Saturday, October 22, 2011

New Balance Real Run 2011

Date: 16 October 2011

Venue: Changi Exhibition Center, Singapore

Distance: 10km (Garmin: 9.77km; some measured 9.97km)

Timing: 49:54 (Gun); 49:17 (Chip); 49:16 (Garmin)

Pace: 5:02 min/km (Garmin)

Result: 15th (Women’s Open) (here) (all results here)

Second year doing this. Read last year’s write up here. I booked my flight tickets in December – yeah, that early! Only because Firefly was running a promo then and a return ticket was RM150. Score! Oh yeah, back to the run…the HomeTeam did a wonderful job again. Even if trail running is not my fav, I gave it another go this year simply because the organization was top notch.

Unfortunately, Andy was sitting out this year’s edition so no ride to the race site. This was OK since the organizers provided shuttle services from various points including Aljuneid. This also meant leaving the house at 4:45 a.m. to make it for the 5 a.m. bus; we got there super early (5:30 a.m.) and I got cat naps in the hall while waiting for my start.

The 21km was flagged off at 6:30 am followed by us 30 minutes later. I kept the pace easy coming off from the trashed ankle from YRPR and felt good, relatively anyway, for most of the run. And I donned my KSO for this! And and and, it worked perfectly.

Km1-2.5: Trails

This should be termed sand rather than trail. Like someone commented on SgR, it was like someone dumped a bunch of sand on the trail. Soft sand, soft sand where if you put your foot down, it sinks. I ran on the sides, eyeballing the patches of grass where the ground was firmer and it worked.

Km2.5-6: Tarmac

The first checkpoint came at the exit of the trail and then it was all the way down Aviation Road before a right turn on Changi Coastal Road. There were 2 hydration points along the former and super awesome supporters at the turn off. It was also at this junction that the 21km (who had earlier made a left turn) merged with the 10km-ers. After that it was straight on to the beach.

Km6-7.5: Beach

They extended the beach portion from 0.8km to 1.5km this year; all of us were anticipating a tough stretch (read: soft sand, foot sinking etc) and were pleasantly surprised at the firmer ground. This was probably due to the overnight rain. It was still tough but definitely more manageable than last year. I ran along the upper barrier – again, eyeballing firmer ground. The only downside to this was the slope and hence the uneven balance/use of muscle. Still it was a short portion of the run.

Km7.5-10: Tarmac

This was again the toughest section of the run for 2 reasons:

(1) Energy draining beach running prior to this

(2) Longest ever stretch along Aviation Road – it felt and looked like the road was going on forever


a) Well organized event. Noticed how all the uniformed groups in Singapore seem to be doing well on this aspect? Probably the non lack of manpower! LOL!

b) Shuttle buses to and fro the race site (which is in the middle of nowhere).

c) Full road closure; only downside (and it’s not something I’m complaining) is having to wait till 9:30 am before the roads reopen, hence the later-than-usual getting home.

d) Distance markers at every km.

e) Hydration points at race start/finish and every 1.5-2 km, all stocked with water and isotonic drinks.

f) Orderly traffic management flow after the run – run past the shoot, grab water/100 Plus, head into the exhibition hall to collect your finisher tee and goodie bag.

g) Did I mention an air-conditioned exhibition hall?

h) Awesome supporters – I especially love those at km4 before the left turn to Changi Coastal Road – so enthusiastic! “Only 5 km left”


a) The earlier start this year didn’t make a difference to the sun beating down on us in the last 2.5km stretch – and I was among the earlier finishers. Can’t imagine what it would be like after 8 am. Then again, I guess there’s nothing much that can be done since this is the route to the finish. I doubt starting any earlier would help much. I might be wrong.

b) No water supply in the washrooms within the exhibition center. Eeks!

Photo log:

Finisher's tee and goodie bag given out after the run

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