Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Marina 21km @ Punggol (14 Jul 2012)

My 4th local race in Singapore saw me running the Marina 21km in Punggol.  The title of the run didn't sound too matching (Marina was in the South and Punggol was in the North East) but it was correct.  Not sure why was the run was still named Marina 21km with the race being held at Punggol in the 2nd year.  For me, I took the running as part of Lean Horse training.  I.e. do a race on Sat, and another on Sun, to train my body running when I was still fatigue.

I reached Punggol MRT at around 7pm and took the free bus shuttle service to the start point.  The 10km race had already flagged off much earlier.  Runners for the 21km were mingling around the entrance to the starting pent.  Some were looking at the maps, setup at the event tentage while others took drinks.  I met Chua MH, who helped out in the event race pack collection.  At around 7.20pm, the starting pent were opened and I lined up at the 2nd wave.

The first wave was flagged off at 7.30pm and the second wave, about 5mins later.  Although the weather was cool and there was no sun, it was extremely humid.  Perhaps it was due to the rain that hit the area in the afternoon.  I felt thirsty early on and was glad they provided waterpoint at Punggol Point Park (about 4km from the start).  At approximately the 6km marker (after running past the Punggol Marina Country Club), we came out from the trail and crossed the traffic lights.  There was another waterpoint.  I grabbed another drink and felt better, while the humidity became bearable.

Since it was dark, I wasn't able to capture any good photos and decided I should concentrate on running hard.  Especially because I had to get back home to have enough rest.  Otherwise, I may oversleep for the Shape Run the next day.  After about 2km (thereabout), we cross some bridges and those of us running the half marathon were directed to turn left while those running the 10km proceed straight ahead.  I had never ran this segment of the route before so it was interesting though there was nothing much to see in the dark.

Soon, we ran past some "shopping mall" (it was the Sengkang Sports & Recreation Centre).  As the night was still early, there were other park users around the area.  Some were sitting outside a pub watching TV while others started clapping and cheering as the runners run past them.  I saw more and more runners running towards me.  The u-turn point should not be too far off.  True enough, I was made to u-turn (approximately 12km) after reaching the end of the park connector where our famous Singa the Lion sat.

I continued running, and was enjoying myself.  The distance to the bridge where the 10km and 21km runners parted was about 4km with another 5km back to the finishing point.  There were still runners running towards the turnaround at the end of the park connector.  I was glad that I was nearer and nearer the finishing point.  Soon, I ran past the bridge which I crossed earlier.  Although there was still 5km to go, it felt like the home stretch.  I was also able to past other runners.  At the Punggol Waterway Park, I whipped out my camera as there were beautiful lights on the bridge and water.

Then, someone ran past me and said hi although I couldn't recall when and where I had met him before.  Nevertheless, we chatted for a while before dropping back my pace and let him went ahead.  I started counting down the km markers and when I managed to catch up with him, I maintained my speed and sped past him for good.  Usually, in a 21km race, I would have faded in the last 5km but this time round, I found myself full of energy and vigor.  Must be the night setting.  Although I eventually crossed the finishing line at 2hrs 24mins 06secs (gun time), I was pleased with my 2hrs 23mins 28secs (chip time) effort.  Though it was not a PB (2hrs 18mins in Singapore's weather), I was pleased.  Finishers were given a medal, water and a banana, which I gobbled down before boarding the free shuttle back to Punggol MRT.

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