Last Sunday was the 2nd MSIG Singapore Action Asia 50 run. The race pack was fairly ok, the t shirt was Salomon, but i hate t-shirts so cut the arms off which made me look a bit hard core. I was cool though. Credit to the race team the sizing on the website was realistic. However given my many experiences with the sizing charts and the fact that i now largely ignore them, it meant that the large was a bit, well, large. One day i will get these right. And in the mean time Navigating Singapore race t-shirt sizing deserves a blog post of its own.
Anyway, back to the race – Advertised as ‘mostly off road’ with a ‘mixture of grass, track, trail & road’, this race ticked those boxes and the rain overnight gave it a special little something. They also went on to describe this as a flat fast trail through the heart of Singapore. Not sure i would agree wholly there as there was a bit of up hill walking going on at times but there again i am new to off road trail running what do I know.
Getting to the start in Chestnut Nature Reserve car park actually proved very easy, helped in many ways by the fact that I didn’t read any of the pre race ‘you must not drive to the start’ etc, so the taxi dropped us off about 100m from the start line. Oops.
We were signed up for the 10k which was the shortest distance on offer, i could have done 21k and 50k. Maybe next year…. Anyway, it was a pretty modest field of runners probably the smallest i have seen in any race in Singapore which made it a very civilised experience. I have been wondering why this was the case.
Quite a few wearing the Compressport freebie calf compression sleeves from last week’s Compressport run on Nicol Highway. And a lot of people were looking very much ‘the part’ in full compression. Indeed, one gentlemen who looked like he was sponsored by 2XU sprinted off like a gazelle from the start line. I saw him again around the 3km mark walking uphill. Clearly, you needed more than the outfit for this.
The route itself was pretty straight forward. The first 500m or so was on the road before turning onto the trail itself. The 3rd km took us through some lovely trail areas (this is where i passed 2XU man) before rejoining the motorway route. The 5th kilometre was marked by a beautiful rolling strip of grassland, which i thought would have been fab on a mountain bike, before crossing under the KJE intersection and moving onto pathways. We stayed on undulating pathways with a bit of grassland until 8.5 km when we had did a small off road loop before coming back to the road and heading to the finish line.
Yes, it could have been a bit more trail based and i found out I like the rocky more technical terrain but not a bad route with good variety for a first timer to trail running. Would I do it again? Yes, if you discounted the fact that you ran along side an expressway for almost the entire time, it was a lovely run. My TomTom tracked it as 10.45km and no, I don’t think i have made the Olympic team with my time.
Couple of other things – there was the no water cups policy – you had to bring your own bottles filled. There was no water at the start. Was this in the name of cost, ease of cleaning up, reduced litter in the nature park? Who knows but it meant i did need to buy a water bottle holder waist gadget thing to do the run – I LOVE GADGETS. This will now accompany me on every run. And they were giving out free ice lollies at the end but the queue was a bit long and the process was a bit slow so i gave up.
Finally, getting home. We totally lucked out. We got straight into a tax that was dropping someone else off. Felt a bit bad as we were v sweaty but we soon got over that.