We had a tinge of sadness as this parkrun day arrived, but only as it was on the last day of a fabulous four week holiday to South East Asia. The holiday was meticulously planned so that we would be in Malaysia on a Saturday and also in Singapore on a Saturday – you can work out why! Unfortunately on our Saturday in Malaysia both the parkruns there were cancelled – but East Coast Park this week more than made up for that!
It was a parkrun with several firsts for me (not my finish position though!!). I have never arrived at a parkrun in a taxi before, I have never arrived at a parkrun in the dark before, and I have never done a parkrun in 85% humidity before! All of which made it exciting and memorable.
We arrived in plenty of time and sat and watched as it got light and the parkrunners started arriving. The first timer’s welcome was informative and well attended by lots of tourists and new parkrunners. After which we had the main briefing from our fantastic and very friendly Run Director, Karianne. Tourists from all over the world were welcomed – Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, UK and probably more…….
Several people were achieving milestones which were congratulated. Rachel Hillier and Neil Stanbury were running their 50th parkrun and Andra Durbin was running her 100th parkrun. Congratulations to you all and also to the 13 people who were running their first ever parkrun, and who were told that they will soon realise that the days of the week become Friday, parkrunday, Sunday.
After the briefing there was a short walk to the start and then we were off on the out and back course along the wonderful sea front scenery of East Coast Park. As well as the beautiful park and sea front itself, we also passed a Tai Chi class taking place. I was curious about all the ships that seemed to be parked in the bay and had been told that many of them belonged to companies that had ceased trading during the pandemic and had just been abandoned there, some still full of cargo. I have no idea whether this is true of not, but I’m not one to let the truth get in the way of a good story.
Not everyone likes an out and back course, but personally I do. This was my 218th parkrun and you’d think I’d have got quite good at judging how far a 5K run is…….but I haven’t. On a one lap course I can be convinced I must be near the finish, only to look at my watch and realise I’ve barely done 2K. At least on an out and back course I know when I’m halfway!
So, on to a few parkrun stats. 104 parkrunners and parkwalkers as well as 15 volunteers took part. In addition to the 13 people running their first ever parkrun a further 25 did their first East Coast Park parkrun. Despite the heat and humidity 15 people achieved a PB – bravo! Congratulations to them and also to anyone who got a result for their parkrun stopwatch bingo, position bingo, or whatever other challenges you are doing.
I like to find out a bit about where I am visiting. Singapore is one of only a few City-States in the world…..the exact number is debated but Singapore, Monaco and Vatican City are the generally accepted ones. East Coast Park itself is 185 hectares and built entirely on reclaimed land. In fact, I think quite a bit of Singapore is on reclaimed land. The famous Raffles Hotel is now several blocks inland but is on Beach Road, presumably because it was at some point near the beach……..
Everyone who volunteers at parkrun is great, but at East Coast Park they were truly exceptional – so friendly and good humoured. A special mention and massive thank you to Karianne and Punam who were so helpful with advice on how to get to and from ECP, and for being so friendly and welcoming.
We are back home in the UK now, still slightly jet-lagged, and my next task is to start on my TripAdvisor ratings. Without a doubt, East Coast Park parkrun would get a five star rating from us.
Thank you for a fabulous parkrun, we hope we will see you again sometime!