Runs with quirky themes a hit here

The Electric Run held in Seattle.

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans have long been fans of conventional marathons and running events, but it looks like their tastes are getting quirkier as more themed fun runs are making their debut here.

The country recently concluded its inaugural 5km Singapore Color Run and will hold its first 5km zombie run, called Race The Dead, in October.

In the run, participants will have to tackle obstacles while evading other runners dressed up as zombies.

But the latest to join the fray is the Electric Run - a 5km night-time run that incorporates pulsating music, LED lights and glow-sticks to create a rave-like atmosphere. The run originated in the United States late last year.

Though a Singapore date has yet to be fixed, an official website has been set up, and a Facebook page, Electric Run Singapore, has garnered over 5,000 "likes". A series of races will also kick off soon in Australia and Britain.

There are also runs which incorporate obstacle-course challenges, like the Lion Dash and the Commando Challenge, both taking place here in December.

Public-relations manager Deborah Dayani Nanayakara, 28, who plans to sign up for the Electric Run, said the unexpected rave concept is a draw, and having the run at night helps set it apart from other events.

That same "novelty factor" spurred her to sign up for the Singapore Color Run in Sentosa earlier this month, she added.

Around 16,000 runners participated in the untimed 5km event held on Aug 17 and 18, with about 12,000 spots reportedly being snapped up within three hours of release. Participants are doused with coloured powder along the route.

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck, who is an avid runner, has not taken part in any such runs, but he did not rule out the possibility of doing so in future.

He said: "This trend can only grow as (regular) endurance runs can get quite boring if you're not running competitively... The concepts are quite interesting and exciting."

Mr Toh Boon Yi, chief of the strategic-development and marketing group at the Singapore Sports Council, said he welcomes such innovative concepts and encourages organisers to "develop unique positioning" for their events.

Organisers of established running events are confident that there is room for such events in the running scene here.

Mr Chris Robb, managing director of Spectrum Worldwide, which organises the Standard Chartered Marathon here, said: "The race calendar for the entire year is packed... (It's) a great way to position Singapore on the global marathon map.

"It is excellent to see that each event organiser has its own unique take on races."

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