Singapore is sprinting after ‘run-cations”, i.e. vacations planned around running events, as the Lion City witnesses a jump in lifestyle and thematic runs.
According to Sports Singapore (SportSG), the country's governing body for sports, the number of lifestyle and thematic runs in the city rose from 70 events in 2013, to 125 in 2016.
OSIM Sundown Marathon 2015. Credit: OSIM Sundown Marathon
SportSG and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) work closely with stakeholders such as the Singapore Sports Hub, local sports associations and event organisers to attract both local and foreign participation comprising competitors, family and friends of competitors, officials, volunteers and spectators and business.
Peter Tan, managing director of JustConnect, managing JustRunLah! a leading running and fitness portal in Asia, said run-cations now appeal strongly to an international audience as more runs feature themes, fitness components such as dancing or yoga, and new concepts. The Performance Series, for example, brings runners to various venues across the island.
HiVelocity Events, organiser of Sundown Marathon, also partners STB, travels agents and hotels to “sell Singapore as a travel + run-cation destination” to an international audience, said managing director, Adrian Mok.
“Singapore is growing to be a regional sports hub, especially with the recent proliferation of sports facilities across the nation. We have a scenic CBD area, where most of the big races run pass (and) tourists get to visit our iconic landmarks while running in a race.”
He added the OSIM Sundown Marathon 2015 – Asia’s largest night run – attracted 10,000 ‘run-cation’ fans and anticipates a stronger international presence this year with the debut of a night festival featuring a variety of other activities, such as basketball tournaments and pilates workouts.