Do you get up every morning feeling lucky to have all of your senses? You smell breakfast cooking, hear family member’s laughter and taste your favourite toothpaste, but the best sensation of all is watching everyone go about ordinary tasks that warm your heart! Most of us take our sight for granted.
But not everyone in Singapore has adequate eyesight because they suffer all sorts of impairments that range from diminished vision to complete blindness. To call attention to this critical health issue and raise awareness, Gardens by the Bay (Bay East) will be the scene of Run for Light 2017 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and we hope you’ll be on hand to lend your support.
Adopting the philosophy of Julie Taymor, the award-winning American director of theatre, opera and film, “People will justify whatever for a good cause,” Run for Light organisers are on a mission that’s as profound and important as Taymor’s stage musical “The Lion King.”
This event kicks off the new year on 14th January, and planners hope to elevate philanthropy to new heights by offering runners a full awareness experience that transcends ordinary marathons. Every one of your senses will be engaged if you join in!
Run so others can see!
There’s a reason organisers chose “Run for Light” as the name of this race. There’s something magical about the word light. It triggers optimism, joy, hope and inspiration — a beacon in the darkness to which all of us respond.
For sight-impaired Singaporeans who have never seen light or have lost that ability over time for one reason or another, this race is a beacon of hope because money raised will be directly applied to a variety of services that empower and aid sightless people of all ages and walks of life.
Knowing that doing what you already feel passionate about – running a race – has the potential to give the metaphorical gift of light to others does more than help the blind: it will inspire you to give thanks for your ability to see.
Not your ordinary event
Because Run for Light is a movement as well as a charitable organisation and running name, its mission to help raise money for services, awareness and organisational needs is ongoing.
To contribute to the cause, race participants can register for a traditional 10km competitive run or a 5km Fun Run, each an opportunity to achieve a personal best, send a message to the Singapore community of the importance of supporting family and friends with sight problems, and you’ll have a terrific time of it in the cool of the evening.
There’s one final race category that you may wish to consider: The 1km Blindfold Walk that gives you a chance to partner with a friend to experience walking in the shoes of a sightless person.
About the Blindfold Walk
Remember when you were a kid and you played party games that required a blindfold? Perhaps you tried to pin a tail on a donkey or use a stick to break a party piñata. Didn’t it feel great when your blindfold was removed so you no longer had to function in complete darkness?
The Blindfold Walk will be very much like your childhood experience, though the event is limited to just the first 100 pairs of participants who sign on. If you wish to send a dramatic message about the reality of blindness and the difficulty sight-impaired people have when going about a normal day, this opportunity is like no other.
How does it work? Two-person teams participate by blindfolding one and allowing the sighted partner to guide the other on either a 1km or 5km walking route. Couples decide when they wish to remove the blindfold and if they want to switch places, so both understand how being sightless impacts one’s life.
Enjoy all of the fun of a traditional marathon
You needn’t worry that all of the excitement and fun you associate with Singapore races will be lost in the effort to call attention to conditions associated with diminished eyesight.
Run for Light 2017 participants will revel in the pleasure of seeing the Marina Bay silhouette as they follow the official run route, perhaps looking at the majestic skyline with fresh eyes on this magical evening.
You’ll wear a specially-designed, neon-bright event t-shirt and receive a Compressport drawstring bag filled with goodies provided by sponsors like Urban Remedy, worth S$500. Collect a finisher medal and add it to your collection.
Registration is already under way
Due to this event’s popularity, the first 500 early sign-ups have already claimed special limited edition tees, but you’ll still be in the running for a beautifully-designed blindfold if you and a partner take part in the Blindfold Walk.
As for getting to and from the Run for Light staging area, you can drive and use the car park on the right side of Marina Bay Golf Course (it doesn’t close until midnight). Alternately SBS bus 158 will get you there. Entry fees are reasonable and there are even 3-to-go promo packs if you’re on a tight budget.
Want to go to the dogs?
In addition to picking your favourite distance, claiming your colourful t-shirt, participating in the Blindfold Walk — and enjoying post-event festivities that are currently in the works – we’d like to invite you to be on the lookout for guide dogs roaming the event with their owners.
Singapore’s Guide Dogs Association has a vested interest in the close bonds sight-impaired people enjoy with their specially-trained “kids.” Learn more about the role guide dogs play in the lives of people with sight issues and about Singapore’s Guide Dog Association by visiting here. You may wish to grab a box of Kleenex before you do!
Have you ever thought about how often you take your eyesight for granted? What one thing would you miss seeing most if you could no longer see it?