4 Nov 2012
Back to join MF Safra for their long run on Sunday morning after missing trainings due to two consecutive weeks of races. The running route, planned by Zhilei, was part of this year Standard Chartered Marathon’s route, from clubhouse to Orchard to The Central to Esplanade to S’pore Flyer to Nicoll Highway to East Coast Park to Tanjong Rhu to Marina Barrage to Gardens By The Bay to Marina Blvd and then back the usual route covering Anson Road, Keppel Road and Henderson Road to clubhouse.
Ezanne and Freddy from Jurong Safra came down to join us for the first time as there was no training at Jurong due to the Powerman race which most trainers and members have taken part in.
The big group of us started the run at about 640am with Wenlong and Jackie leading the way. Wen Long disappeared shortly after a few kilometers while the rest of us continued running at about an average of 5:20 – 5:30/km pace, following Jackie. As we ran through Orchard Road to The Central, I could feel our pace increasing steadily. The group of us were slowly breaking up. By the time we reached Esplanade bridge, Jackie, Derrick and Chris were ahead. Freddy, Yvonne, Ezanne and me tried to keep up with them. Chris left us to run back home upon reaching 15km. Freddy and I continued chasing Jackie and Derrick. Yvonne and Ezanne fell back and I could no longer see them when Freddy and I headed towards Nicoll Highway. By then, we have already covered 17km and the sun was out.
We spotted Laichee running towards us at Nicoll Highway and she mentioned that she had lost her way earlier on. I could still see Jackie and Derrick ahead but they were running faster and faster, slowly fading away. Freddy caught up with me when I stopped to tie my shoe laces. By the time, Freddy and I reached the traffic lights near Kallang McDonald, we lost Jackie and Derrick totally after they crossed the road.
Traffic lights turned green and I continued the run with Freddy. We decided to make a quick stop at the petrol kiosk to replenish ourselves. Top up our bottles and we continued running towards ECP. On the way towards the park, spotted Wen Long on his return leg. As we entered ECP, Jackie and Derrick came running out. We were surprised to see Zhilei, Andy and Ray since we did not see them earlier on. They probably overtook us when Freddy and I were still inside the petrol kiosk.
Stopped for a quick toilet break at B1 carpark. By then, we had covered about 21km with an average pace under 5:15/km. I was quite happy that I was able to sustain the pace for at least 21km. However, this happiness did not last long. The moment we exited ECP and turned left to enter the construction area, our pace started to drop significantly. (We have taken the wrong route actually, suppose to turn right to go to Tanjong Rhu via park connector. No wonder we could not see anyone after that.)
We kept running, watching out for heavy vehicles at the same time and we arrived at a golf course, all fenced up. There was a bend ahead that we were unsure where it would lead us to. Freddy approached a worker to ask if the road led to Gardens By The Bay. We were very relieved when he said yes! Means no need to u-turn back to ECP! Phew! So we continued running again until we saw a gate in front of us. The gate was locked! Fortunately, there was a tiny gap at the side, just big enough for a person to squeeze through. It was like stepping into a different world after squeezing through the gap. Pretty scenery once again and no more big lorries and heavy trucks.
By then, fatigue was setting in really quickly and I found myself slipping further and further from the targeted pace. I was glad I had Freddy running with me to keep me going. We finally crossed the bridge and arrived at Marina Barrage. We top up our bottles and took the road towards Gardens By The Bay. Big groups of tourists gathering along the pavement and I ran on the road to avoid the crowd. Weather was hot, humid and very unforgiving. I pulled my cap lower to shield from the glare, feeling somewhat miserable. Why was I putting myself through this?
We ran through the underpass and I knew we were less than 10km away from the club house. Freddy was also feeling tired and was slowing down. I tried to motivate him by telling him that our next pit stop, McDonalds along Anson Road was very near. We were very very happy to arrive at the fast food restaurant. Requested the friendly crew to top up our bottles with some ice and water and received many curious stares from customers who were up early for breakfast.
We stepped out of McDonald, feeling some what energized after gulping down icy cold water. It was then we spotted Zhilei and Ray ahead. Zhilei has stopped to buy some drinks too. Crossed the road and I tried to close up the gap between us. It took me a while to catch up with both of them. By then, Ray was slowing down and he waved me along to catch up with Zhilei. She was in a very good form and seemed to be running faster after she passed Harbourfront station. I tried my best to keep up with her. As my distance was short by more than 1km (due to the different route took after ECP), I decided to continue running to the mosque so that I would at least clock 35km. 36km, of course would be ideal but I was just too tired to run anymore.
Completed 35km in about 3hrs 07mins (excluding rest time). Not a really good run for the second half so I have to be contented with the average 5:20/km pace. Hope the next run will be better!