Published: November 17th 2010November 17th 2010
Hello again & "Selamat Detang" (welcome)!
It's been nearly 18 months since my last blog which of course means, unfortunately, that I have not traveled for a while! Far too long for my liking of course but there are some good explanations for this, like pursuing an entrepreneurial career. This blog, however, is not the forum to discuss those explanations & so my last comment on it is that I have rectified the situation, thankfully, & so hence this blog
Originally my trip to Indonesia was supposed to be for 4 weeks but I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation from my dear friend Liz to partner her in The North Face (TNF) Challenge in Singapore
to form part of an all South African (SA) team. An invite which was too good to refuse & I gladly accepted
. So I amended my flight to a week earlier & flew into Jakarta (JKT) where I was warmly welcomed & hosted by Liz. Originally while In Jakarta I did not do too much except have lunches & dinners with Liz & checked out the nice Pilates Studio she worked at. I was looking forward to her offer of
Proudly South African!
doing a Pilates session with her, my last session with her was over a year ago. Unfortunately it did not last too long! Using her vast experience & perhaps showing off (just a tiny bit
) her impressive "skills" gained over the past 18 months, she nearly killed me! I quickly copped out after 20 minutes using jet-lag as an excuse & carried on doing my own thing instead - lol. Sadly all it really did was make me realise how much I miss good quality Pilates sessions back home
. But within less than 48hrs of landing in JKT we boarded our plane bound for Singapore - a mere 1hr20mins flight, roughly.
Being a late joiner to this leg of trip Liz had all the details & taken care of all the necessary admin like race entry collections & accommodation etc. Despite never meeting her before, we were very well received & hosted by Barbera, founder of the Jakarta Free Spirit (JFS) running group who now resides in Singapore. Barbera hosted other fellow JFS runners over the weekend too & that's how we scored the accommodation! Man were we spoilt by her & it was fantastic! Thanks
Kitted in our SA steam making our way to the start
Originally Liz was to form part of an all SA ladies team with a fellow SA runner, Laura, also living & working in Jakarta. Unfortunately though she got injured & that's how I received my invite & will also explain the reasoning behind the team name: "AYOBA BOKKIES"
. Competition rules did not allow for team name changes or category changes, so we competed in the ladies team category - same route & rules apply as for everyone else though.
The race itself was held in Mc Ritchie Park which made for an awesome venue. The race was very well organised from a logistics point of view with strategically placed water stations & tons of really good nourishment freely available for all runners post race. However, from a scientific point view, & a common sense one too I guess, the starting time for our race was absolutely bizarre! In extreme Singapore humidity & the temperature in excess of 30 degrees Celsius, no exaggeration, a 10am start for a 25km trail run?! WTF??!! Nonetheless, team AYOBA BOKKIES, very proudly kitted out in our "SA steam", did exceptionally well! With a combined time of 5hrs39mins, we managed to finish 2nd
in the ladies category & 12th overall!
Other JFS Teams
(JFS - Liz's running group in JKT)
Comfortably beating over 400 male teams :o, WHOOP WHOOP! Liz did quite well herself individually with the 4th fastest individual ladies time - 2hrs49mins
! Congrats Liz, well done!! Despite starting to lose our sense of humor towards the end of the race due to the heat & humidity, not only successfully completing the race but doing rather well was a fantastic sense of achievement & definitely worth it for both of us
However, as a result of the unusual start time we only finished around lunch time & with our energy levels very depleted, we unfortunately did not do any sightseeing after the race as we had planned. Besides we had to conserve whatever energy we had left in the tank for a 10km race early the next morning (crazy I know, but that's how we roll). So we hung out & chilled at Barbera's place the afternoon until we joined the rest of the JFS runners for dinner to celebrate Martin's 50th birthday. Here I met quite a few of other JFS runners & it was a very pleasant & enjoyable evening! Fortunately it was not a late night which
At the the start
meant we could get some much needed sleep to be as fresh as possible for the Mizuno Wave Run 2010
race at 6:30am the next morning. The race was billed as "The Race of the Millennium"
with it supposedly falling on a lucky day: 10 - 10 - 10 (10 day of the 10 month, 2010 .... & it was also a 10km race to throw in some extra "spice")
With another very early start to our day we arrived at the race with sufficient time to get a decent warm up in & before we knew it it was race time. My strategy was to run as hard as possible considering all my flying the few days before & the race the day before. The weather conditions were perfect & I got pipped right on the line to finish 11th out of 1669 runners! Whoop whoop!
I was slightly disappointed that I got pipped on the line because if I finished in the top 10 I would have received a cool prize - next time! Before I knew it Liz was coming in as well, she finished a very impressive 5th in the ladies category & received her cool prize! Well done Liz - AGAIN!
As a result of her good result we stuck around for prize giving before we had to make a quick exit back "home" as we had an early afternoon flight to catch back to Jakarta.
With not much time to play with we grabbed a quick shower ,stuffed our bags and started to make our way back to Changi International Airport. Fortunately we had time enough to grab a quick lunch before we rode the Singapore MRT into the airport. Looking back I was not even in Singapore for 48hrs but had an incredible time racing across Singapore
The fact that I did not explore Singapore as a tourist just means that I will have to go back some day (soon) to share more details of this very pretty country with everyone! When we arrived back in JKT & I eventually got to sit down my only thought was: what an incredibly awesome & active start to my 5 week trip - kind of just as I had envisioned it - combining some of my hugest passions; traveling, running & meeting new people, with good company (my dear friend Liz) &
some other really cool people!
Liz & Janet
after the H2O weigh-in. You must have a minimum amount of H20 else you DQ!
My first couple of days in JKT & whirlwind visit to Singapore set the tone for an absolute awesome 5 weeks of travels - see next couple of blogs to follow shortly.
Impressions of Singapore:
- very clean with some good greenery & scenery
- appears to be a good quality of life place to reside &
- seems to be a very active nation with a HUGE emphasis on exercise - all sorts, indoor & outdoor (running, rock climbing, gyming, pilates, cycling etc)
- too short a time here to notice any
- too short a time here to notice any
There are more photos below