Sunday, June 2, 2013

Spun around at Sundown

This year I had several friends running the Sundown Marathon, which starts at 11.30pm and goes overnight. It's much cooler (temperature-wise) to run at night, but my circadian rhythm really hates it and I end up falling sick if I stay up overnight, so I didn't sign up.

On Sunday morning I had to wake up early to see visiting friends off to the airport anyway, so I had a grand idea: why not be a one-woman cheer station at Sundown?

But where should I go for the best vantage point? How do I track my friends by their bib numbers?
The 'spectator guide' section, on race night, still said 'Coming soon...'

wah wah. I guess there was no demand? 

So I pored over the course map - fortunately I've run most of it before (hometown advantage!).

At 3.30am I ended up at Gardens By The Bay South. Which has great lighting. And water coolers. And toilets. Spectator WIN.

I was holding a sign that said "IF YOU CAN READ THIS... RUN FASTER!" in neon purple marker, and yelling things like "You're looking great! Finish strong! Last few km to go* before breakfast! You can already hear the finish line!"

*this was the truth and I was able to tell them they had 4km left. The 38km point is really kind of the worst point in a marathon. If you don't know how far runners have to go, please don't tell them 'you're almost there'; when they find out they have 30km left they will hate their lives and you.

Luckily, most runners are appreciative of ANY cheering, and I even got a smile out of most people for the sign, which had the intended effect rather than 'Grr! She's saying to run faster when I can barely walk!'

After about three hours I was hoarse and hungry (but probably not as tired as the people still on the course), so I started running for home. On the way, I chatted with a woman in a big flouncy pink tutu-esque skirt and asked her where she got it. (Answer: online). Her philosophy: "If I'm going to be slow, might as well be cute." Good idea. Apparently she's from California originally and has run marathons in Greece, Rome, Kenya, London, Missouri, and now Singapore, some of them in costume!

just add wings

It then started to rain, my legs ached because of yesterday's 16km and wandering around Sentosa with friends, I discovered a brand new blister BETWEEN my toes, and I was absolutely starving and had stomach cramps at the same time, so I ran for the MRT station instead.

And now here I am eating a big bowl of oatmeal with blueberries for br...lunch.

Spectator lessons: Next year, I think I'll actually plan ahead and get gummi bears or sour lemon candy to hand out. (When I did Tokyo, somewhere along the last 10km there was a woman handing out sour lemon  candy to tired, thirsty marathoners - BEST IDEA EVER.)

What's your best race spectating/ cheering experience? Or the best cheering experience you've had as a runner? 

This week's workouts:
Monday - 5km easy
Tuesday - strength, speedwork 5 x 5min
Thursday - 10km tempo
Friday - 5km easy
Saturday - 16km marathon pace - this was a great run. Completed my planned distance, in a reasonable time, and felt good. I think the stars were aligned.
Sunday - 3 hours of marathon cheering. It rained: bike trainer party with a book.


  1. Wow sounds like you had a really nice night and I think handing out sweets is awesome :) Love the pink tutu too. I will never understand how people can run such impressive distances. It's unbelievable.

  2. You should join me next time! At least for the cheering. (I wouldn't say no if you wanted to join me for the running...;) )

    1. Haha I cannot run to save my life. I would be that person that fell behind to the bears. Cheering however, I can do... I'd love to!

  3. Honestly, I think that cheering for the half early Saturday morning has been my favorite cheering experience so far. I love cheering, period - but out here, where there is so little cheering to begin with, it's met with a hilarious mixture of, "What the --- is that ang moh doing out here screaming her fool head off?!??!" and "THAAAAAAAAAAAAANK YOU!" that it's approximately 2x MORE fun.

    I think the aid station volunteers just up from my post even started cheering on Saturday. If someone would just school the volunteers on how to cheer (this takes approximately 2-3 minutes, or less), I truly believe there would be much more cheering along the course. But many of them are non-runners, and don't really know how/what to say. This is the opposite of the US, where no such thing as CIP (?) exists, so most of the volunteers are runners, and know what runners want/need to hear.

    Amen on the "almost there". That's pretty much the only thing that a cheer-er can say that will tick me off.

    What are you reading?

    1. Yeah - most of the volunteers are there to get volunteer hours. They're cute though. And sometimes they cheer of their own accord. I can't even remember what CIP stands for. I'm that old.

      Oh and I just finished some super light reading: it was a little meh; I'm looking at picking up some Claire Messud or Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on my next library trip.