OSIM Sundown Marathon 2015: A Quick Recap

On Sunday morning at 1am, I abandoned my comfortable bed and raced in my first ever Sundown Marathon!!!

I prepared for this race by sleeping a lot during the day on Saturday. Having slept enough, I was so ready for this race. At the same time, thought due to the lack of unbearable heat, this race was going to be less tough. I was quite wrong. Running at 1am through to 6am was no joke. The entire time I was fighting sleepiness. As I discovered, my body clock automatically shuts down at midnight.

From the race route, one can see a large part of the run was in East Coast Park. The Park was dark and quiet. This meant me constantly finding ways to distract myself. If not, I would naturally close my eyes and drift off. However the wonderful sea breeze and sounds of waves were so calming and more then made up for it. 

As this was my second marathon, there was much to compare with my first, Standard Chartered in December 2014. I have no pictures from this race as I did not bring my phone. It’s new and still precious. But here is a quick recap from Sunday’s race.

Pros:

  • One steep hill at the start of the race (Republic Avenue, 3km mark) – anyone who has ran Stand Chart knows at the 37km mark, the Benjamin Sheares bridge is the most tedious! That climb alone will make or break your target time. So this hill at the start was godsent! After climbing it, the route was mostly flat or downhill. Woohoo!
  • Ample Gu Gels and Bananas!!!! <– This was my first time refueling mid-run with Bananas and I am so happy to note, provides as much as energy as gels.
  • Iced-cold 100 Plus at every Hydration station <– Thank you Organizers, you guys are the best!!!
  • Ample Hydration Stations – It felt as if, they were everywhere!
  • Distance markers at every km <– So grateful! No checking of watches necessary.
  • Mostly flat/ downhill <– No hill surprises. My legs were very grateful!
  • Ample cheer-ers. There were so many “cheerleaders” along the route <– Thank you, Organizers!
  • Wide routes – no banging or shoulder rubbing with other runners; ACE!

Cons:

  • Dark! The Hydration Stations were poorly lit (can’t blame the organizers.. but at times, I did not realised the stations were there until it was directly in front of me.)
  • 1am start <– Thought of my lovely bed the entire race.
  • More than one loop <– Loops will test your willpower… you run one side knowing the U-turn is somewhere in front and in the meantime on the other side of the barrier, you know fellow runners have “turned”. You will feel both desperation to turn and longing to be on the other side – very dark feelings… There were two loops during the race. One in East Coast Park and other at Gardens by the Bay East. Both were long and painful.

Toilet tip: if there is anything I learnt from Stand Chart and Sundown is: make sure to use the ample toilets in East Coast Park before you leave. The route after ECP is long and toilets can be hard to come by. I assure you, once you use the toilets in the Park, you will leave feeling refreshed. The run afterwards will be less arduous. 

The best part of Sundown was definitely the organization of the race. The race organisers did a splendid job! Hands down, beat Stand Chart! Having said that, I don’t foresee running this race again. The midnight run was just too difficult. I don’t love running enough to leave my bed.

[UPDATE]

Final timing, a sub-5. Yeesss!

Meiji Run 2015 Race Recap: If Only All Races Could Be So Delicious!

I doubt anyone joined this Race for the run because when an event is promoted as “the world’s most delicious race” including a Meiji Buffet consisting of “a feast of chocolate, fondue, milk, yoghurt and more“, who remembers a 5 km run?!

The first ever Meiji Run 2015 was held the past Saturday on Palawan Beach in Sentosa. With the sheer amount of food, yoghurt-beverage and, race staff, it seemed no expense was spared to organize this event. Extremely well-organized from the Bag Depository system to the run itself and carnival thereafter, my girlfriends and I had such a good afternoon. My IG and FB posts from the event attracted heaps of envious comments and of course, many likes.

Let me first recap the most boring bit of the afternoon: the race route. The running route was part-road and beach. The running path on the road was cramped. A lot of weaving in between walkers. But as I mentioned before, NO ONE WAS THERE FOR THE RUN. I certainly did not mind. Running on the soft sand was hard but good. My thighs definitely got a good workout! We ran past many beach bars and many beach volley-ballers. I hope us runners were not too disruptive. In the middle of the route, there was a Meiji Cracker Maze. Doesn’t it sound amazing?!

Well in reality, it was not desirable. It had rained the entire morning before the race so the crackers were soaked through and either falling off the walls or squishy. And the smell was horrendous. So gross!! Soaked Meiji Crackers is not a pleasant smell. My girlfriends and I couldn’t fathom walking through the maze. So we walked out through the side.

There were distance markers along the way but we were certain they were incorrectly placed. When we saw this marker, we had only ran for 12 minutes. Was it 3km ran or left? Who knows. None of us remember after the race…

Another really bizarre but amazing part of the race was the sheer number of water stations for such a short distance: three. Plenty of water and sports drinks at every station. At the last station, full-size bottles of sports water were given out!

When the race ended, we were each immediately handed a plastic Meiji Land bowl and cup before heading into the Carnival area. A funny story. At first one of my girlfriend did not want the set but the volunteer remarked it was necessary for the “buffet”. Immediately she went back and grabbed a set. When we entered the Carnival area, those Meiji Land bowls sure came in handy because that’s when the real fun began!

There were EIGHT booths with each booth serving a particular Meiji product. Four of the booths were food and unlimited! I’m talking FREE FLOW of Hello Pandas! Do you know how heavenly it was?!

Us girls simply could not stop eating bowls of it.

You like Meiji crackers? This booth would have been your dream come true. I got a lot of packets for my brother-in-law.  You guys like Yan Yan?

Help yourselves to Strawberry and Banana-flavoured ones.

And very randomly and definitely can’t be Meiji-brand: Chicken Burgers

On the other side were the Drinks booths. Unfortunately these were only limited to one drink per booth per person. Still, it is wise not too drink too much milk, anyway.

I don’t usually purchase yoghurt or milk drinks but I sure enjoyed Meiji’s. This Paigen yoghurt drink tasted exactly like Yakult but in a bigger bottle.

Meiji milk especially the chocolate flavour is always yummy.

The new Bulgaria yoghurt – so tangy and YUMMY! New in Singapore, these were featured in the Sunday Life yesterday and rightly so.

There was a Photo Booth tent but the queue(s) was sooo long. 

The loot of five girls. We learnt from many around us and took a box to contain all our goodies. 

The Race medal and the chocolate crunchy biscuit pack at the back was very good by the way. None of us have seen it in the Singapore shops before.

UNFORTUNATELY, no one was allowed to leave the carnival with more than one pack of each food. A lot of big bags of Hello Panda and Yan Yan were seized by more than three security guards. Every bag was checked before we could leave. Don’t ask how I managed to smuggle the Meiji crackers out.

At the entrance of the race, there was a Meiji Fair. Super cheap snacks and yoghurt were sold. People were having a field day with this one. 

    

I wrote in the Feedback Form provided afterwards for this event to be held again next year. At the same time, longer-distance races to be provided. I cannot imagine a better way to end a race then a never-ending supply of Chocolate Hello Pandas. ❤