The Ultimate X-Terrain Challenge – New Balance Real Run 2010

November 28, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Posted in itchy backside | 2 Comments
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After doing the trial run a week ago, Itchyfingers were all ready and looking forward to actual race day. The sky was still dark when we reached Changi Exhibition Centre carpark at around 6.30am but there were already many people. Took a last drink of water before walking towards the centre. Strangely I felt the urge to do my big business though I had already done so before getting out of the house – something unusual for me if I had to rush off very early in the morning. Was certainly surprised to find the long queues forming in front of the toilets at such early hour!

The 15km runners were flagged off at 7am sharp. The sunrise was beautiful…but we din bring camera or even phones to take photos! :O I found myself having to visit the loo a second time…drank too much…spent another 10 more minutes queuing for the loo instead of warming up.

We ended up quite far behind the starting line cos there were so many participants. Started to get a bit hungry… At 7.30 am, we were flagged off! Tisu Boy disappeared after saying, “See you in one hour’s time!” :O


The route

As usual, the starting of the run was always so crowded, making it tough to keep up a constant pace. I was doing okay for the first 2 km, but started to get a bit thirsty after that as the weather started to get a bit hotter. The trail seemed to be a little more uneven for some reason…Finally finished the 4km trail and grabbed a drink…Pushing on to the tarmac road, I was still keeping in time when I reached the 5 km mark. But I found myself somehow getting outta breath and slowed down a bit after that…As usual, the faster 15 km runners were already heading back by now.

When I finally reached the 7km mark towards Changi Beach, I reminded myself not to take any drinks in case I get stitches again. Hard to resist drinking when the weather was so hot! This time round, they shifted the water point further in with the First Aid Station where the path was narrower. It was so congested that it was near impossible to even pass through. Had to pause and jog on the spot before making my way through…Then came the toughest part of the race – the 600 m sandy beach trail!

My performance on this 600m stretch of sand was the slowest during the trial run. This time I was mentally more prepared for the challenge but then the bigger challenge was again trying to pass through the numerous other runners compared to the trial run. I tried to get a clear running spot by going down nearer to the water, but it was so soft that I had to move further up the slope, again risking spraining the ankles. Obviously it was very tough for most as a lot of people started walking…My feet felt like iron or rocks…they felt so heavy…every steps required so much effort to move on. I was jogging at such slow pace that people walking seemed to be using less energy and yet moving faster than me….Eventually I gave up trying and started walking – this was the first time I ever stopped running during races or trainings…The 600 meters felt so long…Getting a bit demoralised… 😦

After dunu how many minutes later, I finally completed my walk on the beach and was back on the road. Forgotten what was my timing then. They should really have placed another drink station here…

Nearly tripped somewhere between the 8 and 9 km mark cos I was trying to get some cool misty air from the two standing fans…clumsy…hahah. The distance between these two markers felt so far…I found myself not able to pick up speed at 9km…a bit exhausted from the heat and the killer sand trail…I had already passed my best timing of 1hour 12minutes… 😦

When I finally crossed the finishing line, couldn’t help but felt a bit disappointed at my timing of 1hr 17min – a full 5 minutes difference from the trial run. It was even slower than my time at the Bay Run. Even Tisu Boy was surprised. He had finished within an hour – 56 minutes to be exact…not bad given the tough terrain.

We then proceeded to collect our goodie bag. Was surprised that the queue for my tee shirt size was empty! Hahaha….Felt good to collect size XXS and find that it’s still a bit roomy…hahahahah… 😀 Another pleasant surprise when I went to the toilet to wash up and found facial cleansers provided by sponsors for all runners to use. What great way to promote the product by being so thoughtful! Not sure about the guys’ toilet cos Tisu Boy din bother to queue for it. :p

As road was still closed, runners who finished earlier couldn’t leave so there were many people gathering around at the air-conditioned exhibition centre. Certainly one of the most comfortable race venues…hahah…Instead of waiting around, we decided to go back to the car to take the camera for some souvenir shots…


A freshened up Tisu Girl with the finisher’s medal at the starting point


Itchyfingers had done it! By the way, I heard that the starting point for
the previous year had slogans like, It’s going to get dirty. Enjoy.” and
You’ve made it. Clean is your reward.” at the finishing line. But there
was none this year. Aiya…


By now people were starting to leave…


Spacious venue great for big event but a bit too far to travel to…


One last shot before leaving! :p

It was so strange that I felt okay after the trial run but had major muscle aches for the next three days on my thighs and calves when I was running a much slower timing! It was killing me whenever I had to climb and descend the 42 flights of stairs to my shophouse office building. This was the first time I experienced such great pain after a run…showed that it was certainly not as easy as running on flat ground! A great experience indeed!


A proper sports bag as the goodie bag!


My double-extra-small tee…hahah…Dunu why they love coloured armpit
design for the Real Run…hahah


My third running medal – Bring out the Real Runner in You!


