Post Race Thoughts

SUniG 2012
by Qua Bi Qi & Su Yen Bing 

… to be continued

RUN NUS 2012
by Jenifer Yip & Samatha Wong

….to be continued

B.I.G Jarkata 2012
bt Sarah Tan

Basically it was my first overseas competition – although it is not exactly very competitive because BIG is only between 5 universities; which this time HKU was not even competiting, only Macau, Indonesia & Malaysia. Well, I was actually excited about this, as well as really nervous, because I trained hard for this & I would think that people would also have a certain expectation of me.

For Day 1, it was much filled with getting to know each other and also the surroundings. BY THE WAY, I was happy that we were allocated to the same bus as the soccer guys & Arasu 😀 but at that point in time, no one actually knew anything about my relationship with soccer, maybe except Arasu? hahas..but I guess I seem to have an affinity with soccer (which can be GOOD & BAD) sighs..The place we were staying was Wisma Makara, a student hostel located within the campus of Universitas Indonesia; with a countryside vibe to it. Reached there around 4plus after experiencing our first jam in Jarkarta. Well, I’m not that picky, as long as the toilets are clean (which they were!) so I was kinda satisfied. We went for really easy jog to explore the place before dinner 🙂

In the evening, there was a welcome ceremony & dinner for all the overseas participants, it was ok, the food was fine with interesting dessert…hehes. But I guess we were very much in our own cliques & comfortzones so it was rather awkward. Oh yes, I forgot to mention our Indonesian liaison officer, Mayfree Syari, who’s really really friendly 🙂 We were lucky to have her! hahas.. And after the dinner, we went over to Vincent’s room where we all had sports massage by Vincent, the soccer physio. I thought it was nice of him to help us (especially Jiarong) although he was not in charge of us. Kristian & Anh was there too..Apparently, they are closer to Vincent so that kinda became their hangout spot..hahas. 🙂 Honestly, though I know it’s good to get a massage, I’m terribly afraid of pain; also because my calves are really tight -__- but yea, it’s free and was worth the pain (ouch).

It was a long wait for the opening ceremony to start (sighs) but it was quite cool the way we walked in 😀
After the ceremony was the bball guys’ first match & we were supposed to watch. Well, it was okayy. Still prefer a soccer match over anything else hahahas..probably because I actually understand what was going on & could predict moves. Jiarong, on the other hand, was fixated. Not that I bother much anymore, he’s just getting weirder ever since I’ve known him. We went back at around 1pm for the track technical meeting & I kinda wished maybe I shouldn’t be the captain so that I don’t have to “fight for our rights”, especially when the officials’ Engrish was utterly incomprehensible & that we had so many requests, but it was still rather interesting to have everyone look & listen to you. After the meeting I was actually in a rather bad mood. I had wanted to go to the track with the Malaysians (even though Jia Rong said it wasn’t worth the time) but they didn’t want to & the second thing was about Anne (it’s always a love-hate relationship with her but she’s still one of my bffs), that she seemed so nonchalent about her flight when everyone was like panicking for her. Luckily I was only pissed off for a while. That day, Jing Da’s friend in Indonesia, Charles, sent over a car to bring us for R&R. I was damn nervous about the race so I think perhaps thats why I didn’t enjoy so much (oh please, who goes R&R before a race??)

Day 3 = COMPETITION DAY. Like WTH, they made us wake up at 5am for breakfast but when we went down at 5.30am, they made us wait till 5.45am for breakfast. Thereafter, we had to wait for the bus (driver was late) which arrived at 6.15am. We only managed to reach the stadium at 7.15am. I almost had a panic attack – kept telling myself; “Ok, everyone’s late with you so don’t worry..” Warmed up for only 8-10min (inclusive of stretching) & started the race.

