RRS

my first 100km in Singapore. done under almost perfect conditions. NTU Run Round Singapore 218km, a NTU Alumni charity event whereby 9 core runners including Mr Lim Nghee Huat, Melvin Lee, Mr Yong, took on a seemingly physically impossible distance of 218km under 36hours. was recruited by Ultra to be an escort for Mr Lim, targeted to do 84km. all i knew was it would be fun & running thus i agreed immediately without much consideration. Lucas (he’s always there when im doing such crazy stuff) was also roped in as well. amidst all the projects & trainings, the day inched closed & finally 27th March came. daddy drove me down to NTU abt 7ish, put on my new locklaces onto Newtons (honestly i never imagined Newtons to last more than 42km). prepared my stuff & headed to meet Ultra & Nancy at the start point. Henry, Sharon, Tobias & Lucas were already there, and to my huge surprise, Ivan Low was there too!

Did some stretching & packed my stuff. was all ready for the run. soon we gathered at the starting line. standing right behind the core runners, in front of the cameras & was separated by a human wall of volunteers away from the other runners. it felt different, it marked the start of something special.

With a loud sound of the horn, off we went! setting an easy steady pace right from the start, we hit out at the slopes of NTU. somehow running with such company made the slopes feel nonexistent. perhaps we were really fresh & excited thats why. soon the recreation runners caught up but none of them went ahead of Mr Lim who was bearing the torch. thus the pack grew & it was qte tiring to have ppl squeeze around you all the way. luckily all that ended after 3km & we left NTU, passing by the training grd outside the school. hitting the highway, to Lim Chu Kang area. the sun was blazing relentlessly & after about 8km, Ewin & I decided that its time to remove our tops before we got soaked. adapting a 30min run 5 min walk strategy, we made easy progress & having the constant company, talks, made it comfortable even under the heat. passing by kranji area, sungei kadut, it was the NTU Bike Rally route. boring as it was, we endured through. hitting in Choa Chu Kang, we knew up ahead wld be Clementi and soon Napier Road, which was the end of our first 42km. most of us had removed our tops or changed our attire by then. with the sun burning down on us, the availability of drinks & food helped with the support vehicle within 100m of us all the time. running pass Jurong area, into Clementi, it felt good to be somewhere familiar. it was starting to get tough for us to maintain at the set pace, our legs cldnt take it thus our team took a rotation between those who ran ahead to stretch our legs and those who ran beside Mr Lim. heading pass Singapore Poly, Dover Mrt, it felt nice having people cheer us on. gave us extra motivation to keep on running.

Running along the roads & highways seemed easy as the traffic escorts on bikes helped to stop the traffic, ensuring that our stoppages were minimal. kudos to them, it was not only hot but extremely tiring. hitting into Napier Road, we could sense the end of our first marathon, one down 4 to go for Mr Lim. finishing it in 4h47m was impressive. that could well be the personal bests of some people. our Team 1 felt really strong & we just kept going on, while Team 2, led by Patrick, joined in the fray.

Our first checkpoint was at CCAB, Mr Lim had his massage & replenishments. while myself, Tobias, Ewin, Henry all had our first ice bath. it was simply AMAZING. after coming out of it, i felt totally rejuvenated, as if i had not started running yet. after about 20min of break, we headed off on the 2nd marathon. honestly i thought i would have just stopped after one, but the feeling & company was just too good to pass up. running down Bukit Timah, it was another familiar stretch for me, just that i was in the opposite direction. Ivan left us aft Ngee Ann Poly, while Sharon & Ewin took their leave after Rail Mall, not that they were tired, just that they had other plans already. so Team 1 had Tobias, Henry & myself. feeling somewhat bored by the road towards Woodlands, i took 2 breaks, hopping onto the support vehicle with Carl & Deb, kudos to them for their strong support & dedication to help Mr Lim. after resting for about 7km, i put on my shoes once more & joined back at Yishun. intending to do the last 18km or so to complete 77km. when i started running, i felt so good that i ran at my normal pace with ease. i pulled far ahead of them & i had Tobias in my company. with the extra distance, we could afford many more walk-breaks for the main pack to catch up. it was during these times that i stumbled upon this thought, a thought which definitely has changed my life. when i end at Bishan, it would be about 77km, good distance considering i only intended about 60km, but now how about 23km more? that would make it 100km. the weather’s getting good, the roads are closed for us, the support & drinks are all here, why not! i laughed it off at first, thinking that it would be insane to do 100km. however, Salleh came along, told me he’d wna run more than 42km, so did Eileen. i had company for longer distances, so all the more why not! i ran up to Patrick & told him about it, he too smiled & said “Go for it!”. it was when i talked to Tobias, at around Seletar when he convinced me to do it,

