Saturday, July 15, 2006

A tale of 2 runs

A Sleepy Animiles Run

Woke up abruptly, I turned about in bed wondering why the alarm has yet to be set off. I took a look at the alarm clock...Yikes...its already 5.50am. The Animiles run was supposed to start at 5.30am. I clearly remembered I set the alarm at was it that it was showing 7.15am? I made a dash to call DO, and surprise of surprise, DO too overslept. He was walk-a-jogging to Lower Pierce Reservoir. I took a quick coffee, a Uncle Toby's bar, and off I went. I sms-ed SC5, doraemon_red and gentle to inform that I will start my run at 6.30am.

I had planned to do a 22km run this morning, but because of the shortage of time, I decided to do just 18km ie. turning back at Mandai Crematorium entrance. When Do finally arrived, we started our run at 6.35am. My body was still half asleep and it was quite difficult to get warmed up. As we hit Casuarina area, we saw Anna coming back...exchanged hellos, and then saw VT dashing back along OUTR, followed by ironman Lieu. All very fast runners. Then we saw cheow12 coming, fast. I got a little warmed up as we went onto Upper Thomson Road. Soon we saw cw, gentle, melissa, doraemon, notme, and SC5. All were running fast and still looking fresh at that point. As we ran past them, I was shouting that we overslept...hehe.

I reached Mandai Crematorium, and then turned back. Because of the rush, I did not bring along my watch, and so had no time. On the return route, my body started to wake up, and I increased pace a little. I finally reached back to LPR toilet, and DO was the only one left (the rest had gone off to the food centre)...time was 8.05am. I took approx. 1.5hr to do the 18km. We had a rest and stretch down, took some chocolate milk, washed up and rushed off to to have a quick brekky...fortunately met the animiles there...SC5, doraemon_red, Cheow12, mwengrof, Lieu, VT and the gang. Picked up the very nice MapleDREAM T from choonwei. A very eventful Animiles run for me, at least. Cheow12, DO and I then made a snappy trip to the Runners World ASICS Showroom. We met a number of SAFRA runners there...and after we got running shoes for friends and members, we rushed off to our next run..The World Harmony Run.
Distance Ran: 18km___Time: 1hr30min___Pace: 5min/km

The Second World Harmony Run

World Harmony Runners along Little India/Serangoon Road

I parked the car at Adelphi, then took a cab with DO to Hong Kah CC, the start of the 2nd World Harmony Run of this year. This WHR is held in conjunction with Racial Harmony Day. I changed out from my Adizero SN into my retired Cumulus VII. When we reached, it was just in the nick of time...11.45am for the start. There were about 30+ runners, many SgRunners...great to meet up with Commando. He showed us his finger, and it really healed quite nicely. He met with a motor accident, and was out of action for 3 months. Said hello to Johnny, Karen and her fast friend Irene, KK...quite a few. Seal and SV, Hyperactive, Flip, aichai, Shut, FBB, tooty, Ronnie, Wai, so many SgRunners. A very nice and interesting bunch, very hyper and very active...haha. The atmosphere of the run got really very interesting and happening as the run went on. whr and acleong who were organizers, led from the start from a bicycle, and providing directions to the yet-to-be-warmed up runners.

The first stop after running about 3km was the Masjid Darussalam Mosque. We arrived to a rousing and warm welcome by a large group of small children, teachers and mosque representatives. It was very interesting as the children put up a splendid performance for the WHR Runners. That must have been the largest group of people welcoming us, compared with even the many places we visited in March06 WHR. All the WHR Runners were very happy, especially the first timers, even with the sun beating down on us. I was enjoying the run, chatting with new faces like tooty, Karen's friend, FBB, Fiona (Wai Fung's colleague).

After another 3km, we reached the Grace Assembly Of God Church. We shared a short prayer there, before moving along the route to Botanic Gardens and Orchard Road. As we ran into Orchard Road, things really began to sparkle. There were the shopping crowd, and as we ran, there were loud applause and cheers from the enthusiastic shoppers and tourists. We made a stop right in front on Borders, and from there, we looked up the large screen on the Lido Building, and was treated to a 10min video of the World Harmony Run. Many stopped what they were doing to watch, and drivers in their cars along orchard road also looked up. It was happening...lots of photo taking, people from the Borders' cafe enjoying the show, and lots more wondering what the whole commotion was about...hehe. A lot of us were exclaiming that this WHR was turning out to be more happening than the one in March.

We proceeded on along Scotts Road to our next stop, the Khaisa Dharmak Sabha sikh temple. Over here we put on colorful scarves, and some of us looked quite cute in them..haha. We were treated to very nice tea messalah and fruits. I had a second helping of the tea. After the customary plaque presentation and photo taking, we went on to another sikh temple few hundred metres away, up a slope...the Sri Guru Singh Sabha. We were treated to ice cold Bandung..hmm, yummy and some nice dessert. Another large crowd of devotees here to welcome us, very warm indeed. After some prayers and blessings, we carried on along Serangoon Road and arrived a few km later to a hindu temple, the Veeramakaliamman Temple. It is just a short distance from a slightly larger Hindu temple we visited for the March run. We took the walk around the temple and was soon on our way to our last place of worship, the Tai Pei Buddhist Centre. This temple is huge and has a very clean design, and was very simply decorated and airy inside. We had a extra long prayer session by two monks, and was rewarded with ice cold, might be the first time I have tasted Yakult.

From this last place of worship, our final destination was just 4km to The Merlion (the same final stop we had for the March WHR). This being the final stretch had everyone in high spirits...lots of jokes, laughter, and no signs of fatigue. As we ran into Marina Promenade, we had a nice photo session with the dragon boat rowers..Hyperactive was really jumping up and down motivating the runners...Aichai was great running up and down, taking nice group photos. The weather was immaculate, very cool and breezy. We were really enjoying this WHR. As we neared The Esplanade, we had all the girls take turns to carry the torch and the flags. It was really enjoyable, and when we finally ended at The Merlion, it was touching to have so many people wanting to take photos with us...many tourists and graduates having their convocation took lots of group photos with us. We had been on the road for about 5.5 hours, having covered approx. 24km. As we wound down and walked to an open area near the old Parliament House to collect our bags, we reflected on how fortunate we were to be part of this WHR run which was meaningful and has brought some joy and cheer to some of the people we touched. Sandy and her colleague was there to welcome their friends. It was good to see familiar faces welcoming the tired but happy WHR Runners. FBB was very satisfied he did at least 20km, one of the longer runs he had done. I could tell that all the WHR Runners enjoyed this run, though slow, but we all ran together in one united and harmonious unit. Well done WHR Runners!

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