The second edition of Singapore’s New Balance Run On race took place last weekend, with a crowd of over 5,200 runners taking part.
This Singapore race is the fourth leg in the New Balance Run On global tour, and the Run On race also takes place in countries including Korea, Malaysia and The Philippines.
STARTED AT GARDENS BY THE BAY EAST
A scenic 7km route, the New Balance Run On flagged off from the Gardens by the bay East and the race took runners past iconic local landmarks such as the Marina Barrage, Flower Dome, Super Tree Grove and the ArtScience Museum.
The 7km distance for the 2016 edition, is an improvement from last year’s 5km distance – with the aim of getting runners to push themselves further. There was also an additional 1km to be completed after the finishing line, to motivate participants to “run on.” Those who chose to rise to the task would receive a limited edition patch.
I took part in the race, and like last year’s edition the first thing that I had noticed when I reached the race village, was the free flow of food and drinks available – this had included plenty of beer, as well as hot dogs, fishballs, ice cream and of course, the wildly popular Truffle Fries.
But before the run, I didn’t want to eat too much for fear of suffering indigestion and stomach cramps, so I just took a stick of fishballs, with the aim of helping myself to more of the food later on.
DUE TO FLAG OFF AT 5.30PM
The starting pen had opened at 5pm and there were five waves altogether for runners. The race was due to flag off at 5.30pm.
According to the organisers, runners who were trophy contenders were to line up in the first wave, with other runners lining up in subsequent waves according to their estimated finishing times.
Each wave started 10 minutes apart – and many runners around me had been quite confused as to what was going on, in between each of the flag offs. So runners felt that this could have been better communicated.
BEGINNING THE RUN
And when I had started running, it also became quite clear that not all of the runners had entered the correct starting pen – for the first couple of kilometres of the 7km route, I found myself having to dodge my way past a lot of people who were walking or looking down at their phones.Fortunately though, the route cleared somewhat around the halfway point and I was able to maintain a steady jog. Unfortunately though I was not able to pick up the pace too much, because of the heat.
IT WAS HOT
Other runners had also agreed that the 5.30pm start was hot. Said Markus Spielberger, 47, a finance director, “It may have been better to start the race a little later, at say, 7pm. It was really hot to run at 5.30pm and I was struggling in the heat.”
Due to the humidity, it was a bit hard running up the Marina Barrage slope in the heat – as this had been in the early stages of the race, I took it at a slow pace in order to conserve some energy for later.
In view of the heat, some runners felt that the organisers could have had additional hydration points. Along the 7km route, there was only one water point, which we had passed at the 3km mark and then again at the 5km mark.
Said Goh Chee Yong, 56, a company director, “The water points were not enough. Perhaps next time I should carry a bottle with me when I am running.”
Nevertheless, I pushed on though, to complete the 7km, trying to keep my pace down so that my heart rate did not skyrocket. But it wasn’t easy going.
Then upon reaching the finishing line, I decided to run on and do the extra 1km at an easy recovery run pace… in order to earn myself the limited edition patch – which I received together with the finisher’s medal as well as a packet of coconut water.
After my run, the coconut water tasted wonderful and so refreshing.
Added Markus, “The coconut water was really good. I was trying it for the first time today and I was surprised by how refreshing it was.”
BEST PART WAS THE POST-RUN GOODIES
The best part of the whole event though, was not actually the run, but the post-run goodies. I helped myself to several of the tidbits, including the hotdogs, fishballs and of course, the ice cream… and also spent about one hour and 10 minutes queuing up for the truffle fries.
Though I think that I could have probably run another 10km in the amount of time that I had spent queuing, the truffle fries were really piping hot and crunchy when I finally got my hands on them. It felt really shiok to be slowly munching on these fries, after the energy and effort that I had used up during the 8km of running.
THE BEER WAS A HIGHLIGHT
Of course though, the truffle fries aside, the free flow of beer, which had been specially imports by Wunderbar, was one of the main highlights of the entire event though. I had some, and the cold beer was really delicious after the hot and humid run.
For Brenda Fong, 37, a banker, the beer was the best part of the whole event. She said, “The beer was really good – it was definitely the most memorable thing of the evening for me. When my friends and I saw it, we went straight for the beer! I reckon that everyone should have at least two free beers.”
LIVE MUSIC ON SITE
There was also live music on site – DJ A/K/A ATTAGIRL pumped up the mood for runners to kick start things, and this was followed by the mellowed synths of local band Riot in Magenta to close off the night.
Participants were also treated to temporary tattoos by Bada Bink to stand out from the crowd, as well as immortalise their moment of running glory by capturing their photos in printouts that move using the Gifster application. Unfortunately I did not queue for these, as I was not really keen to wait for another hour.
RUNNERS HAD A GREAT TIME
As a whole, runners had a great time at the event. Said Ng Teck Son, 23, a Certis CISCO officer, “New Balance Run On is more fun and less stressful than the other runs I have participated in. I like the lifestyle element, where I could chill out with my friends over free food and drinks after the run.”
Agreed Chee Yong, “It had been a great family outing for us at New Balance Run On and I had a lovely time bonding with my wife and kids.”
NEW BALANCE IS HAPPY WITH THE EVENT
New Balance is also happy with how the 2016 edition of the run had played out.
Said Eugene Yeo, New Balance ASEAN Product and Marketing Manager, “We believe that both the sports and the arts have a vital role to play in society as an outlet of expression and expanding the mind and soul. Through our collaboration with local artistes like ATTAGIRL and Riot in Magenta, along with The Local People art market for our race pack collection, we had aimed to offer metropolitan and core runners a fresh experience.”
He added “Running is not just a sport, but a lifestyle that has become more social and allows one to stay active and culturally engaged at the same time.”
Thank you New Balance Run On for the race slot.