Billed as Singapore’s biggest women-only race and the only women’s half-marathon race in the region, the Great Eastern Women’s Run was held this year on 10 November at the Floating Platform at Marina Bay. This was both the starting as well as the finishing point for the race.
This year, there were three categories: A 5km Fun Run as well as two competitive categories of 10km and 21km respectively. I took part in the 10km category this year.
Here are the positives and negatives of my Great Eastern race experience in 2013.
Carrying on with the race despite the wet weather
Despite the slightly wet weather that had initially threatened to derail and cancel the race before flag-off, the organisers still chose to carry on with the event. So the Great Eastern Women’s Run was blessed with a cool day with occasional drizzles – perfect weather for running in Singapore. As a result of this, the race became quite enjoyable and I had a rather pleasant and relaxing Sunday morning run.
Superb variety of food at the carnival
Unlike some other sports events, where the majority of food stalls require participants to pay for the food and beverage, there was plenty of free food at the Great Eastern Women’s Run, so this was a huge plus point. Food items available included hotdogs, muffins, fresh fruit and yummy ice cream. An ample supply of popcorn and candyfloss were also available to runners too.
The highlight of the free food available though, was the piping-hot Nando’s chicken after the run. It tasted just as delicious as it had looked. A lot of runners probably agreed that this chicken stall had the best snack available, because there was a long queue throughout, until the grilled chicken had completely run dry.
Beverages available included 100-Plus isotonic drinks, water and packets of fruit juices – such as apple and orange.
I had a good feast, helping myself to a wide selection of food items after the run and these tasted absolutely divine. This was indeed one of the few races in Singapore that has more than isotonic drinks and bananas available – hungry runners like me really appreciated this gesture.
Carnival and Balloon Artists
Great Eastern really tried their best to make this event a family day out to include husbands, fathers and small children too – rather than just a mere race for women.
Besides the scrumptious food available, there was also a small carnival area that had children’s games including as indoor football. As well, face painting and
balloon artists were available too, for not only children, but also for some runners to release their inner childhood fantasies.
So I decided to queue up for a balloon and had a really cute white rabbit made. Unfortunately, when I was carrying the rabbit home, its pink nose popped – so now it looks slightly strange! But I still think that it is still cute!
Different finishing gantry for 10km and 21km competitive races to reduce congestion
It was good that the 10km and 21km competitive races finished at opposite ends of the Floating Platform so this helped to reduce congestion and prevent any bottlenecks towards the finishing line.
In some other races that I have completed, all of the categories have the same finishing point, so unless you are quite a fast runner, you will experience chaos as you near the finishing line – and this can affect personal best timings as a result. So I rather liked this aspect of the Great Eastern run as well.
Lack of 100-Plus at hydration stations
There were four of the mandatory hydration stations altogether on the 10km race route, but only two of these contained 100-Plus beverage – the first one and the last one.
I personally thought the planning of this could be improved, because many runners didn’t stop at the first hydration station, which was not even two kilometres into the race. When I reached the second one, I had wanted an ice-cold isotonic drink badly, though. So I had felt that all of the four hydration stations should have provided some isotonic drinks.
As a whole, this was a fabulous race experience and a superb effort by Great Eastern. Despite the wet weather threats at the beginning. I will definitely be back again for this run next year, perhaps to do the 21km category this time again.
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