Be A Gunner. Be A Runner: An Arsenal FC 2014 Run in the Rain

Gooners pull themselves out of bed to take part in a charity run this morning.

Gooners pull themselves out of bed to take part in a charity run this morning.

The clouds looked dark and menacing and the rain wouldn’t stop falling.

In such miserable weather, many runners would probably have switched off their alarm clock and gone straight back to sleep.

But a small group of dedicated runners, from the Arsenal Singapore Supporters Club, were up bright and early to complete a 6.4km fun run for charity this morning at East Coast Park.

The “Be A Gunner. Be A Runner” (BAGBAR) run today, was to raise funds for the Arsenal Foundation in London. This is a charity that helps young people from all around the world to fulfil their potential by supporting a range of charity and community projects both in the United Kingdom and overseas.

Waiting around at the starting line.

Waiting around at the starting line – despite the wet weather.

A memorable, but wet run 

The rain definitely made this a memorable fun run.

While it never actually stopped completely, the rain was not so heavy though, that running became impossible. Fortunately there was no threat of lightning and thunderstorms, either.

And by the end of the run, I felt good about myself – for not only completing this 6.4km route, but also about doing my small part for charity.

Good workout for charity

Other runners taking part in the event also felt that it was a rather good workout session and they were happy about contributing to charity.

And... the Arsenal Singapore runners are about to be flagged off.

And… the Arsenal Singapore runners are about to be flagged off.

Said 60-year-old Tan Wei Cheng, who is semi-retired, “It was definitely a good exercise session, despite the rain. After the run, I could see many smiling faces around and I rather enjoyed the atmosphere this morning.”

He explained, “As Arsenal supporters, we should be proud of our club (Arsenal FC) too and contribute to whatever charity we have.”

And 34-year-old operations manager Chong Bing Da said, “It is definitely about the Arsenal community too. By staging events such as today’s run, we are showing that we do much more than just watching football and drinking beer.”

10 Laps of the Emirates Stadium in London

Initially organized by the Arsenal Football Club in London, the BAGBAR event traditionally requires runners to complete 10 laps of Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, which equates to a total distance of 6.4km.

The runners are well on their way along the 6.4km route

The runners are well on their way along the 6.4km route

But last year, this run took on a global perspective for the first time, with runners and Arsenal FC supporters clubs from all over the world being encouraged to take part in this annual sporting event.

This year, the global tradition of the event continued, with Arsenal fans from all around the world completing the 6.4km run for a good cause – on the same day as in London itself.

“Unfortunately though, we couldn’t make the race at the same time because of the seven-hour time difference between Singapore and London. Otherwise it will be too hot to run here,” said 55-year-old retiree Tiong Jin Yan, who is the Vice-President of the Arsenal fan club in Singapore.

30 Countries Participating in BAGBAR

And 35-year-old public servant Eric Ong, the President of the Arsenal Singapore Supporters Club, is proud to be organizing this memorable event – for the second time running, in 2014.

The water station at the U-turn point of the run.

The water station at the U-turn point of the run.

He said, “I am very proud to organize the BAGBAR event and be one of 30 countries in the world doing this. Apart from the run, we are also doing it for a good cause. It goes to show that we are much more than a supporters club.”

The eventual turnout of 30 plus people also more than met the expectations of the Arsenal Singapore committee members, too. “I think that it is good to have people of all ages, shapes and sizes taking part in this event,” Eric said.

“In fact, we even have a number of members who couldn’t make it for today’s run but they still wanted to support the cause and make a donation. That is very generous of them,” he added.

Event was a huge success

A post-race shot of sweaty, but happy Arsenal fans.

A post-race shot of sweaty, but happy Arsenal fans.

Arsenal Singapore donated a total of SGD $3,800 to the Arsenal Foundation in London. So the event was certainly seen as a huge success in more ways than one.

Not only were 100 per cent of the registration fees of SGD $50 per member donated, but the Singapore club had matched it dollar for dollar, too.

Plans For Next Year

And next year, Arsenal Singapore is planning for the annual run to be even bigger and better.

As Eric says, “We don’t really want to pre-empt, but we hope to go to the National Stadium next year and run 10 rounds of that – just like what they do in London.”

Yours truly.

Yours truly.

Do your part for charity at Sundown With Love. Support the disabled athletes from Singapore Disability Sports Council. Click here.

More Blog Posts

Click Here to read about my experiences of running with the visually handicapped runners.

Click Here to find out how to select new running shoes at New Balance.

Click Here to read about the amazing travels of Arsenal fan Peter Anderson, aka Gooner on the Road.

Click Here to read about Arsenal fan Peter Anderson, aka Gooner on the Road’s trip to Singapore.

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