The third edition of the Puma Night Run took place last Saturday evening at the Seletar Aerospace Park and had comprised of two categories – a 6km and a 12km route, to cater to runners of different abilities. These were both new categories.
The choice of location, according to Puma, had been because they wanted to hold the race at a brand new location, and so Seletar Aerospace Park fitted their requirements. The two previous editions were held at Siloso Beach @ Sentosa and Marina Barrage.
With about 6,000 runners taking part in the 2016 race, this year’s event was also Puma’s biggest edition of the race to date.
I took part in the 12km category.
With the haze rearing its ugly head on Friday, I admit that I had initially been worried about whether this race would take place.
But fortunately though, despite a midday scare with the PSI level exceeding 100, the PSI dipped to below 100 at about 2pm and continued to go down for the rest of the afternoon – so this made me quite relieved and I started to prepare for the race.
REACHING THE RACE SITE
Getting to the race venue was not too difficult – though we had to walk for about 10 – 15 minutes after alighting from the cab to the starting point due to road blockages. But at least this had been a good warm up prior to the 12km race.
It was just after 5pm when I reached Seletar so I had about an hour to spare before the race flagged off at 6pm.
On arrival at Seletar, I took a look around some of the booths – I spotted a massage booth, photo taking booth and another one for doing face painting and glitter tattoos, which had proved to be wildly popular. I had been tempted to get one too, but unfortunately the queues had put me off a little bit.
So I then decided to spend some time hanging around the media tent, getting a rest before the race started and catching a few Pokemon.
At about 5.45pm, Puma introduced a host of local TV personalities – Sheila Sim, Dawn Yeoh, Elvin Ng, Shane Pow, Chen Ning, Jia Fa, Nick Teo, Michelle Wong, Edwin Goh, Xu Bin and Aloysius Pang – on the stage. They would later be running alongside the participants in the 6km or the 12km categories. Fans immediately crowded the stage to get photos with their idols.
This was then immediately followed by a warm up by Puma Night Run’s official gym partner, True Fitness.
RUNNING THE RACE
The runners were eventually allowed into the starting pen at about 6pm and the 12km race flagged off at about 6.15pm, with most of the 12km runners decked out in their bright lime green race shirts.
The route was a simple out and back route that took runners down Seletar Aerospace Drive and West Camp Road before returning back to the Seletar Aerospace Park. Places that we passed by on the way had included the Seletar Camp and Seletar Airport.
It was definitely a refreshing running route – this was my first time running a race here, and the experience was an interesting one, no doubt.
Compared to routes through the Singapore cityscape that I usually do on my other runs, running at Seletar was pretty much a breath of fresh air, and some parts of the route made me feel as though I was not in Singapore – especially along the Old Birdcage Walk area, which had reminded me of some of the small townships in Malaysia.
Anna Koshcheeve, 33, a market researcher, had thought that the route was wonderful. She said, “The 12km race was very nice. The route was flat and in some areas it was really beautiful with lots of greenery. This is my first time running here and I have a good impression of the place.”
Because I had started the race near the front of the starting pen I did not experience bottlenecks but for other runners, this had been a bit of a concern along some parts of the race route.
Said Melissa Foo, 29, an executive in the public service sector, “Though the 12km route was quite scenic, there were bottlenecks at the beginning because the paths were quite narrow.”
The hydration stations though, could have served isotonic drink in addition to plain water. Thanks to the Singapore humidity, I was feeling quite hot and sticky at times when I was running and it was harder than I had expected, to keep my heart rate down. Cool, refreshing isotonic drinks may have helped.
The hydration though, was sufficient for Sebastien Lagimatt, 37, who is in between jobs. He said “The hydration and water points were perfect.”
But Melissa however felt that there could have been more water points. She said “There could have been more water stations and they could have given out an energy gel somewhere along the route – there was only plain water available for runners along the course.”
WEATHER GOT COOLER TOWARDS NIGHT TIME
As the evening time got later, the weather got cooler but my legs gradually got more tired. We were running back up the Seletar Aerospace Drive before turning into Park Lane, near the site of the well-known Soek Seng 1954 Bicycle Cafe – a popular cafe commonly frequented by cyclists around the area.
And I still tried to keep my heart rate at a steady pace and not to stress my body out too much – as I was scheduled to be running again the following morning. So I used this opportunity to do a slow jog to the end point.
On my way back, I could also see plenty of 6km runners heading out along the route, decked out in their bright orange shirts. Some were running but other were walking with their mobile phones in hand. It was quite a sight.
FINISHING THE RACE
Eventually though I could see the finish line up ahead and I took the opportunity to quicken my pace a little bit, eager to complete the race. The finish line was now right in front of me. Gratefully, I ran through it and collected my finisher items – a medal, a bottle of water and an orange flavoured fizzy drink.
When I was collecting my finisher items, I was also pleasantly surprised that I received an SMS with my timing on it, straight after I had completed the race. This was a nice gesture from Puma.
Agreed Melissa, “It was good that they SMS us our timing immediately.”
Then the first thing that I did was to catch my breath back in the media tent and got a bottle of fruit juice to re-energise myself immediately after the run. I needed the sugar.
Later on during the evening, I was feeling a bit peckish and it was also past my dinner time, so I redeemed a soy sesame chicken rice bowl with brown rice, from the DoSiRak booth there. It tasted really delicious and the flavours were great. I also had a berry flavoured yogurt for dessert – the refreshing sweet flavour was a nice way to fill my stomach up after a run and dinner.
It had thought that it was quite nice of Puma to provide runners with the food and drink post-race.
Added Anna, “I was happy to see the food and drinks available after the race – this is great for recovery.”
After the race, runners were then thoroughly entertained with lively performances by Disco Hue, ShiGGaShay and DJ NashD – and the night finally ended off with the giving away of a trip to Europe in a lucky draw.
GETTING A RIDE HOME
But I must comment that it was quite hard to get a ride home though. I tried both Grab and Uber; after several minutes of trying, a Uber driver eventually picked up, but he had some difficulty in finding my whereabouts…and it also didn’t help either that I was not familiar with the area so I found it hard to give him directions!
Added Melissa, “The location was really very remote – this made transport very troublesome. It would have helped if it was more accessible by MRT. Perhaps they could find a more accessible starting point via public transport for future editions.”
IT WAS A GREAT NIGHT OUT
But despite the transport woes home though, it had been a great Saturday night out at the Puma Night Run and I am already looking forward to next year’s edition of the race and what it will bring.
Other runners also had a great time overall at the race. Said Sebastien, “The race was perfect and everything was handled very nicely from beginning to end.”
Thanks again Puma Singapore for the race slot and the experience.