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tekko

The North Face 2011 Trail Series

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The woodcutter's route was indeed a very interesting route. Thanks for the field reports and photos by Brokie and Ripley as well as to the run leaders.

As noted by others, the entrance is not marked at all. Heading back after the run, I was hard pressed to find the spot we entered, even after having done the run so recently. I do remember it is towards the bottom of the second downslope up from the carpark and there are metal grills in the ground just into the sparse undergrowth, followed by a standard green fence of the type used to protect drains. Given that, it should not be too difficult to relocate the entrance.

Inside the route was not very technically demanding (I would rate it as moderate) and seemed very well trodden. We even came across numerous mountain bikers on the way in and back. Kudo's to them as it's not easy tackling those slippery slopes on a bike. There was even one runner with an artificial leg running with us. I am not sure if he finished or not. He was a real inspiration as it makes any troubles one may have as an able bodied runner seem trivial in comparison.

The main "problem" I saw with the trail was not that it was hard to find - it was very prominent the whole way - but that there were numerous side trails both to the North and South. Most times, we had to veer South to keep on the correct route, except for a few cases, like when we hit a large rock (where we rested), where we veered/continued to the West instead of South. I am certain that I would not be able to go back and run the route again for this reason - to me all the bushes look the same. There was a period coming back when I was running alone for a short time and wasn't sure I was on the right track sometimes until I saw the red and white plastic markers. Seeing as the trial is apparently a popular one, it would be good to have more permanent markers (eg painted trees), although some might say that getting lost is part of the fun of trail running. Just as long as it is not at nightfall! Someone could quite easily get stuck there overnight or at least for a few hours if they were not careful.

Ironically, it was when we emerged from the Woodcutter's into the open and started running another route North West off the Gangsa track that I was bitten painfully by something on my lower leg. Whatever bit me managed to do it through my long woollen sock. The pain subsided after about 5 mins and the slight swelling also subsided by the end of the run. However, the next day the area turned red and quickly within 1 day the red area had enlarged to about 2 inches across. Steroid cream recommended by a pharmacist didn't stop the expansion and 2 days after the bite, the red area expanded downwards 4-5 inches and my ankle was swollen and painful to walk. After seeking medical attention, I was told it was a subdermal infection. Antibiotics have now stabilised the red area. I also heard another girl was bitten on the upper thigh. I would be interested to hear if she had any similar reaction. At first I thought it might have been a scorpion or spider (black scorpions have apparently been spotted in the area of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve). But given the other girl was bitten higher up, it could also be a big ant or a wasp. A snake normally produces two puncture marks, so this is unlikely (this is my greatest fear when venturing into the woods). I'm hoping it was a wasp sting as that would be quite rare compared to other creepy crawlies.

Well, I'll be resting up from running for a few days more while my leg recovers and it might take me a bit longer to venture back into the trails. But in the end, I love exploring new paths and I would likely return, although probably not to that exact area again. :)

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Having rained the night before, the trail was expectedly slippery for most parts.

Quite a number of puddles here and there.

Technically, it was not a difficult course, but on the other hand hope it is not part of the TNF event in October.

Thoroughly enjoyed last Saturday's run.

Many thanks to RSM Brokie, Tekko and the run leaders.

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with 2 ppl out of less than 30 runners kenna bitten by unknown insects... and need to see doctor after that..

i'm real glad that this portion will not be part of the TNF event in Oct.

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Hi Triple, please do monitor the bite. I know of 2 recent cases where runners got bitten by unknown insects and ended up with a bad infection and had to be hospitalised for more than a week.

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this map is something i look for.

is this the only route (WCT) that can cut through the bukit timah nature reserve?

