Puma Night Run 2016 returns to a new location

When it comes to local races, inevitably one thinks of Marina Bay or East Coast Park. Occasionally we have  races at Sentosa or Punggol but Seletar Aerospace? The bikers are going to be real upset but yes the Puma Night Race now in its 3rd year is going to be at a brand new race site at Seletar! Taking participants along the fringe of the Seletar Airport and through clusters of preserved black and white colonial houses, runners can look forward to sights and sounds that are different from the usual cityscape at the first-ever run held at the industrial park, including the occasional takeoffs and landings of private jets.

Can’t believe that the last time I ran there was way back in 2008 when the Seletar still comprises of East & West Camp and there was only a small aerospace industry then.

“The PUMA Night Run series has always been known to incorporate an element of fun and thrill and we’re thrilled to bring the night race to a brand new location,” says Mr. Gabriel Yap, Head of Marketing PUMA Southeast Asia. “With new race categories and an interesting backdrop for this year’s race, we’re really excited and I’m sure participants will enjoy the experience we have installed this August!”

Not just a new route but new race categories. Early bird registration for the PUMA Night Run Singapore 2016 is now open and interested runners can sign up via www.puma-nightrun.com.sg. So what are you waiting for?

NE Passion Run 2014

I know I said I don’t want to sign up for local races but when it is in my own backyard and cost just $20.00, I just couldn’t resist. This is what I got for $20.00

But then again after signing up, I had my regrets when I found out the route. Like all races in Singapore nowadays, the race organiser do not reveal the exact route until much later and when I found out that the race route was 2 loops of Pasir Ris Park, I was like, what! I knew the park like the back of my hand, running there at least once a week. And when I found out the race closed within a short period, I was worried how crowded it was going to be and how difficult it was going to run through the crowd on the small park paths. I thought of doing a DNS for this but in the end, decided to just go and treat it like a weekly routine run.
The race was supposed to start in 3 waves – the Men’s Open at 7 am, the Men’s Veteran and Women’s at 7.30 am and the 4km at 8 am. Each loop was 7 km and runners will have to run past the start line. The problem I foresee was that the first wave runners will run smack into the start of the 2nd wave and the 2nd wave into the 3rd. The running would become extremely unpleasant especially for the serious runners trying to do a good race. 
True enough, while we were waiting to flag off at 7.30 am, at about 7.25 am, the first lot of fast runners in the first wave ran past. Then there was a small gap before some more runners went past before we were flagged off. So the rest of the runners in the first wave touching 7 km in around 35 minutes or more would ran into the back of us lot. I wondered how they felt and I wondered how I was going to feel when it came to my turn later.

We started off quite fast.  I wanted to clear the crowd and decided to do a faster pace at the beginning. The sidekick was side by side with me in the first km. I managed to do that, keeping clear of the main pack of runners. The pace was around 5.30 per km and I knew it was not sustainable. Sighed that is really my fast pace! Please don’t laugh. Fortunately for us, when we finished the first loop in about 35 minutes, the 4 km had not been flagged off yet and so I had a clear route to run as by now the runners had spread out.  But by 9 km I was struggling to maintain the pace and after stopping for a drink, the pace slowed. The sidekick was still about 500 metres behind me. I waited for her to catch up with me but I think she decided to stay behind me to not pressure herself. Eventually at the 13 km water point, I stopped and waited for her to catch up before we ran back to cross the finish line together.
So I am glad I decided to run this race after all and did not do a DNS. Overall, there was great weather without the haze and sun. I managed to do an average pace of about 5.45 min/km something I have not done for a long long time.

Carnival Run 2013

I know I swear I will not do another 5km race. Or for that matter, another marathon. But then again, never say never. The last time I did a short race was way back in 2008 when I did the Inter Con and then the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge. Such short races are no good for old fogey like me and best left to the young but what possess me to sign up for not one but 2 so far this year?
The first one in February was a fun run so I guess that don’t really count but on Saturday I did the Aljunied pro-PAP organised Carnival Run at Bedok Reservoir. Distance was 5km. So why did I sign up for it? One word: cheapskeate. From last year experience at the other grassroot organised event, we knew that such events are usually small scale, fairly well organised, cheap as in low registration fee and best of all, comes with a solid goodie bag.
And so for the goodie, I sacrifice my integrity and signed up for the 5km Carnival Run. For $18.00, this was what I got:
So I found myself at Bedok Reservoir on a cool breezy Saturday evening with the kid and the sidekick and thousand of others like minded people. I wasn’t intending to run fast but when I saw the crowd at the teeny weeny start line, I figured I better get to the front so that I don’t get block by all the walkers and plodders. So we managed to creep all the way to the first quarter of the starting block before the race was flagged off by Mayor Teo Ser Luck.
I managed to run at a fairly comfortable pace. At one point, I was running next to this lady whom in my other guise as a photographer, I was forever taking her photo. This time instead of taking her photo, I ran beside her. Not too sure whether she knows me because we didn’t say hi to each other. Somewhere after the canoe centre, I gave up and decide to jog along at my own pace. That was the last I saw of her.
Photo by Tan Kim Lai
Further down the reservoir came across 2 ‘paparazzi’. So finally I got myself on the other side of the lens! Beside the paparazzi, there was another lady just in front of me, Mrs IMD. She too seems to be taking it easy because I am sure she runs much faster than the current pace that we were doing.
Photo by Taz

