TPJC Road Run '09: My Journal

Written by Nurliyana Omar (09S03).

I did not start off the day with the most brilliant of moods. I had this fear of losing my life that day. I was not being melodramatic. There had been recent news about healthy young youths dropping dead during and after completing a run or a vigorous activity. Blame my paranoia...

Fortunately for me, the day began well despite the silent fear in my heart. I was not late. It did not rain. I did not have a morning stomach-ache. Everything was going pretty smoothly. Even the traffic to East Coast Park was smooth! My friend, Tanya, and I emerged groggily from my Dad's car and proceeded to the beach. I found that a bit off-putting as in my previous school, everyone would gather at the field for Cross Country. It did not make sense to me that everyone was supposed to gather in a small compound when there was a huge and vast place nearby. Despite the early hour, there were already many TPJCians gathered at the beach. There were also a few unhappy park users who seemed peeved at the obstacles they had to overcome as they weaved and dodged the TPJCians that were obliviously standing in the middle of the pathway. Honestly, some people can be very self-absorbed.

The buzz of activity started to escalate as more TPJCians continue to pour into the beach. Suddenly, I felt claustrophobic and so Tanya and I went to the toilet to freshen up. Although it is nothing new that a toilet at a beach smells funky, I still could not help scrunching up my face as the foul smell accosted my senses. What a way to wake up! I stifled a yawn. At the same time, I did not want to breathe in toxic fumes of urine.

I was momentarily confused when I stepped out of the toilet. There were some TPJCians with bicycles and skateboards all around me and that got me doubting about what exactly TPJC College Road Run was actually all about. I felt a tiny rumbling sensation in my stomach as I realized I actually had to run 3km with my own two feet. I should have inconspicuously "borrowed" one of those skateboards and hightail my way out of there. I did made a futile attempt to escape by nonchalantly walking backwards as I talked with another friend of mine. My ingenious plan was foiled since we were kept being pushed forward by oncoming TPJCians. Darn!

Now, before the respected reader starts branding me as a spoil sport, I would just like to say that I am not a morning person. So a thousand apologies if I do sound like an unenthusiastic brat. Do not worry. It gets better!

Anyway, soon everyone was told to gather in their Civics Group. There was a lot of commotion as people craned their necks above the crowd to view the placards which identify the rows for the respective classes to congregate at. It was actually very frustrating to see the classes being mixed up and not in order. I felt like a lost child who could not understand why people just love to walk and suddenly stop in the middle of the pathway thereby obstructing other people's way. I guess the Courtesy Campaign did not work after all...

Then, like a light at the end of the tunnel, I saw my class placard in all its orange and laminated glory. I was already perspiring. More waiting had to be done for reasons I did not know.

My classmate, Syab, was stretching enthusiastically. She was out to win it. I could have sworn I heard the Rocky theme song "Eye Of The Tiger" playing in the background. Anyway, Syab's enthusiasm soon rubbed off on me as I whooped with joy when it was announced that the JC2 Boys event was commencing soon. Or it could be the relief of not having to wait any longer.

I eagerly moved to an area near the finish line. One short stretch of pathway was cordoned off to allow the runners to finish the race unobstructed. I placed myself somewhere I could have a good view of the runners. Suddenly, someone announced that the first guy was approaching. My group of friends and I were totally shocked. Didn't the siren go off just a minute ago? Right then, my heart started thumping faster in anticipation.

There was an incident that happened that totally had me stupefied:

There was a guy who had just entered the little pathway. He thought that the pathway was the finish line and started to slow down. However, to his horror, and to the glee of the dude behind him, he still had the last short stretch to go. He was too late as the dude behind him grabbed the golden opportunity to give one more burst of speed to reach the finish line. The two guys battled along that stretch and it was pretty vicious. The poor soul was knocked down and practically did a forward roll on the hard cemented ground. I stood stunned after witnessing such raw action. I mean, it was not as if it was a national competition. Yet, I saw how competitive the runners were. I guess it could be the fact that it was their last Road Run and they wanted to have an awesome memory of the event.

Luckily, the good mood did not subside as everyone continued cheering for the oncoming runners. I felt happy in a sadistic way, watching all those guys huffing and puffing towards the finish line. I cheered pretty loudly.

Soon, it was time for me to get ready for the J1 Girls run that was about to begin. I positioned myself near the starting line but later on, moved to the back. It seemed like a good idea at first. I thought I was a genius for wanting to avoid the eventual stampede. But regrettably enough, I probably wasted more energy overtaking people as I made my way to the front of the stampede.

The run, for me, consisted of many short-term goals.
"Ok, my goal is to overtake her"
"Now, her"
"Then, her"
"Another one"
"Jeez. Even there weren't these many girls in TKG"

I was gaining speed at an alarming rate. I knew I was going to reach my maximum velocity soon and prayed I would not have an attack of cramps. Along the way, I still managed to sacrifice some of the precious air in my lungs to wheeze out a few words of encouragement to my fellow TPJCians. Everyone was giving it their best shot- it did not matter if they were walking just as long as they completed the run.

Road Run taught me that there will always be more goals to aim for and achieve (Ms Helen Choo should see me now!). When there are goals, there will be progress. With progress, comes self-satisfaction which leads to a very, very good spirit indeed. In fact, funnily enough I felt energized after completing the run. Oh and by the way, the Milo from the Milo van was superb!

The prize-giving ceremony, later on, ended with much gusto, especially for Falcon house who was overall house champion.
Credit was given to where credit was due and the top runners were given their moments of glory. There weren't any sore feelings at all I guess since everyone cheered heartily for one another. Endorphins are amazing!

All in all, I thought the Wednesday was definitely well-spent. You can't go wrong with music, cheers, a run and of course Milo!


hanjie said...

damn i screwed up my last yr's run. but, who cares, its jus rd run! have fun!

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