Yesterday, the 2016 edition of the Bedok Reservoir Ultra Marathon, organised by Running Guild, took place.
Beginning at 7.00am at the Bedok Reservoir Floating Deck, runners had 12 hours to complete as many loops of the 4.3km stretch round Bedok Reservoir as possible. The minimum number of loops had been 12 though, in order to be declared a finisher of the run and earn the finisher items.
Runners welcomed the rain
Runners thought that the race was organised quite well overall, but commented that the weather had fluctuated quite a lot.
Said Huang Shao Fei, 42, a director at LTA who had just completed his 10th loop, “It was a good, cool morning and there was rain in the mid-morning. That was a welcome distraction for me, as the route was rather monotonous. But when the sun came out, it became relentless – that was a huge challenge. It made me feel like we had been cheating in the morning with the cool rain.”
He added, “Fortunately though, the rain did not come with thunder, as we would all have been ordered to stop running and seek shelter.”
Melissa Loke, a 33 year old business development manager, who had just finished her seventh loop, also shared his sentiments. She said “I have never run in the day time before. But the morning was really good with the downpour; we were all taking advantage of it and had a great head start.”
The rain ruined his plans
For David Tan, 40 and in between jobs, though, the rain had actually ruined his original plans to some extent.
At the time of the interview, though, David had just completed his seventh loop and he had been taking a rest before carrying on.
Explained David, “I was actually planning to run 17 loops but due to the rain, my shoes are now wet and I think I will get blisters, so I may just stop at 12 loops. The weather was really nice till the rain came though, but now that the sun is out, this makes it really tough.”
Shao Fei, however, had felt that the subsequent heat that had followed after the rain had stopped, had provided him with good training… as he is taking part in another race, the 101km category at Craze Ultra in September this year. That race is also organised by Running Guild.
Said Shao Fei, “This is good training for me, because it will get lonely when I am running Craze and the sun will also be as bad as this. But unlike Craze Ultra though, this Bedok run makes me feel as though I am going insane, running loop after loop.”
He added, “In fact someone asked me how many loops I had completed and I told him that I didn’t know; that I am just running. But at least during Craze I will feel as though I am actually running somewhere.
A well organised run
Melissa however, felt that the Bedok Ultra Marathon was well run – despite the weather issues, which after all, are essentially under nobody’s control.
She said, “Weather aside, this is a well organised event and the support is really food, with lots of food and hydration for the runners.”
Steven Goh, 46, a Regional Service Manager, and who had just completed nine loops, also shared Melissa’s sentiments. He said, “The race organisation as well as the support crew had been excellent. The supporters and our fellow runners provided lots of cheer to motivate us all.
Added Steven, “In terms of the hydration available, there had been only one water point at the Floating Deck here… but that is enough as one loop is only 4.3 kilometres so that is quite standard.”
The route is mentally draining
But he felt that the run was mentally draining though, as Bedok Reservoir is after all, not the most exciting and scenic place to run. He said, “Seeing the same scenery here at Bedok is a mental play on your mind at how far you can go. But it helps if you don’t think about the distance and the loops but try and distract your mind with other things.”
Steven continued, “The route is not new to me though; I have run Bedok Ultra before and I also did another race, the 50 hours non-stop run, at this location, so I feel that I am mentally prepared for this monotony.”
His feelings about Bedok had also been echoed by Melissa. She said, “It’s my first time running the Bedok Ultra… but it will probably be my last too, as it is so boring! You keep going round and round, seeing the same old things! It really plays on the mind.”
As a result, Melissa also admitted that she has initially been targeting 14 loops at the beginning of the run, but due to the monotony, she confessed that she would probably just stop at the minimum of 12.