2012 Gold Coast Airport Marathon: The Interview With Endrew!

Thw 2012 Gold Coast Airport Marathon might have ended recently. And like most of you, i did not manage to fly myself to down under to catch the action or run it. I’ve heard loads of record breaking and fun stories happening there – the cool weather, the pre and post race day, the run itself and not forgetting many Personal Bests were “created” there too! Even for a newbie runner like me, its sooooo tempting to head down to GCAM and give it a go!

However, sometimes the greatest stories and lessons learnt come not from finishing the race. But its when you hit a brick wall, you pick yourself up and move on. I managed to catch up with a runner friend of ours, Endrew, who had the opportunity to travel to Gold Coast for the run. And here’s the exclusive interview. Enjoy!

1.        Tell us a bit about yourself (eg. Hobbies, Occupation etc)
Hi I’m Endrew and I’m a Retail Sales Executive. My hobbies are Running and Sleeping. 😛

2.        When did you pick up running/keeping fit and why?
I started my running just about a year ago. My first was race was the 12km Energizer Night Trail 2011 with two of my friends. I signed up just for fun! From that day onwards, I started to go for more and more runs and races. Plus point about these races – you will also get to know more friends! 🙂

3.        What’s your training/running regime like?
I have been running 3 times a week (at least 10km each time) for my first year. As for now, I don’t really run or train that much. I use the running events as a training session so as to not make the race so stressful. Running to me, is not just about how fast you can run or securing your personal best. To me, what is important is to enjoy and have fun with all the runners. Race-Train-Fun.

4.        Thats a nice tagline! Hahaha! Anyways, how was your experience in this year’s GC Marathon? Did you participate in the previous year’s?
This was my first time in Gold Coast (GC). Mixed feeling for me, as I got DNF at the 22km mark. I felt dizzy and had low blood pressure thus I was sent to the hospital. One week before GC I did my Standard Chartered KL marathon at a time of 5 hours 50min eventhough I suffered an early cramp at the 23km mark. Obviously I was disappointed and gave myself a lot of hope in GC for a better timing. But I failed to do so. Many thanks to Mohan though, for the encouraging words he gave to me.

Overall GC marathon was SUPERB! Love the weather, the people & their support and the view! But do remember to drink more water days before the race day itself! I guess this was my mistake for not drinking enough water and it caused my dehydration, dizziness and low blood pressure on the day itself. 😦

 5.        How different was it compared to previous GC Marathon OR Marathons in Singapore? 
It is very different I must say. I’m sorry to say that local races are getting more and more expensive. And personally, I feel that the standard is not there at all. The supporters, the  people along the road side, cheering you on. Its something which you can’t find in Singapore. Although the route and the view is very normal for Singaporean to say “Siao eh so hot run what marathon!” but in GC you can actually feel its different because of those supporters!

6.        The atmosphere is certainly very different aye! Quick question: Would you run the GC Marathon next year? 
I’ll be back for SURE!

 7.        If theres one thing that you could improve on about the GC Marathon, what would it be?
I will say its the BANANAS! Maybe I was too hungry that morning that is why I was looking for something which I can eat while running. Hahaha! But I heard there were oranges given out nearing to the end of the race which I had no chance to try them (because of the DNF). 😦

 8.        Many people are picking up running as a sport be it competitive or leisure, what do u think is the reason for this sudden surge of runners?
I guess running is an “IN” thing now. Too many reasons – some run for health, to lose weight, or even for charitable causes. It is good because this “IN thing” enables you to meet lots of friends and also get to know many new ones in this small world!

 9.        How do you think Singapore can better manage its sporting/running scene?
Singapore is trying very hard to build its sporting community, which is great idea. But there are too many companies out there trying to use this as a platform to earn from events, charging exorbitant prices for registrations…which is actually a  bad thing. For example, running a FULL marathon in Singapore can cost about $80! This is a little too much given the standard I have been experiencing in Singapore. At this price I can fly to Malaysia for a Full marathon too and with a better experience over there.

Running is a cheap sport but in Singapore, its different now.

 10.      Lastly, any inspiring words for runners out there who just started picking up the sport or thinking of picking up the sport?
Drink more water before your runs and do rest well before the race too. Running is meant to be fun so don’t feel stress if you can’t run. Run and get know more friends. Slowly you will get better and better. 😉

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 Words of wisdom there from the Gold Coast! Till next time, Guten Tag!

P.S, if you wanna read what our running friend Su Ann had to say about the 2011 Gold Coast Airport Marathon, do check out: 2011 Gold Coast Airport Marathon: The interview with Su Ann!

