July 19th, 2015

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Event: Mizuno Ekiden Relay Race - Race as 4, Run as 1

Hey everybody!

In April, I did a shoutout for Mizuno Ekiden Relay Race 2015 here and yesterday, I got to experience my first Japanese-themed race. :)

In a gist, Mizuno Ekiden Relay Race is a long-distance relay race by 4 team members, covering 42.195km in total. The race aims to promote important Japanese values such as team work, perseverance and performance. Thus, each team member is expected to run approximately 10.5km with a sash. Once they cross the finishing line, they are supposed to pass the sash to the next team member who will cover the next 10.5km.


It was honestly a novel (albeit very exhausting) experience for me and I took lots of photos so be prepared for a photo spam!



The race was held at The Meadow at Gardens by the Bay.

I've never actually explored Gardens by the Bay properly before so I didn't realize that the Supertrees could look so good from this angle.




The runners' track where we started and ended our race.

I'm the 4th and the last runner of my team so I didn't have to report dead early in the morning. I officially started running at 11.30am but I was already there at 9.30am. Some of the runners in the corporate and school category have already completed their race.




The famous Floating Baby. I still have no idea how the baby is able to float. Can someone enlighten me?



The finishing line. I took this photo before I started running so the timing reflected in the picture wasn't mine.



Welcome to the Matsuri Race Village where you can be entertained by cute Japanese thingums such as cultural performances and traditional Japanese games.

There were even cosplayers walking around in their costumes under the sweltering heat.




The wide variety of Japanese gourmet which I never got to eat.

I was looking forward to trying some of these food after my race but when I finished my race, many of the stalls were closed. :(




Their 'sumo wrestlers' wear costumes to sumo wrestle. Super cute.



I was hiding in the shade prior to my race because the weather was unforgiving.

My team mates, Deenise (Runner 2) and Wynne (Runner 1) dropped by to cheer me on and they warned me that the race will be a tough one. :S




The 4th runners' transition pen, where the runners were waiting (patiently?) for their 3rd runners to cross the finishing line.



The transition zone. When you see your team mate running into this zone, you can come out from your pen, get ready to grab hold of the sweat-drenched sash and start running.

Now, the question a lot of my friends have been asking me was: How's the experience? Was it tiring?

Hell yeah, it was! Let's just say that this relay race is not for the faint-hearted.

This was possibly the toughest and longest race I've ever ran. I was actually one of the last few runners to start running so there were hardly any runners behind me or ahead of me. I was practically running alone throughout the race and occasionally, there will be a couple of very fit guys overtaking me. I'm now wondering whether I was the last few to cross the finishing line for my team.

For someone who gets motivated by pacing my speed with others, I was honestly a little demotivated running by myself and my self-endurance was exceptionally low. Even my 'sprint-stop-sprint-stop' strategy wasn't working so well.

There were hordes of tourists blocking my path as well so it did made me feel quite angst when I was trying to navigate past the selfie-taking tourists. To add, the weather was an ass and the sun was totally in my face.




That said, I managed to take some photos along the way, such as these boats outside Customs House.



This semi-sheltered race route was surprisingly calming.



WHAT? 5km only?! I felt as though I was running for an eternity.



The slope to hell at Marina Barrage. Everyone was defeated by this part of the race because we were so damn tired by then.



My eyes lit up when I saw 10km because it meant that I was finishing the race soon. I still had 500m more to go but at least I could see an end.



Tadah! Got my fan-shaped finisher medal! I love it!



I collected my team mates' finisher medals as well. Isn't it cool that when you piece the fan-shaped medals together, they actually form a complete circle? :)



Jia Hui waited for me to complete my race and we were both ecstatic to receive our medals!


Photo credits to Jia Hui.

Must.take.photo.with.giant.mizuno.wave.shoe.



While waiting for me, Jia Hui was super sweet to get me a personalized fan with my name on it. So that's my name in Japanese characters!



Posing with my personalized fan! It also came in handy as I was mad sweaty and hot.


Photo credits to Deenise.

With my team - Blogfrenz! We survived this challenging race and I'm so proud of everyone. :)

If you're interested to join a relay race like this, do look out for next year's Mizuno Ekiden.

Even though this race is not for the faint-hearted, I'm not saying that you shouldn't sign up for it. You can sign up for it to experience something new as the concept of the race is very interesting and it's not all the time that you can experience a Japanese-themed race like this. In my opinion, it's also a great race for team bonding so I will strongly encourage schools and organizations to join this.

And if you're an athlete or a fitness junkie looking to train your stamina and endurance, I'll highly recommend you to challenge yourself and try this! A competitive race like this will definitely push you out of your comfort zone.

My legs are still aching after a night of salonpas pasted over my thighs so I shall go rest now.

Have an awesome Sunday, my friends!

Disclaimer: Race review is based on personal experiences.