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Sports: Great Eastern Women’s Run 2021 to feature competitive virtual elite half-marathon

The 15th edition of the Great Eastern Women’s Run (GEWR) will feature a competitive virtual half-marathon for 18 invited local elite runners. The race will adopt a modified virtual format to minimise interaction between participants and to allow for safe distancing, while at the same time retaining the competitive elements of a race.

The virtual half-marathon is to be held in conjunction with the all-women’s virtual run for the public which also kicks off on Sunday, 14th November. Participants for the public race will be given a month to clock in the distances they’ve chosen. 

The competitive virtual half-marathon provides the opportunity for Singapore’s top female runners to compete in a safe racing environment. All competitors are to clock in their race between 6am and 9am on Sunday 14 November. After completing the race, all runners who will be running with wearables will submit their results digitally where their run time (duration and pace), distance, route and heart rate will be verified.

This elite category will feature a strong field of runners who were medalists at previous editions of the GEWR, as well as participants with SEA Games and Olympics experience. These include SEA Games representatives Jasmine Goh (2016 GEWR champion), Rachel See (2017 GEWR silver medalist), Serena Teoh (SEA Games 2019 representative) and Olympian Neo Jie Shi (2018 GEWR bronze medalist).

Jasmine Goh, who has participated in the GEWR since 2012, said: “We’ve missed competing and while this race will be without traditional race elements such as a flag-off and finish line, it is no less of a contest. We will still be competing against the other runners on the same day, only in a socially-distant and safer manner. We are thankful to Great Eastern for adapting to the challenges the pandemic has thrown our way and for providing us the opportunity to race again.”

Colin Chan, Managing Director, Group Marketing, Great Eastern, said: “These are challenging times, and we have been spurred to adjust and innovate in light of the evolving Covid-19 situation. We have modified the competition format of the elite half-marathon so that it remains as close to a race setting as possible, while ensuring the safety of all participants. We hope this opportunity to compete in a simulated race setting will help our local athletes achieve their sporting goals. We will continue to monitor the Covid-19 developments closely, and will reinstate the features of a full race for these 18 elite runners should the situation allow it.”

To mark the return of GEWR after the cancellation of the race last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the local elite runners will also lead a fund-raising initiative where donated monies will go towards the two selected beneficiaries – Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF) and Daughters Of Tomorrow (DOT). Members of the public can support these causes via the Great Eastern Cares fundraising page on https://www.simplygiving.com/elite

“Supporting causes for women has always been close to the hearts of the GEWR community. We hope to help advance the work of our two beneficiaries by activating the elite runners’ and the GEWR community’s networks to help enable and empower women and families in need to achieve financial independence”, said Mr Chan.

Registrations for GEWR are now open here. Participants will be required to clock their distance through the MOVE app from 14th November to 15th December 2021.

Through the Great Eastern UPGREAT app, Great Eastern policyholders and loyal runners** can access special discount codes to register for the run and customers with UPGREAT points can also offset their points to redeem slots for the run.

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