The Yellow Ribbon Prison Run

 This is my first mass run after more than a year. There are just too many runs nowadays and the prices have risen to a ridiculous level. I told the family that we shall only run for worthy causes. For a family of five to participate in a run, it can cost nearly $200. Aaron and Ivan have no complaints to that. However, I shall not stop Andreas if he decides to run other races, which he had done with his father recently in the SAFRA Marina Bay Run.

The Yellow Ribbon Project Run donates $5 of its registration to the project. I like the route but getting to and returning from the run is a hassle. Because the end point is different from the start point, we were advised to park our car at Expo ($11 parking that morning!) and take the shuttle bus to the start point at Changi Village.

To avoid the long queue we had experienced last year, we arrived at Expo just slightly after 6am. Some early birds were there already and a bus had just left. We took the bus to Changi Village. Runners in the official yellow jerseys were everywhere. It would be a long wait for us to the start time. The 10km run, which Andreas was participating in, would only start at 7.45am and the 6km a half hour later. The two boys started complaining about the long wait. (Ivan was left out as he had tuition.)

We walked towards the start point, a huge gate depicting the prison gate. Along the way, I spotted a familiar figure. He was a regular at the Ulu Pandan Park Connector where I run and we greeted each other. There was nothing much to do and we went to a bus stop to sit. Although it was a cool morning, Aaron was perspiring and complaining about his itch. To pass the time, we played hangman on my iPhone.

All too soon, I heard Brian Richmond’s voice announcing the start of the 10km run. Bus loads of runners were still streaming in. Even at the start of the 6km run, some 10km runners were still on the bus. They had to join us, the 6km runners but I doubt they minded. They were there for the fun, and some were already walking after the 2 km mark. (Imagine, they have to walk another 8km.)

I love the route. except for a slight gradient near the 2km mark, the terrain is relatively flat and shaded with giant raintrees. School kids were stationed at various point to cheer the runners on. Aaron had wanted me to pace him but he was nowhere to be seen after the 2km mark. He had complained of stitch, foot pain, etc. That’s the price he paid for not training for the run.

Since I had my iPhone strapped on my arms, I decided to make full use of it. Alas, the Runkeeper couldn’t sense my position. My camera was handy though as I took photos along the way of the tourist spots: Changi Chapel and Museum, Toh Drive (my husband’s family name), etc. An official photographer spotted me and offered to take a photo of me with the cheerleaders.

As I neared the end point, groups of security men were stationed outside the Changi Prison, making sure our bib is on before we were allowed to enter. A sign pointed to ‘Prison Wall’ and I snapped a photo of it – must be historical. Then I breezed through the end point. My time, 38 mins.

We had to walk to the carnival site to collect our goodie bags and much-needed drinks. I passed a familiar face. He smiled and said hello. It was Mr Michael Palmer, the new Speaker for Parliament. Nice chap.

The carnival pit was crowded. We had to queue for drinks, queue for goodie bags and then queue for the bus back to Expo. Mike had asked earlier if we should run again next year as the two older boys may not be around. I had shrugged. But after the run, I thought, why not. I love the muffins there. The muffins were baked by SCORE (Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises).


About vickychong

Just an ordinary woman.
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