Last evening, I took part in the Bloomberg Square Mile Relay. Virgin Active, the Official Gym Partner of the race, had invited me to participate in the event.
Now into its second year in Singapore, the Bloomberg Square Mile Relay is a unique corporate race where teams of 10 compete in a relay not only for pride and bragging rights in the City, but for a $10,000 cheque to donate to the charity of their choice.
Sponsored by Bloomberg, the race attracts competitive teams from leading corporations, such as ANZ Bank, Barclays, Glencore, MasterCard, Standard Chartered and many others.
Altogether, Virgin Active sent a total of four teams for the relay. Each team comprised of 10 members, who each ran a 1.6km (one mile) course around the Promontory @ Marina Bay.
The interesting and scenic route twists and turns along streets, through buildings, staircases and along the Marina Bay Waterfront. After completing their leg, runners hand over the baton to their teammate back at the starting line, before heading to the Finisher’s area.
My team had comprised of bloggers and members of Virgin Active’s PR agency. The other three teams consisted of Virgin Active fitness instructors and members.
Here are some of the highlights of my race experience.
Collecting race tops and bibs
We reported to the Virgin Active office at 5.30pm that afternoon, in order to collect our race tops and number bibs.
At this point, I started to feel a little bit nervous at what was to come. But I reminded myself that I was here to have fun and not to win the race, and that helped to calm my nerves down a little.
Walking down to the race village
Around 6pm, we walked down to the race village at the Promontory @ Marina Bay, which was only a few minutes walk from the Virgin Active office. Here, we were given a short tour of the place, such as the locations of the hospitality tent and the pens.
We also took some fun group photos, before participating in a pre-run fitness workout headed by Virgin Active staff members. I thought that it was a great way to warm up before the race and by the time it had finished, I felt as though I was good to go.
Then we made our way to the starting pens. I was the eighth runner, so I would have to wait for some time before I could run my leg.
Time for flag off
The race flagged off and the first runner from each team went as soon as the horn sounded. I watched them all earnestly, as the butterflies slowly built up in me.
I began to wonder how fast I would be able to complete the one-mile leg of the relay.
Strong team spirit and camaraderie
But with my team mates cheering and egging each other on to sprint to the finish when we saw our own team runner returning, I found myself really getting into the race spirit and the time passed by all too soon.
Time for me to run
Before I knew it, the runner just before me was coming back, and it was my turn. With bated breath, I made my way to the front of the starting pen to receive the baton from her.
Then I took off into a sprint and tried my best to go as hard as I could. I was out of breath quickly, but the one-mile run was over as soon as it had begun and very soon, I found myself heading towards the finisher’s tent to collect my finisher tee and goodie bag.
I subsequently returned to the starting pen area to watch the final two runners of my team complete the race.
Then, with all of us in high spirits and a good mood, we went to redeem our complimentary food and drink from the race village, and to have a well-earned rest and some chitchat.
I felt happy that regardless of timing, all of us had worked hard and nobody had let the rest of the team down – as everyone had given the race their very best efforts. Our team’s cumulative time was one hour and 13 minutes. It may not have been the fastest timing, but the main thing is that we all had fun and had all enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.
Top Race Timings
The winner for the 2014 race was Team Macquarie Bank, who finished in 51 minutes and 11 seconds. They donated their $10,000 prize to Hope House.
Said David Forrester, Captain for Team Macquarie Bank, “This is a fantastic event and it is great for Bloomberg to bring it to Singapore for another year. We had a lot of fun competing and catching up with our industry friends. On top of that, being able to raise $10,000 for Hope House made it even more meaningful.”
In second place was Saxo Capital Markets, who completed the race in 52 minutes 17 seconds and Barclays Bank clinched third spot, with a timing of 52 minutes and 47 seconds. Bloomberg’s Melvin Wong was the fastest individual runner, doing his lap in 4 minutes and 34 seconds.
Said Vandna Ramchandani, Chairwoman of Bloomberg’s Management Committee in Singapore, “We’d like to thank all teams for their participation in support of charity and congratulate Macquarie Bank on their stellar performance this evening.”
Very enjoyable race experience
As a whole, I thought that it was definitely a really enjoyable race experience. Compared to many other races that I have completed, I thought that the teamwork and camaraderie was very infectious.
The way that everyone at the race site was supporting each other – with even members from other “opposing” Virgin Active teams exchanging high fives and egging each other on, is a really memorable experience that I would not have experienced so much in the mass marathon races that I usually participate in.
In fact, I realised that the team spirit was just as great as the competitive spirit, despite the fact that this was indeed a competitive race.
Agreed Vandna Ramchandani, “We are delighted to be sponsoring an event that has inspired such strong teamwork and good natured competition amongst some of Singapore largest corporations.”
Thank you, Virgin Active and Bloomberg Square Mile Relay, for this wonderful team-bonding and race experience.
Click here for my first training session with Virgin Active.
Click here for my second training session with Virgin Active.
Click here for my third training session with Virgin Active.