The Great Wall Motors 2019 Smart Factory Half Marathon is Great Wall Motors’ first marathon and the first car manufacturing base marathon in China. The event has recently been announced to be held on 2 June 2019 at the Great Wall Motors Test Site in Baoding, Hebei Province, consisting of three categories: Half marathon (21.0975 km), a healthy run (8 km) and a family run (2.6 km). Participants will be witnessing the top-notch automotive technology in the country’s most advanced car manufacturing plant.
Marathon in a car manufacturing base – The most expensive track in history
It will be the first of its kind where runners will be running through the Xushui manufacturing base, which cost more than 30 billion Chinese Yuan. It will be the perfect marathon course where participants can expect to run their best results.
The course starts from the high-altitude runway to the pressing workshop, and stretches to the welding workshop, followed by the assembly workshop. It runs through the entire Xushui manufacturing base including the high-altitude runway which has a maximum speed limit of 240km/h. Participants will be immersing themselves as though running through scenes in sci-fi blockbusters, releasing power and energy from their bodies, as they unveil the mystery of SUV manufacturing in the world-class high-tech automotive manufacturing plant.
The various marathon events in China and abroad are mainly held in urban settings. This event combines the extensive mass participation culture of marathons with the industrial civilisation and development culture of the automotive industry. This not only enriches the marathon culture but also created a new benchmark for China’s automotive companies and marathon events.
Advanced runners can now learn to train better and smarter with the addition to the Garmin® Forerunner® series – the Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 245 Music, bringing an option with integrated music capabilities for the advanced runner.
Building upon one of Garmin’s most popular GPS running smartwatches, the Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 245 Music include even more data and advanced training, safety and tracking features¹ to help runners improve. The Forerunner 245 Music holds up to 500 songs and lets users sync playlists from select preloaded music streaming services², like Spotify® and Deezer, or transfer music from a computer.
Train safer with the Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 245 Music Designed with the runner in mind, the new Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 245 Music will not only track a run, but will monitor stats, crunch the numbers and get to know all about the runner’s performance, training history, goals and more. A newly introduced Body BatteryTM feature will help the user plan the day for activity and rest by using the collected data to gauge the user’s energy reserves at any moment.
Using the new Running Awareness feature, Users can pre-set emergency contacts so the smartwatch will automatically share your location with them when a potential incident such as a fall is detected.
Thoughtfully designed for serious runners to train smart The Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 245 Music is engineered with lightweight materials for easy running and an intuitive 5-button design that is easy to operate with or without gloves, and in any weather condition. The watches include an always-on, sunlight-readable display with GPS, all-day activity tracking³, smart notifications, wrist-based heart rate, and new safety and tracking features³ that allow users to share their real-time location with chosen contacts in case they need help.
Train with Garmin Coach Garmin users can now get custom training plans to train for a 5K run with the help of three running coaches – Jeff Galloway, Greg McMillan and Amy Parkerson-Mitchell – through Garmin Coach to guide and motivate them. Garmin Coach also offers free training plans that adapt based on a runner’s goals and performance.
Push your limits with advanced training features Offering personalized training and recovery insight, both the Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 245 Music include performance monitoring tools like VO2 max and training status with adjustments for heat, recovery time and aerobic and anaerobic training effects. With the addition of a Running Dynamics Pod or compatible heart rate strap, athletes can go even further with their running data, seeing all six running dynamics right on the watch. Even after a workout, the Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 245 Music feature additional tools to track a runner’s well-being, including a wrist-based Pulse Ox sensor⁴ that will help gauge how oxygen is being absorbed.
The Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 245 Music is a fuss-free reliable training companion with outstanding battery life – up to 7 days of battery life in smartwatch mode, up to 24 hours in GPS mode and up to 6 hours in GPS mode with music.
Pricing and Availability The Forerunner 245 is available in Slate Grey and Amp Yellow, an exclusive colour for Southeast Asia and Japan. The Forerunner 245 Music is available in Black, Aqua and Lava Red (exclusive colour for Southeast Asia). Both versions will be available from 18 May 2019 at a recommended retail price of SGD 459 and SGD 529 respectively at all authorised retailers.
To learn more, visit garmin.com.sg/minisite/forerunner/
The Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 245 Music is the latest solution from the ever-expanding Garmin fitness segment, which focuses on developing technologies to enhance and promote healthy and active lifestyles. Whether running, cycling, swimming or simply looking to stay active throughout the day, Garmin fitness devices can help athletes of all levels reach their health and fitness goals.
slowly but surely takes its toll on our bodies. As we age, a variety of
day-to-day actions become more difficult. These challenges – often brought on
by poor diet, lack of exercise and other unhealthy habits – can be increasingly
difficult to overcome with age. Many of these conditions result in pain that
can further inhibit our ability to live active, healthy lives.
the most common ailment that people struggle with as they age is inflammation.
This natural and vital response to stress and injury can appear in virtually
every part of the body, but most often pops up in joints and extremities.
Inflammation can occur under basically any situation: from vigorous exercise to
underlying health issues, this ailment can be a menace to our daily routines.
While inflammation is a natural and common physical experience, there are some situations in which it becomes too much. Many sufferers utilize natural anti-inflammatories like curcumin to relieve pain and discomfort, but what should you look for to determine if it’s time to take action? Here are five signs that inflammation is hurting your quality of life beyond what’s acceptable.
You Suffer from Daily
it’s perfectly natural to feel sore or have aches after a strenuous day, those
who suffer from chronic inflammation need little to no obvious excuse for this
pain. Inflammation that causes aches and pain most commonly surfaces in various
joints, including the knees, elbows, ankles and shoulders. This pain can
severely limit the amount of physical activity you participate in and
ultimately makes it difficult to enjoy life from day to day. For joint pain,
it’s important to get to the bottom of the situation: here, Vitamonk discusses what to take for
You Break Out in Rashes
pain in bones and joints are most commonly considered the primary form of
inflammation, there are other ways in which it can manifest. One such example
is in the form of a number of rashes, which is the skin’s response to
infection, stress or other stimuli. This can include conditions such as eczema,
psoriasis and even shingles (herpes zoster). Rashes can also develop when you
are experiencing a chronic allergic reaction to something around you: finding
the source of this problem is crucial in restoring your quality of life.
