April 22, 2012

Sengkang Riverview Park - Dodging Lightning Bolts

After yesterday aborted run at Sentosa due to the rain, we decided to try again on Sunday evening at Sengkang Riverview park. The initial plan was to run along the park connector either towards Ang Mo Kio or towards Punggol. Starting point was the very "happening" Sengkang Sports & Recreation Centre, and since Singaporeans love their workout so much, finding a carpark at 5pm was quite a challenge too.

Our starting point at Sengkang Sports & Recreation Centre

After spending 15 mins looking for a carpark, we saw looming dark cloud with thunder booming and lightning striking at a distance. For some reason, whenever Big Bone Guy and I wanted to run, our plan was almost always disrupted by lightning. Without even doing much warm up, we broke into a fast paced run so that we could finish our run before the storm was upon us.

The black clouds are rolling in.. again!
We didn't dare to go far as the storm is almost upon us so, we decided to run around the Riverview Park instead of trying for the PCN which we doubt have much shelter along the way. At least there is a McDonald nearby in case we need to take shelter and spend the next 30 mins gossiping again, just like what we did at Sentosa.

Other than the very scenic water walkway across the Punggol river and the strange bronze statue on top of a knoll, the rest of the terrain are made up mainly of newly planted shrubs and rolling grassland. There are quite a few mild slopes around but nothing that will take the breath out of a season runner. There were quite a number of families who were cycling along the PCN and of course, among them, there are "Deadly Kids on Wheels", so watch out for them while running along the PCN.
The very scenic walkway across the Punggol River

Rolling grassland? Nay, its just reclaimed land!
Runner friendly PCN. This way leads to Punggol Promenade
Wondering if this is a lightning rod or work of art
Before we knew it, the first droplets of rain started pelting down and lightning bolts started flying everywhere! (Okie, its exaggerated but it did convey how stressed we were while running and peering at the black thunderous cloud). We made pretty good distance anyway despite running around the park so we still got a good workout. We will be back again to try out the full length of the park connector and hopefully, it will not rain again...

The swimming complex. They even have an indoor pool!
 Overall, the place is a pretty good place to run as the paths are quite wide, clear "Where you are" maps and distance markers. There is also a swimming pool and a gym at the community club,and so you can go for a few rounds of weight lifting and a few laps in the pool after your run. Of course, there is the strategically positioned McDonalds, which seems to pop up at almost every popular running spots in Singapore. There is something for everybody here and short, medium and long range runners can be ensured of a traffic-light free along the entire park connector route. The only shortfall of this area is the inaccessibility and the lack of nearby cheap coffeeshop food/drinks, but honestly speaking, the town planners did a great job when they designed the sports hub!

Accessibility : Drop off at Sengkang MRT and Change to LRT to Farmway

Parking: Paid car park at Anchorvale Community Club

Type of tracks: Asphalt

Elevation: Generally flat with slight slopes  
Location: Sengkang Sports &Recreation Centre, 57 Anchorvale Rd, Singapore 544965

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