Saturday, February 06, 2010

Urbanathlon - A First in Singapore




My first run for the year 2010 was the 12.5km Urbanathlon on 31 Jan which was also Singapore's first. I was among 1,500 male only runners to participate in this event. This event started in New York in 2006 followed by London and Singapore was the third stop.

Special about this event was not the run but the 8 obstacles to overcome along the 12.5km run. This male testosterone in me fired me up to sign up but it was not cheap though...S$128 to be exact. What the heck, a male has to do what a male has to do lor!

Flagged-off at the Marine Promenade by MP Teo Ser Luck at about 0730 hrs but not at one go to prevent chock-a-block at the obstacle stations. Each wave of 50 runners were flagged off at one minute interval and I, among the early birds (or kiasu) was in the third wave.

After about 2 km running, the first obstacle to leap over the 5 1-metre high road barricades. Easy, no sweat...I cleared, leaping over like a leopard (I think). We continued running along Clarke Quay area and we reached Fort Canning Hill. This was our second obstacle, the so-called '99-step' corporate ladder up the hill or mole, more likely. Again, not much of a sweat considering I did Mount Faber on umpteen times. It was soon over and we crossed the bridge, heading towards the direction of River Valley Road for our third obstacle, the low wall. Alamak, it was supposed to be at least 1.8m as promised by the organisers but it turned out, just 1.5m high...sigh! Again, chicken feat for even a shortie like me. We used to clear this type of wall with our full battle order during our army days without much of a sweat then, aiyo...this one lagi easy lor. These 'ang moh' organisers must have thought Singaporean males are too short or weak for the supposedly 1.8m high wall but they were damned wrong, man. Again, leaped over the wall with just one kick and off, I went. Another 1 km away, it was the fourth obstacle, the 5m high monkey bars. To overcome it, everyone needed to traverse 12 monkey bars to the other end. The person infront just couldn't hold himself after suspending on the first bar and he dropped. He had to re-queue (sorry, man) and when it was my turn, I made sure I used every ounce of my arm muscle to traverse over. Phew, I succeeded but it wasn't easy I must admit and it's all thanks to the weekly gym work-out prior. Almost immediately, the fifth obstacle just nearby. This time, it was the 5m long tunnel to crawl under. Just 1.2 m wide, I can almost run across which was just too easy lah. Another 2km, I reached the sixth obstacle, two rows of tyres to run across. Again, this one wasn't that difficult either. Just made sure where the feet landed and off I went for my next challenge. Running to the direction of Singapore Flyer along the pathway. Another 2 or 3 km of running, I reached the seventh obstacle which is named 'Leap of Faith'. Without flinching an eye lid, I just jumped into the 0.8m inflatable pool and waded 8m across to the other side. Chicken feet - just too easy lah. And the last obstacle was about 1km away. We had to do a 'leopard crawl' in the 10m mud pit. It was really really muddy and I almost drank some of the muddy water while crawling under the net...yuck! Wait...it was not over yet, we had to run another 2km in a muddy and soggy condition to the finishing at the Marina Promenade, can you imagine that? My prized Nike running shoes were soaked with mud, my adidas shorts and the adidas T too and my face, coated with mud too and I kept spitting out the mud from my mouth while running. This was surely the 'mother of the obstacles', not easy running in that muddy condition and I prevailed till the end.

Boy, I am glad I clocked 1 hr 15 mins 13 secs and ranked 261 out of 1,137 male runners. Not bad for an old fella, I must say.

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