This morning, the very first Hello Kitty Run took place in Singapore – to commemorate the world-famous feline’s 40th anniversary.
Was a 5km scenic fun run through Sentosa
The event, comprised of a scenic 5km fun run, and started early this morning (8am) at Sentosa Gateway. (However, while the run was supposed to be a 5km one, it was actually a little less, as noted by many of the participants, but then again the organisers may have shortened the race due to the rain – so that runners would not get so wet).
Prior to the race, Hello Kitty was treated to a bouquet of flowers presented to her by her husband, Dear Daniel. A massive 33-inch cupcake was also presented to her and a birthday song was sung by the 17,000 race participants.
Then Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel flagged off the run. The race route took runners all the way through Sentosa, before finally ending at the Siloso Beach, to a massive Hello Kitty themed carnival – which comprised of a flurry of activities, including a live band performance by Shili and Adi, a fashion show featuring creative Hello Kitty themed apparels, a nail art booth and a sandcastle building competition. There were plenty of photo opportunities too.
I thought that these post-race activities were all pretty interesting – and I must say that I had a field day taking photos with the different Hello Kitty props. My favourite one was probably the very creative Hello Kitty themed sandcastle.
This running event had a very intriguing concept
According to many runners too, Singapore’s inaugural Hello Kitty running event was a very intriguing one – attracting popularity amongst many Singaporeans.
Said 28-year-old Esther Lee, who works in sales, “Today’s run was pretty interesting. This Hello Kitty concept is something very different because until now, there has been no such Sanrio-themed runs in Singapore.”
Enjoyed the photo opportunities
Throughout the run, Esther, who has been a Hello Kitty fan since her childhood days, enjoyed the lovely Sentosa scenery – and stopping along the way, to take pictures with Hello Kitty balloons, the Kitty-themed distance and route markers and other interesting Kitty themed items.
Added her husband Andy Tay, a 30-year-old product manager, “Everyone was quite excited about the event this morning. And we really enjoyed getting together with all the other Hello Kitty fans, as well as the other guys, children and even elderly people. Hello Kitty is a really big culture in Singapore.”
Disappointment due to heavy rain
However, one major disappointment that both Andy and Esther had faced though, was that they couldn’t really do much running along the route – due to the heavy rain that had threatened to ruin the Hello Kitty party when it came pouring down from the sky, about halfway into the run.
Said Andy, “We were halfway through the race when it started to rain. So naturally, we walked and couldn’t really run.”
Another runner who was also caught in the rain together with her friends, had been 29-year-old Melissa Lee. But Melissa, who works in administration, didn’t stop to seek shelter when the rain came. “We took a short break, maybe for about five minutes, to check that our items were dry – but we still continued in the rain!” she added with a laugh.
Overcrowding wasn’t as bad as she had feared
And the potential overcrowding problems were also not as bad as Melissa had feared – contrary to what some other runners had experienced. Said Melissa, “I didn’t think the race route was really that crowded. But maybe that’s because it was raining and a lot of the other runners were seeking shelter along the way, though.” So perhaps it pays to carry on running – in the rain, then!
Melissa added that the crowd during her own run could have been a lot worse – had the weather been dry and sunny. She later noted that the crowd had been especially prominent at the athletes’ welfare area after the race – soon after the rain had ceased – with many runners suddenly arriving at the same time to collect their medals and refreshments, thus creating some degree of overcrowding.
Nevertheless, Melissa, who had come for the event together with her friends, felt that it was a very fun race experience. “Well, it was a very wet race experience! Still though, the fun run this morning was enjoyable – and we might come back if there was such an event again.”
Worried about her children
Serene Ke, 32, also agreed that the event was an interesting one, and she too, conceded that the weather was something that was pretty much beyond the race organiser’s control.
However, Serene, who is self employed, admitted that when it began to rain, she had been worried about her two children – aged six and four respectively. “The kids really enjoyed themselves, but because of the rain, we had to cover them, otherwise they would catch a cold and today’s event would become meaningless,” she added.
Would consider taking part again
Ironically though, it is Serene herself who is the Hello Kitty fan – and not her two children. And she added that if such an event does get staged in Singapore for a second time, she would not hesitate to take part again – and would definitely be hoping for a much drier experience next time round.