Akira Road Race Relay


Today was the day of the Akira Road Race Relay. This is a yearly event run in the park around Bedok Reservoir, and gets its name from the sponsors, a Singaporean manufacturer of electric goods such as toaster ovens, blenders, rice cookers, steamboat dishes, vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, etc etc, ad infinitum. That means that after the race there’s a lucky draw, and there’s nothing I love more than the chance to win miscellaneous electrical goods for free. Last year I didn’t win anything, but I was keen to compete again.

To help with race preparation, my daughter woke up at six this morning and shouted at us. We tried to persuade her to go back to sleep sandwiched between us, but no such luck. Instead, she went at us full steam ahead for five hours, until we took her to her swim class, where she got a bit freaked out about water and clung to us like a limpet. We took her home and then she went right to sleep, followed shortly by us.

I woke up at 1:30. The race started at 4pm, but we had to get there for three to get organized, pick up race numbers, etc. It would take about twenty minutes in a taxi, but we also needed to eat lunch, and there was no food in the house.

So obviously, I spent half an hour wasting my time on the internet, then panicked and ran downstairs to get a burger while wife and child continued to sleep. I figured perhaps I could just go to the race myself and let them wake up later.

As soon as I got back, the rest of the family woke up, and I think rather than be trapped with La Serpiente Aquatica Negra for the afternoon alone, my wife decided to come out with me. We rushed outside and ran back and forth across the road until we got a taxi and then headed out to Bedok Reservoir.

We arrived at 3:10. I collected my race number and tried to entertain the child for a while. The race start was postponed. I think this happened last year as well. The race was scheduled for a 4pm start, after the under 14s and under 17s races were complete. But since the relay route was for teams of four, and the route would take between ten and twenty minutes to traverse, and the time between race starts was only thirty minutes, and they didn’t want to start any race until the previous one was complete, something would have to give.

Last year, for a laugh, I think, they changed the start time to 3:30 at the last minute, and then didn’t actually start until half an hour later, which got them on schedule. This time around, they put back the race start until 4:30, combined the open age category with the under 17s, and then delayed some more until we actually started at 4:58. So I could have enjoyed a leisurely afternoon and a slow journey to Bedok Reservoir rather than going all out, all the way.

The course itself is about 3.5 kilometres. It was shorter last year because the guy measuring it laid the course markers out incorrectly in 2014. Or I was running much faster last year, because I seemed to remember running a 10 minute time on the course.

This year, I was the first person out of our relay team (we entered six teams this year) and I got a credible 14 minutes. I returned to the start to be welcomed by my daughter, who had apparently screamed for all the time that I’d been out running.

Sadly, together we didn’t go fast enough to get in the medals, although several of the other teams from my running club did. And we won a toaster oven in the prize draw afterwards.

We got a taxi back which drove very very slowly through heavy traffic, causing great umbrage from the demanding monster in the back seat. Back home, we crammed her full of milk and pasta, and then she went down like a charm when we put her into her crib.

Next year, I hope everything is a bit more organized, both for me and for the race. That, or we’ll just arrive an hour after the scheduled start time and bluff it from there.


5 responses to “Akira Road Race Relay”

  1. Does the toaster oven have to be shared with your fellow racers ? Or do you get to keep it for yourself ?

    • Alas, I wasn’t even the proud recipient of the toaster oven. But hapoy to be associated with such athletic prowess…

  2. Just the idea of a burger as preparation for a race is sitting heavy on my stomach, even if it is vegetarian – do you think that had anything to do with it?

    • “Burger” probably oversells what was actually a portobello mushroom drenched in mozzarella. But agreed, not quite the perfect pre run preparation.

  3. […] to anyone who’s a proper adult) but it’s also a Singaporean company that sponsors a relay race around Bedok Reservoir every March, with a raffle at the end of great prizes like slow cookers and vacuum cleaners. I hadn’t […]

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