Billed as “Singapore’s hoppiest run”, the inaugural edition of the Run For Beer flagged off last Friday evening at Clarke Quay with about 700 runners taking part in the run. The aims of this fun running event was to celebrate friendship, bonding and active living through a common love for beer.
Intrigued by the premise of the event, I took part in the Run For Beer.
Run showcased some of Singapore’s iconic landmarks
An easy and scenic 3.2km run along the Singapore River, this interesting run had showcased some of Singapore’s most iconic landmarks such as the Raffles Landing Site, Boat Quay and the Cavenagh Bridge before bringing runners back to Clark Quay to enjoy their beer as well as various F&B discounts with the merchants there.
So the route had not only brought runners past familiar Singaporean tourist sights, but also past many of the restaurants, pubs and clubs at the famous Boat Quay and Clarke Quay area too.
Flag off times were in waves
The flag off timings were staggered in waves, with the first flag off taking place at 6.30pm and the final flag off at 7.30pm.
Reached Clarke Quay at about 6.30pm
I had been in the first wave at 6.30pm so I reached the race village, at the Clarke Quay Fountain Square, at about 6pm and I had a look around, took a few photos and caught up with a couple of my running friends before the call was made to head into the holding pen at roughly 6.20pm.
Rain threatened to derail the event
I admit that as I was heading to the race village, it was beginning to rain and it was quite heavy at one stage, so I was afraid that the rain would affect the running event. Fortunately though, the rain cleared shortly before flag off, so we were really lucky as we were able to start the run on time.
But the organisers did have a contingency plan though; they had announced publicly on their Facebook page that the start time would be delayed in 15-minute blocks depending on the rain alert and lighting risk at the area, should it still be raining at the designated flag-off timing.
Runners were kept informed about what was happening in terms of the event, should there be wet weather.
However I did feel though, that as not everyone may check Facebook, it’ll have also helped if the organiser had sent a text message to all participants to let them know about the wet weather contingency plans.
Costumes and photo booths for runners
When I got to the race village, the first thing I had noticed was the event’s official costume partner, who was from Costumes N Parties Pte Ltd. A few of the workers from Costumes N Parties had stationed themselves around the race village wearing colourful costumes such as a full Minions body suit and a Harley Quinn wig.
By far, the guy dressed in the Minions suit was the most popular in terms of receiving photo requests from enamoured runners.
As well, Costumes N Parties had also set up a photo booth at the race site, and runners were flocking here to have their photos taken with props such as clown wigs, quirky signboards and superhero capes.
Said Lee Siu Siu, 44, “We had fun taking pictures with the costumes provided.”
The Fancy Dress Costume Contest
Having dressed myself up in a princess tiara, a pair of angel wings and a black tutu prior to arriving at the race carnival, I also decided to put my name down for the Fancy Dress Contest, just to try my luck there and see if I could win anything for myself.
The competition for the fancy dress awards were stiff though, and I could see other costumed runners, such as a cute bunny rabbit. And The Green Lantern, a team of runners creatively dressed up like a six pack of beer as well as a group of guys dressed up in the Singapore Airlines trademark sarong kebayas.
Emcee was lively
And right from the get-go, the fun loving emcee had added to the liveliness and energy of the event, entertaining the runners and also interviewing random runners.
Andy Pang, 46, also felt that the race emcee was good. He said, “The host DJ was very good. She helped to bring out the atmosphere of the race.”
Soh Rui Yong was present
Shortly after reaching the race village, I also spied Soh Rui Yong, one of Singapore’s top marathon runners and a gold medallist at the South East Asian Games Marathon in 2015 and 2017, who had dropped by to lend his support to the inaugural Run For Beer.
I suppose that it is not unusual that Rui Yong would support this run, as he has, after all, made his love for both running and beer quite public, on his social media pages.
Making our way to the start pen
At 6.30pm, the runners were led out of the holding pen in batches, to make our way to the start pen. I was part of the first batch so I joined the small crowd heading to the start pen. I thought the 6.30pm time was a good time to begin the run, as this meant that it was not so late that the crowds would have accumulated at the Clarke Quay area, but at the same time, not so early that it would be hot.
We were flagged off in waves of four to eight runners at roughly two to five minute intervals. I was part of the third wave.
Beginning my Run
This meant that my own run had started at about 6.38pm. As I was near the front, the route was not congested at all, even though some parts of it had been rather narrow at times. As such, I had been able to maintain a relatively constant pace throughout the 3.2km running route.
However Siu had pointed out that there had been some congestion for the slower runners and walkers during the narrow stretches though.
