Race Reflections: The Straits Time Run 2019 (18.45KM) (by Rebekah Ong)

Have you ever wondered or questioned yourself “Why did I do this again?!”  Well, that happened to me when I signed up for this year Straits Times Run 18.45KM category.  I told myself never would I participate in a run category which is more than 10KM but I had a moment of insanity, which I thought since it’s not a half marathon and I can get a Finisher Tee! Why not?!

ABOUT THE STRAITS TIME RUN 2019

The Straits Times Run is now in its seventh year and it was held on29 September 2019 at the Singapore Sports Hub. This year, they had a special category, the ST Run’s SPH35 – Panasonic Schools Challenge where it encourages students to take part in a mass event. The distance was 3.5km and there were two divisions; one catering to those in tertiary institutions and the other for secondary students aged 17 and below.

My first 18.45KM run event

While the 10KM and 18.45KM distances returned, there was also a new 3.5KM Fun Run for the public this time. It’s a shorter distance from the previous 5km and it was created this year to mark ST publisher Singapore Press Holdings’ 35th anniversary.

GETTING THERE

Well, signing up for the 18.45KM was not a regrettable mistake but an interesting experience. In fact, this is my first time joining The Straits Times Run. Having signed up for the longest category in this event, the flag-off timing was at an ungodly hour of 05:30hrs! It’s at times like this where I wonder why I signed up for races which have a super early start! I dragged myself out of bed in the wee hours of the morning and headed out to catch the shuttle bus at Northpoint at 04:10hrs. Coincidentally met one of my secondary school friends, Ping Hao on board and it was a nice catch-up while on that journey to the Sports Hub. The shuttle bus service was provided by Share Transport which is s a “bus pooling” app. Purchasing of tickets via the app is very simple and efficient. Cost-wise, it was $7 and it’s a very comfortable and convenient ride.

Race start photos. Photo Credits: Straits Time Run Facebook

RACE SITE

I arrived at the race site at 04:40hrs and I had to walk quite a distance to the OCBC Arena where Cheng Yee (CY) was waiting for me. We went to drop our bags off before heading to the START pen. The hall where we deposited our bags was sooo huge that it reminded me collecting race pack at a location like Marina Bay Sands Expo Hall or Expo! The athletes’ welfare area where participants can enjoy a massage after their race was located there too.  The queue for the bag drop was fast and efficient.

Once done, we decided to use the “portaloos” before heading into the START pen. What a wait it was!!!  The queues were soooo looooonnnngggg!!! We had to wait for 15 minutes before it was our turn.  Let’s hope that next year when they organize this run, they can provide more toilets or place signages to inform participants of alternative locations of toilets.

RACE

The walk from the OCBC Arena to the START pen was quite a distance away and after that long wait for the toilets, we could not make it be in the first wave.  We were flagged off 10 minutes after the first wave.  It was still dark when we set off but and there was a light breeze blowing which made my run enjoyable.

Map: Race Route. Photo Credits: Straits Times Run

As I did not train or prepare myself for this event, I estimated to keep within the pace of 07:30 to 08:00 minutes per kilometre so that I would not “kill” myself at the end of it. I was happy to have the company of CY for the first 5KM before she disappeared haha…  This was the first time that I’m running this route where we passed some of Singapore iconic sites like the F1 Pit Building, Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands, Gardens By The Bay Domes, Marina Golf Course and ending inside the Sports Hub! It was a really scenic route and I really enjoyed it.

The Final Stretch! Photo credits – Running Shots

Hydration points were placed along the route at every 3KM mark. This was one of the best-planned hydration layouts among all the races that I’ve joined. It made it convenient for participants to quench their thirst and rehydrate during the run.

Completed my first ever Straits Times Run and soooo cool ending inside the Singapore Sport Hub! Sooo nice to receive my Finisher Tee and medal!

This was one of the rare runs that had the Finish point ending inside the Sports Hub. As I neared the finishing line, it was quite an awesome feeling running through the tunnel that led into the heart of the stadium. I was sooo happy to complete the run!

POST RACE

Collection of the finisher entitlements was organised and fast. I was given a banana, bottle of water, chilled 100 Plus, cold wet towel, my medal and my Finisher Tee. I found CY who had finished too and looked for a place to sit down and stretch. We were soooo tired. After cooling down and taking our photos I went to look for the ONE Management team to catch up. It was nice seeing them. Job well done to all the One Athletes who had done well at the event! Congrats to Banjamin Quek on his 2nd place win in the 10KM Men’s Competitive Run category.

Overall I had a good time at the event, did I regret the decision to sign up for the 18.45KM? Well, no I did not as it was quite a fun experience and I shall wear my Finisher Tee with pride 😉

Till my next write-up! Run Happy always!

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Hands-on review: Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100

The Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 are a pair of true-wireless earbuds from Plantronics, aimed to athletes, promising stability and comfort. They are an upgrade from the BackBeat Fit 2100 series, a model I had personally owned and loved, that came with behind-the-ear hooks and a neckband proving a good fit and stability throughout the workout.

The BackBeat Fit 3100 kept the behind-the-ear hook design, but dropped the neckband. The headphones come in a case that acts as a portable charger that gives up to 10 extra hours of battery life (on top of the 5 hours the earbuds hold themselves).

I’ve now run over 15 hours with the BackBeat Fit 3100, and here is what I think.

Things that I loved

Comfort / Design

In contrast to most other wireless buds, the BackBeat Fit 3100 use ear hooks to stay put. The hooks act as a support, making it literally impossible for the earbuds to slip out while exercising or running.

The in-ears are quite different from others as well: they aren’t soft, but rather rubbery instead. I found that they sit nicely and I didn’t feel any discomfort even after wearing them up to 2 hours. I should note that they don’t come with differently-sized tips or wings to alter the fit. This is really a one-size-fits-all deal, and even though it worked very well for me, you should try them out before buying to avoid disappointment.

The charging case is compact enough to fit in your pocket. Placing in and taking out the buds is easy as there seems to be a magnet for guidance. On the case itself there are LEDs to indicate how many charges are left, and a small button to start the charging.

Just like the older Plantronics models, the material used feels very durable and rugged. The set is sweat-proof and waterproof, like all fitness gadgets should be.

Connectivity

I haven’t experienced any lag or interruptions during my runs. What’s more, the pairing over Bluetooth 5.0 is the simplest and fastest I’ve ever seen. There is no need to download any apps or follow any special instructions for them to work. Once the earbuds are on, they are ‘seen’ by the iPhone and you are really good to go. They also behave well when other Bluetooth devices are around, for example, I was able to switch seamlessly between the new set and my older BackBeat Fit 2100 set. An app is available for those who want to dig deeper into the settings and modify the default functionalities of the buttons.

Sound quality

Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 are open to ambient noise, and there is no noise-cancellation or active insulation features. I personally like that, as I prefer to be aware of my surroundings. It’s a good safety enhancement for those who run outdoors like I do. Inevitably, the audio quality takes a hit due to this open-to-ambience design, but I think that it’s a small price to pay for the safety, stability and comfort of fit. If you are someone who would rather shut everything out acoustically, these earbuds are not for you.

The verdict

I’ve tried a number of true-wireless earbuds from various brands, many of which came packed with smart features that I found I don’t really need. I like to keep things simple, and at the end of the day what matters to me is a comfortable fit, decent battery life and good connectivity.

The Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 tick all the checkboxes for me, and so I will continue using them. If you are looking for a reliable and comfortable wireless earbud set at an affordable price, I really suggest that you give them a chance.

Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 are now available in Singapore in select online and offline stores. For more information check the official site.

* Disclaimer: This review represents the genuine, unbiased views of the author. The author was provided with a free unit. This or similar products have been and might currently be advertised on JustRunLah! via different channels, however, these relationships do not influence the editorial content of reviews.
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5 Things To Look Forward To 2019 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon

It’s Ours to Run

The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ (SCSM) is a running event where individual stories and personal battles converge, and people from all walks of life run alongside each other, cheered on by a supportive community.

It is a race where no one has to lose, so someone else can win; it’s one where we root equally for everybody to cross the finish line.

While we are preparing ourselves to experience this world-class event this November, here are five things everyone should look forward to!

1) First-ever SCSM evening race experience

SCSM was thrilled to announce that the 2019 edition of the race will upgrade the athlete experience with a new 6:00 pm evening flag off on Saturday 30 November for the Marathon, Half Marathon and Ekiden distances while shifting to a three-day event format. The Kids Dash will take place on Friday 29 November while the 5K and 10k races will take place on Sunday 1 December providing a distance for everyone.

