Following a series of pre-race fringe activities organised in preparation for the big day, such as the Live Great Mega Dance Fiesta, the Great Eastern Women’s Run (GEWR) 2016 successfully concluded on Sunday, 13 November 2016 at the Float@Marina Bay.
Close to 15,000 women of all ages, including Olympians from the recent Rio 2016 Olympics, gathered and raced through some of Singapore’s most iconic landmarks.
In its 11th edition this year, the GEWR has cemented its position as Asia’s largest women-only race, as well as South-east Asia’s first all-women half marathon.
The first category to flag off from the Singapore Flyer was the Half Marathon (21.1km), which saw over 15 new and returning elite runners from different regions. Such were two runners from North Korea, and Olympians from the recent Rio 2016 Olympics – Neo Jie Shi (Singapore), Nary Ly (Cambodia), Mary Joy Tabal (Philippines), Gulzhanat Zhanatbek (Kazakhstan) and Luliia Andreeva (Kyrgyz Republic). Both Nary Ly and Mary Joy Tabal were the first female marathoners from their respective countries to compete in the Olympics.
The Elite Open category saw domination from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPR) with Jo Un Ok clinching the champion title with a timing of 1:14:51 while her compatriot, the 2013 GEWR winner, Kim Hye Song finished second with a timing of 1:17:05.
Ri Un Hui, Manager of the North Koreans commented,
“Both Jo Un Ok and I expected her to win today and she performed well so we are pleased with the results! Kim Hye Song tried her best but unfortunately she is not on form today.”
The last podium finish was seized by Kazakhstan’s Zhanatbek with a timing of 1:18:47.
Local runner Jasmine Goh clinched the top position in the Elite Closed category with a timing of 1:27:18.
The 37-year old winner said,
“I’ve been preparing since the beginning of the year by joining my coach for serious training, so I’ve prepared for this for a long time. Did I expect to win? I would say no because anything can happen in a 21.1k race. Everyone at the start line is just here to do our best. I think that to win is a bonus, to achieve a Personal Best is a double bonus, but to run with all the ladies today, that’s out of the world. We’re just on our own, with all the girls.”
Guest-of-Honour, Ms Grace Fu Hai Yien, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Leader of the House, flagged off the 10km category and were among the field of runners.
The 100m Princess Dash, first introduced last year, was another highlight at the race village with young girls aged three to nine completing the fun race in tutus alongside their mothers. These young participants were crowned with a ‘Finisher Tiara’ upon completion of the race.
Running for Good Causes
Funds raised from this year’s GEWR were for two women-related causes – Breast Cancer Foundation and Women’s Health Research and Education Fund. A large part of the total funds collected came from generous online donations by participants, as well as contributions by corporate partners via their participation in the Coporate Charity category.
The “Don A Tutu For A Cause” initiative, whereby participants make a minimum donation of $5 to the event’s beneficiaries in exchange for a tutu, was also well-received and contributed to the pool of funds.
In addition, the collaboration between GEWR and local fashion label KLARRA was such a huge success that the limited edition GEWRxKLARRA accessory, an exclusive scarf designed by fashion icon and founder Beatrice Tan, was sold out with sale proceeds going towards the two beneficiaries.
Mr Keith Chia, Head, Group Brand and Customer Experience, Great Eastern, said,
“As a LIFE company, Great Eastern champions healthy living and empowers women to live healthier and better through sports. This year, we are also extremely pleased that through the collective effort of race participants and the larger community, more than $65,000 will go towards the two worthy women related causes.”
In Singapore, Running is Far More Expensive For Women Than For Men. Would you agree that we need more women-only races to flaunt our gears and to justify our investments in this sport dominated by men?