Time for another adventure! This time round to Coney Island. I had no idea this island existed at all or where it was located. The first thing I saw on the Coney Island Run website was that they had pony rides. My girl immediately came into my mind. She is such a sweet and compassionate girl with an extreme love for animals. One day while we were roasting a duck in the oven, she cried when she saw the poor thing came out after the timer was done. She told us eating animals is cruel and to stop doing that. Well, she still loves her chicken nuggets and we didn’t exactly tell her where that came from. Maybe some other day but not today. With that, we are off!
On the street directory, the carparks available near the start point looks really pathetic. We didn’t want to take our chances, so we drove to Waterpoint Shopping Centre to park the car there and then take a shuttle bus directly to the starting area. I was surprised to see some food kiosk operating so early in the morning at the shopping centre. I thought they usually operate much later. So, we bought some bites from Old Chang Kee and proceeded to the bus waiting area. Not exactly the breakfast of champions I know.
A quick ride away and we were at the carnival area, the announcer on stage was already informing the wave 1 runners of the 10km to proceed to the start point immediately. I said good bye to the wife, kids and helper and went for my solo adventure. The start point was actually a good 700 metres from the carnival area. It was during this time I spotted some folks that looked like Kenyans at the form up area. Wow, more professional runners again? I thought these guys only showed up at events like Standard Chartered Marathorns or the Olympics. Maybe it has got to do with the $1000 cash prize money or part of their training to get used to the atmosphere of fellow competing athletes.
Before long, we did some final last minute warm ups and were ready to go. I was trying not to kill myself and wanted an injury free race. So I started off at a relatively slow pace and runners were overtaking me left and right. What’s interesting is that the organisers placed some interesting signs in the middle of the running path to educate people like me more about this island. Did you know there is a lonely cow on the island? I wonder how it got there. The vegetation on the island was also very different from what we get on the mainland.
They called it the Coney Island trail run but technically it should be called 1/4 Coney Island trail run since the entire length of the island is only 2.5 km. So the next 7.5 km of the run would be on the main island instead. I was ready for some disappointment when we exited the island but was pleasantly surprised to see that the landscaping for the rest of the run was beautiful and breathtaking. We ran across waterways and bridges. Even though the 3/4 of run was through a man made environment, it was 100% beautiful.
During the 8km mark, it was close to 9am and the heat of the sun was mercilessly in its shining on everyone. Luckily for me, I brought my hydration pack along and the 1 litre of water that accompanied me so far was almost depleted. The organisers had some hydration points along the 2.5km, 5km and 7.5km mark but they were only serving isotonic drinks. This coupled with the thick t-shirts issued for the run could be a recipe for heat stroke if you had a body conditioned like mine. It was probably due to this added hydration that I could start picking up my pace and overtaking some of the runners in front of me. In fact, I even saw 2 guys took out their t-shirt because it was simply too warm.
Towards the finishing line, the organisers were trying to get runners off the finishing area so that more runners can come in without bumping into other people. Well, this might have helped if you moved the end point water point further away so everyone wouldn’t be crowding around to get a drink. But again, that wasn’t a “real” water point, just more isotonic drinks. As I made my way back to the main carnival area, I saw that they were given out alcoholic Somersby apple ciders. I mean those stuff tastes great but not a single drop of water? This is the first running event I have been to with the organisers not offering a single drop of water. Nonetheless, I feel great after this run. No pain, no injuries and even finished this in a hour and 10 minutes, the fastest 10km I have done so far.
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