Yellow Ribbon Prison Run (10km)
Sunday, 5 Sep 2010
Rain, rain, rain.
Again, for the second time in 2010, the weather decided to be uncooperative during a race. Soaked just doing a warm-up jog. Feet washed and watered just by waiting at the starting line. And standing dumbly in a shadowy curtain of heavy rain until Patrick came over and told me the race would be delayed by 30 minutes.
Every year at the start of the run, there is a symbolic act to mark the start of the Yellow Ribbon Project’s flagship event. Last year, we stepped through a metaphorical gate meant to “open the doors” to opportunity for ex-offenders. This year the crowd carried the logos of 9 rehabilitation agencies from the back to the starting line to show their support in giving ex-offenders a “head-start” in their race back to society. Cool ideas for a sociology essay.
The rain didn’t let up. The Caucasian woman in front of me starting complaining. Then they blew the horn. And then I got elbowed by an uncle.
This run is famous for 2 things: low curving hills and amazing scenery of Changi airport. Like last year, the rain seemed to outline everything in grey. My previous year’s experience with the route helped in overtaking people on the hills. When the rain started to get to me, I decided to pace the Caucasian woman I met earlier.
And then my shoelaces came undone. Once. Twice. Three times. Four –
Idiotically, I estimate I lost at least 1 min stopping and retying. By the fourth time, I redid both with double knots and went all out (I didn’t want Patrick to wait too long for me at the finishing line, in the prison). The rain let up when I made it past the last hill outside the prison walls, and I caught up with the Caucasian woman at the 9 km mark.
I said hello. She said hello. Then I said goodbye. And upped the pace all the way to the finish. She came after me, 5th in her category.
The best thing about this run is the food: a banana, a muffin and lots of milo. Unfortunately, it started to rain again by the time Patrick and I wanted to leave – which was good, since it allowed Meihui to find us and to snap the pic above.
Again, a well-organized and scenic race. Probably the only race where rain seems to a pernament fixture too.