Sunday, July 22, 2012

Race Against Cancer 2012

It's 'Race Against Cancer' run event at East Coast Park this morning (22 July) by Singapore Cancer Society.  I am the charity athlete for the second time (didn't participate in last year though).  This one aside, I also have few fund raising campaigns and therefore I set a modest target of S$1,000 chiefly with colleagues and friends in mind.  In my own capacity, I am pleased that I have garnered S$1,170 for this cause.

In RACE, I have registered for the 15 km run.  Despite having participated in many run events, I can't help feeling some adrenalin rush of sorts the night before.  We had a dinner gathering for participants in our last 'Ride for Rations' event on Saturday evening and the organisers happily announced some S$150k was raised for the 'Sunlove Home'.  Kudos to all.  After dinner, I left slightly early to prepare for this morning run.

I got up at 6.00am and by 6.15am, I was already on my way to East Coast Park.  Frankly, I don't enjoy waking up early for run and certainly, my body is not conditioned for morning run either.  I run best in the evening...probably it is the mind thingy. 

I reckoned I arrived East Coast Park at about 6.30am (as usual, it is not my habit to put on my watch for any run event) and it was still dark.  Though I can easily find parking space nearer to the start off venue at Angsana Green at that early hour, I decided to park some 2km away.  The walk to the start venue should have more or less warmed me up by then and that was my intention too. 

The flag-off was scheduled at 7.30am for the 15km event where I was to run and 7.45am for the 10km and I think 8.00am for the 5km.  The start venue is at Angsana Green, next to the East Coast Lagoon Hawker Centre.  I lined up with the runners not too front, little further back.  It was still early and the showhost was trying to warm up the crowd.  Admittedly, the mood was a tad serious in the 15km event, given many good & competitive runners were raring to go and the showhost was really working hard to loosen up some tense moment.  Our Sports Minister Chan was the invited VIP to do the flag-off together with Singtel CEO and Singapore Cancer Society President and some ra-ra follow suit.  I understand there were more than 8,000 runners in the three events. 

By 7.30am, we were finally flagged off.  We were heading to the direction of Fort Road.  It was a straight 3km where we were to make a U-turn to the direction of SAFRA resort.  I was running a bit faster than my usual pace, pulled along by the faster runners.    I was just behind this particular runner who caught my attention because he was wearing a t-shirt which, I believe must be his name, 'Coach Tay'.  He was not a tall man, shorter than me but boy, he packed a good pace.  I briefly overtook him for a while but sooner, he shot ahead of me.  I was keeping pace with him. 

By the time, we made a U-turn after 3km mark and a short distance further, I can see the 10km runners running at the opposite direction of us.  10km and 15km runners do not get to meet or clash at any point, only to meet at the finishing which is good.

At the waterpoint, Pocari was served instead of 100plus which we normally get in most run events.  While I always swear by 100plus, in fact cannot live without it but when I took my first sip of the Pocari, it actually tasted better than 100plus, much to my delight.  So, I will grab a cup of Pocari at every waterpoint. 

At 8km mark, more than halfway to finish, 'Coach Tay' was still in front of me but he began to slow down.  I managed to inch past him when he stopped to get his drink at the waterpoint.  From there on, I lost sight of 'Coach Tay' whom I thought I could tag along with him to the end.

One hour into the run and much to my dislike, it was getting hotter.  The U-turn is at the Safra Resort, slightly more than 10km and after that, it is 5km all the way to the finishing.  I slowed a bit, more because of the weather but I know I can push if I wanted to.  As I didn't have my watch on, I kind of 'guesstimated' that I am doing 5 mins and a little more per km.  With 2 km to the finishing, I was just cruising along with some other runners.  Perhaps, it was the weather, or perhaps it was a charity run, I did not have the urge to push myself but it was a good enough pace for me though.

Before I ran past the finishing line, the clock showed 1 hr 20 mins and 30 plus seconds.  Well, that was the gun time and I reckon, I should have clocked plus/minus nett time of 1 hr 20 mins in my 15km. 

After collecting my finisher medal, I walked to the finishing line to look out for familiar faces from among the runners.  I managed to see Kiat Sing who was running the 5km run, shouted at her and she saw me just before crossing the finishing.  Winnie and her two children were also there but somehow they didn't manage to see me running past the finishing line.  I later joined Winnie and the children for breakfast at Mac's.

I salute all those who have finished the run regardless of time or distance, it is a run for the cancer cause that is key.  To Singapore Cancer Society, it is another successive hosting of the event and I look forward to next year again.

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