We’d say it’s a perfect warm-up for next week’s Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore, of which a vast majority of those who participated in the Montrail – Mountain Hardwear Tiong Bahru Challenge would have to agree. With an 800-strong turnout, this year’s Tiong Bahru Challenge has been the biggest yet: a clear signal that runners are looking for varied challenges that branch from the usual monotony of road races.
For those who are unaware, the Tiong Bahru Challenge is a race that’s centred around the scenic views of the neighbourhood. It covers an 8-kilometre route (as seen below), concluding with a 30-storey climb at an HDB block – thought it to be pretty amusing that runners finished the race along the corridor of someone’s apartment.
“It’s very unique and challenging race because running eight kilometres, this is include four overhead bridges. It’s not so easy but it’s very challenging, especially after running eight kilometres and climb 30 stories.” says Roda Ramos, 45, a Domestic Helper who finished second in the Women’s Veteran category. (Ramos, Happy Birthday!)
When asked about her most memorable segment of the race, she adds “Oh there was the part (Alexandra Canal) that we ran through and I loved the part. I love that place with the scenery. It’s very breathtaking the scenery. I loved it.”
She’s right alright. The newly upgraded Tanglin Park Connector along Alexandra Canal is something else. You got to experience it to believe it.
“This is the first time I’m running this event with a run and a vertical climb. The overall experience was good because this is the first time I’m attempting this and it’s a brand new experience. Hopefully, we will have more of these kinds of events in Singapore, not just only in Tiong Bahru.” shares Wong Yiwei, 28, Accountant.
Wong had a slightly different opinion on the ‘memorable’ front though “The memorable part of this race is the overhead bridge because the overhead bridge actually disrupts your rhythm of your run and it’s a new kind of challenge during the run.”
Contrary to what many would think, being right smack in a residential neighbourhood has its perks too. For one, the informal warm atmosphere certainly made headway in dropping that guard of awkwardness and self-created anxiety which we usually encounter at larger scale events. People were comfortable. Period. And it thrilled us! Credit has to go to the many volunteers whom we might say were nothing less than genuine at heart. *hats off*
If it’s worth mentioning at all, the Tiong Bahru Challenge, with its scenic route and hybrid (road-tower) concept, was a steal of a race.