#FITNESS

This Is Now The Largest Virtual Run In Singapore

Get the rundown on the SAFRA Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon 2021.

By Ryan Wee      20 December 2021

This is the beauty of a virtual run.

You clock the klicks on your favourite routes anytime you’re game.

And in spite of the giant shadow cast by a tiny virus, running fans and newcomers alike took to their chosen paths, roads and trails for the SAFRA Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon (SSBR & AHM) 2021.

With almost 29,000 pairs of kicks driving into asphalt and dirt, and millions of steps taken collectively, SSBR & AHM 2021 smashed the record as the largest virtual run our island has ever seen.

Keep scrolling for a glimpse of some adventures that took the runners through…

Heartland neighbourhoods…

Photo: Justin Lin M

Iconic landmarks…

Photo: Linfeng Chua

The calm of greenery and chirping crickets…

Photo: Sujuandy Bin Suppa’at

Still waters…

Photo: Amy Ramirez

Against the backdrop of the city…

Photo: Justin Lin M

Picturesque skies…

Photo: Yi Qian Goh & Linfeng Chua

And the quiet of the night.

Photos: Eunice McOanil (left) and Ng Chek Hock (right)

Stories from the runners

In the running with Dad

For Derek Lim, age 39, the 2021 virtual run keeps him on track to complete his goal of a decade running at the SAFRA Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon.

His personal hero is his dad, SK Lim, an avid runner at 72 years.

“As a kid, nothing could beat the feeling of pride when I watched my dad go on stage to collect trophies for coming in first in his age group. His cupboard is filled with countless medals and trophies.”

Photos: Derek’s dad, SK Lim, in 1991, 2009 and in 2016 (left to right).

He recounted fond memories of past training sessions with his father as a child.

“To catch up with him, I would cycle alongside during his runs, or he would carry me on his shoulders. We’d finish with a sprinting race, and he’d always let me win. The time spent together, the laughter and bonds shared, are priceless. “

“In 2013, my dad invited me to join him in that year’s SAFRA Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon. That awoke the running genes I inherited from him. I’ve not stopped participating since, including running in this year’s 21km challenge virtually.”

Getting personal (bests) with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

If there were a hall of fame for inspirational runners, the name Raymond Fong probably deserves a place.

A sprinter in his younger days, he developed chronic pain after a knee injury and surgery. That didn’t stop him from training himself up for long distance running, and eventually conquering the distance in the newly introduced 21km Cumulative Challenge, which allows runners to complete the 21 klicks over a series of shorter runs.

“I alternate between slow runs and brisk walking. In addition, I make sure I cover the long distances that I set out to accomplish for every running session. Took lots of selfies and had lots of fun along my chosen route at Marina Bay Sands and Gardens By The Bay!”

Photos: Raymond Fong on the scenic routes at the SAFRA Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon 2021.

And he gets his inspiration from a wrestling and Hollywood A-lister.

“I watched a motivational clip by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and modified his quote to motivate myself. ‘I’m not walking. I’m not running. I’m building up. I’m making breakthroughs.’

“It helps me shift my focus away from the physical strain of the run, and onto the conviction that I am training to become stronger, fitter, and faster.

“When the weather turned sunny and scorching during mid-morning after the cool of the early morning, I slowed down much due to the unbearable heat. That was the most challenging part of running the SSBR & AHM for me.

“But I pressed on knowing the breakthroughs in my personal bests are waiting for me at the end of the rainbow. I’ve never felt as strong and fit as I do now.”

Featured image: Yi Qian Goh & Linfeng