Click here for the latest on RunEatGossip »

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sundown Ultra Marathon 2011

For the 4th continuous year that this race has been organised, I did not take part. Ha ha, I am not up to that calibre to do an ultra. But a number of my friends are. And to these people, I salute them for their perseverance, tenacity and endurance to take up to 18 hours to do a run. Me. Probably will kill myself if I have to run anything more than 5 hours.

Anyway, even though I wasn't running, there was no stopping me from soaking in the actions by dragging my sleepy body down to support my friends. Of course, over the years, the support stuff has been getting more and more pathetic. First year, we had a big group, all sort of food including a barbecue, it was down to drinks and some bread in the 2nd year, last year it was just some drinks and this year, we only had coke and coffee. This was mitigated by the fact that the full marathon had been spin off earlier and so it was just 900 ultra runners. 

After leaving the house, we cruise around the race route looking for familiar faces and stopped to give them a sip of hot coffee or coke before we eventually settled at the East Coast Park with fellow Ocean 9 pal, John to wait for everybody else to turn up. And bit by bit, one painful step by another, they staggered passed us enroute to the 100km finish line.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Run Home #???

It's been a long time since I ran home from work. The last time was sometime in August last year, a run which came to an premature end at Bedok Food Centre, just 3 km from home in Simei.

This time round, we are now staying in Pasir Ris. A further distance. My original plan was to run via Sims Ave and link up to the Siglap PCN before going by Bedok Reservoir. But the sidekick decided in her usual style to run via ECP cos less traffic and less people even though I told her not to join me since the foot was still giving her some problems. So in the end, to keep peace, agreed to do it her way.

But as things turned out, we both didn't get to run our way. We started off late and took the usual Esplanade, Marina Promenade route. It was tough weaving in and out of the crowd with so many people blocking here and there taking photos. The pace became a little bit easier as the crowd thins out after the Helix Bridge but it was also construction time for the F1 and certain stretch of the pavement were reduced to single lane. At Nicoll Highway, we climbed up the stairs and down again over the river intending to go into the Stadium area to cut across to Tanjong Rhu via the Indoor Stadium. But this was where we met our first obstacle. The work for the new Sports Hub was in full stream and we couldn't go in. So in the end, it was the full distance along Nicoll Highway until the junction of Mountbatten Road.

That was when the sidekick finally realised that her intended route via ECP would means an extra 4km. So she chickened out and we continued into Guillemard Road. More traffic fumes. I think we inhale more toxic in the run than smoking a pack of cigarettes! From Guillemard Road, it was across the road to Sims Ave. More traffic but eventually we reached Kembagan MRT where we turned into the Siglap PCN for a slight respite from the fumes.

Our run took us through the HDB estates of Bedok Reservoir fronting the PIE and to Bedok North Rd where we crossed the road via an overhead bridge only to find our way into Bedok Town Park blocked - by another construction! So it was along Bedok North Rd and Tampines Ave 10 for more cancer inducing fumes but that also means a discount of at least 1 km. We turned into Bedok Reservoir Park and came straight into the tentage for the next day Sundown Ultra Marathon. Too bad only the tents were up. No drinks or food, otherwise.... Also, we didn't manage to spot the upper body of the poor chap who got half his body eaten up by the fishes there!

From Bedok Reservoir, back on to Tampines Ave 10 and then Ave 9 before we finally hit the Tampines PCN which means another 1.5km to go to Pasir Ris. Total time taken, 2 hours 18 minutes including various breaks for traffic. Total distance 19.8km according to the Garmin. So a total discount of almost 5 km from the initial planned 24km. Maybe I should do this more often?

Friday, June 24, 2011



3 weeks ago I ran 4km barefoot and got no problem. 2 weeks before that,did 2.4km also without problem. I thought I finally overcome the thin skin problem.

But surprise, on Tuesday after 6 rounds on the track, could feel the skin tearing on the little toe. By the 8th round, there were at least 2 more. Enough for me to call it a day and ran another 2 painful km back.

Final tally, 4 on the left foot (picture above) and 1 on the right.

