Saturday, October 24, 2009

Nike+ Human Race 10K 2009...

Event: Nike+ Human Race 10K 2009
Venue: Formula One Pit, Singapore
Date: 24 October 2009
Time: 7.10am
Distance: 10KM
Shoe: Nike LunarGlide+
By Frank

On 31 August 2008, I ran my 10KM personal best of 00:47:55 at the Nike+ Human Race 10K 2008. Now, almost 14 months later, after a gruelling 300KM total distance ran over the past 19 days and with only a days rest before this year's edition, will I be able to break last year's time?

23 October 2009. Pre-race day...
The day started extremely early for me as I arrived at the First Coach Bangsar station as early as 6.20am though the journey down will only start at 9.30am. This is because I had to hitch a free ride from dad as I wanted an easy option down to town during the rush hour. With 3 hours to spare, I had my breakfast at the nearby eatery while waiting for Choi who is running the North Face Endurance Race, to arrive which he did at about 7.45am before the journey began sharp at 9.30am.

Close to 6 hours later, we found ourselves at Velocity Mall, Novena at Singapore. Not wasting any previous time, we quickly made our way to Fragrance Hotel - Oasis on foot which is just about 10 minutes walk away. After checking into our small but yet cozy room, we were out again. This time to Orchard Road where I collected my race pack from the Nike Store at Wisma Atria. Had a great time there chatting with the Nike staff which includes Victoria whom I started behind her at last year's race. She isn't running this year though. Off to Suntec City next as it was Choi's turn to collect his race pack before meeting up with his run partner Yuan for a lunch. Yes, it's lunch at 5pm! Boy, we were really hungry.

Contents of the race pack. 314885 is my bib number...

We parted ways with Yuan and made our way back to Velocity Mall to meet up with Dominic, Choi's person in contact for most of the merchandise he carries. Then it's dinner before making our way back to the hotel to sort out our stuff before calling it a day.

24 October 2009. Race day...
241009 instead of 310808 this time. It's the usual race day early waking up procedure for me as I woke up about 3am, feeling a little nervous while preparing myself. At 5am, after wishing Choi the best for his gruelling race, I made by way to the Singapore Flyer via a cab. It's actually pretty nearby and I was glad that the cab ride didn't cause a fortune.

The Nike+ Human Race 10K 2009 race route...

As it was still early, I managed to catch the volunteers preparing themselves for the race. There was even a motivational speech. It was really good to see them in high spirits for this race unlike the ones in Malaysia. Deposited my baggage and hung around the F1 pit building till out of a sudden, tummy ache. I went searching high and low for the toilet which was all over the place but lock! Finally, I found one which was unlock in the Singapore Flyer foyer area. Phew....

I tried to search for Niki who was part of the media team but just couldn't find him. Instead, I bumped into Pui San and Wendy who came all the way from Ipoh. At 6.20am, I did my warm up followed by dynamic stretching as I know that once I get into the start area, I will have no space to do so. At 6.40am, in I went into the F1 pit and what welcomed me was simply amazing! The concert stage was smack right in the middle of the start area with performances by international artistes on it. Oh yeah... Did I mentioned that the start area is actually where the F1 cars line up for their start? Then there were tents from organisers and sponsors along it. What a great atmosphere. I managed to find Wong (Nike's EKIN) at the Nike booth and spoke briefly before I quickly checked into the staring line. I managed to line up at the front just like last year. Phew...

The start and finish gantry...

The concert stage surrounded by the sea of reds...

As I waited for race time, I managed to spot a number of familiar faces which include Haza, Shukri, Niki, Richard and Rudy. We hand signalled wishing a good run to each other before the emcees of Utt and Taya made their return to the stage from last year's edition. They even invited Tay Ping Hui and Rui En from Mediacorp who are ambassadors for their Guys vs. Girls Challenge. A short speech from them and it's time.

At 7.10am, with music blasting from the concert stage, the air horn went off and from the front of the pack, I zoomed out like a F1 car. Not planning to look at the chronograph on my Nike+ SportBand along the whole race, I just gave my best. With every stride, my heart pounded. And with the wide and open running path, I zoomed from Republic Boulevard into Republic Avenue and managed to arrive on the 2KM mark which was along Nicoll Highway. By the time I got here, I was all drenched in my sweat as the weather was really humid. As I approach Stadium Drive, the first water station appeared but I skipped it as I do not want to slow down. I also saw the leading runner making his return at the opposite side. I'm only about 3KM into the race and he is about 500M already away from me.

As I approach the u-turn point near Kallang Leisure Park and heads towards the 4KM mark near the entrance to Stadium Road, my chest started to tighten. Soon later, my left arm from my shoulder onwards became numb and I had to drop it to run. I slowed down here as I do understand what is happening and I do not intend to fall in this race. Took a deep breath with every stride as I made my way passed the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The second water station came into the picture here and though I really wanted to have a sip, it was located within a turn-off from the running path. Therefore, I skipped it.

