Field Report filed by FatBird Anthony
55km Field Report filed by Ultraman (below)
Photo Slideshow, courtesy of feetoffury Max
Photo Contribution from NighHawk Runners, SC & Amy, FatBird Jancy
It was a warm night as 70 runners descended upon ECP Carpark C4 to join Team FatBird for our 8th session of the NightHawk Marathon Training Program. When 9pm came, we gave a briefing on the objective of this Sundown route familiarization run, as well as the distances and routes for 12km, 24km, 35km and 55km. About 75% of the trainees have signed up for Sundown Marathon on May30, and they were highly charged up for what would be their likely longest LSD run. Lots of group photo-taking and mini-group shots from the run photographer, Max.
The 55km runners (13 of them) were flagged off first, with Henry, Ultra and Eugene helping to guide them along the route. The biggest group were doing the 35km, led by Anthony, David, Keonz, YN, Spencer and Terry. Beng and Suan took care of the 24km, whilst Jancy single-handedly led the 12km runners. We all took the same route towards Kembangan from C4, with respective turning points at Bedok Town Park (12km U-turn), Mobil station along Tampines Ave 9 (24km U-turn) and Loyang Ave (35km U-turn). Sleek and LYK from Team Coconut were on hand to sweep the 35km runners too.
I was chatting with Chantelle for the first 3km...hmm, its been some time (SCSM08) since I last saw her, and her speed has improved. Angelin and David ran along too, fresh from their outing from TriBob Triathlon. It was good to meet and chat with some of the new members to the program, whom had seen Team FatBird training along ECP, and have finally found time to join us...welcome! We maintained an average 6.30min/km pace all along to Kembangan MRT....Paulina, Darren and Johnny leading the way for the 35km. Paulina will be attempting the 84km for the second time *kudos*.....it is also been a while since our last run at the International Friendship run organized by me and DO.
After 6km of running along the winding slopes of Bedok Town Park and crossing of bridges, we reached the Bedok Town Park shed...hmm, found that the power points have been removed....how are we going to boil water for coffee/milo on race day? That was the first group RV point...the 12km runners u-turn back, and we bade them adios. The rest pushed on towards the sandy gravel of Bedok Reservoir. We could hear the swishing sounds as the runners hit the gravel in the dark of the night. Everyone was in high spirits.....before long, we exited to Tampines Ave 10. A slight breakaway from the front group...fortunately Keonz was there to rein them in. I provided the middle bridge and maintained contact with the rear group held by DO.
With the runners having a good idea of the route by then, the return leg had fewer stops. We increased the pace to 5.45min/km pace for the long stretches back. Keonz and I went to the front to ensure that all know where to turn back. The night had turned cooler by then with light breezes. Without much stoppage, we finally reached Tampines Ave 9 again, and had a final pit-stop at the Kopi-tiam. Some iced-milo did me good, with the rest taking 100plus and lots of other iced-cold drinks. DO's group joined us, followed by Nancy's, then the rest. I called Terry to check that his group knew the way.
With 11km to finish, the spirits of the runners were high. My group pushed off ahead, with Keonz, Paulina, Darren and Michael setting the pace. I followed closely behind, and was enjoying the faster pace for a bit. When we hit Bedok Reservoir again, it was time for us to enjoy the swishing sounds of the gravel again. I waited for Anthony Kwek and YN to join me to proceed to Bedok Town Park, while Keonz and the front pack moved ahead. With 5km to go, I decided to wait a bit at Town Park for the mid pack to come through. They were 'happy to see a familiar face cheering for them' as they put it...haha...they picked up their steps and moved all the way to the finish line. I ran ahead to catch them and did a good photo finish with Min.
Grabbed a quick drink, and a nice Sng Pao, and I went back to pick up some of the other runners. Cheered the runners coming in for the final 1km, and then saw Sleek, tnancy and LYK. tnancy was slightly injured with ITBS after that gruelling 33km, but when she heard me said it was just 1km more, she perked up and steadily breezed through to the finish....*impressive*. Sleek could not stop praising his Team Coconut for their outstanding demonstration of grit and endurance. With some time to spare, I went back for 1 more round to pick Beverly, BernOh up. They too perked up when they spotted me, and together we did a nice finish....one more photo-finish for me...hehe.
