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Special Feature: Singapore Running Clubs

by On Dec 24, 2011
Special Feature: Singapore Running Clubs

So you’ve picked up running lately, grown to love it, but you’re without friends who share the same passion. Join a running club! From where we stand, registering for a race is just part of the spectrum of offerings for you to get your endorphin fix - although there are races almost every other week.

At a club, you’ll get to experience the fast growing runner-camaraderie that’s gaining in lustre within Singapore’s context, where a sense of belonging is ever present. Whereas alone there might be little motivation to push those endurance limits, that void could be easily filled through the many training meetings and endless encouragement by fellow like-minded runners.

Look, we don’t mean to sound like paid ambassadors. It’s just that we believe you should never run alone. Our slogan, 'Records are broken by bonds', is a culmination of our conviction in this instance. In the spirit of sincerity, we’ve done some groundwork on your behalf. Below, you’ll find our picks. Of course, they represent RunSociety’s opinion, not that of the majority at large.

Running Lab (Running Club)

When RunSociety enquired with Running Lab on their weekly running programme, they were true to their self-bestowed title. Complementing their runs have been activities associated with the “science” facet of the sport such as nutrition testing. If you’ve not been to any of their outlets, they are marked prominently by the presence of a treadmill test machine which shop personnel employ to judge a person’s pronation and running style before they go on to recommend a suitable shoe.

Courtesy of Running Lab A recent nutrition testing cum night run sessionCourtesy of Running Lab

A recent nutrition testing cum night run session

The group meets twice a week:

  • Tuesdays, 6.30pm, at #01-47 Velocity @ Novena Square (Tel: 6253 1998)
  • Thursdays, 6.30pm, at #02-31 Funan DigitaLife Mall (Tel: 6336 6775)
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Storage facilities for personal belongings will be provided so just come and be merry.

Team RunFanatics

They are as their name suggests: passionate runners who decided to come together in 2008 to get serious about the sport. Its founding can be said to have slight affiliations to Running Lab as the initial 15 members used to work there. (You’ve got to be an avid runner to even qualify for a job at Running Lab. That’s cred for you.) The club is headed up by Principal Coach Shanmugam B. who’s accredited by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

 Courtesy of Team Run. Fanatics Snapped at a KL run trip.Courtesy of Team Run

Fanatics Snapped at a KL run trip

What’s most impressive about Team RunFanatics is their extensive line-up of training regimes which includes twice a week group trainings, one-on-one sessions and customised programmes. You can visit their website to find out more: www.teamrunfanatics.com.sg

Team FatBird

How’s this for putting your leg-work where your mouth is? Team FatBird undertook pacing duties for the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Just this year, they were selected to do the same at the Sundown Marathon.

The focus of the club: group runs. Club representatives conduct weekly i-Runs for the Health Promotion Board, attracting 150 to 200 runners per session on average, as well as other FatBird Runs and Weekenders; most notably, the Weekender Run Series. Team Fat Bird recently concluded its four-leg Circle Line Weekender initiative (in conjunction with SMRT) which saw some 250 runners take part.

Courtesy of Team FatBird. The fourth leg of the Weekender Circle Line series.Courtesy of Team FatBird

The fourth leg of the Weekender Circle Line series

You should also know that Team FatBird organises marathon training programmes for local and overseas races. Up and coming would be Operation Kookaburra in preparation for the Gold Coast Airport Marathon.

“We work on the philosophy that we were all once unfit, and with the right encouragement and determination, everyone can become healthier and fitter than before. And therein lies the inspiration of our name, Team FatBird®.”

The above is an interesting outlook as quoted from their blog site: teamfatbird.blogspot.com. We like it. From a third party’s standpoint, it exudes warmth without any hints of elitism.

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F1 Runners

We’ve spotted them at a couple of races dressed in their white and red attires. Frankly, they were the first to come to mind when RunSociety decided on putting this feature together.

F1 Runners was formed in 2008 by a team of experience runners (six in total), helmed by Lexxus Tan, to impart their knowledge and vast experience in training as well as running techniques to beginners. Their goal has been to help rookies in the scene excel in performance, injury-free. Today, the club boasts some 350 members, making it one of the largest in Singapore.

Courtesy of David Tan. Circuit training at MacRitchie Reservoir.Courtesy of David Tan

Circuit training at MacRitchie Reservoir

Believe it or not, the club has gone on to organise its very own races such as the F1 Nature Run (2010/2011), Tour de Trail (2010/2011) and F1 Marathon Time Trial (2011). In 2012, they’ll be introducing the F1 Fear Challenge Run and F1 Performance Run.

Here’s the club’s weekly training schedule:

  • Tuesdays, 6.45pm to 8.30pm - mostly running distances and speed endurance
  • Thursdays, 6.45pm to 8.30pm - mostly speed workouts done at the stadium
  • Saturdays, 7.00am to 9.30am - may comprise circuit training, hill training, speed endurance, long slow distance, beach training
  • Sundays, 7.00am to 9.30am - mostly long slow distance

To find out more, visit their website: www.f1runnersteam.blogspot.com

MacRitchie Runners25 (Singapore)

Some of us weren’t even born when MacRitchie Runners25 (MR25) came into existence more than 30 years back. Pioneers of the MacRitchie Reservoir route many of us are familiar with, these were the very people who laid the original planks down for the loops which were before, swampy areas.

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MR25 has a stringent enrolment standards. You have to do a sub 25-minute five-kilometre time trial before you’re accepted. Most of the club’s members are way ahead of the cut-off time though. Take for example, the MR25 Elite 10K Race some weeks back. The average finishing time for both Men and Women (Open and Veteran) was 52min 32 sec. That’s 10 kilometres on trail terrain.

The yellow analogue: symbolic at any MR25 race

The yellow analogue: symbolic at any MR25 race

Ask around and you’ll find that MR25 is highly rated for their Tuesday Track Session and Thursday Graveyard Run. They work. And we can prove it. Dana and Nena Fritz, phenomenal American twin runners, shed an estimated three minutes off their five-kilometre times within nine months of joining the club.

Topping it off, for all their prowess in the speed endurance circle, they are a bunch of friendly and down-to-earth individuals. You’ll be able to find them at: www.mr25.org.sg

There are other clubs in Singapore that undoubtedly deserve to have themselves heard. Should you belong to any one of them and feel compelled to give a shout out, please feel free to do so in the comment box below.

Years back, seeds were sown when Shaun undertook a marketing communications role at a Singapore-based sports distributorship. There, a couple of international sporting brands fell under his purview. He's made the decision to migrate to the receiving end since, placing himself right at the heart of true competition.

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