No-Standard Chartered Singapore Walkathon 2011December 6, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Posted in itchy backside | 2 Comments
Tags: Life, Sports, Uniquely Singapore
Last year, Itchyfingers were spectators at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. This year we joined the Half Marathon and were looking forward to running in Sentosa when the route was out. Due to some (stupid!) requirement from the voluntary programme that I joined, I had to get a flu jab before the end for November. Then after a longer run of 12 km, I was down with flu the next day! So dumb! I was flu-free for so long until this flu jab! The doctor was smiling at me when he said the jab would only take effect after two weeks when I went back to him! Anyway, taking a flu jab has never been a guarantee against flu cos it only protects against certain strains of the virus. I just hoped to get well quickly and recover in time for the run. But the virus persisted even after I went to another doctor.
It was the first time we had to ballot for a time slot to collect the race pack, or the Race Entry Pack Collection (REPC). This was supposed to facilitate speedier collection, after which the next two days would be opened to the rest of runners. But when we went during our allocated time slot at the Marina Bay Sand, a rather inconvenient venue, we had to queue more than an hour for the pack. We found out later that people on the next two days had a much better experience. I suspect some people turned up even when they didn’t ballot for a time and somehow got through. Collection only started three days before the actual race day, leaving not much time to try out the new gear to check for any chafing and abrasion problems.
I was not sure if I could join the run especially when the doctor advised strongly against it, in case the virus attacks the heart. I had high fever, was coughing phlegm and suffered from runny nose for 10 days and it was only until last Saturday after finishing my last dose of anti-biotic that I finally decided that I would want to go ahead with the race. But I would just walk…All 21.1 km to the finishing line if that’s what it would take me.
This year, our transport folks at SMRT and SBS Transit were kind enough to provide overnight train services. So we took the train from Chinatown to Vivocity. It was such a sight to see full train of runners… 🙂
So many runners! Wow, a lot of them were in the official tee…By the way,
the ladies’ tee looked much nicer than the guys’, which had too much green and
the white slash that cut across in the middle looked odd. But I think it can be a
Those not using the baggage deposit service proceeded towards Vivocity. I heard
that there was a long queue which caused major delay in their starting times.
Maybe runners can consider bringing minimal valuables in a waist pouch?
Despite taking my usual pre-race brekky of a red bean bun, my tummy started
grunting…I was getting hungry even before the race! Goodness! I didn’t
prepare any energy gel as I thought walking would burn calories slower
and I could pick up one at one of the water points later…
6.30am and the horn sounded! But we were so far behind that I could not
even see the starting line…So Tisu Boy took this picture for me to see…
We waited for the crowd in front to slowly disperse…
I was jogging so slowly that I wasn’t feeling any strain on the heart or lungs…Maybe I could just keep at this slow pace all the way?
But barely 2 kms into the run after some up slopes and turns, we were all stucked in a narrow path!
Life’s a b*tch when you were just steps away from the starting line. We were
at a total standstill for at least 3 – 5 minutes here… It was a cool but
humid morning, so when you suddenly stopped running and stood so
close to so many sticky bodies, the air felt horrible. I started coughing here….
After watching the Official Half Marathon Route Video, I already had the feeling that bottlenecks would be formed as most of the roads were narrow, but I didn’t expect the first one to come so soon!!! At certain stretch, the other lane was opened up but that was for runners running in opposite directions. Few more bottlenecks followed…we were again forced to slow down, walk or stop completely for the path to clear…
Getting to 3 km took so long with the bottlenecks and my painfully slow
pace. It was already past half an hour! How nice if we could get “sng bao”
(ice popsicle) here…The first water point was supposed to be after 4 km…
A bit too far…
Passed Siloso Beach. Too early for bikini babes…
Running towards Rasa Sentosa. Didn’t manage to catch the logo on the
building…I was running too “fast”…hahah
Finally saw the first water point at 4 km…My stomach felt empty and I was hoping to get a 100plus for some sugary perk. But the water point was crowded, and the volunteers were only pouring water into the cups…Didn’t smell any 100plus…Since I had my own bottled water, I just moved on…Still a long way to go….
Discarded cups all over….
