Monday, March 31, 2008

How the new babe performed...

Found some time to bring my new Cumulus 9 for its 2nd trial run this evening, along an easy Park Connector. I must say that her 11.5oz felt a tad heavy on my legs, after I have been used to trainers which are sub-11oz. Her cushion gave a good bounce though, and she felt very airy on the feet.

I don't think I will be ready to bring her out on a serious date (long run or race) yet....hmm, hopefully I will find her feeling lighter in time to I won't know for now. The 1.5hr slow run did give me a good workout, and I enjoyed the scenery and music along the way :)

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

The 3rd Sundown Familiarization Run

I got Bev to join me for this Sunday's 3rd Sundown Familiarization Run. Because of the KL Marathon, many of the regular runners were not around. Since a large turnout was expected, I volunteered as a mid-pack pacer along with the team of support and lead runners, all organized through Hi-Velocity and Ripley from SgRunners. By the time we gathered at 6:20am at Bedok Reservoir Park training shed, a large group of runners, many whom we were meeting for the first time have turned up. We put on our volunteers' running top, and Ripley gave a brief of the route and introduced the support team: cfred, best, myself, Raven and ST to lead the runners, Philip, Tiwazz, acleong and Ripley to provide drinks and banana support stations.

We started off at a comfortable pace, with cfred leading on a bike. I set the pace of about 6:15min/km for the mid-pack runners, and very soon had a group running alongside me. We ran along various Tampines Aves, before entering the Tampines Park Connector, which will bring us all the way to Pasir Ris, then to Loyang, and Changi Beach Park, where the halfway-mark of 17km will be. I made various stops at critical junctions to show runners the way, and was working with Best to cover the rather large mid-pack as much as we can. With the rain clouds building up for some afternoon showers, the air was humid and heavy.

Reached the 10km mark in about 1:10hr, and was greeted with cold drinks and bananas set up by Hi-Velocity. All were fresh and chatty, as we made our way up a slight slope towards the Shell Station. Turning left brought us to Loyang, and then cfred was waiting at the junction to direct us towards the Changi Village chalets. By then, a smallish group of BioSynthesis and friend, Crystal, AmericanRunner, Nicholas, Bev, and 2-3 more were with me. We ran into Changi Village, and headed towards Changi Beach Park along the shaded area. The sun was out in its full glory by then, and the runners were getting affected by the heat.

About 1.5km more, and we saw the mid-point water station, manned by Tiwazz, acleong and Philip. All were so happy to see them, and chatted with a few of the runners over drinks at the watering hole. Some of the runners decided they wanted to run all the way to East Coast Parkway, along Changi Coastal Road...about 10km more...waah! After a quick drink, I moved on to join some of the mid-pack runners in front. As we turned back into Changi Village, we met up with cfred and ST, who mentioned that Raven and the rear-pack were coming in. I ran ahead to inform Raven and his group that the U-turn was just 2km ahead. Just behind Raven was someone who wore a head-band that mentioned that he was relieved to hear that they were near....I thought at that point he looked like Sim Wong Hoo of was later confirmed by the Organizers that that was Sim, and he would be doing the 84km Sundown...wahsey!

Many of the mid-pack runners started to take walk-breaks as we got near to the Tampines Park Connector. The heat was really getting to many of them, but they were 'mentally' strong to carry on running....I was most impressed, especially with many of them having done maximum distances of only 22km up till this morning's run. They have surpassed their longest runs, and were in record-breaking territory :). I waited for them at critical junctions, and urged them to continue running, only taking walk-breaks in the shade...hehe. They were determined, and were rewarded when we reached the Hi-Velocity water point again....cold drinks to refresh the semi-burnt bodies. With only 10km left, all were ready to do their best to finish the run. Save for a few blisters, and slight knee aches, all the runners were in good form. The ambulance parked nearby was not called upon to render any service.....good.

Nicholas, Crystal, Best, Pauline and the mid-pack group started to take more walk-breaks, but they were strong enough to go for even more....good sign. I was quite surprised that the gals looked so, and they were running that long distance in such conditions for the very first time. Most of the mid-pack finally reached Bedok Reservoir Park in about 4hrs. With about 2.5km left to the end point, I ran ahead to the finish, got some drinks, and cheered on the rest coming in. I could see the relief and delight in their faces...really made all the effort of encouraging them to finish the run worth it. Bev and the front-pack had earlier finished, and was resting in the shed. I reckoned we took 4hr15min to complete the 34km, inclusive of breaks and waiting time....not bad actually.

