Sunday, October 25, 2009

The NorthFace 100 Challenge 2009

Field Photos by FatBird DO

We were the Lead Runners for the inaugural NorthFace 100 Challenge in 2008. It was an experience to savor, as we saw top athletes battling it out with nature, but yet having that never-say-quit attitude to eventually finish the grueling 50km distance. The NF100 2009 Challenge took on an ever bolder stance with the introduction of 3 categories; the 100km Solo, 100km Duo and 50km Duo.

Because Team FatBird was rather heavily involved with Human Race & SCSM09 Marathon Training, we decided to support some of the strong FatBird Runners who had already signed up and qualified, providing the FlightZones Training program and team support. We had a balanced field of Henry (100km Solo), Wee & Eileen (100km Mixed Duo), Andy & Darren (100km Men’s Duo). The runners were very committed with their training very early on, and at one point, we were pretty concerned with the rather high mileage they were clocking...but being the experienced runners they are, our worries were put to rest early on.

Our support plan for Race Day was to rush over to the 2 pre-determined checkpoints, The Bukit Timah Visitor Centre (CP10 and ZhengHua Park (CP2), after the completion of the concurrent Nike Human Race in the morning. Group 1 (Spencer, YN, Benny) along with some FatBird Runners went to CP1, while Group 2 (David, Anthony, Nicholas) went to CP2. When we arrived at CP2, the first people that we met were the folks from Run-To-Eat, with a fully functional and well-stocked support station, complete with mosquito repellent and spray mist...hehe. There was also iced-cold 100-plus provided by the organizers, which completed well with the bananas and apples we brought along.

The first familiar face we met was SorePalm, who was already dying for ‘Chicken Rice’...haha. He told us that many more were behind, and that the Hill 265 (army training area) and Lor. Asrama were slowing many others. A short while later, our TFB Athlete Wee came along. He was also talking about the hilly region. But PS, Julie and William also came from that area, and they were looking as cool as cucumbers....we initially thought they were doing 25km each...haha. I received a call from CP 1 that Darren and Henry were spotted. We got down to work at CP2, cheering the runners coming up that slope, offering familiar faces with fruits, and listening to their tales of ‘suffering’ at the hill slopes. In spite, they were all very charged up, and were looking to complete the final 15km.

Then one lean guy wheezed by effortlessly. We thought he had gone the wrong way. Turned out he was the lead 100km Solo runner from Beijing, China. He started at 4am, and after 7hrs of trail running, he looked fresh as a lily. We were to see him at the finish eventually. Then came a lot of familiar faces...Andy, Alber, David Shum, Roentgen, Fennel, Ultra, kk, eileen, and so many more. All were happy to see us, and some were spilling expletives about the tough route...haha. We waited for a while longer for Henry before receiving news that he had injured his ankle badly at Bukit Timah Hill, and had to stop the race. We also heard earlier that Jeanette had to stop at around 25km because she was feeling unwell.

TFB NF100 Athlete, Darren

We bade farewell to the folks at CP2 although we had become slightly cosy with the mozzies after 2hrs...haha. We headed for MR where the finish was. When we reached MR, there was a hive of activity as the 50km Duo runners were finishing to loud cheers and applause. We saw Helen, Eileen, SAFRA Runners, and FatBird Runners Choon, Aaron, Kia Liang, Min, et al. Most were happy with the run and their completion times. Then the announcement for 100km Solo Runner finishing...that Chinese runner coming in so strongly and nonchalantly...the time is 9hr+.

Proud podium finishers

We stayed on to welcome more runners finishing, including Wee, Julie, PS. PS and Julie went on to win 2nd in the 100km Duo...well done. Lai Chee finished a very good second position in the women’s. Sham did a very fast 2hr5min 25km, but did not win anything, as his partner Fabian had work to attend to and couldn’t run the race. This year’s route was more challenging and better organized as well. It bodes well for trail racing in Singapore, and we should see this event growing even larger next year...GO NORTH To RACE NORTH!

Related Posts with Thumbnails


At 10:39 PM, Blogger PS said...

Tks for the support & pics. Was surprised & happy to see u & DO & familiar faces! Really cheered us up. :)


Post a Comment

<< Home