The biggest run event for women in Asia, numbering some 12,000 runners and this honour goes to the Great Eastern 10km 2011 which commenced this morning (3 July). Save for last year, this is Winnie third participation in the 10km event.
I offered to pick her up at her place in Clementi at 0615 hrs. We were on the highway on the way to Suntec, where the flag-off was to take-place at 0730 hrs and she received a call from her maid that she left her running shoes at home. We were not too far away and we were able to turn back quickly. Her shoes were then handed to her and off we go back. Again, on the highway, she remembered she left her chip on the table and one more time, we had to turn back to her place for the chip. This time, we made sure everything that was supposed to be brought for the run, was brought along before driving off. Boy, what a start before the run but we were still not too late for the run - it was a little over 0700 hrs.
Driving all the way from AYE and then, exited to Keppel Road to the direction of Suntec. It was smooth traffic at that hour. We then decided to park at Esplanade which is near to the flag-off venue at Suntec. It was nearing 0730 hrs and by the time we reached the venue, it was seconds to the flag-off. Winnie's friend, Charmaine who was to join her at the start-off was also late. She had to turn back to pick up her mobile phone but really, do you need to bring along the mobile phone for the run, I just wondered? I won't, for sure but hey, it's personal and to each, his or her own.
After the flag-off, I made a stroll to the finish line near the Padang. I was waiting with the rest of the supporters, mostly men I must say. Found a nice spot to watch the runners making final dash to the finish and of course, standing by my camera to take shots of Winnie later.
From a distance, I can see the first runner making her way to the finish and guess what, it was just under 32 mins. This young lady from Kenya was making her final few strides and she ran so that I could not even get my camera in time to take some good shots of her. But I blamed that compere who blocked my view momentarily, sigh! She came in under 34 mins and I must say, it is a super-duper fast time unmatched by many local male runners.
As the clock on the top of the finishing line was ticking away and when it showed 1 hr 5 mins, I still couldn't catch a glimpse of Winnie from afar. Then, 1 hr 10 mins passed...Winnie must be reaching any moment I said to myself. And yes, I saw her and quickly, readied my camera while she inched closer. Click, click and another click, I should have taken three quick shots of her. When I checked later, I only managed to take two pictures but only one is more visible. Well, it was better than none at all. The gun time showed 1 hr 13 mins 30 secs when she ran under but her net time be under 1 hr 12 mins. Not a very good time by her standard but there is still room for improvement. She has another chance to improve on it in the Shape Run which is happening in the next 2 weeks.
Nonetheless, I congratulate her for the good effort as completing the race is everything. We later joined her friend, Charmaine for breakfast in Holland V after the run. Good job, ladies!