When the word ‘Puma’ comes to mind, you probably think about athletic gear that’s earned a loyal following from runners who would growl louder than Katy Perry’s song “Roar” if denied their favourite branded footwear, clothing and fashion-forward athletic products!

But we looked beyond the brand to the beast as we prepared to write about the upcoming 2016 Puma Night Run here in Singapore on 27 August.

What did we discover? That Pumas roam at night and are so stealthy, they can spot and catch prey in the pitch dark from 30 meters away. They’re known by so many different species names (40+ in English alone) that no other mammal on earth can compete!

Keep this sleek, fast wildcat in mind when preparing for your own night run into the wilds of Singapore at the Puma Night Run. Need inspiration? A Singapore zoo visit should do it.

How long can you prowl?

That depends upon your stamina, experiences and goals. Do you prefer the 6km or 12km distance? Registration’s going on now and it’s snapping up fast.

Once you snare a slot, your only responsibility will be picking up your race packet at the collection site: the outdoor atrium area of Vivocity Shopping Mall (Outside Tang’s) between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. on 13 or 14 August. Don’t forget to bring your confirm slip and identification.

Where will you prowl?

The Puma Night Run race route is still being configured, but there’s no question about location: Seletar Aerospace Park. Flag off times are 6 p.m. (12km) or 7 p.m. (6km) and after you finish the course, head for the Puma Race Village for the post-run party.

Local bands and artists will help you release leftover energy and you can memorialize your run with a snapshot taken at photo booths stationed throughout the entertainment area. Things wind down when prizes are awarded around 8:30 p.m. and just after the 9:45 p.m.

Lucky Draw, this lively event comes to an official end. What to do at this point? Either continue on to any of Singapore’s hottest nightspots or return to your den for a good night’s sleep after all the excitement.

What will you wear?

Puma gear, of course! No camouflage required since you’re not trying to avoid being seen — in fact, you want to be seen and admired — what wildcat doesn’t want to be appreciated in or out of the jungle?

Your race shirt identifies your category: neon orange for 6k competitors and hot chartreuse for those running the 12km. If you’ve got some glow-in-the-dark accessories to finish off your outfit, you’ll fit right in, but don’t get so preoccupied accessorizing yourself that you forget to bring your race bib so you can track your time.

A designated baggage area will be available if you are a pack rat and insist on arriving looking like a Sherpa.

What’s in it for you?

Where shall we begin? You get bragging rights. An opportunity to see what it’s like to do a nighttime marathon in case it’s your first; you have an open invite to the post-run bash and if you happen to be a top cat or kitten when you cross the finish line, $6,000 in Puma vouchers plus True Fitness memberships will be awarded in both the 6km and 12km categories.

The biggest prize is two tickets to a European destination of your choice! Think about it. Use the tickets to run a high-profile marathon on the continent or do something romantic: Propose to the love of your life and go on a European honeymoon!

Where else can you roam?

One of the best reasons to take part in the Puma Night Run 2016 is to see for yourself why Singapore is such an exotic land. This nation’s attractions, eateries, sites and entertainments (including running trails throughout our award-winning parks systems) are so diverse, you’ve never seen anything like it.

If we’ve convinced you to extend your stay beyond the Puma Night Run, here are seven must-see spots to take in:

  1. The spectacular Marina Bay complex where the Science Museum, gaming, shopping and dining are just the start of your good time. This area is a wonderland at night!
  2. Clarke Quay is a bit east, a bit west and 100-percent welcoming to party animals, so wildcats of all stripes feel right at home. The dining experience along the riverfront is legendary: neon-colored night lights dazzle as you dine.
  3. Chinatown. You’ll see temples and relics and everything traditional and commercial about one of Singapore’s biggest ethnic groups. Where else can you pray at the oldest Singapore temple five minutes after stocking up on affordable souvenirs for the folks back home?
  4. Singapore Flyer. If you’re from the UK, you will be forced to admit that London’s Ferris wheel takes a backseat to the Flyer which takes riders so high into the air, panoramic views of Singapore stretch miles all around you.
  5. Gardens by the Bay. Forget about the futuristic sites you’ve seen in this past: This award-winning architectural masterpiece is so dramatic and spectacular, you’ll want to see it by day and by night.
  6. The Merlion. Is this beast real or Singapore mythology at its most fanciful? You decide after gazing up at this 70-tonne half-mermaid/half-lion. Called the symbol of the nation, it’s the most-photographed spot in Singapore, so don’t leave your camera home.
  7. Singapore Night Safari. Did we leave the best for last? We did if you’re feeling the power of Puma as a result of running your race. There are 1,000 animals living in this park; many of which are nocturnal, so seeing them roam at night is an experience you’ll never forget. If you spot a Puma during the tour, that’s a prize unto itself!

What most intrigues you about night runs? The atmosphere? The romance? Do you have a night run memory that’s particularly intriguing? Don’t leave us in the dark; let us know what it is!

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Nathan Lin

Nathaniel is a certified personal trainer from Hong Kong and holds a master’s degree in psychology and exercise physiology. As a columnist for RunSociety, he aims to provide the readers with the information they need to make educated and informed health and fitness decisions, yet often adding in his funny observations.

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