Psst… You runner? Do you ever get high?

Hovering Eye in Sky...

Not that shady kind of high. The runner’s kind of high. Most would like to dismiss it as a myth, but it is real. How does anyone get it? I have no idea exactly. So how do I know its real? Because I ran into it. Once. Ten years ago, and the only time ever. Looking back now, these 3 factors coinciding, in my opinion, helped me get there.

First, I was not a runner those days, a literal couch potato but for whatever reason I decided to go running. Without any guidance or reference, I just went out and ran. No RunKeeper or Strava yet, I never read up on anything remotely related to running. Not knowing how slow or fast or hard I was or should go relative to my fitness (the lack of it) may have helped triggered it, as I most likely unknowingly had been going faster than my natural pace now. In short, ignorant.

Video break – Is this a place to get your runner’s high? Or where people hide to get a different kind of high?

Second, the location may have helped. I remember using Google Earth to pre-measure some routes around that once empty plot of land where people go for a different kind of high – picnic and flying kites! (no drones then) – and where now stands Sengkang General Hospital. In the evenings this area was isolated and dead quiet with almost no traffic. Apart from allowing me to go fast and uninterrupted, there were minimal distractions which may have made me more aware of whatever was going on with my body.

For when it happened I was maybe on my 3rd run and 3-4 km in, a weird glowing feeling from inside me started spreading out across my entire body, while I was running. Imagine me like a video game character at the brink of Game Over finding a lifeline then powering up to 100% in slow motion.

What happened next surprised me more. Whatever din there was faded out and all I felt/heard were my heartbeat, breathing, footsteps, somewhat amplified and ultimately sync-ing their beat/cadence. It was like those cinematic scenes where the hero doing something, uh… heroic… conveyed in super slow-motion while everything in the background crashing and exploding, and all you hear is the rhythmic thumping of the protagonist’s heartbeat or laboured breathing. From that point whatever I was doing felt so effortless that it doesn’t feel like I’m running at all. I felt light, almost floating, gliding, getting high like those kites flown nearby in the late afternoons.

Video break – A lonely road out of nowhere, a place to attain runner’s nirvana?

The drunk side of me felt blissful and carefree, feeling like I can run for the next half hour like Usain Bolt. On the other hand my sober mind warned me, if this was like anaesthesia, some pain killer effect that will eventually wear off, then I will surely regret later if I overexert myself (and for someone who just started running on a whim). So after doing some extra distance over my original target mileage, I opted not to get carried away too long and stopped. The feeling was still there while walking back home along with a stoned smile on my face.

The next few runs, I eagerly anticipated it at around the same distance or time but it never came. I stopped running eventually after just a handful more sessions. It was only years after, from 2014 that I resumed running in earnest, but for all the effort and distances I did since, the same sensations never resurfaced.

I like to think everyone has this in them, that this is nature’s design in our bodies to help us cope when under stress, to mask the pain so we can carry on. And this is where my third factor came to play – my body might have “over-dosed” me relative to the amount stress that’s why I felt high. Don’t take me seriously on this (this entire post actually), but this is just how I am trying to make sense of why that moment stood out vs my other “could it be?” encounters.

Video break – Too busy keeping myself upright on skinny foldie wheels, on a forest trail and in the rain, to notice I passed by a scenic quarry viewpoint.

I had those odd moments when I expected myself suffering already yet somehow I felt the complete opposite literally charging into my run. I always reasoned to myself its due to proper training, pacing and all, but now when I look back my body could have dosed me some extra that I noticed it, but I may have been too preoccupied with things to mind like the terrain/gradient of the trail or managing my pace to last the entire 21 km that I didn’t think too much of those seemingly out-of-place good feelings. In short, it may be happening more often that we thought, just that we are not aware or recognize the cues.

Endorphines, endocannabinoids, or maybe adrenaline. Call it getting crazy due to hypoxia, or just plain euphoria, whatever. I don’t mind nature loading me up one more time to revisit that high 10 years ago.

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Thomson Nature Park, Singapore’s 7th nature park, now open and is unique for its rich cultural heritage

Thomson Nature Park, Singapore’s seventh nature park, is now open. Due to its proximity to the Central Catchment Nature Reserve (CCNR), the 50-hectare Thomson Nature Park is rich in biodiversity. Its extensive forest area is home to rare animals such as the Sunda Pangolin, Malayan Porcupine, and the critically endangered Raffles’ Banded Langur (Presbytis femoralis femoralis). Located between Old Upper Thomson Road and Upper Thomson Road, Thomson Nature Park complements existing nature parks including Springleaf and Windsor Nature Parks to extend the green buffer for the CCNR.

Raffles’ Banded Langur, a shy and elusive primate that is only found in Singapore. Photo credit: NParks

Thomson Nature Park is a key conservation site for the Raffles’ Banded Langur, a shy and elusive primate that is only found in Singapore. Through reforestation and enrichment plantings, their population size has increased to about 60 individuals today.

Apart from its rich wildlife, Thomson Nature Park has a unique cultural heritage as it is the site of a former Hainan Village. You can follow three specially curated walking trails and spot the remnants of kampung life that can still be found here!

Explore these three trails, namely the Ruins and Figs Trail, Stream and Ferns Trail, and Rambutan Trail. Two other trails are Langur Trail and Macaque Trail. Photo credit: NParks

Explore the five trails spanning 3.8 km around the former village’s road network. They have been specially curated to provide visitors with an insight into the ways of life during the kampung days as well as into the variety of floral and faunal species found in Thomson Nature Park. The Ruins and Figs Trail gives visitors a chance to experience the heritage highlights of the Hainan Village through carefully conserved ruins, while the Stream and Ferns Trail enables visitors to appreciate the freshwater habitat in Thomson Nature Park and observe the great diversity of ferns and aquatic animals present. Three other trails are Rambutan Trail, Langur Trail and Macaque Trail.

Planning a visit to the new Thomson Nature Park?

Check out the NParks video below on how to get there and what you can see! Look out for the critically endangered Raffles’ Banded Langur, as well as kampung remnants of the Hainan Village that was on this site.

More information on NParks website: www.go.gov.sg/thomsonnp

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Race Review: Great Eastern Women Run 2019

Somewhat becoming a yearly affair.  Like the Shape Run, this race is something not to be missed. The bountiful goodie bag, great finishing point taking a lot of consideration for women’s needs.

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More Than 8,000 Explorers Race Through Kuala Lumpur At The First-Ever District Race Malaysia

  • Participants covered a total of 82,000 kilometres during the race and completed over 180,000 virtual checkpoints and challenges with the District Race app
  • The Ultimate Explorer Challenge winner was awarded a round-the-world trip courtesy of District Race

[KUALA LUMPUR, NOVEMBER 4, 2019] – The first-ever District Race in Malaysia saw over 8,000 participants conquer the streets of Kuala Lumpur in an immersive tech-fueled urban race.

Presented by AIA Vitality, District Race is a ground-breaking technology platform that encourages Malaysians to lead active, healthy lifestyles by motivating people to get active through exploration with the District Race app. Powered by cutting-edge augmented reality and location-based technology, participants navigated through the city and ran a collective distance of 82,000 km, completing over 180,000 virtual challenges and checkpoints.

District Race Malaysia was launched earlier in June this year, activating various grids in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Melaka and Johor Bahru. This allowed all Malaysians to explore and experience District Race for free before the grand finale at District Race KL by AIA Vitality. In the past five months since its launch, more than 5,000 participants took to the task and completed the various challenges and explore their cities all across Malaysia

Earlier yesterday, participants, also known as ‘Explorers’ were flagged off at the historic Dataran Merdeka. With no set route or distance, participants created their own strategy and chose how they explored Kuala Lumpur. Explorers had a time limit between 1-2 hours to complete as many checkpoints and challenges as possible to top the leader board in two categories – Open and Discovery – as individuals or in teams of four. Each category presented Explorers with three types of challenges to be completed, namely the Scan Challenge, Discovery Challenge and Time Trial Challenge.

