The picturesque Marina Bay Sands Event Square transformed into a playground of vibrant energy and camaraderie in a sea of turquoise on 3 September, as global footwear brand, Skechers, celebrated the return of its first physical Skechers Friendship Walk since the pandemic. With a turnout of over 4,000 participants, this year’s event broke previous records with a 30% increase in participation compared to the last physical edition in 2019.
As a father who participate regularly in fun runs with my 12-year old son, Asher, I can attest to the heartwarming atmosphere that enveloped the entire event. It wasn’t just a walk; it was a celebration of friendship, wellness, and community spirit. Asher and I did a slow jog together for the whole 5km and enjoyed our father-son bonding session, soaking in the friendly atmosphere.
Decked for the occasion, I was wearing a brand new pair of Skechers Men GOrun Pure 4 Shoes (below) to test it out, while Asher was in a pair of Skechers X Demon Slayer, Rengoku Kyojuro running shoes.
The GOrun Pure 4 did not disappoint. For its wallet-friendly price of $139, it is lightweight and provides adequate structure and support for casual running and walking.
The day kicked off with local celebrities, including Lawrence Wong, Nick Teo, Hong Ling, Pan Ling Ling, Huang Shi Nan, Lee Teng, and Hazelle Teo, joining the Skechers Singapore Management team at the starting line to show their support.
The excitement was palpable as participants, including seasoned runners and families with young children, gathered to embark on various walking and running categories, including the 5KM Individual Walk, Buddy Walk, Family Walk, and the new addition of a 10KM Competitive Running category.
During the 5km walking category, we not only enjoyed the scenic route along Marina Bay Sands but Asher also engaged in one of the two obstacle games. While we missed the The ‘Walk With Me’ challenge that tested our trust and balance on a plank walk challenge, we took part in the ‘Through Ups & Downs’ game demanded coordination to sidestep through tires on the floor.
Aside from the run/walk itself, the pop-up Skechers Village buzzes with energy, featuring six interactive game stations that brought smiles and laughter to participants of all ages. From Memory Matching and Human Claw Machine to the “Every Steps Count” Pedometer challenge, participants were seen having a blast, collecting stamps to claim a Skechers neck fan and enter a thrilling lucky draw for a chance to win a year’s supply of Skechers footwear.
The highlight of the Skechers Village was the Skechers Slip-ins challenge, where participants raced to seamlessly slip into the Skechers Slip-ins molded heel panel within 15 seconds.
The event came alive with dynamic performances by APSN beneficiary Shawn Goh Jia Chun and the NTU Aces cheerleading squad, adding an extra dose of cheer and energy.
Skechers Friendship Walk also celebrated the athletic prowess of its participants, announcing the top three winners of the highly competitive 10km run in both men’s and women’s categories. Seah Chuan Heng led the men with a remarkable time of 36 minutes and 7 seconds, while Dorine Ng dominated the women’s category with a time of 43 minutes and 16 seconds.
One of the most heartwarming aspects of the event was Skechers’ philanthropic commitment to APSN, a social service agency supporting individuals with mild intellectual disabilities. APSN beneficiaries and caregivers actively participated in the walk, with handmade baked goods offered for sale to support vocational training and employment support services. They were awarded eco-friendly finisher medals, symbolising unity, inclusion, and remarkable journeys.
Skechers demonstrated their dedication to this partnership by pledging to donate $2 for every participant registration, raising close to $8,000 for APSN beneficiaries.
As the Skechers Friendship Walk 2023 came to a close, it left behind a trail of joy, unity, and empowerment. The success of Singapore’s Skechers Friendship Walk 2023 sets the stage for more such fun runs in the future. Both Asher and I look forward to joining hands again next year, as we continue to step forward together with Skechers.