These steps were taken to further the appeal of the race for participants and spectators and are a significant step towards the goal of SCSM being inducted into the illustrious Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM), a series of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world.

2) A visual tour for all runners!

Runners, locals and also run-cation visitors, can expect to experience a visual tour in the heart of the lion city for this year’s SCSM. Cultural and historical diversity to lush greenery and a buzzing metropolis that includes modern marvels such as the Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, and The Singapore Flyer will accompany the runners throughout their race.

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2019 Full Marathon Map

3) You will never be alone

It won’t be a lonely battle for the runners as the organisers are introducing the all-new spectator zones! There will be a total of 27 spectators zones expected. These zones will feature a myriad of lifestyle and entertainment offerings across the island for the spectators to cheer you on. With that, it will create a vibrant and uplifting atmosphere for both runners and supporters.

4) A Roaring Front: SCSM 2019 Finisher Medal

Organisers of the SCSM recently unveiled the official medal design for this year’s Marathon category, a second rendition of the “Bold Gold” series. The medal design is fronted by the Merlion, a unique yet deeply-rooted symbol of Singapore, with key elements of the city’s iconic skyline in the background.

5) Exclusive entitlements!

Be Part of The Sea of Blue. The race singlet for this year’s SCSM, by Compressport, is made up of microfibers and is designed to be ultra-light and breathable to keep runners cool throughout the race, no matter the weather.

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2019 Official Race Apparel

Your Ultimate Bragging Rights. Wear it with pride when you crossed the finishing line at SCSM 2019 on 30th November. Exclusive Finisher T-shirts for Marathon (42.195km) finishers only! The Royal Blue T-shirts are for the gentlemen and the ladies will earn a Cool Green Finisher T-shirt.

Exclusive Finisher T-shirt for all Marathon (42.195km) finishers

A phone card case, a cold towel and a digital photo will also be included in your race pack!

Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2019 Official Race Pack

Start preparing for the biggest running event of the year!

For more information about the race, please visit Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2019 (Day 2).

Exclusive: Up to 30% OFF for all our fans!

The promo codes have expired on 22 November 2019, thank you.

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Kill Two Birds With One Stone At NUS Bizad Charity Run 2020

Are you a running junkie or do you prefer to Netflix your day away? Regardless of that, NUS Bizad Charity Run 2020 is a running event made for you. It is a perfect opportunity for you to keep fit, have fun with your family and friends while giving back to society!

About NUS Bizad Charity Run

The year 2020 marks NUS Bizad Charity Run‘s 10th year in contributing back to society. It is a flagship fundraising event organised by the NUS Business School Alumni Association and Bizad Club. They aim to raise funds for those in need while promoting the spirit of contributing to the community by rallying students, staff and alumni of NUS Business School and their friends.

Paying It Forward

All participants (except students) amount will go to NUSBSA Bursary Fund unless specifically specified to:

1) Touch Community Services
A not-for-profit organisation that reaches out to needy people from low-income and single-parent families with difficulties in making ends meet.
– Touch Home Care: taking care of the needs of disadvantaged elderly who are homebound

2) Lim Chin Memorial Fund
Lim Chin Memorial Fund was set up to commemorate the late Professor Lim Chin, who was a faculty at NUS Business School for more than 25 years. This Fund will assist Business undergraduate students with financial burdens in pursuing their tertiary education.

3) Malaysian Community Bursary Fund
To support their fellow Malaysians who are financially-needy Undergraduates by mitigating the costs of obtaining tertiary education in Singapore.

Event Information

When: 11 January 2020, 3:00pm
Where: NUS Business School

Be part of the ‘STARS’

The 5km Fun Run is a fun-filled interactive run around the campus of NUS. With the theme of “STARS”, run with your family and friends and get to play carnival-like games along the run. Complete the three-station games and stand a chance of winning the lucky draw which includes exciting gifts such a Jimmy Choo handbag and more!

Fees:

*Student rate is only applicable for those studying in a primary/secondary/tertiary institution of Singapore with a valid pass.
**Alumni/staff rate is only applicable for all NUS Business School Alumni and staff. NUS MBA/ EMBA Alumni are included.
For FAQ on ticket pricing, please click
here.

5KM Race Route:

Register now!

Wish to Challenge Yourself?

The 10km Run is a competitive/casual run around the campus of NUS. The famous hilly slopes of NUS will challenge runners – it is unlike any other!

Fees:

*Student rate is only applicable for those studying in a primary/secondary/tertiary institution of Singapore under the age of 26.
**Alumni/staff rate is only applicable for all NUS Business School Alumni and staff. NUS MBA/ EMBA Alumni are included.
For FAQ on ticket pricing, please click
here.

10KM Race Route

Register now!

Entitlements for Everyone

Finishers of all categories will receive an official race T-shirt and a dry bag with the commemorative logo. You can also pick the colour of your race pack – Navy blue, black or white! Additionally, 10km participants will receive an exclusive finisher shirt. So, register for 10km if you wish to complete your entitlement set!

10KM Finisher T-shirt

Come and Have Fun!

Bring your family and friends to enjoy a day filled with fun and laughter and at the same time, contribute back to society. There will also be a variety of performances for everyone to enjoy and chill. It is an event made for you.

Looks fun, right? Follow NUS Bizad Charity Run 2020 on Facebook and Instagram for updates. #BCR2020 #10YearsofGiving #arunforALL

What else are you waiting for?
Register now!

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Race Review: HomeTeamNS Real Run 2019 [10km] (by KenJoe)

Photo Credit: Mr Tan Kim Lai.

About #RealRun2019

An annual event, it sets out to promote Regular Exercise and an Active Lifestyle among the Home Team Guardians and their families. As we celebrate Singapore’s Bicentennial in this 24th edition, recognition was given to Lifesavers (SCDF) and Protectors (SPF) who have worked hand-in-hand as Guardians of Singapore to ensure we continue to enjoy safety and security. So it was an elaborate 3 part series run for this year’s RealRun. There were a new bicentennial 18.19km Virtual Lifesavers Run, a 5km Protectors Run, culminating in this October 5th’s RealRun2019. I was given a free slot by JustRunLah for the RealRun2019. I take this opportunity to also thank JRL for giving me support and inspiration as an ordinary Joe to continue running into my second half of my half-century.

Race Pack Collection

I collected the race pack from Velocity@Novena Square without any queuing time using my contact number instead of the usual NRIC. This was to safeguard the protection of personal data which took effect from 1st Sep this year. For me, it was the first time using my contact number as the identifier.

The Race

I woke up at 5.10 am on race day.  After doing my usual pre-race routine I took my cup of coffee and double slices of bread with peanut butter and drove to Gardens By the Bay, the Meadows as I needed to be back for my Tai Chi regular Saturday’s session. I reached the venue by 6:30 am and a fit-looking man in his 50s or perhaps older indicated a gap between the barrier by which I could enter. Later I found out this man was an ‘Encik’ (Warrant Officer in the army) and he was ranked number one in his category. As I walked nearer the Start Line, I saw the word Finish. I started to look around and the Encik said to me, ‘yes, this is correct, this is the Start’. There were only him and myself and another chap further down. Slowly the runners started to walk in and I move myself a bit further behind to let the fast runners and elite runners have their positions. I also saw Runner Kao, a ‘new’ character on the scene who had started producing videos of his running and training quite recently. We are FB friends but he was much farther in front with the crowd that has thickened now.

The race was flagged off in time. The DJs did pre-warn us that there was a little surprise but most of us couldn’t see what was lined up. It was actually the firemen hosing water, crisscrossing the path as the runners were flagged off. I only heard squeals or squawks as the folks dashed across right in front of me as they tried to avoid the full ‘splash’ of water.  After that, it was just ‘serious’ running for me.

The weather was cooperative and it was only after 7.30 am that it felt warmer and when perhaps slower runners would wish for an earlier start. I enjoyed the run. A simple run mostly through the Gardens by the Bay to the Tanjong Rhu Promenade and back. It was 10 km, accurate by any measure, though the markers were slightly off with the second one if I wasn’t mistaken. But subsequent ones make up for it. There were at least two hydration (Pocari Sweat) points but I wasn’t paying much attention as I didn’t plan to stop at any. I had not done as many 10 km races this year so I was testing out my inadequate fast split muscles. And I still had Plantar Fasciitis on my left foot. Got it back somehow after I was recovering from a bad bout of flu-like symptoms through most of August, unfortunately.