You Are Constantly
every part of the body can become inflamed due to a plethora of health
conditions and problems. This includes the respiratory tract and sinuses, which
respond to inflammation somewhat differently than other parts of the body.
Those who are chronically experiencing congestion, coughing and/or excessive mucus
production may be experiencing at its core a form of inflammation. If every day
is met by difficulty breathing or smelling, then consulting with a medical
professional on how to end this will lead to a better quality of life.
You Have Digestion Issues
choices, allergic reactions and inherent genetic conditions can all cause
digestive problems. For those who have trouble making it through each day
without bloating, constipation, diarrhea and abdominal/intestinal pain are
likely suffering from some form of inflammation. This can be due to specific
food allergies or the result of a variety of conditions such as IBS/IBD and
Crohn’s disease. Digestive inflammation often needs medical treatment to
improve, so do not ignore these signs.
You Are Always Tired
turns out that when the body is constantly fighting infection or damage by
producing inflammation, that can leave you feeling drained. At their core, many
individuals’ struggles with fatigue, lethargy and energy levels in general are
caused by one or more forms of inflammation. This can manifest through
conditions such as rheumatoid diseases, arthritis and even cancer. As such, you shouldn’t put off
seeing a doctor if your quality of life is suffering due to having no energy.
can affect any part of the body, and the causes for inflammation can be
numerous. If inflammation is negatively impacting your quality of life, then
consider these five examples and be sure to seek medical assistance – your
happiness and health are worth it.
I have successfully completed running at least 10km a day every day for 100 days straight! I’ve never missed a single day of running, no matter how tired I was. This is a challenge I set for myself to test my perseverance and fitness potential. I had previously written something about this challenge when I was on my 28th day. You can read it here.
What happened after that 28th day? I kept running every day toward my goal. This challenge gave me a sense of purpose and served as a motivation to jump out of bed every morning.
I ran at a nearby park most of the time, occasionally on the running track, and sometimes explored new places when I feel adventurous. On one of my running days, I picked up two bags of litter on the street, also known as “Plogging”, which was inspired by a Runkeeper challenge. I also took part in a Terry Fox Run 10K, explored parts of the coast-to-coast trail route and had fun running from checkpoint to checkpoint and completing quests! It was indeed an exciting experience as I spotted a wide range of wild animals in their natural habitat such as baby wild boars (a.k.a running watermelons) near the reservoir to meeting a black spitting cobra (talking about luck!). All these are precious memories during this 100-day journey, which will stay with me forever.
A strange thing that happened to me during this period was, both my lower legs experienced the extreme itchy sensation. It happened after slightly more than one month of running every day. The itch could get very very unbearable, without visible rash. I only developed fierce red rashes after I accidentally applied an expired cream. I googled and found out that this is called exercise-induced histamine response.
Histamine is a substance in the body that is most commonly associated with an allergic reaction. But researchers are beginning to understand that histamine also plays a role in exercise. According to an old popular theory, it had to do with blood vessel expansion. The body expands the blood vessels during exercise to help bring more oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles and eliminate carbon dioxide and waste products. The idea is when blood vessels expand after a period of inactivity, the surrounding nerves, unused to the phenomenon, mistakenly register the expansion as itchiness. One Japanese study showed that histamine might be released during exercise to help protect the body against exercise-induced fatigue or exhaustion. Unfortunately, histamine also sends itch signals to the brain. I took antihistamine pill once in a while if the itch affected my sleep and it did help a little. I read that I should continue exercising (running) and eventually, the itch would be gone once my body/legs adapted. And yes, after about two months, now it is gone.
I also experienced on and off shin pain and lower leg pain. I would take it easy on days when I had pain but I was still clocking mileage. The discomfort would go away after a few slow runs. I quickly learned that by running every day, the body and legs go through a learning process, learning how to cope with the extra physical demand, run on tired legs and overcome training barriers. Perseverance and determination can break the barriers and achieve what you once thought impossible. Eventually, running 10km every day becomes easy and natural. If you persist, your body will adapt.
As I complete the mission that I set out to do, my stamina and fitness level has improved. I am proud, satisfied and feel that my life is immeasurably enriched. I feel lucky to be able to complete this challenge without any injuries. I am thankful for this positive influence and consistency in my life. Even though I am much tanner now thanks to the relentless sun exposure, I am also healthier and fitter than ever. I have lost 4 kgs of body weight (unintentionally) which makes me feel lighter and better.
Lastly, if you are excited, driven and willing to put in the necessary time, you will surprise yourself with what you can accomplish.
The China Athletic Association, Chengdu Municipal People’s Government, Wanda Group and the Abbott World Marathon Majors have announced that the Chengdu Marathon is an official candidate race for the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM).
Marathon running is the most rapidly developing mass participation sports event in China. According to official statistics from AbbottWMM, 6,155 runners from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan participated in the Abbott World Marathon Majors in 2018.
One key element of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, alongside the elite series, is the Six Star program where everyday runners aim to complete all six majors in their lifetime in order to receive a special Six Star Finisher medal. So far more than 6,000 runners globally have achieved this.
The inaugural Chengdu Marathon took place in 2017, co-hosted by the Chinese Athletic Association and the Chengdu Municipal People’s Government and the 2019 edition will take place on October 27, 2019. Since its establishment, the marathon has been striving to become the most influential and popular marathon in China.
After Wanda Sports became the organizer and promoter in 2018, with its unique course setting, perfect logistics support and great participation experience, the comprehensive level of the competition has been significantly improved and won unanimous praise from runners and media.
Over the past two years, the Chengdu Marathon has attracted 48,000 runners from over 54 countries and regions, becoming an emerging power in the marathon race series in China.
Chengdu is located in the center of the Sichuan Province, southwestern China. It is the capital of Sichuan Province and is home to 16 million people. It’s also the scientific and technological center, trade center, financial center, transportation and communication hub of Southwestern China. Chengdu is a famous historical and cultural city that attracted 15 million tourists globally last year. Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is also very popular among international tourists which is less than 10 kilometers drive from downtown.
The conservation project has been very successful since 1980s with the number of giant pandas growing from just six to more than 100. Chengdu will be hosting the World Games in 2025, as part of the cities acceleration in pace to develop a sports-tourism friendly environment.
