Saturday, October 15

TNF100 SG - The Weather Made the Race Tough

TNF100 SG, I run this race last year but only for 50K Duo, I wanted to try a longer distance, I decided to join the 100K Duo (50K), Juliet Cayabyab graced my invitation to be my partner. Despite her first time to run this far, she did well and she finished within the cut-off time. It's going to be a 50 kilometer race in 9 hours. I never thought it was that hard to finish the 50K distance within the time cut-off.

On getting registered was already an adventure for us, but I never thought the race itself was far more full of adventure and challenge. The race started 8:00am, already bright enough for the runners to see well and be safe on the trail inside the parks but that 1 hour delay also exposed all the runners to so much heat on the trail. This day in Singapore is a bright sunny day, no signs of minor rain at all, a good weather but not a friendly one to a runner like me.

The first 12K of the trail which is from MacRitchie to Bukit Timah is a familiar terrain for me, it was the same trail we used last year, crossing Zheng Hua Park is still ok,  some portion is still inside the forest, but it was at Los Asrama the 21K up to 34K of the race that I had so much challenge. I entered this part already almost 12:00noon, at first we were running on the side of a highway until we get inside the park but there was no shade at all, it was on a rough gravel road of flat, uphill and downhill terrain on the middle of the day that was direct to the heat of the sun with no breeze at all.

Just halfway of the race I was already wasted and tired, I can now feel my legs aching and I still have half of the entire distance to finish. Thanks to my take out Jollibee from PH, I had my lunch while going on the race and thanks to the towel that I decided to carry despite the additional load, it helped me go through the super hot exposed area from then on until the finish line. I kept on praying I won't suffer from heat stroke. At some point I was so sleepy while running and wanted to close my eyes due to the heat of the sun.

 With not much time, I drag myself back making it clear to myself I got to finish this race  within cut-off time. That was not easy, running more than 6 hours with out any rest on a hot sunny day is a no joke, I wanted to stop and change socks but I do not have the spare time to do it anymore. I had to be conscious of the time from then on up to the finish line. My most awaited lake took me a while before I reach that area, one of my sign that I am almost to the finish line. Juliet is far behind me, I've been thinking how she is doing in this kind of terrain but I also cannot wait for her, it's just really very hot. 

I was with a pair of runners that is almost of my same pace as well. And I really thank I stick with them, the girl is the one pushing her partner and I keep that pace too. We were together until we reach the lake, the entrance of Bukit Timah, now on the side of the park, open and the finish line is just few meters away, but the sun is positioned direct to our faces. There is still a bridge that we need to pass, and an uphill road before the finish line. On this area, I can already feel my legs really shaking and no force anymore. I just prayed I wont suffer any cramps on my legs, and thank god I did not. I just push myself to the uphill road to the finish line. Christopher, our photographer is just at the finish line waiting for us. I cross the finish line with so much joy that I did it  safe and still ok. My time, 8:45:26, and I did not even hear my name called.

I thank Juliet Cayabyab  for being my partner on this race, it's her first long race and it's on this kind of terrain, I thank for all the prayers and support, to Chris for being our photographer,  for patiently waiting for us for 9 hours on the starting and finish area, to my pacer whom I haven't got a chance to get her name, the TNF crew who are always ready with water, power gels, food on the stations and will even give  a hand on refilling our hydration bladder, to the bike patrols for encouraging us to go on and making sure that all the runners are safe. To Cyril and Phi, and to Erell, it was nice seeing you again here. I finish the race in 8 hours 45 minutes and 16 seconds. Thank you TNF SG, that was a good tough pre-birthday race, my pre-birthday gift to myself and I am really glad I finish it within the cut off time safe.

Now Kinabalu awaits me.

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