Saturday, February 09, 2008

2008 Lunar New Year 5-Hills Run

The tank @ Kent Ridge Park

It was a large turnout at the NUS Guild House this morning, as I arrived for the Chinese New Year 5-Hills Run. Many came to have a good workout, some to experience the famed 5-hills region, while others had to 'burn' off their CNY excesses. There were many SgRunners, some MF Runners, and some overseas guests as well. There must have been about 40 runners. dkw who initiated and planned the run was not able to make it because of joyous occasion.

I conducted a quick brief of the various hills (Kent Ridge->Labrador->Mt. Faber->Telok Blangah->NUS Hill) we will be covering for the morning, and off we went towards Haw Par Villa and then up Kent Ridge via Vigilante Drive. There was a nice morning breeze as we moved along at quite a comfortable pace...5:30-5:45 or so. Good to see Ultra, Richy and shortlegs jon in the run, and get to meet many of the new runners. It was also nice to have Phei Sunn, Julie, Teck Hou and a few other SAFRA runners join in the fun.

Vigilante Drive woke all the runners up as we chugged up her steep slopes...it was a strong bunch, all made it up without too much fuss. Some of us proceeded to complete a 1km loop of the Kent Ridge Park, soaking in the morning scenery. The group assembled at the top of Kent Ridge, and had a group photo at the tank...a feature of Kent Ridge runs...hehe. After some discussions, we crossed the Canopy Top and then found the stairway to the newly built Horticulture Park. We had fun snaking the mini Lombard way, and too bad we did not have a camera with us then....it was a picturesque scene. Did a little bit of a 'low-wall' acrobatics, and we ran up the Hort Park, skirting Canterbury Estates, and proceeded towards Labrador Park.

All were glad to complete the first hill (Kent Ridge), and by then had sufficiently warmed up. We took Labrador Hill as we entered, and again, the runners had a nice climb. Rory and Tarepanda were happy to run through the shady tunnels area...Along with them, Mrs. Atomic, Colleen, Paulina and Swoop joined me for a 800km Labrador Park loop, before heading for the Dragon Tooth - a must visit place at our annual CNY Heng Heng Run. Fortunately, xdd's cam had sufficient batt just for a final group photo....for the memories! Without much stoppages, we headed for Mt. Faber Hill.

Heng Heng @ Dragon's Tooth

By the time we exited Labrador Park, a few of the runners had broken off to do their own run. The rest of us continued on and ascended MF via Morse Road....beginning of a long climb up our 3rd Hill objective. Some runners who were new to the route were smart to take mini walk breaks to conserve energy. It was satisfaction upon seeing the top of MF, and feeling the breeze. Had a longer toilet break, and all drank to their hearts' content. It was getting to be hot. When I asked if they were still keen on the 4th Hill, Telok Blangah Hill, most were game...hmm, they were beginning to enjoy thar hills lah...haha.

We descended MF through the steeper Kampong Bahru side, and was surprised to see Thomas running up (wah...ninja training...and he was smiling...OMG!). I explained to some that we ran parts of the Mizuno MF 10km Route, and that going up MF via Kampong Bahru side is another hilly experience by itself....perhaps, some day, they would have a chance to try all these interesting hilly ascents...fastest way would be to run with the MF Runners...hehe. Rory, Tarepanda, Paulina, lionking, feetoffury, shortlegs, Richy, SlingRunner and many more who had not tried MF, were taking in all the slopes in their strides....very well conditioned runners indeed. They will be well conditioned when its time to do the Nanyang Dusty Run...Whoa!

We headed along Telok Blangah Rise towards SAFRA MF ClubHouse....more slopes. In fact, the NUS/MF area is known to be full of slopes, and many of the SAFRA Runners do their regular runs on such undulating terrain. The SgRunners were really doing well. My feet were getting tired with all the pounding, and coupled with the heat, was feeling a tad tired. Spotted Ya Kun at SAFRA MF...if there weren't a group that we had to lead, I would have gone in there for a nice cuppa..hehe. Brokie got excited at that stage, for she was to do her maiden trot up Telok Blangah Hill. A few of the young runners, stardust, Teck Hou, lionking, roadrunner, DeepCruiser chionged up the 500m slopes...I preferred to just jogged along. We made it up all the way, and we did a complete loop at the top of TB Hill.

4th Hill conquered...all were tired but looking strong. The gals were just so strong mentally...I secretly hoped they asked to cut short the distance. But none made any such requests...haha. Cham. Along with Mrs. Atomic, Brokie and Paulina, we played a little bit of catch-up to meet the front group at the end of the by-then-felt-very-long Depot Road. I figured we had covered about 21-22km by then. Without much time to discuss, we pushed on along Alexandra Rd towards Queensway, then into the Railway track, out along Jalan Hang Jebat....2 groups married at the junction, before moving up to Science Park. We made a much needed air-cond stop at the fitness gym....the air-cond and sofa seats were so comfy that we almost did not move from there...Phew!

DO and Freddy suggested a very nice option, to do the 5th Hill (Prince Geroge's Park) in reverse...ie. going down-slope instead of up. Everybody had 2 hands up in support...wow, such unity...haha. Knowing that the end was near, we pushed our weary legs under the heat along Science Park Drive. 50m to the left, we turned down the slopes of PGP...wow, a godsend...it was the way we would have to come up by if we went for this final uphill. Nobody complained. I waited a little for Brokie and her group to show up, before running all the way down....there were no shade from the blistering heat...heng we were running down man. Finally, I saw the Guild House at the turn...I signalled to the rest behind that we were near. Their faces lit up, their thumbs up, and their posture were good. The last chiong up the 50m slope was real 'mental', and if it was not for the 100plus held out by tktan, leh-lio, xdd...all would have just stopped below...hahaha.

We celebrated the worthy completion of the 27.5km (those that did the loops at Kent Ridge and Labrador Parks) and 26km routes with 100plus, ice-cold barley, red wine....Yum Seng! The time on our feet was 3.5hrs, very good conditioning no doubt. Had a good wash-up before assembling to Formosa Delights for thhe wonderful Taiwanese fare... Beef Noodles, Sweet-n-Sour Noodles, soya bean drink...some had Prata from next door Cheese Prata...many were famished, finishing the large servings. Lots of chit-chat, and discussions of the day's run, and how 'shiok' a workout it was...some even regretted not eating more at their Reunion dinners, for they would have surely been burnt away on those slopes...next up, Yu Sheng Loh Hei Run, where we will tackle the famed 12km NUS Hill Run Route.

Xin Nian Kuai Le, Pu Pu Gao Sheng....Cheers!

Distance: 27.5km__Time: 3hr30min__Avg Pace: 6min/km

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2 Comments:

At 4:09 PM, Blogger passion said...

wow~ sounds like a fun run, but i know better, its a CHUAN run! gosh! 5:30 pace!
hmm... no pics?

 
At 5:47 PM, Blogger The Dream Runner said...

haha Passion, it was definitely a FUN run, although CHUAN as well...you would have enjoyed the shiong-ness...

Cheers!

 

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