According to the World Wide Words website, the term Ground Zero stands for some of the most horrific incidents mankind has witnessed over the past century. Coined by the U.S. military when it prepared to drop atomic bombs over Japan thus ending World War II in the Pacific, Ground Zero’s meaning has sadly expanded over time.
From this early reference to Nagasaki and Hiroshima to the World Trade Center attacks that took place over New York City on 11th September 2001, the use of this phrase has come into more common use by business people to denote a starting point, a targeted effort or the pinpoint focus of an objective. Yet Ground Zero’s more sinister definition overshadows the mundane.
One needn’t be at war to understand tragedy
Pick up a newspaper or visit the website of your favourite news resource on any day of the week, and you won’t have to search long to find a story or post that troubles the heart and mind. Children bombed with chemical weapons in Syria. A flood that claims hundreds of lives. Nations in Africa that are either at or on the brink of starvation. Each an equally compelling case that appeals to the world’s humanity and consciousness.
Although Singapore does not get threaten with disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis and storm surges—but that doesn’t mean that Singapore’s “collective heart and sense of responsibility” stops at its borders. For citizens—and particularly for the nation’s running community—there’s shared concern for domestic and overseas tragedies.
When organisers decided to stage a Singapore race to celebrate the ‘indomitable spirit’ of disaster survivors, they couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate event name. Every hot spot qualifies as a designated Ground Zero if it’s an epicenter of conflict. The Ground Zero Run enables Mercy Relief to help people at ground zero in their hours of greatest need. If you’ve run this race in the past, you get it. If you plan to add it to your summer activity schedule, you’ll benefit in more ways than you can imagine.
All about the Ground Zero Run for Humanity
2017 won’t be the first year the Ground Zero Run for Humanity takes place, but it’s bound to be the most enthusiastic. With each year, the importance of saving lives grows stronger in the wake of global crises. Organised by Mercy Relief, Singapore’s leading independent disaster relief agency, this event offers the usual rewards, but that’s where commonalities end.
Runners will be asked to take off their running shoes metaphorically and put on shoes worn by those who are beset by circumstances that have led to homelessness, starvation and even death.
Choose from an individual competitive Race Against Time 10km (anyone 13 and older) run, a 10km open to teams of four, the individual Relief Aid Challenge that’s a 5km distance and open to 12-year-olds or pair up with a friend and run a 5km as a team.
Even little kids can jump in. If parents want to teach their youngsters a thing or two about humanity, responsibility and charitable giving, one parent can form a family team with 1, 2 or 3 of their kids and tackle the Dash for Humanity, a 1km event that’s as much fun as it is a learning experience.
How heavy are those relief packages?
The action is symbolic, but the packs you carry as part of your effort will be anything but symbolic, because in many cases, villagers must walk hours to and from relief distribution points to obtain much-needed survival supplies. To salute the efforts of valiant relief workers, runners must carry typical relief packs weighing 5kg.
If you’re not feeling confident about your ability to carry these packs, don’t sweat it. You can use both arms and hug the pack to your chest (the most comfortable and easiest method), balance it on your shoulder if you’re dying to show off your physique and prowess, or divide the burden with a running partner to exemplify one of the event’s inspiring quotes: “Together, we overcome!”
What to expect on race day
Things kick off early on Sunday 13th August at Casuarina Grove, East Coast Park. There will be three flag off times (7:30 a.m., 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.), but you start preparing for on Race Pack Collection Days that span 5th and 6th August between the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
This year, Ground Zero Run for Humanity aims to resonate beyond race day, so Mercy Relief is working with partners to create a distinct and sustainable set of runner’s entitlements that reflect their humanitarian values.
Participants get a running jersey, race bib or wrist tag, finisher medal made from volcanic ash, and a tote bag made from recycled linens . Kids get their own running jersey to commemorate their accomplishment.
Finishing in 80 minutes is a goal to strive for when running the 10km, but if you can’t beat the clock, nobody’s going to find fault with you! Remember: this is all about calling attention to Mercy Relief’s mission to provide timely and effective aid when disasters strike.
You’ll have fun—we promise it!
Does the objective of this race mean that Ground Zero Run 2017 is to be a depressing event? Hardly. As a participant, you’ll more likely experience fun, joy and have a great time—all in the name of helping others. You’ll spot kids just old enough to help carry a relief pack, seniors who are old enough to recall tragedies over their lifetimes and families committed to pulling together in the name of love and the spirit of giving. Won’t you show your concern by joining fellow Singaporeans at this event?
Have you ever lived through a catastrophic event that left you and your family in desperate need of relief? Can you share about your experience?[su_button url=”http://runso.co/groundzerorun17″ target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#D83933″ color=”#ffffff” size=”12″ wide=”yes” center=”yes” radius=”5″ icon_color=”000000″ text_shadow=”0px 0px 0px #070101″ desc=”Singapore’s first charity run bearing a humanitarian theme returns”]Run for Humanity Now[/su_button]