Music on the run…

Music on the run.

Besides being obsessed with shoes in the last 2 years, I was also trying out all kinds of earphones… nah, this post is not about the earphones that I’ve used and had before, but just wanted to share that I need to have music to accompany me during those long distance runs.

My ‘love’ for music started way back in the 80’s – “Beat It” by Michael Jackson was what got me started, although prior to that, there was Carpenters, Bee Gees, Bonnie M, etc from my father’s trusty radio – but it was Beat It and Thriller that got me started to like English songs. My favourite playlist are songs from the 80’s, those were the days when the Pet Shop Boys, Aphaville, Depeche Mode, A-Ha rule the billboard charts. Personal fav while running include Slave to Love by Bryan Ferry, Forever Young (12″ mix) by Alphaville, La Femme Accident by OMD, and Domino Dancing by Pet Shop Boys, Freedom by Wham! and many many others – just my 80’s playlist alone, I can run 2 marathons!

Once in while, for a change, I will have canto-pop as my running motivation, while not as fast paced as the 80’s, but they provide the right pace for an easy jog. Songs like 十分十二寸 by Geroge Lam, 斤两十足 by Sam Hui, 梦半by Anita Mui, Monica by Leslie Cheung and many more, enough for a half marathon.

Now, for a good boost, the song that gets me going is actually Korean! “Cabi Song” by Girls Generation and 2pm, the startup beats gave me a good kick, and when the song played, images of the MTV came up and that gives me the added adrenaline to get going.

Oh, and if you want to know, I’m using the Bose SIE2i earphones 🙂


Project Happy Feet: Slipper Race 2014

Project Happy Feet: Slipper Race, Singapore 22 February 2014.

We are always happy to publicise and support a good-cause event; this time we would like to bring your attention to the upcoming Slipper Race 2014 – Total Defence Edition organised by Project Happy Feet, to take place in Singapore on February the 22nd.

Why Slipper Race?


The Project Happy Feet Slipper Race is Singapore’s only non-competitive walk in slippers to raise funds for Project Happy Feet’s beneficiaries. The race is inspired by the many school children in countries such as Cambodia who walk more than 3km to school either barefooted or in slippers – if there is a school nearby. By getting participants to walk in a similar distance in slippers, we hope people will put themselves in the shoes (or slippers!) of these underprivileged children and do their part to contribute towards them having a chance at education. For the younger participants, we hope they walk away with an appreciated for what they have been given, and feel inspired and empowered to do something for their counterparts who are less privileged. Though the event is not really a race in the competitive sense, we hope to send the message that there is a great urgency for us to do something about education for underprivileged children around the world, and that we should race against time to give our support and make that positive impact now.

About Project Happy Feet

Project Happy Feet is a Singapore-based not-for-profit organisation set up since 2009 to empower the lives of underprivileged youths and children in developing countries by supporting their education and training through fund-raising for education-related initiatives and programmes that positively impact them or their families. To date, Project Happy Feet has raised more than SGD 500,000 through its fund raising initiatives such as Chefs for a Cause in 2009, the Project Happy Feet Slipper Race since 2011 and supported more than 4,000 children and youth in Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia and Nepal through its programmes.

Mission : To empower lives through education and training to alleviate poverty. 

Vision : A world where children go to school with happy feet, and poverty if alleviated.

Quick Facts:
Registered as Public Company limited by guarantee on 7 July 2009
Improves lives of underprivileged children and youths, especially in developing countries
Supports training- and education-related programmes and initiatives
Corporate Governance:
Funds fully audited (by H T Khoo & Associates)
100% of donations are designated for specific causes and are channeled to benefit identified beneficiaries
100% volunteer run
Operational costs underwritten by Emergenetics Caelan & Sage Pte Ltd (registered in Singapore since 2005)



The Project Happy Feet Slipper Race 2014 – Total Defence edition will benefit the following organisations:

THIS LIFE CAMBODIA (CAMBODIA) This Life Cambodia is a not-for-profit, non-government community development organisation with a focus on education. It provides technical advice and support to individuals, communities and non-profit organisations in Cambodia. Its ultimate goal is to help local people and groups become fully self-sustainable by providing educational and training opportunities, securing project funding, building infrastructure and creating networks to support their needs. Funds raised at the Project Happy Feet Slipper Race 2014 will be channeled towards the Lower Secondary School Development Program, focused at developing community competency in designing long-term sustainable solutions for schools in Siem Reap.

SPED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE SCHEME BY COMMUNITY CHEST (SINGAPORE) The SPED Financial Assistance Scheme, a programme supported by Community Chest, provides financial assistance to needy students from special schools so that they can enjoy fully subsidized school fees, uniforms, textbooks and a 75% subsidy for national exam fees. The scheme aims to enable low-income families that face financial difficulties and challenges to support their children with special needs.

Race details

Event Date: Saturday, 22 February 2014

Event Time: Event ground opens at 3.00pm, Flag-off at 4:00pm sharp

Venue: Outside Singapore Management University School of Accounting

Distance: 3.6km

Race route:

Footwear: Slippers/Flip-Flops

Website / registration:


 Information and images taken from and


What is the heel-toe drop and shoe stack height?

Running shoes anatomy 101

Heel-toe drop (or offset, or differential) is a term that came along with the boom of technology in running shoes, and the increasing interest in barefoot running. So what exactly is it, and why are people interested in it anyway?

First of all, one needs to know what the “stack height” refers to; and that is simply a measure of how much material is between the bottom of your foot and the ground.

Now, measuring the stack height at the heel and the toe and subtracting those numbers, will give you the heel-toe drop. To make things clearer, heel-toe drop has been defined by Brooks Running as “the difference between (midsole + outsole) heel height and (midsole + outsole) forefoot height” .


