Thursday, April 28, 2011

Singapore Race #2 : Run 350 10km

For my race #2 in Singapore, I registered myself for a 10km run (Run 350). This time it was being done by a different organizer so I'm hoping that the previous race was just a fluke..

My (men's category) race would start at 7:30AM while that of the women's category would start at 7:40AM. Similar to Singapore Race #1 in that there were two waves but this time, it's being segregated by the sex instead of a random wave of runners. Unfortunately, I wasn't sure how effective they were at giving this information out to the runners as I saw a bunch of women running with the 7:30AM start! Hmmm... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Like the race a week ago, I got to the race start quite early again. With a late starting time, it was perfect to catch the rising sun in Singapore. Good thing, I had Per's camera with me (she opted to sleep instead) and used that time to take a lot of pictures:

Fullerton Hotel

Race Start Area
ArtScience Museum, Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands Hotel

Before the race start

By the time my race started, I had put the camera back in my bag, deposited said bag to the baggage counter and walked to the starting line. I expected this to be an easier (and faster) race as I have acclimatized to this country's hot weather, the race route was almost the same as the week before, plus the fact that it was shorter by 2km. Boy, was I wrong (again!). As we started at a later time, the weather was more humid and hotter than that of 2XU Compression Run. We used the sidewalks once again but with lesser people in this race, it wasn't as crowded as before (thank goodness).

It was another slow time for me but nevertheless, I enjoyed the scenery here. I immediately went to the baggage counter for fear of a repeat of the 45-minute line like that of last week but ended up getting the bag in just 5 minutes. Bananas and drinks were distributed at the finish line. Due to the hot weather, I left the area quickly and went back to the hotel to wake up Per.

This was definitely a better organization that that of 2XU Compression Run and I hope to do more races in this country in the future...

My results are as follows:

Bib 3722
Race Category Mens' Open
Nett Time 01:14:53
Gun Time 01:17:47.63
Rank 2327

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Singapore Race #1 :2XU Compression Run

Before the race start

As Per and I planned to go to Singapore for our major trip of the year, I immediately went to their local running website ( to see which of the road races are available on the days that we will be there. As luck would have it, I registered myself for two races and had my good friend Melody claim the race kits for me (as they were distributed when we were still in the Philippines). The nice thing about booking for a race in Singapore is that everything can be done online (quite beneficial for non-residents visiting the country).

The 2XU Compression Run would be the first race that I would do, with a total distance of 12km, and would be a race around Singapore City. The race would start and end at the Singapore Flyer, the world's largest observation wheel (standing 165m from the ground - according to their website)! So there itself, we were already taking pictures of the wheel and the other buildings around it (Marina Bay Sands hotel comes to mind).

We were there quite early as taxis are abundant in the Singapore and everything is quite near to one another (just a 15-minutes ride from our hotel). I left my bag at the baggage counter, went to Per and did some stretching. But even at 6:45am, when the sun wasn't out yet, it was really hot and humid!

At 7:00am, our race began and it was simply divided into two Waves so as not to have any congestion at the race start. I sneaked into the first Wave even though the barrier was put up by the marshals. At least, I can sort of guarantee I won't be the last runner to finish this race given there were a lot of people waiting for Wave 2's release (never mind my real ranking with the chip timer).

What was awesome (even more awesome than seeing the Singapore Flyer up close) was that we would run on the actual F1 Race Tracks! There were even two uber-nice sport cars standing by at the sidelines, waiting for us to finish before they could even use the race track! Wow, that was definitely surreal and brought a smile to my face.

But the joy was replaced by tiredness as I had difficulty running in the hot weather. With the roads open for traffic and all 10,000 runners needing to use the sidewalks did not help at all. There were a lot of elbow bumping, a lot of weaving and I had to look from side to side just to make sure I don't trip someone. Argh, I really hate running on the sidewalks with everyone else and I can't imagine how I did that for the Sundown Marathon.

There were ample water stations here but had to wait for a few seconds each time as the volunteers pour water into the cups. That's fine, I wasn't aiming for a PR and this serves as a good excuse to not run yet. Hahaha!

Pocari Sweat: One of the sponsors of this race

The race route was great (especially for a tourist like me) as it took me to the various tourist spots in Singapore - we ran on the hexagon bridge (but had to climb some steps to get there), we ran right behind Fullerton Hotel and Esplanade, we ran right outside Marina Bay Sands, we ran in a park, we ran on an F1 race track and our route took us two times back to the Singapore Flyer (both times I hoped to see Per but failed to do so).

I counted the km down slowly and got excited as I neared the finish line. The goal is to just survive this race as still have a couple of days in Singapore and didn't want to be confined in a Singaporean hospital bed the entire time!

so tired... so very tired!

A very nice souvenir from Singapore, don't you think?

Thanks to Per for patiently waiting for me to finish this race :) It wasn't an easy task for her given how hot that day was.

There are a lot of good things in this race, but a lot of bad things too!

The first would be the horrible horrible baggage claim at the end of the race. The lines were just too freaking long! Just 3-4 pax assigned to handle 2,000 bags at a time for a total of 5 different lines. It was the worst experience here and took me 45 minutes just to get my backpack (and that's after I found a shorter line!). Per, who was waiting for me near the taxi stand, got worried as to why I was taking too long! 45 minutes! Sheesh! That's like running 6-7 kms more! Complete waste of time!

Another con to this race: As of this writing (race was held last April 10th), I still have not received my singlet yet!!! They did email me that the singlet will be mailed to my Philippine address next month (May) and gave me a free running cap when I complained about it... like that would help! I hope the organizers would learn from these mistakes. I also heard there were a lot of problems on the race kits distributions and a lot of people went home empty handed on those dates and were compensated by receiving a complimentary 2XU compression sleeves for their legs...again, like that would help.

