Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2012 Race Review

Jogging track in Fermont, San Francisco. It was cold & raining during my visit. Didn't run, but took a picture. 

I came back from a US trip on the 26 Nov, visited San Francisco & Las Vegas. The Standard Chartered run falls on the 2 Dec, without training during the last two weeks, it was going to be tough.

As usual the 10km run within Sentosa is quite tough, but i'm ready for it as this is the 2nd time running this course. The part i hated most is running at the sentosa underground carpark (about 1km+), with the car engines running, i'm kind of out of breath, hoping to get out as soon as possible.

Overall it was a challenging course, i do not want to run the same course again next year.

 medal for this year

the race result is out within a day.

A total of 7462 finished the race, at 2:27 it is considered slow (due to the tough course), however this time is within the top 20%.

Runs for 2012, sundown, safra army half marathon, adidas kings of the roads and finally standard chartered

 completed 10 years of distance running, i'm taking a break from standard chartered as i intend to run overseas.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Adidas King of the Road Singapore Race Review 2012

Last Sunday 28 Oct, I took part in the adidas King of the Road, with the final leg in Singapore. The race tag is kind of refreshing with the "is all in" behind my name. KOTR is a running championship held across Southeast Asia, held in five countries across the region and organised in city areas - Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore. The race distance is 16.8km.

On the Race 

KOTR is a very well organised race, adidas has very good experiences in running such big events, however i had a few points to make and hope they can change and improve on.

The race starts at 7:15 am, it is kind of late in my opinion, with the morning sun at around 8 plus am, it is going to be quite tough, it will be better if they can bring the time forward by 30 mins to 1 hr. We had to walk around 1km to the start line, well i have no complaints of that, just treat that 1km as a warm-up, plus runners can chit-chat with friends. At the start line there was a water point!! Well this is really good, I'm surprised by this welcoming sight, this is the first time i saw a water point right before the start line, runners can take a quick slip before the run. Do keep up with this!

The route itself is challenging with plenty of uphill, with 3 timing check points. adidas can look into the road block itself and make sure it is secure. At the 14km mark, 2 ladies (well i'm polite to call them ladies, kind of mid-age aunties), just cut across in front of me. They cheated!! from 6-7km and jump to 14km! Because there isn't any proper road block, it will never happen in Standard Chartered race. They are not runners, cheating themselves and the rest of runners who put in the effort. This is a disgrace! For participants who signed up for any race, please respect the distance and the route. Else don't sign up for the run in the 1st place.

Along the route, the water-points are sufficient. At around the 15km mark, 2-3 water point volunteers even gave out water by crossing to the other side of the road (when runners are really suffering in the heat), they show sometime beyond their duty. Of all my years of running, this is the 1st time i saw this, i salute the volunteers for being so helpful and kind. This make the race stand up, and they are doing it with a difference. Keep up the good work!

adidas should had runpix for this race, so runners can review their race! Just showing the timing at the 3 check point is not enough. I finished in Rank 579, i doubt i'm that fast, how accurate is this, my timing is not fantastic, my friend who is 8 mins faster than me, was in 554. As runners we would like to know the total number of runners on the field. Before the race, the DJ announced that there are 12,000 runners. Well it don't look that big, i would put it at less than 10k runners. It will be unknown, how many runners started, and how many finished the race.

Overall race experience, i would give a score of 8/10. Good work! 

Just start the race 30 mins earlier, DJ speech can improve at the start of the race, play some nicer music and have runpix, then it will be 9/10!

the blue running singlet and the finisher medal 

I had took part in a few races after last year Standard Chartered Marathon 2011, it had been quite sometime and it seems that I had forgot about this blog. Ran in the Sundown Half Marathon 2012 and the Army Half Marathon 2012, the next coming race with be a half marathon for Standard Chartered in Dec.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2011 Race Review

in my 9 years of running, this is the toughest half marathon (with the slowest timing), partly due to the hilly terrain

First of all, this race is an unfortunate one. We lost a young man, Malcom Sng, 22 years old collasped upon crossing the finishing line during the half marathon. He passed away in the hospital an hour later.

He is a respected runner, from the news, this is his second half marathon. He had signed up for the army half marathon in Sept. When he crossed the finishing time, the clock was 1 hr 53 mins. For a new runner it is not easy to run at this speed.

Race Review

The race starts at 6:30am on Sentosa island. I moved towards the front with my running mate Roland, about 100m from the start line. Before the start, i'm not as excited as it used to be (mainly because i had achieved my target of running a half marathon under 2 hrs, back in Sept this year). Having recovered from a cough this week, plus an ongoing knee problem together with the lack of training, i don't intend to push too hard during the run. The longest training run was just 2.8km x 4, around 11.2km (i had to walk in the last 2km because of slight pain in the right knee)

Before the run, was informed of the 8 uphills in Sentosa island itself, and i'm ready for it, after 3-4km into the race i'm starting to feel slight strain. This course is challenging indeed. The worst part was towards the 8-9km mark, we were running into an underground bus interchange, it was hard to breath inside, lack of oxygen, that stretch was around 1.5km. With the bus engines running.. it was hard, there was a driver standing beside the road, smoking! When i ran pass him, i had to inhale his 2nd hand smoke...! I just wanted to get out of this tunnel.