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EVENT: Beginners “Cheat” Sheet to Complete The Sundown Marathon

Credits to Khai from kaveman.sg

26th May 2012 – 28,000 people gathered at the field next to Nicoll Highway at about 2200H, all full of energy and smiles on their faces. No, this is not another one of the Worker’s Party rally speeches but instead, they were all gathering for Asia’s only night marathon event – The Sundown Marathon 2012.

Sundown Marathon 2012 would be my FIRST Full Marathon event and like anything that you’re gonna do for the first time, its kind of gives you a nervous feeling. Thoughts of “What ifs” were constantly playing in my mind. What if I don’t complete it? What if my legs give way? What if i stress myself too much and collapse? OMG.

Thankfully, i managed to complete the race at a time of 5 hours 52 min. Which was below my target of running it within 6 hours, 🙂 No doubt it was a grueling run due to the heavy rain and cold winds at my 22km mark, but with the help of my pacer friend, the supporters who braved the rain together with us, as well as the volunteers (who frantically poured 100 Plus and mineral water which tastes like lipstick), i managed to conquer the 42km route!

The Sundown Marathon 2012 experience in 30 seconds

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Well here’s 6 “cheats” you could use for next year’s night marathon :

1) Sleep and Eat. Have lots of sleep and meals before the race.

I’m not trying to be a badass here, but i was dozing off along the Marina Barrage route. Despite sleeping TWICE during the day, Perhaps it was the construction route which made me feel sleepy. Perhaps it was because it was about 1-2am. Perhaps i did not consume enough coffee beans. Perhaps perhaps perhaps….

Running a marathon burns calories. Lots of them in fact. According to LiveStrong.com, a person could burn 2000-3500 calories in a single 42km race, depending on multiple factors like age, sex and weight. Carbo loading also helps to keep your stomach full so that you wont keep feeling hungry during the run, which could affect your performance.

2) Hydrate yourself weeks in advance and after the race.

There’s no water like plain mineral water. And if you would like to add some taste, you could consume 100 Plus too. Try and avoid alcoholic drinks and gassy-sugary drinks (like Coca-Cola etc). Proper hydration is essential not only hours before the race but also days in advance. You know you’re well-hydrated if you void large volumes of pale urine at least six times a day. 

3) Run light. 

Running a 42km is different as compared to running a 10km (obviously). Small hand-held equipment (like cameras) or even water bags should be kept away. Not only does it restrict your movements as you run (i.e clutching the camera) but also in the case of bad weather or if you take a tumble. It’s something you would have wished that you had not  carried in the first place. Take it from me. And those water bags… leave it to the serious runners who do not want to waste time queuing up to grab a drink.

4) Cushion, Stability & Speed.

I had always been a ‘minimalist’ and ‘racers’ kind of guy. Thus, most of my shoes aren’t the chunky types. However, as this would be my first full marathon, I opted to run in a pair of shoes which would provide me with 3 crucial aspects – Cushioning, Stability and Speed. New Balance 890v2 was my choice of running shoes.

I loved the way the shoe provides a decent amount of cushioning and stability but still remain light due to the REVLITE MIDSOLE FOAM material. Despite the heavy downpour causing the shoes to get soaked, my feet were pretty much intact and still alive. It only ached a little.

5) Be prepared, be mentally prepared.

42km is no joke. Thats 42,000m for you. Almost the length of one end of Singapore to another. Initially when people were warning me that 42km requires mental toughness, I was quite skeptical. But after going through the route, braving the inclement weather, feeling like Bear Grylls….YES. You’ll need some form of mental toughness to push you through the 42km journey.

What I did was to break down the run into smaller segments as well as plugging in my Sennheiser Adidas PMX 680 sports headphonesGreat stuff. It’s waterproof by the way. But sadly, I cannot say the same thing about my handphone. 😦

6) Grab a running buddy.

Although running is all about yourself, your race, your experience, it is always good to have a buddy or pacer who would run WITH you and go through the run together. Personally, nothing beats having someone by your side as you run and both of us cheering and motivating each other on. Thank you, buddies. You know who you are.

~

All in all, the Sundown Marathon 2012 had a been a great run. It was one  helluva experience. Never knew i could do 21km TIMES TWO after completing last year’s half-marathon race. I thought people were mad to do a 42km. But hey, i guess I’ve joined that group now. Proud of my accomplishment and the finisher’s tee is certainly really really nice! Hey, Sleep can wait. 😉

RACE: The Energizer Singapore Night Trail 2012 experience

(Covered by Eddy the Runner)

Being a night trail run, one might expect runners to lose their bearings at the admin points, just before the start of the race. However, the race organizers did a great job in marshaling us to the starting pens and I must say that the race was very well-organized. 🙂

Anyways, the race was exciting and so far, i really can’t think of any bad points of the race. Nonetheless, below are the pluses of the Energizer Singapore Night Trail 2012!