Over drinks, we exchanged some pointers on distance running. I hope some of the new runners will join the SgRunners forum to get good advice and share tips with the seasoned runners, and maybe, even join in the training runs. Bev had her longest run to date, and she did well to sustain in such trying conditions....I am sure, the night marathon will not pose a big problem for her. As for the new runners who joined us for the first time, I hope to see them again at the next Sundown familiarization run in April 26, and who knows, some of them might be crazy enough to join us for Dusty Run ahead of that...shhhhh!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pleasant packages

Went down to SAFRA MF Tuesday evening to do intervals at Labrador Park, chiefly to collect my new running shoe collection for 2008...haha. Took the run real easy, and was consistently coming in near the rear for each of the lap. Did a total distance of 12km, and did work up some sweat.

Fierce-looking ASICS DS Trainer 13

Cool-looking ASICS Cumulus 9

Collected my 2 pairs of DS Trainer 13 and Cumulus 9, latest models of these tried and tested runners. I tried them on for fit, and they felt light with the right amount of forefoot cushion. Many of the running mates went ga-ga over the shwe colours of the DS Trainer...hmm, don't you agree she is a beauty? hehe. Now just cannot wait to bring them out for their maiden runs.

I got another pleasant package once I reached home, this time from DHL, containing certificates of the Pacesetters GE30km race in January. Thanks to Mohan who collected the certs from Pacesetters in Malaysia over the weekend, and had them dispatched to me in such quick time. Really appreciate the gesture of this multiple marathoner, who will yet do another this Sunday @ KLIM, and of course, I hope to run alongside him at this May's Sundown Ultra-Marathon.

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Sundown Marathon: Veteran Runner Feature

Guide To Running 2008 - Men's Health Magazine, April 2008

There's a feature of my FIL in Men's Health April Issue. Interesting that there is a full Guide To Running 2008 in this issue.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Time Off...

Had a good rest over the Easter Weekend, which extended till today for me. Since I had some time on my hands, I decided to do an earlier evening run to Sengkang via the Serangoon Connector. Started off at about 5pm, with dark clouds looming in the horizon. Bev was also doing her own long run as we started off together.

Midway along Lor Ah Soo, I decided to head back to get my mini MP3 to provide some background music for the run. My pace was at about 6min/km, but with the humid weather, I was perspiring profusely. I had to wrench my wrist band dry a couple of times. As I exited the Park Connector and got onto Senkang East, Bev came running back along the highway bridge. She was enjoying her run with her own steady pace.

Maybe its because of the humidity, I felt a lot more thirsty this evening. By the time I headed back to Kovan area, it started to drizzle a little. I had run 2hrs+ and about 20km by then. I kept my MP3, and decided not to go the extra 3km along the Braddel way....instead, I turned back home for a total distance of 24km. Bev came back about 10min later, having covered about 21km. Not bad for a weekday run. Fortunately for us, the rain came pouring down only 15min later.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Sundown Progressive Run #2: The Prata Run

This second Sundown Progressive Run attracted a larger crowd of about 30 runners, all gathered at East Coast Parkway carpark B1 at 10.30pm. Many of the 84-kmers have been looking to this training run to progressively build up their mileage. A number of SAFRA MF runners like Jimmy and Raymond had joined us. Mohan and his friends were also new faces. A good opportunity for me to try the new ASICS compression long tights which had just arrived the morning. I also packed along 2 powergel-mix and 2 small pieces of raisin bread. Blink Blink was added on for good measure in the night.

Due to some unforseen circumstances, the leader of the run, Prata could not be at the run. Nevertheless, we decided to go ahead with the planned route, so arduously inspired and painstakingly put together by Prata. RoadRunner3 and Raven gave a briefing of the route and the 4-5 Prata stops, and away we went at about 10.45pm. I ran at a comfortable 6:30min/km pace, mainly at the rear of the pack, chatting with TarePanda, FBB and Raven. Along Nicholl Highway, TarePanda did not feel too well, and had to call it an early night...hope she is feeling much better. After a little confusion with that first part of the route, we arrived at the first pit-stop at Zion Road kopi-tiam after about 7km and 45min.