Luckily, it wasn’t too painful before the race. Apparently, it was a boom & go thing. Round 1 I went slow & trailed Sarah Choong; who went at around 1:38 – wasn’t slow actually. Round 2 I went even slower, widening the gap between me & sarah but still close enough – 1:41. However, halfway through Round 3, I realised that both of us were slowing down – too much – that was when I decided to overtake Sarah; cautiously. Yet, I still feared that peoplewould overtake me, after all there was still like 7.5 rounds. But my fears were unfounded & with God’s help, I managed to keep the lead & got 1st 🙂 Honestly, it was one of my happiest moment (although my timing was wayy off – 21:44, which they mistook as 22:39). The best thing is that IT WAS OVER!!!!!!! Can play already. Which we did. Yan Rui clinched 2nd for long jump & we went shopping at a shopping mall near the stadium after the morning competition.

Northwest Youth Run
by Eugene See

Hi! This is Eugene See. In case you don’t know me, I am that enthu freshie who had been joining the team since Feb 2011. Enough about myself, this post is about the North West Youth Run that happened on 14th August which is right after Cross Camp. Since I am the only registered one in the team, I guess the responsibility of blogging about this race is on me.

A little introduction about the race itself, the route starts in Republic Poly and is a 5km loop around the housing estate in Woodlands. It is generally quite flat and is a tarmac route. What got me to sign up for the race was that registration is free. There was also a segment to award the best dressed. So it was no surprised to see people of different attire. Initially, a few of us like Thiagu and Sarah expressed interest in the race. But in the end, I was the only one registering for the race.

At first, I thought it will be a leisure run. How wrong was I. When I reached the venue at 0640hrs (my flag off time was 0730hrs), they were many people already start warming up such as those from HCJC, RJC, ACJC even though they were starting later than me. So I went off to warm-up while waiting for the race to start.

RJ runners having prep talk. Notice anyone familiar?

At 0745hrs, Mr Nair, who is the MP for the area, arrived and flagged us off. The race began with a guy named Ashley Liew flying off the blocks. He was very fast and I could not see him in the race as he was far ahead of me. Look like I got much more training to do.

In the end, I did not finish too badly although I expected myself to do better. I was quite surprised to see Thiagu running in the end. After the race, there was plenty of refreshment such as Red Bull given out by the Red Bull modelsJ (too bad my phone was not with me) and the Milo van (which always make the best Milo). Everything ended by 10am.

Proof of Thiaghu running

Overall, it is quite a good race with plenty of logistics support. Although there wasn’t any goodie bag, but the race is free, so one cannot complain much. The race wasn’t very competitive for our age (from 18 to 35 years old) which is another plus point. Hopefully, more of us will take part in next year edition. Till then, see you guys during next training and have fun running!

Last Defence
by Yap Xiong 

(For the 12th of July)

Can you imagine a time when truth ran free/ a birth of a song, a death of a dream?

——

Before falling: In the vertigo of wasted breath,
when everything waits over the next bridge – 
when every step feels like walking on stones
and the world retreats into a stitch – 

there’s a mirage – our upturned faces – facing
a thousand hills between you and me.
A one-eyed sun paces us with its shadow;
exhausted, the dark-faced clouds bare their teeth.

Your swinging form fills the space between
shifting feet, sweat-luscious lips. Please please pause – 
till fatigue unfurls its wings like a hurdle,
and the vain stutter of your breath, its echo a force

keeping me behind this fortress of you:
looping, stooping, brooding
with walls like muscles, nerves firing – 

do you understand what we’ve put ourselves through?

The question is – dissed, it’s fatal – the ruins of this race, 
gropes for hopes buried deep, unearthing routes
that lead us away. The lives we’ve loved, 
our dancing shoulders in the dark – all creeping like roots

underneath your last defence. Make your last stand – 
here: your sweat-stripped face be the crown, 
the finish – the reward of all I’ve called for – when 
your feet are the only seeds on the ground. 

———
Adieu:
shelter
keepingpacewithplanets.tumblr.com


Race Against Cancer and Shape Run
by Kelly Ng 

For so long I have feared that competition will take away my love for running. For so long I have signed up for ‘races’ without actually racing. Really, I was quite tired of finishing every race with that nagging feeling that I didn’t finish well, that I “could have gone faster.”