Heel-toe drop (or offset) calculation formula

To put things into perspective, some realistic scenarios would be: heel stack 23mm, toe stack 11mm, giving a heel-toe drop of 12mm, or in another case, heel stack 18mm, toe stack 12mm, giving a heel-toe drop of 6mm. It is easy to see that the heel-toe offset indicates how “wedgy” the shoes are; the higher the number, the more  your heel will be left higher than your forefoot.

Traditionally, running shoes have been built with a 12-15mm heel-toe drop. but the minimalist shoe movement of the last few years has brought about lower stack heights and smaller forefoot drops. Moderate minimalist shoes typically have a 4-10mm heel-toe drop, while, zero-drop shoes (heel-to-toe drop of 0 to 4mm) are also available, aimed to provide an as close as it gets “barefoot” running experience.

As far as to which are better for you, many studies have been published, and the argument that is often being made is that running in shoes with a larger heel-toe drop encourages a heel strike. This, in turn, can not only diminish running efficiency and speed, but can also potentially cause injuries, as it is associated with higher impact forces and greater rotational forces (overpronation). On the contrary, a lower heel-to-toe drop is supposed to encourage a midfoot strike, and help the runner maintain a natural position.


My first run with Kikikukiki Runners, Keppel Bay

Running the Keppel Bay, Singapore with K5 Runners

I have been wanting to join one of the fun runs organised by a running club in Singapore for quite some time now, and last night I finally went for it. I joined the Kikikukiki (or K5) Runners in their weekly BayFront run.

The meeting was set for 7:30pm at the entrance of Labrador Park MRT station, and even though I arrived a bit early, many of the club members (easily recognisable by their striking-green Kikikukiki tees) were already there.


Once the necessary introductions were done, and after a bit of chit-chatting we set out for the run. We were a total of around 30 people, and there would be two groups: the faster and slower runners; I joined the first one and hopped for the best 🙂

After about 5 minutes into the run, there was a mild hill to climb, before we reached Labrador Nature Reserve Park. The weather was perfect for a run with a very comfortable sea breeze. We “circled” the park and then headed for the Keppel BayFront. I had never been here before, and I was really impressed by the scenery. The boardwalk structure allowed for an easy and steady run. Soon we hit the Keppel Bay Vista bridge and made our way into the island.

Kikikukiki Run Keppel BayFront

A short pit-stop for photos and we were on our way back. Retracing our route, we once again made our way to Labrador Park, where would be our gathering point. More chit-chat while waiting for the rest of the runners, a few group photos and then back to the parking lot for a chilled cup of 100 PLUS.

All in all, I am really glad I took part in this, and I will definitely be back for more.


If you want to join the K5 Runners, check out their Facebook page. They organise weekly runs at Jurong International Business Park (Tuesday evenings), Labrador Park / BayFront (Thursday evenings) and MacRitchie Reservoir (Saturday mornings).

The admission is free and fun is guaranteed.


Running the Hong Kong Marathon

Hong Kong Marathon

The Standard Chartered Marathon Hong Kong

Your face lit up the moment you woke up. You do your pre-race ritual, had your quick breakfast fix and started doning your race gear. You take your race pack and dump all the essentials inside, dropped your hotel card inside, and headed out of the hotel. From the comforting air-conditioned hotel temps, you exited the hotel and headed out, bare, to the race site. You feel cold, and began to chatter as the chilling temps in the morning begin to get you.

Step by step, you walked to the race site to deposit your baggage. Your pre-race attire is stripped, baggage is deposited and you queue for the portaloos in your race gear. You are shivering now and began to jog on the spot and move your limbs to generate heat, akin to other runners warming up and down Nathan road.

You walked to the start point and got yourself jammed up in the middle of the pack. You feel warmer with the bodies around you. For now…

The siren goes and you are off. The adrenaline within you goes off as you run past the starting line. You felt great off the blocks but the human jam forbids seamless overtaking. 4km in, you are running on the West Kowloon Highway and one last turn awaits you and you’ll be running on the expressway. The crowd eases now with the entire length of expressway available to you. The undulating terrain starts now. You head up the hilly highway and witness the awesome Stonecutters Bridge in sight, approximately 2km away. The gradient increases and lo and behold, you are running up the bridge. It is an L shaped design. Once you are done, a water point awaits you for conquering the first major obstacle in the marathon.

Next up, you enter the first tunnel on-route. You feel warm, air seemed thicker and you feel harder to run inside. When you are near to the exit, the temperature drops and you feel the cold chilly winds coming your way as you exited the tunnel.

Shortly after, you will reach the legendary Tsing Ma bridge. The bridge is uphill, and you will uturn in the middle of it.

You will then uturn into another bridge which is almost the same, uphill to and downhill fro.

These routes enable you to meet up with fellow runners whom you might know. You caught up with many of your friends, exchanging hi-fives, shouting HIs.

Your route brings you down-slope to the second tunnel of the route. Upon exiting the tunnel, you have ran 25km and your legs is starting to give way. You feel determined to charged through the entire route, refusing to give up.

Upon exiting the tunnel, you’ll be back on the highway, with ups and downs greeting you at every sight. You feel strong winds brushing past you and witness different runners running different paths of the highway. You will reach the West Kowloon Highway and there will be a water point there. You have now ran 30km of the route and you will see a pool of 21km runners merging with you. The lanes seemed packed now but its still all right. You used the 21km participants as your pacers and start drafting off them.

You continue your route for 4 more km before entering through a gate with massive supporters.

