adidas King of the Road (KOTR) is a championship run event held in five countries in Southeast East and Singapore is among the five. The total distance is 16.8km for this morning run which will be flagged off at Gardens By The Bay.
Admittedly after the last Sundown Marathon, I was not keen to run but Winnie managed to convince me to participate as she was hoping to use this event to prepare for her year end 21km Stanchart Half Marathon. She has not been doing any form of serious run in preparation for it and the leg injury from a recent fall put paid to her on-off training schedule. Owing to all these factors, she decided to opt out at the last moment - what a pity! Stanchart event is inching close and I am not sure whether she will be ready by then. "Can't run, walk lah...don't have to give yourself too much pressure lah, Winnie". I really hope she just go for it, come what may and she will feel fully satisfied with her own accomplishment - trust me.
Anyway, I set my alarm at 0545hrs this morning and since I will not be picking Winnie at her place, I will take MRT instead. By 0600 hrs, I was already out of my house and the walk to the station took about ten minutes. I was joined by many runners at the station. I alighted at MBS station. As I was not too sure where exactly the flag off venue, I just followed the crowd and I can't be wrong. It was already 0700 hrs & clicking and I was still walking to the start line with the rest. Quite a long walk after exiting the station, actually.
When I finally arrived at the start line, I can see many runners already in front of me. Local deejay Rod proudly announced some 12,000 runners from 53 countries will be running this morning. I tried to move in front if there was any space, knowing too well if I started right behind, I will be blocked by many slow runners. The flag off started shortly after but as I was not among the early birds, I had to wait for the second wave. I did not have my watch on me, everything was based on assumption. I reckoned we had to wait for more than five minutes later before we were flagged off.
I have not been running very long distance for quite a while, at most 15km and this week, I only did one run at East Coast for about 10km. I told myself that I will not push too hard, just the usual pace should do. It was already getting brighter and with the light, the heat. We covered the first 6km running through MBS and around the city before entering the F1 pit and into the park connector alongside Nicoll Highway.
At the 6km mark, I can see the first runner on the return and at that point, he had already covered 14km - world class pace. Some of us clapped when he strode past with ease. He is a young chap from you know where...Africa, of course. It was a big gap between him and the second runner. Not very long later, I saw the first female runner and no prize for guessing where she comes from and Africa, of course. I was still maintaining my pace, no intention to accelerate and I can feel heat in the morning.
We were running on Nicoll Highway to the direction of Old Airport Road and at 10km mark, we made an U-turn back to the finishing. I was hoping to catch some familiar faces on the U-turn where runners can see each other on both side. No chance, I didn't manage to find anyone I know.
At every water station, I will pour the plain water over my head to cool down and 100 plus to quench my thirst. At 15km, I saw the same lady African runner who was leading the pack earlier but she was lying on the ground and attended by a fellow competitor. Gosh, the morning heat must taken a toll on her and there, she was lying on the ground waiting for medical help. What a wasted effort for her, I thought to myself.
With less than one km to the finish, I did not have the fire in my belly to accelerate like I used to but preferred to maintain the usual stride. When I was about to run past the finishing, I looked up the gun time above which showed 1 hour 42 mins. I gave a big thumbs-up at the finish for the photo. By my reckoning, I should have clocked a nett time of 1 hour 35 mins or maybe a little more.
Before heading home, I went to 100 plus and Adidas booths to have nice pictures taken for souvenir. I even participated in Tiger Air spin-the wheel contest, but only managed to win a small towel. Good enough, I have something to bring home from this event. Will I run again next year? Well, not sure for now leh.