The Energizer Singapore Night Trail Race was held last 28th of April. I had so much fun in last year’s trail run that I had no second thoughts signing up for this event again this year.
Unfortunately for me I had work that Saturday and didn’t get much of the needed rest to prepare for the 18Km run. I was on a 7am shift which meant that I had to wake up as early as 4:30am in the morning to prepare for work.
My shift ended at 4pm and I hurried to Woodlands to meet my friend. We decided to have some bread and barley at Toast Box before heading to the race venue. We took the event shuttle bus service provided by the race organizers at the Woodlands MRT.
The event was held in Lorong Asma, opposite Mandai Lake Road along Mandai Road. This was the same venue as last year so somehow I already knew what to expect in terms of the terrain of the race course.
When we arrive at the venue, there were already many people as the obstacle race started as early as 3:15pm and like last year’s event there was also a carnival. There were plenty of freebies that runners and their families/supporters can enjoy. My favorite was the free Magnum ice cream and bananas which I took just before the race.
At about 7:10pm the announcer advised the 18Km trail race participants to start heading to the starting line as the race would be starting at 7:30pm. I slowly walked to the starting line feeling a bit worried as I was not feeling a 100% due to lack of sleep the past few nights leading to the race. I knew that the race course had plenty of uphill stretches. I just reminded myself to just go slow and just try to make it to the finish line in one piece.
At about 7:33pm the starting horn was blown. I turned on my headlamp as I headed into the dark trail. Like any other race, the first few kilometers will always be jampacked with runners trying to position themselves.
As expected the trail course was a series of ups and downs. Running uphill certainly requires a lot of effort but running downhill requires a lot of control especially in an uneven trail. I was just in the first few kilometers of the race and I was already feeling tired from the uphill terrain. I tried to amuse myself by looking at the stars above which I rarely see in Singapore and it reminded me why I joined this race again.
At about 4Km I stopped at the water station for some Pokari Sweat drinks and a toilet break. I then continued to the race wherein finally I came to see the steep hill that I had been expecting to conquer for this race course. Like last year, the organizers had setup a rope where runners can hold on to for support. There was heavy traffic in this junction as most runners filed into a single file to use the rope – there were some who manage to climb the hill without the aid of the rope which was quite amazing! I wanted to be on safe side as I just wanted to complete the race so I used the rope for support as well.
As the race progressed, both my feet were feeling painful especially when going downhill or if stepped on those pointed stones. The path to the 9Km mark was going uphill and my legs were starting to feel very heavy. I decided then to employ run-walk-run method but it seemed like an endless stretch of uphill climbs. I remember heading to Km 10 I was almost thinking of giving up but after I managed to get over the uphill part I said to myself I’m more than halfway of the race and I just have to keep on.
My blisters were getting worst and each step I took was a pain. I continued with my run-walk-run method and I was celebrating each time I get past 1Km. I was kinda relieved when I knew I was already on the 2nd loop. I egged myself to just carry on. At this junction of the race the trail was rather quiet and there were times I was alone running in the dark. It felt peaceful!
At the 16Km mark, I had to conquer the steep hill again for the 2nd time. My energy was running out, my legs felt so heavy and even holding the rope was a difficult task to do at that time. I did manage to get over the hill in one piece and soon after I had already completed 17Km.
After taking my gel I decided to give it one last push and run all the way to the finish line. The last 1km felt like never-ending. I kept thinking I was near to the finish line but there were no bright lights to indicate I was anywhere near to it . I felt like it was the longest 1Km I ever ran. Finally after running 2hrs and 35 minutes I finally crossed the finish line. I was quite relieved knowing that I can finally rest my feet as my blisters had really gone bad.
I got my hard-earned 18KM finisher’s medal and proceeded towards the baggage claim area. My friend who ran 6Km was already waiting for me.
The Energizer Singapore Night Trail was my first race for this year and it surely was a lot of fun despite running in pain due to blisters. I think the race organizers did a pretty good job again in planning and organizing the race. The race course was quite challenging and fun at the same time. Plus you get some freebies like free ice cream and bananas for only $50 (early-bird registration).
My only suggestion for next year’s event (if there is any) is that the women’s running shirt would use women’s sizing and not men’s sizing. I didn’t use the green running shirt provided as the S size was still too big for me.