Yesterday morning, the YOLO (You Only Live Once) Run 2016 took place at the Gardens by the Bay (Bay East) with two categories, a 5KM and a 10KM race to cater to runners of different abilities.
The YOLO Run race route had been a standard city running route, taking the participants from Gardens by the Bay, to Marina Barrage, Satay by the Bay, the Flower Dome and Marina Bay Sands before making a U-turn to head back to the starting point.
After the run, runners had then engaged in a shirtless yoga session led by certified yoga instructor Liv Lo.
Run encourages runners to remove their shirts and go shirtless
Open to both men and women, the YOLO Run encourages runners to remove their tee shirts and run without a top.
The meaning behind this unique concept is to build awareness of breast reconstruction, at the same time helping to raise funds for women who have undergone breast cancer mastectomies and to encourage them to feel ‘whole’ and ‘normal’ again.
Runners thought being shirtless was liberating
Runners who took part in the race, had felt the premise behind it had been great, as well as liberating.
Said Philip Barnett, 27, an electrical engineer, “The concept is great because it is about raising awareness and money for a good cause. The weather and location was beautiful.”
He added “Running shirtless was also liberating because you don’t have the baggage of heavy clothing holding you down. I don’t normally run shirtless though, because I am based in Johor and it’s not really the common thing to do down there.”
Agreed Paul Holman, 47, who works in Logistics in the Transportation industry, “It is a great concept, to run shirtless and for a tremendous cause. It was great to be able to take my shirt off; I find running topless to be more freeing. I used to run topless all the time when I used to live in the States and I enjoy it more. The body gets to breathe. But here in Singapore, I would wear a shirt to run because it’s not really the cultural norm to run without one and I would feel strange doing this. So it was great that running shirtless it was allowed today.”
Some of the main running challenges
Holman also added that he loved the run itself, though it had been a bit challenging. He says, “The biggest challenge was the Marina Barrage at the 9KM mark; running up the slope was quite tough on the way back. But otherwise it was a lovely running course and felt beautiful to run around the Marina Bay Sands. On the way back we faced some strong headwinds, but that helped to cool us down. I would do this run again.”
28-year-old Matt Bolton shared his sentiments. Said Bolton, who works in Human Resources in the Banking industry, “The Barrage was quite hard, but at least the wind helped us with our running, and it was a nice and cool morning.”
He continued, “The race was good and well organised with lots of people turning out. There were plenty of hydration points and sufficient paramedics too.”
However Gu Hui Ru had begged to differ. She had felt that the headwinds were the most challenging part of the race. Said the 38 year old electronics engineer, “The last kilometre coming back was very windy; we were running against the wind and because of that, it made running harder and I could not sprint as fast as I wanted. But the outgoing route was easy though as we were going in the same direction as the wind.”
Some minor improvements could have been made
But Holman felt that there could have been some minor improvements with the run. He said, “There could have been more coaches and buses to pick runners up from the MRT Station; I reached the race site just in time, at 5 minutes to 7 in the morning – just in time for the 7am flag off. There were also road constructions and traffic jams, so the coach took longer to reach here than expected.”
Barnett had also felt that there was some slight congestion at the beginning of the race. He said “Though the run was very well organised, the start of the 10KM race was a little crazy, but other than that, it went quite well. But then again, congestion is common when you have a popular event and so many people are coming to support a good cause.”