Is The Haze Back? Useful Tips for All of Us!

IS THE HAZE BACK!?

As of this morning, based on the National Environment Agency, the 1-hour PM2.5 showed that the air quality in North Singapore 124, West Singapore 181, Central Singapore 64, East Singapore 47 and South Singapore 82. A good air quality PSI reading should fall between 0-50. So yes, it does seem like the haze is back and we, as much as you do, hope the haze is just here for temporary and will be clearing away from Singapore anytime soon!

HOW IT AFFECTS YOU?

With a high moderate to low unhealthy air quality, the health effects vary from person to person, depending on their health status and length of exposure outdoors.

People with existing respiratory conditions, allergy to dust or smog particles, chronic lung or heart disease might experience some discomfort at the current state of air quality. The elderly, children and pregnant women should also avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical activities and head for regular medical checkups.

Yet, we should not stop having an active and healthy lifestyle even during the haze period. Here we have some useful tips for EACH of you!

For those who prefers to stay indoor

We recommend all fellow runners to stay indoors with your loved ones when the PSI level is high. In times like these, our treadmills become our best friends because they seem to offer the next best alternative for runners where they can still continue with their trainings, minus the haze and unfortunately the fun as well.

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Moreover, runners can head for cross-training activities that offer the same level of intensity as running such as spinning classes, yoga, zumba or even swimming. To find out where is the nearest and most ideal indoor sports facilities, gyms and fitness events, use our gym listing and fitness events calendar!

Here are 4 ways for you to stay unfazed with the haze!

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For those who wants to resume your outdoor physical activities

  • Check the PSI level before you go
  • Stay hydrated inside out
  • Protect your eyes
  • Bring a mask at all times

Read more: Runners’ tips for the haze season in Singapore

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Quick links:

  1. Unidentified Haze in Singapore – What Now?
  2. Ups & Downs of Haze For Runners
  3. Not letting the haze stop me
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Interview with Adeline Cheah & CWO Wan Eng Bee, SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon 2016 Runners

With the SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon just round the corner, we had a short chat with 2 outstanding personalities who will be a part of this historic event. They may be ordinary runners, but their grit is outstanding!

First, we spoke to Adeline Cheah – Mother by day and night, yet manages to find the time to dedicate to running! We also spoke to Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) Wan Eng Bee. At 53 years old, you’ll be surprised at his devotion to fitness! Listen to their stories and look out for them during the run! Run to inspire, and run to be inspired!

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JustRunLah!: When did you start running and what inspired you to do so?

Adeline Cheah: 2 years ago, I was diagnosed with impaired glucose tolerance. If I didn’t do anything about it, I can expect myself to be a full-blown diabetes patient 10 years down the road. This was a major wake-up call for me! I had just gone through my 3rd pregnancy so this was really my turning point in life. I was going to have to make changes in my lifestyle and I chose running. Running helped me fight for my health. The SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon 2016 will be my 11th run and I’m looking forward to it!

CWO Wan Eng Bee: My running journey started 17 years ago. I wanted to prove that I could still be athletic, fit and healthy even in my mid-thirties. I was very determined to lose weight and this motivated me to train regularly. I actively took part in my unit’s SSBR & AHM training and found that it really helped us to develop into strong soldiers with a strong body, heart and mind as we bond by training together. This was what got me going.

JustRunLah!: We know you have 3 children so how do you juggle between taking care of them and running?

Adeline Cheah: My 3 kids are my biggest fans. They are always there to cheer me on during my training runs. I am very lucky to have a family that supports my passion. Every time I return from a race, they fight for my medal and they tell me they are proud of their mummy!

JustRunLah!: Even in your 50s you still train every day. Any particular fitness goals you are aiming to hit?

CWO Wan Eng Bee: I had a knee injury this year so I’m slowly getting back into the groove. My personal target is to complete the Army Half Marathon in less than 2 hours 15 minutes.

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JustRunLah!: Do you have any running mantras?

Adeline Cheah: I constantly tell myself this – Just do not give up and constantly keep your spirit upbeat. Look around you and you will find that everyone has their own race to complete. And lastly, if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.  You will be amazed at what you can do for yourself. Just keep going!

CWO Wan Eng Bee: Strong and Steady and Pain is Weakness Leaving the Body.

JustRunLah!: Any advice for aspiring mother runners?

Adeline Cheah: To all Mummies out there, don’t be shy to pick up running. It is a great way to meet new Mummy friends and also an excellent unwinding therapy at the end of a long hectic day. Start off slow and easy, and just enjoy the run. Your body will thank you for this.

JustRunLah!: Any advice for aspiring runners?

CWO Wan Eng Bee: First, aim for distance over time – maintain a steady and comfortable pace. Second, incorporate cross-fit training to complement your running. Cross-fit training will help strengthen your core muscles and give you a better running posture. Third, set goals that are realistic and achievable – break down your goals into short term and long term. Lastly, know your limits when running – increase your running distance gradually and do not overexert yourself, to prevent injury.

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Show Your Love And Climb For Rainbows!

Set up in 1992, Club Rainbow (Singapore) is a non-profit organization with a mission to provide compassionate relevant services for chronically ill children and their families. Many of their beneficiaries, ranging from newborns to youths up to the age of 20, require frequent hospital visits for treatment, complicated therapy and long-term medication.

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Photo Credit: Ride for Rainbows

In July, the annual event “Ride for Rainbows” received tremendous support from cyclists and they raised over $600,000 in Club Rainbow fund-raiser. To continue to raise awareness and funds for their beneficiaries, Club Rainbow is going to have their inaugural vertical marathon, “Climb for Rainbows”, which is happening on Saturday, 8 October 2016 (in conjunction with Children’s Day) at Suntec City Tower 1!

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Climbing the stairs is nothing difficult for you, but …

for some Club Rainbow’s beneficiaries who are affected by chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular diseases and neurological disorders, the seemingly simple task of walking is a challenge, let alone climbing the stairs.