And did I mention how much I hated running on a very narrow sidewalk with 10,000 other runners?

My race results:

Name Dennis Quepe
Bib 6469
Race Category 12KM MENS
Nett Time 01:27:01
Gun Time 01:31:37
Rank 4059 of 5411

Quite slow! But it's okay as it is my first 12km for the year so a 2011 PR! Bwahahaha....

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Goldilocks Run - May 15, 2011

For their 45th Anniversary (has it been that long??), Goldilocks, with the help of RunRio.Inc will be doing a fun run on May 15, 2011 at Bonifacio Global City.

There are three race categories for this fun run: 5k (Php 600), 10k (Php 600) and 21k (Php 750) with a special 500 meter dash for kids ages 5 - 12 years old.

Registrations will begin from April 8th until May 1st, 2011 at the following venues:

RUNNER Store, ROX, Toby's SM Mall of Asia, Planet Sports Glorietta, Planet Sports Trinoma, Athlete's Foot Alabang Town Center, Athlete's Foot Robinson's Galleria, and Goldilocks Store Shaw Blvd.

I saw the singlets and they are pretty nice - New Balance materials and all.

Included in your registration for all race categories are the NB Singlet, certificates, photo, race analysis, chip timer, finisher's kit, and discount coupons (from 10% to 20% off regular priced items). For 21k finishers, there is also a finisher medal for them..

This race also serves as the first leg of another RunRio Trilogy and will have its own awards night. The other two legs of this trilogy are Yamaha Run and that of Rexona Run.

I am looking to do the 21k for the finisher medal. Hopefully, I could complete this trilogy!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Back to Back Races - April 2 -3, 2011

Doing a back to back race is quite fun to do if the opportunity presented itself.

First of all, it is definitely not as tiring as doing a Half Marathon as you have two days (and about 20 hours worth) to cover the same distance as a 21km, and you burn the same amount of calories so that’s a great thing too.

As distance is shorter taken separately, you don’t have to carbo load two nights before the big race, so you will eat less and burn more calories. Perfect strategy to lose weight!

You can also decide which of the two races you would go “all out” in and which of the two races will be an easy run for you or if you are strong enough, you could also “race” both events.

And of course, not all races are the same – different venues, different organizers, different routes, etc. You could have a good experience with one race and a bad experience with another. You could get a runner’s high at both times too! It’s like watching two different movies. You have your expectations but it is only after the movie ends and the end credits come on the screen that you decide if you liked the movie or not.

Doing two races doubles your fun too in terms of stuffs that you will get from each race – two singlets, more bottled waters, two race bibs (for those who collect them), more race photos, more race results, more loot bags, etc.

One disadvantage of doing a back to back race is that the weekend goes by quickly without you getting the experience of waking up late and just lazing in bed. I was sluggish in the afternoon of Saturday and Sunday and didn’t go out anymore come Friday or Saturday night.

Another disadvantage of doing this is the cost for the race. As there are two races, then it’s logical to think that you will pay double the amount that you would normally pay for one race. Of course, it is all relative here. You could opt to join two smaller 10k races and the total amount paid might even be cheaper than one big 21km race. It’s just a matter of finding affordable races for the weekend that you want to run in. And with the running boom in the country, there are a lot more options as to where we would put our hard earned money in. It also stands that one 21km race is more expensive than one 10km race as there are more road permits, marshals, water stations, etc. required for the longer distance so it might not be as expensive as you think when you go for running two shorter races for that particular weekend.

Now on to the races I did:

  1. HYUNDAI RUN FOR A CAUSE 10K: Held in Roxas Blvd on a Saturday morning. There were about 25,000 runners that day with most people having registered for the 5km race. This was also a FREE run and initially, the organizers were just targeting 2,000 runners but with the high demand (because of its very good value…DUH!), the organizers kept adding the number of runners till it ballooned to way over 25,000! As it doesn’t fit BGC anymore, they moved the venue to Quirino Grandstand. I expected it to be chaotic. I expected to run out of water as there were just too many runners. I expected that I had to constantly weave in and out of people who were walking in this event. I am pleased to say that none of my expectations came true! There was a lot of water for the runners, as volunteers even gave out bottled water to us! It wasn’t chaotic at all even with the huge mass, and they resolved this by having different waves for the starting time of runners (10k event had 3 waves while the 5k event had about 7 waves). The 5k start was about 40 minutes away from the 10k start so I did not even encounter any 5k runners in my run except maybe for an elite runner. It was definitely a well organized event and I had a fantastic time running on Roxas Blvd again.

FINISH TIME (Garmin): 1:08:56

PACE: 6:37 min/k

DISTANCE: 10.43 k

  1. A.A.C.E. THE GOOD RUN 10K: Race was held at BGC area and I was glad I could wake up at a later time for this race (vs. 3:30am for the Hyundai Run!). Gladness was replaced by panic as I realized too late that I started with the 5k runners! But that’s okay as there were also some 10k runners who started with me and it motivated me to chase after the 10k runners (which I did). The route was around BGC area and I was happy that we didn’t have to go through Lawton Avenue anymore. Luckily, there was no muscle soreness in my legs from Saturday’s run and I was able to run normally here. As expected from a Runrio.Inc race, there were no problems with regards to hydration or getting lost in this race. Personally, it was an almost perfect race for me as I was able to do negative split with very little walk breaks, didn’t have any heel pain (or if I did, it was manageable), and felt strong all the way to the finish line. Got my loot bag at the finish line and just like yesterday, headed home immediately to wake my wife up. Haha!

FINISH TIME (Garmin): 1:05:55

PACE: 6:31 min/k

DISTANCE: 10.13k

Both races were handled fantastically and I was glad to be involved in both of them.