Gordon Lim, who placed third in the 18.45 KM category of The Straits Times Run 2018 shares his run experience from start to the finish line in this article.
Sunday, 23rd September, 2018 reaffirmed just how fantastic it was racing through the concrete jungle of a city in the wee hours of the morning, with nothing but the soft breeze rippling through my lungs and the adrenaline surge that only increased in magnitude as the race progressed. The race route was one I was all too familiar with, having run it close to a thousand times on my training runs and in other running events – but each time I ran it was a whole new unique experience, and this time was no exception.
What made The Straits Times Run 2018 one for the memories was also the distance of 18.45 kilometres, not quite long enough to make it a run to smash a personal best, but still long enough to make the whole race one long hit of runner’s high, with the usual energy boost from the sprint to the finish.
Having done my fair share of half marathons in Singapore, I stood at the start line feeling fresh in the legs and excited about attempting this new distance, and also happy to see many familiar faces in the running community alongside me.
Within the first two kilometres, I gradually found my rhythm and fell into a comfortable pace, one that fell far short of being easy, but still one that I was confident I could hold for that distance.
I ran alongside fellow runner Foo Gen Lin for almost 18 km of the entire 18.45 km, and it felt way less exhausting having good company to tide through the race with, with the distance markers flying by way faster too.
( Photo Credit: Running Shots by Eugene )
I did not have any time goals in mind, performance did not matter to me that day – my only goal that morning was to just run happy.
My favourite portion of the race was probably the final leg – there was this rush of sheer satisfaction as I sprinted into the National Stadium and crossed the finish line right in the middle of track, a rare but distinctive spot for the finish. Finishing the run right before the first rays of dawn, and also before the first crowds started filtering in, it was truly a special way to start the day. Although some parts of the race course were dark and might have been misleading for non-seasoned runners, it was no doubt well-organised, with ample hydration and clear markers and lane dividers all around. Especially with the end point being one I was anticipating throughout!
Surprising myself with a third place in the 18.45 km category, I never knew I had that much speed in my legs, but I suppose it could have been because I was particularly fresh in the legs from a low-mileage week, and was honestly excited to test out those legs and see where they could take me. The result was pleasantly rewarding – I have always enjoyed the thrill of racing and pushing beyond my own boundaries, and this was a great platform to do so!
Being a regular race participant in Singapore, The Straits Times Run 2018 was indeed one of the ones I enjoyed the most, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a rewarding yet challenging run! The feeling of happiness you get at the end of a good race, knowing you gave it your best shot, is unrivalled, and definitely worth that early sunday morning commute to the start line.