Race Against Cancer 2017 Race Review: A Race to Save Lives
On Sunday, 30 July 2017, runners flocked to East Coast Park to join the fight against cancer, one of the leading cause of death in Singapore.
This year marks the 9th edition of Singtel-Singapore Cancer Society Race Against Cancer (RAC). Organised by Singapore Cancer Society (SCS), the race aims to raise funds for cancer treatment subsidies, welfare assistance, cancer rehabilitation, hospice care, research, public education and cancer support group initiatives. SCS also provides a wide range of cancer screenings, at no cost, throughout the year.
SCS believes that no one should fight cancer alone, so people of all walks of life are invited to join in the fight and run alongside those who are impacted by cancer.
There are 3 distance categories: 15km, 10km and 5km run. I join 15km category, which is the first category to be flagged off at 7:10 a.m. The race village and start line are located at Angsana Green at East Coast Park, near East Coast Food Village.
Race Entry Pack Collection
The race pack collection was held 1 week prior to the event, on 22-23 July 2017 at Velocity, Novena Square. Those who didn’t collect during the REPC may collect only race bib on the event day.
The race pack consisted of an event T-shirt, race bib with timing chips, and sponsors’ products such as Hello Panda, Pokka Green Tea (No Sugar), Sea Coconut lozenges, Julie’s oat crackers as well as brochures.
Getting to the Race
My friends and I stay at the north of Singapore, which is quite far from East Coast, so we decided to take a cab instead of public transport, to save precious sleep time.
At East Coast Park, there was a long queue at the entrance to Angsana Green at around 7.15 a.m. so we alighted from the cab 1km before start line and ran to the start line.
When I arrived at the start line, the start pen has been filled with 10km participants. The volunteer at the start pen stopped me from entering start pen and instructed me to go to the other side. I ended up crossing the start line from the side of start pen, and didn’t have to squeeze my way through the crowded start pen. It was a clever implementation by the organiser to help latecomers like me to still race even though I missed my category’s flag off.
The race started off with great weather. As the majority 15km participants were running far ahead of me, I had the road to myself until 10km fast runners dashed past me. Despite the narrow running paths, it was never too congested.
The water stations were well-managed. Eager volunteers were always ready with cups on their hands, waiting for runners to grab the drinks from them. Certain stations had isotonic drinks, while others only had water. Helpful volunteers shouted out either “water” or “isotonic drinks” so that runners would be able to grab the drink that they wanted.
There were many supporters along the route. Some of them were very enthusiastic in motivating runners by blowing whistles, clapping and cheering. One supporter yelled at me, “RUN FASTER!” It was very motivating and I found myself running harder afterwards.
For 15km and 10km runners, the first U-turn point was located at just before 5km mark. After the U-turn, we were running in the direction facing the sun, but thankfully it didn’t get too hot. It was a breezy morning; the temperature remained low during the first 10km of the race.
Just before the 10km mark is the junction where 10km runners turned left towards the finish line, while 15km runners kept right. I wasn’t aware of the junction because of the huge crowd, fortunately, the volunteers shouted out, “15km go straight, 10km turn left.” Another bonus point for the organiser and volunteers for implementing a great crowd management.
The final 5km was quiet and tranquil. Runners were few and far between. Most runners, including me, alternated between running and walking. The weather was getting hotter but it was still bearable due to shades of the trees. The second U-turn was located at between 12km and 13km mark. Eventually, I reached the finish line at around 9:30 a.m.
At the finish line, we were given finisher’s entitlements, which include a medal, banana, mineral water, Sports Water isotonic drink, Yakult and a plastic bag. As I was very thirsty, I requested for another isotonic drink, and the volunteer happily gave me another can. The plastic bag came as a nice surprise for me because I was overwhelmed with so many entitlements and I had no idea how to carry them all and my phone with 2 hands.
At the race village, there were plenty of fundraising booths, games booths as well as photo opportunities. One booth provided free printing of Instagram photos.
At the end of the event, I felt that the organiser certainly has done a great job putting in place thoughtful plans to make the event smooth for everyone. On top of a good organisation, the race has a meaningful cause. If you intend to sign up next year, do it early to enjoy early bird rates!
- The race was well-organised. Despite huge crowd of participants, there wasn’t any bottlenecks or congestion.
- Road marshals and supporters did a great job supporting runners along the race.
- Distance markers, direction signs and traffic cones were clear and well-placed.
- Hydration stations were well-managed by the volunteers.