Sunday, May 23, 2010

100Plus Passion Run 2010

Report Photos, courtesy DO
Photo Slideshow, courtesy Senza
Facebook Photos from HC, Joey, Max, Melvin (Pt 1), Melvin (Pt 2)

The second local race for myself this year, and thanks to the courtesy of our Ops NightHawk partner, KeyPower for providing the team with some complimentary slots. The Passion Run has always been one of my favorite local races for its organization as well as generous goodie-bag, finisher tee, photo finisher cert as well as good support.

This year, I was joined by many i-Runners and Ops NightHawk trainees in the new 25km distance, starting also for the first time in the late afternoon, running into dusk. We were at The Angsana Green at ECP by 4pm, meeting up with FatBird Runners & friends. Our plan was to take this 25km race as a final practice run ahead of the following week's Sundown Marathon. In view of the warm and humid weather, as well as the crowd along the stretches of ECP, I was quietly hoping to just do 2hr10min or so.

After some nice photos, chit-chats, we moved to the starting pen at 4.10pm. After whiling away for a bit, the MC finally announced we were ready to go, and he just flagged us off without much fanfare. The fast elites shot out towards the direction of MacDonald's/Fort Road, while I followed the larger group from behind. The initial 1km was a tad conservative, as I found the pace to be about 5:30min/km. I could see Asok, Charlotte, ZhiLei, Tony, Johnny and many more familiar faces running in front at steady paces.

I settled in after about 5km to enjoy the comfortable pace of about 5:15min/km. Spotted Senza and Dan near to B1 busy snapping photos. I did my usual wave and arms-up as I ran past with a smile. There were ample water points with 100plus provided at most of the stations. It got really fun when I ran on the other side and waved to friends and running kakis. At times, there were shouts for my name, and I was happy to wave back. Other times, I was clapping and cheering for friends who were participating. Such races are always a good time to catch up with running kakis and the community.

I managed to make up for a bit of 'lost' time as I crossed the 10km mark in 50min+. I was happy to be following the pace of a few familiar runners and just staying behind. Somewhere along the way, I was overtaken by 2 female runners who were looking strong. The thing I noticed in this race was the presence of many strong women runners who were bent on doing good times. After some to-ing and fro-ing with the same group, I shook some of them off by the 15km was more of them slowing down slightly as I moved up to a 5:05min/km pace. The sun was hot by that time, and it was fortunate we had some shade at the NSRCC stretch.

Met the returning runners for a second time, and I continued to cheer for David Tay, Ong, and some other SAFRA MF Runners. The heat was getting to me by then, and as I was slowing down, I spotted Bug walking. He had just recovered from a bout of flu, and was looking very weak. Fortunately, we were not in a rush and accompanied each other for a slower 2km stretch. By the time we reached the access road, we have covered close to 17km. The final 8km stretch was really 'mental' as we had to run up the long and straight access road, coupled with numerous sharp U-Turns.

I could see Henry, Roonz and aerosol running ahead of me by about 500m. YN, Spencer, JZ, Yong was also not too far behind me, and were moving on strongly. I gave them waves of encouragement as I followed a consistent runner at around my pace. Since I didn't really push too much earlier, I was feeling ok. I reminded myself not to 'chiong' and just stay at around 5:10min/km pace for comfort....hehe. There was some wind and shade along the way by then, but the air remained humid. I downed more cups of 100plus and was still feeling thirsty.

I was glad to see the 20km mark, and started my countdown from there. There were not many runners around me for that stretch, and as I was maintaining pace, I was able to overtake some the slowing runners. There was a stronger runner in green who overtook me at the 21km mark and he went on very strong. Finally it was 2km remaining. I did a quick calculaion which showed I would be able to make 2hr10min without the need to increase pace. Right up to the final 1km, I was maintaining a 5:10min/km pace. Soon we were on F2 area and moving to the finish at Angsana. A few runners picked up the pace to move ahead for the finish. I maintained pace all the way to finish in 2hr8min to rousing cheers by DO and team, taking the time to take some nice finisher photos.

After I crossed the finish line, I moved up to the collection stations for the finisher medals, tees and goodie-bag. It was a very smooth process since the crowds have not gathered back yet. There was a nice bag to keep all the goodies inside, and the finisher medal was large and handsome-looking. I gathered with the FatBirds as well as SAFRA Runners for photos and catching up. The VIPs led by SM Goh were doing their walk-about the carnival and proceeding to the prize presentation. Mok did an outstanding 1hr28min to finish top, with Coach Kien Mau in 1hr31min for second place. Roonz, YN, ZhiLei did very well to improve on their Podium finishes for the women's 25km category. Wen Long Joshua from SAFRA MF claimed top honours in the 50km Duo event. SlingRunner claimed 10th spot in the Men's Open, in front of the speedy youngsters. Congratulations to the Podium finishers and all who completed within the regulation time of 4hrs.

I joined DO and the rest of the Cheer & Photo Team near the finish line to welcome all the FatBird Runners, SAFRA Runner, i-Runners, SgRunners and friends back from a satisfying but hard-earned 25km run. Many of them took the time to pose for finishing photos before crossing under the clock. It was real fun to support and encourage all the super-charged runners back, happy faces showing their satisfaction in completing such an interesting and challenging adventure.

More photos and cheers later, we welcomed FIL, Azhar and finally the 'Happiest' group of Mohan and SC Lim, with quite a large following of Happy runners. As we walked towards our car at F2, there was a continuing stream of runners still finishing. When they heard from us that the end was near, and the goodie bag was nice, they usually perked up and increased their paces. As we drove off into the highway, there was a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment that we had spent such a fruitful day, doing healthy activities - Life Is Good.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

SAFRA JURONG Inaugural Location Run

Photo Album Courtesy @ DO

An excellent turnout of more than 160 Runners at the SAFRA JURONG Running Club's Inaugural Location Run this Sunday. I met up with many running friends and kakis, and had a nice time chatting and catching up. We were treated to a 15km run along the sprawling grounds of NTU and Jurong vicinity, with something to cater to runners of all ages, abilities and preferences :)

Congratulations to the new SAFRA Jurong Running Club Committee for an outstanding organization and hospitality. We thoroughly enjoyed the run & reception...Cheers!

Facebook Photo Albums from Zim (1), Zim (2), Zim (3), Byron, Max

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