For so long I have quoted to others others, and self rationalized, this ‘fear’ as the reason I never tried out for cross country. Recently though, I started to realize (or, I finally acknowledged) that this ‘fear’ was just a facade for a greater fear – of challenge. All this time I was avoiding the challenges that would come with racing; my apprehensions really, were (are) of losing, of pain, of disappointment.

The first race I ran in the States was also the first I participated with people who were competitive, i.e. runners from the cross-country club at UNC. These were some of the fastest legs I have ever seen. We finished with seven out of eight of us who participated receiving medals for a range of achievements (from top 10%, to top 5%, to fastest runner within age group – no points for guessing who was the eighth medal-less person). There wasn’t a staged prize presentation like there would be in Singapore, people picked medals up and left. My fastlegsfriends were more excited about our post-race seafood lunch. It was as though medals were just a routine must-have, but not the primary purpose of the race. Well I guess they were no big deal to my fastlegsfriends, all of whom are veteran medalists. But perhaps racing isn’t…

Okay wait – I guess a large part of racing is about medals and timings. But they aren’t the be-all and end-all. I’m starting to see it as an entire process that matters. You gotta train, feel the pain, then savour the gain. Along the way you might fall sometimes, you will lose sometimes; but then you also get inspired many times, cheered on every time. It’s when you have been through these all, when one fine day you finally get the chance to kiss the metal, that you can truly truly savour the win.

So I decided to give it a shot – to rid the laissez-faire mindset for a race mentality.

The first race I ran after getting back was two weeks ago. That almost became my ‘one fine day’ – I was placed but I ran slower than targeted. But still, it was the first time I got to go on stage. That was the first race I’d gotten set with a target, the first race I began with an end in mind, heck it was even the first time I raced with a stopwatch! Half hour till start time I was still fiddling with the buttons like an idiot.

The second race I ran after getting back was today. This time I wasn’t placed, but did a 10k PB. It did sting a little knowing that I was two ladies behind going on stage. But still, it was the first time I outdid myself.

Now I think – racing isn’t only about medals and timings. I muster courage to set new goals; I gain strength to rise up to them; I gain fitness (and weight too, pleaseee) when I train for them; I become delirious when I outdo myself. And when I don’t, the cycle restarts, which only means more courage, strength and fitness.

Medals or not, each race is valuable in its own right.

And friendship! The recent races were the first times those “all the best!” SMSes received the previous night really meant something to me. It feels good to be training with like minded people who understands “Kelly why you run so much?!?!” And the bonds we forge through sun and sweat, those are probably the most valuable gifts.

Win or lose, it feels good knowing there’s a team behind you each race.

Although there will be less time for taking in scenery along the way, I think this race mentality will hold out for a while.

There are only this few race routes you can have in Singapore anyway.

KL marathon 2011
by Yap Wei Chong

Throughout my first year in NUS, cross country has been an integral part in my university life and I am proud to say that I have never regretted the choice. I did not have any prior sports background before I started university, and NUS Cross was the first CCA that came across my mind when I started school as I wanted a platform for me to improve on my stamina in both long and short distance running.  I must admit that the first few trainings seemed a little overwhelming , but I took all this as part and parcel of surpassing my personal limits. Gradually, I saw improvement in my stamina as well as endurance.

The KL Standard chartered marathon was the second full marathon that I completed since 2009, and I managed to run under a timing of 4h 52min, in which there was an improvement of 15 minutes from the previous marathon. Although there has been an improvement, I could have done better with more efficient time management and consistency in training. As I continue to train hard to strive for greater goals in running, I would like to thank the team for all the support and the memorable overseas trips during the semester breaks. It has been an eventful year training with the team and I learnt a great deal from all of you.