1) Extensive range of free food and drinks.

I mean, on top of that, runners are able to buy Ramly burger and Old Chang Kee snacks! Good (sinfully delicious!) stuff for a post-race meal! Or mini-meal for that matter. 😛

2) Great running route that is not commonly used

Running the same old route over and over again can be quite a bore. Especially in Singapore, where the races or trail runs are typically held at along the same routes. But the organizers for the ESNT 2012, did a great job in planning a route which, not so many people would have experienced. Naice!

3) Enthusiastic marshals and volunteers and Super supporting Emcee

Marshals and volunteers did a fantastic job in orienteering and keeping the the runner’s spirits high. The Super supporting emcee was also a plus point. Together, they liven up the atmosphere of the night race.

4) Well organised shuttle buses

With a location like Mandai, its rather hard for runners to get to it. I mean, its not like its a Marina Bay where theres a plethora of options to choose from to get to it. Thus, the well-organised shuttle buses ferrying the runners to and from the race village was indeed a plus point for me. 🙂

All in all, I enjoyed the run and the finisher’s medal is super nice! Its the Energizer mascot! Pretty cool huh! Looking forward to next year’s Energizer Singapore Night Trail run! See ya!

EVENT: Maserati 5K Road Race in Jakarta

Maserati 5K Montage

Sunday, 1st April 2012 – With exams round the corner in late April and having just completed a truck load of essays, I needed a break. I need a short getaway to be more precise. After checking my budget and places i had in mind, I settled for Jakarta. But I needed more than just a “vacation”. I needed to run. Luckily for me, a good friend in Jakarta informed me of the Maserati 5K Road Race happening on 1st of April 2012. Best of all, it was a charity run. Thus, I gathered 2 other friends and we headed down to the bustling city of Jakarta soon after. 🙂

Running in an unfamiliar place/terrain is always exciting.

The feel and set up of the race is totally different from that in Singapore. Closed roads were just marked and indicated by cones (not the metal barricades) and that we collected our race packs and paid on the day itself, just minutes from the flag-off time. I dont think you can get that kind of service in Singapore. Can you?

Also, the bibs weren’t equipped with electronic tags nor do you have any tags to clip onto your shoes. Seems very basic and unmodernized and low-tech, but i love it cause when i started out running in Singapore, we had all this electronic gadgets and tags. Its back to basic, right here in Jakarta. 🙂

Here are some of the photos which we managed to snap during the event:

The hustle and bustle before the run

Gentlemen, start your engines.

With some of our Indonesian friends made before the run

Push cart food stall by the road. How quaint.

Thats right boys....thats right....

Off the ground, gliding.

The Family Fun Run. And the kids received a Maserati medal! >;(

With the organizer of the run whom we liaised with for the race

Taufiq from SAA, Afrizal, Tristan from Nike and I. Post-race meet up. 😀

All in all, we had a fun run-holiday in Jakarta. First time being in Jakarta and also our first time going for a run there. Running in Singapore is fun too but due to the limited and typical routes of Nicoll Highway to Marina Bay area etc, running in Singapore is becoming a little too predictable and at times mundane (especially if the organizers dont make effort to spice up the routes).

No doubt most avid runners run races because of passion, but for me, when i go for my runs, i love to to soak in the atmosphere, culture and buzz that’s happening on the ground. (A good example would be the 2010 Nike We Run SG 10KRunning similar routes over and over again can be dull. And we all know that banal routine kills. So time to freshen up and look abroad for races overseas if you have been running in Singapore for……ever.

Some overseas run/races to look forward to:

Till next time, Guten tag and Run happy! 

We Came, We Ran, We Completed. Thats right...

Gears Used: 

Taufiq – Asics Lyteracer

Afrizal – Nike LunarEclipse+2

Nabil – Adidas adiZero Feather

Nike Goddess 5K Run Giveaways!

Ladies, fancy running the Nike Goddess 5K with your BFF? Or looking to kick start your running mileage for this year? Or even, thinking of running in an ALL-WOMEN’s run? Look no further!

We are pleased to giveaway 2 FREE Nike Goddess 5K slots to YOU and your BFF! Yes, we want YOU ladies out there to get out and start running! Time to lead a healthy lifestyle! Of course, terms and conditions apply. 🙂

To win the competition, follow the steps below:

STEP 1: Under the COMMENTS section, tell us why YOU and your buddy deserve to win the competition.

