Remarkably one of the most famous trail races, this year’s North Face 100 Singapore Race attracted approximately 3000 serious runners. They were more than ready to take on the challenge of conquering undulating terrains and mind stretching race courses.
The 22-hour long event consisted of 4 races of the respective distances: 15km, 25km, 50km and the 100km category for runners who believe no distance is long enough.
The grueling 100km race kicked off the running event at 11pm on 12th October. Running ‘commandos’ defied their normal sleep schedule and ran past the start line. Singapore’s 1 Arm Runner was such a runner who took part in the Ultra-Trail Marathon. They were geared up with compulsory equipment like head lamps, hand phones (fully charged and MUST last the race) and hydration packs.
The spirited marshals, who were distributed nicely throughout the route, cheered the runners on. The encouragement was so vital for runners who were faced with steep slopes and damp fields. This was a race one cannot run on auto pilot. Participants were compelled to keep alert all their senses as they looked and sensed for landing points along the rough grounds.
Runners who participated in the 50km and 25km categories joined the ultra-runners at day break. They had the opportunity to cheer on some of the tired, yet determined runners who were on their 2nd loop. They were definitely glad to see familiar faces of the running community.
The race proved to be an enthralling experience as runners tapped into their creative juices when overcoming obstacles. And these obstacles are totally caused by natural processes and this is what made the race a satisfying experience. This race is not only about running fast, but also running well and safely.
At some points in the race, walking was a faster option. Runners were well treated to varying trail experiences, such as the regularly patronized MacRitchie, Rifle-Range Road to Lorong Asrama and Diary Farm. For some, it could be the first time running all routes at once!
Renowned for superb organization, the race officials worked efficiently to manage the crowd from the baggage deposit to the weighing of hydration resources, and eventually to the start line. What was also refreshing to many was the fact that part of the route consisted of the trail that was occupied by the old KTM railway tracks. Many runners also appreciated the fact that the signs were clear which led to a smooth run.
A marathon enthusiast, Shu Fen, 24, who took part in the 50km Women’s Open, commented:
“The route was challenging but it brought runners through some trails where most have never been. The element of surprise was the main highlight of the race for me too.”
At the end of everyone’s run, runners were treated to a great spread of refreshments. Friendly partners such as SATS Food and Jacob’s greeted finishers with sandwiches, muffins, ice-cream and bananas. The wide spread of refreshments is definitely a distinctive feature which sets North Face 100 Singapore apart from the rest of the races.
There was such great display of running etiquette by fellow participants. Supporters who sacrificed Friday raves and Saturday sleep-ins provided great encouragement. SRJC teachers and students who were hiking on the route gave raving support to all passing runners, and one teacher even made it a point to identify the runner’s name (reflected on race bib) and encouraged runners by their names!
Everyone who is constantly looking for a new experience or challenge should make it a point to mark The North Face 100 Singapore Challenge as part of their running calendar. The very nature of the routes gives runners unique and different experiences every year.
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- Ricky Lightfoot (United Kingdom) – 8hr 37min 59sec
- Jimmy Tee (Malaysia) – 10hr 44min 39sec
- Anders Jensen (Denmark) – 11hr 21min 41sec
50KM MENS OPEN
- Mark Williams (United Kingdom) – 4hr 01min 05sec
- Lexxus Tan (Singapore) – 4hr 26min 13sec
- Regis Cabaret (France) – 4hr 29min 16sec
50KM WOMENS OPEN
- Jasmine Goh (Singapore) – 5hr 10min 19sec
- Jiayi Zou (Singapore) – 5hr 37min 44sec
- Jess Poon (Singapore) – 5hr 45min 57sec
25KM MENS OPEN
- Luis Arosemena (Peru) – 1hr 58min 20sec
- Wai Cheng Yong (Singapore) – 2hr 02min 38sec
- Wilson Wong (Singapore) – 2hr 08min 25sec
25KM WOMENS OPEN
- Martzel Juliette (France) – 2hr 16min 19sec
- Zhilei Chen (Singapore) – 2hr 28min 53sec
- Lorena Fernandez (Spain) – 2hr 31min 14sec
15KM MENS OPEN
- Rob Codling (United Kingdom) – 1hr 07min 22sec
- Thomas Lee (Singapore) – 1hr 08min 31sec
- Jason Chen (Singapore) – 1hr 08min 59sec
15KM WOMENS OPEN
- Emily Stone (United States) – 1hr 24min 15sec
- Kate Mcfarlane (United States) – 1hr 29min 18sec
- J-Ing Goh (Singapore) – 1hr 29min 34sec