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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Demoralising Run II

Joined the sgrunners for a morning run at Changi this morning. Have been meaning to run there for some time but have not found a suitable opportunity. This is a tough route to run although flat. But it is long and hot and would make a good training run. This time managed to convince M to come along.

There was already a big group when we arrived and RSM Brokie demanded that everybody goes for a warm up jog so all of us guai guai followed her to Changi Creek before turning back up to Changi Coast Road.

The last time I ran there was like 1 and a half year ago in Feb 06. After coming out of the Ferry Terminal, instead of having to run on the road, there was now a nice big running path. This as I understand is part of the park connector which will leads all the way to East Coast and eventually Marina South. The other end to Changi Hills is already completed.

The first group comprising of the faster runners led by Realrunner had already disappeared from sight by then. The back pack comprised of WeiHao, Alvo, Cobalt, Highbury, Brokie, Raven, Sealboon, AC and myself. Dream was also with us. Not too sure why he hung around. Thought he could have took off with the front runners. M and Meteor was running a shorter distance and thus hung even further behind.

The weather was fairly good at the beginning. The trees along the side provided a fair bit of shade but running along the route was helluva boring and seem to go on and on forever. (I guess it's not called demoralizing for nothing). It seems like running on an extra long treadmill. No matter how long I had run, it was always the same. Trees on the left - road and airfield on the right!

Eventually, when I saw a split in the path, I decided to break from the rest and turn left into it just to break the monotony. This was actually part of the park connector and hugs the coast line and comes out to Safra Sailing Club. But it was slightly longer and when I reached SAFRA resort, all the runners had disappeared way in front except for Highbury. Ran with him till the first toilet at the National Sailing Club before turning back with Brokie and Cookie who had reached there much earlier. I took my expired PowerBar than. It looks horrible and tasted worst. Took half of it and was tempted to throw the rest away but decided against it.

Way back was the same. One long boring route. Initially maybe with the psychological effect of the powerbar, was able to pick up the pace a bit but when I stopped to finish the rest of the powerbar, the battery simply went flat. That plus the hot humid weather caused me to withered and I slowed to a trot. Gentle was biking up and down and encouraging everybody. AC caught up at the toilet at the Ferry Terminal and even though there was only less than 2.5m km to go, I simply couldn't push myself and contented myself to just sort of shuffle to the finish.

The finish line was great though - there was the famous Brokie's barley which I had heard of many times in the forum but never tried and Doramon's jello. Yummy and good reward for finishing the run.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Down and Out

Looks like all form of exercise is out for this week.

Just when the throat is much better (at least can croak now), the yucky stuff has started. Extra boost of VC, liang teh doesn't seem to help. Look like have to let it run its course.

Oh well, a good excuse to slack.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Nike Jet Stream

I am not a Nike shoe fan but surprisingly, my longest serving shoes is a Nike. It is in fact my 2nd pair of running shoes that I bought around 2003? The first was an Adidas (don't even know which model) and this was the 2nd. Those days know nuts about running and bought whatever shoes that 1) must be nice to look at (my Adidas) and 2) the sales people recommends.

The Nike Jet Stream was recommended by a sweet young thing at the Sportslink outlet at Eastpoint. Asked her why I should buy it when she recommended it and her answer? "Because I also wear it". So I figure if it's good enough for her, its good enough for me. Remembered this clearly becos I actually bought a too small size the first time round. After buying it, went and ran on the treadmill and found it too tight. Brought it back and changed it for a half size bigger. Actually, later found out it was still too small but didn't realised back it those days.

After finding it was still too tight (toes started turning black), relegated it to gym use and that's why it has last for so long. It's still look in pretty good condition and I hate to give it up but I have to make way for new shoes and so I guess it will have to go.

Can't really comment much on the performance as I can't remember how it feels like when wore for a run. But it must be quite comfortable for me to stick with it for so long or is it I just a 'kiamseap' old man who just can bear to dump it?