In this vertical marathon, stair climbing resembles the many challenges the beneficiaries go through daily, coping with their medical conditions.

There are a few ways you can show your support in Climb for Rainbows!

Register as a Climber – You can join their beneficiaries and families and take up the challenge together! No registration fee is needed. When you register, you can set a target amount of funds you hope to raise for the charity from your friends and supporters. In the event that the target amount of donations is not achieved, you are still encouraged to join the vertical marathon to show your support on 8 October 2016. In response to your support, all registered participants will receive an Event T-Shirt.

Join as a Donor – You can check out the profiles of all Climbers on the Climb for Rainbows website and make a generous donation for the Climber you would like to support!

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Click here to check out who are the climbers and give them your support.

Be a volunteer – You can help Club Rainbow to bring this meaningful event to life by volunteering yourself as an Event Collaborator, Route Marshals or Befrienders. Find out more on the Climb for Rainbows website.

Show the Love, Climb for a Cause

Join Climb for Rainbows and meet the 48-year-old para-athlete, Mr. Shariff Abdullah, also known as Singapore’s “Blade Runner”. This time, he is going to climb for a cause and he aims to raise $1000 to Club Rainbow. Support him and do your part, Climb for Rainbows!

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“My youngest daughter has been a beneficiary of Club Rainbow for the past decade. This year, she has made a remarkable turn towards recovery and is now healthy enough to return to school after having left the education system for 4 years. I am grateful to Club Rainbow for caring for my daughter these long 10 years,” explained by Mr. Shariff when asked why he chose to adopt Club Rainbow.

Join us now and #ClimbforRainbows. All of us can be the children’s Hero Climber!

JustRunLah! is proud to be the Official Online Media of Climb for Rainbows 2016.
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5 Inspiring Moments From The Rio Olympics

With the curtains closing on the Rio Olympics, there are so many inspiring moments that will go down in the history books. Kudos to all the Olympians – take a bow! Some people run to inspire, some people run to be inspired! The likes of the great Usain Bolt, the legendary Allyson Felix or even the new kid on the block attempting their first Olympics all have inspiring stories to share! Here’s our favourite five!

#1 The Treble Treble – Usain Bolt

Usain BoltPhoto Credit: Rio 2016

This is one to go down in history! What an unprecedented achievement! The fastest man on earth has won 3 gold medals, in 3 Olympics successively. We were able to witness history being made. Usain Bolt definitely signed off on his Olympic career with style. He has certainly lived up to his title of the Fastest Man of Earth.

#2 The Underdog – Galen Rupp

RuppPhoto Credit: Rio 2016

We all thought that the marathon distance is dominated by the Ethopians, Kenyans, or Bahrain-ians (former Kenyans), but boy did Galen Rupp prove us wrong. Definitely the underdog, being only the 2nd time he ran the marathon distance, he gave the big boys a run for their money and even clinched the bronze medal convincingly. Watching the Olympics Marathon was like watching David v Goliath. What an inspiration – surely becoming the idol of many.

#3 Doing the Impossible – Wayde Van Niekerk

waydePhoto Credit: Mirror UK

Michael Johnson’s long-standing world record was obliterated! Johnson’s 17-year record was a tough one to beat. No one ever though this record could be broken. Fellow South African Wayde was the man to prove that nothing is impossible, and the impossible is nothing. If that doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what can.

#4 The Brave Heart – Ayana

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Photo Credit: Rio 2016

Like Galen, this would only be Ayana’s 2nd time running the 10,000m distance. We all know how good she is on track, but the way she ran in the Olympics was BOLD and BRAVE. Ayana took off alone at blazing speed, lapping runner after runner. She had her eyes on the prize, and that was not the gold but the World Record. On track, many run with tactics and strategy to win, but Ayana ran with her heart.

#5 The American Dream – Neo Jie Shi

From everyday runner to Olympian – probably not something an everyday runner would even dare dream of. This is a real dream come true, and this shows us that dreams do come true. Keep striving and don’t give up. We never know when that once chance will come, but we have just got to keep fighting for that one chance!

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SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon 2016: Flag-off Times, Road Closures and More!

Haze advisory updates from Organiser

The haze made an appearance in our skies again. We will be updating this page as often as we can to bring you the latest information about SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon’s future.

Latest update (Saturday evening):

Previous update (Friday afternoon):

Follow their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SSBRAHM for announcements.

It’s happening this weekend! TOGETHER WE RUN.

Organised by SAFRA and the Army, this signature event will be two competitive categories – 21km Army Half Marathon and SAFRA 10km Race, as well as two non-competitive categories –  SAFRA 5km Fun Run and Families for Life 800m Challenge. Themed ‘Together We Run’, this classic event looks to strengthen the bond among the Singapore Armed Forces national servicemen and their families on 28 August 2016.

As we are ready to run till the end, here are some important last minute information for all runners!

Flag-Off Times

21 km 5am
10 km 7am
5 km 8am
800 m 9am
*Flag off timings are tentative, subjected to changes from the Singapore authorities.

Routes and Hydration information

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Carnival Layout @ Padang

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Road Closure Advisory

The following roads will be fully closed.

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These roads will be partially closed.

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Getting to the race ground

Race venue: Esplanade Bridge

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Bag Deposit

Venue: Along Connaught Drive
Operating Hours: 4am – 11am

Pacer Timing Groups

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We hope you have a great race experience! Don’t forget to tag your photos with #JustRunLah on Instagram!

See you at the finish line!

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Source / More info: SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon

Log your time at JustRaceLah! – The Free App for Runners

Keep track of your results and progress by adding any of the 1000+ races of our database to your own portfolio. Keep your running memories organised and see your timings improving!

Download for free of iOS and Android via: www.justracelah.com

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Health Check: 20-29 Years Old

During our teenage years from 12 until 19, we feel almost invincible. Our bodies are in the best shape of our lives and so is our health. We can eat whatever we want and still not put on too much weight. Everything seems to be well-oiled and working in tip top condition.

