Thursday, November 1, 2012

Run Happy Thursdays Challenge

This first Thursday session of the Run Happy Weekdays runs saw a good turnout of more than 40 runners, quite a number joining in the run for the very first time.  The run which used to be on Fridays have now moved to Thursdays weekly, allowing more to be able to tap on the 5km and 8km fixed route tempo run challenges - from the serious runners looking for training tempos to the more casual, beginner runners looking for a stress-relieving workout alongside the scenic Riverside and Esplanade backdrop.

Runners came as early as 6:15pm to Marina Square to register and drop off their bags, before moving across to the start point @ Floating Platform in waves.  Warm-up was conducted by the ever energetic YN at 6:50pm when wave 2 arrived.  Some of the regular running groups around the area were pleased to see us bring this run to Thursdays - looked like more might be interested to join in when they can.  

The run was flagged off promptly at 7:00pm with both the 5km and 8km runners taking the initial similar routes with their respective pace leaders.  As many were still not familiar with the routes, they adopted a more cautious pace while at the same time identifying the turning points and directions.  There were lots of chit-chats and encouragement going around, just like what we are used to in the other FatBird group runs.

The front groups were having a field night with solid paces while the mid-pack settled into their comfortable TempoBird paces while conserving some to sustain the mainly 8km distances most were doing.  The 5km runners also had a good run at their comfortable speed with a few others joining in as recovery from their weekend of long runs.

The cool-down static stretches and planks were always a welcomed feature of this run, with many curious onlookers snapping pics and watching with interest.  The entire session ended by 8:00pm with electrolyte drinks served back at Marina Square concourse, followed by 'makan' session at the Marina Square foodcourt.  

The whole group occupied about 5 tables, at what was by now a cozy corner for our Run Happy group...courtesy of Joyce, we had cut guava and orange peels for dessert.  Even some who did not run came down to join in the dinner session.  Overall a very good start to this Thursday Run Happy session, with many vowing to be regular at the run.  Don't Worry, Run Happy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

PureDrift: Brooks' Zero-Drop Minimalist Racers

When Brooks Running launched its line of ‘Minimalist’ shoes – The Pure Project series in late 2011,  it became a runaway success for this shoe company who has been one of the top sellers in the North American market.  The Brooks Pure Project series was launched in Singapore in March 2012 to good response from the local market, which was already into the minimalist shoe movement with the likes of leaders like the Vibram Five Fingers and New Balance Minimus range.

New to the PureProject stable is the PureDrift, slated for release in January 2013.  Taken from the Brooks PureDrift website >>  "The PureDrift is designed to be like an extension of your body...Exclusive to Pure Drift: dual toe box split, for better balance and a springy push-off; a removable sockliner for a customizable experience -- 4mm offset out of the box or zero offset for a more extreme connection with the ground; and a sleek, anatomical upper with ultra-breathable mesh and featherweight feel."

So when it was brought in to Singapore recently, we were most excited to take this new minimalist babe for a spin and feel for ourselves if it was worth the wait.  In my first run with the very lightweight (6ounce) shoe, I was pleased to find its mid-foot cushion to be ample - yes, that is always the first portion that I feel for - any shoe that gives the 'flat' or 'slappy' feel will not go for more than 1km of serious running with me.

The design looks pleasantly sleek with the lime green colours and solid blacks at places to accentuate the lines and curves.  The tongue of the shoe has one side fixed for an easier wrap, very similar to what was implemented in the NB Minimus Road Zero.

Next was the snug feel on the heel wrap/counter while having a rather broad front.  I personally prefer a narrower front for a firm wrap, although it would be a good fit for most Asian feet which are generally broader.   However, any concerns of wobbles from a loose fit slowly evaporated as I ran on for more than 2km.  

As I got warmed up into it after 5km of rather quick running, I was happy to note that there was not much heat generated and the shoes still felt cool, allowing me to sustain the pace without getting too hot inside the shoes...haha.  I did some fartleks, tempos and jogs just to 'play around' with the shoes, and found them to be consistently snug and responsive for much of the 12km of its maiden trip.

It is good news that the PureDrift has not only maintained, but has upgraded the 5 key features of the Pure Project series, integrated quite seamlessly to continue to provide that overall feeling of snugness, responsiveness and propulsion.

Heel Wrap
The heel is made to wrap the heel better to prevent the feet from wobbling about, an issue faced by many Asian runners who experience ‘heel slippage’ with conventional shoes.  

