The inaugural Coney Island Trail Run took place this morning starting from Gallop Stable @ Punggol Ranch. There were two categories, a 10km Competitive Run and a 5km Fun Run to cater to different types of runners.
Lured by the interesting Coney Island shaped finisher’s medal, I had decided to take part in the 10km Competitive Run.
Heading down to Punggol for the run
I woke up at about 6.00am and had a banana for breakfast, before making my way down to Punggol. I reached the race site with about half an hour to spare before the flag-off time at 8.00am.
The race village was about 500m to 600m away from the starting line. When I entered the starting pen, there was about 10 minutes left till flag-off.
Though the weather was already quite hot at this point and i was beginning to perspire already, the views were pretty scenic, as we were facing Coney Island so the runners were surrounded by beautiful water views.
Personally for me, there had been no issues with the crowds and my wave was flagged off on time. This was probably because I had been in the front half of the pack when I had started running.
But for engineer Kai Arter, 51, he felt otherwise – according tor him, there had been some slight congestion. Said Kai, “I began my 10km race towards the middle of Wave 1 and it was a little bit crowded, with some slower runners and a few walkers in front of me. But other than that the field soon spaced out and it was ok after that.”
Later on, I also subsequently heard from some runners that there had been a slight delay of about 10 minutes in the flagging off for the 2nd wave of 10km runners.
First couple of kilometres felt good
The first couple of kilometres of the race had been through Coney Island. Though this is not my first time running inside the island, the rustic and natural settings never fail to impress me.
The views were good and despite the heat, I could not feel it at this point – thanks to the trees which gave sufficient shelter from the hot sun. This was probably the part of the race that I enjoyed the most, too – because of both the shade and the natural beauty!
Added Kai, “The route was great through Coney Island and that was really nice – I especially enjoyed the run and the scenery.”
Searing heat hits
But when we had exited Coney Island though, that was when the searing sun hit me, in full force! I found myself struggling and every kilometre that I had completed, suddenly started to feel like 5km. This point of the race was through the Punggol Promenade which had no shelter at all – so it made matters worse when it came to battling the sun.
To some extent, the picturesque scenery along Punggol Promenade somewhat helped to take my mind off the heat though, and I stopped a couple of times along the way to take some photos and also a bit of a breather.
Another runner, Muhd Syafiq, 20 and a student doing Fitness Training at ITE Central, said, “The heat was actually very hot and humid and that affected me in the second half of the 10km race. I found myself struggling because of the humidity.”
Ample hydration available
But other than the heat, Syafiq had enjoyed the race as a whole. He said, “The race was good, and the route was interesting in how it went towards Coney Island, out of the island, and then back to where we had come from. Though I did not take any hydration cause I did not want to waste time, I thought the spacing pf the hydration stations were quit good, at every 2.5km mark.”
I took some of the hydration though, due to the searing heat, and though there had been ample isotonic drinks available, they had unfortunately seemed to be at room temperature, rather than being icy-cold.
But that wasn’t such a huge issue though – cause at least I could look forward to getting some icy-cold beverages from the 7-Eleven convenience store at Punggol Promenade shortly after my completion of the race!
Syafiq added that there could also have been more ushers deployed along the race route. He explained, “Some corners didn’t have ushers, so the faster runners may have been confused at times, at where to turn.”
Picked up pace towards the end of race
Despite the heat, I picked up the pace a little bit in the final couple of kilometres. I figured that if I chose to run a little bit faster, then I would be able to end the torture at least a few seconds quicker! And then I would finally be able to catch my breath properly.
And eventually seeing the finishing line up ahead, that probably was the best feeling of my run, after enduring the heat for possibly about half of the race.
And the finisher’s medal – which was in the shape of the Coney Island itself – had definitely been a unique keepsake to mark the completion of our race.
Lots of things to see & do at race village
At the race village there was plenty of activities to see and do too. This had included photo and game booths as well as lots of food and beverages for sale, such as jelly, apples and bananas. I also used the time there to catch up with a few of my friends before heading off.
It was definitely a great way to spend the morning – despite the heat which had threatened to ruin everything.