Thursday, November 1, 2012

Northeast Tampines Run (7 Oct 2012)

The Northeast Tampines Run was organised by Tampines GRC Community Sports Committee (CSC) and co-organised by North East CDC.  It was to be held in Tampines, which was the main reason why I decided to take part in the run since it was near my place.  Also, the registration fee for the run was extremely affordable - S$18.00.  Tekko and Molly helped me collected my race pack as the collection was held on Tuesday and I was unable to make it.

On race day morning, I woke up late and decided to rush down to the race start by cab!  I managed to reach the starting line just before the flag-off time, just minutes before the run was flagged off at 7.00am.  At the start, I saw David Wong, Zco and Alvo.  But I didn't see Tekko and Molly.  The path at the start was extremely narrow as it was the 1.5m~2m type of path that you would see around HDB estates.  Luckily it was a short distance of about 200m before it led us out to the pavement next to the main road.  Okie, the pavement was not exactly much wider either but at least runners could run on the grass patch or on the road next to the pavement although there were police and marshallers to shout out to us where to run and cross the road.  :p

After crossing the road and a few turnings later, I saw the 1km marker.  The pavement also became much wider.  The run had more of a community flavour than competitive flavour which I liked.  There weren't many runners running around my slow pace.  This allowed me to stop and take picture as and when I like without stepping off from the path.  At another T-junction where we were to make a left turn (just before the 2km mark), I stopped at the traffic light to take some pictures when the policewoman told me to turn left and not cross the road.  I signalled to her that I knew I was supposed to cross the road using the overhead bridge and not the traffic lights at the junction though she still kept an eye on me till I moved off.  :s  (But good job! :) )  The 2km marker appeared after the T-junction, just before the overhead bridge.

After crossing the bridge, it was about 400m before we reached the Bedok Reservoir.  I didn't remember any directional signs but I did noticed another traffic police at the car park where we entered.  I followed the runners in front of me into the reservoir and did my 4.3km loop there.  I aimed to reached the next water station which I assumed should be somewhere in the reservoir.  There were many other runners in the reservoir and another event held there too.  And although there was a water point I spotted, it was not the one for the Northeast Tampines Run participants.  Luckily, it was a cool day and I wasn't that thirsty.  I also didn't see any more distance markers although I passed the permanent markers along the path in the reservoir.  I did a mental calculation on the distance of the race.  It didn't seem to add up to 10km - perhaps slightly shorter.  I continued running until I completed the 1 loop and went out at the same point where I entered the reservoir.  Now, I saw the traffic police (whom I saw earlier), and a marshaller directing runners to turn right and exit the reservoir!

Since it was a out-and-back course (almost), it was easy to know where the water point was and what to expect back to the finishing point.  I was able to run almost non-stop (less traffic light crossing) and completed the run in 1hr 13mins 56secs (gun time) and ranked 18th.  After finishing, runners were given water and banana after receiving their finishing medal.  I went to look for the rest of the running kakis whom I knew were taking part in the run.  At the start/finishing, the family sports carnival was also held and many families brought their young one to participate.  I finally found Tekko and Molly.  Molly was in the prize winner pent as she came in 8th in the Women's Veteran Open!  I also found Alvo, Susan and Verene!  We decided to go for breakfast after Molly's prize presentation, which was conducted after some drum performance and before a cheer-leading dance routine.  We had wanted to wait for the conduct of lucky draw prizes but the weather was getting hot and we were all hungry.  We all chose to forfeit our chance and head for breakfast instead.  All in all, it was a good Sunday morning workout and sometimes running in small races could be more rewarding as compared to big races.  Just asked Molly.  :)

P.S.  After the race, I re-checked the event website and noticed that we were not supposed to run the 1 lap around Bedok Reservoir.  That explained why there wasn't any water point there.  Overall, the race was value-for-money.  While the directional signs and markers were poor around the Bedok Reservoir area, overall it was still okie, considering the registration fee we paid and the goodie bag we collected.

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