Race Review: Santa Run For Wishes 2014 (by Chelza)

IMG-20141129-WA0012Ho ho ho!

Christmas came early for Singapore this year! If you were at The Promontory @ Marina Bay last Saturday evening, you would have double- checked your calendar and thought that Christmas was yesterday instead. Decked in Santa-lookalike race tees and Christmas hats, thousands of Santa Run For Wishes’ participants were gathered in town yesterday and ready to start off Christmas with not only a generous heart, but also, in a healthy manner. How so? Well, the registration fees and donations made will go to Make-A-Wish Singapore, the only wish granting foundation in Singapore that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions between the ages of 3-18 years. After all, Christmas is about the spirit of sharing joy, love and laughter, isn’t it?20141129_173744

As any runner would know, warm-up exercises are important before any run. Accompanied with groovy music, we were lucky to have enthusiastic instructors from Fitness First to lead us with some dynamic exercises. Despite the cold weather after the rain, it was hard not to feel pumped- up for the race after the exercises.

As the race horn sounded, thousands of Singapore’s very own Santas and Santarinas dashed across the starting line with enthusiasm, passion and joy. It was as if they were all rushing and eager to deliver Christmas presents to the good kids! (We all know naughty kids do not get the presents!)

A comfortable run

Despite the huge number of participants, there was no overcrowding experienced during the race at all. Not only is the race route wide enough, it is also a relatively easy one with little slopes and inclinations. Not to forget, the scenery was breathtaking. Besides the sea of red and white balls of wishes floated along Singapore River, one can also witness the myriad of kites being flown at Marina Barrage. In addition, the Merlion can be spotted at a distance.20141129_173819

Besides, it was encouraging to have passers- by to cheer you on for the run. Furthermore, you get to witness the myriad of costumes that the participants donned on during the run. From kings with crowns to Green Lantern, many participants were keen on winning the Best Dressed Competition. There were even ladies dressing as sexy Santarinas and Catwoman!

When one thinks of Christmas, besides Santa Claus, one will not forget the elves. Dozens of elves were there to help out for the carnival. Not only were they selling popular snacks like popcorns and candy floss, they were also facilitating games stations like the Bouncy Castle and H2O walkers. Bring any kid to the carnival and it would literally be like a 20141129_184256paradise of fun and joy for them!

Overall, despite it being a new run, Santa Run for Wishes exceeded my expectations. It would be a great run for any beginner and also, for anyone who is keen on bringing their families along to a run. Not to forget, it is a run that encapsulates the spirit of Christmas- sharing joy, love and laughter.


84-year-old running his 100th marathon at SCMS14. What’s your excuse?

With the countdown for Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore coming to single digit (7 more days to go!), one participant at SCMS this year drew my attention. Mr Chan Meng Hui, or known as Uncle Chan to some, is seeking to complete his 100th marathon at SCMS this year. This makes Uncle Chan the oldest runner at this year’s race. The 84-year-old veteran joins host Yasmin Abdol Hamid  at SuperSports 360 to discuss about his running journey, as well as his lifestyle changes to run at this age.

Uncle Chan shared some tips for the runners at this race:

  • Listen to your body. Your body will tell you when to stop or go.
  • Have strong willpower for the long distance.
  • Most importantly, RUN TO ENJOY.

And a reminder for the runners doing SCMS14, remember to collect your race pack from 4 to 6 December at Singapore Expo!

Information booklet is available here with all the details for race route, transport, race day programme etc.

See you on race day! 🙂

– Video & Cover image source: SuperSports 360


Race Review: 8th Hatyai International Marathon, 2014 (by ‘ALCE’)

Although not a Finisher Tee but I am still happy wearing it.

Change of plans

I was one of those unfortunate ones that booked the Starlight Ultra (21km) held in Penang in May 2014 but only to have the event postponed to August due to the by-election of Penang’s politician Karpal Singh. This has left me infuriated because my travel plans were all set and I was fully trained for this half marathon. I was frantically searching for an alternative overseas destination to run on the same date. It was then I had realized Thailand could be the answer. Alas, I found the 8th Hatyai International Marathon to be held on the same date! More on the event later.

First off, travelling to Haytai has been made easy because there are comfortable coaches from Golden Mile Complex that brings you right to the doorstep (quite literally) of the race start point. If travelling long distances by coach is an issue to you, skip this option and book a flight. I decided to book a bus ticket on a Friday night, which will be due to reach Hatyai by Sat, 8am in the morning.

Although not a Finisher Tee but I am still happy wearing it.
Although not a Finisher Tee but I am still happy wearing it.

Arrival in Thailand

After a good night sleep in the bus, I finally reached the Thailand immigration checkpoint at Sadao. Despite all the uncertainty and curfew conditions imposed in Thailand, the immigration counters were rather empty. Once I arrived at what is known as Hatyai’s central shopping district (another 1 hour drive from the checkpoint), I quickly went into the same bus company branch to book and secure a return trip back to Singapore on Sun night at 6pm. Don’t worry, there is plenty of time to rest and recuperate after your run on Sun. Trust me.

After getting that squared away, I wasted no time and proceeded to the race expo to collect my race pack by means of a motorcycle taxi. The journey is very near and it will not cost you more than 100Baht (S$4). The race expo is held at Jiranakorn Stadium, Hatyai, Songkhla, right at the start point of the race (I know, how convenient is that right?). Ok, here comes the beautiful part of the race – for those who are unfamiliar, you can actually do a walk-in, register on-site and still get the right size of your event t-shirts/singlets at the race expo! You get to choose either a singlet or t-shirt. I chose the t-shirt since I will not be getting a Finisher Tee for 21km category.

I had a quick look around the expo which most stalls sell lots of cheap sports attire and shoes, where most of it sold there I must say, were imitation of well-known brands. If you are looking for something that is meant for training (to take the harsh beating of your 70km per week mileage), this is not the place to purchase anything. Once happy and contented with my shopping, I headed straight to my hotel. It was a 6 mins motorcycle taxi ride that cost 40Baht (S$1.60) to be exact. I stayed in Greenview Hotel (700Baht/S$28 a night), which is like 1km away from the start point. Room was simple, very basic and within walking distance to night markets. Offers free and strong signal to WiFi.

At 5pm, I was again heading back to the Stadium for the carbo loading ‘party’ sponsored by the organizer. Food was delicious and it mainly consisted of rice, chicken and vegetables. Heading back to town, I shopped and shopped until 9pm. Tiring as it may seem, I just wanted to proceed back to the hotel to just chill and have an early night before race day.

