Health x Wellness

HomeTeamNS Organises 100% Virtual REAL® Run 2020

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The 24th edition of the HomeTeamNS REAL® (Regular Exercise, Active Lifestyle) Run is back and is completely virtual for the first time ever.

The REAL® Run 2020 is a solo virtual event where participants can complete the race at their own pace, time and running route anywhere in Singapore. Submissions must be shared between 24 July to 3 October 2020.

There will also be a REAL® Run Solo v2.0 taking place from 11 September to 22 November 2020 where the minimum distance will be raised from 5KM to 10KM.

The Active Age spoke with MAJ (NS) Su Caizheng, Chairman of HomeTeamNS REAL® Run Organising Committee to find out more on how to participate fully in this year’s run while keeping safe and having fun.

the Active Age (AA): What’s the inspiration behind the REAL Run 2020?

MAJ (NS) Su Caizheng (SCZ): The REAL® (Regular Exercise, Active Lifestyle) Run is an annual flagship event organized by HomeTeamNS that champions regular exercise and an active lifestyle.

This year marks the REAL® Run’s 24th edition, following the theme of “24/7” to commemorate our Lifesavers (Singapore Civil Defence Force) and Protectors (Singapore Police Force) who have worked tirelessly round the clock to ensure the safety and security of our citizens amidst a global pandemic.

The aim of this year’s run remains to promote a healthy lifestyle among our NSmen and their families, at the same time highlighting the versatility and adaptability of HomeTeamNS in this new normal. This year’s virtual REAL® Run will consist of three different solo categories – 5KM, 15KM and 24KM.

AA: How did you adapt the Run to map to the conditions of a pandemic 2020?

SCZ: The REAL® Run started off as a physical run and has been that way for the past 23 years since its inception in 1996.

REAL® Run 2020 will be held as a full-fledged virtual event consisting of three different solo categories – 5KM, 15KM and 24KM – where participants can complete the race at their own pace, time and running route anywhere in Singapore, between 24 July to 3 October 2020 with registration closing on 4 September 2020.

As we gradually recover from the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, safety remains our top priority and we continue to play our part in maintaining social distancing. The success of last year’s Virtual Lifesavers Run gave us confidence that the shift to a fully virtual run this year, is the right move to make.

Introducing the run as a solo category will also encourage participants to continue their active lifestyle responsibly, while engaging in a low risk activity.

To motivate runners to cultivate a regular active lifestyle, the REAL® Run allows runners to cover the 15KM and 24KM distances in stretches within the stipulated run dates, and participants may submit up to three and four screenshot(s) for the 15KM and 24KM distances respectively. With greater flexibility and a longer timeframe to complete the run, runners also do not have to worry about spending prolonged time outdoors to complete the distance.

Runners that successfully complete their routes will receive an exclusive HomeTeamNS reusable face mask as a symbol of their commitment to regular exercise and maintaining an active lifestyle.


Additionally, a second part of the REAL® Run 2020, REAL® Run Solo v2.0, will be introduced from 11 September to 22 November 2020 where the minimum distance will be raised from 5KM to 10KM to encourage participants to continue the good practice and run more regularly. Runners registering for REAL® Run Solo v2.0 can choose to run a distance of 10KM, 15KM or 24KM and still cover the distances in stretches. For the newly introduced 10KM distance, runners will be allowed to submit up to 2 screenshots. Registration for REAL® Run Solo v2.0 closes on 23 October 2020, and REAL® Run Solo v2.0 runners will be entitled to a HomeTeamNS finisher tee upon completion of the run.

AA: For participants, what are some guidelines for them to follow as they take part in the Run, but in their neighbourhoods and parks?

SCZ: Runners should act responsibly and adhere to social distancing guidelines put in place by the Ministry of Health (MOH) at all times.

We highly recommend participants to run solo for the REAL® Run and maintain a physical distance of 2 metres (2 arms-length) between other individuals while running.

When taking a break, warming up or cooling down, runners should always wear a mask.

We also suggest that runners bring along a towel on their runs to wipe their perspiration and avoid touching their faces with their hands.

To reduce the risk of contact, runners should also avoid lingering after their run and return to the safety of their homes once done.

AA: How important is it for them to maintain good habits such as social distancing, and wearing a mask during warm-up or cool-down?

SCZ: Although Singapore has entered Phase 2, imminent risks of Covid-19 remain and it is essential that all runners adhere to social distancing rules and maintain good habits while running.

By keeping a safe distance from other individuals, the risk of virus transmission would be reduced and wearing a mask during warm up or cool-down sessions can help prevent the accidental spread of oral droplets.

While we commemorate the efforts of our Lifesavers and Protectors with this year’s run, it is especially imperative that we too do our part in ensuring the safety and security of Singaporeans during these trying times.

AA: Any tips for participants to maximise their REAL Run experience while keeping themselves and the community they run in safe?

SCZ: We recommend runners to exercise early in the morning or later in the evenings when the parks are less crowded, and the weather is less harsh.

Before going for a run, runners can check out the NParks website to gauge visitorship levels before heading out for a run, and choose a location that is less crowded.

Runners should also bring along their own towels, water bottle and GPS-based running gadgets and tracking apps to track their run.

Do take note that submissions should clearly show the total distance of the run and the time taken or the pace of the run, and the completion date and the time of the date should fall within the event period.

Lastly, we would like to encourage new runners to kickstart the practice of regular exercise and an active lifestyle by taking part in this year’s REAL® Run!

REAL® Run is open to both HomeTeamNS members and members of the public aged 18 years and above. Participants can register online via the HomeTeamNS event portal from now to 4 September 2020, with a registration fee of SGD 10.90 for members and SGD 13.90 for the public, regardless of race distance.

More details including terms and conditions of the race can also be found on the website.