mizuno ekiden singapore


It’s been such a long time since I last blogged and with the never-ending pile of work that makes finding time to blog so difficult, I hope that I can strike a fine balance in the months to come. 

Thankfully, I was able to get my mind away from work over the weekends at the Mizuno Ekiden 2017 and I had a great time catching up with my friends. Though my running pace was quite far off from what I had planned, I was glad that I finished and survived the race.

Compared to previous editions of the Mizuno Ekiden, I personally enjoyed this year’s edition because the race route was much simpler and flatter. The weather was also quite bearable and I must say, the race volunteers did a great job of paving the way for the runners (especially at the Jubilee Bridge and One Fullerton where there were many visitors). The cashless transactions at the various F&B booths also made things more convenient!

I also feel that there are room for improvements and some areas of consideration for the race organisers are: 

  • Shifting the race flag-off time to an earlier time

I’m not sure how many people would be in favour of such an arrangement but I would think that an earlier race flag-off time (for teams participating in the full marathon) might be more ideal. 

  • More Japanese F&B options

The F&B options at this year’s Mizuno Ekiden 2017 are very limited. Although there’s Hokkaido Green Tea Ice-Cream, Ramen, Sushi, Suntory Beer and Takoyaki, I’m pretty sure Japanese cuisine in general has so much more to offer than just those which I have mentioned!

  • A More Efficient Way of Tracking Team Mates’ Location

The tracking system that’s used at the Mizuno Ekiden is pretty complex to understand and most of the time, majority of the runners find themselves in the transition pen way too early, thus crowding up the area even before their team mates arrive for the changeover. 

Now that all is said and done, this shouldn’t discount the many new improvements that the race organiser had made for this year’s race and I believe next year’s race will be an even better one!

Overall, I am glad that my team mates and I enjoyed the race and we certainly look forward to next year’s edition of the Mizuno Ekiden!


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I have participated in the Mizuno Ekiden Run since it’s inauguration in 2015 and every edition of the race is different because there are always new developments that cater to runners of all ages and background. This year will see Mizuno Singapore staging the third edition of the Mizuno Ekiden Run, which is a relay-styled long distance run and it will be held at The Promontory @ Marina Bay on 19 August 2017.
Capping the capacity at 5,000 runners, this year’s race hopes to target an increased participation from regional countries with the introduction of the ‘Running Club Category’. The Running Club category is open to all running clubs in Southeast Asia that have been active for at least three months and all team members must be residents or permanent residents of any ASEAN country. The winning team of the ‘Running Club Category’ can stand to win the top prize of SGD$2,200 worth of cash and vouchers.

If you have not participated in the Mizuno Ekiden Run before and you’re wondering how such a relay-styled long distance run is carried out, here’s how it is done; runners will participate in teams of four where the first runners of each team will flag off while donning a traditional tasuki sash. Upon completing his or her leg of the relay, the sash will be passed to the second runner who will be waiting at the transition area. This process will continue until the sash is donned by the fourth runner, who will then finish the race and join the rest of his or her team members at the finish line.

The first ekiden race was held in 1917, in conjunction with celebrating the anniversary of the moving of the capital to Tokyo. The ekiden race was held over three days between the old Japanese capital of Kyoto and the modern capital of Tokyo with the total distance amounting to 508 km.

The original concept of the race stems from Japan’s communication and transportation system during the olden days, in which stations were posted at intervals along the road. The word Eki, means station and den, represents transmit. The tasuki can be likened by many to a baton in track-and-field relay races, but in actual fact, the tasuki means more than just a baton. Each tasuki is thought to represent the honour not only of the team itself but of the university, company, or region that the team comes from. Thus, it is the tasuki’s symbolic significance that makes an ekiden race unique.

On a more personal note, I have always enjoyed running the Mizuno Ekiden because it spurs my team to display remarkable performance in intense and challenging situations while fostering friendship and showcasing commendable Japanese values such as perseverance, resilience and teamwork.

Since this year’s race will take place from 4 pm in the late afternoon onwards, the weather will be pretty hot so do hydrate yourselves sufficiently and strategize accordingly to get the most out of the race.

What I enjoy most about the Mizuno Ekiden is the Matsuri Race Village where I could have a nice celebratory dinner with my teammates over a wide array of traditional and popular Japanese gourmet such as sushi, ramen, and desserts after a good race. If you’re a fan of all things Japanese; you should definitely head down to the Matsuri Race Village since entry is free and there’s a string of Japanese activities and performances lined up for everyone to enjoy and appreciate.

As for the race registration, runners can register in teams of four across four categories; the Open Category (42.195km), the Open Category (21.1km), the Corporate category (21.1km), and the newest category in 2017, the Running Club category.

For more information about the event, do visit http://mizunoekiden.sg or https://www.facebook.com/MizunoEkiden.

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.

After-Race Thoughts?

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!