While the business district might normally overwhelm one with its high traffic flow and dense corporate populace during weekdays, it’s just about the direct opposite on a Sunday. Amidst the quiet ambivalence that encroach the looming chaos on Monday, the 2012 U Run occupied the sleeping streets of the island nation’s economic engine with over 5,440 runners sweeping the city grounds in a collage of red; not in “protest” but in celebration of that liberating running experience. The START/FINISH point (except the OMB Challenge’s FINISH): The Float@Marina Bay
Like many other running events that have prevailed over the years in the Singapore scene, the U Run has undergone some makeshift innovation to cater to the growing demands of runners. And what better way to do so than with its “hybrid” One Marina Boulevard (OMB) Challenge. Slightly akin to the Montrail-Mountain Hardwear Tiong Bahru Challenge, it involves a 10-kilometre road run followed by a 30-storey climb to the top of the NTUC Centre. The oldest contestant to take part in this category was Mr. Chia Kim Sing whose age stands at 68 years old. Need we say more?
Of course, the OMB Challenge wasn’t the only race category to take centre stage. There was the 10-kilometre competitive run and a leisurely 5-kilometre fun run where friends and family could bond on a beautiful Sunday morning.
“Congratulations to all who pounded the pavement today, especially to the 2,500 runners who took up the OMB Challenge, because to scale the 30-storeys of NTUC Centre after a 10KM run is no small feat. On top of that, it is heartening to see that many have woken up early to come and be the cheerleaders for their running family members and friends. Participating in a running event is a personal challenge, but it can also be a family affair and today we can see just that: families running together, parent and child edging each other on, buddies pacing together. Those bonds between runners are what make U Run what it is today.” says Mr Yeo Khee Leng, CEO, NTUC Club.
Ang Chee Yong took top honours in the 10KM + Vertical Climb Men’s Open category with a winning time of 40min 53sec while the Women’s Open was bagged by Michele Tan in 51min 05 sec. The top finishers didn’t have it easy though.
“Wah! Out of breath! Because after 10K run and 30-storey climb, I really had no breath left so I was just gasping for air and the surrounding when I went up, it was beautiful. I don’t stop. Just don’t stop. Keep going. If he’s (Gen Lim, 2nd position) going to pass me, he’s going to have to try hard,” comments Ang, 33, P.E. Teacher. “But I’m very lucky to have Gen Lim with me because two of us broke off from the pact. And then in the end it was two of us fighting for the first place so I was very lucky to have him as my competitor. I did my personal best today.”
While we were having a word with second placed Stephanie Hulbert, 38, Teacher, from the Women’s Open category, it came to our attention that she too shared a similar sentiment about reaching the top.
“Relief! My first time running. Yes it was good. The run was very well organised. The weather was nice. There were lots of drinks. The stairs were hard. Overall, it was very a scenic route.” shares Hulbert.
U Run 2012, the Labour Movement’s signature running event, is part of U Games 11/12, a multi-sports competition for the Labour Movement, to promote sportsmanship among the affiliate unions and to foster camaraderie among members. In addition to U Games, U Sports also provides a host of other sporting activities, sports clinics and competitions for union members as well as for the general public.
GENERAL 10KM + VERTICAL CLIMB (OMB CHALLENGE) MEN’S OPEN
- Ang Chee Yong – 40 min 53sec
- Foo Gen Lin – 41min 36sec
- Ivan Low/Philip S/O Ramachandran – 43min 50sec
GENERAL 10KM + VERTICAL CLIMB (OMB CHALLENGE) WOMEN’S OPEN
- Michele Tan Bee Kiang – 51min 05sec
- Stephanie Jane Hulbert – 53min 26sec
- Carolyn Pryor – 54min 23 sec
GENERAL 10KM COMPETITIVE RUN MEN’S OPEN
- Fang Jianyong – 35min 54sec
- Melvin Wong – 36min 13sec
- Fabian Ng – 39min 03sec
GENERAL 10KM COMPETITIVE RUN WOMEN’S OPEN
- Qi Hui – 36min 57sec
- Tang Yoke Pin Vivian – 38min 41sec
- Deborah Jean Livingston – 45min 18 sec
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