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Looking towards Marina Bay, Singapore.

Another city I visited frequently for work during my 16 expatriate years was Singapore, which I found somewhat bland compared to, say, Hong Kong, in terms of topography, atmosphere and running opportunities.  The climate was also challenging, with the city state lying just north of the equator.  I remember one occasion, after flying in at noon and having no afternoon commitments, setting out in the early afternoon for a 12km run.  There was little shelter from the blazing sun and the humidity was extreme, but I considered myself indestructible.  Jet lag may also have been a factor, but for whatever reason, after about 8km I began to feel incredibly tired and light-headed and had to sit on a shaded park bench for ten minutes before I could continue.  I then slowly walked the remaining 4km back to the hotel.

The path along the Kallang River.

As hotel locations varied, so did my morning run routes, but the usual 11-12km started somewhere in downtown Singapore in pre-dawn darkness and headed down to Marina Bay from where I followed a path by the Kallang River northwards.  It was cooler in the dark, but that's relative, and it never took long to be dripping with sweat.  There would be a few early workers and exercisers about, but generally I had the place to myself.

East Coast Park.

After crossing the River, the run passed some darkened sports stadiums before entering a residential area of towering apartment blocks where the locals, including many schoolchildren, were setting out for their day.  At the manicured and verdant East Coast Park, which extends all the way to the airport, I turned right along a bike path back towards the city.  After crossing the river again, I ran past the historic Raffles Hotel into the CBD and the end of the run.  If I was smart, I had turned the air-conditioning up to the maximum in my room before I left, because it always took a long time to stop sweating, and it wasn't worth showering until I had.

Raffles Hotel.

I never tried a really long run in Singapore, but I'm sure it would be hard work, and I don't envy any serious distance runners living permanently in the country.

My 5km run went a little bit easier this morning, so I hope this is the start of feeling better.  I'm still checking my pulse all the time.  I don't know how long it will be before I take a regular heartbeat for granted again, if ever.