Nike Goddess Run 2011
by Sarah Tan

From left: Anne, Mei Hui and me

Itching to race without burning a hole in my pocket, I decided to join this run after knowing about it from a friend. I have always liked the goal of training for race, the anticipation of waiting for race day, the feeling of adrenaline during the actual run itself and the awesomeness of completion, especially if it comes with a PB. The only thing that is holding me back is the cost LLLL…Races are getting so expensive that I must really sit down for a ‘cost-benefit’ analysis! Sighs…

Ok, I shall quit ranting about race fees and go back to the Goddess Run. I must say that although the race pack and goodies may not be that good, Nike runs are rather affordable, especially if you’re below 25 J So I decided to join this with Mei Hui under the buddy category at $40 per pair! Besides us, there was also Anne, Mei Yi and Ameera and Shan Qi (good job girls for running!). What more, it was only 5k, a good distance for a possible PB just after the exams.

On race day, it was terribly hot and crowded at Marina Barrage, our race venue (hope there weren’t many cases of heat exhaustion). Seems like there were 2 main groups of people there on such a hot afternoon; us runners with some supporters and a whole lot of foreign workers, who were watching us from the moment the shuttle bus drove along the road leading to the Barrage, to all along the race course and it was kind of funny to imagine their thoughts of seeing us run! Unfortunately, walking to the start line was no joke at all, the lane leading to the start line was really crowded and narrow that it took me a while to squeeze through and quite a miracle that I managed to find Mei Hui along the way! By the way, it was so hot that I was sweating and warmed up even before running…While we tried to inch closer to the starting line, what angered me was that we were pushed back by the priority runners who avoid the heat, come late and still be closest to the start line and what more, when they started, many at the front started walking in huge groups in the centre of the lane!

Nevertheless, I decided to quit the silent complaining, make do with what I am given and concentrate on the race. It was a really hot and fast race! The heat and of course encouragements from friends I met after the turning point gave me the determination to finish the race asap. The end was pretty cool; there were helpers handing out water, towels and flowers and the finisher gift was really nice! Mei Hui finished behind me and together, we headed for the finisher’s area. The first thing we did was a foot massage, the best thing was that there wasn’t anyone and we didn’t have to queue at all. Similarly for the mini tea reception provided; éclairs, fruit tarts, sandwiches, muffins and specially designed shoe gummies! Yum J

Overall, it wasn’t too bad a run considering we were 5th in our category and our timings were comparable to the 3rd placing for individual below 25. Good experience with such heat too…Looking forward to my next run (which I haven’t planned for..hahahas)!

Love,
Sarah

The Best Friend Run
by Bee

From left: Me, Patrick, Emelyne

The race was on 8th May, a hot Sunday morning at the East Coast Park E2, me and my best friend, Emelyne were at Siew’s house for the crossers gathering the night before the race. We woke up early in the morning and took cap to East Coast; we met Patrick later at about 7plus and we met Yannick and Kelvin Ling during the race too ^_^ Our race distance was 15km; the race started exactly at 745am, the route was okay, no slope, but we had to run three rounds for the complete 15km, it was okay at first, but the last five km was quite boring -___-  I managed to keep my pace for the first eight km, and started to run slower. I was quite worried that whether I could finish the race, because the weather was getting hotter and I felt like my feet were burning. I finished 15km in 1h22m (Yay ^o^), Emelyne came in 2nd place as individually in 1h04m, but because we signed up as the Buddy Category, so we had to comply our timing and points. We thought we got the 3rd position at first, but actually we came in 2nd position for the Buddy Category. It was a great experience so far, I realized that how much important to keep your body hydrate and ready for the race, especially when you run under the hot sun. I really want to thanks Siew for letting us slept over at your house, also all the crosser friends for every encouragement and support, and lastly I want to thanks Emelyne and Patrick for this great run, and for running beside me and help me complete the race.

For those who are dog lover, like me, wouldn’t be regret to come for this Best Friends Run, there were a lot of super cute and funny dogs around ^0^, and what would be a better run when you have your best friends running beside you.

Bee

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