I’ve been getting into running recently. I think it started when I realised I like sports autobiographies very much; I’ve devoured books on fell running and triathlons recently. I was so inspired I decided that I would sign up for some races as well.
Last Sunday, I ran my first 10 km at the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run. I couldn’t have chosen a better race to do my first 10 km. It was the most well-organised running event I’ve attended! I was actually moaning about the race two weeks before because I forgot to collect the race pack at Bugis+ and had to travel all way to Sembawang to pick it up ($48 cab fare for both ways). But turns out the money was well spent because it entitled me to an excellent goodie bag.
The race started at Loyang road near Changi Village. They were very punctual and started on time. Serena and I were still stretching and strolling to the start line when the bell went off for the start of the race. It didn’t matter anyway, we had timing chips in our bibs so we took our time to begin six minutes later.
I don’t have many photos of the race itself because I refused to stop in my very first 10 km race.
However, I managed to take a photo of Serena at the 9 km mark. At this point, we had made our way into Changi prison. I was actually quite mind boggled because I didn’t think we would actually be able to run into the compound, given the potential security issues! But there we were!
Throughout the race, there were volunteers cheering for us at every kilometre and also regular water points. When we were approaching Changi prison, we were even greeted by the prison staff and policemen who gave us high-fives.
There was a carnival in the prison courtyard at the end point. It took us no time at all to get water and about one minute in the queue to get our goodie bag. I think that the Straits Times run has lots to learn from the Yellow Ribbon organisers when it comes to efficiency and making sure runners are comfortable!
I wore my favourite purple New Balance shoes again. I also wore my new Lightning Dry New Balance shorts for the first time and it was very comfortable (left picture). I’m such a NB fan girl.
The goodie bag did not contain much but every item was practical. We were given a banana, a towel, a dry bag and one piece of post-workout wet wipe. Everything was yellow!
I thought the dry bag was very useful and I’ve started using it to carry my exercise stuff to work.
Of course what will a sports event be if we do not try to incorporate some yoga? Serena doesn’t practise yoga but here she is with a nice Warrior 1 pose. It’s apparently a very good stretch for runners because it strengthens the quads and helps to open up tight hips.
After we were done with our stretching/mucking around, we left the compound to catch a public bus back to Changi Village. One interesting aspect of the race was that the start point was quite far (about 6km) from the end point. This meant that we weren’t just making one loop and so the scenery changed quite significantly from start to end. The bad thing about this was that everyone was quite far from their cars and had to depend on public transport or the shuttle buses to take them back to the starting point. Nevertheless, I liked that it wasn’t a loop; the visual treat was well worth it.
Anyway, maybe this was very noob of me but I was amazed to find my timing on the website. Not only did I get a number but I also got a breakdown of my rank and how many people I passed in the second half.
So I finished in 414th place among the women and was in the top 24%. Not bad for my first 10 km run I think!!
What I liked about the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run: Simply the most well-organised race I’ve been to, beautiful route, bonus of ending in Changi Prison, worthy cause, practical goodie bag. Ample water points and enthusiastic cheerleaders at every kilometre to bring smiles to our faces.
What can be improved: I am full of nothing but praise for the organisation of the event. If I were to nitpick, I would say that the running shirt can be better. The material was not as good as those manufactured by the big sporting brands and the arm hole was too tight.