The 2019 Chengdu Marathon was also launched and race registration will open in June. The scale of the race will further expand, and the overall number of participants will increase to 30,000. In order to fit the international image of the competition, the event name will be changed from “Chengdu International Marathon” to “Chengdu Marathon”. In addition, the prize money, athlete service level, the internationalization level of organization and the course design will be upgraded comprehensively.
The course map of the race is being further optimized on the basis of last year, to reduce the short distance turn-backs in the second half of the race to improve the performance of the athletes. The course will link the present with the past, as the runners will get to fully immerse themselves in the elegant historical city and the splendid late autumn scenery.
The race will start from the Jinsha Site Museum, pass through the Qintai Road, Wangjiang Pavilion and other historical and cultural attractions. The second half of the course will mostly cover the “Golden passage”- Tianfu Avenue, which has forged Chengdu into a highly international city.
A virtual run is a race that you can complete at your own pace and time. All you have to do is register for a challenge and provide evidence that you have done it. The evidence can be a screenshot of your running app showing the map, time of run and km’s ran.
JustMove Asia challenges take things one step further: to complete them, you have to run or walk within the defined, geo-fenced areas, around some of the prettiest landmarks.
Once your run is verified, you will receive a unique medal with the local landmarks of your route. Medals are delivered right to your doorstep with free, registered mail.
The concept has seen success in Singapore, and we are thrilled to see it debuting in Malaysia in 2019. The three first locations are Taman Saujana Hijau, KLCC Park, and Perdana Botanical Garden – which are three of the most popular running and hiking routes!
Make them yours!
You can build your own route and decide your start and end points, as long as they are within the highlighted perimeter below, for each challenge (see maps below). The minimum accepted distance for each run is 2.5km. You can complete it at your own pace and time.
Registration is open now, and it comes at RM39.00 per challenge, or RM100.00 when you register for the bundle of three!
SINGAPORE, 12th May 2019 – Over 5,000 participants gathered bright and early on a Sunday morning to participate in the first-ever My Melody Run! Ardent Sanrio fans and running enthusiasts came together to celebrate Mother’s Day with the adorable My Melody as they conquered the 5km route. Held at Palawan Green in Sentosa, participants were all smiles as they crossed the finish line to collect their exclusive medal!
It was a sea of pink at Sentosa, as participants sported their exclusive My Melody Run T-shirts, while warming up for the cutest race in Singapore. The anticipation for this Run could be felt oozing from the participants as they rallied around the starting point, raring to get started!
Participants raced to the sweet themed checkpoints such as the adorably named “Lolly Polly” zone and “Bubble Zone” to capture insta-worthy moments. Enjoying quality family time on Mother’s Day, families jogged at their own pace with parents encouraging their children to push on and not give up.
“Looking at the response and crowd here today, we know we have made the right decision in bringing the first edition of My Melody Run to Singapore. On top of that, today is Mother’s Day, and we hope families had an unforgettable experience celebrating the noblest profession in the world,” said a spokesperson from Sanrio Hong Kong team.
Palawan Green was decorated with enchanting My Melody statues and inflatables, much to the delight of her fans who took the chance to get a photo with the kawaii Sanrio icon. Everyone sought to bring home a memory with the iconic bunny from this momentous event, whether it is photos or limited edition plushies.
“It’s our first time as a family joining this type of run and it’s very fulfilling because today is also Mother’s Day. My favourite part was when my kids went (uphill) and actually conquered the slope so that’s good because it is a first as well,” said 38-year-old healthcare professional, Sienna Chua.
As participants crossed the finished line, they got the chance to unwind at the My Melody themed carnival filled with exciting games and attractive prizes. From a My Melody themed photobooth to a mini claw machine, the carnival was the perfect ending to the event. In true My Melody fashion, the lovable character gave her fans a special dance performance alongside the melodic vocals of local duo Shili & Adi.
Singapore’s trail runners don’t seem to figure much, if at all, on the radar of the city-state’s planners. Our fast growing community has to make do with a limited and diminishing set of options. I am vaguely hopeful that the need for more, and more continuous unpaved options may be picked up by that radar, but in the short term, the only substantial change can come from us runners looking at our environment in a new way. As I’ve argued in an earlier post, great trail possibilities might stare us in the face, right next to the unforgiving concrete our complaining feet are pounding.
This post is about a version of that cleansing-our-doors-of-perception so as to see the obvious: I recently went out to MacRitchie with the objective to see how many trail kilometers one can actually do without doing the same again and again. I came up with two loops, one of which I’ll describe here. The full write up with both options is available on my personal blog.
Route specs (excluding the closed trails): 28k and 425 altitude meters
Start at the Mushroom cafe and head out past the paddle lodge, onto the regular MacRitchie trail. Include the first two entry/exit trails going off to the right as out-and backs. Then continue toward the turn off into Windsor Nature park . During the first traverse of this section, at junctions, always take a left until you can see the toilet block ahead of you. Past the toilet block ignore the park connector and make for the grassy slope. I have marked this next bit of trail red as I am pretty sure hardly anyone knows about this perimeter option. It’s all trail, mostly lining the gardens of upmarket landed properties on one side and the jungle on the other. When the park connector ends, keep following the grassy slope, first straight East, then straight South before turning East again and hitting the dead end of Gardenia Rd. Look for the rickety metal bridge across the ditch into the forest again. You’ll see a trail to the left which makes for a 1.2k out and back to where the second entry/exit trail emerges from the forest. After this out and back, head into the forest on the faint and wild 3rd of MacRitchie’s Eastern entry/exit trails and hit the main trail after 150m, about 1.35k from the turn-off to Windsor park. Doing this bit of main trail twice is unavoidable if you want to explore this 5k loop.
At the turn-off go into Windsor Nature park once more, now take right turns at all junctions until you hit the park connector, turn left toward the boardwalk you emerged from first time round. On the way back on the route you came in on: include the Hanguana trail – a little loop just after the bridge to the toilet block.
Back in MacRitchie, it is quite straight forward all the way to the Petaling hut via the tree top walk (with the exception of including the concrete footpath on the right just before the ranger station to the Bukit Kallang service reservoir as an out and back). Obviously the suspension bridge is non-running territory but the stairs and board walks after should be no problem outside weekends. From the Petaling hut do the sims track to the ranger station as an out and back and then continue toward Riffle Range Rd (taking a right at a t-crossing – following Bukit Timah signage).