Back of the medal. Dun really like the shiny gold colour. A matt finish
would be much nicer

Also see related posts:
> Ten Ten Ten Ten – The Prelude
An Uphill Task
Getting into Shape
Stepping Up @ NLB
Tortoise and Hare

Ten Ten Ten Ten – The Prelude

November 23, 2010 at 1:18 am | Posted in itchy backside | 2 Comments
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On 10 October 2010, 10.10.10, what were you doing?

Itchyfingers were spoilt for choice on that day. There was the 10 km Mizuno Wave Run as well as the Newton 30km Challenge, which was a little too challenging for me though. :p But we din sign up for any run that day cos it happened to coincide with a trial run for the New Balance Real Run. This was the only run that has a trial session for all runners. It was a little different from the rest as we would be required to run on trail, taxiway/road as well as sand, making it more challenging than usual. So we decided to sign up for the 10km one so as not to kill ourselves since we are still quite new to races.. :p

The venue at the Changi Exhibition Centre was so far that we made it just 5minutes before the start of briefing at 7am. Gotta brisk walk and then run to the starting point, which was quite a distance from the carpark…Wow, there were probably between 100-200 people gathering around listening to the briefing….


We were briefed on the terrain, the waterpoints etc…and to just enjoy
the route as it was only a trial run

Didn’t know that even for the trial run there were two flag-off times…


The 15km folks were flagged-off at about 7.15 am after the briefing…

Aiya, if I knew it, then would not need to waste energy running to the starting point…:p The good thing about this place was that there were proper toilets! Yeah! So made use of the waiting time to go clear the bladder..hahah…

Soon it was the 10km runners’ turn! For the 10km run, we would be running 4km trail, 600m sand and 5.4km road versus the 10.4km road for the 15km route.


We ran past these strange-looking structures…not too sure what were these…
It drizzled in the early morning on our way here but luckily the rain stopped
when we reached…So it was a cool weather for running!


From there we passed through a gate and this was the start of the 4km trail –
an open grass land area

I thought this was not too bad…had expected to run on uneven terrain with many up and down slopes. But it was still possible to sprain the ankle as I nearly did cos there were many potholes here and there. Tisu Boy, who was running with me, had his new toy – a GPS watch, to help track our pace. So after every 1km it would give a beep sound…and it was certainly a great sound to hear when you are running! Hahah….But somehow the beeping didn’t tally with the distance marker and without knowing it, we had already past the 2km mark…it was then I suspected that the marker was not so accurate as my watch also showed me running faster than usual…


Finally finished the trail and ran out to the road to the first water point
before continuing the run on the road along Aviation Park Road….

True enough at the 5km distance marker my watch showed about 32minutes, way faster than my usual timing…and then another few minutes later Tisu Boy’s watch beeped, indicating the actual 5km distance covered. That was about 34 minutes. Itchyfingers pushed on…by now I was getting lazy to pull out my camera to take photos…Some of the faster 15km runners were already turning back!

Making a turn at around 7km into Changi Beach, I picked up a second drink before running another stretch of pathed road. Then the marshall lead us to the grass where the real challenge began! We had to start running on the beach from there!

It was the first time we tried running on the beach and it was really tough! It didn’t help that you had to run down the sandy slope; risk spraining your ankles to get to the flatter sand which was easier to run but so close to the water…The sand was so soft and each step required extra effort to move forward…and I started to get stitches after the second drink! Bad move! Could have skipped it since the weather was cool…


Taking a short break posing for picture. I forgot that I should switch my ’10’
sign the other way round….So on 10.10.10, Itchyfingers ran 10km! TEN
TEN TEN TEN!!!!! (Sing to the tune of the Wedding March…) Hahahaha!

It may be a short 600 metres sandy beach but I took more than 8 minutes for this one kilometer! What a slow coach!

From there we got back to the road and then turned back into Aviation Park Road…My problem is always the inconsistant pace…at this point I picked up speed…


My morale was so high after passing the security post knowing we were
getting closer to finishing point! The 9km marker is always a welcome sign!

But the last 1km seemed endless even though I thought I was already running faster! When we finally reached the carpark, it was a bit annihilating to remember that you gotta finish off at the same starting point, which was another 200meters or so away…Wow! By now Tisu Boy had already sped off, together with the many other guys who overtook me…No strength liao!

