Review: Okinawa Marathon – The Quest for Blue Seal (by Supertramp)

Okinawa, a Japanese prefecture comprising more than 150 islands south of the Japan mainland. It is known for its tropical climate, beaches and World War II sites. On the main island, also known as Okinawa, they have been holding a not so commonly known race named Okinawa Marathon for the past 26 years. And this year, we decided to take part in the 27th edition.

Registration

Registering for the marathon was pretty straightforward and at 6000 Yen, it is one of the cheapest marathons in Japan (Tokyo Marathon was 12800 Yen). Less than a week before the race I received the number card collection letter which I will need for my BIB collection before the race. However she did not receive hers up till the day we depart. So we just brought along her email confirmation slip.

BIB Collection

BIB collection was done at the Okinawa Comprehensive Athletics Park, which was also the race site itself. As this is not one of the bigger marathons around, there was no large scale Expo like those we have seen in Tokyo. There were just a couple of stalls peddling pretty much anything one may need in a race.

BIB collection was a breeze. The number card collection letter would have stated our BIB number already. So we just needed to go the counter labelled with our BIB numbers to collect our BIBs. After which we needed to go to another counter to collect our event tees. As she did not receive the number card, she had to go to another counter to get her BIB number before collecting her BIBs and event tee but the whole process took no more than 10mins still.

Collect your BIBs according to the numbers
Collect event tee here

Race Day

Flag off was at 0900hrs, so we left our hotel at around 0630hrs and made our way to AEON Mall Okinawa Rycom. That was where we parked our car and boarded their free shuttle bus to the race site. Shuttle bus organisation was pretty efficient as buses after buses arrived to pick up the runners. We managed to reach the race site around 0730hrs and we headed straight to the loo first.

Parking locations available and shuttle bus pick up

Based on past videos of the race we have seen, we were prepared for a pretty warm run as there seemed to be sun in every video we saw. The course also consisted of a couple of ‘gently’ rolling hills, something the organisers made very clear to us in their marathon description.

Very gentle hills……

There were baggage deposit service available but, at a price of 500 Yen. Not wanting to spend the extra and since we had a car, we decided to leave our stuff in the car instead. Thus we did not get to utilise and experience their baggage deposit service.

At around 0830hrs we started to walk to our starting Pen which was Pen B. There were 7 Pens from Pen A to Pen G and we were allocated our Pens based on our past marathon finishing times. There were no flag off waves as all were scheduled to start together at 0900hrs albeit from front to back since there were not that many runners.

Awaiting flag off

0900hrs came and off we went right on the dot.

The Race

The marathon has a cut off time of 6hrs 15mins though the official cut off time was stated as 6hrs. Guess the extra 15mins was catered as allowance for the runners at the later Pens. It also had a couple of water stations with individual cut off times. We decided again to take it real easy as the timings were quite lenient and we should have no problems clearing them anyway.

As with Japan marathons, the support from the locals were amazing. They were everywhere and anywhere cheering us on and offering us drinks/snacks. Even the kids were so enthusiastic always stretching out their hands for Hi-5s.

Some cream puff thingy
Very sweet strawberries!
Kawaii neh!
I wonder if she did sing for 3hrs
This was fantastic! We just had to stop and eat!
Most of us have seen supporters with their dogs. Have anyone seen one with a goat?

Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the official water stations. There were no sports drinks even up till 10km and all they had were just water. The first sports drink were only spotted around the 15km mark and subsequently they were few and far between. We were fortunate that the locals were also feeding us with snacks and drinks if not we would have been very energy deprived.

I must say the high point of the marathon came at the 28.9km mark, which was when we entered the US Air Force Base, Kadena Air Base. The Americans were a crazy yet uber friendly bunch. From the moment we stepped into the base till we left it, they were screaming and shouting at us, offering us drinks and snacks, jumping up and down, waving, basically doing whatever they could to keep our spirits high. It was an enjoyable and amusing 3km in the air base.

Into the mad mad house
Cheery Americans

The ‘gently’ rolling hills started after 10km and continued almost till the end. They were not kidding when they said hills are aplenty. So we fell back on the usual up walk, flat and down run routine.

Gentle rolling hill

The weather was surprisingly chilly and not warmth as we expected. The unexpected chill might have contributed to the large number of runners suffering cramps along the way as we kept seeing runners stretching out their legs along the 42.195km. Fortunately muscle sprays were aplenty as well and runners kept spraying and spraying along the way.

Another thing I noticed was the absence of large number of portaloos. It was not that these were not catered for but the organisers went one better and tied up with the numerous convenient stores along the way that allowed runners to use their proper toilets. Toilet signs can be clearly seen along the way indicating which convenient stores had opened up their toilets for us. Do note those without the toilet signs outside do not allow runners usage though.

Finally at around 1440hrs, we enter the Athletics Park area and entered the stadium before completing our Okinawa Marathon after 1 round round the track.

Guess it is saying Finishing soon?
Entering the stadium
Finishing line crossed!
Run in our flag, pose with our flag

Post Race

Finisher certificates were printed out upon us leaving the track. They just scanned the QR Code on our BIB and viola, certificates were ready and handed to us. Right after we were awarded our medals with the volunteers hanging them over our necks. Took a Coke before taking a short rest before we went for a final show.

Award ceremony :p

Cut off time for the marathon was 1515hrs. Having seen numerous videos of Japanese marathons closing the gates right in the runners’ faces, we decided to witness this first hand. At 1510hrs we could see the marshalls forming up right before the stadium gates cheering runners as they returned. And at 1515hrs sharp, the marshalls formed a human chain and started to block the path leading into the stadium with the stadium gates closing as well. We then saw 2 girls slowly walking towards the gate on seeing the closure. They did not make a scene but they did seem a little embarrassed about it as they kept covering their faces and laughing. So the legendary strict gate closures are true afterall.

Yup. Got cut off

Afterthoughts

It was generally an enjoyable marathon despite the ‘gently’ rolling hills and anyone thinking of coming here should be sufficiently prepared for them. Not as scenic as we would have liked but it was better than Tokyo. Official food and hydration support could have been better but if the unofficial ones were always this fantastic, I guess they will suffice.

Oh. And we did get our Blue Seal ice cream.

Quest for Blue Seal – Completed
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Surviving the wet and chilly Tokyo Marathon 2019

I love running in cold weather as the air is cooler and denser, so my heart beat can stay in the lower zone longer and I can perform better. However, the sub10 temperature was a bit too cold for me especially when it got windy. With the experience Tokyo Marathon 2018, I was more prepared for this race. I would like to share some pointers and experience in handling the cold, hopefully, fellow runners taking part in future Tokyo Marathon for the first time will find it useful. For more information, do check out my review for the 2018 race as the route is similar.

The worst part is not during the run because your body will get warm, and the faster you run, the warmer you get. But if you are not able to sustain and start walking, you will feel the cold, especially if it is windy. Having compression tights and long sleeve tops as a base layer was very helpful.

This year was worst because it rained before the race started and never stop. So we already got ourselves slightly wet while we were walking from Shinjuku Station to the “Start Area”, as the route was unsheltered, so do prepare a raincoat or poncho. I learned from last year race that many runners had a raincoat on, not sure if they prepared for the rain or use as a windbreaker.

Once I got past the security check, I stayed under the bridge to keep myself dry and did some warm-up, while waiting for time to get by. Do not want to go to the pen earlier as it was still raining.

The challenge was during the wait for flag off. All runners were to get into the pen by 08:45 and the flag off is 09:10. Depending on which pen you were in, it was 09:28 when I got to the start line (I was in pen J). During that wait, I noticed many runners shivering as they were obviously underdressed, most had already changed to their fancy running gears after the bag deposit.

