A review of the Energizer Singapore Night Trail, a race that I initially had no plans of signing up for.
I had not intended to participate in the Energizer Singapore Night Trail 2012 as I was not going to be fully committed to spending for smaller races due to school and other future-endeavored race commitments. However, I have to thank Men’s Health Singapore (and luck for that matter) for letting me win a pair of free race slots to the event. I had a choice between the 6k, 12k, and 18k, before I settled on the 12k as I was running with a classmate who had never done trails before. I’m thankful I made the right decision to run just the 12k, as I’m still suffering from a sore tendon around my ankle.
Race Entry Pack Collection
The REPC was delayed from a weekend to a weekday, so I had mine collected after I finished off from work. The race pack itself was nothing to shout about, but the items that most runners of this race would be interested in would be the headlight, as well as the t-shirt. The only complaints I heard about was how large the t-shirt is; even the XS that I had opted for felt like a S size. This was verified by my classmate who took a women’s M, and on the race day when there were so many people wearing the over-sized event shirt.
I arrived at Woodlands to meet my classmate at about 6:30pm, which was way too early as I had forgotten that the start time for the 12k had been pushed to 8pm. So we chilled for a while at the Civic Center McDonalds before making our way to the shuttle bus pickup point. From my observation, there wasn’t any delay in people waiting to board the bus from Woodlands MRT, so I’m guessing the organizers had done a good job of ferrying the people between race venue pick up and drop off points.
We arrived at the race venue with about 30 minutes to spare, so we began attaching our race bibs, spraying our legs and hands with insect repellant, and just walked around the race venue. Good to see that the place was stocked with whatever a runner might need for the event, such as a Pocari Sweat hydration station, a fruits station, an Old Chang Kee kiosk for supporters who might be hungry, and an ice cream kiosk!
Soon after, we walked to the start line. We were told not on our headlights yet but only just before flag-off. The reason according to them was to conserve the batteries even if they were meant to be long lasting.
After a few minutes of waiting, we kicked off the run high spirits. I meant to run alongside my classmate, but she wasn’t able to take the first few kilometers, so she told me to carry on. The course was very challenging to say the least. There were a lot of steep slopes and technical sections on the trails.
One section early on in the race had ropes for us runners to hold on to should we be having trouble coming up the steep technical path. It got into a bottle neck quickly because the path was probably about a meter wide, but given the advantage of wearing a trail shoe with added traction, I crawled up some of the less steep parts by just crouching and crawling the ground.
I thoroughly enjoyed the route as It was quite refreshing. It reminded me of the Sundown Marathon, a night race by itself, but also of the training runs that I have been doing at Macritchie, but with much steeper and longer slopes. Below is my log from the 910XT.
There was a couple of interesting points I thought about just as I was done with the race.
- It’s my 2nd trail race (the first being Salomon X-Trail in 2010), and my 1st night trail race.
- Raced without wearing compression tights for the first time. Opted for simplicity and wore a new Salomon singlet and trail shorts.
- The first trail race with the North Face Singletracks, which did an excellent job of navigating the terrain as well as provide protection and traction.
- Did not bring extra baggage with me for this race, although I did not notice any baggage collection congestion and I was surprised to see a washing area there (perhaps if I had read the event manual thoroughly)
- First time I ran a race without listening to music.
- First time I wore my XT-Advanced skins for a race.
In all, it turned to be a well organized run with a refreshing route and challenge. Would have been a better experience if my ankle/tendon was not injured prior to running this race. A recommended race and I hope to be able to take part in it next year.