Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Puma Night Run in Seoul 2013

On 29 September 2013, I ran the PUMA Night Run which was held in Seoul Grand Park and Zoo in South Korea. The event was a series of night runs that were organized by Global Sport-lifestyle brand PUMA, including those that was recently held in Taiwan and Australia.

And since I won the Puma Mobium Elite Challenge earlier this year, I had the opportunity to participate in this event.

As winners of the challenge, both Michelle Chua ( the winner of the women category) and I were treated to a 3 days 2 nights stay in the heart of Seoul, and at the center of our visit, is a ticket to run in this Night Run.
We did some running around the parks and the city in Seoul (hopefully I will have time to share them on a separate writing later). Meantime, I will just share our exciting experience from this event. This is us, the team from Malaysia, all geared up for the event. Noticed the awesome Puma running shoes?

We arrived at the event site about an hour before the event start.  It was still drizzling, but temperature seems to be pretty conducive for a good fashion race in the park!  But it quickly became a bit chilly as it got darker.

Upon arrival, I noticed that within our group, we have many participants from Puma Asia Pacific ie. Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. All are friendly and Chinese mandarin speakers.

The race site was already quite crowded when we entered the park. The place looked pleasant and spacious, even though I heard from the organizers that there were about 7000 runners that evening.  Almost like a concert, there was a stage at the end which blasted loud pop music with the DJ mumbling something (in Korean) that I was totally clueless about. But they all sounded pretty funky to me nevertheless.

But the setting made it a truly Puma Night Run. You won't miss this night event as it coincided with the recent launch of the new Mobium Elite Glow running shoes. (The theme shoe which we won the challenge but now has a glow-in-the-dark feature).

In earlier posting, I did shared about my experience with the Mobium Elite on how I really like the Adaptive Running Technology, with the Mobium Band that enhances your natural spring, together with the innovative Expansion Pods and Windlass Chassis that adapts to your foot.

And then I also shared about the Glow version of the Mobium Elite.  Well, this event seemed to carry the the glow theme, particularly the Mobium Elite Glow.

But of course, the Mobium Elite  is not the only Glow series offered by Puma. I saw runners in the park in  glow edition of the Bioweb Elite too, and I was wearing the Faas 300 Glow Edition. But quite a number of the runners that I came across was wearing the Mobium Elite Glow.

While waiting for our race pack, we went around like a typical tourists and came up to this display board, which give us a rough idea the route that we are going to run on.

Runners will get to enjoy the unique course that circled around the Seoul Zoo that consisted of 4 courses – the Midfoot, Energy, Glow and Cheering Course. I was quite amazed by the way they label their running route.I can't wait to find out what is really behind this and how interesting it could be.

My race pack consist of a running tee, some glow bands, running bib with simple timing chip, and some cosmetic (yes! you heard right, some sample lotion i think) goodies. All other paying participant/runners were given a glow pack that included a PUMA Tee, glow bangle, PUMA Store discount voucher and promotional gift.

As we were running late, I immediately headed out for the starting line after a quick warm up with Michelle and Daryl. All of us were standing (well hidden) somewhere in the picture below. See if you can spot me.

It was truly a 'happening' event,  7,000 runners illuminated the night away wearing this season’s latest PUMA glow running gear in the 7KM marathon that included celebrities and running ambassadors such as Hyung Jun Kim of SS501, actor Sung Woong Park, actress Yuri Seo, football player Bum Young Lee.

There was a slight delay on the start and I don't really know why because we don't understand what they were saying, but the crowd around us was pretty calm and nobody made any issue out of it. And the best part, we were surrounded by quite a number of good looking people.

And when the start gun went off.....

Can you believe it? All these delicate looking celebrities really 'pia' with us! Come to think of it, I should have slow down and 'pia' slow-slow beside them...Anyway, adrenaline kicks in, and the challenge is too much to resist, and before I knew it, I already wiggled my way around the crowd and trailing in the front pack.

The route was quite challenging as it was quite hilly along a forest park (the fact that it is inside the zoo), there are some lighting but it was a kind of dimmed, and it became even more challenging due to the weather (it became darker, and the road was wet and slippery).

There was a group of people making very loud cheering that got everybody pumped up, and along the way, we were constantly reminded we were surrounded by the Zoo with the sound of roaring (Puma perhaps?). Other than that, I can only remember I took over some blokes only to be overtaken by him again.

Nevertheless, it is always nice to have some challenges in a race, and after lots of huffing and puffing along the hills.

By the time I got back, it was pretty quiet, I supposed I am among those that arrived early. I turn around at the clock at the finishing line, and I saw something like 28 minutes or so, (I still do not have the official result although there is a timing chip in the race kit...so I will update this page once I get these information.

Usually I will be soaking wet due to sweat, but this time, my shirt was only a bit damp because of the rain.

There was no announcement of the winners (hmmm...) but later on, I was told by the Puma team the overall champion will awarded a slot to run at the 2013 Saipan Island Marathon in November and stay at the exclusive Pacific Islands Club resort.

At the finishing line, runners were given a goodie bag which consist of snacks, drinks, socks and finishing medal.

I like the shoe that I used for the night run: the lightweight Puma Faas 300 Glow. This shoe performed great, inexpensive and has the feel of almost like most racing flats. The 300 has less cushioning compare to the other Faas, but they are firm, light and stable, and responded well on the slippery roads. Best of all is that it sits pretty low to the ground, which is fantastic in dark, slippery and hilly route. And now with safety built in with the glow feature.

Tim and Michelle ran with the Puma Faas 500 Glow Edition (and the 500 suggest that it has more cushioning than the one I had on). Althought I can't really comment about these shoes, but I saw both of them are really happy with their shoes.

And the finishing medal in close up.

So, what are my thought after the run? Thanks to Puma Malaysia, I had a wonderful holiday and a chance to see the Korean version of running event. When can we have our own Puma Night Run in Kuala Lumpur? Soon I hope. And also maybe that in our version of the Night Run, we will have similar good looking stars in our races too...

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