Saturday, August 29, 2009

Safra Bay Run & Army Half Marathon 2009 (3 of 3)

Coming from a great night with friends who visited Singapore, I managed to grab three hours of sleep on the eve of the Safra Bay Run & Army Half Marathon 2009. I was still dreaming about Leonardo Da Vinci and his creations, which I saw in the exhibit at the Singapore Science Centre that Saturday, but I didn't want to miss my first half-marathon so I hauled myself to the shower and allowed the running water to rouse me fully awake.

Breakfast was too quick for me to remember what I had, but I do recall drinking a lot of water. Fortunately I didn't forget to slip three packs of GU Energy Gels into my belt bag knowing that the lack of sleep would severely affect my performance. Of course nothing beats having enough rest during the night.

Thank goodness it was easy to get a cab. I was thankful too that there were no signs of rain coming. The commute was fast as I expected it to be early in the morning. We did experience bit of traffic when we got near the Suntec area however, something I simply attributed to the road closures.

It was easy to find my way to the starting point as a lot of runners were heading towards that direction. I didn't even need to exert effort to locate the the portalets — the queue pointed me there. I think the visit to the portalet is really becoming part of the pre-run routine.

My watch said 5:45 a.m., which only meant I was late for the flag off. But there were numerous runners still behind the starting line so I felt hopeful I wasn't too late. Then the man on the mic announced the second wave was just about to start. Luck was with me.

Then it was time. I was off to a slow start, knowing it took a while for body to warm up. An endless stream of runners passed me by. I tried my best not to think of my recent misadventure with the X-ray and the ECG but the thought hunted me incessantly and I caught myself with my hand over my chest quite a few times as I ran.

I didn't even take time to review the race route. I knew it would be easy enough to follow other runners. I was right of course. Soon we were making a left to Marina Boulevard, then we were climbing the ECP flyover.

Right after the flyover, one male after another made a detour on the side of the road to take a leak. How could the marshals complain? Besides, the heavy Singapore rains are sure to wash away any evidence afterwards.

The longest part of the race would have to be the East Coast Park leg. I think there were three water stations in this area alone. They were giving away bananas at one of those stations. It was too good to resist.

It was this part too, after the 10 km mark, that a lot of participants had began walking. While I certainly wasn't among the fastest runners, I managed to run all the way, unlike what I had previously done in the Mt. Faber Mizuno Run and the first TNF Progressive Run.

The cheerers did a great job of motivating the runners. At one point, there were belly dancers doing their thing on one side of the road. My friend Paul managed to take a picture of them. I wasn't that fortunate. I don't even have a copy that I can post here.

Speaking of my friend Paul, to my surprise, he found me near the finish line. He was running 10 km, and their flag off was at a later time. It was great to be able to finish together.

It was easy enough to get the medals at the finish point. Unfortunately the same could not be said about the isotonic drinks. As for the bags, there was a bit of queue but nothing major.

I think it was a well organized run. I like the fact that the race started very early so that runners are not exposed to the debilitating, late morning sun. There were just enough drinking stations, sufficient volunteers to man the routes and signage that were easy to spot. A separate finish line for the 6 km was an excellent decision on the part of the organizers.

After about another hour of walking around, we found a place to eat in Marina Square. I managed to go home after, enjoying a few hours of sleep before I put my heart to the test again just a bit later in the afternoon.


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At August 30, 2009 at 5:59 AM , Blogger Brad Farless said...

I'm not too into jogging anymore, but I wanted to let you know that your first photo made me laugh.

The guy with the banana ... wow.

At August 31, 2009 at 6:59 PM , Blogger Singapore Fountain Pen said...

Hey Brad, made me laugh too. LOL. I wanted to put thought bubbles but that might be taking it a little too far. I'm beginning to find taking photos during runs quite amusing.

At August 31, 2009 at 7:52 PM , Blogger Brad Farless said...

You know, you could probably have a blog based just on that. A humor blog anyway.

Ya, thought bubbles might be going too far, but I had the idea.

Like, a person behind him thinking, 'You don't want to know where the other carrot is.'

But, true. That might be going too far.

At September 1, 2009 at 6:24 PM , Blogger Brad Farless said...

err. That should be "...other banana..." Oops!


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