As I continued along Stadium Link passed the Kallang Basin, another water station appeared around 6.5KM. Though I didn't drink from there, I did grab a cup and poured on my head to cool myself down. Into Geylang Road I ran and though still below the pace I intend to run with, I managed at times to raise my left arm.

Then a welcomed stretch at Crawford Street. The familiar tunnel below Nicoll Highway though I do not know why is certainly one of my favourite spot to run at Singapore. The final water station is stationed here but I ran pass it. As I emerged from the tunnel, it's back onto Republic Avenue and David came from behind and we ran together while chatting away for about 500M when he decided to stop for photo taking.

Then I finally saw the 9KM marker followed by countdown markers for every 250M completed. I up my pace here and forced my left arm up to swing it. As I enter the final stretch, I could see the timer on the gantry showing close to 47 minutes. I know I will have the chance to break my personal best here and thus went for it, opening up my strides and my palm going into sprint pace. And with it, I managed to complete the race with a time of 00:47:26, a new personal best.

This is where I spotted the clock and went for it...

After collecting my finisher's band, I proceeded to the Nike booth where Wong is, to rehydrate and to relieve the tightness on my chest and left arm by performing warming down procedures and stretching. Victor came along too. Was kind of surprised to see him there though. Sweat was dripping from all corners of my body as I rested. Was trying to spot Niki again but instead, I spotted Richard who told me that the rest are in the VIP lounge in the grand stand. Wong helped me get into the lounge and I was really grateful as I was rewarded with company and good food. Met Mena (Nike Malaysia Marketing Manager) here too. I also saw Tay Ping Hui here and though I felt like taking a photo with him, I was a little shy to approach the actor.

The finisher's band...

Food glorious food served in the VIP lounge in the F1 grand stand...

From L-R: Richard, Wong, Mena, Rudy, Niki and myself...

After close to 2 hours of hanging out, I returned to the hotel for a quick shower before making my way to MacRitchie Reservoir to snap photos and to support my friends participating in The North Face Endurance Race. To know more about it, do click on Choi's race experience here.

25 October 2009. Post race day...
After a good rest and a simple breakfast, it's time again to bid farewell to Singapore as myself with Choi took the 11.30am bus home. Overall, another good trip as a new personal best was achieved and an ultra marathoner was crowned.

Overall, the Nike+ Human Race 10K this year is a pretty much improved event. Initially thought to be scaled down due to the economic downturn, I guess I was wrong. The whole race atmosphere and experience was darn good and to start the race from the F1 grid is certainly something that will go down into memory lane for many of us. I certainly had no regrets travelling all the way from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore for a 10KM race on a self expense trip for it's certainly the mother of all 10KM races.

Oh and yeah, as promised, here are the results for the Nike+ Ambassador Challenge held in conjuction with the Nike+ Human Race 10K this year which ended on 24 October 2009 at 11.59pm. With pride and joy, I'm proud to announce that the Rojak Runners emerged as the winner with a total 1967.93KM ran as opposed to Sambal Sprinters 1540.54KM. Besides that, I also emerged as the top runner overal with 311.57KM ran. Woot!



Rojak Runners is crowned the winner...

Yours truly at the top of the leaderboard...

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your PB. Just have a quick cursory look at your race report before I dash off again. My blood pressure is also racing nowadays with all the kan cheongness.
Geraldine

Henry Wong said...

Frank, take it easy on next run, and thanks for sharing your experience...

Am I right to say that you broke your PB without much stress as compared to your race 14 months ago...as i noted that you still have time to chat for 500m....

Tweet @ Chin said...

Congrats on your PB, Frank!

Jamie Pang said...

Congrats in your PR and being at the top of the leaderboard!

lionel87 said...

Nice stuff, all the best for your coming marathons (ultras included).

Loke said...

Congrats. One target achieved and more to come.

Frank@Runnerz said...

Geraldine: Thanks. Maybe it's a sign to return to your long runs. Hehe... Hope you are settling down well at your new house.

Henry: I only had 1 month worth of training for the first edition of my Human Race last year as I returned from a break. This year round, I had plenty of time to train. I managed to chat as I was slow at that time.

Chin & Lionel: Thanks a lot.

Jamie: Thanks. The leaderboard thingy is just a bonus though. But it does feel great to be at the top. Hehe...

Loke: Thanks and yeah. But will take one event at a time.

RunWitMe said...

I'm so proud to be Rojak runner....Heheh My milaged not clocked becoz no sportband. :P

Congrats again!

run..........as u like..... said...

Wow nice!i n my fren jus miss it,hopefully next year can join it.