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Poly 50, Poly50, Prolly50?

I will take sometime to reflect & open up on the conduct of the Singapore Poly 50 race today. I am sad to say the the poly 50 is one of the worst organised events I ever participated, (even those casual X-crty events in MR can beat this many times over), with 20 out of the 100 teams disqualifed mainly because very inflexible rules. But the problem actually lies mainly on the organiser & lapcounter themselves.

For example:
For Team Quiksilver (SP track team 2)

– Lap counters gave a girl’s red card to team members when running the guy’s lap.
For Team Zoom (SP track team 1)
– Lap counter gave Team Zoom’s 2nd-last lap (No 2) card to another team.

Both resulted in delays & confusion to our teams. Not to mention completely messing out our planned running & lap tables.

As team captain for team Quicksilver (Team 60) & speaking from a neutral point of view, we were disqualified from 4th placing due to guys running a ‘girl’s lap’ where its SUPPOSED TO BE A GUY’s LAP (as mentioned above we are given a wrong coloured card). We highlighted the problem, only to be told by the lap counter to carry on despite the mix up. Given top 5 placing lead & a homerun of 10 laps ANYBODY & I mean ANYBODY will carry on running. We kept our integrity & did all 50 laps despite the mess up. We finished the race only to be told of the disqualification long after the race… (So much for SP CORE values, never works for us here at all, even in SP. Well done SP, another in the books!)

But isn’t this caused due to the incompetence of the lap counters? I mean hey how can the judges trust completely on dinky come-&-go sportsclub students only helping out out-of-the blue primarily for CCA points? I gave my reasons for the team & they are VALID, even other teachers listening around agreed. But the judges still stuck to their stubborn un-liberalistic roots. I mean hey sorry to say this but hey the sports club is notorious in SP as a body to look for only for signing out regular rackets or basketball, otherwise always just slack slack club… no aim, no motive, no direction.. who in SP do not know about this? Tell me.

I am not here for defaming of making noise because we lost the poly 50, I am just voicing what needs to be said in benefit for unrulely disqualified teams & future runners even considering to run this event at all. And mind you we didn’t lose at all, we are all winners infact- achieving my realistic target of top5, not on papers, but we know deep down inside. & I am glad my team made it. Who knows, even without the mess up we can even get 3rd placing as the margin between the 3rd & 4th is an extremely small margin.

If only I know what I can do to brighten their spirits at that bleak & quiet moment, besides trying to waste my breath “clarifying” their mistake where their decision was “final”.

Sure you can take our prizes, our vouchers & stuff, but you can never take away our spirit & team pride, we trained hard for months, we didn’t cheat neither did we break any rules on our side, we completely did nothing wrong at all but why must we suffer the consequences of their mistake? My team did nothing to deserve this. This really undermines the professionalism & outlook of the race… Outrageous!

The organization of the race was flawed & the odds are definitely against the runners from the beginning, not to mention extremely unprofessional at all. For example at the W4 checkpoint, we have Mr ‘D’ making alot of noise & blasting his loudhailer directly into people’s ears ontop of the constant threats to disqualify participants if nobody listens to him/waiting on road, not even knowing that hes actually the one blocking incoming runners. As the saying goes, empty vessels makes the loudest noise, so I leave you to think about that, no comment.

I won’t be touching on such trival matters such as the Judges sticking to their ultimate public display of non-liberalism. But we can round it down to these points:

  1. The results & prize presentations are already on.
  2. It would embarrass the GOH if theres changes to placing then.
  3. There is always redtape in all big organisations, taking forever to get anything voiced/done.
  4. It will undermine the organiser’s capablity in front of the principal (GOH).
  5. Fear of other exceptions if they consider this ‘exception’ (Organisers are not paid extra for doing more admin work & listening to additional reasons anyway).

Last but not least, for the 1st team, it’s not Poly 50, but Prolly 50. (prolly – slang for probably, Its an its an open secret which everyone knows) – how can Team DragonBall beat Team Zoom, when they didn’t even overtake team Zoom in the first place? Well, if it’s due to desperate measures to claim back the challenge shield after losing to us for 3 years, I have nothing to say. Ultimately they do have to live with the fact & lie that even if they won it officially. But deep down inside, the opposing team know they didn’t.

Nevertheless, cheers going out to our indispensable seniors, David, Weixin, Xiaohan, Gladys, Leslie & helpers Wei Xiang & Derek for bestowing their invaluble experiences for this year’s poly 50 runners, providing their extremely efficient lap counting skills & general aid & help for our teams.

