Monday 2 May 2016

Performance Series: Punggol Waterway-Coney Island: 1 down, 4 to go

This would be my first race since I returned from North Korea.

Running the 10k in the Pyongyang marathon was such a singular experience that any race that comes after seems pointless.

I had signed up for the five-race Performance Series because the multi-race concept sounded cool. I also like the idea of running somewhere besides the usual Marina Bay area.

The first race, held yesterday on May Day, was at Punggol Waterway Park and Coney Island, both of which I had never been before.

The starting line was opposite the interesting-looking Safra Punggol building.

Flag-off for the 10km first wave was at 7.30am, which was a little late, especially for the hotter-than-usual weather we're having lately.

I was in the second wave, which was flagged off more than 20 minutes later.

My wife, who was running the 5km race, said her 8am flag-off was delayed more than 15 minutes because of the VIP, Dr Janil Puthucheary, the MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.

She wasn't happy about that. She blogged about it here.

The route was a bit narrow in the beginning, but fortunately, there wasn't much bottleneck.

Approaching the bridge to Coney Island:

Crossing the bridge:

The West Entrance to the island:

On the island, it was just 2km plus of straight sandy trail and rather boring. I didn't see any cow.

Crossing the bridge off the island:

Another, slightly more interesting, trail:

Another bridge:

The Safra building! Which means the end is near.

According to my numerous running apps, I had run more than 10km. So the route was longer than advertised.

After the finish line, there was a major bottleneck at the stairs.

I just ran 10km in the heat and now I have to queue for the stairs in the heat? This sucked.

Getting my finisher medal, T-shirt and bottle of Lucozade:

Another thing that sucked was that I couldn't find any water at the event site. There was a sign that said WATER POINT, but nothing was set up at the tent.

And there was a long queue at the Lucozade tent.

So all I had to drink after the race was just one bottle of Lucozade, which left an unpleasant aftertaste.

I hope the next race in the series, at Jurong Lake (my old neck of the woods), will be better, especially the post-race experience.

I never thought I (or anyone) would say this, but I miss North Korea.