decided not to race this and took it easy. Nonetheless, I was still going to use it for Detroit Runner’s Virtual 5K. Garmin check at 5K put me at 25:19 minutes.

This was one of the smaller runs and had that “small, all-inclusiveness” camaraderie feel to it. Organized by NTUC, the first flag off was at 7:30 am for the 10km+OMB Challenge followed by the 10km and 5km challenges in 15-minute intervals. I signed up for the 10km Challenge which goes on to prove that I am still sane! My hats off to the guys who did the 10km+OMB Challenge though.

7:45 am is really a late start for around here – the temps were around 28-30 degrees and the humidity was probably in the mid 90s. This coming off from Hong Kong was enough to put me out from pushing it. Actually, scrub that off! Because by km3-4, I was spent and just wanted to get it over and be done with. While I was not racing it, it felt just as tough as running a hard race.

Result: 5th placing (the winner came home in 40:27 min!!!)


a) Well organized event.

b) Small race atmosphere/goodwill (about 2,000 runners) with everyone saying “hi” and wishing one another well.

c) Easy-to-get-to location with public transport.

d) There were about 3 (or maybe 4) well spaced out water stations along the route; not sure if they were stocked with isotonic drinks though. Anyway, everyone could help themselves to as many bottles of water and Boost (local, new kid on the block for isotonic drinks) at the finishing point.

e) There was the usual post race grub – bananas; also apples (think this is a first for me) and again, everyone could help themselves to as many as they want. Oh c’mon guys…not the whole box! Unless of course you are planning a party. LOL!

f) Road closures – I cannot emphasize how important this is! Singapore does so much a better job at this than Kuala Lumpur; even with a partial road closure (i.e. one or two lanes closed), they put up the railings vis-à-vis cones over here. With the cones, all you need is a whiff of wind or some crazy driver negotiating a corner at break neck speed and you = instant pancake a.k.a. road kill!

g) Cheap registration fee – I paid SGD28 (would have been SGD5-10 cheaper if I had registered early). This is probably one of the lowest fee on the island. For this, you get a running vest (FBT) (handed out pre race) and a swag (post race). I am so glad that it was not stuffed with a bunch of [useless] vouchers (just 3-5 this time), full-sized Freeman body wash (yay!), sample-sized sunblock, Eno salts and Panafex heating plaster.

h) It was an out-and-back course but because we ran on a parallel route back, I felt so much better – I have this mental thing about seeing runners homing in to the finishing while I am struggling on this side of the fence!

i) Interesting route – it is still the same route we normally take but in reverse; so we wound past the F1 track and Singapore Flyer heading out. The turn around was at Kallang where we were ushered into the Kallang Park (second time here) before re-joining into the F1 track. It was also here I had my toughest run – give me asphalt/road anytime but footpaths/pavements is another story altogether. I find the latter too hard to run on, maybe it is just psychological, who knows.

j) Marked and accurate distance markers at every km.

k) Race bib pick up on the day itself although I had a friend get mine the week before.


a) Muddy field at the finishing point! Enough said! And the planks only went halfway onto the field.

b) Late start = heat + humidity.

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