STEP 2: Using your creative juices, come out with your BEST caption/tagline for the Nike Goddess 5K Run.

STEP 3: Remember to include your Name & Email in the comments section so that we can contact you should you be selected. (Don’t worry, the particulars wont be made public)

STEP 4: Smile. And LIKE our FB Page if you like US. I mean, we are nice people arent we? 🙂

P.S, CONTEST ENDS MONDAY, 26TH MARCH 2012 @ 2359H. WINNERS WILL BE NOTIFIED BY EMAIL ON 27TH MARCH 2012 BY NOON (12PM). REGISTRATION FOR THE GODDESS 5K CLOSES ON 30TH MARCH, SO DO CHECK YOUR EMAIL LADIES!

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Details on the Nike Goddess 5K Run:

Date: Saturday, 14th April 2012

Venue: Wave House Sentosa

Time: 1600H or 4pm for that matter

Next Training Sessions For Girls: Saturday, 1st April 2012 (click icon below)

Still in doubt, read more about LAST YEAR’S NIKE GODDESS 5K RUN, as covered by one of our female runners – Gisete!

The OCBC Cycle Singapore 2012: A Ride To Remember

Speed and Fast

(coverage by Nash A. and Nabil. R.)

4th March 2012 – Its 6 in the AM and its a Cold, Wet and Loud at the F1 Pit Building.Three words to describe the arrival of the “dream” team. Mass groups of avid cyclists, mothers herding their kids fully attired in their cycling kits. Over on the left, the slightly pudgy office worker psyches himself up for the race ahead while his wife does the last minute safety checks. On the right, a grandfather tells his grand daughter to stay close midst the crowd, trudging forward. Truly, this is a race for all, big or small young or old.

Gentlemen, start your engines!!

As i type this post at the media room, i must say the view overlooking the F1 grid is outstanding, same goes for the journey throughout. Time, 0700hrs, we slowly made our way to the starting line, after the mandatory bike and safety checks (kudos to the organizers for making it thorough without making it to taxing). At this time, the 59km cyclists sprint to the finish, definitely strong. At that point i figured, “this should be a breeze” boy was i wrong.

Time: 0730hrs – Mr Chan Chun Sing, Acting Minister for Ministry of Community Development Youth & Sports, flagged off the start of the 24km Community Ride. From the F1 pits, we made our way down the road towards ECP. View was BREATH to the TAKING!

Marina Bay Sands

Off off here we go!

Riders galore!

After that, comes the climb. At this point, i felt like singing Miley Cyrus “The Climb” and that thought just made me nauseous(seriously). Luckily, we had our Philips Headphones on with excellent noise cancelling and solid bass, we were practically dancing on our bikes up the slope (Grooving to “I Wanna” by All American Rejects, played over 91.3FM, Official radio coverage for OCBC Cycle 2012, you know that feeling right?). Just had to share, these Philips ActionFit Sweatproof and Washable headphones were great – well fitted and the bass was gooooood. 🙂

Down the highway, i think most cyclist would know the feeling of almost never ending road. At this point, Nabil was almost a goner, not because of the ride, but due to lack of sleep from the night before. He had been awake since 0730H the day before!  Luckily, we kept each other motivated pushing harder as we inch towards the water point. After the U-turn at East Coast Park Service Road….there it was…… The Pit Stop!!

Fuel Up Riders!

Nabil regained his energy and off we sped through East Coast Park, making new acquantances along the way (yups, we were kinda high after the 100 PLUS). The road was smooth and the closures were planned carefully, thus perfect! Then came the Sheares Bridge yet again. Fuuh, this slope, after the 20km, was quite a thriller. I felt the great burning sensation on my calves and thighs as i trudge through the crowd who were mostly pushing their bikes. After about 10mins sprint down the F1 route, and after clocking a total time of 1hr 14mins, we were done y’all! Hahah felt really great, slight wobbly feeling though – its just the muscles getting use to walking again. 😛

We had a great and fun time over at the OCBC Cycle Singapore 2012

Overall, the ride was superb and if i could point out any learning lessons from OCBC Cycle it would be these:

  1. Enough rest the night before, atleast 6 hours( like me) or you end up shutting your eyes midway through the highway(hint-hint Nabil)
  2. Hydration– Keep yourselves hydrated way before the race, and during the race. Not too much though cause not many toilets along the way plus the inertia of the water in the tummy will affect the cycling experience.
  3. Motivate each other. We had each other to push us through the challenges. Even when you are going out there alone, its okay to push and motivate other riders, c’mon..we are all aiming for the same end.
  4. Check your kits! To prevent abrasions, dangerous falls and bike breakdowns. We noticed several riders stopping at the side fixing their bikes. Even with their Neutral stations, it’ll be great to have portable pumps or tool kits, just in case.
  5. Good accessories!! Philip’s headphones definitely made my experience worthwhile with the sound cancellations and great bass.
  6. Enjoy the view – when you are relaxed and enjoying your environment, the journey is very much enjoyable
  7. Lastly, an event to make NEW friends and also still keep in touch with the old ones. 😉

Adam OneArmRunner and his running, now also, cycling kakis!

