Date: 21 August 2011
Venue: National University of Singapore, Singapore
Distance: 11km (Garmin-less; back in action in the next event!)
Timing: 55:51 for 5:04 min/km (chip); 55:57 (gun)
Result: 3rd placing (Women’s Open)
This has to be the toughest race this year – I actually power walked part of the ^%#@& hill at km8. I’m still traumatized by the horrors of all horrors of NUS’ hills! Who knew it could be that hilly and slopey in Singapore?!
The ladies were let off on time…although on time = 7:40 am when the sun was coming up. Oh well, there was no other choice to make the run more manageable, organized and ensure everyone had a good time. The Men’s Open were gunned off in 4 waves starting at 7 am (10 minute intervals) while the veteran categories were after us (for once, I was glad to be in the Open category).
Now while I had heard of the undulating (that word, on hindsight, sounds mild) route, nothing, nothing, nothing prepared me for the horror at km8. I was in fifth on takeoff and was happy to be cruising along and being in my “happy” place (hey, choice of words are all relative anyway!). I passed the fourth placed girl on the upslope before the first km and was tagging on to the third placed girl. I was secretly hoping to stay at this pace since I always have a problem of keeping the pace towards the end of the race.
I would call this a point-to-point course although the start and finish points was at the sports track; we basically ran a loop around the university. The halfway mark (with the timing mat) came ever so slowly that I felt it was probably km6. I was still hanging onto my pacer although the distance between us narrowed. Guess what…I passed her on the third hydration station as she was walking through the point. The leaders had earlier been a fair bit ahead of us although still within sight.
The rolling hills continue but km7 was a really long downhill which I enjoyed tremendously! Of course, I didn’t know what laid ahead because ba-boomed 2 royally steep incline, one after another. I ran or at least looked like I attempted a sort of a run up the first and power walked up the second. I seriously think it was faster power walking rather than manage some feeble attempt at running. Soon, we were directed into the park.
Back on asphalt and the route to the sports complex (bus 95 route…which I was on earlier to get to the race site). The earlier climbs took a lot out of me and I felt uber slow on this stretch, even on the flats.
Bootie worth $900?
a) Well organized event.
b) Wave start ensured no over-crowding although at some points, it was a single file line – that’s when you need to run on the roads instead of the pathway. But this was not do-able at the park.
c) Plenty of hydration stations along the route – 4, I think; plus they gave out water bottles and cans of 100Plus at the end.
e) One or two “useable” vouchers from the swag – Vinz and I are thinking of getting Frolick ice cream the next time I’m in town. Hey, I wasn’t expecting any swag to begin with since this is a charity event and the race fee was super low. The swag – race tee, sunblock, face creams, body wash, vouchers etc.
f) Low registration fee ($22) and online registration.
g) Chip timed!
h) Great way of showcasing the university – I probably saw more of NUS during the run than I would ever see the buildings along Orchard.
a) No road closure and making everyone run on the pathways. So not good – no bounce, no signal for my feet; I did try to run the road but the marshals kept “pushing” me onto the sidewalks. So not on. I would have preferred a partial road closure and having the chance to run on the “softer” asphalt – hey, Malaysian runners are quite pro at running on roads with minimal-to-no closure after all. LOL!
b) Late start which meant the sun was beating down on me when I finish – yes, even at 8:40 am. Guess this was unavoidable since the earliest start was 7 am (doubt they can move it any earlier since most of us rely on public transport) and the wave starts (to avoid congestion and for a more enjoyable running experience).
3rd place stash
3rd place stash