In the end, it was not my fastest 10 km pace but I was happy with the timing of 1:09:04.  After grabbing the medal, t-shirt and Pocari Sweat I was back for a quick shower before changing into my usual clothes for the Tai Chi session. Thank you too, to the organizers for a well-organized event. I had noticed different booths on displays and interesting activities going on but didn’t have the time that day to browse through. Results and certificates were also ready within 48 hours.

So next race will be one of the longer distances I use to prep myself up for the SCSM that is coming. Till then, run free, run happy and run safe.

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Review: HomeTeamNS REAL Run 2019 [10KM] (by maylindateo)

This is my first time taking part in HomeTeamNS Real Run. It is an annual run organised by HomeTeamNS. Thank you JustRunLah! for the race slot.

The race was held at The Meadow, Gardens By The Bay on Saturday, 5th October 2019 and flagged off at 7.00 am in waves.

I arrived pretty early at around 6.15 am and many runners had already arrived. I saw many NS men took part in the run. Baggage deposit was available. I did not hear any announcements to gather runners at the starting pen and missed the first wave. The starting and finishing arch was put on the wrong side. At the start, you see the word ‘Finish’ and at the finish, you see the word ‘Start’.

SCDF sprayed water into the sky at the starting line when runners were crossing, making everybody wet. But it was quite an interesting start. We ran around Gardens by the Bay towards Marina Barrage, Gardens by the Bay East and made a U-turn at Tanjong Rhu Promenade. It was a scenic route and the usual training ground for many runners.

Hydration stations were available throughout the route but I only drank at the first station and skipped the others. They served cold Pocari Sweat and Water.

I was running with pain in my left foot and did not have any expectations in terms of timing and just did the best I could. I finished at 1:11 on my watch and was quite satisfied, even though it was not my best time.

Upon finishing, I had to queue for about 5 – 8 minutes to get the finisher entitlements. I was not sure what was the reason for this queue as I seldom encountered this situation. I received a can of Pocari Sweat, a banana, medal and finisher tee.

At the race village, there was a Starbalm massage booth, Pocari Sweat photo booth, hydration, various games available such as shooting, archery, etc. As I needed to rush back home to bring my child to her tuition centre, I did not stay around for long and quickly left.

Other than the minor issues highlighted, the race was well-organised and I enjoyed the run. Well done HomeTeamNS!

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Review: KL Standard Chartered Marathon 2019 (by healthobeing)

First time doing this race although the venue is very near to Singapore.  I was never drawn to do the capital races around ASEAN region except for Jakarta Marathon which was done because a friend happened to be posted there for work.

Registration for the race is the same online form.  The good thing is there is no need to ballot unlike most SCMs.  Taking the Half Marathon instead of FM, as I kind of felt I did too much FM and it is not quality enough. Maybe I should perfect the HM then think about running so much FM.  Well, many schools of thoughts on this.  Bought a small elephant plush toy at the same time for donation to a local hospice.  The elephant plush turns out to be quite cute and a perfect gift for my nieces.

My favourite Uncle Chin chicken rice on Air Asia

Elephant Plush toy for SCMKL charity hospice

Race pack collection venue

Race Goodie bag

Race Pack Collection

At the race venue

Collection was at the Tun Razak Plaza, it is quite a huge convention centre and there were many participants from around the world.  Really good to see so many runners coming together again.  There is also a race expo after the collection where the runners can buy some last-minute products for preparation of the race.

Crowded at the entrance

Felt like in Singapore SCMS

The green drawstring bag holds your running bib, with the event tee and also some coupons for discounts and stuff.  There was also a sunscreen which you can use for shielding off the sun.

Collection Counter

Rest and Relax Before the Race

Our Hotel room

This time, I went with the Tortoise runners again.  A small gang of 3 ladies and 2 men.  We have 2 people doing the half marathon, me and Alice, the rest, Daphne, Fowler and Kevin were doing the 10km.  So this time no one did the Full marathon.

We stayed at the Arenaa Star Hotel which was very near to the start and finish line for HM and FM.  It is rather spacious and the toilets were good and functioning.

This time I did not get to shop much only went to a mall near to KLCC just to meet our other 2 friends, Gary and Suat Har and have dinner.  After dinner, I did a one hour massage.  It really helped to relief some of the muscle stress that I had since I had been running a bit more to train for a marathon.

Race Route

Along the route

The race starts at 5:30 am at the Dataran Merdeka.  This is like a big open field in the city centre.  The area is huge and good for races as the big field serves as a good event space for all.  For the 21km route, it is simply one big loop start from the same place and end the same place.  Much of the route was on high way, although there were slopes here and there, I felt it was manageable.  We were lucky that the infamous haze was cleared before we came and the air quality was good.  This was coupled by the cool weather with a light shower the night before.  The full marathoners got caught in the rain but not for long.

Bag drop area

With Alice, only both of us were doing the HM

To the start line

There were really quite ample space for all to run and the water stations were long enough with volunteers dishing out water and isotonic drinks for all. Some stations were equipped with cold sponges which really helped to relief the heat and also bananas.

In the beginning

About 5km before the ending ( so I remember) there was an arch of mist for those who needed some cooldown. But I personally felt that it was not that great and did not like it.

Photographers could be seen all around.  So there is not worry not to get any photos.  I must say, there were many strong female runners at the HM this time.  As usual, I got overtaken by some of them towards the end.

Finishing

Finisher Medal

So the last 2 km sees us right back through to the Merdeka Square.  Already quite tired and lost of motivation.  I pushed myself through, the best part is from afar you could see the finishing line and the timing clock.  Makes you want to push just a little bit more to finish it all up.  Was surprised when I crossed the line and one volunteer passed me the Potential Winner tag.  I was really not expecting and just wanted to push myself for the best that’s all.

Finishers get a medal (only FM gets the Finisher tee).  A bag filled with refreshment was dished out to the finishers.  It was good so you can put all your stuff inside while making your way to the bag drop tent which was quite a distance from the ending.  This time round I was kind of stuck in the winners’ tent and did not walk around to see what was in store at the finish line.  Met many people along the way, mostly Singaporean and Malaysian friend runners and of course the good friend I met in Malaysia Women Marathon , Ms Bee Hong, who is also a running star in Malaysia.  Missed my target with a slower gun time, I hope I will be able to improve it in the up coming race.

Whole group on the way to the airport

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My Running Injuries and My Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur 2019 [HM] (by Lingderella)

A few days before SCKLM I thought haze seems gone and it looks safe to say the race may carry on and indeed race did went ahead and it’s really lucky as the previous week many races around Malaysia was cancelled due to haze. But just two days before race, it wasn’t so lucky for me. On Friday early morning when the sky still dark dark I very hardworking went for a run, then tripped on a tree root that protrudes out from the pavement and I flew for three seconds in the air then piak on the floor with 2 knees and 2 palms down 😭 It felt like a three seconds fall as I have the time to scold myself before I found myself on the ground. I do need a pair of glasses actually so pardon me if I didn’t say hi first as I can’t recognise you unless you are just 5 centimetres near 😆

To consider the amount of days I run compared to the number of times I fell and injured myself during a run, after doing some PSLE maths calculation is an estimation of perhaps just 0.3% 😙 Not that bad though. At least there’s no strain or sprain. At least nobody saw. Damn, I’m good at consoling myself 😂 It’s not a light fall so I sat aside to make sure other than the bleeding parts I am not nauseous or giddy before I go wash up.

Didn’t attend any first aid course before but well, it’s not the first time I had a fall 😂 When I was 12, I had a very bad fall and I consulted a GP because I vomited after that fall. After that went to the nurses for a couple of times for dressing till I feel that I’m rather good at handling minor wounds and be able to do some simple dressing myself. So I cleaned my wound and make sure no more soil or debris or hair which I found on my wounds remains there 😫 Fortunately, my wound is healing well now.

This was my 4th SCKLM, Willis and I ran the half marathon category. It was guaranteed slots for us as we were past participants. We collected our race pack on Saturday at Putra World Trade Centre where the race expo was held. It was rather out of the way and I prefer it to be at the location near Petronas Twin Tower. It’s a long but fast moving queue for collection of bib and singlet/tee and we were out shortly. It’s also the day for kids dash and the 5km race and friendship run as well whereas the rest of the categories flags off the next day.

