Last night I carbo-loaded on a double order of Hainanese Chicken Rice, which is a local specialty here in Singapore. For good measure, I topped it off with a sampling of durian, an incredibly popular fruit here available only in the summer months, but also one that comes with a pretty strong odor - overwhelmingly pungent to some, odorless to others. Go figure. Nevertheless, chicken rice and durian ... not your everyday pre-race meal.
This morning was humid as usual, but the sun remained hidden behind a high cloud cover. At 7:00 am, I arrived at the Kovan MRT Station, one of the stops along the North East subway line. Outside, about a thousand or more people were already milling about. A quick stretch, and even quicker warmup, and I was ready to go. I took a GU and went to the water station for water, but they weren't giving out any. Free watermelon slices though, so I took one. GU and watermelon juice. That's a new one too. I hoped it wasn't some unknown no-no combination.
About 7:20 am, everyone started to gather under an inflatable arch start line in the parking lot. The race was scheduled to begin at 7:30 am. It seemed early, but without even an announcement, the air horn sounded and we were off. There was a sharp hairpin turn up an incline to get out of the parking lot, which quickly became a bottleneck 20 seconds into the race. Several of us jumped a low metal fence to bypass the turn. About a quarter mile later, we spilled out onto a main road, on which most of the out and back race was run.
A run's a run, and halfway around the world, I tried to fall into my pace. I was aiming for a marathon race pace of 9:09/mile, which was on my training schedule for today. One thing I did notice is that most of the runners were pretty disciplined runners. Unlike most of my other races, I did not have to contend with walkers and other out-of-gas jackrabbits in the early stages of the race. Most of the runners were local Singaporeans, with a sprinkling of Europeans, Aussies, and maybe Americans (hard to tell unless they start talking ... grunting, wheezing, and hard breathing doesn't reveal much!).
I made the turn at 25:30, and brought it home in 53:49. About a minute faster than planned, and since I don't run that many 10Ks, this is also a PR for me! After the race, I picked up the goodie bag with a really nice Mizuno short sleeved tech shirt ... a fantastic value since the race fee was only Sing$15. That's about US$9.50! This race fit perfectly with my training plan, and I got a good training shirt to go with it. Not too shabby for a morning's work.