It’s not easy figuring out which Singapore races belong on your 2016 list because, let’s face it, every race staged in our homeland is awesome! But the Newton Challenge is special and when runners show up dressed to thrill in their favourite running togs as early as 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, 30 October, they’ll be looking for something special.
Perhaps it’s a personal best. Maybe this will be a first run for newlyweds since their wedding. Or perhaps you’ve wanted to run this popular event for years but you’ve just turned 16, the minimum age for competitors.
Whatever your motivation may be, figure out how to Unlock Your Best Run (that’s this year’s theme) at Marina Barrage and if you register early, you can even unlock your best rate: early bird registration fees and event loyalty rates make a sweet event even sweeter.
We visited a popular Singapore running park to ask people if they’ve run the Newton. So many said yes, we had to ask about their favourite memories as Newton Challenge 2016 approaches!
Why We Want to Join the Newton Challenge 2016
Jai: Call me crazy, but I happen to like a race that requires me to be on hand for the flag off at an early hour because even if the day is sultry, it’s still cooler.
Since I plan to run the 32km (a few friends don’t have to show up until 5:30 a.m. because they’re doing the 21km half marathon), I’ll be too excited to sleep late, anyway, so I dare anyone reading this to beat me to Marina Barrage.
Jeffrey: I wanted to run the 2015 Newton, but I kept putting off registering. By the time I wanted to sign up, I could hardly believe my eyes: All 3,000 slots were filled.
My wife never misses an opportunity to remind me of this, so registering early for the 2016 edition isn’t just a matter of making the cut: I’m hoping it puts an end to my wife’s favourite joke!
Savanna: I don’t need an interior designer; my place is decorated in running memories. I’ve collected something every year since the Newton Challenge was first staged in Singapore.
My boyfriend hung a clothesline near the ceiling and each time I snag my entitlement goodies, I use clothespins to display singlets after the race. I hang finisher medals in-between them so my home looks like a Buddhist shrine, but instead of prayer flags, my memorabilia is on display.
Jasmine: My marathon budget is modest. I maximise my chances of running in as many events as possible by always getting in as an early bird — that means I’ve got until 31 August to grab my spot this year.
A friend is a race loyalist (she’s a veteran of other Newton runs), so she also gets an early-registration break. We use the money we save to buy something small as a reminder that we’ve been thrifty.
Jessie: October is my favourite month of the year because I look forward to Halloween and the Newton Challenge. This has become tradition for me and my friends.
We get together the night before at someone’s place and bring healthy dishes to share. Then we place a few side bets on who in our crowd is going to cross the finish line first. It costs S$3 to get in on the bet and every year, someone different wins, making the event twice the fun.
Zara: I admit to being celebrity-obsessed, so if I spot a Singapore legend during the race, I am motivated to perform better, just in case they notice me! Brand ambassadors at the Newton are always generous with their time, but I’d never stop dead on the track to get an autograph because I know I will bump into him or her at the post-race party.
Besides, I found out the hard way that carrying a pen and an autograph book isn’t the wisest move when you’re running 30km after my pen leaked all over the inside of my race belt last year!
Suri: My friends laugh when I tell them that I’m something of a connoisseur of post-race food. I have no idea who picks the treats for distribution at the end of the Newton Challenge run, but all I can say is Yum.
Complimentary snacks like ice cream, jelly, sandwiches and nasi lemak are delicious. Some race sponsors charge runners for post-run treats, but so far, Newton hasn’t. Even now, I can’t stop thinking of the ice cream on a stick waiting for me at the finish line.
Anu: I believe in Chinese horoscopes and this is my year: I’m a Monkey! This puts me ahead of the competition, increasing my chances of winning this year’s Lucky Draw.
Sure, I know the odds are great — but dare I repeat that I’m a Monkey? This year’s top lucky draw prize is a Samsung phone, but if I’m the second or third draw, I’ll snag an LG TV or a Philips Juicer. Not to worry: there will be plenty of prizes on hand for others — S$3,000 in consolation prizes, as a matter of fact. I just want to say that fellow monkeys are welcome to join me when those prizes are awarded!
What motivates you to put an annual running event like the Newton Challenge on your must-attend list?