Just like Smashy and Nicey, I try to do a lot of good work for Charity mate.
This race usually feels like charity work in more ways than one – it does give money to a good cause, but it’s also an opportunity for runners to ‘give back’ the benefit of their combined wisdom to which ever group of poor fuckers was too slow to avoid volunteering to be part of the Kerayzeeeeeeee fun that they have at BIZAD organising this annual fun day.
Actually the Striders haven’t been back here since 2015, despite it being practically on our doorsteps. That race was memorable for a few things – Starkie’s frankly disturbing volume of compression wear, Tony Seakins double meltdown at the marshalls and a guy running the 5k nearly poking my eye out with a Go Pro on a selfie stick.
[only Starkie knows what was going on here]
Sadly Reg is a no show this year and it’s raining, so no Go Pro wearers, but I’m delighted to see Tony and Viv at the start area. He gives me a ‘why the fuck are we here again’ eye roll and we all mooch about waiting for the off.
It’s been Singapore Winter for the past week or so, which means 21 degrees and a bit of drizzle. This has sent the organisers into a spin, and with their combined MBA candidate powers, they have developed the somewhat overly complicated message below as guidance to runners :
Not quite sure why we can’t run in moderate rain or why I have to be reminded to consider my personal comfort and circumstances but there we have it.
Of course, the conditions at 4.20 (flag off due 4.30) are probably best described as ‘somewhere inbetween drizzle and moderate’. 5 minutes before the off there is no indication this race is ever going to start, so we take matters into our own hands. Tony, Viv, Eleete Pete, Sean, Gil Madrid, Jenny Huang, Nimesh and I charge towards the line – the rest of the assembled runners duly follow.
The MC chap tries to tell us all that the race is going to be delayed because of the terrible weather (drizzle) but since we are all old enough to be his parents our stern words and parental disaproval intimidates him into starting the race as we want – Result – we’re off only 3 minutes later than scheduled.
The route has been changed quite a bit since 2015. Now we have one loop of the NUS campus for the first half, then a flatter section in West Coast Park for the second 5k.
BIZAD used to have stairs and use some of the steeper climbs on the campus, so we’re all a little cautious with the first few km’s. An early lung burner up Prince George’s Park sorts the field a little and then we’re on to the rolling hills of the campus. The weather is about as perfect as it could possibly be for racing in Singapore.
I’m a bit lacking in race sharpness so I head off at a steady pace, holding a little back since I am not entirely sure what pace I can hold for 10k these days. I settle in behind Gil and I’m enjoying the weather, the run and the course. Surprisingly there is no drama in the first 5k, the route is easy to follow, the marshalling is ok and it’s all good.
[This is supposed to be my photo, but Sotong has focussed on Jenny instead – haha – I’m not bitter]
We pass the front of the BIZAD building and head off down towards Pasir Panjang Road for the second half. There’s a traffic cop enabling us to run across PP Road which is nice (and quite surprising) and then finally a BIZAD type moment when it becomes clear that we’re crossing West Coast Highway via the Overpass – time for some stairs.
I am crap at stairs and I know how they totally fuck your legs if you try to go too hard – which is never worth it for the 2-3 second gain you might get over walking, so I take this opportunity to walk up and catch my breath, then skip down the other side and into West Coast Park.
This is home turf for me, we turn left and loop past the dog park then follow the last 2k of the parkrun circuit. It’s at this point I start to pick up the pace a little – i pass Gil which feels good (sorry mate) and push on for the next runner ahead. through the underpass and on towards McDonalds there’s a U turn and then we’re heading back. Tony and Viv are only 45 secs or so ahead of me and this spurs me to pick up the pace again for the last blast through the park. One more crossing via the overpass (a bit busier this time because of the runners coming the other way) and then a last sprint up to BIZAD.
Just as I’m thinking this really wasn’t a bad event at all, there’s one final treat, the word ‘FINISH’ is written on the balloon banners above some timing mats – so that’s where I stop running, except these turn out not to be the finish line, which is another unmarked set of timing mats approximately 50m further up the road – HAHA.
Classic BIZAD moment there. All done in 43.33 and 4th place ‘Public’
[actually I was using a Women’s bib I bought from someone on Facebook, so I was DQ’d, but I would have been 4th lah]
Bag collection is easy, I meet Sean and we wait for Eleete with a 100plus. It’s been a great afternoon’s racing, I’ve really enjoyed it, got a bit of form back and finished the race strong. Job’s a good ‘un.
So it looks like my ‘run every day in December and don’t worry about the pace or how far you go’ worked well. I did run every day, never ran more than about 8k, never less than 5. It obviously gave me back a bit of a base and hopefully I can push on from here.
The next outing is Marina Run 10k next month. More potential for Race Craziness…….