Date: 15 July 2012
Venue: Niccoll Highway, Singapore
Distance: 10km (Garmin: 9.56km)
Timing: 47:50 (Gun); 47:36 (Chip); 47:38min (Garmin)
Pace: 4:58 min/km (Garmin)
Result: 24th (Women) (results here) [edit for placing]
Oh wow…I’m old (epic realization!)…just realized that this is the fourth year I’m running this. Previous years’ recap here, here and here.
Same route as 2011 – loop starting from Nicoll Highway with 2 switchbacks with the 10km starting at 7am and the 5km, 20 minutes later and the 2.4km after that. The 2.4km is a new category – to encourage more ladies, especially new runners, to take part. The route took us through Nicoll Highway, part of Geylang, Kallang Park Connector (I think! It’s the one next to the F1 track), Indian temple and the F1 track/pit.
There were 2 other events taking place on the same morning: Pocari Sweat Run at the Gardens by the Bay (gathered from reviews that it was top notch organization – time to check it out next year!) and SIS Age Group Series 2. With 2 competing events and as this was an all-ladies affair, the crowd was probably smaller compared to the previous year (not much!) and other runs. I guess the guys were probably at these events because for once at this run, I didn’t see any of them pacing any ladies.
I NEVER DO LEARN, HUH?!?!?!? I’m really not at the level (endurance wise) to do back-to-back races with less than 12 hours of recovery time!
Straight down Nicoll Highway and bumped into Yee Hua after km1. With the full road closure, not much of a congestion except for the first 100m. Hips were already screaming the moment I cross the timing mat! Told Yee Hua to go ahead since I was going to be slower this morning since I did a race the previous evening and she immediately knew it was the Marina21k. Left turn and then a right after that heading into Geylang – it was really nice looking at the humdrum going on at some of the shops.
Heading into the park connector and meeting up my nemesis a.k.a. tiled HARD footway. Not even the sea, skies on the left could take the edge off and after km3, the sign for the turn off for the 5km. Le sigh…I SHOULD have signed up for the 5km instead of this! Screaming hips + longest footway before we got onto the F1 track.
I should be happy to be back on asphalt but the previous day’s run obviously moved exponentially. Pace dropped and Yee Hua (who I dropped at the start) caught up at km5 – oh boy, things were not looking good. This was also where we saw the race leaders on the opposite side of the track and the timer on the car was around 26min. Trailed (or at least made some feeble effort!) Yee Hua to the first switchback at km5.5-6 (?) – she was just the impetus [nummer eins] I needed to push on. Back on the other side of the track and saw the first pace group on the opposite side – impetus [nummer zwei]!
Wokie, back to Republic Avenue and I could hear the crowd at the start/finishing point but unfortunately, we had to run further down Nicoll Highway to the second switchback before finishing. Longest 2 km of stretch of my life – kept wishing for the u-turn to appear – although the cheer from one of the guy volunteer (“nice shoes” in reference to my Vibrams) helped with the spirit (not the screaming hip).
a) Relatively well organized as with the previous editions although some runners had problems with the goodie bag collection.
b) Hydration stations every 2km and at the finishing point, you a bottle of water and a cup of isotonic (another isotonic bottle is included in the goodie bag).
c) Distance markers every 2km and each distance marker included a twist e.g. “2km of shaping up your life” etc.
d) Fantastic idea for pace groups (this is rare for Malaysian or Singapore races, at least for the shorter distance). I like this idea because if you’ve been hanging around here long enough, you know I’ve zero sense of pacing and tend to blow up in the later stages. Notwithstanding that the min pace group was 60min (10km) and 30min (5km). Great start and initiative.
e) Post race carnival but I didn’t stay for this.
f) Full road closure at the start – minimizes congestion.
a) The different pace groups should be earmarked with different coloured balloons to make it helpful for runners to identify. All pace groups carried yellow balloons and from a distance would look similar.
b) I didn’t have a problem getting my goodie bag but heard that runners who came in later had a bit of a queue and it was a bit messy. Comments?
c) Not much of a goodie bag this year.
Swag – a nice pink racerback Reebok vest (love it!) and a bib/timing chip
Goodie bag given out at the finishing. Shape runs are known for their “generous” goodie bag although I’ve noticed that there has been a decline in the “generosity” of this – both in terms of quality (now you’re getting more “useless” vouchers vs one year where we receive a bottle of cooking oil, pasta etc) and quantity.