Running, Travel

Trail des Tranchées 2015

This is a recap of Race #4 of the season, the Trail des Tranchées 2015, also known as Hell and Highwater, or What Was I Thinking? or Never Again. First of all, a little trailer from the organisers…

Since the Ninja Turtle has spent all week trying to recover from the ordeal and catching up with work, she cannot afford to re-write this story and so she’s taking the lazy way out by sharing an excerpt of a private communique with a fellow-blogger-running-expert-turned-good-friend, to whom she owes a huge debt for being a listening ear and a personal cheerleader when she was completely flipping out before the race. Thank you, Rod. You’re the man.

The story will be punctuated with some images, which is the second reason for the delay. Given the weather conditions, GodzillaPin was unable to follow the Ninja Turtle during the race to take photos. The official photos were only just released a few hours ago, as the organisers were taking their sweet-a** time uploading them. Anyway…

The Story

“Sunday’s run was… interesting. We lost an hour due to daylight savings, so I woke up after 5h of average sleep. Due to the weather, some participants didn’t even both showing up, apparently. Not enough to be noticeable, but it was the word on the grapevine.
Lost an hour to daylight savings

Lost an hour to daylight savings

Anyway, the Yellow Alert weather forecast warning for rains didn’t deter the organisers from giving us the green light, so off we went in the wind and rain.
The 43km race route took us along the trenches of WWI, and it was a resounding success when it debuted last year.

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But instead of marvelling the forts, hide-outs and bomb craters, this year’s rain meant we were sometimes almost knee-deep in mud, and sightseeing was the last thing we felt like doing. The winds from the previous night of up to 80kph had succeeded to rip some trees apart, and the primary issue was safety. Even at the first fuel stop (12km), so many were already moaning about how sick and tired they were of it, and how they wanted to go home. It felt like we were re-living the war!
As you can imagine, the 1000m elevation, with 95% muddy trails, over 43km in a highly technical terrain… it was pure survival mode. So many people were slipping, sliding and falling, but I took care to slow down rather than risking a fall.
I made friends with a few guys, who were all buddies in a trail running club. I’d helped one of them twice, once by picking up his lost water bottle and another time when I offered to wash his wound with some water, and after that he happily introduced me to his mates as his copine Singapourienne, cheeky bugger.
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I was grateful for the company though, and we all ran/walked together as long as we could, telling jokes and stories to keep morale up, until I had to break ahead for a bit. Past the 25th km I so badly wanted walk but my temperature was dropping perilously fast, so I had to maintain at least a jog to avoid hypothermia. My small body size was no match against the 60kph winds and 3+ hours of rain, despite eating copious amounts at each fuel stop to generate heat.

The organisers were sick bastards who threw in a few hill climbs of over 40% incline, in the last 10km. These were super muddy, and at one point, I slowed down by just 1.5 seconds, and found my foot sinking into the mud to knee level. I almost lost my shoe, and was stuck so fast, I couldn’t move. I looked around for help but I was all alone (in the rain, in the mud, with another 6km to go, I wanted to cry), so I used both hands, grabbed my thigh, and yanked my leg out.

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Are you beginning to see how this isn’t even running, let alone a race, anymore? There were ZERO spectators through the whole course, and of course, no entertainment.
Some runners decide to become the course entertainment.

Some runners decide to become the course entertainment.

I only began to notice how perhaps I’ve underestimated myself, when I started overtaking people in the last 10km despite these conditions.
When it doesn't stop pouring with rain, and the wind wants to blow you to Spain, just keep running with a smile, cos you've still got another 25 miles...

When it doesn’t stop pouring with rain, and the wind wants to blow you to Spain, just keep running with a smile, cos you’ve still got another 25 miles…

I tend to be one of the shy ones who hang around at the back of the starting line, but I overtook about 2 dozen men towards the end. My fastest kilometre splits were also the 42 and 43rd kilometres, which tells me I must have my pacing down pat.


