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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Singapore Bay Run/Army Half Marathon 2007

I love running in the Army Half Marathon. It was my maiden race in 2004 and it gives me a lot of memories. Didn't run in 2005 due to flu and last year although I did it fearing that it could be my swan song race. Fortunately it was not and so I am back to give it another shot.

Didn't really have a time target. The objective was simple - good if can finish in one piece; better if can do under 2 hours; best if can better last year timing or 'bester' if can get a PB.

It was as usual humid with nary a wind as we assembled on Esplanade Bridge for the start. This year route has been modified to run in the City first before heading to East Coast park. The race started punctually at 5.30 am but even though we managed to go quite near the front, it still took me almost 51 secs to cross the start line. Didn't managed to see many familiar faces at this juncture - only Balasing slightly to the front.

This time with full road closure, we were able to run in the city without interruption. Moreover, with the full road closure, there were adequate space for everybody and no pushing shoving squeezing as what has happened so frequently in all other races. I had a smooth run up to the East Coast Parkway. Up on the bridge, finally managed to see a few more familiar faces - Mike from Safra TP; Fennel, Cosmic, Doraemon Red. Water was plentiful throughout the route - I think they got a bit kiasu after the few past death. Also ran past a few pacers wearing singlet shouting 2:15. Er what were they doing so far ahead. At this pace, they are looking at sub 2!

At East Coast Park, stopped for a toilet break. Had been controlling since the start as I didn't want to go to the foul smelling portable toilet. What a relief:) Time was 56:39 at the 10km mark. Hmm, at this pace, it was 50/50 for a sub 2.

Curiosity got the better of me the next time I saw another pacer wearing a 2:15. Told him he was going way too fast for 2:15. He told me he not use to running so slowly and 'cannot control' his speed. I think that's bullshit. If they signed up to be a pacer, than by hook or by crook they should stick to their assigned time rate otherwise they will sabo all the runners tagging after them. If they can't do it, than don't volunteer. At Nicoll highway, which was like 17km, there were a group of them - 2 of them with 2:30 timing and it was only like 1 hour 40 mins. They were definitely way too fast for their timing band!

The ending was a bit of a let down. At Raffles Boulevard, had expected to run into Marina Boulevard to finish at the floating platform but instead we ran all the way to the back of the stand before doing a sort of left turn, right turn to finish. I think the route was changed slightly and deviate from the map. Sian, I had expected a straight home stretch where the runners can do the usual last minute chiong or compete with other finishers but it was not to be.

Anyway, I finished 1:58:47 so I only managed to hit the 'better' target but I am quite satisfied considering that during the training runs, I have been doing like 2:10 - 2:30 for 20kms runs.

Waited around for M - she came in about 2:10 so that will probably be a PB for her.

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