The inaugural Mizuno Ekiden Race concluded today with a flurry of activities as some 3,000 people gathered at The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay this morning. I formed a team with 3 other runners and together, we challenged ourselves to complete the 42.195km open category. Despite the extremely hot weather and the pretty challenging running route towards the end, we finished the race with a timing of 4:36:50.
This photo is short of a team member [who is also our fastest runner] and he had to leave early to take care of his children. All photos in this post were taken by Jacqueline.
Just so you know, Mizuno Ekiden 2015 is a first full-fledged Ekiden relay race in Singapore and it features teams of four runners [of the same or mixed gender] competing in a relay race over the same race course before finishing at a Matsuri race village. This inaugural event was held with the aim of delivering an experience that focuses on Japanese values such as teamwork, performance, and perseverance.
To be honest, I was totally unprepared for the race as it has been more than 3 months since I last completed a long distance run. I was literally struggling throughout the run and though the race route was relatively easy [except for the last few kilometres], I felt that I could have been more mentally prepared.
The words of encouragement and support by the race officials and ushers kept me going throughout and I really want to thank them for motivating me to keep on running. Had it not been for them, I wouldn’t know how I was going to pull myself through the entire run.
A pretty apt photo of how I was really feeling when I crossed the finishing line. Injured sole, aching leg muscles, and hot weather.
I am glad that I participated in the Mizuno Ekiden Race because the Japanese values of teamwork, performance, and perseverance were deeply imprinted in me. Physically, I am not the best runner but because I know my teammate is waiting for me to pass the sash to him, I had to put in my best effort and keep on running so that my team can complete the entire route in the best weather and timing possible.
The very unique Finisher Medal that forms a complete circle [symbolises strength in unity] when all 4 are combined.
I must say, the Mizuno Ekiden 2015 is a very successful event as it was very well-organised by the team at Infinitus Production. What I like about the Mizuno Ekiden Race is the very scenic and spacious running route. The directional signs are very clear and the hydrating stations are fairly spaced out.
There were also many post-race activities at the Japanese themed Matsuri race village that kept friends, families, supporters and the public entertained throughout the day.
Carnival-goers at the Matsuri race village got to try their hands at Kendama, which is a traditional Japanese toy consisting of a ken [sword] and tama [ball] connected by a string. The ken has three cups and a spike that fits into the hole of the ball and with some skills and quick training, participants were soon learning to catch the ball in the cups and on the spike.
What we really like about the Matsuri race village was that there was an array of Japanese centric food and beverage stores offering ramen, sushi, delectable desserts, and beer.
Handsome Chef from Soup Stock Tokyo serving some delightful soups!
It was a really unique experience and not only that, Mizuno had a pop-up store where everyone could purchase sports apparels and running shoes with a 30% discount.
Should there be a Mizuno Ekiden 2016, I will definitely love to participate again and personally, we highly recommend that you consider taking part in this team relay race! It will be fun!