Just as for the last three years, this afternoon I headed off to Bedok Reservoir for a 3.8km relay race, organised in fairly shambolic, yet very bureaucratic fashion. This time around I brought wife and kids (last year they stayed at home, and previously La Serpiente had accompanied me).
Bedok is quite far out (in Singaporean terms) and our taxi took us on a circuitous route to get there. I was worried, even though we’d left with .Ore than an hour to spare, that we wouldn’t make it in time; the organisers tend to start the race totally at random, sometimes ahead of the scheduled time, sometimes way after. Or they’ll announce it’s starting half an hour early, then spend so much time faffing about that they start half an hour behind schedule.
Last year it was sunny, but rain and lightning this year threatened to have the whole thing cancelled. As it was, we started 45 minutes late, when I was nervous the event would be called off and I’d have dragged wife and kids there for nothing.
The course is simple: you run up a tarmac road for about a mile, then down a muddy bank, and then along a winding dirt track by the water’s edge back to the start. The relay is for a team of four, exchanging a large rubber band at the changeover point by the start/finish line.
(If you stand too close to that area and cheer the rest of your team on, you get told to move back because you’re putting everyone else off. That would make sense if you weren’t cheering on the only runner to be seen for two minutes on the track. But I digress…)
This year I was third. Previously I’ve been first, fourth, and I can’t remember the first time. Who can, really? The rest of my team were running in about 13 minutes each so my 14 minute effort was a bit dismal, but I think we still got in the top 3 at the end (and I was a minute faster than last year). The big prize, the raffle of consumer electronics, I didn’t stick around for this year, to my great chagrin.
But it was probably time to get home. In the 14 minutes while I’d been away, Destroyer had fallen and given herself an egg-sized bump in the middle of her forehead (what is it with my kids and their heads this month?) and La Serpiente was exhausted enough (no proper nap today) to be in full meltdown. Though it pained me to miss out on the opportunity for a free cut-price Akira rice cooker, this was probably the right decision.