So I ran alongside her for a while until somewhere towards the finish line before she zoomed past me to cross the finish line first. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the timer clock showing 25mins +. I was sure I was doing much slower than that and true enough my watch shows 26+ which I must admit wasn’t really too bad after all!

So maybe I look out for more of such race. Where else can I get so much goodie for so little cash?

Zoom on Track Relay

Ben Swee, the brain behind the longest ultra in Singapore and the banana relay has done it again! This time he came up with another fun and innovative run – the Zoom on Track Relay. Essentially, this is a relay event but with super flexible rules. There are 2 distances available – 10km or 21km to be ran by each team on the stadium 400 metres track. Each team can have 2 to up to 5 members and are free to choose how they want to run. So there were 2 members team who each ran half the distance and teams which rotate runners every lap etc
True to its no frills billing, there was no drinks, no bib, no timing chip and no baton although some did brought their own baton like this guy here.

 

Or these 2 who simply change over with a pat on the hand

 

The teams really got into the spirit of the event with a fair number of them wearing synchronised attires  like these groups:

 

 

There were trophy given out to the top team in each category even though this was billed as a non-competitive event. 
Despite the no frills and “non-competitive” aspect of the event, judging from the look of every body at the end of the event, all of them looks like they really enjoyed themselves. It just prove that runners are not always after goodie bag, finisher tees and medals but a good and fun experience.
More photos of the events can be found here and in Running Shots Facebook

Swissotel Vertical Marathon 2012

I have never been on top of the 73 storey high Swisstoel Hotel what more ran up instead of taking the lift. So when I was given the chance to go up, I grabbed the opportunity. Equipped with a media pass, instead of running up the stairwell like the rest, I took the lift up to the top of the world. What I want was to get a view of the skyline but unfortunately it was fairly cloudy and I didn’t get any clear view although I did some decent shots. 
But more than the view, what I got was the determination and drive of the participants who ran up the 73 storeys. Mainly healthy young people but some oldish folks and some with very obvious physical handicap.
Young people hand in hand

This chap came from Malaysia just for this!

Where did Flash came from?

Singapore’s son, Singapore Blade Runner after completing his first vertical marathon

Another physically challenged guy completing the gruelling 73 storey climb

More photos here

Newton Challenge 2012

One thing I have never understand is why people will pay good money to run loops at East Coast Park when one can run for free there everyday. So it never fail to amaze me that thousand of people signs up for the multi loops Newton Challenge Race every year. What was the attraction? So this year since I was free, I decided to drag myself down to witness this spectacle for myself.
The race had already started when I go there at about 6 am. I parked at Carpark F2 and walked up to the Bougainvillea Terrace to take some pictures. But it was too dark and I had to wait until it became brighter before I can start taking photos. My wait was rewarded with a beautiful sunrise and I managed to get a few shots of the sunrise with runners in the foreground. 

Too bad the trees were blocking the full view of the sun unlike this photographer who managed to take a beautiful shot.

The race comprised of 2 categories 18km and 30km. Because of this and probably also because of the high registration fees, only “hardcore” runners turned up. I think there were not more than 5000 runners in total. I guess quite a number of runners are using this race as a final warm up for the SCMS in December like this group of official SCMS pacers from Team BMW.

The race was also well supported by runners from Punggol Runners and the Newton Running Club who were pacing the runners.

I finally understand the reasons for the runners choosing this race over the more highly marketed Adidas King of the Road when at the end point, runners were given a cold towel on top of the finisher medal. What a nice touch! And there were free food galore. Bananas, watermelon, biscuits, ice cream and even soya bean curd! Something that I have not seen except at the North Face 100 Challenge.

The Mok siblings Mok Yin Ren and Mok Yin Rong won the Men 30km and Women 18km races respectively and walked away with $300.00 cash and $300 worth of product vouchers each. But the best was the lucky draw winners who walked away with Ipad and Ipod.

From the feedbacks from runners, distance markers were on the dot, there were ample cold Pocari Sweat isotonic drinks and it was almost a perfect race for everybody – except for the heat. But I guess that is something the organsier cannot do anything more other than providing the cold water and the cold towel.