Knowing that there were bins to collect used jackets right before the start line, I kept the blue jacket they had provided in last year race (just in case I am lucky enough to participate in this race), and it was indeed helpful. I had the jacket on till got to the start line and drop to their collection bins. This year, they gave the same blue jacket again, and I am keeping it for next year’s race.

At some parts of the race, the rain got a bit heavier and luckily I had my cap and sunglasses with me which protected my eyes against the rain and chilly wind. The other accessories to have were the neck scarf and gloves (with heat pads).

But the main problem was running into puddle of water and got the shoes wet. It was very uncomfortable at first, but after a while, I felt better. I believed the anti-blister socks did work well to keep my feet dry. And at the end of the race, I did not develop any blister (which I will have for every race), so I am very glad to invest in these anti-blister socks.

After 29km, my right tight started to hurt, and I lost my determination. I chose not to stress my tight too much and better to complete the race. So I started walking till my tight got better then start running. On and off, and finally I reach the 40km mark, and decided to give all out and ran to the finish line. Along the final stretch, supporters lined on both sides cheering. Although it was not for me, I was pressurised not to stop. Thanks for them, I managed to finish sub5.

Thank you to all volunteers, performers and supports that stayed in the cold and wet weather to support us the race. Without them, we would not have enjoyed our race, another great experience in Tokyo.

After the race, its time to reward ourselves, yippy !! We went for an Onsen retreat and had sumptuous Kaiseki dinner. The Onsen helped to got rid of the sore and pain, and I could enjoy the rest of the RUN-cation.

I hope I can be back in 2020 and achieve a better PB. Meanwhile, I have 1 year to trim down my weight to reduce the loading on my knees.

Lastly, Good Luck to all for successful balloting for the 2020 race.

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Leg 1 of the Runrio Trilogy 2019 is set for April 7

     AN EXPECTED field of over 6,000 runners is expected to answer the starting gun for Leg 1 of the Runrio Trilogy 2019 set for April 7 at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.  This also marks the ninth year of the running event that has grown to become one of the most awaited and attended events of the season in the Philippines.

As always, the series will start with the Half-Marathon or 21-kilometer race as its main event.  This will be followed by a longer distance of 32 kilometers or Afroman in the second leg on June 16 and capped by the Philippine Marathon on September 22.

The race series is designed to give participants – whether they are rookies or veterans – enough time to prepare and be guided properly to level up their game for the succeeding races.  “We are inviting all to discover your inner strength and fuel your passion for running,” said Coach Rio de la Cruz of Runrio Events who founded the series back in 2011.

Aside from the usual trophies and prizes given to the overall winners, a new development this year is that all age group winners will be given a chance to represent the country in the coming Bank of America Chicago Marathon in the United States courtesy of Gatorade.  In another change for this year, runners will be encouraged to bring their own hydration containers in order to eliminate or at least lessen garbage on the streets after the event.

More good news is coming as now, all finishers including those in the five and 10-kilometer categories will be awarded medals.  The finishers in 21, 32 and 42.195 kilometers will get their traditional t-shirt and a medal that can be interlocked to produce one large medal after the completion of the trilogy.

Registration is now ongoing at Sportshouse in SM Mall of Asia and Olympic Village branches located in Alabang Town Center, Glorietta 2, Market Market and Trinoma until April 5.  The race kit includes a t-shirt, number, reusable water bottle and a drawstring bag.

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Laguna Phuket Marathon Sets The Standard As Leading Destination Marathon in South East Asia

  • Held 8th and 9th June 2019, the event is set to be the biggest yet.
  • Runners from more than 50 countries will compete.

BANGKOK, Thailand – The award-winning Laguna Phuket Marathon returns for its 14th year to the “Best Sport Event Venue In Thailand”* and organisers are expecting a bumper field of over 13,000 participants from more than 50 countries. Welcoming runners from as young as three years old (competing in the 2 km Kids Run) up to more than 70 years old, Laguna Phuket Marathon is a key event on Phuket’s annual sporting calendar and the largest mass participation event in Phuket, and will again shine the light on the island’s sports and tourism credentials on the 8th and 9th June, 2019 at Laguna Phuket.

“We have broken our own entry record every year and still with nearly three months to go we have surpassed last year’s entry numbers,” commented Roman Floesser, General Manager of the event’s organiser, GAA Events. “Runners of all abilities and nationalities are set to compete and what is particularly encouraging for us and for the island is that more than 80% of the runners are from outside of Phuket; travelling from overseas and around Thailand to take part in the event and enjoy Phuket’s famed hospitality.”

Phuket is a world-class tourism destination welcoming a record of more than nine million arrivals through Phuket International Airport in 2018, and as the island’s appeal continues to grow sports tourism has become one of the fastest growing tourism sectors. Laguna Phuket Marathon has been at the front of that growth and has helped to put Phuket on the map as a running mecca, delivering an event to the highest international standards that is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, is professionally timed by Sportstats Asia, and is certified by AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races).

And the independent study of the 2018 event found that its economic impact was 146,818,481THB with international participants staying an average of 10 days over the period and their top three areas of spend were meals/ food & beverage, accommodation and local transportation.

With the largest international fields of any running event in Thailand, and the attraction to “Run Paradise”, Laguna Phuket Marathon has become a leading destination marathon in South East Asia and a significant revenue generator for the local economy.

“It’s delightful to have witnessed the steady growth of the running community in Thailand, especially in the past few years. Sport promotes a healthy lifestyle and running events can help to raise awareness and funds for meaningful causes. Laguna Phuket Marathon leads the way in both endeavors, very much in sync with Laguna Phuket’s aspirations,” said Anthony Loh, Vice President of Laguna Phuket.

“I believe Laguna Phuket Marathon’s success as a leading mass-participation sporting event in the Asia Pacific and a fundraising platform that has a positive impact on the local community, together with Laguna Phuket’s outstanding hospitality capacity, has significantly contributed to the resort’s ultimate recognition as Best Sports Event Venue in Thailand last November.

“This June, Laguna Phuket will once again welcome thousands of runners and spectators to our beautiful destination resort. We encourage all to join us in raising awareness and funds towards Laguna Phuket Foundation’s Children First Fund (CFF) to support more than 400 underprivileged children in seven orphanages in Phuket. You can help them now by making a direct donation upon event registration or contact us at CSR@lagunaphuket.com.”

Laguna Phuket Marathon is more than a sports event, it is part of the local community. In addition to supporting Laguna Phuket Foundation’s Children First Fund, this year the event is supporting the UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and their efforts to build a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people.

“Running has become very popular in recent years and it’s great to see more and more people enjoying a healthy activity. At the same time, we are seeing runners supporting charitable causes through raising funds and profiles, and we are proud that Laguna Phuket Marathon continues to support Laguna Phuket Foundation’s Children First Fund, and for the first time this year the UNHCR,” added Floesser.

Laguna Phuket Marathon 2019 offers six distances: 2 km Kids Run, 5 km and 10.5 km will take place on Saturday 8th June in the afternoon while the Half Marathon (21.0975 km), Marathon (42.195 km) and Marathon Relay (42.195 km) will take place on Sunday 9th June in the morning. For the full race schedule, visit http://www.phuketmarathon.com/race-schedule.

For more information, visit www.phuketmarathon.com or www.facebook.com/phuketmarathon.

Laguna Phuket was awarded Gold for “Best Sport Event Venue In Thailand” at the 2018 SPIA Asia – Asia’s Sports Industry Awards & Conference.