The final torture came at the home stretch – out of the forest and into open space, back to the village, it was over 1km of exposure to the tempest. I’d been going for almost 5h 30m and all I could think of was the finish line beer. A middle-aged gentleman came up from behind and overtook me, but then slowed down to look back at me. I yelled at him “don’t slow down now, mister, we’re almost at the end!” and he said OK and pulled ahead.

But after 200m, something wasn’t right, he was beginning to lope weirdly. I pulled up and asked if he was all right, and he grimaced “I’ve got a cramp and it’s only getting worse”. So I linked my arm around him and said, “come on, we’re almost there”.

He wanted me to go ahead but I refused, and linked my arm around his, and kept talking to distract him and give him a mental boost. After 100m he was struggling even more, so I threw his arm over my shoulder, and supported as much of his weight as I could (thank God he was not much bigger than I am). I half-dragged this poor man the last 300m, and we crossed the line together.

Code of trail runners AND soldiers in combat: leave no man behind.

Code of trail runners AND soldiers in combat: leave no man behind.

I opened my finish-line beer immediately, and it was the sweetest nectar in the world. I forgot to look at the official time we finished, but it seemed completely irrelevant at that stage. I’d done the hardest race in my life, in the shittiest conditions, and I learnt that in the face of adversity, I simply become stronger.”
Epilogue
There are challenges, and then there are challenges. The Ninja Turtle started running in races because each and every one presented a unique opportunity for her to challenge herself to do better. Yet, it’s fair to say that this race was, hands down, the absolute best and worst race in her life, thus making it one-of-a-kind.
For readers with a stats fetish, here are the figures:
Official time: 5h 34m 47s
GPS time: 5h 33m 24s
Category ranking: 12 out of 17 women
Overall ranking: 127 out of 154 finishers
The worst marathon time in the Ninja Turtle’s running life, but her most splendid performance. Of the 205 participants who registered, a few probably DNS, while plenty others obviously DNF’ed. Finishing this race wasn’t only a success, it was a life-changing and epic journey.
When her courage wavered, she thought of her country’s late former Prime Minister, and his steel will, discipline, focus and determination.
When the elements made a difficult route overwhelmingly tough, she thought of the soldiers who braved four years of this hell during the WWI. Most of them were young men, far from home, scared and lonely. They died so we could enjoy the freedom to pursue such insanity today.
When the trucks carrying all the DNFers back to the village rolled past, and it was so easy to just raise an arm and say “I surrender”, she thought of family and friends who loved her and believed in her. OK, so they weren’t necessarily informed in advance about her signing up for this, just in case she got yelled at, but surely they are all retrospectively proud of her.
Like trail running, life is ugly, messy, painful, and full of shit. There are too many ways to hurt yourself, and at the worst of times, it feels like a neverending journey. There are times when we ask the question “what are we doing here?”
But like trail running, life throws us beautiful moments too – the chance to make new friends, plenty of good food to enjoy (even if it’s only raisins, bananas, cake and Coke), and when you dare to face a challenge that seemed far bigger than yourself, it is only then you open up your heart, look into your soul, and learn what you’re truly made of. That, my friends, is priceless.
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Stories

The spirit of a nation

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Arts and Culture, Running

Why Do You Run?

When the thermostat falls below zero,

And the world is blanketed in ice and snow

What reasons do you have to lace up for a run?

I run to embrace the hardships and the beauty of Life

The fresh air that both stings and elicits tears of joy

The movement that jars the joints but loosens the spirit.

I run to marvel a world so vast, so different, so wild

I, who was born in a warm cradle of the tropics

I now flow through a landscape locked in ice.

I run to see the world, and to look inwards

To tackle a daunting distance, I still the mind –

The road. The cold. The pain. Me. We co-exist.

