Ever wonder where the word “trend” originated? Once upon a time, “trend” was a noun with deep roots in Middle English that meant “following a specific direction” for more than 1000 years! But lately, “trend” indicates experiences and possessions modern society cannot get enough of, which explains why trends in fashion, destinations, habits and activities have become so universal. Singapore has emerged as one of the global leaders in fitness and running thanks to growing numbers of advocates and the nation’s support, so if you have more than a passing interest in running, you are eager to know what’s on the horizon for 2015. Here’s RunSociety’s primer on what’s hot and what’s not in the year ahead.
Trend #1: Event Fatigue
Can there be too many running events for your taste? Maybe there will never be too many for you, but the Singapore running scene calendar has become crammed with marathons, ultra-marathons, novelty and charity runs, exhibitions, and even walks. Sometimes, this much activity can dampen enthusiasm due to saturation. Scientists have undertaken extensive research on the topic of inertia occurring in the human brain when it’s presented with too many choices, so be discriminating about the events you consider in 2015 so you don’t dilute your enthusiasm.
Trend #2: Newbie Invasion
Prognosticators, tracking an increase in participation by first-time Singaporeans introduced to the national running scene, project lots of new faces, feet and legs participating in 2015 marathons and events as newbies discover the most sensible, reliable, inexpensive and fun form of exercise on earth. In 2015, you may spot neophytes by their pristine running garb, new shoes and gadgets and it’s up to you and your running brethren to welcome those new to the sport into the family. There are economic advantages here, too: National park and leisure authorities will likely allocate more funds to recreational venue development in direct proportion to an increase in the number of runners using them, so do your homeland a public service by being a personal running ambassador in 2015.
Trend #3: Fashion and Technology Innovations
Do your credit and debit card bills reflect your passion for the latest and greatest technology and fashion related to your love of running? You may wish to pay down your balances soon because 2015 promises lots of new merchandise on the market that range from improved communications devices, monitoring and tracking systems, fashion-forward garments that protect against the elements and the latest iterations of running shoes already on drawing boards at corporate headquarters of the top athletic footwear companies around the globe. Pass along and recycle gear and garments that are still in good shape so you have an excuse to treat yourself to new duds as New Year’s gifts.
Trend #4: Novelty Events
You’ve seen them on news and wondered what in heaven’s name possesses competitors to undertake such quirky competitions, so it should be no surprise to you when you learn that out-of-the-box running events are on the 2015 horizon, too. Fun runs, whacky sports events, charity fund raisers, canal jumping, joggling (running while juggling!), stair climb hybrids, street luges, obstacles crossing, sack racing, costume mandated and many other bizarre, yet internationally-popular running-related events populate the list of possible “must-try” running events in Singapore in 2015. By the way, in terms of traditional events, half-marathons are becoming increasingly popular for myriad reasons, so keep an eye on this trend, too.
Trend #5: Venue Surprises
Think skyscrapers, jogging trails, rainforest runs and sports venue tracks are the only places you can compete, train and frequent in 2015? Think again. RunSociety showcased Singapore’s nearby islands for runners in an article and since not every one of their picks is common knowledge, look for some of these to lead trend lists for the year ahead. Promise yourself that you will visit and run all 10 of before the end of 2015 and introduce the ones you find the most compelling to other runners you pass along the way.
Trend #6: Wallet-Friendly Events
If you’re a member of the corporate set, you know that hard-to-find items can justify the biggest price tags, but when competition hits the market – think smart phones – prices plummet like staff leaving Singapore skyscrapers on the day before the New Year’s celebration. Expect to see entry fees, venue rentals and marathon-associated costs like race ticket pricing more affordable in 2015 because competition for audiences is getting tougher and if more spectators aren’t drawn to races, even traditional events could go the way of the Dodo Bird. If you compete, rather than stand on the sidelines, you already know that your marathon participation budget often looks like the budget of a third world nation, so expect more wallet-friendly events to trend in the year ahead, a welcome relief for runners and observers from all walks of life.
Trend #7: More Gimmicks
Lots of “hit and run” events are held every year so organisers can earn quick bucks, but for the big underwriters, major corporate sponsors and individuals should be able to shut out these fly-by-night players because they have the staff, ideas and wherewithal to come up with gimmicks likely to drive more traffic to established marathons and runs. Promotional items like logo-embellished t-shirts, gift cards, bags and fridge magnets do double duty (serve as event souvenir and reminder of brand involvement), thus running event sponsors won’t be shy about trying new gimmicks, like commercially bridging the gap between e-Commerce promotional efforts and higher consumer involvement. If your refrigerator ends up with an unusually large supply of magnets by the end of 2015, do not say we did not warn you!
Trend #8: Running Vacation
Every runner loves searching for new interesting places to run and explore. More runners are combining their traveling and running addiction together. We called them “Runvellers“. You start seeing local runners getting bored of the same running routes in Singapore. Offer them the opportunity to enjoy their vacation at an exotic location with beautiful scenery, experience different culture and lifestyle, yet at the same time be able to still enjoying running, they will love to jump on-board. Vice versa, more overseas runners will be coming to Singapore to run with the abundance of events for them to choose from. Expect to see agents and guides coming up with more running tour packages in 2015. So start saving now, to enjoy your running vacation.
We are always interested in your feedback and invite you to answer this question: Which of the eight trends profiled in this article is likely to have the most long-term impact on the Singapore running scene? We are eager to read your responses!