Saturday, April 23, 2011

FatBird Weekender: Muddy...Wet...Hot!

Facebook Photos from Chin, Terry, DO, Mike, Kim Lai, Ronnie, Tick Hock

It was an outing we have been looking forward to do...a running tour of the Lorong Halus Wetlands in the North East. Thanks to SgRunners' Kayano, Barefoot Pua, Tekko along with Ponggol Runners who have meticulously seeked out and recce'd these very virgin trails and rocky wetlands, that the 100 odd runners from Team FatBird, SgRunners, Ponggol Runners and other running groups could gather for the joint exploration.

By 7am, the large group of runners gathered at the Kovan bus depot was already providing the buzz to the awakening heartland in the North-East. A short route briefing followed by the introduction of the marshals from Ponggol Runners and SgRunners - thanks guys and gals, and then the clicking and flashing of the cameras from the running photographers. These were the running heroes for such scenic group runs, who are competent runners armed with rather heavy camera sets, running up and down, way ahead such that we runners could have our trials and tribulations captured on film - these photo albums are contributions from some of these running photographers. Thanks.

With heavy rainfall in the past few days, the trails have become water-logged, soggy, muddy and rocky (due to the top-soil being washed away)...added a new dimension to the word challenge :) The runners were initially trying to do some toe-dancing, skipping and even gymnastics to avoid the muddy grounds, but eventually, decided that it was better to let the shoes take the dirt and soil in their strides. Those who came with trail shoes were delightfully testing out their gear and were busy exchanging notes on how each of their NB MT101 & Trails, Vibrams, Asics, Adidas, Nike Trails, etc were faring. Those in their pristine white-based shoes were overhead talking about how they should have worn their trail or worn-off shoes as advised in the event invite :)

The 8km of trail to the New Water Park really made us work and sweat, and it was not made any easier with the blazing-ly good weather, I mean the hot morning sun. We were glad to come onto nice, dry, clean tarmac if only for that small stretch. We had a nice photo and water stop before moving on along the scenic stretch towards the dam overlooking Coney Island.

Much excitement and laughter came about when we visited the old ferry terminal...I could almost feel the hustle and bustle of those early days when that must be a busy pier where ships and boats anchored for loading/unloading of goods and people.

The group brightened up when we heard we were not going back by the trails, but instead would try the new Ponggol Park Connector...whispers of Popeyes and Isotonic Drinks were heard as many of us were feeling hungry and thirsty by then. There was nary a shade as we progressed through the Park Connector. The sun was beating down on us ferociously, but yet the spirits of the runners were high...any opportunities to go into the shades of toilets and under the bridges were welcomed with smiles. There was even an imaginary 'mist' station set up under the bridge to simulate the cool effects of being in the shade. The Ponggol Runners and those who live near Sengkang went off on their way back, while the rest of us continued on towards Ponggol Park and the Serangoon Park Connector to Kovan.

By the time we hit Serangoon Park Connector, effects of water and glycogen stores depletion were being felt by the runners, and we were only glad to be just 2km away from civilization (places with food and water). Some could not wait and took the 'express' route which somehow allowed them to reach back to Kovan for the early MacD Big Breakfast and kopi-O with laksa or mee-pok in the food court. Bubble-Tea never tasted so good.....with water, sugar and carbo pearls :)

What made this Holiday Weekender enjoyable and special was the coming together of the few running groups to organize and share the experience of group running and exploration. It can be summed up with rough rough rough....wet wet hot hot! Thanks for the chatter, company and comradeship...till the next Team FatBird: Weekender Run Series event.

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