Race Weekend – 5 Things That London Marathon and Income Eco Run 2019 Share In Common

28 APRIL 2019 – For runners and running enthusiasts both in Singapore, and around the world, this weekend has been one that they have been anticipating and packed with exciting races. Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge ran the second fastest marathon in history to win the Virgin Money’s London Marathon for a fourth time while Britain’s Mo Farah finished fifth. And just a mere 12 hours before that, NTUC Income’s Eco Run was on, against the scenic Singapore skyline backdrop! We bring to you, interesting observations on the 5 things these 2 races have in common!

1. decked in New Balance

This was the starkest commonality! As the official sponsor of both races, New Balance had dressed up the pacers in London’s NB Runner’s World Pace Team, as well as Singapore’s Running Department!

It’s also a bonus, when we meet this New Balance couple here in Singapore! New Balance Singapore Ambassador, Mok Ying Ren & his wife, Belinda.

2. values-driven title sponsors’

Virgin Money: “When it comes to banking, you want an honest deal with no surprises. So we’ll always tell you the things you really need to know up front.”

NTUC Income: “We are a co-operative where, quite simply, people come before profits. Our values set us apart from other insurance companies. They are what make us different. “

it is pretty obvious that they stand for doing business right, and not for profiteering.

3. IN SUPPORT OF a social cause

Being the official fundraising website for the Marathon, Virgin Money Giving has helped thousands of events and charities, big and small, throughout the UK raise hundreds of millions of pounds. This year, the London Marathon also broke the $1 billion mark in donations raised! And because it’s 100 per cent not-for-profit, an extra £9.5 million has reached charities because fundraisers used virginmoneygiving.com instead of a site with higher fees. (Source: London Marathon). In yet another first, London Marathon racers will be drinking from edible pods made of seaweed extracts instead of a plastic water bottle, and is part of the organisers’ initiative to reduce the amount of plastic waste produced and its waste foot-print!

Locally, the 9th edition of NTUC Income Eco Run 2019 kicks off its 3rd year of ‘zero waste running’ with the introduction of its first Zero Waste 5km race category. More than 9,000 runners took to the street on this surprisingly cool Sunday morning in support of eco-conservation and green causes, with innovative measures such as re-usable cups for runners to refill at hydration stations during the race.

A fish sculpture at the Income Eco Run race village made up of plastic bottles

4. SPOT THE british

Alright, we were kidding about this! But in a comedic twist it isn’t too far off either!

The 2019 Virgin Active London Marathon was shaping up to be one of the most hotly anticipated spring race as many looked forward to another masterful performance by reining world record holder Eluid Kipchoge who remains unbeaten in all but 1 marathon in his career. His rivalry with 4-time Olympic medallist & one of Britain’s most accomplished runners, Sir Mo Farah, who has recently stepped up to the marathon distance and was looking to take victory on home soil, also added another dimension to the competition amongst the deep elite field assembled for a showdown. It was intense!

Back here in Singapore, it was a lot more light hearted! The Income Eco Run saw, amongst the 9,000 runners, a prolific author, broadcaster, journalist, and in his words – ‘1st runner-up in the 44 to 45 years old Men-who-don’t-puke-and-run 5km category’, Neil Humphreys. The Englishman quipped that he was very proud of himself for racing his heart out while his guts stayed intact, as he posed gamely for the photos!

Light-hearted, witty and fast-talking, best-selling author Neil Humphreys

5. Spot a ONEathlete!

ONEathlete Evan Chee (third from left, in black) racing at the 2019 London Marathon

Against the backdrop of intense speculation and spectatorship on the elite field, ONEathlete Evan Chee also waged his own race against the clock on the streets of London, in an attempt to lower his personal best (2:41:01) attained just 5 weeks ago at the 2019 Seoul Marathon.

Evan had felt that preparations had gone smooth and well since the beginning of the year, and hoped to ride on his earlier marathon fitness preparing for Seoul by straddling a short training cycle leading into London. He knew this was a risky move that could increase his risk of injury but also potentially pay off big dividends as he seeks a qualifying performance to represent Singapore at the 2019 SEA Games in December.

Evan’s bid paid off as he dipped under the 2 hour 40 minute mark to finish in 2:38:58 (unofficial), clocking a new personal best as well as what is understood to be the third fastest Singaporean Men’s Marathon finish in 2019, thus far. Evan’s sister and national marathoner, Yvonne Chee, also finished the race in 3:03:13 (unofficial). Congratulations to the Chee siblings, Evan and Yvonne!

ONEathlete Evan Chee having a post-race victorious moment along the streets of London!

Back in Singapore, running his first race as an ONEathlete at the 2019 Income Eco Run is marathoner Giebert Foo. In the half-marathon category, Giebert finished in 1:21:35 to clinch the Union Men’s Open Champion with a strong performance and officially kick off his 2019 racing season.

The veteran runner had started running from the track, representing his alma mater NYP in shorter distances such as the 1,500m before moving up to the marathon in recent years. At last year’s Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, Giebert rounded up the podium in the Local Men’s category with a 3rd-place finish in a time of 2 hours 54 minutes.

Giebert’s partner, Esther Khoo, also bagged a respectable performance with a 4th place finish in the Union Women’s Open 10km race.

