Last evening, the Hello Kitty Run 2015 took place.
The 2015 race started and ended at the Marina Bay Floating Platform and flagged off at 6.15pm, with 5 waves of runners. The Night Race gave the 11,000 participants, a chance to take in the beautiful Singapore city skyline and absorb the lovely evening sights along the fun 5km running route at the same time. These had included the iconic Singapore Flyer and the distinctive Marina Bay Sands buildings.
A chance to soak up the beautiful sights
I took part in the Hello Kitty Run and it was a pretty fun experience. As this race was taking place a couple of weeks after my exertion in the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore, I treated it more as a fun run and an opportunity to simply soak up the sights and hang around with friends – rather than going for timing.
I reached the race site at about 5.00pm to queue up for a good spot near the front of the starting pen – where I would get the chance to see Hello Kitty dancing and flagging us off.
Catching up with friends before the starting horn blew
Whilst there, I managed to catch up with a few friends including Carol Cunningham, Justina Zeng and Belinda Neo. As well, I saw a runner dressed up as Bad Badtz Maru, a black penguin who is one of Hello Kitty’s friends and a fellow Sanrio character. This was all very interesting – but I wondered whether Bad Badtz Maru would feel hot under that thick costume.
At 6.15pm, the starting horn blew and it was time for us to run. As I was in the first wave, the path was not very congested yet and so, I was able to jog the entire 5km distance.
The route itself was a rather simple but scenic one, which had brought runners through Fullerton Road and passed the Fullerton Bay Hotel, before heading up to Raffles Avenue and the Bayfront area before heading back through Marina Boulevard.
However, it had somewhat threatened to rain towards the beginning of the event, but I felt fortunate that this didn’t happen in the end. But it had brought back memories of deja vu, when I had taken part in the inaugural Hello Kitty Run in 2014 and had been caught in the heavy rain as a result.
Runners had enjoyed themselves at the race
Participants taking part in the event had enjoyed themselves. Said Chang Hua Qiang, 33, a toy merchandiser and a Hello Kitty fan since the year 2000, “I thought this year’s race was more fun than last year. There was more wind and breeze and I liked the views better.”
Agreed Muhammad Fadhly bin Merlin, 27, a Logistics assistant, “This event was spectacular and exciting and I hope that next year would be the same. There was also some nice entertainment along the route in the form of music and bands.”
Fadhly, who has been a Hello Kitty fan since he was seven years old and was taking part in the event for the first time, added that he had no complaints about the race. He said, “I love to run and this race lived up to my expectations. It was quite well organised and I would take part again next year. But it would have been nice if there was a baggage deposit counter though.”
The route was congested for the runners at the back
However despite the fun, some runners who had started near the back of the pack, had felt that the route had been congested. Said Abby Espino, 20, a teacher, “It was good, but I was quite slow – everyone was walking and taking so many photos. Runners stopped at every signboard to snap pictures. But it was still very fun though.”
Espino also admitted that she isn’t much of a Hello Kitty fan – and that she had been dragged down by her mother, who adores Hello Kitty!
Upon the completion of our run, we were given a can of soft drink, a bottle of Pokka Sports Water isotonic drink as well as an extremely cute Hello Kitty medal.
A Hello Kitty carnival
After the race too, there was a Hello Kitty carnival which comprised of games, Hello Kitty themed merchandise booths and food & beverages for sale. Plenty of photo opportunities were available too. As well, Christmas carols were also being sung by Hello Kitty and her boyfriend Dear Daniel on stage in their Christmas themed costumes, to entertain the runners.
The carnival was very interesting and I had a whale of a time taking photos at the various signboards and Kitty-themed decorations – after I had completed the run. It was certainly a great way to recharge and replenish my energy after running.
However, I must point out though, that while runners could enter the carnival from 5.00pm onwards, I admit that I was quite surprised that family and friends who had come to support the runners – but who did not take part in the run themselves, could only get into the carnival site from 7.00pm onwards. I thought that this could have been at least clarified prior to the event date, as there had been plenty of non-participants loitering around – who had arrived early to show their support for their family and friends, who were running.
Apart from this though, everyone seemed to have enjoyed the event.
Click here for the Hello Kitty Run 2014.
Click here for my review of Hello Kitty in Oz – Sanrio Hello Kitty Town.