When we hit our 20s though, as much as our bodies and health do not suddenly take a landslide, it has to be taken into consideration that it is no longer as “new” as it was back then. And this transition into young adult life also brings about new experiences that will introduce both necessary and unnecessary impacts to our health, whether we feel it or not. Whatever it may be, taking care of your changing body especially in your 20s is crucial as it can affect your well-being in your later years. Here are some health checks to look out for and manage during these golden years of your life.

1. Make sure your heart is protected

Cartoon of exercising heart

Make sure you keep the most important organ in your body healthy and protected with proper exercise, food and supplements like fish oil. Besides its physical well-being, it is also best to try and minimise the amount of heartache you suffer during these years, be it from relationships or even situations. While a small amount of physical and emotional stress is beneficial to build a stronger fort, too much can cause issues when you are older.

2. Don’t destroy your liver

For some of us, the ages between 20 to 29 are the times we work the hardest, and play the hardest. Too hard sometimes especially for party animals who spend many a late night at night spots indulging in too much alcohol and too many cigarettes. These habits may not take much of a toll on you physically (you might just look tired the next day), but the amount of damage it can do to your liver is indescribable. Fatty liver is one of the most common ailments from too much luxuriant food and alcohol and the best way to stave off as much of the ill effects is to take supplements like milk thistle regularly.

3. Don’t hurt your stomach

Female runner standing bent over and catching her breath after a running session along lake in city. Young sports woman taking break after a run.

While it may not be too difficult to stay svelte in our 20s, many young ladies and men still aim to look their best by starving themselves. If you don’t know already, let me tell you this. Our stomach juices is actually hydrochloric acid and if you paid any attention in school, you will know how powerful this chemical is in breaking down all sorts of enzymes, food and even our stomach lining. Wrecking our stomach with too little food and too much alcohol and drugs can do a whole lot of damage and cause a mountain of discomfort and pain in your later years so always eat when you are hungry and avoid not eating anything at all.

4. Keep your lungs healthy and strong

Everyone remembers the heart but sometimes, we forget that we also have to keep the health of our lungs in check. These are the organs that can cause minor ailments to become major if we don’t take care of them. Imagine suffering from a simple case of the flu and ending up with an infection in your lungs. Stay away from cigarettes and keep these organs as clean and healthy as you can to ensure little to no problems as you age.

5. Don’t forget your eyes

Many people disregard their eyes, which is weird because they allow you to see. While perfect eyesight is a little hard to manage in our current society, it is still possible to keep them close to healthy perfection during our 20s. Go for regular optical check ups, ensure you are wearing spectacles of the right fit that do not strain your eyes and if you are a contact lens wearer, make sure you get those that allow your eyes to breathe. Don’t leave them on for more than eight hours at a shot too. Abusing our eyes for the sake of beauty or convenience (or both), can lead to dry eyes, scratched corneas and even a certain level of blindness as we get older. Take care of those peepers people!

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Asia Marathon Running – All You Need To Know!

Marathon is a long-distance running event with an official distance of 42.195 kilometers, or 26.219 miles, or 26 miles 385 yards.

It is a sport that will build a life, a character and a set of values that sustain the person. Some beginner marathoners train to finish a race with no injuries, some seasoned marathoners train to achieve their Personal Bests (PBs) and the elite marathoners train to win in the world-class marathons. And yet the process is what make the marathon the perfect metaphor for living life with the long run in mind! The marathon teaches a person to plan, to dream, to push through hard times, to admire unlikely people, to give up the penchant for perfectionism and to accept life for the messy endeavor it is.

I hope that once you are done reading, you will run your marathon and live your life at your own speed and to the tune of your own playlist!

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#TranscendYourself

Training for the marathon gives a person the opportunity to learn things about the self that, I would argue, can be learned only through hard physical training.

“How much pain can you take? Can you tolerate being alone? How long can you entertain your own thoughts and really be with just yourself? How many times can you repeat the same motion with your body, the same mundane activity, and still find value in it?”

Marathon will unleash all the possibilities within you and even possibly bring out the best of you!

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#PlanAhead

Running have given many of us a model for how to reconstruct a life for ourselves, and running a good marathon requires more “Vitamin Ds” –  Determination, Discipline and Diet. Marathoners are always in the endless planning process. Before a race, they follow a training schedule and plan for their tapering and carbo-load; During a race, they set a pacing plan and think ahead when to take their energy gels or hydration; After a race, they again set a plan for recovery, train for the next marathon and repeat. More than that, a good marathoner learns the ability to anticipate situations ahead of time and feel prepared so there is a plan of action for anything that might happen.

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#Fearlessness

“I hit the wall pretty hard in my first marathon.”

“I got a bad cramp at that 25km mark.”

“My IT Band Syndrome is haunting me again!”

Marathoners are likely to experience the above situations, and yet, they sign up another marathon right after one. Marathoners have the ability to bounce back from adversity, pain or a disappointing performance. When trainings or races are not going well, the mentally tough runner remains both strong and flexible, able to respond to any situation that arises. Running a marathon teaches us to enjoy the pain, isolate the lesson and quickly move on to focus on the immediate goal ahead. No wonder a marathoner remains fearless and continuing to be competitive!

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Decide to embrace the marathon and the lessons it has to teach?

Pick one of the EXTREME #TrulyAsiaMarathon and make it your next target race.

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Looking for more races around the world?

Check out our up-to-date interactive map of World’s Best Marathons.

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$25 Only for SCMS Warm Up Event

Come gauge how ready you are for the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2016! SCMS brings to your their very first pre-event test run! This inaugural event is happening on the 24th September 2016 at the Singapore Sports Hub Centre!! You’ll have an array of distances to choose from – 5.2km, 10.5km, 16km and 21km! Pick a distance inside your comfort zone and put your training to the test! You will get your official timing as well – so you know how much more work needs to be done to hit your Personal Bests for SCMS 2016!

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Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience race day conditions and benchmark your current fitness level!

