Race Review: The Amazing Maritime Challenge 2017 (By Rebekah Ong)

Have you ever googled a longitude and latitude co-ordinate? Or have you flown a UMV/ drone before? Not many would have but that’s what I and over 1000 participants from today’s (23 April 2017) The Amazing Maritime Challenge (AMC) got to do. The AMC is organised by Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA Singapore) as part of Singapore Maritime Week. It is the first time that my friend, Cheng Yee and I have taken part in this event. The AMC is not your usual run event; it is race that was designed with exciting challenges which mirror the Singapore maritime industry to create better understanding about the industry among its participants and the general public. Each challenge is designed to test you physically and mentally.

We decided to join this year AMC because:

Rave reviews from cousins – My cousins, Justin and Femy have been loyal participants of this event since it first opened to the public! They said the challenges were always fun and it was a great way to spend the weekend with friends!

Reasonable entry fees – With a registration fee of $10 per team of two, participants were entitled to things such as goodie bags worth $50 and Finisher tees (only available on event day), event tees, race bib and race tote bag.

Different from a normal run event – It is not your typical run event where there is a marked out route. Participants have to plan their route for the different challenges and they can either do it by foot or public transport. The last time that I have participated in a similar event was the Nile Fun Race in 2015 which was held in conjunction with the 8th ASEAN Para Games

RACE ENTRY PACK COLLECTION (REPC)

The REPC took place on the 21 and 22 April 2017 at Marina Square Link Bridge Atrium. The Marina Square Link Bridge Atrium is the open area that has a link bridge that connects Marina Square to Suntec City Convention Centre. This place is not a frequently utilized REPC site and it took me a while to find it.

[Photo: REPC Site]

I went during lunch time on the 21 April 2017 and race pack collection was a breeze as there was no one in queue! Unlike a normal race expo, there was also no mini expo. It was just a simple no frills race expo. The no frills concept also applied to the race pack. The event tees were just normal dry tech tees, no vouchers or coupons inside the race pack.

[Photo: No frills Race Pack]

RACE DAY

Cheng Yee and I arrived early at the event site as we didn’t want to be held up in long queues and we wanted time to strategize. Race resource pack (goodie bag and game card) collection was at Marina Square Outdoor Plaza between the timings of 06:30hrs to 07:30hrs. Every counter was organised according to bib number and there were no queues. We were disappointed as we could not formulate a plan on which place to go first but because participants had to collect 4 sets of longitude and latitude co-ordinates which were only available after flag-off. We just settled to find a place to read about the 4 game stations and have our breakfast.

My cousins, Justin and Femy were also taking part in this race. It was good to have a team that we could collaborate with because splitting of transport fees would be much cheaper if we travel by taxi! We made our way to find them and took some photos before entering the START pen. Since we were early, we were in the second row very near to the START line. I have never been so close to it before! Simple warm up exercises were conducted before the Flag-off party was invited on stage and participants were promptly flagged off at 8am!

[Photo: Before the START of the race]

GAME/ RACE DYNAMICS

Participants are supposed to complete all challenges at the 4 locations by trying to score as many points in the shortest possible time. Participants are also given 100 Maritime dollars which can be used at the various stations to score more points or get you through the challenge quicker. For every unused Maritime dollars, 20 points will be added to your overall score.

There were also 3 optional BONUS challenges which participants can choose to complete. If completed, the team will secure an additional 60 points to their overall score.

Participants are permitted to travel via any mode of transport. All game stations will close at 12:30 hrs, and the Game Master will close the game station queue at 12:15 hrs. Participants have to submit their game card at Marina Square Outdoor Plaza – Results Station (Start/Finish point) by 13:00 hrs as a team.

RACE START

The first thing that every team had to do was to consolidate 4 sets of longitude and latitude co-ordinates which will tell you the location of your stations. These 4 sets of co-ordinates were scattered around the outdoor open area of Marina Square. Once collected, participants were to figure out where these locations were and make their way there. Entering co-ordinates into Google was definitely not an easy task because of the long string of alpha number characters you have to enter! It was surprising to see that Google actually recognized the string of characters.

[Photo: Longitude & Latitude co-ordinates were clues to the game station location]

4 GAME STATONS

Once the participants had deciphered the location co-ordinates, we were supposed to head to those locations to complete the challenges. Our team had decided to start with the furthest station which was at Labrador Park and end at Empress Place.

The first station we went to was called Speed Haul and we took a taxi there. Thankfully we opted to take a taxi if not we would be walking a very long distance to the game station. Our teams were one of the earlier ones there and didn’t need to queue to attempt the task. As this was our first challenge, we did not do really well as both of us didn’t know what we were supposed to do and plus we remembered the logo rather than the definitions.

Our next stop was Marina South Pier which is the Flight Path station. This was one of the more interesting stations! Upon arrival, we were greeted with the scenic views of the Marina South Pier. This just brought back memories of my cruise 2 weeks ago. We quickly got our question sheet and headed for the Singapore Maritime Gallery which we didn’t knew existed until now. We were really impressed with the exhibits there but didn’t have time to go through everything. I’m definitely planning a trip back there to try out the interactive displays. After completing the questions we did Part B of the challenge. It’s a first time for both Cheng Yee and I trying to fly a drone. Somehow when you see people fly drones, they make it look soooo easy but you can imagine the number of times the drone crashed while we piloted it! We ‘pitied’ the station personnel as he had to run numerous times during those 90 seconds to pick up and reset the drone for us.

From there we headed to Fort Canning by cab! By the time we reached this station it was roughly around 10:15hrs. The sun was up in full force but we had to scale the hilly slopes of Fort Canning get to the Task at Hand station. This was the only station that we needed to queue before attempting the challenge. I never knew that there was a light house replica at Fort Canning and it had some Singapore Maritime history to it.

