Sunday, July 04, 2010

Race Against Cancer - 4 July 2010

I am honoured to play a part in this race when Nazlin from Singapore Cancer Society invited me to be one of their charity athletes during their preparation stage. This was my second participation in their annual event for the cancer cause, the last time was in 2008 with Winnie but I gave 2009 a miss, no particular reasons.

Set my alarm at 0615 hrs before retiring to bed after watching the thrashing of Argentina by the mighty Germans, 4 nothing to be exact and it was already near midnight. Around 0200 hrs, I was waken up by an sms from Mark Soh but I couldn't open my eyes fully to read his text. Ignoring the sms, I continued my sleep. At about 0500 hrs I think, a sharp pain on the left leg shook me up from my bed. It was a bad cramp, the pain was unbearable and I had to stay down for it to subside. One minute or so later, the pain finally relented and I continued my sleep. From that moment on, I was actually, half awake and half asleep till the alarm struck exactly at 0615 hrs.

Left my house at 0700 hrs and it looked like any moment rain will come. I arrived at Pasir Ris, managed to find a carpark lot in one of the blocks nearby Pasir Ris Park. It was about 0720 hrs, so I should have some 30 mins before the flagged-off. The walk to the start-point at Pasir Ris took slightly over 5 mins and though it was around 0730 hrs, it was still dark. Many runners were making their way to the same direction where I was heading. Did some warm-up, as usual while looking out for familiar faces. From our SANL group, I know Carmen and Yan Ming had signed-up and I was hoping to spot them in the crowd, no luck though. I made my way to the start-point, waited with the rest for the arrival of the VVIP, Dy PM Teo Chee Hean. Winnie was supposed to join but what a pity, she had to forfeit due to last minute pressing matter to attend to. The day before, I had a tiring outing with another adventurous group doing 50km cycling from Changi Point down to East Coast and then looped over to Siglap, Bedok Reservoir, Tampines, Pasir Ris and finally back to Changi Point. Hwee was with me on this cycling trip and we had an enjoyable outing with the group I must say. In the evening, I went out with my some of my Mt Ophir group to celebrate Shu's posting to Taiwan till about 2200 hrs. And this morning, the 7.5 km run. I was quite tired, actually...mind and body. Also, the pain in the my left calf did not go away completely, sigh.

Finally, DPM Teo appeared with his entourage. The flagged-off was scheduled to be at 0750 hrs but the VIP and his entourage arrived at about 0810 hrs. The weather was still gloomy and I was hoping they flag us off before the rain really poured on us. I checked my watch, it was about 0810 hrs when we were flagged-off. There were at least 5,000 runners in the 7.5 km competitive run. The cemented path is not wide for over-taking, thus I had to overtake some on the wet glass path. I started off on quicker pace to overtake as many runners infront of me or be held behind, due to the narrow path. About 3 km into the run, I slowed down to maintain my normal pace and to preserve some energy for the last leg, for the last burst. Just ahead of me, I saw a father and son running together. The boy should be around 10 years of age or probably younger but boy, he was running like a pro. It took me a while to overtake them. I was thinking, this boy could probably be our national runner in the future. He has potentials, lots of potentials. At the 4 km mark, anyone who overtook me must be a fitter runner and also, somehow I was too tired mentally & physically to try to overtake them. I just pressed on. My legs were tired, cannot surmount the extra power to quicken the pace. Before the 5 km mark (the final turn to the finishing), there was this young Malay boy who looks a little older than 10 years of age (taller than that Chinese boy whom I overtook earlier), he just shot past me. He had good long stride, opening up his pace slowly and steady. Before long, I lost sight of him after he strode past me.

Past the 6 km marker, then the 7 m marker and finally, only 500 metres to the finish. My legs were still tired and I can sense the finishing in front. Few runners shot past me but I still couldn't muster my reserve energy to speed up the last few hundred metres. When I reached the finishing, I looked at my watch and it showed a little over 0840 hrs. I should have clocked between 35 to 40 mins in this 7.5 km event.

At the finishing, I saw the Caucasian photographer who took my pictures for the promotion collaterals. He recognised me, gave me a smile which I returned the smile too. Also, I saw Fiona, the event organiser from Hive-locity who was busy taking down notes. I walked up to her to have a quick chat with her. I asked her whether she is keen to organise a run event in Batam and she expressed interest.

Though it didn't rain, the ground was very soggy at the finishing venue and hardly anyone was gathering around the stage and tents. I managed to catch up with Nazlin who was busy arranging the silat performance. I rested for a while, didn't stay to watch the performance and prize giving and finally, I made my way to the carpark. Another event, another day for me. Though tired, I felt satisfied as this was a worthy cause for cancer.

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