While ASICS sponsored national athlete Raviin Kumar and amateur runner Lance Sum were pounding the trails at Mont Blanc in Switzerland last night at the global ASICS Beat the Sun Relay, 97 Singapore runners came together to pound the roads of Singapore’s Marina Bay.
An initiative by the ASICS Running Club Singapore
Runners had been gathered together as a part of an initiative by the ASICS Running Club Singapore. At the end of the run, we had completed a cumulative distance of 1018.95km.
The minimum targeted distance had initially been 500km, and if the total runners had surpassed this, ASICS Singapore would then donate $1,000 to a charity of their choice.
Said Natasha Chew, 28, Assistant Marketing Manager at ASICS Singapore, “We thought it would be a good chance for runners to join in to run for a good cause. Beat The Sun is a global thing and various countries have done different things with their running club, as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere.”
She added, “So here in Singapore, we then thought, why don’t we come together for a run and see how many miles we can clock with the local running community?”
Runners were flagged off from Suntec City
Flagging off at Suntec City, the runners had been divided into teams of 10 members each, according to their desired running pace and the teams headed from Suntec City to Nicoll Highway and the F1 Pit Building and Marina Barrage before returning to the starting point – for one loop. They were led by members from the ASICS Running Club Singapore.
Though the ASICS Beat The Sun race is a relay, the ASICS Running Club Singapore decided not to do a relay format for the local run.
Explained Natasha, “We had wanted to hold a grassroots run rather than an actual race. The local ASICS running club organise weekly runs every Monday and Wednesday, with the Wednesday runs taking place here at Suntec City. But maybe we can consider staging a relay next year, considering that so many runners had been keen to join us.”
An easy run with the ASICS pacers
I took part in the ASICS Beat the Sun initiative in Singapore and I ran with the 7mins/km pacers because I had wanted to run easy without putting too much stress on myself. Most of the other groups had completed 13km altogether, but for our group, we completed an 8km route due to the lack of time.
The route was quite scenic, including the F1 Pit Building and the Marina Barrage areas, and passing through key local landmarks such as the Singapore Flyer and the Sports Hub along the way. The ASICS pacers also stopped frequently in order to allow those runners who were falling behind, to catch up wit the rest of the group, so that was quite good. We also took several photos along the way and chit-chatted to each other, to make the run more fun.
The night was surprisingly quite humid though and this got to me after a few kilometres of running – so as a result, I found myself perspiring a lot more than usual. Fortunately though, the pace was easy so, I did not have problems keeping up with the rest of the pack.
Due to our group’s slightly shorter distance, we were one of the first few teams to arrive back at Suntec City – and we were greeted by delicious ice-cold Pocari Sweat. The company had generously sponsored their isotonic drinks to hydrate the runners after the run. And some bananas were also provided.
A great initiative by ASICS Singapore
Overall it was a great initiative by ASICS Singapore and by the end of the run, I felt great that I had completed the workout, and that the miles were done for a good cause. The entire event still feels like a very meaningful one, as we are not purely running just for ourselves.
Clearly too, many of the other runners also felt the same way as I had about the event. And ASICS-sponsored athletes Benjamin Quek, Foo Gen Lin and Ghim Koon – who are all regular faces amongst Singapore’s podium runners – had also turned up to show their support for the event.
Said Natasha, “We were quite overwhelmed that so many runners wanted to come down and run miles for a charity. It was also great to see that a lot did not care about the charity the money would be going to – they just wanted to help out. It was very interesting and heartening to see Singaporeans wanting to do something like this, out of their own free time.”
She added, “Moving forward from now, we are hoping to organise events like this more often. This time was also the first year that the local ASICS running club has been involved in something like this, and with Pocari Sweat coming on board for hydration as well, it is a great way to see how we can reach out to even more community runners and perhaps do something even bigger.”