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this map is something i look for.

is this the only route (WCT) that can cut through the bukit timah nature reserve?

there is another route from the northern side of woodcutters. starts from upper seletar roundabout

http://runkeeper.com/user/Sky61/activity/31909420

u can use it to link down south to bukit timah visitor centre

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Is WCT only until the 5km point, and the 2 "extra" loops (through 6km and 7km points) are some other trails? I heard someone mentioned Fisherman trail or Scorpion trail. Any idea?

yes, until around the 5km marker. the two extra loops are part of gangsa trail and part of fisherman trail.

http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=631708

fisherman trail actually runs along the waterline, but actual fact we ran only part of it. i remember seeing a faint trail leading to the waters around the 6km marker northwards, maybe i'll explore that soon. but the run leaders have confirm that its a dead end at the west seletar pumping station.

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scorpion trail??

sounds dangerously exciting...maybe can bum into 'the rock'

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btw, this look like a very good route for north face training.

http://runkeeper.com/user/Sky61/activity/41583596

btw, anyone know from the 3km to 8km mark, is this the wood cutter trail?

woodcutters is actually from 4.5km to 8.5km mark. in fact i feel that this route should be part of northface100, plenty of elevations, winding bends, some single track. instead of 2 loops,they should add this in to form 100km.

anyway, i devise this admended route to add more mileage to the run and elevations.

http://runkeeper.com/user/Sky61/activity/30297441

this is the first experimental run of the 3 reservoirs. u can see the distinct difference between this and the latest one i did. there is the addition of butterfly trail for its technical exhilarating winding bends, and up via catchment path to bukit timah summit for elevations (a pity i didnt do the summit,was too tired then). would be adding fisherman trail and maybe the northern part of woodcutter in the future.

hell,if they decide to retain the green corridor,we can link up via hindhede bridge near the visitor centre and run thru the corridor!! :thumbsup:

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Is WCT only until the 5km point, and the 2 "extra" loops (through 6km and 7km points) are some other trails? I heard someone mentioned Fisherman trail or Scorpion trail. Any idea?

yes, until around the 5km marker. the two extra loops are part of gangsa trail and part of fisherman trail.

http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=631708

fisherman trail actually runs along the waterline, but actual fact we ran only part of it. i remember seeing a faint trail leading to the waters around the 6km marker northwards, maybe i'll explore that soon. but the run leaders have confirm that its a dead end at the west seletar pumping station.

yes indeed. it was a dead end and we had some fun doing some adventure obstacle course.... hahaha....

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yes indeed. it was a dead end and we had some fun doing some adventure obstacle course.... hahaha....

thats part of the fun in trail running, charting new exciting routes, exploration. i will try the faint trail from the 6km marker and see if it leads to a breakthru in the west seletar pumping station.

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The woodcutter's route was indeed a very interesting route. Thanks for the field reports and photos by Brokie and Ripley as well as to the run leaders.

<<deleted>>

hey triple... nice to see you at the run... hope you have recovered from the nasty bite... :)

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Hi Triple, please do monitor the bite. I know of 2 recent cases where runners got bitten by unknown insects and ended up with a bad infection and had to be hospitalised for more than a week.

Luckily I was not hospitalised but started oral antibiotics after two days which worked well. Do you know where they got bitten. It sounds serious. :shok:

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The woodcutter's route was indeed a very interesting route. Thanks for the field reports and photos by Brokie and Ripley as well as to the run leaders.

<<deleted>>

hey triple... nice to see you at the run... hope you have recovered from the nasty bite... :)

Thanks, good to see you and Brokie still going strong. I have recovered already from the infection, the antibiotics cleared it up and it disappeared almost as fast as it grew initially in the first two days. I hate to think what the outcome would have been if I was living in a country with no ready access to antibiotics, though. I really prefer to run on more open trails or dirt roads rather than in the thick jungle / forest as the tree view gets monotonous and it is more difficult to monitor where you are. I would love to run some of the trails in Nepal that has beautiful scenery which you can really take in on the open trails, although I don't think I would be able to make it up any mountains (even minor ones!). :)

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btw, this look like a very good route for north face training.

