OSIM Sundown Marathon 2017 Race Review: Run First, Sleep Later
My third Sundown Marathon experience was undeniably a memorable one.
This year, OSIM Sundown Marathon celebrates its 10th year anniversary with various initiatives. One of them is the first Sundown Night Festival which lasted for 5 days from Tuesday (21 March 2017) until Saturday (25 March 2017) prior to the race. The festival is lined up with sport & wellness bazaar and exciting activities such as live band performances and free workout sessions.
Race Entry Pack Collection
I participated in 21.1KM Half Marathon, and I decided to pick up my race pack at the Sundown Night Festival. I went to F1 Pit Building in the late afternoon of Thursday, 23 March 2017, joined queue at 6:00 p.m. and managed to get my race pack in 30 minutes. I was lucky, my queue was way shorter than those of Full Marathon and 10KM. Inside the bag, there was a race singlet, race bib, pack of Salonpas Pain Relieving Patch, OSIM voucher and a couple of brochures.
Before the Race
Because the flag off for 21.1KM was scheduled to be at 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, my husband and I decided to take MRT to Promenade station before midnight. We fueled ourselves up with Subway sandwich at Singapore Flyer, before joining the queue for the start pen.
We started to queue at 00:40 a.m. and reached the start pen (F1 track) at about 01:00 a.m. Half Marathon participants were flagged off in waves. We happened to be in the final wave that was flagged off at 01:20 a.m.
The flag off countdown was full of energy, especially when the MC said, “It’s 1:00 a.m., these guys are crazy!” Adrenaline-pumping music sent us off racing.
The race started from Republic Ave towards Nicoll Highway, with the first hydration point at 2km mark. Thereafter, the race continued around The National Stadium. The path for the first 5km was pretty narrow, as it was only a 1-lane path, thus it was not easy for fast runners to overtake and speed up. In a way, this was a blessing in disguise because it forced me not to run too fast in the beginning, so that I won’t hit the wall at later stage of the race.
From 7km, the route brought us through Kallang Riverside Park towards Marina Promenade where we were met with 9km mark, hydration point and banana point. It was the right time for a refuel. Soon after, we found ourselves back at F1 Pit Building at 10km mark.
We then continued our journey under the Helix Bridge, passing through MBS at 11km mark, towards Gardens by the Bay. I consumed my first energy gel at 12km mark and with a burst of energy, I dashed through Marina Barrage and Gardens by the Bay (Bay East).
From 16km onwards, the roads around Marina Bay Golf Course started to get quiet, the street lights became sparse, the darkness tried to lure runners to slow down and to walk. My energy tank and motivation level slowly decreased, my mind wanted to shut down. Once in a while, some volunteers shouted to cheer runners to keep going, and I would speed up upon hearing those shouts.
I calculated my pace and found that I still can finish under 3 hours if I keep running. I consumed my second energy gel at 18km for another burst of energy. The uphill flyover really tested the endurance of runners. Alternating between running and walking, I made it through the uphill while constantly looking out for the next distance marker. I love the downhill, I felt like flying my way down zipping past fellow runners.
I didn’t see any distance marker for 19km and 20km so I couldn’t confirm whether my pace was still alright for me to hit my goal. Nevertheless, I marched on and was so delighted to reach the finish line at 3 hours 10 minutes gun time, which translates to 2 hours 50 minutes chip time.
After the Race
I finished the race with an overwhelming euphoria. Maybe it was the sprint to the finish line. Maybe it was the realisation that it’s my PB. For sure, it was a runner’s high.
Six years ago, I finished Sundown’s Half Marathon in over 3 hours. I was not and still not a fast runner, but I’m glad I broke my own record.
After collecting a can of 100plus isotonic drink, a banana and a finisher’s medal, we joined the queue of the free massage. At around 4:30 a.m., the massage queue for half marathoners took about 30 minutes, meanwhile the queue for full marathoners was way shorter. The brief massage session was great and we appreciated it so much.
There was also an option for finishers to get massage with OSIM massagers.
Overall, I feel fortunate to be a part of OSIM Sundown Marathon’s 10th year anniversary and to have a smooth experience throughout the event. It is a memorable experience to run at midnight. I am definitely tempted to try running a full marathon in future Sundown Marathons.
- OSIM Sundown Marathon 2017 consists of 4 categories: 5KM Earth Hour Run, 10KM Challenge, 21.1KM Half Marathon and 42.195KM Full Marathon.
- The route for 21.1KM passes through a few iconic landmarks such as Singapore Flyer, National Stadium, Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay and Marina Barrage.
- Instead of the usual Sundown Expo, Sundown Night Festival is held for 5 consecutive days leading up to the race day. The festival features Race Entry Pack Collection, Sport & Wellness Bazaar, F&B, and activities such as live band performances, Master Pilates class, Body Combat class, Zumba workout and Yoga session.
- Shuttle bus tickets are available for advance purchase for runners who need to depart from Race Village when the public transportation are not in operation.
- Routes were well-marked and well-lit, hydration points were satisfactory, volunteers were commendable.