The Oxfitt Run made its debut last year. I decided to sign up this year to test out the challenge given. The organizer is Pink Apple Events and the title sponsor Oxfitt (Get Out and Play).
To quote the tagline challenge message they have :
“OXFITT” is a combination of 2 words “OX” and “FIT” with a double “T”, implying exceptional fitness and endurance. Oxfitt Run will achieve just that together with activities lined up to test your limits and build your strength to conquer the 21KM run. Get out & play with us at the Oxfitt Run 2019 happening on 7 July at the Marina Barrage! Don’t just get fit, but be OXFITT! Unquote…
Initially I was wondering if there would be obstacle courses with the use of the word ‘play’. When they released the route information, I realized it would be just running still.
I woke up at 3.40 am and was able to make it to the venue by 5 am. I could hear the DJ giving some warming up instructions. By the time I reached there, the exercise had stopped and we were waiting for the flag off. My mind went back to the race pack collection. It was straightforward, just a couple of volunteers in front of the Running Lab (Official Retail Partner) at Marina Square. That was the first indication that this would be a smaller group of participants involved. ‘On’ was the Official Shoe Brand for this race too. The entry pack was unique as it included not only the running singlet but also a pair of running shorts (or tights rather). The tights luckily fit true to size for me but as it didn’t have any pocket I didn’t wear it for the race.
Still, it seemed quite crowded at the start line and the race started off on time at 5.30 am. The hydration stations and energy recharge station were all at where it should be, as stated in the route. It was BYOB(ottle) as it supports the environmental friendly movement. (Another additional item in the pack was also the Oxfitt water bottle, so for $50 or $55 this was rather value for money for the distance, in my opinion.) I brought my reusable cup which I found was adequate for this half marathon race. Kudos to the organizer and volunteers as I finally get to run the route as announced without any surprises (or shock). If you want to pick on something, there was a few steps up and a few steps down at one stage. But then you have to be “Oxfitt’, right ? What was a few steps up and down, in addition to the Marina Barrage winding slope.
The evening before, I had attended a durian party though I don’t eat durians. It was more to support the event and my family. I still enjoyed the nasi lemak that was given. I had a minor ‘accident’ when I forgot the durian husks were in the plastic trash bag under the table and my right foot hit against it at one stage. The durian thorns poked a few ‘holes’ on my right fat toe, drawing blood. Ouch ! When I reached home, I washed the cuts and placed a plaster, hoping they would heal superfast. Luckily they did and I was able to peel off the plaster in the morning.
The weather was fine, the skies were dark because it was early in the morning. I crossed the start line a minute after the flagoff. I checked my Garmin and it was running properly. I focused on the run, wanting to keep to an average of 7:30 pace. After a few hundred metres, I became aware of a giant shadow running beside me. And then, I realized he was silently extending his right hand towards me. I snapped out of my ‘tunnel’ and looked at him. Oh, it was a good running friend (from FB) whom I thought was in Hong Kong doing his studies now. All this was going on with us both running and he didn’t say a word to me too, with the surrounding still quite dark in the early hours of a weekend. I said ‘Hey !’ and shook his extended hand. He smiled and then he overtook and ran in front. I felt the urge to catch up but knew that I wouldn’t be able to keep up anyway. I went back to my ‘tunnel’ of focus.
After 1 km, when I glanced back at my Garmin, it was trying to tell me the recovery heartbeat. I pressed the knob and found out I must have accidentally pressed the pause button somehow. So I resumed the run after more than 1 km, and briefly regretted that my Garmin/Strava wouldn’t be showing the full half marathon distance at the end. But run on. Gadget ! What is on Garmin/Strava record may not always be the true story !
After 8 km, I was able to see a group of pacers ahead of me. I kept them in sight till about 11 km, when I overtook. I realized they were the 2:40 pacers. Not long after this, unfortunately I felt something wrong with my insole on my right shoe. It was crumpling up. It was extremely uncomfortable. I sat down on the kerb and removed the shoe which I had tied with double knot and then straightened the insole. It had never happened before with this model (third pair). I tried to get back as quickly to pace. In a few steps, the insole moved and creased up again. I decided to ignore it and after a while, I tried to tell myself that it was doubling up at the heel for extra cushion. Then 4 km later, the left insole did the same. Okay, just run lah.
I must congratulate the pacers for doing a fantastic job. There was a leading voice (male) who shouted out turnings or rough terrain or point down to the ground when there was unevenness and another female who also gave encouraging cheers to runners and thank the volunteers on the route. This to me was much better than the whistles blown by other pacer groups in other races. I just found them piercing to my rather sensitive ears. But it could be just a personal preference.
Then it was up and down the Marina Barrage and then made my way to the finishing line. Felt good and I was not as tired after the race. Collected the bottle of Pocari Sweat, XS Energy (Official Energy Drink), a banana and a cold towel, and the medal. A good race. There were a few photographers too along the route but so far, I am usually out of their focus for some reasons or another. When I checked my handphone, RACETIME had messaged me my preliminary guntime (almost immediately as I crossed the finish line based on the time received). Thumbs Up. Now, only if they do have photos of the runners at finishing line too (understood they would have based on their description but usually would take some time for release), it would be double thumbs up!
Run Happy, Run Safe till the next run.