The Performance Series – Changi

The final leg of The Performance Series (TPS) took place at Changi. The previous two iterations of TPS this year were at the usual Sports Hub and not so usual Punggol Waterway/Coney Island. I went into this run not having ran a half marathon since the Punggol leg and not having seriously trained both running and cycling since I went to New Zealand. Thankfully, the run went well. My fiancee and I were tapping out an easy steady 6:30min/km pace before she experienced shin splints and had to take breaks off and on. I also used this run to gauge my ITB injury prior to the Standard Chartered Singapore Full Marathon. I could feel some tension in the ITB but there was no pain during and after the run. The sports massage, foam rolling, stretching and change of running form seemed to have contributed somewhat positively.

I like that TPS is experimenting with new places. It is becoming rather boring to run at East Coast Park, Marina Bay and the Sports Hub. Like the 2017 Puma Night Run which took place at Seletar Aerospace Park, it was somewhat refreshing to be running at Punggol and now Changi. That said, Changi is really at the extreme east of Singapore and it is especially far for me since I am staying in the West. I was able to Grab Hitch a ride there but a flag off time of 5am meant that I had to hop on the car at 3:45am which also meant that I had to be up by 3:15am. That is the price for running at less central locations.

However, the route in Changi was not interesting. It almost felt like the organisers had decided to take an easy approach and just make the 21km runners do two loops of 10km along Tanah Merah Coast road. I had thought it would be more interesting for the run to go through the areas closer to Changi Village. Instead, we had to view the same scenery four times.

The water points were also very strangely placed. Given the dual loop, the two water points quadrupled in function but were placed at the 2km and 3km mark. (Quadrupled, this meant the water points were stationed at approximately the 2km, 3km, 7km, 8km, 12km, 13km, 17km, 18km marks.) It is strange to have the water points so close together. It would have been better to space them out by at least 2-3km apart instead of 1km.

That said, the event was smoothly organised. Kudos to the organisers for putting aside the largest amount of parking space I had ever seen in a running event in Singapore. This was especially important given that all participants had to get to Changi by car. It would be expensive to book a cab since no cab would want to head to such an extreme end of Singapore. Hence, driving private cars was preferred. The 21km run flagged off on time, medal collection was a breeze and everything went as clockwork. There was also more than enough water and energy drinks to go round. I also liked that the organisers had converted an exhibition area into a sheltered race village. A good opportunistic use of space.

A different but boring and extremely far venue aside, the event was mostly a positive experience. Completing all three half marathons is somewhat of an achievement but doing so at this regularity has made half marathons appear somewhat easy. Looking forward to my final run of this year at Standard Chartered. I would actually have to train this time.

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