NUS Bizad Run 2016 was a challenging and hilly race

Last evening, the NUS Bizad Run 2016 took place.

The race comprised of two categories – a 5km Fun Run and a 10km Competitive Run, and the starting & ending point of the race was at the Mochtar Riady Building – the National University of Singapore (NUS).

The NUS Bizad Run is about to flag off. [Photo by Simon Lau]

The NUS Bizad Runners getting ready to flag off.
[Photo by Simon Lau]

10km race was delayed due to lightning risks

The 10km race was supposed to have flagged off at 5pm, but due to lightning risks, the starting time had been delayed by half an hour.

A participant, IT service manager Simon Lau, 42, agreed with the decision of delaying the starting time of the race. He said, “Kudos to the organiser for starting the race 30 minutes after the official time, due to lighting reported. Safety is always more important.”

Ariffin (right) and his kakis at the race.

Ariffin Sha (right) and his kakis at the race. [Photo by Ariffin Sha]

But Ariffin Sha, 18, a National Serviceman at the Singapore Civil Defence Force felt that the decision to delay hadn’t been made clear at the beginning, to all of the runners present.

He said, “For about half an hour before the official flag-off times there were showers and the lightning risk was visible. However, everything seemed to be smooth sailing at the race site so most of us assumed that the race will proceed as per normal. Only after about 15 minutes of waiting at the starting pen, it was announced that the flag-off time had been pushed back to 5.30pm.”

He added, “Apparently the announcement had been made inside the hall too, and through Facebook – but the starting pen was outside the hall. So a lot of runners had been unaware of this.”

Justina Zeng, 33, a banker, was another runner who was unaware of the delay. She explained, “The race wasn’t well organised. We weren’t aware that it had been delayed due to rain and lightning, and finally when the race flagged off, we were caught by surprise as well.”

Yi Heng (left) and Justina (right) at the race. [Photo by Justina Zeng]

Yi Heng (left) and Justina (right) are eager to start running.
[Photo by Yi Heng & Justina Zeng]

Runners were still grateful the race went on

But the runners were grateful that the race went on, in the end – as it meant that they could still clock their evening running mileage at the event.

And Kiew Yi Heng, 25, a QA Analyst, said, “They (the organisers) were able to tell us the reason behind the delay in the flag off and did not give the runners any false hope.”

Agreed Sports Massage Therapist Wendy Lee, 48, “The weather was good and i enjoyed the run together with the other K5 runners. It was hilly, but a good challenging run.”

James made the most of the conditions. [Photo by James Pong]

James Pong made the most of the conditions.
[Photo by James Pong]

Engineer James Pong, 52, also made the most of the conditions. He said, “I enjoy all runs that I participate in and make the best of less than ideal conditions. Though the starting time was pushed back by another 30 minutes due to the rain. I was glad it was not cancelled as the sky cleared – the weather was cooler by then too.”

Route was challenging 

Pong also added that he had found the 10km route challenging, though. He said, “The route was challenging – but I loved it. It combined flat ground running, engaging upslopes and some vertical runs up the steps up the hill in Kent Ridge. The water points were also sufficient all around the route. I thought the organisation was satisfactory since the number of participants were not overwhelming.”

Runners found the route very hilly. [Image by Yi Heng]

Runners found the route very hilly.
[Image by Yi Heng]

Added Lau, “The route was a challenging one, with plenty of slopes and narrow paths. Due to the narrow paths obstructed by walkers, my experience was so-so. However, it was good that there were more water points than expected for a 10km race. Unfortunately, the water was not cold – but at least the 100 Plus available was, though.”

The hills didn’t take Kiew by surprise but there were a few other elements which did. He said, “The route was hilly as expected due to the geography location but there was one major bottleneck that could be quite frustrating for runners. And halfway near the NUS Science Block, the route included a steep stairway. It made many runners have to walk their way up and I had to slow down drastically.”

Wendy (in orange) and some of her K5 running kakis. [Photo by Wendy Lee]

Wendy Lee (in orange) and some of her K5 running kakis enjoyed the run and the weather.
[Photo by Wendy Lee]

Smooth sailing and the organiser did well logistically

For Sha though, the race was pretty smooth sailing. He said, “In terms of the supply of water and distance signages, the race was smooth. I also thought that the route distance was more or less spot-on, most people clocked 9.9km on their watches.”

He added, “I also think the distribution of medals and drinks was smooth and they had ample for those who wanted an extra drink or banana. In that sense they did prepare well, logistically.”

The distribution of medals and drinks was quite smooth. [Photo by Simon Lau]

The distribution of medals and drinks was quite smooth.
[Photo by Simon Lau]

Some possible improvements

Sha also pointed out that the lack of road blockages (for vehicles) though, along the route could have been something of concern though. He said, “There were no road blockages so at times, we had both runners and vehicles on the road. Most of the time, the marshals, if not, fellow runners, would remind runners to stay on the pavement so as not to endanger themselves.”

He continued, “Still, I think many runners still ran on the road anyway – as the pavement was pretty narrow and bottlenecks were imminent.”

Agreed Lau, “There were narrow paths, runners crossing the road with cars coming. That could have been quite dangerous. As such, I would rate the route a B-. This could be looked into for future editions of the run.”

Runners felt the road blockages could have been implemented. [Photo by Simon Lau]

Runners felt the road blockages could have been implemented.
[Photo by Simon Lau]

Kiew felt that the communication system could have been improved. He said, “They should have improved the communication system and provided a properly designed starting and finishing point as well as an official time (race time for each participant) – like many running events give, and avoid including stairs in the running route.”

He added, “The starting point hadn’t been well designed and there were runners who had been clueless about where it was. But overall I was ok about the race.”

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