Second edition this, and a slight amendment to last year’s course due to roadworks
Distance : 4 km (2.6km trail, 1.4km road) loop (vs 5 km loop 2016)
Format : Complete as many loops as you wish on foot within 7am till 7pm*


I did well last year, unexpectedly finishing 5th, completing 16 Loops (80K)
Also, this was just under 3 weeks since Monster Ultra 200K Singapore, coupled with other issues, i never came close after 5 loops to be in the game

Flashback : Craze 2016 100 Miles, i’d DNF due to injury after 142 KM due to left ankle ligament strains, which was followed by a series of other injuries in the 2 months thereafter; right ankle ligament strain, left posterior calcaneal spur, and then what i suspect a right inferior calcaneal spur cos i started having mildly sharp pains (the kind associated with plantar fasciitis) when i awoke in the mornings (there’s been since a calcium deposit of the posterior calcaneal spur kind on the back of my right heel too though it hasn’t resulted in the kind of inflammation pains that i’ve had 3x to date with the left one)
The heel spurs do affect me during my runs. I’m constantly reminded of these injuries by the pain emanating from the heel pads


Also, i should highlight 3 words every runner should be aware of :
Dehydration
Hyponatremia
Hypohidrosis

Date : 20th May 2017, Saturday
Start Time : 7:00 AM
Cut Off Time : 7:00 PM
Venue : MacRitchie Reservoir

Pre-Race :
Woke up to my alarm at 5 am, and thought i’d made a mistake in the setup. Was about to go back to sleep when i suddenly realized – Garang Warrior Ultra !
Breakfast : 3” of baguette with butter, and a cup of coffee
Shared a cab with Choon Han & wife Jennifer (prearranged late last night)
Arrived onsite at 6:30 am, collected bib, final preparations, photos with friends

touch down … with EuGene

Loop x (cumulative distance) : Lap h:mm:ss (Trail : mm:ss; Road : mm:ss); Nett : hh:mm:ss; Time of Day : h:mm am/pm

Loop 1 (4K) : Lap : 25:25 (Trail : 16:59; Road : 08:26); Nett : 00:25:25; 7:25 am
Started off and running for some time with EuGene, and Jeremy Lee in the trails segment
Jeremy had decided to drop back by the time we got onto Lornie Rd
Also running In the company of Ee Meng, Muk Tuck Sang, Mervyn Chew
Skipped the water station at Lornie, and later at the Start/Finish area as well
Weather : cloudy but humid

Lornie Road @ 7:16 AM
Lornie Road @ 1st Loop … Photo Credits : Umar

Loop 2 (8K) : Lap : 24:11 (Trail : 15:58; Road : 08:12); Nett : 00:49:36; 7:49 am
Headed out with EuGene, but i decided to drop off his pace midway in through the 2.6km trails section
Weather / climate – no change
Stopped for first drink of water along Lornie Rd, popped my first salt tablet
later isotonic at main area
This loop was to be my fastest of the day : 24 mins 11 secs

MR @ 7:29 AM … start of loop 2
in the trails, 2nd loop … Photo Credits : Umar

Loop 3 (12K) : Lap : 25:42 (Trail : 17:54; Road : 07:47); Nett : 01:15:18; 8:15 am
Running solo, leapfrogging with Mervyn (over the next few loops too)
Perspiring more due to the high humidity
Faster runners EuGene, & Taz (Tay Yong Wei) already out on their next loop. As we passed each other at the service road close to the zigzag bridge, EuGene informed me that he would take a break at the end of his 5th loop
3 loops done, i had my first cup of Coke

This year’s Finisher Tee & Medal (needs separate purchase, add-on item) Image borrowed from Jeremy Lee’s Facebook

Loop 4 (16K) : Lap : 26:40 (Trail : 18:28; Road : 08:11); Nett : 01:41:58; 8:41 am
Solo. still running
Lornie Road – drink plus my 2nd salt tablet
End of 4th loop, got my UD soft flask out from my drop bag

4th loop, seen here with Kelvin Ng … Photo Credits : Umar

Loop 5 (20K) : Lap : 30:50 (Trail : 22:08; Road : 08:42); Nett : 02:12:48; 9:12 am
The high humidity was starting to take a toll on me. Losing focus and making me sleepy (although i had almost 5 hours sleep last night). This was to go on until i finally relented and decided to take a power nap in the later stages of the race
Skipped the Lornie Rd water stop since i was now carrying my water bottle in the back of my running Naked band
Probably the first time in this race my left heel starting to hurt (kinda used to it)
It would be an on/off issue throughout the day
End of #5, 2 mins rest and before i headed out again

