Themed runs gaining popularity in Singapore


Themed runs gaining popularity in Singapore

16 November, 2013   Gloria Lin

Runners enjoying the Brooks Happy Run. (Photo by VOXSPORTS)

Singaporeans may be known to be all work and seriousness, but a shift in taste for sports seems to prove otherwise. Although normal marathons, triathlons, and even ultra-marathons have long been all the rage with the fitness-obsessed crowd here, a recent spate of unconventional ‘fun runs’ are becoming talk of the town.

One run that has made a comeback this year after a successful debut in 2012 is Brooks Run Happy. The night run saw thousands of participants don coloured lightsticks and pounding the pavement along Marina Bay Sands on 16 November. The run was to provide a welcoming environment for people of different ages and running abilities to interact - and of course, experience a happy run.

“The run was amazing… lots of people, good music,” said a giggly Katie Hasson who completed the run with her husband Mark Hasson.

Serene Cheong, 30, who was greeted at the finish line by her boyfriend, agreed, praising the central location of the run and the finishing point at the top of the barrage, where the party was.

Many runners seemed to be there for the energetic party atmosphere, especially with night club Zouk providing entertainment for the night.

“The lights are fun, the ambience is really good,” said Chen Cui Fen, who ran with her friends Shirlene and Sharon who were getting ready to enjoy the night after the run.

Not to be outdone, The Color Run Singapore and Race The Dead Singapore took place for the first time and attracted much attention, with registrations selling out in record-breaking times.

Held on 17-18 August, the Color Run called itself ‘The Happiest 5 Kilometres On The Planet’. As its name suggests, runners start off clean and in white, and end up at the finish line bathed in a kaleidoscope of brightly-coloured cornstarch, having had the different hues thrown at them along the way. 16,000 participants took part in the untimed race with no age limit or fitness requirements.

Non-competitive runs seem to be a winning idea, judging from the excitement garnered by the Race The Dead Zombie Run Singapore that took place on 26 -27 October. Modeled after similar zombie-themed runs in the United States, the premise of Race The Dead was on the ‘haunted island of Sentosa’ on which runners had to evade zombies at every turn.

The only competitive element was a prize for the fastest runner who could escape zombies along the 5 kilometre route from Tanjong Beach to Siloso Beach. Runners started off with two ‘life flags’ attached to their waist, which were to be ‘captured’ by the zombies during their attack on the runners. As long as runners crossed the finish line - or ‘quarantine safe zone’ with one ‘life flag’ intact, they were awarded with a ‘survivor’ t-shirt.

To make the run even more challenging, the race course had five obstacles that runners had to clear. If they could not, they automatically lost one life flag.

To further whet local runners’ appetite for all things zombie, another zombie-themed race will hit our city early next year. Named Run For Your Lives Singapore, the theme is similar to Race The Dead’s Zombie Run and will take place on 11 January 2014.

Another outlandish run to soon arrive in Singapore is the Electric Run. Involving neon lights and pulsating beats, runners will take part in a night run that promises to be a visual spectacle. The date is yet to be confirmed, but as with the other fun runs, it will take runners on a 5 kilometre route.

Running towards coloured powder, away from zombies, or under pumping lights and music - it hardly feels like one is exercising at all.

So lace up your trainers and get running - all in good fun.

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