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Monday, February 25, 2013

Venus Run - Running Shots Photo Contest

2 years ago, the sidekick participated in the first Venus Run at Bedok Reservoir. I was there too and from the expression on all the ladies face, it was an unanimous consensus that they enjoyed the run. Unfortunately, for some reason, it was cancelled last year but it is back this year at a new location, the Marina Barrage. More details can be found here

Running Shots has been appointed the official photographer for the Venus Run and in conjunction with this, Running Shots will be holding its first ever photo contest. 

 Ladies, sign up for the race, come dress in your most outrageous, funky, sexy or creative attires. Get 'shot' by Running Shots and be voted our "Princess of the Run" and stand to win one of the 3 prizes on offer.
So ladies, this is one race where you can win a prize without having to run too fast and trying to get podium. So quickly sign up now. Registration closes very very soon in face on 28 February 2013. Don't wait any longer!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Kampong Chai Chee Valentine Day Run 2013

Normally I will not sign up for fun run especially if I have to pay for it.  There is really no reason for me to pay to run for fun when I am already doing that every time I put on a pair of running shoes. But then I went and sign up for this Valentine Run organised by Kampong Chai Chee Community Club. The registration fee was $10.00 and the distance, a short 4.3km round the Bedok Reservoir.

One thing about these type of grass-root organised event is that the "freebies" are really good. For $10.00 we got a bright fire engine red top, and breakfast of a cake from Polar Cafe, a banana, a pack of Milo and a bottle of mineral water. The ladies also receive a rose upon completion of the run.

But the truth was, I wasn't there for the "freebies". I was there for a more pragmatic reason. The lucky draw! I took part in the 2010 edition and remembered that the prizes were pretty good. So I reckoned that our chance of walking away with something was pretty good since there wasn't that many participants but plenty of prizes. On top of that, couples get an extra shot at the prizes plus a special draw for 6 set of Epson laser printer. Unfortunately for us though, lady luck deserted us today and we walked away with nothing. One lucky couple walked away with one of the printer and the top draw of an Apple voucher!

Oh well, maybe we come back next year and try our luck again. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Grid

That's not my bolster or pillow. Its a new version (read expensive) "foam roller" used for myofascial release  Huh? What's that?

Myofascial release as I found out after reading is the release of muscles and connective tissues. Still can't visualise? Plain speak? Massage. But in this case there is no therapist but just this weird piece of equipment. My dog absolutely loves it. For humping but me, I hope to use it for its intended purpose.

The Grid is a so called modified version of the foam roller which according to the manufacturer of the Grid is not lasting hence this smaller and more solid version. There are a string of You Tube videos available on its usage but the instruction booklet that comes along with it is more than sufficient.  I haven't really got deep into using it but the little bit of time that I used it - I can safely said that it is more tiring than doing a run. 

Will this be a white elephant and end up as a humping post for the dog? I seriously hope not.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

The North Face 100 Thailand 2013

For my first race of the year, I decided to kick it off with a slightly bigger bang than the usual road race and flew to Bangkok for the North Face 100 Thailand edition. Having heard from friends that the TNF Thailand was a fairly easy race, I decided to go for this. Of course, I wasn't up to the task of doing the 100km or even 50km and went for a safe 25km. But then the race site was moved to the more hilly PakChong district and my heart dropped a bit. 

This being my first oversea trail race and with a dismal record in the Singapore edition, I wasn't very optimistic on how I was going to fare. Will I withered in the heat of the Thailand sun? Will I get another sprain? Excuses excuses. Haha. But I was really not going for any PB or any glorious finish. What I wanted to do is to enjoy and savour the run.

So armed with my trusty hydration bag filled to to the brim with water, gel, first aid, phone and a camera, the sidekick and I found ourselves at the start line at 6 am on a cool dark morning. We then discovered that we were to put it mildly, very "overdressed". The Thai runners came without any extra - no hydration bag, no fuel belt and not even any hand carried bottles. It seems like only the foreigners were prepared to the nice while the locals apparently don't need any of these. What did they know that we didn't?

The 25km was flagged off 5 minutes later than the schedule 6 am to as the MC announced "for safety so that it will be brighter". Still we found ourselves running in the dark for at least the first half hour before it was bright enough for us to see clearly. And what a sight! We ran into the rising sun! It is moment like this that makes running so memorable!

But not too soon after that, the sun rise was forgotten as we set out legs to tackle the hills and there were many going up and up at least for the first 5km.

The trails were wide ranging from 1.5m to more than 2m wide and with not that many participants, it was fairly easy to run without any "human jam". The ground for the most part were soft trail with small loose rocks and laterites. While it may be difficult for grip, it didn't really pose any problems for those with a good pair of trail shoes. However, what we had to be mindful of was "minefields", not the type that can main or kill but something worse; cow dungs. And they were everywhere since there were plenty of farms around the areas.

For the most part, we were running right in the open and we were thankful that the sun did not come out at all. During the 3 hours we were out there, it was cloudy throughout and the temperature was around 20 to 23 degrees. With our slow pace and the great weather, it was photo shooting time as I snapped photo after photo of the every changing landscape.

The route wind through the base of the hills and the highest we climbed was all the way up to 550metres according to my GPS. Then it was a series of up and down but nothing that was really tough or not "runnable". In fact, I think at least for the 25km distance, it is easier than the Singapore edition.

This is the course elevation

This being the outskirts, there were relatively few villagers unlike in say Cambodia but nevertheless, what little support from the villagers and the kids were a sight for sore eyes.

We finally finished our sight seeing race in slightly over 3 hours. I dare say if not for the many stops to enjoy the view and take photos, we probably will have finished in under 3 hours. In any case, this was a PB since my last race of the same distance in Singapore was a miserable 3.30+ hours. 

While some may not agree, I think after completing this, that the Singapore edition is tougher. Firstly, the weather here is fantastic and I understand it is like this most time. Secondly, the trails are easier to run as opposed to the narrow and rocky trails in MacRitchie or Bukit Timah. While there are more uphill here, the gradient are not so steep and long to force one to have to walk up the slopes. Unfortunately, I heard they will be moving the race site again for next year otherwise I will highly recommend this race for beginners to trail races.

More photos can be found on my FB and Runningshots.