Goodbye old friend - My one and only Nike:)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Running Lab Annual Dinner

Went for the RL Annual Dinner at Raffles Town Club on Wednesday evening with Eddie, Terence and Sebastian. The RL has grown very fast - from one outlet in Funan to 3 outlets now - 1 in Novena and another specialising in outdoor adventure also at Novena. The RL has certainly spiced up the competition in the sports retail line. It was the first shop to have a treadmill in house and NB and Nike soon followed. Than Mizuno came up with some specialised software to measure the foot but at the end of the day, nothing beats human passion and RL has plenty of that as all the staff are selected because they are passionate about running or sports. At the dinner, the staff were going gaga over a new range of shoes launched by Zoots and offering to the boss to test it out. With such passion and zeal, RL should continue to do well in the years to come - more so as they continues to bring in running gears that are not commonly available in Singapore.

As guest, we didn't expect anything but they were kind enough to include everyone in the lucky draw and so all of us came away with something. They are indeed very generous. Each attendee has a pair of socks as a door gift, the staff got an extra t-shirt. We volunteers get a pair of 'Sole' insole. For the games, our table won the bingo game and so each one of us got a SIGG bottle and finally for the lucky draw, I walked away with a North Face watch and a $100 Zoots voucher. Terence was even luckier - he won the prize everybody was eyeing for - the 1st prize of a RS400!

Many many thanks to Walter for inviting us to the dinner.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Back to MR

Have not run at MacRitchie Reservoir (more popularly known as "MR") since May 14 2006 - more than a year ago. Wanted to go last Sunday but it was rained out.

MR has a lot of memory - mostly bad for me but it is still one of my favourite running place in view of the varied routes and challenging terrain. It was the last run in May last year that conclusively killed the knee. It was also the place where I got bummed on the back by a bunch of branches dropping from the sky.

This time dragged 3 ladies with me - M, Bambi and Mich. For the latter 2, they are running there for the first time. We did the short MR 25 Time Trial 5km route. The last time I did it was on March 15 2006. Told the girls to try to finish the distance under 35mins. Myself - I set no targets knowing that I can't possibly do under 25mins. The run was pretty uneventful except for a point where I nearly slipped on a wet root and had to use my right leg to jam in hard for support to avoid falling down. Luckily, nothing else happened and the knee seemed okay. In the end, completed the distance in a slow 29:05mins. The ladies did pretty okay coming in around 32mins. Not bad for a first time though Bambi wearing her brand new PI was making some noise about dirtying her new shoes on the muddy trails.

Went for dinner at The Ship Restaurant at Shaw Center after that. Continue here

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Shape Run 2007

The men still don't get it.

This time round my contingent of ladies are doing the 10km. As usual, went down to support them by taking photographs since we men can't run. Parked myself on top of a huge flower pot just outside the former Clifford Pier and managed to take some nice shots and videos. Simmply too overwhelmed by so many ladies couldn't managed to snap most of the sgrunners although managed to took photos of all the ladies, a colleague and little sis.

See the full set of photos at

The front three runners were so fast they lead almost by a gap of 300 meters right from the start till the end. M did well to finish in a PB of 55.58. Karen also did well to finish under 60 minutes. In fact all 5 ladies got their PB.

The video of the 10km start. See the big gap between the top 3 and the rest

The video of the 5km start. Again the front runners are far ahead but at least there are more of them.

Aviva Half Ironman 2007 Videos

The biking outside the Esplanade:

The running outside the Esplanade along Marina Promenade:

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Inter Constituency Road Race 2007

And here the video of the Changi-Simei CSC Men's veteran and ladies completing the race.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Aviva Half Ironman 2007

This has got to be the mother of all sports event in Singapore this year. Decided to kill 2 birds with 1 stone by running in town and thereafter going to support the participants.