At 34km, you will enter into the final tunnel on-route. This tunnel is unique and is one of the highlights of the race. You run downhill for 1.5km before running uphill for 1.5km. You are exhausted now, but you cannot give up now. You exited the tunnel feeling extremely cold with strong, chilly headwinds coming your way.

After conquering the uphill climb, you go through a series of downhill and find yourself by a pier. You try your best to absorb the scenary and the supporters whom came down cheering for you. Your legs is giving way, but you trottle through as much as you can.

Your facial expression depicts the pain you have on your entire body, but you are still there, fighting your way through.

Your last obstacle comes crashing down on you. You saw a flyover with a steepness akin-ed to Upper Pierce. It is approximately 200m high but you are determined to get past it. You saw alot of runners walking up this challenge. You ran past it, and you saw the sign ‘Causeway-bay’. Surely the end is near.

You wind through Causeway-bay, a familiar shopping district. Looking up, you see residents cheering you. There are tons of supporters on either side of the road. You absorb their cheers, you smiled at the photographers, there is no giving up now, not for yourself, not for the supporters.

One final turn and the finishing line is in sight, you ran the final 195m on green platform and ran past the finishing line.

You did it! You completed the Hong Kong Marathon.



PS: Enjoy the cramps the following day. =\



Adidas Takumi Sen Review

Adidas Takumi Sen

The quest for a marathon flat can be taxing. For the most of us, it could get boring racing and training in the same shoe again and again. Most end up getting new flats to race and in turn realize, awww this shoe is not for me.

I saw the takumi sen in Hong Kong and never looked back. I was on a trip with my girlfriend and she purchased this pair of racing flats for me as a gift. It cost 1099 hkd in Jan 13.

This shoe felt really good on the feet. Initial impressions seemed positive. I was jogging up and down the store at Tsim Sha Tsui and was convinced this is the shoe i need. The key decision criteria lies in how this shoe wraps around your feet comfortably and the responsiveness it provides on every stride. I could feel it just by jogging in it!

I could fondly remember my first test-run in it. I brought it out for a 10km tempo run and clocked a very good pace but didn’t felt too hard. I describe the shoe as ‘the shoe that doesn’t slow down’ to my friend!

Thereafter, I used it for all my tempo runs and crucial LSD leading up to my marathon.


This shoe gave me a PR in 10km, 21km and 42km. I’m not an elite runner but this shoe works for me at sub 5:10 pace in a full marathon.

500km into runs and there’s significant wear and tear underfoot. The responsiveness is wearing off but hey, its a racer. 500km is hard to come by nowadays. I have this shoe for more than a year now and I’m still using it.



There’s new colorway for the shoe. Its widely available in Hongkong. SG is selling it through runners gait.

A man’s meat is another man’s poison. This shoe works for me and i highly recommend it to runners looking for the following attributes:

  1. Low stack heights
  2. Light weight racer
  3. Meshy Upper
  4. High Responsiveness
  5. Midfoot / Heel-strikers (For heel strikers, do note that the outsole will wear out faster)
  6. Minimal cushioning
  7. No habit of going sockless

The Adidas Takumi Sen is available at Runners Gait at S$229.


3 years of running, and 18 pairs of shoes

Well, back in those days when we do not have the internet and running was simple, we only had one pair of shoes and use that pair for all kind of stuff. In the recent 10 years, shoe technology has gone from just simple gels, foam to all kinds of space jargon and what have you…

I am extremely guilty of being a shoe-whore (a word I learned from the internet) – now where do I start – alright, 4 years ago, when I decide that I want to take up running ‘seriously’, my first pair of running shoes was the Nike Pegasus – I never bothered what pronation was, what a neutral foot strike was, I just went with what caught my eye on the shelf, and what was comfortable. Ran the shoe down in my first uncompleted marathon. And after that I started to know that there is such thing as a running shoe review. Thereafter, I started to know about over pronation, under pronation, neutral, foot strikes… and all that jazz. Running became complicated, I was trying on new shoes every 2 months, and dumping shoes the moment I ‘feel’ they were not right for me!

Let’s see….

2010 – Nike Pegasus

2011 – Asics Kayano 17, Saucony Kinvara 2, Saucony Cortana, Brooks Ghost 4

2012 – Newton Motion, Saucony Kinvara 3, Mizuno Wave Rider 15, Mizuno Enigma 2, Mizuno Inspire 8, Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12

2013 – Saucony Mirage 3, Mizuno Enigma 3, Brooks Pure Flow, Brooks Pure Cadence, Newton Distance S, Newton Motion, Mizuno Cursoris

2014 – Brooks Pure Flow 2, Brooks Pure Cadence 2

These shoes were purchased because I was reading too much and was bought into the marketing hype….

Now that I am listing them out, it looks scary! I was buying more shoes than my wife!! Some of those shoes, I only ran in them for a month, and donated them to red cross.

So today, I tell myself – just run in what is comfortable and what works. Having experimented and understanding how I ran, I now only have 2 pairs of running shoes which I am the most comfortable with…. Would I say ‘money well spent?’ – well, I don’t know, I just know I won’t buy 6 pairs of running shoes a year anymore….

They say ignorance is bliss… I agree.


Funny and motivational marathon spectator signs

Best funny and motivational marathon spectator signs

Spectator signs are great; runners love to read them as it breaks the monotony of the course. They come in all sizes and shapes, from personal notes and inside jokes to purely motivational, and from funny and innocent to somewhat offensive. We have put together some of the best for you.


Who needs them anyway.
Who needs them anyway.


Husbands can relate!
Husbands can probably relate!


Run, bitch!
Run, bitch!


