Everyone in Singapore has their own way of staying fit, some more outlandish than others. For example, plenty of people consider running after a bus to be a great form of exercise. Others insist that chasing their kids is the only workout they need.
If you’ve not been bitten by the running bug, the thought of competitive running could be enough to send you sprinting in the other direction, despite having been fed a constant fitness message that if you don’t run, your health is going to hit the skids.
But for those who understand that exercise doesn’t have turn one into a sweaty mess, there’s joy and satisfaction to be found at runs that push the boundaries of organiser creativity—events like the Blacklight Run and The Color Run. These types of runs have expanded the face of running, attracting runners who want to get fit but don’t necessarily want to tackle a 42.195km to achieve that goal!
Reasons to try offbeat running events:
- They’re fun, taking your mind off the exertion that makes five minutes feel like five hours.
- There’s more camaraderie at these events. You’re not surrounded by competitors who are so tightly wound up over their timing, their stress is contagious.
- Age doesn’t matter nor does your level of fitness. Fun runs deliver a surprising amount of exercise under the guise of having a good time.
- You can let your spirit fly at events like Blacklight Run. Nobody’s going to judge you if you channel your inner exhibitionist, dress to suit your fantasies or indulge the child within you.
- After parties are doubly exciting. Distance races can suck the energy out of you, but after undertaking a fun run, you’re primed for a good time and not too sore to dance the night away.
- There’s no competition (unless you want it!). Even a 10km distance that comes with the ubiquitous finisher medal can set up one’s mindset to strive for a good timing. At offbeat running events, there’s simply no pressure to perform.
Combining the best of the best
Do you worry that you’ll miss out on the full running experience if you fill your calendar with 5km races and fun runs? Not these days! Organisers know a thing or two about human nature so you won’t walk away empty handed, even if you don’t put a single 10km on your dance card. Here’s why:
- More and more event organisers are awarding finisher medals so participants can take pride in their accomplishments by acquiring symbols of their success.
- When you’re not intimidated by killer distances, you put more energy into shorter runs, gain the same amount of satisfaction and you might be able to double down on the number of events you sign up for.
- Fanciful runs that stretch the envelope of imagination are as official as the biggies. You’ll still find charitable giving to be a component of offbeat events, so you don’t have to deny your philanthropic side.
- When the objective is fitness over clock beating, you get equally as much exercise without the side effects because you get to go at your own pace. Even if you show up at the finish line last, you’re proclaimed a winner!
The importance of fun runs to the Singapore community
If you’ve ever felt left out of the crowd—picked last for a school team or overlooked because you’re not considered to be athletic—it’s not unusual to carry this rejection for the rest of your life. But events like the Blacklight and The Color Run level the playing field because there’s always going to be someone who is less fit than you are participating in these types of events.
Showing up for a fun run promises less stress and more entertainment, especially when you’ve the opportunity to lose yourself in the dark of night as glow powders and foams decorate your body in neon colours and your running pals share these unforgettable moments. Set a PB if you like. There’s nobody there to make you accountable if you are having too much fun to monitor your time.
For Singaporeans who mourn the fact that they haven’t time to train for marathons, the fun run serves a special purpose, because you don’t have to decide between working overtime, spending more time with the kids or participating in a run. And you don’t have to live with the burden of guilt because shorter fun runs require much less preparation.
Elvin Ting, Managing Director of Orange Room exemplifies the attitude of many:
“Skechers Blacklight runs target a different demographic of participants as the experience is far more important than the timing. We want to engage and hopefully inspire more people into the running community. It does not matter if you are an office executive or a stay-at-home mum; you deserve to have a good time at a non-competitive fun run!”
Mr Ting adds that though there are currently limited venues for these types of runs,
“I can’t imagine a location more perfect than Sentosa for events like the Blacklight. It’s a unique place and as a bonus, it’s easy to clean up!”
You can do it all. And you might be able to involve the kids, so if ever there was a win-win situation, today’s burgeoning fun run phenomena can put you on the road to a healthier body without having to sacrifice a huge chunk of your life.
Do you know somebody whose interest in fun runs ultimately pushed him or her into the world of competitive running?