Keeping it Real for Real Runners

October 23, 2011 at 1:09 am | Posted in itchy backside | 2 Comments
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Itchyfingers woke up at 4.20 am last Sunday for our run at 7 am. It sounded stupid right? We were not kiasu lah. The race booklet’s advice was to reach the Changi Exhibition Centre before 5.30 am to avoid the peak hour between 5.30 to 6 am. The road would also be closed from 6 am. We were also worried that we would end up parking along the road like we did at Sundown Marathon and had to walk a long way to the starting point. That was why we had to wake up that early…Itchyfingers were going for our second New Balance Real Run. I had wanted to join the 15 km run this year but unfortunately, it was replaced by a new 21 km category. So Itchyfingers decided to run 10 km again.

Luckily we were able to park just next to the Exhibition Centre and rested for a while in the car before proceeding to the loo. Though the race venue is the furthest we had to travel among the races we joined, I do appreciate the fact that the organiser rented the whole air-conditioned exhibition centre and hence we were privileged to have the use of proper toilets.

As most of the 21 km runners were already forming up at the starting point,
both queues for the male and female toilets were almost the same. But
surprisingly the female queue moved much faster than expected. I even had
to wait close to 15 minutes for Tisu Boy. It turned out that there were only
three cubicles in the male toilets, so for those who needed to do their big
business, they had to wait longer instead of just heading to the urinals…
and apparently a lot of the guys needed to clear their bowels before running…

Did a short warm up before joining the rest of the 10 km runners. This time I decided to bring along my small camera….

Got to catch a bit of the sunrise!

At 7 am, we were flagged off! But Itchyfingers were somewhere at the back
of the line. We only crossed the starting line two and a half minutes later…

From the starting point, we ran past these metal spectators’ stand for the
Air Show…

..before exiting the gate and started running into the trail. Somehow the
trail seemed to have less potholes this year. The small slope was also
absent. But there were slightly more stones

Running towards the first one kilometre….Can you see the moon and the
aeroplane here? 😀 

It was about another one kilometre before we exited another gate and moved on to the road…

So many planes passed by us…Ironically I missed the one which was
closest to me along the way 😦

The weather got super hot very soon. I missed the first water point and only managed to drink half a cup of isotonic drink at the next station before running towards Aviation Park Road. This year the route towards the beach was changed slightly, which was better as it was wider. But the sign pointing to the beach seemed to come too early…I remembered it was past 6 km before we reached the sand. So for a moment I was wondering if I was running much faster than last year! This year, there was no trial run a week before the race so we didn’t have the chance to practise running on the stretch of sand…But having gone through the route twice last year, at least I was mentally more prepared to face the challenge…

Finally hit the beach! This year the running area for the beach seemed to 
be flatter and wider…The slope down towards the sea was gentler also…

But that didn’t mean running on the sand was easy! Despite moving closer
to the shoreline, I still found my right foot running on an awkward slanting
position some of the time due to the evenness of the sand. The stretch also
seemed to be longer… As usual there were many people who had to stop and
walk for this stretch

I was glad to be able to still run at a slower but consistent pace. Can you
see the lady in cheong sam? Saw her on the way near the beach sign and
had wanted to catch up so I could take a photo but alas…! Despite being
in a cheong sam, she was still faster and I also couldn’t make my way through
the people in front. There was a 
group of guys who were so amused that they
hastened their pace to catch up
 with her, probably to snap a photo too! 😀
Could see the 7 km sign here! End of the misery soon!

Then I finally caught up with this lady in cheong sam! The weather was
getting so unbearably hot! 

Unfortunately my second cup of isotonic drink was only less than one-third full. Almost died of thirst…The last part of road running back towards the exhibition centre was totally unsheltered. The hot sun burned mercilessly on the skin. My mouth was so dry…Finally slowed down a bit to have a full cup of water at the last water point…Slightly rejuvenated, I continued pounding the long straight road, until I finally saw the 9 km sign. It was always nice to see the last distance marker!

Picked up pace. Could see the exhibition centre and then this sign. From here
it was another last 500 metres or so…

Tried to run faster but my body wasn’t too cooperative…as usual, the hot weather wasn’t too much to my advantage…Last 100 metres!

Tisu Boy, who finished so much earlier, took this with his phone camera.
He had aimed at me before pushing the button but then this 9595 guy ran
into the picture suddenly. He didn’t manage to capture any subsequent
picture of me crossing the line as the phone camera was too slow….Er, 
so does it mean I was too FAST? Hahahahahah….. 

Well, it turned out I was indeed faster than my last year’s timing – three minutes faster at 1:14 hr, though it was not my personal best timing for 10k runs. Felt a bit frustrated at not being able to break through my own timing – it has always been hovering around 1:10 to 1:15 hr, with an occasional faster time. But I guess with a tougher terrain like this, I should be happy as long as I did my best.

It was great to be back in the air-conditioned exhibition centre! So much
cooler compared to the killer heat outside! Collected the goody bag, washed
up and lazed around enjoying the cool air here before heading back outside
to take photos….

Saw Ms Cheong Sam again! Was a bit surprised when told that she
finished before me…She must had caught up when I slowed down for water
and succumbed to the heat at the last stretch…

Here we were complaining about the sun, and then there was this crazy
ang moh apparently enjoying bathing under the fireball just next to the
finishing line!

The 21 km runners were still coming in. Luckily we didn’t sign up for the
longer distance! So hot!

Tisu Girl posing at the finishing line in the Real Run green armpit tee…hahah

The goody bag with just few discount vouchers and two product samples.
The bag and tee design are similar to last year. Now I have so many of
these bags that I don’t know what to do with them…

Don’t really like this medal cos it is in shiny gold and very thin, so looks
a bit cheap skate. The design looks too busy, probably the shiny material
makes it too complicated also

But I like that they added the distance of the different stretch of the route at
the back. So, we ran lesser of the trail this year (2 km vs last year’s 4 km) and
what??? We ran 1.5km of the sandy beach? Last year was only 600 metres!
Strange cos I thought it was the same! The map also showed a similar path
along the beach…

The routes

Also see related posts:
> A Refreshing Run – Safra Bay Run and Army Half Marathon 2011
Keeping in Shape
Men Don’t Get It – Great Eastern Women 10K
Running Alone
Sleep Can Wait. Beat the Sunrise
The Fox Legacy Runs On
The Ultimate X-Terrain Challenge – New Balance Real Run 2010



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  1. wah.. cheong sam lady sure is weird…

    • Thanks for dropping by! 🙂 haha…saw these funny pp all the time, just that sometimes no camera with me, and sometimes these people are fast runners despite dressed up so uncomfortably! 😀

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