When you hit the road (which is a broad trail here) an “entry only for authorized personnel” forbids you to add an out and back on Riffle range Rd to the East and one along the rapid water flow channel to Upper Peirce reservoir to the North – good for a combined total of 3.7k of trail (both shown on the map so you know what I am referring to). Signage along these tracks suggest that they were accessible in the past, and neither conservation nor security arguments make for plausible reasons to close these trails. Sigh…..
But you can take Riffle range Rd to the West as an out and back, return to the t-crossing and continue to the Jelutong viewing tower – which, as I have argued before and before you should climb: free altitude meters and in this case a stellar view. From the tower make the out and back detour to a side entrance of the Singapore Island Country Club, climb the viewing tower once more, just for the heck of it, and then take the regular around-the-reservoir trail back to the Mushroom cafe. Throw in the two entry/exit trails from the Lornie trail for good measure.
The Southern section of MacRitchie offers the possibility of another loop, using the board walks hugging the reservoir and trails you’ve ruin in the above described circuit, but now to be run in the opposite direction (for the description of that 11k possibility, go here). May I stress that yes, it’s indeed a changed world when you turn your head the other way! Which also means that the various mentions of out-and-back in the above description shouldn’t scare you off. Give them a try.
Three highlights and one bummer summarize my experience of this exploration. Let’s start with the bummer: everyone complaining about available trails being closed off for no good reason, unfortunately they are right.
But the highlights outweigh the negative:
Even in the epicentre of trail running Singapore one can find genuinely new trail possibilities
Looking at our environment with clean washed lenses does make for many more trail kilometers than just repeating the same old over and over again. The above circuit is 28k, combined with the other option my MacRitchie exploration added up to 39 kilometers.
Overcoming the widely spread but misguided aversion against out and backs, running the same trail in the opposite direction, just in itself points at the easiest way of adding to your trail repertoire. Once we know a trail we tend to always run it in the same direction. Run it in the opposite direction and you’re suddenly in new territory!
You have made it through a long bit of text, by way of making it up I offer this fabulous Belgian jazz singer as some auditory icing on the cake:
Sometimes I find it super sian to travel the distance just to run a 5KM run. The traveling time to the event site might even be longer than the run itself! Hahaha!! 😂 But I just need to remind myself, years ago when I started running, even 1km was far too long for me to run.
And it’s My Melody Run and also the first My Melody Run on Planet Earth! 😍 I’m quite a fan of Sanrio characters ❤ This isn’t my first Sanrio Run. My 2nd ever race that I’ve participated in my running journey was Hello Kitty Run in 2014, which was also held in Sentosa. It was an unforgettable race as it was raining and I was damn poor thing carrying a heavy bag the entire distance. New into running events, I didn’t check and didn’t know there’s no baggage deposit 😂 The weather looked threatening machiam it would rain, at least we get to start but while after flagged off, it drizzled and then it became heavy downpour. Phew, it didn’t got cancelled halfway through and I got my super cute Hello Kitty finisher medal ❤ Not a collector of race bibs back then and I threw away the cute cute meow meow bib 😭
Met Sabrina for the race pack collection at Novena on Saturday. As Sabrina was early she started queueing and I was showed a super sian photo as the queue was sibeh long like a snake 😨 Fortunately, the entire waiting time was at most about 15-20 minutes. There’s a super cute race bib, tee shirt and a plush toy 😍
Flag off was at Palawan beach in Sentosa at 8.30am on Mother’s Day. There’s only the 5km fun run category. On event day, I ran to Sentosa from Novena MRT station wanting to clock some mileage with some of my hardcore running friends who’d even started their runs from Yishun to train for their upcoming Sundown Marathon. It was about a 8km run for me before the event. We reached the event site slightly before 8am, the place was already sibeh crowded with many people eagerly waiting to start. The start pen opened at 8am and we went in the start pen and were lucky enough to be in the first wave. Phew, the intervals for each wave was an additional of 10 minutes. We waited a long 30 minutes till 8.30am under the sun to start. I felt that the race should start earlier at 8am as 8.30am was rather late and we waited long under the hot sun.
It was a run without a timing chip meaning our timing wasn’t recorded so we thought we should have fun unlike the usual runs where we usually run without stopping. Once flag off want to run actually also quite tough lah, too many people already and many families with kids and prams. It’s a very warming family day for the mamas ❤ Happy Mother’s Day! 😍
After the first km, the route was another good km of upslopes. We sweat a lot even we didn’t really run. It’s sunny, temperature high, should be high humidity as well. We were already looking for water point just shortly after 1km but almost 2km then there’s the water point.
While some of our friends got caught up in the later waves, we took this opportunity to walk, talk, enjoy the route and took many many pictures while we waited for them to catch up 😊 Distance boards were available every km but the total distance was only about 4.5km.
And that 2km water point was the one and only water point along the entire route 😢 Really not enough, think minimum also need to have 2 water points. Must consider there are many many kids eh. Adults can tahan a bit without water but the kids? And heard from a friend that the most jialat thing was that they run out of water at that single water point 😨 At least hope that after completing the run, there’s still mineral water left for them at the finish line.
There’s some activities and photo booths at the race village but we didn’t explore around because everywhere people mountain people sea with long and scary queues. We left shortly for breakfast to fill our stomach 😊 When I meet up Christine for dinner, she said I looked burnt 😭
This race was just 2 weeks after my Guam Marathon. And it’d been a long time since I ran a Half Marathon or Marathon in Singapore. It felt kinda exciting having to come back after a long hiatus from running longer distance in Singapore.
I did not manage to get to the Race pack collection. Being a Zero waste runner this year, I am entitled to only one Bib and a runner’s event tee. It is really saving the environment. The good thing about being the Zero waste runner is that the cost of registration is cheaper. For about S$30 plus you get the run a Half Marathon race, to me that is pretty good. The tee shirt was a little bit too loud for me and besides I always wear the tortoise shirt to run.
Taking place at the F1 pit, this location is becoming a hot spot for run races, I guess it is because organizers can eliminate the number of road closures. Quite lucky in the sense that the road closure did not block out the way to the Flyer’s carpark so we were able to park there and walk really near to the start line.
Going pass mainly the southern part of Singapore from the F1 pit to Nicholl Highway, down to stadium and Gardens by the bay finally pass the CBD and back to F1 pit. The route is quite the usual suspect. But strangely maybe a long away from running in Singapore, I begin to feel the momentum to run come back. This was added by the cool breezy morning after a shower the night before.
