Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Final Track Intervals before SCSM

For some strange reason, I started to have a stuffy nose and sore throat in the morning...could be the late night and also chomping on too much 'heaty' nuts...:). Took lots of water throughout the day, and finally decided to go down to SAFRA MF for Interval Training. Trainer Ong announced this was going to be the final 'speed-work' we will be doing for the rest of the year....hooray!

The group of about 30 of us did a slow jog to Queestown Stadium. On the way, I chatted a little with Lai Chee (who always comes for such hard-core training...haha) and PS. Lai Chee mentioned she did 47min for GE Women's run, but her name ended at the bottom...hmm, must be some computer sorting error heh? There were quite a number of new runners this evening, and all were enthusiatic at the prospects of doing their first serious track intervals with SAFRA.

The Program for the evening was straigtforward - a 1.6km for starters, followed by 6 x 800m repeats with rest of 3min in between. My throat was pretty sore by then, and I was wondering if I could survive the intensity at all...was thinking if I should see a doctor the next morning..hehe. I did the 1.6km cautiously, not able to breathe too hard...finished in 6min43sec...one of my slow 1.6km, but heck, just took it as a warm up....knowing that there were 6 more 800m laps I have to go through. Did the 1st 2 800m repeats quite ok, running alongside small chua and ronnie mostly...finished in 3:02 and 3:09 respectively. Lai Chee was always lurking behind, averaging 3:20...wah, not sure if she was using me as pacer lah....haha. There was a new runner, an Indian possibly, who was pretty strong and running just behind too.
After the 2 800m laps, my throat was dry...I had to rush to the toilet for a drink. I could feel the pain as the water wet my throat. Arghh...just 4 more laps.

I didn't talk much to anyone during the workout. Normally, the workouts are tough for me, and I guess the same goes to my running mates too....so I guess all would rather catch their breaths than yak....that can come during makan time lah! I did the next 2 800m laps in 3:06 and 3:07, this time lagging behind small chua and Ronnie, but still maintaining my sub 3:10 average well. Went for another drink at the toilets. My legs were still strong, but my nose was runny. My breathing was a tad heavy lah. I continued on to finish the final 2 laps in 3:07 and 3:06...heh, pretty consistent, averaging 3:06min 800m laps. I think I haven't done sub 3:10min laps for all sets before...hmm. My timings went as follows:

1.6km set - 6min43sec
800m set 1 - 3min2sec
800m set 2 - 3min9sec
800m set 3 - 3min6sec
800m set 4 - 3min7sec
800m set 5 - 3min7sec
800m set 6 - 3min6sec

Glad that I finished in one piece. For the 4km warm down run back to ClubHouse, I took it easy and finished quite strong at the end. My throat was parched dry. Downed a nice 100plus, and did more stretching than normal, while waiting for the rest. By the time I got to the food centre, it was pretty late...as usual, had my signature dish lah....the 'Red Rice-Wine Chicken broth with mee sua'...what a mouthful, but yummilicious...*slurp*

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Monday, October 30, 2006

New York City Marathon - Inspiration

WOW! Will be watching Lance Armstrong & Kops21 :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sunny 4th Runaholics Trial

It was the 20km Nike Runholics trial run at East Coast Parkway this morning. Quite a number of events were also going on at ECP, with the SAFRA Running Groups out in full force for their final stages of SCSM training. Then there was the GE Women's 10km race too. The PSI level seemed to be below 50, as I picked DO, Superboy and stazla up on the way to F2. Saw Beverly doing her own ninja run, as she was not able to join us due to her tight 'class' schedule...:).

Reached F2, and spotted notme (yew) who had just finished his long bike training. Saw the rest of the SgRunners gang; Ultraman, Jamessoh, Brokie, Vincent, Cokiee, Sotong, Commando. Stephen gave a brief of the route, and we started off promptly at 7.30am. I adopted an easy pace early on, as I have planned to do an extra 10km after the 20km Nike run. We ran towards NSRCC first, and I was just happy to be following Ultra from behind. We reached NSRCC (3.5km) in 18min+, slightly off the 5min/km pace. All was fine, and I just carried on with that pace. By the time we reached back to F2 (7km), the sun was rearing itself. Time was 36min+...about 1min off the 5min pace. Aiya, I decided to just go that pace, and not push hard, as I wanted to reserve energy for a longer run. Have more or less overtaken most of the mid-pack runners...could see Ultra in front, and bumped into a number of SAFRA Tampines runners along the way...Rita, Shirlyn, xsuanjing & Patrick.

I reached the water point at the 11km mark, just off MacD, but decided to skip that as I had my fuel belt of Gatorade with me. Soon I could see Lim Kien Mau (very fast front-runner) followed by Sigi and Hock Leong. I know I should be about 1km away from the U-turn point. Took my Gu Gel (Choco) with some water, and proceeded on to be within 100m off Ultra. I could see that Rod Monteiro was just ahead of Ultra. We signalled to one another, and I soon reached the U-turn (13.5km). Pace was still maintained at slightly over 5min pace. With about 6.5km to go, I increased the pace slightly, and I was feeling the effects of the sun beating down strongly on my face and back.

I was careful to restrain my stride so as not to get 'ponchet' too early. I was just happy to trail Ultra from about 200m all the way back. Met David Shum, Edmund and a few other SAFRA Tampines runners...we acknowledged one another with a thumbs-up....always nice to meet familiar faces when running :). Was glad to meet Sukaimi running with his friend, and we acknowledged. Fatty-Bom-Bom too was doing his ninja with another kaki...wow, the whole ECP was like full of runners whom we know...really gave a warm ('fuzzy') feeling...and that perked me up to sustain till the finish. The heat was getting to be unbearable, but I took it in my stride as part of 'good conditioning' for SCSM...it might be even hotter then.

I soon made it to the Bicycle Kiosk nearing F2...about 500m to go... I could see Ultra breaking away, and I soon saw Rod in front...he was slowing slightly. Ultra overtook him in the final 200m, and I was just contented to finish just behind Rod in 1hr40min....oops, just missed the 5min pace...ah well, I wasn't pushing it too much, so was quite glad to finish it within reasonable time. DO came back shortly, and we went for our 10km jog after I had lots of water and a banana with 10min of rest. Spotted teelee and SassyR who had just done their ninja 15km run...jio-ed them to join me for a recovery run, but they already did quite a lot yesterday...nvm...next time then. I was feeling stuffed as we did a slow jog towards the Cable Ski area...started off at 9.30am, aimed to get back by 10.30am for an hour of slow run. Along the way, we saw the first lady runner arrive (Adeline)..and Brokie was just behind her...aiya, wasted, the first guy and gal runner to complete the 20km will get a special prize..and Brokie was just a minute away. Commando, Cokiee, Superboy, Sotong, stazla all came back shortly after...wow, power-pack SgRunners...*kudos*

I did my 'very slow' jog past Cable Ski, MacD, and took a short walk break after 30min of running...the heat really did get to me. On the return, I did a faster pace, and was glad to reach back to F2 Nike tent in 1hour. After waiting for most of our SgRunners kakis to be back from their extra mileage run, we assembled for the famous 'Brokie Barley'...during the wash up, a unfortunate incident happened, but that did not dampen our spirits as we proceeded to Marine Parade Food Centre for famous laksa and Yong Tau Foo. A very hot day, a very challenging run. Next week will see Runaholics going to MacRitchie for a 25km distance....should be interesting then. Loooking at my Runaholics Log Card, i have chalked up 60km so far...just 40km (2 more runs) before I get that pair of Nike bowerman shoes? hmmm....something to work towards too..hee

Distance: 20km__Time: 1hr40min31sec__Pace: 5:02min/km
Additional Mileage: 10km__Time: 1hr__Pace: 6min/km

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Thursday, October 26, 2006

SAFRA MF Hill Repeats

It rained heavily in the afternoon. By the time I reached SAFRA MF ClubHouse at 6.30pm, the rains had stopped and the weather was cool. A large turnout of 30+ runners to do 7 hill repeats at Mt. Faber Loop, each about 1.6km in distance, starting from the carpark.