Finally our last station! We headed there on foot as it was nearby. The Compass Warriors station was the one that required the most foot work! We were brisk walking in the hot sun to get the clues and solve them. I think this station burned the most calories as it sent us walking up and down the Singapore River area.

From here it was a fun walk back to Marina Square passing some of Singapore’s iconic landmarks like the Merlion, Marina Bay Sands, Jubilee Bridge, Esplanade etc. We knew we would not be one of the winners so we just took our time and crossed the FINISH line at around 11:20hrs.  We completed all 4 challenges and all 3 bonus challenges! We were rewarded with our FINISHER tees once handed in our game card to organisers. My team scored a total of 247 points! It is not the highest but we were happy to complete all the challenges!

[Photo: Completed the AMC 2017]

SUNDAY WELL-SPENT!

The AMC 2017 was definitely an experience for me and my friends. Definitely a well spent Sunday! It was well organised event that met its aim to promote the Singapore Maritime Industry. We were glad that we got to do, see and learn things that we never would have a chance to do if we did not join this challenge. Kudos to the organisers on a job well done. Thanks to Justin and Femy for recommending this event to us. I would definitely recommend this event to all if you are looking for a fun filled weekend!

[Photo: Goodies from AMC 2017]


World Marathon Majors: Where, When, Why

The Abbott World Marathon Majors is a series consisting of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world. The races take place in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City. Unless you are an elite or semi-elite that have hit the qualifying timings, your fate is in the hands of lady luck. You ballot for a slot.

Photo Credits: Tom Kauertz

Abbot World Marathon Majors – where champions run!

#1 Tokyo Marathon – February

Photo Credits: wsj

A course of fast times! With the catch phrase – ‘The Day We Unite’, the Tokyo Marathon has grown significantly by bringing together the hearts of runners as well as its many volunteers and supporters. The atmosphere of the Tokyo Marathon is the experience of a lifetime! People of Tokyo come out to support the runners. They encompass the entire course, right from kilometre 1, all the way till you run your final kilometre. The support is really amazing, a race like no other!

#2 Boston Marathon – April

Photo Credits: FF Sports Atlanta

It is an honour to run the oldest annual marathon in the world – Boston Marathon. This race is so rich in history and heritage. You stand at the start line knowing you are amongst the best. You have trained hard and earned your spot by hitting the qualifying mark. Running this is a prestigious experience. You have to hit the qualifying times in order to be a part of this experience!

#3 London Marathon – April

Photo Credits: Visit London

London Marathon starts in Greenwich park and is the 2nd fastest course in the world. The London Marathon showcases the very best London has to offer. It brings you towards Canary Wharf, running along River Thames, along the embankment area passing London Eye and the Houses of Parliament. The marathon is truly the essence of London, and there is no better way to experience London.

#4 Berlin Marathon – September

Photo Credits: Adventure-Marathon

The fastest course in the world – the pancake flat course is probably the reason why most of the world records are run here in Germany. Elites come here to give it a shot at the World Record. And runners come here to give it a shot at a personal best, and also to get a photo with the likes of Kipsang, Bekele or even the current reigning Marathon King – Eliud Kipchoge.

#5 Chicago Marathon – October

Photo Credits: Chicago Marathon

Runners who have done Chicago know this is the best way to see Chicago. The 26 mile course showcases both city and suburb. Every year, tens of thousands of participants toe the start line. The course will wind through the heart of Chicago’s neighborhoods, and there will be thousands of spectators and volunteers to support the marathoners. It is one of the World’s finest marathons.

#6 New York Marathon – November

Photo Credits: My Best Runs

This is the premier running event of New York Road Runners and brings you through the 5 boroughs of New York City. This is the largest marathon in the world. The number of applicants are always at a record high, your chances of getting a slot via the non-guaranteed draw is much lower than the other world marathon majors. Try your luck at running one of the greatest marathon in the world.

May the odds be ever in your favour.


Explore Melbourne by Running – 5 Must-Do Routes For All Tourists

Melbourne skyline

Touted as the coastal capital of Victoria, Melbourne is a smorgasbord of exciting festivals and activities, great cafes, bars and restaurants and art galleries to tantalise any visitor’s palette. In fact, it is one of the most go-to states for Australians from other parts of Australia for a short weekender.

But don’t think that just because it is such a bustling city that you won’t get good running routes. In fact, here are 5 that will just change your mind.

#1 Princes Park

Photo Credits:Princes Park

If you will like to hopefully check out, or bump into, a sport team while on your run, you may like to check out Princes Park. Ridiculously close to the city and Melbourne University, this 3.2 kilometre running circuit is perfectly flat and super popular, and loops right around the park. The best thing about this place is that you can run at night (it’s well-lit), and even race the trams going up Elizabeth Street.

#2 Treasury Gardens / Fitzroy Gardens

Photo Credits: B & W Bears

Located just across the road from the Melbourne Cricket Ground (or MCG for short), this three kilometer bitumen paved outer circuit is probably one of Melbourne’s prettiest (and easiest) running routes. With soft grass and gentle slopes, this is perfect for those who really want to take it easy and still get a run in. You can even use the nearby stairs at Parliament to warm up!

#3 The Tan Track

Photo Credits: The Long Run 

Flanked by the most beautiful trees in a location just south of the Yarra River, you can follow the trail to Kings, the old Melbourne Observatory, and the Shrine of Remembrance. And an interesting tidbit to know is that The Tan used to be a horse carriage drive for the well-off in Melbourne. Imagine running along that!

#4 Abbotsford Convent

Photo Credits: Abbotsford Convent 

Should “picking your run experience” be something up your alley; you may like to check out Abbotsford Convent. With the garden and grounds accessible via mostly bitumen pathways (some are dirt), you can run past the Collingwood Children’s Farm or just take a chill run along the river. Like I said, you pick your experience.

