Stretching 15 km from Marina until close to the Changi Airport, Singapore East Coast Park is heaven for runners. Paved road runs parallel to the coast, one for runners, and another one shared between cyclist and roller-blade. The ocean surf at some part provide much better distraction than the music of my ipod. And the morning sun rays in between lush trees enough to keep me run on and on to complete my first half marathon.
From BetelBox Hostel to East Coast Park
My East Coast Park Singapore run started from BetelBox Hotel at 200 Joo Chiat Road, where we stayed the night before. “People normally started at 6-7am, just before they go to work”, Tony, the owner and innkeeper said the night before. A bit tired from last night venture, I woke up a bit late. Nevertheless, I decided to start the run, as I don’t have to go to work.
From BetelBox to Singapore East Coast Park is approximately 2 km away, along the still deserted Joo Chiat Road. Joo Chiat Road has a nice pacing for pedestrian, like any other road in Singapore. I passed people in running short, coming from the direction of East Coast Park. They must be the one that Tony mention: working people who do the morning jog, and now coming back to go to the office.
There are several hawker center that already open along the Joo Chiat Road. People in business suite are having breakfast, either with friends or reading the morning newspaper. At this stage, I’m tempted to just stop and having breakfast, but decided to continue the run.
Heading for Bedok Jetty
Bedok Jetty, one of the place for people to go fishing, was my planned turn around point. “It is clearly marked, total distance would be 15km”, Tony told me before I start.
The trail along the was very nice & smooth. To the right towards the ocean, there are few people camping. Some just woke up, do some stretching, and get prepared for the day. Also line up towards the coast is Barbecue Pit. My friend told me that Singapore East Coast Park is most favorite place to hang out with friends and setting up Barbecue. It is always packed with people on the weekend.
Weather was nice, with weak breeze of the wind. The big trees provide a nice coverage from the sun.
Bedok Jetty Onward
The sun is quite high when I reach Bedok Jetty. Few hundred meters before, I already considering whether to continue to run half marathon or turn back at Bedok Jetty, making a total of 15 km. Although my feet is still OK, my water supply is running low, thanks to the hot weather. And then come another realization.
Singapore tap water is drinkable. And along the trail, there are plenty of public toilet where you can have tap water from the wash basin. Stopping by at one of the toilet, I refill my drinking bottle, and make up my mind to continue the half marathon journey.
I reach the end of the road at National Sailing Club. Here, the trail for runners ends, and I share the same track with cyclist. Once in a while, I can hear airplane flying low to land at Changi Airport, a sign that I must be pretty close.
Not far from the golf course, my ipod beeps. It is 6.55 miles, half way of my half marathon. And here come the hardest part.
It is true when they say that, going out is much easier than coming back. And it is true no matter if you climbing Mount Everest, or simply running a half marathon.
The sun is higher, and the weather has become much warmer. I have enough water to get to the nearest public toilet for refill, but would need more than that to run back: sport drink rich with sugar. A relieve come as the vending machine at National Sailing Club provides sport drinks. A relieve that doesn’t last long, since the machine only accept coins. Refilling my water bottle, I continued retracing my way back to Betel Box.
If one thing that raise my spirits is that, I’m not the only one running at the East Coast Park at this hour. There are quite a number of people running under the bright sun.
Finally, after 2 hours 44 mins after I started, I made it back to the familiar green door of BetelBox Hotel. It was a great run at Singapore East Coast part. I make a mental note to do the run next time with 2 notes: Start earlier, and bring some coins for the vending machine