One week ago, I was getting myself geared up for my second race this year. I didn’t have much expectation this year after the poor organisation last year. Despite that, I joined out of habit. I mean it’ll be weird if I don’t take part in the night race that I’ve been a part of since 2016. There ain’t many night race here in Singapore to begin with.
However, by the time I concluded the race, I knew that Sundown is so much better than the one last year.
Race Entry Pack Collection
Race Entry Pack Collection (REPC) might only be an occasion organised for participants to collect their bibs and tags, as well as to get their hands on to some goodies put together by the sponsors. However, to me, the REPC serves as an indication of how well the entire race would be organised. You know, the first impression counts.
Compared to the chaos of last year’s, this year the organiser has made some major adjustments. First, the collection point is no longer at an open area, they brought it indoors. I could still remember how we were forced to queue under the sun at F1 Pit last year while wondering how long more would it take before our turn. This year, they broke the collection into two parts. Participants collect their bibs from outside Suntec City before going to the mall to grab the race singlet and the goodie bags.
It was surprisingly fast. The entire process took less than 15 minutes. The queue was cleared quickly before it became a long-winding snake. To make it more impressive, I was there on a Friday evening.
After I collected my goodie bag, I thought to myself: This year’s Sundown is going to be a whole new experience.
The Lead-Up & Trainings
The organisers put in place 3 lead-up runs to prepare the runners for the race. These include 12KM/22KM, 14KM/27KM and 19KM/30KM over three weekends. I wasn’t able to join for the first two runs because of personal commitments, but glad that I was able to set aside some time for the last lead-up. I must admit I was rather excited to go for my first official lead-up run despite having to run the race since 2016.
It was during the evening of 21st April, slightly after the afternoon drizzle. Every participant made their way to the OCBC Arena and everyone was feeling energised. I wasn’t that sure if I was ready for a 19km because I hasn’t been training that frequently compared to the race last year. But well… Since I was there, might as well give it my all. I mean, the race was due to flag off in another few weeks times. There was no better time than that.
I remembered I started well, even going on par with the pacer for the 30KM run (that’s for the Full Marathon runners). For a good 5km, I was ahead of everyone. Then slowly, I fell back and by the time I went for my toilet break at around 6km, I lost the sight of the running contingent. I eventually just OTOT all the way to East Coast Lagoon Food Centre before heading back to OCBC Arena.
It was a good run. The hydration points along the route served as an extra motivation for me to complete my training. The 19KM runners were entitled to a hydration point along the route somewhere around Parkland Green. It gave me an opportunity to hydrate myself and take a breather after trying to outpace a girl who appears to have an optimal running economy. I went on to try and outpace two fit uncles after the break. Well, I guess running with a group does have its perks.
Sleep Can Wait
The big night is here! Like I’ve said previously, I expected this year’s race to be a whole new experience. I am not far from the fact before I reached the race venue. For the first time in my three years of participation in Sundown, I was on the verge of running alone. It was not until when Charmaine told me that she was also running.
We met up at Promenade MRT at around 2230 before making our way to the 7-11 at Marina Square so that our little one can get her fuel. We slowly walked to the race village where the containers of last year were replaced by tentage, freeing up so much space for the large crowd to enter and even take group photos.
The organisers succumbed to the fact that fancy exhibition idea is not feasible under the constraint of spaces. They heard the complaints and made the amendments this year. Well done!
But there was one thing we suspected they might have screwed up. The pen allocation. Charmz and I had no idea why we were being allocated to Pen A, if the pen was supposedly for participants who were able to complete the course within 2 hours. Although I was running with my Adidas Sub-2, that doesn’t equate to the fact that I was able to run my race in 2 hours – especially not when I didn’t have enough proper trainings leading up to the big night.
Even if they screwed up our pen allocations, it was a beautiful one. We were entitled to a rather spacious starting pen and since we were being thrown to the front, ahead of the masses, we were given a clear view of the starting point and all the entertainment that was happening. For the first time, we were able to join in for a warm-up session – conducted by TripleFit. After we stretched some muscles, we were ready for the flag-off.