One for the moviegoers
One for the moviegoers


Can't say I am not tempted, but I think I'll pass...
Can’t say I am not tempted, but I think I’ll pass…


Technically... you are right!
Well, technically… you are right.


Listen to the lady
Listen to the ladies




Brave the pain.
Brave the pain.



One for the running moms
One for the running moms


Who can say no to this little guy?




So deep this one.
So deep this one.



when legs get tired, run with your heart
Listen to your heart


You can do it!
You can do it!


Post-run makan is one step closer.
Post-run makan just got one step closer. And yes, this is listed under “motivational” on purpose!


Runners, which one is your favourite? Do you recall seeing any at your last runs?

Spectators, if you’re planning on watching a marathon, make some signs – the runners will love you for it. After all, nothing is better than putting a smile on someone who is struggling.


First race of 2014

No Frills Run 2014 running map.
No Frills Run 2014 running map.

No Frills Run, January 2014, Singapore

I usually don’t take part in races that are 10km or less, but this (and the Mount Faber Run) is an exception, as I wanted to support the community, plus it will be my first time running at the Punggol Park.

[Nike+ Link]

Based on info on the blog, there were a total of 280 male and female runners doing the 10km run. The weather was great and the race was very well organised. I had a very good run, and perhaps it’s because of the lower number of runners, I actually breezed through and managed a new personal best 10km timing of 55mins – may not be fast for many out there, but it’s my best so far 🙂

Need to keep up with the training, I’ve signed up for two 35km training runs organised by 2XU in preparation of the 42km in March… gotta keep going and going and going……


Start your own blog with Just Run Lah!
Start your own personal running blog with Just Run Lah!

First run of 2014

First run of 2014

My first run of 2014, Clementi, Singapore

Off to a good start of the year with this refreshing 10km+ run. Running through the NUS Kent Ridge campus (from UTown, passing by the sports complex all the way to NUH), followed by an enjoyable descent through the “green” South Buona Vista Rd.  Next on, a flat stretch along West Coast highway and finally the slight ascent on Clementi Rd.

I recommend this route to those living near by, it is well-lit and there are water fountains near the NUS sports complex. You can also combine your run with Kent Ridge Park or West Coast Park.

Do you train nearby? How is 2014 treating you so far? Leave your comments below!


2013: My running year in review

Hello everybody and Happy New Year.

This is the first post on my sub-blog  “The Running Angmoh”, and before I get on with my running year’s review, let me get the opportunity to introduce myself.

I moved to Singapore in mid-2013 to join the National University of Singapore, and I have been loving my time ever since. I had visited Singapore before as a tourist and fell in love with the place, and after about 2 years of trying to get a position here I made it in 2013. As far as it goes about running, I started doing it a few years back to get in shape, but it was not long before I got hooked on.

Singapore’ running community is huge, and it is an amazing place to run (if you don’t mind the humidity and heat, that is – which I don’t); there are plenty of routes to take for training, both in urban environment and trails, and the city offers an amazing selection of running events to participate.

During my first year here, I took part in a total of 8 races (even though I registered for 9, see below) and covered a total of 108km. Here is how it all went down.

Adidas King of The Road 2013, August 11th.

This was supposed to be my first race in Singapore, and I had registered for it before I’ve even arrived. I was really excited to take part in this race, as the route would take me through key landmarks. Running pack collection was at Suntec City, it was well organised but very crowded and it took about 30 minutes to collect.

At the day of the event, I took a cab and went down to the starting point on time. Everything looked fine and people were warming up for the race. Pretty soon though it started to drizzle, and within minutes it evolved into a full-on storm. We all tried to take shelter under the bus stops, the MRT stations and the underpasses. There was lack of information and no updates from the organiser for hours. Only by word of mouth we found out that the race had been delayed twice, before the final announcement for cancelation was delivered. This was a rough welcoming for me, and I still find that the decision to cancel the race was not fully justified. By the time they announced it there was not a thunderstorm ongoing. Adding weight to my point of view is the fact that another race on the same day was carried out as planned.

Runners taking shelter from the rain minutes before Adidas King Of The Road was called off.
Runners taking shelter from the rain minutes before Adidas King Of The Road was called off.

To make things worse, the organiser offered to send the “finisher” medals of registrants by mail. I received their email asking for my postal address, to which I replied that I would rather get a partial refund or coupon, as finisher medals are for race finishers and is something more to runners than just a race memorabilia. As expected, they said that sending me the medal was all they could do, to which I kindly refused. Seeing now NTUC’s plan for race medal recycling, I regret not having accepting it.

Nestle Love Your Heart Run 2013, August 17th.

Running pack collection was at City Square Mall, it was a breeze and included a handy shoe-bag filled with delicious Nestle products. I remember being really nervous about the weather when I went to sleep the night before the race. Luckily though, when I woke up the sky was clear and I could only hope it would stay the same. I took the MRT (early opening of lines is a huge plus for Saturday races) down to Bayfront station and proceeded to the starting pin. It was a no-frills, race with just the right amount of participants. Everybody was lax and enjoying the run. We ran by the Garden’s By The Bay, the Marina Bridge and the Promontory, and I got to enjoy the amazing view of Singapore’s skyline.

Amazing sunrise shot taken from Gardens By The Bay east during NESTLÉ® OMEGA PLUS® ACTICOL® Love Your Heart Run.
Beautiful sunrise shot taken from Gardens By The Bay east during NESTLÉ® OMEGA PLUS® ACTICOL® Love Your Heart Run.

RunNUS 2013, August 25th.