Ben Pember, Chief Executive Officer of District Technologies said, “District Race was created to inspire everyone to rediscover their city while levelling up their fitness. We want to thank AIA Malaysia for all their support in making District Race KL possible. It was through our partnership with AIA Malaysia that we were able to launch this huge initiative to help people get active in a way that is totally unique to Malaysians – an innovative way to get fit and have fun beyond a typical race. The massive turnout for the very first Malaysian edition of District Race today is hugely encouraging. Hopefully, these explorers have a newfound appreciation for the city that they call home and are motivated to keep on exploring and staying active with the District Race app.”

Heng Zee Wang, Chief Marketing Officer of AIA Malaysia additionally shared, “Since the launch of District Race earlier this year, we have seen tremendous support and enthusiasm from participants all over the country. We at AIA are excited to celebrate the culmination of District Race with this historic event at Dataran Merdeka and are thrilled to see an overwhelming number of participants. We started this journey with District as part of our efforts to encourage Malaysians to get active with their family and friends while experiencing their city in a whole new light – we hope to continue supporting avenues like this as part of our mission of helping Malaysians live Healthier, Longer and Better Lives.”

“Our mission at District is to enable people to get active through exploration. To that end, we introduced the Ultimate Explorer Challenge in the lead up to the race to encourage everyone to explore their city and their limits with the District Race app. Our winner Jimmy has completed over 500 runs with the District Race app since June and he truly embodies the spirit of exploration as our Ultimate Explorer.” said Mr. Pember.

Jimmy Lim, the winner of the District Race Ultimate Explorer Challenge who resides in Kuala Lumpur completed the most runs with the District Race app and won the competition. He was presented with a round-the-world trip to try out District Race grids that are available in over 35 cities globally.

Jimmy attributes his win to his wife, who introduced him to the app. “Personally, I am very excited to have won the Ultimate Explorer Challenge and will continue to explore new and old grids because it makes me feel alive. My wife first introduced me to District Race and we both love running with the app and have continued to explore familiar places like Lake Garden, Bangsar, as well as grids in our home town of Penang Island!

“Having checkpoints and challenges as an additional focus makes it more fun and interesting. The best thing about District race app is that there are always new grids available and my wife and I plan our time to go try them out and the app is a common interest for us, as we encourage one another. I’m looking forward to visiting other beautiful places around the world and trying out District grids there,” he added.

After the race, participants were treated to an array of activities from augmented reality games, live music, great food, and interactive experiences from AIA, eToro and Adidas.

Beyond the race, all Malaysians will still be able to use the District Race app. There are currently over 30 grids in 4 cities across the country, which are completely free to use, with more being added all the time.

For more information on District Race Malaysia, please visit:

Website: www.exploredistrict.com/en/events/kuala-lumpur
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DistrictRaceMY
Instagram: www.instagram/exploredistrictMY

The District Race app is available to download on the Apple Store and Google Play.

#weareallexplorers #districtraceMY #AIAVitalityMY

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A Great Journey Of Fun For Close To 13,000 Ladies

Singapore, 3 November 2019 – Close to 13,000 ladies laced up their running shoes and pounded the streets at the 14th edition of the Great Eastern Women’s Run (GEWR) this morning. The region’s largest all-women’s run saw ladies come together to celebrate and pledge their commitment towards a healthier lifestyle.

Starting at Nicoll Highway, beside the iconic Singapore Sports Hub, the participants were treated to a scenic run through some of Singapore’s most picturesque landscapes, before finishing inside the National Stadium. This is the second year GEWR participants were able to experience the thrill of finishing on the National Stadium track.

This year’s Guest-of-Honour was Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, who flagged off the 5km race.

The Elite 21.1km Half Marathon saw the return of previous Singapore winners such as Mok Ying Rong, Rachel See and Jasmine Goh. Defending champion Mok Ying Rong managed to shave off close to a minute from her previous winning time, retaining the title with a time of 1:26:26.

Great Eastern Women’s Run 2019. Mok Ying Rong crosses the line first to defend her title

“I’m feeling very relieved as I didn’t expect myself to come in first today. My training hasn’t been really good over the past few months mainly because of work. I’m a physiotherapist and I spend a lot of time on my feet and I’ve been working a lot recently thus I didn’t manage to get enough rest. I was quite sure I could at least get a decent timing today but I definitely didn’t expect to win. I think it was a bit of luck that I managed to come in first today and I’m glad it all turned out well in the end,” said Mok.

Closely following Mok to the finish line was Rachel See, who also participated last year, with Yvonne Elizabeth Chee coming in third place.

This year, in line with GEWR’s aim to support and inspire our local athletes, all local elite runners for the competitive Elite 21.1km Half Marathon category were presented cash prizes and medals. In the previous editions, only the top three runners were awarded.

Three of Singapore’s leading fitness trainers Natalie Dau, Wany Misban and Roxanne Gan, who curated a series of exercises to help participants train for the first-ever women’s Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) in August and the Run, also joined the ladies in various categories this morning.

“It’s been an interesting journey. It’s good to see familiar faces at each activity. They get better, more confident and it’s so fulfilling for us. This has been amazing and I would love to be part of this again!” commented Wany.

Participants were rewarded with a slew of treats such as designer popsicles, ice cream sandwiches, pastries and rolls to mark the day’s achievement and months of training. The little ones enjoyed a special treat of their own at the My Little Pony Garden Party, where they were entertained with multiple adorable photo opportunities and enjoyed fun activities such as bouncy castles, face painting, balloon sculpting and jewellery making. Families and supporters were not left out, as they could also interact with engaging attractions such as the 180-degree photobooths and lenticular installation, or hang out in the chill zones in the race village.

“It has been an intense yet fun journey since the launch of GEWR in June where we introduced a specially curated workout designed by three of Singapore’s top trainers for women, followed by the first-ever all women’s IPPT in August. All these activities culminated in our iconic Women’s Run this morning and we are pleased to be part of the fitness journey of so many ladies year after year, and it’s truly amazing to witness the growth of this community. I hope that the past five months has been a rewarding experience filled with great memories for all our participants,” said Keith Chia, Head Group Brand and Marketing, Great Eastern.

Participants who donated to charity received tutus for their run

A grand total of S$50,240 was raised in support of the Breast Cancer Foundation and Women’s Health Research and Education Fund through individual and corporate donation pledges. Runners who contributed were then entitled to a tutu or a personalised race tee that they could don during the run.

Results of the Great Eastern Women’s Run 2019

21.1km Half Marathon Elite Category

NameTime
Mok Ying Rong1:26:26
Rachel See1:27:04
Yvonne Elizabeth Chee1:32:58

10km Category

NameTime
Vanessa Lee00:38:26
Nicole Low00:38:47
Vivian Tang00:39:41
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My Supersports 10 Mile International Run Series Thailand – Chiang Mai [10 Mile] (by Lingderella)

And this time it’s Chiang Mai! 😍 It’s my first time in Chiang Mai and this time it’s to participate in the Supersports 10 Mile International Run Series presented by Skechers 😍 Part of the entry fees will be donated to charities 👍

It’s a series of 5 races throughout the year and spread out over Thailand and Chiang Mai was the last race of the series 😍 The other 4 races was held in Hatyai, Phuket, Bangkok and Korat. I went to the one that was held in Bangkok and in comparison, I prefer the race in Chiang Mai more because the weather was much cooling ❤ It was 24 degrees in the morning of the race day in Chiang Mai.

I’m honoured to be sponsored for this trip by Skechers together with Cherlynn, Kenneth and Ben from Singapore and a few of the influencers and athletes from Malaysia.