It was a race that I personally would not be proud of. I’ve let down such a well-organised race. On the night that, despite not as fit as I was during last year’s edition, I was expecting to beat my previous records, I succumbed to my intestinal health. I spent at least half of the race going around looking for the washroom. It’s definitely not fun having the urge to go to the washroom during your run. It’s worse when you had to go twice.
It still bugs me why my stomach worked up every time during a long-distance. Charmz told me that it might because of me and my spicy diet. I had to agree. I couldn’t live a day without taking something spicy, even until race day. Look like I have to review my diet for my next race.
Given that we were thrown into the first pen, there was no obstacle for us. No roadblock, no bottleneck, everything was just as smooth. If I had been last year, I guess I’ll be able to speed past the first 5km below 28mins.
Talking about timing, I need to commend Sundown for having this phone app this year. The Sundown App allows whoever who are interested to track the performance of the runners. I basically use it to track myself and Charmz. It would give notification whenever the person you are following past the different milestone. The only downside to this app was that it didn’t manage to tag the correct photos of me. Oops.
You can clearly see the amount I spent at my second toilet break before the 19km mark. Terrible. I was still telling Charmz that my aim was to not go for any toilet break while we were at the starting pen. Ah well. No point crying over poor pre-race strategy.
2 hours and 51mins after we set out for the race, I finally crossed the finishing line. There were regrets for me, the stage was set but I didn’t perform. Disappointing, but thank God that I was finally done with the race.
Charmz was already waiting for my at the race village. She was sitting down doing her post-run stretch when I found her near our bag collection area. We lepaked on the pavement, cooled ourselves down and did some catching up.
While this marked the last paid-run for her, it will be a while before I take part in my next race – yes, I will not be taking part in this year’s Army Half Marathon.
A lot of people think that flowers are just for girls and women. They’re wrong. Flowers can be appreciated regardless of gender, and they have the same effect on everyone.
The first time I ever received a bouquet was during graduation. The sunflowers instantly boosted my mood and made the day extra special, especially since it came from some of my closest friends. Right then I thought about the powerful effect of flowers. They can heal, bring joy and inspire. I wasn’t a big flower giver, but after that event I became an instant fan.
One of my favourite florist and flower delivery in Singapore is A Better Florist (www.abetterflorist.com). I’ve tried a lot of different flower shops and florists listed as best florist in Singapore but I just keep coming back to A Better Florist for their affordable bouquets, fast flower delivery in Singapore and beautiful arrangements. They also have gift bundles apart from fresh flowers, so they’re convenient if you can’t think of a gift to give for birthdays and similar occasions.
So far I have ordered get well soon flowers from them, fruit basket delivery for my parents and a few other hampers in their online shop. They also have grand opening flowers, wreaths and hypoallergenic flowers for babies if you’re interested.
Though I have to say, I’m partial to sunflowers, so I often order The Ayla which is like a burst of sunshine. I love the burlap packaging of this bouquet because it just gives it a hip and trendy appeal. I’ve given it to friends and relatives, and they’ve all raved about the freshness and fragrance of the flowers. I got to say, one of the best things about A Better Florist is their lightning-fast flower delivery in Singapore. Within 90 minutes, your order goes from shop to doorstep! This is what makes them the best florist in Singapore.
If that’s not impressive enough, they’re also offering Hong Kong flower delivery and Abu Dhabi and Dubai flower delivery. This early, they’ve already been named best flower delivery in Hong Kong, best florist in Hong Kong and best florist in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. ‘Nuff said.
Situated in a suburb just along the outskirts of town, a stone thrown away from the historical housing estate of Dakota Crescent, lies one of the most secluded cafes in Singapore.
It took a while for Huiqi and I to locate the inconspicuous cafe. We walked through the Old Airport Road Market, the public housings along Pine Lane and Cassia Crescent before reaching coming face to face with a rather run down building facing Guillemard Road.
Although the exterior is not fancy enough to attract any attention from anyone walking past the building, the interior is exquisite. The combination of white, black and brown gives the cafe a touch of minimalism, accentuating the feel of serenity.
