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The Road Runner


I woke up early in the morning at 5:15am. It was still dark outside.

I had a goal: to run from home at MacPherson Road to Pasir Ris.  Last night I went to bed shortly after returning home from a gathering. I did not plan the run route.

Seeing myself improving after knee injury is awesomely rewarding. Having osteoarthritis and stress fracture affect my run schedule but my love for running is not at all reduced. Not much in life is that simplistic, but running seems so pure.

At 5:51am I was pounding the pavement at MacPherson Road to Bartley East via Airport Road.  The air was cooling.  However, it was not pleasant because I ran the wrong route. Not once but several times. I ended up at highway or at workers dormitory. At that moment when I realized my mistake, I was disappointed with myself, forced to make u-turns at the first 2-3km, I felt like giving up. But “if I don’t do it now, when will I do it again?”, I kept asking myself.  I guess few people want to repeat unpleasant experience.

As I ran back to Airport Road and turn to Ubi , things changed for the better. My first goal: “run to Pasir Ris” was changed to a simpler one, “just run another 6km to reach 800km.” as my Nike+ fitness app indicated 794km accumulated.

So I kept running.

Each completion of these small goals brought me closer to where I wanted to be. But at Kaki Bukit MRT Station which was still under-construction, I came to a halt. The road was blocked. I ran to a car park, cutting through a void deck. I never ran below a HDB block before. Then I reached Bedok Reservoir. I did not like the feeling running there. I was thinking of just reaching Tampines. But I ran further. I thought I could make it to Pasir Ris, but I didn’t know the way.  Following the train track is the answer but it may be not necessary the best one.

Lessons learnt

No plans

I did not like to plan my runs.  Spontaneity gives me the adrenaline rush.  When I come to an obstacle, I feel good when I have to think about alternative route to take, making a decision in a few seconds. But the impulsive act creates problem. I meet obstacles at several routes. It’s waste of time and energy.

Calculated risk

I choose a route that I am not familiar: Bartley East and a quiet road leading to Kaki Bukit Camp. Should I be curious to run on a route that I had never tried before?  Given how remote it is (with forested area on the left and no road directions),  it is dangerous for a solo woman runner along quiet road before sunrise. When a deserted road looks dangerous, trust your intuition.

Run in Singapore – bus-stop and pavement

First telltale sign that I came to a wrong road is absence of bus-stop. Usually places near bus-stops have pavement.

Dropped $10 

Money is supposed for purchasing a drink. I know where I dropped the money, but I didn’t run backwards to pick it. It should be at one of the places I took pictures. Going backwards just spoil the run. I hope a lucky road-sweeper picks up the $10, enough to pay for 2 meals.


Thanks to National Park. The map of Tampines Park Connector at Tampines Ave 1 junction is really helpful because I don’t know the way.

Follow the train track


To get to Pasir Ris Station, I thought running under the train track a smart move. It is but not the case all the time.


I came to a halt when I realize that I could not go further because of tall grass. Snakes may be present. I didn’t want to risk my life. Later, I realized that even if I had safely passed the tall grass, there was a highway (Tampines Expressway) ahead.

Thanks to fellow blogger www.isaacloo.wordpress.com

Isaac alerted me one thing I should have done is to bring my ID. In case anything happens to me, I will be identified quickly.

One run, 7 lessons.

Cartoon character, the Road Runner can burst through a painting of a broken bridge and continue on his way. The real life roadrunner doesn’t operate this way.


Be streetsmart literally. Safety First.

To visualize the distance I covered, you can refer to


and move the cursor.

The places are

  • Jalan Gembira
  • Airport Road– wrong route but I wasn’t aware
  • Bartley East (Highway so I made a u-turn)
  • Kaki Bukit Ave 4 towards Kaki Bukit Camp & several workers dormitory (I didn’t aware of this until I refer to map)
  • Airport Road
  • Eunos Link
  • Kaki Bukit Station Construction Worksite
  • Eunos Damai Ville (HDB Estate,  cutting through multi-storey carpark and void decks)
  • Bedok North Secondary School
  • Kaki Bukit Ave 1
  • Bedok Reservoir Road
  • SAFRA Tampines
  • Made a right angle turn at Church of Holy Trinity and ran under the train track
  • Tampines Park Connector
  • Tampines Station (EW2)
  • Sun Plaza Park
  • Tampines Eco Green (tall grass I couldn’t pass so I u-turn)
  • Pasir Ris Flyover
  • Pasir Ris Drive 8
  • Pasir Ris Station (EW1)

Total distance: 13.5km

Singapore is small. It’s unthinkable to me to run from my home to Pasir Ris but I did it.


About Pamela's Online Journal

Working mother of 3 boys, loves travelling & writing.


3 thoughts on “The Road Runner

  1. I like the way you went out all running without a plan.. but

    1. You are a girl and its dangerous, so at least let your friends or partner know where you are headed.
    2. Mapmyrun is very good to map out distance, but I use Endomondo to track and also in case of emergency (see point 1)
    3. Keep up the fire burning in you, but always wary of your rest and recovery.
    4. Next time do invite me for this long runs.

    Have fun and run safe.

    Posted by isaac976 | February 8, 2014, 16:28
    • Thanks very much for your care and concern. Of all my long run trips, I never tell anyone. Even I also don’t know what I wanted to do. I’m seriously thinking about my minimalist running. In fact my phone went dead when I reached destination. Will look at Endomondo & see how it can help me. I’m running out of ideas where to run. I’d done from my home to city and back (21k), to Woodlands (22k) to Botanic Garden (12k), to Labrador Park (14k) I run slow and stop frequently to look at things.

      Posted by Pamela's Online Journal | February 9, 2014, 15:04
    • Used the wrong word minimalist. I didn’t run bare-footed. Basically I carry few things with me. I’ve made a label with my name, address pasted at the back of my phone in case I forgot my id. Still lots of room for improvement.

      Posted by Pamela's Online Journal | February 9, 2014, 15:13

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