Great Discounts for JRL readers

Great news for JustRunLah! readers. Register now for any category at only $25! What a steal! This exclusive discount is valid untill 31st August 2016!

Click here to register using promo code: JRL25 
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Race Review: The Color Run Singapore 2016 [5km] (by Roarie)

Dubbed as the ‘Happiest 5K On The Planet”, The Color Run (World Series) is back in action and happened over the 3rd weekend of August (20th and 21st)! This is the first time for Reyrey and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me.

The race pack collection happened over the weekend of 13th – 15th August at City Square Mall, same collection weekend as that of New Balance Run On SG, Puma Night Run and NUS Ru pickups. Collection site also allows late registrations and I managed to get one of my “fun gang” member, Juan to sign up for this highly anticipated run with me, along with my kakis.

My kakis and I decided that we would go for the Sunday slot since we had to complete our New Balance Run ON SG (Team challenge) and also I thought the organizer will be more generous with the colored powder thrown out at runners (since it is the last day of this year’s edition and it is perfectly normal to use up everything that was left over from Saturday’s instance LOL)!

With the race village situated by the Beach Station, it became too familiar and we already knew where We will be meeting each other and how the route will likely be like (slopes by the first KM) and we were totally correct about it. It was a great turn up with music playing, food/beverage (beer has to be paid)/photo printing booths that are already bombarded with queues by fellow Color runners getting their food, drinks and posing for photos that they can print out for free. Freebies such as sunglasses and visors were being given away (literally flown off the stage by the emcees) and our hands were too short to catch ’em!

Into the run and by the end of each kilometer or so, every runner dashes through a color-specific zone where volunteers threw out color powder onto the runners – turquoise, orange, pink, green and a packet of mixed powder handed out to the finishers by the finish line. I particularly loved the pink zone where we hung out at for a long while doing all sorts of crazy poses, and many instagram-worthy ones LOL. The only hydration point was situated perfectly right beside the beach station at approximately into 2.5 km of the run inside a sheltered zone allowing us to catch our breath (from our fun walk), and hidden away from the sun – yes, we walked most of the route since we planned not to run but swee swee complete this with poise and class (not!)

After re-grouping, we continued laughing at our lame jokes and how we looked (Serene become Fiona of Shrek), making hi-5s with fellow color runners in the opposite direction , and finally crossing the finish line together (all 9 of us!). The entire event was absolutely perfect for groups of running friends or even families who occasionally love having a great time spent together at un-timed, uncompetitive (except competing who stayed the cleanest by the end of the run LOL) fun run with lotsa fun to top it off. We also gained a PW (personal worst time) for a 5K at sub 2! 🙂

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Race Review: New Balance Run On 2016 [7km + 1km] (by Rebekah Ong)

Fun was definitely the word to describe this year New Balance Run On SG event! The race distance for the event was 7 km but participants have the option to RUN ON one extra kilometer on race day, and earn themselves an exclusive NB Run On Achievement Badge! I joined last year and I couldn’t wait to add on to my collection of New Balance Run On SG unique race medals. I’m changing my review style to highlight the things that I loved about the event and things that I thought could be done better.

Let me first start with the POSITIVES:

RACE ENTRY PACK COLLECTION (REPC)

  • Organised collection process – I went on a Sunday afternoon after lunch with 3 of my close girlfriends. We didn’t need to queue at all. The volunteers were quick and efficient and knew what they had to do. They quickly got our items for our race pack, asked us to verify the name stated on both the race bib and timing chip. They also remembered to offer us a lucky draw to see whether we can win for ourselves a pair of new Vazee Rush or Vazee Pace shoes, but alas, both my friends and I are never lucky for lucky draws.
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  • Free Silk-screening – Big thanks to the people at The General Co. for silkscreening our race tees!! I always look forward to the cool designs that you guys have. This year I chose “IT NEVER GETS EASIER, YOU JUST GET STRONGER, #RUNONSG”. My friend Cheng Yee chose the same design too. We really liked this tagline because running is never easy, and you got to do it consistantly in order to get stronger and better! My friend Kalsom and Jennifer chose “RUN SHIOK SHIOK”! That is one funny tagline! So Singaporean but who can deny the “feel-good” feeling after a run! I can certainly attest to that!

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  • Fantastic idea to have a flea market (LACE UP) – Loved the idea on how NB Run On did a tie up with The Local People by orgainising this flea market! It was cool to see all the local designers products that were available! My friends and I stopped by the FAWN pop up store. They were selling Vinyl stickers which I thought were super cute! Most of us ended up buying the stickers from them. I bought a fat unicorn sticker which I’m going to paste on my luggage!

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RACE DAY

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  • Fast and organised boarding of the shuttle buses
    Thank you organiser for providing free shuttle services to the event site! That was a fantastic call because it’s so difficult to get there! We arrived at around 4 pm at Stadium MRT and didn’t have to wait long to board a shuttle bus to the event site. Intervals were very fast and we could see the shuttles leaving promptly and arriving really quickly. Volunteers did a good job in crowd controlling.
  • Cool photo opportunities – I love how the organiser had cool props for the participants to take photos with! What’s a run event without having photo memories! Best part was that they had assigned volunteers at each station to help take photos! This makes it so much easier when taking group photos!

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  • Awesome host and music provided throughout entire event – Two thumbs up to Kimberly Wang, Elias Soh and DJ A/K/A ATTAGIRL. Kimberly and Elias entertained the crowd really well by charming us with their personality and also providing us details about the race and it was just nice listening to her talk! DJ A/K/A ATTAGIRL beats were so cool that they just made you wanna party! The combination of them just made the event really hyped! Check out the flag-off video!