Sighed. Back to square 1.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

TNF Trail Run Series #5 Pulau Ubin

Woke up to an orange sky and the wind howling and trees rustling. Oh no not again! Sure enough, it starts to pour. It was the morning of the TNF Trail Run #5 at Pulau Ubin. Rather pessimistically, I changed into my North Face attire. Is the Pulau Ubin jinx going to strike again? It had rained the first time we went in February to recce the route and as a result, we had aborted the recce and postpone the run in February. Then at our next recce, it rained again and we had to delay going over to the island until nearly 8 am. It didn't rain during the last recce but it poured right after we finished our recce. So don't blame me for being apprehensive.

The rough sea after the rain
By the time we reached the ferry point, most of the hardcore runners were already waiting. Still it was a smaller than usual crowd. Only about 30 persons compared to the usual 50 - 60 of the past few runs. Credit that to the rain and the early meet up time. Fortunately, the rain stopped and we sailed over no doubt most of us with a silent prayer that it will not rain again. 
And the sky held up! And in the end the rain turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it became one of the best run ever with beautiful scenery, cool weather and great company.

RL Brokie pointing the way to the Secret Garden

Our route took us through various highlights of the island. First was the cutesy named Secret Garden which was actually a garden with all sort of vegetables and fruit trees including coffee, bitter gourd, starfruite, pomelo, corn, watercress.........

From there, it was a winding run through the trails passing swamp, rubber trees and cemetery to the Chek Jawa wetland. We stopped for a group photo at the jetty. However, I think everybody was busy eyeing the beautiful coastline of Pasir Ris and Changi and looking for the many sea creatures hiding in the seagrass. That plus the windy breeze and it was with great reluctance that the runners finally decide to continue the run.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

It's not cheating????????

A second winner has been disqualified from the Sundown Marathon. This time it is the winner of the 10km category, a 14 year old boy who won in the time of 39 mins +. He was disqualified after a tip off that he had actually ran using another person; his girlfriend's 50 years old father's bib. After the news broke, his parents in an interview with the New Paper defended his actions and claimed that it was not cheating. Quote: "It's not like he registered in the veteran's category and won, that is cheating. But (for his case), I don't see why it’s considered cheating." unquoted.

Fair enough, he won fair and square. His timing was superior to the other runners; he did not consume any drugs or took shortcut so he did not "cheat" but he broke the rules.

1. Race bibs are non-transferable. 
2. Minimum age is 18 years at 28 May 2011.

That is clear enough. Maybe not to a 14 years old boy but certainly a 50 years old man or the boy's parents should understand that. 

What is so disturbing about the whole farce is how the parents are justifying the actions. Being runners themselves, the parents should know better. Fine, everybody swap bib but these people do not win so it doesn't really matter although it is still against the rule. In fact, there were another 2 runners who came in faster than the boy but they were gracious enough to inform the organiser that they were running using some other  person's bib and disqualify themselves accordingly. Unfortunately the boy did no such things and his parents who also took part in the Sundown Marathon did not advise him to own up. Subsequently, in the press interview, they defended his actions claiming he did not have an "unfair advantage". They further justified the actions by claiming that other events allow 14 years to participate. 

What a load of bullshit. If all parents adopt this stance, then they might as well pay somebody to take their children's school exam for them. And if other events allow certain people to take part, does it means that they can insist on the same for all other events and if not, to flout the rules as they deem fit? I shudder to think what type of value they are inculcating to their kid with this type of attitude.

The other thing about this whole farce is it need not have happen if the organiser had been more careful in their screening of the winners. Surely, a quick verification of the runner's particulars before they award the prize is not too difficult or troublesome? Or are they so naive to believe that bib swapping is not happening here? How could a 14 year old pass off for a 50 years old without anybody noticing the discrepancy? 

If this has been a SAA sanctioned event, the boy would have been slapped with a ban and his whole running career would have been prematurely terminated. Fortunately for him, all he got was a whole lot of publicity for which he seems to be enjoying the infamy and an offer from the SAA to train with them. I think he should take up the offer, get a coach who can bring out his potential and also keep him on the right track. 

