Different beats to keep runners in the zone
They are game enough to take on the longest category in Sunday's The Straits Times Run at the Hub.
And so the participants of the 18.45km race will be in for an aural and visual treat when they run along the iconic route.
From the start to finish, the runners will be able to experience music from different eras - from the 1950s to the present day, featuring genres such as rock, disco and pop with artistes like Abba, John Lennon and Michael Jackson.
For example, the starting point will feature music from the 1950s such as early rock and roll and country music, while the final stretch of the route near the Singapore Sports Hub will have exuberant 1990s hip-hop and boy-band music roaring the runners on to finish the race.
The end point, inside the National Stadium, will finish off with a carnival featuring music from today's charts.
The concept stems from the idea that music is a companion to everyone, according to Denise Khoo, marketing manager of race organiser Infinitus Productions.
"Music and sports have always united people," she added. "We would like the runners to feel as if they are being taken on a journey through time, from the '50s to the present."
Each era will have different backdrops for participants to take photographs with. There will also be displays featuring ST headlines from memorable historical events like Singapore's separation from Malaysia.
Those who love to take selfies can do so in zones with cut-out photo signs showcasing things like an Afro hairdo. Dancers and motivators dressed in fashion representative of each decade will also be present to cheer the runners on.
The opening stretch of the race will even feature an acoustic band, which will be playing songs from the 1960s.
The band, Shuk And Fren, will be playing songs from The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley, and lead singer Shu Kor said: "I hope the older participants can relate and hopefully sing along."
The concept earned a thumbs-up from the participants. Running veteran Leong Lee San, 79, said: "A lot of us (runners), when we run, we also plug in our headphones as it makes the run easier.
"It will give me a nostalgic feeling when I hear the music."
Even the younger runners have taken to the concept. Said John Chew, 27: "It is very interesting, because it is very different from the usual pop music.
"The younger generation can find out what music their parents used to enjoy."
The 18.45km race replaces the half marathon (21km) of the last two editions. This unique distance is to commemorate ST's 170th anniversary this year. The paper was launched in 1845.
Other race categories are the 5km and the 10km runs. All races will end inside the National Stadium.
A JOURNEY THROUGH THE ERAS
The 18.45km category for The Straits Times Run at the Hub will be divided into seven areas: the starting point, the finish point and five zones along the route. There will be different themes and music playing according to different eras, from the 1950s to the present day.
STARTING POINT: NICOLL HIGHWAY
The starting point will feature a race arch. The ST logo will be in black and white, in a font used by the paper when it first started in 1845. Music from the 1950s - mainly rock and roll and country - will be played.
ZONE 1: REPUBLIC AVENUE
Zone 1 begins at Republic Avenue. Participants in the 18.45km and 10km categories will be able to experience a live band playing rock music from the 1960s. It will also have a selfie zone with photo cut-outs of various hairstyles and fashion trends.
ZONE 2: PROMONTORY @ MARINA BAY
This is the mid-point of the race and will be another selfie zone for runners to take photographs.
ZONE 3: GARDENS BY THE BAY (SOUTH)
Probably the most upbeat zone. It will have music from the 1970s such as disco, club, funk and soul, featuring artists like Abba, Rod Stewart and Led Zeppelin. Retro dancers, clad in bell bottoms, boots and loud prints of the 70s, will also be on hand to wow the runners.
ZONE 4: MARINA BARRAGE
Music time travel is incomplete without tunes from the 1980s, such as that from the king and queen of pop, Michael Jackson and Madonna. Motivators dressed in 80s garb will be on hand to encourage the runners.
ZONE 5: SPORTS HUB
Girl groups and boy bands dominated the charts in the 1990s. Participants will be able to enjoy hits by bands like the Spice Girls and Westlife in this zone as the finish line approaches.
FINISH POINT: NATIONAL STADIUM
As participants complete their run at the hub, the event concludes with a carnival, where top-40 hits and electronic dance music will be played.
Runners can commemorate their achievement at a photo wall which resembles the cover of ST's front page, at the race village.
This article was first published on September 23, 2015.
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