One of my most treasured medals
One of my most treasured medals

Race day

I woke up at 3.30am on Sunday to have some pre-race snacks and a banana. Feeling excited, I walked to the Stadium where the start point is. All the runners were ushered to the start pen from the stadium which was led by a brass band. The full marathon is already in full swing while my half marathon race will be starting at 5.30am. The route is very flat and no unwanted surprises. The half marathon is a simple “out and back” type of running route with occasional supporters staring at you with a warm smile. You will have to run from the within the city out to the highway, do a U-turn at the 11km mark and back. But do take heed, there are no distance markers along the route at all. So as with all my overseas run (others being Gold Coast Airport Marathon and Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon), my best advice is to wear some kind of GPS/distance tracking device.

Running route was bestowed with drink stations about every 2km, serving cold drinking water, drinks that came in red, yellow and green colors, with light refreshments like watermelons and jellies. Overall, the route was scenic and safe. Thai traffic police were alert, enthusiastic and always cheering the runners on! Crossing the finishing line was such a joy! Volunteers gave out medals and certificate of completion at the end point.

At the finish line!

Moving further into the stadium, food and drinks were being served. I gave my Thailand chicken yellow rice away to a homeless man who came to me asking for food. Took another bike taxi back to hotel, had a well deserved shower and managed to catch a quick nap before checking out at 12pm. After a nice lunch, I remembered during my run that I promised myself to get a foot massage before I left just to pamper my legs. So I actually asked for a 2 hours foot massage (500Baht/S$20) and inevitably, I went into slumber land again…….. Altogether, I have spent only a S$270 (all expenses in) runcation. Not too bad huh?

Boarded my bus at 6pm and it was home sweet home.


Evolution of Team Costa

Sometime during our Friday night’s poolside drinking, some 12 months ago, someone came up with the brilliant idea of registering for a triathlon in early 2014.  Up until now our Friday night group of about 10 friends were occasionally dabbling in an occasional form of exercise.  Maybe a gym workout, maybe a run, maybe a cycle but really what we were best at is partying, drinking and having a good time socialising.

We range between 30 and 44 years of age. We are families with kids from all walks of life. We are Aussies, Canadians, Americans, English,  New Zealanders and a variety of Europeans. Yes, we are all expats from English speaking countries although sometimes you wouldn’t know it given our different dialects, accents and colloquial expressions.

Anyway, nothing like peer group pressure and a jolly mood for most of us to say, “yeah sure, why not, I’ll do a triathlon”, followed very quickly by “what is a triathlon and how far do I have to go”.

And so the new year began, with a serious “holly Molly, the triathlon is in 4 months and I’ve yet to survive 50m in the pool and how far do I have to run” kind of questions, mixed with exclamations.  A steady training regime ensued for every single one of us.  In our own time, sometimes together and sometimes alone. It didn’t take long to note who were the swimmers and who were the runners.  Everyone was a cyclist, it’s one of those things you never forget.

Unfortunately in the end only 3 participated in the triathlon. It was a tough one since neither of the 3 were natural swimmers but perseverance and a naturally competitive streak took care of the rest. The event was like opening Pandoras Box.

Metasprint Triathlon, April 2014.

 Within a month two of our members went from cycling 40km regularly to taking on the Wheels for Change Batam 100km cycling event. Most of us thought they were a little crazy but not as crazy as when they returned full of euphoria and signed up for the Darwin Gran Fondo 120km event. Since then other Gran Fondo events ensued along with the two-day 250km Tour de Kepri Training Camp in Batam and Bintan.  Now they clock up 110km round the island cycling on Saturday morning before breakfast and we no longer think they’re crazy nor do we bat an eyelid anymore. What’ll they do next?

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Come late May and there’s new talk about triathlons such as the SG International Tritahlon in August and the Trifactor Triathlon in September. This time registration has taken traction and 8 of us sign up for varying distances: a few entry level minis, a sprint and a standard. Swimming still a weakness for the majority, we finally adhere to common sense and engage a swim coach who can take us through weekly drills and open water swimming. It helped immensely as our swimming results attested to during the triathlons.

Open water training with our coach 2nd from left.

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New bikes were bought throughout the year: some having their fancy racing bikes, some entry levels and some with whatever was available.  Brick training was introduced although something I found very difficult given that at the time I had not yet started running.  The muscles used for swimming, are different for cycling and different for running.  I found it tough to switch gears in my legs coming off a bike and launching into a run.  The triathlon day was no different and found myself walking a good deal of the distance.

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In between Grand Fondos and triathlons, several running races were also completed such as Saffra, Trifactor Run Series, GEWR, SMU Mile, PassionNorth, Colour Run and Newton Challenge and these are only what I can remember.

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To help with the training and motivation we have setup an FB training group, acquired training gadgets such as Suunto/ Garmin watches and connected ourselves to Strava to track each other’s sessions and accomplishments.

Our Friday night conversations are now often centered around races, sport articles, innovative sport gadgets and anything fitness related. But don’t think we’ve forgotten how to party. We just fit it around our training or is it vice versa?  Sometimes it’s a little fuzzy.

As the year comes to a close, with the Standard Chartered race as our last event, we found ourselves as a tightly knit, supportive unit.  We may have started a little haphazardly but we’ve pulled together enough now to create our own team with our own name. And Team Costa was born. With team tops in production, the colors were inspired by our condo’s swimming pool and it’s name translated as Coast of the Sun. The slogan on the back reminds us that: “It never gets easier, just faster”.

Our jerseys waiting for production.

We have been so inspired by our personal changes and sporting milestones that Little League in our condo has been inaugurated 3 months ago where our children aged between 2.5 and 8 years, engage in various sporting activities led buy us as the parents. A roaring success it has since doubled in size with various games played, such as: soccer, tug of war, dodgeball, relay races, sack races and so on.  The kids are learning sportsmanship, tolerance, patience and of course physical skills. Developing physical fitness along the way, several of these kids have already competed their own fun runs like: Cold Storage, Saffra Father and Child, PasionNorth, Jurong Lake Run and Standard Chartered. We are certainly training the athletes of the future.

And just for added extra fun, Team Costa has created its own Top 10 Running Series.  It was inspired by an article from March 2011 entitled “10 Best Places to Run in SG”. Ideally we cycle to our destination, depending on proximity to our home, and run a predetermined route of varying lengths to allow for runner’s preference.  A hearty breakfast post run should give our legs the required rest prior to riding home.  The first one in the series took place on Saturday, 22 November but that’s another story.

Stay tuned.

We train together. We race together. We win together.
We train together.
We race together.
We win together.
Singapore International Triathlon, August 2014.
Trifactor Triathlon, September 2014.



Who Said Running Was Inexpensive?

Welcome back everyone Captain Canada is fresh from a 28 KM taper run legs aching soul a breaking. With the countdown to the SCM 42 underway I thought it would be appropriate to discuss one of Captain Canada’s darkest secrets.

Now I hope you will all contribute some opinions to this post at the end, but before that I want to share something that only my beautiful fiance knows. I am a running shopaholic….. Yes there it is I said it…… I love shopping especially for running gear… I really believe I love it more than my fiance loves buying handbags haha..

