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Thursday, November 06, 2014

Puma Night Run 2014

The last time I did a road race in Singapore was March this year. And that is despite a running calendar that averages 2 races a week. And the last time I did a 10 km road race in Singapore was way back in 2012. So it was quite like a new experience to me to find myself at the starting line, well almost the starting line, of a 10 km road race on Saturday.

I have no intention of doing a 10 km road run in Singapore especially when more often than not, it is either at the Marina Bay or East Coast Park which is kinda boring. But this time round it was slightly different. Firstly it was to be at Sentosa, a place that I don't get to run on very often and more importantly I don't have to pay any registration fee as I was given a complimentary slot by the people from Puma Singapore.

So on Saturday night I found myself about 30 metres behind the Start Line.

Which remind me of another reason why I no longer want to do road races in Singapore. You see, more often than not, to maximise profits, the organiser tends to allow for too many participants but our narrow roads simply cannot cater for these huge numbers. Just like here where the runners are crammed into a 2 cars width road adjacent to the beach. 

After the flag off where I had to weave and pushed myself through the horde of walking couples, strolling and jogging groupies, I remember another reason why I don't want to do local races. The participants simply lack race etiquettes and do not bother to place themselves appropriately in the correct start pen. Of course, organiser would have help by encouraging runners to sort themselves out but I suppose that will be like asking for the moon.
Walkers barely 1 km away from the start line
Fortunately for the Puma Night Run people, the organiser was sensible enough to start the 3000 runners in 2 waves alleviating the problem a little bit. After about 2 km, the path was finally clear enough to start running properly.

The thing about Sentosa is that it is a very small island and so there were many u-turns along the route. But kudos to the organiser, there was proper segregation of the 2 directions and the path was fully cordoned off so that no other people would wander into it. There were security officers at junctions and marshals at  every turn. Water points with isotonic drink and water were located approximately 3 km apart and I could see 2 ambulances on standby along the route. The route itself was fairly interesting. Starting from the Siloso Beach, we ran to the end at Tanjong Beach, made an u-turn and went up Allanbrook Road. This was where many people started to walk. Then we went up to the Satellite station! I was like wow! The last time I ran up here was in the Real Run in 2005 and since then I understand the road has been closed to public. What a surprise! We also ran into an area that was unknown to me. It was quite dark though and rather narrow and only 2 runners could run on the pavement at a time. Nevertheless, I quite like the route as it is definitely more challenging than the usual flat ground of Marina Bay or East Coast Park. The slight blemish was that on certain sections, we had to run on the pavement and that is simply too narrow to accommodate more runners. Nevertheless  I feel that is was one of the best managed route in all the races that I have done so far.

Unfortunately the ending point wasn't as well organised. After crossing the finish line, each participant gets a medal, a bottle of mineral water and banana. No isotonic drinks. And then the runners have to walk to the Wave House which is where the Event Village was to participate in the free activities. However, there were not many signs to indicate what is where and I had to ask around before finding out that the collection of the free towel was on the 3rd level of some building.

On the bright side, participate gets to enjoy "surfing" at the Wave House plus entertainment by local bands.

Overall despite some shortcoming like the lack of directional signs at the main event ground and the narrow pavement, this has been one of the best organised race I taken part in. Crowd numbers were kept to a manageable size, adequate security and marshals, a fairly value for money race pack comprising of an event top, a sling bag, a waist belt and the towel and some value for money discount voucher for Puma products. Runners looking for something different should try this race next year.

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