In aid of Andrew & Grace Home for girls, 5,000 females turned up for the inaugural Nike Goddess 5K run at the Marina Barrage.
Contributed By Kong Yun Rui
On the evening of Polling Day, March 7, the lush green plains of the Marina Barrage were covered by a sea of orange. The sea was made up of the 5,000 women who had signed up for the first-ever Nike Goddess 5K run, and everyone was decked in the bright orange Dri-Fit race T-shirt.
More than just a fun run, the race had a greater purpose: Nike Singapore channeled the proceeds of US$10,000 to Andrew & Grace Home. The home provides temporary refuge and care for girls suffering from physical and sexual abuse, delinquency and lack of family support.
In naming their beneficiary, Nike explained that the funds are to be invested in the development of the girls in the area of sports, inspiring them to turn to sports as a way to manage their challenges. The Nike race falls in line with the use of sports as a rehabilitative tool at the home.
A total of six girls and two staff of AGH joined in the run that evening. Devi Chandra, 23, sports coordinator at the home, shared, “Through sports, I become a role model to them. Jogging with them is an opportunity for me to inspire and help them.”
As for the other 4,992 girls (of all ages) also running, this was an exciting first in many ways. Nike has a yearly 10 km City Run, but this is the first time the sports brand has organized an all-women event. Also a first is the route: it spanned the Marina Barrage, the Marina Channel and the Waterfront Promenade, with the Singapore Flyer, the F1 Pit building and Benjamin Sheares Bridge in the backdrop, making this one of the most scenic run routes in Singapore.
There to spur them on were family and friends; among them was Chang Zi Wei, 24, an undergraduate, who came to support his girlfriend. He said, “A 5 km run like this is a great opportunity for women who are first-timers runners or who do not run often, to come together and experience a healthy lifestyle.”
Similar views were echoed by many of the participants. Displaying great enthusiasm, many stretched and warmed up and set their iPods to beat-pumping songs before the race. It was quite a fashionable crowd, accessorized with caps, armbands and shades.
Minutes to the start, with DJs Utt and Holly Grabarek bantering to get the participants in a good frame of mind, the girls grooved to upbeat music blaring over the sound system and geared up for the flag-off. As the run began at 5:30 p.m., the moving sea of orange was truly a sight to behold against the evening sun.
The first runner to complete the run was Anne Date, a Nike athlete, clocking a mere 18 minutes. Upon completion, runners were greeted with colorful gerbera flowers and a Nike “trophy” for everyone, presented by dashing young men. More surprises awaited the girls at the rooftop of the Barrage: drinks, finger foods, massages, a photo booth and more. A stage area had been set up, and serenading the crowd were three homegrown bands: Forgetting to Shower, Twoface and 53A.
Nike representative, Sue-Anne Chng, explained that the run and the post-event were done with the needs and wants of women in mind. The run originated from the annual Nike 10K City Run as Nike noticed a growing trend of more females taking up running as a sport, especially the younger ones—67 percent of the participants were under the age of 25. The Nike Goddess 5K celebrated the girl in every woman.
The run attracted runners from different countries, including Julia Didelle, 23, an intern from France and second runner-up in the under-25 category, who felt that the run was enjoyable and very well-organized.
The Nike Goddess run proved a powerful bonding exercise. Apart from individual runners, there were also buddy teams, where two friends, mother-daughter and teacher-student pairs, ran together, proving true the race slogan: “Girls who run together, stick together.”
The Nike City 10K Run is slated to take place between September and October 2011. To find out more, log on to http://www.nike.com/nikeos/p/nike/en_SG.