Sunday, August 02, 2009

A Hilly Homecoming...

Photo Slideshow by DO
FB Photos by Melvin Lee, Dave Poh

SAFRA Runners @ MF Location Run (20km Race)

It has been more than a year since I have been back to SAFRA Mt. Faber (MF) for a group run with the guys. There were a couple of times when I went back on Sundays, but the crowd was real small, and we didn't quite do the hilly slopes that SAFRA MF is known for. So, in spite of the 18km Kingfisher run I had yesterday, I was actually looking forward to the 20km Location Run at MF; more so to meet up with running friends and kakis from the various SAFRA Running Clubs.

When DO and I reached MF Clubhouse at 7am, Chairman and his team of volunteers were already busy with registration and the setting up of support points. There was a system to identify the veteran runners too, which Chairman was only too proud to announce with gusto...haha. Met a few SgRunners and Team FatBird runners there too, which was nice.

Running Kakis and Friends

After the group photo and briefing by Chairman, we were flagged off to run the 2 x 10km MF loops, going up by the steep Kampong Bahru side, and descending by the long downslopes to Morse Road. The usual fast ones like Wen Long, Goh, Teck Hou, Alan, Ong, Derrick, Eric, Colleen, Julie and a couple more went ahead. I was quite happy to do a 5:10min/km pace with DO, David Shum, Johnny, Jason and a couple more. The rest of the pack, some doing only 1 loop of 10km, were enjoying themselves. Dave Poh was there with his nice camera covering all the strategic spots.

The first loop up Kampong Bahru took some wind out of me. I have not run up those MF slopes, or many slopes for that matter, for some time. It was a happy moment to see the support station of Melvin, Jancy, Trevor, Bug up there offering iced-cold 100plus. Johnny, David Shum and DO were just behind as I finished my drink, and enjoyed the downslopes. All the way out through Morse Road, and going back by Telok Blangah Way for 10km in 50min...Chairman, Yean, Eng Hwa and many supporters provided cheers and drinks at the mid-point. Johnny was just behind, but his stomach gave him some issues, while the two Davids decided to call it a day.

Finishing the first 10km lap

Without the mini group, I went for my second 10km loop pretty much alone. I was still running conservative, although my Lunar Racers were pushing the legs...haha, that was when I needed a break man. The second time up Kampong Bahru slopes was a real bugger. I could see Colleen chugging up the meandering slopes steadily. I slowed down the pace sufficiently for the climb up. My cardio was being pushed, and my heart was pumping furiously....wah, I almost wanted to stop and walk. I just kept one leg in front of the other, and using my arms to pump, managed to reach the top after a struggle. I was so happy to see Jancy and gang up there, and that time, I stopped for a longer time to gulp down 2 cups of 100plus and made small-talk with the group.

Up the final slope to the cafe, I saw ZhiLei waiting for Justin and her friends. That was the point of release for me, as it was just downslope all the way. I sucked in good oxygen as I let my body loose with my legs maintaining steady strides. By the time I was down the slope, my heart rate was back to a comfortable zone. A biker shouted at me, and I heard 'Anthony....Kenneth here'...nice that you called out to me Kenneth. When I reached down to Morse Road, I could see Colleen yet again....she was still the leading woman runner then. At Kampong Bahru, I spotted Derrick....he was slowing...he signaled me to pass. By the time I hit Telok Blangah Way, it was just 2km to go....I slowed to a comfortable pace and finished back at ClubHouse in 1hr41min...the second loop took me 51min. I was handed a position card of 4 for the veteran category...hehe.

Goh Lean Seng was 1st in the veteran category, his time way ahead of mine. Alan Chao was second, while Eric Koa was third. I was fourth, and Derrick took 5th. I got an adidias bottle, but I guess it was the participation and support for the event that mattered more to me...hehe. Wen Long was first in the Men's Open category, while Colleen took pole position in the Women's Open. After gulping many cups of 100plus, I went to the end-point to cheer and chat with the runners there. Chairman and senza were having a fun time talking about the training and runners at MF. There was a mini buffet spread, followed by a talk on the Suunto Training Computer/Watch. It was a nice homecoming of sorts for me, and I hope I can run more at MF whenever I am able to.

Distance: 20km__Time: 1hr41min__Pace: 5:04min/km

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