My wife and I decided to take part in this year’s Sundown half marathon partly to celebrate our first wedding anniversary (we ran the half marathon on our wedding night last year) and also because this has become somewhat of an annual event for us. Sundown’s key selling point is its late night start which guarantees some respite from the burning Singapore sun. Here are some quick notes from the event.
It pays to be late. My wife and I are not competitive runners and we do not care about gun time. This means that there is absolutely no incentive for us to arrive early to get into the first pen. It also means that there is no point getting into the middle pens. Hence, our strategy of reaching around 30 mins after the flag-off time paid off again. There were no queues at the baggage deposit area. We started at the back of the final wave but most importantly, we could run within 15 mins of arriving at the event. We later heard that there were complaints about the delayed flag off time and were glad we decided to stick to the “arrive late” strategy. (Frankly speaking, in my rather brief experience of around 8 half/full marathon events, I have yet to witness one started right on the dot.)
Some congestion. I thought it was strange for the organisers to flag off both the half and full marathon runners together. There was some congestion at the first major u-turn of the race where things slowed to a brisk walking pace. But besides that things were relatively smooth. My wife and I had to do a fair bit of snaking through to overtake but that was part and parcel of the “arrive late” strategy. Things cleared up when the half and full routes diverged.
Improved route. There were no ridiculous “tiny-loops-to-nowhere-just-to-make-up-the-mileage” this year. In 2018, there were a few boring sojourns to quiet roads for a kilometre or two so that runners could clock sufficient mileage before u-turning back to the original path. These type of routes are uninspiring and mood draining. Zilch this year thankfully and long may it continue.
Did a 111km ride in the morning before the half marathon. I had decided to do this knowing that I could not run full gas at night. And it turned out to be just right. The morning ride was not intense and neither was the night run. Put together, I felt that I got a good long Z2 training day in the bag.