July 21, 2012

Garden By the Bay East, Kallang, Nicoll Highway - A Big Mistake! 10 KMRun

One week after the Pocari Sweat run, we finally decided to sign up for the Stanchart Half Marathon 10km run and set or minds to training for it.

BBG,"Stanchart 10km no more liao"

PES E,"WTF!?? Let's do the 750m kids dash...."

BBG, "Ya. I just checked. Only marathon n kids dash left.."

Fang Tai, "Think GE Women run still have. Who wanna bring my kids for the run?"

PES E," Noooooooo. My Stanchart!! I never did a Stanchart run before!! I need to do a Stanchart run before I die!!!?

Marathon Girl, " OMG. This is really fast. Really gained a lot of popularity thru the years. Actually got a lot of other runs... Standard chartered too crowded...  越来越不好跑

BBG, "Any good ones u recommend for end of year?"

Marathon Girl, "100 plus passion run in Nov. Got 9km distance."

PES E," We going for all the Isotonic drinks run?? Got a H2O run???"

The discussion to replace the Stanchart Half Marathon is still on going....
The Ugly Brother of Helix Bridge

Nevertheless, we continued our routine for the week, revisiting the Gardens by the Bay area to enjoy an uncrowded run on a Saturday morning. Our initial plan was to do a 6-7km run starting from the Helix bridge, to marina barrage, cross the dam into Garden at the Bay East and back.
We saw a battalion of Man in Green at the Youth Olympic Park while walking from Promenade MRT station. Oh yeah, national day is around the corner and the HomeTeam is preparing for the National Day Parade by the floating platform. The Helix bridge is being locked down, to prevent curious onlookers from getting a free viewing of the National Day Parade Rehearsals.
Marina Barrage
So off I went, across the Bayfront Ave Bridge, down to Garden by the Bay and crossed the dam at Marina barrage towards Garden by the Bay East. The view at the Dam is gorgeous!! Every Singaporean and tourist should take a picture there!
The Marina Dam
View from the Dam
I was expecting that the Garden by the Bay East should be a complete construction site, given that it is still under construction. The first initial impression is what I expected. Overgrown tall grass and shrubs with construction machines overturning the earth to create a more eye pleasing landscape. The path is well paved though despite all the wilderness around.
Desolation at Garden By Bay East
The landscaped suddenly changed after passing a gate and the entire landscape is transformed into a pretty nice garden. I guess this area is the REAL Garden by the Bay East. There are a couple of flowers, bushes and flat green lawns, but there is nothing to impress people as compared to the Botanical Gardens or the Garden by the Bay. It feels like a typical... Bishan Park, Clementi Park kind of Heartland Parks without the hustle and bustle of the residents. The place is largely deserted with the exception of a few joggers, photographers and curious tourists who wondered too far from the normal tour route. The view across is fantastic though, as the entire downtown Singapore spreads across the horizon. This area has a very big potential, but I think the general public is too entralled with the recently opened Garden by the Bay with its Supertrees than this quiet undiscovered stretch of the Garden. Heck, it is a 2km walk under the hot sun from the Supertrees and it is too hot for any Singaporeans or tourist to attempt this death march.
Cross this Gate and the Landscape changes
Nice long path with a great view!
A Map of the Bay East
Dragon Boat training on the way!
I hit the turn back mark of 3km midway through the Garden by the Bay East and was contemplating to turn back or maybe.. just maybe continue running and complete a circuit via Nicoll Highway?? That's when I made a decision that turned out to be a disaster... 

I whipped out my trusty iPhone and took a look at the Map. Hmm.. Cut across Tanjong Rhu, Cross Kallang River to Kallang Stadium and head north and than Nicoll Highway all along back to Promenade MRT. Looks like another 3-4km of run... Since I am aiming for a 6-7km run anyway, so where do a backtrack when I can do a circuit?? With my mind set-up, I jogged on and my point of no return drifted further and further away from me...
The point of No Return! ECP
I reached the end of the Bay East by Rhu Cross road and jogged along the Tanjong Rhu Rd along the high end condos. I was hoping that there is a pedestrian bridge that will cross to the other side of the Kallang River and I can shave off a few hundred meters from my run, should I follow the main road on the map. I was quite sure that there is such a bridge along the way and I found it just outside of the Kallang Indoor Stadium.

It's a great place to do inline actually! Kiddo learning to blade
High End Condo at Tanjong Rhu Road
The Bridge across Kallang River to Indoor Stadium
Judging from the Google Map, I can run along Stadium road and cut into Nicoll Highway and back. Easy Peasy. I have to admit that I was quite tired by than as I am accustomed to 4-5km run and I hit my mental barrier of 5km at the Kallang indoor stadium. To my horror, I realized that the Stadium Road has been blocked off, by the "under construction" Sports Hub. I jogged around the barricade, past the stadium MRT and still couldn't find a way across. Whipping out Google Map again, I realized that I may have to take a long way around and this will add 3-4km more to the run! Well, I could take a MRT from Stadium MRT back to promenade but I left my card in my car and I did not have a single cent with me to pay for the fare ride! Retracing my way means that I have to complete another 5-6km which I am quite sure that I will die of exhaustion before I could complete it. Betting that going forward will mean a shorter run than turning back, I pressed on....
The lighthouse of Kallang?
Running through the dark corridors of Indoor Stadium
Should I take a train back? No money, No card...

Received a Whatsapp Msg from BBG at this point of time, just when I hit Mountbatten MRT at the 7km mark:

BBG, "Ok I give up after 5km. Weather too hot. I go MBS enjoy aircon."

PES E, "Lost!! Haha. Shit. Can't cut to Nicole Highway... zzzz. I am fucked!!!

BBG, " Take Train back!! How can u horlan until there!!"
PES E, "Help me count how much more km to Marina Square."

BBG, "3.1km away!"

PES, "10 km run already...." 

With the sun beating on my head and feeling exhausted, I put everything out of my head and just press on.... and taking some pictures along the way. Hey! What's the point of accidentally exploring a new route and not taking pictures?!? Might as well take some to commemorate on my idiocy!?!

The Long run back. At 7km mark
The stupid Sports Hub that blocked my way!
It is bloody hot!! Nicoll Highway
Reached Beach Rd Area.. Too exhausted to take pictures from this pt on.
I took a left turn to Republic Ave thinking that it should be shorter than running along Nicoll Highway all the way to Suntec and based on my communication with my HQ (BBG and his Google Map). By than I was too hot and too exhausted to take any pictures. Touched down on the Promenade MRT and promptly ordered a big coke at Marina Sq McDonalds.... Flipped open my iPhone. 9.76KM... I pressed my save activity button and my running app went crazy and cut off 1km from my hard earned run...  From the map, it seemed that I teleported back to promenade MRT..... damn!!

I teleported the last 1 KM!!9.76 KM run
My verdict of the route: Very nice! But plan before you run.... Need 2 cross 2 traffic light. At least I know that I can do a 10km run!

Location: Nicoll Hwy, Singapore


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