Organised by Running Guild, the sixth edition of the Twilight Ultra Challenge took place last weekend, with more than 180 participants registered for the race.
Beginning at 7.00pm on Saturday evening, runners at the Twilight Ultra Challenge were given a maximum of 16 hours to complete as many loops of the 5km running route, as possible.
A change of location from previous editions
The venue for the 2016 edition of the race had been Sengkang Riverside Park. This was the first time the race was taking place in this location – as previous editions had traditionally been held at East Coast Park (ECP), where runners had been required to complete 10km loops.
Some of the runners participating in the event, had preferred the change in the location. Said Sng Boon Heng, 43, and head of Service Operations, who completed 60km, “I felt that the route was better than ECP because there was more lighting. The path is also good, as I felt that ECP needs some repair work.”Added stay-at-home mum, Mary Loehr, 49, who had completed 110km, “The short 5km loop was a nice change from ECP as it meant that I was always in view of other runners, especially in the wee hours of the night. It gave me a chance to cheer on others and exchange high fives.”
Shorter loops provided a quicker reward
But at the same time, Mary added that the shorter loops proved to be a bigger mental challenge. She said, “The short loop may seem to be a mental challenge but at the same time it was encouraging to near the beep of the sensor pads at each 2.5km end of the loop. It was like a quick reward.”Continued Mary, “ECP is also pancake-flat but this route had a slope at the end. While it wasn’t a steep slope, after a few hours of running, it could have appeared like a mountain. As well, the path here was also wider than ECP, but there were so many cyclists so I had to be really careful, as many of them were going quite fast.”
Electric bikes and scooters were dangerous
Also finding the electric bikes and scooters rather dangerous was Jerry Lam, 35, a Business Development Manager, who completed 50km. He said, “The electric bikes and scooters zoomed dangerously when they passed us after dark – so we had to constantly be on the lookout for them.”
He added, “Also, the zzz monster and the humid weather was another issue to deal with, as we were running through the night and into the wee hours of the morning.”But despite that, Jerry had thoroughly enjoyed the event, and cited many positives from his maiden Twilight Ultra experience. He said, “The shorter 5km loop means that hydration is available at every 2.5km, eliminating the need to carry any with us. The route along the Sengkang Riverside also allows participants to constantly encourage each other which was very motivating.”
Lots of camaraderie amongst runners
Continued Jerry, “And the small number of runners meant that this was a very intimate event where most participants are like friends and so it was easy to mingle amongst each other.”
Also loving the camaraderie at the event was Lena Chia, 45, and Human Resources professional, who ran 60km. She said, “It was really like a runners meet – where we gathered and had a picnic session. Besides the runners themselves, we also had a lot of other friends turning up bringing food and drinks to support their running buddies.”
Plenty of food available
She added, “But most importantly, the Sengkang Riverside Park is very easily accessible by LRT from the train station – a three-minutes walk. It is also near Anchorvale Community Club and Sengkang Sports Recreation Centre which has a 24-Hour McDonalds!”But it wasn’t as though runners had actually needed to purchase food from McDonald’s. Said Quek Ee Meng, 50, a math teacher at a private centre, who ran 85km, “The supply of food and drinks by the race organiser was good. There were bananas, watermelons, bread with peanut butter spread and Nutella, instant noodles, biscuits and potato chips.” He added, “Also this year, there was a new fresh coffee machine that constantly churned out tasty, fragrant coffee to keep runners awake.”
Would take part againAs such, Ee Meng added that he would join the run again. He said, “If the race is held at the same venue again next year, I would be likely to take part again.”
So would Jerry. He added, “Would I be taking part in the Twilight Ultra next year? Definitely!”