Newton Challenge 2011: ‘Welfare’ Race of the Year
Speaking about attention to detail, it’d be an understatement to say this year’s Newton Challenge was planned with the ‘runner’ in mind. Amidst the host of other races with gaudy turnouts, no one’s been able to match – at least with what we’ve witnessed to date – the kind of meticulous planning and deft execution the organisers have been able to deliver. If you remember some days back when we released the Race Prelude, we mentioned how impressed we were with the abundance of water points, medical cover and a special Athlete Support Station. No kidding, these guys were for real! Unless of ‘cos our eyes were playing tricks at East Coast Park.
RunSociety had a chat with James Koh, the lead guy from Pink Apple (Newton Challenge 2011 organiser), regarding putting that 'race' engine together. On top of the rigorous work ethic, he mentioned location as one of the key factors in determining an event’s success. At least with the Newton Challenge, they nailed it spot on.
"I thought it was well organised with quite a number of hydration points. The one thing good about it was the two different flag-off timings ‘cos that sort of organised the people a bit more," shares Keith Tan, 26, Director. "The weather was perfect for me. Compare this run with the run that I recently just did, the SAFRA run, the army half marathon, in terms of air wise, here is much better because it’s not city air. I like running in East Coast area. Not too bad. Overall experience is kind of satisfying for me. This is my first Newton run actually."
Well, let’s not forget it was an actual race with a 4750-strong participant showing. Albeit the temptation to just stroll along and soak up the tranquillity on a Sunday morning, there were still a handful who gave it their all to the point of "near collapse". By the way, that’s a literal reference to an African national. The guy had to be helped along by two medical personnel, placed on a wheelchair, and ferried to the medical tent. You should have seen him at the FINISH tape – didn’t even have an ounce of energy to break through the flimsy strip. He dug deep alright.
Anyhow, it was a great day out filled with overflowing compliments from participating runners. Nonetheless, like everything else in life, there’s always room for improvement.
"I think towards the end when you start to see the crowds and especially the 30-kilometres runners and those who are finishing the second lap, it might be a bit more difficult. What they could do is maybe keep most of the passersby out of the lanes. I think that would help manage the crowd a little bit better." says Vanessa Tang, 26, Corporate Development Director, who also clinched 3rd position in the 18KM Women’s Competitive category.
There was also a handful who signed up for the Newton Challenge as a precursor to the behemoth coming in early December. Yup, the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore.
Ms. Tang adds "I chose the 18 (kilometres) because it was kind of a good lead-up to the end of the year’s 21 kilometres (half marathon) Standard Chartered run. So this one is a good gauge for you to find out how prepared you are."
It might seem insignificant at this point but we’re still going to share it. Runners had official Newton Challenge TOWELS handed to them at the end of the race. How’s that for a first!
- Jason Lawrence - 1h 55m 39s
- Ang Chee Yong - 1h 57m 25s
- Ahmad Lamchannak - 1h 57m 27s
- Sumiko Tan - 2h 20m 21s
- Elaine Lim Su Lin - 2h 24m 25s
- April Mckenna - 2h 24m 26s
- Dev Kumar Rai - 1h 05m 24s
- Fang Jianyong - 1h 09m 46s
- Ang Wee Leong, Patrick - 1h 11m 03s
- Jenny Lundgren - 1h 14m 22s
- Michelle Chay - 1h 21m 32s
- Vanessa Tang Yiting - 1h 24m 10s