Wonderful Running Vacation: Why Run in Singapore?
When you're a runner, one of the best parts of travelling is getting to see the sights and sounds of the new locale by foot. If you're visiting Singapore, you're in for a real treat as a runner. Whether you're pounding through a steamy jungle or you're soaking in the views of the roaring waves, you're going to find something incredible to help make those distances fly by!
Run by the Water
Keppel Bay is one of Singapore's more luxurious areas, so if you want to run a trail that's aesthetically pleasing, then come here for one of your shorter runs. It's only 3km and starts outside the Harbourfront Mass Rapid Transit station. You'll run right over a marina and straight onto the offshore island. Is there any better way to finish your day than with a sunset over the water? Keppel Bay is mostly used as a yacht harbour, meaning you're sure to catch glimpses of some of the area's ritziest boats.
Inclement Weather? No Problem!
And no, this doesn't mean you're going to go pound mindlessly around an indoor track. Cross training is important even if you're on vacation, so consider heading to some of Singapore's highest skyscrapers and do a little fitness work on their endless staircases. Climb the Overseas Union Bank Centre or the Pinnacle at Duxton for some steep stairs and killer calves.
Find Some Running Camaraderie
If you think your area has a ton of running events, you'll be sent into peals of delight when you see how stuffed Singapore's running calendar is. In 2014, there were more than 70 different events, all with a variety of distances and themes. In case your math is a bit rusty, that's at least six events every month. Whether you're looking for a fun run or to get a new PR on international turf, you're sure to find something to help you keep up on your training while you're abroad.
Enjoy the Running Culture
Singapore is a naturally friendly area, but it basically pulls out all the stops for its runners. With an endless amount of trails, paths, and routes, you're not going to run out of new scenery as you get your miles in. Most of the popular running routes have plenty of amenities like water stops, restrooms, and locker rooms, so no matter your plans before or after your run, you have no excuse not to lace up. If you get lost or have any questions, most Singaporeans speak English and are quite eager to help unfamiliar faces find their way around. In town for a while? Join one of the many running clubs. With many English speakers around, citing a language barrier is no reason for you to stick to solo runs!
Explore the National Parks
The National Parks Department makes it a priority to continually improve their intricate parks network. They're constantly improving their trails, path and facilities, as well as extending green space to ensure there's always room for runners. The department has exercise stations throughout most of their parks so you can throw in a little strength training before, during, or after your run. The absolute best part of the department's upgrades? There are foot reflexology paths made with pebbles to massage your feet, so rip your sneakers off after a 10k and let nature take care of your tired feet.
Plan Around the Holidays
If you're lucky enough to be in Singapore during one of its many holidays, you'll quickly learn that there are lots of races—of all distances—to coincide with a variety of national celebrations. Whether it's New Year's, the Chinese New Year, International Woman's Day, or the Dragon Boat Festival, you're going to get the chance to experience a hefty amount of racial and cultural diversity while indulging in your favourite activity.
Immerse Yourself in the Daily Culture
It's one thing to be a tourist, but if you're in Singapore for an extended period of time, you're not going to find a better way to explore the normal day-to-day life than by running along pedestrian walkways, among quiet suburban neighborhoods, and through downtown on a busy weekday. You'll quickly see that Singapore thrives on physical activity. Whether it's an elderly couple shuffling down their sidewalk or busy businessmen strolling briskly down the street on their lunch break, you'll see that you're not alone in your healthy endeavours. It's also a great way to meet your neighbours. It's hard to forget the flashy runner in neon sneakers flying down the street every morning!
Enjoy the Weather!
If you come from a cold weather climate, you're going to relish Singapore's warmth. Residents will say it's hot and wet, but visitors will say it's steamy and comfortable. The most comfortable time of year is the monsoon season from November through March. You probably won't need your winter layers anymore, so stock up on wicking socks, tank tops, and comfortable running shorts.
Singapore is a diverse city filled with friendly faces and a culture dedicated to health and wellness. Being a runner gives you endless opportunities to explore this city from top to bottom and meet a host of locals while you're at it!