No wall too high in the city

From top: A participant challenging himself at the Horizontal Salmon Ladder at Zone 4 at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza. The Road Barricade at Zone 2 at the field opposite Marina Bay Financial Tower 3 is an obstacle which tests one's agility. The highligh
A participant challenging himself at the Horizontal Salmon Ladder at Zone 4 at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
From top: A participant challenging himself at the Horizontal Salmon Ladder at Zone 4 at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza. The Road Barricade at Zone 2 at the field opposite Marina Bay Financial Tower 3 is an obstacle which tests one's agility. The highligh
The Road Barricade at Zone 2 at the field opposite Marina Bay Financial Tower 3 is an obstacle which tests one's agility. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
From top: A participant challenging himself at the Horizontal Salmon Ladder at Zone 4 at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza. The Road Barricade at Zone 2 at the field opposite Marina Bay Financial Tower 3 is an obstacle which tests one's agility. The highligh
The highlight of the event is a run up a 3.6m-high Warped Wall in the final zone at Ngee Ann City.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

More than 3,000 participants get a kick out of 1st Urbanathlon in Orchard Road despite rain

Some were naturally fit; some needed time to build up their strength and stamina.

But the common thread that united more than 3,000 Men's Health Urbanathlon participants yesterday was their determination to conquer the obstacle race, even if the weather did not play nice.

For Christina Lee, a procurement executive, training began as early as last August, when she joined SuperFit, a fitness community which was started by a group of former commandos, and trained thrice a week.

The 43-year-old said: "I focused on training my arm power through gym sessions and functional training like doing squats, chin-ups, push-ups and climbing stairs."

While fitness was never a problem for ex-national kayaker Sean Chua, who represented the Republic from 2007 to 2015, it was still necessary for him to train for a demanding event like the Urbanathlon.

Now a physical education teacher, the 29-year-old said: "Because of work, I had to find time to train at every window of opportunity.

"I would train in the gym to work on my strength and do lots of runs for stamina. For diet, I eat fruits daily, avoid sugary drinks and cut out the fats in meat."

For the first time in its eight editions, the Urbanathlon was held in the busy Orchard Road district, with its estimated 12km course passing through four obstacle zones - Tanjong Pagar Centre, the field opposite Marina Bay Financial Tower 3, the field opposite Golden Landmark Shopping Complex and the Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza.

Participants had to use their physical and mental prowess to negotiate the obstacles.

At Tanjong Pagar Centre, for instance, they had to climb 37 storeys up Singapore's new tallest building, which stands at 290 metres.

At Marina Bay, they had to use their agility to get past barricades and a ladder made of tyres.

There was even an elaborate maze at the Golden Landmark, which was filled with challenges such as a monkey bar and a tyre swing.

The highlight of the event is the final zone at Ngee Ann City, where participants had to run up a 3.6m-high Warped Wall.

Some stations were closed intermittently yesterday, as a safety precaution due to the wet weather. Organisers also decided not to make the run competitive.

Still, the participants have largely enjoyed this year's Urbanathlon.

Ian Lo, a 30-year-old teacher, was all smiles, saying: "The vertical challenge (running up Tanjong Pagar Centre) was tiring but the obstacles like the monkey bars reminded us that this is like a playground."

Denzil Kiang, a 29-year-old dentist who is running in his third Urbanathlon, said: "The camaraderie was excellent with competitors encouraging one another.

"But I'm a little disappointed that I was unable to try the Warped Wall. That is the last obstacle and the main selling point of the race."

His fellow dentist, Phey Yong Kang, added: "Perhaps the organisers can consider having some of the obstacles indoors, so that it will not be affected by the weather."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 05, 2017, with the headline 'No wall too high in the city'. Print Edition | Subscribe