#5 The Capital City Trail

Photo Credits: Cycle Peter

Providing an uninterrupted linear link around Melbourne’s existing parks and river corridors, the Capital City Trail is a shared-use path for both cyclists and pedestrians. This also means that you need to be careful while you are on your run. You don’t want to be crashing into moving bicycles or other pedestrians and hurting yourself on the concrete ground!

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Explore Sydney By Running – 5 Must-Do Routes For All Tourists

The state in Australia constantly mistaken as its capital, Sydney boasts world renowned architectures like the famed Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Besides these sightseeing wonders, this Australian state is surrounded by the sea and dotted with parks throughout. If you are flying there soon for a holiday and will like to go for a few runs while you are there, you can check out any of these following trails according to the type of runner you are.

#1 Manly to North Head Run

Photo Credits: Abbie Kresner 

Hugged by both the Harbour and the sea, Manly is a popular beach destination situated right next to a protected national park and a headland names North Head. If you are in for an intense run, this trail will satisfy, as it is a challenging uphill climb to North Head from Manly. But the beautiful city view will be a sight to behold when you finally reach the peak. Best of all, you can always jump in for a swim at the end of your run on the beach!

#2 Opera House to Darling Harbour

Photo Credits: Sydney Expert

This route may be more familiar to you, especially if you are a tourist there. And it’s perfect for those who wish to get some exercise done while doing some sightseeing. The route starts from the Opera House and runs along the Harbour and underneath the Harbour Bridge. Thereafter, you can weave along the old historic wharves of Walsh Bay and along Hicksons Road until you end up in bustling Darling Harbour.

#3 Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk

Another significant landmark in Sydney, you can choose to have a slow jog or a proper run along this roughly 6 kilometres stretch (to and fro). Run along the rocky headlands, past Tamarama Beach and finish off at the Bronte pool. Take the opportunity to cool down too while you are there! If you want to take it further, you can continue along the undulating hills to Coogee and enjoy the awesome views along the way.

Read more: Sydney: Running from Bondi to Coogee Beach

#4 Lane Cove National Park

Photo Credits: NSW National Parks

If running through the bush is something you wish to try, then this may just be the trail for you. Although located in inner-city Sydney, you will feel as if you have been taken away to a different, more tranquil locale. Home to plenty of native birds and trees, you can expect their chirping to give you a good distraction while you run up a storm.

#5 Iron Cove

Photo Credits: Pram Walks

With a 7 kilometres trail, this favoured early morning route of the Inner West is great for runners who wish to take it easy and enjoy some of the views along the way. This route is flat and provides stunning views of the cove as the path never deviates more than 20 metres from the water.

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Explore Kuala Lumpur by Running – 5 Must-Do Routes For All Tourists

The capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is a city-state full of hustle and bustle. Many people travel there for the food, the shopping and the cultural experience (you will be surprised how much there can be!). And with the current exchange rate, it’s possibly one of the best countries to visit now.

So if you are thinking of checking out the many attractions of Kuala Lumpur, and maybe getting a few runs in while you are at it, you can consider these five trails.

#1 Petronas Twin Towers Trail

It is impossible for anyone not to know what this is. Touted as Kuala Lumpur’s most breathtaking and outstanding structure, the Petronas Twin Towers are not only a sight to behold, there is also a 4.75km long path that runs the perimeter around them, giving anyone an unforgettable view from the ground up at several angles. Just be aware of the hordes of pedestrians and cars though. You are still at the heart of it all!

#2 KLCC Park

Photo Credit: TimeOut

Just a short distance away is a greener alternative. Away from the busy streets and traffic, KLCC Park offers a respite for those seeking one. With a 1.3km jogging trail that is coated with a rubbery material for comfort, ponds, a playground and a mosque, you can be sure to experience a whole lot of bio-diversity and peace on your run. You may even forget that you are in the middle of Kuala Lumpur!

#3 Bukit Kiara

Photo Credits: Vitamin Sunshine

After all the binging on the countless local delights, perhaps you may be looking for a more intensive run. Get your heart pumping with a run up the hill for a good mix of jungle and paved streets at Taman Tun Dr Ismail. The park isn’t far off from KL Sentral and the workout you get will be well worth it.

#4 Putrajaya

Photo Credits: Kuala Lumpur-ws

If you fancy something a little less strenuous, then the long and flat running tracks around the lake and through the heart of Putrajaya may just be what you need. Located just a step away from the town, you will be rewarded with pretty scenery and when you are done with your run, you can also opt to cool off with some watersports or simply chill out under the shade.

#5  Desa Park City

Photo Credits: The Edge Property

A new residential area just north-west of the city centre, you will find Desa Park City. If serenity and tranquility is what you are seeking, this quaint suburban setting will be on your list of favourite running spots for good reason. The awesome thing about this place is that it’s family-friendly and perfect for beginning or casual runner to do an easy jog around their 2.2km picturesque loop.

Read More:

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How To Improve Your Physical Fitness Test?

A phrase most of us dread to hear – Physical Fitness Test. And I’m pretty sure that even though you may feel that you are the fittest you have been in decades, the mere mention of having to do your physical fitness is enough to set you sweating and wondering if you will be able to get through it with just one try.

So if you have been through a few of these tests and are still rather unhappy with the results, here are some things you can do to amp up your performance in your next one and get that score you want.

#1 Start a training calendar

If you are lucky, you may get some time off before the commencement of your Physical Fitness Test to prepare. Setting a calendar helps organise your plans and gets you on it in good time.

Make sure you follow it through and spread your workouts evenly so you don’t overwork certain parts of your body and injure yourself in the process. Give yourself a day or two to take a breather because even if your mind is willing, your body can only take so much.

#2 Decide Which Exercise You Need To Improve On And Work At It

I’m horrible at Sit-and-Reach. What I used to do to train for it was to get a friend to push me down while I stretched as far as I could go and I would try to stay there for as long as I could hold.

