So this is what I said at the end of last year :
Less racing. For sure. I’ll maybe do 6-8 races all year. Marina Run Feb, Sundown Half in March. That’s all for the first quarter.
CHECK : Less Racing Achieved. I only ran 6 races all year.
More Miles. I’ve got to get my mileage back up to 60k/week and keep it there.
FAIL : Miles off. I had a few good periods, but then some junk and gaps.
I’ll end up around 1890-1900km/year, so more like 37km/week.
More Speed. parkrun, track night. I feel the need for speed.
FAIL : Did ok for a bit, fell away in the middle of the year.
100 parkruns. I should be able to hit that milestone this year (37 to go)
FAIL : only managed 12, so I’m stuck on 75!
More Welsh Hills. Snowdon, Cadair Idris, Pen Y Fan (July 2017 comin’ atcha)
CHECK : Ran all three !
Overall 2017 was an unremarkable running year for me, but it was a year where the rot really set in on the local racing scene.
I wrote about the farcical race pack collection at Sundown Marathon
(this one worth another read, it’s one of my favorites)
I had my say on the Singaporean obsession with bloody pacer groups.
The JP Morgan Corporate Challenge was totally fucked up by the organisers
This signalled the end of my blog-complaints about races – I was all done. But bad stuff kept happening :
In August, my friend Ben ran the Army Half. Ben’s quite quick and having finished 5th overall, he found himself in the Padang after 1 hour 12 minutes, to be greeted by….. no water. That’s right folks – Ben had managed to get back before the organisers had got round to setting up the water stall for the country’s largest half marathon.
Then, Yolo came – the biggest fuck up race of my time living in Singapore – and I wasn’t there. This one had a bit of everything. Rui was bait and switched with the lure of a free Alfa Romeo (some say second prize was 2 Alfa Romeos). They gave him a horrible route with a few sets of stairs, to make sure he couldn’t possibly win the car. Just to double confirm plus chop cannot win the car-ah they looped the course back so he had to run through 5000 21k joggers. Despite a valliant effort, Rui still has no car.
(photo from mothership.sg)
As if this wasn’t enough of an event/PR fuck up, they also created a Singapore running version of the killing fields, enough to make all the participants have an entirely different association with ‘You only live once’ than was originally intended.
But nothing will happen of course. These charlatans will continue to fleece the residents of Singapore for sub par event experiences. People will continue to pay $80-$100 for a shitty event and a tee shirt. The distance will be long (or short), there won’t be enough water, the route will contain some ridiculous obstacle, the pack collection will be a basket case, there will be a hundred balloon carrying pacers who will all start right at the front and get in everyone’s fucking way.
[the pacer obsession here is just nuts. Everyone wants to do it, they practice for months. It’s the weirdest thing. Until I moved here I’d only ever seen pacers at large city marathons – here we have them for 5k/10k/21k balloons and all]
Running races here requires enormous amounts of perspective, patience and good humour. But the stories you get are always fantastic – you couldn’t make them up.
After doing over 100 races in SG over the past 6 years, I’m now in ‘post complaint’ mode. I assume everything will be horrible in every race, then if a few things are not so horrible, I can be pleasantly surprised.
What else happened then, apart from all the shit races?
Well, I entered the HK100 lottery, won a place for the first time in 3 years, started a training plan, but then bailed on it. After a few weeks of internal debate, I came to accept that I don’t currently have sufficient desire for these big long runs to tolerate all the training commitment that’s required. Plus running for more than 2.5 hours in Singapore is something my body is not capable of doing very well.
I’m just not going to do it right now. For the foreseeable future, I’ll stick to 5k/10k racing, which I can do pretty competitively off around 40-50k per week and a long run of 90 mins max. That way I’m a happy runner.
And that’s what it’s all about really. I’m not an athlete, I’m a bloke with a family and a job who likes to run a bit. I’m not going to bother doing sessions or workouts that I don’t enjoy – I’m just going to run.
What does 2018 hold in store then? I’d like to get to 100 parkruns. I’d like to stay fit.
I’ll do a few 10k’s with the Striders. The Bizad, Marina Run, 2XU.
I’ll keep the blogs going – watch this space….
So Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone – here’s to fast times in 2018.