Star Wars Run first started in Singapore in 2017 and drew strong support from fans and the general public alike. The run is marketed as a two-days Star Wars Day festival with fun and games as well as fringe activities like movie screenings for everyone and this year is no difference.

Star Wars Run 2018 returns for a second year as a two-day Star Wars Day: May the 4th Be With You Festival over the weekend and concluded with a bang, with legion of fans from Singapore and around the region coming together as one to celebrate one of the world’s best loved franchise.

I missed out the run last year due to travel, but I participated in the 10km run this year with two of my colleagues.

This is my second 10km run, with the first completed last year at the Sydney Running Festival. The run was pretty fun but my timing was not good though. I did my first half marathon the previous weekend at the Income Eco Run 2018 and my right knee was feeling a little wonky after the run. I thought putting on a knee guard will help, but it put stress on my right calf instead. Nonetheless, I completed the 10km and will take a short break to recover before attempting another long run again. If anyone has a recommendation on what to do with a weak knee on one side, please drop me a note.

This year, the start point was from the F1 Pit Building and the 10km route goes around the Marina Bay area where I usually do my evening jogs. The weather was sweltering hot on Saturday evening but there were still a bunch of super Star Wars fan who completed the run in full costumes – Darth Vader, Stromtroopers, Princess Leia and more. I spotted a dude in a Jabba the Hut costume which must have been really hard to run or even just walk to complete 5 or 10km! That’s the amazing thing about the Star Wars franchise though – the fans are so fervent that their enthusiasm passes on to the masses.

The thematic night run this year saw over 10,000 local and overseas participants across three race categories, including the competitive 10km, non-competitive 5.4km and the inaugural 540m Young Jedi Dash – a category specially designed for children aged 4 to 9 years.

Participants got to choose one of two routes – to join the Rebellion on the Light side or were called to the Dark side. The Light side runners were given a blue running tee while the Dark side runners got red tees. I chose the Dark side obviously. It’s always way cooler to be the villains in Star Wars.

Those who participated in the 5.4km run had more fun and activities injected into their run compared to the 10km run which was more serious. The former had a unique flag-off where Light and Dark side participants ran in opposite directions, and were treated to a sensational pyrotechnics display that illuminated the Singapore skyline. Members from the Rebel Alliance, and soldiers from the Empire further excited runners when they appeared at the start line to flag off the Light and Dark sides respectively.

The Star Wars legacy proved to transcend generations, with participants of all ages and fitness levels participating in the run. This included the three-generation family of six that took on the 5.4km run on the Light and Dark sides.

Mdm. Chia, 77, who participated in the run with her children and grandchildren, shared: “This is my first time taking part in a run so it is an extremely memorable experience for me. The run was a fun opportunity to bond with my family.”

Other than the run, there were lots of other fringe activities going on at the festival to keep everyone entertained over the two days. This includes special appearance by the founder of the international STAR WARS costuming organisation, 501st Legion, Albin Johnson, and his special pink astromech droid, R2-KT; costumed band fan performance of Star Wars theme classics like the The Imperial Suite and The Imperial March; display of over 500 vintage and contemporary Star Wars toys form 1977 to present; and a movie screenings of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: The Last Jedi to end off the night of May 4th and 5th respectively.

I been to many themed runs in Singapore and this is one of the better organised and biggest one without a doubt. I look forward to participating again next year!