Amidst Singapore’s concrete cityscape, it is common to see people running in public spaces such as parks, trails and on pavements in housing estates. After all, running is one of the top sporting activities in Singapore according to the “Sports Index” study by Sport Singapore in 2015, in terms of reach, retention and regular participation. The study, which looked into sport participation trends in Singapore, revealed that outdoor running/ jogging is the second most popular activity after walking for health or fitness purposes.

While running in public spaces remains popular, there has also been consistently high demand for running events in Singapore in recent years. Apart from full-fledged marathons, triathlons and ultra-marathons, the running scene in Singapore is now filled with a diverse range of running events which includes themed fun-runs, family-oriented runs and charitable runs. 

The trend of non-conventional and novel runs was first reported by Singapore’s major newspaper, The Straits Times in 2016Even though most of them are based on a “pay-to-run” model, they have been crowd favourites. Two years on, many of these running events continue to pack the sporting calendar, appealing to both seasoned runners and avid fitness enthusiasts, as well as running amateurs, families and even children.

In the remaining half of 2018 alone, there are 44 different running events people can participate in, which comprises of both competitive and non-competitive categories. And with running events being all the rage in Singapore, here is a compilation of some popular ones you should look out for:

1. Sundown Marathon

The Sundown Marathon is one of Singapore’s most popular running events, and is a night race that takes every year from dusk to dawn. The 2018 edition of the Sundown Marathon took place on 19 May, featuring four running categories: full marathon, half marathon,10km and 5km. A total of 25,500 avid runners participated in the event which was hosted at the F1 Pit Building in Singapore.

Photo By: Sundown Marathon Singapore

The Sundown Marathon is an annual overnight running event where participants run in the cool of the night. (Photo Credit: Sundown Marathon Singapore)

2. Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon

The Standard Chartered Marathon is another event favoured by seasoned runners in Singapore, with many race categories available. It includes a full marathon, half marathon, 10km run, 5km run, full marathon relay of 5 runners, and a kids dash. This year, marathon will happen on 8 and 9 Dec, and registration for the run is now open.

Photo By: Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon

The annual Standard Chartered Marathon is an event popular with avid runners. (Photo Credit: Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon)

3. Safari Zoo Run

The Safari Zoo Run, organised by the Wildlife Reserves Singapore, is an event focused on raising awareness for the conservation of Singapore’s native wildlife. This year, the run took place on 27 Jan at the Singapore Zoo and the Night Safari, where adult and children participants took part in both competitive (10km, 2.5km) and non-competitive (5.5km, 2.5 km) categories in the run. 

Photo by: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

The Safari Zoo Run, first organised to commemorate the life of Singapore’s iconic Sumatran orang utan Ah Meng, is in its tenth edition this year. (Photo Credit: Safari Zoo Run, Wildlife Reserves Singapore)

4. The Colour Run Singapore

Touted as the “The Happiest 5K on the Planet,” The Colour Run is an untimed, 5km long race where participants are doused from head to toe in different colours at each kilometre mark. As the run is all about having fun, it even ends off with a post-race music and dance party for all participants. This year, The Colour Run will be back at Singapore on 29 Sep. Tickets for the event are on sale now.

Photo by: The Colour Run Singapore

The Colour Run Singapore is a fun run popular with many young people. (Photo Credit: The Colour Run Singapore)

5. Run For Hope

For the past 25 years, Run For Hope has been organised annually to raise awareness and support for cancer research in Singapore. Since its first event in 1993, Run For Hope has continued to be a non-competitive leisure run suitable for participants of all ages. This year, the run took place on 21 Jan, with money raised from the event donated to the National Cancer Centre Singapore’s Research Fund.

Run For Hope celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018 with close to 10,000 participants taking part in both the10km and 3.5km run categories. (Photo Credit: Denise Leong, Run For Hope)

6.  Yellow Ribbon Prison Run 

The Yellow Ribbon Prison Run 2018 is an upcoming running event also for a notable social cause. It is organised by the Yellow Ribbon Project, an initiative that hopes to promote a more accepting society that is willing to give ex-offenders a second chance at making good, so that they can successfully reintegrate with the community. The run will happen on 9 Sep, and sign-ups for the event are now open.

Photo by: Yellow Ribbon Project Singapore

The Yellow Ribbon Prison Run will also be celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2018. (Photo Credit: Yellow Ribbon Project Singapore)

Perhaps the reason why running events are popular in Singapore is beyond that of the prizes, trophies, medals and race merchandise that can be obtained from participating in the races. In fact, many runs offer appealing concepts and unique selling points that seek to appeal to different types of runners in Singapore. There’s bound to be something for everyone.

Serious runners can challenge themselves by taking part in competitive races such as the well-established Sundown Marathon and the Standard Chartered Marathon. On the other hand, recreational runners can consider going for non-competitive fun runs with their families and friends. Such runs provide an opportunity for people to bond through a common social activity in Singapore. Some other themed-runs not mentioned previously, but are also interesting include the Illumi Fest RunHello Kitty Run and the Snoopy Run in Singapore. As for those who simply wish to run to support a certain cause, charitable runs organised by various non-profit organisations would be highly relevant.

As you can see, Singapore’s running scene is vibrant, with plenty of different running events happening all year long. Although most running events in Singapore are ticketed and require registration fees, the sports calendar also continues to be packed by these events. For more information and updates about upcoming running events in Singapore, be sure to check out this running events calendar for a more comprehensive guide.

By Prisca Lim, ASEAN Correspondent from Singapore
Photo Credit – featured image banner by Illumi Run,Infinitus Productions Pte Ltd