Don’t say bo jio, there’s 7 Standard Chartered Marathons on Earth. In Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taipei, Dubai, Jersey and Nairobi. I’ve so far ran in 3 countries and I think this would be the sequence I hope to complete all the 7 SCM if I were to complete the whole series 😊 If got a special medal or something like the Abott WMM I might be motivated to complete all the 7 SCM. Hong Kong for the next year have to consider wisely for those who wants to go as protests is still ongoing. Taipei’s Standard Chartered Marathon registration for January 2020 is now opened 😏

On race day, Willis and I walked to the race site near to our stay at Space Hotel. It’s very interesting as we sleeps inside a capsule designed like space capsule. It’s an awesome stay and it’s cheap, will definitely want to stay there again as it’s clean, I had good sleeps and it’s a comfortable stay. I give it 2 thumbs up! 😍 It’s also just about a 5 minutes walk to Dataran Merdeka the race venue.

Flag off was on time at 5.30am. It was a great morning without haze. Not sure of the temperature but it’s Malaysia and there’s no winter here. I got all sweaty and wet by the first few km.

Sibeh sian 1/2, it’s the time of the month for me again. Comparing the pain ratio of my wound from the fall to the pain from dysmenorrhea is 2:7. Think I will just cry father cry mother all the way till I hit menopause maybe? 😂 Well, the correct thing to do ladies, is to visit the gynaecologist and find the cause and solve the problem.

As usual, the pampered me got Willis to run the entire distance with me except for that 2 to 3km when he went to the portable toilet and catch up with me shortly. Then it’s my turn for the toilet, I went twice 🐒 The toilet on the expressway after the toll was really a heaven compared to the portable toilet which I can faint 😖 But no choice I gotta use the toilet so I just train my legs like a kungfu half-squat 😂 Willis waited for me. I’m an injured person so I have the privilege to run first while he catch up 😆


I think that about 3/4 of the route is running on the expressway so not really much to sightsee. There’s many upslopes as well but still manageable for me as it’s a rather lazy run for me as my average heart rate was rather low and I only have a total of 5 minutes in zone 4 and 5. Not every race must chiong, when the time not right just enjoy the race and complete will be good enough. Since I wasn’t feeling well, shouldn’t torture myself. Not worth to take my health and life up for a gamble.

Unfortunately, there was an accident of hit and run and the injured runners was sent to the hospital. It was a rented car and the driver was arrested as the car rental company lodge a police report.

About every 2km there’s hydration point off carbonated 100 Plus and Plain water but I aim for the cold ones which the volunteers just freshly poured 😂 Not cold not shiok lah! 😆 Also, I took cold sponges and enjoyed the bananas.

Something new this year was that the aid station provides ice cubes inside surgical gloves 😍 It’s for icing purpose lah but I put one of the ice cube inside my mouth hoping the hygiene was alright then held it in my neck to cool myself 😆

Like always, very soon Willis and I were finishing the race. Like always, the last km is full of supporters and photographers. The spirit was high and shortly we are collecting our finisher entitlements. A pretty finisher medal and a cold can of 100 Plus, a banana and a pear. There’s mostly the booths from the race expo at the race village as well but Willis and I left immediately as we have plans for a day trip to go Genting Highlands for sight seeing.

I will want to run SCKLM again next year as it’s like a short vacation away from the hectic life in Singapore and KL is quite convenient to get to from Singapore. Though it’s my 4th year at KL, every year there’s different tourist attractions to go to and I still have places in KL I want to visit 😊

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The Best Strength Training Exercises for Your Next 10K

Strength training has been well established as an important part of a healthy lifestyle. It is even more important for runners for optimal performance. A large amount of time they spend running puts a large amount of strain on their joints, ligaments, and bones; and this is true for the entire body, not just the legs. However, with the right exercise regimen, this strain can be beneficial by providing an adequate balance of strength, endurance and flexibility throughout the body.

Strength Training Is Imperative To Full Body Stability

Running can easily lead to injury from the use of the same muscles and joints over and over again. Strength training can help maintain a healthy balance of muscle strength and flexibility, minimizing any compensatory movements or habits the body could attain with a singular activity (like running!). Plus, lifting promotes optimized oxygen utilization of the muscles and increases the health and tensile capabilities of connective tissue (ligaments and tendons).

The Power Of Specificity

Some runners still think that strength training can affect their running form negatively. They argue that to improve and stay fit for running, all they have to do is run. While it is essential to run regularly if you want to be a good runner, strength training can magnify it. Of course, a runner’s strength routine should be specific to the muscle groups that are commonly used and prone to developing injuries or imbalances with running. This means a generic lifting routine won’t cut it.

According to Treadmill Reviews, “with the right routine, you will maximize your strength, endurance, and speed for running in addition to minimizing injury risk.”

Basic Strength Routine You Should Start Today:

Opt for 2-3 times per week for 30-60 minutes. To build endurance try 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions (or more!), to build strength try for 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions. Choose weight or resistance that is challenging but still allows good form. For added cardio benefits, try taking fewer breaks between sets.

Mix these 5 basic categories up each week to keep your muscles from plateauing and make steady progress.

Core

Core strength is important for good running power, particularly with rotation since it is a key motion for coordinated running.

  • Planks. Get on your hands and knees to start. Keep your hands directly under your shoulders as you lift your knees off the ground to assume a straight line from your head to toes. Keep your abdominals tight. You can start on your knees if needed instead. To progress, try adding alternating leg and/or arm lifts.
  • Standing rotation. Stand perpendicular to a secured resistance cable or band (the secured band will face one of your sides), assume a slight squat while holding the cable with both hands in the center of your chest. Tighten your core as you push the cable straight out in front of you. The resistance will try to rotate your spine, your goal is to maintain control and prevent this rotation. To progress, try standing on one leg or a Bosu ball. (Confused? Check out this video.)

Lunge

This move challenges the body in a position that is very functional for running while addressing hip strength and balance.

  • Static lunge with bicep curls. Assume a deep lunge position (ensuring the knee of the front leg stays behind the toes). Holding a weight in both hands, complete a bicep curl by bending the elbows to bring the weight up toward the shoulders. Don’t forget to switch legs. To progress, try adding a small downward pulse with each arm curl to deepen the lunge. You can also try other various arm movements in this position, such as tricep extensions, an upright row, or an overhead press.
  • Half-kneeling with an overhead press. This is a great way to build hip and core stability. Assume a half-kneeling position (you’re on one knee while the other leg is out in front balancing on the foot), the closer the front leg is to the middle of your body, the more challenging it is for balance (again make sure the knee is behind the toes). With a lighter weight in the arm opposite the front leg, lift overhead until you reach a “Y” position. To progress, try kneeling on a softer surface. You can also add other movements with the arms such as a one-armed row or bicep curl.

Back And Arms

These extension biased moves will help keep your butt and entire back strong.

  • Prone extension. Lying on your stomach, assume a starfish position. Tighten the core (to prevent overextending the back) as you lift the arms and legs off the ground. Focus on squeezing the glutes and shoulder blades as you hold for 3-5 seconds. To progress try bringing the arms overhead as you lift or alternate lifting the opposite arm and leg together.
  • Bent over row. With the legs, a comfortable distance apart, lean forward until the back is parallel with the floor. With weights in your hands in front, bend the elbows (while keeping them close to the body) as you bring the arms back and squeeze the shoulder blades together. Focus on keeping the neck relaxed. To progress or modify, try a fly motion by bringing the arms out to the side (into a “T”) or adding a tricep extension at the end of each motion repetition.
  • Squats with an arm “chop.” With a weight in one hand, squat to touch the weight to your opposite ankle. As you come back up to standing, push the weight up overhead (above the same shoulder you’re holding the weight in). Using one arm at a time promotes rotational strength of the body. Make sure to keep good squat form with a neutral spine and knees behind the toes. To progress move to a single leg squat (try without any arm movements first and progress if tolerated).

Ankle Stability

Having good strength and stability at each part of the lower body promotes optimal balance for running. Ankles can often be the “weakest link.”

  • Heel raises. The simple exercise of lifting the heels is great for runners. It should be easy to progress to single leg raises and standing on unstable surfaces like foam while performing them.
  • Single leg balance on an unstable surface. This can include a bosu ball, dynamics disk, grass, foam pad, etc. Just standing and breathing may be enough of a challenge. Eventually progress by adding wavelike motions, such as bringing the knee to chest or arms out to the side or up.

The Butt

The glute muscles are large powerhouses for hip extension with running. The main focus should be on the gluteus medius, a smaller muscle group that helps provide lateral stability of the hip with single leg activity.