So if you aren’t performing as well as you should be at your 2.4km run, you can do more jogging above the rest of the other workouts. Time yourself when you do and get quicker as you progress so that when the time comes for your test, you will be running at a faster time with little or no effort.

#3 The Tip Is To Strengthen Your Core Muscles

Many people don’t realise this but when you build strong core muscles, you will actually find it easier to complete your physical fitness course with as little effort as possible. Think pull-ups, sit-ups and even the sprint exercise.

When you have strong core muscles, you will start to use them instead of your arms or legs or even your neck, to do the exercises. This will relief the strain on these appendages and also reduce the possibility of injury to your muscles.

#4 Eat Right

As much as you may not see a direct link to how doing this will help you improve your performance in your physical fitness test, it does. Consuming a healthy diet, in combination with your training, can help to cleanse your body and lighten it, while giving your body the necessary nutrients to bring your fitness level upwards.

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Boston Marathon 2017 Moments

Being such an iconic marathon, of course we would expect nothing less than great iconic moments. It is always an honour to run the oldest annual marathon in the world.You stand at the start line knowing you are amongst the best. You have trained hard and earned your spot by hitting the qualifying mark. Running this is a prestigious experience. It is no wonder this race is on the bucket list of many runners. It is also no wonder why many world class athletes just keep coming back here for more.

#1 Edna Kiplogat Shows us that Old Is Gold

Photo Credits: Flotrack

Edna obliterated her competition with a monster surge. She ran a 3 minute/km split on heartbreak hill, to which her competition could not give a response. She ran so well that towards the ending you couldn’t catch her competition in the same frame as her. She ran the 4th fastest time on this course. This would be in addition to her New York City Marathon and London Marathon wins. Edna showed us that being 38 wasn’t going to slow her down.

#2 Galen Rupp Does It Again

Photo Credits: Flotrack

All eyes were on Galen. Could he live up to his coach – Alberto Salazar’s name and win the Boston Marathon as Salazar did back in 1982. It was hopes and dreams for an American win. Although Rupp came in Silver, his grit and determination was admirable. He ran a really good race. His marathon career is really off to a great start. He has gotten top 3 finishes for all 3 marathons he has ran – a win at the Olympic Trials, a bronze at the Olympics, and a Sliver at the famous Boston Marathon. Look out for Rupp!

#3 Jordan Hasay Runs The Best US Marathon Debut Time

All eyes were on Den Linden, but it was Hasay that delivered the podium finish. Hasay destroyed the US debut record by 3 minutes, clocking in a 2 hours 23 minutes 00 seconds timing. 2 things Hasay and Rupp share in common – flying the US flag high and being coached by the famed Alberto Salazar. We expect more to come from this young one.

#4 Meb Keflezighi Runs His Final Boston Marathon

Photo Credits: Boston Globe

Meb won the Boston title for US back in 2014. He won it wearing the names of  Martin Richard, Lingzi Lu, Krystle Campbell, and Sean Collier – victims of the Boston bombings in 2013. He crossed the Boston Marathon finish line to a standing ovation.

People were cheering for him ‘Boston Strong. Meb Strong.’

Meb is now 42 but he finished graciously and with remarkable spirit. He is one of the runners who draws strength from the crowd, always thanks the crowd and runs with his heart. His spirit is so so admirable.

#5 Katherine Switzer Runs Boston – One Last Time

Photo Credits: Boston Globe

The first woman to run Boston Marathon 50 years ago – does it again. She makes a triumphant return bearing the bib number 261 in a great time – 4:44:31, really great considering Katherine is 70 this year! Can we say wow again? The number 261 will be retired in honour of Katherine.

We look forward to more record breaking moments next week at the London Marathon 2017! Stay Tuned!

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New Parks In Singapore To Get Some Running Done

Singapore is not known as a garden city for no reason. While you may see many a high rise building and a, well, concrete jungle in most parts of the city, you will also find much greenery surrounding it.

But though this has given way to plenty of beautiful parks around the island, some of us may be craving for a new trail, a new challenge, or just simply, a change of scenery. If you happen to be one of these people, these new parks on this sunny island of ours may just peak your interest.

#1 Chestnut Nature Park

Photo Credits: N Park

For those of you residing around the west, you may want to check out this (very) new park located close to Dairy Farm and just next to the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. This 64-hectare nature park is a Northern add on to the existing Southern one, bringing the total area size to 81-hectares, equivalent to more than 110 soccer fields put together.

Currently the largest nature park in Singapore, it is also the only one to have separate trails for bikers and hikers. And because of the extension, both these trails have also been increased with the bike trail now 8.2km instead of the initial 1.6km and the hiking trail now 5.6km as compared to the old 2.1km.

And since it is more of a hiking trail, it is recommended that you do a slow jog through the trail to not only avoid unnecessary injury, but also to enjoy the flora and fauna along the way.

#2 Springleaf Nature Park

Photo Credits: Strait Times

Probably not as new as Chestnut Nature Park since this one opened in late 2014, but it is still a park worth mentioning. The first of four parks to be created around the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, it is possibly a good alternative to the famed MacRitche Reservoir since it is also located at upper Thomson, which isn’t too far away.

With observation decks in place, you can also start or end your workout with a nice view of the surrounding scenery and birds flitting about the area. And then take yourself for a nice prata treat at the nearby well-known Springleaf Prata.

#3 Windsor Nature Park

Less than a year old and still relatively unheard of, Windsor Nature Park is also one of the four nature parks serving as a buffer to the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. Also located along upper Thomson Road, this park was established about half a year before Springleaf Nature Park and boasts a myriad of flora and fauna to be appreciated and admired.

And if you happen to be staying in or around Venus Drive, this will be a great place to go for a morning or evening run, or just to take a slow walk to relax.

