Monday, April 27, 2009

Night Hawk #8 - The Longest Run

NightHawk Session #8 - Group Photo

It was a warm night as 70 runners descended upon ECP Carpark C4 to join Team FatBird for our 8th session of the NightHawk Marathon Training Program. When 9pm came, we gave a briefing on the objective of this Sundown route familiarization run, as well as the distances and routes for 12km, 24km, 35km and 55km. About 75% of the trainees have signed up for Sundown Marathon on May30, and they were highly charged up for what would be their likely longest LSD run. Lots of group photo-taking and mini-group shots from the run photographer, Max.

The 55km runners (13 of them) were flagged off first, with Henry, Ultra and Eugene helping to guide them along the route. The biggest group were doing the 35km, led by Anthony, David, Keonz, YN, Spencer and Terry. Beng and Suan took care of the 24km, whilst Jancy single-handedly led the 12km runners. We all took the same route towards Kembangan from C4, with respective turning points at Bedok Town Park (12km U-turn), Mobil station along Tampines Ave 9 (24km U-turn) and Loyang Ave (35km U-turn). Sleek and LYK from Team Coconut were on hand to sweep the 35km runners too.

12km, 24km, 35km NightHawk runners starting off

I was chatting with Chantelle for the first 3km...hmm, its been some time (SCSM08) since I last saw her, and her speed has improved. Angelin and David ran along too, fresh from their outing from TriBob Triathlon. It was good to meet and chat with some of the new members to the program, whom had seen Team FatBird training along ECP, and have finally found time to join us...welcome! We maintained an average 6.30min/km pace all along to Kembangan MRT....Paulina, Darren and Johnny leading the way for the 35km. Paulina will be attempting the 84km for the second time *kudos* is also been a while since our last run at the International Friendship run organized by me and DO.

After 6km of running along the winding slopes of Bedok Town Park and crossing of bridges, we reached the Bedok Town Park shed...hmm, found that the power points have been are we going to boil water for coffee/milo on race day? That was the first group RV point...the 12km runners u-turn back, and we bade them adios. The rest pushed on towards the sandy gravel of Bedok Reservoir. We could hear the swishing sounds as the runners hit the gravel in the dark of the night. Everyone was in high spirits.....before long, we exited to Tampines Ave 10. A slight breakaway from the front group...fortunately Keonz was there to rein them in. I provided the middle bridge and maintained contact with the rear group held by DO.

35km-ers in celebratory mood

It was nice to see Max along Tampines Ave 9, snapping away on his pro-looking camera. The group assembled for the 2nd RV at the Mobil station. The runners took a good break and did some good refuelling. The 24km runners U-turn here, and we wished them all the best. The rest of us proceeded on towards Pasir Ris Town Park, crossing the 'bouncy' bridges and along the Park connectors. A toilet break was made at the Park, before we moved on along the convoluted part of Downtown East towards Loyang Connector. The runners were still running as a group as we hit the U-turn (about 17.5km) along the Loyang PCN. A few had turned back slightly earlier, but the bulk of them arrived in good form.

With the runners having a good idea of the route by then, the return leg had fewer stops. We increased the pace to 5.45min/km pace for the long stretches back. Keonz and I went to the front to ensure that all know where to turn back. The night had turned cooler by then with light breezes. Without much stoppage, we finally reached Tampines Ave 9 again, and had a final pit-stop at the Kopi-tiam. Some iced-milo did me good, with the rest taking 100plus and lots of other iced-cold drinks. DO's group joined us, followed by Nancy's, then the rest. I called Terry to check that his group knew the way.

With 11km to finish, the spirits of the runners were high. My group pushed off ahead, with Keonz, Paulina, Darren and Michael setting the pace. I followed closely behind, and was enjoying the faster pace for a bit. When we hit Bedok Reservoir again, it was time for us to enjoy the swishing sounds of the gravel again. I waited for Anthony Kwek and YN to join me to proceed to Bedok Town Park, while Keonz and the front pack moved ahead. With 5km to go, I decided to wait a bit at Town Park for the mid pack to come through. They were 'happy to see a familiar face cheering for them' as they put it...haha...they picked up their steps and moved all the way to the finish line. I ran ahead to catch them and did a good photo finish with Min.

NightHawk Run Leaders in ACTION!

Grabbed a quick drink, and a nice Sng Pao, and I went back to pick up some of the other runners. Cheered the runners coming in for the final 1km, and then saw Sleek, tnancy and LYK. tnancy was slightly injured with ITBS after that gruelling 33km, but when she heard me said it was just 1km more, she perked up and steadily breezed through to the finish....*impressive*. Sleek could not stop praising his Team Coconut for their outstanding demonstration of grit and endurance. With some time to spare, I went back for 1 more round to pick Beverly, BernOh up. They too perked up when they spotted me, and together we did a nice more photo-finish for me...hehe.

The 55km runners have done about 40km by then, and they made their pit-stop at C4. Ultra, BaldChoy, Lucas, Henry, Eugene, Andy were there. I enjoyed the longan syrup prepared by Esther and the Sng Pao from YN, Spencer, Keonz. The bananas from Beng and Suan were life savers for the 55km runners. Ah Chun ran so fast he completed his 55km in lah! We received nice reviews and feedback from the runners, who relished the familiarization of the complex route, full of twists and turns. Many were satisfied with having completed their longest distances with company and the good support from Team FatBird. Well done Team!

NightHawk 55km Runners

With 4 weeks to go, we will proceed to the final 3rd of Operations NightHawk. The next Night Run will be on May 8, with distances from 10km-50km. Tapering will be the order, and it will be more time to catch up and plan for our support plan for actual race day. The Team FatBird Sundown Support Plan will provide personal race support and runspiration for our team of runners participating, and hopefully we can help to make what would be a maiden Night Run for many, a memorable experience.

Distance: 38km__Time: 5hrs30min

Photo Slideshow from FeetOfFury
Photo Contribution from NighHawk Runners, SC & Amy, FatBird Jancy

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At 4:47 PM, Blogger Tekko said...

U setting up the support station at Bedok Town Park like we did last night? The power supply at the shed is not available to the public unless u apply to the town council. We used charcoal fire to boil water.

At 6:31 PM, Blogger The DreamRunner said...

yo tekko,
considering that to be one of the points...but saw that they have no electricity...maybe gotta bring hotpot for kopi-O.

are you going to set up something at that spot this year?

At 6:34 PM, Blogger Tekko said...

no. I can't stay the whole night this time round. You guys enjoy yourself there. I might pop in or do a smaller shorter term one somewhere else


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