SGX Bull Charge
This race report is a bit late. I was waiting for some of the race photos to be published, but there don't seem to have been any! So here goes...
I left the office a little bit early last Friday to go to the start of the SGX Bull Charge Charity race. The boys and my husband were waiting on the other side of the bay near to the race start, so I walked quickly to get there as fast as possible! It was a hot, sunny afternoon, so they were waiting in the shade watching a performance next to the water, in front of the theatre. At the start of the race there was no shade at all, so after a short while I kissed them goodbye, agreed to meet them nearby at the water park after the race and sent them off with my bag as well as their own.
I found a drink and wandered over to the start line. Within a few minutes the start pen was quite full. I heard somebody joking that the front two lines were only for sub 17 minute finishers… I recognised the voice. It was our old neighbour, Tony. His eldest daughter had been in my class at school and his youngest in my brother’s class. I signalled to him to move forward to join me near the front; then I realised he was with Vivian, his partner and one of the fastest Singaporean ladies around – she also came to the front. They had a little bit of water left and kindly shared it with me during the long wait for the starting horn.
The Chief challenge was flagged off first. There was just one woman amongst them in the 3 km race… a bit disappointing, but not surprising.
The SGX Bull Charge is funded by local financial institutions (including the one I work for) and SGX listed companies donating money in exchange for racing slots to give to their staff to run. The 2014 charity run has raised $2.6 million so far this year, benefiting hundreds of underprivileged children, youth, the elderly and families from four charities: Asian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA), Autism Association of Singapore, Fei Yue Community Services and Shared Services for Charities. Over the past 11 years, the Bull Charge has raised almost $24 million dollars for over 50 different charities.
At the horn, 6,000 of us ran over the line, round the bay, past my office, along the front of Marina Bay Sands, towards Gardens by the Bay to the turn around point which was just a few hundred metres short of where my children were playing at the water park! There were cyclists wearing vests marked “1st male”, “2nd male” etc for the leading three men and three women. I could still see the “1stFemale” up ahead following Vivian and just after the turn around I could see the “3rd Female” cyclist about 200 metres behind me. After we turned, we ran under the bridge, up some steps and over the Bayfront Avenue bridge… a hill at about 4.2km, however gentle, made my quads burn…. There aren’t very many hills in Singapore! As we came down the slope off of the bridge I saw the “3rd Female” cyclist out of the corner of my eye. I looked behind me and realised that he had freewheeled down the slope and was quite away ahead of the woman he was supposed to be following and she wasn’t overtaking me! Phew! Just then I could hear the MC shouting “…and our first lady, let’s give her a cheer! Excellent running, very fast, Vivian Taaaaaaaang!!!”
I think he noticed me coming in second place when I was about 3-4 metres away from the line. :-)
We walked under the stadium seats at the float and picked up drinks, food and a goody bag. After that I had a chat with Vivian, Tony and some of the other people who had already finished and then wandered over to the stage area. Next to the stage area was the AWWA tent. There were a few elderly ladies sitting in wheelchairs next to the tent. I sat down next to a lady called SIni who lived in the AWWA home. She was originally from Penang and had come to Singapore because she wasn’t able to live by herself anymore. She told me she had been to Paris and that she had family all over the world including a 60 year old son. Sometimes she repeated herself – I think her short term memory was not quite perfect, but she was very sweet and seemed to be enjoying herself. We chatted for about 10-15 minutes until we were called up for the presentation.
Magnus Bocker, the SGX CEO made the presentations. He was full of beans, high-fiving everyone all around! After the presentations and some photos I tied by bag around me so it didn’t bounce around and then ran at a decent pace towards the water park to go and meet the children. My husband had an appointment at 8pm, so we needed to leave in time for that. I got just past the turn around point of the race and then I heard them. They’d been kicked out of the water park as it closed at sundown, so they had started to walk to meet me. We had sweaty hugs, the eldest took the trophy and the youngest just wanted to be carried. In the end we made it home just in time…