A Cool Morning Run – Safra Bay Run and Army Half Marathon 2012

September 23, 2012 at 1:09 am | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
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I must be outta my mind. At 3:30 am, when most people were still in their slumberland, I was already up getting ready to have brekky…Not that I could sleep much in the first place…

For the past few days, the sky had been hazy and the Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) that measures ambient air quality was rising…all thanks to the annual slash-and-burn activities in the forests of Indonesia. It was announced in the news that if the PSI continued to rise, the organiser would have to cancel the event. Uncertainty made it hard to fall asleep. To make it worse, it started to thunder…I was getting worried. “Please, rain now and stop in time…” Cos if it doesn’t rain now, it would get so humid later, or worse, pour heavily during the race…It was supposed to be my second “proper” Half Marathon, and I really hoped that it would be a cool morning after a light shower. Well, actually it was my third attempt, but the second time I had to walk almost half the distance and took long breaks in between as I was still recovering from a bad flu. So I was hoping for a better running experience this time round and if possible, a better timing.

In the end, the sky didn’t manage to squeeze out any droplet, at least at my side, which is near the city where the starting point would be.

This time, Tisu Boy didn’t join me as he didn’t like pushing and squeezing among the sweaty army guys. But then which race doesn’t have sweaty and pushy guys? The first Half Marathon I did was a night event, so I just wanted to see if I could finish one in the day time within a reasonable time. Good thing the starting time was 5.15 am, and hopefully by the time this slow coach finishes her run, it would still be fairly cool. I wasn’t too sure if I could finish in a reasonable timing or have to resort to walking or limping most of the distances cos I didn’t manage to train adequately…Luckily, it was fairly cool and not very humid, at least that gave me a bit of comfort…

A different half marathon route from what Tisu Boy did 

The first few kilometres went fairly smoothly. I didn’t want to push too hard and slowed down slightly after the first two kilometers to conserve energy for the long way ahead. But towards 8km, suddenly there were lots of people crowding around and not moving. Initially I thought some accident had happened, but I didn’t take long to realise that there was a bottleneck…Alamak…anti-climax…Felt so warm and humid once you stopped and trapped among so many sweaty bodies!

Just as we were still jammed up here, a champion was about to emerge at the finishing point!

It was still so dark, and out of nowhere, these two Kenyan runners ran past
like flash of lightning! Both timing were so amazingly close! It must had been
so exciting to witness the moment the eventual winner crossed the finishing
line! The winner of the Men’s Open won by a split 0:01 sec, finishing ahead
of everyone with a 1:04:23 hr time!!!

And over here, I only managed to clear through the jam and probably just past 8km!!!

Although our first Singaporean runner Soh Rui Yong came in only eight
minutes later after the Kenyans, he displayed true sportsmanship when he
stopped to wait for his closest competitor after the latter tripped at the 8km 
point. Now I remembered it was a dark patch and probably because they were 
among the first to run across, there weren’t any warnings about the kerb. 
No wonder the volunteers were shouting to pre-empt us of the kerb later!

Last year’s champion, Mok Ying Ren, came in third in his first competitive
race after nursing a persistent injury…

But his sister did him proud by coming in second in the Women’s Closed
category. Qi Hui (Ann Date) was the fastest woman this year. Too fast
that Tisu Boy missed her! :p

The guy must be feeling very stressed up running alongside our veteran
runner, Vivian Tang, who came up first in the Women’s Master…Luckily
for him, he eventually caught up by a 0.01 sec

Oooo….Why two watches? 😀

Wow…her GPS watch looked so huge and weighed a tonne… 😀

She was running very hard but instinctively posed for the camera when she
saw the photographers ahead…hahah… 😀

The tape that was all the rage at the recent London Olympics

No, Handsome, unfortunately you were not number one… :p

A better pose – the thumbs up! :p Oh…I wanna try those Fivefingers shoes…

Wow! Power! 😀

Last few metres…Chiong ah! 😀

Cheers! Hmmm…her wrist pouch looked interesting…

Took an energy gel after 8km as I was starting to feel hungry. Was shocked to see my half way timing at 10km exceeding my usual speed. I didn’t know we were stuck for so long…! Or did I slow down by that much? I was a bit anxious as the clock ticked away…cos I knew once the hot sun comes out, it would be a tougher run for me. So I had to make full use of the time between dawn and sunrise to run as far as I could…But alas, there were a few more bottlenecks though it cleared pretty fast.

It is amazing how some runners can dress fancifully while running. But I guess they have to be of a certain fitness level in order to do that, otherwise I think most would suffer a heat stroke… :p Tisu Boy didn’t capture anyone with over the top costumes, but there were still some who tried to stand out among the rest… :p

The Hulk?…

The Afro…

The Clown…she forgot her pink nose or did she drop it?  :p

Oh, Kai Kai took leave or ran out of River Safari to join in the Men’s Open…
Hahahah….Where’s Jia Jia? 

