The 2022 Decathlon Run is a sport running event held in Singapore over two event segments comprising of a 5km and a 7km run. Decathlon Singapore touts their hybrid virtual and physical run allowing you to get active anytime and anywhere. This is supported by a community of fellow fitness enthusiasts cheering you on. How did it go? Let’s run the Decathlon hybrid running event.
With the pandemic nearing an end, we start to see various running events popping around town. Last year, notable stale events such as the Army Half Marathon and even the Singapore Marathon we participated before going virtual.
5km anytime virtual run
The first event segment is a 5km Virtual Run. You can do at your own time anywhere for a one-month period from 2nd May to 26 May. All you got to do is clock 5km at one sitting with only one go. Also, supporting your virtual run is a mobile app which tracks, logs your run and provide “entertainment” on your run via audio. Let’s see the 5km run in more detail.
Before you start your run, you need to download the MyRaceGate app. It is available on both the Apple app store and Google play store. Here, you start off by setting up and identifying yourself to the app by entering your email address and your unique runner code. The code is provided to you via email upon successful registration prior to the start of the running event.
The MyRaceGate app
Moreover, the MyRaceGate app is a proprietary one and a special-purpose one. It is pretty much made for virtual running events like the Decathlon run. Hence, you can’t use it as a regular fitness tracker nor can you pair it with other Apps like Garmin, Apple Fitness+ or Google Fit. Notably, the App is also used by other running events such as the Metasprint Series. After the one-time setup and downloading the event-unique audio files, the app would then take you through a series of menus before zooming to your location on the on-screen app.
The app has a range of pre-recorded messages voiced by Power 98 DJ, Jeremy Ratnam and a running assistant called Amy. Jeremy Ratnam voice will be played at pre-defined distances in your run. He talks about facts and annoyingly, share advertorials about Decathlon initiatives. Also, Amy is the robotic voice which plays the more boring metric-related dialogue like distance covered and completion status. Notably, you are encouraged to wear an audio headset for the best experience, though there is no background music played. Hence, you might want to pack some tunes on your phone for your run.
Moreover, wrapping up on accuracy, I found the in-phone distance measurement rather accurate, up to 10%. When running alongside with my trusty Garmin GPS watch, I was able clock the 5km run within 5%. Of course, this is also dependent on the GPS and base station accuracy of your phone.
7km run at Kallang Decathlon
Furthermore, the second element of the 2022 Decathlon Run 7km segment is a physical event but conducted virtually. The longer 7km run sees you through several sights along the Kallang basin passing by the Sports hub, Benjamin Sheares bridge, Singapore Flyer and Gardens by the bay.
Also, this second segment of the running event spans a 3-day weekend event from 27- 29 May, with the first day today and runs over the weekend. Also, the route is a scenic one which sees you along the Geylang Park connector. Additionally, like the 5km before, the conduct of the 7km sub-virtual run is also one of “own time own target”.
Moreover, you start the 7km Physical Run at Decathlon Singapore Lab Kallang. The starting point sits beside the outdoor basketball court in front of the Kallang store. The court is large enough for groups and a place to do your warm ups too.
During my run, there were 2 event marshals stationed here to guide runners and event queries. In addition, you can find a map of the run on stands sitting by the start point.
Moreover, you start off running crossing a road bridge serving Mountbatten road along the Geylang River. The river runs east west into the Kallang basin and Singapore River. Past the road bridge, you start your race proper over to the Kallang park connector network towards Tanjong Rhu Promenade and U-turning at the Gardens by the Bay East Gardens.
Also, you can find marshals volunteers supporting the event. You can spot them dressed in Sport Singapore purple Team Nila attire which is highly recognisable. You can find them at the critical U-turn at the midpoint of Gardens by the bay east and the finishing point at the Geylang River Park connector opposite the Decathlon store.
Furthermore, run commentary is voiced by Jeremy Ratnam similarly like on the 5km run. This time he touches on the fact and sights along your run through pre-recorded audio. The audio are played at specific distance intervals of the 7km running route.
It narrates on landmarks like the Sports hub stadium, sports initiatives, Formula 1 at the marina bay and Gardens by the bay. And cheekily weaving in promotional adverts into the voice commentary.
2022 Decathlon Run- A riverside scenic run
Additionally, your run sees you running by the Singapore Sports hub, (where we caught Monster trucks previously) the indoor stadium and passing under the iconic Benjamin shares bridge. Notably, past the Sheares bridge, you conclude the U-turn point at the Marina bay district by the Gardens by the Bay East Gardens. Here you can see the Super trees, Gardens conservatories and Formula 1 pit building across the reservoir.
Notably, you can see Army Open House 2022 across the marina reservoir. There are various military hardware displays and event tents which occupies the Formula 1 put building over its 3-day event over this weekend.
The run now backtracks all the way back to the Decathlon Kallang store with the finishing line stopping at the park connector just before the Mountbatten road bridge. Notably, the store has free public toilet and shower facilities you can use after your run.
Post run entitlements
Thereafter, you can collect your post-run runner entitlements right away at the Kallang store by showing the counter staff your completion screen on the MyRaceGate app. Finisher entitlements here includes a refreshing pack of orange or coconut water drink, a finisher pin, and (rather oddly) a sachet of spin detergent.
Also, you also can collect your optional dry-fit finisher tee purchased during your race registration. Sizing-wise the finisher’s tee is similar to Decathlon’s running apparel. Wrapping up your gifts is a $20 Decathlon E-voucher. It is activated 7 days post-run completion valid until 31 December 2022.
All in all, that wraps up the 2022 Decathlon Run for both the 7km and 5km segments. The run was well-executed with good support, seamless registration and a scenic route to boot. We could see such hybrid running events being more mainstream now. As much as I enjoy large running event, there is charm to be able to do the run at your own time without the crowds. Definitely looking forward to next year’s race.