Safari Zoo Run 12km Recap: Fuss-free Race With Unexpected Tough Terrain

First race of 2015 and the event was in memory of an orangutan. LOL This race could not have a better start to the year as I absolutely loved this race! I only decided to run this race at 12pm that day as someone provided me with a bib. Thank goodness I ran. I really needed this race for motivation. Not racing for a full month, it can be so easy to lose momentum.

The Safari Zoo Run was a well-organized and fuss-free event. I turned up an hour before to park my car at the Zoo car park (super pricey rates but there was a free car park a distance away. One would need to catch a shuttle bus in). Ample hydration stations were provided with one just at the start pen well-stocked with cups of water and isotonic water when I got there. Along the race route, there were many hydration stations too. Drinks were always fridge-cold.

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And many portable loos. Line-less loos is such a rare sight at races.

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The Zoo was also wonderfully supportive of us runners. We were given priority to cross at pedestrian paths. If there were any worries about running alongside tourists in the Singapore Zoo, it was unnecessary. The Zoo has wide footpaths! I never noticed this before and now I am so appreciative of this. If anything, it was the walkers from the race that were a bit irritating (dear racers, please only walk on the LEFT).

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The race route began promptly at 4pm. We began running into the Night Safari then the Singapore Zoo and repeated the loop again. There were plentiful cute animals for most part of the race with the rangers deliberately bringing “them” forward for us to admire and wave. At first the unmistakable animal poop smell was disconcerting but once one got into the “zone”, the smell was easily ignorable. The terrain was surprisingly hill-y with small slopes dotted around the route. I was not expecting this at all. My calves definitely got some work done.

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The 4pm start made for a wonderful prep for the Brooks Marina Run HM next Saturday (which begins at 7.30pm.) Afternoon races are definitely tougher than 5am ones. It was hard to spend the first half of the day resting and trying not to move around much. For 5am races, one could guarantee and ensure for eight hours prior, legs would be lying on the bed. With afternoon races, it is so easy to get caught up with running errands beforehand. When the race began, I swear my legs were already feeling heavy-footed. With the blazing 4pm Sun, it was a tough run. It took me a while to settle in. Thank goodness for the ample hydration stations. At the 9km mark, I could feel the tiredness setting in but thank goodness I did not caved in to walking. I jogged slowly until the 11km mark and just blitz to the end. *phew*

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I finished the race in 1 hours 5 mins at a pace of 5’51″/km. Even though I surprised myself with a relatively fast timing, I was still disappointed with the run. I felt weak throughout. And hefty too. At every step I regretted the 2kg weight gain since work began. I was berating myself for the greediness and at the end, resolved to lose the weight if I wanted to become a stronger runner.

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After the run and two bottles of water later, I went for a salad buffet with my parents. All for dieting…

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The Safari Zoo Run was such a good race. Thank you organizers and the Zoo for the scenic run and uber cute Finisher Medal with an attractive lanyard. Can’t wait for more races in 2015!

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