I couldn’t miss my own University’s running event. The organisers were pretty generous with the race pack, which included a variety of handy items and vouchers. The race started at the sports complex and took us all through Kent Ridge campus, including the newly built “UTown” complex. I enjoyed the chit chat with people I had met during Love Your Heart run, and fellow colleagues. The run was challenging, and the number of slopes adding to the heat made this a rather slow course; luckily hydration was plenty and the volunteers did a great job.

Tri-Factor Run, October 6th.

This would be my first run on East Coast Park. I had only been there before for cycling. I went for the 10.5km category and arrived at the event site quite early. The ongoing expo offered good deals on many products, and the flag-off was on time. For many participants, Tri-Factor run is the last part of their triathlon challenge and they couldn’t hide their eagerness to receive that final piece of the medal-puzzle. The run was well organised and smooth, with plenty of sports drinks and goodies for everybody at the finishing line.

Tri-Factor Run 2013 medal and singlet
Tri-Factor Run 2013 aftermath.

Newton Challenge, October 20th.

Time to return to East Coast Park, for a 18-km race this time. I took the organiser’s shuttle bus from Dover very early in the morning. We arrived just in time for a quick hydration and stretching, and soon proceeded to the starting pen. Turnaround number was huge, but the event was well organised with plenty of hydration points and good crowd control. It got a bit too hot and sunny at the last few km’s, but it was a rather enjoyable run. I should add that both the singlet and finisher medal were of great quality. On a personal note, the black pepper crab waiting for me at the nearby Jumbo was definitely a motivation to cross the finishing line faster.

Chua Chu Kang BIG Farm Walk & Run 2013, October 27th.

A “neighbourhood run” which turned out to be one of the best value-for-money events. I decided to take part in this as it would offer a unique route in a part of Singapore that would otherwise be not readily accessible to me. On top of that, there was no big sponsor behind it. Race pack collection was held at Chua Chu Kang Community Center, it was a breeze and consisted of a t-shirt and a (not timing or named) bib number. The turnaround at the day of event was overwhelming, and it feels like it exceeded all organiser’s expectations. There were some bottleneck problems at the first kilometre of the race (mainly due to construction works), but as we moved onwards the road cleared and we then entered the farm area. A very generous goodies bag was waiting for us at the finishing line including fruits, biscuits, buns, golden rabbit candies and plenty of other product. There was even a Mr Bean truck giving away delicious soya bean milk to all finishers. I should mention that the registration fee was only S$10 (or S$8 for PAssion Card Members).

Image taken from
The starting point at Brickland Road. Image taken from Chua Chu Kang BIG Farm Walk & Run facebook page.

The Trailseeker, November 9th.

I had heard a lot about the Green Corridor, but I never got the chance to visit. I joined The Trailseeker for a 22km run stretching from Portsdown avenue to the Dairy Farm and back. It was a misty and cloudy morning, and the sun was only half way up when the flag was waved off. It was the first trail race for me and I really enjoyed all the greenery and running along the abandoned rail. Things got a bit too crazy after the 9th kilometre or so where we had to pass through various natural obstacles such as streams, logs and slopes. Needless to say we were all pretty soon covered in mud knee-deep, which made the remaining half of the race particularly hard. Hydration could have been better, and there was no food at the finish line. Apart from that, it was a well organised and not overcrowded event. Funny fact, for some reason it felt like this race had the largest angmo-to-local ratio.

Winding-down after the challenging 22km Trailseeker run.
Winding-down after the challenging 22km Trailseeker run.

Brooks Run Happy, November 16th.

This would be my first night-time race. I by far prefer running after sun down, and I love Singapore’s lit skyline, so it wasn’t a hard decision for me to join. On top of that, I got a fairly good deal through Groupon. The organiser offered free shuttle buses from Marina Bay MRT station which was a very convenient service.

Even though parts of the event were enjoyable, I am not very happy with this run. It was overcrowded, crowd management at the starting pen was very bad and confusing, and most of the volunteers hadn’t been briefed about the locations of amenities. The first half of the course was at Gardens By The Bay East. The route was lit very poorly and there were plenty of non- participants hanging out. Kids on bikes and families with strollers made things dangerous, and I am glad that to my knowledge nobody was injured. Things were made worse due to the fact that this event attracted a lot of inexperienced runners and party-goers. I have nothing against people who decide to walk at races – I am not a pro athlete or very fast runner myself, after all – but to suddenly freeze, pose and take a selfie in the middle of the run, just feels wrong to me. The second half was somewhat less crowded and easier to run. Admittedly, the party at the finishing area was good, lots of drinks, alcohol-free beer and food.

Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore, December 1st.

The last event of the year and a must for almost every runner here. Race pack collection was held at Singapore Expo; I went to collect on Friday morning, and it luckily didn’t take more than 5 or 10 minutes. Unfortunately, apart from the singlet and bib, the bag was only filled with useless flyers. I didn’t have time to explore the rest of the expo properly, but a wide variety of exhibitors were present.

I found the route for Half-Marathon (which I ran) excellent. The starting point at Sentosa boardwalk was readily accessible thanks to the early starting trains. There were plenty of volunteers to help people around. Flag-off was on time, and we made our way into Sentosa island. Running by the beach during sunrise was inspiring, and passing through Universal Studios was particularly fun. Mascots would greet and encourage runners, and many people stopped to take a photo with their beloved heroes.

Moments prior flag-off. SCSM Half-Marathon starting pen.
Moments prior flag-off. SCSM Half-Marathon starting pen.

On our way out of the island, we had to run through the underground parking lot. I don’t know if this was an absolute necessity logistics-wise, or who came up with this idea, but it definitely wasn’t a good one. Ventilation was poor, and to make things worse, some of the tourist buses had their engines on. I believe I was within the first 15% of runners at that time and it was already uncomfortable; I don’t want to imagine the situation later on, as the number of oxygen-gobbling runners increased.

