When last year’s You Only Live Once (YOLO) Run kicked off—inviting runners to shed their shirts in the name of open-mindedness and liberation — it was a morning to remember. What’s behind this challenge? It has nothing to do with being an exhibitionist or shocking mum: The YOLO Run Singapore is held annually to shout “freedom” from the rooftops.

This freedom can only be realised in a world where men and women are liberated from stereotypes, inhibitions and the trappings of society that force too many Singaporeans to live with self-doubt because they’ve been told that they don’t fit in. If you support this philosophy, you couldn’t add a more meaningful race to your calendar.

If you are a YOLO newbie, the 11th November race is to be staged at the F1 Pit Building, so if you’re not familiar with this popular venue, check it out now. If you’re a seasoned participant, keep your eyes open for the new “look” signifying this hometown event: an “SG” suffix has been added to everything associated with this race. It’s there for a very important reason…

New and improved — just for you

Why add that SG suffix to this event’s name when everyone knows this is a signature event staged annually by our running community? Fact is, we have a reputation to uphold that requires us to stand apart from other YOLO runs held in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Hong Kong. These venues are good company on the Asian marathon circuit, but we are unique. That “SG” note says it all.

There’s more about YOLO Run Singapore that’s new and improved: they have added a longer event to the race menu so whether you run shirtless or not, grab an opportunity to do a 21km run in addition to the usual 10km and 5km races scheduled in the past. Competitors have been begging organisers to add a challenging distance and their voices have been heard!

On the other hand, count on familiar names, logos and sponsors when details of this race are revealed to you: a consortium of movers and shakers like title sponsor 2XU Compression Wear and newcomer Yoga Lab underpin this dynamic experiment in sports where it’s just as important to believe that all people are created equal as it is to believe you can reach the finish line, no matter which distance you choose.

Seize the day

If you love to run and believe that every Singaporean deserves a chance to live a true and authentic life free of stereotypes, inhibitions and labels, this event was designed for you. Set a personal best after finishing your distance and then pamper your mind and body with a refreshing finish to the day: participate in YOLO Yoga, the post-run, mass exercise event that is likely to draw record-setting crowds.

Who’s behind this yogafest? Jasmine Chong, Yoga Lab’s spirited instructor and personality. One glance at her Facebook page tells you all you need to know about this lively woman’s enthusiasm for sharing yoga with the world, so who better to lead this post-race yoga session than this dynamo?

Three years in and still improving

Since this will be the third year that the 2XU Yolo Run SG is being staged, you can expect to compete on behalf of a popular Singapore charity as well as enjoying your chance to speak out for those who have been the victims of hate and prejudice.

For 2017, Community Chest is the beneficiary of this support, so all you have to do is show up shirtless and SGD 3 will be donated by race organiser X-Change Republic to this charity on your behalf. While Community Chest benefits from this largess, so will you. Entitlements include a 2XU YOLO run t-shirt (featuring that new “SG” attached to the logo) and a singlet for men not brave enough to run shirtless!

Snag a drawstring fitness bag as part of your entitlement and stuff it with items purchased from the YOLO Run store: t-shirts, singlets, sports bras and fitness mats — just in case you didn’t bring your own for the post-run yoga session.

Register now to secure your race slot

Newly-designed YOLO Run finisher medals will be awarded in all three categories and if you decide to tackle the new 21km you’ll be rewarded for your exhaustive effort with a finisher polo t-shirt added to your winnings. But you can’t cross that finish line if you don’t register. Since Early Bird rates are now available, take advantage of them immediately at Spacebib.

Sign up and you’re not the only winner if you run your race shirtless on a very lucky day (11/11). You help Community Chest continue their 30-year mission to do what it takes to help build strong families, care for the elderly and support at-risk youths plus disadvantaged adults dealing with mental health issues and disabilities. Win-win? It doesn’t get any better!

What’s the worst form of discrimination you’ve witnessed in your lifetime? Were you the target or was someone close to you a victim of unforgivable treatment arising from bias, prejudice or intolerance?

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Aidan H.

Aidan is the Editor-in-Chief of RunSociety. With more than a decade of editorial and marketing experience working with over thousands of writers. Aidan has also written for several popular websites reaching millions of readers. Recognised as an expert on the web, his focus is to oversee RunSociety’s Creativity Channel, spanning a wide range of inspirational and enriching topics daily to the community. Get in touch with him if you have something to say, or want to weigh in on an interesting topic at hello@runsociety.com.

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