Sunday, April 22, 2012

Run 350 - 22 April 2012, Sunday

This morning Run350 21km race organised by NTUC Income in support of Earth Day, my first with them was meant to be a gauge prior to the Sundown 42km marathon in May this year. My running mate, Chua who registered for this event much earlier injured badly in a recent bike accident told me he will be running too. I was quite sceptical that he could even finish the 21km race as he has not been running regularly since his operation more than two months. However, in the past weeks before this event, he had started to run on own but it was a struggle to get back to near fitness, needless to say. After some persuasion, his doctor has finally given him clearance to run, rather reluctantly but on condition that he cannot push too hard and also, he has to avoid runners accidentally bump onto his right arm. A slight bump will spell trouble for him. I decided that I should pace him from start to end though at first, he insisted that I should push for my personal best time. Personally, I was hoping for a under 2 hours target, even lower than my last 1 hr 56 mins but never mind, I can always go for another shot come another event.

The race was to flag off at 6.00 am, I got up at 5.15 am and by 5.30 am, I was already on my way. Chua and I had arranged to park our cars at the public carpark opposite Singapore Chamber of Commerce and meet nearby at around 6.00 am. Our arrival was almost the same and we then walked a little distance to the floating platform together. We planned to start on the second wave, around 6.15 am to avoid the bulk of the runners for safety sake. We were one of the last few runners from the second wave, did our warm up and off we went. As Chua right arm is still recovering, he cannot swing his right arm so freely and he had to lock in, to prevent injury. It looks awkward running this way and pace is certainly compromised too. It was a slow start for us. I was just pacing him and also making sure nobody will run into our way. As we increased our pace, we were actually overtaking people. I was concerned as Chua might burn out fast at this rate, given he has not been in action for some two months. I kept the pace with him. Occasionally I will ask how is he coping up and he gave no indication he is stopping anytime.

Our start off took us from the floating platform and onto Nicoll Highway to the direction of East Coast. I must admit we were keeping very steady pace, slightly over 6 mins per km and we continued to overtake more runners who started earlier than us. At the 10km mark, a roll of red carpet was nicely laid on the ground for time-check but I kicked on a protruding object on the floor.  It was my quick instinct to break the fall and instead of face down, I did a roll over.  I managed to esape scath-free and continued the run, almost immediately.  Chua didn't see my fall as he was in front.  A chap behind me saw it all and was amazed, praised me for that stunt.

At 12km mark and back to Nicoll Highway we were joined by the 10km runners and I reminded Chua to be careful as it will get crowded soon.  We were still keeping the same pace, a little 6 mins over per km.  Up till that juncture, I am pleasantly surprised that Chua could keep to that pace though he said his right arm was quite numb and legs are tiring soon.  We walked a bit at the 16km waterpoint for Chua to relax his right arm and a short while later, he was ready to run - impressed.  Finally with the last kilometre to the finish, Chua mustered all his energy to quicken his pace.  I decided to slow down.  Chua was about 20 metres in front of me when he hit the finish line.  We clocked 2 hours 6 mins and I must say it was a creditable time, given Chua has not been running for more than 2 months.  I salute him for his determination, heaps of praises for him and in no time, he will gain full fitness, I am sure.  Once again, I congratulate him for such an impressive run.

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