The Runner’s Lie
With already a few reviews on Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore, I was asking myself whether I should join the fray as well. But since my only 2 posts are related to the Standard Chartered Marathon Series – why not? So let me start off with something most of might be familiar with – The Runner’s Lie. “I won’t be doing this again.” Prior to Sunday I said something along this line when asked what race I be considering for next year. 5 days on I am thinking if I will hold true to this next year. Afterall Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore was when I took on my first half marathon as well as full Marathon a few years back. Somehow it would really feel weird to just stop. Back to this later.
Race Pack Collection
Went in on Friday morning with relatively no queues and was directed to a counted in about 2 minutes. Impressive start but what was to follow was almost a joke. Informed the volunteer that I was here to collect my race pack as well as my daughter’s kid dash(which was registered in my name). She took my IC and then asked if I had a authorization letter to collect for my daughter. I pointed out that: I) my daughter was not even 3 II)registration was done with me as the parent The volunteer then look at me as if I didn’t make sense and replied – “yes but still you need a authorization letter.” I was about to ask them to print one out so that I as my daughter’s father could authorize myself to collect on my daughter’s behalf when another volunteer spotted that I was holding on to a photocopy of my daughter’s birth certificate and relented. Not that I would kick up a fuss but seriously some common sense would really help. Perhaps not realizing that kid’s dash participants are KIDS they then proceeded to give me a adult pack which I requested to change to a kid’s pack. Tempted to take a look at the gear and race sign-ups, I resisted the temptation and did a fast march out of the race expo do keep my credit card firmly in my pocket.
Got up at 430 for a quick bite before heading out for a train ride to HarborFront. This initiative is a good one, as some of cabins were relatively packed and is definitely something that benefits the runners. Even though I proceeded over to the start point at about 0615hrs, I unfortunately was still in the 2nd pen which meant a 15min wait after flag off. Honestly, in all my runs I have never been placed in a 2nd pen(as I tend to be early) but somehow for SCMS I end up in the 2nd pen(last year I barely made it into the 1st). While it is just 15mins, it can really be quite frustrating as you not only stand around and do nothing but “preparation” – consumption of gel 15mins before start, basically gets screwed up. Hence I would say I kinda started on the wrong foot for the race.
Eventually got flagged off and once into Sentosa it was pretty much like the return leg of puma run going from Artillery Avenue to Allanbroke Road to Palawan Beach then onto Siloso Beach. Past the bus stop at the start of Imbiah Road it was uphill and downhill along Imbiah Road then past the Stilt Walkers at Festive Hotel before proceeding along Artillery Avenue to everyone’s favorite Universal studio. It never ceases to amaze me that people will actually stop to queue to take photos with the characters. But I must say it really does lift the spirits after 7km into the run.
Out of USS, it was along Artillery Avenue again before going into the underground car park. Here I lost my GPS signal(anybody else has this problem) which surprised me as when I did Hong Kong Marathon this year I didn’t lose my signal thru the Harbor Tunnel. Putting aside this distraction, I push on out of the car park and onto the ‘surface’ whereby signal was resumed and also the way out of Sentosa.
The 10km mark was around the Prima Towers and then it was up the ramp to the West Coast Highway. As I went pass the sign which read 15km(for the other returning runners), I realised that I had not paid attention to the route in the information booklet and in the course of it not realise that there was 4km on the highway! By now I started to feel the effects of the heat and probably the after effects of stomach flu( which I had just finished my medication on Saturday). Hence my run walk strategy started earlier than I wanted for the next 7km till the down ramp to maxwell road. This move to segregate the runners is definitely a good one and it allows the half marathon runners to run along Robinson Road towards Lau Pa Sat as well as Raffles Place MRT and somehow just adds a special touch to run thru the CBD. Not too sure if it was this special feel or for other reasons, I was so happy to see the 20km mark near the AIA Tower!
As I near the Fullerton bridge, I was hoping to catch a glimpse of my wife and daughter doing the kid’s dash but they had yet to start as well. So I toiled for another few hundred meters to cross the finish line at just pass 3hrs(3:01).
Initially, I was kind of sad as well that I didn’t get to do my daughter’s first kid’s dash but my wife reassured me that it was more of a mummy-carry-and-run category and if I wanted to do a kid’s dash with my daughter next year, I either run faster or stick with the 10km category.
Despite the timing, I am glad to have at least finished the run especially after the bout of stomach flu and the pain I felt in my left foot after last month’s run in Bangkok. Am still not sure if it is due to an old injury(multiple toe fractures) or was it simply the shoe cushioning wearing off – but for now I will go with the latter and retire this pair which has seen 4 Standard Chartered half marathon with me this year.
As always, my view is the run is always that the run is a challenge against yourself and that completion is an achievement in itself. Medals and finisher tees are nice but they must be earned. Without dwelling too much into the subject, I can only say “Respect The Distance” and go for something you are prepared to train for. Hence even though “it is only half,” well this is something I have to say:
Not for PB – cos too slow.
Not for finisher tee – cos HM don’t have.
Just to be able to say “I did it while you were sleeping”
(And maybe just because I have OCD)
As I mentioned earlier, there is somehow a special affinity with this run and it seems somehow hard to stop. So back to the runner’s lie – yes I will be back next year. 21km or 10km I am not too sure. But for now – a month’s break before starting on next year’s run with The ‘Sold-Out’ Race 🙂