After exiting Sentosa, we were already at our 9 or 10km mark. The next 7-8 kms before entering the city were smooth. A huge merge occurred with runners from the Full Marathon and the 10km run. Arguably, this was a poorly executed plan, as there were no barriers between runners of different categories, and made the last few kilometers of the -already struggling- Full and Half marathon runners much more difficult.

The final stretch near The Padang was very enjoyable to me; the cheering crowds* and feeling of completeness gave me a boost as I crossed the finished line with a time of 2h08m. Not a personal best, but definitely a run to remember.

* “There will be a day when you will no longer be able to do this, but today is not the day” and “Smile, your toenails will grow back” were two of the best banners I spotted!

My medal rack got richer by 7 medals this year.
My medal rack got richer by 7 medals this year.

It is now time to prepare my race schedule for 2014 and focus on training. See you all out on the streets!

Did you run any of these events? What’s your take on them? Let us know your opinion below.

Start your own blog with Just Run Lah!
Start your own personal running blog with Just Run Lah!

My first post and first run of the new year

First time writing on this blog, and sharing my first run of the year….

[Nike+ Link]

Start of the year, and well, I don’t believe in making new year resolutions anymore… I’ll just go ahead and do what I want to do, set short term goals, instead of making a resolution for the new year.

Happy New Year, and may you have a great year of running and keeping fit!



Santa marathons and festive runs around the world

Glasgow Santa Dash 2012

Christmas is one of the most widely celebrated holidays worldwide, and the running community has its own way of being festive. We bring you a list of Christmas-inspired runs and Santa dashes around the world.

nether heyford santa run

The Las Vegas Great Santa Run, Las Vegas, USA

The Las Vegas Great Santa Run is one of Opportunity Village’s largest fundraising events and Las Vegas’ attempt to break the world record for the largest Santa gathering. More than 10,000 Santas participate annually, and this fun-filled, family event attracts runners from all parts of the world. This year it was help in downtown Las Vegas on Saturday, December 7, 2013.

Madrid Santa Run, Spain

Madrid Santa Run took place on Saturday, December the 14 in 2013 where more than 6,000 people dressed in Santa Claus costumes ran a 5.5km course in downtown Madrid. The race was organized by one of Spain’s leading department stores and it contributed 1 euro (S$1.7) for each entrant to a charity that buys Christmas presents for deprived children around the world.


The Santa Corrida de Noël 10K Race, Paris, France

A yearly event organised in the capital of France that attracts more than 3000 people. Check out the official site and this extensive photo-review of 2013’s edition.


Osaka Great Santa Marathon, Japan

The “Osaka Great Santa Run” is a charity event, started in 2009, where the participants wear a Santa Claus suit (included in the participation fee). The proceeds of this event are donated to children who have to spend Christmas day in a hospital.


Santa Claus Marathon, Rovaniemi, Finland

Every year in mid June, Santa Claus Marathon‘s full and half marathons, as well as a 12 km run and walk and children’s mini marathon, take place on the Arctic Circle.  The starting point couldn’t be anything else than Santa Claus’s Workshop. The event is organised by the athletic club Lapin Lukko, Member of Association of International Marathons and Road Races AIMS since 2006. Next Santa Claus Marathon will be kept on June 14th 2014.

Santa Run, Cuneta Astrodome, Pasay, Philippines

The first ever Santa Run in Philippines took place on December 14th, 2013, themed “Be a Santa” for the benefit of the orphans of typhoon Yolanda. With the first ever “Santa Run Philippines” A campaign run for a cause in collaboration with ROOS and Pasay’s 150th anniversary. More info and photos at Pinoy Fitness.

Santa Run, Chania, Grece

A distance of 3,5 km is covered in the historic and commercial center of Chania with the sole purpose of raising money for children with health issues. The Santa Run is a festive, charitable organization, whereby we will be walking the city streets of Chania wearing Santa Claus costumes. Refuelling stations are the shops of the city who will be offering beer instead of water! In this Santa run official timing and medals do not exist. In Santa Run Chania we are all winners because we offer aid to children in need. The event was established in 2007.

Q-Santa-Run, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Kyoto Santa Claus Marathon, Japan

Runners ranging from children to seniors wear white beards and red coats to celebrate Christmas in the old capitol. The race began 5 years ago and quickly became a regular event. Its growing popularity attracts runners from Kanto and Shikoku in addition to locals. Runners in costumes such as Christmas trees and snowmen as well as people with dogs dressed as reindeer also take part.

Santa Hustle Race Series, USA

Each race provides participants with a free Santa Hat, Beard & customized dri-fit long sleeve shirt to wear while running. The Santa Hustle Race series of runs spans many states across the US, from the Windy City to the beaches of the Lone Star State.

The dates for this year’s runs are:

– December 7, 2013: Santa Hustle Chicago 5k
– December 8, 2013: Santa Hustle Milwaukee 5k
– December 15, 2013: Santa Hustle Smokies 5k & Half Marathon (Sevierville, TN)
– December 15, 2013: Santa Hustle Indy 5k & Half Marathon (Indianapolis, IN)
– December 15, 2013: Santa Hustle Cedar Point 5k & Half Marathon (Sandusky, OH)
– December 22, 2013: Santa Hustle Texas 5k & Half Marathon (Galveston, TX)

Santa Run, London, UK

Pick your distance, pick up your trainers and raise vital funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital, all whilst wearing a Santa suit. More info.


