it was a quite a wrap, with the group who completed within the cut-off time, and where we managed to taste the local fusion of chinese and portuguese food. we traveled mostly on foot, the free shuttle services, and taxi. macau consists of the macau peninsular, the islands of taipa and coloane, and the landfilled cotai strip that connects the 2 islands.
our accommodation was located in taipa, which is approximately 1.5 km to the olympic stadium. i had a nice and cooling experience to jog in the chilling morning breeze to the stadium. our main mode of transportation is on foot, free shuttle buses and taxis (only in taipa). we boarded the free shuttle services to get to st paul’s ruins via the nearest casino, and the border gate.
with limited access to the internet, and the slow access in the hotel, i used dayre for the updates of my trip in macau.
ending this post with a photo of the famous pork chop bun.
more than a week from my last vacation of the year, i finally had the time to post some updates on the trip, only to realize the site was down. a look at the error log file revealed that the site had been down since dec 7, due to an invalid call argument for one of the plug-ins.
removed the offending plug-in, and i am back online.
my first salomon x-trail run was back in 2010 at the macritchie reservoir park. i signed up for the 10 km category in 2011 and had to give away my slot due to health reasons. after hearing the hubby and my ex-colleagues’ feedback on the trail route, i felt discourage to sign up for the x-trail runs held at the tampines bike park.
the tampines bike park and trail has been slated for the development of a new residential town, and this sixth edition of the run could possibly be the last in the park. glad that i had the opportunity to run there once. traces of the clearing, barren land and gravel-covered path was more prevalent in the last 3 km of the race route.
the first 4 km was a pain, navigating through the narrow path in a single file. i had to stop and walk often, and coupled with the constant hopping around, i soon lost my momentum. pain started to build up in ankle and calf, before i hit the 3 km mark. by then, i had fallen behind from the crowd, and i was running almost alone in the trails after around 4 to 5 km.
i had under-estimated the trails, despite prior warnings from the hubby, my ex-colleagues and following running kakis. climbing over fallen trees, stomping across muddy tracks and crossing a small stream were some of the obstacles encountered along the trail. the soles on my shoes started to peel off, layer by layer, and i soon was running in my “zero-dropped” adidas adizero.
water point was scarce and i had to stop for a good 2 to 3 minutes at each of the 2 points to rehydration. thankfully the weather was cool and i had my visor on.
i completed the race with less than an ideal time of close to 2 hours.
overall it was a good race experience and a memorable one. i lost my first pair of adidas adizero, even though it still looked good without the soles.
the only drawback was the tiny weeny finisher medal, and the return of my old calf injury.
a new process was used for international shipping, and thus, the product i’d backed from the kickstarter project was delayed. it finally arrived on my birthday, and roughly a week after i received the shipping information. i wasn’t home for the delivery but was equally delighted to receive the collection note, after a 6 hours journey back home from the north.
both the bubble-wrapped camerapro camera clip and the propad, was enclosed in a package that looks large enough to fill in a couple more boxes of the camera clips and propads.
the 2 black round knobs hold the camera clip to the shoulder strap on a bag or a belt. the red knob is the quick release for the mounting dualplate, thus giving quick access to the camera. the small round knob is a screw lock that prevents the accidental detachment of the camera. securely clipped to the shoulder strap of my camera backpack, it was able to take the load of my 50D, 70-200 mm F4 lens, and battery grip.
i do feel uncomfortable with the back plate pressing against my chest on the shoulder strap. otherwise, it’s an useful piece of accessory, which can keep my hands free from my monstruous camera, to pick up the field chair and monopod.
we took advantage of the supposedly long weekend for a getaway. i was lucky to have a day off despite the change in the deepavali public holiday.
one of the reason for the trip up north was the pink/grey running singlet in 2xu first ever run. totally no regrets as the finisher medal is awesome! a simple x logo, engraved with the event details.
the only downside was the hilly terrain, which i had to slow to a walk when going uphill, and catch up on the downhills. it wasn’t bad at all as i took time to take in the surrounding scenery. the route kind of reminded me of rifle range road back at home.
we stayed in 2 different places. one was near to the running site and the other in the city center area. i’m writing this post, while laying comfortably on a day couch, with a bird’s eye view of the surrounding.
wifi access is definitely better in the 2nd hotel.
in another few hours, we will be heading back to reality. we are expecting 2 other trips up north, before we come to the close of the year.
the effect of a 10 km run after a long hiatus and without prior training and stretching, lead to muscle aches on my calves, thighs, hips, upper back and shoulders. on the brighter side of things, i managed to jog at a comfortable pace of about 8 min/km in the first 5 km.
sleep did not come easy the night before the run, as i contemplated on whether to take the run or to photograph the event. i’m glad to have made the right choice, as we spotted numerous photographers along nicoll highway. that was the first time i ran in another person’s bib, and had a friend who accompanied me through the entire route. i had initially felt an inconvenience to her because she is a much stronger runner than me. i am thankful for her presence, the encourage and chats we had, that made our run less painful and boring.
besides the small hiccup at the hydration station, shape run in general is one of the well organized run with an attractive goodie bag, post race carnival, wide running path. the cold water and isotonic drinks compensated for the time spent waiting for them to be dispensed at the hydration station.
the second part of the morning was spent in ngee ann city, not there to shop, but to lend our support to a running kaki in his quest for the subaru challenge.
it was unfortunate that he had to give up the challenge and it was not due to penalty. an amazing feat in enduring through more than 31 hours without sleep, in alternating hot and cold weather, with a minimum of 5 minutes break every 6 hours.
after witnessing the demonstration of endurance by my running kaki, and the great run i had, my passion in running seems to have been re-ignited.
i hope this feeling will last long, before i experience my first morning sickness.
a decent watch for everyday use, and to cover the untanned portion of my wrist from the long-term usage of my sports watch during the weekends.
i possibly could have been one of the late supporters. glad that international backers are finally receiving good news on the shipment. hopefully i will be in town for the delivery.
we had less than a week to recover from our sleepless weekend, in order to support our friends in the ultra-marathon last weekend. reservations were made in the middle of the week for a carbo load session the day before the ultra. that was the first time i had a huge pizza, thrice the size of my face.
peperoni pizzeria – saucisson + hawaiana
besides the pizza, we ordered a main each, which i’d managed to finish only half of the lasagne. a generous serving of beef sandwiched between the layers of pasta.
sleep doesn’t come easy, especially after a heavy dinner and a bloated stomach. we managed to catch a few winks before we were up early to witness the flag off.
we formed the roaming team, stopping along upper thomson road, checkpoints one, three and four, to capture the moments of the ultra-marathoners. unlike one group who supported the runners with food and drinks along one of the pit stops, we managed with cans of coke, isotonic drinks and ice-cream in our humble cooler box.
it was fun and an enjoyable journey, despite the bad headache i experienced while following 小妹 through her run. however, i doubt i can survive through another sleepless night, for more than 1 weekend in a row.
we returned to marina barrage, the start/finish venue, where we started off taking the runners in the sundown ultra-marathon, after staying vigilant in changi the entire night.
the thunderstorm coupled with strong winds welcomed us soon after our arrival. we managed to seek shelter in the main tent, and made the right choice to shift into the building. i learned later that the main tent was flipped over by the strong winds.
10 hours of carrying the camera gear without my trusty monopod left with me aching shoulders and back. i have my full respect to all the runners who completed the race. their determination and perseverance to complete the run pale in comparison to our struggles to keep ourselves awake. again, it wouldn’t have been possible without a great company.
a good training nonetheless, for the ultra craze next weekend.