Need a reason to unchain yourself from the treadmill and head outdoors for a run? Here are six.
There’s something magical (or at least liberating) about jogging outdoors – even in hot, humid and cosmopolitan Singapore. Ask any avid runner and she will likely gush about the many sights to be enjoyed on a downtown loop or suburban trail. From stately city skylines to lush greenery and tranquil waterscapes, you’ll be rewarded with different picturesque views around the island. Here are six rave outdoor running routes shared by our Shape readers.
North Eastern Riverine Loop Park Connector
Raved by Shape reader Arlyn Ahmad
Running route [START] Punggol Park > Sungei Serangoon Park Connector > Punggol Promenade Riverside Walk > Lorong Halus Wetland > Punggol Waterway Park > Waterway Point > [END] Sengkang Riverside Park
Distance About 10km
Toilet points Punggol Park (near the playground), Punggol Waterway (near the exercise area) and Sengkang Riverside Park (next to McDonald’s).
Best time to run 7-9am
Why Arlyn loved it “In my opinion, Punggol Park is the Singaporean version of Central Park in New York. There’s a certain charm to it. Watching cyclists speed by inspires me to join a duathlon some day, and on days when I feel unmotivated, looking at the trees helps me push on. I love running past the Jewel Bridge at Punggol Waterway Park – it reminds me of Cinderella’s coach – and along the shady stretch of Punggol Park Connector where I enjoy hearing the birds chirp. Sometimes, chameleons scamper across the path too! The park is well lit and there are always runners around, so I feel safe no matter when I’m there.”
Raved by Shape reader Tan Mei Ling
Running route [START] Esplanade Outdoor Theatre > The Helix Bridge > Artscience Museum > Gardens by the Bay > [END] Marina Barrage
Distance About 5km
Toilet points Esplanade Mall (beside No Signboard Seafood Restaurant), The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and Marina Barrage (beside the information counter).
Best time to run 6-7pm (to catch the sunset)
Why Mei Ling loved it “I work in the central business district so this is where my colleagues and I jog regularly after knocking off. When the sun goes down, Marina Bay glows with city lights. The eye-catching skyscrapers make the run even more enjoyable. I especially love the peace and quiet at Gardens by the Bay – no traffic; only trees and flowers. It’s an oasis in the middle of the city.”
Choa Chu Kang Park
Raved by Shape reader Neo Kwee Eng
Running route [START, END] Choa Chu Kang Park’s jogging track
Distance About 1km
Toilet points Two in the park, one next to Rasa Istimewa C2K Restaurant and the other at the new extension.
Best time to run 3-4pm (to beat the crowd)
Why Kwee Eng loved it “Home is just a road away from Choa Chu Kang Park, which is now twice as big as it was before extension works last year. I love the open space, greenery and unobstructed view of the sky along the jogging track. The newly added fitness corner, children’s playground, lawn, amphitheatre and skateboard plaza add to the vibrancy of this park. This is also where my dad practises qigong every morning.”
Raved by Shape reader Tan Yu Jun
Running route [START] Pulau Ubin jetty > Secret Garden > Chek Jawa Wetlands > Noordin Beach > [END] Pulau Ubin jetty
Distance About 18km
Toilet points Secret Garden and Chek Jawa Wetlands.
Note Bring your own drinking water or loose change to buy a drink. The tap water at Pulau Ubin isn’t safe to drink. Keep to one side of the path while jogging, as there may be bikes and other vehicles around.
Best time to run 8am onwards
Why Yu Jun loved it “Pulau Ubin is markedly different from mainland Singapore, which I appreciate. You’ll need to take a bumboat but, trust me, it’s worth the effort. I often encounter adorable wild boar piglets. The old quarries are another calming sight. Standing atop the rocks with the wind ruffling my hair is a truly uplifting experience. Add to that the rush of post-run endorphins… It’s like being on top of the world!”
Lower Seletar Reservoir
Raved by Shape reader Shirley Tay
Running route [START] Xishan Primary School > Yishun Pond > Khoo Teck Puat Hospital > Safra Yishun > Orchid Park Condominium > Lower Seletar Reservoir > [END] Xishan Primary School
Distance About 7km
Toilet points Yishun Park, Safra Yishun and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.
Best time to run 6.30-7.30am or 6pm onwards (when it’s cooler)
Why Shirley loved it “I grew up in Yishun and have always loved the kampong spirit of this neighbourhood. Though some greenery has made way for new flats, there are still many wonderful nooks to be explored. This route, for example, is full of little surprises. There are monitor lizards, monkeys, squirrels, kingfishers, eagles and many other birds. I also love running by Lower Seletar Reservoir on weekends and public holidays, where I enjoy watching the happy faces of children playing by the water, smitten couples posing for wedding shots and enthusiastic dragon boaters training hard. I got into the best shape of my life here – going from a tired and overweight person to an invigorated, active runner. Running has not only boosted my energy level but also made me more aware and appreciative of my surroundings.”
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve* to Macritchie Reservoir Park
(*Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is partially closed for development, so check updates on NParks website before heading there.)
Raved by Shape reader Sabariah Abdul Razak
Running route [START] Zhenghua Park > Dairy Farm > Singapore Quarry > Rail Mall > Green Corridor Trail > Bukit Timah Nature Reserve > Rifle Range Road > Macritchie Reservoir Park
Distance About 18km
Toilet points Dairy Farm (at the entrance), Bukit Timah Nature Reserve’s visitor centre and Macritchie Reservoir Park.
Note Don’t forget to protect yourself from pesky mozzies by applying insect repellent on exposed skin.
Best time to run 11am-4pm (for better visibility)
Why Sabariah loved it “Both my fiance and I live in the west so this is a very accessible route for us. Plus, there’s plenty of good food in the vicinity for after working out. The Adam Road Food Centre near Macritchie Reservoir Park serves up yummy mutton chops, an all-time favourite. After a shorter 5km run (starting at Zhenghua Park and ending at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve), we usually dine at Al-Azhar Eating Restaurant, a halal eatery with Thai, Indian, Muslim, Chinese and Western cuisine. The thought of a mouthwatering meal after running keeps me motivated!”