Starting from the heart of the Central Business District, this long stretch of green really helps balance out the fast paced and hustle bustle vibe of the city, providing a nice relief to the everyday worker of Singapore.
When the Old Tanjong Pagar Railway Station was closed and shutdown, many people rushed to visit the historic place one last time. When the opportunity came to run through the old rail corridor, many people rushed to sign up as well.
On Sunday morning, 6,000 runners participated in Singapore’s first Green Corridor Run, presented by BlackBerry.
When I first reached the Start point, I must admit I was impressed with the site organisation. Along the main road, there were traffic controllers making sure that cars and taxis did not obstruct the traffic too much. Then marshallers guided the runners towards the start point in an orderly manner.
At 6.30am, most people were already streaming in and the logical order of the site was really easy to navigate. You could easily find the baggage deposit, then race pack collection, water stations, medical aid – it was like a conveyor belt where you just had to follow and you would have all your needs catered to.
The run was really enjoyable and felt like an “introduction class” to trail running. There were some parts of rocks, stones, and mud but the organisers actually placed wooden boards to prevent runners from stepping into the mud. Nonetheless, you would still get that little splash of mud on your ankles and calves, just enough of a taste for a first-time trail runner.
For those who loved the feeling of getting dirty, perhaps a more challenging run with hills and slopes await you.
Throughout the route, everybody was friendly and had no qualms about moving to the side for those “anxious” ones. The regular route markers were very encouraging as well. The route was relatively long and straight and it would have felt much longer without the markers and well spaced out water points.
At the end point, runners were treated to water, isotonic drinks and even fruits. Most runners took the opportunity to take photos at the historic landmark of Bukit Timah Railway Station. There were many who stayed and lined the sides of the final stretch to cheer and encourage the other runners.
10.5km is not the longest race in Singapore but as the running culture develops, more and more people look to interesting runs like this.
10.5km is not the shortest race either, and the winners really did well to finish with such impressive times. Samson Tenai, 32, from Kenya, won the overall male category with a time of 34 minutes 11 seconds while Rosie Clark, 26, from the UK, won the overall female category with a time of 41 minutes 42 seconds.
For the rest of us, even finishing the race was a remarkable feat. Not just a personal accomplishment but to be part of this event. This run raised the awareness of this historical stretch of land, even beyond the sport of running. It reminded Singaporeans of this natural wonder, and to preserve the area as naturally as possible, for generations to come.
Being surrounded by lush greenery is now a rare occasion for most people. Ironically, we often find ourselves surrounded by stacks of paper, made from the trees. How apt it is, to have a run starting right in the CBD, to remind us of the greater greener world outside, and to give our senses a relief.