I run to seek the Truth, whatever it may be

Today I uncovered the ugliness of my soul

The excuses I too quickly and willingly make

So I ran to surmount my fear of discomfort

I  surrender myself, vulnerable, to the harsh exposure

And survived. Today, I learnt how strong my mind is.

I run for I no longer fear the darkness or the sun

Neither the humid heat nor the February frost

I am a child of the elements

The wind, the snow, and the cold

Whispered in silvery voices, calling me

To return home, to return to the Truth.

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Running

Measuring Progress as a Runner

A while ago, the Ninja Turtle came across a few blog posts of runners showing off their impressive collections of running medals. While this blog occasionally features a race that the Turtle had participated in, the truth is that she blogs about 100% of all her races. They aren’t a selection of the “Best of the Best” – if you can count the number of posts about her races, you know how many races she’s participated in.

This got the Turtle thinking about how or what she’s got to show for her progress as a runner, if anything at all.

Like all relationships, runners have a love-hate thing going on with running. From the first step on the treadmill back in September 2012 to the present, the Ninja Turtle’s relationship with running has profoundly developed, and her identity as a runner has thus, evolved. What started out as a necessity has grown into a compulsion. The Ninja Turtle has transitioned from running for the sake of good health, to running as an interesting hobby, to not being able to imagine her life without running.

As with all good and lasting things in life, the changes came gradually, of course. Initially, she spent 6 months on the treadmill, working towards her first ever marathon. Believe it or not, it took another 2 months after that for her to dare to venture running in the local park. To be fair, a large part of this was being so unfamiliar with the dreadful climate in Metz.

Once at the park, she developed one running route, and stuck with it for another 6 months. It was a sort-of lap that came to a beautiful 1 mile (1.6km) exactly, and she simply ran the loop multiple times to make her distance for the day. On days she was feeling adventurous, she ran the route in reverse.

Fast forward a whole year and she’s added various cities around France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the UK, Singapore and Australia on her list of places where she’s completed a run.

While she likes to measure her distance on her RunKeeper GPS, she sometimes has no mobile data on her phone when crossing borders. Her sense of direction is atrocious, but she’s learnt to memorise street names in foreign tongues, and recall the route when she goes back, to plot it onto RunKeeper manually.

She used to be pedantic about running first thing upon waking, for it was the only way to make sure running was crossed off her to-do list in the day. Now, she’s willing to remedy insomnia by commencing a 20-mile run at 3am, or pushing the workout back till midday to suit the schedule of a running buddy. Basically, she’s comfortable with lacing up any time of the day.

She’s seemed to make a reasonable transition of running at 6am on holidays in Australia and Singapore to avoid the heat, to running at 11am back in Europe to catch a glimpse of sunlight (except the two runs in Paris and Frankfurt, which were executed at 6am in complete darkness and the freezing cold because she wanted to run while GodzillaPin was still asleep, and free the rest of the day for sightseeing).

She used to spend hours ensuring she’s got the perfect running playlist, and not so long ago, she just completed a 32km run listening to nothing but the sound of her footsteps and breathing. (To be fair, she didn’t really want to do it, but her mobile phone only had enough juice for either GPS tracking, or music, but not both to last that distance.)

The first week back from halfway across the world, she completed 5 runs (one on the treadmill, most reluctantly, but she wanted to do some aggressive hills).

She has found herself running in weather like this:

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Still, the Ninja Turtle is human, and there are just some days when running is a struggle. GodzillaPin has been ill with the flu all week, and the Ninja Turtle’s been functioning on jetlag and interrupted sleep as GodzillaPin coughed through each night like he had tuberculosis. Worse still, upon returning from Frankfurt last night, poor GodzillaPin suffered a dreadful bout of gastro, and spent 4 hours projectile vomiting. Even the rice porridge that the Ninja Turtle boiled up for him was promptly brought back up.

