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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Carnival Run 2013

I know I swear I will not do another 5km race. Or for that matter, another marathon. But then again, never say never. The last time I did a short race was way back in 2008 when I did the Inter Con and then the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge. Such short races are no good for old fogey like me and best left to the young but what possess me to sign up for not one but 2 so far this year?

The first one in February was a fun run so I guess that don't really count but on Saturday I did the Aljunied pro-PAP organised Carnival Run at Bedok Reservoir. Distance was 5km. So why did I sign up for it? One word: cheapskeate. From last year experience at the other grassroot organised event, we knew that such events are usually small scale, fairly well organised, cheap as in low registration fee and best of all, comes with a solid goodie bag.

And so for the goodie, I sacrifice my integrity and signed up for the 5km Carnival Run. For $18.00, this was what I got:

So I found myself at Bedok Reservoir on a cool breezy Saturday evening with the kid and the sidekick and thousand of others like minded people. I wasn't intending to run fast but when I saw the crowd at the teeny weeny start line, I figured I better get to the front so that I don't get block by all the walkers and plodders. So we managed to creep all the way to the first quarter of the starting block before the race was flagged off by Mayor Teo Ser Luck.

I managed to run at a fairly comfortable pace. At one point, I was running next to this lady whom in my other guise as a photographer, I was forever taking her photo. This time instead of taking her photo, I ran beside her. Not too sure whether she knows me because we didn't say hi to each other. Somewhere after the canoe centre, I gave up and decide to jog along at my own pace. That was the last I saw of her.
Photo by Tan Kim Lai
Further down the reservoir came across 2 'paparazzi'. So finally I got myself on the other side of the lens! Beside the paparazzi, there was another lady just in front of me, Mrs IMD. She too seems to be taking it easy because I am sure she runs much faster than the current pace that we were doing.
Photo by Taz
So I ran alongside her for a while until somewhere towards the finish line before she zoomed past me to cross the finish line first. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the timer clock showing 25mins +. I was sure I was doing much slower than that and true enough my watch shows 26+ which I must admit wasn't really too bad after all!

So maybe I look out for more of such race. Where else can I get so much goodie for so little cash?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

When death strikes...

There has always been death in the running community. It is so common to hear of people dropping dead from a 2.4km run or after participating in a race. Most time, when we hear of such news, we check the identity and if it is not a known name, shrug and said “too bad” and we move on to the next topic of interest.

But 2 recent deaths in as many weeks brought the matter closer to home as these 2 gentlemen were better known to the Singapore Running Community at large. I myself, while I do not know them well, count them as my acquaintances as I had the honor and pleasure of meeting them over the course of the past years. So while I wasn’t really close to them, their death hit me rather hard especially since they are also around my age group.

Anyway, much has been written about them on Facebook and social media so I shall not go into that. But their death sent me scrambling to do something – check my insurance coverage. As a family man, although the kids are now grown up, still when death strikes, the one to suffer most is always the family since I figure the dead can’t suffer any more unless there really is really a hell or a .  

After reviewing my policies and taking into consideration the age of the children, I think I have prepared enough but have you?

If you are running or swimming or biking or whatever and drop dead today – how will your family cope? Apart from the emotional and mental stress, will they still have to figure out where to get money for the funeral expenses, where their next meal is going to come from now that the sole/main breadwinner is gone? Do they have to rely on the goodwill of newspaper readers for donations and charities and social welfare agencies for handouts?

So for those of us still running around, engaging in ultras, diving, biking and activities that are more prone to accidents, maybe it is good to pause a bit, take stock of what we have and whether we have prepared and made adequate provisions for the family before  continuing with our current lifestyle.

PS: I am not an insurance agent, financial consultants or advisor and do not promote any insurance companies or their products but if anyone out there need an intro to a financial advisor, I be happy to do so.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Real Run 2013 is back at Sentosa!

The Real Run is back at Sentosa! After a break of 7 years, it has moved back to Sentosa, its home ground since it first started 18 years ago. The Real Run has always has a very special place in my heart. Back then when I first started running, it was one of the few races in Singapore and probably the most unique race around. The 10km route on Sentosa covers road, trail and sand was one hell of a race for the average runner and I remember it as the only race where I threw up after completion. That was also the race where I finally get to meet a great bunch of runners from the Sgrunners forum, many of whom has now come to be good friends and frequent running buddies.

The Real Run had to leave Sentosa when construction work started for the Resort World and moved to the Changi Exhibition Centre. Now, it is back at Senotsa, ironically, forced to move due to construction work at the CEC!

Together with friends from Punggol Runners, I was happy to be invited to test run the new route for this year edition of the Real Run. Azman, the Chairman for the Real Run Committee briefed us that he hoped to make this the "toughest" 10km race in Singapore. Certainly with so many races every month in Singapore, making this something special is always going to be tough but to make it the toughest?

