How quickly time, and those sweat-soaked mileage, has flown by: The MH Runners’ first leisure jog through the tangled greenery and haphazardly scattered gravestones of Bukit Brown Cemetery seemed only a short 2.4km run ago. But 10 months have elapsed since the Bukit Brown run – a period long enough for redevelopment plans for that quaint location to be debated about and finalised, and eight other group runs around the island, completed. But for the Men’s Health casual running outfit, nothing has changed during those intervening months: We’re still all about fun, stress-free pavement pounding – personal best timings and podium finishes be damned.
So, it was fitting that, on the afternoon of May 19 (Saturday), we found ourselves in somewhat similar surroundings – this time cloistered by the dense secondary forest of MacRitchie Reservoir’s dirt trails. The 10.3km route map for the our first trail run, drawn up by MH Runners Run regular and Sundown Marathon pacer Pek Zhenqiang, indicated that we would be going very near the now-iconic cemetery: Near the Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) part of our run, only Thomson Road separated us from Bukit Brown.
Still, the claustral 35 degree C heat and stifling humidity put paid to our plans for a quick detour to the cemetery: With nary a wisp of a breeze and the lush foliage failing to provide any respite from the merciless rays of the sun, even the strongest amongst us felt like we were being imprisoned in a steamy greenhouse. Contending with the fiery weather was only a part of the ordeal. We also had to negotiate MacRitchie’s brain-addling, ankle-wrenching terrain – undulating and uneven with gravel, tree roots and rocks. All in a full day’s work for the MH Runners as we intruded on MacRitchie’s hallowed trails.
Exhaustion was writ large on our sun-browned faces. But even as the umpteenth incline loomed large in front of us, the leaders shuffled to a stop to allow those of us at the back to catch up. Such was the MH Runners’ spirit – we moved as a pack, leaving no one to struggle alone behind. That alone was motivation enough for those wanting to give up to tolerate the muscle-burn in our quads as we huffed and puffed along. Still, we barely contained our collective sigh of relief when the familiar downslope decline towards the finish line at the MacRitchie visitor centre came into view – and it only did after 80 minutes of tortuous running.
And the run ended on a high note, with two pairs of Montrail Rogue Racer
trail running shoes, courtesy of sports retailer World of Sports
, to give away in the post-run lucky draw. MH Runners Chng Wei Siang and Ong Kok Heng each picked up a pair of these lightweight, trail-beaters. So, don’t miss out on all the sweat, the grime and the fun any longer. Come join us for our next MH Runners run in June. Get more details on Menshealth.com.sg
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