The group continued on to the next stop at Botanic Gardens, about 8km away. I was feeling comfy with the comp tights, although it did look weird on me...haha. It was working well to wick perspiration off my legs, and I was feeling cool and dry. The support for the knee area was pretty good as well. Not too sure how we ran this part as I was enjoying myself, following from behind the pack...soon, we arrived at The Prata Cafe at the old SMU track area. I took a piece of my raisin bread, whilst some of the others had their first prata load. Mohan took some group pictures, and not wanting to stop for too long, DO and I, along with the first group proceeded on to the next point.

The stretch along Bukit Timah towards Clementi was long and flat. The ZZZ monsters were starting to attack some of us. Those of us who experienced the running past midnight at Blink Blink Run were slightly more prepared for the phenomenon. It was Mohan and the young lad leading the way, with us following from a distance. Although it was long and boring, I was still enjoying the run....eventually reached King Albert Park MacD for another pit-stop. I was a little disappointed that they did not have ice-cream cones, so decided to take prata later on. Another short stop, and before we left, we saw the smaller group of Vincent, StarDust, Brokie, DeepCruiser, et al arriving. Raymond was feeling a little weak at that point, and was about to hit the wall...of course lah, he was just taking plain water till then.

With the Fong Seng Prata as motivation, we chugged ahead towards NUS. Mohan was snapping photos along the way...haha. Nothing much along the way as we honed in our objective. DO immediately ordered teh-tarik and plain prata the moment we arrived at our usual NUS Hill Run makan haunt, after about 27km. The early morning crowd was a little surprised to see a large group of runners gathered, waiting for their prata and hot drinks. It was real shiok to down the hot teh-tarik, and the prata's texture was pretty good, although I had only a small piece. We had dome about 3hr45min by then. All were still alert by the time we set of, had our 5min walk break, and headed for Tanjong Pagar Railway.

It was another very long and boring stretch along Pasir Panjang Road towards Keppel Rd. I could see our runners' blink blinks in front, and that kept me focused. I increased pace a little to try to catch them, alleviating some of the boredom. I am just so glad I don't have to do such runs in solitude....haha. I will collapse from sheer boredom. Not much conversations amongst runners at that point, as I ran behind SealBoon and DeepCruiser. The final stretch had me moving forward, joining Mohan to reach Tanjong Pagar Railway. The place was dark, and we were just happy to wait for the rest to come on. We had done 35km by then, and had another 10km to go to the end point.

When the group gathered, we married up with Bug's group at the nearby 24hr Indian food centre. I was famished and downed a curry-puff along with ice-cold Kickapoo. All of us were happy the end in near, as some kicked back and relaxed. Raven reported that FBB and his friend went on their own. The spirits of the whole group was high, as everyone felt good and still had much reserves in them. We took another walk break, and headed along Shenton Way towards The Esplanade, and steadied at about 6:30min/km along Nicholl Highway. I caught up with Brokie, DO and Bose, and we ran as a group.

It was the final stretch, and nobody wanted to slow down, although we did another timed walk-break at the command of the RSM. SealBoon, Raymond and Vincent joined as as we neared Fort Road. Brokie was leading the way, and we were just so contented to follow. Somehow, we ran for a long time, and we were still not at Fort Road??? Then only did we realize that we had turned into Mountbatten Road, and ran an extra 2km stretch, away from wonder the scenery and buildings along the way was so different from the way we came. Fortunately, we found an underpass to cross over back to ECP at the Big Splash area. Another 1km later, we were greeted by an "impressed' bunch at the end with applause...haha. The 4 of us did an extra 3km to make it 48km by 6am, 7hrs....not bad.

We should be more ready for the next Sundown Progressive Run, The 55km Dusty Run. It was a refreshing early morning wash up, and the next shifts of runners, including the AniMiles were just arriving. Since the Geylang You-Tiao was not opened, we went for simple brekky fare at Marine Parade, before heading home. I had a good 5hr rest, and the legs were just slightly tired....not achy....the comp tights seemed to have worked. I had it washed, and will wear it at home to see if it would aid recovery. This run has built up the confidence levels of those who us who will be facing the loner 55km and 70km overnight Progressive Runs, and of course, the eventual Sundown 84km Night Ultra-Marathon.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Some don't like it HOT!

