Race Review: The Arsenal 5K (Singapore) 2016

The Arsenal 5K is a global charity run taking place around the world – in support of the Arsenal Foundation in the UK.

A fun 5km untimed run

A group photo before flag-off.

A group photo before flag-off.

As the name suggests, it is a 5Km un-timed fun run – and the 2016 edition took place this morning at various locations across the world.

The Arsenal 5K is a new rebranding of the “Be a Gunner, be a Runner” (BAGBAR) fun run that had been traditionally held during the spring time in the United Kingdom – and adopted by Arsenal football supporters clubs from all around the world.

And at the same time, the run also provides a great way for Gooners all over the world to get fit – before the new season commences.

When they take part in the Arsenal 5K, runners from across the world are also encouraged to download the PUMATRAC running app – where they can compare their 5K times with Arsenal football players from the UK as well as to be able to hear shouts of encouragement from Arsene Wenger and the players – to hype them up to keep running.

Arsenal Singapore organised their version of the run

So in line with all of these, the Arsenal Singapore Supporters Club had then organised their own version of the Arsenal 5K for the local runners in Singapore.

Relaxing at the Arsenal banner.

Relaxing at the Arsenal banner.

Said Dhanesh Jagawani, 40, President of Arsenal Singapore, “This is our first time doing the new Arsenal 5K event, though we have organised the BAGBAR for the past four years.”

He continued, “And 100 per cent of the proceeds will go to the Arsenal Foundation – we think that this is probably unheard of in other charity runs around Singapore. In addition, the club will also be topping up proceeds and will make a donation to the Arsenal Foundation by the end of August.”

The Singapore version of the run had taken place at the Singapore Sports Hub with about 50 runners – and it has comprised of 6 rounds of the iconic 888m 100PLUS Promenade track of the National Stadium.

Reaching the National Stadium

I reached the National Stadium at about 9.35am to collect my running bib before the run was due to commence – at about 10am.

Said Dhanesh, “We had thought of making the start time earlier – some people prefer it earlier as in the case of most running events. But others like to have it later. But we will take all of that into consideration for future editions – and see how.”

A briefing before flag-off.

A briefing before flag-off.

There had been a few group photos taken before we started running – to commemorate the event. Also, runners also mingled around and chatted with each other prior to the flag-off. I used this time to chill out a bit, talk to some people, and also hydrate my body.

Time to start running

Then it was time to start running. Though the route had been loops, the whole atmosphere was quite fun and vibrant – with so many different groups of people also using the 888m track.

These included other sport groups such as those by ActiveSG as well as a parade for NSmen complete with a food buffet on the track.

We ran 6 loops of the 100PLUS Promenade track.

We ran 6 loops of the 100PLUS Promenade track.

And of course some of the Arsenal Singapore Supporters Club committee members were also on hand to motivate and cheer on their runners. These really helped to provide a lot of moral support and keep the runners entertained at the same time.

So as such, with all of the action happening, I chose to take the Arsenal 5K as a slow and enjoyable run. At the same time, with the Mizuno Ekiden race this evening, it was also a great way to warm my muscles up prior to the subsequent 10km run.

Some of the other Arsenal runners around me chose to go all-out though. But to others, this morning’s 5K route was a leisurely stroll or walk to them. Runners ranged from kids and even babies, to the elderly folk. So I can indeed say that the run attracted a wide variety of people of all ages and walks of life – who had been all bonded together by our love for the Arsenal football club.

After the Run

I won a Puma shoe bag in the lucky draw. In this photo is the shoe bag together with my race bib and the 2015 finisher medal.

I won a Puma shoe bag in the lucky draw. In this photo is the shoe bag together with my race bib for 2016, and the 2015 finisher medal.

Following the run, there was a lucky draw, with the prizes having being generously sponsored by Puma, who are the sponsors of the Arsenal kit. These had included a range of items including shoe bags, Puma towels, Arsenal kits and baby kits. I won a Puma shoe bag.

Said Dhanesh, “I think that we had a good turnout and everyone came and had a good time. You can see from the smiles on everyone’s faces that they really enjoyed themselves, and lapped up the view and had a great time overall.”

All in all, I would say that it was definitely a fun morning spent out with my football loving kakis – as well as a great way to warm up for the 10km race that takes place later this evening.

The Arsenal committee are looking forward to the 2017 run

Arsenal Singapore are looking forward to 2017 now.

Arsenal Singapore are looking forward to 2017 now.

Dhanesh is already looking forward to next year’s edition of the run. He said, “I am definitely going to be running – this year I wanted to run too but I felt sick. But it’s still a bit early to say how the next event will go; this run is traditionally held in April but this year they made it in July to coincide with a summer run.”

He added, “I have heard next year will also take place in July but we will take it based on the information given to us by the Arsenal Foundation and the Arsenal Football Club in the UK.”

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