Although there are only 6 items available on the weekday menu (yes, we went there on a weekday), it took me a while before I could finally decide on what I wanted to eat that afternoon.
I like how they offer wheat toast because I prefer whole wheat or whole-grain bread over white bread or any kind of bread. More manganese (to build bones), more fibre and higher antioxidant content.
Eventually, I ordered a Smoked Salmon and Avocado on Whole Wheat Toast (15.50 SGD) and a cup of Long Black (4.80 SGD).
On the other hand, Huiqi ordered Grilled Chicken and Avocado on Whole Wheat Toast (14.90 SGD) and a cup of Iced Mocha (6.60 SGD).
I like how they added in chips as a side which I could snack a little while chatting with Huiqi. The bread was a little crispy and the salmon was nicely done – just like how I wanted it to be done.
We took our time chatting about her life in the Home Team and what I’ve been doing so far. It was nice catching up after so long and with the sunlight shimmering through the large window panels in front of us.
Brawn & Brains Coffee
Address: 100 Guillemard Road, #01-02, Singapore 399718
Opening Hours: 0830 – 1800 (Tues – Fri); 0930 – 1800 (Weekends & Public Holidays); Closed on Mondays.
Damage: ~ 15-25 SGD
In an effort to celebrate the upcoming National Day, fast-food restaurant McDonald’s have introduced a special menu that is inspired by local delicacies from today (July 13) onwards.
Here comes Nasi Lemak Burger.
The McDonald’s version comes with a coconut-flavoured chicken thigh patty, fried egg, caramelised onions and cucumber slices topped with sambal sauce, and served between semolina buns.
Sounds like a nice combination.
I think there is a question in our mind on how well our local food blends with burgers. We’ve come across chilli crab burger and satay burger amongst the culinary fusion, yet the lack of hawker food burger-lisation got me thinking…
Will the other of our favourite local delights taste well if it’s served as a hamburger?
Check out the first pilot episode of The EC Show to find out!
Last Sunday, I participated in 2XU Compression Run 2016. I swear it has been so long since I had to woke up at 5am. I could remember vividly that that last time I’ve got to wake up so early was my last day at SRJC – the last time when I actually had to arrive at school before 0730hrs.
It was tiring to wake up so early, of course.
And to think that I had an over-filling steamboat dinner at 9PM the previous night. I think both of us regretted our decision a lot because we tend to take too much of food. We were like struggling to finish the last bits of food that’s floating inside the steamboat.
|Steamboat with Junwei the night before|
I learnt my lesson immediately after 1km on the road. Suffering from the ‘side effect’ of too much food in my stomach less than 12 hours before the race, it was not that pleasant. I took so much effort to tell myself to forget about the uneasiness and to keep going.
|The sunrise seen from the shoreline near F1 Pit Building|
I told myself I’m going to make sure that apart from waking up early to see the sunrise, I want to make this run count too. I cannot possibly give up half way. (Although I actually decided to walk for a good 500m-1km after every 2-3km)
|Taken before the run while I was doing warm-ups because the lighting was good|
|Official timing retrieved from 2XU Compression Run’s website|
|The 10km Finisher Medal|
This is my first 10km finisher medal since the one I got in 2014 for Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. But then, it looks like I’ve lots of training to be done in order to further improve my stamina and of course, my timing.
I am looking forward to my next race in May! YAY!
VeganBurg is a so-called fast-food outlet whereby they serve vegan burgers and vegan food. It provides gluten-free and nut-free option, for those who are allergic to gluten or nuts.
|Sir Paul McCartney’s favourite fast food joint, as they claim.|
Initially when I first saw the menu, I was rejecting to the fact that the burgers served contains nothing but vegetables, and more vegetables. I was like telling Peiyi and Yoke that I would “rather eat salad” because I thought there was no patty inside. However, looking at the menu closely when I was there, I realised every burger actually does contain patty, and it’s GMO-free soy patty.
We walked in to find ourselves a seat.
After doing much thinking, I’ve decided on ordering this Avocado Beetroot Burger. Why? Because I love avocado. 🙂
|Notice that ‘Limited Edition’ label? HAHAHA|
We’ve all went for a set meal instead of a la carte and there we go, three drinks to choose from.