I still remember the old route where we started on the road just after the causeway and ran up a steep hill to the satellite station before hitting the beach and the sun and then wrapping it up with a "trail" run. I also remembered how in 2006 I was stuck in heavy traffic and had to watch the runners start the race while still in my car and by the time I managed to find a parking space, the race was already over! 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bad Hair Day

The sidekick usually wears a cap when she runs. Me, I only wear a hat when I think it is going to be hot. For me, the cap serves as a protection from the hot sun but for the sidekick, it is more than that. She said the purpose of the cap is to keep the hair from flying all over the places. I don't really understand that since she has short hair until after the Venus Run when processing the photos.

No offence to the ladies featured here. This is what I mean:

So ladies, may be it will be a good idea to wear a cap or tie up the hair the next time you run?

Once again my apologies to the ladies featured here but I meant no harm and disrespect.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Venus Run 2013

A race for the ladies. After a hiatus last year, this fun ladies only race organised by the SAA is back. The race at the Marina Barrage and Garden by the East required the ladies to run a short 5km out and back route. Weather was kind to the ladies and I could see the ladies had fun.

To add some spice to the event, Running Shots as the Official Photographer, held a contest for the most creative and outrageous attire and the ladies responded enthusiastically with many of them coming as fairy and angels. I guess it is not in the ladies nature to dress as something evil:)

These are just some of the ladies in fancy attires that I shot.

For more pictures, hop over to facebook/

Monday, March 04, 2013

TNF City Race 2013

The last time I ran a distance above 35km was in December 2008. Since then, the longest distance I clocked was 25km and weekly mileage average around 30km. So what madness made me sign up for this event? 

When I first heard about this race, I thought the concept sound interesting. A no fixed route sort of like an "Amazing Race" type of race. And when some good friends proposed to form a team to do this, I thought why not? But of course since it was going to be a fun thing, I didn't really put in any effort to train for it.

So on top of the lack of mileage and fitness, on Saturday, the day before the race, I got an attack of the "runs'. I had only 2 small bowls of porridge the whole day and even though I am not a great believer of carbo loading, that certainly left me in a most unsuitable position to do a long run. But the thought of  DNS and letting down my team mates kept me going and so on Sunday morning, I found myself together with a few hundred others hunkered down at Millennia Walk studying a map!

The thing about this race is that there is no fixed route. There are a total of 5 checkpoints which the runners have to reach. The previous day, there was a post circulating around listing the "route" which I thought was far short of the 40km that our route was supposed to be at. So we were all excited to know what was our actual route and when we got our early awaited map, the tension eased but the pressure now starts as we had Singapore Quarry and Kent Ridge Park to navigate!

After some discussions and with tips from friends, we decided to go to Singapore Quarry, the furthest checkpoint first. We decided to go there via Orchard Road so that we can go to another checkpoint at Ion Orchard. So after the flagged off, everybody rushed off. Most I believe had the same thinking and went along Bras Basah or Stamford Rd to reach Orchard. We decided to enjoy the air con a bit more and went down the City Link underpass much to the amazement and amusement of the early shoppers in the mall!

Our team dashing through City Link Mall. Photo courtesy of Kelly Lim
We reached Ion Orchard, about 3 km away in around 30 minutes, pretty slow time I think. From there, we went under ground again into Ion Orchard and crossed over to Wheelock Place  before exiting Orchard Road into Nassim Hills. Running along Nassim Hills was very "enriching" with all the good class bungalows and embassies lining the street. Too bad nobody came out to offer us a drink or a house tour:)

Friday, March 01, 2013

1st Eastside Run 2013

It hasn't been easy to find a time to organise another Eastside Run. And frankly despite the East being the running oasis of Singapore with the long breezy sunny East Coast Park, we have been there, ran there and it isn't easy finding a route to make it interesting to warrant organising a special run.

Nevertheless, every time I meet some runner who is acquainted with me and staying in the East, their first question after the customary greetings will be "When is the next Eastside Run?". So it was with this in mind and to celebrate the Chinese New Year that I decided to hold another Eastside Run.

After some thoughts, I settled on the Pasir Ris/Loyang/Selarang route. Not that because I stayed in Pasir Ris but because at the Pasir Ris Sports Recreation Centre where we start and end, there is locker and shower facilities and it is conveniently located next to the Pasir Ris MRT station and bus interchange. 

Slightly over 40 runners registered their interest in running but in the end, just over 20 turn up. At least the number was manageable not too big a group and not too small. We had the customary group photo and off we went.

There was a brief stopover at the Loyang Tua Pek Kong Temple for those who wants to seek some blessing and then we continued into the Selarang Loop. The highlight of the run was a much longer stopover at the Johore Battery where the ladies had a lot of fun swinging on an swing with an ammo hanging on one end!

The next Eastside Run will probably be in somewhere like another 2 or 3 months time. Those who are interested can look out for information on this blog.