Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Marina21k @Punggol Run 2012 – 10km

Date: 14 July 2012
Venue: Punggol Waterway, Singapore
Distance: 10km (Garmin: 10.1km)
Timing: 49:03 (Gun); 48:57 (Chip); 48:57min (Garmin) [going with the chip since my hands froze after km7-8 and I couldn't for the life of me stop the Garmin]
Pace: 4:50 min/km (Chip)
Result: 1st (Women) (results here and here)

Last year’s recap here.

After last year’s disastrous outing, I didn’t think I’ll be up to doing this again but since I was going to be in town for the Shape Run and thought of giving the guys another chance to redeem themselves (glad I did!), I signed for this year’s edition. At the very last moment (they even had late registration at the Race Bib Collection a week prior to the event).

Up to the moment I stepped out of the house, I had apprehensions of doing the race – the memories of Singapore Garden Run playing on my mind. It was raining, drizzling, raining and drizzling since we woke up and it was still drizzling when I was warming up (not much since it was drizzling!). Hey, it was a repeat of the Jurong Lake Run – rain stopped before flag off and temps were low. Fantastic for an evening run! Looks like the stars were aligning for the organizers this year.

This year’s edition was moved to Punggol Waterway (new venue) so the event name seems like a misnomer, huh? Again, 2 categories: 21km and 10km with the latter preceding the former at 5:30pm. The route is a loop starting from the golf driving range/KFC (yeah, what gives, right?) heading into the Punggol Waterway.

Start to Km1
Sharp right turn from the start before a left turn onto an UNPAVED TRAIL-like route – this was to be about 200-300m. Basically the first and last 200-300m was to be this! Not a great start or finish! At least in my view – it’s difficult to run {fast} on this stretch with the added possibility of twisting an ankle or losing your footing. Plus this section was narrow, really narrow. Good thing they had wave starts.

Km2 - Finish
There really wasn’t much of a scenery apart from the lakeside which was beautiful (BTW). I did enjoyed it for the first half but it soon got to me – was feeling bored with just endless and endless of pathway ahead of me in the second half. It was really difficult picking up the pace especially with not many runners ahead to tailgate or crowd support. Plus since the place is new-ish, there weren’t that many people about like how ECP is (then again, I’ll “comprain” about the crowds!). It was a really flattish route with a few bridges peppered in – km2/3, km6 and km8 (I think). Nothing majorly royal like Bukit Tunku or Sheares Bridge.

Km2-3: Floor board and I didn’t hate it as much as the tiled ones like those near the Flyer. Following a few guys and enjoying the view. First hydration station and there were some cheers here.

Km4-5: Enjoying the view. Still!

Km6-8: Uh oh…endless mind boggling stretch. I really wanted to get this over and done with. And my hands begin freezing (again, usual modus operandi when I run faster than my turtle speed; my problem).

Km8: Thank heavens for the cheers from the volunteers atop some raised platform/bridge although I was worried about the distance because the Garmin had beeped 8km much much earlier. Tried to pick up the pace but it was oh-so-difficult especially since the distance between the 2 guys upfront seemed to be widening and {have I mentioned that} I really wanted to get this over and done with.

Whoopie! I could hear Ross (the emcee) in the background…wokie…let’s just speed up. It’s just 5 minutes of your life and then you can gorge as much as you want after this.


a) Better organized compared to last year; the constructive feedback and post-mortem from 2011 helped.

b) Shuttle service to and fro the Punggol MRT station.

c) Very helpful volunteers at the finishing point who helped me to get my bearings right to handing me an extra bottle of water and answering my queries on the shuttle buses.

d) Plenty of hydration stations on route – at least one every 2km serving both water and isotonic and one at the start/finish.

e) Distance markers at every km although they were probably 500m off the Garmin; I reckon this is due to the windy route.

f) Results uploaded within 36 hours. Kudos to the organizers.

g) Wave starts in view of the narrow path.

h) Ross was great (as always!).


a) Expensive registration fees – about $48 and I guess quite a fair bit went to the hydration bag (without bladder) which I have no use or need for. Anyone needs one? Nothing else much of a swag except an event vest and your bib/timing chip.

b) Wished the organizers had pre-warned the runners about the first and last 200m which were on untarred roads with stones, pebbles, trail-ish like.

c) The waterway didn’t seem to be equipped for evening or night running – didn’t see much in the way of lighting apart from the usual lamps; they may have put up additional lights for the 21km? It was Ok for the 10km since it was still bright when we finished. I guess this would be critical especially for the route (b) above.

d) Narrow start from the start point until after the trail; it was narrow in general but by the time we got on the waterway, the crowd would have dispersed. Er…starting in front of a golf driving range and KFC isn’t exactly the most “scenic” either.

e) Some unmanned junctions and intersections along the route.

Photo log:

Swag – a surprise and not-a-usual-run-of-the-mill: hydration bag (minus the bladder)

Event vest

Finisher’s medal

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