I ran my first half-marathon in Singapore this weekend.  I  also ran my last half-marathon in Singapore this weekend.  Let me explain.

For the past several months, I’ve been training in the steamy, sticky Singaporean heat for the Adidas Sundown half-marathon, which was last Saturday night.   Runners were advised to make it to the race site by 8pm before start-time at 9pm.  So I called a taxi around 7:30 and he took me to the Expo by about 7:50.  I promptly realized that it was the wrong expo, as I was the only person wearing running clothes.  (Who knew there were multiple expos?).  So I hopped in another taxi, who took me to the Changi expo.  Turns out the road he wanted to take was closed and we had to take a much longer route to Changi Village.  Also turns out that every other car in Singapore was doing the same thing, and by the time I got to the taxi drop off site it was 8:50.  We couldn’t get to the actual start line because of another road closure.

Worried I wouldn’t make the start, I started jogging with hoards of other marathoners to the start line.  By chance I met a girl whose sister was working at the race and she told me that they were going to have a second start at 10pm, so I could walk to the start.  A lot of people were stuck at the race shuttle point, where the bus supply couldn’t meet the demand and was causing a serious bottleneck.  So together with hundreds of other “latecomers” I walked 5km for 40 minutes to the start line!  Before a half-marathon!   I couldn’t believe there was  such poor organization!

So the second half-marathon gun went off at 10pm, and after the first kilometer, I knew it was going to be a long night!  Thirsty, hot, sweaty and generally miserable, I dragged through the course downing water and isotonic drinks at every opportunity.  To make matters worse, the course marking was off.  The 7km marker came after the 11km marker which was proceeded by the 14km marker.  Then, shortly after I estimated I had passed the 17km mark – I saw the finish line!  I knew there was no way I could have finished a half-marathon in 2:20 at the pace I was going.

I found the Boss-Man and his friend past the finish line, and they confirmed my suspicion.  The race course was only 18km and some change.  I couldn’t believe it!  Could you imagine training for a full marathon, only to find out that you ran 23 miles instead of 26?

I think what happened is they left off that first little 3km loop in the NW part of the course.  Sigh.

Getting out of the race site was not much easier than getting in.  Waited 30 minutes to get a shuttle to the middle of nowhere, and by the time I got in a cab to go home I was delirious.  This late-night, slap-happy delirium is what my Israeli friends call a Matsav Kapit, or Spoon Situation.

Remind me not to do this again.

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