Mon 11/17 6.12 Miles (Four Beasts)
Check out that view! The Four Beasts, including Elephant Mountain, are the perfect place to take in the city skyline. Even with the inclement weather, you can still clearly see 101. Personally I love running in this kind of weather, and thus was very excited to hit the trails.
I started the normal climb up to the summit of elephant mountain, but took a side trail about half way up. If you make a few wrong turns here you’ll end up at a farm, and another farm. Your best bet is to take the mossy steps up. You’ll eventually hit the rock-blocks road. Take a right and keep going.
I took this all the way until I hit the Muzha intersection, and then continued onto that trail. Luckily the trail wasn’t too slick and I only had a few instances of slip-and-sliding. I then turned around at the end of the trail–where there is a set of stairs going down, and retraced my steps back to the rock-road path. I finished my run with a few crazy drops and then climbs, which had my derriere screaming for the comfort of flat land.
For those who seek to run around on the four beasts, do it during the day! Although it is pretty in the evening, and a flashlight can help with running the trails, the daytime views are just too spectacular to miss!
1/18 7.95 Miles (The Four Beasts + Nangang Park @ Night)
Flying down stairs in the dark and leaping over roots and boulders on unlit trails really gets the adrenaline pumping. That being said, I have a strong fear of twisting my ankle, which I almost did on this run. So, I brought my trusty handheld flashlight with me. If you are into nighttime trail running, I highly recommend getting a flashlight that fits into the palm of your hand, and has a string that can go around your wrist!
Starting out this trek, me and my trusty running partner Dan set out to run from Elephant Mountain, along the beasts, to Nan Gang Exhibition Park, and back. We took the normal route up, and then continued on the rock-blocks path towards the other beasts. We eventually took a set of stairs down to get in some stair intervals–3 reps of about a 100meter climb. We then jogged back down the stairs and took the paved road that heads towards Nan Gang Exhibition Park.
I highly recommend taking the road at night; it’s well lit, VERY hilly, and connects with a few parks that have weights and hula-hoops. We actually stopped to stretch our calves at one of those parks, and stumbled onto a set of rings that Dan used to do a few flips. I tried, but failed miserably~ Ah, well.
Finally we reached Nan Gang Exhibition Park, and proceeded to run through Hou Shan Pi Mountain and around the park. I had actually never been here before, but I would definitely go back for those amazing gravel trails. They also have a few set of wooden stairs that provide more give than the stone ones I’ve become used to.
After heading back into the beasts, Dan suggested that we take a path that was closed, blocked with a gate, and bore a huge red sign that read “restricted entry” in Chinese. Before I could offer an opinion, he was already half way up the path. I followed, rather cautiously, behind him. It became rather apparent that the missing steps and fallen trees were the reason for this closure. Luckily, Dan and I hash so we were used to these kinds of obstacles.
Once we reached the top, Dan brandished a wide smile and declared “That was fun, eh?” He then requested a nice photo with 101, which I was happy to take.
I then got a nice photo with 101…but I wasn’t quite positioned properly to get the shot. We then ran back through the beasts until we came to Fude Lane 2 (I think), and then ran back to Fude Street. From there you can run back to Elephant Mountain MRT Station Exit 2~