East Coast parkrun, Singapore

Reaching Hanoi
Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam

East Coast parkrun route
East Coast parkrun route. Left to right, and back again.

I ran East Coast parkrun in the morning. A torrential downpour just before the start cooled us all down. Despite the humidity the course is pretty fast, helped by being flat. It’s an out-and-back, and even the turn is pretty quick, taking a wide swoop round rather than a 180 degree turn.

Four sweaty runners, after the finish
Mauritz, David, me, Jennifer.

Two people from my hostel were there, though it took German Jennifer to point that out and say hello. I’d not noticed, nor would I have recognised them in any case. They asked my pb, which gave a false idea of my speed – pb shmeebee, I need a phrase for current best. CB, then. In the end, young Dave, only recently a sub 20 runner from his own account, was catching me at the end and would have done so with another 500m or so. I was a bit disappointed not to nip under 19, but 19:02 with tired legs and in humid conditions wasn’t bad.

Me, striding confidently ahead of a pack. Many of whom passed me later on.
She passed me later.

It started at 7.30, so even after chatting at the end to very friendly locals – albeit Mauritz is studying in the UK and the others who passed to talk were ex pats – I had jogged back by 9.30. Time for a change, a sociable breakfast – lots of nice people in the hostel – and a scoot to lovely Changi airport. One tasty pad Thai, two meals on the plane and a three hour flight later and I was in Hanoi. There’s a tourist info spot in the airport, so I quickly found out that the buses leave from the other terminal and hopped on the transfer bus. I failed to find the local bus – all the way over to the far right of the car park – but still felt smug getting a minibus. It was 8 times more expensive. But it’s 33000 VND to the £, 5k for a bus, 40k for a minibus, for an hour’s journey. I’m happy with my choice.

A lot of large ships queueing for entry to Singapore, off East Coast park
Boats queue near the beach.

Hanoi. Buzzing motorbikes, light and colour, surrounded by a dark haze given the late hour. I walked to the hostel, learning how to cross streets and remembering others’ stories – I think of crossing in China, but still – as I went.

Sunset over East Coast park
Sunset over East Coast park. Several days earlier.

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