For the 10km within Sentosa, i took around 1 hr. Then my speed started to drop. For the remaining 11km to the finish, i had to stop, stretch & walk (due to my knee). Finally crossing the finish line in 2hrs 25 mins. The slowest time for a half marathon, 12% for the overall finishers (which i was quite amazed), i was really slow in this run.

In the reports, it mentioned there are 19,700 runners in the half marathon. The official results are out, 13,862 finished the half. That's only 70%.

We do not have 5km and kids dash numbers.

From official site:


Full Marathon 15,343
Half Marathon 13,862
10km 12,047
10km Wheelchair 6
Ekiden 722

20,000 signed up for full, and 19,700 for half.

the 3 half marathon medals, Sundown Marathon (May), SAFRA Army Half (Sept) and the Standard Chartered Half (Dec)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Paula Radcliffe How to Run Book review

How to Run by Paula Radcliffe

2 weeks ago i borrowed the new book from the library, Paula Radcliffe How to Run. This book was published earlier this year. A highly recommended book, with interesting tips, recommendation and advice from Paula. It's like having Paula as a running coach.

i would recommend runners to check out this book. She is a highly competitive runner with world record marathon time under her belt, she shared some very good knowledge in the book. For us, we are just reading for more understanding and see how it can be applied to our own races.

gaining an edge

The importance of your state of mind in determing the outcome of a race can't be overestimated

in the zone

mind games

The importance of your mind in determing the outcome of a race is critical. Learn to lift yourself to the next level by increasing your mental strength

Monday, September 5, 2011

Safra Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon 2011 Review

Joined the men's open, the field as compared to Sundown half marathon runners are much faster & stronger. Sundown half marathon runners are more recreational i guess.

A great day, I had finally acheived the goal of running a half marathon in under 2 hrs. Well 1hr 59 mins! Since 2004 when i did a half marathon, it had been 7 years! A happy day indeed.

the 20th year, 70k runners signed up for the race

The race flag off at 5:15am. My goal was to run within 2 hrs 10mins. I didn't really put in much effort before the race, the most i did in a training run was around 10km, we are supposed to do 2 sets of 5.6km (11.2km total) but it was cancelled on both occasion because of rain. Knowing there was an uphill at Fort Canning Road, the race course is much more challenging than Sundown Marathon. I didn't have much expectation, RELAX, just here to enjoy the run, once the race started i stick with my running mate Hong (he was having slight flu), a better runner than me, my goal was to keep in pace with him. His endurance and stamina drop slightly as he didn't really prepared for this race.

At 6km mark the time was 34mins, within the 6mins pace (what we usually did in training). At 7km it was 40mins. I checked my watch again at 9km, it was 51 mins. At 10km mark the time was 57 mins. After which i didn't check my watch that often, at around 13-14km, i stopped and stretch my right leg for around 20-30 sec. There was slight strain in my right knee again (the usual problem). The weather helps, it was still early in the morning and there was no heat. Looking in front of me, there are really a lot of superb runners in Singapore, only experience runners with certain mileage in training can run under a 6 mins pace, i was trying to keep up with this group of runners.

We carried on running, at 18 km mark it was 1 hr 40 mins. At 19km, i took a cool water sponge and wet my neck & shoulders, it kind of lower down my body temperature. I knew i can make it within 2hrs, today is the day! 20 mins to cover 3km, that's not too difficult. Slight pain in my right knee again, but i just pick up pace and forget about the pain (when you don't think about it, hopefully it will go away). In the last 3.1km, i was running at 4 min 28 sec per km.

Finally 1hr 59 mins! I joined the under 2 hrs group after 8 years and on the 7 attempt!
2004 SCSM at 2 hrs 9 mins, 2006 SCSM at 2 hrs 13 mins, 2008 SCSM at 2 hrs 13 mins,
2009 Safra at 2 hrs 18 mins, 2010 Sundown at 2:06 mins, 2011 recent Sundown at 2:06 mins

Running towards the line at the gun time of 2 hrs, i'm at the most right behind (half covered), this is the only picture. These guys running within 2hrs are all good runners.
Photo by runevent shots

results from runpix, comparing with sundown runpix, the experience & serious runners are mostly here :)

increased my pace in the last 3 km, overtook almost 150 runners (learning from the earlier sundown experience, i need to run faster in the last few kilometers in order to get under 2 hrs)

Overall it was very well orgainized (the army guys always did a good job). Each water point was having sufficent guys (mend by each combat unit). The cheering, local bands, belly dancers gave the much needed motiviation and inspiration. The only thing to note on the aid stations was that they should use deep heat instead of having the spraying stuff (like those used in soccer match, not much use for me).

The last time i ran in the army half was back in 2009, comparing it with the Sunday run, they had made a huge improvement in overall logistic, race route (less uphill) and support, and the best is i got a PB :)