Research Programme Coordinator Bernard Oh was one of the winners, in a lucky draw contest held by PrisChew.com – to give away complimentary slots to participate in the Yoma Yangon International Marathon in Myanmar last Sunday.
Culturally Diverse Country with Generous People
Oh, who had taken part in the 42km Full Marathon category, thoroughly enjoyed the Myanmar race experience. He said, “I found Myanmar to be a culturally rich and diverse country and the Myanmar nationals are one of the most generous people I have ever met.”
Added Oh, “Loads of locals, especially the children, were cheering the runners along the way. Some locals even offered us extra bottles of water and mandarins. The local mandarins are the best I have ever had.
His objective of participating in the race was to explore Yangon
Oh completed the Yangon Marathon in 5 hours and 32 minutes. “I thought this was a fair effort, because my objectives of the race was really to explore different parts of Yangon, have a glimpse of their everyday life and have an opportunity to interact with the locals along the race route,” he explained. And he definitely fulfilled his objectives, upon crossing the finishing line.
Most Memorable Race Experience
For Oh, his most memorable experience at the Yangon Marathon was the he numerous kids cheering you along the way as well as jogging past Daw Aung San Suu Kyi house along the route. Said Oh, “But I was in a hurry to finish the run though, and so I couldn’t stop at her place for tea.”
As for the race route, Oh commented that it was pretty flat. He said, “The marathon route is a fairly flat and open route, so you are exposed to the elements, including the sun, which can get pretty strong after 9.30am.”
Added Oh, “The last 5km was pretty challenging though. It was not easy to go all out to finish the race against a few uphill climbs, the strong sun and the heavy traffic and fumes along the way.”
But the scenery and famous Myanmar landmarks more than made up for the challenges of the route. Said Oh, “The route traversed along different townships and some notable landmarks like the Strand Hotel and Aung San Suu Kyi House.”
He pointed out though, that the roads in Yangon are more dangerous to run in compared to Singapore. “In Yangon, I had to be more alert and mindful of the road and traffic conditions because you are always running on the road,” Oh explained. However in Singapore though, there are plenty of off-road parks and trails to complete a run at.
Impressed with the logistics
Besides the race itself, Oh was also impressed with the logistics. He said, “Pre-race, the race pack collection site is basic, but adequate. It was a slight distance away from the downtown area. During the race, the baggage deposit was good and there were sufficient portable toilets and ready access to pre-race drinks. And post-race, I liked the orderly baggage collection and carnival-like atmosphere.”
Enjoyed his race experience
Indeed, as a whole, Oh definitely enjoyed his race experience on Sunday. He said, “I enjoyed the opportunity to run in this beautiful and fascinating country. And I would love to visit Yangon again.”