Thursday, December 22, 2016
Have you ever had the desire to run at a smelly, smelly place? At least once before you die? Is it on your bucket list? No? Well, me neither.
But the Universe has a cunning way of getting me to do stuff I would normally say "over my dead body" to.
This year I signed up for The Performance Series and it is a series of 5 runs around Singapore. The locations of all the runs weren't released until later. Originally, one of the runs was supposed to be a vertical marathon. Yep, stairs. Thankfully, it was changed. I've done one vertical marathon and frankly once is enough for me. The last run in the Performance Series was called the farm run and in my mind, I thought we were going to run through vegetable farms. Vegetable farms aren't so bad right? As it turned out, we ran on the road, past a lot of smelly fish farms. There was one vegetable farm, I think but it couldn't mask the smell of all the other fish farms. Man, fish farms really really smell. Like I wanted to swear in Hokkien throughout my run. Never heard of Hokkien swear words? None of the languages in the world can compete with Hokkien when it comes to swear words. That's how bad the smell was for me to swear in dialects.
The run was last Sunday and I didn't blog about it right away because it took me this long to get over the trauma of smelling fish shit. An enormous amount of fish shit. And I'm no princess. I grew up in a kampong (village) and I've smelled and stepped on all kinds of shit - duck, dog, cow, turtle, you name it. But the Kranji fish farm smell is truly in a class of its own. Smelling is believing.
The Performance Series guys have proven once before in the event of rain, they simply cannot cope. They have no Plan B. It's December. Of course it's gonna rain. I was actually kinda hoping it would monsoon or something so the run would be cancelled. But when it was time to go, the rain was tapering off. So we took a taxi to somewhere called Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserves. Even the taxi driver didn't know where it was. The name itself gave me the heebee-jeebees. The taxi driver abandoned us the minute he saw a long line of cars somewhere close to where we were supposed to alight. So we ended up walking a very long way precariously on the road because I wanted to avoid walking on the grass which was very wet. I ended up stepping into a big puddle anyway and my left foot got soaking wet. And then all I could think of was what kind of bacteria was entering my bloodstream.
The Performance Series guys were idiotic enough to arrange the 10km runners to flag off at 6:30am and the 5km + 2.5km runners at 6:45am. 15 mins difference! Because of the rain, the 10km run was delayed which meant everyone was there at the same time jammed together. To make the situation worse, the blur organizers arranged to station a row of toilets a short distance before the start line. Can you imagine? So many people needed to pee or poo and they were queuing up in front of the toilets. These people were taking up space needed for the constant flow of people pouring into the road. And because the 10km run did not start, there was no space to go further in. What a nightmare. We were stuck somewhere near the start of the toilets. There was zero crowd control. Amazingly, nothing serious happened.
Despite the rain stopping and zero lightning, the organizers took their time to start the run. Eventually the 10km run started and it was a relief. Not having someone's hair in front of your face anymore!
I think I ran quite slowly for this run. After having experienced 10km, 5km is a breeze. But I'm never going to be a fast runner and I accept it.