Now you may not think it with my rough beer drinking lumberjack exterior (The Al Bundy of Canada see pic below), but when I get into the Queensway sports mall I turn into a little kiddy in a Candy shop. An example is today post run my colleague and I decided to go buy running gels in preparation for the SCM and Kaboom my inner child came out to play and walked out with a new pair of Newton Distance 3’s…. shhhh don’t tell my fiance I may not make it to the SCM after all haha.


Anyways to make a long story short and to get to the point I would like to believe I am not alone in this addiction. I really believe that runners know what I am talking about here. The thrill of trying a new running belt, or the first few runs in a new pair of shoes are my definition of a true runners high.

I have been in Singapore for 11 months now and have somehow managed to amass a collection of 3 running watches, 2 running belts countless shorts/shirts and 6 pairs of shoes to go along with the many that have been left in Canada, or found the garbage can due to the sewage like odor that was being omitted from them haha.

I posted a pic of the current collection of shoes and miscellaneous items just for a little visual evidence of my addiction. Well that is it for now I am very much looking forward to hearing about others addictions, strange purchases, or like in my case the lovely but non supportive wife/fiance/gf opinions you all encounter.


Till my next post- Live Love Run and most importantly Beer!

Captain Canada


Jurong Central Night Cycling 2014

It was a great friendly community cycling with over 400 cyclists last night. The event (in its second year) was flagged off at Jurong Green Community Centre and ended at East Coast Park over a humble distance of 42km. I was assigned to the fifth group and we waited patiently as the other groups moved off slowly. The ground was slightly wet due to the rain that afternoon. However the weather was kind and it was just humid throughout the night.

Friendly Pace

Unlike races, this event is not time-competitive. Cyclists were moved off in small groups, each with its own lead, sweeper, safety cyclists, road marshalls, etc.


Along the way, we stopped at some landmarks like West Coast Park, Marina Barrage and The Promontory for water breaks and photo taking.

grp photo
[me (on the left) with the rest of safety cyclists] =)

the promontory
Bikers at the promontory

Great participants

I also have the opportunity to chat with some participants and we encouraged each other to conquer some small hilly roads. Most of us managed to reach east coast park at 3.30am.

Overall, it was a great, fun and friendly night and I look forward to the next one!



Race Review: Salomon X Trail 2014 (by ‘sinaistrider’)

A quick review of this year’s installment of the Salomon X Trail Series.

xtrail 2012I did this in 2012 just after I arrived in Singapore. As with this year, it was during November, and as with this year I was supporting ‘Mo-Vember’  and sporting a fine (thats my opinion, not shared by most of my family) moustache.

In 2012 the event was at Tampines Mountain Bike Trail (not sure if that was always the home of this race – perhaps Singapore Running Historian Reawakened Runner can advise 🙂 ? ) But that was a proper trail, mud, jungle, streams, roots and all. I remember that it was tough. (Funny annecdote – here’s a pic of me at 2012 Salomon – see that guy running just in front of me? Didnt know him then, but he’s now one of my main ‘Running Kaki’s’  we only realised we both ran this race and were running so close about 2 months ago – SG such a small place – especilly in the Running Community).

Fast forward to 2014 and the run has been moved, since Tampines Mountain Bike Park has been/is being demolished. I wasnt going to enter, but Lexus from F1 persuaded me and so I put an entry in.

I am now in the final run up to SCMS in two weeks time, so my plan for yesterday was a final hard/endurance day – Park Run 5k in the morning, and X Trail in the afternoon. 15k in total, all at race pace. Decent final hard workout before the taper begins.

Park Run was good, ran the whole thing with Ben, including re living our own Coe vs Ovett moment in the last 200m, lucky for me Coe had an off day and my Ovett reincarnation won the sprint finish. Stuart had already won the race by about 2 minutes, but I was very happy to come away with a PB of 18:31 and a rare win over Ben!xtrail2014-2

Part 1 complete, now to see what impact that exertion would have on my 10k performance in the afternoon.

Punggol, never been here before. A fair drive up the TPE and I arrived around 4.15 with Shug, my race buddy, who is recovering from an ITB case and will use this run to test out his knee.

Race Village is in a really nice setting, with a broad expanse of Park and Pulau Ubin visible in the distance.

Great organisation and fairly low numbers make the whole bag check, toilet visit and line up very simple and we flag off ontime at 5pm.

First section is in the park and through a sort of building site, then we are out onto the boardwalk for abbout 5k. This is 1) all wood and concrete 2) a lovely place to run and 3) not very trail like! but I am ok and enjoying the run, shug is ok at this point also and we go through 5k in about 21mins having spent about 800m off road!

Loop back at the end of the boardwalk and head back towards the finish, still on the Park Connector, Shug can feel some pain so he’s eased off, I’m feeling pretty good, so I push on and overtake a couple of guys heading into the last 3k.

Surely there must be some trail coming some time?


Finally, we turn off up a bank and into the woods – finally we get 1500m or so of hardcore trail, there’s no path, just the flattened grass of the few runners ahead, we’re running along a ridge through the trees – I have a guy just behind me who i overtook going up the hill and so we have a good 7-8mins of racing through the jungle – most fun part of the whole race.

We emerge from the jungle, run under the MRT line, and then climb the hill I saw from the start line, along the ridge again and back down hill for the final blast to the finish. My jungle trail buddy and I go head to head all the way through the last 3k in some great old fashioned racing and we finish together in just over 43 mins.

Course Route Map and KM Splits courtesy of my Garmin Fenix 2 and Strava:


Lexus later confirms I finished 10th, sadly no MAsters category and prizes for top 5 only (I would have been 4th masters/over 40 if there had been), but I am very happy with the run, with how good I felt in the second half and with my overall effort for the day of 15k in 1 hour and 1 minute.

Nice atmosphere post race, I’ll say again, this is a great spot to start/end a race – hopefully we will see more events moved to this beautiful part of Singapore. I will certainly sign up the next opportunity I get.

In Summary, this was a great race, well organised, pretty good marshalling and hydration, nice items in the race pack –  only two negatives for me really, being 1) on the hill down from the trail there was a turn which wasnt flagged – me and my race buddy overshot it and had to turn back after going 50 m in the wrong direction and 2) the very small amount of actual trail – for me this was fine as I am just as happy road running, but I can imagine a pure trail runner wouldn’t have been so happy.

If I had bought a pair of $200 Salomon trail shoes to do the race in I would have felt a bit mislead!

So now I am going to start my two week SCMS taper, eat loads of pasta and drink a tonne of water, hopefully I can get it right come Sunday Dec 7th and hit my target.

Good Luck to everyone in the same position, hope you can ahieve your goals and have a great race.

Happy Trails….