Chiang Mai is just less than 3 hours of flight time away from Singapore. Thanks to Cherylnn for being my tour guide and doing all the “homework” of where to go and what to eat, we did plenty of touristy stuffs exploring Chiang Mai in our short weekend there ❤ Upon arriving in Chiang Mai, we went to the Central Festival shopping mall to collect our race pack. It’s a fast and swift collection without queue and with helpful volunteers helping to obtain our bib number before we proceed to the counters to collect our race pack. There’s a bib check counter to make sure that the chips on our bib to capture the timing are working fine. It’s a practice in Malaysia and Thailand races mostly I don’t recall much of Singapore’s races practice this bib check thingy. It’s actually a good practice, what if a podium runner gotten a dispute? Or what if you run till a PB but timing not captured and don’t have e-certificate 😭

Racepack is generous, includes arm sleeve, Skechers singlet, a foldable shopping bag, energy gel and some discount vouchers

There’s 3 categories, 3 miles, 5 miles and 10 miles this time in Chiang Mai whereas the race in Bangkok I participated in a few months ago only have 5 miles and 10 miles categories. Cherlynn and I both participated in the 10 miles category. As I have a pacer duty the coming weekend, I decided to run at the 7 minutes pace I’m supposed to pace for OXFITT Run.

On race day, we arrived just in time for a Zumba warm up leading by instructors on the main stage. Thai music was played, atmosphere was great and just feel very Thai. I like 😆 Then something caught my eyes, there’s 9.22 min pacer balloon floating in front of me 😮 Wonder did the pacers run at such a pace thoughout or is it a mixture of run and walk 🤔 It’s not easy to pace at a slow pace actually but it’s really good to have these type of pace of pacers group available for races as some runners needs them along the way as motivation and encouragement ❤

Flag off was on time and Cherlynn and I ran together throughout the 10 miles ❤ Ran along the streets of Chiang Mai in the early morning, it was a quiet cooling at 24 degrees and it was an enjoyable run as it’s not humid. At some parts of the street, street hawkers was setting up their stalls already and the aroma of food in the air is so delicious 😋

About every 2 to 3km there’s hydration points providing cold Gatorade and cold water. Some of the hydration points also provides sponges for runners to cool down 👍

It was a very well organised route with 10 miles on road and 10 miles of cones placed along a single lane of the road cordoned off for runners. Traffic was very well controlled with volunteers/traffic control officers available at every road junction/traffic light. There wasn’t much traffic on the road yet as it was still early Sunday morning ❤

Credits: Supersports 10 Mile International Run

When the sky was brightening we were all mesmerised by the beautiful morning sky😍

I will recommend Skechers shoes for running, not because they sponsored me the trip 😆 but honestly from an unbiased point of view and as a user, the shoes is awesome. Our legs were not tired or heavy throughout the 16km run and even after the long run, our legs isn’t sore at all and we can even go for a long day of sight seeing 👍 It’s also not just for running, when I go out jalan jalan at times I also wore Skechers shoes, they look trendy and its ultra light weight and comfortable as well, I was out the entire day walking in it and my legs were not tired at all ❤

Skechers GOrun Viz Tech shoe

Upon finishing our race, we were given our finisher medal, it was as chio as the one I gotten in Bangkok just slight different in design and colour. Then was issued food coupon 😍 Happily proceed to use the food coupon and got a yummy noodle soup 😊 Just like the previous race in Bangkok, there’s varieties of food and fruits as well as doughnuts and pretzels from Auntie Anne available in the race village 😍

Will definitely want to join the series of run again but hopefully they will organise the run in Vietnam, Cambodia or Indonesia as I haven’t much explore these area in Asia yet ❤

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Relay Majulah: Gathering the nation’s support to run towards a magic number

Come 2 November, 200 runners from all walks of life will come together to participate in Relay Majulah with a collective goal of raising a million dollars for 67 charities under the President’s Challenge.

Flagging off at noon from the Singapore Sports Hub, a baton will be passed from runner to runner as they journey past significant landmarks, such as Bedok Reservoir Park and Punggol Waterway Park. Hitting the turning point at Yishun SAFRA, they will then see the route follow back to the hub completing all but the last relay.

On 10 November, Tan Chuan-Jin, Speaker of Parliament, will run the final leg from the Singapore Sports Hub and finish off into the MES Theater at MediaCorp’s Campus for the live televised President’s Star Charity Show. Concluding the relay, he will then symbolically hand over the baton to President Halimah Yacob on air, along with a giant cheque that will represent the total amount raised.

More than a run

Looking to inspire Singapore and its people, Relay Majulah also aims to share the determination and grit of local individuals who have persevered in their adversaries. Each of the 200 runners is being challenged to each complete a 10-kilometre or 20-kilometre stretch to collectively achieve the total targeted time and distance.

This event will see runners including Corporate Leaders, Politicians, Entrepreneurs, Paralympians, Celebrities and more from varying facets and walks of life, who are of all ages, races, and religions, coming together to achieve a shared vision.

The wide spectrum of runners includes notable names such as Tan Chuan-Jin, Speaker of Parliament, as well as everyday heroes such as Takalah Tan, who overcame the loss of half his brain due to a tragic accident by becoming an athlete and motivational speaker. Another admirable runner is 87-year-old Kor Hong Fatt, the second oldest male finisher in the Boston Marathon who was inspired to lead a healthier lifestyle after the passing of his late wife, proving that age is simply mind over matter.

Gathering the nation’s support

Members of the public can also show their encouragement through making donations via the Relay Majulah website, where there are links to each runner’s Giving.sg profiles.

Together, we hope to rise as a community and champion the ‘Majulah’ spirit in Singapore.

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Race Review: Chicago Marathon 2019 (by healthobeing)

It’s about two weeks since the 13th October 2019 where I did my third star world majors.  Travelling all the way to Chicago.  The idea of going to the USA since my last trip in 1997 to New York, where the Twin Towers were still alive, was really surreal.  But I made the decision to go after I lost the ballot for the London Marathon, and as I crossed my fingers hoping that I get the ballot this year, I didn’t.

The race as usual like many other majors requires balloting. Most majors have the same way of entrance, either you ballot or you are so fast that you can qualify a timing, the last options is not something that Singaporeans like to do is Charity fundraising slots.

Website: https://www.chicagomarathon.com/

Balloting actually starts last year, If I could remember was around Nov.  Results came in early this year, I was lucky to get the ballot.  So comes all the preparations to Chicago.

Accommodations

Rainy when I arrived

Cosy Room for next 6 days!

Although I will say East Coast US is pretty old and rundown now.  But still retaining its old charms.  The hotels around the race start and end, Grant Park, gets very expensive during the race weekend.  As such, I went for AirBnB and stayed with a couple Mike and Veron.  They have been hosting AirBnB room for a few years and their house is very cosy.  I get all the things I want and if I forget to bring something, I did not have to go and buy.  That is the beauty of AirBnB.

Race Pack Collection

Me and good friend Jean at the collection!

Bank of America Chicago Marathon!

The race pack collection expo is another mega one.  But compared to the one in Tokyo and Berlin, I kinda felt it was smaller.  Berlin was really massive taking up the whole of and old airport.  It was held at the exhibition area in McCormick Place.  The usual stuff, athletic wear, running gears and accessories.  Besides the loud and crazy Nike booth which sells the official running gear for this event, there were many nice goods for the race, but I found them quite steep.  The Goose Island Beer booth is something not to be missed, giving out free taster beer and selling some of their brand items like the Marathon Beer pint glass, tee shirts and caps.

Runners were given their baggage drop bag plastic bag and the event tee shirt, you can change the tee shirt on the spot if it does not fit you.

Race Course

Along the way

The start and end is at the Grant Park in the downtown of Chicago.  Managed to stay one night with my friend, Jean Wong at the Hyatt Regency, the good thing was they had shuttle bus to bring runners to the start point, so the transportation portion was saved.

