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In this article, we take a look at the best running routes - both casual and challenging - for runners to try out.
West Coast Park
If you live near the Clementi and West Coast Area and find yourself unwilling to travel to the other end of the island to East Coast Park, the good news is that it's smaller equivalent is available right at your doorstep. While it is nowhere as scenic as its older sister, West Coast Park offers a peaceful and relaxing environment for casual running, with a quaint path that stretches across Sungei Pandan. Did we mention that it is also a stone's throw away from the famous Cheese Prata Shop?
Located right next to Chinese Garden MRT station, it is an excellent cultural landmark. From the moment you enter the venue, the all-too-familiar Gate House with its bright red doors greet you. There are also various ancient Chinese icons in abundance, such as the Bonsai Garden and the Tortoise Museum. It is also an ideal location for long runs, as it is connected to both the Japanese Garden and Jurong Lake Park.
Hort Park/Mount Faber Park/Telok Blangah Hill Park
The fact that I have to mention three parks in one breath hints at the sheer size of the entire area. There are several ways you can enter, but the picturesque trails of Hort Park clinches it for me. Starting at Alexandria Road just before Queensway Shopping Mall, you will be treated to a variety of plants with informative descriptions. Further ahead is a suspended treetop walk that spans several kilometres. Undulating trails make for a tough venture, but you will be rewarded with an amazing view of the Telok Blangah vicinity atop the breathtaking Henderson Waves 36 metres above.
Not too far away from the trio of parks above lies Labrador Park. Situated next to Labrador MRT, it provides a great sunset view by the sea as you pass by historic relics such as the old British machine gun post and artillery pieces. If you'd like to run closer to the water, the Bukit Chermin Boardwalk that crisscrosses shallow regions of the sea awaits you.
Linked to Labrador Park, Keppel Bay takes you past Singapore's marina luxury. Apart from being yet another source of ocean views, you also get to observe how some of Singapore's elite earners live. Places like the Caribbean or Reflections at Keppel Bay are amongst the plethora of high-end residences you will come across. The trail ends at One Marina, where you will see a plethora of dazzling boats and yachts docked. Craving for some luscious food after your run? Head further down to VivoCity you will find restaurants with premium food aplenty to satisfy your taste buds.
The ultimate urban running course where the path technically starts from Queenstown, but the sights and sounds only really begin from Zion Road. Thats when you actually get to run beside the river itself. The path takes you across Singapore's Central Business District, past familiar hangouts like Liang Court, Clarke Quay, and Esplanade, before branching out to various other routes. The entire course can even take you to Gardens by the Bay and the Sports Hub if you so desire.
East Coast Park/Changi Beach
Moving further east of Singapore, we take you to one of the most popular running routes in East Coast Park Changi Beach. By far one of the most buzzing places in Singapore, you'll find bulging tents, barbecue pits shrouded in smoke and filled with people, fishing enthusiasts and many other different types of activities as you run along the East Coast stretch. Towards the end, you'll find yourself on a quieter trail that runs parallel to the Changi Airport runway, where you can catch glimpses of planes taking off. You will also run past the SAF Ferry Terminal, where you may spot fresh recruits trudging begrudgingly towards the ferry, before winding up at Changi Beach. It is also worth noting that at the end of this very exhausting journey, Changi Village awaits you with mouth-watering food you will be thankful that you burnt all those calories before reaching here!
One of the newer running routes, yet also harbouring some of the most scenic and gorgeous paths. Punggol Waterway can be entered through the east at the end of Pasir Ris Farmway by crossing over the Lorong Halus Wetland. However, note that the starting point for the waterway begins at Serangoon. The main sights can be found as you head down the Punggol Coast, with riverside bars and restaurants sprucing up the jazzy atmosphere, especially in the late evening. And if you look carefully, you'll be able to spot the newly-opened Coney Island Park just across the Punggol River. The waterway ends near Yio Chu Kang Road, so be prepared for a long run.
Another well-liked route, MacRitchie Reservoir got even better after the revamp, with new trails like the treetop walk, giving anyone walking across it a gorgeous view of the nature that lies inside. The reservoir is absolutely packed with activities. Various events are being held round the clock, such as cross country runs for schools, kayaking sessions, and other performing arts performances. You'll almost certainly be rewarded with intriguing sights as you engage in your routine runs.
This route is so long that it has to be split in two: Upper and Lower Peirce, where the former leans towards the Bukit Panjang area, and the latter on the Upper Thomson stretch. Both can be accessed from MacRitchie Reservoir a testament to the accessibility of our nation's most scenic destinations. It is also a subtle invitation to prolong your suffering, just in case running the entire perimeter of one of those reservoirs isn't quite enough. Both Upper and Lower Peirce offer trails that blend with their jungle-like nature. However, the paths are uneven and are also popular with mountain bikers, so take caution!
"Whether you're sweating it out along the long stretch of tarmac between East Coast Park and Changi Beach or basking in nature's scent in one of the many nature reserves around, there's a place for everyone."
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