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Vital Vitamins

The human body is a remarkable self-regulating machine. It gets what it needs from what we eat, with countless processes that occur at every moment in our body. In this grand design, vitamins are chemical compounds that are needed in small quantities to ensure normal bodily functions, and they are designated “vitamins’ because our body does not make enough of them. This is a shortfall that we have to fill through our diet. Though we rarely go hungry compared to leaner times a few decades ago, we are much more exposed to foods that may not be good for us. After all, eating a lot is not the same as eating well.

Let’s know the different types of vitamins and their functions.

  1. Vitamin A – Vision, skin health, bone growth & immune system
  2. Vitamin B – Metabolism, nerve function
  3. Vitamin B2 – Metabolism, vision, skin
  4. Vitamin B3 – Metabolism, nerve function, digestion & skin
  5. Vitamin C – Immune system, iron absorption, protein metabolism
  6. Vitamin D – Calcium absorption
  7. Vitamin E – Antioxidant
  8. Vitamin K – Blood clotting

When considering vitamin supplements

  • Labels don’t always reflect the true contents. Go for trusted brands, or products that have been certified by independent agencies to ensure you get what you paid for
  • Though a single pill might contain several times the vitamin content of a single fruit, the latter offers a much broader range of nutrients that we’d miss out on if we relied solely on pills.
  • Too many vitamins can cause vitamin poisoning with serious effects such as nausea, diarrhea and liver malfunction. This is especially true for fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), which are restored in our body. Vitamin overdose rarely happens if we get all our vitamins from food instead of supplements
  • Vitamin D is something to watch out for, as a growing body of research suggests that adequate levels help lower the risk of heart attack, disease, and numerous cancers. Vitamin D is synthesized when our skin is exposed to sunlight.

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Interview with Eco-Runners: Sharlene Tan and Clement Woon

Sharlene Tan will be participating in this year’s Income Eco Run for the first time with her family (husband and kids), and also participated in a plogging activity organised by the Income Eco Run team on 23 February which involved running and picking up litter on the beach at East Coast Park.

Clement Woon and his son have been taking part in Income Eco Run for the past 3-5 years. This year, he will be running with his mother and his son. Other than maintaining a healthy lifestyle, another reason for his constant support for Income Eco Run is that it “is one of the well-organised runs in Singapore” and that he believes in the run’s objectives of promoting eco-friendliness.

1. What made you want to involve the family in the plogging activity and will they be participating in the Income Eco Run with you as well?
 
Sharlene Tan: It was a good opportunity for family bonding and exercise at the same time, we wanted the kids to have a greater awareness about the impact of littering and non-biodegradable waste on the environment. I am taking part this year and I will certainly involve the kids as it would be a fun family activity. 
 
Clement Woon: An an avid runner myself, I believed it is an appropriate lifestyle to involve the people especially my close ones to also be associated with healthy activities such as running so as to also create close bondage amongst ourselves.
 
2. How has the Income Eco Run impacted you and your family?
 
Sharlene Tan: We have been telling the kids not to litter, save the earth, use less plastic and they have even read a storybook about the impact of littering but just words alone do not have much impact. Hence, we through the plogging activity, they could see first hand how much waste is really generated and the need to do their part to help keep the environment clean.
Clement Woon: It has given us time to do more outdoor activities together to train for the event. 


3. What are some of the eco-friendly practices that you and your family have adopted?

Sharlene Tan: We sort our waste and try to recycle as much as possible (tetra packs, plastic waste, papers, etc.). Unwanted letters and papers that are only printed on one side are recycled for drawing, scribbling and testing spelling. My in-law’s do a little gardening at home so food waste such as vegetable peelings and egg shells are recycled into compost for fertilising the garden. The kids use plastic lunch boxes to pack their snacks and recess instead of Ziploc bags and plastic bags. We have also stopped using straws as much as possible when it is unnecessary and tell the kids to drink from the cup instead. 
 
Clement Woon: We have avoided using plastic carriers when shopping (bring our own lug-on) and always carry on our own bottles.
 

4. What are you looking forward to at this year’s edition of the Income Eco Run?
 
Sharlene Tan: I’m looking forward to seeing how much less waste will be generated by the zero waste initiative. I think it is great that runners have an option to be more eco-friendly. The amount of waste generated in most runs from number tags and water cups is really a lot and quite unnecessary. I hope that as runners strive to keep their mind and body healthy, they should also strive to keep Mother Earth healthy for the benefit of future generations.
 
Clement Woon: As always, family bonding time and enjoying the run.
 
Income Eco Run 2019 will be happening April 28th at F1 pit building. Let’s race towards #zerowaste future together with your family and friends!
 

Check it out today!

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Run2PB Workout Series – Fartlek

Running is a precious gift that we can’t take for granted. It allows you to experience and discover, ponder and learn. Peering into the workings of what it takes to run your best, over the next few weeks, let’s have an in-depth look at some of the key sessions that are sure to get you closer to that precious Personal Best.

Over the next 4 weeks, we will take you through 4 key workouts that play an integral part in all our athletes’ programs.

Fartlek

In a distance runner’s arsenal, the fartlek is right on the front line. On race day, it allows you to go into battle feeling strong, fast and mentally tough. Fartlek’s incorporate the altering of faster paced efforts, followed by a ‘float’ or ‘bit quicker than a jog’ paced efforts. Not only are they great for improving speed, strength and endurance, but the huge sense of accomplishment when the watch beeps and your legs halt, will want you reloading and getting back out there again for more of these challenging sessions.

There is a vast array of fartlek’s that can be completed, but today we’ll focus on one we like to incorporate with our runners.

 – 1min on/ 30sec float

Much like the Arctic Fox, which changes the colour of its fur depending on the season. The 1min on/30sec float fartlek can be adapted subject to what cycle you are in. The number of repetitions or the speed of the paces can be manipulated, depending on what stimulus you’re looking for.

If you’re targeting shorter, sharper races, the focus could be on the quality of the 1 minute hard efforts with the float pace being taken back, to maintain the speed stimulus you’re looking for. For example, 14 repetitions of 1 minute hard @ 3k/5k effort, 30 second float @ marathon effort. In total 21 minutes worth of work.

If you’re focusing on more speed development throughout the summer, the stimulus could be changed to have more emphasis on the quality of the repetitions.

If you’re targeting longer races, the floats could be used to assist in training your body to relax at a certain pace (e.g. marathon pace) whilst fatigued. For example, 20 reps of 1 minute hard @ 10k-half marathon effort, 30 second float @ marathon effort. In total 25 minutes of work.

If you’re focusing on more marathon paced work throughout the winter, the stimulus could be changed to have more emphasis on maintaining the float portion of the workout, to remain relaxed whilst under a fatigued state.

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Race Review: Malaysia Women Marathon 2019 (by healthobeing)

The Malaysia Women Marathon was held at Petaling Jaya this year, joined this race in 2013 and 2015, but felt that this year edition, organisation was not as good and there were a lot that needed to be improved.  That being said I still enjoyed the race very much.

Came to this race with another of the Tortoise Runner, Alice, she is more of an ultra trail runner, so when she asked me to go for this, I gladly accepted.  We signed up around October last year.  This year the main organizer is Check Point Asia.

Pre-race shot

Bag drop area

RACE PACK COLLECTION

Race pack collection in AB Mall

Petaling Jaya like Shah Alam is pretty quiet town.  Race collection is at AB Tower which is near to the start and finish line, Padang Timur.  This big field is the main event space for many activities in Petaling Jaya.

If you have chosen a no entitlement race ( meaning no medals, no tee shirts), the goodie bag will only consist of your number bib and some brouchures).

The original dates for the collection was on weekdays as we could not make it, we had to write in to ask for collection on Saturday instead.  There was nothing fancy at the collection, just sale of Tee shirts and some hand made soap.

