Interview: Ben Williams for Green Corridor Run

Since the old KTM railway line was handed back to Singapore last year, the sliver of land that cuts across the island from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands has become a popular place for weekend walkers; and some more intrepid bikers and runners. It’s peaceful, it’s better for your knees than running on the roads and, come January 27 of next year, 10km of it will play host to the first ever Green Corridor Run. We spoke to organizer Ben Williams about what’s in store.What’s different about the Run?The course is very unique. It is beautiful, green and of ecological and historical significance to Singapore. It is incredible to think that in a city as large as Singapore, it is still possible to run along a 10.5km stretch of greenery that is uninterrupted by roads. By running in the GCR, participants are showing their support to keep this area as natural as possible for future generations to come.Why now (or rather, why January)?We wanted the Green Corridor Run to be early on the running season calendar for 2013. Getting fit will be high on many people’s New Year resolutions list and so this event will be a great place to start on that. It is also just before CNY, so people can enjoy their CNY celebrations without having to worry about an upcoming race. Also, a 10.5km trail run is the perfect distance to warm up the legs for some of the longer races that occur in the following months.Anything people need to watch out for when they’re running?The course itself is a mixture of trail, grass, gravel and clay, so runners need to be more alert than when running in a road race. Many people enjoy running on a trail because the variety distracts them from getting tired. Other things to watch out for are the many interesting bird and plant species that surround the course, particularly towards the finish. Also, the historical rail stations at Tanjong Pagar and Bukit Timah are an interesting glimpse into Singapore’s past.How are people going to overtake when it’s mostly singletrack?The course varies in width at different stages, but the race will have multiple starting waves to reduce the amount of people on the track at any given time.If you had to guess, what do you think the winning time will be?Every course is different, but there are many excellent runners in Singapore, so I would expect the winning time to be very competitive indeed. It will be really interesting to see what the winning time is in this inaugural year and will set the mark for future years.Any plans for a run along the entire length of the Corridor?Yes, the full length of the rail corridor from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands is a half marathon distance. We are considering extending the course to the full distance in the years to come and it is quite an exciting prospect to think that you could run the entire length of the island in one half marathon. nRegistration for the Green Corridor Run is open now. Sign up before the end of November and it’s $48; from December 1 onward it’s $55. Find out more at their official website.