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Monday, August 25, 2008

Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon 2008

Should I try and aim for a sub 1:50 finish? Or just a PB? Or just go and enjoy the run? Based on current conditions and with the rest these 2 weeks, I felt the first 2 options were doable especially with all the inspirations from the Olympic:) But that was going to make the race very tough and not enjoyable in the process. Than a friend asked whether I can help pace him to a sub 2 finish. Ha – the perfect excuse to slack so I readily agreed.

Started a bit behind and of course as a result got stucked in the big crowd. Estimated we took slightly over 3 minutes to cross the start line. At the 1st Km mark, my watch showed 8 mins + and there was still a big crowd in front. The narrow 2 lanes along the ECP didn’t help. Told my friend at this rate, it will be tough to do below 2hrs but there was not much room to speed up. Also afraid if I start to go too fast to try to catch up for the lost time, he will not be able to cope later on. So we trudged along hoping to slowly make up for the lost time over the rest of the route. At the 5km mark, time was 28min+ which means if we don’t buckle up, there was no way to do sub 2 with another 16 km to go and to do a negative split in the process. Told my friend to aim to hit 10km by slowest 58km and thereafter to maintain about 5:30 pace.

With that, I proceed to move faster but unfortunately lost my friend somewhere along the way. Along the ECP while trying to squeeze past 2 army boys jogging(!) side by side, was so incensed when they put up their hand simultaneously to stop me from passing. I turned around after moving in front of them and gave them a ticking off. While I am not proud of my outburst, some people really simply have no race etiquette and it just makes me boil when I come across these people!

Reached the newly opened route after Fort Rd. When I first heard the Combat Engineers were repairing it, I was a bit apprehensive as I know the quality of their ‘repair’ being a former Heavy Plant Combat Engineer in my NS days. Yah, it really sucks! Fortunately the ground condition was better than I had expected even after the heavy rain the previous day. The condition I expected was more like the mud path that ran alongside the graveled path so luckily this time round the CE didn’t fail too badly.

Only thing was, the compacting wasn’t that good or the rain had loosened the soil so the path was uneven with part of it being pretty soft and thus absorbing the rebound so that it was quite difficult to run. It was here that my right knee started to give problem. No pain but it felt funny whenever I bent the leg like it was giving way. I was a bit worried. Had the injury finally caught up again? Nevertheless, stucked in the middle of nowhere, I had to continue and eventually reached the highlight of this race – the Marina Barrage! It turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. View inward of the skyline was nice but the structure itself was nothing to crow about. They could have built a more impressive bridge to match the skylight what with the IR and the new Botanic Garden coming up around it.

With the end in sight and having finally managed to catch up on my lost time, I ran slowly back even taking time for a final drink at the last drink station before finishing in a gun time of 1:59:27 just within the 2 hours time limit I set. With luck, the chip time should be around 1:56+.

Too bad my friend couldn’t maintain the pace and didn’t manage to finish under 2. May be next year can gather a bigger group of people who want to do sub 2 to run together and this time we will take our revenge and block everybody way. Ha ha ha!

26 Aug 2008:

Official results are out.
Time: Chip Time 1:57:22 Gun Time 1:59:48
M didn't too great. She got jammed at the back and did a slow run
Time: Chip Time 2:14:12 Gun Time 2:23:19

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