And we have reached the end of the Performance Series. One last 10km race to wrap up the year. However, when you live nearly at the furthest point of south-east Singapore and you have to get diagonally to the furthest north-west point of Singapore by 6am it would be natural to feel an element of anxiety. And anxiety is what I suffered. Worrying about not getting up on time, worrying about how to get there, worrying if a taxi driver will want to make such a lengthy drive, worrying that I couldn’t get to sleep.
So to mitigate some of those worries, we booked a maxi-cab for the six of us the night before. Now that was a hefty booking price but at 5:15am when it showed up it was worth one less worry. What we didn’t anticipate was the heavy rain pour. Will the rain persist, will the race go ahead, I couldn’t help but think of the organisers who’ve worked tirelessly to bring the series to the racing scene. Certainly not the way they would want to finish their event. Unsure of what’ll happen we figured just get going and hopefully it’ll be your typical Singaporean wet weather; downpour hard for an hour and that’s it, which is precisely what happened. By the time we arrived at the venue it was dry and the taxi fare mind boggling.
Together with John and Remek (my buddies who I’ve completed the entire series with) we made our way into the starting pen. The race was postponed from 6:30 to 7:00am but flag-off took another 10minutes. I was getting a little antsy by this stage but that’s just me suffering from lack of patience.
The first 1500m was quite congested because the road was only half closed. Not that I minded too much. It takes me a couple of kilometers for my legs to warm up sufficiently so I was happy to just shuffle along behind everyone else shuffling along, particularly since it was an uphill effort.
I often hear that Singapore is a flat country. Well perhaps so when compared to countries like Hong Kong, Australia or Canada but as a runner even a subtle undulation is felt as the muscles contract differently to when running on a flat road. In this race there was more than just subtle undulations. Lengthy sections of road on an uphill that felt like it would never end and the one thing that kept me going was the thought that “what goes up, must go down”. Grateful for those downhills, I let gravity move me as fast as my legs could carry me.
The course itself was uneventful with lots of up and down hills, left and right turns but for fun check out my Strava running route, it looks like a running stick-girl (took some liberty to add an eye and lips for fun).
As I reached the 8th kilometer on another uphill and walking at this point, I checked my watch and realised that at 58min and only two kilometers to go, I could attain a new personal best if I finish in 1hr10mins. The best to that point was my first 10km in 2014 at the Great Eastern Women’s run when I completed it in 1hr12mins. It was just the motivation I needed to get me going again. I picked up the pace and pushed through and grateful with the last kilometer on a downhill I was running it at sub-6 pace that more than made up for the ups and downs during the race, finishing the 10km in 1hr9min.
With the Performance Series complete and Christmas a week away, I’ll take some time to reflect on the last 12 months of racing, be grateful for John and Remek for joining me on this ride, have a bit of rest and indulge in some wine to celebrate.