I started running regularly when I was a junior college student as a way to keep fit. Doing it cost me next to nothing, save for a pair of shoes, so that was a big part of its appeal. My parents lived within walking distance of East Coast Park, so there was the added incentive of enjoying the sea breeze as I ran.
Running continued to be my go-to exercise for many years. In my twenties, I challenged myself further by participating in races covering routes between five and 10km in distance. The longest race I did was a half marathon (21km). When I was 30, a back injury unrelated to running and a wonky right knee threw a spanner in the works, and I was forced to focus on more low-impact workouts.
Personally, running was awesome on so many levels. It helped me de-stress and felt particularly good after a long day at work. I could also turn it into a social activity whenever I wanted company. Plus, research has shown that the exercise boosts cardiovascular health. The benefits of running are simply endless.
However, the best part about running is that it is timeless – it transcends fitness trends. What’s more, anyone who is in relatively good health can run. There are no barriers to entry, and it is less intimidating compared to other workouts. All this became apparent to me when we had the eleventh edition of Shape Run on July 24, 2016. The run was first introduced in 2006 to inspire women to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle. Over a decade later, it is still as popular as ever. We had an amazing turnout of over 9,500 women of all ages and all fitness levels, many of whom have been attending Shape Run for years now.
The categories for the run were the same as the previous year’s – 5km, 10km, 15km and a 1.8km Family Fun Run – but the venue was different. The run was held at the Bayfront Event Space, giving participants the opportunity to enjoy the view of Singapore’s picturesque city skyline and iconic attractions, such as Merlion Park, the Singapore Flyer and Gardens by the Bay, as they ran. Expectedly, many runners stopped along the way to take selfies and photos.
And yes, I participated too. I started training before Shape Run, taking it slow to avoid aggravating old injuries. I’m so glad I got back into it. I’d forgotten about that addictive endorphin rush that comes after a run. There’s really no feeling in the world quite like a runner’s high.
[All photo credits: SPH Magazines]
About Zarelda Marie Goh :
Zarelda Marie Goh is the editor of Shape Singapore. The self-professed fitness and wellness junkie spends most her time outside of work doing exactly what she does while on the job. When she’s not exercising or checking out the latest healthy restaurant, you’ll find her volunteering at non-profit organisation Aidha or studying Korean.
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