"Do you mind if we just shift the barricade so we can enter? Our race is starting soon. We'll quickly shift it back!". The volunteer kindly obliged. Nonetheless, by the time we managed to deposit our bags and entered the start pen, we were caught in Wave 5. Certainly not favourable, especially in a (relatively) shorter race distance of 10km. Yet I guess all of us adapted.
Having had a hearty dinner together under Brenton's hospitality, it was about 8.50pm before we left for the F1 Pit Building. 4th July was certainly a pretty busy day for me - BCCS tutoring in the morning, collection of the Pocari Sweat 2015 race pack, a sharing session in the afternoon by some Discipleship Training School students and thereafter, a TBL team dinner (or feast). Oh yes, not forgetting the Sundown Marathon 2015 as well. Thankfully, just 10km.
Nonetheless, I had made some initial plans to run well, having realised that I certainly could not run a sub-39 race for the Pocari Sweat Run, my initial goal race. I perhaps could run a sub-39 10km during the race (and hopefully it'll happen), but for a race that is 11.4km (or thereabout, according to the route map in which they explicitly acknowledge the race is about 11km), I know I don't possess that ability, right now.
Jacq, Julia and I were blessed to have been offered a lift from Jacq's dad to the vicinity of Nicoll Highway. From there, we proceeded for a reasonably long warm up jog (with all our bags) to the race precinct. Unfortunately, we had found ourselves running along the perimeter, unable to find a method of entering. Until we asked the volunteers if we could shift the barricades (and carry them back thereafter). A shout out to the kind volunteers for their adaptability!
Having known that we were easily a few waves back and that my desired time (sub-39 or even a sub-40) was impossible due to the thousands in front of us, I offered to pace Julia. It was about 9.48pm as we entered the start pen. It was quite a miracle that Joel had all found his way into Wave 5 with us, without prior communication. With a short prayer for all of us, our wave was then flagged off at about 10.23pm (Garmin data!).
Oh the crowds! The start wasn't too bad, because the route wasn't bidirectional yet. Joel managed to find Julia and I somehow and we ran alongside till about 2km, before he told us to go ahead as he was on the verge of getting a stitch. Julia and I then proceeded ahead. As we hit Gardens By The Bay, I saw some of the faster runners on their way back. Caught sight of Chuan Heng returning, though I later found out he was plagued by diarrhoea. Meanwhile, as Julia and I continually overtook runners (and occasionally getting overtaken by the unfortunate few who probably got stuck in later waves), we then hit a pretty crowded area near the Marina Barrage. That was pretty dangerous as many runners (and admittedly, us as well) were continually weaving along the dividing cones that separated us and returning runners.
|Brilliant illustration using MS Paint :) Orange blobs are cones.|
After the major U-turn just under the infamous heartbreak bridge (Sheares Bridge), I managed to grab a GU gel. Expiry date of 09/16, fantastic! I was pretty surprised why 10km runners were getting this, but I wasn't complaining:) The return was fairly uneventful, apart from the constant safety hazards of runners weaving around the dividing cones and risking collisions. It wasn't long before we attacked Bayfront Bridge and headed home, accelerating in the last few hundred metres to finish very strongly.
This was a comfortable race indeed (with a solid negative split) and I was proud to have adapted well to the unfavourable circumstances, having decided to run with Julia. Even if I did have the most favourable circumstances (a less hectic day, a start towards the front in Wave 1), I know I didn't rest much for this race and I don't run that well at night, hence perhaps the choice to forgo a time goal was a blessing in disguise. Overall, I'm thankful for the experience running alongside friends and coincidentally meeting a sizeable number of friends along the race as well. If some of you are reading, thanks for the few bananas that some of you dumped with me, they were my pre-run snack this morning :)
|Shortly after the race, with Julia and Joel.|
|And the entire team. 2TIMfour7.|
|Our time goal: to catch the last train home.|
Indeed we did, boarding at about 12.08am.
|Strava data for your viewing pleasure.|
|A combined time of sub-4 hours :)|
For a slightly more objective and comprehensive review of the race, check out my JustRunLah! post here.