Race Review: CSC Run by the Bay 2015

Organised by the Civil Service Club, the CSC Run by the Bay is an annual event that promotes a healthy lifestyle amongst public officers as well as the community in general. It is a key event in the Games Calendar of the Civil Service STAR (Staff Team-up for Active sports and Recreation).

Runners queue up at the starting pen.

Runners queue up at the starting pen.

The run took place at The Float @ Marina Bay

This year’s CSC Run took place this morning at The Float @ Marina Bay with more than 3,500 runners participating. There were three individual categories – a brand new 21.1km competitive run, as well as a 10km competitive and a 5km fun run. To promote team bonding, there was also a 10km Mixed Relay category.

The guest of honour at the event had been Mr Loh Khum Yean, the Vice President of the Civil Service Club, who also flagged off the 21.1km race.

I took part in the 21.1km category, which had flagged off at 5.00am with more than 1,700 runners.

Still sleepy when I reached the race site

Catching up with friends at the starting line.

Catching up with friends prior to the race!

When I got to the race site, it was early and I was still feeling slightly sleepy. But drinking some coffee earlier in the morning, had woke me up a little.

Soon after, I bumped into some friends and we took photos together before subsequently making our way to the starting line with about 15 minutes left to go.

My friends and I at the CSC Run banner.

My friends and I posing at the CSC Run banner.

Time for flag-off

And before we knew it, it was time for the run to flag off. The route was an exact reversal from last week’s Great Eastern Women’s Run, which took runners through some iconic Singaporean landmarks such as the Singapore Flyer, Gardens by the Bay and the National Stadium.

During the 21.1km race, I felt that the weather had been quite decent for running – it didn’t feel too hot, thanks to the early starting time. But according to another runner, Doris Loh, it had been quite humid. Said the 51-year-old Admin Executive, who also ran 21.1km, “The weather today was hot and humid especially at the beginning of the race.”

Started the race with the aim of running a personal best

Still a little sleepy, but there's a 21.1km run to complete.

Still a little sleepy, but there’s a 21.1km run to complete.

I had started the race running together with the 2-hour pacers, with the aim of beating my personal best, but roughly about 7km into my 21.1km run, I lost them – because I had stopped at one of the hydration stations for a refreshing ice-cold isotonic drink.

From then on, I paced myself. While I hydrated at every drink station, I tried not to stop for too long though, and attempted to remain conscious of the pace that I was running at. But invariably, as the race wore on, I could unconsciously feel my pace slowing – I was relaxing more as I soaked up the sights and sounds of Singapore in the wee hours of the morning. I must admit that following the pacers definitely would have kept me on my toes to run at a certain pace.

The pacers with their colourful balloons.

The pacers with their colourful balloons.

Sights were beautiful but some stretches were a little dark

I had thought that a few stretches of the race were pretty dark, such as the Marina East Drive area and the Tanjong Rhu areas and I watched my steps here to ensure that I didn’t trip and lose my balance. But apart from that, I felt that the city route had been pretty good and that the race was rather well organised, with ample hydration stations for runners too.

16KM down, 5KM to go.

16KM down, 5KM to go.

And the view of the brightly lit iconic Singapore National Stadium dome in the wee hours of the morning – at about 12km to 13km into my run, had been a pretty majestic sight. It is definitely fitting to be running past Singapore’s crown jewel in the sporting scene – in a running race.

An easy run due to lack of slopes

For Loh, it had been a pretty easy run for her, primarily due to the lack of slopes along the route. She said, “Basically I think that it was an easy run today. I liked it because I do not like slopes.”

Continued Loh, “As a result, I improved slightly from my 21.1km run last week at the Great Eastern Women’s Run, though I had slowed down a little bit from about 17km onwards.”

A runner passes the 21.1KM finishing line.

A runner passes the 21.1KM finishing line.

But overall she is still quite happy with her performance though.

Last stretch brought us to Suntec City and Nicoll Highway

The final part of the run brought us towards Suntec City and then the Nicoll Highway area before heading back to the Marina Bay Floating Platform. As I saw the final few kilometre markers, I increased my pace slightly and simply focused on reaching the finishing line. The kilometres ticked by quickly.

Runners get a massage after their completion.

Runners get a massage after their completion.

Finishing the 21.1km race

Then the finishing arch was up there, right ahead of me. I ran through it before taking a few seconds to catch my breath.

I spy with my little eye... the MILO VAN!

I spy with my little eye… the MILO VAN!

I then headed towards the finisher’s area to collect my medal and tee shirt. It was a pleasant surprise to be greeted with an cold, wet towel too, which I gratefully accepted to cool me down after the run.

I then made a bee-line towards the Milo van to hydrate myself with my all-time favourite drink, before catching up with a few of my friends.

Runners pose for pictures after their race.

Runners posing for pictures after their race.

Thank you CSC for the opportunity to take part in this race!

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