She said, “There was some narrow jam along the Boat Quay restaurants but then again, who cares? The serious part of the event was the beer, and not the run.”
Agreed Andy, “Even though the route had many people, it was still a fun route and experience.”
Lots of spectators
On the way, there had been plenty of spectators in the form of diners at the many alfresco restaurants as well as some partygoers at the area too, and when we ran past, they enthusiastically cheered us on.
Some of them also commented on my costume and a random spectator, intrigued by my angel princess costume, gave me a high five as well.
Volunteers were great
The volunteers along the way were great too. Whenever I came across a junction where there was more than one path to take, there was someone stationed there to direct us where to go so that we did not get lost.
This was really useful as there had been only a sprinkling of people who were running alongside me.
At times, I even completely lost sight of anyone near me, due to there being several twists and turns along the route. So the marshals and volunteers really ensured that I did not get myself lost.
As well, the race volunteers also cheered me on, and like the spectators, they remarked about my costume as well, apparently intrigued by the angel princess touch. They brought a smile to my face.
Added Andy, “The volunteers were all very encouraging.”
Safety was paramount
The volunteers were also quite helpful in warning us when the ground had puddles and were parts of it were quite slippery, thanks to the rain earlier in the day.
Agreed Siu, “Although it was a fun run, we could see that the organisers did care for our safety as it rained earlier. So they were afraid that we would slip and hurt ourselves.”
She added, “I also noticed that there was a medic station at the event site, which was good. This too, showed that our safety was important to the organisers.”
Reaching back at the race village
As most of the runners were in fact, walking the route, it had turned out that I was one of the first few to complete the run. So when I reached back the race village at Clarke Quay at about 7.00pm, the area was quite empty because most of the participants were still running.
I collected my finisher entitlements which had consisted of my finisher medal, as well as a towel and a bottle of mineral water.
A few of the runners from the later waves were slowly streaming in though, but I noted that there did not seem to be many of them.
Redeeming my beer
So I took this opportunity to snap a few quick photos at the race village posing with my medal, and then I headed over to the Red Tail Bar at Clarke Quay, to collect my two bottles of beer. This was within the precinct of the race village and quite easy to locate.
Each runner had been entitled to either one or two bottles of beer, depending on the package that we had signed up for during registration. The bars where we were to collect the beers had been randomly allocated to us during the race bib collection process that had taken place a week earlier. The type of beer being given out was random too, and up to the discretion of the various bars sponsoring this.
The beer was the highlight of the whole event. And I had wanted to collect my two bottles of beer before the crowds came back.
Runners had been only allowed to collect their beer after completing their run, and not before finishing it. This had been another measure that the organiser had put into place to ensure the safety of runners, and making sure that no intoxicated runner could put himself or herself in danger on the running route.
And after the short 3.2km run, the Tiger Beer that I had picked up, was certainly cold and refreshing. I can say that after burning the calories, I definitely had earned the beer. Well, isn’t this the reason why many of us run… after all?
Live DJs entertained the crowd
As more runners and walkers filtered in after completing their workout and the crowds at the Clarke Quay Fountain Square gradually picked up again, there had been live music performances from various DJs keeping everyone entertained late into the night.
Fortunately the space at the Fountain Square though, was large enough to prevent the area from feeling overly congested, so I would say that the number of participants the organisers had capped the event at, had been about right.
The energy coming from the live music was also lively and infectious and I felt that this had really added to the party vibe at the event, too.
Catching up with friends
I also took the chance to catch up with a few more of my friends who had also taken part in the event.
I exchanged a few words with Rui Yong too, as well and wished him luck for his 42.195km race at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon next week.
Winning third prize in the Fancy Dress Costume contest
I stayed around too, and waited for the results of the Fancy Dress Costume contest. This was announced at about 8.10pm and to my surprise, I won the third place in the Ladies category.
The prizes for this category were being given out by Rui Yong, who, ironically, congratulated me… I am usually the one congratulating him on picking up podium prizes for his running!
Thanks to my angel princess attire, my prize had been a CompressSport wrist band, McGettigan’s vouchers and a yellow running cap. It had been the first time that I had ever been called up on stage to receive a prize for my efforts at a running event… and it seemed so strange.
I guess that if I cannot win prizes for my running ability, then at least I can pick up awards for dressing up in costume. So this had meant that my efforts in coming up with the costume and sourcing for the various parts to it, had all been worth it.
A fun and engaging running event
As a whole I thought that the Run For Beer had been a fun and engaging running event, and I had enjoyed myself during my time there. I would say that it was an evening well spent.
Agreed Siu, “This run was for fun and enjoyment and I certainly had a great time.”