Race pack

Many said that this race can be warm or cold depending on the year.  This year it was quite cold at the start, but the sun came out towards the end.  Maybe it is a good news for me.  But to those used to running in the colder climate, finds it kind of too hot for comfort.

The race course is very straight forward and I must say throughout the whole course, it was really flat.  Being my third major, I find it much more friendly than Berlin and well organised.  There were turns, but the turns were not choke points, in fact having so many participants every year, I have never heard anyone complained that there were choke points.

Walking to the start line the park is very large and covers around 3 bus stops!

From Dark waiting to start until bright!

Besides the well stocked up water points with water and Gatorade, the good thing about  the water points is that about 200m-300m before them, there will be a sign to say the water point is ahead.  Some stations had bananas and also energy gels.  But what hits me best is the beer point at 38km, weather was really getting hot and just as I thought I saw wrongly, the Goose Island Beer point was there serving fresh cold icy beer! Really a treat.

You also get volunteers cheering you along the way from both side of the road.  Being a cosmopolitan city, Chicago has many different area of ethnicity.  This is where you get to experience the different sides of the city like you get drag queens cheering you at Boys’ Town, dragon dance at the Chinatown.

Finishing Line

Getting my medal from a friendly volunteer

To end this wonderful 26.2 miles, you get to run down the famous Magnificent Mile, something like the Orchard Road of Singapore, with more supporters and cheering to push you through to the end point back in Grant park.

Free Beer

Ice packs for the legs but I was feeling too cold.

Just some of the perks runners get

Besides the photos ( you need to buy and best is to purchase beforehand for this as you can save more ), runners get tons of goodies from the sponsors like replenishment bag from Mariano’s, local supermarket, with energy bar and protein bars, apple sauce.  Water and Gatorade, of course the 26.2, special canned 312 beer by Goose Island ( it was free flow big cans at the finishing line).  Runners can keep themselves warm with the special foil warmer sheet printed with the Chicago Marathon words and logo, and also the finisher medal.  Post race party by another official partner, Biofreeze, was just nearby and you can get another free pint of beer there with many food trucks.  Of course, if you are willing to wait, the physiotherapy tent was there too to give a good rub down.

Overall

Runners Lazing around at the Bio Freeze after party

I must say after my failed attempt in Berlin to go below sub 4, I managed to clear it this time.  Maybe due to the absence of stress from my parents where I had to take care of them in Berlin.  But travelling alone to a faraway place sometimes do get a bit lonesome.  I had very good experience with this race as it was really well organised, and despite so many participants and supporters, there was no chaos.  Everything moved on smoothly.  The only choke point was the bag check at the starting line, and I suggest to go at least 1 and half hours before your start corral to get ready at the start line snug and well.  For those going in the future editions, I am sure you will enjoy this race and what the city of Chicago has to offer (in my case, the wonderful delicious beer!)

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11 Reasons You Should Run a Marathon in Another Country

Image source: Pattaya Marathon

Have you ever run a marathon in your life? If you haven’t, don’t look down on yourself. Majority of people haven’t. In fact, it is a lifetime goal to many. The satisfaction that comes with achieving this major milestone is one of the reasons why people run a marathon not only in their countries but in other countries across the world.

Running a marathon in another country will give you the chance to combine the thrilling experience with travelling. Imagine yourself running in major cities in the world such as Berlin, London, Paris and New York to name a few.

If travelling to another country is difficult for you, you should consider running in your country and enjoying the beautiful scenery. You’ll also be supported and cheered by the crowds lining along the route. This is the time to put your physical and mental strength to the test.

After running this marathon, you’ll understand why people love participating in them. Let’s discuss the reasons why you should run a marathon in another country.

1.    To raise money for charity

Most people run a marathon to fundraise money for charity. Reaching the finish line in a marathon is a great achievement. However, doing it for charity makes it even more rewarding.

Knowing that you are running to help people in need will provide the motivation and inspiration you need to keep moving forward. No one wants to let his or her charity supporters down. Doing your best during the run will bear fruits for you and your loved ones.

2.    Meet new people

Training and running a marathon will give you the opportunity to meet new people. To understand the terrain and your new country, you’ll need the cooperation of other people. Plus, you’ll also need a running partner to help you keep on keeping on especially when things get tough.

On the racing day, you’ll have lots of people around you with common interests. It could be fellow runners or spectators. Running a marathon in a different country will help you create relationships and bond with people who have common interest and goals.

3.    Improves your life success

According to coursework writing service, people who run regularly have a higher chance to succeed in other areas of life. The commitment, hard work and planning that happens when training and running a marathon will definitely shape, develop and improve your character.

By running regularly in your country, your will enjoy these benefits. A recent study of marathon runners found that regular training improved their organizational skills, discipline, endurance and goal setting. If you want to improve the quality of your life, start exercising regularly. Most importantly, run a marathon.

4.    Improves fitness

Running a marathon will boost health and fitness in the long run. Running is one of the best cardiovascular exercises today. It enhances the strength of bones and muscles in the entire body. Running improves the health of your skin and boosts the immune system.

As best essay writing service reports, running not only improves your physical fitness but also your mental fitness. People who run and exercise regularly have been reported to have lower levels of stress, anxiety and depression. In fact, most of them have high self-esteem and confidence.

5.    A new experience

You’ll never experience anything else like a marathon. It’s difficult, painful and requires a tremendous amount of energy to get to the finish line. However, you’ll have the opportunity to do something that you’ve never done before.

A marathon will help you understand yourself on a deeper level. The experience that comes when you reach the finish line will be one you’ve never had. Most people have run several marathons after running their first. So, get out there and enjoy this wonderful life experience.

6.    You can do it

You should run a marathon because you can do it. How many times have you ever thought of something being beyond your experience until you did it? There is nothing beyond you in this life. You can achieve any goal you have in mind.

All you need to is work hard and exercise self-discipline. Setting the goal to run a marathon and completing the race successfully will prove to you that you can accomplish anything if you put your mind into it.

7.    To see the world

Do you love travelling? I have not met a person who doesn’t love travelling and having new experiences. Most people love travelling but they keep postponing and finding excuses not to travel and see the world. If you don’t make plans to travel, you’ll never do.

At the end of our lives, the only thing we’ll have will be experiences. Failing to live and experience life is a major disaster. Start travelling and exploring your country first. And you’ll feel comfortable travelling to other countries.

8.    You’ll be a role model

Who doesn’t respect someone who has run a marathon? Running a marathon is not one of the easiest thing to do on earth. Your family and friends will definitely look up you. People who have never run a marathon will be inspired to do it because of you. By running a marathon, you will improve the lives of the people who know you.

9.    You’ll get a massage

After the marathon, your muscles will be tired and they’ll need time to recover. Having a massage and resting adequately will help you reduce the risk of injuries. Now, you won’t have to come up with excuses to have a massage.

10. You’ll sleep better

If you have a problem sleeping at night, running a marathon will definitely help. An exhausted body will naturally crave sleep because it needs to repair itself. And this can only happen when you are asleep. You’ll find yourself getting to bed early, sleeping deeply and waking up early in the morning.

11. You’ll appreciate what you have

Sometimes, we tend to take for granted what we have. Travelling to another country will help you see different people and what they are going through. You might never have everything you want in life but you are definitely in a better place than most people around you. Exercising gratitude regularly will improve your life.

Running a marathon should be a top priority on your list. A marathon will improve and change your life for the better. So, what are you waiting for?

Discover your next race on JustRunLah!

Guest author: Becky Holton is a journalist and a blogger at essay writing service reviews. She is interested in education technologies, dissertation writing help, myassignmenthelp review and is always ready to support informative speaking. Follow her on Twitter.

