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A contest of speed, a contest between 12 rivalry teams, a race to be the 1st at the finishing line. To be the winners of the The Arise Amazing Race 2008! To be the winners of SGD$120 in vouchers! LOL! Surely, it wasn't for the prize reward but to get out in the sun, run like there's no tomorrow and have an amazing good time.

This is the 2nd race organised by the Arise Youth Ministry at St. Peter & Paul Church. I had to give up the race at the last minute last year as I needed to take dad to the A&E. Family comes first. As such, I was very much looking forward to this year's race. STC sent in 2 teams; Sanctus, meaning Holy (consisting of Annette, Dennis, Francis and Felicia) and Exulto, meaning Joy (consisting of Terence, Jerome, Kim and myself). We were excited and all geared to win!

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Team Exulto, meaning Joy

12:00pm - Flag off of the race with an astounding car horn. Jerome made a mad dash and was 1st to pick up the 1st clue. 1st stop - Bugis Junction.
Being the year of St. Paul, this Amazing Race was dedicated as 'The St. Paul Edition' with bible passages picked up from St. Paul's letters to the Colossians.
Along the way, we will be filling up missing words from the verses.
It took us a while to locate one of the organisers in orange hidden in a corner of Starbucks, but it didn't take us too long to decode the password to the 2nd stop being Bras Basah Complex. Both Jerome and Terence cleared the road block (where 2 members are assigned to complete a blind-fold task) here very quickly. We headed to our next destination at Raffles Hotel to catch a bus to Marine Parade.

Est. 1:15pm - Our mistakes started to happen. The instructions on the clue was to take Bus No. 36 to Marine Parade to locate block 20. Dennis gave both our teams the idea to take bus 16 which will deliver us to the same location. There is a degree of risk cause 16 would take a longer route along Nicoll Highway instead of 36 on the ECP. It was a risk we all decided to take. So as soon as 16 arrived, we hopped right onto it. While on the bus, Dennis decided to call and confirm if we could even take another bus since it was specifically stated to take bus 36. It turned out that it was against the rules, we had to detour back or incur a time penalty of 1 hr. We decided that 1 hr was too long to waste and headed back.

Mistake #2 - We alighted at Suntec City on our way back. Horrible place to be that weekend as Comex and Baybeats brought in huge crowds and terrible jams. My team figured we should just catch bus 36 outside the convention entrance of Suntec. Dennis' team ran back toward Raffles Hotel. Bus 36 arrived shortly and we squeezed our way onto it, meeting 3 other teams on board. We were on the 1st bus out. There was no sight of team Sanctus. Apparently, numerous other teams together with them were unable to board the bus as it was already full. Apparently, it was MANDATORY for us to take the bus at RAFFLES HOTEL and nowhere else!

We were now on our way to Marine Parade, which was a good thing... except Francis was holding onto our passage sheet which we needed to hand up to the station master at the next stop! This basically meant:
(a) we could not do our next task until we got our sheet back
(b) If we got off we are highly likely to miss Francis at Raffles and would cost them a delay
We decided for the sake of 1 of our teams winning, we would sacrifice and take the 1 hr penalty. You could see Jerome's champion glimmer fading...

Finally when most teams were on par again, we took on the 'body parts' challenge under Blk 20 of Marine Parade. Yet again, we cleared our task fairly quickly and headed out toward the beach for the most physically grueling task of the whole race. We went around carpark C4, wasting a substantial amount of time before locating the station. And because we arrived late, the 3 spots for the task were already taken. One of them by team Sanctus! We had to be in queue to await our turn to fill an entire bucket with sea water till the ping pong balls overflowed. The catch was we could only use whatever we have on our bodies and a rather useless 'holey' plastic bottle. The guys sacrificed their T-shirts but the running up and down uncountable times really burned us up.

When we finished the task, we were at the tail end of the pack. We were then presented with the Fast Forward. A choice to skip a few task if we choose to take on the Fast Forward at Changi Airport. The clue stated that we should imagine we're going on a holiday, to take crazy pictures of ourselves and have a HAPPY MEAL while at it. We figured that we might as well give the Fast Forward a try. We casually walked toward East Coast Macdonalds and begged a family to let us take pictures with their kid's Happy Meal! Terence and Jerome were still 1/2 naked at this stage as their T-shirts were all wet. I think they kindda scared the kids...

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Posing with our Happy Meal!

By this time, we started taking the race really easy, since we were pretty sure we wouldn't come close to top 3. We just didn't want to come in last!