I have been missing a few runs for this week due to the atypical rainy weather. Was getting a little pent-up and moody, and was looking forward to this Sunday's 29km outlet. There was a large crowd at SAFRA MF today, the exact opposite of last weekend....hmm, most likely all were also lacking in mileage and were out for revenge...haha.

We started off at 7:45am, and I was happy to trot behind...fumbling a little with the headphones of my MP3 player. The radio reception was not good, so I played slow songs to keep my pace down. I was enjoying the nice music under the warm sunshine that was coming up, as we ran along the Shenton Way stretch towards Marina South. I was trying to show the way to the folks that were just in front of me. Once into Marina South, I ran mostly just behind DO and Jancy. Vincent and PS were always nearby, as we moved at a pace of about 6min/km.

Siew Lee and Shirley took a slightly different route, and ended up at the Jetty, fast...hehe. As usual, Bug, stardust, Jimmy, Trevor and the fast ones were way ahead. It seemed like a long time spent in the Marina South area, and we hit the Jetty in 1hr15min. Took a short break, chatted a little about next Thursday's Prata Run, and away we went out the same way we came in. I was enjoying the music as the sun's rays got even fiercer. I was feeling slightly hungry...when we approached Prince Edward Road, I took my small bar of Snickers as refuel.

The 20km runners would turn left towards Keppel Road, and head back along Kampong Bahru. The 29km runners would turn right towards The Esplanade, all the way to Marina Promenade toilet, and turning back. I still felt good along the way to Marina Promenade. Saw stardust and Bug taking a walk break, and I was quite tempted to join them...but told myself to go all the way to the toilet first. Jancy and Vincent came along to the toilet, while DO did a turn back.

On the way back, I saw a large group of young runners doing a group run...they were pretty serious, and looked organized. Other than them, there were not that many runners on the road this morning, surprisingly. By the time I hit Shenton Way, I felt drained and tired. My legs were weighing a tonne, and I was very tempted to take a walk break. I was thirsty and hungry. I removed the headband as I was feeling a little heated up from the HOT sun. I finally succumbed along Keppel Road and walked for 3min. It had been some time since I ran this route in such HOT, really 'mental'.

DO who was just ahead earlier could not be seen by then...he must have sped away. I was determined to do an extra 1km along Henderson Road, after the suggestion by Brokie. I took the second walk break along Harbourfront, and by then, my water bottles were almost empty, and I felt like walking all the way back. I started to run again after 5min, and to my surprise, I found my calves tightening and having spasms...almost hit by cramps...arghhh...I slowed down a little and pushed on. Fortunately there was some incline along Henderson Road for me to run in a way as to stretch the calves. I was breathing quite heavily by then, possibly due to the glycogen depletion and lactic buildup....I would hit the wall if I had to run another 5km.

There was a sense of relief when I finally reached the ClubHouse, after staying on my feet for 3hr45min. I swore that it felt much longer than the supposed 30km I covered. Nevertheless, it was a hard workout for me, and I hope this run contributed to my base building for Sundown 84km. Wolfed down a full bowl of the popular fishball noodles at Tiong Bahru market, and still felt hungry. StarDust actually ate You Tiao and other fried foods, on top of his self-made fried rice...he too was one hungry bloke. So was DO and PS...haha!

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Nanyang Dusty Run - A Preview

In preparation for the Sundown 84km UltraMarathon, a group of us got together to plan a series of Progressive Runs in the night. Distances will start from 35km, and will go up to 70km in the final run. We have just done the 30km Blink Blink Run last week. Now looking forward to Sundown Progressive Run #2: The 42km Prata Run, planned and organized by Prata, of course! :)

Meanwhile, StarDust is charged with planning Sundown Progressive Run #3: The Dusty Run, a 55km along very interesting routes and even passing cemeteries. Click on the video below for a sneak preview of what is to come in April.

Nanyang Dusty Run Preview, Coutesy StarDust @ SgRunners

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Sunday LSD at MF

The legs felt ok after Blink Blink Run on Friday night....thats the good thing about running at a more measured pace. This morning's turnout at SAFRA MF was really small, likely due to the fact that there weren't any upcoming races for most of the runners. Trainer Jimmy Chow came after DO and I arrived, then Alex, Raymond, Colleen and one more runner (let's call him Katana for now) cos he wore the same Nike Katana IV as me today...haha.

