March 3, 2013

Singapore City Race 2013 - Beer Drinking During A Run is Bad for Health!

The Start Point of the Singapore City Race
The gang were hunting for our usual quarterly, get-our-ass-up-on-saturday-mornings-to-train large scale running event and we encounter the usual, run 5-10KM and a T-Shirt/Singlet runs in the usual running routes. Remember, we need to identify runs that is suitable for all our unfit runners, who comes in different shapes and sizes and aspirations. We finally decided on the Singapore City Race which seems to be the most interesting of the lot.

Essentially, it is a 10km run with a twist: There is no predefined route. We are suppose to form a team of 5 (me, Big-Boned Guy, Alcoholic, Lazy Girl and Fang Tai) and "run" along the most efficient route that we can think of. The location will only be made known to the participants on that day. They have routes for 5km, 10km, 20km and 40km. There have been howls of protests when we suggested the 10km route (especially the ladies). They complained that it is just too far too much for them. We countered by saying that we can walk all the way is needed. Alcoholic (being the fittest) will fireman lift the ladies to the finishing point if needed.

We also advice the ladies to prepare bus/train cards and $$$ for Taxi in case none of us can really fireman lift the them to the finishing point.

The goodie bag is absolutely hideous! One ugly plastic duffel bag, one ugly looking grey T-shirt (North Face) and One Bib.... That's all!  For the price tag of $34.24 per person! At least throw us some isotonic drinks or spa/massage vouchers!! Come on!

The (Ugly) Goodie Bag
We gathered at Millennium Walk on a bright Sunday morning and boy it is crowded! Looks like Singaporean really love their running events. After jostling our way through the crowd for a copy of the map and our check points, we settled down and proceeded to plot our route. Here is our planned route of advance:

1) Mint Museum of Toys
2) Fort Canning
3) Orchard ION Mall
4) Robertson Quay
5) Ann Siang Hill
6) End point- Millennium Walk

Queuing up to get our Map and checkpoints
A very nice and BIG Map provided by organizer
The first leg of the journey started fine as everyone is energetic and well hydrated. The going got slow after descending from Fort Canning. I think the jog up the hill drained the stamina of the unfit runners. As the ladies started to lose steam, BBG and Alcoholic volunteered to scout ahead and I was entrusted to cheer lead the ladies.

Due to extreme miscommunication, the scout team and 2ladies+1cheerleader team couldn't find each other and we ended waiting for each other at all the wrong places for more than 30 mins! The scout team ran along Orchard Road while the 2+1 team ran/walk along the Orchard Turn road, which runs parallel to the main orchard road. Lazy girl were exhausted by the time the group gathered at Orchard ION and I realize that my cheerleading is insufficient. I decided to hustle the guys together and came to the conclusion that we need to take turns to cheer her on, or else Alcoholic really will have to fireman lift her for the rest of the journey!

So we stuck together and used an old Army route march technique: Deceiving the tired person thinking that the next checkpoint is just round the corner, when it is actually still quite far away. So we took turns and encouraged the ladies, telling them, "The checkpoint is just up ahead! Just 5 mins more and you get to enjoy a cool shade and delicious cold water!" Well, the army do know a thing or two on getting soldiers to march!

Follow the crowd!
The Crowd thinned as we advance further
into the race
After the last checkpoint at Ann Siang Hill (Another climb up a hill! Those sadistic organizers!!) We decided that some sugared water and isotonic drink ought to perk the tired runners up. So we stopped by a nearby 7-11 store and bought some drinks. Alcoholic and BBG decided to increase the challenge of the run by each buying a can of beer. They wanted to prove that beer is for man and 100-plus is for wimps (Me <=.....).

Halfway through the journey back to Millennium Walk and the finishing point, they ran out of steam... literally. They got so dehydrated by the beer+Hot Sun+long duration run (3hrs run!) that they, too had to advance at a snail pace.

They swore off alcoholic drinks before/after long distance runs forever! Lession Learnt!

Last Checkpoint at Ann Sian Hill! All 5 Stamps collected!
Trying to add to the difficulty of the run by
downing beer!
We crossed the finishing line at 1230pm, wobbling, tired and dehydrated. What seemed like a routine (10km) run for the guys, turned out to be more exhausting than we thought, thanks to a combination of slopes, navigation, cheerleading, hot sun and beer. The ladies outdid themselves and set the stage for longer runs in the future.

All in all, it was a pretty fun and interesting activity that you ought to do with friends and family. The GPS tracking reads 20km when in fact, we probably covered around 10-12km. The reason for such a big distortion is probably due to the fact that we spent too much time at the check points, taking photos, queuing to get our checkpoint chop and toilet breaks. The GPS doesn't work too well in city areas when we were staying at one spot for an extended period of time as the GPS dot will fluctuate around the map, deceiving the app into thinking that we were running/teleporting around the area and recording the distance during that period also. We had the same problem no matter which app we used. So if you are using the smartphone apps to record your running distance, be sure to discount the distance if you are doing a start/stop/checkpoints kind of event or make sure to pause your app at every checkpoint, so that it can record a more accurate reading.


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