The 100km Singapore Island Walk is initiated by Mr. Vijay Kumar, a walking enthusiast. The 36-year-old project manager was only expecting 20 to 30 participants when he announced the event on SGTrek Expeditions & Adventures Facebook page. The event is free and open to the public.
To his surprise, more than 150 people turned up at Raffles Place on Saturday afternoon. When he first started SGTrek Expeditions & Adventures, it was hard just to get even 15 people to join their walks.
The walk started at 3:15 p.m on Saturday, 6 January 2018. Not everyone planned to walk the entire route. Most people tried to walk as much as they could. Mr Veera Kumaran, 48, who joined the walk with his friends said, “We hope to walk the whole distance, and just want to see how far we can go. We’ve never had this opportunity before. This event falls on a Saturday, and the best thing is that it’s free!”
The route started at Raffles Place, continued counter-clockwise to East Coast, Changi Village, Pasir Ris, Punggol, Singapore Zoo, Bukit Timah, Chinese Garden, Hort Park, and back at Raffles Place. From starting point at Raffles Place, the group walked to Marina Barrage with high spirit, then headed to East Coast.
After having dinner at East Coast Lagoon Food Village at 6 p.m., they continued walking to Changi Village (35km checkpoint) where they had supper at 11:30 p.m. At 4 a.m., the group crossed 50km checkpoint at Waterway Point, Punggol. By that time, only 27 walkers remained. The rest had dropped out, including Vijay himself.
Eventually, Vijayalakshmi became the first finisher who returned to Raffles Place, followed by Steven, Alex, Chin Bok, Terry, Yifan and Justin.
Vijayalakshmi Rajulupati, who is in her 40s, trained herself by walking 5 to 10km every day for two weeks before the event. She said,
My husband and I have been living in Singapore for seven years and we got married here. I love each and every bit of the life here, so it wasn’t a boring walk for me. If there’s a chance to walk 200km for Singapore’s bicentennial celebrations this year, I would be interested to do it.
Among the 7 finishers were Steven Chee, Alex Quah and Ong Chin Bok, who are 59 years old, 54 years old and 56 years old, respectively. Ong said,
We wanted to gain a sense of accomplishment. We also believed in teamwork and encouraging one another. From the start, we already knew we wanted to complete 100km. We just didn’t know how long we would take or how we would do it.
All seven finishers were awarded free SGTrek T-shirts as well as lifetime membership with SGTrek for going through sleep deprivation, monsoon rain and tropical sunshine.
The news of the 100km Singapore Island Walk also appeared on the The Straits Times.