Initial Photos by FatBird Jancy
Photo_Slideshow by FeetOfFury Max
About 100 runners from Team FatBird, SgRunners, SAFRA, i-RUN and other runners & running groups gathered at ECP F2 carpark at 9pm for The Dusty Run. This is one of the key highlights of the NightHawk Marathon Training Program for Sundown co-organized by Team FatBird and Stardust Productions. Keonz (aka Stardust) spent weeks planning for the run, painstakingly mapping and recce-ing the 10km-50km route(s), creating all the props for a grand start-off.
Though there were many familiar faces, at least 30% of them whom I was not familiar with. It seems like we have to be prepared with large turnouts for the remaining 3 night runs. Wee took some nice team photos of Team FatBird with the Dusty Run poster. I welcomed all the participants at 9.15pm, gave a short intro to the NightHawk Program and Dusty Run, and introduced the NightHawk Central 8 run marshals. FatBird David (aka DO) gave a safety briefing about night running, followed by a detailed route brief by Keonz. Next, getting the entire group of 100 prople into a group photo was a small challenge easily resolved by Wee, followed by a startoff at 9.30pm with the firing of 2 confetti tubes by FatBirds Anthony (aka DreamRunner) and Keonz (aka Stardust).
Armed with blink blink lights, wrist lighting, small torches, the runners moved gingerly towards NSRCC in the rather dark night. The weather was cool after the afternoon rains, and all were in chirpy and merry mood. The 50km runners (about 10) went ahead, followed by the 30km (about 50), then the 20km (about 25) and finally the 10km (about 15) runners. I ran along with the mid-pack for the first 5km, enjoying the Bedok Park Connector (part of the i-RUN at Changi route) and getting to know some of the new runners, as well as saying hello to runners whom I have not met for a while. It was so good to see everyone coming together and running as a group. Max and Jane were on hand at strategic spots to capture the moments.
The 10km runners turned back at the initial part of the Bedok Park Connector in high spirits. I followed on with the 20km and 30km runners towards Singapore EXPO. The group was rather strung out by then....as we ran towards the EXPO, we could see some groups leaving as they had finished their first pit-stop. DO and I was moving along with Team Coconut of SgRunners till the EXPO area, before I decided to run up to slow the front-runners down a little. Saw Melvin How waiting, and then YN splitting the 20km/30km runners into their respective routes of advance. Also caught up with Kayano and a few of the 50km runners ambling towards Tampines. The runners' spirits were high, and that made us worked even harder to get them moving along smoothly.
I caught up with Keonz and Terry's group, and informed of the larger group behind. Spencer was heading a 30km group further up front.....wow, our marshals were really spread thin this time. I ran back towards Changi Hospital area to try to catch DO's group, but later found that they had gone on straight without crossing the road. They finally managed to marry up with the front groups at the Bedok Reservoir Park area. By the 20km mark, the effects of the night would have gotten to some of the less conditioned runners, while the more experienced ones kept up with their steady paces. After 2 hours of running, most of the runners have broken into smaller groups of 3-5, and pushing towards the finish line. The undulating terrain of the Siglap Park Connector gave the runners another challenging task at hand, but they relished it....these sadistic types...haha.
I took a turn back to ECP early to marry up with the finishers of the 20km distance at about 11.30pm. Beng, Suan, Esther and Samantha were just sweeping and wrapping up the 20km distance, all still looking fresh as lilies. We were welcomed by the drinks and Sng Pao party with a nice photo shot to boot. The first group of 30km runners arrived at around 12.45pm, led by Choon, scoop, darren, babumouse and Wee....they did a very fast time. Bose, Matthew, Johnny, Chris and another group came from the other direction finishing a distance of 27km. There were lots of camera playing, monkeying around, and even some sleek moves to keep us occupied through the early hours of the morning....one of them even had her waist injured from the jerky movements....hehe.
We made some phone contact with 30km runners and found that they were doing fine. A few decided to go back from their respective points (about 25km) and not return to F2. TLR, teelee, Freddy and Melvin Jnr came back in 1 line after doing 33km....they looked very satisfied, with Freddy and Melvin continuing on (after some refreshment) to complete 47km. By 2am, 4.5hrs after the start, all the 30km runners had returned, including the large group of DO, tnancy, Bev, BernOh, KR, BioSynthesis and a few others. A small medical attention was called for tnancy who had incurred some light scratches from a slip at the 27km....still they persevered to finish about 35km....wow, the endurance and mental determination that make marathoners :)
The 50km runners were still going strong by 3am, as they took their fuel breaks and ran with steady paces as a group. Most of the runners have gone back by then, whilst the marshals have washed up and waited anxiously for their return. Because of the large turnout, there was scarcely any drinks, Sng Pao or bananas left, and we decided to clear things up while waiting. The Team went to nearby MacDonald's to get after-race replenishment and by 4am, the entire group of 50km runners finished their grueling run. tnancy was there to receive them and informed me of their safe return.....thanks nancy. From some of their voices, they sounded tired but very satisfied. It is no mean feat to run 50km in one sitting, not least into the wee hours of the morning.
It was certainly a successful Dusty Run, with a record attendance and completion of the respective distances set out as targets. We achieved what we set out to do, to kick up some dust and have a blast. All who completed the run got to sign behind the Dusty Run poster....we will look back in future with fond memories. Thanks to the NightHawk Central 8 marshals, Team FatBird members, and all the run participants for making this event such an interesting and meaningful one for all. Keonz and his team are already laying down the plans for Dusty Run III in April 2010 :)
With the completion of the 6th session of the 12-week Program, the runners would have achieved the mid-point of the NightHawk Marathon Training. They can look forward to the second half of the Program, which promises to be no less exciting and challenging as the first half. We will see 3 more night runs of distances 30km-36km and familiarization of the actual Sundown route. We will begin Paced training too, with runners running in 3-5 groups of respective paces which will be announced. We are also expecting large turnouts, especially for the night runs, with most of the participants coming from the Full Marathon category. We now take a well deserved recovery, before coming back for the next night training run in 2 weeks time....details will be out soon.....watch for it.
We Did Kick Some Dust, We All Had A Blast!