If it’s your secret fantasy to be surrounded by a multitude of women, you’d have had that fulfilled if you were just present at the Marina Barrage on May 7. Because that was when 5,000 feisty females took part in the inaugural all-girls Nike Goddess 5K.

Not that you’d have been granted admission in their ranks. The Nike Goddess 5K stood out from past races organised in Singapore for the same one-up(wo)manship of the “The Men Don’t Get It” credit card campaign.

For that one very simple reason: An intention of celebration for girls to showcase their passion through the sport of running, the event also proudly proclaimed their amplified slogan, ‘Running Is For Girls’.

“So what if men can run, do they know their way?” With tongue-in-cheek taglines like these unabashedly declaring a female conspiracy against men, the hidden female chauvinistic nature in every girl was certainly catered to.

“We are here to show the girl power,” said 23-year-old preschool teacher, Nurul Huda, giving extra emphasis and careful enunciation to the word ‘girl’.

Many others, like Huda, have longed to participate in sporting events, but were previously too self-conscious to do so. However, when she found out that it was an all-girls event, she quickly “roped in whoever she knew” to join her.

Participating in this race also unleashed the competitive nature in her, which she never knew existed. She added, “Competing against women only makes this run special and more competitive. The thing that we like most about running is the aftereffect. With a goal in mind to finish the race, it feels like you have achieved something once you complete it.”

Aimed to empower girls to own the sport of running, while embracing the goddesses within themselves, the 5-kilometre race, Anne Date, a Nike athlete, felt “provided a great platform, because they felt comfortable and safe in an all-girls event, allowing them to enjoy the sport and the atmosphere with fellow girlfriends”.

Added 34-year-old Didith Lawary, “We run for fun, and not for competition. All of us have a different pace when running. Some of us will be in front and some of us will be behind, but no matter what, we will always wait for each other at the finish line.” She and her group of friends resembled Greek goddesses as they donned floral headbands, which resembled laurel wreaths.

Ready, set, go!

With a flag off that started at the Marina Barrage, the route took runners across the Marina Channel and around the scenic Waterfront Promenade. Despite the sweltering heat, the majority of the participants remained peppy.

Blissful squeals of delight escaped from the crowd as a few lucky goddesses sprung past the starting line, and were greeted with “high fives” by MTV Asia VJ Utt, who was one of the rare thorn among the roses then. Jealous fan girls, on the other hand, wore disgruntled looks to show their disapproval for this gesture.

Slowly, but surely, the ladies returned from their 5-km adventure. While some conquered every step of the race alone, others braved it with their buddies. The run would have been a breeze if not for the scorching hot weather. Nonetheless, the spirits of the goddesses were not doused – very commendable indeed.

Anticipating the return of the runners, men in black lined themselves along the finishing line, presenting the girls with a stalk of sunflower as they strode past it, to celebrate the ladies’ completion of the run. Although fresh drinking water would have been preferred at that point in time, it was still a sweet effort by the gentlemen, the so-called hunks hired by Nike, to receive the ladies with cheers and words of encouragement.

The Race Village

Those who finished were led to The Green Roof where the field was transformed into a second heaven, known as The Race Village. With a host of complimentary treats and pampering services such as frozen yoghurt, massages, and other delicious treats such as Danish pastries, éclairs and fruit tarts, specially catered for the girls to celebrate the goddesses within, the earlier anguish was easily forgotten.

Vanity being a girls’ preserve, the only photo booth that was stationed along the borders of the field remained very popular. Even though the queue stretched across the width of the Green Roof, the size of 4 football fields, more girls weren’t deterred from joining in.

The winners were bestowed with a VIP treatment of an exclusive limousine ride to any destination of their choice, in Singapore, of course.

Party’s not over

MTV Asia hosts Utt and Holly, were on hand to pump up the adrenaline of the audience with their chauvinistic banter and natural chemistry.

Finally, with homegrown talents 53A and Forgetting To Showerelectrifying the atmosphere with their covers of chart-topping tunes like ‘Beautiful Girls’, ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’,and‘In Your Head’, and female duo DJ Twofacetaking the decks spinning electrifying tunes, it was no surprise that the event ended on a high note. The night couldn’t get any better with girls spotted singing and dancing along to the beats of the music.

Indeed, the Nike Goddess 5K proved to be more than just a competitive run. It also unleashed the goddess in every girl, with the desire to look and feel good via running.

Marketing Manager of Nike Singapore, Vijaya Kumar beamed, “We achieved what we set out to do – to celebrate and empower girls to own the sport of running.”

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