Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Back to MacRitchie

I was last seen at MacRitchie Reservoir (MR) for the lead-running role for NorthFace 100 Ultra-Marathon. Wow...how time flies. Just this Sunday, I went back to MR for a post-SCSM08 recovering LSD. I also invited some of the FatBird runners and kakis to explore the scenic MR running routes, as well as take a peek into the 10.5km MR25 Ultra-Marathon loop.

We had a sizeable gathering of more than 20, considering that the skies were gloomy and there was a light drizzle. The MR25 sifus were also out training; the F1 Runners were also out in full force. I was surprised to see Helen who turned up with a friend, to get prepared for the year-end Ultra too. We started the run as a FatBird group at 7am, and headed towards Northern Route. Took about 22min to exit, before assembling the group for the ascent up Chunky Hill. Since many were quite new to the route, they were soaking in the sights and scenery as we ran along SICC golf course towards Upper Pierce Reservoir, and then air-cond road.

I must say the runners were pretty strong, even for those new ones like Suan (who barely did 10km+ in training), kopibaby, Beng. The slopes along UPR provided some welcomed challenges for the group. The light rain provided cool relief for the runners, and we did not feel tired not thirsty at all. The monkeys and Iguanas were hiding away, whilst Kayano was doing a great sweeping role. The runners enjoyed the return up Chunky Hill as much as they enjoyed going up earlier.

We had a final brief where I explained the joining from the Northern Route to the Ranger Station, Sime Trail, Jelutong Tower, tree roots area, Lornie Trail. I ran along with Max, Jane, Suan and Beng most of the way. I was impressed with the paved trail at the turn of the MR25 TT route towards Lornie Road. It should be much better for the new runners doing the 5km time-trial. The final 2.5km back was nice as we chatted and climbed some slopes at the same time.

Beng and Suan held on very well, and we completed the run in about 2hr15min....not bad considering the muddy ground conditions, slopes and waiting time. Thanks to Ultra who had meticulously prepared iced-cold 100plus, mini mandarin oranges, and Beng with bananas for some good after-run refuel. A nice recovery LSD on the trails, and it feels good to run on softer grounds after all the hard-pounding at ECP for the past few months.

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