ONEathlete Giebert Foo (right) with his partner and fellow prize winner, Esther Khoo (left)
See you at the next race!
*Source information and photos of London Marathon from virginmoneylondonmarathon.com  

(Editor’s note – Evan’s results at the London Marathon is not the second, but third, fastest Singaporean Men’s timing in 2019 thus far. We apologise for the error, and the article has been amended as such)

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Income Eco Run’s Inaugural ‘Zero Waste Runner’ Category receives overwhelming support as participants relinquish their finishers’ entitlements

Proud of our #runONE Co-founder & #ONEathlete @mokyingren running for #zerowaste at #incomeecorun2017 
Were you there too? Tag @runoneapp & share with us your photos! Leggo... 

 

(SINGAPORE, 30 April 2017) – Close to 10,000 participants raced the streets this morning towards a ‘Zero Waste’ future at the Income Eco Run (formerly known as the NTUC Income RUN 350, organised by Young NTUC). Runners from all walks of lives participated in various categories- the 21.1km Half Marathon, 10km and the 800m Kids Dash – in support of the common cause and was flagged off at the F1 Pit Building.

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Income Eco Run_21.1km Runners Gearing up for Flag Off

This year’s Income Eco Run saw a special group of 1,500 runners who took their commitment to the ‘green’ cause to the next level by racing as ‘Zero Waste Runners’. These runners opted not to receive their respective finishers’ entitlements (medal for all categories and a finisher’s tee for the 21.1 km Half Marathon category) in a bid to reduce waste. As a result, 87.8kg of fabric and 150kg of metal were saved.

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It was the first time the race introduced the option for runners to race as a ‘Zero Waste Runner’ and it was fully subscribed before registration closed at the start of April.

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Income Eco Run_Dr Mok Ying Ren Racing Through The 21.1km Finish Line.JPG

Double SEA Games Gold Medalist in the Triathlon (2007) and Marathon (2013) events, Mok Ying Ren (Managed by ONEathlete), raced as a ‘Zero Waste Runner’.

He shared, ” I’m very happy that I placed first in the 21.1km local category. I just started training again, so I’m quite pleased with my timing! Running as a ‘Zero Waste Runner’ was actually refreshing to see fewer cups on the road after the race!

I run home after work regularly as part of my longer distance training. And I use my own bottle during these runs just like today. I believe that these efforts, though small, enable us to be environmentally conscious, and helps in the larger-scale-of things towards reducing carbon emissions and zero waste. Doing good is now made simple, isn’t it?”

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As the pioneer of eco-races in Singapore, Income Eco Run adopted eco-friendly practices for different aspects of the race. They included encouraging runners to bring their own bottles (BYO) to reduce the use of plastic bottles and paper cups, giving out post-run e-certificates, producing finisher medals from recycled metal and using bio-diesel fuel for the generators. The event also readily offered sorting cans for trash to be recycled and provided bicycle racks on race day to encourage participates to cycle to the race venue. Participants were also encouraged to carpool or to take the shuttle bus services to the event.

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Reinforcing Income’s commitment for a ‘Zero Waste’ future, a ‘green’ audit, carried out by Green Future Solutions, was conducted today to set environmental benchmarks for improvements year on year. The ‘green’ audit^ focused on two main areas- waste and energy, and the results are targeted to be available by end May.

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Mr Marcus Chew, Income’s Chief Marketing Officer, said: “We set out to take ownership of the race this year to champion a sustainable future, which is aligned to our core business of making insurance not just accessible, but sustainable, for all in Singapore so that we can be more future ready. We are heartened by the level of participation in this ‘green’ run, especially the eager subscription for the ‘Zero Waste Runner’ category. This shows that many of us are ready to do our part for a sustainable future. With the ‘green’ audit, we look forward to doing more for our collective eco cause and to inspire and encourage others to do more to protect our environment.”

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Income Eco Run_Runners with the Eco Run Structure.JPG
The Run today was graced by various ‘green’ partners who flagged off the race alongside Income’s Chief Marketing Officer, Marcus Chew. This included Ms Sharmine Tan, Manager (Environmental Outreach), Singapore Environment Council and Mr Eugene Tay, Executive Director, Zero Waste Singapore. Mr Lee Kheng Seng, Director, Communications and 3P Partnership Division, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, said: “The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) would like to commend NTUC Income on the Income Eco Run 2017 in bringing together runners and environmental enthusiasts with a common goal of moving towards a zero-waste nation. The Ministry supports the ground-up initiative in promoting the Sustainable Singapore Movement and in setting an environmental benchmark for other marathon organisers to emulate.”

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33-year-old Kenyan, James Barmasai who placed first in the 21.1km Open category shared, “I am feeling great about my win! I expected to win because I trained hard for it. The route was well planned.”

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Jasmine Goh, a familiar face in Singapore’s running scene was placed twice in the Income Eco Run by clinching third place in the 21.1km Open category and the 21.1km Local Champion. The 38-year-old said, “Overall my race experience was enjoyable! The Income Eco Run has a great eco positioning this year, too! In terms of my performance, I expected to run well and do my best. It also helped that the weather was great!”

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Runners were brought on a scenic race route as they raced through Gardens By The Bay, Marina Barrage and The Singapore Flyer.

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For more information, please visit www.incomeecorun.sg or https://www.facebook.com/IncomeEcoRun/.

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(c) Photos from Income Eco Run 2017.
As per press release. For enquiries, please direct to ecorun@sprg.com.sg