We started off with a slow 3km warm up jog around Telok Blangah, Harbourfront then moved up along Morse Road. I felt fresh this evening, and tried on my new cw-x running thights to test them for this hills run. Chatted with one of the runners about Chi Running to prevent injury. After a brief of the plan to cover 7 laps within 1 hour, trainer Ong started the run together with us. cm was stationed at the junction to take times of the runners, and to provide the much needed encouragement. I started off real easy, and wasn;t even breathing hard when I reached the top. I was surprised to find that I did the first lap in 8:20min....heh, I felt good...maybe its the very cool weather. As I went on the subsequent laps, I could feel the cool breeze. I was trailing TLH all the way, and he seemed strong today. I finished the 1st 4 laps all averaging 8:20 a lap; on track for 7 laps under 1hour. The rest of the runners were doing very well. As usual, the front runners of Bug, Derrick, Ong were not spotted by me..they are easily 500m ahead of me. Spotted kops and hoho doing their ninja training as I was running up the 4th lap....waved to them and didn't see them afterwards....they must have finished their run early.

I was feeling thirsty by the end of the 4th lap, and was contemplating to go to the toilets on top of mf for a drink. However, I didn't feel so thirsty each time I reached the top after the climb. By the time I finished the 6th lap, the time was 50min+. Wow, I still have 9min+ to finish the 7th lap within the hour, and I was feeling not too bad (compared with the other time when I finished 6 laps in 54min). I increased my pace slightly for the final lap, and understood from Jimmy Chow later that he really 'chionged' when he heard cm shouting my name...haha. I caught up sufficiently to spot Jimmy on the downslope, and he was watching me with a keen eye...haha...am I so intimidating? I increased my pace to try to close the gap, and eventually finished in 58:41min...good enough to be under the hour.

I felt good; wasn't panting that hard. Jimmy jested that he was worried that I would catch him...funny chap. I enjoyed the run thoroughly, and the best part was that I had reserves in the end...my legs still felt spritely at the end. The cw-x thights felt snug and provided good 'support' once I was into the 2nd lap. It really did its work well, and I am sure it had a part to play with me feeling great for this supposedly tough run. Spent some time chatting with a few of the new runners at SAFRA, and found that all were very committed and dedicated runners, and they liked the SAFRA Training Program @ MF to be coming back for more. I can see many emerging stars of tomorrow. Well done SAFRA Runners!

Distance: 11.2km (7 x 1.6km)__Time: 58:41__Pace: 5:14km/hr

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Muddy Grass Run

The Mud Runners @ Muddy Grass Pipeline

The much anticipated Muddy Grass Run happened in very good weather, to the delight of many who went. RealRunner, Gentle, Brokie, leh-lio gal, Superboy, DO, Cheow12, teelee, Cokiee, ironman sci, Jamessoh, Freddy, SealBoon, Ronnie, tktan, stazla and Dream gathered at Lower Pierce Reservoir this Haru Raya holiday to stretch ourselves, as well as to explore new areas of running in x-country and trail routes. Renohtaram joined the group after his Mandai Zoo visit, and Ultraman (who completed his ninja Animiles run) crossed paths before we started off. Saw tekko and VRP gals arriving for their ninja training just as we were about to take off.

We started off along UPR towards OUTR at 7.15am in what could be considered very clear skies. All were chatty and in high spirits, looking forward to the forest adventure we would be encountering. Ran from OUTR to UTR, and turning into Mandai track passing The Executive Golf Course and driving range, all the way to Seletar Reservoir Tower, passing the scenic Seletar Reservoir. Renoh called to say he was along Mandai Road, and we arranged to meet at Upper Pierce Reservoir subsequently. We were soaking in the sights at about a 6:15min/km pace in this 'sight-seeing' run. This run was mapped out to show some interested runners how the 3 major Reservoirs are linked (with some secret trails included of course), as well as the myriad of trail routes for trekking all the way to Bukit Timah Reserve from Singapore's green lung and catchment areas.

The mysterious aura of the 'muddy' slopes

Back at the Mandai Golf driving range, we 'mysteriously' went through some old, abandoned range, coupled with a nice air-cond road, and leading to this ancient-looking pipeline ("Muddy Grass Pipeline"). It was secluded as we moved along that part of the forest, and some of us got real muddy there...hehe. After I recalled the correct way *snigger*, we ran along the more grassy patches, with a distinct trail to follow. The runners were pretty excited about that interesting discovery, and in a single file, meandered through some muddy grassland, along an 'active' stream. After some nice photo shots (thanks to Brokie who brought her 'baby'), we made our way out to civilization again, hitting Upper Pierce Reservoir...voila...how did we do that? hmm, must wait for tktan to re-confirm the route the next time...:). The whole group was sure glad to get out of that muddy place, and we proceeded to UPR toilet to meet with renoh. Bumped into the SAFRA MF group of Wong, Bug, PS, eh who were doing their own 'holiday' run... this was the group who had showed me all this wonderful routes when I first joined SAFRA MF...now its my turn to share that with my running kakis. We had covered approximately 12km up till that point. All were feeling very fresh still.

We continued on from LPR to the challenging part of the run; the Rifle Range trails, pipeline and road leading all the way to Bukit Timah Reserve (Visitor Centre). We skirted round the SICC Golf Course, and then entered the sandy and hilly Rifle Range trail. Jamessoh took his leave from that point, and the rest of us went for that additional 10km to/fro. This being part of the MR25 25km/30km/35km Progressive Run route was familiar to some of us, and it was always a challenge for us. The new runners who had joined us today seemed to be holding up very well...all very steady-paced runners, from the way they conquered those sandy slopes. We hit Rifle Range Road easily, and with popular consensus, we took the longer but less 'muddy' path to BKT. We ran along Rifle Range Road, pass the bridge, SAF Ammo Dump, and reached the trail entrance to BKT Visitor Centre. Took a short, but narrow tarmac path, about 1km to Bukit Timah Centre. We had a 10min break, and after some discussion, decided to try out Kampong Trail. The Park Ranger was amazed we we were going to run 30km+ through all these x-country terrain..he stared hard at me as if to say I was 'seow' to lead all these people to such a 'crazy' run...hahaha. By that time, most of us had consumed power gels, snack bars and what-not to refuel....heng arhh, we brought food...for the glycogen levels were pretty low by then.