Start of #5, 8:49 AM

Loop 6 (24K) : Lap : 34:23 (Trail : 22:57; Road : 11:24); Nett : 02:47:11; 9:47 am
Power walking and running now, but definitely more walking than all the loops before
Refilled my bottle, and helping myself to the Coke and sliced watermelons

start of #6, Time : 9:15 am
CheckPoint Spot, race timings

Loop 7 (28K) : Lap : 49:15 (Trail : 37:33; Road : 11:41); Nett : 03:36:26; 10:36 am
Headed out with Jeremy Lee
We walked more than we ran, sharing our Monster Ultra experience
Lornie – 3rd salt tablet (and eventually to be my final of the day)
Completed this loop and realized that i’d missed out on the Longans the few loops before

End of Loop 7 with Jeremy Lee … Photo Credits : Umar

Loop 8 (32K) : Lap : 44:54 (Trail : 32:48; Road : 12:07); Nett : 04:21:20; 11:21 am
Clouds starting to disperse. Temperature on the rise
We headed out together again. Jeremy was taking it easy, this being his first Garang having forced to miss last year’s already registered race due to work commitments (travels). He was set on doing the minimal 13 loops (52K) required for “Very Garang” classification of this event
Furthermore, this was his first long run since injuring his tendon midway thru Monster 200K but still gritting and fighting the pain (without painkillers) to finish joint 1st in that event just 3 weeks ago (i’m also against the consumption of painkillers to enable one to continue with the race)
I tried talking him into doing more, staying on until close to 7pm
Continued our run-walk routine
My right heel pad started to hurt (again, nothing new)
Longans, Coke, Watermelons at the end of the loop, followed by a quick pee break

Lornie Road, midway thru Loop #8 … Photo Credits : Albert Ow

Loop 9 (36K) : Lap : 43:49 (Trail : 32:30; Road : 11:18); Nett : 05:05:09; 12:05 pm
3rd consecutive loop with Jeremy. We run > walk this loop, but by the end of this loop i needed a longer recovery time than Jeremy
Jeremy hastened me to set off from the rest area, instead i urged him to go on out with Daniel Ong first at the end of this loop (my 9th, his 8th)
Said i would catch up after a couple of mins rest

chilling after #9 with Jeremy and PB Supporter Lily. Photo Credits : Umar

Loop 10 (40K) : Lap : 37:16 (Trail : 27:42; Road : 09:33); Nett : 05:42:25; 12:42 pm
Weather’s really hot now !
Headed out solo, and was running in an attempt to catch up to Daniel & Jeremy. I never saw Jeremy until along Lornie Rd. He was at the far end, running
I noticed that my hands had swelled. I’ve had this before so wasn’t alarmed.
Just a sign that perhaps i’ve had too much to drink
I passed Jeremy as he was going out on his next round
My fastest loop since #6
Also noticed that i was not sweating even after racing hard back to the end
Rested for more than 10 mins before i finally headed out again

start of #11, 12:57 PM ! Really hot now !!!

Loop 11 (44K) : Lap : 45:08 (Trail : 33:49; Road : 11:18); Nett : 06:27:33; 1:27 pm
We had been at the mercy of the sun for some time, and it was only getting hotter
I found myself losing my drive to run yet again, and noted that the swelling on both hands had not subsided
Later midway thru, i realized i wasn’t perspiring anymore, which had me kinda perplexed and more importantly, worried

with Fuse “The Shark” Lee (using this race as training for his 4 Deserts Race) Time : 2:03 pm

Loop 12 (48K) : Lap : 38:32 (Trail : 25:07; Road : 13:24); Nett : 07:06:05; 2:06 pm
Solo. run-walk. Stopped drinking. Starting to worry somewhat. Hyponatremia ?
At the end of this 12th loop, a cup of Longans (my last of the day), and a cup of Coke
Jian Hong had returned back to MR all changed (he was here this morning just before flag off. I’d joked then what was he doing here, cos that would mean no chance of me having my favourite desserts from Chong Pang Market). He’d brought the comfort food i’d so craved for
Helped myself to a bowl of Tao Huay (Bean Curd)
Daniel Ong was having ½ a bowl of Grass Jelly (Chin Chow). He offered me the other half which I saved for later
Pee break (in retrospect then i remembered it was dark coloured)
And headed out on my 13th loop afterwards