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My SG Run 2019 [10km] (by Lingderella)

I should have stayed at home and rest legs as I have District Race the next day after SG Run and I have a 18km on the same day morning 😂 But it’s my bad, because I signed up for U Run All Access and its almost the end of the year and I didn’t use any credits yet and I don’t want to waste the money 😭

There’s 3 race credits to sign up for 3 races from a list of race and I used the first credit to register for Standard Chartered Half Marathon and then for Force of Nature and another one for The Performance Series 3. Then I realised that FON falls on the same day as my pacer training and I couldn’t participate 😱 All thanks to the helpful staff of URAA to allow me to change my race to SG Run after I emailed them ❤ U Run All Access is actually quite good to get as average out race fee is cheaper and it’s guaranteed race slots when you register with the credits before a certain dateline by URAA.

Considering the different categories available, insane distance like 100km and 50km ultra distance I don’t have the courage to attempt yet and that it would be super torturous to run long distance of 21km or above since I will be doing 18km in the morning and the effort for me to get to the race site is like travel a total of 2 hours to and fro for a 30 plus minutes 5km run seems sot sot for me so I registered or the 10km category.

Immediately I thought I should have signed up 5km instead after the morning run. But sometimes things and events are unpredictable. TMD. I forgot to apply Vaseline. After the 18km run I kena abrasionsssss on my inner thighs and underneath my chest because of the sports bra. Unless you have fat thighs like me and have the sensation of the friction of the fats on the thighs rubbing with each step taken, people with slim chopsticks legs will not understand 😂 Jealous to the max. Need to slim down liao 😭 Run more, torturous. Mindful eating, also torturous 😂 Life is short, I prefer to enjoy it! 😆

It really was pain die me, I set up a plan to run walk run walk and thought I could use 2 hours to finish the 10km.

There’s free shuttle bus service provided to and fro the race site at Stadium station. When I reached Stadium station I used my intuition and sixth sense to agak where the shuttle bus would be as there’s no direction sign or indication in sight. Same as after the race when I wanted to find the boarding point 😂 But I must say other than that the shuttle bus frequency and service was very well organised thanks to the volunteer there guiding the bus driver and make sure bus was full before departing, I waited no more than five minutes each way to get on the bus 👍

When I reached the race site, its 5 more minutes to the flag off for the 21km and 32km runners at 6pm, so I walked out about 200m into the route to see them flag off and show some moral support to the runners and manage to spot a few friends 😊

After that I proceed to bag deposit, changing my shoes at the same time while queueing for the baggage deposit. It’s a long queue but it cleared up shortly. Then I head quickly to the start pen. It was then announced by the emcee that due to human jam of the runners at Marina Barrage, there will be a delay to clear the jam. So our flag off was delayed for 5 minutes at 6.35pm.

There’s no official pacers available but there were lead cyclist opening path for the top runners. About 1km into the run, a young runner ran beside me and striked a conversation. We had a good chat and he asked me if I’m aiming to run under an hour, which he jio to run together as he wants to encourage runners, I said I’m not and I’m slowing down and he can go ahead. At that point I do want to carry on qnd run but my abrasions are getting so spicy pain 😭

After that I started walking when I reached the upslope at Marina Barrage. I think I walked sibeh unglamly with legs opened widely as I tried to avoid the friction between my thighs 😂 I did applied prickly heat powder prior on my thighs but after the cooling sensation fades off its back to hell, not really hell but machiam chilli padi was applied to very raw skin 😭 Plastering it instead would’ve been a better option. Or DNS would had actually be the wisest option in the first place 😆

While I was walking up the slopes at Marina Barrage I was cursing a lot, but it was a very pretty sight there. I’ve always thought that it was a pretty good dating location, the sun was setting and a lot of beautiful and colourful kites were flying at that time. 😍 I wished I had Willis with me for a romantic run but he was working. If I were a photographer for runners I will definitely camped there and capture awesome photos for runners. Maybe when I retires from running, I’ll contribute to the running community and be a volunteer photographer at races ❤

Then I do some calculations that if I were to carrying on in the snail pace I was walking at, I might even need 3 hours to complete and even start wondering what’s the cut off time. Eventually I convinced myself just bite my teeth and finish it and started running again! 💪

Amazingly, grateful that at about 5km or so into the run I realised the spiciness of the abrasions were gone 😍

It’s a very stuffy and warm evening till it started drizzling but just for a little while. Then finally enjoyed some wind! But it was just that teeny weeny short few minutes and back to the stuffiness and still air.

I didn’t notice any distance markers along the route and kept on looking at my watch and counting down the distance to finishing. At the last 1.7km mark on my watch there’s a volunteer very enthusiastically cheering for the runners but was giving wrong information as he was saying: Last 3km to go 😂 Awwww, I was damn tired already when I heard him and even look at my watch again to double check 😂 Should have corrected him but at that moment I thought maybe it was my watch error?

It’s a few hundred metres more to the finishing when I saw a backview of female runner further up front who I recalled seeing when we were in the start pen and wanted to encouraged her as she was walking already. I chased up and forgotten what I said to her but she asked me what’s the distance left? I said about 600m and she said OK, she will run with me and we ran to the finishing together 😊

There wasn’t any activities in the race site and I grab my finisher medal and tee and left shortly. Podium runners just got their trophies without any ceremonies. I mean no matter how, there should still be ceremonies for the podium runners 😟 I felt that it’s an inspiration to other runners and also recognition for the podium runners hardwork and trainings.

Results was out and you may check for your results here 😊

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Race Review: 7th Luang Prabang Half Marathon, Laos 2019 (by ALCE)

Start line at Royal Palace

Having come across and reading about this run in April this year, I thought the idea of doing my overseas run in this region (Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar) would not be completed if I had not tried Laos. And it seems in Laos, this is the only run in Luang Prabang (LP). The others would all be organised in Vientiane.

So I did my usually budgeting runcation exercise and worked my sums out. Not too bad considering with everything in, it came up within my expected SGD$1K. So far, all my Asian runcations are within this amount.

I am sure you have your own ways to work your sums out but if you need to see mine, feel free to send me a message below and I would gladly share it with you. Now, on with the review.

Landing at Luang Prabang Airport

Scoot flies to LP direct and getting there from Singapore is absolutely hassle free. Upon landing, immigration clearing was no fuss either. A taxi to downtown centre (I only recommend staying there as it’s where the start point is and it’s within walking distance) takes about 15 mins from the Airport. Downtown Centre – the Royal Palace, is right smack where all the action is. Race pack collection is also in this area. While I was collecting mine, it went very smoothly with no hiccups.

Race Pack Collection

At the start of the race on 20th Oct, Sun at 5.30am, the running crowd was manageable and from what I heard, it’s slowly increasing from year on year. This year saw an increase of 200+ runner from last year. So it’s getting undoubtedly popular.

21km and 14km Running Route

Distance offered for this run is 7km, 14km and 21km. There are legitimate reasons why they cannot do a 10km or 42km. You can read about it on their website here: https://www.luangprabanghalfmarathon.com/faq.html

It may be worthy to note that this run is all about charity. They do not benefit from the proceeds on the race and everything goes to the Children’s Hospital in Luang Prabang, which helps fund 100% of free medical care for Laos kids.

Ready to start!

We were flagged off at 5.30am sharp and run goes along the housing estates in LP. This running route is a little unusual because it goes in a first big loop then a second small loop. This is unlike most other runs where the loops are exactly the same size. Road signs were adequate and no complaints at all about water points serving water and isotonic drinks.

Part of running route 1

Part of running route 2

My only small drawback about this run is that after you finish your first loop (about 14km), the roads gets reopened and cars are free to go about doing their daily routine. This is least desired as runners are now left to observe the roads and crossing traffic junctions on their own. My biggest advice is not to listen to your music for this run and to pay attention to the surrounding traffic for your own safety.

Another part of the running route

In terms of scenery, there were not many unique/UNESCO sites to look at. Unlike Angkor Wat Half Marathon in Cambodia. Still a good run though as it does not get monotonous like Singapore’s running scene.