After the re-fuel, we headed for parts of Kampong Trail, then exited to Rifle Range Road for the return. This time, it was a test of mental grit as the slopes going back were a lot steeper. Kudos to the group for taking those parts in their stride, and by the time they hit Rifle Range Road, there were some weary faces....of course lah, they would have run about 27km by then...wow! But there's more to go yah? Back along the final stretch of Rifle Range trail...this would be good endurance tests for the runners...tired hamstrings and calves screaming for some TLCs...haha... anyone stopped? no way... one by one, they went, still running steadily...wah, impressed sia! The final 2 slopes along Rifle Range trail proved to be the toughest test yet, as we had to continue to chugged up those pretty steep slopes...even walkers walking up were panting, not to mention running up. teelee and renoh were doing a good job of sweeping the rear, and we eventually finished back at the entrance, along chunky hill area. We would have covered 29-30km by then. We were all so happy, knowing that we conquered the difficult x-country parts...and for a few of us, it was the longest distance done yet, not to mention on such hilly terrain.

The final 2.5km back was the real test, as a marathon would only begin when we hit 30km. Quite a few of us must have secretly wished we could walk there and then, especially when faced with 2 chunky hills ahead...haha... who would have thought of such a route man? so many slopes? the SgRunners gritted their teeth and continued on, all in high spirits, knowing the end was near... I ran ahead and continued to encourage all to finish in good form...paced the final 500m with Brokie, closely chasing tktan... very strong, no sign of them losing steam...we finally crossed the finish (est. 32km) at 11:23am. The rest all came in within minutes. I could see the satisfaction in their faces, as all knew they have conquered the distance and 'trying' terrain.

We had a good round of 100plus and HL milk to reload. tri sci was so hungry he bought 2 bags of food and drinks, and finished them in about 5min flat...he could have eaten a cow if available then...haha....all had worked hard, and were famished...glycogen levels must have been real low by then...it was great that no one hallucinated, though someone (not to mention names) seemed to have hit an early wall, walking in the wrong direction earlier...hahaha. We had spent about 4hr running; good conditioning for the SCSM marathon. It was great fun and a nice run for me. I felt good throughout the run, probably because I was enjoying every bit of it...yes, including the 'muddy' bits. We adjourned to Sembawang Hills Food Centre for some well-deserved carbo-reloading, and some were already halfway to dreamland. There were those with still lots of reserves left to go and do support duties for ironman training, some to catch up on their books, a few of us with shopping duties...all these 'recovery' activities will serve us well no doubt :).

Distance: 32km X-Country__Time: 4hr10min

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Sunday, October 22, 2006

3rd Nike Runaholics

Heh...this Sunday morning's PSI was about 60...the air felt ok when I peeked out from my front door. No milk, so no cereal for me...took a PowerBar instead...wah, hard...haha. Picked DO, Superboy and Stazla, before arriving to F2 ECP to meet the rest of the bunch; Brokie, leh-lio, Sotong, Ultraman, Mythos, Jennifery. Quite a group from SgRunners for this 3rd Nike Runaholics run. The crowd was larger than last week's, probably due to the better air conditions.

Vincent from MR25 gave the brief of the 15km route today, and off we went at 7.30am. We started off slowly, and I was taking my time to soak in the sights and smell the 'fresher' air. I was trailing Ultra and DO most of the time, and reached NSRCC (3.5km mark) in 17min. Took 2 cups of water, and turned back towards F2. Saw leh-lio first, followed by Sotong. The skies still looked cloudy, but at least the air was ok. Reached back to the start point in 34min, and covered 7km by then...ok, still sub 5min pace. Stopped for a short while to take 2 cups of water, before carrying on. From there, I kept at the constant 5min pace and was contented to just follow Ultra and DO from a distance. I could see Ultra/DO running steadily, overtaking Rod Monteiro at some point, along with many of the runners who started out fast earlier. I managed to overtake a few tired runners along the way too, and with 1km to the final U-turn, the MR25 lead runners were dashing back. I persevered a little more, and reached the U-turn at the Jetty (11km mark) in 54min.

With about 20min left of running to do, I know I will complete below 1hr15min. I continued to maintain that slightly sub-5min pace, and continued to till I reached the seafood centre area. I overtook the 'yellow bandana' guy at about that point, Saw Mythos and Jennifery going for their 'entended' run? wow...these ironmen really have to run more than us lay folks for their training *salute*. With 2km to go, and the elapsed time showing 1hr3min, I just had to maintain that all the way to finish the entire 15km in 1hr13min.

It was a better run for me today, since I did 1hr17min last week for the same 15km...the haze as well as the after-effects of the NIE overnight run taking their toll. As usual, we had a good time cheering on the rest of the runners, and when all SgRunners were back, we adjourned to Marine Parade food centre for my favourite Tom Yum Ramen...haha. This being the 3rd Runaholics run that some of us have completed, we will be getting our Runaholics running top at a special price *beams*...and if we can continue on with 3 more runs, and clocking 50km more, we can hopefully be the first 20 to clock 90km and get a free Nike Bowerman running shoes...wow, looking forward to that...that will be icing on the cake..:)

Distance: 15km__Time: 1:13:31hr__Pace: 4:54min/km

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Wedding Run

The Wedding Couple with well-wishing SgRunners

I have attended quite a number of Wedding dinners, but this will be the first time I am attending a Wedding Run :), for our SgRunner's running kakis Alvo & Meteor. Prior to that, I went for a early 5am run of the 24km AniMILES route, along with DO and Divey. Brokie, Ultra, Bug, tktan had started earlier at 4.45am, and I started off with Gentle and friend, Fennel, George, DO and Divey.

The PSI levels were in the 80s, but it did look a little more foggy than it was...guess the morning mist might have added on to that. I ran the OUTR quite ok, taking care to warm up slowly, and not breathe too heavy. I ran mostly alone all the way to the road leading to the zoo, the 12km mark. Bump into the earlier group of Bug, Ultra, Cheow12, Brokie, tktan, Cokiee, Kops and friend plus HoHo. I reached the U-turn point in 1hr4min...hmm, an easy pace for me this morning. Ran back and caught up with Kops & HoHo, and I was trying to catch Brokie and tktan further forward. Somehow that kept me at a slightly faster pace as I was hoping to find someone to chat near the end of the run...but, when I couldn't spot them as I turned from Mandai Road back to Upper Thomson Road, I knew they must have taken the Seletar Reservoir way....wah, extra 1.5km for them. I kept up my pace after that and ended the 24km run in 2hr6min...not the fastest, but I was just as happy with the workout. Arrived to a enthusiastic group of SgRunners with Sotong and Andy shouting the loudest and cheering us back...it was nice to see so many of them, all waiting to start the Wedding Run at 7.30am. Was sure glad to see the choco HL milk from Divey, who had finished her 18km earlier...thanks Divey, that was heavenly :)

When all the runners came back, the bride and groom appeared in their nice running outfit. Meteor had a tiara on her head, and was wearing a running skirt...wowee...and Alvin had a bow tie, and a race belt tied with 8 empty milk cans to his waist. The Wedding Run officially started after a round of photo shoot. We ran along Lower Pierce Road, with the bride and groom leading, making lots of noise with the dragging milk cans...haha. Each time a can fell off, the couple will be asked some challenging questions and made to perform some 'endearing' tasks...hehe. tktan was capturing all the antics in his video cam...damn pro! Sotong was also shuttling up and down, shooting with his camera. There was even a support vehicle, driven by Gentle, to pave the way for the runners, as well as snap photos on the move. It sure was fun, as the couple did some slick salsa moves, groom piggy-back the bride along OUTR, and other 'forfeits' . Andy was The Director, giving instructions and directions to the couple on what to do, and where to pose...surely he must know; he works in MediaCorps ok :).

