Prelude : Race Pack Collection
I went to pick up the Race Pack the other week, pleasantly surprised it was at Raffles City, not somewhere miles out of the way. Three main take aways from the collection
- no queue for the pack collection, which is always appreciated
- lots of weirdly, plasticly enthusiastic Herbalife Reps, pouncing on anyone hesitating for more than a second….
- Marina Run obviously rang up the Brooks rep and said ‘hey have you got a job load of cheap vests, any colour combo will do.
[orange and turquoise – why?]
These Herbalife People are everywhere – inviting me and everyone else to take some sort of health test. Herbalife is Direct Selling for the 21st century. It’s all about fitness apparently (and expensive potions). I’d never heard of this company until David Beckham started playing for the LA Galaxy, but now it looks like they’ve signed up Cristiano Ronaldo for their Isotonic Drink, which is quite a coup. Anyway the people they have up here are just odd. All intense smiles, beauty pageant make up and pumped up biceps.
For a moment I’m a bit annoyed that Marina Run have forced me to walk through this corridor of awful people, but it passes quickly enough and I’m outta there….
Main Event : Race Day
I think this is only my second Marina Run outing. The first one in 2014 was memorable for two things
- Eleete and Shrug’s racing debuts
- There were two 9km markers on the course, to this day, despite many attempts to beat this level of fuckwittery, this is still the most hopeless thing I’ve ever experienced at a race event.
[The boys, looking Fresh ASF in 2014]
Pete had an early onset alzheimers moment and so we ended up arriving at the barrage around 5.10 for a 5.30 flag off, about 20 mins later than planned. Sean is already on the scene and in the pen.
A chap is valiantly trying to hold runners back for Wave 2, but seriously, fuck that – you can take the boy out of Liverpool, but you can’t take the Liverpool out of the boy – Eleete pitches himself over the fence, I follow and we’re in the Pen for Wave 1. Cushty.
It’s pretty damn hot though and we have 20 minuted to kill in the open sun. Some balloon assisted pacers arrive – but they are obviously division 2 pacers, because there aren’t many of them and they have had to write ‘pacer’ on their balloons in felt tip pen. They seem to acknowledge this and they hang back out of the way – which is just splendid. This event has a 10k, a half and a new 30k event. Singaporeans as a rule prefer a nice long run to a shorter one, so the 30k is pretty popular – the 10k is quite sparse in comparison and the longer events are going off a lot later so no field merging. The course is flat and quick, so I’m hopeful of a decent run!
[Mount Sinai Striders at the 2018 Marina Run]
Finally we’re off and the front of the field heads out at a pretty sharp pace. I’m in about 15-20th as we head over the barrage and down to Sheares. These days I am trying to work on starting steady and that’s definitely the plan on a hot Saturday afternoon.
Settling into a 4.10/4.15 groove the field spaces out quickly and from this point on I always have loads of room. We loop back up to the barrage and then head down that awful road behind the golf course that you hit at around 30km in the old stan chart marathon route. Another out and back loop down to the temporary bridge at east coast park and I’m feeling good – picking runners off and making good time.
At the turn I’m able to pick the pace up a little and push for home. Finishing races at the barrage is always nice and the later start times for the half marathon and 30k mean there’s a good crowd at the Finish Line.
[awesome finishing pic from Ming Ham]
I’m all done in 41.30. My guess is somewhere around 10-12th overall, not too shabby. Went past the 5k marker in 20.45 so even splits which makes me happy. I’m handed a banana and another oddly coloured shirt and I wait for Sean.
Sean comes through on 49 mins and Pete’s not far behind. Off to Satay by the Bay for a quick beer and post mortem.
There really was very little to complain about with this race. Distance was accurate, marshalling was ok, drinks when I needed them.
There were balloon assisted pacers, but they didn’t get in my way, even at the start line. There were strange cult followers from Herbalife everywhere, but they didn’t try to convert me. Their Isotonic drink is hideous though.
So perhaps 2018 is the year that Singapore Race Organisers get their shit together?
[cover pic Ming Ham]