It has been 10 years since the Great Eastern Women’s Run first started. This year, 17,000 women participated in the run, breaking the record for the largest number of participants in an all-women run in Asia.
Singapore has been plagued by haze conditions in recent months which has already seen several mass sporting events being cancelled due to health risks. However, the mass running event on Sunday, 1 November flagged off in great mood as the haze dispersed which saw increased participation in all three categories: 5 km Fun Run, 10 km Run and 21.1 km Half Marathon.
Guest-of-Honour, Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, flagged off the 10 km category and also joined in the race.
We would also like to see that more corporates step up, to not just promote healthy living but also to do a good social cause. With the efforts of the runners and Great Eastern, a substantial amount was raised for three charities. I think this is a wonderful idea of collaboration of people, corporates and the social sector. We hope more will come forward so that Singaporeans will enjoy an active lifestyle and do social good for the country as well.
—Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth
Tough Elite Competition
15 elite runners from Japan, North Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Taiwan competed for a total prize purse of US$16,500 and S$6,700 in their respective elite categories.
In the 21.1 km Half Marathon Elite Open category, 18-year-old Kim Ji Hyang from North Korea emerged the overall winner with a timing of 1:12:53, taking home the grand prize of US$8,000. Yuko Watanabe, 28-years-old, from Japan came in next with a timing of 1:16:01, followed closely by Myong Sun Sin from North Korea at 1:17:06.
Of course I’m happy to win but I didn’t expect to be first. There were stronger competitors today, such as the Japanese athletes, so this win is really unexpected. I’m happy to be able to bring home the gold medal for my people and my leader. It’s my first time in Singapore and I felt the running route today allowed me to see how beautiful Singapore is.
—Kim Ji Hyang, 21.1 km Half Marathon Elite Open winner
The local Elite Closed category saw tough competition. Vivian Tang crossed the finish line with a winning time of 1:28:37, just seconds before Rachel See who came in at 1:28:45. Last year’s local Elite Closed winner Mok Ying Rong followed closely in third place at 1:31:11.
I wasn’t expecting to win. I thought I would finish either second or third, I’m very happy with my win! The route was challenging but overall, the weather was great. This is my first time taking part in the 21.1 km category of the run and I am very happy with my result. I will give myself a nice treat after this!
—Vivian Tang, 21.1 km Half Marathon Elite Closed winner
Princesses For A Day
The race village at The Float@Marina Bay was abuzz with squeals of delight and excitement. Clad in pink princess-like tutus, 500 girls from ages three to nine took part in the inaugural 100 m Princess Dash.
Minister Grace Fu and girls from Community Chest also joined in the event. All the girls were rewarded with a tiara to ‘top’ their glittering ensemble after their dash.
It’s not every day that girls get to dress up for activities such as the Princess Dash, and the smiles as they tore down the first stretch together was priceless.
—Ang Siew Hoon, parent of soon-to-be four-year-old Emma Loh who took part in the Princess Dash
Run to Live Great
Back by popular demand, the #RuntoLiveGreat programme saw 80 pairs of women participating in the run. Championed by social ambassadors Cheryl Miles, Kelly Latimer and May Wan, the programme encourages women to pair up with friends, one or both who have not participated before, to take part in any of the run categories.
Fittingly during this Jubilee year, the Jubilee Bridge was newly included in the half marathon race route. Half marathoners ran past local iconic landmarks including Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands, Merlion Park, Esplanade, Singapore Flyer, F1 Pit Building and the Sports Hub.
Scores of participants made a beeline for the ‘Look Good, Live Great’ Powder Room, a perennial crowd favourite to freshen up after the race. Participants were also treated to muffins, apples, hotdogs and massages.
At the Race Village, families and supporters enjoyed treats, such as complimentary popcorn and candy floss, and a variety of activities, including the bouncy castle, balloon sculpting, and arts and crafts station.
Were you amongst the 17,000 ladies at the Great Eastern Women’s Run? What was the highlight of the run for you? We’d love to hear your stories!