It wasn’t a run that the three of us had signed up for. I was not prepared for it when my brother told me to go in place of his wife, as they were both sick. Ivan, who was to run in place of his elder brother, Andreas, who was called back to camp, managed to get a friend for his Uncle’s place, and I decided to join in so I could drive all of us to the race site. Our bibs did not bear our names. I was hesitant. It’s not very safe in case of emergency and I was adamant that we write our full details at the back.
Sunday morning. 5 am. I could hear the rumbling of thunder in the distance. I had a late night from attending a concert the night before but surprisingly felt energised by the thought of running. Although I run 5 km regularly, I hadn’t been on a run for two weeks due to bad weather. I was prepared to go slow.
The run was held at F1 Pit. We drove out at 6am and was met with heavy thunderstorm on the way there. I was caught in a dilemma: on one hand hoping that the run would be canceled and I could go back to bed, since there were constant flashes of lightning; yet on the other hand I had the urge to push my body, as I will need to push my body when I attempt to climb Mt Kinabalu in June.
As we arrived at Marina Square, we saw a few runners running in the rain in the opposite direction. It hadn’t dawned on us that they were running home. We waited in the car park with many other runners for the rain to stop. Then, some runners came told us that the 21km race had been canceled but the 10km race was still.on, pending the weather.
We decided to walk to the F1 Pit with umbrellas. No point getting wet if the race got canceled too, right? I would just have to use baggage deposit if we proceed with the run, something I hated because of the queue.
At 7am, the sky cleared and we were told to prepare for the race. I joined the lines of queues at the baggage tent, with the 21km runners retrieving their baggage, and the 10km new comers depositing. The queue inched by the minutes. I heard the announcement for the VIPs to take their positions at the starting point and the honk signalling the start. But the volunteers in the baggage tent did not hasten their pace.
I only managed to join the run 10 minutes later, half an hour after the actual start time of the 10km race. This was a new route that I had not tried before. I had hoped to go through Marina Bay Gardens but no such luck. From Marina, we ran towards Nicholl Highway. I saw the 2km mark and was glad that my body had warmed up sufficiently. We turned left towards Sims Ave/Geylang. Chinese foreign workers there whipped out their phones and started taking photos of the runners. I guess it’s a novelty – a sea of orange running by instead of the usual traffic. I spotted a photographer and ran up to wave to him. My last race photograph had looked horrible, with my face grimacing in agony. This time, I made sure I gave him a wide smile. I skipped the drink stand at 5km, and wondered why the runners couldn’t throw their cups into the many bags provided. Sigh….We made another left towards Kallang Rd, my knees started to ached. It was a signal that I had gone past my threshold, which used to be 11km 10 years ago, and had reduced to 7km in the last few years. The ache was tolerable as I ran towards the banks of Kallang River, joining the bottleneck crowd back to the Pit.
The finish was a breeze and volunteers handed the finishers a finisher’s medal and a cold can of 100Plus. I met up with my Ivan and Darren, who had already cooled down and finished off a banana each. Ivan told me his shoe sole broke off near the 2km mark but he managed to complete below 1 hour. Not bad, my son.
My brother checked my results last night. I completed in 1:07, with the split at the 7km at 47min. I think he thought I was too slow. Considering everything, I thought I did ok and deserved this medal, my first for this run.
In case you are wondering what exactly is Run 350, I got this from their website, http://www.run350.com/2014/about-run350.html:
RUN 350 is Southeast Asia’s premier eco-run in support of the global 350 movement. This movement aims to raise awareness to the need to lower atmospheric CO2 levels to 350 parts per million, which scientists believe is the level required for Earth’s sustainability.