(Contributed by one of our fellow readers and running enthusiast – Gis!)
This is my 3rd consecutive year at the race and the crowd has gotten bigger as compared to the previous years. It was awesome to be part of an all woman’s contingent where the men can only groan about their roles as bag bearers and baby sitters. It was an encouraging sight as this shows that more ladies are becoming more health conscious and some did it in support of the Breast Cancer Foundation. Some go to great lengths to display their passion but none does it better than Mdm Jenap Said better known to everyone as the ‘Catwoman’. I had the honour of having a quick Kodak moment with her! 🙂
I saw happy faces, felt the excitement and it was simply exhilarating to soak up every bit of the atmosphere! Everyone was just raring to go! The race was flagged off promptly and what it was a lovely sea of red as our ladies began their race under a very unforgiving weather.
During the race
The route was different from the previous year. There were a number of unusual turns and ramps which were in place to cover up what were meant to be steps. It was a good safety measure as stairs may be slippery when wet or simply a hazard when runners miss their steps and fall.
The weather was very humid and additional hydration points will definitely be a plus. However, I it didn’t quite seem feasible for this route as authorities may have imposed certain limitations on number or position of these hydrations points. There seemed to be more photographers and supporters along the way and some men were running alongside on the pavement giving their running mates moral support while taking pictures.
My Garmin clocked a distance of 9.91km but I couldn’t be too upset about the shortfall as it was compensated with additional challenges of going up the number of ramps. It was a scenic run through MBS and the waterfront so that made up for the differences too.
The exit from the finishing point was well facilitated as I didn’t experience overcrowding and I got my drinks and my medal fairly quickly. This was not the usual chucky medal but a pretty piece of necklace which we ladies could easily use to adorn our dresses. Another thumbs up to the organizer for the thought process.
Also, I had the opportunity to speak with a couple of runners after the race
Pretty Meissie Oun had this to say : “I appreciate the organizer for ramping up the stairs.”. She felt that the route was something new and different and she will be back to better her timing at the next year’s race.
Petite Doris Teo was overjoyed with her race timing : “I was so overwhelmed and I was really so thankful that I can achieve my PB (personal best timing),” and added that she will be participating again without any hesitation.
An after thought
Personally I did not do as well as the previous year so I am determined to improve from on shoddy performance in 2012.
For future races, the organizer might want to consider a change of venue and I would like to suggest running at Sentosa instead. Since there were already ramps at this year’s race, the organizer might as well make it a little more challenging. A half marathon distance could be a new category for this will make Great Eastern the first and only all women half marathon race. Now that is going to make the men groan even louder! More post race programs that appeal to ladies could be added too! After all you don’t get that many great marketing opportunities where there’s such a huge gathering of ladies. I think a beach party would be fantastic idea and I will be definitely be the first one to put my hands up for it!