Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore: Kids Dash!

It was the norm: daddy runs, we cheer… until the SAFRA Singapore Bay Run (SBR) Dad’s For Life Father and Child 800m challenge when Daddy and A took part together (read HERE for the details of that experience). K sat on the side-lines with Mummy on that one. When she questioned why she couldn’t take part, we told her that when she was older, it would be her turn. Well, 3 months later, I guess she got older!

Mummy signed us up for the SCMS Kids’ Dash, an 800m route almost identical to that at the SBR. The plan was to take part with our cousins and have Daddy and Mummy accompany the two girls for the last race of the season. As part of the holiday, we had booked a room at the Singapore Recreation Club for the night prior to the run.

Just like all plans, nothing goes the way we envisioned it would. We cancelled the room a couple of weeks before as Daddy decided to give the marathon a miss due to injury (he eventually recovered a few days before the race, and came in 15th place in the Singapore Men category). Our cousins couldn’t make it too due to other family commitments. As this was going to be K’s first race, we were hoping for an awesome debut. What we got was nothing short of interesting.

Mummy and the girls got to the meeting point slightly behind schedule. A tired post-marathon Daddy finally caught up with the team, either by sheer luck or divine intervention considering that hundreds of other people, all wearing the same SCMS running singlet also decided to congregate at the meeting point at 9am. Mummy took the girls to the start line alone while waiting for Daddy to sort out some post-race admin. Deciding not to join the queues at the bag deposit, Mummy’s ‘commando’ mind-set meant completing 800m with a full backpack. The sky decided to participate too- it broke into a light drizzle... 

All ready. 

The kids were in the 4 to 6 years category flagging off at 9.45am. Older children in the other categories were flagged off slightly earlier. To ensure that kids were handed over to the correct parent at the endpoint, parents were issued wrist bands bearing their child’s bib number to show the volunteers. As Mummy was running with the girls, finding the kids at the endpoint was not a problem for her.

Kids on the parents' shoulders, participating in the mass warm up session, coupled with loud catchy music. 

After a mass warm-up conducted by the emcee, the drizzle stopped just as the run was flagged off, and the initial hundred metres or so resembled a walk more than a ‘dash’. Most of the younger kids had to find their balance among the crowd while some missed their steps and fell. Parents of other children would gather around to comfort the crying kids or to help find the missing shoes. Parents and volunteers along the path cheered the little runners on.  The girls went ahead of Mummy hand-in-hand, until there was enough room to break into a run. That was when we discovered a hidden ‘talent’ in K for running, as the younger girl took the lead and ‘dragged’ her older sister and Mummy along, urging them to go faster! The older A reminded K that this was not a race and there were no prizes to be won. In addition, safety was priority as the roads were slippery.

The massive crowd meant a slow up was necessary

Pumping up the adrenaline

Full charge ahead
As the little runners approached the finishing line, everyone had to slow down and stroll. As they were sharing the road with the rest of the marathon runners, the little runners and their parents came to a bottleneck. Too many runners, one road. About 50 metres to the finishing mark, things started to pick up and the kids started showing off their powerful sprints. At the endpoint and kids collection area, the 4 to 6 year-olds were handed mini versions of the SCMS finishers' medal, and a can of 100 Plus. They made their way through the exit chute on slippery, muddy ground. The last 10 metres exiting the area was the muddiest. Socks and shoes were going to need a bath after this.

K dragging A along to collect their medals. 

Their rewards...

Considering the demand for taxis, we were very fortunate to have an available taxi stop right in front of us at The Swisshotel after making our way briskly out of the crowded Padang. We apologized to the driver for our muddy shoes, but he was very kind and didn't mind one bit.

Finally in the cab, we finally had a chance to reflect on the day's experience. An ideal way to celebrate the outing would've been a nice lunch in town. However, the wet, sticky and muddy family was not in a mood for that. Perhaps after a shower?

We asked the girls if they'd be interested in taking part again next year. They said 'YES!'... Mummy said 'Uh oh...'.

The footwear gets a bath!

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