Since his first proper, organised running race in December last year, my eldest son has been desperate to do another “wayce” and loves to do “twayning” with his big plastic “running watch”. Most races only cater for children from the age of seven years, so mine have been waiting quite some time! We saw that the Passion North Run included a few different distances, including a 700 metre Kids’ Dash, with a category of 7 years and under, so we signed me up for the 8km race and son #1 up for the 700m race.
I have done virtually no running training since coming back from Canada at the beginning of September, but I thought 8km would be fine. Even if I just ran steady it didn’t really matter, we were really only going for the children.
The preceding week (or two) at work were really hard. Most evenings I was finishing up around 9 or 10pm, except Thursday when I didn’t switch off my computer until 2:45am on Friday. I was more than a little bit tired by the end of the week.
Then Saturday morning, we had organised to go cycling early with the “Djoo Tchat Riders” on a farewell ride for our good friend Marie who is leaving Singapore very soon. The ride was great, nice and steady, lots of chatting, a few hills, a few sprints and husband came too which was the icing on the cake!
Once we arrived home, we had breakfast with the boys, played lego for a while then went out to a 4th birthday party. Straight from the birthday party we went to meet the Djoo Tchat Riders and families at the beach park for lunch and a glass or two of champagne.
I was so tired by the time we got home from lunch, I decided to take a nap at the same time as the boys. Husband promised to wake me up in time to leave the house at 4pm, so I didn’t set an alarm. I put the boys into bed, then crawled into my bed and was out like a light.
“Time to wake uh-uup!” said husband, cheerfully… at 4:15pm. FOUR FIFTEEN?!?!!!!??? We needed to be gone 15 minutes ago!! I rushed around getting myself and the kids dressed, calling a taxi and packing a bag at the same time. We jumped in the taxi, turned the corner and immediately stopped behind a traffic jam. Soon we were moving again.
At 4:56 we arrived at a cross roads with the road that the race was starting on running across in front of us. “Left or right?” the driver asked.
“I don’t know. It’s number 280. You said you knew where it was!”
“Left or right? Which way”
I didn’t have time to get my phone out to look at the map before we would already be past the cross roads, so I said to turn left then stop and let me out. I knew we were less than 1km away so I could run to the start from here and perhaps make it on time.
He didn’t stop…. He drove about 400-500 metres away from the cross roads before he stopped and let me get out. By that time I had looked at the map and I knew he was driving us in the opposite direction to the start line! I eventually managed to get out of the car and ran (quite fast) towards the start line. I reached the start line but couldn’t get in. The horn went and people started running… only the people around me did not start running. Nobody moved.
I asked why nobody was running. “That was the start for the 8km race.”
“Errrr, so which race are you all doing?”
So, a few minutes, some gentle pushing, a tiny little bit of shimmying and hundreds of “excuse me”s later I finally made it to the start line and started to run - I think about 6 minutes after the gun. I made it about 400metres before we had to stop and queue up to get through a bottle neck onto the Park Connecter along the edge of a canal. It was very crowded and I tried to keep up a good pace without too much “weaving”. One guy I passed was wearing traditional Indian dress and no shoes, another was the well known Singapore Blade Runner, an amputee with one leg and one “blade” – always an inspiration to see him running in any race at all.
Once we came off of the canal path there was a little more space. We were running on narrow, quiet country lanes through an area of old colonial style black and white houses. It was a lovely place to run. The race finished in Sembawang Park, with the last few metres along the beach and then up a small hill back into the park to the finish line. My watch showed 35:36 - I was quite happy with that!
I went to get some water and then wandered around looking for my family. I found them at the start of the Kids’ Dash. The boys were both very excited. The eldest already had his number pinned on his t-shirt but his brother didn’t as he wasn’t registered. I discreetly took off my number and then made a big fuss of putting “his” number on his t-shirt.
Son #1 put himself at the front of the race start while I waited further back with son #2. The horn went and son #1 ran full pelt all the way to the finish line. Husband was running alongside him to watch, take photos and rescue in case of any mishap… he couldn’t keep up! He was carrying a very big bag, but son #1 was surprisingly fast and consistent! Son #2 and I trotted to the finish line, with the last 100 metres to the tune of “Mummy, can you carry me?”
Son #1 collected his finisher medal, but was a little miffed to not have one of the “Champion” or “Runner up” cards that some of the bigger children were carrying around near the finish line. Son #2 of course, got his finisher medal, but his had “8km” engraved on it instead of “Kids Dash”.
We didn’t hang around too long afterwards. It looked like it was going to rain so we called a taxi. Sure enough, just a minute or two before the taxi arrived it started to rain and the wind picked up.
The results still aren’t published more than three days after the race which is a little bit disappointing. However, it was a good fun event with a nice route. The organisation wasn’t perfect but it was sufficient, especially if you were patient enough to ask several people the same question. The carnival, food and games looked great and there was a good atmosphere. If it were not so far away from where we live, I’d do it again.