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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

13 Unforgettable Races in Singapore


Sport Events that Inspired Me in Singapore


Singapore is a great place for running enthusiast. I've joined different kinds of race in Singapore to challenge myself and to see how far I can make it. The roads are well maintained, the air is clean and runners are well respected in the streets. Most importantly safety is a priority in all sporting events which means you're in good hands. All you've got to do is have fun and do your best. You don't stop when you're tired, you rest and you keep going. Here's a list of all the runs I did for the past few years. It's not that much, I don't focus on Quantity but more on Quality. 


1. Bare Your Sole  
My first non-competitive sport event in Singapore. It's a walk for humanity, all proceeds goes to charity thus making this event a significant one. A friend of mine from work walked with me barefooted around Gardens by the Bay to Marina Bay Sands. A good walk for a good cause. This showed me how great it is to run in Singapore, roads are wide and super clean, not a single needle on the road. 


2. 50 Hours Non-stop Run
This run was supposed to be a 3 days nonstop event but we did it in a day. It was the longest run I've ever done. We started late in the morning, had a few breaks in between and continued running in the early afternoon till midnight. Yes you heard that right till past midnight. We hadn't done any training so it was hard on our body but our minds were crazily determine and foolish. The run was designed to a get a finishers medal every accumulated laps from 10km, 21km and 42km. It was quiet addicting as after making the first few laps and getting the medal it fueled us to keep running. The goal that day was to catch the last train, we waved that goodbye when we can't barely walk to the finish line. We laughed like mad people as we ended the run at 42km after midnight. This race spark my love for running, it dawn on me that I'm able to run even in pain and still have fun with it. 




3. 2XU Half Marathon 
The first legit marathon I've ever joined in Singapore. Gruesome and Memorable. I wasn't looking for something this challenging but I wanted to try long running. Why not do it the extreme way?! besides you can do 5km and 10km run on your own yet with 21km this takes real motivation. I trained for it. Mastering my breathing, footing and pacing. It thought me a lot about discipline which I don't have when it comes to following a morning or evening running routine. I've even done my researched about the right kinds of food intake for pre and post running . A colleague from work told me about this run and the cool freebies she got from it. It's not just the freebies that I want, her story about her pain and persistence pushed me to register for 2XU. Good thing, a close friend of mine said yes to run with me and that started a beautiful friendship, not just that she became my ultimate running buddy for most of my runs.  


4. Commando Challenge
I've heard about Commando Challenge by word of mouth. An obstacle run designed to keep your heart pumping as your muscle tightens in action. I want that challenge even thou it's daunting and terrifying for a newbie like me. Three of my friends joined in the craze. We had to practice climbing high walls, even monkey bars, jump here, jump there and at the same time run a few kilometres. The monkey bars in the playground became a friend of mine. A great arm exercise to strengthen the upper limb and core muscles. The picture above shows the last part of the race where a number of electric wires dangles in the air to congratulate the runners. Something strange and new, I like that! Now I know how Dory from "Finding Nemo" felt when going through the Jellyfish tentacles in one of the scenes. The electric shock somehow revives the tired muscles and a runners orientation back to reality. And take note we swam in cold ice water  before making our way to the finishing line, just imagine the exhilarating feeling of the electricity running through our veins. 


5. Osim Sundown Full Marathon
Sweet Misery. My first night running marathon. My first full marathon. It was a crazy ordeal. I was told that you can't tune in your body in just a weeks time, it would take at least months of training. I'm stubborn and motivated. Get to know your body, see what works best for you. But I was still cautious, I did my short runs at least 3 times a week and long runs on weekends. Everyone should at least try to run a full marathon once in their lifetime. The feeling is extraordinary, if you want that then start training for your 42 kilometres run right now. No excuses if you really want it to happen. 



6. Green Corridor Trail Run - Crew and Gawad Kalinga Build to Run - Crew
I've volunteered in two runs, one is for a charity event and the other for a trail run event. The Gawad Kalinga Run was organized to help the typhoon victims in Philippines. This run is close to my heart as it will help my fellow Filipino's affected by the calamity. The next one was a run for the  opening of the Tanjong Pagar Trail. I've always been curious why there are volunteers for this kind of events. I always tell myself you'll never know if you'll never try. Now I have a deeper respect for volunteers in all my runs. The crew needs to be in the venue as early as possible, when the runners are all sleeping the volunteers makes sure everything is set-up from the registration, to water station, paramedics and run marshalls. Everyone makes sure the smooth flow of the running event and all runners safety. As a bag storage crew it was easy but when I said yes to be station at the finish line it was a great challenge. We can't leave unless all runners finished the race and we have to keep congratulating them when they run through the mark. It really depends on you if you want to give high five to everyone, but I realized as a runner it will surely put a smile on my face. So I kept that hand of mine firm and strong up in the air the whole time. 