The were ample water points along the way, mainly water and Isotonic drink. At some points there were banana and Isogel. To speak the truth a 21km road race does not need a lot of food but more for the hydration. But since this was an Eco zero waste run, most runners actually brought their own hydration and saved on the paper cups.
Ending point is the same as the start point only at the different direction. Managed to catch some friends along the way and at the end point, kind of remind me that it is time for me to join more Singaporean races to catch up with them.
As a zero waste runner, I was not given the finisher tee and medal. But refreshment like the banana and hydration , water and isotonic was provided. There were also booths around to show how you can be more environmentally friendly and save the earth at the finish area. Many runners just laze around and take pictures with the flyer as the back ground.
A massage corner was also set up with masseurs giving on the sport massages. This week was quite a madness week for me doing almost 4 pole classes and running my best for this Half marathon. I guess I really need to take a good break and start to plan for my next marathon training.
I would say Income run has always been one of the races I like. It is also not so crowded. Somehow as I grow older, I am beginning to fancy the more boutique and less crowded races. Also its reasonable prize and doing a part for saving the environment, I will definitely come back again!
Every day, the running blogosphere, of which I admittedly am an insignificant but nevertheless guilty part, adds motivational, reflective, entertaining, educational, journalistic, etc. etc., pieces to its already unfathomably large and seemingly diverse universe. I say ‘seemingly’ because ultimately the number of genres it contains and the thematic conventions ruling each genre are surprisingly limited.
To avoid any misunderstanding: this is in no way particular to what we runners produce, it’s the same for all fancies/obsessions/interests/hobbies/industries/subjects because the list of reasons why we’re involved in anything is surprisingly limited. You don’t have to trust me on my word. Just immerse yourself in something, and if you read this, that something is probably running, and you’ve probably already immersed yourself for a bit. Unless running is a totally new thing for you, I bet it didn’t take too long before you started noticing that less and less really surprising, unexpected, new material passed by. Sure, writers, vloggers, etc. find countless new ways to present you with same old same old, and that is both unavoidable and exactly as it should be. Most of us need to hear important things in many different ways before we come across a version that manages to get really through and actually affects us.
A couple of popular genres for running are health and wellness, sport/competition/racing, companionship, self-discipline and self-improvement, and freedom. The last one is more of a niche preoccupation, but quite distinctive because of its often strongly philosophical flavour. At the edges it blends with the more pragmatic wellness genre, but it deserves separate mention because it values freedom for its own sake. I’ll give you an example of the genre:
Now ask yourself, if this kinda approach to running appeals to you – if it does not, no worries, but then this post is not for you – do you actually run Singapore in its spirit? I doubt it. And I don’t mean this as criticism, it is just a statement of fact that here, like in most places, us runners, even when we associate running strongly with ‘freedom’, stick to ‘established’ routes. We don’t take all of our environment as our play ground. Why is that?
A thought: we aspire to freedom but have this hang-up with it needing the right kinda environment, some spectacular natural landscape, of which there isn’t that much to be found here. Jogging the cityscape just doesn’t evoke that same sense of limitless possibility. And spectacular landscapes indeed can do that to us. But the message of the video is that it goes both ways: entering an environment with a free spirit, not hampered by hang-ups about what is nice or appropriate for running, beautiful, fun, etc., will unveil the limitless possibilities – well maybe not limitless but certainly plentiful – of the ordinary.
There is so much more than the tried and trusted. All public space is ours! And yes, we runners shouldn’t be a pain for others so the guiding principle always needs to be that our running doesn’t inconvenience others. But when we don’t, why bother if our running somewhere seems oddball? Some suggestions:
Underground Singapore (City Hall-Suntec-Esplanade, Raffles Place-Downtown, Orchard Rd) is very runnable before the shops open; and even when they are open, quieter days and times allow for quick run/walk traverses.
Figuring out your way through malls to overpass connections (J-walk in Jurong East, Bugis Junction, Orchard Rd), why not?
Explore, explore…every neighbourhood has ways through HDB compounds, tracks along canals, footpaths that only the locals know about.
Why not enter markets and Singapore’s older shopping centres and discover the very distinctive microcosms they often are; and don’t just do one floor.
Use your running to get to know the city better. Freedom is to go out and not know exactly what you will encounter today.
Sometimes, your environment makes you free. If it does, be grateful and enjoy it as long as it lasts. But most of the time, freedom needs your help to emerge. You need to bring the right attitude to the table. When freedom then does emerge it tends to transform the environment.
It was the first edition of Forest Force 50. And the race site was at Dairy Farm with the scenery much different than the usual Gardens by the Bay, F1 Pit Building or the high rise buildings. This time, the highlights of the route were just simply nature and the greenery 😍
Willis and I participated in the 15km category and there were 25km and 50km categories as well. Flag off was at MOE dairy farm located near to Hill View Station of Downtown Line at 7.15am for the 15km, 5 mins earlier for the 25km and 50km runners 15 mins earlier. But we would not be possible to reach on time by public transport so we took Grab to the race site.
Though dark clouds soared above us and the sky looked scarily dark and I did hear some thunder as well but we were blessed that it didn’t rain. I love to see trail runners all dressed and geared up in their hydration vest and armed with trekking poles, looking all colourful with all the accessories you could think of such as caps/visors, arm slevees/calves sleeves, compression top and bottom and scarfs and all geared up like serious and professional runners. They looked prepared. Unlike me, always in the usual shorts and singlets and a arm band for phone. It was a BYOB race but I didn’t bring any hydration because I know Willis have hydration belt and I can just rely on him and look for him when I’m thirsty 😆 Anyway, I’m pretty amazed with technology nowadays. Thank you to Forest Force 50 organisers, though distance short, I have forgiven them as to a certain point it’s still a awesome race ❤ Its the first time I came across something I had never experience in my hundreds of races that I participated in before. While waiting to start, I didn’t see any timing mat but theres a chip behind out bib so we should have timing available for the race. I told Willis no timing mat and he said now got other technology nowadays which I was quite skeptical about. I even jokingly said maybe got infrared scan or something which we can’t see. But still it may be more than what I thought, I don’t know what sorcery or magic(ok, maybe it’s science 😆) but it’s really super impressive, I think it’s even with GPS I think 😨 You may check your results here.