The Great Langdale Christmas Pudding Run, UK

The Great Langdale Christmas Pudding Run has become the peoples choice 10K winter run. With over 1000 entrants in 2009, the race appeals to the ‘fun’ runners. Every finisher gets a Christmas Pudding for completing the course and we encourage entrants to dress in festive costumes to add to the party atmosphere. The course is an out and back, slightly undulating route, along the Great Langdale Road. Starting at the New Dungeon Ghyll, running to The Langdale Estate in Elterwater and returning to the New Dungeon Ghyll.

The Santa RunTanTan, Aseana City, Philippines

A festive 16km run that takes place in Aseana City, Philippines. This year’s edition was held on December 15th, 2013

A Christmas Story House run Cleveland, Ohio, USA

The mission of the A Christmas Story Run is to provide a race that promotes health and fitness, stimulate the local economy and galvanize the community. It is organised by the A Christmas Story House & Museum. 5km and 10km categories are available.

Greenfield City Christmas Run, Philippines

A holiday run in Philippines. This year took place on December 8th, 2013.


LA County Holiday Half-marathon, USA

The LA County Half Marathon starts and finishes at Fairplex So Cal, home of the LA County Fair and encompasses the beauty of the Pomona Valley. The scenic course takes runners through various parts of the Fair and then heads right down the world famous Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. A 5km run is also available.

Hong Kong Santa Walkathon, Hong Kong

On wednesday 25th of December 2013 Hong Kong’s first Santa Claus-themed walkathon fundraiser will take place.

Nether Heyford Santa Run, UK

The villages of Nether Heyford and Flore are proud to host their third annual Santa Run. A 5 mile road run including mile and half mile Fun Run that takes place in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire

For a list of forthcoming Santa Dash charity runs worldwide, and info how to register, please see this link:

We wish you happy holidays and a happy new year!

Have you participated in any Santa dash? Did we miss any event? Share your stories below.


7 marathons in 7 continents for charity: Ms Yvonne Chee’s amazing feat.

It’s been one month since Singapore’s own Ms Yvonne Chee was completing Antarctic Ice Marathon, an extremely challenging off-road marathon, held on 20 November 2013 in 6hrs 34mins. This marked the final leg of her self-funded Seven Marathons and Seven Continents drive to raise money for charity.

Ms Yvonne Chee at the International Marathon of Marrakech 2013
Ms Yvonne Chee at the International Marathon of Marrakech 2013

The idea

Yvonne thought of this feat after helping with raising funds for cancer research in the build-up to the 2008 New York Marathon. “What if I tried to run a marathon on each of the seven continents?” she quotes. It was a big “What If” and as she was thinking about it, she chanced upon this quote by Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

That was it! Working hard and juggling personal and professional commitments to train, she managed to first complete marathons in four continents: Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. 2013 was the year that she successfully attempted to complete her “journey” by running the three remaining continents: Africa, South America, and last but certainly not the least, Antarctica.

Yvonne was inspired by her late-grandmother, to whom she dedicated this effort. “Without her, I would not be who I am today. Therefore I strongly believe that we have a lot to learn from our elders and that older folks deserve to have a good quality of life. As such, I have committed to raise funds for the Tsao Foundation. Through my own little way, I hope to make a difference for the elderly.”, she quotes.

The marathons

NORTH-AMERICA – ING New York City Marathon, 2 November 2008

ASIA – Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore, 6 December 2009

AUSTRALIA – Blackmores Sydney Marathon, 19 September 2010

EUROPE – Paris Marathon, 15 April 2012

AFRICA – International Marathon of Marrakech, 27 January 2013

SOUTH-AMERICA – Rio de Janeiro Marathon, 7 July 2013

ANTARCTICA – Antarctic Ice Marathon, 20 November 2013 (Self-shot video footage)

Only another two Singaporeans, Dr William Tan (in 2007) and Ms Gloria Lau (in 2012) have managed the feat of running seven marathons on seven continents and have joined the -rather exclusive- Seven Continents Marathon Club.


The public can make donations to support Ms Chee’s effort to raise funds for the Tsao Foundation via her website at: When donating please follow the simple instructions listed to facilitate the tracking of funds.

In Yvonnes’ words, “Running gives freedom. When you run you can determine your own tempo. You can choose your own course and think whatever you want. Nobody tells you what to do.”. We couldn’t agree more, and we want to congratulate you once again on your amazing running journey for a good cause.

Last leg of an amazing journey completed. Yvonne posing with the Singaporean flag and her Antarctic Ice Marathon medal.
Last leg of an amazing journey completed. Yvonne posing with the Singaporean flag and her Antarctic Ice Marathon medal.

Images courtesy of Yvonne’s 7 Marathons on 7 Continents Facebook page


IAAF Label Road Races – What do they mean?

For another year, SCSM was awarded the Golden Label

We all took notice of the “IAAF Road Race Gold” label being proudly displayed next to this year’s Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon logo, but what does it really mean?

Let’s take things from the beginning, IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) is the international governing body for the sport of athletics. It was founded on 17 July 1912  in Stockholm, Sweden, under the name of International Amateur Athletics Federation. Since October 1993, it has been headquartered in Monaco. It retained the word “amateur” in its name until 2001 when the IAAF’s name was changed to its current form. Included in its charge, amongst others, are the standardization of timekeeping methods and world records.

Each year, IAAF grants recognition to a number of running events as being among the foremost competitions of their type. Races are divided into three categories: Gold, Silver, and Bronze Label Road Races. They are also divided into three types: marathon, half marathon, and other classic distances. Based on the criteria, the best races are awarded the Gold label. Amongst those to hold Gold Label status are all five annual races that make up the World Marathon Majors and the World’s Best 10K.

