As the hot scorching sun dawns upon all runners in the early morning of Sunday, it simply just paints deja-vu of the race last year at the Changi Exhibition center. Was that a Mirage? I can say that is is almost like an exact duplicate of last year’s race, which I gave a rating of 8.5/10 for a highly satisfying race.
The thing different for this year’s race is that the start and end line actually technically at the same point, but the place is open to an extent, allowing runners to join the race rather easily. The starting part of the race is new, going along side the chalets and open straight tarmac area before actually hitting the open trail, which is essential just an open field with a track around it. The relief is generally all flat throughout, except for some minor gradient visible on the runway straights, all other parts of the course are perfectly flat also considering the fact that almost the whole area was actually built on reclaimed land.
The starting trail is still very much easy to run on, it’s so open and clear, offering views of the east coastal area. But the run there seemed much longer than what I expected it to be, maybe it could be the lack of shade which made it felt longer. Though the terrain there is nothing to what we can expect in a Macritchie trail, at least the shades in Macritche made it less of a torturing experience. Just as every trail run (just like the expected one at this year’s AHM), sand and rocky surface is an area simply asking for injuries and possible sprains so it pays to watch your stepping on uneven ground or as and when you are overtaking people as well. Good thing it was sunny though, so the trail remained exceptionally firm and solid, if it rains, then it will be likely to be a revisit of the Bedok “mud run” in the 2006 wave run where everything including shoes, shorts, shirts will be muddy or splattered.
Open top trail and road
And just when you thought that after 4km of the trail part, the thought continuing the race back into the main road run (aka the mirage area) is just a whole new experience with the sun again. This waterpoint is a favorite for many and glad they have lots of cool 100 plus ready on flow throughout the race. Possibly anticipating the possible heat problems faced by runners, there were also adequate number of first aid tents and marshals lined up along the route to cheer runners on, even in the heat. The marshals did quite a good job in motivating runner who simply just come and go, at the expense of themselves standing under the scorching sun throughout the whole period under the run. Commendable indeed.
Upon reaching Changi coast road, this is where the 15km runners go left, while the 10km runners to right, either way, runners will find themselves in the changi beach park area with the route heading to the beach. A main concern for this part of the race was the questioning of many runners have on the flag off times of 7.30am for the 10km & 7.45am for the 15km respectively, where the 15km runners merging with the 10km runners at Changi coast road will add to some considerable traffic. Though I personally didn’t see much change in traffic, it’s sometime worth rasing, particular for the slower 10km runners who suddenly become overwhelmed by all the front 15km runners.
The beach part is actually very much the same as it was last year, with a short nice shady road (well that is not exactly a trail as opposed to what it was last year) before hitting the rather short stretch of sand. For this part, there are 2 choices to go fast on the sand- stay at either ends of the width of the sand part- you just need to run near the sea coastal line where sand damp but firm sand resides or the upper part of the beach where with some rather inviting flat sandy areas on the bank tops. You have to watch out for uneven ground and tree roots sticking from the bank as these plant roots on the upper parts of the beach actually holds the soil firm, allowing it to the bear of weigh of runners without crumpling or sinking, that is provided if can get through the barriers on some areas of the course. The sand area is thankfully shaded by a large extent.
Here is now or never, the run end with the turn back into the exhibition center taxiway road with a short perimeter run along the coast before catching the finishing line in the distance. I remembered seeing quite a few student marshals all burnt out from their marshaling, man, the race must be hard on them! After crossing the line, the only thing on my mind was a cool drink and that very enjoyable air-con in the event area which I really enjoyed cooling down in last year.
The running route as follows:
- 10km – 4km Trail + 0.6km Sand + 5.4km Taxiway / Road
- 15km – 4km Trail + 0.6km Sand + 10.4km Taxiway / Road
The post race was excellent, air-conditioning was turned on all round which was a real welcome to runners looking to cool off after the hot race- coupled with a cool drink, doing cool downs in the big open areas of the exhibition center is something to look forward to after the race. There were lots of outdoor shelters and 100-plus umbrellas for those who wanted to acclimatise for awhile after finishing before entering the air-conditioned environment.
Amazingly, there was no queue at the baggage collection and you can get your bag within minutes. You will be sure to catch the crowd if you leave on the peak period immediately after the race. Transport organization was rather good. love the adequate car park spaces, shuttle service to the remote area as well- The organizers have plenty to stick to their guns after last year’s successful transport management, so with that we see the same favorite free shuttle service out of the area as well to pasir-ris bus interchange as well a the morning paid shuttle service from 8 MRT stations all round Singapore. Though crowds are inevitable, the open large areas of the exhibition center gave runners lots of post race breathing space as well as much needed areas to relax. The best recommendation to beat the queues before and after the race is to arrive early and leave late, given that you will not experience much jam when arriving and leaving.
Other interesting points of note:
- Was there gold at the startline? Runners were sprinting from the startline! (Or were their feet on fire?)
- There were few student marshals who laid flat on the side of the road near the Changi coast road area, they are fine they are just overwhelmed by the heat, though many runners thought they were casualties!
From many feedback I’ve got, it seems the Home team did it again with a good race twice on the same venue this year again. The Realrun team never disappoint with this year’s run. There are of course areas beyond the organiser’s control such as weather, but at least it didn’t rain! Good race! I will recommend next year’s year to all.
- Men’s Open – 10KM
- Women’s Open – 10KM
- Men’s Open – 15KM
- Women’s Open – 15KM
- Men’s Junior – 15KM
- Women’s Junior – 15KM
- Men’s Veteran – 15KM
- Women’s Veteran – 15KM
- HomeTeamNS Individual – 15KM
For Home team race results and a full listing of categories available here.