Sunday, February 20, 2011

Accidental Marshlands Explorer

Before getting busy with Sundown Marathon training in March, I managed to find a window of opportunity this lazy Sunday morning for an easy run around my neighbourhood. I did not have a plan other than wanting to have a 3hr workout. Instinctively, I ran towards Ponggol Park along the Serangoon Park Connector.

Upon entering the connector, I noticed a group of people assembling by the side, and thought they could be bikers making a stop on their morning ride. Someone shouted my name as I ran past them in the dark of the dawn. I stopped, walked towards them, and then realized it was SgRunners' 'Kayano' aka Francis. I was happy to see him, and then lspua, and then a whole bunch of Ponggol Runners. Since I was running alone anyway, I decided to accept their invitation to go on tour of a little-known trail route in the vicinity.

It was still dark when we entered the trail. Small torches brought by the run leaders illuminated the way as we trod gingerly in the slightly muddy and rocky trails. It was a long stretch of 2-3km worth of trails, with a few stops for photo shots (well, it was meant to be a recce and fun run) thrown in. The weather was cool and as first light broke, we were welcomed by beautiful grassland set against a riverside backdrop...too bad it was rather cloudy, and we could not see the supposed pretty sunrise (which the recce group experienced a week earlier).

We visited a few interesting spots and even found an unused terminal, which probably have been used as a jetty for passengers and goods to board ships...must have been a hive of activity in those days. Chin told me it was very near Pasir Ris Park, a place we visited last year during the EastSide Fa Cai Run, cannot imagine when all these PCN are through...we can actually have a 42km route of road & trails in the NE area.

As we made our return trip back to Buangkok Bridge, plans were already being laid to organize a weekender run to this area for more runners to experience the beauty of some of these running routes in the North-Eastern sector of Singapore, stretching along Serangoon, Ponggol and Sengkang. It turned out to be a whole 4hr and 20km worth of of nature-appreciating exploration for accidental tourist's experience that showed me some new routes that I have not known existed near to my Nest. Thanks to lspua, Francis and the Ponggol Runners for showing me the way. I will be back!

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