(POLY 50 – legal speeding, illegal organization? – Quote: Elrick Team 1) Even the worst of marathon baggage collection management, crowds, misprint certs, photos, timings & route closures I’ve been through, nothing can beat this yet. SP still have lots to learn and improve, ironically backed by a disturbing lack of wisdom from the past history of Poly 50 events.

Overall rating: 15%
for a Singapore Runners event listing rating.

Category– (Disastrous, not even worth participating).


  1. calculated DB pace they were running at 29.7secs per 200m lap consistently for the teams ‘total’ 30 laps which is quite impossible considering their pace we remembered overtaking them for some laps yet we suddenly found them leading us 4 laps. it must have been their ultimate camou ability to lap us without us knowing i feel so sad for all the top 5 teams cuz im sure that if DB din cheat i doubt their position in the top 5

  2. :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:

    Shaun , U rox with this passage ! ! !
    That’s the way, we have our Sp track and field Pride
    So let’s continue to run all the way.

  3. fuckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk dat dragon. EUU GUYx NOE VERI WELL u din win de 1st de first de FIRST officially. den? then? THEN? SP CORESS
    wherex ya intergrity?

    i cant believe they gave first to those dragon who doesnt have bit of intergrity. and actualli disqualify us. disqualify us who being tooooooooooooooooo honest by nort cheating. by clarifying tad we are recieving de wrong card. and so? we being too honest nort only waste our time. we even went all till de 50th round despite those mess. and? wat do we get being too honest. DQ DQ disqualify~! waddthehell~!

    shudnt we have cheated jux lyk
    de DRAGONx did.

    so dat we can get honourx wid no intergrity~!?

    fuck off sportclub and de dragon.
    card changer!! euu will get karma for telling talex. defending yasef wid our white n black evidence.
    [[“thankx lor . ]]

    we noe euu guyx and us did our part to get top 5 OFFICIALLI.

  4. Wat for haf poly 50 when it is so unfair? Every year the same problem happens. Go back n reflect on your system and not blame on the runners. It is always the lap counter that got screwed up and u guys blame us for cheating. Your helpers are always right and we do not stand a chance to voice out. Its too unfair. We are athletics and have sportsmanship. Why would we want to cheat in such a stupid race like this? We don’t care about the prizes, all we want is to get our names cleared. Thats what we just want.

  5. Poly 50 is an event catered towards the organisers themselves, NOT the runners; which to me is utterly ridiculous. Their inflexible rules and regulations, such as the stringent card passing, seriously puts a strain on the runners(us), as we have to be ever cautious when handling the cards especially those that are red. Generally speaking, what is the TRUE role of a runner? Obviously, it is to just plainly run. The ‘best’ part of Poly 50 is that even after contending with such rules, we were disqualified by a fault we never commited, a fault by the organisers themselves. The hardwork and efforts of me and my team mates, who all ran tremendously well during the race, were not justified.

  6. I have to say the management really was abit too poor. The “card changer” somehow wasnt really paying much attention, some were ok but i have to say some really hacked-care the whole time. Those hack-carer was somehow working on Pentium One, hand out the cards so slowly, sometime even holding on to it like it was his or her $5 note. I think if the cards were put there for us to take ourselves it would also had been better.

    Bout the Dragon boat team(Drag-on) I was stunned when i heard that Drag-on boat team was on the 40th lap when my team was only like on the 20+ (if i din remember wrongly or if my mind is still clear at tt time). Is my team really tt slow??? **Recall** The first lap track leaded like…5m!? How they, in the end, lead by 4 laps??? Either they have jetpacks or the time somehow stopped for them.

    My first time participating and i saw how cruel and unfair this race is, hoped there are inprovement next yr. Anyway, great effort by all track member, u noe u win. Well dun wan to be totally bad to the organiser, not tt easy for them as well, try harder next yr.

  7. i know everyone are very sad.But everything is over already..
    so we must take it easy ok!!
    We know where we are can already..
    And everyone of us done it very well i n the poly 50 ( the Addison also never give up)
    They are use the cheated method to win the true power and strongest track n field team. Is OK!!!
    Next year we will let them know wat is ‘TRACK N FIELD’ mean.(strongest runner in SP)!! We will never let the ‘da nai’ club to win again..muahaha..
    next i also will participate the poly 50 race of alumni team again..
    u all also must gambateh oh..
    lousiest dragon boat team…
    SP track n field ROX!!!

