On a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon, I took part in my first ever Pokémon Run Carnival happening at Marina Barrage. As it is a fun run catering to families, kids and adults alike, there is only one distance category, which is 5km.
Race Pack Collection was held from 20th - 21st January at Bugis+ Mall. I waited for less than 5 minutes till it got to my turn. Inside the drawstring bag, there was a Pokemon Carnival Run tee, a small pack of batteries, race bib, a Tretta chip, some flyers as well as some coupons to use for the carnival itself.
Getting to the Event
It was a quite a fuss-free process getting to the event venue, but I did wish there were signages placed outside the MRT station to better guide us on which public transport to get to Marina Barrage. My friend and I were initially waiting at the wrong bus stop, but a kind fellow Pokemon runner took the initiative to approach me and asked if I was heading to the Pokemon Run Carnival as well, and told me I was actually waiting at the wrong bus stop.
I reached Marina Barrage around 3:15 p.m. And by then, there were already quite a number of people exploring the carnival. I spent some time exploring the carnival as my flag off time was scheduled to be at 4 p.m.
The first thing I saw was the huge Pikachu inflatable situated just right beside the start pen. Another thing I noticed upon stepping onto the grassy Marina Barrage was that some of the grass patches were significantly muddier than the others. They were especially obvious in front of the food and game booths, as that is where most people were walking around. I eventually found out that the muddy grass patches were due to a rainfall the previous night, and the area was further made muddier due to the high human traffic.
It is indeed unfortunate that the muddy grass patches have caused some unhappiness amongst runners. I also noticed that many runners’ shoes were ruined because of the mud.
Race Route & Interactive Zones
The first flag off started promptly at 4 p.m. and I managed to catch the last wave of the 4 p.m. flag off. After being flagged off at the beautiful Marina Barrage, we ran towards Gardens by the Bay.
As this was a fun run, there weren’t any hard barricades to separate the runners, only several cones were placed in the middle of the lane to make sure people don’t get confused.
As we continued running along the path, I spotted some standees of Pokemon characters. Runners were forming a queue to take pictures with the standees. The volunteer very kindly helped to take photos for everyone, and we naturally also queued up for a short while to snap a picture with these cute characters!
After a short distance of running, we saw a giant orange and red inflatable ahead of us, and that was the first interactive zone - Fire Zone. There were 2 queues already formed, and participants were waiting patiently for their turn. I initially thought it was just for children to participate, thus I skipped this zone. I also managed to peer into the inflatable and saw children and adults alike playing excitedly with the giant balls in the inflatable.
After a mixture of running and walking for the first 2.5km, I started getting really thirsty and hot due to the blazing hot 4 p.m. sun that was shining down on us. When we approached the sign that said ‘Water Zone,’ I was very excited as I thought we have finally reached the water point. But it turns out to be the second interactive zone - the Water Zone - of the 4 different zones in the Pokémon Run.
Walking through the Water Zone was indeed a cooling relief to the humidity and heat of the weather, there were also cooling mists that sprayed out fine water vapour and volunteers also used water guns to shoot water at participants, providing a greater relief. I could tell that the children had the most fun in this zone, with some of them even staying in the zone for more than 5 minutes, squealing and dodging the water being sprayed on them.
As we passed the Water Zone, our eyes were treated with sights of the Singapore Flyer and Marina Bay Sands, it was indeed a tranquil moment running alongside the scenic views of Marina Bay.
Shortly after passing the Water Zone, I finally spotted the Water Point not far away. I could feel it calling out for me! Sadly, when I reached, there was only water being passed out and there was no sign of any cold isotonic drink spotted. But thankful for whatever I could get, I gulped down 2 cups of water, which wasn’t ice cold but cool enough to bring some relief in this heat.
As we were approaching the Electric Zone, I vividly remember there was a volunteer who was all smiles and said ‘You are doing very well, keep it up!’ I felt encouraged by her words, as it was a very hot day and it was heartwarming to hear encouraging words from a stranger.
I personally feel that The Electric Zone was the most fun of all the zones so far, and it was an inflatable whereby participants had to climb up and slide down the inflatable. It was simple but a fun experience. Definitely made me feel like a child again!
We then u-turned and ran back to the path we came from, as it was a loop back to Marina Barrage. As we reached Marina Barrage, we saw the finish line and it was also where the last zone - Grass Zone - was at. It was a photo-taking zone with the Pokemon characters. Upon crossing the finishing line, we were given our medal and a bottle of water.
The finisher medal was really adorable, it featured all the different Pokemon characters on the strap while the medal itself was Pikachu with a Pokeball. I thought it was absolutely adorable!
After the run, my friend and I wanted to explore the carnival and get some Candy Floss that we could redeem with the Poketickets that came together with the race pack. At that point in time, we were both absolutely exhausted from running under the hot sun, and we just wanted a bite of the candy floss to perk ourselves up. However, after queuing for what seemed like forever (but more like 15 minutes), the queue still didn’t move an inch. We figured it’ll take at least 30-40 minutes till it got to our turn. We eventually gave up on queueing for the candy floss and decided to head back.
We really wanted to explore what games they had at the carnival and try it out ourselves but we have used up all of our energy for the day. It totally slipped off our minds that there was a Pikachu Dance after the run, and sadly, we only managed to catch a glimpse of them as they marched off.
- Despite the muddy fields, participants of all ages still enjoyed themselves
- Waiting time was too long when queueing for the food booths, it could be better improved by having more staff at the booths
- Interactive zones were entertaining for families, children and adults alike
Will I take part in the Pokémon Run 2019? Most likely yes!