Monday 10 October 2016

Performance Series: Bedok Reservoir: Four down, one to go

I did something really stupid on Sunday.

My wife and I woke up early to go to the fourth Performance Series race at Bedok Reservoir. We had double-checked our start times and booked a taxi.

It was about a half-hour ride from Choa Chu Kang to Bedok Reservoir. As we approached our destination, my wife commented there wasn't much activity at the park. That was when I quickly went to the Performance Series website on my iPhone and checked the date of the run.

It said Oct 9. We were one week early! That was why the park was so quiet.

I made the mistake because the race is typically a week after the race pack collection and we had just collected our race packs on Sept 25. So naturally, I assumed the run would be on Oct 2. I was wrong.

So we got up early and spent over $20 on taxi fare for nothing.

I could've asked the taxi driver to take us home, but I was so stunned and embarrassed by my stupidity that I just got out of the cab with my wife at Bedok Reservoir even though there was nothing happening there.

We took a long walk to the Bedok MRT station and ate prawn mee at the nearby food centre before taking the train back.

The race was actually yesterday. So we got up early again and spent another $24 on taxi fare.

We were relieved to see the crowd when we reached Bedok Reservoir. At least we got the date right this time.

Then we found out that because of early morning rain (which had stopped by the time we got there), Wave 1 was cancelled and Wave 2 was delayed. I was in Wave 3 of the 10km race, which was supposed to start at 8am. My wife's 5km run was to start at 8:45am.

At least one Wave 1 runner wasn't happy with the situation. This is what he posted on the organiser's Facebook page:

The Performance Series - Singapore I am a Wave 1 runner for Race #4 at Bedok Reservoir and I am very disappointed and angry at ur organization of the race this morning.

1) Race was allowed to commence at 6.30am sharp despite several lightning flashes seen and thunder being heard shortly before flag-off.

2) Heavy thunderstorm occured shortly about 10mins after flag-off. I braved the heavy rain, strong wind and lightning for a good few kilometres without hearing any cancellation announcement from organizer.

3) Around the 5km mark, race marshal diverted the runners to the finish line and said that Wave 1 has been cancelled. This totally does not make any sense because the rain has been reduced to a slight drizzle and thunder as well as lighting has ceased.

4) I saw some Wave 1 runners were still allowed to continue to run to the finish line. This include some of my friends. How is this even allowed to happen when Wave 1 has been cancelled? This is a lapse of race marshals in allowing runners to continue running despite cancellation of Wave 1.

Summary of my post - Poor wet weather plan by race organizer coupled with meaningless decisions that really pisses me off and some other Wave 1 runners, as seen from other posts on this page.

The Performance Series - Singapore Please wake up your idea and do a post-race review of what happened this morning. U simply undone all your good work for the previous 3 races. Hopefully the next and final race will be better organized and planned.

Yeah, it sounds like the organiser hesitated in cancelling the Wave 1 race and then overcompensated.

I'm just relieved I wasn't in Wave 1.

Wave 2 and Wave 3 were flagged off together at 8am.

As with previous Performance Series races, the route was narrow and congested, made worse by combining two waves of runners together.

But having come to expect this, I've learnt to embrace this overcrowding as a challenge that I have to overcome as a runner.

Because the 10km route requires me to go around the reservoir twice, I ended up running next to my wife doing her 5k, which I don't usually get to do in a race. That was fun. I didn't care about my timing any more.

I had to stop once before the finish line to get the sand out of my Hoka Clifton 2 shoes.

With one more Performance Series race to go in December, I look back at the four previous races around Singapore and I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed the experience in retrospect.

Despite all the irritating quirks, like the narrow routes, double loops, awkward U-turns and T-shirts in the most horrifying colours known to humankind, the Performance Series has provided many fond memories for my wife and me.

Yes, including the time we went to a race on the wrong day.

Performance Series race 1: Punngol Waterway-Coney Island
Performance Series race 2: Jurong Lake
Performance Series race 3: Gardens By The Bay