Race Review: Asics Penang Bridge International Marathon 2014 (by ‘hedgiebunny’)

Penang Bridge International Marathon
Penang Bridge International Marathon

11 girls conquered the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge (aka known as the Penang 2nd bridge)

The Asics Penang Bridge International Marathon (APBIM) held on 16 November 2014 is touted as the world’s longest bridge marathon. Held every year since 1985, the run is opened to people from all over the world. It is also the only event and time of the year that the national landmark is closed to traffic. Organised by the Penang State Tourism Development Committee, this year’s race was held at the new 24km Penang Bridge for the first time.

The PBIM is a much anticipated annual event and almost every Penangite knows about the event. Indeed, the event is so popular that all Penang hotels were fully booked over the weekend and we met with some slow traffic on the roads. Nonetheless, the race did bring energy and buzz to the lovely “The Pearl of the Orient” island which is rich in heritage and famed for its delicious street food.

From Singapore to Penang

I have always been fascinated with bridges, so obviously I was interested to do a bridge run. Thus, when I learnt a couple of other friends were going this year, I decided to join them. Eleven of us flew together to Penang on Friday evening and the next day, we collected our race packs. We also visited three malls, shopped (a bit) and ate (a lot).

Awaiting the start of the 10km race.
Awaiting the start of the 10km race.

Race Day: 16 November 2014

The organisers offered free shuttle buses from certain pick-up points to the start point but we knew that with a huge crowd, we decided to play it safe and booked a van with the hotel to bring us to the start line. We left the hotel at 5.45am and reached the race venue at 6.20am which gave us sufficient time to be ready for the 10km flag off.

At 7am, the women’s open category were flagged off and when I realised I couldn’t really start running due to the sheer numbers, I decided to enjoy being in the moment – how cool the weather felt at 26 degrees, the gentle slope as we moved up the bridge, the sun peeking out from the far side of the horizon waiting to rise further. This was when I decided to whip out my handphone to take a picture, but first I had to ensure that it was safe and no one would crash into me if I were to stop. Then again, everyone else was doing the same thing!

There was absolutely no shelter on top of the bridge and because I wanted to take advantage of the “coolness” before the sun rose, I knew I had to RUN. This was when the “weaving” began. I found myself zipping in and out of human traffic and was amazed at the numbers that were actually just strolling (or taking pictures) on the bridge! Alright, the clumsy me had to be really careful not to bump into people when I navigated through the crowds.

For 10km runners like me, the u-turn was at the 5km mark. But it was only at the last 3km when we were allowed to merge with the other half/full marathon runners on the opposite side of the bridge. This was when there was more space to run and those who wanted to pick up their pace could actually do so.

After the U-turn mark and when we had more "space" to run.
After the U-turn mark and when we had more “space” to run.

At the end of the run, we collected our medals and were treated to various booths of Sunkist orange, Revive isotonic drink, nestle cornflakes, milo, and even milo ice-cream! Boy what an awesome morning it was!

What worked well:

  1. Because registration numbers were high, the race pack collection was spread out over several weekends and at different venues to minimise congestion. This enabled participants to pick and choose the most convenient dates and venues to pick up their race kit. Also, for the first time, race pack collection was made in a different state – Kuala Lumpur, to cater to runners from Klang Valley. Kudos to the team that planned this massive logistics task.
  2. Group collection (minimum of 11pax) was allowed. We submitted our IDs and race confirmation slips via email and when our representative reached the front of the queue at the collection venue on Saturday, all our 11 bibs were packed nicely in a box for us.

What can be done to improve the event:

  1. Cap the number of participants. The sheer numbers alone meant that smooth running would pose a challenge. Indeed it took me at least 8 minutes before I could actually cross the starting point as I was somewhere in the middle of my flag off team.
  2. Have different lanes for different running speeds. Or at least educate participants about race etiquette! Many a times I had to suddenly stop in my tracks because someone decided to take a selfie. There were many people who were also walking from the start which added to the congestion. Perhaps the beginners or weary can keep to the side of the bridge so runners do not have to zig zag around them.
  3. Manage the crowd at the finishing point. I could not step cross the finishing point as there were just too many people hanging around at the end point and I literally had to nudge someone so I could cross the line.

Overall, the run was a smooth and enjoyable one and all 11 of us thoroughly enjoyed our quick weekend getaway to Penang with much fun, food and camaraderie. Best of all, we conquered the longest bridge in South East Asia… oh well, at least part of it 🙂

Our group of 11 race survivors.
Our group of 11 race survivors.

Food, food and more food :)
Food, food and more food 🙂

Last but not least, if you are thinking of doing the Penang Bridge International Marathon next year, here are some tips:

  1. Sign up early to take advantage of the early bird fees. Registration begins on 1 May 2015 if you intend to do this run on 22 November 2015 and hotel rates
  2. The bridge is totally unsheltered so be prepared for hot weather. Put on sunblock, carry a bottle with you on the run and stay hydrated.
  3. Rest early, especially if you are doing the half or full marathon as it begins at unearthly hours at 1.30am and 3am respectively.
  4. Give yourself ample time to get to the race site. Factor in at least 1.5 hour’s travel time as it gets congested nearer to the start point and you may have to be dropped off a distance away.
  5. Keep your cool. The crowd is huge, so don’t be intimidated or frustrated when you find that you can run at the speed that you would like to.
  6. If you intend to eat at any restaurants during that busy weekend, do make reservations in advance too!



A Finisher Medal Like No Other: Run So Others Can

A finisher medal reflects our pride and glory; in conquering a distance, a personal best, a tough mental and physical challenge. When we look back at our finisher medals, we bask in the personal glory of achieving something.

In 2015, let’s achieve something meaningful, something that goes beyond our personal glory. Set your sights on obtaining a finisher medal like no other: one with Braille engraved on it. The text translates to Runninghour. Runninghour represents the one hour when all runners in Singapore come together for a single purpose: to run so others can. On 22 March 2015, in that one hour, you run alongside more than 200 visually, intellectually and physically challenged runners.

Experience how running will be like for someone with a visual impairment. The Blind Run is an inaugural and unique event where participants will run in pairs of up to 1km. Each pair is connected to one another by a band. One runner will be blindfolded/blind while his/her partner will be guiding for a distance of 500m before swapping role in becoming a guide / blindfolded. Participants are encouraged to sign up in pairs for this category. Of course, runners can also register as an individual where they will be paired with other individuals at the starting line on event day. Experienced volunteer guides will act as safety marshals at the starting line to assist individuals participants in pairing them up with another runner according to gender and physique.

Join the race and help Runninghour break the Singapore record for Largest Blindfolded Mass Run!

Be part of something meaningful today.

Run So Others Can.

JustRunLah! is proud to be the official online running community of RunningHour 2015 and we are happy to provide a $5 discount off the early-bird price!

Register now at www.runninghour2015.com and claim the discount by entering code: RH5D2015 Limited slots available!