We ran all along OUTR, turned into Upper Pierce Reservoir, and with a few more cans dropping and 'punishment' being meted along UPR, we finally arrived to the end of road where the bridge was. A nice picnic setting with 100Plus, water-melons, rock-melons and bananas was laid, thanks to Brokie/Sotong/cfred/Gentle who made the arrangements, and Ultra for sponsoring most of the fruits and drinks. The wedding couple had their photos taken, water-melon cutting ceremony, and we all were treated to a sumptious 'monkey' brunch...haha. I was so thirsty, I downed 2 cans of 100Plus, had water-melon and rock-melon slices....smooth! Lots of photos for the couple, and some lucky gal got the bride's bouquet....wow, might have another wedding run next year this time? hehe

After much eating and chatting, we took a slow stroll interspersed with some really slow jogging, back to LPR carpark. Lots more posing and photos. Andy and Brokie choreographing and coordinating professionally. I was quite happy to just join in the photo-taking and be told where to stand and pose :). As I had a Deepavali lunch to attend, I did not join in the follow-on makan and activities with the group. It sure was a good maiden Wedding Run experience for me!

Check out the Photo Albums from Brokie and Dasher

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Friday, October 20, 2006

Satisfying Runs!

AdiRUN #7: The haze abated with PSI levels down to 50s on Wed evening. Did the AdiRUN, this time taking the longer 12km distance into Marina South Jetty, Steamboat area, and back to The Esplanade exercise area. Had some new people join us; VRP ladies, Michiko who came last week, and another 2-3. We started off at 7.15pm to Marina South, while Superboy led the second group who came later to The Indoor Stadium. So we had 2 groups that started off from the exercise area...hehe.

I was with Bev most of the time, running along Angelica (Adidas Manager), Delphine, and another girl. We went to The Jetty, looped around, crossed over to the steamboat area. After about 8km, the girls were getting a little tired. We bumped into Simon enroute to Steamboat area, and he and Delphine split from us. So Bev, Angelica, the girl and I ran together from the Steamboat area all the way to Marina South Park and out into Shenton Way. They were so relieved to come out, after what seemed like a very long run for us...haha. Angelica was doing a steady pace, and I kept on along with her. Bev ran ahead once she was on Shenton Way. We finished the run in 1hr30min, and the group was back at the exercise area doing their stretches. This was the first time Angelica and the new girl did 12km or more, and they were pleased they completed. Near the finish, the VRP ladies who had finished their shorter run much earlier, went in the opposite direction....hope they will be back next week for another adiRUN. Later, DO and Simon confirmed that we ran more than 12km, more like 13-14km...wow...haha, no wonder the girls were so tired...hmm, anyway, good endurance training for them...they should do well for their upcoming 10km races :)

SAFRA MF: Thursday evening was just like Tuesday's. The PSI level was 113, before dropping to 107. I decided to go down to SAFRA MF for a 14km easy run, which turned out to be a satisfactory workout for me. Picked Jaime along the way, and noticed that the west wasn't as cloudy as Tuesday. It was a tad hazy with PSI at 90 when we started off along Depot Rd, Alexandra Rd and towards Labrador Park. The traffic junction at the entrance to Labrador Park was ungoing major construction works, and was adding to the pollution. I almost choked on some dust coming out from the worksite..yucks!

The run into Labrador Park was nice, with a breeze blowing. That helped to disperse the haze a little, and I took 2 800m loops inside, before proceeding out again. Met cm, Ronnie, yean and a few others at the junction, before we all ran towards harbourfront. Feeling good, I ran ahead from there along harbourfront and then ascended Mount Faber from the steep end at Kampung Bahru side. The climb gave me a much needed workout, and fortunately, the haze has abated somewhat, and I didn't feel any smog at all. Overtook Chin Watt and another person on the steepest section. I was panting like mad, and great satisfaction when I finally reached the top. Ran all the way down to recover, not seeing any of the other runners. They probably had taken the Henderson Rd way back, while I went on towards Harbourfront and returned to ClubHouse via Telok Blangah Way, giving me a final workout up those mini slopes. Gave my new DS Trainer XI the much anticipated break-in, and I was glad I got the run in...hmm, not sure when will be the next time conditions will be good for running again.

Distance: 15km__Time: 1hr30min__Pace: 6min/km

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The 4 Hills @ MF: Telok Blangah Hill revisited

The PSI levels on Tuesday rose from 60+ in the morning to 106 at around 5pm. I was contemplating whether to go down for SAFRA MF Hills interval training. The CBD run was called off around 5pm. Since there was no news of MF cancelling the run, I arranged to pick Jaime and Bug up from Ayer Rajah, before proceeding to MF ClubHouse. It was rather hazy, as usual in the western sector. Surprisingly, there was a large turnout today, despite the smoky skies.

We started off the run promptly at 7pm with a 3km jog along Henderson Road towards Telok Blangah Hill. As we ran, the air felt better, and the skies looked clearer. I ran a little faster as I felt pretty good, chatting with Bug along the way. When we arrived to the top of Telok Blangah Hill, the air felt so much fresher, and the haze seemed to have disappeared? It was confirmed later by Alan Chao that the PSI went down to 70 for that period...is that lucky or what?

The plan was to do 5min/km intervals around the top hill of Telok Blangah, starting from the Car Park, running up initially 2 slopes, and then rounding off with a longer downslope back to the CarPark, exactly 1km in distance. The rest time in between intervals was 3min. I did the first 2 laps feeling quite strong...as trainer Ong informed all of us that the best way is to work on the upslopes, and take it easier on the downslopes. Thats the correct way to train the strength and power. I took water in between very 2 laps, and that helped to freshen me up enough to complete the 7 laps in good form. It had been about a year since I last did this routine, just before I got my ITBS last year, and even then, I did about 5 laps only. My timings for the 7 laps as follows:
1st lap (1km) - 4min7sec
2nd lap (1km) - 4min6sec
3rd lap (1km) - 4min15sec
4th lap (1km) - 4min13sec
5th lap (1km) - 4min14sec
6th lap (1km) - 4min12sec
7th lap (1km) - 3min56sec

Maybe because of the unexpected drop in haze levels, I enjoyed this workout thoroughly. My legs felt good, and I maintained a steady pace throughout. Bumped into doraemon and tktan doing their ninja training, and they looked very fresh running up the hills too. Hoping the next 2 days will be clear in the evenings as well for adiRUN and Thursday's SAFRA LSD.

Total Distance Ran: 10km__Time: 48min__Pace: 4:48min/km

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Sunday, October 15, 2006

2nd Nike Runaholics Run

The legs didn't feel so bad on Sunday morning, but it was pretty hazy at East Coast Park where I attended the 2nd Nike Runaholics 15km run. There was a smaller group compared with the first time, maybe due to the haze factor. Some notable celebreties like previous NMP Eunice Olsen (though she didn't run) and Radio DJ, Rod Monteiro (this guy is a speed monster) graced the occasion. Brokie, Commando, DO, Bee, Cosmic, Metero, Alvo, Yujinnya and I were there from SgRunners. The MR25 ang-moh elites were probably still resting from their victorious NIE run, but this time JJ and Mika were available to set the pace for 5min/km. We started the run towards NSRCC, and I was careful not to breathe too deeply...haha. The runners seemed to be running at about 5min pace, which was what I thought I will try to keep up with. After a while, the weather did get to me. I could feel the heat, trapped presumably by the thick haze. Though there was a light breeze, I felt pretty uncomfortable. Fortunately there were bottled water at the water points, which provided much needed relief.