Runners gathering and taking photos of their well deserved finisher medal

End Point

I have overall enjoyed the run. This runcation is very worth the travel because the purpose of the run intended for its organizers. I support such beneficial races 100% and would encourage runners who are seeking for both a decent running event overseas and also a chance to travel for a short runcation.

Hope this review will interest you to visit Luang Prabang. Run happens every year on the 3rd weekend of Oct.

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The 2nd Edition Of District Race Singapore Saw Over 3,200 Participants Explore Their City And Do Their Part For The Environment

  • Race participants covered a total of 33,609 kilometres during the race and contributed to the planting of 6,722 trees across Asia as part of a joint initiative by MSIG Insurance and District Race Singapore
  • A high turnout of over 3,200 participants took part in the 2nd edition of District Race Singapore on 20 October – the highest turnout of all District Races in Asia at the first-of-its-kind urban race powered by technology
  • Participants navigated through the city with the District Race app and completed virtual challenges located throughout Singapore to win prizes
  • District Race awarded a round-the-world trip to the winner of the Ultimate Explorer Challenge who completed over 140 District runs

[SINGAPORE, 22 OCTOBER, 2019] – The 2nd edition of District Race Singapore saw over 3,200 explorers run through streets of Singapore in the country’s largest-ever urban race powered by technology.

District Race is a ground-breaking technology platform that encourages Singaporeans to lead active, healthy lifestyles through the District Race app. With no set route or distance,
participants choose how they explored the city, with the goal of completing virtual checkpoints and challenges with the District App to accumulate the most points within the race time limit. The app makes use of augmented reality and location-based technologies to create a unique experiential running experience for participants.

Over 3,200 participants were flagged off at The Meadow at the Gardens by the Bay, and raced through the city, completing 97,415 challenges and checkpoints and covering a cumulative distance of 33,609 km.

Mr. Ben Pember, Chief Executive Officer of District Technologies said, “District Race was created to motivate everyone to get active through exploration and rediscover what their city has to offer. The high turnout at the 2nd edition of District Race Singapore is hugely encouraging and shows how District’s tech-enabled experience appeals to the next generation of runners.”

Evelyn Lim, a first-time participant in District Race Singapore said: “This is the first time I’ve participated in District Race. It’s really quite unique because of the use of the District app and technology to navigate the checkpoints while you run, and I saw different parts of Singapore that I don’t normally visit. I especially enjoyed the time trials where you need to sprint from one checkpoint to another within a very short time span and that pushed me to my limits.”

District Race awards round-the-world trip to local runner as part of the Ultimate Explorer Challenge

“Our mission at District is to enable people to get active through exploration. To that end, we introduced the Ultimate Explorer Challenge in the lead up to the race to encourage anyone and everyone to explore their city and their limits by running with the District Race app. Our winner, Christopher Siva Chance has inspired us with his grit and determination. He truly embodies the spirit of exploration as our Ultimate Explorer,” said Mr. Pember.

The winner of the Ultimate Explorer Challenge will receive a round-the-world trip to try out District Race grids that are available in over 35 cities globally.

Christopher Siva Chance, winner of District’s Ultimate Explorer Challenge said: “I’m an avid user of the app and have been using it since it was launched, but I still enjoy every District run that I do. I’ve put in a lot amount of time and effort to win this challenge and I am both shocked and thrilled to have won. Thank you District for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to travel around the world and experience all these new District grids in other cities!”

Partnering MSIG Insurance to raise awareness on biodiversity and Plant-A-Tree Initiative

Through its partnership with District Race, MSIG Insurance hopes to raise awareness on the importance of protecting biodiversity as part of its mission to help secure a sound future for the planet.

This year’s District Race event included educational in-app challenges that highlighted interesting biodiversity facts in Singapore. Moreover, for every 5km clocked by individual participants during the race, MSIG Insurance and District race would plant a tree in Asia with the help of an environmental organisation.

Mr. Craig Ellis, Chief Executive Officer of MSIG Insurance said, “MSIG is proud to partner District Race this year and supports the local running communities in adopting an active lifestyle. District’s tech-enabled platform has enabled us to incorporate biodiversity-related challenges within the race this year, to educate participants about nature as they explore the city. Through these challenges, we hope they could experience and appreciate nature more, and be inspired to partake in our sustainability journey together.”

“As an insurance company that sees the heart in everything, we understand the importance to protect what people hold dear and that includes preserving biodiversity which is facing grave threats today. We are heartened by the support of all District Race Singapore participants, and we want to make a positive difference through reforestation efforts which build on our other regional initiatives across Asia to protect biodiversity,” said Mr Ellis.

District Race Singapore participants were motivated to go further, knowing that their collective efforts would contribute to the planting of more trees to support reforestation efforts. For going the distance, a total of 6,722 trees would be planted in Asia.

Participants who had completed any of the MSIG Biodiversity Challenges were rewarded with a free giveaway. To help participants learn more about environmental issues, there were also educational activities at MSIG’s event booth.

This partnership between MSIG Insurance and District Race is a follow-up to the MSIG Biodiversity Trail that was launched in August 2019 together with WWF-Singapore. The MSIG Biodiversity Trail was specially curated to educate the public on issues surrounding biodiversity and conservation. Set within Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site – the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the interactive trail is designed to leverage District Race’s experiential technology platform which combines urban exploration with gamification. The trail is available for free on the District Race app and the public can access it till 31 March 2020.

For more information on District Race Singapore as well as the MSIG Biodiversity Trail, please visit www.exploredistrict.com/en/events/singapore-19 and www.msig.com.sg/biodiversity

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Race Journal: Dali 100 Ultra Endurance Race 2019 (by Supertramp)

Dali, a city I have read more about in the novel; Demi-gods and Semi-devils, by the late Jin Yong then ever in my daily life. Never would I expect myself to visit this city (it really exists by the way) in person, even more so to be here for a race. But that was exactly what happened.

I was in Dali for the Dali 100 Ultra Endurance Race in May this year, taking part in the 100km category.

After a 17hrs journey comprising of 2 flights, a high-speed rail, a train and a bus, I finally arrived at this city that is already about 2000m above sea level.

I went for a short run around this ancient city the next day morning in part to see if there will be any effect of running at such high altitude. I did feel a little laborious as I could not seem to breathe as I usually do during a run. So I could only hope the effect will not be worse than this during the race proper the next day.

Attended the race briefing shortly after collecting my race pack in the afternoon. Must say it was a very detailed briefing as they ran through with us every section from start to finishing, highlighting areas that needed special mention. I must also add that in order for us to collect our BIBs we were required to submit our medical report including an ECG. So I got all these done prior to setting off from Singapore.

Checking my blood pressure while they checked my medical report

The briefing

Here I am

Special mention here on a last minute course change that happened 3 days before the race. Due to the drier than usual climate the local city council decided to forbid anyone from going above 2600m in the famed Cang Mountain as the threat of forest fire was very real. Our original course was to have taken us up to about 4700m at the mountain top but sadly that could no longer take place. Kudos to the race director, Yu Lei and his team to immediately scout an alternate course the very next day and within 2 days a new course was set for us. So instead of scaling the mountain to the peak we now had to go up and down along the mountain ranges a few more times.

The new course

As the only Asian runner outside China to be present, I am honoured to be invited on stage for the opening ceremony together with the many Da Shens aka elites. And at 0730hrs, we were off.

Rare stage moment

Spot me

Having misread the Cut Off Time (COT) for the first CP, I went out too fast. thinking I had just 1hr when I actually had 1hr 20mins.. Slowed down attempting to get back my usual rhythm but I found it hard to come by. The adrenaline rush that usually comes right after flag offs failed to appear this time and I laboured. Perhaps it was the high altitude playing its part but the show must go on. A runner I ran alongside later on told me laboured breathing is a mild sign of acute mountain sickness (AMS) and AMS was something the organisers told us to be mindful of and to stop immediately if the condition worsens. Luckily for me that was about as bad as it gets. However it was only during a close to 6km descent after CP2 that I managed to find my wind and started to manage my running better.

