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Friday, July 26, 2013

Never Stop Exploring - Beyond the Pipelines

By now most frequent trail runners in Singapore will know of the "3 pipelines" trail along Rifle Range Road. For those who don't understand what I trying to say, this is the place:

After our short new trail route, our craze ultra trail runner guide bought us to a new trail. This promises to be the mother of all trail because in as far as I can remember, other than the Green Corridor, this new trail is the longest single stretch trail that one can possibly run without making an u-turn or a loop.

The adventure started when fellow trail runners started posting pictures of pipelines. The common one that most of us recognise was the 3 pipelines along Rifle Range Road but 5 or 6 pipelines together?

Naturally, my curiosity was piqued. Where was this place and most important of all, how to get there? Then one morning while at Dairy Farm, I met a fellow runner who told me that it was a "short" run from Dairy Farm to Woodlands via these pipeline trails. And most important of all, he let in on the "secret" marking that entrance to this trail. Still I wasn't that confident of finding my way and so I enlisted the help of my craze ultra trail runner friend and volia, we killed 2 birds with 1 stone or rather ran 2 "new" trails on one run!

So from where we ended off, we cut across Rifle Range Road to the aforesaid 3 Pipelines trail and we went along Belukar Trail to Zhenghua before we ran along the stretch of Gangsa Trail leading to Mandai. The entrance to the new Pipelines Trail is somewhere along the Gangsa Trail.

Many of us travel along the various expressway almost every day and especially along the PIE, SLE and BKE, we often marvel at in land scare Singapore, there are still plenty of greenery alongside the expressway. Many times, I wonder what lies behind and where it can lead to and this morning we finally got the answer.

That is the BKE at the back of the  picture.

We even had to go under the expressway!

The route wasn't that easy to run. For the most part, there wasn't any clear trail and we ran on long grass. Again, ever mindful of getting a busted ankle, I preferred to walk the distance than run.

There were a lot of up and down. Not very steep but rolling hills with no protection from the sun.

And to make it more challenging, we had to cross 3 sets of pipelines such as this one. And when I said cross, I really mean cross as there was no way to run around them.

Finally after a long hot trek, we came to the halfway point - the HDB flats at Woodlands. We made a  pit stop at a coffeeshop there and was supposed to u-turn back but alas, the mind  the body, the legs and the spirit was weak and we called it a day after just 3 hours of pounding!

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