Race Review – The Music Run by AIA 2016

Last evening, an infectious and energetic blend of music filled the air at Sentosa – as more than 10,000 participants ran, danced and partied at the second edition of The Music Run by AIA Singapore – billed as The World’s Loudest Fun Run.

Participants at The Music Run 2016.

Participants at The Music Run 2016. [Photo courtesy of THE MUSIC RUN]

This unique, sell-out running event puts music at the core to deliver a unique and immersive running experience that has seen The Music Run by AIA grow globally in just three years, since it made its debut in Kuala Lumpur in 2014.

A 5km route that started and ended at Palawan Beach, Sentosa

The run has begun!

The run has begun!

I took part in this year’s Music Run Singapore – comprising of a 5km route that started and ended at Palawan Beach, Sentosa, and had brought the runners around the island.

I took part in The Music Run this year.

I took part in The Music Run this year.

Last evening’s run flagged off at 5pm and as the name suggested, the main highlights of the race were the five music zones – the AIA Rock Zone, Pop Zone, Old School Zone, AIA Hip Hop Zone and the W Dance Zone.

The Music Run took runners around Sentosa Island.

The Music Run took runners around Sentosa Island.

The 5 immersive music zones were great fun

I must say that the experience had been definitely an engaging and immersive one. At the starting line, runners were entertained with a short dance act before the horn sounded for flag-off.

The starting line from a different angle.

The starting line from a different angle.

Then right from the get-go – a few minutes after 5pm – we ran straight into the AIA Rock Zone, which had featured not only energetic rock tunes, but also Harley Davidson bikers – this was definitely quite a sight and I simply could not help myself but snap a quick picture of them before running again. After all, it’s really quite rare that I would get a chance to see such powerful bikes right in front of my eyes.

The AIA ROCK ZONE featured Harley Davidson bikers.

The AIA ROCK ZONE featured Harley Davidson bikers.

The second zone, the Pop Zone featured some really cute giant candy pops as well as bubble machines, along with infectious pop music.

Though it hadn’t been my dinner time yet, the candy pops, which were basically gigantic plastic balls, were already making me slightly hungry! And of course, I had to stop for some photos again, simply because they had been so cute, in my opinion.

Posing with the cute candy pops!

Posing with the cute candy pops!

Next up, the Old School Zone, featured pop-star doppelgangers and lookalikes of well-known celebrities, together with nostalgic songs of yesteryear. Vintage looking cars were also on display too and I thought that was rather interesting and eye catching.

Out of all the five zones, the music at this Old School Zone was probably my favourite, as I have grown up listening to these older songs on CDs, so the pangs of nostalgia were returning to me as i was passing through this section.

The music at the Old School Zone was my favourite.

The music at the Old School Zone was my favourite.

Also finding the Old School Zone interesting was Markus Bolander, 23, an Engineering Exchange Student at Nanyang Technological University. He said, “My favourite was the Old School Zone because it’s very unusual to hear these songs nowadays and I think that they are very nice to listen to.”

The fourth zone was the Hip Hop Zone which had featured a giant graffiti wall, followed by the final zone, the Dance Zone – where runners had the chance to take killer we-fies and selfies.

Happy runners heading through the Hip Hop Zone.

Happy runners heading through the Hip Hop Zone.

Loving the Dance Zone was full-time mum July Asuncion Rey, 33. She said, “The Dance Zone was my favourite – the music was really nice and such high tempo!”

Runners completely loved the music

Overall the runners, including me, had completely loved the music. Added Markus, “The music was really nice – there was a good mix of different songs, but I wish that the race could have been longer – I was having so much fun.”

Happy runners with large inflatable radios in their hands.

Happy runners with large inflatable radios in their hands.

Also loving the music was Michelle Shum, 41 and a nurse. She said, “It was really good that they had different zones for different music, but one song was unfortunately being played for too long.”

Added Michelle, “They could have had snippets of the songs, for example, playing 30 seconds of one song and then switching over to another song, so that when you are running through the zone, you can hear various songs rather than just one or two songs only.”

Happy runners along the route.

