Fact: Music and running go hand-in-foot, at least since the late 70s with the invention of the Walkman, the humble ancestor to the iPod.

Thumping bass and up-tempo beats instantly increase the fun factor of a run. It’s also safe to say that no genre of music better encompasses the spirit and rhythm of fun more than club hits and chart-topping pop music.

That explains the close to 10,000 participants who turned up on Dec 7 for the inaugural ILLUMI RUN, Singapore’s first night party run. Modelled after The Rave Run in the US, the organisers hoped to incorporate adrenaline-pumping music, coupled with special effects from electronic festivals, into a fun run course.

Drivers along Republic Boulevard that night would’ve witnessed groups of friends, families, sports enthusiasts and ravers in elaborate superhero costumes, tutus and masks flocking to the F1 Village for the 5-km run, while radio-friendly pop hits blared in the background.

Generous accessorising using neon light sticks and glow-in-the-dark body paint visually united these disparate groups of people at the race area, with just about every participant appearing to be covered in glowing neon war paint and equipped with various light-emitting devices and knickknacks.

Then, at 8 pm, the holding pen opened and streams of light (which were actually runners) flooded in eagerly to be greeted by Hot FM91.3 DJs who were on-hand to crank up the anticipation and keep participants’ spirits up as they waited for flag-off.

Urging participants to vocalize their excitement by screaming and cheering, DJs such as Boy Thunder and Joshua Simon also showered people in the holding area with illumi glow water and threw light sticks into the adoring crowd.

While the cheeky DJs had to remain on stage at the holding pen to flag off waves and waves of eager participants, those runners already on the track were treated to various genres of music being blasted from speakers throughout the course of the run.

To kick-start the party, the runners and ravers were welcomed by upbeat K-Pop in the first zone, followed by funky retro tunes in the second zone.

Scattered along the track, UV-lit marquees brought the illumi neon effects to life while creating photo opportunities for participants.

In addition, the entrances of these marquees were also lined with volunteers who doused runners and ravers with more neon body paint and illumi glow water, much to the delight of the participants who shrieked with glee, with some even requesting a double dosage of the neon goodness.

Dennis Cheng, 25, a sales associate who paid $68 to be part of the run, said, “The neon body paint looked so cool under the UV lights, I just want to jump into a puddle of it.”

The fun run culminated in a tunnel along Republic Boulevard which enveloped participants in a stunning laser display that pulsated to euphoric electronic dance music.

Judging by the continuous cheering, delighted screams and proclamations of “best night ever!” by the runners through the entire course, participants were expectedly ecstatic nearing the end.

They probably knew that the party wasn’t going to end there; beyond the finish line was an “outdoor club” by the Official Party Partner, Mink.

Massive Collective DJs Sabrina, Tinc, Mathias, and Atran took to the decks and worked the crowd to a frenzy of bright lights, with people jumping in unison to their favorite hits, accompanied by special pyrotechnic displays which further ramped up the night.

Covered head to toe in neon body paint, Michelle Ng, 21, a tertiary student, said, “I’ve never heard of something like that being done before and I wasn’t sure if they were going to be able to pull it off, but they completely surpassed my expectations!”

Photos courtesy of Infinitus Productions