September 28, 2013

Tiong Bahru, Vivocity - Historical Run on Singapore Government Housing

Along Cantonment Road just outside Outram Park MRT station
How many times have we planned our runs at Labrador Park, I have lost count. Thanks to the overwhelming votes by the unfit runners living in the west, my Saturday mornings have been "Journey to the West" recently. After much discussion over the net, we decided to try out our first "One Way Run" from Vivocity to Tiong Bahru Market (Where we will have our breakfast). However, for the drivers, it is a logistic nightmare as we have to decide whether to park at the finishing point or the starting point.

My plan was to park at Tiong Bahru market, walk over to Tiong Bahru MRT, take a subway to an interchange and than change another subway to emerge from the Harbourfront MRT station. However, due to a failure on my iPhone alarm to wake me up on the expected timing, I woke up at the usual time which I need to go for my Saturday run. That was extremely bad as I estimated that I needed another 30mins to travel from Tiong Bahru to Vivocity.

As planned, I drove to Tiong Bahru Market at 7am, but the messages from Whatsapp started to flood in, notifying the arrival of my friends at Vivocity. Figuring that I would be extremely late by the time I reach there, and invoking the ire of irritated joggers who will have to withstand the hot summer sun, I decided to start my run from Tiong Bahru instead and make one loop to Vivo city and back to Tiong Bahru, meeting up with my friends for breakie.

There! Isn't that an ingenious idea!?!

After sending a short note on the group chat, I set off towards Outram Road towards Keppel Road. This run is somewhat a historical run, which covers the different era of public housing in Singapore. From the Pre WWII colonial era flats, the early post-independence 2-rooms utilitarian flats built in the 1960s, to the pride of government flats at Pinnacle@Duxton. 
Colonial Era apartments

One of the Complex of the Singapore General Hospital
Pinnacle@Duxton. Pride of Singapore Public Housing
One of the reasons why we picked 7am for our saturday runs is because we expected less pedestrian traffic around Singapore as most work wary Singaporeans will probably spend their weekends catching up on their zzz.. . However, that morning was an exceptional as my run was slowed by hordes of people, sending their kids for school, going for breakfast, and generally just walking around.... very SLOWLY, making it hard for me to squeeze past them as many of these "aunties" will probably stare at me in disgust as I brush past them with my sweaty skin.

The run got very very dull once I hit Keppel Road. Other than the old now dysfunctional Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, which I stopped for a while to admire this piece of history, there was nothing much else to see. Keppel Road was busy with traffic even at this early hours and there was nothing much to see around me unless you are a great fan of construction or shipping cranes. The road is also uneven as some of the construction work spilled over to the normal pedestrian area and I have to run over temporary, hastily and badly paved pavements which many a times, swing too close to the main road full of zooming cars.
Slow walking pedestrians..
One of the busiest road in Singapore: Keppel Road

This is one cute advert by AVIVA
The Old Tanjong Pagar Railway Station
Just like any disaster waiting to happen, I tripped on one of the the uneven pavement and landed heavily on my knee. 

First, it started as a small ache on the side of my knee, the pain started to get exponentially greater as I heap my distance. By the time I reached Vivocity, I was grimacing with pain.

I decided to abort my run at this point of time and took the train by to Tiong Bahru MRT.

I hope that this injury will not impede my runs on my upcoming European Tour.

Note: Little did I know that this "small injury" will continue to haunt me for months to come. This run was backlogged till December when I got down to writing and amending it. Till now, the knee injury is still around, 3 months after that fateful run.


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