In the early morning of 14th November 2010, some 2640 people gathered together, lining up behind one another in a massive queue. Stretching a good 100m at least! With music blasting in the background, some were decked in singlets, others turned up with caps and water bottle in case they get dehydrated along the way. From a far, one might thought that the GREAT SINGAPORE SALE (GSS) or ZoukOut 2010 had come early. But nooooooo, this isn’t your SALE days or another one of those Hello Kitty craze but these many people turned up at MacRitchie for the 3rd Salomon X-Trail Run!
The weather was great – cold and chilly, not raining as forecasted by the “weatherman”. Considering the fact that it was a record turnout for the event, i expected congestion at the area. There were many people by 0700H but the ushers and volunteers were present to help organize and lead the people to the respective stations like Baggage Deposit Area (Separated Males & Females) and the start line.
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One thing that i liked was that there was a water point set up BEFORE the run that ALSO gave out bananas (awesome stuff) on top of their cup of H-Two-O and bottled mineral water. I know this might sound funny but when i saw the bananas, i thought we had to pay for it. I mean, personally, I’ve never seen bananas being given away FOC before a race. Nonetheless, i grabbed one and devoured it. Woke up late & didnt have time for breakfast lah. =(
Volunteers filling up cups of H-TWO-O for participants before the race. Didnt managed to take photos of the Big Bananas Giveaway.
Anyways, after depositing my shoe bag but carrying along my 2nd bag with my secret shoe 😉 and got myself pins to pin my no. tag on, i was all prepped up to ready to run the 12km.
- Cap? Checked.
- Hydrated? Checked.
- Warm ups? Checked
- My Nike Lunar Glide+2 shoes (for 1st part of the race)? Checked.
With everything A-OK, i headed to the START point which was situated 150m away, from the water point. And SOMEHOW, i managed to squeeze through the crowd to get ahead of like what? 100+ runners? Hehehe.
The race was flagged off about 5min later and people started moving forward. Kinda jam packed at first but as we got out of the “GSS queue”, the route was pretty wide open. Ran across the dam and then alongside the reservoir before heading into the “trail” portion of the race.
Trail running as what that is shared by Mr Azhar Azib – “Trail running is a thinking sport. You can’t just space out because of the terrain.” (have to be alert at times). You can watch his short interview we had with him by clicking HERE.
What I particularly like about the trail portion of the run is that it keeps you alert at all times and with “cleaner & purer” air, running trail is soothing to the soul. You are one with Mother Nature. BUT one slight problem that arose from this route during the race was that it was beginning to get cramped when the front runners had already make a U-turn and was coming back onto THE SAME ROUTE as me. A lot of “EXCUSE MEs” and “KEEP TO THE LEFT!” were echoed up and down by runners and organizers alike. I was OK but not too sure about the other runners though.
Moving on, somewhere along the 10km mark, i stopped at the medic hut to change my NIKE LUNAR GLIDE+ 2 into my VIBRAM KSO TREKSPORT! Not that the Lunar G wasnt good, but this was the best time to put my VIBRAM KSO TREKSPORT to the test! The Lunar Glide+ 2 provided a good firm support and cushioning while i was running the 1st part of the trail. Anyways, you can read all about my “barefoot” experience HERE.
About a kilometer into the trail, i reached the pavement portion. Running on the pavement with the hot sun belting down on you wasn’t fun. I hate getting burned by the sun. Army NS time enough already lah. Although it wasnt nice, it kinda acts as an added factor for me to run faster and reach the shady area (which i couldnt see). Hahahaha. Managed to meet and make few NEW friends along the route. Leaping my way along the pavement, i finally reached the shady part (back in MacRitchie) and i saw the sign i have been longing for – 300m to go. Woohoo!
Like an Energizer Rabbit, i turned on my nitrous mode, switched to the highest gear and Lamborghini-ed my way up and down the path. Upon reaching the “finishing” line i was thinking “Im going to jump and punch my fist in the air as i cross the line. Yeah.”. So when i finally reached it, i did just that. ONLY to realise that the finishing line was 100m down some more. @#%$@#$%???!! PAISEH SIOL!
Apparently, i didnt see that it stated START and no FINISH on the board above. Cheat my feelings only. =P
But i kept my cool face (hoping that no one would take photo of that “moment”) and sprinted down the slope. Man, i was like a gazelle borned by a cheetah. Sprinting my way down, i finally reached THE REAL FINISHING LINE. And yes, i did the same move as i had done a few seconds back. The Feeling was awesome.
START SLOW. FINISH STRONG.
It took me a while to gather my thoughts and feeling that i have ACTUALLY COMPLETED the run in 1h 30min. Not that its a very good timing but between me and you (and prolly the rest of the internet world), i didnt train for this run. Reason? Work lah, what else. This is SINGAPORE maaaan! So i joined my friends and we stayed by the side of the path nearing the FINISHING LINE to cheer for the remaining runners.
So anyways, the post run entertainment was just the Top 10 Prizes giveaway, LUCKY DRAW!! (so angry later i tell you why) and the music boomboxing away. Apparently, for the LUCKY DRAW, we had to submit/apply for them and not like AUTO apply because we registered for the run kind. Wasted, if not i could have won hat Davidoff (i think) perfume for men. SHUCKS! Confident much aye? Hehehehe!
All in all, this is my first time taking part in the SALOMON X-TRAIL RUN 2010. And i must say, running at MacRitchie brings back memories of my secondary school days running our “cross country” (but actually more like “Inside MacRitchie Only Run”). WHICH, i got medals for it. 😉 Not telling you what place i got eyy. Shy lah. Shy.
THE 7 THINGS I LIKE ABOUT THE SALOMON X-TRAIL RUN 2010:
- Its a Trail run. Hurhurhur.
- Nice weather. Thank you God.
- Free bananas. Thank you Dole Bananas.
- Good music. (But the DJ like slack only)
- Great atmosphere. (the vibe was there)
- Met LOADS of awesome runners from all walks/runs of life. =P
- And lastly, knowing that i could still complete a 12km run after all these while is simply, whats that word again? LEGEND….wait for it…DARY! LEGENDARY!
THE 7 THINGS I LIKE DIDNT QUITE LIKE ABOUT THE SALOMON X-TRAIL RUN 2010:
- The first portion of the trail route was congested.
- 1st water point along the route was pretty far away (to me at least)
- Hot weather towards the end. (ok, im just kidding)
- Water served weren’t cold (yes, im THAT bitchy)
- Congestion at water points (Hello? Q-ing up for ZoukOut tix or what?)
- They should have indicated a “THIS IS NOT THE FINISHING LINE” on the first board towards the end. =P
- And lastly, i was beaten by a 17-year old GIRL, Ruby Hohensee, who went on to win the WOMEN’s 12km category. LIKE !@#$%&?!!
Nonetheless, I’m just so happy to have been able to take part in this run and complete it with my friends. Felt good. For those of you who did not manage to take part OR felt lazy to run all i can say is – WASTED. What a great way to kick off my Sunday morning with some adrenaline pumping and a good work out.Hope the next X-Trail run will be much much more fun and looking forward to seeing MORE runners. New (like me) or SEASONed ones, doesnt matter.
And of course, making sure that Ruby wont beat me again.
Till next time, Guten Tag! And ouh, some photos were taken and shared by WORLD OF SPORTS. I really hope they dont mind. Hehehe!
(Now from running a horizontal plane, i’ve got to tweak and switch my system to running vertical. Yes, Swissotel Vertical Marathon tomorrow. But tonight, i got the NTUC uSport 60km cycling event. Hohoho! Coming right UP!)