Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Run350 2012 – 10km

Date: 22 April 2012
Venue: The Float @ Marina, Singapore
Distance: 10km (Garmin: 9.61km)
Timing: 49:26 (Gun); 49:10 (Chip); 49:11 (Garmin)
Pace: 5:07 min/km (Garmin)
Result: 12th (Women Open) (results here)

There were quite a number of events over the weekend: Energizer Night Race 2012 and Jogathon Warisan, both in Kuala Lumpur, BII Bali Marathon in Bali and there was this in Singapore. Yup, we were spoilt for choice. I signed up for this because it came together with the U-Run (yeah, I’m cheap but hey, in my defence, race registrations are expensive these days!). This year’s event was held in celebration of Earth Day and {I think} it’s the second edition.

The race, organized by Young NTUC, had 2 categories and 2 wave starts for each: 21km (first flag off at 6 am) and 10km (first flat off at 6:45 am) from The Float @ Marina. The 10km was a loop with a few switchbacks and attracted quite a large crowd. The loop took us through the usual ho hum of the Sg running route: Nicoll Highway, Republic Avenue, perimeter of Kallang Park, F1 track and Singapore Flyer.

With the large crowd, I started about 10 rows back, maybe even more. Oh well, no racing plans this weekend – too many weeks of races caught up with me; that plus the low weekly mileage (I’m too embarrassed to even post it here!). It was extremely crowded for the first km – crowd plus the slightly narrow pathway from The Float to the F1 track. Things eased up after this as we head towards Nicoll Highway, the start of the 2XU Compression Run a few weeks back. Guess what…it was an almost eerily similar route with the first switchback a bit further up.

Back on the other side of Nicoll Highway, up Merdeka Bridge to the next switchback. Merdeka Bridge on Nicoll Highway was probably only the elevation we had to contend with although we had to do it twice – on the way out and after the switchback.

Thank heavens another 2 laps of the LG lap to go – I always mentally breakdown my runs to my training venues – LG, Seputeh, Taman Desa etc – coz they seem less daunting and because I’ve finished my training runs. Up the friggin Merdeka Bridge (again), get out of Nicoll Highway onto Republic Avenue (correct?), pass the MRT station…wham the next switchback. Crap! It’s getting demoralizing when you see the leaders and faster runners on the other side. The 21km-ers joined for this portion.

Minor u-turn from Republic Avenue into Kallang Park for the 10km-ers while the 21km-ers ran further ahead. This was a tough portion for me because of the hard jogging surface – and it was a mental battle not to walk (yes, WALK). Do you know how many bazillion times I prayed in that last 2 km??? And to every religion God (sorry if anyone is offended but I didn’t desecrate any God)…and that last km was the LONGEST km of my life! The only consolation (if that’s consolation) was it was on asphalt – thank you F1 track and The Float!

a) This was a well put up event.
b) Hydration station at the start/finish and at every 1.5-2km – I was surprised that some were less than 2km between each other. We probably had too many stations. Believe they were stocked with both water and isotonic drinks (100Plus). Every runner was given a can of ice cold 100Plus at the finish together with a banana (or maybe even 2!).
c) Distance markers every km although they were off my Garmin beeps – not too sure if it was due to lost GPS signals or the run weaving or the corner cutting.
d) As the race started early, runners could purchase bus tickets for the shuttle from various parts of Singapore to the venue [N.B. train services start later on Sundays and public holidays]. See below on a bit of boo-boo on this issue.
e) This is probably one of the “more worth it” swag: shoe bag, Newton socks, running vest, Jacob’s biscuit, muscle rub and lo behold, just 1 “useless” voucher!

a) Only 100Plus was handed out at the finishing and if you’ve been hanging around here long enough, you would know I can’t stomach isotonics for short runs/activities under 1 hour. I had to walk further away to get some water and these came in small cups – yeah congestion alert especially when most runners would require 3-4 cups of water to rehydrate. This has been a constant gripe – organizers should also provide water options (in water bottles!!!) to runners.
b) Oh on the shuttle bus boo…I heard there were last minute cancellations of some routes/pick-up points due to the low subscription and the organizers only informed the affected runners on the day prior to the event. Shame on them since these runners would have to scramble to make alternative arrangements. I also heard that some of the buses did not show up at the appointed 5:20 am (2 shifts – 4:20 am and 5:20 am) and some of the {foreign} drivers did not know how to get to the race site.
c) This isn’t really a “con” but I’m interested to find out how the distance for the route was measured. Sure, granted it is not a certified course…but since the route is similar to a few recent events, am wondering about the variance.

Photo log:
Finisher's medal

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