Sunday, September 16, 2012

Yellow Ribbon Prison Run 2012


It's my second consecutive Yellow Ribbon Prison Run 2012 which was flagged off this morning.  Prior to the run event, I have created an event on HTTB site which garnered some 20 members signing up.  Separately, Aranda Country Club also managed to get some 20 of us to sign up for this meaningful run. 

On Saturday morning, I had a futsal practise match with some of my former colleagues as we were making preparation to compete in the coming weekend NATAS Futsal Tournament for this first time.  We have been preparing well and this will be out last practise before the tournament.  During play, I felt pain on my left thigh and I realised I had pulled my muscle while kicking the ball.  I could not carry on play with the guys, preferring to give my left thigh a rest as I remembered I still have the Yellow Ribbon run the following morning. 

I still feel the pain on the left thigh this morning.  I was walking with a slight limp but still chose to go for the run event.  "If I can't run, at least I can walk the 10km.", I told myself that.  Further, prior pick up arrangement had been made with some friends and I don't want to disrupt their plans at last moment notice.  So, 'die die' must go lor.

I received Dora's short text before 6.00am this morning informing she was on the cab on way to MacPherson station with her son, who will be running for her.  She is still nursing a knee injury.  By 6.15am, I was out of my house and on way to MacPherson station to pick up Dora and Howie, well before the scheduled time at 6.30am.  After picking them, I drove to Paya Lebar station to pick up Shirley (a member from HTTB) and after picking her, I headed to Meiti's place at Telok Kurau.  CK will meet the rest of my GP Riders gang at Aranda Country Club and take their transport as my car is full. 

I expected jam at Loyang Way as one side of the road will be blocked for the run and thus, I took the longer route, travelling to Changi Coastal Road via ECP.  Fortunately, the traffic was smooth along ECP and the public car park near Changi Village was not even full.  It was around 7.00am when we arrived, some 45 mins away from the flag-off. 

CK and my GP Riders members had arrived early and they were sipping coffee and tea at a nearby coffeeshop.  They later joined us at the traffic junction to walk to the start point together but they had to leave us as Meiti and Howie were still queuing for toilet at the coffeeshop and it was nearing 7.45am. 

By the time they were done, 10km event had already commenced and we wasted no time, not even doing any warm up and off we went.  Dora was planning to meet us at the end point.  Fortunately for me, I can still run albeit at much slower pace.  I was pacing Meiti but CK and Howie were not within sight almost immediately.  The weather was fantastic throughout, I couldn't ask for more.  It is the same route as last year, started near Changi Village and into the rustic neighbourhood.  It is not flat though, fairly undulating throughout and can pose a challenge to many runners.  After about 5 km, Meiti was feeling the strain on the up slope and she decided to walk for a short while instead.  I joined her.  On whole, she was doing fine and by my reckoning, we were averaging around 7 min per km.  I can still feel slight pain on the left thigh but very much bearable though. 

At around the 6km mark, I met Mui Huan who was running and at the same time taking pictures along the way.  We joined her from there on.  When we reached the entrance of the prison, it was slightly more than 8km.  More pictures were taken by Mui Huan.  Both the two ladies gave a last pose with the wall as the background before we headed all the way to the finishing.  It is a clean and huge compound inside, the high walls around the circumference remind me that this is a prison, no doubt.

When we ran past the finishing, the clock showed 1 hour 20 mins plus.  CK and Howie, both did under 1 hour joined us later - congrats.  We went back to Changi Village where Dora was still waiting for us.  I did not join my GP Riders gang for photo taking at Aranda Country Club, chose to ferry the rest back instead.  Thumbs up to the organisers for another meaningful event!

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