Sunday 5 November 2017

Salomon X-Trail & Performance Series Changi: Two races in 15 hours

Once, I mistakenly signed up for two races on the same morning. I just forfeited one of them.

Another time, I signed up for two races (a 13km trail race and a 10km “farm” run) on consecutive mornings.

But this weekend, I topped that by unwittingly signing for the 10km Salomon X-Trail Run on Saturday afternoon and The Performance Series Changi half marathon the following morning.

And this was after completing another half marathon the previous Sunday.

It had been an intense week.

What happened was that the Salomon X-Trail Run was originally in October, but by the time registration opened, it was changed to a month later and I signed up without checking the date.

This meant I covered 31km in two races in 15 hours with barely any sleep.

That was overdoing it a bit for a 51-year-old slightly overweight office worker who just recovered from Achilles tendinitis.

I'm in a daze as I write this.

Saturday, 4pm: Salomon X-Trail Run

I sort of swore off trail races because I don't enjoy running in muddy conditions in single file.

But I've never joined the Salomon X-Trail Run before and it's more than year since my last trail race. I kinda missed it.

As long as it wasn't at MacRitchie, I was willing to give it a go.

The starting line was at the Old Bukit Timah Railway Station.

Flag-off was 4pm, but I was in the second wave which started 15 minutes later.

Yes, I stepped deep into some mud, but having run in the area before, I was expecting it.

I tripped and fell not on the trail but approaching a bus stop at Bukit Timah Road, which was embarrassing.

Saving myself for my next race in less than 12 hours, I came in at about one and a quarter hours (nett time).

Sunday, 5am: The Performance Series - Changi

At 3.30am, I took the shuttle bus from Choa Chu Kang to the race venue, which was literally at the end of Singapore.

The race village was inside the Changi Exhibition Centre, which I had never been.

The race route was essentially Tanah Merah Coast Road, which is just a long, straight, flat road.

It was the most unscenic route ever.

But after negotiating the gnarly trails and steep slopes around Bukit Timah Nature Reserve the day before, running on a long, straight, flat road with no scenary felt almost zen.

My frequent complaint about The Performance Series routes has been that they tend to be too narrow. At least that was not the case here.

I had never drank so much Lucozade in my life, both at the Salomon X-Trail Run and here.

My time was just over three hours.

Three races (Newton, Salomon and Changi) and 52km in eight days.

I really need to sleep.