So, there you go, OCBC Cycle Singapore 2012 in a nutshell. Nabil and i can’t wait for more races like this, and more than ready to take on harder challenges ahead. And thats WHY WE RUN.

P.S, To view more photos of the event captured by us, click on the icon below!

RUNNERS GUIDE: How To Survive The Men’s Health Urbanathlon

Sunday, 19th February 2012 – 14km, 9 Obstacles and a Very scenic route around town, the Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2012 kicked off to an amazing start. The weather was surprisingly very very very nice – cloudy with not a chance of meatballs plus the cool morning breeze was ever present throughout the whole 14km route. Perfect weather for a run. Like totally.

Once again, I was not only there to witness, but most importantly, experience a run/race unlike any other. Besides it being an ALL-GUYS AFFAIR, the Men’s Health Urbanthlon 2012 was my FIRST Urbanathlon and yes, I had the opportunity to run alongside Singapore Blade Runner. What up. 😀

Scenic route - The run by the Singapore River at ~0800H

Thinking of taking part in future Urbanathlons? Well, here’s a quick “HOW TO SURVIVE THE MEN’S HEALTH URBANATHLON” guide:

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1) DON’T JUST RUN. BUT WORKOUT TOO!

Train up, or be run over by the obstacles

The Urbanathlon requires more than just your running or stamina. Because of the 9 obstacles that is peppered along the 14km route, it is also important to to train your upper body and your grip strength too. Prelude to the Urbanathlon, i was practicing Muay Thai, BJJ and doing my Strength & Conditioning at EVOLVE MMA. Intense cardio sessions you might say but i also pair it up with my own trainings in the gym (eg. chin ups, squats etc)

If you are new to running and/or had never run the Urbanathlon before, i suggest you do short interval trainings (30secs sprint, 60secs jog) or run up the flight of stairs in a HDB flat to build up on your cardiovascular system. 14km is NOT a short distance, neither is it too far. But nonetheless, you would have to train for it as every race condition is definitely different. Furthermore, you want to cross that finishing line strong don’t you?

2) SLEEP EARLY, EAT A LOT. LIKE REALLY A LOT.

Bowl of Marcoroni Beef Soup which i had twice in a day, before the race day.

Well, like all races and runs, its always good to have adequate rest to allow your body to be at its optimum level at race time. I slept at 0300H when the race was actually at 0730H. Car-razy! For one thing, its not a great idea to be in a state of rush to get to the starting point you’ll just tire yourself out. Secondly, rushing means there is a higher chance that you might forget to bring along your important stuffs to the race (eg. race bib, wallet etc). D’oh!

Food is also important. Just like in any other race, its good to carbo load up or have proper meals the day before. You wouldn’t want to be all drained out of energy when you’re half way completing one of the Urbanathlon obstacles do you? Remember, although the Urbanathlon does not require you to carry your field pack ala Standard Obstacle Course in the Army, 14km is gonna burn quite a lot of calories I’d say!

3) LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.

Nicoll Highway MRT Station - say whuuut?

Ok, so this might come across as a duhh-i-know-its-important point, but seriously, not many people take it seriously. It is important to know where the race village AND starting point is. ESPECIALLY if you’re new to it and is getting there by your own vehicle. Parking can be quite a pain in the ass especially if you cannot find a nearby parking lot. With 2,300 runners taking part in this year’s Urbanathlon, its best to come earlier and snap up the best lots in town. Or at least one that is pretty near to the race village.

I’ve never been to Nicoll Highway MRT Station before (seriously, who has?!) but after some researching done, i could park my ride at beach road which is just a 5 minute walk away.

4) WHAT’S A RUN WITHOUT A BUDDY?

Happy Runners 😀

BORE-RAN! (“BORING” with a strong Eastern European accent)  Some of you might be running for fun while others want to beat their Personal Best. Nonetheless, runs such as this Urbanathlon would be much more fun if you have a buddy beside you. Some of the obstacles might see you slow down, take a tumble or simply need some help/motivation. And nothing would be better than knowing your buddy is right there helping you complete it and finish the race strong together.

