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March 14, 2010

16-KM North East Run Review

16-KM North East Run Review

I brought a camera along for the inaugural 16-kilometre North East Run 2010 on 14 March 2010. The camera was to be used partly to take photographs for my Seen This Scene That site and partly to give myself a legitimate excuse to stop and rest along the 16-km long route (ha ha).

16-KM North East Run Review Photograph 1

By the time I reached Pasir Ris Park carpark C at 6.30am, the compere had started the ball rolling. Later I could barely make out the silhouette of three instructors leading our warm up routine on a low stage. You can see the glare of bright spotlights in the photograph which were pointing into all the runners' eyes.

In the Sunday morning darkness, the 16-km North East Run kicked off as scheduled. The running route snaked through Pasir Ris, slid past the Pasir Ris fishing ponds and would later cut through Tampines estate all the way to Temasek Polytechnic near Bedok Reservoir before bringing us back to Pasir Ris Park again.

On the positive side, the 16-km route was truly a neighbourhood kind of run. I could enjoy the scenes at the Pasir Ris Town Park and the Tampines Park Connector network, witness the amenities available at one of our local polytechnic and enjoy the shelter of overhead bridges scattered across Tampines estate. I liked the challenge posed by the multiple overhead bridges that was part of the running course. The water points appeared adequate and there were no queues for water and isotonic drinks.

On the flip side, the 16-km North East Run exposed some barriers to a smooth running experience.

I was particularly shocked to experience the 'bouncing bridge' across Sungei Tampines near Block 123 of Pasir Ris estate. It reminded me of my last experience decades ago during National Service days when our company marched in step across a bridge that swayed dangerously close to collapse.

16-KM North East Run Review Photograph 2: This bridge bounces when too many runners run across it in sync.

The other negative point I wish to highlight was that my run was stopped by traffic along Pasir Ris Drive 1. We had to wait for the traffic police to stop the vehicles before I could cross from Pasir Ris Town Park to race towards the Tampines Expressway bridge.

A minor point of irritation is the human traffic jam at the entrances to the overhead bridges. When too many runners slow down to climb the stairs, a bottleneck ensues. But then again, on the return leg of the race, the earlier irritation gives way to blessing as I could slow down and take the steps one at a time to rest and recharge.

The route could be improved too if there was no overlap along some points of the run like along Tampines Avenue 8 and the overhead bridge along Tampines Ave 5.

16-KM North East Run Review Photograph 3

When I crossed the finishing line, I was pleased that I had arrived in good shape without injury in a pleasantly fast time. This made me wonder if the route was marked accurately in the first place. (I remember the route map showed one more overhead bridge to tackle along Pasir Ris Drive 1 on the return journey but which was bypassed.)

In any case, every participant who completed the 16-km North East Run took the same route, got the the same goody bag and the same 16-km North East Run finisher medal.

Overall, this North East Run 2010 was an enjoyable one-of-a-kind neighbourhood run for me, with plenty of memories that will not bounce off for some time to come.

16-KM North East Run Review Photograph 4

In case you were wondering about the lack of photographs showing the actual route in between the start point and end point, I had an inspired run that was made pleasant by the sights and sounds along the route that distracted me from taking any photos. Another way to look at it: there was nothing in terms of entertainment like band performance, supporters or cheerleaders to spice up my run.

See more places. Live more life.

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Muhd Imran said...

Congrats on finishing the race! And in good form too.

seen this scene that said...

Thanks. You should consider joining the run next year.

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