GE Women's Run to proceed on Sunday only if safe from haze: Event has 17,000 entries

Sunday's Great Eastern Women's Run will be cancelled if the three-hour PSI exceeds 100. Organisers will provide two updates to participants - at 8.30pm on Saturday and 2.30am on race day.
Sunday's Great Eastern Women's Run will be cancelled if the three-hour PSI exceeds 100. Organisers will provide two updates to participants - at 8.30pm on Saturday and 2.30am on race day.PHOTO: SPH

The haze continues to cast a long shadow over Singapore's sporting landscape with Sunday's Great Eastern Women's Run (GEWR) the latest event whose status is in doubt.

Organisers yesterday said the annual event, which has attracted 17,000 entries, would be cancelled if the three-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) crosses 100.

If that happens, it would be the single largest sporting event hit so far, with earlier cancellations including the first day of the Fina Swimming World Cup Singapore and the schools section at the Singapore Cricket Club International Rugby Sevens (SCC 7s) tournament.

The Oct 1 Bloomberg Square Mile Relay was postponed till Dec 3. Last weekend's 5km New Balance Run On involving 4,000 participants was turned into a non-competitive walk because of hazy conditions.

SCC 7s organisers also revealed that play would be halted at the Padang this weekend if the three-hour PSI exceeds 200. A decision will then be taken on whether to shorten the schedule or postpone the event.

Three-hour PSI levels are widely used as a gauge for mass sporting events like runs.

GEWR organisers said they would provide two updates to participants - at 8.30pm on Saturday and 2.30am on race day. Updates will be posted on the event's Facebook page and website www.greateasternwomensrun.com. SMS alerts to local-registered numbers will be sent to participants in the event of a cancellation.

Colin Chan, chief marketing officer of Great Eastern Life, said: "We understand that participants are looking forward to the event...

"However, we place the health of our runners, working crew and volunteers as our utmost priority and will proceed with the race only under acceptable conditions."

If the race is called off, registered participants can still collect their finishers' entitlements, which include medals for all runners and a finisher tee (only for those taking part in the 21.1km run).

They can do so at the Race Village at the Floating Platform, which will be open from 6.30am to 10.30am if the PSI is below 200. Alternatively, they can collect the entitlements from the Great Eastern Centre (1 Pickering Street) at a later date.

There will be no refund of race fees if the event is cancelled.

Lynda Yew, 47, who is entered for the 21.1km race, said: "We hope that the haze will not affect the race. If it gets cancelled, there's no point even if we get the finisher's medal, because we don't get a timing."

Alvin Chia

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 29, 2015, with the headline 'GE Women's Run to proceed only if safe'. Print Edition | Subscribe