Monday, October 29, 2007

New Balance Real Run 2007

This year's New Balance Real Run was to be different, ran from the Changi Expo area, along Changi Coastal Road, part of Changi Beach, and offered a 15km distance, on top of the regular 10km. I decided to do this year's run just to get the new experience of a 15km race in Singapore, and to run along the new stretch of road from Changi Expo out to Coastal Road. I have not trained specifically for this, and till this morning, did not really have a good idea of the route...just take it as a fun run and get to meet running kakis and people watch a little.

Arrived at the large Carpark near the Expo halls with DO and Lim Teck Heng at 6.20am. Took us about 10min to get parked, and was a little surprised not to bump into that many familiar faces...met Ultraman first at the Port-a-loo, and then saw chuacath...great to see her in good form. Kayano was in the queue too :). We went for a short warm-up run, and when we came back, Gentle, kclschin, AiChai. sealboon, Kayano had gathered. We were joined by more SgRunners, and then Lai Chee came along to say hello too. Then tekko came with his pretty running babes in tow...really jealous of him lah....haha. Met ShortRunner for the first time.

The 10km were flagged off by Pressident Nathan who was a wee bit late, and it took about 10min for the whole line of runners to clear the start point. We lined up near to the front, and to my surprise, the 15km run was flagged off just 5min after the 10km runners....sure to be some jam in front. The first 2.5km out to Coastal Road was new road, as I took my time to tag along the front runners of DO, Ultraman and Lai Chee. At my 5:10mikn/km pace, I was passed by a few runners along the way....could see TLR, Kumaran and the young runners zooming by. The real jam came when we ran onto the cycle/foot path next to Coastal Road. We slammed into the back of the 10km runners, and I had trouble weaving through the narrow confines. There was a gal runner running close by, and I decided to just tag along her 5:15min/km pace.

By the 5km, I was doing 5:05min pace...running alongside the 2 strong gal runners kept me moving steadily, and I started to enjoy the run when the 10km did their U-turn. The coast was a lot clearer by then, and I had clearer views of the runway to my right, and also of some of the runners I lost earlier. I began to pick up a little to try to make up for lost time, but yet was careful not to push hard for I could see the sun coming on strong in the distance. Saw DO again near the U-Turn, and when I got to the Coastal Road proper, it was easier for me to move about....I could see the bunch up now on the footpath, to my right then. By the 7km, I decided to go below 5min pace to recover some time, before hitting the sand...slowly overtook the gals, then moved past DO, Ultraman, Kumaran's boss, and a couple others. saw leh-lio running on Coastal Road in the opposite direction and waved to her.

Reached the 10km mark in 48min...hmm, felt ok, still breathing easy. I found the runners in front slowing down, and decided to just maintain the pace...overtook the gal in orange who had looked so strong throughout. The shady section along Changi Beach trail provided a little relief just before hitting the beach. The sand was soft, and sloping down, and I was afraid of getting my legs or ankles twisted...after about 200m, I decided to move up to a flatter and firmer section....fortunately, it was not that crowded at the beach the time I finished the 1km sand stretch, my breathing was a little heavier. Took a final cup of isotonic drink, before making a push for the final 3km in the hot sun.

The run back along the long road to the end point was really 'mental', with the blazing heat from the sun beating down and glaring in the face. Loads of people were walking, as I kept to the middle of the road to get a clear running path. There were only very few people running, and we tried to encourage more to move quickly out of that 'no shade' hot stretch. Many seemed to have their heads drooping and tongues hanging....they must have suffered in that heat. My desire to get out from that HOT stretch kept me going at steady pace, overtaking many in the process. I just wanted to finish and get into some shade...haha. Finally, heard a group cheering and souting 'Keep going...1km more'. I was elated to hear that, and kept up my sub 5min pace to finish off the final km....the time on the board showed 1hr14min as I crossed with my arms raised. I walked forward after the finish, and was not breathing hard...I felt quite good actually, and in retrospect, I did enjoy the run in spite of the initial human traffic jam and the heat...:)

Collected my race bag, and joined the SgRunners at the air-cond NBRR podium area. Had a good round of barley, thanks to Brokie...acleong, Fatty-Bom-Bom, loneshark, Jasonlow, RogerHub, sealboon, kcslchin, alecchua, Jodan, ST, DO, Lai Chee, Kayano, Brokie, Vincent, Sotong, Roonz (my, she sure has lost some weight....looked good though :)) and more SgRunners gathered around, taking photos and relaxing. I also met Sam, Edmund, Shirlyn and many of the SAFRA TP Runners...all of them were looking so cool....guess they must have enjoyed the run as well. The generous cash prizes attracted a good turnout from the elite Malaysian runners (this Superman guy ran 15km in just 52min...reall SUPER lah!)...the usual suspects from Singapore also claimed some glory for Singapore...Lai Chee did well to win $750 for her 3rd position in the 15km Women's Open. Mika Kume, Pauline Mulroy, Kien Mau from MR25 did very well. Trevor and Kumaran did good timings of 1hr10min+.

Team BroKiE was proud of Jancy for her 18th position in the 15km Women's and she deserved the medal awarded for her good effort...Gentle was neck-neck with her at the finish...whoo, I can't wait for the SCSM07 showdown...hehe. RogerHub did well too with his 16th position 10km race. We hung around for the exciting Lucky Draw afterwards, and congrats to Eliza for getting 2nd! We left the place at 12pm, spending 3hrs after the run to enjoy the cool comfort of the air-cond expo hall with about 10,000 runners all having enjoyed what I would consider a very well organized New Balance Real was enjoyable for me....I hope to be back next year!

Distance: 15km__Time: 1hr14min__Pace: 4:56min/km

Official NBRR07 Results (Men's Open)
Managed 1:14:04 Chip Time...94th overall (out of 2350 runners)

NBRR Photos

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