Taking place on 25 March 2017, the 10th edition of the OSIM Sundown Marathon has brought back the theme of “Sleep Can Wait” – returning the race to its fundamental ethos of challenging runners to sacrifice sleep, run through the night, and beat the sunrise.
Added Adrian Mok, 41, Managing Director of HiVelocity Events, the organiser of the OSIM Sundown Marathon, “Sleep Can Wait is essentially the core message of this event; I created the Sundown Marathon event with the idea that we are here to overcome the challenges so I hope the this comes with the spirt of challenge that runners can take on sleep deprivation as one of the key elements of Sundown Marathon.”
An exciting line up of entertainment
But although the theme aims to bring the race back to its roots, the entertainment and activities will be anything but simple. Instead runners can look forward to an exciting line-up that will be spread throughout the entire race week.
Mok continued, “In line with this theme, we have tweaked a couple of things for the 10th edition of OSIM Sundown Marathon. For starters, the element of night is special and that is something that I want to capitalise on. The very fact that it is night, means that we have the advantage of playing with stage music, lights and all of that and I really love to have that experience that runners can come to the race site and they get excited and completely psyched up before they get flagged off to run. For many of the morning marathons, you do the race and finish and the weather gets so hot that you don’t want to hang around; even if there are performances you do not feel entertained.”
Concept of the Art Box pop up market
So for the OSIM Sundown Marathon this year, the entertainment will be one of the key aspects of the race according to Mok. He said “There are lots of plans that we have for the race next year. What will be special is the Sundown Night Festival where we will bring the concept of Art Box to Singapore; this will be a hip, cool and relaxing experience for our runners.”
The Art Box is a pop up market concept from Bangkok, Thailand, where the stalls are housed in giant shipping containers that can be moved around the city. At such markets the focus of the wares are also generally on local designers, vintage fashion and hand-made accessories.
Added Mok, “The idea and concept of the Art Box comes with us having introduced the Grohe shower truck at this year’s race. We had Grohe coming on board and they supplied containers that were fully fitted out with shower facilities to give that luxurious shower experience to runners. We designed and built this shower truck and that was the first experience that we had worked with containers.”
He continued, “So I think some of our ideas got bolder after that and we thought, why not do the whole expo with containers? It was meant to be a joke but then it became serious and the team started drawing out 3D containers and researched Chatuchak Market in Thailand and we thought, hey if we could really pull this off, it would be really cool.”
Sundown Night Festival in place of the traditional race pack collection expo
Taking place at the F1 Pit Building over four nights – from Tuesday to Friday of the actual race week – the Sundown Night Festival will replace the traditional Sundown Marathon race pack expo that has been held at Suntec City for the past few years.
Said Mok, “Moving the race pack collection to the Sundown Night Festival is a big experience for us, but the thing is that if the race pack collection is the week before, a lot of overseas runners do not get to enjoy that; we get a lot of feedback and some runners from China had asked us if there would be stalls on-site when they come; we do not have that, so we had started thinking about it.”
But Mok conceded though that the cost of setting up such as festival would be a factor. He said “We took pains into studying the feasibility of organising such an event and it is still an experiment, but then the experiment is not just about the art box alone but about how we can improve the whole experience; if we can bring the whole concept to the fact that we are a night race and hold the pack collection only at nights, complete with a night festival offering food & beverages and entertainment, this will strengthen the element that people would want to come down early to enjoy the activity before the race.”Mok also adds that runners will not have to queue up for their race packs, in a new and improved race pack collection process. He says, “We are looking at innovation that comes with the whole system of a race pack collection. Instead of having runners queue up, we want to have a check-in process so once they are checked in, they can walk around the enjoy browsing through the products and tuck into the food & beverages; this is all done in the comfort that in the back end, their packs are being put together and when it is ready they will be buzzed over to collect it.”
Payments at the Sundown Night Festival will also be completely cashless. Says Mok “The payment will be cashless. We are working on an app that can allow us to do all these things; we have started the app project and we hope that it will be ready by March! The concept is like this; it works as a master pass where runners can do pre top ups onto their accounts and transactions will get deducted on site simply by opening up their mobile phones.”
At the Sundown night festival, Mok also adds that there will be a Sport Zone offering sports such as basketball going on throughout the four nights as well as the actual race night. He says, “So there will be a lot of activity happening for Sundown Marathon.”
Hopes the new look Sundown Night Festival will hook runners
Mok also hopes that the new-look Sundown Night Festival and the entertainment available there, will interest runners, with the often crowded and congested running race calendar in Singapore.
He says, “In the past we would actually try to work together with other race organisers to avoid conflict but for us, there is also the limitations with the F1 Pit Building as a location; I could not see any other location that would work for us. We are very much tied down to having the race there, so it is just depending on what dates are available; this is something we can’t really overcome.”
May not be possible to flag off the Marathon earlier
Also, despite repeated requests from runners, Mok does not really think that it is possible to flag off the Full Marathon earlier though, despite the fact that the Sundown Marathon race village is usually quite deserted by the time the full marathoners return back from their race.
Says Mok “We get that request a lot, but the difficulty lies in the road closures; we have the different categories so the shorter categories are easier to flag off first. Actually the other considerations are due to the overlaps on the running route; being a runner, I take a lot of pains to look into that. If you are a fast runner you do not want to run into the tail end of a group of runners from the other categories, so these make things not easy for us to space out the run times, what with the 42KM race being the longest category.”
Singapore’s first sustainable marathon
In another interesting initiative, the OSIM Sundown Marathon will become Singapore’s first sustainable marathon, as the race coincides with the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) Earth Hour. So the Marathon will take into account total carbon footprint, usage of plastics and waste management.
The world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisation, WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans can live harmoniously with nature.
Said Elaine Tan, CEO of WWF-Singapore, “Sports and nature are symbiotic. The clean air and water that fuels the run is only possible through responsible environmental management. With over 30,000 people running for a good cause, Earth Hour’s partnership with OSIM Sundown Marathon will be an impactful way to bring awareness about sustainability to Singapore.”
Register for Sundown Marathon 2017 at http://www.sundownmarathon.com