Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sundown Marathon 2011 - 10km

Date: 28 May 2011

Venue: Changi Exhibition Center, Singapore

Distance: 10km (Garmin: 10km)

Chip Timing: 49:45 minutes

Garmin Timing: 49:50 minutes or 4:59 min/km

Result: 14th placing (Women); 3rd placing (Age Group); 58th placing (Overall) (Winner/Vivian Tang came in at 39:04 minutes)

My best ever timing! I was literally walking on air for the whole weekend, actually I still am! So so so so so so happy.

We were heralded into the “pen” at 5:30 – 5:45 pm and I tried to make my way to at least 10 runners deep – my estimate of where I would finish. The emcees, Ross and Matt, did a great job pumping everyone up and the atmosphere was energetic and lively. I doubt anyone had any nerves left.

I went into the race with no expectations, just like all my races so far; I was a tad worried about even hitting 53-55 minutes because of the humidity (recall NTUC). Km 1 was a lot of weaving my way through but the path eventually cleared up after 500-800 meters and then it was basically cruising through the entire course. Cruising does not mean it was easy, my heart rate still shot thru the roof, it was difficult but I did not have to do the weaving in-and-out business like in the 2XU race. The next 2-3 km was overtaking a few runners here and there while the middle km was about maintaining the pace. Unfortunately, unlike the previous week, I had no one to pick off the pace and slacked off at km 9 when it was the most crucial! Km 8 was tough and I allowed myself to cut some slack and it showed in the split times; I always have this problem of kicking it up at the end. I need help with this! Really. Seriously.

While the out-and-back route from CEC was flat, it can be daunting since there was not much of “sceneries” and the route is just one long straight road that never seems to end. I was literally staring into the horizon from km 7 – 9 before the bend into the finishing km.

The KSO bit me; yeah I’ve heard of the advice of not wearing something new or relatively new for a race but I had no choice since my current KSO is as good as gone (the sole is 2mm from coming thru my skin). The blister on the left arch broke through and the KSO was “eating” into my skin – the handiplast was no help; I was chaffing and bleeding my way through. In addition to this, I had a blister on my left pinkie toe (discovered this on Monday morning) and right back foot. Was it a surprise then that I was hobbling at the finish point? To the extent that the medic volunteer wanted to put in a wheelchair? LOL! Even the uncle and aunty volunteers asked if I was alright and suggested I head to the massage tent!

The killer KSO


a) Well organized for an event of such scale.

b) Most accurate distance (ever)! Even for the km markers at every km (within 5 meters of my beeping Garmin).

c) Hydration stations with both H2O and 100Plus at the start/end points and at every 2km.

d) Great support and cheers from the volunteers. I must give a shout out to the volunteers manning the shuttle drop-off and pick-up points at the CEC – a few of those asked if I needed help when they found me jogging along the stretch (I must be looking a little lost; not that I was…it was my warm up jog) and the one asking the bus driver to wait for me when he saw me walking oh-so-slowly (or rather hobbling) to the pick-up point after the race. Yes, I was in deep pain then.

e) Shuttle services to and from the race site. I had no problems with these since I made it a point to get there early and left immediately after the run. I gathered more than a handful of marathoners were late due to the traffic backlogging. My personal view is that they should make everyone take the shuttle or cabs – drop-off and pick-up instead of allowing parking at the site. Boston does it and I do not recall anyone being late for their respective flag-offs.

f) FOC photo taking and food (candy and pop corn I think) – did not have either, so cannot comment much.

g) Emcees – Ross and Matt – did a superb job and I especially like the fact they put a timing mat just before the finish line so the emcees know who is coming through and announce your name. LOL! Ross (or was it Matt?) even commented on my running skirt!

h) Live tracking –awesome tool. Believe this is the first time it is used in this part of the region although it has been used time and again in bigger event in the US.


a) Wave or corals starts given the number of runners. I like the way it was done in Hong Kong – everyone around you is running about your pace. Thank goodness, the crowding clears up by 500-800 meters but it was still annoying (and tiring!) to weave in-and-out.

b) Speaking of start times, perhaps they could have spaced up the category starts to 3 hours instead of 2 – could provide some relief to the traffic nightmare. Just a thought.

c) Nothing much of a swag; perhaps I am too pampered seeing the reviews from races in the US. Yes, this was literally a big recyclable bag and more than a few “useless” pamphlets. Then again, like someone on SgRunners commented: he does not expect anything in the swag except for bib and timing chip. Keep it simple. Anything else is a “bonus”. Of course, that does not apply to “time and energy expended” to discard the “useless” pamphlets.

d) Cheat at Sundown - this article from the Singapore Straits Times (3 June 2011) says it all.

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