To celebrate the 10th year anniversary of the OSIM Sundown Marathon, Singapore’s iconic home grown night race will be launching its first overseas races in Penang and Taipei.
This means that runners in the Penang and Taipei races, can run through the night and beat the sunrise… thus joining their Singapore counterparts in the unique Sundown running experience.
Planning to go regional for some time now
Said Adrian Mok, 41, Managing Director of HiVelocity Events, the organiser of Sundown Marathon, “We have been planning to go regional for quite some time, so with Sundown Marathon celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, it is timely for us to go abroad to reach out to more people in different countries. The Singapore edition has attracted a significant number of foreigners, an indicator of the popularity of the race.”
The Penang edition will be held on 17 December 2016 in the heart of Bayan Lepas at Queensbay Mall and will feature the 5KM, 10KM and 21.1KM categories.
The Taipei race will be staged on 14 January 2017 in the scenic area of Dajia Riverside Park, Taipei and will feature the 5KM, 10KM, 23KM and 42.195KM categories.
Reason for going regional
Why the decision to go regional? Said Mok, “Malaysia comes naturally to us; we used to have an office there and I take part in lots of races in Malaysia as well. The familiarity and ease of travel to Malaysian from Singapore; makes things easier. In fact we had two episodes of Sundown Marathon in Johor; when they invited us to hold the event there. There are two reasons for the Penang edition; it is a place that attracts lots of tourists, and also because Penang tourism came to our Singapore race this year and they were interested to have our event in Penang – that was one of the biggest pull factors. I was actually working on a closer location in Kuala Lumpur but Penang materialised quicker for me.”
Added Mok “For Taipei, we wanted to find a reliable partner and due to the constraints and challenges of working with the local governments and sports associations in other regions, we were able to overcome these challenges quicker in Taipei; thus the race there.”The event title sponsors OSIM are also pleased to be supporting Sundown Marathon in staging these regional races. Said Ron Sim, Founder, Chairman and CEO of OSIM International Pte Ltd, “Malaysia and Taiwan are two of the key countries in which OSIM is present. This shows the entrepreneurial drive of the organisers in growing the sport and as a Singapore brand who has gone before, we are happy to help promote Sundown Marathon to these new markets.”
Organising a successful race abroad
Though Mok admitted that he hopes to eventually bring the Sundown Marathon race to Hong Kong and China, but he stresses that the priority first, lies with developing a fan base in Penang and Taipei and establishing the race in these cities.
Said Mok “I would not put participant numbers as a criteria for success but when we do a Sundown Marathon race, it is a long term vision for the event to succeed. For example when we did the first Sundown Marathon race in Singapore back in 2008, I did not know that this event would be able to draw 30,000 runners – as of last year.”
He added “But we have created Sundown Marathon fans in Singapore; fans meaning that they are loyal to our event and they want the finisher tee and medal and other items that we are offering. We put in effort each year to make sure that we do things well; it is this experience that we want the other countries to have, and in time to come, we believe that we will build followers in these cities as well; like we have done in Singapore.”
To Mok, having a successful race means that all the basic criteria have been met. He explained, “When we create an event and brainstorm about it, there is a checklist we have and from there we will identify the most crucial and must-have items. The first criteria is the safety of the running route, the lighting conditions, the width of the route and the availability of the hydration points, so we put these considerations in place. As Sundown Marathon is essentially a running race, this is the basic criteria in creating a smooth experience for the runners.”
He added, “There are also much more running events nowadays so what we are trying to do is to differentiate our events wider to bring to the runners, so we hope that more runners will then stay with us, as loyal fans.”