Saturday 2 June 2018

On The Hills 10k: The umbrella run

When I woke up this morning, I considered not going for the On The Hills 10k race at Dairy Farm Nature Park.

It was storming outside and my left leg had still not fully recovered from the mystery injury. The race might be cancelled anyway due to the weather.

But then I thought I already paid the $45 registration fee and all I got was a T-shirt I can't wear because I chose the wrong size.

So I checked Facebook and found out the flag-off had been delayed an hour to 8.30am. At least I could get a bit more sleep before heading out.

By then, the thunderstorm was over, even though it was still drizzling.

I took the train to Hillview station and reached the starting line minutes before the delayed flag-off.

Instead of waves as originally planned, all runners were flagged off together.

I took my time and started at the back of the pack.

It was the time I saw people running with umbrellas.

The cool rainy weather turned out to be blessing in disguise. Otherwise, it would've been too hot for a race at that time of the day.

Because of the storm, I thought it was going to be muddy, but it wasn't as bad as I anticipated. (After the flooded Rail Corridor Run of 2016, nothing could be as bad.)

The first hydration point:

Only about the first (and last) 2km of the route were trail. The rest was tarmac.

The U-turn:

Whenever I hit an incline, I would walk, but I would still run down slope - and hurt my left leg (again) in the process.

Another umbrella:

One of the marshals was someone I know from the navy though I don't remember his name. He remembered I was the medic.

I finished with a leisurely time of about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Relive 'On the Hills'

The top finishers on stage taking a group photo:

The nuts and fruit laid out for runners were well-recieved.

There were complaints online that the event T-shirt was originally advertised as dark blue and then later changed to white. As someone posted: "If I have known that the tee would be white, I might not have signed up for the run."

Which I can sort of relate because I have decided whether or not to join a race based on the T-shirt design before. But in this case, the point is rather moot for me because I got the T-shirt one size too small.

Another complaint is the poor communication regarding the rain delay.

My feeling about this is that this is what you signed up for. I have come to accept that whenever it rains, things are going to be screwed up. The organisers make the best judgment call they can, but it's impossible to please everyone.

I find that organisers generally try not to cancel the race and I appreciate that.

Also because of rain, some people chose to skip the race but still want the finisher's medal because ít's their entitlement.

Again, I get that. You pay $45 to do something you could easily do for free, you want something to show for it besides the (wrong-coloured) T-shirt.

For novelty runs like the Hello Kitty Run and Star Wars Run where the medal is more of a collectible, I think that is justifiable.

But for a semi-serious race like On The Hills 10k, it should be fair to expect you to finish the race to get the finisher's medal. Otherwise, it would be unfair to those who do.

Like me.