The 2016 edition of the National Vertical Marathon (NVM) took place this morning. This race had required its participants to climb the One Raffles Place building, which comprises of 63 storeys (278 metres).
Billed as an alternative to conventional road races, this race, now into its 22nd edition, has generated a loyal following since its inception by the Nanyang Technological University Sports Club in 1994, and is indeed a fitting sport for Singapore, a country that is littered with skyscrapers.
A challenging yet fun event with a great view at the top
Participants at the NVM today found the event fun yet challenging at the same time. Said Tine Westerlund, 44, a Business Development Director in the Consulting industry, “Today’s race was very well organised and we had a lot of fun. It was a tough challenge, but I made it, in 22 minutes.”
To Tine, the most rewarding part of the NVM had been to reach the top. She said, “It was a really nice view.”
Also finding the view at the top great, was student Christoffer Henriksson, 16. He said, “The best part of the race was reaching the top – that’s pretty much why I signed up to take part in this.”
He added, “And the race went quite well in my opinion, even though I did not train for it at all and I had to walk half of it!”
Pleased that she ran the whole way
In contrast though, nurse Ruth Rice, 53, had been quite pleased that she didn’t have to walk any part of the way up even though it had been her first vertical marathon. She said, “I was a little worried at first, as I do not usually run stairs. I normally do road races, so I was pleasantly surprised that I had made it to the top without getting too tired.”
She added, “Of course reaching the top was the best part of the whole experience, but I thought the middle part was quite a challenge. That’s because I still realised I had halfway to go and I was beginning to get a little tired – but I did not stop and kept running till I was done. Overall I was done in about 15 minutes – so this was a lot shorter than running a half marathon, which takes about two hours, though.”
The climb had also been quite challenging to Marcus Lim Chiu Siong, 35, but he was heartened by the encouragement that the volunteers had initiated along the way. Said the sales manager in the Lift trade, “It was nice that there were encouragement signs plastered along the way and people were encouraging each other on as well. It was basically mind over matter.”
For Elke Biechele, 47, the toughest part of the climb had been the final quarter of her journey. Said the Banker in the Risk Management sector, “After the 50th floor, it got really sweaty and stuffy in the stairwell and my body started heating up. I took 21 minutes to complete the climb. Seeing the finishing line was such a relief!”
A Well Organised Event
She added, “Overall though, it was a very well organised event and I really enjoyed myself thoroughly. However maybe there had been a bit too much time in between the registration and actually going for the climb.”
Also enjoying himself thoroughly was Marcus. He said, “Today I really enjoyed myself a lot – after the climb we were also rewarded with games, goodie bags and so many different types of food. It’s a well organised event that I have been supporting for the past few years and will continue to do so.”