I U-turn and ran back past the start-point at carpark F2 in about 38min...presumably still a 5min pace. Took another bottle of water from Stephen Lee (MR25 President) and he encouraged me on. The heat really got to me near the Cable-Ski area...there was no sun, but the trapped heat made me sweat profusely. The breathing was definitely not smooth at all. As I approached near the final U-turn near MacD, the front-runners from MR25 indicated that we were close to the U-turn. I reached the U-turn in 58min, and with an estimated 20min to go, I decided to increase my strides to help with the poor breathing...hopefully I could finish the run without too much cardio effort...haha. Near the seafood area, Mika ran past me and urged me on. She said she was following our pace from behind, which seemed like 5min pace....haha. One thing's for sure, I was quite consistent...:)...but I was slowing. I told her to move ahead. JJ went ahead too, and they spoke to DO a little just in front. From there, I picked up pace a little to keep within reach of the 2 MR25 gal elites and DO.

I reached the end-point in 1hr17min+, out of the 5min pace...but was glad I finished without taxing my lungs with the 'bad air'. Took a bottle of water and an apple, and went up to support our runners coming in. Brokie came in second amongst the official ladies runners...wow, she has been winning races...the SgRunners/AdiRUN women's team came in second at the NIE Director's Relay. We met many familiar faces at ECP doing their ninja training today...leh-lio, doraemon and tktan, Gentle, notme, SC5. A lot of them were doing 30km+ runs...wows, told them to watch out for the haze. We had a nice long chat while waiting for all the runners to return, and later went for nice makan at Marine Parade Food Centre.

Distance Ran: 15km__Time: 1hr17min__Pace: 5:10min/km

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The NIE Director's Relay 2006

When I signed up for The NIE Director's Relay, I didn't quite know what it was, and had a hard time fathoming the rules of the relay run. All I knew was that it was for a good cause, and that we would meet many friends who will be there to participate. I was part of the Men's Competitive, a team of 6 of us formed from the adiRUN and SgRunners group. The plan was to run from 9pm to 9am the next day to chalk up as many 2.4km laps as we could. There was another Men's team led by Sotong, a women's team as well as a fun team from SgRunners. SAFRA MF also sent in a couple of teams. Of course MR25 and the Institutions were well represented too.

Babumouse, SportVenturer, WeiChong, Joao_li, DO, Bug, DreamRunner

DO and I arrived to the NIE campus at 10pm to a Carnival atmosphere. A string of runners had started the run from 9pm, and we could see them doing their laps diligently. As we drove in, we noticed that the Campus had very nice running routes, not to mention, lined with many slopes...can really make a few Demoralizing Runs...haha. We spotted IMD running very fast, and then Superboy Jeremy who had started running for my team. We met with with our SAFRA kakis, then moved on to the table reserved for our team. Angelica, Charmaine, Cfred, Babumouse, and the whole bunch was already there. We brought some curry puffs for carbo reloading later in the night. I noticed that the service support was very good...bananas, milo, apples, raisin bread, bottled water.

DO and I took over from the earlier pair of Jeremy and Simon at 11pm. Both of us decided to run together to chalk up sufficient mileage for our weekend. We will just record each lap as 1 person running. The 2.4km lap is made up of mainly downslopes at the beginning, then levelling offfor about 1km, and finally the 'killer' upslope of about 200m at the end. At the end of each lap, we will take a pice of paper and drop it into our team's box...C-18. DO and I took turns to carry the baton (cyalume stick). I took a rest after lap 5, and continued again from lap 7. DO took his rest at lap 6. We registered about 12min laps on average. Some marshalls were surprised we were running together, but not taking the lap slips of paper...hehe. The upslopes took its toll on us in the next 5laps. We ran on together in spite, and finished the 10laps within 2hours exactly (at 1am). Cfred and Simon took over from us. Brokie arrived at around 12am and joined in the women's team of Stazla, Roonz, Rainn, Delpine. Sotong, Cheow12, Balasing were part of the other men's team, and they were going to run from 9pm to 9am throughout...*salute*.

After 're-loading' with bananas and ice-cold milo, I went for quick wash up, change of clean clothes and join the teams in cheering on the rest. There were still lots of people running at 2am, with the MR25, VJC, SP and SAFRA MF teams all chionging. MightyJoe and his team were very fast too, with Joe clocking sub-10min 2.4km laps throughout. Ong, Bug, Teck Hou were the speedsters for SAFRA. Babumouse and SV went to get hot kopi for us, while we rested. Brokie finished her 10laps first as she had to leave slightly earlier. Simon also rushed through his 4+5 lap routine. The kopi-C with Old Chang Kee curry puffs, along with tuna puffs were yummy for our hungry tummies. The orange pieces and cucumber together with 'cooling' crysanthemum water from Brokie were great. Our team went down to 5men when Simon left earlier. The ladies team were down to 4.

DO and I decided to do our shift earlier, and complete more laps for our team, before passing on to Cfred, Babumouse and Jeremy to complete the 7am-9am final shift. The plan was for me to start off with 2 laps, then DO doing 2 laps, passing back to me for another 2. Each of us will do a total of 6 laps (14.4km) each. It took the first lap for my 'cooled-down' body to get warm, and I was feeling ok after the first 2 laps. There were very few runners by that time, and quite a number were walking the final upslope. I chugged up slowly whenever I reached the upslope, but always making it to the top at the end. By the time I ended my final 6th lap, dawn had broken. I averaged about 12.45min for these final 6 laps. The air for the whole night was remarkably cool and clear. It was a nice feeling to have finished, and I completed a grand total of 15 laps, 36km in all.

By the time DO ended his 6 laps as well, our team had caught up in terms of mileage...we went up a few positions. Cfred and the rest will see through to it that we make about 60laps...not too bad a performance, considering we were enjoying and taking it as a LSD run. Our ladies team were great, coming in 2nd position in the competitive category. Even our fun team comprising of joao, weiward, weichong did very well coming in second for their category. Sotong and his team also performed remarkably, and they were still running when I left the place at 7.30am. My legs felt quite ok, and I had a short nap in the afternoon to recuperate. This is the third overnight run I have done ever, after the Tsunami Run in Jan 2005, and The NTU 168km run in Oct 2006. I will definitely put this run down in my running calendar for next year.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Haze continues...

It was pretty hazy on Monday morning, but it somehow abated to about 50+ PSI levels in the evening. I took the opportunity to do a quickie around my estate of about 11km. It was nice to get the run in, and I didn't notice too many runners out on the road.

