The 2016 edition of the North Face 100 trail race took place this morning at MacRitchie Reservoir Park. with over 1,900 runners.
Promoting the spirit of exploration since making its debut in 2008, The North Face series has grown to become one of the more anticipated running race series across the Asia-Pacific region, with their races targeting both trail running beginners as well as seasoned enthusiasts.
Consisted of four categories of trail running
The Singapore race consisted of four categories to cater to trail runners of varying abilities – 13km, 25km, 50km and the 100km Duo.
The routes took runners from MacRitchie to areas such as Dairy Farm and the Rifle Range Road before retuning back to where they had come from. Due to the recent closure of the Green Corridor, there had been some changes to this event’s race route from previous years.
Runners found the event challenging but good
The runners who had participated in The North Face thought that the event had been challenging yet great at the same time.
Said 25km runner Nicolas Philippe, 38, a petroleum & gas engineer at Sembawang Shipyard, “The race today was great! I love trails and I love MacRitchie Reservoir. But it was hard too; constantly running up and down the slopes was a challenge, especially in terms of keeping my heart rate down. The paths were also quite technical and we had to be careful not to fall and slip.”
Added another 25km runner, Daniel Ferguson, 37, a food, wine & travel journalist, “It was hard. This was the first time that I have run 25km but I would do it again! The challenge was to keep moving when my legs felt like they were made of lead… The slopes were also mentally draining. For the loop around Bukit Timah, just when I thought that I was at the top there was another hill and that was really hard. The humidity was also a challenge.”
Race had good vibes
But despite the challenges, the runners had plenty of fun. Said Ferguson, “The race had good vibes; everyone was helping each other out and watching out for each other. It was good – you race together and you race safe. The scenery and logistics were also well planned and the organisation was great.”
Added Philippe, “And for me, seeing more than 25 monkeys while I had been running – was quite great and memorable!”
The crowds were good
Vanja Cnops, 29, also pointed out that the crowds during the race were good. Said the researcher at Nanyang Technological University who had taken part in the 13km event, “The crowds were good and I liked the fact that the volunteers cheered us on as we were running – this was good to help me to push harder. The race also wasn’t too crowded which was nice.”
She added, “I have run here a lot in the past, but have not been here for the past three months, so it was also nice to be back. The trails had been a bit rocky though; I usually prefer more muddy trails.”
Trails were amazing
Dirk Hahn, 37, a Marketing Manager in the construction line, loved the trails. Said the 25km runner, “Running over the two hills before we had returned to the Bukit Timah track was really nice; it was really open and wide. I have been to MacRitchie before, but I have never seen this side and it was wonderful.”
He continued, “The trail are indeed amazing; I never knew that Singapore had such trails; I prefer running trails as compared to paved roads and I would want to take part in this again next year.”
But Hahn also pointed out that the final 5 – 6 km of the race was a bit of a challenge though as he had been running on tired legs. Added Hahn, “But I managed to finish third for 25km so that was quite amazing… despite the fact that I had been sick, just two weeks ago.”
Would be back again next year
Nevertheless, Hahn added that he would definitely be back next year. He said, “Of course I would return here next year and I hope to do the 50km event.”
And said Cnops too, “If I am still in Singapore, I would want to run The North Face again next year.”
Click here to view the photo gallery of the North Face 100 (More photos are now uploaded)