Now that being said, if you have no one to run with, come early and mingle with the rest of the runners. Chances are you might just find someone who having read this guide, would do the same thing – looking for a running buddy. And hey presto! You got yourself a new friend. 🙂

5) DON’T BE A FISH. DON’T GET CAUGHT IN THE NET.

Network your way up, only to have you go down back again. (Pic from MH site)

“Ahhh… the fish net, kids play.” you might say. But it is probably the hardest and most time consuming obstacle for me during the race (besides the Down & Dirty, but we’ll get to that later). As you can see, you would have to climb the bouncy rope web to get to the other side of the truck – easy peasy – but with 5-10 others Urbanathletes scampering across the rope web, it kinda shakes the obstacle thus it gets you off balance.

Tip: Train your core (doing planks, sit ups etc) as well as hit the gym working on the cable machines as well as the giant yoga ball. I must also add that despite running and climbing on one leg and one prosthetic blade, Singapore Blade Runner managed to complete this tricky part of the race. BRA-VO!

6) DON’T RUN WITH YOUR SPANKING NEWLY-BOUGHT SHOES…OR ELECTRONIC GEARS

Chocolate covered mud pie shoe. Naice. (Pic taken off MH's FB Urbanathlon Album)

Its not because I’m worried that you have not broken into your shoe but because the last obstacle had the most Urbanathletes getting Down and Dirty in 2 containers filled with mud and water. Soaking your legs (up till your thighs) in mud might remind you of the facial mud mask that you had with your GF/wife over in Bali, but i would not recommend anyone to stick their face in them. Although the mud does indeed feel refreshing and invigorating for the tired legs, wearing your latest branded running shoes in them certainly does not (after you come out of the containers).

It would certainly have been better if the mud-concentrated container was the last container so people would be sporting really muddied legs as they cross the finishing line just 750m away! And ouh, DEFINITELY, DEFINITELY a 2nd or 3rd set of D&D obstacle would be great as Singapore Blade Runner and I (and probably along with 50 other runners) were practically waiting 20min before we got jump in the pool…of mud. Yay!

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With those 6 tips, i hope you will be better prepared for next year’s Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2013. Just 6 tips this time round because the run as really great. Till then, Guten Tag! 

Completing races with friends: Priceless

To those who wants to know their results/timings: CLICK HERE!

Some of the photos taken during the event.

1st Obstacle - Easy peasy lah!

Scenic route - Dont look back in anger

Tyre-d out?

SBR and I completing the race!

The Adidas Speed Cell Truck: Are you F50+ fast?

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*Photos taken are by NubPiktograf. And shall in no way be reproduced, copied, saved and use for any other media or personal publication without consent.

RUNNERS GUIDE: How to survive 21km at the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore

Seeing the popularity of marathons and people running in them, i have decided to share with you some of the tips on how to survive the 21km Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore based on first hand experience running it for the first time. AND OH, TO GET YOUR RACE TIMING, SCROLL DOWN BELOW FOR THE LINK.

And in light of the death of the 22-year old runner who passed away at the finish line, my deepest condolences goes out to his family and loved ones. In no way shall this “survival guide” should be seen as to mock or ridicule him or any runners who did not complete the run.

Based on my true story/experience, here it goes…

1) CARBO LOAD UP

Yes. Not suit up, but carbo load up. One should be mindful that running 21,000m would require you to burn off 800 to 1200 calories depending on the runner’s weight AND average speed of his run. Thus it is important to consume a good mix of carbohydrates and protein in the meals a day before the run. Yes, you can always snack on the power gels and energy bars as you run but one shouldnt be too reliant on those stuffs. Not only does it restricts your running, the way i see it, if you have had a proper meal the night before the run (please dont consume a 2000 calorie meal for your breakfast), all the thing that your body needs during the run is proper hydration. Which brings me to my next point.

2) “H” TO THE 2 TO THE “O”

No, i’m not referring to a bunch of mermaids above but fact is that 60-70% of a person’s body weight is made up of water. Your cells contain water. Thus if you dont hydrate properly a day prior to the race AND on race day, you are what Sheldon Cooper (from The Big Bang Theory) would call – dehydrating your body. It is therefore important to drink up loads of fluids (water and not alcohol) before the race. Also, water helps to flush away toxins from your body as you go to the bathroom in the morning. Furthermore, drinking isotonic drinks days prior to the event would help “thin” your blood thus giving better circulation of oxygen around your body. By the way, tap water in Singapore is potable so dont give excuses about not being able to buy mineral water around. Cant say the same about NEWater though. Sorry, but im just not a fan. Haha.

