Sunday, December 09, 2007

Yishun Dam...Bottle Tree...Hot Spring

Lucky 8 finishing from Yishun Dam

Infamous 5 @ The Hot Springs

Went down to SAFRA Yishun on Sunday morning for the Running Club Location Run, as well as orientation for runners who have been invited to join the newly formed branch at Yishun. I went down to join in the fun, soak in the atmosphere, catch up with running friends from the other SAFRA branches, as well as talk to new members who might be considering.

After a brief by Vincent (TP Running Chairman) and Si Yi (Yishun Running facilitator), the large group set off towards Yishun Dam. It has been a few months since I ran there. Congratulated Eric Koa on his outstanding PB of 3:26 at SCSM. Chatted with Kayano along the way, thanked Shirlyn for her Sng Pao on SCSM day, and said many hellos to all that I recognize. It was good to see Half-Timer, Brokie, Vincent, DO, Kayano, Cokiee, tarepanda, Eliza running with such gusto in front....they must have been enjoying the scenic views along the dam.

I was still in recovery from Sunday's marathon...chose to run easy at my own time...mostly tagging along the main group. On the return, caught up with SealBoon and congratulated him on his outstanding SCSM...he just missed the 4hr mark by 30secs, but a very good PB for him...he will surely break 4hr in the next marathon :). Ran the final bit back to Clubhouse with Cokiee, eugene8, hophIng, Angela and had a chance to chat a little with Si Yi...realized she was a very good runner...very good potential for distance running....good that SAFRA Yishun Running Club will have her to support and help out.

After the run, I had a chance to catch up with Hyperactive who did very well at SCSM, Donald whom I've not seen for some time, Rita who was still as constant in her running as ever, Rosemary who did supreme for her marathon. In true SAFRA Location Run style, breakfast was catered, but the group of us, Brokie, DO, Vincent, HophIng, Cokiee, Raven, eugene8 and myself had to push off for our second adventure to the Bottle Tree Village and Sembawang Hot Springs. Eugene8 was kind enough to run the first stretch with us through the various Yishun Aves. It was drizzling by that time but the spirits were high. Eugene8 left us as we hit the Park Connector...a nice stretch along a canal leading out to sea...Brokie mentioned that the whole canal distance was about 2.5km, but it sure seemed longer than that...maybe because it was so straight, and the rain was getting heavier as we ran...Raven called that Demoralizing Road #2...haha.

By the time we hit Bottle Tree Village, the rain had gotten to be real heavy. We decided to skip Sembawang Park and sit out the rain at the coffee-shop along Sembawang Road. Over kopi-si and drinks (too bad they had no teh alia, and we almost wanted to order Prata..hehe), plans for a overnight Northern Route run was was fun discussing the details, and by the time we left the coffee-shop, hophIng and Raven has been assigned to conduct some recce runs and do detailed planning for next year's Sundown overnight preparatory runs in the North :).

Brokie led us in the continued drizzle to the Hot Springs, just off Gambas Ave. It was my first visit to the Springs, although I have heard so much about it. We had a great time soaking into the sulphur-lined hot water from the Springs and posing for photos. Although we did not succeed in getting a nice bath-tub for Brokie to bathe in, we did have fun scooping and refueling hot spring water for one another's pails. We felt so warm and nice, especially after running in the rain earlier. Steam coming out from the hot spring water added an aura of mystery to the area...we jested that Er Pei Pai disciples would find themselves most at home there...haha.

We did not want to leave the was so comfy. Then the rains came and got heavy. We quickly put on our shoes, bade farewell to the gatekeeper, and vowed to be back with an even larger group next time. Along the way back, we witnessed a weekend car stuck by the fast lane of the main road, after having probably skidded. Raven went forward to advise the driver not to stay in the car for safety...found that he was shaken from the ordeal, puffing away at the rear passenger seat. After the small incident, we proceeded on the final 2km at a much slower pace...not sure how much distance we have covered, but it was already 11am+.

My legs felt a little achy from a slip I had earlier along the pavement....too much water puddles making the areas slippery. Vincent too had an earlier slip at the entrance to the Hot Springs. We reached back to the ClubHouse to find Cokiee. He had waited patiently for us...what a guy....oh yah, Cokiee had turned back earlier from the Bottle Tree Village. It was a long morning, but we all felt refreshed from that hot dip and interesting morning happenings. As we walked into the ClubHouse to get a quick bath, it started to pour, indeed a very eventful Sunday morning run in the rains, but we all loved it...yeah!

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