Monday, February 15, 2010

Safari Zoo Run '10 - In Memory of Ah Meng

My second run for this year was the Safari Zoo Run '10 on 6 February, Saturday which was held in memory of the zoo's icon, Ah Meng. Not a long course, just 6.2km distance in the Singapore Zoo but the start-time was scheduled in the afternoon at 1600 hrs.

This time, I managed to convince 'Happy Happy' (H2) to register in this event who has a personal goal to complete a 10km run before the end of the year. This will be a prelude to the gradual completion of longer distance for her, slowly but surely.

Prior to the event and despite her busy work schedule, H2 did some running on own. This showed her committment to do her best in her first run and am sure she will do well.

As arranged, I picked her up at about 1500 hrs on 6 Feb at her place and we arrived at the zoo well ahead of time. While at the carpark, we were pinning up our number tags and surprise, surprise, we realised her running number (2720) was just one before me (2721). Shhhh...she did confess to me she bought 4-D on her lucky number. I did not check with her whether she did strike or not after the event, guess no news means really no news lor...sigh!

The flag-off was scheduled at 1600 hrs, we decided to join the queue at about 1545 hrs. It was a hot afternoon, there was no shelter at the start line and everyone was under the direct glare of the afternoon sun. Mind, mind, there were more than 5,000 runners there. I was doing my warm-up at the start line but H2 did not seem to look quite happy. She simply stood still and looking bored despite my coaxing her to do some warm-up. I realised she didn't like to stand under the hot sun and the start-off which was supposed to be at 1600 hrs did not go as scheduled did damper her spirit. The delay was due to the earlier kids' event which was still on going.

Finally, I can heave a big relief when we were flagged off at about 1630 hrs. Due to the narrow path, running was made impossible and we simply walked for at least few hundred metres. H2 was ahead of me, I was pacing her. When we started to accelerate, we past many runners. Not bad, actually.

The route in the zoo is not conducive for running, it is too narrow, undulating and on there are many fallen branches and leaves on both sides. To my surprise, there were some who lugged along with their babies in the pram...quite unsafe to say the least.

After about 2 km, I signalled to HH2 whether she needed water but she didn't want. At some point, we had to go up slope and our pace slowed somewhat. Another 1 km away, there was a water station. This time H2 gave her nod for water and I dashed up first to grab two cups. Passed one to her and she quickly gulped down. Her pace was quite steady. I can see her deep concentration and her determination not to stop for a breather, she was pushing on. Around 4 km, her breathing was getting heavier and pace slowed somewhat but I encouraged her to stay relaxed. I looked at my watch, only 20 mins had passed we were already at 4 km mark. "Not bad", I murmured to myself.

We were nearing our finishing mark, H2's pace did slow considerably but she pressed on. I was ahead and when I saw the finishing line, I stoppped, looked back and signaled to H2. Together we crossed the finish. I looked at my watch, wow...we clocked a little over 31 mins in our 6.2 km run. H2 could not believe she had clocked that time but she did, it's a fact. Kudos to her for her grit and determination. I am certainly looking forward to more run events with her.

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