There was no 100plus also at the next water point at about 7 km. I switched between walking and jogging as I didn’t wanna be too complacent and push too hard…
Then from far far away, I could see that finally we have reached the land
of “Far Far Away”….Many runners started to stop for photos at the entrance
Was expecting to see Shrek or Puss in Boots but they were not around…
Shouldn’t Puss come out to promote his new movie? 😀
Water point outside here was cramp as the two narrow lanes were spilt for runners in the two directions. Again, no 100 plus… At this point I saw a very old uncle in a bright yellow cap slowly jogging along. That inspired me to continue moving my tired legs slowly to catch up…
Running into this car park…
Was this about 300 metres long or more? It was a bit stuffy and hot with big buses
and cars driving in. Felt like stopping to visit the proper toilet but looking
at the queue, I think it would be a better idea to get out of here quickly…
Setting up muscle rub station here was a bad idea as the smell of the rub was
a bit choking…Didn’t notice my GPS watch lost its satellite signal momentarily
here…It was already 1:40 hour…
I can’t remember now where exactly was the water point where we could pick up energy gel. It was supposed to be at around 11km mark before we hit the highway. There was only one table for gel and I was not sure if there were any more left for the slower runners as it was so crowded that I couldn’t even get close! But I didn’t see anyone squeezed out there with any gel, so I reckoned they must had run out of it. Still no 100plus. Saw a middle age runner lying on the ground while some other runners attended to him. I think he had some muscle cramp.
One of the up slopes along the highway towards Marina Bay Sands. There
were so many walkers that it felt more like a walkathon…Actually it was
a bit depressing especially when there was lack of distance markers and water.
Then we had to make way for an ambulance to zoom past…
It was a long stretch along the highway with many up slopes. Many people were walking but they were walking all over the place. I was also walking, but was mindful to keep to the side, if not always on my left, cos sometimes even if you were walking or jogging slowly on the left, there would be people behind pushing and bashing through. Only got to drink 100plus at the next water point, more than half way into the run. But it was complete chaos with so many runners crowding around and few volunteers to pour the drinks. I took one cup and came back to refill cos I needed the sugar.
It was another stretch of walking and jogging until I felt strange in my tummy. Maybe it was empty too soon and for too long and the sudden feeding of isotonic drinks made it angry…Felt a bit bloated and started burping. The cough and runny nose also acted up. I felt terrible and it was here that I received a sms from Tisu Boy. Was surprised that he had just finished not too long ago…Must have been delayed by the bottlenecks…I had just crossed the 18km distance marker…Another ambulance sped pass us…At this point I was so worried that I would start to throw up and get a free ride in the ambulance…
I think this was the last water point before the finishing line. Chaotic…
More water was being poured on the table and on the road than into the cups.
We were running on wet road littered with paper cups along water points.
Runners should really try to throw the cups into designated areas! I think we
should also try to bring our own water to minimise the use of paper cups…
I was running out of water and was still feeling terrible. It was getting hot and after drinking two cups of water and resting at the side for a while, I continued walking…The last 3km was really a struggle!
It was a welcoming sight to see these familiar buildings along the highway…
We were at the last kilometre…but couldn’t see the last and most important
distance marker to perk us up…People were still walking…I called Tisu
Boy to tell him I was coming back…and started jogging again. Didn’t know
there were already official photographers ambushing there and later I saw
photos of me walking while talking on the phone! Hahahaha!!!!! Caught
in the act!
In any case, the path was narrow and the walkers were still strolling towards
the finishing line, blocking others…
I have finally finished the run, my second Half Marathon! Never mind about the lousy timing, cos I was so glad I didn’t have to trouble the medics!
We saw a similar fiery red wig at the department store and joked that maybe
I should wear one for the run to prepare myself to show up on the next day’s
paper as the last walker of the day! Hahah…Didn’t know I was beaten to
it by this pacer! 😀
Well, I didn’t managed to be the last walker of the day despite walking for most of the distances. But it was just as bad, as I was among the last 10% to finish! Hahahaha!!! Took slightly over 4 hours to complete 21.1km! The last 3 km took more than 45 minutes! A relatively fast runner would have finished a full marathon in this time! Hahaha…But now looking back, I think it was stubborn of me to insist on carrying on with the race when I was still sick. I think I was lucky that my flu was at the recovering stage and I managed to calm my cramping stomach with water and a long rest, and not to push myself too hard just to have a better timing. Was shocked to read later online that a fellow half marathoner had collapsed after crossing the finishing line, and died an hour later in the hospital.
Here’s a useful guide on how to survive the Half Marathon! :p
Also see related posts:
> Keeping it Real for Real Runners
> 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
> First Marathon