Saturday, July 16, 2011

Great Eastern Women’s 10K 2011

Date: 3 July 2011

Venue: Marina and Padang, Singapore

Distance: 10km (Garmin: 10.04km)

Chip Timing: 49:55

Garmin Timing: 49:59 minutes or 4:58 min/km for 10.04km

Result: 14th placing (Masters) (results here)


Crowded is all I can muster. This is what happens when 12,000 beautiful ladies take to the streets of Singapore. I lined up about 10 rows back, so I can’t imagine if I was stuck towards the middle or tail end of crowd because it took me more than 1km to break free from the pack.

Km 2-3

Still crowded but at least there was some breathing space (not much but still…). At the 2.5km mark, I bumped into Yuan and said “Hi”. The only other times I’ve met her are at the SCMS start points. It was also along this stretch when we saw the front leaders racing back on the other side of Nicoll Highway (the first portion of the route was an out-and-back on Nicoll Highway). Golly, these ladies are speedy! The turnaround came up at km3 and this was where they put the first timing mat (km3.5).


A long stretch along Nicoll Highway with a gentle slope at the middle. The crowd on the other side of the road didn’t seem to ease and I was mighty glad to be on this side. Thereafter we headed towards the perimeter of the Flyer – this was where things got a bit nasty (see point (d) of “Cons” below).


We ran around the Flyer and Esplanade with the next timing mat at the exit of the Flyer. The split for this portion was 5:15 min/km – probably due to the road elevations. Nothing too major since my definition of major these days would be Kenny’s 2km Taman Desa climb; in fact, the more difficult slope i.e. steep was pretty short – I probably covered this in 2-3 minutes tops?


The last 2 km were the toughest for me and my splits were naturally the worst – something along the lines of 5:15 min/km. This started at the Marina Bay after the last hydration point and was on the sidewalk. If you know me in real life (does this sound ridiculous?), you will know that I do not run well on pavements and sidewalks. I find them hard and my feet doesn’t pick up the signals, messages and responses well on them which inevitably leads to striking too hard and creates the sort of braking action I’m trying to avoid.


Sidewalk, sidewalk and more sidewalks. To give it a final kick, the marked route narrowed as we hit km9. Oh yeah, don’t forget those turns and twists – I felt like I was running zig zaggy style; naturally the hips were not happy.


a) As usual, GE puts up a great race year after year; much better than shape.

b) Love DJ Ross who was also at the Sundown; this guy knows his stuff and can really pump up the crowd.

c) Marked distance markers at every km; my Garmin was about 10-20 meters off.

d) Sufficient hydration points at the start, finish and along the route. Water at all stations, 100Plus on some along the route (I think?) and each runner was given a bottle of water and a can of 100Plus at the end.

e) Results were posted in the evening of the same day although with the amount of traffic, no one I knew actually managed to view them. They did correct/adjust the system the next day. I’m not sure if this is a pro or con since the idea of an immediate result is + but not being able to see them is a major -.

f) Mini carnival on site including free massages! I scored 2 additional granola bar at the Nature Valley’s booth.

g) Volunteers stationed at the major intersections from the train station at City Hall to guide runners to the start point. Since train services to Paya Lebar (interchange for Circle Line) starts at 6:34 am on Sundays, I took the East-West line to City Hall, which was about a 10 minute walk away.

h) Road closures! Enough said. Full road closure! More than enough said. 3 whole lanes on Nicoll Highway on both sides.


a) Poor route planning on the last 2km; running on sidewalks (read: hard, no bounce to relay “message” from ground feel) on top of the snaky turns was definitely a turn off. I can understand that the organizers wanted to include the “new” Marina Bay area in the route – hence the sidewalks; that was forgiveable but having no less than 8 twists and turns in the last km is definitely not! Oh c’mon, this is the home stretch where everyone would be gearing up to finish strong and not have to bother about turns. No surprise, I woke up to achy hips the following morning. I still can’t believe the SAA certified this course.

b) Nothing much of a swag except for a sample size of multivits and a granola bar and the usual “useless” vouchers. The saving grace was the bag itself – zippered and a proper bag (not a recyclable or reusable one).

c) Medal design, or rather lack of, in my view. The organizers decided to take a cue from the Shape Run and provided finisher’s medal in the form of a pendant and chain. Major fail.

d) This is a part fault on the runners (or rather their boyfriend, husband, brother, father, grandfather!) and organizers. Yes, the usual male accompaniments who “die die” must run with their girlfriend, wife, sister, mother and grandmother. The marshals did holler out to the 2 guys to get off the course but it was short-lived; once they were out of sight, they jumped back onto the course. I wished they had detained them or even DQ the girl. Unfortunately, that is a bit harsh but rules are rules and everyone should respect them.

Photo log of misc items during the weekend:

Almond Muffin, Peanuts and Pink Guava Juice on board Firefly

It was a muggy day on the way back

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