Marina Barrage, the famous hangout place for family and friends, was filled with 5000 runners on a cool Saturday evening for the Brooks Run Happy 2013. It had just rained a few hours before the event, but that did not dampen the spirits of those who came.
Upon approaching the starting point, we were first greeted with a short row of baggage deposit counters where volunteers diligently collected the bags from runners for safekeeping.
While queuing and waiting for the run to commence, there was a mini concert performed by the local musical duo Shili & Adi. The upbeat tunes had the runners singing along with the music, while others even danced and jumped to the beat. The “party” mood was already in full swing before the run! This was followed by instructors from Fitness First, who led the runners on a warm up routine to loosen their muscles for the run.
After a short introduction to the race organisers, it was flag off time. Runners excitedly dashed through the starting point while posing for the cameras. Right after the bridge that led from Marina Barrage to the east of Gardens by the Bay, runners found themselves struggling to stay on path with the lack of lighting along this stretch. Since the sun was already setting, perhaps little guiding lights at the sides of the routes could help with the vision of the runners.
This dark passage soon gave way to a zone of long wave ultra violet lights. Runners started to glow in their white Brooks Run Happy 2013 tees, and the loud catchy beats definitely energised me to keep running. We had to make a U-turn at the end of the east of Gardens by the Bay, and returned to the “Glow zone”. This time round, happy runners posed for the cameras awaiting them at the side of the pavement.
Upon returning to Marina Barrage for a quick hydration fix provided by Aquarius Isotonic, runners proceeded to run along the south of Gardens by the Bay, before proceeding to the scenic Waterfront Promenade, smiling and waving at shoppers and diners as they passed Marina Bay Sands Shoppes and various restaurants along the course. There was another U-turn at the end of Waterfront Promenade before ending the 9 km run back at Marina Barrage.
Photo and food booths, along with various sponsor booths set up by Kiehl’s, Glaceau Vitamin Water and Erdinger awaited finishers after crossing the finishing line. There was a lucky draw session with JABRA products to be won, and a very lucky winner went home happily with the grand prize of a trip to Gold Coast, Australia.
With Movember being the beneficiary of Brooks Run Happy 2013, a total of $5,000 was raised for the cause, with Dr. Henry Ho, the Movember Ambassador and Chairman of the Prostate Cancer Survivorship Programme receiving the cheque from race organisers Pink Apple during the event.
Run Happy’s unique distance of 9KM instead of 10KM was so the participants can save their energy used for the last 1KM to party. And it was a great party indeed, with Zouk resident DJ Professor spinning some great tunes. Finishers partied happily to the catchy music, and the refreshments (including alcohol-free beer) definitely contributed positively to the mood.
The only minor logistical issue was the lack of toilet facilities. There were only a few portable toilets, in addition to the main toilet of Marina barrage, which were all fully engaged with long lines of queues.
All in all, the Brooks Run Happy 2013 and its post-race party succeeded in lighting Marina Barrage aglow with fun, music and dance, and runners will look forward to Run Happy again next year!