It’s not every day you get to pick up pace alongside a Cheetah or rival a flock of Pink Flamingos with a uniform orange (event tee colour). Taking it a step further, how about a rare tour of the Night Safari in broad daylight? For all its scenic beauty and wild serenity, the Safari Zoo Run 2012 definitely captured the appreciative hearts of city dwellers – some purposefully turned runners for the occasion. And the estimated 7,000 that ran would surely second it.
We understand the race did come across rather “family friendly” from the initial registration burst of animated animals used to market the event. Nothing wrong with that. From our standpoint, it’s an encouraging departure from elitism to lure out the idle ones into the open. But we must admit the organisers did well to retain its true competitive spirit which should be the onus of every race.
The run was segmented into a 12-kilometre Safari Zoo Challenge (two loops), a six-kilometre Safari Zoo Fun Run (one loop), and a 2.8-kilometre 2XU Fastest Kid & Run for Kids. Needless to say, the route for the main loop encompassed the tarmac trails that meandered across both “animal kingdoms”. You could feel slightly apologetic toward the resident few at the Night Safari though. Let’s just say they had a long night and the herds of runners that invaded their precious morning were intrusive on an “endorphic” note.
Somewhere along the halfway mark, RunSociety approached a lady who was nursing a foot blister. (Our first “during the race” interview.)
“For me this is my first time so it’s really very new, interesting. You get to run and see animals for free, for the price of one.” says Lee Xue Ling, 29, Process Operator. When probed further whether the stench affects, “No, it doesn’t. I’m quite alright with that. But initially that was also one of my worries; yeah not just me but to quite a few people that I know. ‘Cos when you run you just cannot be bothered you see.”
As expected, the non-competition handfuls were armed with their smartphones and digital cameras, stopping periodically at enclosures to snap their favourite animals. Whereas at the Night Safari, there was the Banteng, Gaur, Axis Deer, Indian Wolves, Water Buffalo, Malayan Tapir and Himalyan Tahr, the Singapore Zoo had its own eye movers such as the White Rhino, Zebra, Ostrich, Giraffe, White Tiger, as well as the Orang Utan. And yes, the Safari Zoo Run this year was done in memory of Ah Meng – he’ll be missed alright.
“I’m 48, going to 49. I think one year I participate in about four runs like that. This is my first run for this year. For this one (Safari Zoo Run), this is the first time. Very interesting, especially running inside the zoo, never experienced before, and I want to know how is it (running in the Night Safari during the day).” shares Roslle Sichor, 48, Repair Technician, in a coy manner.
Well done Sichor! You put all of us young chaps to shame with your diehard attitude as you edge toward the golden years.
RunSociety would also like to congratulate Jason Lawrence and Mok Ying Rong for emerging tops in the Safari Zoo Challenge – Men’s and Women’s category respectively.
SAFARI ZOO CHALLENGE (MEN)
- Jason Lawrence – 41min 38sec
- Chee Yong Ang – 43min 20sec
- Fang Jianyong – 44min 08sec
SAFARI ZOO CHALLENGE (WOMEN)
- Mok Ying Rong – 48min 49sec
- Winona Howe – 53min 32sec
- Stephanie Hulbert – 55min 03sec