It was a hazy Tuesday evening. I had to miss my training run anyway, as I had to attend the K2 Base Camp Challenge briefing at Costa Sands, Pasir Ris. I arrived to a sumptious buffet spread, with local favourites like mee siam, tahu goreng, fried chicken wings, sotong balls, and lots of dessert. A 21-person team was assembled to begin training for the 3-4week expedition to the K2 mountain range via Pakistan in July 2007. Hamidah led a brief of the Program, with each of us giving a personal introduction. Team trainings on Sunday mornings will begin in November, with Lingam leading as the Expedition Leader. The team comprised of many experienced adventure racers and mountain trekkers. I am really a newbie when it comes to mountain trekking, and experiences of AMS and stuff. Phei Sunn, Yulan, Roland, Rodney were some of the familiar faces I knew there. The briefing ended early with a surprise Birthday celebration for one of the team members, and I had a piece of chocolate cake...yummy!

The haze on Wednesday was in the 60s. Still, a large group of about 20+ made it for the adiRUN at Suntec City. We ran about 11km+, from Marina Promenade, up along the Nicholl Highway Bridge, and then crossing over to the Indoor Stadium area. It was a nice sight in the night, as we all enjoyed the much needed run. The PSI must have been below 50 where we ran. Although there were runners of varying speeds, a small team of us managed to run up and down to keep the group together, and ensure that no one got lost. Everyone enjoyed the run, and we had a nice 15min yoga stretch led by Jancy. Next week will be Stacy's turn to lead the stretch...hmm, seems like the warm-dowm stretch routines are turning out to be one of the highlights of the adiRUN...hee. As usual, a bottle of Gatorade, bananas for refuel after the run.

The skies were clear by Thursday evening...PSI in the 30s only...hooray. Went down to SAFRA MF to do a short run with MF guys. A small incident happened on the way, but thanks to my quick defensive reaction, I was able to avoid a reckless driver...Phew! Met Henry and Hee Shen who were doing their hills training. Shortly after the large group of MF Runners started, the skies opened and poured heavily...sh*ts, what a time...no haze, but rain. We were soaked through and through, and my new Forrester Tri was put to the test...must say it passed with flying colours (no pun intended...hehe). Some of the gals took shelter in the nearby bus-stop. I ran a bit faster to work up some warmth, and when the group went up to MF Hill via the steeper Telok Blangah side, I gave it a miss. I continued on to finish the first 5km loop at the ClubHouse, and went on for the second. By then, the rain had stopped. I saw Phei Sunn at the bus-stop, and she told me to catch up with Rosalind and Shirley who were not familiar with the route. Again, I increased pace slightly...caught up with the 2 gals near Harbourfront, and then saw David, Ironman Chua and Sok Hwa. Together we ran back to ClubHouse and had nice chats along the way. A wet but interesting 10km run for me...:)

It was clear skies when I did the NIE Director's Relay on Friday night through to Saturday morning. The weather was great, the support was good, the company and teamwork was superb...I had a nice 36km run with forced rests in between :).

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Lucky break from the Haze...

The haze clouded Singapore's atmosphere all through Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The PSI levels reached as high as 150 on Saturday. I was getting a little concerned, as the prospect of having my Sunday run in was in jeopardy. Lots of sms-es, and emails later, I decided to go to East Coast Parkway early Sunday morning regardless.

Amazingly, I awoke on Sunday morning to clear skies. I took a sniff, and it was smoke-free air..wow. I switched on the TV for the latest PSI readings, but it was not updated. The small group of DO, Sotong, Cokiee, Bee, Brokie, Cosmic, Vincent and I met at East Coast Parkway F2 at 6am for our own 10km warm up run, before joining in the Nike Runaholics inaugural 10km run at 7.30am. We were happy that the skies were clear, and there was even a nice morning breeze. We took off at about 6.30am and ran towards the MacD area. The Nike Shelter (for the run later) were being set up. Lots of runners were out in force...lots of pent-up energy...hehe. We ran for about 25min before U-turning back to Carpark F2. The pace was enthusiastic as we went about our 5min/km speed. We arrived back to F2 taking about 50min, and running for close to 10km.

A small crowd had gathered at the Nike Shelter by then. We registered ourselves, got our bibs, and even got to try out Nike running shoes. I exchanged my Cumulus VII for a pair of Air Max Moto for a trial. The Nike organizer gave a brief of the Runholics program, and the mileage and attendance we have to achieve to be able to qualify for free Nike Bowerman Runners, as well as purchase a Nike Runaholics top after 3 runs. MR25 President, Stephen Lee gave a brief about the 10km route, and we set off after the 2 pace groups (5min/km and 5:30min-6min/km). With less forefoot cushion afforded by the Air Max Moto, I did a more heel striking run, and moved slowly from behind to catch up with the 5min/km group led by Michael Craig and Trevor Seaman. I enjoyed the nice and even 5min pace they set, and we did a U-turn at the SAF NSRCC. There was a large MR25 team who were there to help runners along the route. JJ and Sumiko provided good encouragement running up and down, waiting and pacing runners, and helping with refreshments and drinks. After the U-turn, I ran up to catch up with Craig and Trevor, and I finished the 10km run in 49min+....3rd...haha...not bad for that kind of timing. The first guy came in 41min...wow...he got a gift voucher...good for him. I was happy just to get a good run in, and recorded my mileage with Nike.

I did a cool down with Trevor and DO afterwards, and we had a nice chat. Had a nice munch of the apples and bananas, with compliments from Nike. The weather was cool, so I didn't need to drink too much. The rest of the SgRunners arrived shortly, all having enjoyed their runs. We stayed for a bit to get our Runaholics Card marked, and for some prizes to be given. Vincent and Brokie were lucky to win 3 Nike bags, very nice....waah, hope I will win something at the lucky draw next time..hehe. We had a good wash-up (facilities at F2 car-park are not bad), and then proceeded to Marine Parade Food Centre for makan and drinks. I am glad I could get about 20km lsd in amidst the haze, which does not look like it is going to abate soon.

Distance: 20km__Time: 1hr40min__Pace: 5min/km

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Friday, October 06, 2006

Short recovery runs

The quads and calves ached the following few days after the Climbathon. I have experienced this during the July prelims/recce trip. I have not really run for about a week since last Wednesday, and was looking for a chance to get some short runs in to restart the engine.

Managed to jio DO to run a short, slow one at SAFRA MF on Tuesday evening. His legs were just as bad as mine, aching very badly. The mf runners were doing MF Hill repeats, which we were definitely not ready to do. We did a very yslow paced run into Canterbury Estates, then a loop at Labrador Park, before heading back to ClubHouse. Though the pace was slow, it was good to get the circulation going, to clear off lactic acid in the body.

Joined the adiRUN on Wed evening. Went to Nike BIRD to collect the Runaholics card, and it was quite a hassle. We did a short distance of 8km plus this evening, running along The Esplanade to Clarke Quay and then to Kim Seng Bridge area, before turning back. Fennel and joao_li ran at a quick pace, and I followed along just to get a good workout. It was great, after having slacked for a few days. The legs were still achy, but I could sustain the pace. At Kim Seng Bridge, I ran back to keep pace with Beverly, and we ran together all the way back to the Esplanade area. Beverly ran a good pace, and we were never far from Meteor nor Brokie. We did the 8.2km run in about 46min, quite a decent timing. After the run, we met the MR25 people like Sumiko, JJ, Vincent and president Stephen Lee at the Nike Bird shop. They were there to plan for the start of the Nike series of runs for the Runaholics this Sunday at ECP. A few of us will be joining in the run, but not before doing our own additional distance prior to the 10km run.

