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After last weekend’s baptism of fire at the twin hills workout, the Sunbirds were a lot more prepped up and mentally ready the continuing hills challenge in Weekend 5.  The morning mist gave the air a cool feeling as we went along our ascent up the Mt. Faber slopes after a 4km run in at target training paces.

Once at the mid-section of MF, off we went with the main challenge of the 30min-60min routine covering the prescribed number of 1.6km MF loops for each training group.  The weather remained cool, which helped us to better sustain the efforts, especially on the climbs.  

Many of the Sunbirds put the tips on hill training and running form to good practice, allowing them to overcome the challenges a lot better this week.  Many of them looked so strong as they lapped up the hill loops like experienced marathon veterans.


All was not done when the hill repeats were completed.  The different pace groups then gathered themselves for some pep talk and advice from the respective trainers before moving off for their next challenge – a sustained 8km-12km at target pace along rolling hills and slopes so well known in that western region.

Very good effort from the Sunbirds as there was very minimal walking and a lot more steady-paced running, testament to the very strong cohort of Sunbirds this year – the members of the Happy Group was markedly reduced with many more joining Groups 1-3.  The training crew have been doing a wonderful job of guiding their charges along and making sure they execute the training routines well and safely.

The Post-Run briefing had to be conducted in a few waves as the completion times of the Sunbirds were varied over this longer course, and we would not want to hold the earlier birds for too long as they were on to their next activity – recovery shopping walks for running shoes and gear for their upcoming races and of course for SCMS.

Overall it was a very well executed workout by the participants, many of them still looking strong after all the hills and slopes, although the hunger pangs’ were already felt midway doing the hill repeats 😀  This is a resilient flock, hardened by the elements as well as the ‘tougher challenges’ meted out to the enhanced Sunbird program for this year.

The Sunbirds are progressing well as we enter the final phase of basebuilding next week, followed by a Half Marathon  time-trial at the New Balance Real Run to gauge the progress of training.  We are sure many of the Sunbirds will do well with their strengthened base, so long as they remain injury free and continue to do their homework for adaptive recovery.

As we dare to dream of achieving our SCMS goals, backed by our diligence and perseverance, we are reminded of this motivational tune:
“Somewhere over the high hills
Sunbirds fly
And the dreams that we dreamed of
Dreams really do come true…”