Sunday, May 30, 2010

Adidas Sundown Marathon 2010

It was my first participation in Adidas Sundown 21km Half Marathon 2010 on 29 May, Saturday. The race venue was at Changi Exhibition Hall running along the long stretch of Changi Coastal Road.

I was more mentally and physically prepared than Chua, who was to replace Winnie in this event. Especially the last two weeks before the run, Chua had to shuttle between Singapore and his hometown, Muar to handle some family matters. It was indeed energy sapping for him this time around.

Our race was scheduled at 2100 hrs and at 1900 hrs, Chua drove over to my place to pick me up. I had my early dinner at 1730 hrs and Chua had to drive back from Muar, only to arrive in the afternoon, missing some sleep and dinner to run this race with me.

The only access to Changi Exhibition Hall was via Loyang Road as the road from ECP was closed for the race. The usually quiet Changi Point was jam-packed with vehicles heading to the direction of the start-off point.

We arrived early, at about 2000 hrs. Took our time checking up the place and warming up. I donned my newly bought Body Science tight top and shorts, had tried twice during practice and found it to be useful. Not cheap though - it cost me more than S$200and it gonna be good.

Those participating in the 84km Ultra-Marathon had been flagged-off at 1900 hrs while our event attracted some 6,000 runners to be flagged-off at 2100 hrs. Finally, we were flagged-off. We were somewhere in the middle section and overtaking was made quite difficult too. Almost immediately, I lost Chua among the runners. At the 3km mark, stream of runners who arrived later were still heading to the start-point. I saw Pauline who was also participating in the 21km event, shouted & waved at her. Boy, she was among the late comers heading to the start point when we had already covered more than 3km.

The weather was fine and the lane was broad, I had no problems overtaking many runners. For the first 10km, I maintained a steady pace. At the half way mark where we made a U-turn back, I saw Chua who was not too far behind me. He caught up with me and briefly, we were running together. When I felt I was still doing well, I decided to hasten up my pace. I was surprised that my pace was still steady despite already covered 15 km. At about 19 km mark, I glanced at my wrist watch which indicated 2250 hrs. I told myself, I must really open up more if I wished to go under 2 hours. I had to finish by 2300 hrs if I wanted to go under 2 hours. Some runners including few ladies overtook me in the last 2 km but I did overtake some too. At that point, taking every 1 km seemed to be an arduous affair but I pressed on. About 200 metres to the finish, the adrenaline rush in me propelled me to really sprint all the way and I even overtook a Caucasian runner who was about 50 metres in front of me. There were people cheering me on, I was even more fired up. I gave a thumbs-up when I touched the finishing line. The time showed 2 hours 2 mins plus when I crossed over and deducting 1 min from the gun time, I should come under 2 hours 1 min plus I think. A little disappointed that I couldn't go under 2 hours and that goes my bet to George, loser pays for coffee but I was more than satisfied with my performance. I had sliced off some 13 minutes from last year Safra run. Chua did not do badly either, given he was not in tip-top condition and he came in about 1 minute later.

After the run, both of us went for frog porridge supper in Geylang. We deserved this sumptuous supper.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hairpin Turn

I am simply blown away by the superb driving skill of these drivers in this video clip that even F1 drivers could not marshal that kind of maneuvering skill at sharp turn. Just wonder, has there been any fatal accident before? Simply unbelievable.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Run For Humaneity

By sheer turnout, 'Run For Humaneity' does not match Stanchart or Adidas Sundown but its sole purpose quickly triggered me to sign-up when I chanced upon it. 'Run for Humaneity' is an initiative of Mark Philpott, President of Humaneity Group.

This is a fund raising project to support a school for the under-privileged children in Cambodia where runners pledged S$100 each to the coffer. The 10km run was scheduled this morning at Incontro, Riverside Quay.

Arrived at the venue around 0700hrs, met one of the organisers, Amy and Jonathan who also volunteered his service. I did not recognise Jonathan until after the race though he was at the registration counter calling out for me, paiseh!

There were around 50 odd runners and as this was an ang moh initiated run, there were quite a few fit ang moh runners at one glance. The ladies were flagged-off first at 0800hrs and the guys, 5 or 10 minutes later.

At 0800hrs, the weather was alright. The 10km run was to take us along the riverside from Robertson Quay to Esplanade to Boat Quay, a 5km circuit which we must run twice to complete the full 10 km run. The first 5km was fine, thanks to the weather. There were about 20 runners in the male category, and immediately after the flagged-off by Mark, front of the pack already contained 6 ang mohs and 1 Chinese runner with me trailing behind. Admittedly, my first 5km pace was quicker than my usual as I tried to pursue the front pack. I huffed & puffed and managed to pass one ang moh and one Chinese runner before the end of 5km circuit and also, some female runners who were flagged earlier.

The second round was tougher as the weather had by then, began to show its true form. I decided to slow my pace and maintained my 5th position. While gliding through, no one overtook me, phew!. The organisers and their team of volunteers were marvellous, they were cheering us along. As I dashed past the finishing line, they were there to make sure everyone of us hit the finishing tape in championship style and indeed, everyone is a winner.

The run aside, it is nice to be introduced to Mike, Teck Leong and Andy at the event. We were already discussing about meeting up for cycling and run. We exchanged our cards, to fix up for run and cycling in future and I certainly look forward to rough it out with these guys.

Thumbs up for this run, I truly enjoyed it.