This morning, with a weekend backlog of work to be done, the Ninja Turtle found herself staring at the computer screen at 7am. By 11am, she’s decided to take a break, and get that 10 miles in. Of course, with full concentration on her work, she’d forgotten all about breakfast and tried to remedy the situation with a cup of black coffee (thankfully, she ate a LOT over the weekend). There was no rain, but the wind was gusting 65kph (40mph) outside. She knew at that moment that all the odds were stacked against her favour, and it was easy to throw in the towel and say “you know what? nah…”

Instead, she laced up a brand new pair of trail shoes, and was determined to get them filthy. She found herself shuffling into those awful headwinds – yes, of 65kph – and hated every single second of it. Her eyes watered and her vision was blurred. Her lips were numb with cold, and her nose was running faster than she was. She no longer felt her legs, nor her feet, nor her hands. All she sensed was the mighty roar of the wind as she ran through a naked field, and she never felt more alive.

It’s not always possible to measure progress, but sometimes, progress cannot be measured, it must simply be felt.

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Arts and Culture, Running

Ode to Running

Feet and metres, laps and miles
A weary shuffle but a happy smile
It matters not how fast or slow
So long as I just GO! GO! GO!
The others may be bullet trains
Shooting past me at speeds insane
Yet some others, cargo freights
Who may be envying my own gait
Cheetahs, gazelles, sloths or snails
Small as mites or big as whales
If you run, you can relate
A mile’s a mile, there’s no debate
Each step we take’s a victory
Of the mind over the body
For nothing in this world shall last
Not even the pain of going fast
So each day brings another chance
To execute our peculiar dance
My friends, today, let us go farther
Just put one foot in front of the other.

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Running, Travel

Running with a Pro

The Ninja Turtle is still basking in the afterglow of yesterday’s amazing run at Singapore’s MacRitchie Reservoir.

For the Ninja Turtle, MacRitchie used to be synonymous with the torturous "cross-country run" back in high school. Believe it or not, she used to hate it.

For the Ninja Turtle, MacRitchie used to be synonymous with the torturous “cross-country run” back in high school. Believe it or not, she used to hate it.

Since then, it appears that the place has undergone some upgrades, and is now a full-facilities running destination.

Since then, it appears that the place has undergone some upgrades, and is now a full-facilities running destination.

It's even got a sheltered cafeteria area for post-run meals!

It’s even got a sheltered cafeteria area for post-run meals!

Once she was done snooping around, it was time to hit the road.

Thankfully, MacRitchie is full of shade, because running in Singapore at 2pm without trees could possibly kill you.

Thankfully, MacRitchie is full of shade, because running in Singapore at 2pm without trees could possibly kill you.

And oh, how she has missed running on the trails!

And oh, how she has missed running on the trails!

A little rustling in the undergrowth revealed... a dinosaur! No but seriously,how often do you get to see a dragon mid-run?

A little rustling in the undergrowth revealed… a dinosaur! No but seriously,how often do you get to see a dragon mid-run?

Every once in a while, life throws you a spectacular opportunity that seems too good to be true. This was the case for the Ninja Turtle, who got to run with The Road Runner. The Road Runner is officially the Ninja Turtle’s new hero. Not only is the Road Runner an ultramarathon runner, he has also placed 12th in an IronMan triathlon! Swimmer, cyclist and runner, rolled in one!

What is it like to run with a multi-talented sportsperson? Well, it’s just as well that the Ninja Turtle didn’t know what she was signing up for before she actually showed up, otherwise she might have just crapped her pants. Yet, at no point did the Road Runner make the Ninja Turtle feel uncomfortable, and he would check in every few kilometres just to make sure she was feeling OK. Of course, since they were talking nonstop during the run, the Road Runner was clearly not cracking the whip on the Ninja Turtle. When she started getting winded, they simply slowed the pace and of course, walked a couple of the steeper stretches of the uphills. Before they both knew it, they were back to the starting point, and the run was over.

The Ninja Turtle ran this circuit with a pro.

The Ninja Turtle ran this circuit with a pro. Clearly, they were going at her pace, not his.

