Thursday, December 22, 2016

Run at a smelly, smelly place. Ticked.

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 was in the 5km run and although one part of me just wanted to get it over with, I did try to "enjoy" the scenery because this area has zero tall buildings and there aren't many such places in Singapore. But the smell! The smell! It wasn't smelly throughout the run. There were a few areas which had no fish farms. Good grief. How do people work there?

I wore a new Reebok running tee. I have a liking for running tees with holes at the back. Is it weird?

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.

I was happy to get my medal.

Now I have my Singapore.


Jane McLellan said...

Congratulations on completing your 'map'! Wow, have to be thankful you don't live on a fish farm.

Projects By Jane said...

Jane, the smell is forever etched in my brain. Cannot. Unsmell.

Ely said...

Blur organizers was a very polite way to describe them. What a mess! But glad you completed your run and your Singapore medal!! I am jealous that your husband does this with you, or is it that you are joining him? ;)

Projects By Jane said...

Hi Ely, I used to tag along to hubs' runs to take photos of him. But it got boring as there's a lot of waiting so I decided to participate in the run as well. Thru these runs, I got fitter and fitter. I think it's a win-win.

Ely said...

What a great reason to get involved! I recently just got back into fitness but it doesn't seem to have inspired my husband to be more active. Instead, clothes are "shrinking."


Christel said...

The medals coming together to form the shape of the island is really interesting! I don't really remember the smell of fish farms, but chicken farms are horrible. I recall "taking a whiff" of these (on some days) from my secondary school haha.

Projects By Jane said...

I think I remember the chicken shit smell. The govt even hired a foreigner to temporarily fix the situation and many plants with sweet scent were planted. However, it resulted in many wasps and bees... In my opinion, fish shit smells worse than chicken shit. Or maybe my memory of the chicken shit has long faded.

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