  • Nice Scenic race route and enthusiastic volunteers – Love how beautiful the Singapore skyline is. From the START pen and all way throughout the route where we ran past the Marina Barrage and Gardens By the Bay. We also got to see the otters when we were starting our run! At my 2.5 km mark, I saw the first few runners coming back and that included some familiar faces like Mok Ying Ren, Shah Feroz and Colin Tung who were also participating in the race. Boy they were super fast and I can only dream of doing that pace. I excitedly cheered them on as they past. I did the extra 1 km and I gotta to say I was impressed with the volunteers who were at the extra 1 km because they were the most enthusiastic of all! Their encouragement does play a part in motivating those who are already tired out from the 7 km to keep pushing.
  • Cool finisher medal and achievement badge – I’m so glad that I completed the race in that scorching heat. It was definitely not an easy one to keep pace. It was great feeling to be rewarded with a nice medal and an achievement badge to mark the end of the race!

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  • Fantastic post race refreshments – This is one of the main reasons why the NB Run On SG event is the best! Free flow of food everywhere! From beers to truffle fries, there were many more other fantastic refreshments like hot dogs, fish balls, ice-cream, yogurt etc. You definitely won’t grow hungry and you’ll be satisfied! Coconut water was given to participants to re-hydrate their bodies which had raced in the grueling evening heat! The weather was a killer!

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  • Cool post race contest – I like that the organisers catered for those who were there to just enjoy and not running competitively. I liked how they were running Instagram contest and giving out NB starter kits. Too bad I didn’t Instagram early enough because they had a cut-off timing at 18:30 hrs.

Now for the things that I thought COULD HAVE BEEN DONE BETTER:

  • Flag-off Timing to be reflected instead of event start time – This was one of the big things that I really didn’t appreciate. When you state 5pm is the START time, people would automatically assume that flag off is at 5pm. Most races would emphasise their flag-off timings rather than start pen open timings on their websites and race booklets. We would not go into the nitty-gritty of the race booklet to see the program schedule. So when I thought the start time was 5pm, my group and I headed to the starting pen early only ending up to be stuck there for another half an hour before flag-off! It was NOT a nice feeling because we got stuck in front of a speaker blasting the music and also because it was super hot that day!! We felt like sausages on a flaming grill!!! My only consolation was that I got to see Mok Ying Ren walk past while he was heading for the front of the START line 15 minutes before flag-off and he said hi!!! To bad I couldn’t get him to take a photo because it was soooo squeezy but it was really nice seeing him.
  • Not enough hydration points – There was only one hydration point for the entire race! And that was only at the 2km/5km mark which was the Marina Barrage area. It was sooo hot yesterday that another hydration point at the U-Turn point would be a real treat but unfortunately there wasn’t. Maybe the organiser could set up an extra hydration point at next year’s event.
  • Not reflecting the race route accurately in the race booklet – Now we all know that NB Run On SG has a really fantastic design crew but the one thing they did not do was to reflect that we had to go up the Marina Barrage slope. In the race guide, they just drew a straight 90 degree turn which a lot of us would expect it to be flat ground but it was not. Run Events like the Performance Series did do so by highlighting the actual route and I appreciated that because having myself being mentally prepared, helps me plan how fast and how much effort I need to keep on going for my entire race. I’ve circled the area in RED that I was highlighting.

    Note: Maps are from New Balance Run On SG website and The Performance Series website

    Maps Comparison

Overall it was a  fun event and I enjoyed every moment of it! I took a lot of photos and they will be memories that I keep! I’ll definitely look forward to next year event where we go the distance again. Interestingly, my group still had the energy after the event to go and catch Pokemon around the area! It was a fruitful ‘Pokemon’ing session! In total I managed to add these new additions to my Pokedex a Clefairy, Rhydon and 2 Jynxs! Till my next write-up! Stay healthy and happy!

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Race Review: The Color Run Singapore 2016 [5km] (by Lingderella)

image It was raining so heavily when I woke up, but luckily no rain in the noon. Think the Sun pity us those runners who was so burnt yesterday so today went resting behind the clouds this afternoon. Yay! 😊

image Race pack collection is great, there’s no queue at all maybe because that there were 4 generous long days for us to collect our race pack and some people get their race packs to be delivered as they took the deluxe slots. There’s two days we can choose to runon, either Saturday or Sunday 😊 But we have New Balance Run on Saturday so we go for the Sunday’s Color Run. The race fee is quite expensive, if I didn’t remember wrongly the early bird slot also need to cost me $55. But fun runs are always slightly more expensive than those normal race. But this Color Run is worth it to go, my friends and I are already looking forward to next year’s color run. The deluxe slot cost about $40 more, but I don’t think that there is a need to spend the extra money. I can use that money to sign up for 1 more race 😆

image It’s not the first time I cut my shirt, I cut the T-shirt for One Piece run too. I don’t like T-shirt 😖 And many people really cut their shirt till so trendy and nice, think it’s either they are creative or they really got effort go YouTube on the ways to cut a T-shirt 😍 Unlike me no licensed and took me only about 5 mins to a draw a few lines and cut.

The location of the run is at Sentosa and the flag off time is at 4pm. I took the monorail in from Vivo, as we wanted to avoid the crowd, we decided to meet earlier. As we are wearing the Color Run shirts and bibs, its free entry for us to Sentosa! The staff at the monorail is so friendly! She gives every runner a hi-5, and wishes us a happy run!

image The Color Run claims to be the planet’s happiest 5km and indeed it truly is! 😆 I’ve been to Hello Kitty Run, Music Run, Batman Vs Superman these types of fun runs too, but it is so far never as fun and being happy as the Color Run 😁

image The start pen opens only 5 mins before flag off, which is great. At the start line, they were already spraying the runners with the color powder. And started throwing freebies like sunglasses, visors and wrist bands to the runners. I caught none 😂

My friends and I didn’t run we jog a little only at the start and after the first 1km, we walked all the way. We can always run in other runs but now I see it that for fun runs we should spend more time, be slow and enjoy! 😁 Every 1km point there’s a different color powder being splashed to the runners by the volunteers. Serene said that we are paying to get dirty and get “sabo” 😆