Toe Split
The toe split on the underside of the shoes between the big toe and the rest of the 4 other toes continue to provide that steady firm road-holding.

Low Heel-Toe Responsiveness
The “green” midsole technology incorporates less layers to give a better feel for the road and a responsive ride. The 4mm heel-toe differential (drop) remains very comfortable for me, and with the new option of going zero-drop (by removing the insole), it offers even more versatility to the cushion runner transitioning to full zero-drop minimalism.

Elastic Band
There was still the elastic (Nav) band that was signature of the earlier Pure Project models, but this time, the Nav band was not too tight and in fact gave a very much improved wrap and feel...nice touch.

Natural Last
The PureProject line prides itself as having a natural last that follows the shape of the feet. 

Philosophy behind the Brooks Pure Project Line

For the Minimalist or Barefoot purist, the Brooks PureDrift is definitely one step closer to the zero-drop lightness of shoes.  However, maintaining the option of having a 4mm heel-toe differential coupled with good mid-foot cushioning continues to encourage the traditional runner used to cushioned trainers to take a closer look at the PureDrift to help them transition to minimalist zero-drop running.

My first 12km trial with the PureDrift was satisfying to say the least.  I would like to spend more time with them over the next couple of months running in its zero-drop option as well as extending the distances to 21km or longer.  We hope to give you more updates and news of the availability and special pricing of the PureDrift to our running community....Stay Tuned!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Mid-Autumn Festival delight

Photos & Videos from Kim Lai, Ivan, Joyce, Tejinda, Tommy

After the 1 week's F1 recess, the Brooks Run Happies got together to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival though the lighted Gardens.  Many first-timers joined in this special weekday run, with a number specifically coming down just to bring moon cakes, lanterns and fireworks for the celebrations...the Run Happies were so touched.

To get into the festive mood, there was nothing like adding touches of 'Gangnam' and "Brooksnam' styles to our almost dance-like stretches led by YN.  As we pranced and ran along with our lanterns, the group did attract some attention from the Friday party crowd with friendly smiles and waves.

For many of the runners, there was nothing like experiencing the Gardens By The Bay at night carrying lanterns and making merry and getting up close to the SuperTrees.  We timed our visit to the SuperTrees to coincide with its nightly music and lighting performance to the delight of the Run Happies.  We had nice great video captures of song and dance during our short but interesting stay, before proceeding back to Marina Square for the moon cake delights.

There we were welcomed by the anxiously waiting supporters and friends, who started to light the candles in the lanterns and fireworks and sparkles set the place alight with merriment and celebrations - bringing back memories of our childhood days of playing with fireworks and lanterns, enjoying the sweet tasting moon cakes, along with (not tea, but healthy recovery drinks).


 There was quite a din and commotion as all joined in the fun and merry making.  The cool down session was replaced by some nifty dancing and jumping about, with lots of photos and videos being captured.  After the session ended, we proceeded on to more chit-chat and laughter at the food court with some serious 'business propositions' being put forth.  

It was a well spent Friday evening of a different kind - having a healthy workout along a scenic route in the company of a great group of people, topped with celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival.  Be sure to join us for the next Brooks Run Happy (Weekdays) as we embark on a series of fresh and interesting challenges.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September Gardens Mist

There was a thickening cloud of haze all morning, followed by heavy rainfall at 5:30pm, threatening to ruin our plans for the inaugural tour to our September Gardens by the Bay route.  Still, none of this could put a dampener on the Brooks Run Happies as they ventured their way down to Marina Square.

All who came were amply rewarded as the rain called for a stop at 7pm, opening up to clearer skies after the wash down, and putting up a cooler feel to the whole atmosphere.  The early rains also caused many visitors to stay away, leaving the run routes much clearer and free to run.

We had a most interesting recce tour of the new Brooks Gardens route, even having time to enjoy the 10min ensemble by the Supertrees and roaming about to savor the crisp cool air.  The 5.5km run was just the warm-up we needed to prepare for the weekend's Bay Run/AHM.  

The makan session post-run was yet another enjoyable affair of chatter over food, glorious, food...all not before making a toast to all of us to have a Run Happy at the AHM.  Why Worry, Run Happy Lah!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Run Happy 31 August

Photo Slideshow Credit: Joyce Sng's Camera

This end-August Run Happy completes the month's tour of the scenic Singapore Riverside and Promenade.  

