Millenia Walk was the start to a great city race! Four distances to conquer, 4500 waited eagerly at 7am on 3 March to start speeding down the roads of our sunny island. The North Face Singapore City Race is the amazing race minus the money, public transportation, TV cameras, one million dollars, but so fun! It’s free form dashing through our well connected city center and iconic landmarks.
From 7am to 10am, participants were flagged off in batches. Not to give the game away, maps were only given to runners who were about to start. In the short span of 30 minutes, runners had to map out the most distance efficient route taking into consideration traffic lights, blocks and possible shortcuts – locals had a great advantage!
Each distance category, 5km, 10km, 20km, and 40km were given 5 check points. In the “mini” 5km category, check points were centered in the city hall area. Pens were not given out, so well-prepared solo category and team category entrants had an easy time mapping their route, while others had to commit their running path to memory. The “long” distance, 40km race category had checkpoints in Orchard Ion, Mount Faber, Bukit Timah Old KTM Station, Kent Ridge Park and Singapore Quarry, on the edge of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. The fastest City Racer for this category came in at 3hours, 29minutes and 24 seconds! Elite runners took 2 odd hours to complete 42km with no obstacle in their way. That timing is spectacular!
Not all checkpoints were obvious, the Fort Canning Park one was especially tricky! The map and description did not lead runners to their goal. After much uphill and downhill, most runners found the check point set up in a remote corner of the park. Discovering the city and developing those glutes at the same time!
Gear for this race was exceptionally important. As there was no fix route, racers could cut through city blocks and use hidden shortcuts that the organisers might not even know about. As such, hydration, energy and safety were all on the racer. Luckily, every participant went home in one piece. The race was a wonderful discovery of Singapore’s lesser known attractions! High quality planning and great energy, the Singapore City Race can only be better in 2014!