All my friends and I got our “personal worst” timing. A 5km route took us almost 2 hours to complete as halfway at the hydration point we stop and waited quite a long time for Eugene who kena stucked and jammed every where, at the the flag off, at the monorail. He came over after the Trifactor race this morning. I didn’t feel the wait because the rest of us were under the shelter at the hydration point enjoying the super cold and shiok 100 Plus, taking photos and looking at other colorful runners. It’s actually quite therapeutic to see so many happy faces. People were all so smiley 😊

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There’s many youngsters at this Color Run. They were all so fun and energetic! 😆 They are so cute lah! They even roll on the floor to get the colors on them. After the run there’s a concert on stage and may of them were on the “dance floor” dancing and jumping. It’s so fun to hang out with friends like this. How come during my teenage days there’s nothing so fun like this? It’s ok, I’ll forever be young at heart! 😂

And something funny happened! Refer to the snapshot below and the hashtags 😂:

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HAHAHAHAHA! 😂 Sometines when I go running with my phone and if it suddenly rains, to prevent my phone getting more wetter than my sweat I will also put my phone there. But must depends on the sports bra support also lah, if not phone will also drop out 😆

image Although the quality of the medal is not good and design of the medal looks simple and no effort but at least the floral lanyard is nice. What’s more important is the fun and happy memories made with friends for this run 😊 And the race village is fun with the music and people dancing. There seems to be unlimited water available in the race village at the hydration point and we can just go to the hydration counter to take the bottles of water and cans of cold hundred plus. And of course we didn’t missed out having fun taking a photo at the Haribo photo booth. Hurhurhur! Faster than Usain Bolt? 😆

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Guess many color runners will stay and party there till 9pm as the atmosphere is really fantastic! 😊But we are hungry and the next day we need to work so we leave, took quick rinse and change into a fresh set of clothes and have dinner at Vivo. Walking out because the monorail have long queues. When mood is beautiful, everything is beautiful and nothing negative gets in. Pokemon Go players are cute today 😊

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Race Review: New Balance Run On 2016 [7km + 1km] (by Lingderella)

image No. As of now, I will not sign up runs that flags off before 6.30pm anymore, not at the moment 😅 Because paying money to torture yourself is not worth it. But tomorrow’s Color Run flag off time is at 4pm. See how I get burnt 😭 The flag off for New Balance Run is at 5.30pm, the start pen opens at 5pm. It’s a torture, roasting ourselves under the sun to wait for the flag off. Unless the fear of Sunshine is gone, or the craziness kicks in, or the race is attractive enough to lure me to sign up again, no more race at a timing when the Sun is there to get me 50 shades darker 😭

imageI know its unglam to be squatting down while waiting for flag off but I seriously feel so unwell to stand. Start pen shouldn’t have opened so early since they have plenty of fun things in the race village for the runners to enjoy. I was so drained and I got a little dizzy while I was in the start pen waiting for flag off. Rey says I looked pale. I was sweating, the Sun is so fierce today. I’m not fast so cannot be in the first wave so my punishment for not being fast is to be roasted under the Sun and be roasted longer 😂

Two weeks ago I just ran a half marathon and it wasn’t even as tiring as this 7km plus 1km run! 😭 While waiting for flag off I was telling myself, no I won’t be running the extra 1km just for the iron-on-badge(maybe the last 1km run should includes run for a good cause, this would makes the additional 1km more worth running). I’m already super tired before I even started running. But I saw Kelvin right ahead out of the sea of orange(our group of friends all wore blue today 😁)just shortly after I passed the finishing line, he’s going to run the additional 1km. I catch up with him and we finished the last 1km together. I will never run the additional 1km if I did not saw him, it’s really friends who keeps us going 😊

imageReally, why is the flag off at 5.30pm? Why is it at Gardens by the Bay east so not accessible? Venue cost will be cheaper? Although there’s shuttle bus, but still the place is not very accessible. I cab down with my friends there because I just ended pole class. I’ll be late if I take the bus or MRT and after the run, my friends and I walked to Stadium because the shuttle bus queue is crazily long 😭

image“Unleash your speed” 😅 Cannot unleash because of the “human jam” 😂 Luckily I don’t run fast because how to run fast when when there is no space to run? 😂 The flag off was in waves but how many waves were there? It felt as if after the first wave runners were flag off, then all the rest of the runners were “released” to run. I don’t really know how many waves were we flag off in but when I finally passed the start line when it’s about 5.45pm, imagine a piece of meat left under the Sun for 45minutes, it’s gonna be almost cooked 😭 I thought I will be relief to start but I was super super not happy. Pokemon Go players is catching Pokemon just steps away after the start line! OMG, it was already so congested and they were there blocking the path 😑

Signing up for runs is to have fun and enjoy but still, I got many things to complain 😂 I don’t drink coconut drink, it’s given at the hydration points and end of the run. Though some of my friends like it and says its refreshing and nice. Sadly the water is not cold at the hydration point and race village and water runs out at the race village around 7pm 😭 There’s only 1 hydration point along the route at barrage, consider it 2 because it’s to and fro but it’s at the same spot. And to consider the weather, it’s so freaking hot that two hydration point is seriously not enough with this kind of weather that makes you feel like you were in a desert 😂 No cold water some more, if got cold water it won’t be as bad actually 😔

image But still, there’s good things about the run. What’s best for this run is that there is FREE BEER for all runners who are 18 years old and above! Guess it’s the only carbonated drink I like! 😆 And the rose beer is really nice! 😍

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The photo booth is really nice, taking three shots then printed on a print out that moves. However seems like the printout needs a lot of time to get printed. We took the shots at around 5pm but even when before we leave the place some time after 8pm it’s still not ready yet 😂 I’ll still need to send them a selfie so they can identify my photos through email or message so they can print the print outs and mail to us. And there’s another print out of our photos on a card as sovenirs 😍 Its nice to have photos and sovenirs other than medals and bibs only to keep 😊

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The only place with no queueing at all is baggage deposit and collection, nice! 😊 And I must really say that the race village is actually very awesome. I enjoyed the music by the DJ and the band. There’s many food like yogurt, ice cream, hot dog buns, fish balls and truffle fries 😍 But I didn’t queue for food only for the beer 😆