Race Review: Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon 2014 – A Good Spirited Run In The Land Of Smiles (by ‘elf’)

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…

After choosing the Penang Bridge Marathon over Standard Chartered Marathon Bangkok last year, we decided to give the event a go in spite of the political turmoil that hung over Thailand. Hence in March, with the protests still ongoing(before the coup), we signed up for the Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon. Registration was done via the official race agent(which all foreigners are required to unless they are residing in Thailand) as they have different registration rates for locals and foreigners. It is important to register only with the official race agents as there have been reports of other race agents informing that they failed to secure any slots a few months before the event. As usual, the hunt for cheap tickets and cheap lodging began. By June, we had secured our tickets and lodging and were just hoping for the situation in Thailand to improve.

BTS and Bus Ticket
BTS and Bus Ticket

Budget Travel

I headed in on a Thursday evening as I wanted to collect my race pack earlier(and because the ticket was cheaper!) Traveling in on my own, I was determined to keep to a low budget and hence on arrival at Don Muang Airport, I took an express bus to the nearest BTS station. Anyone looking to take this bus at Don Muang should keep a lookout for sign(facing the wrong direction) that says ‘A1 Shuttle Bus’ at the exit for Airport Limousine Ticket Holders(near tourist information). The ride which costs 30 Baht takes you to Mo Chit(the BTS station located at the famed Chatuchak Market). From there, you can take also take the MRT(BTS is above ground while MRT is the subway) to your destination. As always, taxis and tuk-tuks are on hand for hire. My stay was located at Makkasan and hence was not near to any BTS station. However, bearing in mind low-budget, I took the BTS to Chitlom(Station for the 4-faced Buddha) and took a 20 minutes walk to the hotel. By the time I checked in, it was already about 2300hrs and my dinner for the night was well, McDonald’s. Total spending for the night – 221 Baht($8.70SGD).

Even though my initial plan when I booked my flight was to do an early race pack collection, I was not able to collect the race pack as the race expo was only on Saturday – pretty strange arrangement by the organizers . Hence Friday was a free and easy day while I awaited the arrival of my race buddies. By the time we met, it was already 2200hrs and the only place we could get proper food was this restaurant at Siam Square. While pricey, it did give them a chance to sample Thai cuisine.

Thai Powered Fuel
Thai Powered Fuel

Feeling ‘adventurous’ on Saturday morning, I took a motorcycle cab as I switched hotel. Motorcycle cabs are basically available at every corner and you can spot them with their orange/pink vests as they gather together while waiting for passengers. As with Tuk-Tuks, fix a price with them(although they do have a price guide to specific places in Thai) and off you go. While I did end up paying higher than the locals, it was an experience and with their ability to weave in and out of the traffic(some guts required), it was understandable why many engage their services.

Race Pack Collection

After meeting up, we proceeded to the  race-pack collection area via Tuk-Tuk. Despite the hotel staff helping us to bargain the price, as we moved off the price increased with the reason of “Oh I didn’t know it was 4 of you.” Nevertheless, we agreed to the 20 Baht increase. We arrived at the Royal Thai Army Club in about 15minutes the banner on the outside showed that we were at the right place.

On The Right Track

We proceeded to the second level and for the first time, was asked to sign a waiver as well as release form for the race pack. We also had to refer to boards which listed all runners to get our bib number to be written on the form. After completion of the form, we went into another room, whereby the locals were separated from the overseas runner. Overseas runner get to collect both their bibs and t-shirt together while locals get only their bib and have to head downstairs to collect their t-shirt. The ‘shocker’ for the race pack collection is that the race medal is in the race pack. I guess for some this is somewhat disappointing as they have yet to earn the medal. But logistically, it is probably a good move as well – no requirement for additional volunteers to hand over medals after the race.

No SIN this time around.
No SIN this time around,just a little flag

After collecting the race pack collection, it was back to being tourists again and we headed to the Chatuchak market for a couple of hours, another couple of hours at Platinum mall before ending the day (early) with a foot massage as we prepared for tomorrow’s foot pounding.

Flag Off

As in KL, the marathon buddies got up at about 0115hrs before heading to the start point. We got ready at about at about 0315hrs and made our way to the start point, whereby there was once again a carnival feel to it with music by a band on stage. Everyone seemed relax – standing/sitting by the sides waiting for the race pen to open – nobody standing by eagerly to be the first.

Temple of The Emerald Buddha - Start Point
Temple of The Emerald Buddha – Start Point

When we flagged off at 0400hrs, I was surprised by the rather leisurely pace adopted by most runners. The first slope of the race came early at around the 1km mark as we went up the Phra Pinklao Bride over the Chao Phraya River and followed by another at 3km mark as we went up an elevated road. The good thing was that as we reached the top you could feel the morning cool air welcoming you. U-turn point came early at 4km mark and the merge with the full marathon runners came at 5km(about 26km for the full marathon runners). It was however not really that crowded still as the entire highway was closed. At the 8km mark, we crossed the Rama 8 bridge – which although not encouraged, is probably one of the few selfie points along the route.

The rest of the route was pretty flat with not much sights but certainly unique smell as we passed the Dusit Zoo as well as the Royal Stables(or Equestrian Club) between the 12-14km marks. A point to note is that on these roads off the highway, vehicles are moving along the road by the side of the runners Near to the 15km and 16km marks are another 2 selfie points at Anantasamakhom Throne Hall(most Thai runners made a Wai in the direction of the Throne Hall in respect) and United Nations Conference Center respectively.

The Grand Palace

As we approach what we thought was the end point due to the fanfare, a rather large group of enthusiastic  students from Thammasat University  out to show their support around the 19km mark, would probably be game for a photo or 2. Turning into the finishing stretch(other than seeing the Grand Palace,we couldn’t really tell as there was no finishing arch as with most races), it was quite a ‘unique’ experience as you didn’t know where the end point was! After we crossed the finishing point – that’s where everyone started to walk – we grabbed a drink before heading back to the hotel, foregoing the free food and fruits which is available to all runners.

Race Logistics

Water points were well spaced – 2-3kms are what we would term as undermanned. There are at most ten tables at each water point with 2 about 2 volunteers per table or 5 for 2 tables. However, despite this they manage to clear the queues pretty quickly and I must also commend most runners for being patient as they await their turn. Some of the water points are supplemented with bananas(they are cut into smaller pieces) as well as water melon.

An issue I have with the race though is the distance markers. The first marker I saw was a 4km marker at the 6km mark and the next was the 10km marker at the 8km mark! Subsequent markers were about 1km and the off and the last marker I saw for the half marathon was a 20km marker at the 18.5km mark. There was even a 40km marker at the 41km mark – pretty demoralizing for a full marathon runner if you think there were 2 kilometers left when there was only 1 left!

