Bedok Reservoir Ultra Marathon 2015 was like a family gathering

Last Saturday, the 2015 edition of the Bedok Reservoir Ultra Marathon took place, with the race being flagged off at 7.00am.

A running event organised by Running Guild that required the participants to complete a minimum of 12 loops (51.6km) around Bedok Reservoir Park within 12 hours, either solo or in a team of two, the race had attracted about 250 runners.

Bedok Reservoir Ultra Marathon took place last Saturday. (Photo by Running Guild)

Bedok Reservoir Ultra Marathon took place last Saturday.
(Photo by Running Guild)

Runners thought the event was well-organised

All the participants had fun and thought that it was a very well-organised event. Said Danny Yap, 43, an IT engineer who was taking part in the Bedok Ultra for the second time and was completing his 11th loop, “Everything was done very well. The water stations were ok and there was plenty of food for us to refuel ourselves with. However, last year there was a massage station, but there isn’t one this year. I had been hoping that I could go and have a massage after doing 12 rounds, but see how it goes!”

Runners help themselves to the f&b available.

Runners helping themselves to the f&b available.

Entrepreneur Kelly Sam, 36 who runs her own family textile business and who was doing her eighth loop, also thought the run was well organised. She said, “I think that the organisers did a very good job and I have no complaints. The water and isotonic drinks provided were fabulous. There was also so much food, such as bananas, instant noodles and watermelons and bread – in fact, I have not needed to touch my gels at all.”

The atmosphere was great

She added, “The atmosphere of this race also felt like a family gathering. We talked and shared stuff and when we were running, people whom you did not know, actually cheered you on and told you to keep it up and that felt so motivating too.”

Tired runners chugging away under the heat.

Tired runners chugging away under the heat.

Siva Kumar, 41, also liked the atmosphere, and added that having other runners cheering you on and telling you to keep it up and motivating you was made possible, due to the loop running system of the Bedok Ultra. He said, “Running loops at ultra races such as this is good, as it enables us to constantly meet our friends and motivate and encourage each other – rather than simply running one big round where you may be by yourself for most of the time.”

Volunteers waiting patiently for runners to return.

Volunteers waiting patiently for runners to return.

Challenges at the Bedok Ultra 2015

However, Kumar, who was completing his 12th loop, admitted that Bedok Ultra 2015 was not the most pleasant of races for him, because the whole heel of his right shoe came off. So he sustained an injury. He said, “I had to run without the heel and that made the race very tough for me. But my friend was a great help and she gave me the motivation that I needed to run most of the distance. Otherwise I would simply have been walking.”

The tent area for baggage deposit and f&b.

The tent area for baggage deposit and f&b.

The heat and humidity was a problem

For other runners though, the biggest challenge of taking part in the Bedok Ultra was primarily the Singapore heat and humidity. Said Yeow Lai Boon, 51, a sales assistant who was on his eighth loop, “The toughest thing about running in Singapore is the weather. Around noon time especially, the weather can be very hot and humid and is not very conducive for runners.”

Janet Kok, 44, a secretary, who was into her eighth loop, begged to differ though, as she felt that the weather conditions were perfect. She said, “The weather definitely plays an important part in running an ultra. And today the weather was perfect – I thought it wasn’t too hot and there was no haze. The sun did come out but that had lasted for less than an hour.”

An exhausted runner upon completion of another loop.

Using water sprays to freshen up for another loop.

Lack of training due to the haze

The heat and humidity was not the only problem though. For Yeow, he hadn’t been able to do as much training as he would have liked, due to the haze. “Though the haze may have cleared up in time for the run today, I had cut down a lot of (training) mileage due to the haze – and this week, I didn’t do any running at all prior to the race. So I wasn’t as prepared as I would have liked to be.”

Agreed Steven Goh, 46, a Regional Business Development Manager who was running his 12th loop, “These two hazy months have been killing me and made the race very tough because my mileage has been very low – compared to a few months ago. My main training has comprised of stair climbing. But doing other races such as The North Face 50km, Newton Challenge and Puma Night Run did help to clock some mileage for this, though.”

Hopes to use Bedok Ultra to kick-start her fitness routine

The race is in full swing.

The race in full swing.

For Shirley Loh, 34, a Manager who was in the middle of her 10th loop, her health posed an additional challenge and made the run difficult. Said Loh, who was running a marathon distance for the first time, “The last couple of weeks, I have been really sick and I have had a tough year. So running the Bedok Ultra will be my goal to re-start my health and fitness regime.”

She continued, “But with such friendly people here, as well as good food and snacks, I should definitely be back for this next year. I think everyone should get a chance to take part in this race.”

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