The race fee is not expensive compared to other race and to consider all these food and beer that is at the race village given to the runners. Though I will still need to think thrice if the flag off time of the run is still at 5.30pm next year. Hopefully next time they will organise at a better time when the Sun is not so glaring.

imageOverall, I still enjoyed today’s run! Maybe it’s because of great company of friends! And thank you July, Yi Heng and Guo Jun who’s not running to come down specially to cheer for us who are running 😊

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5 Dangerous Routes in Asia Runners Love

Danger can come in many forms, whether it is due to the trail or to the surroundings, natural or man-made. Many runners, especially those who have been doing it for a long time, tend to desire new and more challenging running routes from time to time and sometimes, it has gotten them into trouble. A different trail is always going to be exciting but do take note of the dangers that lie within. If you feel you must do a couple of high risk runs during your lifetime, here are five of some of the more dangerous running routes in Asia.

1. Bukit Batok Nature Reserve, Singapore

Let’s start off with a place in our home country. As much as Singapore is considered one of the safest countries in the world, we cannot let our guard down because “Low crime doesn’t mean no crime”. Bukit Batok Nature Reserve is a very scenic place, with lots of flora and fauna to gaze upon. The trail is easy to run and since it is shrouded with so many trees, it makes for a very cooling and refreshing run too. However, here’s where the danger lies. Because of the thick vegetation and lack of people at certain times of the day, this park has been the scene of a series of high-profile violent crimes over the last 20 years, including eight murders and a series of rapes and stabbings. If this doesn’t deter you from giving this route a go, try to run in a group to be safe.

2. Alas Purwo National Park, Indonesia

The rainforest trails through this park will leave you feeling super exhausted because of the powerful humidity and heat of the environment. But the route is flanked with many unique flora and fauna to enjoy and the general quality of the air makes any run worth it. What’s the danger here you may ask? Tigers.

3. Mt Kintamani, Indonesia

Indonesia - The top of Rinjani Mt 3,726m Lombok island

Many runners aspire to do volcanic trails and it is not without reason. Running uphill through a relatively treacherous path can be exhilarating but also dangerous at the same time. For Mt Kintamani, you will be rewarded with an awesome view of the surroundings from the top when you get there.It is considered one of the more easier routes but still, doing a mountain trail is doing a mountain trail and you need to be careful at all times. Point to note too though, do check on the activity of the volcano before you embark on this adventure because the most recent, albeit minor, eruptions happened sometime in 2009, not too long ago.

4. Mt Fuji, Japan

The route is beautiful and scenic, filled with lovely flora and fauna and that view to die for. The air is crisp and fresh but not for long because this famous mountain in Japan reaches a staggering altitude of 3,776 metres. And we all know what happens at that height. With a 3,000 metre elevation-gain, 21 degrees temperature difference from the ground and a 70 per cent drop in oxygen levels, you know this won’t just be another walk in the park. Regardless, the Fuji Mountain Race is held every year without fail and have attracted and stumped many a runner. Make sure your lungs are thoroughly ready to take on this punishment before you even plan on going anywhere near this trail.

5. Mt Everest, Nepal

Nepal Everest Anniversary

And how about a run up the iconic Mt Everest? If you are game enough to try,you can sign up for the Everest Marathon which takes place once every year in May and attracts super adventurous runners looking for new thrills. The run starts at Everest Base Camp (located 7,598 feet above sea level), and traverses through the sublime landscape of the Himalayas. Although most of the run is downhill, there are two steep uphill sections to watch out for. Runners are also advised to be there two to three weeks prior to the marathon to acclimatise properly. Oh yes, and there is also going to be snow and ice on the ground. Go figure.

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Why I Run

Run happy, run free

I have been asked this question many times. “Running is so tough”, “Running is so tiring”, “There are better things to do”, “Why would you want to get all sweaty” they say.

Let me get to the very beginning then.

The original Army Half Marathon I took part whilst in service back in 1997 aside, the first running event I ever signed up for was ‘Love Your Heart Run’ in 2013. It was an impromptu registration having came across the road show while shopping. So me and my then girlfriend decided to sign up for the 10km category. The run went okay but being a novice, very casual runner I was then, I did a “run 5km walk rest of 5km” run. I can still remember I experienced cramps on my calves when I tried to sprint towards the finish line after walking for 5km. That was how my first run event concluded.

Love Your Heart Run
Love Your Heart Run

Sometime last year in 2015, I came across the ‘Nila Run’ in commemoration of the SEA Games and somehow decided to register for it. Shortly after I got to know about “Sundown Marathon” and being the noob I was, I naively signed up for the Full Marathon category after deriving that I should be able to tackle it using the formula of “5km I did in 36mins, so 42km I should be able to complete within 8hrs without problem”. In preparation for it, I went for runs. And by runs, I mean distances varying from 5km to a maximum of 8km. Yes, I only ran up to 8km to prepare for a 42.195km run. I said I was a noob did I not? In the end, I did complete the Sundown Marathon in 6hrs 55mins though during the course of it I did wonder what did I get myself into and realised how unprepared I was for such a long duration run.

Sundown 2015
Sundown 2015

However, my Sundown experience did not deter me from going for more runs. From then on, I started to register for runs after runs, accumulating about 43 finisher medals so far in the year since Sundown 2015.

Now, why do I keep running

When I first started, I merely wanted to kill time since I had time to fill on weekends. Really, it was that simple. I had no Olympic dream, no desire to lose weight (more on that later), no wish to be a champion. I just wanted to kill time. I have no knowledge of running techniques (I still do not), running styles, running gaits, what are splits. I just ran.

Over time, I met more and more fellow runners, some whom would later become friends. We bonded because of this common interest and I got to know more about the local running community. As with normal friends, during the course we would drift away from some due to differences in running goals but I guess that is normal.

