Tuesday, 22 May 2012

- Salomon Tiong Bahru Urban Trail Run 2012 [20 May 2012]: Words by AbsolutHal -

"The second Tiong Bahru Salomon Urban Trail Run offers you the unique opportunity to race along part of the former KTM Railway track. This year's 14km route incorporates about 2.5km of the former track area near Alexandra Village. Besides the chance to run down memory lane, it was an interesting sight to tackle both the  urban, concrete side of Singapore as well as the lush, green aspect of its landscape.
We were also brought to man-made paths intertwine with the surroundings of Mother Nature – stretching across Singapore’s Marang Trail to Henderson Wave.
This event is organised by Tiong Bahru Community Centre Management Committee and Tanjong Pagar, Tiong Bahru Community Sports Club. There are two categories - Men's and Women's Open."

I'm still in 2 minds whether to use my normal running shoes or putting on the pair of VFF which I've never tried running on trails. But since it's gonna be a short 2.5km running on trail, the VFF win hands-down !! 

- The crowd (Pic credit to World of Sports) -
With about 1,500 runners expected at the event, the place looked overcrowded as we were gathered at the basketball court of ZhangDe Primary School. Any more than that, I think there are not gonna be any space for the runners to do their warm-up or stretching exercises.

- During our warm-up session (Pic credit to World of Sports) -
 As our usual practice, the Freedom Freaks members who ran met up and did their own warm-up and routine group photo before the race started.

- Fresh faces at the start line (Pic credit to Asree) -
The race started exactly at 0730hrs by the GOH. The first 3km or so was chaotic, especially the right turn right after the start. There are no lane closures and no barriers to separate the runners from the oncoming vehicles. Just the helpful volunteers and the arrows pointing to the direction that we are supposed to go to.

- The jaywalkers (Pic credit to David Wong)
 There are also many runners who decided to cut across the road dangerously instead of running up the overhead bridge. Mind you, there are a total of 4 OHBs in total !!!

After the 5km mark, it was time to climb up the Marang Trail. I got no idea how easy or tough it's gonna be.

- Never ending !! (Pic credit to Asree) -

- Are we there yet ?? (Pic credit to Asree) -
Going up Marang trail to Mt Faber was always a challenge. It seems never ending. Most of the runners actually walked to the top. Yes !! It was damn tough !! After few hundred meters up, I finally reach the top and the best thing to see was a water point. Such a relief for me .....
Running the loops of Mt Faber was good training and of course across the Henderson Wave was the first for me and what a great view it offered. Now I know how Henderson Wave really looks like .....

- Henderson Wave (Pic credit to David Wong) -

Anyway, just found out that I just climbed up less than 80 meters to the top. Not 'few hundred meters' that I initially thought. Hahaha ....

- I was wrong !! (Pic credit to David Wong) -

The trail part of the run was along the railway corridor and only offered 2.5km of it. It was really a painful experience running on small stones and pebbles. But as I was determine to finish up the race as soon as possible, I just ran my usual pace and endure the pain. They said, 'No Pain, No Gain !!'

- A painful experience (Pic credit to Asree)
Some sections of the trail was muddy. But it was great fun, for some, splashing in the mud. But not for me. I was trying to avoid as much mud as possible. I hate to dirty my running shoes !!

- I hate this part (Pic credit to David Wong)
The last 1km was on normal road and it was a relief for my feet at least. The run towards to end point is the same as when we started. A bit more chaotic as there are more vehicles moving on the road at the same time. But credits should be given to the marshallers as they control the traffic with near perfection. Running back was a breeze.

- I can pose better than this (Pic credit to Eye-See-Eye-Shoot) -

Upon reaching the end point, we were given the Finishers' medal. It looked cheap but anyway, it was the 1st hard-earned medal in 2012. More to come !!
 I finished the race in 1hr 42mins. Not an ideal timing, but who cares. Hahaha .... It was one tough run and I'm glad I ran and completed it.

- Check out the cute medal (This pic is mine !!) -

Met up again with the rest of the Freaks who had completed way before me and took a mandatory group pic before we dismissed.

- 1 more please .... (Pic credit to Asree) -
Anyway, if you wanna check the official results, do click here:
- Official Results -

 And as for me, I think I need to buy a new pair of VFF. A new pair just for trail running ......
It hurts, but it feels good ......

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