Once flagged off, it’s up slopes already. It was quite funny as I heard all the awkward and forceful laughs by the runners 😂 Willis and I ran together and he took care of me, warned me of slippery and uneven ground and walk with me when I was tired of running the up slopes. It’s not fair that I run more, I had clocked higher mileage and a higher frequency in running than him but running seems much more easy peasy for him. At first I thought yeah, I would slow down and wait for him to catch up but LMAO, it’s the other way 😂
I love the greenery but not the up slopes 😆 But up slopes are good trainings. There’s different type of terrain for this race such as tarmac, grasslands, dirt trails and also some rocky parts. I remembered telling Willis it’s so well done as direction signs were clearly displayed for the 15km runners but I might have praised them too early 😢
I sompa I studied the map just to agak agak know where I’m running to at least but I have not been to Zheng Hua Park before so I’m not familiar with the area. And we came to a point where 5 or 6 volunteers/marshals stand ahead in a line like a human wall very firmly on the path, blocking what’s ahead and they told us to u-turn. It dosent make sense for us to question them at all. I could have if I have downloaded the GPX file of the route but I’ve not yet explored the function of my sports watch 😂 All runners before us made the u-turn so we u turned as well. At about 9km, a runner run towards us in opposite direction and said something like running the wrong route and I thought he was sharing his experience and I felt sorry for him. Then another runner make a turn and we accidentally followed him and he stopped and told us the whole story that road marshals have directed runners wrongly and everyone had ran a shorter distance and he’s running additional distance on his own. Turns out I think that the majority of the 15km runners ran the wrong route and only completed 9.5km 😲 Sian to the maximum right?
The runners looked so angry as if they could kill somebody. Just kidding, runners are generally the most nicest people in my opinion lah. For no reasons I also have crazy logic that people who loves to drink ice milo were nice people as well 😆 Willis and I were rather calm, no questions asked nor did we go to the organisers to bang table and shout shout demanding for an explanation. We just approached a group of runners to gather some information and felt relief that it’s not we blur sotong nor the only ones with shorter distance.
I happily go to the Milo Van and drink my cold cold Milo ❤ Good that they have Milo Van, it’s my second favourite drink in Podium after Milk Tea with Pearls so I think I still consider this as a awesome event 😅 Drink till I shiok already then Willis and I walked a little further down to collect the medal.
The support was awesome with apples and bananas for runners and even free massage services for runners! And I saw ice popsicles! 😍 It’s available in different flavours and I’m seriously happy to see ice popsicles as well! While I was happily eating the ice popsicle, I told Willis that the medal we took machiam not meaningful and have no value to us at all. I only ran 9.5km and I will be constantly reminded that I didn’t complete the full distance. Just like that Yolo run medal I took a few years back which kept haunting me that I took a 10km medal but the race was cut short to only 7km 😕
We felt that we should run and complete another 5.5km on our own to make the medal worth keeping and the trip not wasted. Willis suggested that we could run to Bukit Batok Nature Park since I have not been there before and at the same time I could do my virtual race challenge by JustMove! Asia 😍
Bukit Batok Nature Park used to be an abandoned quarry and now its a small park but that offers a stunning view of the quarry! 😍 I was there for quite a while to admire the view or simply call it as nature appreciating 😆
It’s a peaceful and beautiful park though its quite slopey 😆 There’s a memorial plaque situated within the park to pay tribute to the soldiers and victims that sacrificed during World War II.
Turns out that the distance to Bukit Timah Nature and back was perfectly fine and we hit our 15km target! 💪
While we were on our way back from Bukit Batok Nature Park, we passed by a restaurant which is so kind and sweet to offer free ice cold water! I mean who else will pass by there other walkers, cyclists and runners! ❤
Though I’m not really affected by the shortage of distance of the race since I completed the rest of the short changing distance, I felt that it would leave a bad impression of Singapore races to the foreigners. I saw many Caucasians in this trail race and I heard that some of them flew in to Singapore all the way just for the race! 😢
Although they sort of messed up for the 15km, but I didn’t hear much complains from the 25km and 50km runners. At least the organizer admitted their mistake and apologize through Facebook which I felt is a sincere apology and they assured us that they would make amends to the 15km runners through email. So let’s just be patient and see! ❤
Earlier on this year, I went to Hong Kong en route to Taiwan for the Chinese Lunar New Year. Trails in Hong Kong are popular among Singaporeans because it is relatively cheap and there are many trails and mountains to choose from.
The last time I faced Needle Hill was quite some time ago. There is actually a short cut to the Needle Hill if you do not have enough time and maybe only half a day or so.
Where is Needle Hill
The Needle Hill (針山) is a mountain in the New Territories in Hong Kong. With an altitude of 532m, it got its name because of the resemblance of a needle top by its peak’s shape. It is a popular hiking spot and also very good for photography. Many trail races in Hong Kong also passes by the Needle Hill.
First take the Red MTR line to Tsuen Wan. From there, you need to go to the Mini Bus pick up points which are opposite the station.
This special pick up point is only for Mini buses, there are many small shops around selling finger food and also giving massage. Its kinda messy here, but you should be able to locate the Mini Bus 82 which takes you to the Shing Mun Reservoir. You will alight at the end if this route, most people taking this bus will end there. The trip is not long only at most 20 minutes, but it gets really crowded on the weekends and Public holidays, so do set off early.
On foot all the way
You will see a public toilet and a small store outside the toilet selling snacks and drinks, the price is not very high so it is okay if you did not prepare some drinks and snacks. As for the toilet, it is relatively clean and do use it here as it will take a bit more before you can use the toilets again.
Once ready. Simply walk along the right of the route from the terminal small bus station. Along this route, you will see some monkeys and wildlife along both side of the road. It can get really hot here so make sure you prepare sunscreen and hat. The area is totally not sheltered so also be prepared for wet weather contingency.
Soon you will see the reservoir on the left. It is actually quite scenic here and one might wonder whether this is really Hong Kong, minus the tall buildings in Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, it is really quite amazing to know that there such places still existing in Hong Kong.
Start of MacLehose Trail
To the end of the reservoir is the Stage 7 for Maclehose trail. From here it will be quite a forest walk with many slopes ups and down.
Then finally from afar, you will see this pointy hill with a trail of steps leading to the top. It looks very amazing from afar, it can also feel quite scary at the same time.