http://runkeeper.com/user/Sky61/activity/41583596

btw, anyone know from the 3km to 8km mark, is this the wood cutter trail?

woodcutters is actually from 4.5km to 8.5km mark. in fact i feel that this route should be part of northface100, plenty of elevations, winding bends, some single track. instead of 2 loops,they should add this in to form 100km.

anyway, i devise this admended route to add more mileage to the run and elevations.

http://runkeeper.com/user/Sky61/activity/30297441

this is the first experimental run of the 3 reservoirs. u can see the distinct difference between this and the latest one i did. there is the addition of butterfly trail for its technical exhilarating winding bends, and up via catchment path to bukit timah summit for elevations (a pity i didnt do the summit,was too tired then). would be adding fisherman trail and maybe the northern part of woodcutter in the future.

hell,if they decide to retain the green corridor,we can link up via hindhede bridge near the visitor centre and run thru the corridor!! :thumbsup:

was thinking of doing this route as north face training.

but since it cut thru woodcutter route which is not really good for trail running... think thick jungle and unknown insects... i will give this a pass and stick to the macritchie route to bukit timah nature reserve.

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was thinking of doing this route as north face training.

but since it cut thru woodcutter route which is not really good for trail running... think thick jungle and unknown insects... i will give this a pass and stick to the macritchie route to bukit timah nature reserve.

Actually woodcutters is really harmless ( at least the east/west route). Its good training for tnf,esp if u aspire to do overseas trail races as it incorporates technical single track with elevation gains from the 2nd stream to the third. Try running it fast,u will love the thrills of the twist n turns,ups n downs. I ran there numerous times n no issues with the flora or insects( except hitting a few wasp or spiderwebs on my face).

If u do MR to bukit timah n back,most u can do is a half marathon distance. Add the rest and u can train for a full marathon.

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thanks for all the maps, everyone!

wow, these 30k routes are exactly what i've been looking for - lots of variety, and can start/end around MR amenities centre for a nice post-run shower :) maybe sky61 you can lead us on a run one day!

http://runkeeper.com/user/Sky61/activity/41583596

http://runkeeper.com/user/Sky61/activity/30297441

u're welcome on the maps. i've been looking at ways of increasing the distance to 40km or more without repeating the same path twice and ending where we started from. feel free to share with us if u have some ideas. i'm thinking of adding fisherman trail, dairy farm, wallace trail and maybe gangsa with the northern entrance of woodcutters. if the green corridor materialise in a few yrs time, we can add that up for maybe even a 100km trail run without doing loops!!

i've just started trail running half a yr ago, hence i don't think i'm qualified to lead a run(i haven't even attempted a single TNF100 race yet) but as a fellow trail enthusiast, u r more than welcome to join me for a few hours of getaway from our concrete jungle. i have to say that i'm most happy when i'm running amongst greenery n nature, there is just that connection when ur senses are link with ever step u take on nature's soil. u can't switch off mentally like u do on a road run.

if u r interested, i will be posting trail runs on the 'woodcutters' thread from time to time.

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u're welcome on the maps. i've been looking at ways of increasing the distance to 40km or more without repeating the same path twice and ending where we started from. feel free to share with us if u have some ideas. i'm thinking of adding fisherman trail, dairy farm, wallace trail and maybe gangsa with the northern entrance of woodcutters. if the green corridor materialise in a few yrs time, we can add that up for maybe even a 100km trail run without doing loops!!

i've just started trail running half a yr ago, hence i don't think i'm qualified to lead a run(i haven't even attempted a single TNF100 race yet) but as a fellow trail enthusiast, u r more than welcome to join me for a few hours of getaway from our concrete jungle. i have to say that i'm most happy when i'm running amongst greenery n nature, there is just that connection when ur senses are link with ever step u take on nature's soil. u can't switch off mentally like u do on a road run.

if u r interested, i will be posting trail runs on the 'woodcutters' thread from time to time.

hey i m interested too...count me in. fellow Central-catchment trail runner here. hehe

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