Finally I struggled the last stretch to reach the finishing point…and I was actually thrilled and surprised to know that despite the tougher route, I finished off at a time of 1hour 12minutes! I was doubtful but the GPS watch showed that we really completed 10km though the last 9km was indeed much longer, maybe to compensate for the shorter distance in between. So far that was the best timing for me on race days though this was just a trial run! The cool weather must had been a great help! My confidence was certainly boosted! Now I was really looking forward to doing better, if not the same timing, for the actual race day! 😀

So how did Itchyfingers fare on the actual race day? Check out on the next post! :p

Also see related posts:
> An Uphill Task
Getting into Shape
Stepping Up @ NLB
Tortoise and Hare

Child’s Play – Toy Story #3

November 12, 2010 at 12:09 am | Posted in itchy mouth | Leave a comment
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Remember Itchyfingers mentioned that Singapore used to have three museums for toys? With the one dedicated to Shanghai toys, MoST, closed, we are now left with two. This is another little museum tucked in a small shophouse near the heritage area of Arab Street. Itchyfingers saw this museum few years back when we were taking photos around but didn’t go in cos we needed to rush to somewhere else. This particular day, we made it a point to find time for a visit.

But we could not find the museum at the same street we saw it last time. Could it have closed down? Just when I was feeling a bit disappointed, something familiar caught our eyes…


The big robot! So they had moved to a new location! Luckily we didn’t leave
but continue to look around the vicinity!


At the entrance was this stall with lotsa old toys for sale. I was so
intrigued by one of those plastic toys that I went closer into the stall for a
look, but was stopped by the shop attendant…hahah…malu :p

Besides this nostalgic looking shop front, the ground floor also sells other bigger items of yesteryears, including retro-looking fridge, record players and of course, more toys. We checked with the attendant that the museum was on the second floor and guess what, it only cost $2! Hmmm, I thought I remembered it was $5 at the old place? But, who’s complaining?! Hahaha!


Rows of robot toys in glass cabinet welcomed visitors before entering the
museum upstairs


History of tin toys…er…the sentence-breaking not very good…hahah…

Pushed open the door and along the wooden stairway were displays of the owner’s old childhood photos as well some handmade toys.


Cute!


Some old baby products


Interesting dual function applicances!


Old toys hung as decor

After walking up the stairs we understood why it only cost $2 per person…cos it was so small! Hahahah… 😀


One of the corners of the museum

It might be a small museum, but choosing where to start looking was tough choice! Hahah…I was looking at the wall display when Tisu Boy asked me to go see something else…


Another toy ‘stall’ set up at a corner. This one looked even more authentic
compared to the one on the ground floor as the toys here were all used and
old items…Aiyo, cannot jump in to take picture.. 😦 Look carefully and
you are bound to find something familiar…


Marbles!


Don’t they still sell something similar in neighbourhood toy shops? 😀


Wow…this train must had been one of those more expensive toys in those
days…comes with a headlight! 😀


A more economical plaything – paper figures with changeable wardrobe!

Just besides this toy ‘stall’, there was this equally attractive ‘stall’…


Icy cold drinks for you? 8) What else do you find in this stall?


An old ice-kacang, or shaved ice, machine! 😀 Some hawkers still use this
old model…I think I saw this in Cambodia too!


Old glass bottled drinks


The same orange drink, different packaging. Look at the old F&N logo
a tongue-sticking lion! Hahah


Drinks in assortments of colours! Looked just like sugar syrup!


Over at the other side was this old mobile movie projector, where you
peeked into one of the small windows to watch moving imageries. I saw
this before in the museum

Another of my favourite spot across the room…!


An old fashioned hair salon! Look at the water sprinkler bottle, the round
mirror, old perfume…Retro!


Tisu Girl desperately in need of a makeover! Does this picture remind you
of the salon installation at the Singapore Biennial we visited two years back?


I think this toddler stool had dual function – as a normal chair with safety
bar to prevent the kid from falling and as ‘toilet’! The potty would be placed
below the stool – the round disc with two holes made it easier for adults to
remove it so the tiny butt can drop the poo poo into the potty…hahah


“Hello, hello…anyone home?”
8)

Next to the salon was a stationery shop display…so many old stationery!


Have you used any one of these before?


Another collection of pencil sharpener!

A row of glass cabinet displayed items that the owner used during school days…


School bags used to look like suitcase…haha


Cute tiny trophies!


School socks…the white bottled liquid was a quick-fix for dirty school
shoes


Do you prefer a 1979 Superman pencil case or one with Bruce Lee?


When there’s school, there will be exams! So the owner used to burn the
midnight oil during exams period and needed the alarm to wake him up
for brekky – two hard boiled eggs!


The exams result!


Not so bad!


Naked baby dolls…


No longer naked with handmade knitted dress


Oh my god! The crazy Cymbal-banging Monkey! He appeared in Toy
Story 3
! Hahahaha! 😀 I couldn’t stop laughing as I had just watched
the movie! 😀

Well, the museum may be small compared to the other two, but the theme was different. Over here, it is more personal as the items were all memories from the owner’s childhood time. They were also more familiar to people here as they were part of our collective memories. Certainly worth a visit to relive some of the lost childhood moments if you were born in the same period as the owner. If you are not, it is still good fun looking at what people play during the time.


Leaving our mark on the guestbook… :p

Also see related posts:
> Have a Mint – Toy Story #2
> Game Over – Toy Story #1

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