We look forward to a new route into Gardens By The Bay for the month of September 2012.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Don't Worry, Run Happy 240812

Shooting @ River Promenade (c) Steven

By The River Of Singapore (c) Joyce

 Along the restaurant row (c) Joyce

 Jiak Kim Bridge @ Kim Seng Park (c) Steven

 After-Run Planking @ Marina Square (c) Steven

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Run Happy Singapore - The Event

Here in Singapore for the first time – Brooks’ Run Happy will bring a brand new experience to running enthusiasts from the local sporting arena. Whether you are 16 or 60, male or female, this race breaks all boundaries, so put on your running gear from the Brooks for a leisurely 9KM night run with your pals.
When you complete the race, be welcomed at the finishing point by the vibrant lights along with the dynamic, effervescent music. Dance to the tunes or have a chill out session with your running mates while sipping away on refreshments.
This race brings about the true essence of running – you run for yourself, for your passion and love for sports.
Revolving around music and dance, this event is set to synergize sports, arts, and nightlife, assuring all who are involved a Saturday evening with zest.

Date: 24 November 2012 (Saturday)
Time: 7pm
Venue: Marina Barrage (8 Marina Gardens Drive Singapore 018951)

The Run Happy Party @ Chile

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Singapore River Run Happy

This was the second session of the Singapore River and Quay route of the Brooks Run Happy Fridays run.  For the  good number of new runners who were joining us for the first time, as well as those who were trying out this new route, it was a treat to soak in the night scenes of the busy sidewalks of stalls along Riverside Point, the restaurant rows with their distinctive smells of authentic cuisine, and the larger number of brightly-lit boats plying the Singapore River.

Both the 5km and 7km groups ran together for the first stretch, taking time to chat and get to know one another, and also share the recent happenings in the running scene.  The many places of interest delighted the runners who were having a fun time weaving in and out the more crowded areas while striding in relaxed fashion along the quieter and larger expanse of space in certain parts.

The U-Turn point for the 5km was near the Brewerks Restaurant, while the 7km runners went all the way to U-Turn at Jiak Kim Bridge/Kim Seng Park.  After a short photo stop, the group went on the return on a more light-hearted fashion, taking in more sights and striding effortlessly as they ate the remaining distance up.  When we reached the end of the 7km run, there was just a final slope up which was conquered with much gusto and delight.

The Shotz electrolyte drinks were a welcome for the drenched runners who had a hard but satisfying workout, something which we found to be especially special to do on a Friday evening, when many were out there wining and dining, while the Run Happies were running and striding.  After a good round of static cool-down stretches conducted by the ever-lively YN, we proceeded on for some good makan and chatter at the food court.  

There were lots of jokes and laughter with many fun photos and poses taken, especially drawing inspiration from our recent group Lightning Bolt and Mobot we have more to look forward at the next run as the Run Happies were already having ideas for more quirky poses to outdo one another...we shall see...till next week's Run Happy Friday...Have a great weekend ahead.

Oppan Brooksnam-Style!

Photo Contributions from Tan Kim Lai, Frank Ho, Anuk, Steven Cheok

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Suicides in wet weather

It was a rainy evening, the first since the Brooks Run Happy series started.  However, the Run Happies were  not to be disappointed as we found a nice large sheltered canopy for some interesting 'suicide' and running drills, something which we runners do not get to do normally.


In the end, the Run Happies were treated to some delightful sets of run-ups with various circuit-style exercises, that brought about the much-needed perspiration on a cold wet evening.  Because of the earlier end, we were able to spend more time catching up over dinner at the food-court, and discussing some of the interesting drills we did earlier....TGIF!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Launch Party

Poster Credit: Ivan Lau

There was a good turnout at the first run of the Brooks Run Happy Fridays, considering that many have yet to hear of this regular group run incorporating the Brooks culture of 'Run Happy'. The 40+ participants were all eager to try out the new group run format, with some fun stretching routines and some even got themselves new models of Brooks shoes for trials at the 8km route along the Marina Promenade and Kallang Riverside.

We had good fun and a great time chatting with familiar faces and getting to know new runners.  We look forward to more joining in the run to explore new routes as well as try out different models of the shoes.  There is also an exciting lineup of events and activities for the Brooks Run Happy membership which we look forward to growing progressively in the weeks and months ahead.