Running with a prickly companion for charity

A quirky charity run is raising a stink on social media.

In the Run for Good Durian on July 13, each runner will get a durian to run with for 5km. After that, he can eat it.

The cause is nothing to sniff at, as proceeds will be donated to the Ang Mo Kio-Hougang Community Development Welfare Fund.

The run, with a $15 entrance fee, is organised by the Central Singapore Community Development Council and Ang Mo Kio-Hougang Citizens Consultative Committee. With 388 runners signed up, registration has closed.

A Facebook post by Ci Yuan Community Centre promoting the run last Wednesday has since received more than 400 likes and 2,000 shares.

Netizens posted their amused reactions as interest in the run spiked.

Said Twitter user Gwen Guo: "(This is) possibly (the) most Singaporean charity run I've seen."

But there was room for some thorny questions too. In the comments section of the community centre's post, Facebook user Ho Shigure asked: "Has anyone conducted a risk assessment?"

The run's official website encouraged runners to "be creative" with transporting their durian safely.

"At 8am sharp, the race will be flagged off by the special guest and participants will carry, lug or hug their durians for a 5km distance until the finish," said the organisers.

However, no recommendations on safely handling the King of Fruits were offered, beyond suggesting that "a backpack, plastic bag, gloves or other creative ways" could be used to minimise the risk of injury to oneself and others.

Participants will receive a T-shirt, while those who complete the run will receive a medal, a coconut and, of course, a chance to win a mao shan wang durian in a lucky draw.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 28, 2017, with the headline 'Running with a prickly companion for charity'. Print Edition | Subscribe