Did a 16km run with SAFRA MF on thursday evening. On my way to ClubHouse, I noticed that the skies were very hazy. There was a large turnout, about 30, not surprising since SCSM06 was fast approaching. We started off towards Tiong Bahru Park, and then to Delta Canal. My left calf was still tight and sore, whilst the rest of my legs felt not too bad. As we ran along the Canal, the air was bad, and I didn't move too fast. Teck Hou, Hock Soon, Colleen and a few others were leading the way. Trainer Ong was at the rear, looking after new runners. Ran through serene Ridley Park, and then through the old CMPB and into Botanic Gardens (by the side entrance). We gathered at the toilets for a break, before moving off along Farrer Road and then turning into the 'Demoralizing' Margaret Road stretch. I picked up pace a little, and ran alongside Colleen, Chin Huat, and 2 others. The air was realy bad, and I could feel my eyes 'drying'. I recalled that on Tuesday night, my eyes were 'red' from the dryness of the then less hazy air. Along Delta Canal back, Colleen was chatting about the importance of core strength for running, while we were increasing cadence while shortening strides. I finished off the 15km distance in about 1hr35min, including water stops, and breaks waiting for runners. It was a 'breathless' run for me, and the rest of the runners agreed that the air was really quite bad. My eyes felt very dry, and it twitched the whole night through to the next morning...hmm.

Trainer Ong has planned for a 30km LSD this Sunday at the East Coast Parkway. I will also be at ECP to do a 15km run with SgRunners (Brokie, Vincent, Sotong, DO, etc) before joining the Nike Runaholics run at 7.30am for another 10km. MR25 runners like JJ and Sumiko will be leading the Runaholics run, and it should be fun to run along with the other Nike runners. There will be lots of runners this Sunday at ECP it seems :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Toughest Mountain Race In The World

I have accomplished the mission by racing in the 20th Mt. Kinabalu Climbathon 2006, rated by some as the toughest mountain race in the world. I reached the 4095m summit in 3hr44min, 14min off the qualifying time of 3hr30min for the Veteran Category. I made the descent in about 3hr05min, and completed the whole race in 6hr49min, 19min off the qualifying time of 6hr30min, and recorded my first DNF ever. Yes..Did Not Finish (DNF)...as long as the qualifying time was not met, we were termed as DNF...Only about 40% of the participansts complete the race within qualifying time...thats how tough it was...hmm. However, I was happy to have completed the race, and was allowed to summit (since I was at the final cut-off before the time was up).

Team NTUC did very well, with Yulan, David and Sim summit-ing and completing the race in regulation time for each of the Women's Open, Veteran and Men's Open categories. The rest of the 5 team members of Timothy, Henry, Roland, Hee Sheng ad Rodney all did their best climbs too. We were a happy team. Thanks to the great support and cameraderie provided by the NTUC Club management who put together a 10-man entourage to go along with the participating team. Met lots of elite sky runners, the incredulous Ricardo, the sleek Czech lady champion, Anna, and the sky running teams from Spain, Italy, France...and many superb mountain runners from Japan, Nepal, and even from Kenya.

Pre-Race (Mt. Kinabalu Park)

We arrived to The Rose Cabin, the lodge we stayed at when we last went to MK in July for the prelim training. Other than the nine runners, we had a team of NTUC managers...Mr. Ang, Jane, Yusof, Lingam, Hamidah, Carmen, Imelda and press people from Radio News (Jeremy) and the Malay media (saiful). We checked into Rose Cabin, after a direct flight into Sabah, and a 2-hour coach journey. I was pretty smooth. We got changed, and went down to Mt. Kinabalu Park at about 3pm to register. There were a larger list of participants this year, and we understood that the MK Climbathon was into its final year with the SkyRunner World Series, and would have to re-bid for another 5-year term after that. After registration, we went down to the offcial start point, a few hundred metres to Tipohon Gate, for a series of photo-taking with our press photographer. We attended the Race Briefing conducted by Balwant Singh, Race Director at 6pm, and watched a series of very interesting videos of past year's runs. We had an early dinner, and after a pep-talk by Yuosf and Hamidah, retired early to bed at 9pm. As usual, I could hardly sleep in a foreign bed, and stayed mostly awake till dawn.

Race Day 1 (Men's Veteran, Women's Open)

I awoke at 4.45am, put on the long-sleeve dri-fit shirt with another running singlet on top, showing clearly the bib no. Took raisin bread, downed with hot coffee, and away we went to the start point. The weather was nice, and at the start point, many of the international women's and Men's Veteran runners were gathered. After our numbers were called out by the Organizer, and attendance taken, Yulan, DO and myself did a brief warm-up. At 7am, the race started. I hoped I brought enough fuel for the day in my fuel belt. The front elites immediately dashed for Tipohon Gate, while I joined the mid-pack at a slower-pace. Once past Tipohon Gate, it was down the flights of stairs, across Carson Falls, and the start of the action...a series of climbs that will stretch 5km to Laban Rata, taking about 2hours. The beginning pace was a tad fast, and I was trying not to go too fast lest lactic acid built up too fast. There was a bit more space this time. As I past the 1km mark, I found myself pacing along with this triathelete, whom I found out later was Wendy, and also another 2 male participants. We were toing-fro-ing for most of the next 2-3km, before they moved ahead of me. I guess I sarted off too fast and was paying the price (panting).

The legs were feeling fine, and I wasn't sure when I passed Layang Layang Hut. Still, it was smoother as I moved near to Laban Rata, and I reached in about 2hrs. Someone was clapping and cheering me on...heh, it was Lingam, our trainer, who had gone up the previous night with the press photographer to capture us doing the race...nice. After acknowledging Lingam, I moved on quickly past the gate into the flight of stairs to Sayat Sayat hut. I had recovered by then, and with my relatively strong cardio, I was able to overtake a few people along this stretch. It didn't feel as hard as when I went for the recce. Just as I was doing that, the leader of the Women's, Anna was dashing back, followed by the Men's veteran ang-moh. Then there were 3 more gal runners...wow, they were FAST! Already touched the summit, and on their way down....WOW! I meandered out from the long flight of stairs, onto the rocks and pebbles, and then to the granite slab surface. I overtook a few more along the way, and finally hit the ropes (literally) and manouvered to Sayang Sayang Hut in about 2hr30min. I was still feeling good, as I moved past the gate and into new territory (I did not past this point during the July prelims/recce). Along the way, I could see more elites and Sky Runners bounding and leaping down...waah...these were real mountain runners, like mountain goats jumping about...*kudos*

As I past the check points, I noticed the marshalls recording down our bib nos. and timings. I was given 3hr30min to reach the summit, and when the time is up, participants would be turned back and disqualified if they have not reached. I went to the 7.5km mark, and was faced with quite a steep slope. No problem..I started to walk up. I saw Wendy and the few other guys who broke away from me just in front....Great, I had caught up. After a short while, I was seized with cramps in my quads...first left leg, and then the right...Yikes! What a time to get cramps (Later found out that it could be the cold winds that were the cause). I persisted and went on, occassionally stopping to massage my legs. That slowed me down, and I met another Singaporean, Steven (a trifam guy) at that point. He too was trying to make the summit within the time, but was catching his breath. I was about 30min from the summit, and there was another 1km or so. I was looking out for DO and Yulan, whom I knew was ahead. Soon, I spotted DO running down...he had touched the summit early...yeah! DO said that I was close, but I told him I had cramps and he recommended I take a powergel. I moved on after taking a Gu gel, but damn....left my glove behind. It was cold, maybe about 5deg up there, and I trudged towards the summit. I reached the 8.2km mark with about 15min to spare, and then saw Yulan coming down. She was happy, and old me that I was just very close. With my frozen legs, I struggled along, at least passing the final cut-off point. I was allowed to summit, and finally touched the 'plate' at Low's Peak in 3hr44min. The marshall recorded the timing, and I had some photos taken by an official photographer....hopefully, he will send me the photos...haha.