RACE ROUTE

Mandatory race start picture

On the roads

This year’s race route is really confusing, before the race, I read through the map and Goggled the land marks so that I will not get lost.  Having lost before in Malaysian Races, I know this is not uncommon, especially if you are going for a faster timing.

The race has only 7,000 participants for all the 5km, 10km, HM and FM.  FM itself only has 162 participants.

Support was okay but mainly just isotonic and water, only the last few points were provided with banana.

Route itself can be mentally challenging because it starts a 2am, all around is dark, and having to do it 2 loops kinda make you feel bored about it.  Many of the faster runners got lost the second loop because the marshalling and signs were not very clear.  The confusion caused them to run shorter and cause them to be disqualified.

FINISHING POINT

Finishing line

The Finishing was a bit confusing because the medal collection and tee shirt was quiet far from the ending point.  Some of the runners do not even know where.  This year, with the option of not having any runners entitlement makes the collection point very chaotic and confusing.  The volunteers at some point was not able to handle the crowd and in the end there was a large human jam when the 5km runners finish.

Cereal Booth

Nescafe truck

Enjoying some Milo after race

However, runners still get free cereals, banana, a Milo bar and hydration at the endpoint.  There were also the usual Milo booths, Nestle Cereals and also Nescafe coffee truck for the runners to relax and enjoy some refreshments before they leave.

THE PROS & THE CONS

Sharing the joy of a placing with Alice

Met my Malaysian friend here

Sad to say despite being Southeast Asia’s only all Female road race, the expectations are definitely going to be high.  However, compared to the past editions.  The standard has really dropped. The complicated race route, not well planned out race village, lack of stock for medals, these are just some of the main complaints from the participants.  But that does not mean that there are no good points for this race.  I felt that the volunteers were very helpful although they are not informed about the whole operations.  The beautifully designed medals with different selections of race entitlements allow runners to chose and save up if they do not want the tee shirts or any other finisher’s entitlements.  Milo, Nestle Cereals and Nescafe trucks offered the finishers some good refreshment after their race.  Really hope that they will do better again next year and gain back the support from the participants.

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My North-East Cycling Expedition (2 March 2019)

I have always wanted to cycle along Mandai area and had intended to do that last year. But it did not happen because of my lack of determination. Fortunately, my Pengerang expedition gave me a lot of confidence to step beyond my comfort zone. Hence, I decided to check off this to-do item this March, since there is no race I intend to participate in this month.

The Route

The route should consists of places or landmarks I had never been to, or not often, with a bicycle. After much consideration, I decided on the following must-visit places of interest:

  1. Northern – Safari Zoo, Upper and Lower Seletar Reservoirs
  2. North Eastern – Seletar Industrial Park, Sengkang and Coney Island
  3. Eastern – Tampines Quarry

I screenshot portions of each stage of the route to my phone for reference. Although Singapore is small, it is still possible to be lost travelling on unfamiliar roads.

Expedition Day

I did not wake up too early for the ride. It is important for me to have enough rest to brave the afternoon sun. Though I did target to be back in Tampines before 7.00 pm.

I took the train from Bedok North to Kranji via Bishan. I had to transit at least twice in order to get to Kranji via the North-South Line. It is thus important to learn how to correctly transport your foldable bike with minimum fuss so that you will not find it a hassle to commute using the train. I carted my bike using the seat-post.There is another method using the handlebar. But this method is not suitable for train rides as the upright handle may pose a safety concern to fellow commuters.

Nevertheless, I reached Kranji and commenced my ride at 10.30 am.

The Northern Ride

It is not easy to orientate myself on the ground even though I had prepared the maps.

The pedestrian path along Woodlands Road and Mandai Road were quite narrow and at times, obstructed. Hence most of the time I prefer cycling on the road instead. This was certainly a risk as there were many heavy vehicles in this area. So if you are cycling here, do keep to the left and stop whenever necessary.

It is not a long ride to reach Safari Zoo after passing Mandai Camps. However, there is ongoing construction on both sides of the Mandai Lake Road, which cause the surrounding areas to be very dusty and parts of the roads in one direction to be single lane. It is definitely not an enjoyable ride along this stretch at this moment.

There were many visitors to the Zoo today, especially so since it was a Saturday. I took some rest here before continuing to Upper Seletar Reservoir via the Mandai Park Connector. It was a quiet PCN ride with occasional pocket views of the reservoir.

Upper Seletar Reservoir is one of the challenges in JustMove Asia and this was my first visit here. It offers a scenic view and who can miss the iconic Rocket Tower here? It was an extremely hot day and there were not more than 10 people (myself included) that were here taking a break at the shelter near the ‘jetty’.

After a while, I left by Track 7 and rejoined the Mandai Road at the junction, turning right. The ‘Meng Suan estate’ came into view and before long, I reached the junction to Sembawang Road. I stopped for lunch at the 1st coffee shop. This eatery seems to be a ‘rest point’ for cyclists and it offers quite a variety of food, such as chicken rice and zi char.

After lunch, I continued to cycle along Sembawang Road, passing Nee Soon Camp. I went through my basic military training here more than 20 years ago. So inevitably, I did a small detour and visited the external premises of the camp to revive some memories of the good old days.

Reaching at the junction to Yishun Ave 1 Road, I turned right towards Lower Seletar Reservoir. This is one reservoir I had always wanted to visit. I feel its scenery is quite unique with a big satellite dish on the opposite side of the reservoir. Otherwise, there is nothing much here, other than water venture having an outlet here. Those interested in kayaking in this reservoir can contact them. But I guess water activities may have temporarily stopped due to the sighting and capture of a crocodile here a few weeks ago.

I continued on, passing Orchid Country Club and finally reaching the ‘linkway’ leading to Seletar Airport. On the map, this ‘linkway’ is still ‘Yishun Ave 1 Road’. I wonder if it has a proper name?

The North Eastern Ride

This was my first time cycling along this ‘linkway’. On my left was the open sea, while my right was the Lower Seletar Reservoir. The passageway is narrow, allowing only 1 cyclist to pass at any one time. Thus, I had to take the initiative to stop and give way to approaching cyclists if necessary.

At the end of the ‘linkway’, I turned right to Seletar West Link. The pavement here is well maintained and the ride is good and smooth. I passed Seletar Country Club before turning left into Seletar Aerospace Drive.

My last visit to Seletar Aerospace Park was during the 2017 Puma Night Run. Even though some parts of the run were on pavement, I had enjoyed this run because of its unique location, just like the Yellow Ribbon Run. But alas, last year it was not being organised.

It was a Saturday afternoon and the park was relatively ‘deserted’. This is a good place to cycle during the weekends as the roads here are wide and almost depleted of vehicles. The only issue is its accessibility.

I passed many international aerospace companies such as Rolls Royce and Airbus before reaching Soek Seng 1954 Bicycle Cafe. This is a must-visit cafe for cyclists. But it is not easy to locate. The tip is after passing Pratt & Whitney, look out for the cafe signboard and turn into the lane. This cafe sells western food and you can enjoy a good meal with a look over the runway.

I continued on to Piccadilly and reached the Piccadilly Circus. This used to be the entrance to the old Seletar Camp, where the current Seletar Aerospace Park is. I paid the Church of the Epiphany a visit and thereafter crossed the Jalan Kayu Flyover to Jalan Kayu.

It was time to take an afternoon break and of course, what else is a must-eat when you are in Jalan Kayu?

The roads along the eateries here are often congested. For safety reasons, there were parts either I dismounted to push my bike, or just wait for the traffic to pass before carrying on to Seng Kang West Way. It was not long before I turned left to Anchorvale and Punggol Park Connector. It was not a scenic ride, but the surrounding was peaceful with glimpses of the Sungei Punggol on my left.