7. Spartan Race
After surviving Commando Challenge I was all fired up to try a more difficult obstacle race. Spartan Race is what I was looking for , an obstacle run with a longer kilometre run and more eye-popping road blocks. However, they don't have the ice water challenge like in Commando. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this run so much. As every runner tried to help each other, there was still competition in the air but still if a runner sees someone struggling they lend a helping hand. It's not surprising to see that the less athletic one's pull each other to the top. The camaraderie  between strangers was strong, it clearly shows that there is still hope for humanity. Silly as it may sound I loved it when people take turns pushing each others buttocks up in the air. Lovely sight, Indeed! We finished strong, sealed it with a big laugh and high five's for everyone. One of the most exciting race I've ever done in Singapore. 




8. 21 Days 100 km Challenge 
I joined this running challenge as a preparatory for my next few runs. Let me just say that this challenge has truly leveled up my running routine. It has encouraged me to keep running further and farther. I actually started late for my run challenge as I went abroad for a vacation. But excuses will just be considered as excuses, it doesn't count at all. Monitoring my runs was an eye opener as it clearly showed how lazy I am, even my wrong footing and slow pace. However, the improvements of my runs in 21 days was astonishing. I learned more about my stamina, my pain and my drive to keep me running.


9. Climb for Rainbows
My first vertical non-competitive charity run. This reminds me of my first run in Philippines. A charity race for Bantay Bata, an association that helps abused kids in the country. I like running for a cause. As a fundraiser climber we were encouraged to raise funds for Climb Rainbows, wherein the  proceeds will be used for the treatment of kids with chronic illness. My goal was to raised 100 sgd, surprisingly it reached to 700 sgd. I was overwhelmed with joy. It made the 40 storey climb easy as I leap with happiness in each step. 




10. Salomon Trail Run
Another first. I've done a lot of first time for different kinds of running events in Singapore. I've been wanting to try trail running. Everytime I climb mountains it gives me this rush feeling of running to the summit, which is not advisable might as well do it the safe way like in a flat terrain. This sparked the idea of signing for my first ever trail race. Running with nature is amazing. Both worlds that I love brought together in one event, I couldn't asked for more.  Top 20 out of 70 participants, I put my hands in the air like I just don't care!



11. Dragonboat Race
I've never done a dragonboat race before, so when my friend ask me to join them on their company sports day, I said Y E S right away. Dragonboat is all about teamwork, having solidarity with the people rowing leads to the ultimate goal. Everyone has to watch the person infront of them, ride with the timing and row strong with each stride. No wonder my team got first place. It's always a pleasure to be with the winning team. I can't imagine the pressure put on with Olympic athletes, but I guess the price of winning gold is ecstatic, the same feeling I get when I reached the summit of a mountain. 


12. Duathlon 
Let me just say it out loud again, my first Duathlon Ever Baby! I can't contain my excitement as I just accomplished another bucketlist of mine.  Cycling has never been one of my strengths, even for running I do like what any average female Joe is able to do, just maybe more smiles and hands up in the air. This is one difficult race as we bike longer than the runs. Run, Bike, Run. Sometimes I wonder where do I get my strengths that keeps me going, I guess I'm afraid of failure. I don't want to let myself down and my running buddy as well. Having a running buddy is an excellent motivator, they keep your head on the game.




13. Northface 50 km Trail Run
The most exciting and happiest run I've ever joined in Singapore. It's memorable not just because it's my last run, the race itself is quite an amazing experience.  I love nature and having to run along the trees and step on mud gave me so much joy. The challenge of proper footing is important, as one wrong step means facing head down with the rocks or luckily just a mud splash. I remembered having a sudden death moment when going down hill. I've almost loss my balance due to a slippery rock. If I didn't catch myself falling in split seconds I could have french kiss the rocks with all it's glory. That means going home with a sutured mouth, bruise cheeks and a battered heart. Well, thank goodness for my guardian angel. Top 10 for the Duo Run, all smiles!  



This is during those runs around Marina Bay Sands after work. We found this perfectly unattended, surprisingly no one was queuing up to take a picture. What can I say, after a long night running its great to have fun and be happy. Great Run. Great Night. I'm glad I got myself involve in different running events in Singapore. It has shaped my character and changed me to someone more patient, persistent and gave me peace of mind. Some people find it hard to concentrate with all the worries they have in mind, I did too. When I started running I learned to be calm, even clear my mind for hours, I get to do some thinking too and I don't stop running till I get my answer. Running has showed me a different kind of happiness, I'll be doing this for a long time. Besides its the cheapest sport in the planet, you don't need a fancy shoe for it, a gym card membership and you don't really need to join races just run in your neighborhood for fun. 

"When your legs can't run anymore, run with your heart."


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