On the 4th of April, I jio-ed Rebecca to embark on this trip which I SWEAR I WILL NEVER FORGET.
Rebecca had went to USS for a few times (I supposed), so she’s my ‘tour guide’ for the day.
Apparently, someone *cough**cough* was late so I decided to wander about…
|I could see USS from HarbourFront (duh)|
My heart palpitated as I moved along the queue line. I was praying that the queue would jam forever. I stood there trying to compose myself before my spirit could even decide to leave my body because it was so afraid.
Enchanted Airways wasn’t enchanting at all.
It was our turn to take the ride. I swore it was one of the shortest 20minutes of my life (did we even queue 20minutes, that’s the main question, but whatever though). I refused to explain how my heart died a little inside.
Even before I could take a breather, there I was, sitting in one of the carriages beside the enthusiastically looking Tan Min Zhen. Someone please help me right now, I am running out of proper English adjective to describe how I freaking feel at that very moment.
Let me explain it with a legit metaphor. (If anyone reading this could even understand my point at all)
It’s like being send on board a truck which is on the way to Changi Beach for a massacre. That feeling of enviousness and loss.
And then it started moving.
EVEN BEFORE I EVEN ALLOW IT.
Being on the last carriage, I turned behind and saw the roller coaster in motion.
I guessed my heartbeat, if it were to be measured, would looked exactly like the roller coaster track. Up and down. I tried to keep my composure.
Sometimes I think I took life too seriously.
I closed my eyes the moment the roller coaster took its first turn.
I felt as if I was involved in an actual car accident rather than on a bloody plane.
The entire ride was a torture and it finally ended before I ran out of profanities to curse. I was so close to climb out of the seat in distress.
No, this was not the end of my excruciation.
We continued on in search for the next attraction. We were planning to alternate between some heart throbbing rides and mild rides. Despite that, I felt that the journey ahead would be mentally agonising.
|The Puss-in-Boots’ Giant Journey ride was not yet open during April.|
Along the way, we walked past a up-and-coming new attraction: The Puss-in-Boots’ Giant Journey ride. It was opened later on sometime in May 2015. Rebecca was overly excited over that new attraction. “Oh my God, I want to come here for this ride next time!”
This girl was definitely overly zealous. I squeezed out a faint smile.
The scenery in USS is rather picturesque. It was difficult for me not to be mesmerised by the surrounding.
|Just look at the amount of daredevils putting their lifes at stake trying the Canopy Flyer. Alright, I am just over-exaggerating.|
The queue was long enough. It resembled the length of the queue outside a random Singapore Pools betting outlet near where I stay during Wednesday and weekends. In Singapore, we are so willingly to queue for anything and everything, including things that might put your life in extreme danger.
I wasn’t thinking too much about the ride I was about to experience. I was looking out at the Dino-Soarin’ rides which looked less intimidating. Of course, I am too old and over-sized for that.
|How I felt once I came out of the ride. (Image: mrwgif)|
|I counted myself lucky that this Battlestar Galatica ride wasn’t open when I visited the place. My heart would have died a little.|
We continued towards the SciFi City. I swear the entire set-up here makes one feel like he/she is being trapped inside a faulty time machine. From Ancient Egypt to somewhere that seems to me like 500 years later. Damn, the advancement of civilisation.
|What happened when I came face to face with muscle cars? Snap pictures of them like no tomorrow.|
We took a break from all the rides and headed to the WaterWorld for some… water shows. That crowd though.
|I swear the speaker there was freaking loud.|
After the show, we continued around the theme park and more rides…
|I like to move it move it…|
|Taking picture at the place where it looks like it’s straight from an American drama…|
It was near to the evening, so we went out to have dinner before returning back to USS.
|That apparently mandatory shot in front of the Universal Studio’s globe, before the sun went down.|
|Dinner at Aston’s Specialities (the restaurant is no longer there anymore).|
And we were back, at USS.
|Save Me From Life!!!|
|Watched a Donkey Live show before leaving.|