The 55km runners have done about 40km by then, and they made their pit-stop at C4. Ultra, BaldChoy, Lucas, Henry, Eugene, Andy were there. I enjoyed the longan syrup prepared by Esther and the Sng Pao from YN, Spencer, Keonz. The bananas from Beng and Suan were life savers for the 55km runners. Ah Chun ran so fast he completed his 55km in 5.5hrs....fast lah! We received nice reviews and feedback from the runners, who relished the familiarization of the complex route, full of twists and turns. Many were satisfied with having completed their longest distances with company and the good support from Team FatBird. Well done Team!
With 4 weeks to go, we will proceed to the final 3rd of Operations NightHawk. The next Night Run will be on May 8, with distances from 10km-50km. Tapering will be the order, and it will be more time to catch up and plan for our support plan for actual race day. The Team FatBird Sundown Support Plan will provide personal race support and runspiration for our team of runners participating, and hopefully we can help to make what would be a maiden Night Run for many, a memorable experience.
When Dusk Cometh, Night Hawk Emerges!
55km Field Report filed by Ultraman
13 runners (12 guys + 1 gal) took on 55km training run led by Roadrunner3.....was it Grace or Eugene who said that “Friday the 13th”? Hmm....
The weather was relatively humid and air was still. I overheard Ah Wee complained many times.
There were quite a few hidden Ninjas within this group. We have Grace Chan (who was SD 2008 3rd position in female category clocked 9:30hours); there was also Uncle Choo (the runner with a unique running style who carries his bread and drinks in an NTUC plastic bag during the run), he was the faster finisher for 55km run, and miles ahead of anyone of us. And we have Ah Wee (hopefully is the correct name), very strong and joyful character who jokes a lot. The younger runner such as Lucas etc were a league of their own right too. Of course the king of the mountain would be RR3 who was patiently pacing us at his slowest pace to ensure all runners could make it back in one piece.
The targeted pace was set between 6-7min with occasionally 5:45. The team were running as a group within 50-100m apart from the faster to the slower runners making sure that none of the 13 runners would be missed out. I joking told the team that if at any one point when we do a head count and ended up 14 runners just keep on running; Eugene affirmed that he would take the next taxi home if that happen (haha..).
At every toilet break I was checking the colour of my urination to ensure no dehydration, which might lead me to a potential bladder pain such as the one I experienced at Dusty run 2009. And I was very careful in the selection of drinks beside water. Surprisingly, I did not consume any isotonic drinks at all; instead, I consumed 1 bottle of coke at the Coastal park toilet vending machine plus barley drinks in can. I only ate 1 Soyjoy raisin almond bar (and not even a single packet of power gel) throughout the whole journey till the end. I told myself, not to push too hard and adopt a more relax and cheerful mood throughout the run.
At before Loyang Avenue, uncle Choo took off like a wind. I am amused by his speed. The team have a short break at Changi CP1 WTC and that was when we have decided that each runner would adopt his own respective pace back to C4 car park. 1 or two guys quitted from the team and stayed back to eat at the hawker centre. Eugene has decided to cut short the total distance as he was showing sign of fatigue. Kok San told me to run ahead as he might do a walk run scenario. Acid was extremely fit and strong at that point and he left with the front pack while the remaining (including Alvo) have decided to adopt a much slower pace to complete the run.
I met Kok San again shortly later at Coastal Park toilet and he treated me for a coke from the vending machine. That coke did help me greatly with the sugar energy I needed most. Thereafter, both Kok San and I paced each other non-stop till C4.
We were overwhelmed to meet TFB supports and friends at C4 support station. I loved that mango Sng Bui (thanks YN!) and enjoyed Long Gan drink (By Ah Ban or Brokie?) which really gave me the extra sugar energy I needed to continued the final journey. Thanks guys!
Now, left 2 old bones, Kok San and I counting down to 55km...... We met 6 of the members on their returning journey from Fort road....saw uncle Choo who has already completed the full run and was making his way home.....man, he was miles ahead of us. After the Lagoon, my lung was opened up and I was adopting a 5+min pace back to C4. OK, this one I need to reconfirm again, someone told us that we should do a U-turn after the lagoon which I did, but after I have completed the full run, Ah Wee told me that I should have reached F2 car park and made U-turn from there back to C4? Hahaha....so did I short by 1-2km? Never mind, I think I have clocked enough mileage for this run. Importantly, I am injury free.
Although not all runners could complete the full 55km, each runner does deserve a pat at the shoulder.
Overall, the run was well organised and thanks to RR3 again + TFB for staying back to cheer for us. And not to forget our photographer, Max!
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