Sunday, November 20, 2011

North East Run 2011 Pasir Ris - Punggol on 20.11.2011

This North East Run which was organised by North East Community Development Council was scheduled this morning at Pasir Ris Park and we had registered for the 14km event. Winnie was supposed to run, however she did not feel confident enough as she has not been training regularly. With her not running, I will be pacing Dora and CK who will be running the year end Stanchart half marathon.

On last Friday, I had a 28.5km run with Chua and I know better not to push too much but pacing Dora should suffice. In fact, we had a bet. If she runs under 1 hr 30 mins, she wins and beyond, I win. The stake - lunch. Based on her current performance, I am confident that she can clock under 1 hr 25 mins and I am likely (glad too) to lose this lunch bet to her.

This morning, I picked her up at Ang Mo Kio station at 6.15am where she took the first train from her house at Admiralty. We then headed to Pasir Ris to pick up CK who was already waiting at the kiosk near his home. We arrived at Pasir Ris park well before 7am. To my surprise, traffic was not heavy and there were ample parking lots nearby too. At that instance, my gut feel told me not many runners were expected for this event. The men's event was to flag-off at 7am and we advised CK to run with the men while I will pace Dora in the women's event which was to be flagged off at 7.15am. While waiting, I met Alan Cheong who was competing in the men's 14km run. We had a quick exchange and wished each other well before he moved further ahead. At a glance, there were probably lesser than one hundred runners in the women's category. DPM Teo Chee Hien was the guest-of-honour who flagged off both the men's and women's runners.

At 7.20am, we were finally flagged off. It was a cool morning but rain in the early morning made the ground muddy and shoggy. The route around the Pasir Ris park is about 7 km and we had to make 2 loops around the park. As there were not many runners, the run was quite a breeze. We were passing many women runners in front and at some point, some of the men too. Dora was running her normal pace but I can hear her heavy breathing. Typical of her, she did not want any water in the first station. We were running some 2 km by then. Some parts were undulating and we had to avoid pool of water along the route. Otherwise, the route was mostly even and hard.

About 7km into the run, another batch of 7km non-competitive runners were flagged off at about 8am. We ran into them and had to manoveur around the runners in order to push ahead. I can sense Dora's frustation whose run momentum was disrupted trying to pace in front of them. At some point, we had to run on wet grass patch. We managed to move ahead of many of these non-competitve runners. The weather was getting a little warmer by then. Dora kept looking at her watch. When we ran past the 10km mark, she looked at her watch and said, "shit or alamak I am not sure, 59 secs." I knew she meant it was just under 1 hour and that we had 4 km to go and wondered whether we could touch home under 1 hour 25 mins. With 4km left and we just clocked under 1 hour at 10km mark, barring any unforseeable we should be able to achieve our target. I just told her to ignore her watch and concentrate in the run. Her pace was steady in the first 10km but slowed somewhat in the last 4km. In the last 2km, I moved ahead for her to tag on me. I kept looking back to make sure she was within sight. When we reached the 1ast 100 metres, I rooted her to make a final dash. She did despite the agony she was in and we touched home together. There was no timing shown but by our reckoning, we had come under 1 hour 25 mins and I have lost the bet. CK was already waiting for us at the finishing and his timing was not that far from us either. Both CK and Dora are ready for the year end marathon after this trial run. I had a great run with CK and Dora this morning.

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