Reach Esplanade about 8 am and was told by friends that the first group of bikers had already passed by. Couldn't believe it - that fast? Was fortunate enough to see all the bikers while we were running in Marina South. Even saw Eddie who still had enough energy to shout out to us.

Back at the Esplanade bummed into friends from sgrunners who were there either as supporters or volunteers. Managed to take many photographs of the runners including the leading pack. Saw Eddie again but this time he looked so stoned already doubted he recognize us as he ran past.

My hats off to the participants regardless of whether they complete or not - to be at the start line is already a big achievement in itself.

Photographs at

Videos will be up later.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Inter Con Road Run 2007

After a week of resting (some called it slacking) it backs to good old running. Today I am doing a short race - a race that I am not looking forward to. It is the Inter Con Road Run. I have been roped in to make up the numbers as the team captain can't seem to find enough runners. I don't like short run - I don't have the speed for it and this being a team event, every single second counts. Fortunately or unfortunately, the distance has been reduced to 4.3km from the original 5.6km. Still I know it was not going to be easy.

The race format comprises of 6 men in the Men Open, max of 3 male veteran and 3 female. We have only 5 male in the open, 3 in the male veteran and 2 female. The best 4 runners timing in the men's open, 1 each from the male veteran and female will counts toward the score. I am running in the men open which gives me more stress. Gary our team captain want to improve on last year 14th placing. So my timing will have to be included. I hope I will be able to run under 20mins but I know it is going to be tough since I seldom concentrate on speedwork. All my runs have always been at most 5.15 pace so to do 20 + I need to go below 5 min and some more for 4 over km. Jialat:(

A surprise awaits us when we reach Bedok Reservoir. The guest of honour, Ms Jessica Tan, MP of East Coast GRC will be running in our team! She is indeed a very nice lady mingling with us and joking chatting with us - totally without air at all. Hopefully, the organiser will give her some handicap:)

Looking at the other teams, I shuddered at what type of placing we will get. All of them are so young - late teens to early 20s - in our team, of the 5 of us in the Men Open, 3 of us are 45 and aboveleaving 2 young men but they are also probably in their late 20s. Also met Mighty Joe and Mrs, Terence and Mrs there. They are running for Yew Tee and Kreta Ayer respectively. Also bump into 'Tiger'. He is representing Clementi and finally there was Puay Hien but he is not running - he is team captain for Serangoon and his team eventually came in 2nd!

The race was flagged off by Miss Jessica Tan. I ran the first 1km in 4min 40 sec (I think the fastest 1km I ever done in my life. At the 2km mark, I was slightly over 9mins but definitely totally out of breathe. I know if I can continue at this pace, I will be able to meet my target but I knew in my heart I couldn't sustain this pace anymore. Soon my team mates started overtaking me. By the time I reached the 3km my mind and leg was screaming for me to stop and walk. I knew I couldn't make it and there I was before the race thinking that I can do it in about 19mins. I had no more energy left even at the 4km mark with 300metres to go. I eventually finished in 21min 29s the fourth member in my team to finish. It is probably a PB for me. Than again, this is my first race of this distance so I suppose any type of timing will be a PB.

The Men's Veteran and Ladies started off together. As expected, our team captain Gary was right up there at the front just behind Donald of MR 25 fame representing Bishan. Gary managed to come in 2nd in 16mins +. Molly with sifu Boon Chye pacing her came back in 22mins 40s. Miss Jessica Tan also managed to come in in a respectable time of 25min+

Told Gary he played the wrong strategy. He should have let Francis (or is it Jeffrey) and BC run in the Men's Open as both of them are faster than me and let the Uncle run in the Veteran. That way, at least all our team runners will be able to finish under 20 minutes. Last year the team finished 14th. This year, even with his 2nd placing, I doubt we can better it since the rest of our times are not as good.

Anyway it's over and I must say running a short 4.3km at this pace is more tough than running a half marathon. I think I retire from short run. This one can die - better not play play.

Photos up at Google Web album. Videos will be up later.