I have always been running on “feel”. When I feel like running a 5km, I just run a 5km. When I feel like doing a 15km, I would just do a 15km. If I feel like running at MR the next day, I would just go. Feel like doing hills? Hills I will do. I do not follow training programs, I do not do tapering for marathons, I do not follow “expert advices” on how or when to run as I find these too restrictive. I run to enjoy the run itself, be it slow or fast. If I always have to follow what other people tell me to, would I be running for myself or running for them? True? By the books, I am still breathing wrong, I am still running wrong, I am still preparing for a run wrong so I cannot get faster. But do I care? No, I do not.

These couple of months I have started to shift my run focus towards trail and ultra running. Main reason was I am started to find the “PB chasing” mentality of road runs more and more annoying. After every road run I went to, the topic I hear at the end was always how fast I am, how slow he was, she did a PB, I am slow today because of the food I ate was wrong blah blah blah. Come on, it was just a casual run, this is not the Olympics nor even the SEA Games, are those really so important? To some, those meant the world to them, so much so that every own run outside of events are classified as “training for marathons”. I can only say all the best to you folks then. There was once I heard a coach said that people will laugh at you if you were to tell them you completed a marathon beyond 7hrs and I have to say I totally disagree with that. Must every run success be measured by time instead of the will and strength to complete it? If I did a marathon in 8hrs, does it mean I did not put in effort and it was just a walk in the park? If I run slow would it mean I am a failure? It would seem to suggest so. There was this particular write up I came across some time ago that really put what I said into perspective. You can take a look at it here http://www.runnersworld.com/road-scholar/the-boston-humbler .

In trail and ultra running, the mindset is totally different. Any completion within the Cut Off Time (COT) is a success. Of course there are the usual podium winners but outside of that, PBs and such are never discussed. Our concern was always did we complete the course within the COT and anyone who did are always congratulated with nary a question on timing. In ultra runnings, we will even see runners running side by side ( I do not mean pacers but actual runners who registered for the event)to spur each other on towards the finishing line, something I have not and doubt will ever see in HMs or FMs as everybody is so competitive. I truly enjoy the camaraderie we have amongst the trail and ultra runners and this is what kept me going.

Ultra family pacing Guru for his 200 miles - Completion
Ultra family pacing Guru for his 200 miles – Completion

This is why I have almost stop going to local road running events and shifted my runs to trails or ultras. Of course, the repetitive routes for the local road runs had bored me too. The runs are either Gardens by the Bay or East Coast Park. Boring is it not?

What have I gained by running

Besides the valuable friendship with some amazing people, an added bonus was that I had lost a considerable amount weight since I started running. As I mentioned earlier, I did not run to lose weight. Quite simply because I did not see a need to at all. But as with all things we have no expectations of, I did lose some kilos and well, I am pretty happy with that too.

2014 vs 2016
2014 vs 2016

Who can run

ANYBODY. You do not have to be a Usain Bolt or a Kenyan to run. Anyone who can move their 2 legs can join in the fun. You do not have to be fast, you just have to go. If you had read that article I mentioned, you would agree that if Jacob can do it, so can you. Always remember, you run for nobody but yourself. As long as you enjoy it, fast or slow, that is good enough reason.

Just run
Just run
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5 Reasons You Should Totally Date A Runner

If you haven’t heard there’s this article on reasons NOT to date marathoners/runners! I mean sure dating a runner may not seem like the brightest idea. Who would want to spend their time with a running-obsessed addict? These strange people drop cash on racing a 5km or 10km when they could just go out and run, FOR FREE! They are out at the break of dawn, you’re going to be waking up to an empty bed most of the time. They are either running or sleeping, and haven’t you heard, they call sleeping RECOVERY to justify their whole afternoon post-run in bed! Oh, and have you seen their toenails? Definitely a deal-breaker!

We’d be super happy if running and us could grow old together, happily ever after!

Well, if you can’t see past all that jazz, you obviously don’t deserve us runners! Other than we are pretty damn amazing people, here’s our comeback!

#1 We’re in the best shape possible

Sexy Runner

Because duh, we run so much, of course we’re in a shape that’s not round! Did we mention that we have killer legs too? If only bodies could kill, it might be the end of the world with so many runners running around. Even if we’re not there yet, you can bet with running, we’re going to get there real soon! But of course we’re loved beyond our great legs.

#2 We are better than your AA group – BEST support system ever!

lazy running

We are probably the best support system you can find! Of course, we don’t feel like running great distances every day, life gets in the way – work, boyfriend, dog! But we know it’s days when we don’t feel like running, that we need it the most. We are probably the most self-motivated people around, and you will rub off on some of our sparkle. Motivate people? We are more than just good at motivating other people, we’ve got that nailed down! You may not want it, but be sure, we will get you moving!

#3 Invitation to the Crazy

outdoors

We’re just more adventurous people! We love the outdoors! We’re up for almost anything! We will definitely push you out of your comfort zone. And if you don’t run, we’re going to make you run – like it or not, you’re going to learn to love it! And if you’re already a runner, we’ll make you a crazier runner! Of course, just because we are a runner it doesn’t mean that’s the only crazy we do. And really, everyone needs a little crazy in their life.

#4 WE LOVE FOOD more than we love people

food

Foodie is our middle name! We live to eat! We won’t pick at the menu just to eat half a salad! We will finish our burger and fries, and may even start on yours! Gone are the days where you will need to finish that pasta for your girl, despite being already super-full. In fact, with us, you’re in for a treat. We are so passionate about food that you’re going to taste the best food in town, from street food to restaurant quality food. We’re a food dictionary!

#5 The new meaning of life

adventure (1)

We will bring you places and you will see life in a completely different perspective. We’re not going to just visit Mount Fuji on a tour bus, you will visiting her on our Ultra-Trail-Mount-Fuji trip. You’ll get to see more things this way. More breaths will be taken away than just one! You’ll be hiking up the Swiss Alps to see Jungfrau instead of taking the train to the top. Oh, and not to mention all the big and little places we’ll bring you to on our race-cations! Cambodia – definitely during the Angkor Wat Marathon please!

Okay, so now you can get in line =)

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