I can’t run without music. Ask any runner, casual or competitive: a good playlist is practically indispensable. A bangin’ track is all you really need to get you through that last painful stretch; about time a race married these two elements, then.
The Music Run by AIA came to Singapore for the first time ever on 11th April 2015, welcoming over 9,000 participants – 70% of whom were casual first-time runners – from the ages of three months to 71 years old. Previously rocking out in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Bangkok and Yangon, the non-competitive 5K finally hit our shores, literally (the event venue was on Sentosa) and boy, did we got our groove on.
SPOTIFY LETS YOU CHOOSE THE MUSIC
While the concept isn’t exactly new (the Electric Run comes to mind), what made things interesting was that the event playlist was entirely chosen by runners, who voted for their favourite songs for each of the five music zones through the official digital music partner, Spotify.
“The concept of The Music Run is a natural fit with Spotify,” said Aki Takahashi, head of consumer marketing at Spotify Asia, according to a media release. “Music and running have always gone hand-in-hand in a way that allows fitness buffs and casual runners alike to put on their headphones, press play and enjoy running to the rhythm of the beat.” And to make the experience as immersive as possible, there were over 150 concert quality speakers lining the route.
The fact that it was a fun run, and therefore family-friendly, made things all the more enjoyable – kids, pets and grandmothers all got in on the action. “The high spirits we see today proves that living healthily and keeping fit can be fun, and it was the right time for us to introduce The Music Run by AIA to Singapore,” said Ho Lee Yen, chief marketing officer of AIA Singapore, according to the release.
Besides the run itself, supporting events made it practically a whole-day affair. There was a warm-up Zumba workout and post-run music festival after, with DJ Greggy (AUS) and local beatboxer Dharni performing.
One of the sponsors, Head & Shoulders, also attempted to get into the Singapore Book of Records by getting Music Runners to tag their pictures with the hashtag #SGLargestGroufie, to beat the previous record of most number of pictures uploaded onto Instagram in four hours. They succeeded with 1111 posts, beating the previous record of 1072.
As you can imagine, this wasn’t too hard – there were endless photo ops, with trick-eye photo booths, inflatable music zone arches and impersonators dressed up as music legends (I spotted Elvis Presley and Bob Marley, among others).
Due to the layout of the route, some of the zones were bigger than others, hence a bigger sampling of songs from some genres. Personal favourite? Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor of course, but there were some other gems too.
See below for the list of songs:
Rock Zone Songs: Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi Radioactive – Imagine Dragons
Pop Zone Songs: Counting Stars – OneRepublic Bang Bang – Jessie J ft. Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
Retro Zone Songs: The Final Countdown – Europe Take On Me – a-ha Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
Hip Hop Zone Songs: Love More – Chris Brown ft. Nicki Minaj Berzerk – Eminem Turn Down for What – The Game ft. Problem & Clyde Carson
Dance Zone Songs: Levels (Electro House Session 5 Soft Edit) – Avicii Champagne Showers – LMFAO ft. Natalia Kills I Could Be The One – Avicii
***The AIA Dance Club ‘Rave Cave’ Dance Tunnel*** (Yes, a tunnel right smack in the middle of Tanjong Beach with DISCO LIGHTS and A SMOKE MACHINE and bouncers, even) Song: Titanium (Party Mix) – David Guetta ft. Sia
FACTOIDS ABOUT YOUR FAVES
While running, I noticed a number of music trivia signboards placed along the route. Did you know that Justin Timberlake recently bought MySpace along with two partners? Or that Skrillex was a character in Wreck-it-Ralph? Or that Aerosmith made more money from Guitar Hero than album sales? If ever you wanted to fill up your headspace with pop culture facts that tread the line between mildly interesting and fairly useless, this was the best place for it.
Still, the attention to detail and thoughtful touches like these were what made the entire experience for me. Each zone had its own colour scheme and themed attractions. Runners were also given inflatable microphones and electric guitars as props. And those who had opted to pay extra for the Rockstar racepack got some sweet lime green shades and other neat accessories to go with the bright pink race tee. Very colourful event, for sure!
Definitely gives you a run for your money (sorry, I just had to). The Music Run was a rousing success, in my opinion. Good, clean fun among a cheery, happy, sweaty crowd, with the option to cool off at the beach after – it was a pretty hot afternoon run, after all.
The crowd control could be better though. I waited 40 minutes just to flag off because of the sheer number of runners in my wave; the pathways were clogged with runners at some points; and trying to collect my things at the bag deposit station after the event was a nightmare.
Still, it was pure, unadulterated weekend fun, and I highly recommend going for next year’s edition.