My kids asked me,”Why do you have to go for run events when you can run in the park by yourself?”
Even the hub could not comprehend why I have been waking up as early as 530am to attend run events on Sundays when I could have slept in or run on my own as the time suits.
I replied,”Kids, that’s because it is very fun to run with my friends. We motivate each other and it has become a healthy hobby for us.”
You know what? Maybe it is like a recent article that said it, as you approach 40, you begin to find new hobbies, exercise regimens, diet plans to keep minds and bodies in shape. And “as you reach your 40s, you settle down into your own skin and begin to feel comfortable in what you do, what you look like and what others think of you.” Haha! Maybe I am like this, as I tilt towards the wrong side of 35, I am beginning to feel comfortable in what I do, and being finally have some time to myself to do something I like and a new focus to stay fit and healthy.
So, together with 3 other mum blogger friends for a common love for our new found interest, we took part in Mizuno Ekiden. Mizuno Ekiden is a unique race of 4 friends completing either a half or full marathon in combined effort. We took part in the half marathon category and each of us ran about 5.2km each. The first runner ran with the sash and passed on to the 2nd runner who awaited at the transition area and so and so forth to the last runner who would finish at the finishing line.
Featured in Material World Interview
In the run up to the race on 16th July 2016, we were honoured to be featured in Material World in an interview where we talked much about how we keep up friendship and a healthy lifestyle as working mums.
The race was held at a very good timing in late afternoon at 430pm flag off for half marathon. Our team was made up of Cynthia from ilovedefamily as 1st runner, me as 2nd runner, Mei from Finally Mama as 3rd runner and Meiling from Universal Scribbles as 4th runner. Our team even had a fun name called “Racy Mamas” which was printed on our bibs. We were all there to take part for the name of fun and camaraderie.
What’s Unique about Mizuno Ekiden
One unique thing about Mizuno Ekiden must be their Matsuri Race Village where family and friends and runners were treated to a spread of sumptuous Japanese food like Ramen, Takoyaki, Gyoza, Matcha Latte, Suntory Beer, and more. You need to purchase the coupons to buy these foods and drinks. So, while your teammate was running and the other runners were waiting for either their turn or for their teammates to return, they would be able to enjoy some food or have a go in the free games booths.
Another interesting feature of how Ekiden run works is that we were able to track our teammates’ timing and distance. We were able to know if the previous runner was approaching you for transition. While waiting for Cynthia to be back, I took track of where she was and seeing that she would be back in any minute as the distance approached 5km mark shown on my mobile screen, I quickly moved my way out of the 2nd runners crowd to take over the sash from her.
Mizuno Ekiden was held at Marina Promontory and hence the race route circled the Marina Bay Sands area, touched the Gardens by the Bay, and cross the Helix bridge (which was the toughest as it has an upslope). So it provided a good scenic view along the river as the sun gradually set. The race route covered some stairways and up to the Helix Bridge which was a killer for tired legs. Most of the runners were walking instead of running to conserve energy.
I am surprised that I did not clock more than 8min per km as you might have already known that my knees had been giving me problems. It was good that I used the run-walk approach, walking for a minute at every km mark and my knees were good to run for about 4km. Then, I was greedy and continued to run past 4km mark without having a walk break, and that was when my knees started to hurt and I had to walk and finally ran with a slight limp towards the finishing line.
What I love about Mizuno Ekiden run besides the Matsuri Race Village, is the team work that we had and the perseverance to complete the race in good time because we knew that it was a team effort. We tracked the last runner, Meiling’s distance and were well in time to receive her at the finishing line. Good team work everyone!
Look at the 4 medals combining into one! Amazing design!
After the run, the Matsuri Race Village became a big gathering under the stars, with beer and good food, the Marina Promontory was a perfect place to celebrate friendship and bond with family!
This must be one of the best run events that I had ever been to so far. Hope to participate again next year!
Disclaimer: Thanks to Mizuno and organizer SPRG, we were given media slots to review Mizuno Ekiden 2016. All opinions are mine. This is the 2nd year running for Mizuno Ekiden in Singapore and hope to see it running for many years to come!