The New Balance Real Run 2011 event makes it my 3rd time participating, with my first being in 2009. However my first exposure to this event came in 2008 when I was still a recruit in SCDF. I tasked as a volunteer in the setting and manning of the water points. Things of course have changed since then.
With my prior setbacks such as my injury which sidelined me for 2 months, I took opportunity of this run as a way of ironing out the kinks that I still have, so I can at avoid them during the end of year’s Standard Chartered Marathon. This however, is my first terrain half-marathon, and also my first of half-marathon for 2011.
I attended this race with Azhar, who stayed overnight at my place, so that we could both reach the shuttle bus pick up point on time. Like every race in the prior years, New Balance charters a bus service at different MRT stations to bring runners to Changi Exhbition Center. I’d hereby like to applaud HomeTeamNS and Comfort Delgro for making the transportation to the race venue a smooth one, and without the congestion, as seen in Sundown Marathon 2011, and even Yellow Ribbon Prison Run.
It bummed me out that my running ear piece finally gave way as I was testing it on my iPhone before the baggage deposit. It has endured quite a lot of runs, and it’s frizzled wires marked the end of service. I didn’t have much choice but to use my own in-ears for the run, something I didn’t really want to do, since they were quite pricey.
The toilet queues were albeit annoying, as some people like me, needed only the urinals, and didn’t figure out that the long queue was for the cubicles.
Even though the run was started at 6.30am, the sun quickly caught up with us, and by the 10-14km mark, it had gotten really hot. I didn’t foresee myself doing a personal best for this run, so I helped paced & pushed Azhar during the race, stopping when he did, but reminding him to push along. I pulled ahead of him during the beach stretch as I didn’t like the idea of walking on the sand in the blazing heat.
It was a relatively good run till my right upper calf suddenly cramped towards the last 2km of the route, and I ended up taking the added precaution by walking and running to the finish line. It wasn’t so bad, and I was still 2 minutes ahead of Azhar. My Garmin 305 registered a 2:24-ish timing, but I’ll update my timings page once the official results have been released.
Cooled down after the run, and was pleasantly surprised there was a photo-booth this year. And it was even more surprising when the photos were uploaded within an hour or two after the run, kudos New Balance!