Monday, 13 April 2015

Not Everything Needs To Be Competitive - The Music Run By AIA

In the past few years, I had participated at a number of competitive running events ranging from 5km races to the half marathons.  These running events often filled me with stress because of the effort I would take to train in preparation for the  events in the hope that my name would not appear in the websites, ranked amongst the last few runners crossing the finishing lines.  The most tragic assault to my ego, happened when at a half marathon, a bus came to pick the last few struggling runners attempting to navigate a never-ending highway.  I was one of these runners.   More often than not, I would complete the races with a shiny medal, a finishing t-shirt, a sun-burnt spot across my forehead and a sore knee.   

Over the weekend, the team and I participated in Singapore's inaugural Music Run by AIA.  My company was the presenting sponsor for the event, so naturally, I wanted to actively participate as a runner, and not just stand by the side to offer my royal wave after flagging off the event.  

Now, this running event was different from the others that I had participated in, organized or sponsored. It was truly unique.  The event was a non-competitive run that spanned 5km, with each km representing a music genre, rock, pop, hip hop, retro, and dance.  The playlist for each genre was put together by Spotify through a voting process that the participants were all part of.  It almost felt like each and everyone of the 9000 odd participants were actively involved in putting the event together.  

Selfies, Wefies And Groufies

My team and I were definitely ready for this.  What made us run-ready, was not only because the distance was short (thank goodness because a couple of my more sedentary team members whose idea of a run was a 3 meter dash to the snack basket at our work area) and music was involved but because along the route, there were so many photo opportunities for us to take our ubiquitious selfies.  You know Singaporeans...apart from pictures of food, we are pros when it comes to taking selfies, wefies and groufies.  Honestly, my mobile is filled with so many photographs of myself at the various running events in Singapore,  standing next to the 10km markers, 15km markers, 21 km markers and the finishing line. They were badly taken too because I only had 2 seconds to do it. Shaving off 2 seconds from my best time was a lot to ask of me in a competitive running event.  These photographs were so boring and over the years, they looked exactly the same.  

At the Music Run by AIA however, we took our time to do our selfies, wefies, and groufies against the colourful backdrops that represented the different music genre, and we even had photos taken next to roving characters impersonating artistes like Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, and I thought, one that looked like Elvis Presley before his peanut butter and jelly sandwich diet.

By the time we crossed the finishing line, one of my colleagues asked, “You mean we have come to the end of it?” 

A Nice Decent Pace

Okay.  I have to admit, I did not break a sweat.  That was because I had not even run the distance.  I walked rather briskly through the 5km and was too busy having fun with my IPhone camera along the route whilst enjoying the company of my colleague.   As she put it articulately,  “It was a nice, decent pace. Rather pleasant.”  Yes it was. It was rather pleasant.  I enjoyed the sea breeze, I enjoyed my casual chit-chat with several colleagues and old friends whom I had bumped into along the route.  I had such a good laugh watching fellow participants working their poses for their respective selfies, wefies and groufies.  I even had a rather brief mother-son bonding time with my son…and his girlfriend…..and his girlfriend’s friends because they had participated in the event too.  

Lots Of Energy In The Air

I think one of the best things about the Music Run by AIA, was the energy in the air. The DJs were key to creating that energy.  They were superb at engaging the crowd right from the start.  I overheard a participant commenting, "The party started even before the run did!"  Needless to say, many stayed right through to the end, even after the after-party ended.  I understood, they had an "After After-Party" at Tanjong Beach Club later that night.  Frankly, how many running events had I been to when I just wanted to pick up my medal, rush home to have a shower, drink 6 gallons of water, eat a truck load of pasta and then get back to bed?   At this event, many of us did not want to go home. We wanted to party through the night! The fireworks display only egged us on to beg the DJs to continue with their gig. 

So here’s what I think of the Music Run by AIA.  If I wanted to be part of a competitive race clocking in my best time for the half marathon, of course I would be at the wrong event.  This event was different however, because it reminded me to let my hair down and have fun with my team again.  It reminded me not to take everything too seriously.  It reminded me to laugh at myself more.  It reminded me to take a stroll and smell the roses from time to time.  Not everything needs to be a competition.  

I really cannot wait for the event next year as I am sure, it is going to be bigger and even better.

The photos in this post have been lifted from the AIA Singapore Facebook page

About The Writer

The writer of this blog post is a Marketing and PR professional for over 20 years.  Due to her love for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), she is also a freelance sports writer on the side, contributing MMA-related articles to several sports media.  She works in partnership with her husband, David Ash, who is an avid sports photographer from  She is passionate about Boxing and Muay Thai and nurtures a dream to fight competitively one day when her coach stops making fun of her.  She is also a psychic intuitive by birth and runs a consultancy that does tarot and numerology readings under her brand, Sun Goddess Tarot.  This blog is affectionately called "The Crazy AngMo" as she is married to one, although she has not yet explained to THE Ang Mo that when translated, he has been labeled  “the bloke with ginger hair”.  

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