  • Bridges. Lying on your back with the knees bent, lift the butt and hips off the ground. Keep the core tight and focus on squeezing the butt. To progress, try lifting one leg off the ground first before coming up with the other. You can also add alternating overhead arm movements with or without weight in your hands.
  • Standing hip abduction. A burner for that gluteus medius! Stand with a cable or band tied around the ankle that is farthest away (again facing perpendicular), the cable should come across the front of your body to attach. Balancing on the opposite leg, bring the leg out to the side. Don’t bend forward at the hips and keep the toes pointing forward (not out to the side). To further challenge your balance, try adding arm exercises with it or standing on a softer surface.

Running is basically an extended series of alternating single leg balance while rotating the body in a coordinated fashion. With this in mind, you can see there are lots of options to challenge these key components. You don’t have to get bored or feel strength training has no place for you. With the right exercises, your running experience will only get better.

Good luck!

Guest author bio: Kevin Jones is a full-time professional fitness expert. When he isn’t in the gym, he is offering practical research, fitness plans and nutritional tips to the world. Kevin regularly contributes to many fitness and health authority websites. With a passion for family, fun, and fitness, Kevin has found a way to manage and combine these three aspects in an effective and successful way.

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Race Review: Bangkok Midnight Marathon 2019 (Full Marathon) by Neyton Tan

Few days before I stumbled across this Bangkok Midnight Marathon ad on Facebook, my wife told me that she doesn’t mind going for a weekend trip to Bangkok for shopping and massage. When I saw it, I thought it was perfect timing! It would add nicely to our long list of runcation (or tri-cation, if it’s a thing) this year.

Race Expo

The race expo was located just within Makkasan BTS – Airport Rail Link and it was very convenient to go there by train. There were not that many people when we came to collect the race pack. Everything was prompt and we got our bags in no time. Interestingly, when we received our bags, we were asked to choose A, B, or C sticker which indicates our running pace (fast, medium, slow). There’s no clear indication of what is considered fast/medium/slow pace (in terms of mins/km) so it’s based on each individual perception. I chose A and wondered how this method would turn out on the race day.

There were sponsor booths, shoes and apparels booths, stage for games and lucky draw announcement, and food vendors at the expo. The best part of the expo is the shoe spa where you can bring your running shoes for cleaning. The results seemed to be really good and the service was fast. It was too bad I didn’t bring my running shoes then. 

Time-lapse of the Expo from start to end

Race

The full marathon started at 1 am. Considering the roadblock, I decided to take Grab Bike at 12midnight to start point and it seemed to be a good decision. It only took me 5 mins to get there! It was cheap, fast and no communication required to the driver as the destination was already on the map. There were already a lot of people in each pen (A, B, C) doing their warm-up exercise. The Thais do take their warm-up seriously. There were few pacer groups with time splits already body-stickered to their arms (good idea). The race started on time and surprisingly, the A/B/C ‘self-decide’ pace turned out pretty well. Runners in my pen had a relatively similar pace and no human traffic jam.

Overall, the route was good – big roads, plenty fairy lights at the streets, passing by quite a few of landmarks along the way which I never knew they exist, plenty of hydration points and the distance was quite accurate. It was a flat route with few slopes heading up the highway. The highway was a long stretch out and back, so there was nothing else to see here. Z monster was the main concern here, and luckily for me, I was running with a Thai runner where there were no conversations but just rhythmic cadence for both of us along the route. Once we made the U-turn, he picked up speed and I continued to keep to my pace alone.

It was then that I was hit by ITB flare and decided to slow down knowing that I was well before my target sub 4-hour pace. Once I head down the highway back to the streets I knew that it was the home stretch. The only minor setback was there were few junctions at the latter half of the route which was not completely closed to motorists and runners were occasionally stopped to give way to the cars and bikes. Weather was fine, not hot nor humid though I can’t say it was cooling considering it was 1 – 5 am. There were zero spectators throughout the route so not much for ambience but again, it was a midnight marathon. There were tons of photographers along the route and I wonder how many of them were official photographers. Camera flashes were non-stop during the first and last 10km so I tried to keep my best smile always while kept pushing for the run.

Post Race

After crossing the finish line, I was directed to a booth where the volunteer scanned my bib and gave me a print out of my timing and rank. I finished 8th out of 132 foreigner male category and 75th out of 2053 male finisher for male marathon category! My finish time is far from my personal best but the rank is good enough that I am entitled to get cute monkey plushie given to the first 100th finisher. I realized that there are different animal plushie given for different category as my wife got an elephant plushie for finishing 100th in female half marathon category. Interesting concept I must say to give a gift (though small) to motivate participants to do better.

The finisher area looks like a huge expo with many food vendors, photo backgrounds, sponsor booths, medical and massage tents. Finisher area for the full marathon and other distance categories are separated with almost equal size. I have never seen so much food provided after a race. Pad thai, noodle soup, dumplings, chocolate milk, Thai milk tea, you name it. They come from different vendors with a separate tent and queue for each vendor.

Technically, you can only choose one as the volunteer ticked the bib to indicate food has been collected but some of them are free for all. I went for a few rounds of food (who eats so much after running a marathon? I do!) and walked around the finisher area while waiting for the plushie collection time.

Verdict

It’s pleasant to be able to enjoy Bangkok night view with no traffic jam, something that you’ll never get to see in the city centre of Bangkok unless you run at wee hours. Overall, it was a well-organized race, fuss-free trip, relatively low budget and no leave required. Also, if you’re into ranking, you might have a shot to the podium here. Will I be back? Sure, why not!

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40,000 Runners Turn Dataran Into Sea of Blue For KLSCM2019

KUALA LUMPUR, Sunday, 29 September 2019: Dataran Merdeka was awash in blue when 40,000 runners took part in the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon (KLSCM) 2019 today. The 11 th edition of the premier distance running event in Malaysia also saw YB Syed Saddiq, Minister of Youth and Sports, make his debut in the event by participating in the Half Marathon category. Also present were YB Khalid Samad, Minister of Federal Territories and YB, Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industries, who also took part in the Half Marathon.

Contributing to the record participation numbers was one of the largest Full Marathon fields seen in an event in Malaysia when more than 13,000 runners took part in the category. An equally impressive 12,500 runners ran in the Half Marathon, making two of the longer distance categories the most well-represented, which is a testimony to the growing popularity of distance running in the country.

Victor Kipchirchir, from Kenya, who was making his debut appearance at KLSCM won the Full Marathon Men’s Open category in a time of 2:19:41 to take home USD17,500 while the Full Marathon Women’s Open category was won by Gladys Jepkemoi Chemweno from Kenya in a time of 2:36:45 also earning USD17,500 in the process.

Kiprop Tonui from Kenya came in second in the Full Marathon Men’s Open with a time of 2:20:05 while Tallam James Cherutich, also from Kenya finished third in a time of 2:21:04. In the Full Marathon Women’s Open, defending champion Elizabeth Chepkanan Rumokol from Kenya had to settle for second place in a time of 2:41:48 while Ngigi Pauline from Kenya took third place with a time of 2:45:44.

The Full Marathon Malaysian Men’s category was a keenly contested affair as Muhaizar bin Mohamad and his compatriot in the Armed Forces Nik Fakaruddin bin Ismail went toe-to-toe for most of the race. KL SEA Games bronze medallist Muhaizar though broke away towards the end, managing to defend his title and in doing so won this category for an astonishing fifth consecutive time, finishing in 2:35:23. Nik Fakaruddin finished second in 2:40:31 while Fabian @ Osmond bin Daimon came in third in a time of 2:45:06. The Full Marathon Malaysian Women’s category saw Loh Chooi Fern defend her maiden win in KLSCM2018 in a time of 3:21:33 while Tho Siaw Khim clocked 3:29:42 to come in second and Yap Yee Ling got third place in a time of 3:30:50.

FM Open winner Kipchirchir was delighted with his maiden Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon win. “It was a tough race as I have never run in this type of heat before but my preparation was good,” Kipchirchir said. “I am happy to be able to win in my first race in Kuala Lumpur and I hope to come back next year,” he continued.

Muhaizar was also thrilled to have retained his title, especially after the intense competition with training partner Nik Fakaruddin. “I think running and winning in KLSCM before gave me a slight advantage over the other competitors as I know what to expect and so made the right strategy,” he said. “This win will help boost my confidence ahead of the SEA Games in Manila in November and I hope to be able to bring back a medal,” he added.

