Sunday, April 22, 2012

Singapore Flyer 5km Fun Run 2012 / Sports Fiesta – 5km

Date: 14 April 2012
Venue: Singapore Flyer, Singapore
Distance: 5km (Garmin: 4.90km)
Timing: 23:24 (Gun); 23:20 (Chip); 23:22 (Garmin)
Pace: 4:46 min/km (Garmin)
Result: 35th  (Open – only one category/mixed) (results here)

Inaugural event. My first double race day i.e. my suicidal attempt, double whammy, yeah, we like to live life on the edge like that… So any surprise when I was whining about sore feet, broken body etc on my FB status on Saturday night? Yup, serves me right!

Okie, let’s get back to the event. This was an out-and-back course from the Singapore Flyer and took in the running paths along the Kallang Park. Small scale event held in conjunction with the Sports Fiesta – believe the total field for the run was around 500? This was geared towards kids/families and there were more than handful of them – it’s nice to see the kids out there.

Km1-2.5
Spotted Teck Hooi in the pen at the start and we had a chat while waiting and before I moved up to row 3-4 (like I said, it was a small field). Started slow and kept the pace easy – well that was the plan since I had the Nike Goddess in the evening – it worked…for the first km. The race leaders – all guys came around pretty quickly and then the first female before I hit km2. Certain points were narrow but since I was pretty upfront, it was ok. Not great but ok. Turnaround must be the smallest roundabout I’ve ever seen – this was where they set up the timing chip checkpoint – kind of a sharp turn.

Km2.5-5
With the slow/easy pace plan rebuffed – I tried to rein in the silly legs! – there was nothing to do except go with the flow…and cross the bridge (I must commend my awesomesauce impromptu plan! or lack thereof) when we get to the Nike Goddess. Oh yeah, I did consider asking a friend to be on standby for the evening. I digress. This was an out-and-back…with only traffic cones separating the already narrow pathway (BTW, that didn’t work)…so we were running into the middle and back of the pack…oh well, it did put mini brakes to my pace. Hey remember, I was saving my legs! I had more time to take in the seafront on the way back – less focus on weaving out of the crowd, I’m about to finish etc – it was gorgeous (clear skies, calm waters). And soon, we’re back at the finishing chute.

Pros:
a) Race day bib pick up option.
b) Small event – less queue time for bag drop, plenty of space at finishing point.
c) One hydration station along the route and each of us were handed a bottle of water at the finishing.
d) Later start at 8 am which meant getting up a bit later (hey, it’s the weekend!) and still have time to pick up the bib. Normally, I’m all for an early start but since this was a short run, you’re in-and-out of the race pretty quickly or at least before the heat gets to you.

Cons:
a) Could do with a better organization from on time race bib pick up (they told us to be there before 7am but the packs arrived 20 minutes later) to route planning (i.e. congestion).
b) Pretty expensive registration fee for a nothing-to-shout-about swag (even though I’ve said before that we should sign up to run the event, not for the swag but only a race vest and a recyclable shopping bag????) and to run on a public park (which most of us can run for free on any other day).

 

c) On the same note, I didn’t like the running path – the tiles were too “hard” (compared to asphalt) and I felt I was hitting the pavement hard and didn’t get the “response” or bounce I would normally get.
d) Narrow path since this was an out-and-back and only sparsely placed traffic cones to divide oncoming traffic (runners). Plus the route wasn’t closed so there were more than a few weekend runners and cyclists (no offence to them…just something we had to deal with, especially those gunning for podium or chasing their PBs).
e) No distance markers – this was not a problem for me since I had the Garmin; can’t imagine how those without a GPS enabled watch kept time/pace. Only distance marker was the 2.5km which is the turnaround. 2.5km is bit too far into the race if you need to speed up to catch up.

Photo log: