The Green Ultra Challenge (part 2)

The Green Ultra Challenge (part 2)

Following on from the previous post….for those looking for the petition see here.

Nerves? Or Negative Mental Attitude?

From August 2015, a sleep disorder has been driving me crazy. I used to think I could make my body move even if I was mentally exhausted. But in Sept 2015 and after another zero hours night’s sleep (from little mosquitos nibbling my face), I was at the start line of an event in Scotland thinking I need to be in bed. I couldn’t even run 3 kms. My head told my body to quit and it did. So I DNFed and it became the start of months of bad running mojo. My July high had swung to the opposite direction. I didn’t want to run.

As the Green Ultra Challenge event date drew near, I became anxious. I was snatching 3-4 hours sleep leading up to the event. 2 days before the event, I was cleaning the top of my water bottle in the bathroom and the drinking nipple part went flying into the toilet bowl……so I pulled it out and set about sterlising it…..Well the toilet wasn’t that dirty, I had only flushed it beforehand! 1 day before and I had a warning headache. On event day “boom”…..that girly thing began. It’s no wonder I’ve been so blur! So I drank a strong cup of coffee to shake up my system….and it did wake up my system right into the night after the event!

At 06:30am volunteers had arrived to go to their stations. I was awarded lucky number 88. Being of Chinese descent, 88 means double happiness, so I bade “bye bye” to my negative attitude. UR 88 – how cool.

The route

So What Are You Doing?

Photo at the start point (taken by the Green Race)

As my first lap ended, some of the participants that were doing one or 2 laps headed towards me. They had started their lap. “Lucky dudes” I thought, “I’ve got 4 more to do”.  I needed to get a move on. Once I had checked in, I immediately turned back out.

More People

The temperature was heating up and there were more people on the trail…..more people to ask me to take photos with them; more people to ask me if they can have a ride – “Sure. It’s a $100 a centimeter. Want or not?” – no takers.


….more people to stop me to ask me what I was doing……”stop the cross rail link coming thru this treasure”….more people to tell me isn’t this hard enough…..”If I can pull a tyre, you can make an effort and reduce your single use plastic” after all the event was about raising awareness of sustainability and a pledge tyre called Peace, a hefty 15kg baby, was waiting at the end point to encourage folk to change their ways (if they hadn’t done so yet).

After all the organisation itself was trying to have a zero waste event with a “Bring Your Own Cup” for drinks.

The long stretch before the Durian Walk

The Other Stuff That Was Happening

1/2 way round into the 2nd lap, I began feeling light headed. I hadn’t been drinking enough. The volunteer at Dairy Farm offered coke. I accepted, mixed it in with my 1/4 full squash and greedily guzzled it down. Then like “Oliver” I coyly asked for more. It fixed me and I gave the volunteer imaginary hugs and kisses.  At this point I decided to walk up the hills!

At 10:00 the sun was sizzling as I ventured onto the long open stretch before reaching the cool canopy of the Durian Walk, but it had to be done.  But I dreaded the 3rd lap even more as the sun would be hot enough to cook the skin.

As I checked in for lap 2, I wondered about sun cream but was distracted by SynTech, a manufacturing company that was at the event creating awareness about keeping Singapore’s water ways clean.

NeWater is reclaimed waste water that meets 30% of the nation’s water needs. SynTech had information about products that we use that pollute our water ways and that we should stop using so that our aquatic life and us stop ingesting plastic and other bad stuff. Microbeads are plastic particles that a lot of popular brands use to help us clean stuff and require very fine filters to take out of the water. If you want to know what other products contain microbeads, check here.  SynTech suggest sticking to products with the Green Label.

It’s 11:20 and I really was dreading the 3rd lap. The heat was affecting me. Not only me but the animals too. Along the Green Corridor, an electric blue snake glided across the path way. I later found out it was a Blue Malayan Coral Snake, and highly poisonous. But it was so beautiful.

Towards Diary Farm, the monitor lizards were running for cover and of course the cheeky monkeys came out to laugh at the mad humans running around in the hot sun.

I thought of Acres, a local charity I run for because I like wildlife and over 90% of the funds they raise goes back to their cause (See Singapore Charity Commission). They rescue all sorts of injured animals or illegal foreign animals that have been dumped at Bukit Timah/Macritchie forests. They will fix the animals up and return them to their country, if they have enough funds. However some are so big, that the expense is unaffordable. Having animals that do not belong to a country can upset the biodiversity. In Singapore the turtles that are in Machritchie reservoir are from the US that were set free by owners and have out competed the local turtles. See here for more information.

Acres want to turn their backyard into a sanctuary for the animals that can never return to their homeland, however unfortunately they had the misfortune of hiring a rogue company that dumped a whole of toxis waste in the area they were supposed to prepare. See Straits Times Article for more information.  But they will forge ahead with that dream.  A number of participants asked me how they can donate to Acres. To support the work that Acres does, you can donate via In the mean time if you see an injured animal whether that is a wee bird/lizard/snake/turtle/what ever call Acres on 6892 9821. You can also link to them on facebook:

(thank you Abi for your very kind cash donation to Acres)

Home Runs

Checking in for my final lap, the SJI (St Joseph International) students had come to do a litter sweep of the area and collected 2 large bags of litter on the first 5km of the route. This was litter that some may have been accidently dropped by runners, but the majority would have been from people out enjoying the area. After all I had seen a group of guys with cups of coffee walking along the trail and later seen a couple of those same coffee cups on the trail where they had walked. Thank you SJI for cleaning up after everyone.

Speaking of litter, we were given a couple of Lucho Dillitos guava snacks Guava Snack wrapped in a leaf! The leaf definitely protected its contents just like a normal “plastic” wrapper as I had been fully doused with ice water before laps 4 and 5. The sweets wrapped in paper were a little damp but the contents of the Lucho Dillitos was dry! So instead of a gel (and there were a couple of accidently dropped empty packs on the trail), try this instead because dropping the wrapping isn’t as bad…a leaf on the trail to join the other leaves 🙂

Also thanks to Ngee Ann Poly, Bukit Batok Secondary school (your cheers for every lap were awesome), the volunteers who poured ice cold water over us, and all the other volunteers that were out there baking in the hot afternoon sun.

5 laps and 47km completed in 09:12:20. A big thank you to the organisers (Sanmuga/Ash/Farhan) for a well executed 1st event and giving me the time to complete my first event of the year and my 58th marathon.


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