Joseph Wong, along Lornie Road during my 13th Loop … 2:43 pm

Loop 13 (52K) : Lap : 47:15 (Trail : 35:26; Road : 11:48); Nett : 07:53:20; 2:53 pm
Walking and sharing my trepidation about my inability to perspire since a few loops back with Joesph Wong
Midway thru Lornie, i decided to run to see if i could retrigger my perspiration
Hardly broke a sweat, which was worrying
decided to take a 20-min power nap. Unable to catch any sustained period of sleep, constantly awaken by my surroundings and myself. But all’s not wasted as I awoke feeling slightly better
Consumed the ½ bowl grass jelly
meantime, EuGene & Uncle Neo had just completed another loop

on my way out on #14 … Wai Thing with pacer Mary (with visor) Time : 3:20 pm

Loop 14 (56K) : Lap : 1:10:04 (Trail : 52:49; Road : 17:15); Nett : 09:03:24; 4:03 pm
EuGene & Uncle Neo asked me to join them this loop. They headed out first … I went after and eventually found them
Messed up my # of loops completed, my watch distance was off … thought i was on Loop 16
EuGene was 13 going on 14th, and Uncle Neo 10 going on 11th
Shortly after EuGene rediscovered his second wind and left the two of us; walking (midway thru I thought perhaps this was #15)
Spoke about our Monster 2017, and thanking him again for sharing his support van
Lornie – got ice to cool myself
Completed the loop, and was shocked that i got it all wrong ! i’d only completed 14 ! Thought i’m done for the day (60K)
I was seriously contemplating stopping for the day given the worrying condition I was in, that said I was starting to perspire a little now

Loop 15 (60K) : Lap : 56:25 (Trail : 39:48; Road : 16:36); Nett : 09:59:349; 4:59 pm
Again EuGene and Uncle Neo urged me to join them to walk this final loop (they both decided this was going to be their last)
Seeing volunteer CS Lim & Steven MooMoo tagging along, i relented and headed out for my own final lap
Jeremy was just heading back to complete his 14th loop (wasn’t aware he was still out running about beyond his 12 loops target). He was completing #14. I urged him to join us (once he’s ready). We were all do our last loop together
He joined not long after
EuGene, Jeremy & I broke into a slow run
On the final stretch, Uncle Neo, CS, Steven had caught up and was running alongside us
The trio of EuGene, Jeremy & I crossed The Finish Line as one, just as we did back at SCMS 2016
15 Loops, 60 KM … with 2 hours to spare
It’s a wrap !

Done & Dusted ! Each of us completing 15 Loops, 60KM

Post-Race
Rested, showered, and enjoyed the drama of the fight for podium finishing unfold between not just the Men, but the Ladies too

Prize presentations, final group shot … dinner with Steven’s Runningkakis at Hougang, before catching a cab home (swelling on hands not fully subsided by the time i went to bed)
Was back to normal by the next morning ….
Over next few days trying to determine what was the cause of my lack of perspiration when i felt that i had been overdrinking
Was a few days later when thinking back and remembering the colour of my pee that i came to realize so fearful i was of overdrinking that could lead to hyponatremia, that i’d completely overlooked the possibility of the complete opposite, that i was indeed dehydrated !
And that explains why i could not sweat despite running hard and not breaking sweat !

Results & Stats :

E-Cert

Consumed :
Water, Coke, canned Longans, Tao Huay, Grass Jelly, Watermelons

Podium Finishers :
Men
1st – Yong Yuen Cheng – 88K (22 Loops)
2nd – Tay Yong Wei – 84K (21 Loops)
3rd – Quek EeMeng – 80K (20 Loops)
4th – Amit Padhye – 80K (20 Loops)
5th – Sam Gibbins – 80K (20 Loops)

Women
1st – Thricey Leow – 84K (21 Loops)
2nd – Neo Lay Peng – 76K (19 Loops)
3rd – Law Wai Thing – 72K (18 Loops)
4th – Raudhah Abdul Rahim – 72K (18 Loops)
5th – Amy Khor – 68K (17 Loops)

Race Summary :
Good event, seems easier on paper to hit your number of loops … until you are actually there doing it. Loops are great for mental fortitude, and camaraderie ! You won’t feel alone, or left trailing as in conventional races
On a personal note, i find this year’s 4KM loop tougher than the previous 5KM one
Though lesser slopes, plus a chunk of the Lornie Road segment avoided, it is though more mentally challenging, a number’s game as a fellow participant puts it
And not discounting the temptations of more resting stops between loops, and more drinking breaks
And still a great event. Personally i didn’t do as well as i’d hope but still grateful i could even participate in light of all the injuries i’ve had since Sep last year
Will be back for 3rd edition, May 2018

Time : 6:45 pm

Thanks :
Ben Swee, Phil Tan (Running Guild), Yee Hua,
CS Lim, Theresa Leong, Yeo Kim Song, Amanda Oh, Tan Hong Chew, Jennifer Ng, and the rest of the volunteers
Albert Ow, Umar, Ming Ham (volunteer photographers)
Lily Bimmo (Support, drinks, etc)
Jian Hong (Support, Tao Huay, Chin Chow)

Final Group Photo of the day

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