Aptly named Forklift Café at The Warehouse
Aptly named Forklift Café at The Warehouse


On the overall, this is another recommended race despite some hiccups – water point issues and distance markers are something seasoned runners will easily brush off. The support from the locals as well as the police/military(assisting with the race setup and stopping traffic – note the minimal road closures other than the highway)can definitely be felt and all tourists stay, no matter how short, is always welcomed. If anything as my race buddies would attest to, come for a short shopping trip and enjoy the Thai massage – something which they all did when time was available even though the hotel was slightly out of the way.

In any case, the hotel of choice is The Warehouse, located at Thanon Bunsiri near to the Temple of The Emerald Buddha which is also the race start point. I must admit that what caught my eye initially when bookings were made was the price then followed by the location. In the end, it turned out to be a rather good pick as amenities, though not 3/4 star is more than sufficient for anyone looking for a place to stay for the race. They also have a cafe which is able to satisfy basic food requirements (no supper though).

The staff there are also very helpful and their help with the taxis/tuks-tuks will help to overcome issues getting out to the shopping areas. Cultural area such as the temples and the Grand Palace is no issue as they are all within walking distance.

As before if anyone is keen, overall expenditure for this trip SGD (Baht)):

  • Race Registration                                                     65 (1650)
  • Transport (Singapore Airport)                               27
  • Air Ticket                                                                   143
  • Hotel                                                                           80
  • Food                                                                           75 (1900)
  • Transport                                                                  25 (750)
  • Total                                                                           415

The above estimate is based on a triple sharing room(per person) and shared transport costs including air port transfer but excluding massage and shopping. We even managed to squeeze in a trip to Hard Rock Cafe on the above budget.

This race also marks the end of our trips this year but rest assure that planning has already began for next year’s trips  🙂


JRL Is Turning One: Grand Giveaway Sweepstakes

On December 3rd 2014, we will be turning one!

It has been a great first year. At JRL, we are constantly thinking about how to make this site a fun and informative place for everybody. Now, just in time for our birthday, and thanks to our contest sponsors, we are bringing you a grand giveaway sweepstakes with 10 amazing prizes!

2 x 3D2N Stay at Bayu Villa with Breakfast and Return Boat Transfer, Gaya Island Resort

There is a place, accessible only by boat, where all that nature has created, from sheltered coral reefs to protected mangroves, over thousands of years has been preserved by those devoted to its care. A place called Gaya Island Resort at Pulau Gaya.

Gaya Island Resort is located on Pulau Gaya, the largest of a cluster of five islands that form the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, a natural conservation area off the coast of Borneo, close to Kota Kinabalu. Gaya Island Resort has a unique setting: the land is fringed with a golden sandy beach, rocky coastal outcrops, and surrounded by coral reefs. The hilly island landscape is covered with lush tropical rainforest and an abundance of flora and fauna. And to complete this perfect setting, visible in the distance, is the stunning outline of Mount Kinabalu.


The guest villa exterior respects Sabahan architecture, uses local materials and blends harmoniously with the natural environment. The interior living space is designed with contemporary elegance to create warmth, comfort and a serene indoor setting.

Gaya Island Resort is committed to ecologically-sustainable practices to minimise the carbon footprint within its environment. Therefore, the resort is a walking resort and only minimal motorised vehicles are used for operational purposes.


More information about the resort: www.gayaislandresort.com


5 x SleekTag – Active Wristband

Tough Enough for Outdoor, Cool Enough for Indoor

SleekTag Prime: with a Stainless Steel Tag and Security Clasp looks great on your wrist. Its high grade silicone made it comfy to wear. They come in vibrant colors. Easy to put on, with a simple snap on the buckle. The band is adjustable to fit all sizes. Some ideas about which information to tag: emergency use (name, contact number, allergies (if any)), motto for team events, special or personal quotes for best friends, couples and more.


SleekTag Lite: With vibrant colors and joyful hearts materials. Comes with polished or matte stainless steel tag. This bracelet is ideal for smaller hands. Ideal for children on-the-go. You can now bring your children out for shopping, school’s field trips or any outdoor activities, with peace of mind knowing you will be contacted whenever they go out of your sight. Ideas to tag information, for emergency use: parent’s name and contact number.

More information: www.sleektag.com 


3 x SportSanity Premier Cards

The Only Sports Card You Will Need

Enjoy discounts at over 80 sports, fitness & wellness related merchants with the SportSanity Premier Card. From retail brands like Key Power Sports, Royal Sporting House & Decathlon to Futsal Pitches, Paintball Parks & Watersports, we’ve got it all covered! All cardholders will also receive a set of free trial vouchers worth over $720 where they can enjoy free lessons, trials & free gym passes at SportSanity partner providers. For parents who would like to purchase it for their kids, don’t worry there’s a kid option too.

More information: www.sportsanity.com.sg



This contest has ended and winners have been notified via email. Thanks for taking part.




Hi! I’m SmallSteph.

So I kinda jumped the gun and posted something without formally introducing myself first. So here ‘s a little self-introduction to provide you with a “voice” to the words you’re reading.

(Am I the only one who imagines the author’s voice reading to me even when I’ve never met him/her before? I hope not.)

My name is Steph, but here you can call me smallsteph. I got that nickname during a university orientation game where everyone sits in a circle and introduces their name, along with an adjective which describes themselves and which begins with the same letter as their name. Small, not short, because I look like somebody downsized me by dragging the diagonal inwards with a computer picture resize tool.

I run, because I like to feel the wind in my hair. I run, because it takes me to new places. I run, because it makes me stronger.

I write, so that abstract thoughts in my head become meaningful words. I write, so that my memories stay forever. I write, so that I may share my thoughts with the world.

Hence this blog.

I may come as a small package, but I can spread significant positive energy to this community and beyond. A newbie to the corporate world, I am still experimenting with activities that help maintain the active lifestyle that I used to lead as a competitive cheerleader. While I overcome this lazy monster in me one run, one fitness event at a time, I hope that my blog would empower others like me (or not) to do the same.

So won’t you run with me?



Captain Canada Joins the JustRunLah! Team

capt.-canuckWelcome everyone to Captain Canada’s first blog post on JustRunLah! I thought before I start taking you on the journey of a mischievous Canadian running his way around the word, I thought I would introduce myself first.

Being from Canada the one thing I have learnt since moving to Singapore 10 months ago is that going from one extreme to the next can really do strange things to your body. I decided to take up running just over 2 years ago now after a life long career of playing Volleyball, Rugby, and of course the pride and joy of Canada…. Hockey eh!

After many years of abuse to my poor body the logical move was to help myself live a bit longer and buy a pair of $50 dollar new balance shoes (Oh how much I’ve learnt about why you should not wear a $50 pair of shoes to run). I will spare the details of running on ice and in minus 40 degrees Celsius for later posts, but let’s just say that it takes a brave soul to keep things going during the winters which is maybe why I left… shhh don’t tell anyone I may lose my passport 😉

Now this has nothing to do with running but I thought a story of my first week in Singapore will be a great prelude to my first year of hitting the pavement and now completing 7 races in Singapore with 2 to go.