It was as much a humbling experience as it was an inspiring one. While others may be weekend warriors with a penchant for collecting race medals as Facebook bragging rights, this guy actually truly loves his sport. Through the course of their conversation, the Ninja Turtle learnt that the Road Runner is in fact, a proud father of two young children, who had recently quit a well-paying job the corporate world to pursue his dream of developing the running scene in Singapore. To truly appreciate the significance of this move, one must understand that Singapore is a country in which cash is king, and money talks the loudest. It is, after all, a country where 17.1% of the population are millionaires.

And yet, the Road Runner has very courageously decided to turn his attention to developing not one, but two websites for runners. He’s only made the move back in June, so the websites are still in their infancy, but they are slowly and surely growing.

Just Run Lah! is the one-stop running website specifically for Singaporeans, with blogs, articles, competitions, a forum, and race listings that include races from around the region.

Ministry of Run is global, with articles and highlights from all around the world, and an international race database. Membership is free, and as the website continues to grow, users can access some pretty cool features:

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To read the Ninja Turtle’s contributions to Just Run Lah! simply click here.

Thank you, Road Runner, for being an amazing role model to this aspiring athlete!

Thank you, Road Runner, for being an amazing role model to this aspiring athlete!

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Travel

Scenes from the Chinese Garden

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8.30am on a Sunday morning, when half the city is still asleep…

The Ninja Turtle was out plodding before the sun even came up.

The Ninja Turtle was out plodding before the sun even came up.

It's just too damn hot and humid in Singapore to run after 9am, and before 8pm.

Even with plenty of shade, i’s just too damn hot and humid in Singapore to run after 9am, and before 8pm.

Finishing her run at the Chinese Garden in Jurong is such a pleasure...

Finishing her run at the Chinese Garden in Jurong is such a pleasure…

Sculpted plants...

Sculpted plants…

Beautiful landscaping...

Beautiful landscaping…

The glassy and still lake...

The glassy lake…

A hero to look up to (the real Hua Mulan, not that bastardised nonsense by Disney.)

A kickass femme fatale to look up to…

Relatives to visit...

Relatives to visit…

And of course, an important pillar of Chinese culture, gazing upon you benevolently to ensure you start the day with the right thoughts in your head.

And of course, an important pillar of the Chinese culture, gazing upon you benevolently to ensure you start the day with the right thoughts and attitude in your head.

Crossing the bridge and homeward bound (to a breakfast of exotic tropical fruits).

Crossing the bridge and homeward bound (to a breakfast of exotic tropical fruits).

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Running, Travel

Navigating the Health Perils this Festive Season

For this edition of Motivation Monday, the focus is on FUN in living a healthy lifestyle. It’s Monday, and it’s the first of December, which means it’s a great time to set oneself up mentally for the festive month ahead. With no game plan, it’s so easy to succumb to a mince pie here or an eggnog there, the office/club/family/old friends reunions, parties, gatherings and meet-ups start to fill the calendar and fitness takes a backseat, and before we know it, we’re waking up on 1st Jan with yet another hangover, wondering where the month has gone. Things get out of hand when we let go of the steering wheel, but really, all it takes is a little forward planning to ensure December doesn’t have to be an orgy of sloth and gluttony.

1. Some runners will be in various points of their post-marathon recovery period. Others may have already started another training cycle. Wherever you are in your season, it’s a good thing to review your previous month’s performance, and determine if the training plan you’re following is still suitable, or requires a minor tweak/major overhaul. Nothing psyches a runner up for a training run as much as visualising an upcoming race.

2. Fit in a training run (or whatever sport you do). Even if you don’t feel like it, tell yourself “just one mile”. Tell yourself “I’ll run/walk if I have to.” Tell yourself anything to just lace up and get out the door. You’ll feel better after that one mile, and who knows, you may go the proverbial extra mile in the end.

