The first thing you should note is that this run is different from the “Green Corridor Run”. I took part in the Green Corridor Run last year, and that run is an annual run organized in conjunction with World Water Day.
This Rail Corridor Run is organized and sponsored by Compressport, which has dangled all sorts of Compressport goodies to attract entrants. Runners were able to select from different packages on sign-up: for instance, …
I didn’t experience any hiccups in the race pack collection process at Funan Mall – there was hardly a queue, and it took under 5 minutes on a Sunday. A friend told me she had to wait a long time in line on a Saturday, so I suppose it depends on when you go. Perhaps they were better equipped to deal with crowds on Sunday since I noted a great number of volunteers at the venue, possibly in response to Saturday’s queues.
It started and ended at two different places – beginning at the Bukit Timah Railway Station, the run took us through the rail corridor, ending at Tanjong Pagar Railway station. So this meant you could’nt drive and park at the start point (since you’re ending elsewhere), and where bag drops are concerned, the organizers had to find a way to move your bags to the endpoint.
At last year’s Green Corridor Run, the Organizers rented containers (those pulled by trucks) which took bags from the start to the endpoint. Everything was smooth, and not a logistics nightmare like some would imagine
Photo credit: Jeremy Sng
For this run, the organizers hired several trucks, each to contain up to 500 bags each. The baggage deposit was smooth, and relatively painless. So was baggage collection at the end.
There wasn’t much to do while waiting for the start at 9am – no “village”, no walking around preening yourself or fussing over equipment (as some tend to do at triathlons), and it was just a plain, simple wait for those who take part in runs alone (yep, I’m one of those weirdos). Also, since I don’t run with my phone, I didn’t have my usual source of entertainment there and then. The Emcee injected a great deal of local flair with his Singapore-themed jokes, but I still thought the start was a pretty long wait.
The start comprised several waves – on a first-come-first-served basis. I was hoping for a good timing and position, so I ensured I started in the first wave which went at 9am.
Here’s some amazing drone photography by the organizers – you can see why it’s referred to as a “green corridor”:
Photo credit: Organizers of the Compressport Rail Corridor Run
It’s pretty barebones – just a narrow trail, with nothing fancy to yell about. There weren’t great views either since you’re surrounded by foliage (“Corridor”, get it?).
The mud though, was everyone’s main bugbear. That, and the ankle-deep puddle which was unavoidable somewhere midway which left your shoes soaked, and momentarily heavier. I didn’t think the mud was so bad; at least it wasn’t of the “clay-ey” sort where your feet can get stuck in the mud, or where your feet can miraculously come out of your shoes (that happened to me once in the UK; I had elastic shoelaces which… aren’t very practical)
The field of runners was a very, very fast field. There were teams of Kenyans, Gurkhas, and the usual local running clubs participating. I spoke to Stuart Haynes after the run, and he said the Kenyans pretty much “couldn’t be seen” after the first kilometre. Which is remarkable, considering Stuart did a 36 minute run in those muddy conditions and topped his 10km – Men’s Veteran category.
There wasn’t much, just a banana, some water, and a medal. Medals are usually unremarkable round things with some lettering on it – the Compressport one, at least, was more detailed than the usual medal, and medal collectors would say that’s worth a higher race entry fee.
All in all, this was a run which stood out for its competitors, and the surroundings – if you like rugged, muddy trails, this run’s for you.