November 29, 2011 at 12:31 am | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
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On 20.11.2011, where were you and what did you do?

On 20.11.2011, Itchyfingers had a taste of the sweetest bottled water again after climbing 73 storey, 1,336 steps up to the helipad of Swissotel the Stamford. Like last year, Itchyfingers joined the Lovebirds Challenge for the Swissotel Vertical Marathon.

The goodie bag for the climb. Last year’s bag was better and the contents
were better too…hahah…Was expecting to get another pair of bears for
our category but was a bit disappointed to find none…Would be nice to be
able to collect one series of bears for the climb….

As usual, we reached earlier to kaypoh around…Boy, the weather was hot!

Like last year, drinks were abundant…They gave out these Vitamin Water
this time…First time to try these, we had this orange and the other clear
one. Tasted a bit like diluted sugared water…

Results were already out for those categories that started earlier… 

Remember this uncle? He’s the oldest participant for the previous few years.
What was he looking at?

Ah, uncle was looking at these photos! It was a nice gesture of the hotel
to take and print these complimentary photos for us!

No more chocolates and chicken essence hampers for this year’s prizes! 😀

There seemed to be some delay for the Men’s Open category. Either they were waiting for the stairways to clear before starting or the VIP was late…So this was what happened….

The guys in the first line seemed to be protesting in silence by sitting down
doing their stretching…They looked like Nepalese…

Itchyfingers near the starting line  

We spotted one guy with soiled tee, shoes and compression socks. I think
he might have just done another run earlier in the morning before rushing
down for this climb. As it was a day with a rather unique date, there were
a couple of other races held today…

When the elites were climbing, there were a lot of people crowding around
waiting to see who would emerge as the champion. This year the screen
only showed one angle at the final steps to the helipad. Last year was better
as we could see more action at the stairs

Finally it was the Lovebirds’ turn!

Many had already assembled around the waiting area. This tee the guy
was wearing was for another vertical marathon, which we didn’t participate…

We din manage to get to the front of the queue this time. It was already very hot as it was close to noon. Wonder why the Lovebird category always has to start so late…We had drank so much water and visited the loo three times while waiting!

Then, finally it was our turn! My heart raced as we waited to be flagged off. Due to work and time constraint, we only did two practises before the race. But from last year’s experience, I know I must really control my pace properly…Though I tried to take it slow and steady, my heart soon started pounding harder and harder, same with my breathing. Had to fight not to look at the number of storeys climbed. At a few points we were blocked by some couples..was too exhausted to say ‘excuse me’ and maybe my body wanted the excuse to slow down too. We eventually overtook them and a few others. I started to slow down at about 45 floors…It was a mistake to take a peep at the floor numbers!

Finally, Itchyfingers saw the end of the last flight of stairs! Wanted to speed up but the legs did not do as I commanded…Claps from staffs welcomed us as we approached the finishing line! We were then presented our medals and a bottle of water. I remembered the familiar taste of this water. Someone once commented that rather than spend so much money, so much effort to climb up, we are better off taking a lift up to the highest level and spending that money for a drink at comfort. But I think it is just different when you get things so easily…Will you remember the taste of that drink you bought years later? I know I will remember my bottled water that I exchanged with sweat after climbing 1,336 steps.

But the bonus was the clear and fine sky up at the helipad! The view was even better than last year!

Beautiful weather!

Hotels and offices… 

See those colourful blocks? These are the blocks at Rocher Centre which would
be torn down to give way to the North-South Expressway soon

Can you see the Chinatown and Singapore River area? Where else can
you recognise? 

Time to try out the lomo-effect on iphone! 😀

A picture at the finishing line! 

One more! 

Medals! Same design as last year but no more die-cut…Save cost?

The good thing about starting so late is that we were given more time to spend on the helipad since there was only the Corporate Challenge category behind us. No one even asked us to make a move this time round. Would love to stay even longer if not because it was so hot and we needed to fill our tummies!

More couples finishing…

The defending champion for the Women’s Open, Ms Suzanne Walsham, 
an Australian resident here. Her time was 8.23min! 

The defending champion for Men’s Open, Mr Thomas Dold, couldn’t make
it this year for the climb. So it was Mr Matthias Jahn who won with a time
of 7.16 min

Tokens of appreciation were presented also to the physically challenged
participants. The double amputee, Mr Mr Fernandes Dwayne, was also here
last year. We saw the gentleman in red during the Terry Fox Run early this

We also found our photo on the board! Too bad it was taken while queuing
for our turn and not the one at the helipad. The polaroid was taken by
another couple who wanted to clear the last shot from his camera

It was later when the full results were out that Itchyfingers found that we were among the top 15 in our category! Hahaha…it was slow even though we had more than a minute of improvement from last year…Maybe next year we should really train harder to squeeze into the top 10? Hahaha…Then the bottle of water will taste even sweeter!

Also see related posts:
> Scaling New Height
> Taking Baby Steps
> Stepping Up @ NLB


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