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A series of other goofy shots

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The guys emerging out of the 'Deep Water'

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And a sexy shot of them cleaning up. I have no idea who the rest of those dudes are...

As we were about to head off to Changi Airport, we were advised by Martin (one of the organisers) that there were already 4 teams at the airport. Only 2 of the fastest teams will be awarded the Fast Forward. The 1st team that arrived there was 40mins ahead of us and we figured we didn't stand a chance. We decided to carry on with the race as per normal.

Est. 3:00pm - Next stop, The Concourse. We got onto a direct bus bringing us to the doorstep of the building. Unfortunately, we missed a stop. Just a stop... and was stuck back at the Suntec Beach Road jam for a good 30mins! The bus was hardly moving! We were practically begging the bus driver to be let down, but he was unable to as they were being monitored by CCTVs. The last thing we wanted to do was make a bus driver lose his job, so we waited patiently till we finally got off and detoured back yet again.

We arrived at The Concourse as Team No. 4! Surprise, surprise! We were back in the race! The task here was to place a series of 50 pictures in their sequence of appearance. We completed the task in decent timing and headed out to our next stop at Haji Lane. Somewhere along this stretch, I felt a little heavy headed. I would love to puke, but there wasn't much to output from 2 pieces of buns for the entire day. I pushed on.

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Why did Jerome take off his T-shirt again?

Kim had never been to Haji Lane and was pleasantly surprised at the interesting selection of unique boutique fashion along the street. We were in search for a shop called Bianca. We finally got our clue from the shopkeeper and was instructed to head back to St. Peter and Paul (SPP Church).

As we stepped onto the mat - We were Team No. 3!!! Unfortunately, the race had not ended and we needed to head out to Mid-Point Orchard.

Est. 4.25pm - The puzzle we had to solve at a comic store at Mid-Point was certainly our fastest in record. We completed it in about a minute and was heading out to our next clue at Takashimaya.

We were still keeping our position at No. 3 when we arrived. No teams have completed the task yet. We were seriously thinking, if we didn't incur the penalty, we would have stood a very good chance of coming in top 3! How ironic from our lost hope mid-afternoon. Here, 1 member (myself) had to unlock a lock pad, 2 have to go shopping (Jerome & Kim); looking for prices of specific items and 1 (Terence) had to complete a Sudoko puzzle. It was the Sudoko puzzle that really lost us a lot of time. But I wouldn't be able to do the Sudoko myself. I didn't even know how it works. Terence was hard at work on it for an hour till the skies started to turn dark. By now, 7 other teams have passed us.

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The killer Sudoko Puzzle

Team Sanctus had finally arrived after they couldn't complete the Fast Forward and had to do every other task.
At this point, we asked the organisers about our penalty and was told that we could have it removed as we fulfilled both conditions of being at Raffles Hotel and having taken the bus 36. Yippee!

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Taking a break outside Takashimaya

Seeing that it was already getting late, the organisers finally allowed all members to help out in the Sudoko puzzle to have it completed. We left the place in position No. 7 headed toward Istana Park.

Est. 7:10pm
- We had to put in order the bible passages we completed throughout the race in sequential order. As soon as we finished it, we were on our way back to SPP - the FINAL pit stop! It was a foot race to the finish. We took a 1km steady brisk jog toward our finishing point. I think it was pure adrenaline that was pushing us on. We passed 2 teams and kept on going. As we reached the entrance of SPP, Team Exulto kept together and beat another team whose members were left behind. We were announced to have completed the race in No. 8, but another team was incurring a 30min penalty and we were pushed up to perfect 7!

Team Sanctus came in 5th. Which was totally impossible since we left the Istana Park before them. They mis-read the clue and traveled back to the pit stop by bus instead of foot. Which means, in all fairness (which we closed an eye to...) we should be No. 6!

We kept our promise to each other - we pulled through it together as a team!
For not giving up and having that positive spirit. For contributing our talents and taking care of one another.

In knowing that I am in good health, that I can out run many 10 years my junior.
In knowing that God has blessed us with fine weather so we could enjoy ourselves. Again, He shows us how in love He is with us. Our AMAZING God.

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BBQ at the end of the race - MEAT to fill my hungry stomach!

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race,I have kept the faith." - 2 Timothy 4:7

More Arise Amazing Race 2008 Photos


  1. i was at Bugis Juction slightly past noon, no wonder I thought I saw da bunch of you

    me wanna join with you next year! Get Sharon too!

    - wen

  2. You saw us?
    Should have said 'hi' mah...
    The organisers might be planning next year's race to be a 2 day event. Stay over, covering more parts of SG ;)


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