3) DON’T BRING A BAG

Yes, this isnt your Bring-your-own-bag day. Its Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore day. As you’ll be running 21km, it would be very uncomfortable running with a bag (no matter how light it may be) for that whole 22965.879 yards. How do i know that? Cause i was carrying mine for SCMS 2011. -_-” The bag would tend to lift the back of your tee/singlet up, rubbing against your lower back causing slight abrasions. Why did i bring my bag in the first place? Well, that brings me to my next point…

4) DONT BE PUNCTUAL, BE EARLY

Super early to be in fact. Somehow Singaporean are funny creatures. In times of purchasing a new iPhone 4S or some latest computer game we can actually queue over night and make ourselves comfortable sitting down on the floor eagerly waiting to get our hands on the goods. But when it comes to depositing our bags on race day, they’ll choose to come at the exact flag off time, when the baggage counter was actually opened 2 hours before. Weird. And because of that, they have to carry their bags with them as they ran the 21km because the security personnel at the baggage deposit area said so. On a more serious note, its because starting pen was about to close in 5min by the time we queued up for over 30min. Anyways, would it be a good excuse if i say that i woke up late? 😦

5) GOOD THINGS COME IN TWOS

There’s a reason why most things in life come in twos – like eyes, legs, parents and 2 $1000 notes…with the exception of Thompson and Thomson in Tintin comics. That being said, i suggest that you get a running buddy/partner to run with you. Running alone with your music stuck to your ears might seem like a good deal, but when it comes to running this 21km, personally it would have been more awesome if i hadnt lost my contact with my running buddy – Agni, before the start of the race. Dont laugh but we got separated because of Point No. 4. Anyways, running with a buddy helps you keep pace and also would be a form of motivation where both of you would cheer on the other half who’s slacking. Helps if he or she is of the opposite sex and is hot/pretty too. Seriously, you wouldnt want to look disappointing do you? ;P

6) MUSE-ZIGGITY ZAG

As mentioned above, listening to music is great when you’re running alone. But also, its the CHOICE of music that plays a great deal in helping you overcome that 6km non-stop stretch of East Coast Highway with no water points (I think. Cause i might have been zoning out). Some personal favourites of mine includes “Gangsters paradise” by Coolio & Tupac, club mixes and OSTs by Hans Zimmer. Some how these kinds of songs have a trance effect on my. I cant feel my pain when i ran. All i feel is the soul uplifted and just wanting to complete the race! 😉

7) HAVE A BREAK, HAVE SOME WATER

Or you could also say stopping to take photos with Transformers too. Personal bests and/or completing the race are important to all, if not many runners. However, one must also understand that not every is born a Kenyan runner. Singaporeans are NOT Kenyans. In fact, Asians are not Kenyans despite living near the equators like the latter. We cannot SPRINT non-stop for the whole of 21,000m! Perhaps im generalizing here, but you get the drift. Take a break between a certain set of distance. Slow down if you feel unwell, uneasy or you start thinking that you have to cross over the red-white barrier to reach the finishing line. No, this isnt the Men’s Health Urbanathlon. Go easy on your body when your body goes hard on you. And trust me, you will enjoy the run. If you feel shy for stopping by the side, heres a tip: Pretend to tie your shoe laces. No one will think anything negative of you. Well, unless you tie them in the middle of the path.

8.) MIND YOUR MANNERS

Like all things around Singapore, there are rules. In running, if you need to slow down and stop or walk, please keep to the side buddy. The last thing you wanna do is to slow down abruptly in the middle or right most lane and fancy getting banged from behind. Sounds wrongly crude but yeah. The last thing anyone needs is a tumble and a ruckus in the middle of the route. You’ll prolly end the 21km right there OR crossing the finish line like an recruit who had to leopard crawl with his shorts. On the tarmac. Cool factor: -10

9) MAKE FRIENDS & CHEER OTHERS ON

Idiot proof, really. As the heading says. Running 21km is a personal thing no doubt, but that doesnt mean that you have to complete it alone or with your buddy ONLY. With other like-minded runners around you, cheering them on lifts the spirit and motivation for the runner, your buddy and even YOU. I dont know how to put it but you gotta try it, it feels good. When you feel good, you’ll finish good. And lastly….

10) S*CK IT UP

No, its not what you think it is. If you’re planning to run 21km or more, please put on a pair of SOCKS. Unless of course, you think its gung-ho and your plan of going minimalist is the key but end up getting blisters at the 8km mark is awesome, then dont wear it. Sockless, 3 blisters and a horrible timing later, i crossed the finish line. Take it from me before your feet take it from the blisters. And dont be a twerp and wear socks for your five fingers shoes. D’oh!