Climbing up the Needle Hill
It can be quite a dizzy feat if you turn back and look when you are climbing up the steps of Needle Hill. The stairway is very narrow and sometimes traffic is coming from the opposite direction so you will have to give way to them. The scenery up there is amazing and it is good to have some cameo shots here.
Although it can be quite tedious and tiring climbing the needle hill, it is quite fufiling and at the same time a sense of accomplishment will overcome you when you finish the climb. Coming down is also not that easy because there are no handles around for you to hold. So just be extra careful.
After the descent, you will be led into the forest again. Keep walking and you will see a sign on the right point to go down to Sha Tin MTR station. From here on, it is all the way stairs with handles to hold on. Just keep going down. Then you will come to this kind of meditation centre, very tranquil and peaceful, from there. Keep going down wards and you come to a village. It gets a bit confusing here but if you got lost , do ask the villagers, they are more willing to show you the direction to Sha Tin MTR.
Once you reach the MTR a strong sense of civilization will overwhelm you, for a moment you will remember you are in Hong Kong. Do give Needle Hill a try if you get too bored dim suming or shopping around Hong Kong Island. To speak the truth this trail if done slowly is doable for those who does not really exercise that frequently.
The annual Income Eco Run champions environmental conservation and aims to encourage everyone to play their part in support the cause for zero waste. Held on 28th April at the F1 Pit, it includes the following categories: 21.1 km, 10 km, zero waste 5 km and Kids Dash. Last year I participated in the HM category and having just run the 2XU HM 3 weeks ago, I decided to opt instead for the 10 km category for this year’s edition.
Collection of race pack was at the F1 Pit 2 weeks earlier and just like last year, the retailers at the Farmers’ Market offer runners a wide variety of healthy snacks and lifestyle products. Income is really one of the few organizers offering runners a good range of pre-race activities.
The weather was very cooling on race day morning as it had been raining on Saturday. The 10 km runners were scheduled to flag off at 6.30 am. However, I chose to start later and forgo taking Grab or shuttle service to the race venue and instead took the train. I arrived at around 7 a.m and commenced my run after some warm up.
There were only a handful of runners running along with me as the majority were already way ahead. It was ‘surreal’ as we literally had the whole Nicoll Highway to ourselves. But I had just run here 3 weeks ago during the 2XU race and is expected to cycle along this same road 2 weeks later during the OCBC Cycle.
I managed to catch up with some of the front runners at Tanjong Rhu and Gardens By The Bay. These were familiar routes and were uneventful in the early Sunday morning. I completed the race within my usual timing. Specific lanes were arranged for each size of the finisher shirt so that the collection process was faster.
Hydration stations were sufficient, providing runners with choices of 100 Plus and water. There were also many volunteers along the route and some provided directions at critical junctions. In addition, I noticed some volunteers were on bicycles. I believe they were helping to cover the race routes and ensure anyone needing first aid or medical attention was promptly attended.
At the race village, there were many post-race activities for the runners to participate. There were games which involved (or constructed) with recycled materials. There were also displays or artwork which encourage us to ‘Save The Earth’ by reducing and recycling.
Starbalm provided free massage and a ‘bouncy slide’ was set up to keep the kids entertained. But I guess one of the main attraction was getting the free ice cream after you ‘pledge’ a recycling option at the booth of Shaws Preschool Singapore.
Volunteers were also seen going around to persuade the runners to return their safety pins and the red clips from the shoe tags for recycling purposes.
I feel that Income Eco Run is one of the very few local events which provide participants with ‘total’ experience, right from the day where we collect the race packs to the race itself and post race. Preliminary race results were also made available within the same day, which I feel is pretty efficient.
The only drawback is the design of the finisher shirt for the HM runners. Personally, I don’t appreciate the ‘cartoon’ design at the front and the faded finisher wordings at the back. I think the 2017 edition was much better.
In all, I feel this is a good race and I congratulate the organizers for a job well done!
Garmin The Performance Series 2019 Race 1 [10 km]
This year’s The Performance Series (TPS) consists of 3 road races and 2 virtual challenges. Together, they make up a collectable Finisher Medals set. I probably will not be able to achieve it as I am seriously not a fan of virtual runs unless it is for a special occasion, such as the Raffles 200 Bicentennial Virtual Run.
Held at the Event Lawn beside Safra Punggol on 5th May, this is the first of the road race. It is called ‘Emerge’ and have 4 categories: 21 km, 10 km competitive and non-competitive and 5 km fun run. I was participating in the 10 km category.
There were thunders in the early morning, but fortunately, that did not translate to rain. I took LRT and alighted at Sam Kee Station, which was just opposite the race site. The flag off was at 7.30 am and I arrived slightly later.
The route took us along Punggol Waterway to Coney Island through the East Entrance. I last visited this place in March during my North East Cycling Expedition. But my last run in here was during the Real Run in 2017. So I was quite happy to have the opportunity to revisit this route through TPS.
The weather was hot and runners helped themselves to the H20 provided by the hydration stations at every 2 km. I was perspiring profusely and on hindsight, I surmised bringing along a towel would have helped to clear away the sweat and enable a better run. I did that for half marathons and had thought this was not necessary for a shorter 10 km run. Well, I learned it really is a matter of what time the race was conducted and how comfortable I want myself to be!
I completed the race within my usual timing. It was already near to 9 am and it appeared many runners had already taken their entitlements and left. Perhaps it was because the sun started to beat mercilessly into the Event Lawn and also, there wasn’t much post-race activity. There were not many retailer booths, with notably just Garmin which was the title sponsor.
I left shortly after the prize presentation to the podium winners.
More often than not we are humbled by the marathon distance. The 42.195 is tough an gruelling and is no easy task. Because the distance is so long, anything can happen.
The marathon distance should be tackled in a methodical strategic manner such that injuries can be minimised and success can be maximised. The underlining rule is that you require at least 12 – 20 weeks to prepare for a marathon, and that is dependant on your fitness level.
If you’re just starting out to run, you would require more time to train for a marathon. If you have taken an extensive break off running, you fall into this category as well. A competitive runner who has taken a long break and a beginner both have a low level of fitness.
If you can achieve 16km long runs, you would require 18-20 weeks to adequately prep yourself. This will ensure you have enough time to build up your mileage. You have to increase your mileage gradually (not more than 10 percent every week).