My plan was to do a slow LSD, and I had my mini-MP3 player to entertain me. I brought along my new sweatband for a test run too. Thr group started at 7.30am, and proceeded towards Botanic Gardens, along Tiong Bahru, Delta Canal and Ripley Park. The morning weather was cool, with heavy cloud cover. The radio from my MP3 was pretty clear along the canal. I switched to my favourite playlist once I hit Ripley area. I was running just behind the group most of the way, enjoying the music and scenery.

There were lots of runners and qi gong practitioners in Botanic Gardens...a hive of activity. We took a water break at the usual BG toilet, and proceeded along Farrer Road, Holland Road and towards Ulu Pandan. Our small group was still running cohesively, at possibly a tad over 6min/km pace. It was still too fast for Sundown 84km, but was bearable for a 30-40km run. Colleen, David and Jimmy were mainly leading the pack. We ran along Clementi Road, into NUS and made a final pit stop at NUS Guild House. From there, it was a steady slope climb along Prince George's Park....the sun was out slightly, but the pace we were doing allowed us to go pretty steady.

All reached the top of PGP effortlessly. My Bee Gees compilation had ended, and I switched back to FM Radio. The reception along Buona Vista (99 turns) wasn't that good, possibly because of the thick foliage. Out onto Pasir Panjang Road, we increased pace slightly. I announced to everyone's delight that we had been on the road for 2.5hrs. With about 5km to go, we moved into cruise mode, chugging along nicely.

On the final turn up Henderson Rd, we kicked into slightly higher gear, and finished the run in about 3hr10min. Based on footpod and timing, we estimated the distance covered to be about 26-27km. Not a bad Sunday morning run, especially when all still felt rather fresh. All adjourned to Ah Kun for nice kopi, toast and eggs, discussing about the top article in Runners World, The Best Food For Runners :)

Distance: 26km__Time: 3hr10min__Avg Pace: 6:30min/km

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Sundown Progressive Run #1: The Blink Blink Run

The Sundown: Blink Blink 13

It was the first night training run we had planned for the Sundown, to get those 84km-ers especially some conditioning and getting used to running at night into the early morning hours. I picked up DO and Prata, and reached ECP F2 carpark by 9.15pm. The group was already there...Brokie, StarDust, Biosynthesis, Cokiee, Kayano, Phei Sunn, Raven (the organizer), Sarah and 2 new SgRunners C.Yan and Nerrad. Many of us had our blink blink lights attached, with kayano checking to ensure all the lights were working.

A short chat with Cokiee's dad about a possible Tg. Pinang Run, followed by a group photo, a brief by Raven on the night's proceedings, and off the 13 of us headed along the MacD direction. Lots of chatter along the way, getting to know the newer ones, talking to strangers like the 'Boxer'Runner, all while attempting to maintain a 6:30min/km pace. StarDust was having a difficult time 'sweeping' and I thought he could not last too long in that position...hehe. There were lots of people out along the ECP beach, many roller-bladers easing along the well-lit smooth tarmac, and a noticeable number of police patrol cars.

The 'Boxer'Runner

We had planned to run all the way to The Esplanade, and then adopting a run/walk routine on the return. The night was humid, but DO and Kayano were getting very 'cool' in their 2XU running tights...can't wait to try out the ASICS one which DO help order for me. We went though Kallang, parts of Nicholl Highway, and then reached The Esplanade in about 2hr+. There was a 'happening' concert with loud music as we arrived...that perked us up a little. We went looking for the ice-cream van in vain....aiya, glycogen fuel running low. Another quick group photo, and we went back this time taking Marina Promenade, away from the heavy traffic.

Bumped into Bug en route Kallang, doing his ninja night run. We took a pit-stop at Kallang MacD for our carbo refuel, yummy ice-cream cones. C.Yan was keeping up the pace quite well, in spite of her low mileage. Brokie was all cozy with Ronald, lapping up her cone...haha. We took our first 5 minute walk break, as we licked our cones happily. By then, we had covered about 18km?
Running as a group with blink blink lights was quite fun, and we could see different blinking rates and variations of the lights....kept my mind off the boredom that was setting in. We were soon at Fort Road, after resuming our run. There were still roller-bladers, bikers and merry-makers at that time of about 12.30am. Just the bunch of us blinking runners doing our slow run...haha.