Rainer Biemans, Project Director of KLSCM and Director of Dirigo Events, said “The 11th edition of KLSCM has proven to be an exciting two days that has seen some great competitions in our top categories, which has added to the lustre of our biggest event yet. It has also been and honour and a privilege having both YB Syed Saddiq and YB Dr. Ong Kian Ming participate in our Half Marathon, and my heartfelt thanks go out to them for supporting our event and I hope they enjoyed themselves out there today. We are also grateful for YB Khalid Samad’s presence and for giving out prizes”, he continued.

Syed Saddiq flagged off the Half Marathon category along with Abrar A. Anwar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of title sponsor Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia before joining in the run.

Credit: Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon 2019

“For someone who’s more a cyclist than a runner, that was pretty challenging! But crossing that finish line was extremely fulfilling and I’m really happy to have made it within the cut-off time. I can see now how participating in distance running events such as this can be tremendously rewarding so kudos to Dirigo Events, Standard Chartered Bank and to everyone else who had a hand in putting together this fantastic event,” said Syed Saddiq. “My congratulations as well to all the winners and to all who participated and achieved their running goals,” he continued.

Anwar. A. Abrar, MD and CEO of Standard Chartered Malaysia, who took part in yesterday’s Friendship Run as well, was delighted with the massive turnout over the two days and hoped the event would continue to attract the running masses for many more years to come.

“Being title sponsor for the last 11 years, Standard Chartered Malaysia is delighted that we’ve once again managed to successfully pull off this event with our biggest numbers to date.

From pioneering the concept of being the first running event to run through iconic landmarks in Kuala Lumpur, KLSCM has never stood still and has set the benchmark and gold standard for running events in Malaysia,” said Abrar.

Credit: Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon 2019

While KLSCM is a competitive event, it has been built with a community focus at its core and that community element was brought to the fore this year when KLSCM’s Run For A Reason (RFAR) charity initiative raised its highest amount in terms of funds raised compared to previous years. RFAR is an integral component of KLSCM and this year, participating charities the National Cancer Society of Malaysia, Dignity for Children Foundation and Hospis Malaysia will benefit from over RM890,000 worth of funds raised by over 1,000 RFAR participants, together with the Corporate Challenge. “We are extremely happy to have raised a record amount under our RFAR charity banner and our sincere thanks go out to all involved who made this possible,” said Biemans.

The record numbers did not end there as the event also saw its largest number of running tourists as well when more than 1,900 from 49 countries arrived in Kuala Lumpur to take part in the iconic event. Add another 10,020 Malaysians who came from outside of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor to make it a particularly busy weekend for the city.

One particularly inspiring tourist was Chris Koch, a farmer, athlete, adventurer and motivational speaker who flew in from Canada to participate. Born without limbs, Chris has been travelling the world and participating in marathons to spread his “If I Can” message to as many people as possible in the hopes of motivating them to get the most out of their lives. Using a longboard to traverse the Full Marathon route, Chris took part in his eighth marathon on a third continent when he completed his marathon here. “I was prepared for the heat and humidity because I knew it would be way more than I’m used to, however, starting so early was different. On the course, other marathoners are usually so encouraging and supportive but here, they were even more so. That definitely has me wanting to come back for another,” Koch said.

KLSCM2019 began with the Kids Dash categories yesterday morning that saw another record when 1,000 children participated in the 1km and 3km categories. Both categories were expanded this year to encourage more children to participate and also saw speed categories introduced for both distances in a move to separate the competitive children from the fun runners.

For the first time, the 5km category was also held yesterday morning to allow for larger participation numbers today and incorporated the Friendship Run, meant to be a warm-up run for those taking part in the Full Marathon, as well as an opportunity for runners from around the world to meet and forge friendships.

Credit: Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon 2019

Towards the end of the event, the KLSCM running community gathered at the Finish Line to cheer and provide moral support to the last runners to finish within the check-out time of 7:15 hours. These runners had given their all to finish the race and were given a rousing end replete with confetti blasts to coax them home within the required time.

The Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon has grown year-on-year to become the most anticipated distance running event in Malaysia, where for the first time this year public registrations had to be balloted. The premier running event once again saw Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia returning as title sponsor, along with a host of returning and new sponsors, including Seiko, Under Armour, 100 Plus, Jaybird, TudungPeople, Banana Boat and Pacific Regency. The event is owned and organised by Dirigo Events with venue host Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur.

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).

For more information about the event,
click here.

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2017 SEA Games Medalist Clement Chow Tops At Inaugural Singapore National Triathlon Championship

Photo Credit: Orange Room

A week after Sebastian Vettel dethrone reigning Singapore F1 Champion Lewis Hamilton in Singapore, Singapore East Coast Park saw a surge of more 1500 local and foreign triathletes from 6 continents from Asia, Oceania, Africa, North and South America and Europe to race the lion city.

Singaporean male triathletes clean swept all 3 top sots at the Singapore National Triathlon Championship with 2017 SEA Games Medalist Clement Chow took the top spot with a time of 2 hours 5 minutes and 59 seconds ahead of Wille Loo and Aaron Lee who competed in 2 hours 6 minutes and 34 seconds and 2 hours 19 minutes and 17 seconds respectively.

Photo Credit: Orange Room

25-year-old Vietnamese Ms Kim Tuyen Nguyen Thi took the crown of the Singapore National Championship with an excellent swim leg of 27 minutes with more than 4 minutes ahead and finished with a time of 2 hours 31 minutes and 52 seconds. Malaysian Aimi Iwasaki and Vietnamese Thuy Vi Pham finished closed with a time of 2 hours 34 minutes and 5 seconds and 2 hours 38 minutes and 9 seconds respectively.

Elvin Ting, Managing Director of Orange Room Pte Ltd said, “Almost 11 years in hosting the triathlon makes it enjoyable for not only season athletes but also first-timers in a short fast racecourse. Through this race, we also hope to attract more foreign triathletes to join in the Singapore triathlon scene and also to motivate local Singapore to join in the sport.”

Photo Credit: Orange Room

For full results of the Singapore International Triathlon do check out at triathlon.sg.

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The World’s Most Famous Marathons

Credit: Abbott World Marathon Majors

There is obviously a lot of history around marathons in general. Most people know the story of Pheidippides in 490 BC running from Marathon to Athens to announce the defeat of the Persians to all those waiting Athenians.

Each of the great marathons known as the World’s Major Marathons has its own interesting history as well. While the runners may not be running to tell of victory on the battlefield, they are performing a feat of endurance, skills, and tactical running that deserves to be celebrated.

Here we are going to look at those great sporting events.

Tokyo

One of the younger of the world marathons, dating back just as far as 2007, marathons in Tokyo do have a longer history. This marathon is a combination of the Tokyo International Marathon and the Tokyo New York Friendship Marathon that took place on alternating years, until being combined.

It was a selection race for the World Championships in Athletics in Osaka in 2007, where 25,000 people signed up.

February 2014 saw Dickson Chumba win with a record time of 2:05:42, which was only the second time someone had run below 2:06 in Japan, and the runner up Tadese Tola also came in under 2:06.

Dickson Chumba wins the 2014 Tokyo Marathon (Tokyo Marathon Foundation). Credit: IAAF

The marathon has consistently attracted over 300,000 applicants.

To run as an elite runner you have run 2:23 for men, and 2:54 for women for the full marathons.

Berlin

Credit: Giti

Giti Tire supports the BMW Berlin Marathon, which has been going since 1974, usually during the last weekend of September, apart from 2000 because of a scheduling clash with the Olympics, and 2018 because of German Unity Preparations.

There are a whole host of great events centred around the marathon that are split across two days, including inline skaters who compete on the course the Saturday before the marathon, and that Saturday also sees powerwalker hand-bikers, wheelchair riders, and a kid’s marathon.

In 2018, not only was a new course record set by Eliud Kipchoge, but also a world record with a time of 2:01:39, which beat the previous record by 1:18 minutes set by Dennis Kimetto. There was also a course record set in the women’s race of that year, with Gladys Cherono, also of Kenya, achieving a time of 2:18:11, and her runner up Ruti Aga with a time of 2:18:34, and the person in third place, all beating the previous course record of 2:19:12.

Boston

The most viewed sporting event in New England, the Boston Marathon has grown a lot since the 15 participants that ran the course back in 1897 when it first started. Now you are looking at an annual sign up of around 30,000 people.

It’s Centennial Race saw it become the largest marathon in the world. It is the oldest annual marathon in the world. It starts in Hopkinton in Middlesex County and ends in Copley Square in Boston.

The course record for the men is held by Geoffrey Mutai for 2:03:02 from 2011, and the women’s record is held by Buzunesh Deba for 2:19:59.

