Tuesday, 12 June 2012

- Punggol Waterway PAssion Active Run 10km: A race review by Ariffin 'BoyWonder' Iskandar -

The Punggol Active PAssion Run, or Punggol Waterway as it is more commonly known, was held successfully yesterday morning. With an affordable registration fee of $25 for the 10km competitive run and $20 for the 5km run, runners turned up in big numbers to pound the pavement while enjoying the breeze of Punggol Waterway.

There was a late change to the route for the 10km run, with the organizers heeding advice from the Land Transport Authority and Traffic Police. Some members of the forum on SGRunners.com welcomed this new change as they found the new map easier to understand in comparison to the older one.
Personally it didn't matter much to me as I have not ran at Punggol before, so I was looking forward to running in a new location.

For this run, there were about 8 Freaks attending it, a small but strong force of demons!

- With the early Freaks -
The run flagged off at 7.30am sharp, near the start line, I saw many familiar faces like Ganesh from Sundown and Vasant from IMD, just to name a few. Halim advised me to start off slightly faster than targeted pace as the running route would get quite narrow after the first 1km or so. And so we both started off at a fast pace, then once we were in Punggol Waterway, we settled in at our target pace. My goal was to get a Sub 50, my first Sub 50, and I wanted to do this run for the late Nur.

The first 3km or so, I was maintaining a steady 5.00 pace, only off by a few seconds. Around the 3km mark, I got a shock. They were giving out bottled un-chilled NeWater at the Hydration Points. I didn't take it as I knew it would be time consuming to actually open up the bottles and stop running to drink from it. Halim running fast and soon he was out of my sight, I was sure he could get a Sub 50 if he maintained that pace.

- Maintaining our pace -
At the U Turn Point, Hamrit overtook me. Although he was still nursing his injuries, he was "flying". He picked up his pace at about the 4.8km mark for a strong finish. He even overtook Halim with 2km to go! Way to go bro Hamrit!

As for myself it was a mental struggle, as each distance marker passed by, my pace was decreasing. I didn't stop running for the first 8km, but I could feel some muscle fatigue in my legs, I didn't bring my legs up towards my butt to get a proper stride, was landing heavily too. Have to work on that, it always happens when I feel tired. But of course, all I needed was a look at my right wrist.... seeing the three letter word there kept me going.

The last hydration served HTWO. HTWO in bottles which were not chilled. What was the point of serving HTWO at almost the end of the race? You won't be able to replenish the sodium and carbohydrates in time, at there was less than 2km to go. I ended up only drinking 1/3 of the bottle. I remember I threw away the bottle just in time when I saw the lens of this photographer, Mr. Low Khia Khing.

At the 8km mark, checking against my watch, I lost hopes of doing a Sub 50. I passed the 8km marker at around 42 minutes, I just picked up the pace for a strong finish. When we exited from Punggol Waterway, a short but winding uphill stretch awaited us. After emerging, I saw the finish line up ahead. It seemed too near. I checked against my watch and it showed 49 minutes, I thought to myself that there was still a chance, so I sprinted towards the end, clocking an unofficial time of about 49:46. I looked up to the sky and smiled.

- Ran for the late baby Nur -
Halim's Garmin showed that the distance was about 9.8km, not a full 10km, didn't exactly feel like one either but it's alright. I know where I must work on to improve for the next run! Hamrit and Halim both got Sub 50 timings. All the freaks who attended the event broke their Personal Best timings. My Dad also got a personal best of 1:09:36! Kudos to all!

We just PB-ed!

The event in general was decent, they handled the narrow running route and late change of route well. They could have improved on the hydration points, which I hope they will change next year. Well done Punggol Runners for organizing the first ever Punggol Waterway Run!

- With the rest of the Freaks after the run -

By the time you're reading this, I am already in Kuala Lumpur for a retreat with my mates, will try to hit the gym and at least go for a short run when I'm there.

My next run will be the Half Marathon at Standard Chartered KL Marathon on 24th June.

Kick ASSphalt!

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