CSC Run by the Bay 2017 is organised by Civil Service Club which promotes sports, social and other recreational activities amongst all civil servants. The race is open to public officers as well as members of the public.
The various categories of CSC Run by the Bay 2017 include 21km Ekiden, 21km Individual, 10km, 5km, as well as the non-competitive 1km Parent & Kid Dash. My friends and I signed up for 21km Individual, which was scheduled to flag off at 5:15 a.m.
Race Entry Pack Collection
The Race Entry Pack Collection was held on 23 and 24 September 2017, at Tessensohn Clubhouse, one of the three clubhouses of CSC. The collection process was fast and smooth; there was no queue at all. Inside the drawstring bag, there were race singlet, race bib with timing chip, Sea-Coconut lozenges, stress ball and several vouchers.
Getting to the Race
As the flag-off for 21km was scheduled at 5:15 a.m., I opted to take the shuttle bus to the race venue. I booked the shuttle bus ticket two weeks in advance through ShareTransport app. The ticket cost S$6 and payment was done by keying in debit/credit card details in the app.
My shuttle bus was scheduled to depart at 3:35 a.m. from the pick-up point near my house. The bus came at 3:33 a.m. At 3:34 a.m., the bus departed. After making two more stops to pick-up runners from other locations, the bus entered expressway and eventually arrived at Marina Barrage at 4:08 a.m.
Delayed Flag Off
It was drizzling when I arrived at the race village. While waiting for the flag-off, my friends and I explored the race village. We stumbled upon not one, but two hydration stations! Excited, we hydrated ourselves with H-Two-O isotonic drinks. We also deposited our lucky draw numbers into the box located at Information Booth, hoping that we would win something.
A couple of minutes before 5 a.m., the emcee announced that the flag-off for 21km Ekiden which was scheduled at 5 a.m. would be delayed due to the rain. Thankfully, as time went by, the weather turned around and eventually, the rain stopped. 21km Ekiden and 21km Individual runners were flagged off in 2 waves, the first wave at around 5:24 a.m., and the second wave at around 5:27 a.m.
The beginning of the route was too narrow, it was impossible to run. However, a few hundred metres later, as we entered Gardens by the Bay, the route grew wider. We ran past Cloud Forest and Flower Dome towards Marina Bay Sands, before tackling the first uphill slope at Bayfront Ave Bridge. From there, we continued our run along the river, passing by F1 Pit Building, Kallang Riverside Park and Singapore Sports Hub.
The roads were wet but fortunately not muddy. There was water ponding on certain areas of the route that caused unwanted splashes of water when runners stepped on them. Even though certain part of the route was dimly-lit, visibility was still acceptable for me. Before the dawn, runners were running in silence.
At National Indoor Stadium, eventually, I saw the first distance marker at 7km. Prior to this, I didn’t notice any distance marker. I wished there were distance markers at every kilometre. The direction signage, however, were great; I noticed clear direction signages at every turn, together with road marshals.
From Tanjung Rhu, we ran past Marina Bay Golf Course to East Coast. On the way to East Coast, when I saw runners at opposite lane, running back to the finish line, I was so tempted to speed up. But I knew I had to keep a constant pace in order not to hit the wall later in the race.
From the start of the race until East Coast, I had been running with my friend at a constant pace. Running with someone who has similar pace as you is a great way to stay motivated in a race. Unfortunately, we parted ways at around 12.5km as we got tired and couldn’t run at same pace anymore. My pace dropped significantly after that.
Some time after making the U-Turn, I saw 15km distance marker, and I was so happy because I had six more kilometres to go. In my head, I was jumping around. The volunteers were very supportive. They were cheering for runners, “Press on, press on! Keep going!”
The hydration stations were very well-managed. There was no shortage of cups at the stations.
I saw another distance marker at 17km. Shortly after that, the route brought us to Marina Bay Golf Course, where I was captivated by the beautiful blue sky and the greeneries at both sides of the road.
At Gardens by the Bay East, I was mesmerized again. This time, it was the beautiful Singapore skyline that stole my heart. I’ve run past this spot countless of time, but this time, the sky was perfect. It was not too bright, not too warm, not too cloudy; it was soft and pure.
I weighed if I should speed up or slowly enjoy this rare scenery. I couldn’t decide, I just kept running at whatever pace my feet wanted to. A photographer said, “Photo, photo, photo!” I gave him my best smile with a peace sign.
At Marina Barrage bridge just moments before the finish line, a man told a woman, “Few more metres, let’s do this!” They held each other’s hand, overtook me and ran to the finish line.
I collected my finisher’s entitlements: face towel, finisher’s tee, medal and mineral water. I was hungry and expecting bananas but I didn’t get any. I saw some people were holding a banana, some were not. I guess the organiser ran out of bananas.
I made my way to hydration station and took 2 cups of cold H-Two-O. I felt so refreshed afterwards. When I reunited with my friends, we shared with each other about our runs and took a group photo. There was a free massage for 21km runners but we didn’t queue for it. We stayed at race village until 10 a.m. for the lucky draw. Sadly, none of us won. Nonetheless, it was a great race on a great day.
- Organiser did a good job updating runners consistently about the status of rain.
- Hydration stations are well-managed. Some stations have both water and isotonic drinks, some stations only have water.
- Direction signage is sufficient and can be found at every turning point.
- Road marshals are supportive and helpful.
- Distance markers were not present at every kilometre.
- There were so many prizes being given out to winners of various age and distance categories.