500,000 spectators gather every year for the marathon, and there are some great features of the marathon, such as the Scream Tunnel where students line the course and scream and offer kisses. The Boston Red Sox also play a game every year which then empties out into Kenmore Square to cheer the runners.

London

Since 1981 people have been running this marathon around the Thames every spring, with the most recent event taking place on Sunday, 28 April 2019.

It was inspired by the New York Marathon and was started by a former Olympic Champion and journalist called Chris Brasher, and athlete John Disley.

It currently ends at The Mall, but used to end at Constitution Hill originally, and Westminster Bridge for 12 years.

Having raised over $450 million since 1991 they hold the Guinness World Record as the largest annual fundraising event in the world, and 2007 was notable for having 78% of the runners raising money.

The current course record holders are Eliud Kipchoge for 2:02:37 from 2019, and 2:15:25 from 2003 for Paula Radcliffe for the women’s race.

Eliud Kipchoge. Time of 2:02:37 and is the second-fastest marathon time ever run on a record-eligible course. Credit: Runner’s World

Chicago

Every October, on either the first or second Sunday before Columbus Day the fourth-largest race in the world descends on Chicago.

It was inaugurated in 1977, and at that point only had 4,200 runners, to become one of the fastest-growing marathons in the world.

It has an official limit of 45,000 runners and only those clocking in under 6 and half hours are officially timed. The limited race entries do not include elite runners and legacy finishers, or those who are representing a charity when they are running.

Dennis Kimetto holds the current course record for the men’s race, which he set at 2:03:45 in 2013. Paula Radcliffe set the women’s race course record in 2002 at 2:17:18.

New York

Started 49 years ago in 1970, and inspiring the London Marathon, among others. This marathon, which stretches through the five boroughs, is the largest marathon in the world with 52,812 finishers in 2018.

It is is one of the top races in the US, alongside the Boston Marathon, and only Hurricane Sandy was able to stop it in its tracks in 2012.

The requirements to run in the New York Marathon are set out as part of their 9+1 program, where you either run nine sponsored races and donate $1000 dollars or volunteer at a tenth event. The other qualification is that you have completed 15 or more New York Marathons, or if you meet the qualification standards.

Credit: New York Road Runners Media Centre

The events are great to watch, and even if it is the excellence of the top athletes that compels you, or the human drama of some of the amateur runners, and their determination to cross that finish line, all of these marathons really do exemplify a strength of spirit in the athletes, and also excellent sportsmanship. They are a joy to watch.

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Malaysia Book of Records Attempt (by Alison Walker)

Credit: Sri chimnoy Marathon Team

I sat at the race briefing of the Self Transcendence 24 Hour Race at the Tooting Bec athletics track in a bit of disbelief as to what I was attempting to do in 24 hours. A few weeks ago, I had written to the Malaysia Book of Records to see if they were interested in recording my performance in this race as there are no official websites in Malaysia which properly lists the 24 hour running times and based on DUV, I thought that I stood a realistic chance in setting a decent distance over the 24 hours.

I started ultra-running this year (2019), being fed up of forever chasing times over the marathon distance because everyone did it. Truth was, I did not enjoy marathons, and I frankly hated the training. I wanted to be able to run freely, for however long or short I wanted, whenever I wanted, many times a day if I so wished. Having listened to Vassos Alexander’s book ‘Running up that hill’, a particular race interested me – Spartathlon. So I looked up the qualification criteria and set out to meet it.

I signed up to the Samphire 100, a trail looped course in the middle of winter to try and achieve this goal of sub 22 hour 100 miles. In typical British weather, there were gale force winds of up to 86mph gusts along the coast of Dover. I told myself, if I don’t reach it this time, it’s ok because the weather was bad. Cutting the long story short, I managed 21:36 and qualified for Spartathlon. So I set out to find my next challenge, as my qualifying time was too late for the 2019 draw.

I slowly met some friends in the ultra-running community in London who have done all the iconic races and they suggested the Tooting 24, which brings together 45 of the most experienced and promising ultra runners from all over the world to overcome the mental and physical challenge of running a 24-hour race over a 400m track. No navigation required – great, I get lost trying to find food, let alone running…

A week after I submitted my application, I got the acceptance email. So I sat down with my coach (Peter McHugh, Run Fast) to plan my schedule for the race. In his words – this will be a challenge both mentally and physically, so we need to get you absolutely ready for this. I have also been working with a strength and conditioning coach (Graham Ferris) to ensure that my muscles can take the load.

Training

An example of a training week during the peak weeks look like this:

Monday: 10 miles easy
Tuesday: 7 miles easy (AM), 8 miles with 4-5miles of track effort (5-10k pace)
Wednesday: 8 miles (AM), strength and conditioning (PM)
Thursday: 18 miles tempo session (AM), 7 miles recovery (PM)
Friday:10 miles easy
Saturday: 12 miles hills plus warm-up and cool down
Sunday: 20 miles long run

Credit: Sri chimnoy Marathon Team

Sometimes the week varies with extra-long training runs or racing fatigued. I do 45-mile night runs with my ultra friends starting at 10 pm and ending at sunrise; or a 30 mile run at the weekend.

Race day 

Given that it was autumn and the previous weeks of weather were nearer 10 degrees, London had an Indian summer which saw temperatures rise to 26+ degrees. Whilst this doesn’t sound hot for Malaysia, everything is relative. Temperatures in September are normally around 17 degrees, which was more optimal racing temperatures. But the upside was, we won’t be freezing at night!

I was very nervous about the heat as the temperatures were due to remain high with thunderstorms forecast. It was also the longest, and possibly furthest distance I would ever run on a flat track. The most amazing part of the race was having a personal lap counter (as well as chip timing), who acknowledges you on every lap and lets you know when you hit key distances like marathon, 50 miles, 100k etc. It brings the race to a more personable level and it was really lovely. 

There were many regulars at this race, including veteran Geoffrey Oliver, who at 86, still runs these races and maintains a consistent speed throughout the race. He is an inspiration to all and he set 8 world records in the race last year!

Early stages of the race

I ran most of the first 4 hours with my teammate, George Lloyd, who is a seasoned ultra runner. We kept the pace chatty, and it was good to have company because we were running around a 400m track and needed some mental stimulation.

Credit: Sri chimnoy Marathon Team

My husband, Matt, was my main crew anchorman, accompanied by George’s wife, Laura. They kept on top of filling our bottles and making sure we were eating something every hour.

The direction changes every 4 hours, which was a relief on the hips and knees due to the repetition. 

I struggled to fuel in the heat and was trying not to throw up (like many in the race), so kept the pace to feel. I changed kit when salt started to crust on my tops to try and mitigate chaffing.

My fuel consisted of – Precision Hydration sachets, Maurten Fuel (especially in the hotter hours when I didn’t want to eat), mochi, jelly babies, plain sandwiches and a few Chia Charge bars. 

The early stages of the race flew by. As the race was in London, friends from my running clubs came to watch and it was fun chatting to them (interspersed with completing the lap). 

Middle stages

When night fell, things got a little harder as the sleep chimp emerged! I had other friends helping Matt with crewing so that he could have a nap/eat dinner. I’m not quite sure what happened in those hours as it was a truly self-transcendence experience. I was moving well even though I had to stretch a few times. My physiotherapist, who was also a teammate and great friend, came to support and gave my legs a little refresh shake, which was really nice about halfway in!

I hit 100k in 10:56 and it was in line with what I thought I could achieve sensibly.

I had many chats with the participants overnight, hearing their inspiring ultra running stories and feeling inspired!

Later stages

I found the sunrise the hardest bit, even though logically it should be the refreshing bit! I think it throws your body clock a bit. As this was my first overnight and into the morning race (I finished my 100 miler in the dark), this was a new experience for me.

Credit: Sri chimnoy Marathon Team

I hit a few lows in the later stages – mostly questioning why did I sign up to run hundreds of laps around a track and also feeling a little tired of the scenery!

My crew rotated every 4 hours as my friends were all keen to help and I didn’t want to impose on them. So having them rotate every 4 hours also brought cheers!

My coach turned up to support at 7 am (I think), and as I was close to the 100-mile point, I picked up the pace and achieved a new 100 mile PB at 19:46. I was warned by many friends that people often go off too fast to nail a quick 100-mile time and basically give up after. So I was keen to be sensible with the times I was after so that I could last the full 24 hours.

There were a few scattered showers in the morning, which was refreshing for us runners but not so good for the crew!

More of my club friends turned up, putting on some tunes and dancing to them to entertain me. However, I hit a low after about 22 hours of running. My feet were very sore from the hard track, and I could feel them screaming at me! George and I had also regrouped at this point so it was a bit more bearable.