We took the second walk break just before MacD. We had leant quite a fir bit from this first night run. We decided that we should start the walk breaks early, have a proper fuel plan, and bring sufficient hydration at the next training run. Getting used to running past midnight and staying awake was another challenge. We again resumed our run after the 5-minute break, and did a 6:30min/km average to stop near Bedok Jetty, ending the night's run with a final 5-minute walk to F2. The legs did not feel that tired. although the mind was fatigued. Raven prepared lots of 100-plus or us, and as we drank and stretched under the moonlit night, we waited for Prata an C.Yan to stroll back after 25min.

It was shiok to take a COLD bath in the wee hours of the morning. Some yelps and shouts later, we were all nice and clean, ready for the Geylang Supper Rendevous. Since PS and Sarah left for home earlier, the remaining 11 of us went to Lor 9 for very nice Beef Hor Fun, Frog Leg Porridge and sinful Oyster Omelette. That was already 3am in the morning, and Geylang seemed a lot busier than before...even the smaller lorongs were bustling with! While we ate, we already laid down plans for the next Sundown Progressive Runs, The Prata Run and The dusty Run...looking forward :)

Distance: 30km__Time: 3hr50min__Pace: 6:30min/km

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Friday, March 07, 2008

Slow night runs

Have been doing a lot more night runs these days, albeit at slower paces of 6.30min/km. Took the opportunity to run some of them with Bev to prepare her for her first marathon, at night to boot. These slow runs have been good for the legs and the heart as well....and yes, got myself a simple mini-mp3 player with FM radio to take to the roads on those solitude night runs, which still have not started for me :)

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sime Trail Comeback...

There was a large turnout this Sunday morning at the MR25 15km Progressive Run. It must have been due to the marketing of the MR25 Progressive Run series and the goodies for FY08 if we complete 5 of the runs. Gentle, StarDust, Alvo, kk, cfred84, RealRunner, Ultraman, SealBoon, DO, TLR, Ripley, Brokie, Vincent, Eugene8 were amongst the many familiar faces. There was also a large gathering of SAFRA Tampines and MF runners....hmm, with the JI fugitive still at large, it was definitely more assuring to have a larger group running together.

The Sime Trail and the Ranger Station area has been there was a last minute change to run a loop though there. Because of the shorter 15km, I did not bring along my fuel-belt; just a key pouch holding my keys....mistake, for that was to cause me some stress later in the run. It was a smooth start, and I was taking it easier (to reserve something for a possible 10km recovery later on) for the first stretch. Exited Northern Route in about 20min, and trailed this ang moh lady who ran a very steady pace. There was rather large ang moh guy just behind her. As I moved up chunky hill along SICC, I felt my shoe pouch missing. Yikes, ran back and fortunately found it 50m behind. Saw Raven coming up, and I just continued on.

Reached the halfway mark at UPR toilet area, took a quick drink, and proceeded back. Saw Brokie, DO, SealBoon, kk coming up. Along the golf course, suddenly heard 'FORE!'; I immediately ducked..wah, scary...but the runners in front weren't too affected...haha. Back up along chunky hill, saw many familiar SAFRA Tampines and Too Family runners...waved to all of them....very happy to see so many familiar and cheery faces. Turned into Ranger Station, and the repaired portion of Sime Trail was a pleasure to run on. I was still following the ang moh gal...very consistent. Near Jelutong Tower, saw Ultra in front, and just moved nearer to try to catch up. Finally caught him at 'Tree Roots' area, and we had a short chat while walking up the undulating roots area. All the way back to exercise area, then along Lornie Trail, and finished in about 1hr18min.

StarDust, RR and many more had finished their run. We waited for a while, and then kk, Brokie and the rest came in. Raven, Brokie, StarDust and myself decided to do an additional 1hr slow run, to practice a little of the 30min/5min run-walk routine. It was fun doing a 6.5min/km jog and yakking about things and Raven's happening activities in Tokyo. A mis-step, and I went sliding forward near the exercise area...fortunately my reaction was fast, and I just escaped with very superficial wounds. We carried on from there with no further incident, and at the end of the bridge near Jelutong Tower, we turned back and took our 5minute walk. The Too family of Tao, HohoRunner, ST ran past, and Brokie was trying to tackle them...haha.

