This morning, the Straits Times Run at the Hub took place – with a very juicy carrot being dangled in front of participants at the event. This incentive had been the chance to be amongst the first few thousand runners to complete a race on the new National Stadium tracks.
Three categories to cater to runners of different abilities
There were three categories altogether in this running event – the 5Km Fun Run and the 10Km and 21Km Competitive Runs.
But despite the varying distances, all three categories still gave the runners the unique opportunity to run into the new Singapore National Stadium to complete a race – just like professional athletes.
Lured by the chance to complete a race at the new National Stadium
Unable to resist this juicy incentive myself, I had participated in the 21Km category of the event.
Like me, another participant, 48-year-old Roger Koh had also been lured by the chance to complete a race within the hallowed grounds of Singapore’s newest sporting landmark. He said, “I took part purely because I wanted to experience for myself, running and ending inside the stadium after 21Km of running.”
Added Roger, who works in the Singapore Navy, “I had a chance to come in before the run, but I abstained, because I want to run in with a fantastic feeling and clocking a half-marathon with the National Stadium as the ending point, makes me feel exactly that way.”
Feeling pretty exhausted about three quarters through the run
Despite the initial incentive, I found the race far from easy though, especially when I found myself feeling pretty exhausted and running low on energy about three quarters through my run.
The only thing on my mind at that stage was that I wanted this race to simply end. My energy level was slowly ebbing away.
Everything changed when I saw the dome of the new National Stadium
But everything changed, when I set my eyes upon the dome that was the new National Stadium. Then, I realised that I was about to complete the final couple of kilometres and then actually run into the stadium to mark the end of the race.
Entering the new National Stadium and actually running on the track
And then when I entered the National Stadium itself and saw the finishing line straight ahead, it really made me feel as though I was a professional athlete, rather than a recreational runner.
It was truly an amazing experience and the moment I had stepped onto the tracks, the splendour and scale of the new National Stadium immediately hit me. It was a really memorable moment for me indeed.
35-year-old teacher, Simon Teo, echoed my thoughts too, when he said, “I felt great running into the stadium. This is my first-ever time coming into the stadium. I was just thinking of completing the race, but when I entered, I was quite impressed. My first impression was, wow, the stadium is even air conditioned.”
Taken aback by the sheer scale and magnificence of the National Stadium
Bethany Tan, a 17-year-old student at the School of the Arts, didn’t have any prior expectations of the stadium at first – but when she entered, she admitted that she was also taken aback by the sheer scale and magnificence of the interior of the National Stadium and admitted that it was much bigger than she had expected.
50-year-old General Manager, Weng Yam Whatt also concurred with Bethany’s thoughts about the National Stadium. Like Bethany and Simon, today was also this seasoned runner’s first-ever time coming into the new national Stadium and it was a memory that he would always treasure.
Other running races should make the National Stadium a destination too
Said Yam Whatt, “The experience today was definitely worth it in a way, because no other race that I have entered in the past has been organised to finish at the stadium. In future, I hope that some other races make this as a destination, because the feeling of finishing a race here is really amazing and fantastic.”
Added Roger, “I think that The Straits Times has done a good job by making such a huge arrangement to have this big event ending at such a wonderful place. Thank you, Straits Times.”
Click here to read the success story of the ST Run’s 21Km female champion.