I think I had lost my sense of humour at this point, and I also cried a few times (no idea why, just did). We kept moving, which was key.

I went into the race saying I’d be happy with 180km, which is the IAU National standard. No idea how or what it would feel like, but it was a lofty goal. I roughly worked out when I should be hitting key distances so I knew I was on track.

My feet were in so much agony that I had to change into my slippers in the last hour. So, yes, I walked the last hour quickly and managed 185.9km. I was delighted to finish, and I also swore I never want to see a running track for a long time! My friends gathered around at the finishing line and it was such a beautiful thing to be surrounded by people who have supported you in the journey.

Credit: Sri chimnoy Marathon Team

It wasn’t my finest race, but I was glad with the outcome. I had underestimated how mentally tough it would be running around a flat 400m track for 24 hours.

I came 3rd lady and 11th overall, which was a surprise as I stopped looking at the leaderboard and told my crew to not tell me so that I could run my own race!

This was a Malaysia Book of Records achievement, and according to the race organisers and what they could find on DUV, I broke 6 Malaysian records (6hour, 12 hour, 24hr, 50k, 100k and 100 mile). I had achieved a quicker time earlier this year on a 50 mile race so did not break that time!

Video by: Alison Walker

Lessons learnt

As this is still my first year in ultrarunning, I am still on the learning curve of what works and what doesn’t. Having friends in the community can help with suggestions, but ultimately, you have to try it out yourself to know whether it works or not!

So the key things I need to fix for the next long ultra (hopefully Spartathlon) would be – how to make sure I have sufficient calories in the heat, sorting out how my feet feel in the latter stages of the race, as well as the elusive solution to chafing!

Until then, I will be having an active recovery and eating all the food…

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My Batman Run 2019 [8km] (by Lingderella)

On event day morning, the moment I woke up I checked the NEA website machiam like checking 4D results except with almost heart attack. Good good, it’s in the normal range, just like my eyes agaration so I just waited patiently for the good news to be announced on their official Facebook page ❤ Heng ah, if haze situation sibeh bad, the race distance will cut short and if sibeh sibeh bad, the whole race will kena cancelled.

The event organiser is pinkapple! 😊 Even till now I felt that all pinkapple events were all very well done and no event by them have disappointed me before. ❤ There were 2 different categories of the 4km fun walk and 8km competitive run. I participated in the race as a pacer for the 8km category! I was given the opportunity to cosplay as Wonder woman at the run 😍 This is my first-time cosplaying for a run 😙 My other teammates cosplayed as Superman, Flash and Harley Quinn from the huge pool of Justice League’s Superheroes and Villain 😍

We have 5:30, 6:00, 6:30 and 7:00 pace groups and I’m in the 7 minutes pace group which means we are running at speed about 7 minutes per km 😊

It was my first time pacing for a night run so I was pretty excited 😍 All of the pacers have two balloons each with LED lights from the beginning but some of our balloons burst even before the race starts 😆 One of the balloons I carried also burst shortly into the run.

The race site was at Marina Barrage, so I met Sabrina to head to the venue together. Love it as it’s an evening race as transportations are available and I can enjoy my sleep till the sun shines until backside on a weekend morning. Wouldn’t have such luxury if it’s a morning race 😆 As we are worried there’s road block everywhere due to F1, we took the MRT to Marina South Pier and walked 1.6km to the race site. 1.6km seems like a very short distance as we are busying chatting 😊

The emcee also announced that due to haze, if participants want to just collect medal without participating in the event also can. I think it’s for the people who’re very concerned of the haze or with health issues.

Flag off was on time at 7 pm for the 4km category and 7.30 pm for the 8km. And I realised that the 4km category is like a super fun category 😍 Most of the participants were in their Batman mask, the cape and wore the event tee (the participants’ entitlements that are included in the race pack) and many have light sticks with them as well. Saw several participants cosplayed as the DC characters as well, one of them who I had a deep impression and clap clap clap for the Wonder Woman as she’s actually a HE! 😆 Very effort with the wig and the short skirt and showing a lot of skin 😂

Once flag off, we run towards Gardens by the Bay East, and then back towards Marina Barrage then the Art Science Museum and back to Marina Barrage with the finishing right at the top on the lawn of Marina Barrage. There was a total of 3 hydration points along the route and the distance marker along the route was very accurate. The volunteers and tourists along the way were very supportive and energetic ❤

Honestly speaking, being a pacer is rather stressful as I have to keep up with the speed. I must admit that I am a very lazy person and if I too exhausted while on my run, I will walk, but this one I cannot walk 😂 Being a pacer has a responsibility, we are responsible for bringing runners who are trying to follow us and some runners are even aiming for their PBs. Along the way we also cheered for runners and encouraged them to run with us, alert them of uneven grounds and bicycles ahead etc.

Crossed the finishing line and received a cold bottle of Ribena and a Batman medal 😍 Explored around the carnival area it’s very fun and lively, after prize presentation there was a zumba session. There’s also game booths and photo booths 😍 Hope that there will be more Batman run or superheroes theme run every year. Themed runs are always more fun than normal races ❤

Wearing a costume for a run is actually super fun, some more I’m in Wonder Woman costume, it was quite easy to run in and I felt sibeh heroic 😂 Luckily my costume is not like Flash costume which is very thick and stuffy 😆 Can we have a Disney Princess Run? I hope there’s a Disney Princess Run soon! I want to dress up as Princess or evil stepmother also can 😆 It will definitely be fun lah! 😍

Anyway, don’t say I bo jio, got Sesame Street Run, online registration extended till 30th September only. Use promo code 5OFFSILING for 5% off registration fee here at Sesame Street Run
Register now!

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Review: POSB Kids Run 2019 (by healthobeing)

Without fail, the Tortoise runners will join in this run to raise funds for charity and kind of mark our usual run route on Mondays.

Race Pack Collection

Race pack and the goodies

Did not manage to go to the Race Pack collection for this one.  But when I got my pack, I was quite shocked that the bag is really big, there were many goodies inside.  Samples( washing liquid), body wash and others. Vouchers and discount coupons for many shops and products.  The tee shirt this year is of cooling material and the design is cute.  The goodie bag pack is a large haversack with a front pocket to hold things.

Information: https://www.posb.com.sg/personal/run-for-kids

Race Venue

Group shot at the start

This year the race is in the morning, there are many other categories but our team took the 10km and also the team relay.  There is also the individual category.  The race venue is at Marina Promontory, same as previous years.  The baggage drop, portable toilets and medical stations are available.  I parked in one of the buildings nearby, as on Sundays there is per entry carpark.  There is also a big tent with some booths by POSB, Health Promotion Board, and People’s Association to promote some of the family activities.

Race Venue

Bag drop

Cameo time

The Race Route

Along MBS where David, another avid runner, helped us to take some shots

The route is the same as with every year only whether we get to run up the barrage or not.  This year, we did and the measurement was correct at 10.2km a little overshot but compared to previous years, it was finally exact.  From the Marina Promontory to the Gardens by the Bay East and U-turn back to the promontory.  The route is scenic and breezy for the morning.  But going up the barrage was a little tedious as I had not been really running up hills.  The race clashed with Yellow Ribbon race as such some of the usual photographers were not there.  But we still got some shots from Runcapture, You Run I shoot and also our own in house friend who was there to support us with the shots.

Along the way, there were also water points with non carbonated isotonic and water.  As the route is a U turn route the same water points were spotted along the way.

Team Relay

The team relay takes into consideration the overall timing of 6 runners with at least one female.  It is actually quite competitive as every year the shufflers were there and they really can go very fast.  However, this is also the time you can check on whether you have improved as there are many strong runners in the relay.  It was also nice to see who you were competing with that morning.

Overall

Done and Dusted in 49 Min

This race is something the Tortoise runners will never miss yearly and we also enjoyed this get together. The finishing line is quite exhilarating because you get to see it while running back, and you will force yourself for that extra mile.  You get some hydration and the finisher medal after the race.

Camwhoring time

Congrats to Daphne

After the race we will hang around to take pictures of the bay.  Fortunately for us, the haze has cleared on the race day itself.  Else we will be running in the smog, or the race might be cancelled.  Another usual thing we do is to go to Lau Pat Sat for some breakfast.

This year one of the Tortoise runners, Daphne Lim came in a place higher than last year clinching the 1st Runner up position.  We were all very happy for her winning this feat.  Till we come back again next year!

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