We started to run again at the end of the bridge, and we reached zig-zag bridge at about 10am...exactly 1hr after we started. I suddenly realized I had dropped my shoe pouch...this time I had no idea where I might have dropped it. Met Hoho who kindly loan me his mobile to call home for the spare keys. Raven was very kind to drive me near to Lornie Trail, and with the help of StarDust and DO, we combed the whole area...some people might be thinking we were searching for the JI fugitive...haha. Woodstock stopped to enquire and offered her assistance too. With so much help rendered, it had to end well. I finally got my keys back and was thankful for such a bunch of good running friends who were ever willing to lend a helping hand, and those who shared their concerns. Many thanks, guys and gals!

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Showers Of Blessings

The wedding couple's entourage

Woke up early this Saturday in anticipation of the wedding run of tktan and doreen (doraemon_red). Brokie had already laid out the plans, and I was to pick her up from Kent Ridge park....dim chi this matchmaker blur blur went to Guild House instead. So Bev practised Tai Chi, whilst DO and I discussed about compression tights. Finally Borkie arrived, and unloaded the sabotage tool - a fancy, foldable bike with nifty, tiny, I got worried for tktan then...haha.

Drove up to NUS Guild House, the meeting point where it all began for the lovely couple, those long slopey runs, hot rod hearts and flying sparks in the nights. The gang were there, waiting in anticipation...Raven, wend88, Ronnie, Hophling, Cheow12, Cokiee, DeepCruiser, StarDust, Freddy, and of course the main actor and actress, tktan and xdd. While we assembled the bike, along came the recently-wed couple of IronmanDreamer and YeeHua, then the final 2 characters, SportsVenturer and AndyGoh, carrying 2 heart-shaped 'love' balloons...arh-erm, both happened to be guys lah! The stage was set. tktan was to ride the bicycle with his lovely bride by the side, together going through some rough terrain, just like experiencing the trials and tribulations of marriage life, and working as a couple to go through thick and thin to emerge stronger and ever so loving.

As tktan rode along towards the familiar NUS Hill Route to Haw Par Villa, he sang love songs along with the chorus from his lovely bride...."The lady in red....oh ooh ahh oooh oooh", it went something like that...hehe. Took some nice shots with meaningful words in the background at HPV. Then it was to the first real challenge for the couple - up the steep Vigilante Drive on small wheels, with the couple connected together....a most touching moment as both tktan and xdd took turns to ride the bike up those challenging slopes, twisting and turning, grinding the small wheels with some vehicles passing close by. With the group cheering them on, clapping and shouting, they finally reached the was sheer victory, and with a nice long kiss lasting 30seconds, they took each other's breath away....she collapsing in his arms on top of the tank :)

Then the showers came...we decided to challenge the couple even more. tktan had to piggy-back xdd up a long flight of stairs up to the 'love' Pavilion. It was a happening session up there, with the couple mouth-feeding one another fruits, and spilling out many of the secrets of how they first met, and when the sparks actually started...hmm, this is becoming like a love story, rather than a run account...aiya, nvm! When the rain abated, we proceeded to the canopy walk, where the matchmaker had to perform her 'duites' to earn that big ang pow....and Brokie did very well lah!

We took shelter at the Canopy Walk as the rain had become very heavy. While waiting, Adrian Mok ran past en-route to office....he was stopped to take a photo with the happy couple. When the rain got even heavier, we decided to give tktan a break, as he had been most sporting and performed very well....even the heavens were with him, as if telling us to stop his misery...haha. Brokie, DO and Bev stayed behind to pack the bike, while the rest of us ran back 3km with the couple. The moment we got out from the Canopy and back in Kent Ridge Park, the rain abated and then stopped....amazing.

We had a good run and chat about the couple's wedding plans and their new abode....sounded very nice....already people are thinking of a part 2 for this tekan, since this one was sort of not completed...haha. We all had a good wash-up after a short thank-you speech by the couple, and proceeded to Formosa Taiwan Delights for some good food. SV made a very nice photo holder for the couple. We too got some nice gifts from Raven, who had just come back from a wonderful trip in Tokyo. I can now look forward for more tekaning on the actual wedding dinner hearty congratulations and best wishes to tktan and Doreen on their happy, joyous marriage!

The Wedding Video, Coutesy Brokie & StarDust

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