I turned right once I saw Marina Country Club and continued towards Waterway Point. It was now almost 5.30 pm and the mall was bustling with crowds and activities. I wasn’t new to Punggol Waterway, having ran here for a couple of races.

The sun was about to set when I reached the East Gate of Coney Island. On hindsight, I did not run in Coney Island last year. So perhaps this year I may just give it a thought.

The Eastern Ride

I continued my journey along Pasir Ris Farmway 2. This area used to strive with many pet shops and even an animal shelter. It used to be a great place to chill out for fish hobbyists like myself, as there used to have many fish farms located here. However due to the land being set aside for industrial development, all (except OTF) these tenants have already vacated. Riding here gave me a sense of nostalgia.

Tampines Ikea and Giant were within sight in just 10 mins. I turned in towards Tampines Link and had dinner at Good Year Seafood Village. This place serves good bak ku teh and zi char. It is a favourite haunt for road cyclists, MTB riders and even trail runners at the nearby forest. Tampines Quarry is located just within. It is secluded and not many people are even aware there is a quarry here!

The nearby big empty plot of land was the venue for Spartan 2017, which was my favourite race till date. People will usually come here to fly their remote control planes or drones.

My expedition formally ended when I reached the top slope at Bedok Reservoir, at around 7.00 pm.

After Thoughts

I estimate that I had covered a total distance of approximately 50 km.

The Northern route is scenic, especially at the reservoirs. There are, however, quite a number of slopes and also areas where you will probably have to cycle on the roads. Hence, it may not be suitable for those that are risk-averse.

I enjoyed the ride in the Seletar Aerospace Park. This is a big place and families (or cyclists) can mingle here during the weekends to enjoy the wide space and airport views.

I am not new to the Eastern route since I stay at Bedok. But the really scenic and good ride at the East is actually the Loyang, Changi Coastal and East Coast Park.

I am happy that I had undertaken this North East expedition. I am looking forward to the next expedition at the West, which most likely I will plan after the OCBC Cycle.

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My Tokyo Marathon 2019 [FM] (by Lingderella)

I ran the Tokyo Marathon! 😍 It’s one of the Abbott World Marathon Majors with Boston, Berlin, New York, London and Chicago. They are considered the world’s largest and most renowned Marathon on Earth so it’s pretty exciting I ran in one of it, hoping I have the chance to run in other WMM 😍 It’s the second time I balloted for the run and I finally got it this time! 😍 I’ve known some friends who balloted 5 times or even 7 times but still didn’t get the ballot, I considered myself quite lucky honestly because of this 😆 I still remember that day while waiting for the ballot results, it was exactly the same feeling like getting exams results. I was anxious, nervous and then happy! 😍 I checked my email so many times that day!

It’s my second time I ran a marathon in Japan. In 2017, I ran the Osaka Marathon, you may read about my past experience at Osaka Marathon 2017 here 😊

Willis balloted for Tokyo marathon as well but he didn’t get the slot. But he’s really a dear and my number one supporter, he came with me to Tokyo ❤ Also, he went from point to point during the race to cheer for me in the terrible weather. We are sure going to try our luck to ballot again for next year and hopefully both of us will get the slot!

Prior to the race, we can download runners handbook and read about important information for the race such as what items is prohibited to bring into the pens, procedures to enter the start pen and also what happens after the race at the finishing.

There were 10 different bib colours and mine is white. I’m a no baggage runner as well. I thought that I would have Willis at the finish point wait for me warm clothes so I don’t need the baggage deposit. It was only when I reached back the Ryokan I was staying and had a good warm shower then I got to know that only the no baggage runners received the blue poncho 😍 When I was deciding and examining whether to throw away the seems like a pretty good quality poncho then I realised that it’s Asics branded as well, I’ll of course keep it! 😍

Race bib collection was pretty out of the way near Daiba Station. It took us 3 transfers from the train lines and almost 50 minutes to reached there from our stay in Shinjuku. It was raining and chilly when we went for the race bib collection on Thursday, the first day of Tokyo Marathon Expo. There were volunteers standing in the cold rain in raincoat holding sign board to direct us. Really salute and thanks to the volunteer for their hard work 😢 Expo and bib collection was a disappointment for me because it’s outdoor and I was freezing. Heard that it’s because someone else already booked the indoor place that the previous Expo was held in. For 2020, heard that the Tokyo Marathon already secured the indoor place for Expo 👍 I think I’ll never go to some countries because I cannot tahan the coldness but who knows? I’ve never try, I’ll never know.


We arrived at the entrance of Tokyo Marathon Expl after about 10 minutes walk from the train station and they only allowed the runners in for the bib and runner’s entitlements collection. So Willis waited at another place for me. They verified the confirmation letter and my passport and then tied a tag on my wrist. Then I went to collect my bib at another section and they took a picture of me. But don’t know how taking photos of runners would prevent improper entries. Lastly, to collect my event tee. Everything goes on smoothly and it all just took me 10 minutes top. Just that some areas was flooding and my shoes were super wet. Clever me, I brought another pair of shoes only to use on race day 😎

It’s only the first day of the Tokyo Marathon Expo and a pair of gloves of a colour that I like already ran out of small size 😭 But I bought a beanie which printed “RUN TOKYO” 😍 It’s my first beanie and is super comfy! Kept me warm the rest of the days when I wore it for sight seeing.

It’s really a huge expo, there were many interesting games/activites to participate in to get freebies. There’s also a counter where supporters could pen down their support for runners to cheer them on on race day!

There were many stalls selling sports accessories, sports wear, merchandise of Tokyo Marathon etc. We managed to get a picture of Geishas 😍

I still prefer the Expo of Osaka Marathon. There were many food stalls and I had the best Takoyaki there 😆 There were only a few food stalls around this Expo area and it was also located out in the cold/rain and not sheltered, not much people stop for food. But there’s a shopping mall near the Daiba Station with a giant Gundam have many food stalls there, Willis and I head there for dinner 😍

Also with the race pack, runners received a card where runners can have unlimited train ride of certain Metro line within 24 hours for free valid till 31st March 2019!

SCSM please consider this at least if you wanna squeeze in as one of the WMM 😆

I registered for Willis and myself for the Tokyo Marathon Friendship Run. Though there were other international runs that offered Friendship Run as well but we didn’t participate in any of those before. I thought that it would be interesting to do it in Tokyo since Japan is an awesome country, it’s by one of the World Marathon Majors and also heard from my friends who’d previously ran the Tokyo Marathon Friendship Run also shared that it’s a fun experience.

On Saturday, the day For Tokyo Marathon Friendship Run we went to a station after Daiba Station, when Willis and I were on our way there from Shinjuku, we saw many runners whom at a glance can know they are heading for the friendship run as well as they dressed up for the run representing their country 😍 I thought I should have collected my bib on Saturday as well so I could have save a trip instead of coming days earlier, but maybe then I wouldn’t even get to buy the beanie as well as it might even be sold out by then.

Weather was good on Saturday, it was sunny, temperature was just fine as well ❤ We were really entertained by runners who really dressed up and cosplay for the run and everyone was so hyper and happy. We queued and collected our bib in a while and we received a beautiful “Friendship” towel as well, it’s so nice and it’s a very good memento.

Willis and I tied the towel on our forehead and head to the waiting area ready to start the run ❤ It was nice seeing familiar people from Singapore as well 😍 Through the bib, we can see where the runners were from and the runners were from all over the world! 😍
Though I must say it was so funny that I thought it’s a fun run and why there’s so many medical personnel around then realised its actually flag of Switzerland 😂😂😂

While waiting for the friendship run to start, we spotted some super cutely dressed runners and managed to take some pictures with them 😍 There was also awesome Japanese cultural performances on stage which was very fascinating and then was follow by a super cute and slow warm up and start our 3.5km friendship run.

