- The weather was great.
- The up-ramp at Marina Barrage 5km before the finish line wasn't.
It was my first Newton Challenge. There were two categories: 32km and 21km.
I joined the latter to make up for my depressing performance at the Army Half Marathon two months ago.
The problem with half marathons for me is that they usually start early on Sunday (in this case 5:30am) and I usually work late on Saturday night until past midnight.
So what I do is not go home and head for the race venue directly from my workplace without any sleep. Which meant I was not exactly well rested for the race.
Because it was the Newton Challenge, of course I had to wear Newton brand shoes. (Just like for The North Face 100, I wore The North Face Ultra Cardiac shoes.) It's only good manners.
I was catching Pokémon on my phone pretty much the entire way until I almost ran out of balls. It helped to keep my mind off the monotony of the run.
But I made sure I kept up with the 2 hour 30 minute pacers even after I stopped for a toilet break at East Coast around the 9km mark.
That is, I kept up until after 14km when I started running out of gas just as I feared I would.
And then I hit the ramp.
Or rather, the ramp hit me.
Coming at this late stage of the race when everyone was already so tired, the incline was a spirit-breaker.
And that was when I lost sight of the pacers' purple balloons for good.
I didn't achieve my target time of two and a half hours.
But I was content to be 10 minutes ahead of my lousy Army Half Marathon time.
I've come to accept that 2 hours 40 minutes is pretty much the best I can do.
I queued for the free food, which included fried rice (with chicken nuggets). fruit and a durian popsicle that I enjoyed very much.
This was my fourth half marathon and the least grueling, thanks to the cool weather.
I hope to join more 21km races so that I can get used to the distance like I'm now used to the 10km.
I took a nap after coming home from the Marina Barrage. When I woke up, I was surprised to discover a blister on my right foot. I didn't feel it at all.
It was worth it.