The 38th edition of the annual Mizuno MR25 Ultra Marathon took place yesterday.
Beginning at 7.00am outside the Amenities Centre at MacRitchie Reservoir, the rules of the race were simple. Runners had 12 hours to complete as many loops of MacRitchie Reservoir as they possibly could. Each loop was 10.5km and the minimum number of loops completed though, to be certified as an official finisher, was five.
There had been a total of about 300 runners participating in the event, altogether.
Runners thought the race was well organised
And the runners who had participated in the event were pleased with it, and had felt that the race was well-organised.
Said Evelyn Woo, 31, a barista, “It was a very good race. The support was great and there was plenty of water and fruits at the hydration stations. There were also marshals there to guide us for my first two loops. The route was also simple; it was pretty much turning left all the way so it wasn’t easy to get lost.”
However Woo, who had been taking part in this race for the third time, felt that running loops could be mentally draining, though – compared to a marathon or an ultra event whereby runners simply run an out-and-back route without the need to loop several times.
Running Loops help you keep track of where you are
But Stephane Gouteux, 44, said, “Loops are fantastic as you can keep track of where you are and can meet up with friends along the way too.”
Gouteux, a Senior Director at a pharmaceutical company, felt the race was tough going though. He said, “I wasn’t expecting the race to be so tough – but the weather was too hot! I also don’t consider myself a runner. I have done one marathon and I just signed up for this to see if I could have gone further.”
He added, during the race,“Though my initial target was seven loops, I will now be happy if I can push myself to do five!”
Atmosphere and the spirt of the event was Good
But he enjoyed the race though, despite the heat. Said Gouteux, who had just finished his fourth loop, “The support and hydration was good and I really enjoyed the atmosphere and spirit of the event. It was a really nice challenge.”
37-year-old Teacher Julian Bowring, agreed. He said, “The race was really good. It was well-run and the support and hydration was great.”
Bowring, who had just completed his fifth and final loop, added, “I also like it how you can leave all your gear at the starting point and not need to carry it around with you due to the looping race route. I left a lot of food and drinks there and that really helped to keep me going.”
The support stations Regulated by the National Parks Board
Jennifer Wong, 56, had also enjoyed the race but she felt that there could have been improvements. Said Wong, who is self-employed in the Trading Sector, “I thought that the support stations were a little far apart, but overall the race was quite good, with plenty of food and the kilometre markers being quite clear.”
However, according to what has been stated on the event’s official Facebook page, this lack of support stations had been due to official Guidelines and regulations issued by the National Parks Board.
Another runner, Maggie Low, 25, had felt otherwise, though. Said Low, who is a Quality Assurance Analyst in the Fat & Oil Industry, “The three support stations were ok and the supporters at this race was great, with cheering all the way through.”
Enjoyed the surprises and challenges of the trails
Low, who is from Johor Bahru in Malaysia, admitted that she was taking part in a trail race for the first time, but she had enjoyed the surprises and challenges that the race had to offer.
She said, “This is my first time running this event – most of the time, I do road running but I signed up for the challenge – and I am really enjoying myself.”
Added Low, “And with the loop running route, it’s also a great chance to see more friends and other people – and motivate each other to keep on going!”