Two weeks have barely passed since the end of TSPDIY - a yearly race traditionally held in California, starting from the city of LA, through the Californian desert and ending at Las Vegas.
This year, the TSP team decided to change it up and organise a "decentralised" race that could be run virtually right where we were, hence TSPDIY. The scale of this event could very well put them in the same league as the World Marathon Majors.
Rewind to the beginning of 2020: A sudden dive into the unknown as COVID-19 took the entire world by surprise. International and local races alike were cancelled, leaving a vacuum of unfulfilled PRs and broken routines for some, a scattering of travel vouchers for others.
So when TSPDIY came along, LAST seized the opportunity as the easing of restrictions in Singapore worked in our favour. Rallying our runners from Singapore and Australia to lace up for this event, we knew TSP had been in the bucket list for many of us; it was now or never.
We had to get creative in strategising and planning our routes in order to chalk up as many kilometers as we could within the timeframe of 31hrs 15mins. One of us was in Perth, Western Australia, while the other five in Singapore.
Thanks to our teammate Michael, we set up our "command centre" right in the city centre at The Fullerton Hotel, from which we took turns to run our leg.
Excitement mounted as we kickstarted the race at the iconic water-spouting Merlion on a wet Saturday evening. Spectators and supporters alike were all rooting for us virtually.
I was the first to go. "100 miles and runnin" was playing in my head as I tried to psych up for the marathon/relay/adventure ahead of me. Tuning in to the live feed on Instagram. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...
Legs were completed in 60-minute blocks. Muscle cramps, fatigue, worn out ligaments, sleep deprivation, cold rain, scorching midday heat and unbearable humidity were part and parcel of the race. Two of our teammates reluctantly fell out towards the end due to injury. The rest of us regrouped and re-strategised, deciding to divvy up the extra legs in order to cover the distance we set out to achieve. Pushing through till the very last minute of 31hrs 15mins, we clocked our final mileage to the chime of the official TSP timer.
TSPDIY was truly a team experience that could not be replicated on a personal level. Now to get that invitation to the original TSP race next year. Yo Scotty!
We are deeply appreciative of the kind support from The Fullerton Hotel, which provided us with comfortable rooms for the entire duration of our charity drive and race.