  8. yo shaun..i have read ur blog and ur thread in SGRunners..while i wasnt really tt suprise when i heard wat happen..firstly, last 2 yrs ago..my grp was DQ also for the same card prob..and i noe how u guys felt..cuz SPORTS CLUB IS ALWAYS THE #$%^&* ONE WHO OF ALL TEAMS…THEY COCK UP OURS..@#$%^&


    fellow trackers..u noe u give it all..well done and congrats..cuz u guys are the true winners! 😉

  9. Okay peeps I’m not a Track member here, however I do understand your feelings and frustrations but I too, would like to voice out on this poorly managed event. I participated in two Poly 50 four years ago and had exactly the same experiences of the organizers screwing things up. And I don’t just mean the higher-ups, but the whole fucking bunch. And yet, nothing has changed up till today. At yesterday’s race, I was utterly disappointed with the student helpers, especially those from the sports club manning the card changing zones. I witnessed for myself their sloppiness and irresponsibility. It can be well seen that they do not understand the seriousness and consequence of their behaviour. It is of utmost importance to the runners that they do not lose their momentum when racing. This could not only demoralise the runner him/herself, but also the team. The purpose of having the helpers are to facilitate the runners in their race and to assist as much as possible to minimise the disruptions and confusions if any, otherwise, why is there a need for the helpers? The Poly might as well take our tuition fees and put to good use by investing on DECENT EQUIPMENT TO FACILITATE THE RACE, RATHER THAN WASTE PRECIOUS MONEY TO FUND THE INCOMPETENT MEMBERS OF THE SPORTS CLUB.

    Imagine if this race were part of the Olympics, it would be an UTTER DISGRACE TO THE NAME OF SP of having irresponsible, derelict students who only pushes the blame to others for his own mistake at the card changing zone, and negligence of duty. Furthermore, the management refuses to acknowledge the blunders and tried to cover up the whole issue. Yes, we all know the race is over and the results cannot be altered, however, I was at least hoping that they would assure us that mistakes as such would be averted or minimised in future races, as runners definitely would not want to participate in a race as screwed-up as this.

    I personally timed team Zoom for the whole 50 laps and their total time is about 1h 18mins – a fantastic timing achieved by the team; a time that could have set new records. What was most shocking to find was at team Zoom’s 26th lap, the DB team had already completed a whole 30 laps and how possible was that? At the 20th lap, I spotted only 2 alumni teams with lady runners ahead of us, and yet the DB team, being lagged behind, managed to outrun the teams ‘fantastically’ overtaking Team Zoom. In that time span they ran 10 rounds while team Zoom ran just 6? Com’on this is ridiculous. How could they possibly double their speed to that intensity? Are they set to clear new heights for the 100m record at Beijing?

    I hope that everyone can combine their efforts to make Poly 50 a more enjoyable and meaningful race, coz’ if u look at the statistics; 20 teams being disqualified. This ain’t a joke…

  10. And on top of that, well done to all track members. U all did your best. There shouldn’t be any regrets. The outcome ain’t the most important, in fact its what u have learnt and that arduous journey u all took to reaching the finishing line. Kudos. I’ll be rooting for you all!

  11. To all my track and field teamate,
    yesterday i forget to give you all speech after the race.Think i will do it here.First of all everyone did a great job for yesterday’s race, all the 3 team was damn Fast and strong, i have never see you guys run so fast during training before….:shock:All the 3 team have a strong mind and team spirit.None of you there give up cause you all know you are running as a team not you alone…all your teamate is suffering wit you… in chinese we call( shi ren yi tiao xin)10 people share A heart…Actually the meaning behind poly 50 is about bonding, team spirit and team work. That is one of the seniors that tell me about this, until now i still never forget. He ask me ( do you know wad poly 50 is about?my ans: speed endurance )Maybe that is the reason why track and field did not give up on poly 50 this event… to all outsiders they may think that this is a stupid race but to us this is a special event that you cannot find outside of SP…about the protest we will try to fight as this year the official was really bad… GUYs!pls take care of yourself !!! we still have more to go on!!! cheers!!!!

  12. Chanced upon your blog. I think u shouldnt be so sour or bitter over this competition. After all, its just yet another race, moreover; it’s not over.

    Importance of sportsmanship that I learn in the sports school: always respect the race officials, irregardless of decisions made. If it’s unfair, protest/appeal. If not, respect the outcome. After all u have the choice not to participate again next year 🙂

    Respect the winners. Accept the outcome. A true sportsman knows how to respect the winners and outcome. And no one wins a race all the time. Winning is as important as not winning. We do not discredit others just because we didnt win. By saying “we didn’t win, but we know deep within ourselves we have won// or they won the race, but deep within they know they didnt” – is but a sheer manifestation of childishness.

