Yesterday, the whole day before the original 5pm flag-off time, the haze had been threatening to derail the inaugural New Balance Run On 2015.
A regional race series, the New Balance Run On Singapore is a 5km race that caters to runners of all abilities – from the experienced runners wishing to test their speed limits to those who have just started running and would like to complete their first 5km run.
Organiser dropped the competitive element and went with a 5km walk
The 3-hour PSI reading was 165 at 4pm in the evening, but it had appeared to be on a downward trend. For the participants’ safety though, the organiser decided in the end, to cancel the competitive elements of the race and converted the 5km competitive run to a 5km walk.
In the end, the New Balance 5km Walk was flagged off at 5.30pm at the Gardens by the Bay East. The post-race carnival, comprising of a picnic and a pop-up music festival which had been scheduled, still took place in its entirety, though.
Said Eugene Yeo, New Balance ASEAN Product and Marketing Manager, “Despite the hazy conditions, we made a collective decision to go ahead with the inaugural New Balance Run On Singapore (but without the competitive elements).”
Continued Yeo, “We didn’t want to deprive fans of a chance to enjoy the full New Balance experience at the race, which combines our strong performance and running heritage with lifestyle elements of a festival setting.”
Participants had a great time despite the hazy conditions
In the end, over 4,000 runners showed up, and they had a really great time at the event and subsequently soaking up the festivities.
Said Beatrice Tan, 27, “I personally felt that the race was well-organised and professionally carried out despite the unfortunate weather condition. The directions of the route were very clear with no bottlenecks, making the run a breeze. I am definitely looking forward to more runs by New Balance!”
Agreed Lawrence Chua, 60, a Production Engineer, “It was very well-organised and the route was properly marked out. Everything was in good order and nobody was panicking. They did not intentionally want to cancel the race, but they were quite concerned about our safety too. And I think that with this decision, we got to enjoy everything that the race organisers had promised to us – since we had made an effort to come down anyway, despite the haze.”
A scenic and beautiful 5km route
The scenic and beautiful 5km route took the runners from Gardens by the Bay East, towards the Marina Barrage and U-turned at Satay by the Bay. The finishing point was the same as the starting point.
Added Chua, “I loved the scenery throughout the race, as well as running at the Marina Barrage area. I think that this is one of the most scenic places to run in Singapore.”
Some chose to use the 5km walk as a time trial
While some runners had chosen to walk the 5km route, others decided to turn the now non-competitive 5km event into a time trial, such as Brandon Ng, 22, who works in the Air Force. Said Ng, “Since we were already here and the setting and ambience was like that of a race, we figured that we must as well do our best anyway, and run it like a time trial.”
In the end, Ng was quite happy with his performance and got himself a new season best at the New Balance Run On, with the help of his friends to pace him.
Another runner who had chosen to aim for a personal best at the New Balance Run On was Muhd Syafiq Mohd Faruq, a 19-year-old student athlete from ITE College Central. Said Syafiq, who studies Fitness Training, “Honestly, I had expected the competitive element to be cancelled when I saw the PSI. But instead of moaning about it because of a reason that was out of my control, I just decided to go ahead and do what I had planned – which was to do my best. So I was gunning for a personal best timing and I succeeded, finishing in a sub-20 minute timing, so everything went as planned.”
While Syafiq admitted that he did feel a slight tinge of regret that he was unable to win any prizes with his timing due to the event’s now non-competitive nature, he added that it had been a great event and that it had mostly been quite well-organised.
Continued Syafiq, “But I will continue to stay strong mentally and maybe in the next New Balance Run or other races down the road, I will try and break my personal best again – or even aim for a podium position.”
Runners got to enjoy scrumptious food and lovely entertainment
After the run, the participants got to tuck into a wide array of scrumptious food and drinks – all for free – at the New Balance Pop-Up Festival. These had included truffle fries, fishballs, ice pops, hotdogs, popcorn and beer.
I must admit that I had been very impressed with the spread available, but due to long queues, had unfortunately not quite been able to taste everything on offer.
But I really enjoyed digging into the ice pops though – after a hot and sweaty run. These were a great way to cool off and simply chill out.
Besides the food, the participants were also treated to fantastic music acts by A/K/A ATTAGIRL!, Obedient Wives Club and Charlie Lim – which went down well too, with many of the runners present.
Said James Aw Yong, 29, “I had a great time at the New Balance Run On Singapore, enjoying the great food, drinks and music. It was a stellar event and I am definitely looking forward to next year’s edition.”
Organisers are pleased with the inaugural event
The organisers are pleased with how the inaugural New Balance Run On Singapore had turned out. Said Yeo, “We’re ecstatic at the number of people who showed their support for the brand and the race! We’ll definitely be back again next year, so do keep a lookout.”
Other blog posts
- NB Run On: Pre-race interview with organiser
- Run Less to Run Faster – by Enrico Varella
- ASICS City Relay 2015
- Race Review – 10km @ Puma Night Run 2015
- Race Review – ST Run at the Hub 2015 (18.45km)