I was elated to have summitted. I was off the official time by 14min, and didn't think too much about making up for it. I was chatting and encouraging the final few who were summit-ing, until it became a little crowded. Then I decided to move back down, and after getting some more cramps at the hamstrings and claves area, it dawned on me that I could make up the shortfall by recovering on the down-slopes, which I was given 3hours. I had wasted at least 30min!! I quickly set my watch to 2hrs, to reach down, leaving another 30min for the 4km run from Topohon Gate. I picked up speed and started to run down to the 7.5km area, and then to Sayat Sayat Hut. I was feeling quite good. When I hit the Sayat stairways, I was surprised to see 2 guys who had summited earlier than me...that meant I had caught up some. They mentioned their knees were feeling the strain, and would be slow. I moved on and then saw Wendy, the malaysian triathelete. She told me she decided not to summit and she was showing symptoms of hypothermia (too cold that one's heart can get 'cramps' and die). She told me that one person just died from hypothermia at last year's Climbathon05.....*sweat*. No wonder she turned towards the support tentages at the 8km mark for food and hot drinks. On the descent, she was also cautious since she was not going for any timing...she would try again next year, she said. I took off again from Laban Rata, and met with Lingam and our photographer. Lingam congratulated me on my summit-ting, while the photographer snapped away. I continued my way, and was feeling good. I had 2 more hours from that point. It was smooth-going until I hit the 4km mark. The long series of down the stairs and rocks were taking its toll on my legs. I felt tired, and I felt irritated by the countless stairs I had to get down. In what seemed like eternity, I reached the 2km mark with about 1hr to go. I knew then that I would probably miss the 6.5hr mark. I continued to push on, and after much 'mindless' stairs climbing down (it was a wonder my knees held up), I reached Carlson Falls and then Tipohon gate. A check of the time showed it was 6hr25min. I would not make the cutoff. I could finish the whole race, no doubt. I ran the final 4km downslope tarmac road in what will be a 'crawling' speed. My legs hurt from the downslopes. With about 400m to the finish, I spotted DO waiting in front...he cheered me on, and as I turned the bend, the whole NTUC contingent cheered me to the finish line, where I received my finisher's medal. It was great to have the whole team cheer me, and I was relieved and happy to finish the entire race in one piece...hehe. After many congratulatory handshakes, the news people did a short interview with me to enquire if I was disappointed. To be honest, I was happy to have summitted, as that was the objective I set for myself. Though I was close to completing the race in 6hr30min, I knew I had done my best, and I would just take that as a good first experience, my first experience in a mountain race, what more one of the World's Toughest! When the dust settled, and I had a good lunch, I was happy to hear the David and Yulan came back below 6hours...wow, these regular training kakis of mine did really well, and I was proud and happy for them. Roland and Rodney, my other team-mates for the Vereran did reach to Sayat Sayat Hut and they too were happy with their longest distance achieved.

Race Day 2 (Men's Open)

I did sleep a little this time, and awoke to aching quads and calves. I was reliefed that my race was over. The weather was wet and rainy. It was time for me to join the rest to support our Men's Open participants; Sim, Timothy, Hee Sheng and Henry. At the start point was the reigning champion, Ricardo Mejia from Mexico, a veteran runner competing in the Men's Open...*salute*. A few of us watched the men from Tipohon Gate and had a chance to see the elites 'flying' down the stairs...it was an awesome sight. Yulan took some nice photos. DO, Jane and myself went down to Carlson Falls just to have a short recovery and to show Jane parts of the route we took. After breakfast, we were back at the finish line at about 9.30am, to await the arrival of the leaders. There were 'live' commentaries along the way, and we heard that the local Malaysian champion was leading Ricardo, although Ricardo had summit-ted first in 1hr44min (just look at that....I was not even at Laban Rata yet...hehe). Lots of local supporters were at the finish line cheering. In the end, Ricardo did emerge first, as he overtook the Malaysian in the final 500m road run stretch...a dramatic finish. Third was a Malaysian too. The Japanese came in 4th with a bad injury, and Spain was fifth. I had fun watching the top 10 finsihers. We later heard that Sim was the only one in our team who summitted, and was just 7min off the mark. However we were confident with his speed, Sim could make up for lost ime on the down stretch. The rains came, and poured heavily after the arrival of the first 5 winners. Sim finally came back within the cutoff time, and we were all so happy. The rest of the runners in our team came back shortly.

After some more interviews and meeting of friends we made on the course, we all attended the Prize-Presentation Ceremony. It was a buffet spread, and we were entertained with song and dance. It was great fun to see the various teams in their very nice attire, especially the European Sky Running teams. The Nepalese with the British Royal Army based in Brunei was there too, as were the Cebu Sky Runners. It was one of the best prize-presentation ceremonies for a race I've attended thus far.

We were all very happy to have 3 members of the team completing within regulation time, which far exceeded many people's expectations. It was a good result for all, and we had a nice BBQ celebration in the night. It was a great experience for all, and especially for me (who had not even climbed a mountain other that Bukit Timah Hill prior), to have raced and completed this tough mountain race. In the course of it, I had shared many moments over the 5month training period with the team and the NTUC Club Sports&Wellness Managers, and will recall with fond memories how I trained, sweat, and made it with the team. I am sure it will not be the end of our co-operation, and as its always true for me, The Journey Itself Is The Reward!

Photos & Articles will be appended as they are received....watch this space for them!

Lessons learnt

In addition to the common tips and recommendations for this mountain race, like AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), I did have my personal oberservations and lessons learnt from this Climbathon:

1. Wear skin-fit type of clothing, best to cover arms and most sections of the legs... the cold winds blowing could trigger off cramps easily, which was what happened to me. Cramps and seizure in the upper body could lead to hypothermia, causing death

2. Proper fuelling is a must, and bring double the dosage of fuel one would prepare for a full marathon. The first 45min of stairs-climbing would drain off most people's glygogen.

3. Hydration will be provided in the form of mineral water, which when drunk too much, can lead to 'washing-off' of minerals and salts from the body. Bringing isotonic concentrate along will be very useful.

4. A strong cardio base will be essential for a easy summit to the top. It will allow us to breathe easier as we manouvre the thinner O2 levels at higher altitudes. Strong quads and calves will also be necessary as there are lots of stairs (mostly high) to climb and step-up to. Upper body strength will be useful as there will be lots of pulling with the arms on ropes, and stair rails to aid climbing up.

5. Training for the Climbathon will best be done on a x-country terrain with stairs/slopes/rocks eg. parts of Bukit Timah Reserve. Training for going down the mountain will be in the areas of agility and light-footedness.

6. We noticed that the elie and experienced racers have a technique off 'putting their hands on their knees, and stooping low' when climbing steeper sections of the mountain. This could be one of the techniques to allow quicker ascent, and is worth considering to acquire

Related Posts with Thumbnails