Monday, July 27, 2009

Kingfishers @ Time Trials

Ops Kingfisher Session #4: Time Trials

This was the day of reckoning for Ops Kingfisher. A record number of more than 70 runners turned up for Session #4, time trials and the second Newton Shoe trial. 35 had signed up in advance for the shoe trials, with a few more walk-ins...seemed like our partner KPI were prepared for the anticipated demand.

Team FatBird's kingfishers gathered at The FatBird Nest from 6.50am for registration, and soon there were lots of chatting and sharing amongst the crowd. We conducted the pre-run briefings at 7.15am, followed by the customary Group Photo shot. There were quite a number of fast runners, coupled with quite a few new faces too....The FatBird family is really growing fast :)

Kingfisher #4 Pre-Run Briefing

4 Pace Groups were offered to the 21km runners as guide posts, and the U-turn was at the traffic junction just before crossing to the Park Connector to Changi Coastal Road. After flagoff from the start-point near 7-11, the pacers soon took their respective paces. Keonz and Max went ahead to cover the 1:30-1:45h group. DO and I paced the 1:45-2:00h group, although we were more running at the front pace. Henry covered the pace nearer to 2:00h. Yamsong, Wee, Darren and about 20 runners were in our group. There were about 20 runners in the 2:00-2:15h group, led by Jancy, Spencer and YN. The remaining 25 runners joined the 2:15-2:30h and 10km groups led by Terry, Beng and Esther.

The 1:45h group settled into a steady 4:54min/km pace after 2km. There were many army running groups all along the way, many of them doing AHM time trials too. Eugene was spotted taking down timings for his unit. There was a large OCS (Officer Cadet School) team as well. They were looking at the large TFB running groups as well, distinction being that there ware quite a number of babes and uncles in our groups, compared with their mainly young hunks only groupings....haha. WE made the halfway point at the traffic junction in 4:55min/km average pace. The caucasian gal was leading the way. Darren was at the turning point showing the way. Quite a number of new runners were just, all doing not bad, about 5:05min/km pace.

The way back was quite ok, maintaining 4:55min/km pace. I had moved up slightly and was ahead for most of the way. When I passed the Chalet area, the World Harmony Runners (WHR) were gathered for one of their stops. A number of people shouted for me, and I waved and clapped for them. They are doing an 18km run for world peace and harmony...for a good cause. I had joined the WHR in 2006 and 2007. It was a real experience running and stopping at various religious and historic places to spread peace and harmony.

With 4km to go, and the heat from the emerging sun, my pace dropped to a 4:56min/km average. I was feeling winded...and slowed down to a more tolerable speed. There were a couple more TFB runners at 5min/km pace not too far back. The Newton Cushion Racer I wore held on well, remaining light throughout. With a bit more running, I finally reached back to the Nest and start point in 1hr40min...not bad for a 21km, and a little faster than the 5min/km pace I had to do. Robert, Sham and the KPI team were already at the end point welcoming the runners back.

Freshening Up @ FatBird Watering Hole

It was a good time trials for all the Kingfishers, with quite a number doing their Personal Best (PB) for the 21km and even 10km distances. All were in high spirits, despite the heat and the thirst. The 100plus we brought along were depleted in no time. We will need to replenish the FatBird Watering Hole fund soon to cater for more isotonic drinks and bananas to runners. The Kingfishers were happily chatting away and sharing experiences with one another. It was not till 10am that most started leaving. Many of them had the satisfaction of knowing they will complete the respective distances they have signed up for with confidence, and quite a few quietly gunning for PBs.

The next 2 weeks will see us tapering to 18km, followed by 15km for the 6th and final session, holding on the same targeted pace. A final Newton Shoe Trial session will be conducted at the 6th training check for the schedule HERE. Team FatBird Shoe Reviewers will be posting up video interviews and feedback from the runners who have tried the various models of the for that and the Team Reviews as well.

Photos by FatBirds Spencer, DO
Video Interviews by FatBirds YN, Keonz

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