The Singapore edition of the well-known MSIG trail running series took place yesterday – for the second consecutive year.
A fast, flat urban trail race through the heart of Singapore, the MSIG Singapore Action Asia 50 2016, flagged off yesterday morning at Chestnut Drive and comprised of three categories – the 50km ultra, as well as a 21.1km half marathon and a 10km run, to cater to different groups of runners.
Runners thought the event was quite challenging
Runners who took part in the 50km run had felt that the event was challenging. Said Marie McNaughton, 40, an Asset Project Manager from Hong Kong, working in the Finance industry, “This was a race that I had wanted to take part in since last year but then I was injured – so I was happy to come and run it this round.”
She added, “But the heat had been really challenging. I know that it’s not hot for Singapore standards but to me it was, because I mostly run in Hong Kong.
However Marie pointed out that despite her struggles with the Singapore heat, it was a race that she had definitely enjoyed. Marie added, “But honestly though, I really loved the trail – I was surprised by how much I had enjoyed it.”
She continued, “You hear some not-so-positive things about the Singapore trails from the locals, but coming here to run, the trails were much more challenging and technical than I had expected them to be. I was impressed too that there was only 4km of road for a 50km race in Singapore, which is not easy to organise.”
Agreed David Manono, 38, an Accountant, “For Singapore standards, the trails were more challenging than I expected, but compared to the technicality of the trails in other countries, they are still easier.”
Technicality of the trails and the up & down hills
For some other runners, the race was not too easy. For the technicality of the trails, together with the constant up and down of the hills, had proved to be a challenge for Kenyan runner Julius Kimtai Rotich, 42, who had been the eventual winner of the race.
Said the full time athlete, “The biggest challenges were definitely the hills and the darkness – as I usually do not run in such terrain especially in the dark.”
He added, “But apart from that, I was quite surprised with my performance today. I was aiming for the top 5, so winning the race was a bonus. I am happy that I met my goal of running the 50km in less than 5 hours.”
The up and down hills had also been a challenge for Fabien Billaud, 35, who works in the shipping finance department at a bank.
Fabien said, “The ups and downs were really hard – especially after the halfway point, you really feel the hills and the toll it takes on your legs. On the way out, it is ok, but when coming back, you can feel every climb and you end up walking because it is so tough. I was happy to finish the run.”
2km loop just before the end point
To Vincent Kerbarh, 40, a Logistics Manager in the Shipping industry, the 2km loop just before the end point proved to be the most mentally torturing section of the race.
He said, “That was a big challenge and it really played with my mind. You think that you have finished, but in actual fact, you haven’t quite. However, the people serving at the various checkpoints throughout the race were really good. They were friendly and everything was kept simple but done well.”
Race organisation was done well
Continued Vincent, “And for the race organisation, it was good except that runners were sent the wrong way at the beginning due to a lack of marshals.”
Marie also shared his sentiments about the organisation of the race. She said, “There had been nobody standing on the route at that time, so runners ultimately ended up following each other in taking the wrong path. Some runners were also slightly lost during the route, but basically the rest of the route was well marked, with lots of marshals and helpful checkpoint staff.”
An enjoyable race
Nevertheless, Vincent enjoyed the race and he added that he would probably do it again. He said, “This, being a nature race, was very nice, scenic and peaceful. I do road race and marathons, and those are more stressful because I feel the need to keep checking my timing. Here I can just lose myself amidst the nature.”
Agreed David, “After all there are not many places left in Singapore whereby you can simply run by yourself and lose yourself amongst the trees and scenery.”