If you have a passion for both running and Mother Earth, there are two types of footprints that you’ll know. The kind you’d respect and honour are footprints left by runners whose lives are enhanced by being part of a sport that offers so many physical, mental and emotional benefits.
Then there are footprints capable of inflicting so much harm to the planet, they’re the antithesis of footprints made by runners. In fact, if industrial nations don’t stop dumping toxins like carbon dioxide into the environment, our planetary footprint could become so compromised, the damage could be irreversible.
Industrialised nations aren’t blind to this potential catastrophe. In many instances, the Pacific Rim is leading the charge when it comes to altering and enforcing laws and regulations that make it harder to dump pollutants into the atmosphere.
History of Singapore’s RUN 350
One of the most actively engaged nations is Singapore, where ‘sustainability’ is more than a buzz-word. Given this mindset, a clever way to draw attention to this issue was introduced in 2010: Stage a marathon to spur advocacy. That’s how Singapore’s RUN 350 event came to be.
Few marathons are as thoughtfully planned and executed as RUN 350, the race that will gather together athletes, spectators and people who care about the environment on Sunday, 10 April 2016. The first flag-off, at the F1 Pit Building of the Marina Promenade, will take place at 5:00 a.m., so no oversleeping!
Organised by Young NTUC and title sponsor NTUC Income, this eco-run in support of the global 350 movement is more than a race. It’s your opportunity to show the world that you are committed to a healthy planet. By participating, you make a personal environmental statement and have fun.
What’s in a Name?
Clever organisers gave RUN 350 a memorable name so nobody could forget it: Scientists say that man must lower the amount of carbon dioxide in the air to 350 parts per million (ppm) if humans are to survive on this planet and enjoy good health.
Any idea how many ppm the world currently emits? Over 400 ppm. Jump into this run and you get an opportunity to help turn this number around. It’s a leap year, so you even get an extra day to register: the deadline is on 29 February.
A Short But Proud History
The first RUN 350 attracted 1,000 committed runners and that number grew to almost 12,000 by 2015. Most came to run. Some showed up to spot Singapore celebs eager to do their bit for the environment. ONE FM producer Shaun Tupaz was on hand to reveal his weight loss as a result of participating in the #BetterMan fitness project.
This year, Glenn Ong will join Shaun at the 10 km start line, and DJ Andre Hoeden intends to have a go at the new Fun on Wheels category where he will travel 4 km on a cycle, in-line skate or kick-scoot. You will want to witness this!
Which One is Your Event?
Make a unique contribution to RUN 350 by registering for the event that represents your best distance challenge: the 21 km half marathon, 10 km run or popular 800 m Kids Dash. Go for the high-profile challenge: take part in the aforementioned Fun on Wheels, a quirky race that shines a spotlight on environmentally-friendly transport options. If risks don’t phase you, Fun on Wheels has your name written on it. Where to start? Visit the event website to see where you fit in.
Earn a Post-Race Utility Voucher!
RUN 350 will feature a Utility Challenge in which participants vie for $5 NTUC vouchers if their utility bills are below the national average. All that’s required of you to be in contention for a voucher is to bring two of your most recent electricity, water or gas statements (they must be dated after 1 February) to the post-race redemption site (location TBD) between 25th and 27th March, between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
These vouchers will only be given to RUN 350 participants queued for the giveaway and they could disappear fast since there are only 350 vouchers to be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis. Don’t plan to bring someone else’s race credentials to claim a voucher. You must bring your ID with you since there’s only one redemption per person/per household allowed. Check out other restrictions posted on the RUN 350 website.
This clever promotion adds a fun element to the very serious issue that inspired the launch of this marathon six years ago. If you love everything about helping our environment by running to raise awareness for the reduction of carbon emissions and elimination of the carbon fuels that cause this damage, don’t show up alone.
Bring friends. Bring family. Don’t forget the kids. If everyone works hard enough to make this event a success, perhaps the name of this race can be changed to RUN 250 in the future!
In addition to running, what environment-pleasing action do you take on a regular basis to help Singapore achieve the nation’s sustainability goals?