everything’s in place for you to do it. the support, roads & weather. comparing 84km, to 100km. thats a big difference in achievement.

with that i needed no further persuasion, that promise was sealed by a handshake & the adrenaline rushed within me, that i wanted & i HAD to run my first 100km in Singapore. with this renewed passion to run, i had more motivation & was running with a huge smile. and to my greatest surprise, i saw a familiar black Honda Civic zoom pass us, and with a camera in hand, my brother Boris was snapping pictures of us. i was really glad that Daddy came down with Boris to support me. all the more i wanted to do the 100km. arriving at Bishan, it was the 2nd pitstop. without much hesitation i hopped into the ice bath once more, after that headed to grab food from the support vehicle. at the same time, i checked where would my 100km. DEFU AVE 1, 102km that was my target set. Thanks Tobias for the chips & salt tablets, thanks Patrick & Irene for the curry puff, and Ultra for the goreng pisang. i really badly needed food, i hadnt eaten since the night before. sitting down & relaxing, soon it was time to head off again. this time with Team 3, Loke was the leader. Sleek & Halftimer were there too. it was always nice seeing familiar faces.

Running towards Serangoon, Hougang. i was glad that we were running towards place i knew. that gave me some motivation as well. running ahead of the pack with Tobias, it was easy heading pass Bradell, Serangoon, and into Sengkang. i have not seen much of Sengkang before & honestly even after running inside i still feel as lost inside. along the way i’m glad i got to know David, Mr Lim’s son. medicine student & definitely he has his dad’s genes. telling me about his Brazil trip with Mr Lim & how they ran 90km together. wow thats really amazing, how many of us could run 90km with our dads. heading towards Punggol was mentally tough. i was getting tired & the sleepiness got to me. i kept my distance ahead, walking faster & longer. walking through many foreign parts of Sengkang & Punggol (i was really unsure where i was), luckily Salleh was there to talk to me. after about 35min of walking, the main pack caught up & we began running once more. i was getting drained & really wanted to finish the 100km asap. checking with Sleek’s watch, i estimated about 4km more. the last few kms were tiring, Tobias was there with me all the time, running, walking. keeping pace with me all the way. and finally when i saw DEFU AVE 1 on the signboard, i picked up my pace & ran the last 1km. and poof! there i was. at the traffic light. 100km in Singapore. done. walking up the slope at Defu Ave was a torture, seemed neverending & when it was about 1km from the start of the road. waited for Ultra to pick me & Salleh up at the bus stop at the top, while Henry & Tobias went along to continue their run. my full respect to those 2 amazing runners. Mr Lim finished 218km, sprinting in the final stretch, in 34h 53m. it dint matter the time, its the spirit & the determination that we all feel inspired from. each step i took, each km i ran that day, taught me new lessons in life. Mr Lim, i thank you for the inspiration you have given me, reigniting the passion for running in me. for all those who ran, you guys can be proud to be part of history. for Henry, Tobias & Lucas, you guys mean a hell load to me. running my craziest distances & races with you all, i will never have been here without you guys.

–baldwin

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