Sunday, March 15, 2009

Friday The 13th

-- Photos by NightHawker Keonz & FatBird Spencer & FatBird Jancy

Group photo before run

It was Friday 13th, an auspicious evening for close to 60 runners who showed up at MacRitchie Reservoir (MR) carpark for the second session of Team FatBird's NightHawk Marathon Training Program. I was pleasantly surprised by the large turnout as the location wasn't the most accessible nor easy to get to....just goes to show the number of runners seriously training for Sundown :). SgRunners, MF Runners, Meet-Ups, I-Runners were well represented.

The X-Men NightHawk Run Leaders

It was also the night of the NightHawk run-leading team to test out our new 2XU Elite Compression tights. I was glad that all the sizing fit, and that the cut, hold and compression offered by the Elite version was very comfy and firm. We had the customary group photos and team photos before giving a brief of the training session and the route. Many of those who attended were new to Team FatBird, and was enthusaistic with the training as well as the turnout, along with the aura of a night run in one of the green lungs of Singapore.

The Route covering (MacRitchie Reservoir Carpark >> Thomson Rd >> Old upper Thomson Rd >> Upper Thomson Rd >> Mandai Rd >> Seletar Reservoir >> U-Turn @ Gates after the Tower >> Mandai Rd >> Upper Thomson Road >> Old Upper Thomson Rd >> Thomson Road >> MacRitchie Reservoir Carpark would take us through 24.8km @ FatTrim FlightZONES, 6.30 -7.30 min/km.

Waiting anxiously for registration to complete :)

The runners were divided into 4 groups of 10km, 16km, 20km and 25km distances. The longer distances were flagged off first. Stardust (Keonz), DO and myself led the 25km group, as we ran along Thomson Road towards Lower Pierce. Beng and YN went with the 20km, Benny and Spencer with the 16km team, while Jancy and Esther led the 10km. RoadRunner went with a small group to do 42km since they were training for the elite 84km distance...hehe.

The night was bustling with activity along Thomson Road, and traffic were pretty heavy. We had to guide the runners through the junction crossings, and it was great to have the team of 10 to manage that. As we turned into Lower Pierce Road, the traffic noise lessened significatly, and the serenity of the night welcomed the various running groups. The pace was FatTrim Zones 2-3, comfortable, yet effective in building up the base and fuel efficiency. Ironman Melvin was true to his training schedule as he ran a Zone 2 6:50min/km pace throughout....great considering he is a 3hr20min marathoner.

I was running with the group of Jane, Beverly, Alvin, Lilian, Beng, Suan, Vincent, BernOh and a few more along Old Upper Thomson Road (OUTR) at chit-chat pace, discussing running shoes and compression tights, among other stuff. Many of the runners have not run the route, and were enjoying the sights and sounds as we turned off from Casuarina Road (famous for the Roti Prata and its eating places)...that was 5km, and a small group turned back for their 10km fix of the night. The rest continued to the end of OUTR for a 8km mid-way distance, before turning back. We bid farewell, before moving on towards Mandai and turning into Seletar Reservoir for our 20km and 25km workout.

Bev exclaimed that the route was so much more interesting than ECP's. However, she was disturbed slightly by the exhausts of the many cars parked along the Reservoir area with their engines on...polluting the environment in what was otherwise a green lung area. The front groups waved to us as they ran on the upper area. Our group took a quick toilet break before moving on to the U-turn point at the Seletar Gates. According to our Garmin405, it was 12.4km at that point, and we were happy we still had quite a good tank left in us for the return. Bev, BernOh and myself caught up with Terry's group and DO's group along OUTR. We picked up another group before marrying up at the LPR toilet. With 4.5km left, all were in high spirits. It was nice to meet SiYi and her team who were joining NightHawk for the first time.

We picked up speed a little, as we proceeded back along Thomson Road. My average heart rate for most of the run was in Zone 2-3, HR of 130+. The weather was nice and cool throughout, although with not much wind. We were sweeping the final group, who continued running in spite of having done 20km+. They all seemed to have a reasonable base, and all we need would be some work to build that up progressively. Benny and Terry led the charge back for the final stretch, while DO and I covered the mid and rear sections.

The final 1km stretch with BernOh was good, as we all pushed to the finish of our 25km in approx. 3hrs. Nobody was panting, and all had reserves to go for more if required.....that was the kind of LSD we should be doing more....steady paced runs, burning fat, conditioning the legs, without getting too worn out. We cheered for the final group as they finished just around midnight. The iced-cold 100plus, bananas and Sng Paos were a well-deserving treat for a job well done. 3 Cheers for NightHawk!

The NightHawk team liked the 2XUs for their compression, and would be wearing them for future NightHawk training sessions. Some of the runners expressed that they too will start to dust away their compression tights, and bring them out of the closet for some serious distances we will be covering. Hmmm.....will the X-Men group grow into its own community? It all remains to be seen....hehe. Thanks to FatBirds and friends who stayed behind for another 2 hours to hold a twin celebration for Beverly and myself. Thanks team :)

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