    Just my 2 cents.

  13. True Ian, I always believed in the spirit in sportmansship & the essential need of not to having conquered but to have fought well as stated in the Olympic creed, Baron Pierre de

    But this is an exceptionally unfair case, something or a rather open secret & display of negative sportsmanship behaviour- cheating to win, yet putting up a face of victory though deep inside they know they don’t.

    I have nothing to blame the judges about, but their inflexiblity is something to take note of too, “judges decision is final” is merely an easy way to settle conflicits without surfacing the truth which we all seek the truth.

    If teams won far & square we have nothing to say, we will infact respect them as having beaten us & strive to conpete again in next year’s event. This is an exception.

  14. Saw and replied your post over sgrunners. But since i am here browsing. Decided to post some comment.

    This is my 4th year involved in Poly 50, One yr running, and another 3 yrs as team helper. Well i was helping Team Zoom last wed, based on my experience. I was using the women laps to see which team is leading. At the end of 30th laps, our girl goes first, but somehow at the end of the 40th laps, dragonboat pp leads without overtaking us. This is just freaking impossible.

    As a former student team manager for the club for 2 years, former student leader of sp, i was very dissappointed & upset about the outcome & the organsing of the race. Every year same problem occurs again and again. Since they already foreseen the place is too narrow and too crowded with too many pp, why cant they have 2 races? I believe that i feedback to them b4 in my years, but still nothing is done. And i never understand why teams from the same club are being assigned numbers of running numbers. for example for track is 59-61. The helpers might get mixed up between members of the same club and give the wrong card.

    BTW, if any SAA staff read this, i as ex-student, with nothing to gain from this. Swear that Team Zoom complete 50 laps, the same cant be said about the crowned champion. The DB pp does not even have a runner list prepared. The runners does not even know which lap they are running. SAA can ask them if they complete 50 laps, they will defintely say yes coz they want to keep the championship but deep down inside bottom of their heart i trust that they dun even know if they have completed.

    Guys, u guys know who is the real and truely champion. So dun dwell on the topic. We got our IVP Track and Field Championship coming up. Well done to all of the 3 teams. I am proud of your team spirit.

    And lads pls dun give up on poly 50. Poly 50 is afterall a sch event. We should be present and support the event. Somemore u guys never lose it.

    In my days, we truely lost to DB guys for 3 years in a row. But we never give up on the event. This is only the 4th time we lose Poly 50 from what i know since the competition is being held. U guys still have a proud record to upheld. We will easily won it next year. So let’s move on from here.

    Btw, Shaun, how dare u left the ‘year 6’ student out of your helper list? hahahaha :mrgreen:

  15. hmmm 1stly, correction to the blog entry, check your facts. Dragonball DID NOT come in 1st, they came in 6th. Dragonboat Team 1 came in 1st. Speaking about DQ, Dragonboat Team 2 got DQ too.

    2ndly, it doesnt make sense to be whining and insulting other teams after the race cos that doesnt make u any more of a winner. It jus makes u look lousy.
    Train harder, take away 1min from your current timing n try again next year.


  16. Rick, i believe that you are associated to dragonboat. Ask yourself frankly, did team 1 complete 50 laps? U guys have no records, no paper for lap counting. As a former student of SP, i have no interest in who is the champion. But i was there watching from one point. It’s quite obvious who is the real winner.

    We guys are not insulting u guys. It’s nothing but the truth.

    Team Zoom no need to take away 1 min from our time. Instead i think u guys need to take a few minutes off.
    Your timing is nowhere near team zoom if u guys have completed 50 laps.

    my 2 cents.

  17. Ladies and gentlemen, alumni of sp track,

    Guys, we all have done well in Poly 50. Shaun, after the response of the complaint from SAA, be it good or bad, pls refrain to dwell into the matter anymore. We should look into the upcoming track season, with IVP Track & Field high on the agenda.

    Poly 50 though how dis-organised it can be, is a school event. As a student club, we have to be there.

    This is only the “4th” time we lost Poly 50 in our history, and always in top 2 since Poly 50 starts. We still got this proud record to maintain and uphold for this club.

    Yes it is your club now, and u guys can make watever decisions, but as part of the alumni, we will be disappointed not to see our juniors running for watever reasons.