It’s quite a short 1.75km there with one waterpoint and then u-turn back with only one band entertainment along the way and the cosplaying runners. Many runners were just taking pictures all way long through the entire distance I guess 😆

These were all that I put on to the start line, especially the neck warmer in the top left hand corner which was given as a door gift during Friday at the Tokyo Marathon Singapore Contingent dinner is really a lifesaver. After lesson learnt from being underdress in Osaka marathon and suffered shivering and goosebumps while in the start pen, I was better prepared this time. I was comfortable in the start pen while waiting, I can’t say I was warm because it’s still cold, but it’s more tahanable. It was only 6 degrees I heard. I guess it’s also the wind that taller runners surrounding me helped to block away because once I started running it’s cold. I had also put 1 heat pad each in my gloves that I bought from Daiso and pasted one on my back and stomach directly on my skin 😆 Though it was advised not to paste the heat pad directly on skin but to me I can only feel the heat if it’s pasted directly and it doesn’t help much if I paste on clothing. So, I ran the entire 42.195km with heat pad but I’m still cold like a ice popsicle maybe because of the rain 😂

On race day, I arrived at the race site early because I’m not familiar with the place and once if you’re later than 8.45am to enter the start pen, you’ll directly be asked to go to the last pen. After the security wristband check and baggage inspection, I lost my way as the signs were quite messy and couldn’t find the start pen and wandered to baggage deposit area. Finally I decided to asked for directions if not I don’t think I can make it on time to the starting pen 😂

While standing in the rain waiting to start the run, I can’t helped but noticing some runners so hero to stand in the rain in just T-shirt and shorts without any raincoat or jacket to keep them warm 😨 Maybe they are from places where its -30 degrees, so 6 degrees is like summer to them 😂 I kept my hand inside of the rain coat as the $2 Daiso gloves is not waterproof and wet gloves will make me colder. I saw a genius runner, he wore a glove and covered it with another layer of plastic gloves like those that people use while handling food. Waterproof, windproof. Clap clap clap! There is also another runner that is very interesting, he covered himself in a big clear transparent plastic from head to toe like a bride wearing her veil 😆

Finally, it’s 9.10am and we were finally flagged off. It’s quite a distance to the start line as I was in Pen G. It’s only about 10 minutes later then I finally reach the start line, take away the raincoat and start running. Honestly thinking back now, I don’t know how I managed to complete the run. The rain was super irritating and somehow it’s rather sian and I lost a lot of motivation to run. Must be the Sensoji and Meiji Jingu Shrine that I visited blessed me in a way that I complete the run injury free with a good timing.

I don’t know how the Daiso sauna suit works but it trap heat and 2km into the run, I stop by the side with a volunteer and struggled like 30seconds to take out the pants and handed it to the volunteer, should have taken it out before I start running. I kept the Sauna suit from Daiso on because I thought it can keep me dry and I’m not sure of the weather conditions for another 40km ahead. There’s volunteers around every 20m along the route to collect trash and still, in this rain and cold weather conditions, supporters still lined up to entire 42.195km ❤ Every 5km for the first 20km, there’s Medical station and from 20km onwards, every 2km there’s medical station. I felt it’s a food effort by the organiser to offer so many medical station. There’s multiple cut off checkpoints along the route but all I need to know is that cut off was 7 hours from gun time. After that, I saw a video of people who’d exceeded the cut-off point timing and started shouting at the officials/volunteers because they are not allowed to continue running. But rules are rules and it’s all stated in the runners handbook. To be guilty, I didn’t read the runners handbook as well so I’ve missed out IMPORTANT INFORMATION, such as at how many km where’s the food or what food they have 😂 I enjoyed only the bananas, oranges and custard puff 😍 If I enjoyed more, it would definitely not be 4 hours 52 minutes 😂

The last 15km is the most torturous, it was getting colder and colder and I noticed I was clenching my fist. It was also then I noticed that my gloves were all soaked with rain water just a light press and I can see water seeping out. I took out my gloves and saw my hands were all red and the heat pad was cold and wet not emitting heat anymore. I put back on my gloves thinking at least it can block the wind. Thinking was it a lucky or unlucky thing to get the slot this year? It was the coldest Tokyo Marathon in history. I guess it really was knowing that Willis would be waiting for me at the finishing that keeps me going. Though the whole 42.195km with no Willis in sight, but I know he’s somewhere trying to find me ❤

The route was quite awesome actually as we ran pass some of the attractions in view such as the Tokyo Sky Tower and the Asakusa Kaminarimon 😍 It was quite a flat course only a few gentle slopes at bridges as I could remember.

When I finished the run, the first thing I took out was my soaked and cold gloves. I was too cold to even want to stop for my mandatory selfie shot after finishing 😂 After a while crossing the finishing line I just keep on walking and the volunteer hang a medal on my neck, then I was pass a plastic bag with drink, bread and I think gel. I was really grateful to the volunteers because I was so cold and like couldn’t even move at all. They wrapped me with a towel, then a jacket, then a poncho and then lastly a thermal sheet ❤

After about another 100m walk, finally arrived inside the train station and sent Willis my location through Whatsapp. Within minutes, he appeared infront of me with a bottle of warm drink 😍

Though I didn’t ran my best timing in this race and I was slower by 11 minutes but I completed it under 5 hours with a better timing of 32 minutes faster than Blackmores Sydney Marathon, my previous marathon last September and I was also very touched because I managed to complete the run in such a bad weather conditions, it was super cold and raining throughout the entire marathon. From the Tokyo Marathon official website, it reported that it’s the coldest Tokyo Marathon up till date, it’s 5.7 degrees while waiting to run, and at certain time during the run, the temperature was even colder. Some of the elites and runners DNF and give up in the route because of the coldness. Persevering and finishing the race is already considered superb already 💪 But to me, it’s safety first and different people have different tolerance level towards cold and as long as the runners made the effort to the start pen and tried battling the cold and rain, it’s already and A+ for effort!

I must say Japan really offers the best marathons ever. I had never find any other marathons with the entire distance covered with supporters. Maybe there is other marathons as good as well, the world is too big and I have yet been to many othee places as well. More runcations to come! 😍 Tokyo is really awesome, even with the cold weather and rain, the supporters really throng through the entire 42.195km. I swear I heard people cheered till their voice were hoarse and it was just damn touching. Even young kids were out in this weather cheering and giving runners high 5s, the elderlys also came out with their walking sticks to cheered for the runners. I hope I can get the ballot to Tokyo Marathon again and would also want to run other Marathons in Japan as well ❤

Japanese people are really warm and welcoming, when the manager of our stay at Tadaima Ryokan knew that I ran the Tokyo Marathon, he shared that he ran the marathon as well a few years ago and he would like to try for entry next year! What caught me by surprise was he asked me if we are going out for dinner or not as he would like to prepare a celebration dinner for me to congratulate me for running the Tokyo Marathon 😍 I was really grateful for the dinner because after the hot shower, I’m all exhausted and didn’t want to go out at all and stay cozy indoors. It was really a nice, comfortable and warming stay there!

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5 Races To Celebrate 2019 International Women’s Day

For 2019, International Women’s Day‘s campaign theme is #BalanceforBetter. It aims to build a balanced world where both genders are equally appreciated in today’s society. So today, 8th March, it’s a day to celebrate women!

Check out these events which commemorates International Women’s Day and celebrate women from all walks of life together.

