Novelty runs, serious fun

Novelty runs, serious fun

Runners in The Music Run by AIA next month can leave their headphones at home.

This is because music will be pumped out along the 5km route via 100 concert-quality speakers.

To keep things interesting, music of a different genre - rock, pop, retro, hip-hop and dance - will be played for every kilometre of the race.

Gone are the days when runs are no-frills affairs comprising people grimly ploughing the designated route to the bitter end. Now, organisers are getting creative with themed runs, making these events as much about entertainment as endurance.

This year, there are at least eight such fun runs such as The Music Run by AIA, organised by events company Exceed Sports & Entertainment.

At the 5km Meiji Run in May, for example, you can weave through a maze made of more than 130,000 off-specification Meiji plain crackers, or wade through a pool of Meiji Yogurt. (Just kidding. It's a water-cornstarch mixture.)

Energy flagging at the final stretch? At the 5km DC Justice Superhero League Run coming in August, Batman and Superman mascots can cheer you on from the sidelines.

But perhaps the best motivation for running could come from being in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. In Race The Dead, back for the third time this year, participants run for their lives for 3km as actors dressed as the undead stay hot on their heels. The run will take place in October and previous editions had been sold out.

Why introduce these newfangled elements? Organisers say that themed runs appeal to those who are not necessarily regular marathon participants. It also helps that most of these runs do not exceed 5km.

Ms Michelle Ng, who is the business development manager at Pink Apple, an events management company that specialises in organising sports events, says: "Fun runs also have low barriers to entry, and allow many people to get involved."

Her company organises the DC Justice Superhero League Run, as well as the Hello Kitty and Garfield runs.

These runs also target different niche audiences. Mr Oh Kah Lock, sales and marketing director of Meiji Seika, points out that the Hello Kitty event, for example, appeals more to women, while the Meiji Run caters to families.

Meanwhile, the ever-popular Energizer Singapore Night Trail, back for the fifth year, is a run of up to 18km through natural terrain in Mandai and draws in the fit and adventurous.

In May, participants will run through grassy, sandy terrain in the dark with just a headlamp on. For the 1.5km and 3km obstacle races, there is also a 30m-long swamp to cross and hurdles up to 1.2m tall.

Consumers say that these quirky runs spice up their workouts and make the time pass faster.

Event organiser Stuart Wee, 28, signed up for the Meiji run with his girlfriend, for the novelty of being given food immediately after the run.

Mr Wee, who has also been to the Race The Dead zombie obstacle runs in 2013 and last year, says: "Such themed runs offer a temporary escape from reality. I like the experience of being chased by zombies." Meanwhile, manager Jane Yap, 37, who is running in The Music Run with three friends, says that she enjoys the communal feeling of listening to the same music while running with others. "It's also fun to people-watch," she adds.

However, there are those who still prefer the simple, fuss-free runs that are more about distance than distractions.

Student and freelance yoga teacher Mandy Wee, 22, is one of them. She has booked herself a place on the 2XU Compression Run, a competitive run with distances up to 21.1km.

"Fun runs are innovative and great to do with friends, but I would like to challenge myself more."

Different runs for different folk

The Music Run by AIA

Ditch your earphones and join this 5km run (above), where a different genre of music - rock, pop, retro, hip-hop and dance - will be blasted at every kilometre of the race. Registered runners can vote for the songs to be played at www.themusic run.com.sg. There will also be performances by beatboxer Dharni Ng and singer Kleah Lace Gran Zara, who is from Canada and goes by the stage name K- Leah.

Where: Sentosa Beach Car Park, Sentosa Island

When: April 11, 2.30 to 8pm

Route: 5km

Admission: $50 for the Standard goodie bag, $75 for the Rock Star goodie bag. Sign up before March 31.

Goodie bag: The Standard bag contains a T-shirt, drawstring bag, wristband and temporary tattoo. The Rock Star bag includes these items, as well as a phone case, Rave Shades and a baseball cap.

Energizer Singapore Night Trail 2015

Choose from the 6, 12 or 18km competitive trails through Mandai's natural terrain as an individual runner, or the 1.5 or 3km obstacle races, which you can sign up for with your family. The obstacle races include hurdles and giant slides. There is also a carnival featuring a treasure hunt, reverse bungee and games stations. Where: Mandai area. Either take bus 171 to Mandai Road and alight opposite Mandai Lake Road, or the MRT to Woodlands station, as there are no parking amenities at the event site. There are shuttle buses available from 2.30 to 11pm from Woodlands MRT station's Exit C.

When: May 2, 3 to 11pm

Route: 1.5 to 18km

Admission: Sign up at singaporenight trail.com.sg by tomorrow to enjoy the Launch Week Special prices - which begin at $30 for the 3km Obstacle Race in the Open Competitive category. Early bird rates, which begin at $35, run from Monday to March 31, and the deadline for signing up is April 9.

Goodie bag: Includes products from Energizer, Schick and The North Face.

Meiji Run 2015

Wander through a maze made of more than 130,000 Meiji plain crackers and wade through a pool of liquid that resembles yogurt (it is actually water and cornstarch.) At this run organised by the popular Japanese snack and dairy product company, you can take photos with the Hello Panda mascots and enjoy Meiji treats after the run. There will also be discounted Meiji products, yoga sessions on the beach and live performances.

Where: Sentosa's Port Of Lost Wonder

When: May 23, 2 to 8pm

Route: 5km

Admission: $65 if you sign up at www.meijirun.sg by March 29, $75 after that

Goodie bag: Includes a Compress Sports Dri Fit Tee, race bib, cooler bag, Meiji plush toy, Meiji cup and bowl, and medal.

Tom and Jerry Run

Besides Tom and Jerry mascots at the event, runners can also look forward to a screening of the popular cat and mouse cartoon and lucky draws.

Where: Carnival area near the Singapore Flyer When: Aug 2, 7 to 11am

Route: 5km

Admission: $39 for children aged three to 12, $59 for adults (early bird prices from May 1 to 15). After that, ticket prices will be $49 for children and $69 for adults. Sign up at tomandjerryfunrun.com.sg from May.

Goodie bag: Includes a T-shirt, sports towel, poncho, race bib, and vouchers from F&B and retail outlets.

Race The Dead 2015

Stay alive by beating the undead. This zombie obstacle run (below) is back for the third time and will feature more obstacles and tasks, along a shorter distance of 3km this time. Details will be firmed up later.

Where: Sentosa

When: October, around Halloween

Route: 3km

Admission: You need to be 14 and above to sign up, and registration will open in July. Sign up before August to enjoy the $65.90 early bird price. The regular price is $79.90.

sarahgyx@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Mar 21, 2015.
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