With those 10 tips, i hope you will be better prepared for your upcoming 21km runs in 2012. Till then, Guten Tag! See you all next year…at some race…somewhere…i guess. Remember Point No. 9! 😉

To those who wants to know their results/timings: CLICK HERE!

PHOTO MONTAGE OF THE POST-RACE

References:

  1. http://www.livestrong.com/article/374953-how-many-calories-do-you-burn-running-a-half-marathon/
  2. http://www.health.arizona.edu/health_topics/nutrition/general/waterhydration.htm

The Nike We Run KL 2011 Review

Nike Runs have always been a special event for me. No, its not because the registration of their runs always get snapped up within hours (Seoul, 70min and Singapore, 48 hours!) or that they always have unique finisher’s medal to giveaway. Those are kinda like the by product of my happy feeling when running the races.

Its simply because i kicked started my running regime last year with a Nike run – the Nike City 10K 2010. 

Over a year has passed since 24th October 2010 and i have participated in quite a number of runs. So when the opportunity to run Nike’s We Run KL 10K happening on the 27th of November 2011, i did not hesitate to sign up for it. Furthermore, its kinda affordable. Teehee! AND to make it even special – this is my FIRST overseas run too!

So i reached KL at 0100H and only had 3 hours sleep before making my way to the form up place – Dataran Merdeka, somewhere in KL. Reached there some time around 0700H. To be honest, had i not followed the throngs of Orangey coloured people, i would never have found that place in time. *phew* Nonetheless, the place somewhat reminds me of Tanjong Pagar a bit though. 🙂

The run started out well. Weather was nice and not too humid and i was running at an easy pace as i was with my female running buddy. Yeah, buddy run for the win! To be honest, i dont know the route. Even the route on the map looked a lil alien to me. =S

At certain points of the run, there was a bottleneck cause people were walking…on the RIGHT SIDE! Geez! Dont these runners understand some running etiquettes – like keeping to the left when they decide to walk or slow down? 😡  Anyways, the route was rather hilly and personally, i LIKE that! Challenging and it makes your legs work more. 🙂

The route was peppered with water points and some form of entertainments – local delights of Indian bhangra and Malay drum sets. At least it brought some rhythm to the route and made it interesting too. What i didnt quite like was that the water points werent prepared and that caused a jam every time we are near the water points. Somehow, the people serving the water werent very efficient and looked kinda lost when throngs of people started coming to their booth. And perhaps, im just being too anal, but better collection points for the disposable cups could be introduced. People

All in all, the whole event was a great experience. It was a good break from running in Singapore every time and with just 2 days to go to the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore, i needed this “vacation” and chill run. KL had been a nice. Looking forward to running more races/runs overseas. 

Caught up with a few awesome friends. Tristan and the ladies and gentlemen from United Runners. 🙂 Sorry i couldnt make it for lunch guys. Next time ya? 

Till we meet again, get ready for Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2011!

Nike We Run SG 10K – The Vlogging Experience

Pardon the shaky camera and lousy visuals. Should have brought in a camera crew from Hollywood dont you think?

As the saying goes, a picture speaks a thousand words. But a video speaks a thousand pictures instead. So here it is, my first attempt to capture the moments during my Nike Run 2011. An awesome event overall with 12,000 running through the streets, post-entertainment with LIVE performances from  local artistes and an a great reception over at the reception area. You know what’s better? The “finisher’s medal”.

Watch the video to find out what it is! And oh, a special shout out to my friends who were there with me be it during the race, after the race and after the after race. You guys and ladies know who you are! 😉

I have uploaded 4 more Nike We Run SG 10K video interviews and casual chat sessions with some awesome possum people including the WINNER  OF WHY WE RUN NETWORK’S  NIKE CONTEST – MDM NG ! Despite her age, she came to the event, she saw the race and she conquered the 10K. Hell yeah, she ran SG 10K yo!

Here are some some of the video links to our YouTube account (search: whywerunn) –

  1. My Post Nike Race Review
  2. Chitty Chatty with the 987FM DJs – Divian and Jacqui
  3. Interview with Mark SBTG on his first ever NIKE run!
  4. Interview with our WINNER of our first ever contest giveaway – Mdm Ng!
Till next time, Guten Tag! See you at the next Nike Run  y’all!
P.S, Any suggestions for a good mini and easily mounted sports camcorder that i should consider? Hahaha!