Happy runners along the route.

My thoughts about the five music zones were that they added a very interesting touch to the race, especially with the music being played throughout the entire 1km stretch – it was truly a highly entertaining race whereby runners did not need to bring their earphones at all.

Volunteers gave out inflatables in the shape of music instruments

A great Saturday evening for a stroll in Sentosa...

A great Saturday evening for a stroll in Sentosa…

Besides the actual music, the energetic volunteers were on standby throughout the whole route – not only to encourage the runners on, but also to hand out giant inflatable radios and guitars, of which I simply could not resist. I took one of the radios in the second half of the 5km race – and found myself carrying this to run for the next kilometre or two!

Added July, “I thought that it was very interesting they were giving out these inflatable music instruments, but I didn’t take one because I didn’t want to have to run with it! They were really cute though!”

"Is it over already?"

“Is it over already?”

Race route was challenging

As for the actual race route itself, it was pretty challenging, comprising of plenty of slopes which began as early as the second kilometre.

Runners sit back and have a well deserved rest after their run.

Runners sit back and have a well deserved rest after their run.

Said Michelle, “I thought that the uphill and downhill slopes were quite good because that makes the race more interesting and not so flat.” I noticed that many runners were walking up these slopes to catch their breath and save some energy.

July, however, commented that the distance was a little short, and that she had clocked 4.3km rather than 5km on her GPS watch. “But overall it was really good though,” she added.

Post Run Carnival

DJs played music all night long to keep the runners entertained.

DJs played music all night long to keep the runners entertained. [Photo courtesy of THE MUSIC RUN]

After the run itself, the Music Runners could enjoy themselves at a post-race carnival which featured popular local band The Sam Willows and rising Australian DJ Sam Withers. This was certainly a hit amongst the runners, most of whom had stayed behind after their 5km run had ended – to soak in the carnival atmosphere.

Upon completion of my run, I collected my baggage and stayed behind for a while afterwards to enjoy the music. While it may have been pretty smooth to deposit my bag, there were some slight difficulties after the run, in terms of locating our baggage – the volunteers had to check with us, the colour of our bags to narrow down the options. Luckily there wasn’t a queue though.

A small reward for finishing the race!

A small reward for finishing the race!

The carnival also featured a mobile WOOBAR by W Singapore Sentosa Cove, as well as games of Giant Jenga, an AIA Vitality Extreme Keyboard and an interactive AIA Giffy Wall – these were to entertain tired runners.

Said Michelle, “The carnival area was great – it felt good to relax, have fun and sit back to hear the DJs playing after we were done with the running.”

Happy runners soak up the post race festivities.

Happy runners soak up the post race festivities.

Following the Music Run by AIA and the post-race entertainment, there was also an Official After-Party at WOOBAR at W Singapore, Sentosa Cove, whereby runners who did not want the fun night to end yet, could hang out and continue dancing and singing away.

A fun night out with friends

The Music Run by AIA had been certainly a fun experience overall and provided a great place to chill out and spend a night with friends.

Nothing beats hanging out with friends at The Music Run!

Nothing beats hanging out with friends at The Music Run!

Said Markus, “Though it had been quite crowded at the beginning, everything turned out to be fine, and as a whole, the experience was very fun. However, you have to be prepared though, that it was not a serious race – it was more of a music walk to dance around and have fun. And if you came with that laid-back approach then you will have a great time, like I did.”

Organisers are happy with the event

Night falls, but it's too much fun for the runners to leave! [Photo courtesy of THE MUSIC RUN]

Night falls, but it’s too much fun for the runners to leave!
[Photo courtesy of THE MUSIC RUN]

The organisers were pleased with how the second edition of The Music Run by AIA had gone. Said Ben Pember, Director of Exceed Sports and Entertainment, Organiser and Event Promoter of The Music Run by AIA in Singapore and Asia, “We were stoked with the sell out response for this year’s event – it showed that Singaporeans relish unique experiences.”

He added, “It is this fun and non-competitive factor and the winning combination of two popular interests – music and running – that gives The Music Run its universal appeal.”

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