The 2017 edition of the Puma Night Run is the third time in a row that I have attended the annual event. I had no plans to go given my ITB strain. However, my fiancee was interested in the 6km run and I thought it could be a good idea to give my legs a short test.
The draw of Puma’s event is that it is short and sweet. The maximum distance is 12km and the number of runners are significantly lesser than the mega runs in Singapore. The event begins quickly and ends quickly. Fuss free.
The second draw is running at Seletar Aerospace Park. I think this is the only running event that takes place there. Seletar as a destination is not the draw. It is far up north which makes it inaccessible. But it is refreshing to run in a place that is not at the Sports Hub or Marina Bay area or East Coast Park. Frankly, I do not understand why many runners sign up for events that take place at the same locations all the time. Seletar brings a refreshing change in scenery. Even though aerospace buildings aren’t exactly scenic, it is at least something different.
The third draw is that the event is usually organised and executed rather well without major hiccups. From the collection of the race pack to the end of the event, things proceeded smoothly. Booths and stage performances are also well timed and thought through, though it is significantly easier for Puma to do so given that it is a small event.
I felt that two things could have been done better this year. First, the width of the road for the first portion of the run should have been widened to allow for the glut of runners to spread out. Having a wider road at the first 1-2km will allow the faster runners to string out the crowd. A narrow middle stretch and a wider end stretch is similarly ideal for the same reason.
Second, the emcees should have been told not to throw light sticks to the crowd after the run had been flagged off. The emcees were doing so before the flag off which was fine as it kept the crowd somewhat entertained. But doing it after the flag off caused some runners to stop abruptly just before they crossed the start line in order to pick up the light sticks. I nearly fell over a few who did this but it was generally not their fault because they were incentivised to do so. This caused unnecessary congestion at the start line and could have ended worse if people fell over. Nonetheless, baring these two issues, the event was generally well executed.
As for my personal performance, it started well and I found it easy to maintain a 4:45-5:10 min/km pace for the first 4.7km. A good sign given that I have not been running for a while. However, I then made a sharp right turn which placed my knee in an awkward position and inevitably caused my ITB injury to be triggered. I came to a complete stop. There was no way I could continue running with the sharp pain. I ended up walking the last 1.3km which was a shame given the generally bright start. I guess I have to be more careful. Time for another short layoff. Sigh.