A pleasant run at a scenic location
Last night I took part in the 10 km race of Jurong Lake Run 2014, held at the Chinese Garden. I was looking forward to this event, mainly due to location, but also due to my preference of running at evenings.
I had high expectations from this event, gladly, the race exceeded all my expectations and became the first one to receive a perfect score from me on the JustRunLah! Race Database. Let’s take things from the beginning.
Race pack collection: A new system to me
The race pack collection system was a first for me, and I have to say that it did work. During registration you had the option to select a collection time slot which ought to minimize the waiting time. Unfortunately, there was heavy rain during the first day of collection which could make it difficult for some runners to make it for their designated time. The organisers took quick action and notified us that we could go and collect our packs at any time we wanted instead. I went to collect on Saturday around 1pm when the rain was just stopping. I was very pleasantly surprised to see that there were volunteers waiting at the MRT station handing umbrellas for the 5-minute outdoors walk to Dragon Phoenix Court!
Collection was done based on a queueing ticket system. First, you had to self check-in; the nominal waiting time for me was 7 minutes, which gave me some time to browse through the expo. After about 5 minutes, my number was called on the screen so I proceed to the counter and received my items. I should mention that there were live performances on stage at all times, as well as some stalls with snacks and drinks.
Arriving at the starting point
Volunteers were pointing the way to the Science Centre, which is a 10 minute walk away from Jurong East MRT station. I arrived an hour before flag off and quickly deposited my bag. There are some very interesting (and free) exhibitions outside the Science Centre, such as the Kinetic Garden, the Speech Disruption Tube and various optical tricks which helped fill my time very pleasantly. I proceeded to the starting pen about 15 minutes before flag off.
Running in the Garden
After clearing the first 2 km -give or take- running on Boon Lay Avenue, we entered the gardens; and the fun begun. The route took us around Jurong Lake offering breathtaking views of the sunset. Just before passing the bridge to enter the Chinese Garden there was live traditional chinese music which fitted perfectly with the venue. It’s really amazing how much energy the drum sounds can give you. Further on we crossed The Rainbow Bridge to enter the adjacent Japanese Garden, and finally proceeded to the finisher’s area to receive the well-designed and high-quality medal. I forgot to mention that there were plenty of hydration points (I counted 4 along the way, one at finishing line and another 2 or 3 in the carnival) all of them offering cold 100Plus!
Live music, food and plenty of exhibition stalls were placed all around the garden. The well-light bridges, the pagodas, statues and pavilions added to the whole experience. I hung out for a while, had an ice cream and then headed back home.
As I said earlier, I cannot find a single negative point for this event. Only the heat perhaps; but not much to do about it. The organisers managed to address and overcome any issues that occurred (eg. the rain during race pack collection, a mix-up with the sizes of the running vests), the volunteers were amazingly supportive and loud, and the route was scenic and comfortable. I cannot wait for Jurong Lake Run 2015!