Wednesday, 30 March 2016

On the run in South Asia

Holiday, good to get away. We really did get away this time, to Singapore and Sydney. I found races to do in each city, will leave greater detail for later once GoPro pictures are ready. 


You know you're not in Canada (or Kansas, Dorothy) when you see a lizard walking casually down the street. Going outside I'd be hit with such a heat blast, it gave me pause for thought: "back inside?"
Near enough to the equator that daylight hours only vary by about half an hour during the year, the heat and humidity is a similar story. I started my first run before dawn, and even then it's like running in a malfunctioning sauna. 
Soaked in sweat within 2 minutes, it does have its compensations, such as the harbour front view. 

Pre-race recalculations 
It turned out that I ran most of the race route of the upcoming 2xu compression 10k run on my first outing. This first experience of morphing into a small salty puddle had me reassessing my goals: before landing in Singapore I thought 42 minutes would make a good hard tempo run. First step outside the airport instantly changed this to 45 minutes. 5 minutes into the first run changed it again to getting to the finish line and being able to correctly answer "what's your name?" 

Humidex tourism 
Much of the holiday was about keeping as cool as possible, such as the spectacular Marina Bay Sands rooftop pool. I was the only one there without a selfie stick.
I slept in and started my second run late. The humidity was ferocious, you notice yourself dehydrate very quickly. 
A good chance to see the F1 track (a night race - daytime would be too punishing), also doubling as the race start/ finish. 
Later on, my wife did some window shopping while I took advantage of some stores handing out free diuretics. 

Hottest race ever
Starting at the crack of dawn, I let the state of my hydration be my guide. 
It worked extremely well: evenly paced throughout, spectacular views, and continual making up of places. 
There was always room to overtake the suffering half marathoners - they started at 5am - and bring it to the finish. 
A good indication of the conditions: 46 minutes got me 24th place out of over 2,000. 

Finally a chance to cool off. A bit. 
Who let them out? There are cockatoos everywhere, they screech incessantly.
Run Calgary in Sydney. 
Yes I ran across the bridge. About the 500th quickest time, according to Strava. 
Every city should have one of these. 
A rooftop gym, but it heats up so much you'll think you're in Singapore. 

Beaches 'n' stretches
My second run took in some of Sydney's beaches, such as Bondi, above. Sydney's pretty hilly in places, San Francisco style. 
Zoo trip taught me how to do yoga like a koala...
...and how to laze around like a kangaroo.

An other worldly race
The Jabulani Challenge, a trail race just outside Sydney, was on during our stay. It was a good way of seeing the outback, 12k of rocks, red sand and gum trees. There was a 22 and a 45k which I felt was too much for a holiday trail race. A steep hill which was more like rock climbing convinced me I'd made the right decision. One runner took a very bad fall in front of me and I had a few minor slips myself. 
Great experience though. 
Rooftop pool was a fine place for a gentle recovery workout, overseen by a fleet of cockatoos. 
I got in one last run, a 4x 1k in Centennial Park, a nice urban space with show jumping grounds in the centre. 
A holiday with races rather than destination races, both countries were fine challenges. The heat and distance traveled don't really lend themselves to quick times, so I made it all an experience from which to come away smiling. & I did. 


  1. Nice pictures. Looks like you two had a great trip. I love travelling ... it's been too long. It's always fun to do these little races and just enjoy the fun of it! Good on you!

  2. Brilliant photos, pleased you had a great time.