December 9, 2014

Why Has Singapore Become a Pay-To-Run Nation?

Singaporeans must be really training hard to combat the potential rise of the transportation cost in Singapore.

With the price of ERP, COE, train fare, taxi fare, bus fare going up, the pragmatic Singaporeans are finding a potentially new way to save on their travel expenses, support a cause, get a nice running Tee and keeping fit at the same time.

They have been signing up for running events in doves.

Looking at the running calender, there seems to be a run every weekend and the traffic police in Singapore is getting very proficient in setting up road blocks and redirecting traffic as more and more of these running events pops up.

I often wonder why are there so many running events for an activity that is essentially free and why Singaporeans are so crazy about signing up for running events.

Perhaps it is due to social media that drives Singaporeans to sign up for these expensive running event. In fact, the more expensive it is, the faster the tickets are being snapped up.

Why social media makes a difference?

When I go on my normal run around Bedok Reservoir during my evening runs, take a selfie and post my run route on my facebook/instagram, I get 2 likes.. top...

No likes! Not even for my FCbarcelona Buff scarf

However, when I go for a running event and take a selfie along with my race medal, I get 20 likes and positive affirming comments like

"OMG, you are there at the event too, I am there too!"

"Good Job!"

"I wish I could join you bro!"

"Looks fun!"

Suddenly, the $50 that I paid for the running event becomes all worthwhile!

And whenever I wear my event T-shirt for my usual run and I see another person running in a normal plain T-shirt, I will smile internally knowing that I have achieve something special (by paying for it) and getting acknowledged for it by my friends and relative on social media (which they have probably forgotten by than).

I guess that explains why people pay $75 for a run to celebrate the birthday of a girl who is not a cat. I thought it is more appropriate to celebrate a girl's birthday by throwing a party at a club with a $3,000 pink multi-tier cake. But No, this kitty girl is looking for something special. She celebrates her birthday by making people sweat for her! And it attracted 14,000 party-goers!

Top that Paris Hilton!

On that day, my facebook and instagram literally lit up with hundreds of selfies (An exaggeration, but that's how I felt) posing with their Kitty running Tee, their Kitty stickers, and the Kitty mascot. I was so jelly and I liked every picture, cursing why I thought $75 is too expensive for a run when it seems like the party of the century.  At that moment that I felt like driving down to Sentosa just to gate crash Kitty's birthday run.

Good thing I didn't. It started to rain heavily and I decided to go back to sleep.

I guess we need that something special to spice up our everyday hobbies and to get that acknowledgement that what we are doing meant something to someone.

The people organizing these running events understand that need and they are coming up with more and more outrageous ideas in order to get people to participate in their running events. The more outrageous the idea, the more expensive the event fee will be. Of course there will be that special edition Tee and medal which is exclusive to the runners.

The greatest irony is that yours truly who is criticizing Singaporeans needing acknowledgement about their running habits is a blogger addict who blogs about his own and his friends running activities for the world to see.

Darn. If you can't fight them, might as well join them.

Time to sign up for the NUS Bizad Run 2015. Damn if my injured knee goes to hell. I need that likes and comments on my facebook/instagram to compensate for that 1 year I survived without participating in a single running event. 


  1. Good food for thought. But organised runnings to help provide motivation and certain forms of safety precautions as well?

    1. It does. We often used running events as motivation to increase our distance from 1km to 5km. These days, we are using the 10km runs to get the fatties in shape! However, I often notice people sign up for novelty runs just to walk. In fact, I ran into the runners at sundown marathon at Marina bay two weeks ago and 90% of the people are walking to the finishing point for the entire 5km route I was doing, with many of them holding hands.... It works well as a motivation, but paying money to walk 21km? Seriously?

      Maybe they just want to pose for selfies with their running Tees :)

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