I signed up for the inaugural 3-Ten Golf Course Run in the final week just a few days before the race pack collection. The 3 refers to the 3 Golf Courses at the Orchid Country Club, Dendro, Aranda and Vanda.
I had just completed the Standard Chartered Marathon Race and thought that would have been my final race for the year. I was still recovering from the three black toe nails I had earned unfortunately for this second full marathon. I was also mulling a bit over how I had slowed down my PB by another 15 minutes in this second marathon somehow though I have run ahead of the pacers with purple balloons. I wasn’t sure if I was recovered enough to run this race. Still, I thought why not close the chapter for this year with an even 24 challenges. Moreover it was not often one gets to run in a golf course.
So when that day came, I took the MRT and made my way to the shuttle bus pickup point. For a change, this venue was in the North relatively nearer my home. I was surprised to see a queue consisting of runners and other ‘regular folks’. Then the shuttle bus came and it was one of those smaller size, not the regular bigger coach bus. I realized this was their regular shuttle service to the country club. Still, I was early and I managed to board the next bus that came as the first filled up rather quickly.
It was still early and there was a quick warm-up exercise though there wasn’t much room for stretching out. But all the runners were impatient. I became a bit apprehensive when it was announced that the distance was longer than 10 km, (but emphasized it was slightly more only) and it was undulating. I wasn’t sure how my size 13, fairly new shoes and my hurt toes would take the undulation. Hydration point was at the half way mark.
Just a couple of minutes before the actual scheduled start time, the wave 1 was flagged off. I squeezed into the back of wave 1 and started the run too quickly. It was undulating throughout and I slowed my pace and there were a few hilly ups and downs too. Still, it was a good change of scenery from the usual races, and the evening wind was nice. At one point, we were running with the Lower Sungei Seletar Reservoir waters just on our right side. At another point when I estimated I was near the half way point, the volunteer shouted ‘1/3 mark already !’ Someone behind grunted my sentiments, what, another 2/3 to go ?
Anyway, I got used to the undulation. I didn’t stop at the hydration point and I managed to quicken my pace near the end. Still, the feet and uneven path took its toll, my nails eventually dropped off too. I did a poor timing of 1:12 for a 10 km, one of my slowest. I walked around, relaxed after the run. After snapping a picture of the 3 men winners, I made my way to the shuttle bus terminal and queued up for almost 45 minutes before I finally boarded the shuttle to take me back to the MRT and then home to a ‘sinful’ dinner as I had skipped dinner earlier on. Overall, a good race with nice scenery (tranquil even) and I guess the only improvement required was on the transport. And that was my last race for the year and completes the 24 challenges for this year.