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Reflections on BB Blaze 2017

I found that this year’s BB Blaze was not easy, from the beginning when we started training to finishing the race on the competition day itself. At the beginning, when my officer mentioned the recruitment of BB Boys who would like to go for the Blaze competition, I expressed my interest as it was my aspiration to go for it and have a taste of what it was all about. I wanted to know what my seniors experienced in the competition, which can be physically and mentally demanding, together with the need to balance our academic studies at the same time. I found out that it was not easy to juggle both training and academics at the same time. However, the dream of getting the Founders Award and passing my experience from this amazing competition to my present and future juniors spurred me on.

During the training itself, there were some times when I questioned why I joined Blaze in the first place when I could be like my peers who were having ‘less strenuous’ physical training and who did not need to have the pressure of keeping physically fit. I would not have persevered without the constant support from the Secondary 3 peers as well as my two fellow Secondary 2 participants in the competition. 

On the day of the Blaze competition, I felt that the atmosphere at the starting point was even more tensed compared to the Character Quest Competition that I took part in back in 2016. When the race started, my team and I had to run from point to point during its first leg around Tiong Bahru, which I found difficult as there were so many other participants from other schools running alongside. Midway through the race, I kept thinking of giving up and had to slow my pace. However, the team was very encouraging as they kept pushing me on to keep up a good pace. I felt really sorry because they were also suffering, yet they continued to give me lots of support. Jeremy helped me carry my water bag whenever I felt too drained to keep up with the others. Jonathan had to shout at me during the last 500m of the race to make sure I persevered no matter how tough the ordeal, and at the same time, he quickly helped the team navigate the race route. Ryan gave me advice on how to regulate my breathing when we were running. I would not have achieved a medal for 9th placing, if not for the help of these seniors. 

When I look back, I see how far I have progressed and learnt the value of endurance. And hopefully, with the help of God, I can perform better in future and bring our 48th Company to achieve greater heights.

Samuel Song 2E3

During the preparations for the Blaze competition, I didn’t feel as if we were well-prepared in terms of fitness and I kept thinking that we would run into some sort of problem and come in 30th in position. I was quite concerned about how we were going to do in the long cycling component. Also, I felt that my knots and lashings were not up to standard as we hadn’t practised a lot, especially lashing.

On the day of competition, at 6.30 a.m. when the race started, I was leading and I wanted to gain as big a lead as possible, however, my team mate could not keep up with my pace and eventually, we needed to slow down and I was starting to get worried that we were going to get squeezed in the middle. Going to the first checkpoint, we bypassed a lot of teams thanks to Sir Ying Xiang’s advice to breeze walk and jog; I was also quite relieved that we passed a lot of teams that did not collect all five coloured bands as required. Reaching Checkpoint 1, my hope revived as we were in 13th position and were going strong. Finishing the activity, I realised the Seek and Spot App logged out and we needed to go back to the start point. We needed time to plot the route for Checkpoint 2. For the entire running component, we kept on encouraging my team mate as he was having difficulty running. 

Once we reached the Marina Barrage, we were all quite exhausted but luckily for us, our bikes were all quite good and we mostly powered through the cycling component. We overtook a lot of teams while cycling. During the rafting, I did my best but felt that we could have done better if some of us knew how to tie the cross lash. 

Then, during a one-hour Category 1 situation, we had ample time to plot the coordinates and plan our route using Google Maps to finish the competition. I felt we missed out on doing better in the cycling component. During BB Blaze, I witnessed a lot of sportsmanship as teams cheered one another on. I think, through this competition, my team and CCA bonded and we became closer on the whole.

Jonathan Chan 3E4

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