I haven’t run for nearly 2 months – time has really flown by! My last outing was the 11K in the mixed relay at the Malakoff Powerman back in October. An extremely busy quarter at work then ensued, winding down only just in time for me to take a short break over Christmas. By 5pm on Friday I was mostly glad to finally be able to fashion an out-of-office auto-reply. As I was driving home, the recollection of upcoming food-filled gatherings on my calendar kicked in a tinge of worry as far as expected fitness levels come early 2014 were concerned (don’t forget, we also have Chinese New Year come end-January to cap off the feasting season!)
I had also recently enthusiastically registered for two Half Marathons that will happen within the first half of the New Year – 21K’s at the Malaysia Women Marathon in March and at the Borneo International Marathon in May. It was as if I was unconsciously making doubly sure, literally, that I would be completing something that would legitimately bear the word “marathon”, next year, since my hopes for doing a 21K this year were thwarted by haze and a foot injury (and general non-preparedness due to life having been turned upside-down after dear Dragon Babe came along).
With all that in mind, two loops of Jalan Beringin on the not-so-gentle-slopes of Damansara Heights (some know it as the ‘Malakoff run route’) sounded like a good pre-breakfast thing to do on a Sunday morning with the gang.
Starting just outside Menara Manulife, the route goes past the shops at Jalan Batai a.k.a. Hock Lee’s Mini-market (or Seng Lee’s coffee shop if you’re a fan of char kueh teow – but I digress..) and past the intersection with Jalan Johar before heading back uphill into the residential area, taking the 12 o-clock at the roundabout to head towards the new Bukit Damansara Community Library. Right after the library, at the intersection where one would turn left to go to the National Science Centre, the route goes straight on and dips downhill, around a bend, into a brief flat respite only to rise again on what some refer to as the ‘mother hill’ – a roughly 60m rise in elevation over a kilometre. The school at the top where the hill plateaus out is certainly a sight for sore eyes.
It’s then thankfully downhill back to Menara Manulife – BUT it’s not the end yet, one round is only 4.5 kilometres – the circuit repeats to make a 9K total (feel free to add 1K on the residential roads to make it 10!)
Feel like you could go on some more after the second round? Pack in a third to make 13.5, a fourth loop to make 18, a fifth makes a Half Marathon… (I stopped at two.) You could do the Beringin loops in reverse, though arguably the ‘kick’ from the hills isn’t as marked as one misses the ‘fun’ of the slow torture going up the mother hill!
For a gentler version of the Beringin route that doesn’t hammer you with hills, check out this 8K route, which branches off, at the top of the ‘mother hill’, into an inner flat loop around the residential area (which also offers views of interesting houses!) before re-emerging at the school and going downhill back to the starting point.