Straits Times Run in the Park

You would think that with the number of running events in Singapore, it should be quite easy to copy each other and plan properly. But no. The Straits Times Run in the Park, which took place last Sunday on 25th August 2013, was the most poorly organised run I’ve participated in.

The route itself was beautiful. The run took place at Punggol Waterway Park. The paths were winding and took us past trees, man-made ponds and bridges. I think that the National Parks Board did a good job developing this area.

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Our 5 km race started at 8am but we were late because  we spent a lot of time circling around for parking. We were told to park at the closest HDB blocks but the carparks were completely full and people had started parking wherever they could find space, illegally or not. In the end, we just parked haphazardly by the side of the road.

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On hindsight, I should have realised something was wrong when I took a closer look at my running tag. Can you see what it says on the bottom?

There were tear-out coupons for END POINT DRINKS. I have never been to a running event where they rationed the water. You mean that I am entitled to one drink at the end of the race and I have to redeem my drink? What if I’m really thirsty and dehydrated after my 15 km run and I need to go back for another bottle or cup?

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When I completed my 5 km run, I was dismayed to find that I couldn’t even get a sip of water. I stood in the middle of this big open field, dumbfounded at the queues everywhere. We had to queue for everything, including a sip of water and the goodie bag. The queues were massive; about 12,000 people had signed up for the race. When I took part in the Nike She Runs event, I was handed a bottle of water and my goodie bag as I jogged past the finishing line. I didn’t have to join any lines.

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I decided to leave without collecting my goodie bag. I didn’t want to queue for it after seeing that the they bags didn’t look ready and the counter people were packing them in front of the participants. Not having the bag was a shame but not getting access to water was not acceptable.

This photo below is of people in a queue for something. I’m not even sure for what. There were lines everywhere that were not moving.

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At the end of the run, there was a signpost that told me that the route was 5.3 km. Map My Run, which is an app on my phone that measures my running distance and time, told me that I had actually ran 5.77 km so I’m not sure which is more accurate.

Punggol 5 km run

What I like about the run: Beautiful New Balance running shirt, lovely location. I like running events that take place in the fringes of the city rather than in town.

What can be improved: Better logistics management post event, particularly with the water distribution. Beautiful T-shirt that was not my size; all the small girl sizes had ran out by the time I signed up for the race.

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