After a restful and heavy-eating post SCSM09, it was a nice homecoming to our ex training ground at the Mt. Faber region this weekend. In preparation for the HK Marathon in Feb10, we have planned for more runs at more hilly areas like MR and MF to better ready for the final hilly part of the HK race. The weather was immaculate...crispy cool, as the few of us gathered at the SAFRA MF ClubHouse. A quick brief of the rather convoluted but challenging 20-26km route later, the 15 of us set forth along Depot Road towards Pasir Panjang Rd, turning up to Buona Vista Rd. The pace was below 6min/km for most of the first 10km as I covered the rear with Arthur and Beverly.
It was nice chatting with the runners about SCSM, HKM and Sundown as we soaked in the fresh Sunday morning air. DO led the first group of Keonz, YN, Terry, Spencer, Andy, Costner, acleong, while I was with the second group as we entered into the first hilly area of NUS. It felt good to be back on the slopes after all those long runs on the flat and hard ECP surfaces for the past months. I was happy to feel the workout in spite of making the occasional stops to gather the flock in between checkpoints. By the time we exited NUS, all had worked up a good sweat and was eager for more scenic spots.
Entering Science Park and Kent Ridge Park, we had gathered Priscilla, zco, Bev, acleong, Arthur, Toh after Costner/Eng Pat went off to a slightly different route. Johnny and Alex who were slightly late, were seen entering the NUS area at that point. The small group with me were impressed with the scenic views of Kent Ridge Park, and enjoyed the ride up the slopes. Without too much trouble, the group made it to the tank area to have our first toilet stop.
Along the way, I showed them some of the other scenic running areas. The downslope of Bukit Chandu was enjoyed as a nice breather, before setting up ourselves for the ascent up the final slope of Mt. Faber. By the time we reached the Kampong Bahru side, a number of them felt they have enough workout and decided to return to the ClubHouse for a good 20km. Arthur, Bev, Toh and myself proceeded up MF along the steeper Kg. Bahru side. I was impressed with their tenacity as they made their way gingerly all the way to the top. From there it was another nice downslope to enjoy before another 4km and a couple of smaller slopes back to ClubHouse. By then the sun was high up, although there was still a cool breeze blowing.
We completed 26km at least, and with the slopes, the effort did feel like 28-29km for some of the runners new to the terrain. Overall, all were happy with the rather hard, but manageable workout, before settling into Ah Kun for that cuppa and good kaya Toast. We have lots more discussions about the MR25 Ultra, HK Marathon, Xiamen Marathon, and the upcoming FatBird Weekender in the North-Eastern 'Spring Of Wealth' to usher in the New Year. There is also a upcoming Post SunBird Certification Dinner for all Pacers and Sunbirds to look forward to. It is beginning to look a lot like Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.