IAAF Road Race Labels
IAAF Road Race Labels 


  • Eligible races categories: Marathons, Half-Marathons, other “official distances” for which World Records are recognised: 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 100km and “Classical” races over non-standard distances (i.e. Paris – Versailles over 17.6km).
  • Races must have an ‘international elite field’ with a minimum of five men and five women participating in the competition in the relevant Label category. Elite runners must be of at least 5 different nationalities (note: this could be, for example, elite men from 3 countries and elite women from 2 countries for mixed gender races).
  • Courses must have been measured within the 5 years preceding the race by an IAAF/AIMS “A” or “B” Course Measurer and an International Measurement Certificate issued by the International Measurement Administrator
  • Full electronic timing must be in place to provide split timing and final results.
  • The event must be broadcasted on a live or delayed basis on television within the country, or delivered to a good standard through online streaming. Gold Label races must be broadcast in a minimum of five countries, while Silver Label races must have live coverage available on a national broadcaster. A centre must be specifically provided for media personnel, and TV monitors and commentary facilities must be present for Gold Label races.
  • The race organisers must have a dedicated website with published results and must hold press conferences to support the event.
  • Race must have been established for at least 2 years prior to application.
  • The race must be organised in a way that minimizes ecological damage to the surrounding areas.
  • All traffic must be closed off from the race course at all times during the competition.
  • There must be adequate medical provision for the number of runners at the race.
  • A number of doping tests must  be carried out after each race.
  • All prize money and bonuses offered should be equal, irrespective of the athlete’s nationality or gender – however, race organisers are allowed to offer additional bonuses to competitors from the host country in order to boost local participation.
  • All Gold Label Races must provide a giant video screen

The complete regulations document can be downloaded here [pdf].

How are long-distance races measured?

AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races) works in partnership with IAAF, and together have adopted the calibrated bicycle method as the only approved method for measuring road races. In this method, a simple geared device known as The Jones Counter, which counts the revolutions of a bicycle wheel is used. The device is calibrated by a measuring tape at least 30 meters long. Next, the bicycle is ridden over the race course to determine its length. Finally the bicycle is recalibrated by riding again over the calibration distance. This is done to check for changes in bicycle wheel diameter due to temperature changes, air leakage and other causes. The method’s overall accuracy, depending on calibration and other factors, is normally better than 1 part in 1000, that is, about 42 meters over the course of a full marathon. The extra 42 meters are there because international rules state that all races must be measured one-tenth of 1% long, a provision known as the Short Course Prevention Factor. The point of it is to err on the side of safety to ensure that the course cannot possibly be found to come up short in case of a record. If an independent measurer did find the course to be short, the record would be invalidated.

IAAF Label Road Races 2013

The labels are valid for one year and a new application must be filed for the preceding one. These is the list of events that were awarded the labels this year.

IAAF Gold Label Road Races:

  • Amsterdam Marathon
  • Beijing Marathon
  • Berlin Marathon
  • Bogotá Half Marathon
  • Bogotá Women’s 12K
  • Boston Marathon
  • Chicago Marathon
  • Dubai Marathon
  • Frankfurt Marathon
  • Fukuoka Marathon
  • Giro di Castelbuono
  • Great Manchester Run
  • Great North Run
  • Great South Run
  • Hamburg Marathon
  • Istanbul Marathon
  • Lake Biwa Marathon
  • Lisbon Half Marathon
  • London Marathon
  • Nagoya Women’s Marathon
  • New York City Marathon
  • Paris Marathon
  • Portugal Half Marathon
  • Prague Half Marathon
  • Prague Marathon
  • Roma-Ostia Half Marathon
  • Rome Marathon
  • Rotterdam Marathon
  • Seoul International Marathon
  • Shanghai Marathon
  • Singapore Marathon
  • Tokyo Marathon
  • Vienna City Marathon
  • World’s Best 10K
  • Xiamen International Marathon
  • Yangzhou Jianzhen International Half Marathon
A Gold Label certification. Image courtesy:
A Gold Label certification.
Image courtesy:

IAAF Silver Label Road Races:

  • Osaka Women’s Marathon
  • Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon
  • Beppu-Ōita Marathon
  • Hong Kong Marathon
  • Daegu Marathon
  • Great Ireland Run
  • Madrid Marathon
  • Ottawa 10K
  • Ottawa Marathon
  • Freihofer’s Run for Women
  • Olomouc Half Marathon
  • Prague 10K
  • Ústí nad Labem Half Marathon
  • Dam tot Damloop
  • Cologne Marathon
  • Great Birmingham Run
  • Toronto Waterfront Marathon
  • Marseille Cassis 20K
  • Venice Marathon
  • Yokohama Women’s Marathon
  • Turin Marathon
  • San Silvestre Vallecana

IAAF Bronze Label Road Races:

  • Maraton de Santiago
  • Pyongyang Marathon
  • Brighton Marathon
  • Nagano Marathon
  • Düsseldorf Marathon
  • Hannover Marathon
  • Riga Marathon
  • Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon
  • Edinburgh Marathon
  • Corrida de Langueux
  • Vidovdan 10K
  • Gold Coast Marathon
  • Siberian International Marathon
  • Paris 20K
  • Beirut Marathon
  • Alpes-Maritimes Marathon
  • Valencia Marathon
  • Corrida de Houilles

Official worldwide IAAF Label Road Races Calendar & Results: 2013 || 2014


The Green Corridor: Aerial Time Lapse Video

Enjoy an aerial time-lapse walk through the The Green Corridor, Singapore. The trek is begins at Bukit Timah Railway Station all the way to Bukit Panjang (Junction 10). Video courtesy of Travelled Paths.




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