Saturday, July 30, 2011

Marina 21K 2011

Date: 23 July 2011

Venue: Marina Bay at the Garden, Singapore

Distance: 10km (Garmin: 9.99km)

Gun Timing: 49:37

Chip Timing: 48:58

Garmin Timing: 49:59 because I was too preoccupied…read on to find out why

Result: 1st placing (Open) (all results here)

Yes, your eyes ain’t fooling you. Truth be told, I was utterly shocked too but have more or less come down to earth. Well I had to since I had the Shape Run the following morning. I guess most of the ladies signed up for the 21 or sat out this one in favour of Shape and hence I could actually place in a race in SINGAPORE! There wasn’t really anything I enjoyed about this race – it was all twists and turns through narrow jogging paths, walkways, grass fields and back lanes. It was also hot and muggy when we started at 5:30 pm – this is the equator here a.k.a. temps in the 30s and humidity in the bazillions! So glad to be done – the finishing line didn’t come sooner.


a) Efficient race shuttle to-and-fro from Mountbatten station.

b) Hydration station every 2 km.

c) Ross was the deejay! Enough said.


a) This felt like a very hastily put together event, even the FAQ lists timing chip to be secured to the shoes even though we were using B-Tags.

b) Route design and management was a failure. Here are some of my gripes (I’m sure a lot of you who did it would agree…or is that asking too much?):

• Too many twists and turns and at certain points, unmarshalled. Which was why after a turn or a loop at km4-5, the lead runner and I ended up at the same place as the girl who was behind us. After this, we somehow ended up seeing another girl in front – quite sure we didn’t see her during the initial 1-2km (which was straight ahead).

• At the km4-5 turn – yeah, left or right???? – the third placed girl asked a marshal if we were on track for the 10k route. Answer:

• The entire rout especially the loops is still a blur to me – beats me how the 21k-ers finished their run.

• Narrow, make that extremely narrow, pathways on the park connectors – it was practically single file since it was an out-and-back. I was lucky to have the lead guys barreling their way through and tagged behind them. Whoever design routes on park connectors???!!! The wave starts didn’t help elevate the congestion because the underlying problem = NARROW paths.

• Uneven running surfaces – especially the grass fields – you’re literally stepping into black holes and one miss, a sprained ankle or worse. Now c’mon, who would expect this on a road race? This is not a trail or cross country run where fields and uneven depths are common. Bah!

• There was nothing scenic about the route except for the bits around the lake; the rest was through back lanes, park connectors next to the condo etc.

• Distance markers up to km3.

c) On the grounds of being “green”, only paper cups were used; so obviously there was congestion at the finishing point because since when did rehydration = 1 cup of water?

d) Zero swag – race bib and some vouchers in a plastic bag. Read note (c) above on “green” and tell me I’m missing something here.

e) Post-race traffic design or rather carnival area was another failure: you get water, double back to get your finisher’s tee. Ah, don’t forget the snaking queue that was the bag check queue – heard there was some problems with bag check.

Will I do this again? Doubt so unless most of the issues here are ironed out, especially the route design and management.

Photo log (credits to tekko and Franxis Yong):

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