The Ninja Turtle woke up this morning feeling sluggish after yesterday's 14-miler, but decided that 1st of the month falling on a Monday is too precious a chance to not start correctly. Her one mile became four.

The Ninja Turtle woke up this morning feeling sluggish after yesterday’s 14-miler, but decided that 1st of the month falling on a Monday is too precious a chance to not start correctly. Her one mile became four.

3. Create a reward system to keep yourself motivated. This one is a very old trick, but what better time to do it than leading up to Christmas? If you want new compression socks, your 17th pair of shoes for the year, a cute set of earphones, or anything frivolous and slightly unjustifiable in the eyes of your loved ones, buy it for yourself. But work for it!

Create a point system and use stickers as point counters (yes, like in primary school).

Create a point system and use stickers as point counters (yes, like in primary school).

Reward yourself for each training run, and once you get to x points, buy whatever running apparel you desire. It's the best ever present to receive from your biggest fan: YOU.

Reward yourself for each training run, and once you get to x points, buy whatever running apparel you desire. It’s the best ever present to receive from your biggest fan: YOU.

By the way, for runners who have yet to commence a training log, and wish to do so, the above photo is one example of how to design one. There is no need to drop $30 on a pre-designed training journal; the Ninja Turtle paid 0,45€ on that cheap exercise book and jots down what she thinks are relevant details. As you progress as a runner, the things you choose to take note of will evolve over time, but a good place to start is always: distance and time.

4. Feed your body right. No, the Ninja Turtle is not going to start preaching/nagging here. Most of us know what to do, we just need to choose to do it.

Breakfast: starfruit! One of the best things about travelling is eating all this crazy, weird things that you won't normally find back home.

Breakfast: Starfruit! One of the best things about travelling is eating all this crazy, weird things that you won’t normally find back home.

Lunch: A giant alfalfa sprout salad with red rice, cherry tomatoes and yellow capsicum.

Lunch: A giant alfalfa sprout salad with red rice, cherry tomatoes and yellow capsicum.

5. Find a role model. It could be Usain Bolt. It could be your high school literature teacher. It could be Daffy Duck. Whatever. As long as you can draw your inspiration from that person, hold him/her/it as a shining beacon of light through this annual test of your willpower and resolve.

This is the Ninja Turtle's beacon of light: Zheng He. Explorer, nagivator, commander of various fleets, a man with many names, sometimes known as "the dude who brought a giraffe back from his travels".

This is the Ninja Turtle’s beacon of light: Zheng He. Explorer, nagivator, commander of various fleets, a man with many names, sometimes known as “the dude who brought a giraffe back from his travels”. To travel far, to see the incredible, and to do the impossible.

Don’t lose sight of your dreams and goals this festive season. Stay fit, healthy and strong, everyone!

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Arts and Culture, Running, Travel

Scenes from the Torrens River

It’s been a while since this blog featured a Motivation Monday post. It’s not because the Ninja Turtle hasn’t been running, but because it’s so much more fun to talk about other aspects of travelling. That said, she’s had several amazing runs during this trip so far, and today – this morning – after finding herself awake once more before 6am, she’s decided to go on a slightly longer run, and to explore a popular route that she never got the chance to run because she wasn’t really a runner back then, just to see what all the fuss was about.

Adelaide, the city that lives in the Ninja Turtle's heart.

Adelaide, the city that lives in the Ninja Turtle’s heart.

The Torrens is a river that runs through Adelaide; in the city, it sits north of the commercial zone, just behind the University. Back in the day, she used to sit under a tree by the river, eating a sandwich while revising her notes. The first time GodzillaPin and the Ninja Turtle hung out together, they came down to this river, and GodzillaPin proceeded to horrify the Turtle by wondering aloud if he was quick enough to jump on a duck and catch it (he wanted to cook and eat it, apparently).

