Date: 21 May 2011
Venue: East Coast Park, Singapore
Distance: 12km (Garmin: 12.01km)
Chip Timing: 1:00:04
Garmin Timing: 1:00:07 or 5:00 min/km
Result: 14th placing
My initial concern about the weather (it was raining or rather in the words of Vinz, pouring, in KL EVERY evening 2 weeks prior to the race) turned out to be a non-issue. It was hot and humid when I got to ECP just after 4; I was sweating buckets just sitting around! Thought I take a chance and start with Wave 1 even though at the back of my mind, I was going to take this as a practice run and did not want to be caught up with the faster runners (aka going out too fast). True to words, I was more or less done even before the halfway mark – it was too warm and all I wanted was to be over and done with.
The first km was slightly crowded but not so much like those reminiscent of StanChart series, Run for Hope, 2XU Compression Run (probably the 2 most congested), GE Women’s 10k or Shape Run and I could actually manage to hammer out a 5:08 min/km pace. The crowd thins out fairly quickly after about 500 meters. The pathway was relatively “clear” during the first half even without the organizers cordoning off the route – this was probably because we ran on part of the bicycle route. The second half was a nightmare – cyclists (don’t they know that they’re supposed to be on the bike lane?!), non event runners, weekend strollers, families and kids running about between the 2 lanes, beach and stalls etc. I was this close i.e. 1 inch from having my face smashed by a cyclist at km9. Literally.
There wasn’t anyone in particular I could pace off during the first half since I was either being chicked off or ran ahead of a few runners. There were very few girls around me as well. I managed to tag onto a guy right before the turn around and kept 2 paces back from him until the last km. Thanks a whole bunch! You do not know how much I needed that support and pull to get me through this half. I cut myself some slack on the last km and this was my slowest portion – 5:13 min/km. Major problem – I cannot seem to pick up speed on the home stretch and lose out EVERY time. How do you guys tackle this?
a) Fairly well organized.
c) Proactive and cheerful marshals along the way.
d) Hydration stations every 2km – there was one where the volunteers even signaled that only 100Plus would be served – great for people like me who cannot stomach isotonic. Both water and 100Plus were also served at the start point.
e) Movie screening later in the evening and J Co Donut for snacks (available for purchase naturally); I did not stay for any of these but I imagine it would prove enjoyable for spectators and family/friends waiting for the runners doing the 25km.
g) 3 wave starts – the crowd spreads out and except for the first km, very little congestion.
a) Obstacle course along ECP – other runners, cyclists etc especially since the route was not cordoned off. I had near misses on km2 and km9, at its closest, I was probably an inch from the girl on the bike at km9.
b) The water station at the finishing point was way too far – odd that they only handed out the finisher’s medal and a card for a “mystery” gift to be collected between 5 June and 4 July and not water or 100Plus as is the norm.
c) Early evening start proved to be “disastrous” despite the rain earlier in the morning – there were quite a few casualties including a death (RIP). I thought 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm were too early since the runners would have been there and sweltering under the tropical heat + humidity for at least an hour before gun off.