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6 Coolest Running Tracks In The World

We runners are different. We are a little crazy, but mostly just really passionate of our hobby. We have many weird bucket lists – like running the Walt Disney Marathon, or visiting cool running tracks around the world maybe? We came up with a list of Coolest Running Tracks around the world. The next time you happen to be in town, be sure to drop by – probably something only runners would appreciate.

#1 Michael Jonson Track @ Nike HQ Beaverton Oregon, USA

Photo Credits: Nike Woodlands Oregon

Everyone is no stranger to this beautiful track – possibly the most famous training track on the planet. It is a true unique sight as the track cuts through the woodlands but with the familiar rubber track under foot. It really is no surprise why Flanegan, Rupp and Farah love their playground! It is such a magnificent gem!

#2 Chamonix, Switzerland

Photo Credits: manvmile

Speed work away against the background of iconic Mount Blanc. Run on the foothills of the stunning Mount Blanc. Let the amazing view take your breath away. Stare at stunning glaciers whilst running your laps. It will be an experience to boast about, with a view to shout about!

#3 Brigham Young University Track, Utah, USA

Photo Credits: manvmile

With snow capped mountains, open bright blue skies and a bright blue track, this is probably as close as you can get to the feeling of running on water. It’s absolutely stunning! You will be so caught up with the beauty, running would probably feel effortless.

#4 Osaka Air Track, Japan

Photo Credits: Spoon & Tamago

A pretty cool initiative having a 300m running track suspended above. This is definitely something to boast about. The next time you are in Osaka, don’t forget to give this track a visit.

#5 Iten, Kenya

Photo Credits: Running Iten

Yeah, it may not look much, but this is the track that produces champions. This is the track of Olympic Dreams. What and honour it would be.

#6 3D Track, Alicante, Spain

Photo Credits: e-architect 

Looking to incorporate some hills into your workout? Track too flat for you? We’ve got an answer for you.

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How A Squat Is Functional Training

Functional training is the new buzz word in town. That’s because functional training makes your life easier, literally. It mimics activities of daily living such as climbing up the stairs, lifting groceries or carrying your child in your arms. When you perform a squat, you’re activating the same muscles required to lift an object off the ground or when you stand up from a chair.

Integrating functional training into a workout routine for seniors is especially beneficial. You don’t need to be lifting heavy to be building muscles. Performing a squat – and any other daily activities, is essentially a muscle-building workout. These lean muscle mass you build from bodyweight functional training can, in turn, improve your strength, metabolism and balance. Ultimately, allowing you to remain functionally independent with age.

TOP 3 BENEFITS

Benefit 1: You train your muscles to work together

Functional training tend to be multi-dimensional, activating multiple joints and muscles in a single movement. Muscles are always working in tandem in real life and functional training prepares you for real world movement. As you perform a squat, you hinge at your hips and bend your knees and ankles. You also activate your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes and core as you lower yourself with stability.

Photo Credits: Harvard Health

Benefit 2: You can increase core stability at the same time

Good core stability protects your spine from dangerous torsional twists, compressive and shear forces. This is required when you bend over to pick up groceries, or when you lift items into the overhead cupboard. Your core is also the muscle that keeps your body upright when you sit or stand for extended periods of time (think of the last marathon you did and how long you had to remain upright!). A stable core hence improves posture and help mitigate the nagging back aches you’ve been having. A proper squat form requires a stable core, and in turn, can also train your mind and muscle to tighten your torso and improve overall stability.

Benefit 3: You can potentially burn more fat

Squats activate large muscle groups such as your quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. It also requires core stability. It is essentially a full body movement, which requires a higher energy expenditure. In addition, a study has shown that strength-training builds muscles, which is able to increase your resting metabolic rate. This applies even for seniors aged 50 and above!

So if you don’t want to hit the gym or you’re too busy to take 30 minutes off from working, just do 10 to 20 bodyweight squats every hour. That’s enough to get your blood flowing and feeling fresh!

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My 50 Hrs Non-Stop Run 2017 [64.5km] (by Lingderella)

They said that nobody is a loser, everybody is a winner ❤️ There is more than a thousand participants signing up for this event and this is my second year joining the 50 hours non-stop run, last year’s run just seems so recent! 😆

[Distance and Route]

50 hours non stop run does not means running non stop for 50 hours, can anybody actually really do that? 😅 It’s a event from 9am of 14th April to 16th April 11am, ongoing for 50 hours. The runners can complete the amount of distance they registered for within 50 hours, which means, no matter day or night, rain or shine, with some runners running up to 64.5km. The run is held at Bedok Reservoir and each loop is around 4.3km, which means that some of the runners will be running many loops around Bedok Reservoir with the same scenery.

[Registration Fee]

Comparing to the recent running events which I went to with the registration fee costing between $50-$100 for long distances, this registration fee of $20 for running up to 43km and $30 up to 64.5km seems really cheap but can’t really compare lah, this is a non-competitive run and it’s organised by Tampines West Community Sports Club, usually running events organised by them are rather affordable 😍 I think in July or August there’s a Coney Island 6km run also organised by them and the registration fee is $15 inclusive of medals and entitlements such as event tee.

[Entitlement]

For runners running lesser than 3 loops will not be getting any medal. Runners will get their first medal after 3 loops, the second medal after 6 loops and the third medal after 10 loops. So if the runners doesn’t want to run so much, can just complete 3 loops to collect 1 medal or 6 loops to collect 2 medals. Runners who signed up for the 64.5km will have a total of 4 medals and a finisher tee. Other race entitlement includes the event T-shirtby Compressport, there’s personalised race bib, a card for us to stamp at the start and end of every loop for our attendance. I think the medals is really exceptionally chio especially because it’s hard earn medals! And the finishers of 64.5km will get a exclusive finisher tee! 😍 The stamp card is really one of the most precious item with us, we will get a stamp on the start and end of each loop. Heard that there’s people who cheated to complete by taking bus. What for? 😅

[Route]

Each loop around Bedok Reservoir is 4.3km, terrain is flat and not easy to run on as it’s sand and gravel. Not much of scenery to see along the route maybe the park walkers walking their dogs are more interesting. I find that the moonlight shadow on the Reservoir is a beauty in the night. Not easy to run in the night though there’s lamp posts as it’s still rather dark.