I arrived in Singapore February 1 2014 in the midst of a very dry month. Being in the finance industry and from Toronto the idea of a suit and tie is not too unfamiliar to me. That is until my first day heading into the office one of which will stay with me just like my first races here in the most humid place on earth.

As I walked to Orchard station I got a quick dose of the reality of humidity, and why I saw no other fools like myself walking outside in a suit and tie. As I arrived at the office after leaving a trail of maple syrup sweat behind me on the MRT I had been solicited by not only the front desk security at Suntec, but also my new co workers to call an ambulance to head to the hospital. (Now I understand the strange looks I was getting as hair gel melted down my face. Let’s just say this is the last day of a suit and tie and my first glimpse at what laid ahead for me as I tied up my laces and hit the rickety road.

To avoid letting myself ramble on (Which I can do forever) I want to leave this as a brief expectation of the types of shenanigans you can expect from Captain Canada.

On a final notes I live life to the fullest and by a simple accord. “Run, Eat, Beer and if there is time Sleep” Looking forward to sharing my adventures with you all.


What’s the best time to run?

source: http://vegasport.com/vega-life/vega-blog/find-health-at-every-size/

When I first decided to take running seriously, I embarked on some research so that I may make the most out of my runs. Among my burning questions were, “What’s the best time to run?”

Before sunrise or after? What about at night? Before or after meals? Should I run when I’m having my period? All I wanted to do was to run fast, run safe, but there seemed to be so many considerations.


Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 10.28.52


Before or after daybreak

Running before the sun rises means you get a more cooling environment, less distractions from traffic and pedestrians, plus you get more out of your day. I loved the fact that by the time I’m done, most of my neighbours are still sleeping while I’ve already boosted my metabolism for the day! Besides, most races are held in the wee hours of the morning, so running when the sky is still dark prepares you physically for races. But ever since some suspicious people have been found loitering in my neighbourhood at night, I’ve been given a parental ban from running alone early in the morning. Also, right after you wake up, your body temperature is at its lowest and your muscles are stiff, making it prone to injury. Therefore, proper warm ups are absolutely necessary. Environmental conditions may be good, but safety should be of utmost importance. And warm up!

At night

Some feel there are less mental considerations when running as a conclusion to a day, because there’s no worry about returning  home in time for work, or if one will be too tired to carry out subsequent activities. Run, return home, shower, and sleep. Sounds like a plan, no? Safety concerns as mentioned above aside, I actually hardly run in the evening or at night. It makes me too energetic to sleep early. And since I live near an industrial estate, the air is usually pretty polluted by the end of the day. Still, I often hear of friends who conclude their days with runs or jogs, and they sleep really well because of exhaustion after that. To each his own, try and see how your body feels!

Before or after meals

Running before meals means your body burns whatever is stored, instead of whatever has just been ingested. Therefore if you’re looking at trimming fat, run before you eat. And please eat healthy after you run. No point going for a jog to try to lose weight and then scarf down an Extra Value Meal after that. I’ve tried having breakfast (bread+milo) 30min before a morning run, and it feels horrible. I felt sluggish, got stitches, and gave up sooner than planned. But running 2 hours or more after meals has worked fine with me. Regardless, before a run, have some water so you’re hydrated. But not too much that you get distracted with the urge to pee while running. Leave sufficient time for digestion before running, and stay hydrated.

During menstruation

More valid for the females, but possibly valuable information for guys with ladies in their lives. I’ve read that several marathon records were broken by ladies on their period, so the monthly red tide shouldn’t be a reason to not run. It’s also proven that on the first day of the menstrual cycle, more calories are burnt than average, so running (or exercising in general) is more effective as you burn more fat while building muscle. Of course, there are times when you just don’t feel like running, or when you’re experiencing cramps, so give yourself a break and rest. You can always make it up another day when you’re feeling better! Periods shouldn’t matter, but know your body.

Reading up for answers was indeed educational, but there are always multiple sides to each point so it boils down to weighing personal pros and cons. And with variable schedules, sometimes it is just not possible to stick to an “ideal” time to run.

One day, I came across this quote that read, “You will never regret a run.” Bottomline, whenever you feel like it, keep yourself safe and Just Run Lah!


Cover photo source: http://vegasport.com


Running Heroes Vol. 2: Coe & Ovett


Coe & Ovett

This week’s Running Heroes instalment was a lot of fun to research and produce, bringing back some great memories. Two iconic middle distance runners from my youth, a rivalry made all the more interesting because of their backgrounds & characters – as you’ll read in this post.

I was glued to the Moscow (1980) and Los Angeles (1984) games as a young sport enthusiast, watching these two battle over 800 and 1500m in finals at the very highest level of their sport.

But the rivalry goes back a long way between Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett, so I’ll try to distill it down here for you in a quick post.

Steve Ovett


Born in 1955, the son of a working class family of market traders in Brighton, England, Steve was a natural athlete.

A talented footballer in his teens, he was also a natural middle distance runner, with a deadly kick, making him almost unbeatable at 1500m and the mile. He was a street kid, a tough runner, who battled for everything – no college degree for Steve, he left school and became a full time athlete at 18. After showboating to victory in the 1500m European Championships, Ovett’s reputation as a cocky talent grew and grew. Famously uncooperative with the media, Steve was the ‘bad boy’ of UK Athletics through the 70’s and 80’s.

Sebastian Coe


Born in 1956, Coe came from a comfortable middle class family, his father coached him as a middle distance runner from an early age and the family was soon orientated around ensuring his long term success.

As a schoolboy his results (unlike Ovett) were unexceptional, Coe went to University in Loughborough, the UK’s leading University for potential Olympians and worked, and worked, grinding out hundredth’s of a second, inching towards his goal.

Almost the exact opposite of Ovett, Coe is a product of effort, discipline and hard work. Coe always gave good press to the media, was well spoken and a great ambassador for his sport.

The rivalry

podiumBetween 1978 and 1984, Coe and Ovett were unquestionably the worlds finest middle distance runners, setting 12 world records and winning 5 Olympic medals between them.

But it was much more than a rivalry of stars. If you are a British runner in your forties or fifties, you are either a Coe person, or an Ovett person. Coe for the purists (think Roger Federer), Ovett for the rebels (think Usain Bolt). It was a rivalry steeped in the class system and culture of the country through the 1980’s. I was 11 when I watched the Moscow Olympics – hit hard by the US boycott, 15 when I saw the guy with the jetpack at the opening ceremony in LA, watched Daley Thompson win Gold and saw Coe and Ovett battle again – images and events etched in my memory.

From a pure records point of view, 1981 is the standout season, where both men exchanged world records over an electrifying summer, but the Moscow Olympics is probably more famous. Watch the 800m final now;

Going in, Coe is the favourite, unbeaten over two laps of the track for the previous year.

