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May 23, 2010

Passion Run 2010

Passion Run 2010

It takes plenty of passion for a person to push his or her body to run 10 kilometres. It takes even more passion if you try to push your body to its limit in order to better your personal best (PB) times or to set a personal 10km run record (PR). Those with the greatest passion put their legs and bodies through training programmes like interval runs, tempo runs,long distance slow runs, core training and the like, week in week out, rain or shine, and feel good at the end of each session.

I guess I must possess similar passion to have taken part in another 10-km race on 22 May 2010. This was the Passion Run 2010 held at Angsana Green in East Coast Park. The race was organized by Geylang Serai 3i Enterprise, Geylang Serai CSC and Geylang Serai Community Club.

The Passion Run 2010 was my first attempt to set a 10K personal best after having done two leisurely races of similar distances (Singapore Marathon 10 km run and 10-km Singapore Bay Run) last year. So did I manage to break a record?

Before I answer that, let me recap my version of Passion Run 2010.

The weather on 22 May 2010 was favourable. A light rain in the morning had displaced the week's hot sun that kept slapping sweat-stained skin. When the Passion Run 10-km race started at about 5.30 pm, it was cool with a little sunlight peering through thick clouds.

I lined up with the second wave of starters for the Passion Run Veteran 10-km race. The second wave of runners consisted of runners from both men and women in the Open and Veteran categories. However this mixed group of runners flagged off at a crawl. With layers of walkers before me, I was trapped in a traffic jam for several hundred metres. In bursts of running and weaving and braking, I found my pace disrupted.

By the time the field of runners opened up, it was almost near the half way point. Just when I could settle into a regular rhythm, I hit a wall. A wall of joggers who made the u-turn for the shorter 5km fun run. Again the weaving through the Passion Run crowd re-started, interspersed with periods of accelerations and decelerations. To make matters worse, many runners were slowing and stopping for drinks along the narrow route as we neared the finish line.

By this time, I stopped looking at my watch to check on my race pace for Passion Run 2010. (It was dangerous to take my eyes off the crowd to look at my watch as I could crash into other runners who stopped running suddenly). Thoughts of any record breaking attempt was not on my radar at that point in my run.

I had hoped to follow through with some faster runners before me but alas I guessed all the faster ones had already filtered their way to the end point of Passion Run 2010. I decided to make the final one-km dash and opened up my stride, all the time still weaving between other competitors.

Finally crossed the Passion Run 2010 finish line with an unofficial time below 59 minutes, which was just beyond my training times achieved in the past three months. My Garmin watch recorded a total distance of 10.1km (The extra 100 metres was probably due to the zig-zag weaving through the field).

Made one conclusion: this Passion Run 2010 at ECP route with its timing and format for 5km and 10km competitive runs using the same tracks is not conducive to setting records. Still, I am happy to create a personal best (PB) in an official racing event, despite some challenges.

The rewards for completing Passion Run 2010? A keepsake medal (plus other goodies) and a valuable learning experience for my racing. I did not stay for the Passion Run 2010 concert and soon found myself stuck in another race: the race to get out of the East Coast Park car park that was jammed with an unbelievable number of vehicles. That story, however, could be another long post.

Photograph: Passion Run 2010 10-KM finisher medal and runner's T-shirt.

Run more places. Live more life.

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