If your weekly mileage is rough 40-60km a week, you fall in this category. You would require 14-18 weeks to train up for the marathon distance. Within your training block, you would want to build up your long runs to about 30km. Not every week has to be a 30km run. You can do a 25km run with a 10km marathon pace run for instance. This is to train your general endurance and marathon-specific endurance.
If you’re comfortable running over 65km a week and able to run 20-25km long runs, you are an advanced runner. You are in pretty good shape and don’t require as much time to train for the marathon distance. You would require about 12 – 16 weeks of marathon specific training. The first 6-8 weeks would be to work up your mileage to hit a 30km long run whereas the next 6-8 weeks would be for you to work on your marathon pace specific training.
Whatever your level, the goal remains the same. You would want to be able to run more consistent long runs with a large volume at goal marathon race pace.
Running is an amazing way to de-stress, keep fit and stay healthy, and provide a sense of challenge both mentally and physically. But what if running — the long distance on same routes — seems a tad bit bland? You feel like runs get a little more tiring, not because of detraining but due to overtraining?
Overtraining is not just physical strain and overwhelming overload. It also incorporates the mental part. Boredom is a good sign that you might be encountering overtraining from all these routine runs that once seemed like something you looked forward to every other evening but not anymore.
In this article, we will talk about 3 exercises that you can try when you get bored with running.
Muay Thai & Boxing
Whether you are a man or woman, picking up some skills on self-defence will boost your confidence, increase your ability to protect yourself, and get a kick out of just one hour of workout.
Martial arts are catching the trends recently at a pretty rapid rate. Education of fitness and exercise for women in Singapore has been growing steadily. From simply running on the treadmill in public gyms to lifting weights thrice their body weight. And now, we have women participating and owning the MMA scene.
Benefits of Muay Thai & Boxing
1) Dynamic & Full-Body Targeting
As opposed to running, Muay Thai and boxing consists of very dynamic movements, challenging every part of your body to push itself out of comfort zones. This full-body workout option is able to get your heart rate up very quickly and provide that exciting twist of learning new skills and exploration of what your body can do.
By the 24th to 72nd-hour post-workout, you will feel all major muscle groups sore — in the best way possible.
2) Unleashes the warrior within yourself
Warriors are more than just good fighters or super fit individuals. They are strong in all aspects, from the physical being to the emotional, mental, and spiritual being. Going to a professional Muay Thai and boxing gym, and learning from an expert will enable you to unlock more potential than you thought you have.
Learning self-discipline and being equipped with the culture of Muay Thai and boxing can enhance the way you handle stress from your daily life.
Where To Start
One of the best Muay Thai and boxing gyms in Singapore is The Jungle Asia located at 35B Boat Quay (River Facing, Top Floor), Raffles Place MRT.
Apart from Muay Thai and Boxing, these guys also have HIIT, MMA & BJJ, and personal training classes. The Jungle Asia also lies right in the heart of central Singapore and surrounded by many cafes serving healthy and nutritious post-workout meals.
Yoga & Meditation
If you haven’t tried at least one class of yoga but you’ve been wanting to, I’m challenging you to book one trial session with a yoga studio now! Yoga has escalated its fame in the fitness industry for very good reasons.
The benefits that people reap from consistent yoga practice goes beyond a tight and toned body. Yoga improves one’s flexibility, strength, muscular endurance, and one of its most crucial components — the mind and soul.
Benefits of Yoga & Meditation
1) Improves your flexibility and strength
The pictures on Instagram that you’ve been liking proves how amazing your body can become. Yoga allows you to learn how to properly utilise your muscles in the newest way possible, especially if you’ve been running your whole life.
2) Perfects your posture and reduces back pain
How healthy is your posture right now? If you are guilty of constant slouching, long sitting hours, and carrying a truckload of stuff in your bag which weighs your shoulders down, you’d most probably experience back pain as well.
Yoga can improve your posture and alleviate back pain by increasing your upper body strength and flexibility with body weight poses and movements. This exercise helps you to be more mindful and aware of your body, and to help you regain back the straight back that you started with.
Where To Start
Yoga studios are found everywhere around Singapore now. The one that I would recommend is Yoga+ as they have several studios in different places. You can find them at Arab Street, Pagoda, and Tanjong Pagar.
They have many different classes to choose from. So whether you’re a newbie or yoga master, you can head to their studio and give this a try.
Many of you might strike this off the list but I have personally tried all these three exercises on top on running — they are very revitalising, challenging, and shakes the mundane out of your system immediately.
Going into a gymnastics gym, you would most probably be one or the other: I can’t do it or I want to do a backflip now. I was the latter and later learned that I had to learn more basics before I could look like one of the kids flipping from pole to pole.
Gymnastics, however, is not just meant for kids. I did an adult gymnastics class and it was very educating, sweat-busting, and gets you feeling alive instantly.
Benefits of Gymnastics
1) Get better at coordination & body awareness
They say self-awareness is key; the self is more than just your mind but the body as well thus, body awareness is an important aspect to grow in.
Some of us are more coordinated with our hands and legs, hands and eyes, etc. than others. But no matter which category you associate yourself with, gymnastics can help to improve this skill of yours.
Being more coordinated can really help you feel much more confident when you are trying new things when it comes to exercising. With most of our lifetime spent on sitting down, our coordination skills might have been slightly dampened.
With gymnastics training, you can get more aware of your body and feel in tune with your body and space.
2) Overcome fear of heights
Getting into gymnastics empowers you to overcome many common fears such as heights. It all looks easy when another person is jumping on the trampoline. Once you actually get on it and see how high you are, the fear of heights might creep in a little. However, the fact that you are going head-on with this is powerful in overcoming the fear that exists only in your mind.
Applying this back to your running journey, overcoming the fear of a marathon or another route that seem too hard in your head, becomes a copy-paste strategy. Being brave and going head-on with fear is the only way to defeat it and see growth.
Where To Start
Adult gymnastics is not the most common class in the market but there are a few of them. BazGym is the one I went to for my first-ever gymnastics session. The reason why I chose them was that they were the only one on ClassPass. After that first session with them, if I ever go into gymnastics as an adult, they will definitely be my choice.
It is always good to try new things. Everything that you do and experience can and will value-add to your running journey. It did for me and I hope that you will be adventurous enough to experience this for yourself too.