A complete turn around, Ovett wins Coe’s event. Coe is absolutely gutted. This pic of the two me on the podium says a lot to me, about honour, teamwork and just how much that result hurt Coe.

Fast forward a couple of days and it’s the 1500m, Ovett’s distance. Will he do the double? How will Coe respond after that crushing defeat?

Coe wins! Ovett actually runs one of the poorest 1500’s he’s done in about 5 years, but it’s Coe’s night. Honours Even.

After this Coe goes from strength to strength, but Ovett starts to fade. Come 1984, Ovett is ill, but doesn’t really feature in either 800 or 1500 finals as Coe holds his 1500m again and wins Silver in the 800m.

Lord Coe and Steve OvettFrom here Steve Ovett steps away from the UK limelight, moves to Australia and takes up a career as an Athletics commentator on Aussie TV. I can only find this one pic of Steve and Seb in later life, reunited at the London Olympic opening ceremony in 2012.

Coe on the other hand has gone from strength to strength. A Member of the UK Parliament (MP) in 1992 and appointed Lord Coe in 2000, he was the driving force behind the successful London 2012 campaign as head of LOCOG (London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games) and is currently chairman of the British Olympic Committee.

This article from The Guardian, an imaginary diary of the London Olympic preparations if Steve Ovett had been in charge, gives you a good insight into the way the British Press (and public) viewed Steve and Seb.

Me? I was always an Ovett kid.

His attitude, the kick for home, the attitude towards authority and the swagger won me over as a kid and I’ve never looked back. Coe I can admire for his determination and discipline, but I just don’t like the guy, I’m not shouting his name at the TV in the final straight and I just can’t empathise with him.

How about you? Steve or Seb?

In summary, this was a rivalry up there with the greatest individual rivalries in sport;

Watson & Nicklaus, Hunt and Lauda, McEnroe and Borg. Elite sports people, different backgrounds, different characters.

This is what makes sport so bloody amazing!

Next week we’ll head to East Africa, and to Iten, home of champions.

Happy trails



Race Review: Great Eastern Women’s Run 2014 [10km] (by ‘red3’)

At the break of dawn

15,000 women woke up Sunday morning (9 Nov) to participate in the one and only all women’s running race, the Great Eastern Women’s Run.  Certainly the 5am precipitation did not hinder the keen runners, joggers or walkers.

By 6.30am the sparkling view of Singapore’s many iconic buildings across the bay elicited several ooohs and ahhhs, whilst the Singapore Flyer stood majestically above the start line waiting for the break of dawn.

Run Ladies Run
Let the spirit take you high
Let your feet pound the K’s
And when it’s sweated and all done
Let the champas flow freely by
And celebrate a race well done
2014-11-09 06.39.36
2014-11-09 06.54.26

Run the world, girls!

As participants jostled for their Start position, fitness trainers broke out into aerobic warm up sessions to pumping music, the compere was hyping up the crowd and the minutes to flag-off were slowly ticking by.  There on the sidelines stood the support system: daddies huddling under brollies with their kids, husbands/boyfriends spectating their loved ones.  More ooohs and ahhhs were to be had and appreciated.

In the midst of all this seven women left their sleeping loved ones behind to band together to tackle the GEWR race.  Several firsts were being experienced in this small group: a first race, a first best time, first 10km / 5km run, first participation in GEWR.  Some were cajoled into it, some were keen, some registered in the nick of time and some just snuck it in.  No matter the reasons, these band of women donned their gear, strapped on their sneakers and hit the pavement of the F1 Pit.

These women are my friends and neighbours with diverse levels of running skills.  Some are old timers on the running track and some are very new to it.  Three of us tackled the 10km race and the other four entered the 5km race.  Undeterred by the remaining drizzle, we started the race with a smile on our faces and a “see you at the end”.

Ready to roll
Ready to roll

My 10km buddy, Chelle
My 10km buddy, Chelle

I started off at a very comfortable pace enjoying the scenery from another angle.  Chelle was well ahead of me already and I was slowly losing sight of her bright fluoro top amongst the sea of red singlets. It wasn’t long before I ambled into Nicoll Hwy for what seemed like the longest stretch of the run due to its lengthy and straight course.  Whilst I was heading west of Nicoll, Chelle had already turned and started heading east, So I spotted her on the opposite side of the temporary fence.  We did a swift high-five or more like a low-five to acknowledge one another and then continued on. The last time I would see Chelle would be at the opposite end of Nicoll when I was heading east and she had already turned at the 5km mark to head west and complete the second half of her run.

Hitting the wall

It was at this point that my pace started slipping and I started struggling with the run.  Found myself walking a lot more and running less.  The uphill ramp didn’t help and by the time we turned the corner for the downward ramp, I was spent and just kept walking.  I remember during my 8km NorthPassion race that I ran into trouble around the 5-6km mark as well.  Even my hubby’s words ringing in my head to “keep going soldier” stopped working.  By 8km I was barely running a few hundred metres at a time.

I was knocked out of my sullen trance by a tap on my rear when lo and behold my 5km buddy, Vika, with a massive smile on her face, waves at me. I mouth a desperate “I am dying here”, she concurs and then just sprints off for the last 2km.  I don’t think we were feeling the same pain.

Vika nearing the finish line, fighting fit.

The final sprint

Tired of being overtaken far too many times, I hydrate at the 8.5km mark and muster all that I had in my reserves to deliver the last 1500m.  Running alongside the Kallang Basin, I lightened up (must have something to do with running alongside water) and entered a more positive trance and once I turned the corner at the Flyer and saw the Finish Line in the distance, I got mad just enough to sprint my way to the end.

I am so focused on that Finish line.
I am so focused on that Finish line.

Look at me fly.  One day, this will be the norm.
Look at me fly. One day, this will be the norm.

Whilst my time wasn’t spectacular at 1:12hrs, I was satisfied to make it into the top 20%.  As we waited in the Village for the remaining racers, we collected our bags, hydrated and met up with our very own support system: hubbies and kids.

Now that the results are out this band of women were pleasantly surprised with their individual outcomes.  Chelle had her personal best at 55.56 and ranked in top 3% for 10km, Vika slotted herself in at the top 0.5% for 5km and Suuzieq participated in her very first running event and came in the top 5%.  The rest of the ladies were in the top 5.5%.  All round I think this was a fantastic group effort.




I ran and faltered and struggled and walked,
I ran and I hung in there, whether I liked it or not.
Mile after mile my legs were begging to stop,
But my spirit said no and I pressed on and on.
And then, I saw the end and harnessed my reserves,
I crossed the finish line and thought “Thank Heavens it’s done”.

2014-11-09 14.58.39

See you at Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore, if not before.  I’ll be participating in my second 10km race there.  Cheers.



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