[My experience]

(Photo Credits: Tan Kim Lai)

Simply broke my record of covering a distance of 64.5km in 2 days! Overall this is a good run run walk walk event for me. I enjoyed my friends companionship and chit chattings. There were two water points, 1 of the water point closes after 6pm but there’s quite a few water cooler within the Reservoir itself already and what’s good is that the organizer make the effort to provide chilled water and Lucozade for the runners 😊 There’s portable toilet at the event site and it’s a park so there’s multiple toilets around where we don’t need to be worried of no toilets or what if we need toilet breaks.

(Photo Credits: Wan Marshall Datuk)

I signed up for the 64.5km category and split up my runs into 3 visits because I’m not so hardcore to finish it all at once. But it’s so troublesome for me to get to Bedok Reservoir as I live in the North. The time I took for taking public transport there is like 1.5 hours 😭

It’s a public holiday on Friday morning, my friends and I were there for the flag off which is on time at 9am. There were many familiar runners from the running community and it’s nice to see them 😊 The ☀️ is already hung up high in the sky and my friends and I were praying for good weather and for the sun to be hiding behind the clouds but no. It’s really hot and it’s really tough to run in such a hot and humid weather that Sabrina and I decided that 3 loops is really enough and we don’t want get ourselves burnt so went for brunch at Mcdonalds and decided to come back in the evening to see if we can complete the rest of the 12 loops

I rarely run at a timing when the sun is out and glaring and I don’t even have a sunglass for sports or running and simply grab and bring along a pair of sunglass I can find which make me feel a slight headache after the first loop and decided to carry it with me to run since I left my bag at a sheltered resting area with the rest of the runners. Thank you Lily for the fruits and helping us keep a look out for our belongings 😊

(Photo Credits: Kim C Runner)

There’s no baggage deposits available but there’s a tentage where runners can put their belonging but nobody is responsible in looking after our belongings. Just don’t bring valuables and have to trust that Singapore is a safe place and all people who goes to the park and all runners are nice people 😊

(Picture taken on the first night after completing Rey’s final loop making him a finisher of 64.5km, an ultra-marathoner 😍) My 64.5km is all run walk run walk as I really la

My 64.5km is all run walk run walk as I really lack of the motivation to run or because I have eaten too full for dinner. Maybe it’s the repeating of the loops that make the run torturous or that I get bored already. Maybe it’s the long distance or maybe it’s the no timing chips on the race bib. But still there’s rankings for finishers that complete the distances. On that evening when I went down I only manage to complete 5 more loops which I have a balance of 7 more loops to complete the next day 😭

(Photo Credits: Tampines West CSC)

On the second night, I went together with Willis, with me a balance of 7 loops to complete and him with 9 loops. We reach there at almost 11pm and we had that in mind to finish it if not we need to go home and come back again on Sunday morning rushing to complete before 11am. When we reach the event site, more than 200 runners have already completed 64.5km! 💪🏻 One of the volunteers said that more than 400 runners had actually signed up for th 64.5km category. We run together, having our chit chat dating run and walk. I must really that all the volunteers, it’s in the middle of the night and they are still so energetic and cheering for us, encouraging us to carry on with motivating words such as “we will be here, just the last few rounds! Keep going!”

Though I was two loops ahead of Willis at first but he manage to catch up with me with a loop while I rest and though I had completed my final lap and should get my finisher medals and finisher tee, I hang on and accompanied Willis for his final lap so I completed 68.8km, 16 laps to be exact! It’s tiring but I know it’s the last few kilometres that’s the toughest to complete and I hope my presence and companionship had made it easier for him ❤️

My last year’s experience at 50 hours non stop run is over here 😊


My first attempt on 50 Hour Non Stop Run 2017 [43KM] (by maylindateo)

I took part in the 50 Hour Non Stop Run 2017 organised by Tampines West CSC. This was their 3rd year organising but my first time participating. It was originated in 2015 as part of SG50 celebrations. Such an interesting event! 

Runners are given 50 hours to complete 10 loops around Bedok Reservoir Park which is equivalent to 43KM (each loop is 4.3KM). This year, they added a more challenging category of 15 loops (64.5KM)! Sounds crazy but there were many people who signed up for it and actually completed it within a day. We can choose to break it into 2 or 3 days within the event period (9.00AM on 14th April to 11.00AM on 16th April). It’s completely up to us.

Looping Bedok Reservoir running map

43KM and 64.5KM are considered ultra marathon distances. But because there are 50 hours to complete it so the pressure is much reduced. Still, I did not have the courage to take up 15 loops and only signed up for 10 loops. Price was reasonable and affordable and we get a bright coloured running t-shirt.

There were 3 medals runners could receive each after completing 3rd loop (12.9KM Bronze), 6th loop (25.8KM Silver) and 10th loop (43KM Gold). And of course, 15th loop (64.5KM) finishers will receive an extra medal (a different design) and a mystery gift which I just found out on event day that it was a finisher shirt! How nice.

This event is a fun run event though the distances are ultra long as we can run at our own pace and time looping Bedok Reservoir. It was indeed a weekend well spent for many avid runners doing what they love. Sports drink and water were provided though they were not cold.

Starting point was near the floating platform.
Starting Point (A clockwise direction run).
Registration counter and tent to report our attendance and drop the lucky draw card.

Participants were given a race card each to record the number of loops completed. As it was a fun run, there was no timing chip given. We needed to carry the card with us the whole time we were running and get it stamped at the starting/ending point after completing every loop. This method could be quite a hassle because we need to be careful not to lose the card. My sister felt pressurised because she was afraid to lose the card. We needed to repeat the action of taking out the card from our waist pouch to get it stamped and put it back in over and over again.