CP2

CP3

Passed some toursit spots

Erhai Lake from Cang Mountain

My target was to reach CP5, which was the 59km mark before nightfall wanting to make full use of the expected late sunset (sun set the previous day at around 2000hrs) to get ready for the steepest climb on the course in the night. And I managed to do just that reaching CP5 by 1900hrs. After a short break I set myself up for the upcoming night segment before moving out again.

The toughest section came next. There was this part of the trail going up that was bordered by some tall plants and they caved inwards from the side. The problem was they were tall but not tall ENOUGH. So I cannot walk straight as my head will bump into the plants. So for that 2km or so I had to literally hunch to pass through. As if that was not challenging enough, I was constantly slipping. Not from mud but from dried pine leaves. For some reason my shoes (megagrip notwithstanding) always slips whenever I stepped on them and they were all over the place. So I had to focus on not slipping while keeping my head low to avoid the overhanging plants. I think that took a toll on me as coupled with fatigue I lost focus for a while and took a tumble shortly after during a descent. I was not injured but I landed ‘turtle up’ and got stuck there for a while as I did not have manoeuvring space to flip myself over. When I finally managed to get up I laughed instead. Somehow I found that fall very amusing.

Knowing I have some buffer time and not wanting to risk sleep walking again though I was already out of the mountains, I decided to hunker down for some sleep at CP7. And I slept for an hour. Waking up feeling a little recharged later I moved towards the finishing now just a Half Marathon distance away.

Day broke close to 0600hrs and I had 2 bowls of delicious seaweed soup at the last CP – CP8. I did not really eat at all the CPs as I felt the need to drink more than the need to eat. So I drank a lot (they served Gatorade, 3 flavours somemore) but hardly ate. So now knowing I have more than sufficient time to finish the game (3hrs for just 10km) I decided to have the soup, served very enthusiastically by the volunteers there.

My delicious seaweed soup

Spent the last 10km slowly admiring the farms all around me as I know I will unlikely be back at this part of the world again. And at 0800hrs, I reached the Finish CP.

Witnessed a magnificent sunrise

Where my timing stopped

This was the interesting part. The Finish CP is NOT the finishing line. It was just the point where our timing will be stopped with our official race time taken. The actual finishing line was about 300m away. Now the reason for this we were told, was for us, the runners, especially the girls, to tidy up a little, before getting a cool looking photo finish crossing the finishing line without the pressure of time. Now how cool is that? But it gets better. The race director, Yu Lei, actually waits at the finishing line whenever possible to give all finishers a ‘bridal carry’. Yes, ALL finishers; male and female, got that treatment as long as he was available there. I got to know later that that is actually his trademark and he does that at all 6 of his races.

My bridal carry

So with that, I completed my 4th 100km trail.

I am done

More plaque than a medal

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My Craze Ultra 2019 [as a supporter] (by Lingderella)

If you run, you’re a runner. If you run 42.195km you’re a marathoner. And there’s ultramarathoner, which according to wikipedia, is a distance longer than 42.195km. So it means any centimetres more than 42.195km qualifies a person to be an ultramarathoner? But I don’t consider myself as an ultramarathoner this way, I want to attempt at least a 50km to get the title of ultramarathoner 💪

To me, the most insane and godly term a runner could achieve would be ultra trail marathoner, which is really not a title that could be easily earned. It will need great courage to attempt these ultra distances and in crazy terrains or weather conditions depending on your luck you may get heavy rain or even typhoon maybe. It needs lots of determination and perseverance to cross the finishing line.

This time I participated in Craze Ultra as an “extra”, I wouldn’t say I’m a pacer, but I’m accompanying Rey in parts of the distances, he was in the 72km category. There’s 101km, 72km, 55km, 45km and 27km with the most participants in 101km category with 105 finishers completing within the cut off time of 24 hours 😍 For 72km category there’s isn’t much participants, there were only 9 finishers with the rest which I think is about the 6 of them DNF or DNS.

Flag off was at MacRitchie Reservoir at 7.30am for the 72km category on Saturday morning and the cut off time is 7am the next morning. Willis and I decided to wait for Rey at a bus stop near to where I stay in Yishun, by the time Rey will be here it would be his 11km mark and I would already have enough beauty sleep and wake up naturally without any alarm set 😊

I thought why not while waiting for Rey we might as well get something to give the runners who ran passed? So the night before, we bought some ice popsicles and froze them. It’s my first time showing runners some little support in this way. At first, I was quite paiseh and even asked Willis what if nobody want to take? 😂 I thought I’ll be disappointed if nobody take. It would be the exact feeling like a kid coming to cheer for runners in a marathon and put out the hand for a high 5 but nobody gives the kid a high 5 back. But luckily we gave all the ice popsicles away ❤ I know it will be just damn shiok to eat something cold when running in hot weather.

It’s 9.08am when I started my sports watch. It’s a super hot and sunny morning, Willis and I accompanied Rey at his pace. It’s some walking some running and some chit chatting. Its the companionship. We cheered for those overtaking us, those we overtake and those who are already u-turning back. It’s not easy to do 72km, I can imagine if I’m the person who is doing the 72km I will be damn grumpy. Only the 101km category participants can have a pacer bib for their pacer.

My Google Map with 72km route

I can’t remember what I had pressed on the website but the map route appeared on my Google map for the race period! 😍 One of the most important skills actually is actually Google map reading and I think I’m pretty good at it. Though there’s signages along the route to point the directions but unless the eyes is as sharp as eagle’s there’s still possibility of missing a turn or go to the wrong path. For ultra distances if lost the way is sibeh hoseh, can do a lot of additional distances for free sia 😂 Rey downloaded the map as gpx file into his watch, I still haven’t explored the function of it yet even though my watch have that function 😆

There’s a total of 5 checkpoints but only the 101km participants will go to all the 5 checkpoints. I only went to checkpoints located in a small park in Yishun and another one in Sembawamg park. The checkpoints were all very bubbly and supportive volunteers. There were sports drink, coke, water and some food and fruits available at certain checkpoints for the participants.

Credits: Craze Ultra

I must really clap clap clap for the very well done website, it’s very informative and all the important stuffssss and information, such as map, safety, route what food and drinks is available at their checkpoints etc etc all can be found on their official website.

Willis and I accompanied Rey till back to Checkpoint 1 where Rey had already completed about 30 over km and we had completed almost 20km with him and I was very very burnt and exhausted. We took a bus home though it’s just about 1.7km away but I’m already super drained. Head home, shower had a nice lunch and took a nap before I meet Rey again for part II as Willis have to work the next day, he did not joined us. Eleanor accompanied him after we left and meet him at a point near Punggol. Rey was very lucky that he avoided the super heavy rain in Yishun. Drastic change in weather conditions I can only imagined falling sick.


When they returned to the bus stop where I was waiting earlier, it was around 8pm and Rey only have the last 11km left, can see that he’s already super tired. It’s a long journey of brisk walking with a little bit of running and we reached the finishing at Macritchie Reservoir. They have finisher beers from different brands ready for Rey to choose from 😍

The registration fee was expensive at $100 and it does not include finisher tee and medal which have to be purchase. But if I were to run the crazy ultra distances I will definitely buy the medal and tee shirt 😆 I would like to attempt the 101km category next year as it’s quite a interesting concept and I think the only ultra race that covers the most surface area of Singapore. Hope I have the courage to register for it when registration opens for it next year! 😆 I want to get a ultra trail marathoner title as well 💪

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Race Review: CSC Run By The Bay 2019 [21 km] (by stargazer)

This is my first time participating in the CSC Run. I had previously read many good comments regarding this race. Hence, this year I decided to take part in the event on 12 Oct at the Gardens By the Bay East (GBBE). In addition, this was a nice run up before the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon and I had the intention to use this race to gauge my fitness level to progress beyond 21 km. It certainly has not been easy training for the full marathon because I got to stop during runs to address my knee pain.

