Wednesday, April 4, 2012

2XU Compression Run 2012 – 10km

Date: 1 April 2012
Venue: Nicoll Highway, Singapore
Distance: 10km (Garmin: 10.01km)
Timing: 50:45 (Gun); 48:42 (Chip); 49:34 (Garmin)
Pace: 4:57 min/km (Garmin)
Result: 8th (Women Open) (results here)

Last year’s recap here. This year’s preview here.

This event had a 15km and 10km option and attracted quite a number of runners (something like 10,000?) including a large number from KL – drawn by the promise of a 2XU gear perhaps? They should have checked the website because unlike last year, only a running vest and shorts (the latter being an option to purchase) was offered; last year’s swag included 2XU calf sleeves and a Hilly handheld water bottle.

This was a loop course starting/ending at Nicoll Highway with some switchbacks and both categories started together and the 15km-ers ran further ahead at the km9 point. The course isn’t scenic except for the portion along Kallang Park – most of the route was on Nicoll Highway. This was not an event I had planned on going all out and would be happy to come back around the 50min mark given the number of runners and last year’s experience.

Extremely congested at the first km but I was happy to tag along with the 1:22 and later on 1:18 pacers (for the 15km) because this meant I wouldn’t go out too fast. First switchback around the 800m mark and then it was a straight route along Nicoll Highway. Unfortunately, that tagging thingy didn’t last for long…legs had a mind of their own and did their own thing. I cannot understand why they perpetually refuse to read and follow the memo!!! Spotted Ahmad, Suzie, Anne and Vivian on the other side of the round around km3 before the next switchback at km4.5.

A bit (this should be an understatement!) of a nightmarish situation here because of the out-and-back – we were running towards oncoming runners (those who started later and Wave 2) and there was only one lane closed for the run. Slowed down tremendously because it was mainly a 2-by-2 running and it was difficult to pass anyone.

Another switchback near the open field but we had the whole lane to ourselves. The sun was beating hard on us. There was the usual upslope before Merdeka Bridge (I think…for the life of me, I can’t remember what this road/highway is called). Fantabulous…a long incline at km8! Note the sarcasm.

Turn off for the 15km-ers who were to run further ahead while the 10km-ers turn into Kallang Park. I hate this portion the most because of the hard surface of the path along the park – I felt I couldn’t get any response from my feet and was mainly stamping along. Again, very slow splits here.

a) Well organized event.
b) Distance markers at every km – probably about 20-40m off from my Garmin but most of those with Garmin said theirs were pretty much spot on.
c) Hydration station at every 2km with water and Pocari Sweat although I didn’t stop at any.
d) Lovely medal design and they had separate designs for the guys. Here’s mine with the lady on one side.

e) Extremely convenient venue – right outside the Nicoll Highway MRT station.
f) Cold towel at the finishing point.
g) Wave starts to minimize congestion.
h) Pacers for the 15km but see below as well.

a) Late start – even a 15 minute delay = hot and warm especially since Nicoll Highway is unshaded. Someone said it was due to the late arrival of one of the VIPs?
b) No water at the finishing point – while it was nice of them to hand out Pocari Sweat bottles to the runners, I wished they had water as well – I can’t take isotonics for short distances without a puke-fest. This is not the first time where only isotonics were the only option; when will organizers learn?
c) The switchback after the halfway mark to km6 meant we had to share the lane with oncoming runners (slower ones and those from Wave 2) – this would not be an issue if more lanes were closed to traffic. It was difficult to pass anyone and we were running 2-by-2 and having to watch out for oncoming (human) traffic.
d) I wished they had announced earlier e.g. Runners’ Guide that there were pacers available and their timing. It would have been fantastic for those planning on following them; believe most of us were caught off guard and only found out that there were pacers when it was announced just before the flag off.

Photo log (will update this when I can find and steal pics from the various photographers out there):


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