To celebrate Earth Day, NTUC organized a run from the Floating Barrage@ Marina Bay on 22 Apr 12. This was the third year with the new addition of the 21km distance.
There were 21km, 10km, and a kids run 350m. I took part in the 21km, flag off was at 6am. This is the first time I took a race shuttle bus. That means waking up at 3am for the 4.15am bus. I have to walk/jog the 6 bus stops to the pick up point. The bus reached the start point with an hour to spare, I picked a corner and caught some zzzs.
The race flag off at 6am was done in stages due to safety reasons. The narrow pedestrian bridge to the F1 pits building limited the number of runners. Thereafter was a wide track towards Nicholl Highway Station (CC5). On the Nicholl Highway, one side of the expressway towards city was closed for the race. The organizers split that into 2 halves. We started running towards Middle Road, U turn and run towards Indoor Stadium. We are now sharing the same road with runners in the back with a bunch of cones to separate us! Bad.
By the time we reached Mountbatten Road and Stadium Boulevard, the main pack had taken over the whole road, outbound and inbound. The motorcycle and bike escorts had to clear a way for the leaders were coming back.
The run round the Indoor Stadium was uneventful, though the humps made by the temporary decking could have been lower. The inbound route took us back towards Nicholl Highway Station (CC5), merging with the 10km runners. Another U turn before splitting off toward Crawford Street to run round Kallang Riverside Park The final return was a 3km sprint via the Marina Park, starting from under Merdeka bridge towards the start point.
Overall the race was reasonably organized. There were plenty of water and isotonic drink stops staffed with lots of volunteers. The inbound and outbound lane segregation was poor. The metal fencing were delivered to Marina area, but were not deployed. This needs to be improved. On other half/full marathons, SBR/MBR, SCB etc there were some cheerleaders giving some entertainment. For a run commemorating Earth Day, one would thought there will be cheerleaders to cheer the runners on. In the end, it was just another ground pounding session.
Personally, my own race was very slow. I was off training and back on a few days before the race. At the start I was running too fast and had to slow down to catch my breath. Midway, I managed to find a pacer to ‘reset’ and complete.
At the 19km mark, I felt my muscles tensing up. My right knee had strange fluttering. I eased back and walk-a-jog to the F1 Pit building.
Run: NTUC Run 350
Date: 22 Apr 12
Distance: 21 km
Timing: 2 hr 28 mins