For those who dunu…Kai Kai and Jia Jia are the two Giant Pandas on loan to Singapore for 10 years. They just arrived two weeks ago and supposed to “start work” this coming December..Hahahah

Wow running barefoot for a full 21 km is not easy! Not pain?

Sponge Bob the colour pants…Joking…

Some lady runners can run with full make up on without getting any smudges 
and still run pretty fast! Damn I’m jealous! Hahahah…

Wow neon green compression socks! Where to buy? 😀

These looked more like leggings then compression socks…

Wow his shirt seemed a bit tight huh? Won’t cause abrasion to the nipples meh? 😀
Some guys suffered from nipple bleeding after running a marathon cos the
shirts were too tight… :p

It’s good to bring-your-own-bag…Saves time and you don’t waste that many
paper cups…But this kind of bag just looked so uncomfortable hanging in
front of the chest…looked like ladies’ bras...:p But he still managed to run
fast… :O

Wow striking hair colour!

Oooo….a tattoo of the inaugural Singapore National Game!

They say running gives you a high…probably cos of the hormone, adrenaline, produced….See how happy these runners looked…hahah…

Yeah yeah yeah! I see the finishing line! 😀 Yeah yeah yeah! I like your
Fivefingers shoes! 😀

Yeah yeah yeah! I can eat the banana now! 😀 For the first time, there were
plenty of bananas for runners…I didn’t take any cos I was worried that I 
would get stitches…

Before I knew it, I have already reached the 16km marker where I took a second gel…feeling hungry again! :p  I couldn’t believe that I was running at a rather consistent speed as I passed one after another distance marker…I thought I would need to walk, but I was feeling surprisingly good. I guess the weather had been merciful. Soon it was day break…it must be around 7 am now, but I dared not look at my watch…I had to hasten my pace…When I passed the 18km marker, a peep at my watch told me that I might be able to do better than the previous race! Unfortunately my calves were also starting to give me cramps…Had to stop twice to stretch…Then finally I saw the 20 km marker!!! I tried to speed up but my calves were really cramping up. Called Tisu Boy to tell him to look out for me while doing a last stretch before running slowly towards the finishing line!

I thought I was smart to wear red so that Tisu Boy can spot me more easily
but I forgot the Army guys were given red running tees as well! Luckily I 
called…Incidentally I also wore this Great Eastern Women Run‘s tee for
my first Half Marathon at Sundown

In the end, I finished my race faster than Sundown, but only with four minutes of improvement, thanks to the bottlenecks and the cramps! Otherwise, I could have at least a 10 minutes improvement. Such a waste cos the weather was really good! But I think consider the fact that I didn’t really train for it, I shouldn’t be complaining…haha…The most important thing is to enjoy the process of the run! 😀 It was really hard to imagine that so many crazy people were willing to give up their beauty sleep on a Sunday morning and come out for a run in the city!

Why? Cos running makes you feel good!

Very very good!

Which other sports allow you to say hi to your friends while you are in it? 😀

Which other sports allow you to act suave while you are at it? Actually
he was wiping his sweat…hahah... 😀

And which other sports allow you to cover your face while you are at it? 
Alamak, he was wiping his sweat too! Wahahah….

Seriously, which other sports can you see seniors enjoying it among the young?

Some of these older runners run so much faster than their younger 
counterparts! Bravo!

We have a japanese runner among us…

We also have workers, security guards and executives from the same
construction company, Tiong Seng, joining in! All 861 of them! 😀

It’s one of the best way to have so many guys chasing after you! Wahahah…

It’s also when a girl can be called Daniel….Actually she was running with 
someone else’s bib! Not to be encouraged cos the bib carried important
information and emergency contact…

It’s when being disabled doesn’t mean unable….I finally had a chance to 
meet the Singapore Blade Runner at a race. He was initially running in front
of me but stopped to adjust his prosthetic twice. I was kinda spurred to 
push myself harder after seeing him in action

Wow a regular face at the canal where I run regularly!

Yeah! My third Half Marathon medal!

Kinda sums it up why people do marathon…Distance is nothing if you’re
loving it! Doesn’t matter if you are fast or slow, what’s matter is to do your

Also see related:
> Pink Ladies – Shape Run 2012
Run for a Cause – Jurong Lake Run
Running Wild
> No-Standard Chartered Singapore Walkathon 2011
> A Refreshing Run – Safra Bay Run and Army Half Marathon 2011
> Men Don’t Get It – Great Eastern Women 10k
> Sleep Can Wait. Beat the Sunrise


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