Race Day

It started to drizzle at 3.30 pm in the afternoon. I was wondering if the race would still carry on. There was no mention of cancellation in the event facebook. Fortunately the rain stopped by 4.30 pm. I took the train and alighted at Stadium MRT, taking a slow walk to the event site. As I walked on, I saw Soh Rui Yong doing his warm-up run along the Tanjong Rhu Promenade Park Connector. I wish him well.

There were quite a number of activities lined up, such as Pilates and stretching exercises. A booth called The Mix Bar provided complimentary drinks and there was a small bouncy castle for kids.

The 21 km runners were flagged off at 5.45 pm. There were 3 phases to the run route, according to how I perceived it. The first phase brought the runners to Marina East Drive and East Coast Park (ECP). We U turned after a short distance into ECP and headed back towards GBBE.

This was where a small confusion occurred. At GBBE, we were required to enter the event site in order to re-run the GBBE Park Connector towards Marina Barrage. Although this was highlighted in the route map, I thought it wasn’t very clearly indicated. There was also no crew on ground to guide runners towards the right direction. Hence, I was not surprised to see some runners stopped, looking lost and trying to find the correct way.

The second phase took the runners to Gardens By The Bay (GBB), Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Downtown Singapore. As it was the weekend, there were many visitors and the pathway became slightly congested due to the influx of runners. Also, I felt the GBB and MBS were not conducive places for night running as these places were not brightly lit. The stretch of roads along Downtown were not broad enough for so many runners running together at the same time.

The third phase took the runners to F1 Pit, Kallang Riverside Park and finished back at GBBE. I had been to these places and somehow I find them, as in phase 2, more suitable for a day run.

I managed to complete the race within 3 hrs. Though I did not hit a PB, I had deliberately  run at a slower and comfortable pace to assess if I still had the ‘energy’ to progress beyond 21 km.

I rested a while before taking the shuttle service back to Sports Hub.

Comments

1) Hydration stations were sufficient, at approximately every 2 km. However, cups were  depleted at most stations after 10 km.

2) Event organizer Metasport usually engages Finisherpix to take race photos. While many moments were captured, I do mind paying for these photos since we had paid quite a price for the race. The event organizer or owner should have been more generous and upload the photos for free.

3) The design of the medal looks like a water droplet. I think there is little correlation to the race. Or was there a theme which I was not aware of?

4) I feel by virtue of its race routes, this event is more suited for a day race. Perhaps a “spectacular sunrise race” next year?

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Trials and tribulations of the 11th edition Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon #KLSCM 2019

Credit: Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon 2019

The trials and tribulations have finally arrived in the form of one of the biggest running events in Malaysia, the Standard Chartered KL Marathon, and all runners in the running community from all over the country want a piece of the action!

So, it would be impolite of me not to join them!

The Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon 2019 (SCKLM2019) was the 11th edition of SCKLM and the largest edition yet with over 40,000 participants converging on Dataran Merdeka over the 28-29 September weekend. For the first time, the 5km category was held the day before together with the Friendship Run, which meant to be a warm-up run for the Full Marathon, thus created an opportunity and platform for runners from around the world to network and forge friendships.

There were 1,900 running tourists participated in the race this year, representing 49 countries from all over the world. There were also 10,020 Malaysians who came from outside of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. In light of this, the Kuala Lumpur Mayor has proposed that the name of the event be altered to give the city more prominence in order to encourage more running tourists and their entourages to the city. Henceforth, this premier distance running event will be called the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon (KLSCM) to highlights its tourism potential.

KLSCM is sanctioned and supported by the Malaysia Athletics Federation (MAF), Federal Territory Kuala Lumpur Athletic Federation (FTKLAA), International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and Association of International Marathons, Distance Races (AIMS).

The Haze situation

Days and weeks into the biggest and boldest KL Marathon, our country was hit with the haze crisis. Runners were uncertain if the race was on or cancelled.  As a result, most runners, including myself did not have enough training (longer distance in outdoor) thus motivation level was not at our very best!

Over the past 2 weeks prior to the final week, there have been many discussions and worry about the haze situation and the possibility of cancellation.  Finally, the organiser of KLSCM released an announcement that a decision would be made on 27 Sep 2019 7:30 pm, less than 2 days before the big day.

However, the haze situation has improved on Tuesday 24 Sep 2019 with rain over Klang Valley in the evening.  Wednesday and Thursday were rainy and windy. API reading dropped to less than 100. API reading rose a little on Friday but overall was below 100. It looked as though the event might be going ahead and everyone was on their edge waiting for the official announcement which finally came.

Get ready, gun time (or is it honky time) and let the journey begin

The clock started ticking towards the 3:45 am mark… almost there 3:40, 3:42…and suddenly there were 3 to 4 confetti canons released at different parts of the starting line and created a very exhilarating atmosphere.  Drones flown by and the MC was shouting at the top of her lung for all the runner to waive at it.  And then the countdown started…. Calm down, calm down, control the nerve, slow down your heart rate, breathe in deeply….phew.  And the horn was released.  The horn signalled the start of the race and the march went on.

As Stephen Covey said ‘to begin with the end in mind, but it doesn’t mean for you to end without starting’.  With this in mind, I was ready.  My plan was to break the whole course into blocks – my initial playbook was a block of 14km i.e. 14km – 8mins pace, 14km – 7:40mins pace, 14km – 7mins pace.  I crossed the starting line whilst switching the GPS on my watch and ran pass a blare of music, confetti and cheering which slowly turned into the steady rhythm of footfalls and breathing.

These 2 years starting somehow lack the impact I remember from when I first joined this prestigious event; it was my first half marathon in 2016.  I could still remember clearly the lines of drums, drumming as we marched towards the starting line.  The beat of the drums amplified my heartbeat and it was so loud that it was impossible to hear anything else or the person next to you trying to talk to you.  It was like marching to a battlefield.  But that was 3 years ago.  Now the economy is soft, the budget cut was everywhere I guess.

The difference between the gun-time and nett time is surprisingly short, less than 2 minutes.  I’d tried to run as per my plan, 7:30-7:40 pace for the first km.  But alas, things were not as planned again this year.  I did not follow my own plan and my blocks turned into 10km – 6min, 10k – 8 mins.  I did not need the genius to tell me why I ran out-breath and hit whatever walls I could hit in the form of the water stations.  It was hard to measure my effort when I was in full swing.  The lap reading in the first km was ridiculously at 6:35min.  I was trying to slow down, but I was affected by the sea of runners surrounding me who were running at the same or even faster pace.  The sound of thousands of footsteps kept drumming and I kept urging for my nerve to be calmed and steady.  I was doomed when the next 5km was at an average pace of 6:30min.  I was desperately looking around for some familiar faces who I knew were slower who could be my pacemaker.  But those familiar faces were also at a faster pace…oh man.  I had no choice but to march on.  The feeling of greed crept in as I thought I would save more time at the later stage of the race.  Imagine 1min saving for every km.  I know, I know, this is wrong thinking but I was desperate, remember?

Seeing my friends just sped off passing me from left and right I was starting to think I was running to slow…or am I?

We then had a further drizzle of rain which was good.  I was trying to cut into the inner lane of every curve of the road and found some water puddle in some corners.  Trying to stop and ran around the puddles to avoid wet feet consumed more energy.  There was one particularly big puddle that I thought I would sink if I stepped into it.  So I pulled an emergency stop and felt a few runners crashed into my back and with a few grunts before they ran around me.  Don’t blame me! Blame the rain!

For further reading, please refer to the full review at this blog.

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