The Yellow Ribbon Prison Run has been organised as an annual sporting event since 2009. It is held as part of the Yellow Ribbon Project, which aims to give ex-offenders a second chance at life without fear of being rejected and cast aside by society.
There are two categories for this run – a 6km Fun Run and a 10km Competitive Run category.
I entered the 10km one and here are my reflections on the race.
Good Race Route
I like the fact that the race route is very meaningful in relation to the run. Instead of being staged in the city, like most runs are, this particular one takes you past the different prisons in Singapore, such as the Changi Women’s and the Tanah Merah Prisons.
Other meaningful historical sites along the route include the Johore Battery – a labyrinth of underground tunnels used for storing ammunition and the Lloyd Leas Work Release Camp – a release camp for inmates doing community-based programmes.
And what is more, in the final few kilometres, runners get a rare glimpse of Changi Prison, by actually running through the prison compound en route to the finishing line. Usually, members of the public don’t get a chance to pass through the prison grounds, unless they are visiting one of the inmates there.
The Changi race route provides a fresh perspective to a race in Singapore, because most runs are staged in the city centre and sights such as the Marina Barrage, Gardens by the Bay and the F1 Pit Building are usually the norm.
Efficient Post-Race Shuttle Bus Service
The post-race shuttle bus queue, for buses heading back to the Expo, was quite long. But despite the length, it moved really quickly and the buses were very efficient.
This was possibly due to the fact that more than enough buses had been deployed for the purpose – and I am quite grateful that I did not have to wait as long as I had otherwise feared. Even though there were probably a few hundred people in the queue when I first joined it, I felt like I could not have waited more than 10 to 15 minutes for the shuttle bus.
Plenty of Drinks Available Post-Race
I was pleasantly surprised that there was an ample supply of drinks available – in unlimited quantities, after the race.
These included water, isotonic drinks, green tea, grape juice and even sparkling apple juice. At the same time, the size of each drink was quite generous. For example, we could take 500ml bottles of isotonic drinks and 300ml cans of sparkling apple juice. This really helped to quench my thirst after I had finished my run.
Vibrant and Energetic Cheerleaders
I particularly liked the cheerleaders that were scattered all along the route. If I recalled correctly, I counted a group of cheerleaders at
approximately every three kilometres.
They were really vibrant and full of energy. As a result, they really helped to spur on tired runners like myself and helped to motivate us when we were feeling as though we wanted to give up.
Appearance of Superheroes
As there was a fancy dress costume at this race, the organisers took it upon themselves to encourage volunteers, who weren’t actually running, to dress up as characters, so I saw Wolverine and Iron Man too.
I thought that this added to the post-race carnival atmosphere and I unconsciously found myself looking out for the different characters, as a form of entertainment and photo opportunity.
Baggage Collection Buses Not Prompt
As this race had a different starting and ending point, there were buses deployed to transport our baggage to the finishing line.
But they were not very punctual. When I finished my race, the bus containing my baggage had not arrived yet. And when it did, the queue was so much longer than I had anticipated. This could have been avoided if the buses had arrived much earlier.
Drinks Not So Cold
I would have preferred the isotonic drinks and the water at the drink stations along the race route, to be cold. But for this race, the drinks were not so, especially the isotonic drinks. As a result, they did not seem to energise me as much.
Superman was at the race too! See here for more!
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