Anyway… the Kaurna people – that is, the indigenous Australians who lived in South Australia – call it Karrawirra Parri. This means Red Gum Forest River in their language. This morning, the Ninja Turtle ran along the River Torrens Linear Park Trail, and here are some photos taken along the way.

Karrawirra Parri - the red gum forest river.

Karrawirra Parri – the red gum forest river.

Starting point: Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

Starting point: Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

It's a very popular spot for leisure activities like cruising, kayaking, and of course, the paddle boats are a real favourite among children.

It’s a very popular spot for leisure activities like cruising, kayaking, and of course, the paddle boats are a real favourite among children.

She started heading westwards for one simple reason – it was early morning, and on the side of the river she stood, there was no shade, and did not wish to run with the sun in her eyes. So west it was.

Running on a soft dirt path with sunny blue skies and a crispness in the air at 7am = best holiday moment ever.

Running on a soft dirt path with sunny blue skies and a crispness in the air at 7am = best holiday moment ever. Too bad this photo cannot capture the smell of eucalyptus.

Westwards, the trail runs past the local brewery.

Westwards, the trail runs past the local brewery in Hindmarsh.

Getting the annual Brewery Christmas Lights display up and going.

Getting the annual Brewery Christmas Lights display up and going.

Keep heading west and you eventually reach Henley Beach and the waters!

Keep heading west and you eventually reach Henley Beach and the waters!

The Ninja Turtle didn’t particularly want to go to the beach, so she turned around and headed back to the city on the other side of the river.

Would someone care to explain what a horse float is?

Would someone care to explain what a horse float is?

At this early hour of the morning, while the city is still slowly waking up, it was already bustling with life down by the river.

Rule #1 of running in Australia: apply the same quantity of sunscreen on your skin as the amount of water you drink before your workout. Yes. Really. That much.

Rule #1 of running in Australia: apply the same quantity of sunscreen on your skin as the amount of water you drink before your workout. Yes. Really. That much.

East of the city, the richer suburbs can afford to beautify the river trail with art

East of the city, the richer suburbs can afford to beautify the river trail with art

Although very often, they tend to simply blend in to the surroundings rather than stand out.

Although very often, they tend to simply blend in to the surroundings rather than stand out.

At one point the trail dips downwards so runners are at eye-level with the train tracks.

At one point the trail dips downwards so runners are at eye-level with the train tracks.

A rickety footbridge that wobbles so much, the Ninja Turtle was forced to slow to a walk in case she broke it by running across.

A rickety footbridge that wobbles so much, the Ninja Turtle was forced to slow to a walk in case she broke it by running across.

Here are some landscape photos taken during the run. The Ninja Turtle claims copyrights to the following images and may not be used for commercial purposes without her knowledge.

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Look at this world we live in.

Now go out and RUN, and see it, and feel it, and breathe it, and absorb it, and become one with it.

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Running

A New Season Brings New Reasons

As the days get shorter, and the weather becomes cooler, the landscape changes once more. For the Ninja Turtle, this is the perfect time of year – the nippy air is not yet frosty, only pregnant with scents of fresh pine, woodfire, and roast. There are less allergens in the air compared to spring, which makes breathing a whole lot easier.

Even the distinctly autumn smell of fallen leaves is agreeable.

Even the distinctly autumn smell of fallen leaves is agreeable.

It is also when running becomes comfortable once more, as the blazing summer heat subsides to a gentler caress of sunlight; with less heat and humidity, it takes longer to fatigue. Can one run comfortably? Absolutely.

No sun? No problem.

No sun? No problem.

The scenery is beautifully distracting, and long runs become an absolute pleasure, because frankly, you just want to go on and on and on when there is just so much to see.

What's not to love about your same old running route looking very different, as the leaves treat you to a spectacular fireworks of colours?

What’s not to love about your same old running route looking very different, as the leaves treat you to a spectacular fireworks of colours?

Coming home post-run to a mug of hot chocolate is the best thing in the world.

What is your favourite season for running?

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