Why not run 2 races back to back. With minutes in between.
This run offered the perfect opportunity. Run the 5km at 6.00pm, then run the 10km at 6.30pm. Pity I returned a bit late from the 5k (around 6:23 to be exact), this meant I couldn't start in the first wave of the 10k. That was a reminder of some of my earlier races in my running journey - bottlenecks and weaving through crowds.
Thankfully, this race was dedicated as a platform for training (and ideally, a sizeable pack to run with). If it were a race proper, the 2nd wave start that demanded weaving through crowds would have been infuriating.
I began my first outing with a rejection. I had attempted to get into the 5km flag-off, though was turned down by the marshals. The alternative? I just needed to head over to the course itself (after all, the course is public space) and join the pack after about 50m.
The 5km runners were flagged off just after 6.00pm. I began my journey with the group, though I didn't manage to find anyone whose pace suited mine. I was running just beneath 5min/km (admittedly I did speed up as the race progressed), but as always, even at that pace, I was gradually catching up with people who were gradually fading after typical poorly-paced starts.
|Flailing legs it seems. Credit to Running Shots.|
The route was rather uneventful. I really don't feel like there's much to write about. I saw Peter along the way. I grabbed a cup of Pocari (gosh plastic cups are unpinchable = splashes all over me). I saw the leaders return. A Kenyan (my guess) first, followed by a couple of Gurkhas (Bijay eventually placed 2nd). I began my turn slightly earlier, just to avoid the timing mat. And then I returned to the race venue, about 23mins after starting my run.
That was a mistake.
I immediately entered the start pen, only to realise a chain had already been laid to separate the first wave from subsequent waves. In the few instances that I've seen myself get stuck in the latter waves, it is often a painful sight as I know that this means weaving through some portions of the race.
The first wave was flagged off at 6.30pm or so, with my wave (the 2nd) flagged off just about 6 mins after the clock started. Within the first 200m, I broke free from the rest of the wave and had some breathing space while running alongside a few other runners. Then terror arrived 500m into the run, where I began seeing remnants of earlier waves (or even the 5k runners?) littered all over the route.
It was a mess of weaving through the mass. Though certainly not the worst I had experienced (the worst was my first ever race I had registered for, Sundown 2012), it was unpleasant now that I was keen on running decently quick (definitely sub-45) to get a workout. I don't have the energy (nor was it particularly memorable, compared to the 5k) to describe the run, but I know that the route started to clear a little after the 5-6km mark. I did however, expand considerable amounts of energy in previous surges to find space, hence had to be conservative to prevent exceeding my desired effort for this run.
|Towards the Finish. Credit to Yi Heng.|
Looking at the splits from Garmin, I'm glad that I managed a consistent pace of around 4:05-4:15 per km. Certainly some way to improve, though not bad considering about a month since I got back to painless training, most of which had been long-duration easy aerobic running, with minimal focused workouts. The workouts will happen soon as I attempt to qualify and run SUniG.
|Strava data available here :)|
This race did mark a milestone (literally!) in my running journey. It was during this race that I ran my 62.137 mile of the week (counting from Monday to Sunday). That converts to 100km. Yes indeed my first ever 100km week! I am deeply thankful that God has allowed me to achieve this milestone. That leaves me more satisfied than my race result, though I suppose the race performance wasn't too bad either. Note to self: proper workouts (with a pack) during races need to be done either as a race participant entering the start pen early, or 'crashing' the race en route.
|Definitely a pretty strong field, with many runners running at sub-40 pace.|
It seems like evenings are preferred by many.