    BTW, Shaun, how dare u leave the year “6” student out of the list? i more senior u know… hahaha… just joking :mrgreen:

  18. I think throughout the whole poly50 saga , everyone should be able to freely have their own opinions on the matter. We should be open minded and not impose our opinions on others. We all fight for what we believe in, but we should not judge, lest we be judged.

  19. Hi all who had responded to the issue, the discussion had been really constructive. However, I would like to clarify a few points in this mist.

    Firstly, the blog entry is written primary to voice our thoughts & feelings on the race. Flaming, defaming people & other teams are definitely not an intention at all (not to mention an immature & unprofessional way to handle matters). Optimistically, one can learn alot from this, turn possible criticism into benefit & improve. After all its only a school event, so I guess we can give & take there.

    Secondly, we all know about the bad organisation & conduct of the race, its everywhere, you can’t deny the notorious campus-wide notions towards the event, but people can only change for the better. With this, the only way to change is largely on ourselves. We had learnt lots of valuable lessons from this – Not only to TRAIN HARD, RACE HARD, but RACE SMARTLY as well. After all we all know that the rules do not permit a guy to run with a red card (and we’ve learnt the hard way).

    Therefore having race integrity & sticking the right of way isn’t always the actual right of way at all. Also, if that’s the case too, there are no rules stating that you can’t run lesser rounds if the lap-counter skipped your card or even if the lap-counter personally “ate some cards”. All these are beyond our control.

    With that, (esp for the juniors who participated this year). One can only accept the fact that unlike all the track & X-ctry events we all had participated in, the Poly50 is indeed a “dirty race”.

    It’s sad to see our 3rd year teammates leaving the student cat disappointed & unable to participate in next year’s event, after being treated unfairly. But that only means a daunting competition from the Track alumni next year!

    With that be rest assured that we (track student & alumni) will definitely put up a good fight next year with a comeback & claim back the 1st place title in the name for Track & Field!

    Alec, sure! how can we forget out WC06 guru too! CHEERS TO ALEC! 😀

  20. Thanks Shaun… 🙂

    BTW, for the confused ones, WC06 guru is my “title” in sgrunners, and Alec Chua = Yoke Thye.

    Glad to see u guys stand up strong again 😛


  21. =p.. track mates. i think we should not say anything bout this matter anymore bah. poly 50 is all luck i guess.. after thinking thru deeply..we should not be toking bad about others although yes i admit i have done it too.. cus we like them all humans make mistakes too. and if dragonboat did realli cheat, we jus have to face the fact and let the mistakes not happen again next year. yah? aniway we knew we won.. so wats de matter?? a more friend is better den havin one more enemy?? isit it rite? =p guys cheer up ya.. team one win lose doesnt matter cus i think dragon is strong though and we ahve to admit that too ya? we face a though fight.. wat we need to do now is jus help team 2 clear their names that will be all.. ? =D

  22. Hi there, a fren of mine showed me your blog and after reading it, i has some things which i wanna share…

    First of all, i think its wrong to totally blame everything on Sports Club. Don’t get me wrong, im not a member of sports club and neither am i a ardent supporter of sports club. I think that instead blaming sports club for what happened in the race, we should in fact give them credit for organising such a big event. I dunno about you guys but i have organised many events before and i know that its not easy to hold a event, not to mention a big event like Poly 50. During the event, there are bound to be mistakes made here and there and these mistakes are kinda unexpected. So instead of blaming them, give them credits and hope that they learn from all these mistakes and rectify them in the next race.

    As for the lapcounters people, no offence here but i think you should get your facts right in this case. Most of the people who are at the lapcounters (namely those in green that day) are not members of sports club. Some of them are actually members of other council clubs. They were there because Sports Club requested helpers from the rest of the Council Clubs. So its hardly correct to blame everything on sports club i would say. Hell, i had problem with the lapcounter as well!!! Instead of giving me my lap card, the person was cheering her frens on!!! Oh well…

    Winning isn’t everything. Its the experience that counts. Its the experience of running together with your team and completing the race together with your team that is the real prize. So what if you get DQ and didn’t get a placing??? Is placing such an important issue to you??? Think about it. Think about the process before and during the race, think about the experience you garner from the race. And with all of that, im sure you are a winner.

    As for the dragonboat people, i got nothing to say coz i wasn’t sure what happen. But i hate it when they get 1st as well…. Coz i dun like dragonboat people 😛 Haha…

    Anyway, these are juz my 2 cents worth 😉


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