This morning, the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run took place. Held in conjunction with the Yellow Ribbon Project, this event was about helping to give second chances in life to ex-offenders and supporting their reintegration into society.
There were two running categories for this race – a competitive 10Km race and a 6Km Fun Run. I participated in the 10Km run.
Took runners past many historical sights
Both of the race routes took runners past various historical sights around the eastern part of Singapore. These included the Selarang Camp, the Johore Battery, the Changi Chapel and Museum and the old Changi Prison wall. The run ended at the Changi Prison Complex itself.
A deviation from the majority of races, which mostly end in the city, this running event gave runners a visual impact of how Prisons have transformed into a new generation Prison Complex, catering to the security and rehabilitation of prisoners.
Many runners enjoyed the unique race route
Many runners enjoyed the unique historic race route this morning. Said 36-year-old entrepreneur Shawn Lee, “The route and scenery was good, because we got to go around the places in Changi, especially inside the prison. It was a special run, because it gave you a glimpse of what the prison is actually like inside.”
Agreed 30-year-old Esther She, who works in public relations, “It was very interesting because we passed by a lot of heritage landmarks, including Changi Prison so this made the run very meaningful and unique. It was like experiencing a totally different part of Singapore.”
Would be more meaningful to see the actual prison cells
However, fellow runner Jessica Chiang, a 25-year-old who works in the legal sector, felt that the event would be more meaningful if the race organisers had let runners have a glimpse of the actual cells within the prison.
She said, “We ran more on the outer compound of the prison though, and you didn’t get to see what it is like inside the actual cells. If the prison could have opened up a few of the cells and some of the other parts of the prison for viewing, that would have been good. May be difficult though, to actually allow participants to run in there, due to the space constraints.”
The run was well organised
But Jessica had a pleasant experience at the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run. She said, “I think the run was well organised with enough water points and the distance markers were very prominent because they were yellow. So that was good.”
Added Delilah Kay, a 59-year-old housewife, “I loved the camaraderie along the route. Everyone was smiling and having a good time. The drums were wonderful and the cheerleaders really helped to motivate me through the race.”
The race route was challenging
However, Delilah admitted that she struggled with the route itself and found the race rather difficult – because it was very hilly and contained plenty of uphill battles along the way.
33-year-old Eng Chong Yan, who works in engineering, also agreed that the route was challenging and hilly because of the constant up and down slopes along the running course.
The starting time was late
He also added that the starting time of 7.45am for the 10km race was late compared to many other races in Singapore, so this made it quite hot “But it was good training for me, in case I need to run marathons overseas in cooler countries,” he quipped.
A very enjoyable running experience
Chong Yan took the challenges in his stride though, and found the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run a very enjoyable race, adding that he would definitely be back again next year.
Jessica agreed, “Generally, it is very well done and I was happy with the race experience today. I should definitely be back for more.”