Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Nike Goddess 5k Singapore 2012 – 5km

Date: 14 April 2012
Venue: Wavehouse, Sentosa, Singapore
Distance: 5km (Garmin: 4.92km)
Timing: 24:01* (Gun); 23:56 (Chip); 23:55 (Garmin)
Pace: 4:51 min/km (Garmin)
Result: 14th (Open) (results here)

This is the second edition of this event – did not manage to participate in last year’s event due to a competing event (or something). This all-girls’ event is an out-and-back course from Wavehouse Sentosa and similar to ALL Nike events (wherever!) attracted outpouring signups. The final number came in at 5,200 (I believe).

Race started at 5pm (scheduled; longer story below) and at 2:30pm, it poured and poured and poured…up to about 4pm when it slowed down to a drizzle. Thank heavens (literally!), it stopped in time for the race…and right, on cue, started to drizzle after I was done. How’s that for great timing?!?!?!

Nike event. 5,200 gals. Narrow pathway of Sentosa. EQUIVALENT TO HUMAN TRAFFIC JAM OF THE MASSIVE PROPORTIONS unless your name is Vivian Tang or any of the elites. Obviously I’m way too slow to be invited to row numero uno. Then again, I was positioned at a not-too-bad row i.e. sixth or seventh but still had to contend with 5:16 min/km split in the first km. Or I could blame the slope around 400-500 meters into the route. Whatever.

Crowd petered out but not the pathway; in fact towards the tail end of km2, it got narrower because we were directed to the walkway away from asphalt. Heart rate still high and did not calm down (in fact, it didn’t for the rest of the way), lungs were starting to burn, quads – what can I say…after the morning’s event. Turnaround came. Good. Halfway done. We spotted the leaders around the km2 point.

Attempted to push the pace or at least not drop back since the heart, lungs and quads were you-know-what. And since this was an out-and-back, heading back = running smack onto oncoming runners. Now this can be scary when you see a horde of gals running towards you and naturally since the course is congested…some 90% will wander onto your path (not much since the railings were up vs traffic cones used in the morning’s event).

If you thought the traffic dodging was tricky earlier…here’s more bad news. Instead of runners, we had to dodge the Sentosa visitors. While most of the course was closed and cordoned off, there were some pedestrian crossings (e.g. between shops) that were not. The marshals did stopped visitors from crossing when they spot runners coming through. I didn’t have much of an issue here but there was some slowing down. I was pushing it hard on the last km because I was “valiantly” to keep up with another girl.

a) Pretty well organized.
b) Distance markers at every km and in the last km, every 250m.
c) Pre and post party and the race village at Wavehouse were prettily decorated – a bit like Zouk or some club. What's more, the first 200 runners to finish were given access to the “more exclusive” party indoors (I passed my 2 vouchers to one of the later finishers because I left early. Cold, sweaty and tired Sue does not make for good company). There were also photo booths where you can get 4 action shots of yourself/with your buddy. Here’s my cheesy look.


d) Post race grub of hot dog – this is a first (for me at least!) for a Singapore race; typically only bananas (if you’re lucky).
e) Nice swag – loved the race tee (you need to wear it for the race) for both the design and comfort, matching bag, pink towel. At the finish, they give you a handbag mirror, again, with the Nike Goddess design on one side.


f) Loved the cheers the volunteers gave out (e.g. “good job”, “well done”, “congrats”) and claps when we finished/collected our finishing mirrors and water bottle.
g) One hydration station with both water and 100Plus along the route and at the finishing, everyone gets 1 bottle of water and a can of 100Plus or 2 if you wish.
h) One entry pass into Sentosa.
i) Fantastic helicopter camera/video buzzing at the start line.

a) Late start – about 15-20 minutes later than scheduled because {according to the emcee}, “they’re clearing the path of PEACOCKS”. Oh c’mon…peacocks in Sentosa? Are you kidding me??? Apparently, it was due to the late arrival of the VIPs who were to flag us off. All of us (I’m guessing including the elites) who had warmed up earlier watched our efforts go to waste.
b) Narrow path – too many runners and add on the day visitors. Venue is great for novelty effect but not racing. If you’re thinking of doing the next edition and if it’s in the same venue, go into it as a fun run.
c) Nike event. Read: many signed up for the swag and have every intention of taking an evening stroll in Sentosa. I’ve nothing against slower runners or if you have to walk (I’ve done it before) but have the courtesy to keep to the left and for God’s sake, please do not walk FIVE ABREAST!
d) Sentosa as a race venue is either you like it or not. I’m of the latter because of (b) above and getting out of the island was a bit of a boo boo because the time the race ended = day end for most visitors and the queue for the monorail got snaky. Let me repeat: cold, sweaty, tired and having to queue to get out = {fill up the blanks yourself}.
e) Wished they had provided a vegan option for post race grub – coincidently, another girl I bumped into at the food booth is vegetarian and couldn’t eat it either. She was giving it to her boyfriend; I gave mine to one of the volunteers.

No comments: