Friday, June 21, 2013

When Running Might be Unhealthy and a Memorial to a Great Place to Run

My plan for a long time has been that on my last morning in Singapore I would run the trails around MacRitchie Reservior. It is without a doubt mine and Jakeb’s favorite run in Singapore and I’ve written about it quite a bit here already.

The problem though is that for the last couple of days Singapore has had a haze problem. “Haze” is really too benign of a word for what we are experiencing. Farmers in Sumatra Indonesia have been burning fields to prepare for planting palm trees for the palm oil business and the smoke from those fires are washing over Singapore. The government is issuing health warnings and saying to wear a mask and stay indoors. Walking around outside is like walking in the smoke of a campfire. It is horrible.

So should I run or not? That was not even a question for me really. I had to run MacRitchie on my last day here. I had the trails mostly to myself like when it rains. I saw seven people and only two were runners. I think my oxygen uptake and my carcinogen uptake were probably equal. But I see it as a gift. I got to run MacRitchie almost alone. It was a good morning … and kind of coughy.

At the end of the run I sat at the trailhead and took off my running shoes. I unlaced the string from a couple of holes and tied them together at the ends. I stood knee deep in MacRitchie and slung them up in a tree as high as I could. There is a pair of Brooks Pure Flows with a little more than 300 miles on them hanging from a tree over the lake as a memorial from the running Stunzes.  

Goodbye Singapore.

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