Rise and Shine – Swissotel Vertical Marathon 2013

November 28, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment

For a glimpse of sunrise, how far, or how high (in this case) would you go?

Itchyfingers had trekked and climbed up hills to see the sunrise. But this was the first time I had to climb concrete staircase to catch the magnificent sight.

But Itchyfingers were not alone. We were joined by another 49 pairs of crazy people in our quest to race up one of Southeast Asia’s tallest hotel to its helipad to view the sunrise against breathtaking panoramic view of Singapore!

This will be Itchyfingers’ fourth time up the 226 metres hotel…wow, 
that’s even taller than our Bukit Timah Hill… :p

The Swissotel Stamford is in such a convenient, centralised location
so no problem at all to reach the starting point in time.
 Here, we were
all standing in line, waiting to scale the stairs…

Last year, my fingers were too slow and we missed the registration for the Buddies and Besties Category, which was to replace the original Lovebirds Category, where a team of two need to finish the race together. In the end, Itchyfingers  joined the individual category separately, and gotta say, I didn’t enjoy it as much. Last year, I suggested a night race to the organiser on their Facebook page. Though the suggestion was not taken maybe due to logistic problem, the organiser had added a new category – the Sunrise Team Challenge. Slots were snapped up within one hour or so, and I think we managed to get the last slot! Wahahahah….!

Drawstring bag instead of the usual shoe bag for this year. The
goodies seemed to be more suitable for ladies…so many washing
powder…wahahah…Even Tisu Boy got a Shape magazine and not
the Men’s Health magazine…No teddy bear…Well, at least they changed
the logo…

Patiently, we waited for our turn while eyes kept checking at the sky. Recently it rained heavily in the early mornings, and I was so glad that the weather was very good today! Otherwise, we would have to stop at level 69 at the restaurant instead of level 73 at the helipad!

We were among the last third of the 50 pairs. Even though Itchyfingers had done this three times already, I still felt nervous. We had been practising at our neighbouring HDB block of 40 storeys for only 3 times, and strolled up Bukit Timah Hill once before race day. But it is always not enough cos we would have to climb non-stop up 73 levels now, unlike the HDB flat where we got a rest while taking the lift down to level 1 for a second round of climbing.

As usual, slow and steady is the way to go. This year, I made sure I use the hand rails to help pull myself up. I think it really helped a lot, except when I had to use my weaker left hand. The landing between the flights of stairs for the initial levels also helped to relieve the lactic acid build-up on the legs…Not sure how many flights of stairs had that big landing space cos we had purposely worn caps so that we won’t be tempted to steal a peek at the number of floors we had climbed…haha…Nah…the caps were there to help stop excessive sweat dripping into our eyes…

I think I was doing consistently okay until we reached the higher levels where there were no more big landing area between stairs. That might well be about 60plus floors? Fourth time up and it was still a challenge to scale up 73 levels, especially when Itchyfingers wanted to beat our own timing. Last year, Tisu Boy managed a 14-minutes plus when he was climbing alone. So I had secretly aimed to match that time. But the darn stairs were too much a demon to beat! My heart was racing fast; my breathing was hard but my legs were feeling weak! I know we were at the last 10 odd levels, but the legs weighed a tonne and it was so difficult to lift them up fast enough! Tisu Boy gave words of encouragement, and so did the many volunteers. Swissotel’s volunteers had always been one of the most cheerful lots of all! Finally, one volunteer shouted “last five floors!”

After what seemed like an eternity I finally reached the last floor! Got to dig deep and use the last bit of energy to run up the last long steps towards the finishing line and the helipad! Itchyfingers did it again!!!!

No lah, we did not manage to beat our timing. Finished the climb about
15 minutes plus, similar to our previous races…How did the record
holder managed to rush up in six minutes?!?! Superman!! This year the

organiser seemed to be a bit slower in releasing the official result, hence
we could not verify our timing nor could we even know if anyone broke
the record for the elite category…

And what a view we had here!


It was worth every effort to climb up here!


I think everyone gave their best as the incentive to catch the sunrise
was too attractive! I think all the Sunrise Team manage to catch the
beautiful sight…

Warm glow on the HDB flats….

Warm smiles on the volunteers’ faces…

So many medals!

We stayed for 10 minutes or so before leaving the helipad to make room for people from the other category to enjoy the view. We returned to the starting line to cheer for those in the other categories…

The Above 50s Men category. Thumbs up for the oldest participant,
the uncle at the right is over 60 years old! I don’t know if I can still
walk at that age, let alone climb 73 storeys!

And off they go at the sound of the horn! Some of these men didn’t 
look their age at all! Must be the benefit of regular exercise!

Ladies from the Above 50 Women category! All the way!

We also caught the young ladies from the Under 20 category! Oh my
goodness…Itchyfingers was still a couch potato when I was their age!

Would love to stay to see the elites in action but Itchyfingers had to rush off to freshen ourselves before making our way down to our little booth at the Christmas market. Will itchyfingers be back for a fifth time? Not sure…Really hope they do a night race next year so everyone will get to see the beautiful light up!

See related posts:
> 20.11.2011
> Scaling New Height
> Taking Baby Steps
Stepping Up @ NLB


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