Another suggestion I could think of is to use a special type of wristband to let runners wear on the wrist after completing each loop. So at the end of 10 loops, they will have 10 wristbands on their wrists. Just like the ancient method of using rubber bands to record the number of laps run when there was no timing chip technology available yet. Organiser can consider that.

My running buddies a.k.a my siblings and I decided to finish the run within a day. We started at 9.00AM on the first day and the sun was burning hot! We ran and walked under the hot sun till 1.30PM before stopping for lunch break. While having lunch, it started to rain. Thanks to the rain, weather was much cooler after that and we could continue to run without having to wait till sunset.

Protecting from the hot hot hot sun

So we walked and ran loops after loops while enjoying the beautiful scenery. Also, applying Counter Pain cream on the legs because our legs were seriously screaming for help.

Resting our tired legs

On my 9th loop, my Garmin watch started to warn me of low battery. I was pretty worried if the watch would die and then my record would be all gone. I just charged it to full power the day before to get ready for this run. So I just ran non stop and refused to walk because I wanted to complete it quick so that I could save the distance clocked. I received warning message again and again and when I reached the end of my 9th lap, I decided to continue my last and final lap without stopping for break. I carried on running my final lap and praying hard my watch would not die so soon. Finally the distance showed 43KM and I decided to just stop it and save, though there was still about another 200 meters to go. I walked this 200 meters to the end point. Seriously a mental and physical torture but I felt accomplished and enjoyed it!

Photo credit: Tampines West CSC

I collected all my 3 medals together and was asked to stand at the counter panel for a photo. I was the 112 runner to complete 10 laps. Happy and contented. I went to sit down and waited for my siblings to finish. 

Sky was so dark after we finally finished. Spent close to 12 hours at BR. Well done everyone!
My 3 medals

So I ran my first ever full marathon and beyond in a fun setting. It gave me the assurance and readiness to run my first classic full marathon by the end of the year. Keep running!


Explore Taipei by Running – 5 Must-Do Routes For All Tourists

Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, is home to not just the awesome street food, but also exciting shopping and a bustling nightlife. While some have touted the city as a “cheaper alternative to Tokyo”, those who know better know that they have their own distinct differences, which make both cities highly popular, especially among the young.

Should you be thinking of taking a well-deserved break there and perhaps have a few runs too, you may want to consider the following 5 trails you can get a good workout in Taipei.

#1 Taipei Train Station to Danshuei

Photo Credits: Wikiloc

A moderately difficult trail, this 25.6 kilometre route runs between Taipei Train Station and Danshuei on the Taiwan Coast. While the run may take up to four hours long, you will be able to admire the wonderful views along the way.

#2 Fubon Taipei Half Marathon Route

Photo Credits: Beast Runners

You can expect to see some of Taipei’s most interesting and picturesque places such as Riverside Park, Baling Bridge, Maruyama, Wind Tower, the Taipei City Civic Plaza, the Healthy Way ramp on the elevated ramp, Jen Ai Road, and Zhongshan Road along this route. It is said that running this 21.1 kilometre trail, which includes hills, valleys, roadways, and parkland, will give one a glimpse of Taiwan’s past, present and future. Curious? You have to try it to find out if this is true!

#3 Taipei Metropolitan Park Trail

Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

With an eclectic mix of green grassy park land, river banks, large trees, small temples, stores and even a flea market, this 20 kilometre trail is so easy and in it, so beautiful, because it offers city dwellers the opportunity to take their minds off their work or study and just go for a run and relax.

#4 Daan Park

Photo Credits: Arch Daily 

Often referred to as the “lungs of Taipei City”, Daan Park is framed by Jianguo South Road, Xinsheng South Road, Heping East Road and Xinyi Road. And while you enjoy the two kilometre loop of the park, you can also expect to se a rich variety of plant life, depending on which season you are there in. The best things about this park is that you can run at night as the paths are well lit, and there are also path-side temperature and time displays to help runners keep track of their pace. The different pathway surfaces such as red clay, cement, ceramic tile, slate tile, asphalt, earth, and grass, all provide a range of running experiences.

#5 Balaka Highway

Photo Credits: Domestique.tw

With Taiwan’s love for running upping a notch each time, this highway, which used to be highly popular with bicyclists, has become a near-perfect advanced training course due to its gentle slopes and awesome panoramas of the Yangmingshan peaks. With a main course of 12.6 kilometres one way, you will also be led to tourist spots such as Barla Café, the tomb of Yu Youren, Datun Nature Park and the Erziping Visitor Centre.

Read More:

  1. 5 Beautiful Trail Marathons Worth Travelling For 
  2. 5 Sold Out Marathons In The World
  3. 10 Standard Chartered Marathons You Might Not Know Existed 

Japan Kansai SenShu Marathon 2017 with GoPro

If mention about Japan Marathon, most people will thinking of Tokyo and Kyoto Marathon. These two are the most hottest, magnificent best scenic Marathon host in Japan. However, both Marathon also review as One of the hardest ballot to win Marathon from Earth!

I was lucky enough to win Tokyo Marathon entry in 2016 and i though, this year i will be lucky as last year to stepping on scenic Kyoto Marathon course. However, i wasn’t pray hard enough and smell no smoke… T_T

But, there’s another Marathon host on exactly same day and not far from Kyoto Marathon. That’s hidden gem i want to share for this review, “泉州国際市民マラソン”, Kansai SenShu Marathon! Most of the time, Senshu Marathon will reserved 200 slot for foreign runners on a first-come-first-served basis after registration closed. I was lucky enough this time to hoot~ on this race. Else, i will be one of the cheering team seeing my lari buddies running pass by Kyoto scenic route and eating their dust!