1) Mizuno Women’s Run

This run was conceived to encourage women of all ages to get active through running. In 2019, Mizuno Women’s Run would like to Reach Beyond. Reach Beyond expresses Mizuno’s desire to support anyone who wishes to not only achieve their goals but to surpass them, whether they are serious athletes or just individuals who believe in the value of sport.

When: 7th April 2019
Where: Clark Quay Central, Singapore
Categories/Price: 2KM Fun Walk (S$35.00) / 5KM Individual (S$55.00)
Entitlements: Runner’s Tank Top, Race Bib, Finisher Medal

Register Now!

2) Nagoya Women’s Marathon 2019

The Nagoya Women’s Marathon is an elite race known as a qualifying trial for the Olympics and the World Championships. The course is also popular for being wide and mostly flat, which makes it easy to run and break records. While the race still serves as a world-leading competition among elite athletes, its time limit is set to be 7 hours long, so that even beginners can easily complete it!

Nagoya Women’s Marathon Official Website

When: 10th March 2019
Where: Nagoya Dome, Nagoya, Japan
Categories: Full Marathon
Entitlements: A pendant specially designed for the Nagoya Women’s Marathon 2019 by Tiffany, a world-class premium jeweller, and a finisher T-shirt specially made by New Balance.

Nagoya Women’s Marathon Official Website

If you wish to read more about the Nagoya Marathon’s unique experience, click here!

Find out more about Nagoya Women’s Marathon 2019 here!

3) Women’s Day Run Bengaluru 2019

Women’s Day Run Bengaluru 2019 Facebook

Giving more power to women, the run intends to bring all the women, their families, and friends to come together and celebrate womanhood.

When: 10th March 2019
Where: Cubbon Park, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Categories: 10KM / 5KM
Entitlements: Finishers’ Medal

Find out more about the event here!

4) Malaysia Women Marathon 2019

This year Malaysia Women Marathon 2019 teamed up with one of Malaysia’s highly regarded artist Habsah Abang Saufi to encapsulate the theme an “Ode to Women”. We recreated her painting from a series of her work called “Wanita” and used it onto for our event t-shirt. This dedication is wonderfully apt for a women’s event such as ours as we hope that this theme will recollect our stand towards an issue that we are proud to be associated with, Gender Equality.

When: 3rd March 2019
Where: Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Categories: Full Marathon / Half Marathon / 10KM / 5KM
Entitlements: Event Tee and Finisher Tee with Habsah Abang Saufi’s artistry & Medal Embellished with Crystals from Swarovski

Check out their Facebook for 2020 updates!

5) RACQ International Women’s Day Fun Run

Together, RACQ International Women’s Day Fun Run can raise $800 000 for personalized, practical support services and life-saving breast cancer research at Mater—to show women with breast cancer that they’re not alone.

When: 3rd March 2019
Where: Cultural Forecourt, South Bank, Brisbane, Australia
Categories: 10KM / 5KM
Entitlements: Event T-shirt

Stay tuned to their website for 2020 updates!

Are you looking to join more running events?

Check out the selected events available for registration on our platform, JustRunLah! Connect. Registering via our platform is safe, fast and secure!

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Running Club in the Central: Team Runfanatics

Are you bored of running alone? Why not join a running club?

With running clubs, it will enhance your running experience, create new friends and you might also notice improvements in your performance. Fret not, there might actually be running clubs around your area! If you’re near the central region of Singapore and also believe that sweat, time and devotion will pay off one day, Team Runfanatics is perfect for you!

Read more to find out what’s special about Team Runfanatics.

Team Runfanatic’s Purpose

Our objective is to encourage locals who are keen to take up either recreational or competitive running. We may be a performed focused group catered to athletes who wish to take up competitive running, but we also believed that exercises helps to improve physical and mental health as it helps to reduce stress, improve heart health, and alleviate symptoms of depression. In addition, we also hope to help runners to run wisely and reduce the risk of injury.

Our purpose is to develop athletes to improve on their running techniques and achieve their desired timings for races. As a team, we strongly believe that the sweat, time and devotion will pay off one day.

“My belief is that while not all of us have an innate talent for running, we can still attain excellence, given the right training, guidance and encouragement”
– Shanmugam.B, Team RunFanatics’s Principal Coach (Extracted from our Blog)

Team Runfanatic’s Where and When

As for the training, normally track intervals are held at Bishan stadium on Tuesday, and Wednesday at Queenstown stadium. For weekends, it will be either at Rifle Range Road or Mac-Ritchie Reservoir for hills and mileage training. Often, the training programs are designed to cater to our needs and goals.

Note: Training venue is subjected to change according to the nature of training programs for certain events. Find out more via our social media platform @teamrunfanatic on Instagram and Team Runfanatics on Facebook.

For Who and How To Join Team Runfanatics

Anyone, as long as you have the passion for running and looking for a group to run together with. Age or standards are not factors that should be stopping anyone from starting a sport. Contact us via our social media platform to find out more information.

Something Special about Team Runfanatics

We are a performance-focused running group that has runners from versatile backgrounds. From students to working adults, and even from track runners, to Spartan athletes. We always believe that it isn’t about the mountain, it’s about the climb.

Looking for more running groups in your area? Check out JustRunLah!‘s comprehensive list of running clubs near you.

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Running Club in the Central: Fitspo People

Are you bored of running alone? Why not join a running club?

With running clubs, it will enhance your running experience, create new friends and you might also notice improvements in your performance. Fret not, there might actually be running clubs around your area! If you’re near the central region of Singapore and wish to adopt an active lifestyle, Fitspo People is perfect for you!

Read more to find out what’s special about Fitspo People!

Fitspo People’s Purpose

The club was initially formed by a group of close friends taking part in running events together. Over the past 2 years, it evolved into a club that encourages people from all walks of life and fitness level to adopt an active lifestyle. We want to build a community where people will inspire one another to be fit, hence the name Fitspo People.

Fitspo People’s Where and When

We will meet at OCBC Arena at 7pm on Saturdays. There are times we also conduct exploration runs where we add a little sightseeing element to our runs.

For Who and How To Join Fitspo People

We welcome everyone, regardless of fitness level and training objectives to join us in our weekly runs. We just want everyone to have fun and to motivate each other while engaging in acts of a healthier lifestyle! Interested participants can look out for our ‘running call’ on our Facebook page (@fitspopeople) and Instagram (@fitspopeopleac).

Something Special about Fitspo People

We are currently a very small but growing community. We are probably one of the rarest clubs to conduct sessions on Saturday evenings. Apart from running, we also indulge in other fun and exciting fitness activities, such as hiking and cycling.

Looking for more running groups in your area? Check out JustRunLah!‘s comprehensive list of running clubs near you.

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Just Retired? Why Not Start Running?

Adding life to your years, and years to your life.

If you are newly retired, it is the ideal time to start a health and fitness plan. A study by Humboldt State University found that seniors who run three times a week for 30 minutes, were far less likely to have mobility problems, than those that spent 30 minutes walking instead. If you run regularly, you will be improving your overall fitness levels and toning your body. Age isn’t a barrier, just think of Gloria Lau, who at the age of 67, ran the World Marathon, a total of 183 miles. Running is for everyone, no matter how old you are.

Speak to a professional before you start

If you are over the age of 60, it is important that you speak to a medical professional before undertaking any program of exercise. They will be able to give you a complete check-up and also be able to advise you if you have any restrictions on the amount of exercise you do. It is a good idea to see a podiatrist, who can help you with footwear, as not all off-the-shelf running shoes will suit everyone.

What do I need to buy?