And one last word, what the hell is a 14 years old boy doing having a girlfriend at this age? Again, I wonder what sort of parents he has....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Event Bags and Caps for Sale

Event bags and caps for sale. All bags at $10.00 and caps at $5.00. Cash only. Self collect at Pasir Ris, Tanjong Pagar or Raffles Place MRT.

2010 F1 Nature Race Hydration Bag Redeemed! (FOC) with any purchase. First come first serve

Adidas Shoe Bag S$10.00 Sold!

New Balance Real Run Shoe Bag S$10.00

2007 &  2008 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon Gym Bag S$10.00 each

 New Balance Real Run Messenger Bag S$10.00

Assorted Caps Left to Right:
2010 North East Run (White), 2009 Yellow Ribbon Run, Sold! White Run (can't remember from what event), 2010 North East Run (Orange) S$5.00 each

Interested, please email or call/sms me (if you know my phone number)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Running Barefoot

Another article attempting to analyse the benefits or danger of running barefoot:

Barefoot wannabes should take heed of the advice given there.

Don't be in a hurry and do it one baby step at a time.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Jogger Rage?

Now this is a first.

Letter to Today Online 06062011

Seriously, I doubt the version of the cyclist's story. Certainly, I think he didn't list out all the facts. And if you kena punch in the face, you stop and "politely chastised" the fella? I would have smash my helmet into him if someone punch me for no good reasons especially if he is the one in the wrong.

What did the cyclist do to get the guy to get so pissed off, that he punched the cyclist?

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

My Idea Marina 21K Race Route

Somebody posted in the forum the route for the Marina 21km race which I had signed up. It encompass a major part of the East Coast Park and with a little bit of extension to the Marina Barrage. If this map is correct, then I will be very pissed to have been cheated and to sign up for what was promised on the website:

"Marina 21K is a half marathon and 10km run set in the newly minted Marina Bay East Park of Singapore. An evening race, runners will get to set foot on the footpaths that winds through Marina Bay, Tanjong Rhu and Kallang River Basin. Never too far from the water, this race promise to open up your senses by drawing you into the captivating scenery of the Singapore Marina Bay skyline."

I wouldn't have sign up and pay $48.00 if there was nothing new to see. After all, I can run at East Coast Park for free anytime and I certainly don't need the t-shirt or medal.

This would be my choice of race route. A run through the 3 new Garden by the Bay and then the Marina Promenade with the beautiful night lights and then through the serene Tanjong Rhu estate before going into East Coast Park (not much choice but at least just a small portion of it and better than 2 loops). 

Marina 21Km race organiser - you reading this?

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Trails in the East - Tampines Quarry

Been doing a lot of runs in the Central Catchment area so it was a nice surprise to find a trail right in the East that is near enough for me to run from home. So this, plus Lorong Halus plus Eco Green & Tampines Mountain Bike Park made 3 trail routes all within 5km from home. 

The entrance to the latest newly discovered trail:

The place is mainly forested area with lot of vegetation and sound of chirping birds all over. Of course, on the minus side, there are also plenty of mozzies.

Some part of the trails are lovely to run. Like this portion with beautiful overhanging trees forming a well shaded canopy.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Never Stop Exploring - TNF Trail Run #5 Preview

Pulau Ubin must be one of those places that most Singaporeans know about but have not visited. On weekends, the place is bustling with cyclists. So the group of us must have made a odd sight for the bicycle shops owner with our hydration bags but no bikes. 

We were of course not there to cycle but to run. More precisely to carve out a running route for the next TNF Trail Run. We had with us a "tour guide" Ayin who showed us the way.

Our very first Kodak moment was this beach. In fact along the way, there were another 3 or is it 4 beaches all with breathtaking view of the sea.

 Then there are the quarries. Mainland Singapore has 4 quarries. Pulau Ubin has if the info on the net can be trusted 25 quarries and this is just one of them.

Then we got to run through a rubber plantation. Very nice and shady but lots of mosquitoes though.

We came out to this dike or dam which led to a swamp like area.

And we round off the run with what else but another quarry!

All in, it was a nice easy run. No major slopes, no technical trails, just fresh air, nature and our stinking sweating bodies.