OK, let’s not be mang..cham.. and hit the road to Senshu. I was invited to join Senshu Welcome Party on a day before race. I was surprise and honor for the warming welcome and mix around with elite and foreign runner.

Makanthon was started after welcome speech. I was seat together with Austria and Taiwan runner. I will said Austria and Taiwan runner is no doubt good in Marathon, they also good in Minumthon. It’s amazing to interact with them and i start to wonder ‘am i able to finish race tomorrow’?

Organizer invite us to join Japanese Traditional Taiko Drum and Yes! we have fun!

I barely remember how i went back to my hostel after Welcome Party. Luckily still manage to reach Starting Point next day in time!

Race Starting from Hamadera Park and Finishing in Rinku Park

The official hydration station is not as many like Singapore. However, it’s enough for chilling weather like Japan. It’s plenty of cheering crowd with hydration and food sponsor along route.

Anyway, I finish Senshu Marathon within cutoff time(5 hour) with half hangover condition. I will said that Senshu Marathon is one of my happiness and memorable run in Japan. If anyone happen to be looking and having fun experiencing Marathon in Japan and tired trying for ballot system. “泉州国際市民マラソン”, Kansai SenShu Marathon is your choice!


Discipline. Determination. Dedication.

Running from the sea to land and back into the sea.

This week has been very inspiring. I had the privilege to receive some running tips from coach Lexxus Tan from F1 Runners, join the team in a Good Friday beach training, meet and get to know like-minded people and receive three very powerful words in running, the 3Ds – discipline, determination and dedication.

My hubby has finally decided to join the F1 Runners after feeling stagnant in his trainings. After going for a few sessions and finding it useful, he encouraged me to take up an assessment with coach. Coach Lexxus Tan took me through some drills and courses to observe my running form and assess my strengths and weaknesses. He then provided me some tips on areas I could work on and improve on. He was very generous with his sharing and took the session very seriously. I really appreciate the coaching session as with immediate effect, I could correct myself to do better.

Although I could also join F1 Runners but considering my work and personal commitment, I have to put a hold on this. I decided to join the CBD Runners instead first as it takes place weekly. From there, I can slowly prioritise while building up. This also means I FINALLY found a running group to train with.

So, on Good Friday, I joined them for a beach training. When I woke up, I really had no idea what I was in for. I had not expected us to kick off our shoes and run on the sand barefoot. I most certainly had not expected us to get wet (from sea water). It was very refreshing and makes training less dull. It was a break from the usual routine and coach set up relays and circuits.

Running on the beach barefoot and having relays make interval trainings more interesting. Photo Credit: F1 Runners
Some “tortures” are for good for us. Photo Credit: F1 Runners
This photo of my hubby looks like it came from some Bondi Rescue scene. Photo Credit: F1 Runners

Through these, we had a combination of cardio, speed and strength training. Yet, it was so enjoyable. I had to admit it was also torturous. However, with a group of highly motivated runners doing them together, there was really no excuse to stop. Everyone lived up to the F1 Runners’ motto of discipline, determination and dedication. Everyone had a goal and was striving towards it. It was also an honour to be on such a fun training together with our SEA Games representative, Jasmine Goh!

The girls team. Photo Credit: F1 Runners

Before this week, I had no idea it could be so fun joining F1 Runners. They had produced many podium runners and I always thought only the elites train with them. I discovered that anybody can join them as they have different categories and levels to suit different runners and motivations. Some people joined for health reasons, some for personal achievements. The runners are also very friendly and the atmosphere is light-hearted and easy going. They are also very supportive of one another.

Thanks for such a fun session! Photo Credit: F1 Runners

Rain or shine, F1 Runners also do not stop training. They have a whole week of training in the mornings and evenings. I thought this is really awesome. Once again, living up to the motto!

Now, the 3Ds are etched onto my mind. These three words are really inspiring. It gives me no excuse to hit the snooze button ten times now. Ok! I am going to be discipline and go offline so I can wake up early. I am determined to do my LSD tomorrow. And I am dedicated to complete my trainings for the Gold Coast Marathon.


3 Tips For Aspiring Duathletes

The Duathlon is a different beast to tame – different from pure running, pure cycling and even the triathlon. For the runners and cyclist, cycling and running is a completely different sport, using different muscle groups and making the duathlon a complete different ballgame. For the triathletes – swapping out the swim for another run completely changes the dynamics of the race. We can assure you it becomes a different sport in its entirety.

Whether you are an experienced or an aspiring duathlete, it’s always good to get some tips or be reminded of the basics! Here are some tips for you!

#1 Don’t Go Out Too Hard

 With the adrenaline rush, it’s easy to go out too hard too fast. But bear in mind, you will pay the price later on – either on your bike ride or on the 2nd segment of your run. Bear in mind, the duathlon distance is not won in the first run. You would want to go at the fastest pace you can with enough reserve to not burn out during the bike or 2nd run. The more you race, the better you can gauge what this upper limit is. Pacing really is everything when it comes to races like these! Don’t let your adrenaline rush get the better of you!

#2 Brick It

A brick workout is one whereby you stack both disciplines in one consecutive workout. You either run and then bike, or bike then run. The switching between different modes of exercise will cause a significant rise in heart rate as your body shifts the bloodflow from muscle group to another. Brick workouts simulates the demands of race day and will help your body handle the shifts more efficiently.

#3 Use 2 Pairs Of Trainers With No-Tie Laces

To shave off more transition time, this is a duathlon-specific trick. Use a separate pair of shoes for each run. This way, your shoe would be perfectly placed when you come back form your bike. It would be easier and faster to slip on your shoes and just go off. Elastic No-Tie laces is a MUST! We know it’s a matter of just seconds, but when it comes to races like this, every second counts!

Here are some tips to bear in mind! What are you waiting for? Du it! Looking for a Duathlon race to kickstart duathlon journey, join the Singapore Duathlon 2017!


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