One of the most wonderful things about running is that you don’t need to invest in a lot of equipment. It is a very inexpensive fitness hobby that will help you to keep in shape in your golden years. It doesn’t involve paying for a gym membership, or paying for specialist machines. You will just need a good pair of running shoes and for women, a decent sports bra. When you are starting out, you don’t need to buy any special clothing, just something cool and comfortable. Sweatpants and a t-shirt is fine, just as long as you are warm enough.

Using an app

Many people find that a “Couch to 5K” style interval running app on your smartphone can be very helpful for beginners. When you first start out you will only be running a minute at a time, alternating with walking. You can have helpful guidance and motivating comments when you are running. You can also use an app to chart your improvement as you get fitter and set yourself attainable goals for the future. There are 5K running events for seniors in most main towns and cities, and you can even enter for a 5K event in the National Senior Games. You can also check out the JustRaceLah! app to record your progress and keep track of any races that you have taken part in. It’s totally free and available for both iOS and Android.

Join a running group

A running group can not only be enormous motivation, but also a great way to make friends. If you are on your own, being part of a group can also give you security and a feeling of safety when you are out. Overseen by a professional running coach, you will be able to get the help and support you need. They can advise you of local routes to run and the best places in the area to buy your running gear from. Having a regular group time for exercise every week is particularly beneficial if you like routine. Running will quickly become a positive habit that you can stick with.

As you move into retirement, it is the perfect time to start running. It is good for your health, will improve your mobility and give you a wonderful sense of wellbeing.

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8th TransLantau Hong Kong, 2019 – Practical information for first-timers, by ALCE

I know there are a ton of Singaporeans who attended this run in Hong Kong this year. While I want to write a review on this run, there are those who have much more experience than me. So I will skip most of the review on the running and focus on some of the logistics which, some of you may be interested in if you intend to visit for the first time.

Walking to Start Point

I took part in the 25km race and start time was 10:30am on a Saturday morning. Weather for the morning was cloudy and cool. The race village was not packed with runners and I could tell everyone was really excited. Especially the Singaporeans.

Race Village

Start Line

The 25km race was actually pretty brutal if you ask me. I have been running for years and I NEVER had to stop, sit and catch my breath but this run did just that to me. The hill climbs were not easy and especially at 17th km mark (CP2) where, the steps leading up 275m ascent was no laughing matter. Everyone just smiled at each other when we passed one another along the flight of stairs.

The view on Lantau is truly mesmerizing. They say you need to first pay the price of ascending before you can catch that view. That is so true!

Lantau View_1

Lantau View_2

Lantau View_3

A few things to note. While organizers did not stipulate that 25km runners need to carry any mandatory items, please do carry a water bladder with you. You will need it as the water point between CP1 (at 6km mark) to CP2 (at 17km mark) is a considerable distance to run without hydration. And you will need that water! You can thank me later for this piece of advice. =)

I am sure most of the runners enjoyed themselves on this run. Here are some of the logistical info you may like to know if you plan on running this race in future.

Pre Race:

  1. Race registration sells out very very fast as soon as it opens. So don’t procrastinate.

Upon reaching Hong Kong:

  1. Take only “Blue” taxis from Airport to Mui Wo
  2. Taxi fare is about HK$160 to HK$180
  3. Hotels are spread along the beach on Mui Wo and they are within walking distance to start point (about less than 500m away). No transport needed.
  4. Start point is easy to find and race pack collection is at the same place

After settling in:

  1. Macdonald’s Restaurant is right at the Mui Wo Ferry Terminal
  2. Wellcome supermart is also at the vicinity of Ferry Terminal. You can get your bananas, isotonic drinks and chips there. They carry a good and wide variety of groceries there.
  3. There are “zhi char” stalls along the walkway to the ferry terminal. They actually taste really fantastic as well. Give it a try!
  4. Take a ferry from Mui Wo to Central first and MTR is within walking distance to everywhere at IFC Mall. You can visit “Ladies Street” in Mongkok too. Takes about only a 15 mins train ride.
  5. Ferry timing can be obtained from this website
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Review: Run for Hope 2019 / Marina Run 2019 (by stargazer)

Run for Hope [10 Km]

Run For Hope is an annual run organised by Four Seasons Hotel Singapore and the National Cancer Centre Singapore to raise much-needed awareness and support for cancer research. There are mainly 2 categories: a 10 km non-competitive run and a 3.5 km run/walk. I participated in the 10 km run.

On 17 Feb race day, I took the Circle Line train and reached the Sports Hub at around 6.45 am. It was still quite dark in the early morning, but many runners were already mingling in the event site. I was pleasantly surprised by the relatively big turn-up, which I later read was close to 6,000 participants! The atmosphere was great! The first wave of runners was flagged off at 7.15 am. I joined the second wave 10 mins later.

The 10 km route brought us to Nicoll Highway towards Suntec City. This must be my first run at Nicoll Highway towards the city direction, even though I had run here during last year’s Income Eco Run. The city view before us is awesome. Many runners took this opportunity to take selfies.

After U-turn at Suntec, we headed straight and turned right into Republic Avenue. This is a good stretch of road to run, with great scenery across Kallang Basin. It was a good Sunday morning and many seniors were doing light exercises at the park. Some youngsters were doing preparations for their dragon boating.

There were hydration points for every 2.5 km and I noticed there were 2 ambulances apart on standby at the Republic Avenue.

It seemed runners, including myself, had really enjoyed themselves in this run, as I heard some lamented that they were reaching the Finishing Point.

At the OCBC Square, fitness instructors from ‘Jumping Singapore’ led the finishers through a series of spontaneous exercises. We were also treated to free vitagen, milo and HL milk – a first among the many races I participated (thank you)!

I have only 1 comment though, which is I feel that there should have been some screens to protect the privacy of runners who were seeking first aid treatment. I definitely will feel uncomfortable to have strangers looking at me being administered first aid!

Marina Run [10 km]

There are 4 categories to the Marina Run: 30 km, 21 km, 10 km competitive runs and a 5 km fun run. There are trophies for the top 3 finishers for all the categories except 5 km. I am participating in the 10 km run. It was held on the 23 Feb at the Gardens By The Bay East.

It was a very hot late afternoon on race day. I took the Circle Line to Sports Hub and walked approximately 20 mins to the race venue beside Passion Wave. This is the disadvantage of holding an event there as it is literally not very accessible unless you drive or take the shuttle service.

The 10 km runners were the last to be flagged off at 6.30 pm. The 5 km runners were flagged off earliest at 5.00 pm, which was a bit unusual as 5 km runners would usually run last so that runners in all categories would complete their races approximately within the same time to participate in post run events.

I commenced my run with the first wave of runners. My last run here was during last Oct’s 2XU SG Run. In fact, there are many similarities between the 2 races at least in the 10 km route. One difference is the Marina route brings the runners up the rooftop garden at the Marina Barrage. The pathway here is pretty narrow. The only plus point is you get to part-take in the happy and relaxing moods of families having their picnics here or flying kites.

The other difference is this route does not bring the 10 km runners into East Coast Park but U-turn at the Tanjong Rhu Flyover. I guess the reason is probably that the distance has been covered at the Marina Barrage. Nevertheless, I am happy with this for a change.

I had planned that for this run, I would relax along that stretch of Gardens By The Bay East during the return route to the Finish Point. For the past races, I would just head straight to the Finish Point and did not really get to enjoy much of the beautiful night scenery. I was glad this time I went slow and did as per my plan.

Hydration points were spaced out approximately every 2.5 km, with replenishment from Aquila and Herbalife.

There were not many post-run activities, apart from the giving out of trophies to the top runners. I lingered a while more before taking the shuttle bus to the Stadium MRT and made my way home.

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