An inclusive run club at the heart of the CBD area for all fitness levels and age groups, New Balance Run Club is back in numbers after the Covid-19 pandemic
Founded in 2018, New Balance Run Club (Singapore) has come a long way since its modest beginnings. Starting out at the Singapore Sports Hub initially and drawing about 40 to 50 regular members weekly, the running club went through tough times like everyone else during the Covid-19 pandemic, before stabilising and now witnessing a bustling community of runners weekly, easily pulling 150 or more members on Tuesdays evenings at 7pm at Suntec City.
SportPlus.sg dropped by the New Balance "Run Your Way" pop-up at Marina Bay this week to speak with the founding members of the Run Club, as well as some of its regular members.
The recent growth of the run club was not by accident and carefully orchestrated by the New Balance Run Club (NBRC) team, with the intention of helping runners on their running journeys and to improve their overall well-being and achieve their respective fitness goals.
"We reformed and started the captains role at the start of 2022. I am one of the four main captains at NBRC, and what we do is manage the crew, and together with the pacers we help to grow the running scene in Singapore," said Jonathan Tay, who is also a New Balance Singapore staff member.
Former national runner Loh Guo Pei, head coach of NBRC, added: "We have changed the variety of trainings to cater to different individuals and their needs. Whether people are looking to improve their speed, or people who are looking to improve their strength, or to improve their endurance."
"On top of that, the type of training we have now is varied. Last time we only had long runs and tempo runs, but right now we have strength training, circuit training, HIIT workouts also sometimes, things like battle ropes and such. So we have quite a number of trainings going on including intervals as well," said Loh.
The New Balance Run Club is an inclusive run club that welcomes runners from all walks of life, and this was telling with its group demographics an equal representation between the younger crowd and the seniors at about 50 - 50.
Loh continued, "I would say the younger age group of around 20 - 45 years-old is about 50 percent, while those above 45 is also at about 50 per cent. Most of them are working adults who work around the CBD area, and it fits nicely for them as well as our runs are also around the Bay area as well."
"In terms of fitness levels, it really varies. I have runners who run 4-min per KM to runners who are happy to run at 7 or 8 minutes pace. It's a good mix that's why we have various pace groups."
Emilia Malik, a pacer and Run Crew member of New Balance Run Club, shared that for her the feeling of friendliness and togetherness is what keeps her coming back.
"To be honest I used to hate running a lot, because I felt it was a lonely sport. But with the encouragement of the running club where we constantly encourage each other to run, I keep going. Sometimes when I don't think I can do this any longer, people beside me will tell me I can do it and that's when I feel I have the energy to run further and go faster," said Emilia.
"I like how they are very engaging and interactive with newcomers especially. There are different pace groups and age groups as well, from the young to the seniors so that's why I like about them. It's not just the young ones but also the senior ones who are remarkably running at our younger pace."
It turns out that it's also a great place to meet new friends!
Man Fred, who joined early this year, shared that NBRC has helped him on his running journey to become a better runner, thanks to the well organised structure and good coaching available.
"NBRC has trained me from being a slow runner to improving my pace to now a 6:00 minute runner," said Man Fred. "It's a nice place to come to after work to just meet new friends and enjoy."