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Running Tough Takes

Glowing Party on the run at Illumi Fest Run 2019

Writer Alicia Teoh (left) and sister, Melissa had a glowing party on the run at the Illumi Fest Run 2019.

After being out of the running scene for a while, my sister and I were looking to join a run event that is short, interesting, fun, and Illumi Fest Run Malaysia 2019 seemed to fit the bill.

We arrived at Selangor Turf Club where the event was held and as it was still early, most of the participants were at the carpark area where the food trucks were. It started to rain a bit but the sky cleared up about 15 minutes later, thankfully.

At the Festival village, there were several stations for participants to have a bit of fun before the run.

The highlight was namely the “Illumi Slide” – a giant, 3 meter high inflatable slide covered with neon paint for adults and a smaller “Illumi Kids Slide”.

Giant 3 meter high Illumi Slide was a big attraction
Get yourself sprayed at the Slo-mo Splash Photo tent

There was also the “Slo-Mo Splash” photo tent where you can get a photo of yourself being sprayed with neon paint. For those who want to spice up their run outfit, there was a face-painting station as well as a Glo-Shop selling colourful accessories.

At 8pm, the “Parent and Child” category was flagged off. It was nice to see families with small children running together. Some were even pushing baby strollers. The second category which consists of adults only was flagged off about 10 minutes late, presumably to accommodate late comers who were still milling in from the food trucks area. However, great music was provided at the starting line so my sis and I didn’t mind the wait.

Finally, it was our turn to flag-off. The runners at the front were given glow sticks to carry along as they run to light up the path. Unfortunately, we were at the back and didn’t manage to get one.

Suddenly, we were sprayed with neon paint. This would be the first of many times we were ‘neon-blasted” by enthusiastic crew members along the 4km run route.

“Refreshed” by the cool paint on our backs, we made our way to the first glo-zone located about 1km from the starting point. We could hear it before we even saw it.

Glo-Mania tunnel was playing music from the 80s.
Bubble Pop station

The “Glo-Mania” tunnel was a delightful throwback to the 80’s with music from that era and running coloured lights along the walls that gave a psychedelic feel as we walked through it.

We left the tunnel energized by Together in Electric Dreams and started jogging to the next glo-zone.

The “Bubble Pop” station featured large bubble decors on the ceiling and some pretty soap bubbles floating around amidst good music (Belinda Carlisle etc.)

The third zone “Neon Life” didn’t quite live up to expectation either as it was merely a tent with an LED wall and some neon light decors. As we ran to the fourth and final zone, we passed by some horses resting in a stable. The running path between the zones were a combination of tarmac and dirt which makes for a pleasant run especially in the cool night air.

However it was mostly dark and sans decoration which didn’t quite fit in the glow theme. I suppose the organizer was relying on the runners holding glow sticks to light the way. There were adequate signage, water stations and first-aid stations along the route.

The last “Crazy Lazer” zone was a tent filled with moving laser lights, without music where we got our dose of otherworldly green laser treatment (think “Mars Attack”).

On to the finish line, we received our finisher medal and refreshments – water and banana. But the party had only just begun as the main stage came to life with fantastic music by the guest deejays. We, together with other participants, couldn’t help but be drawn to the stage area by the superb sound and DJ performances. Kudos to the organizer for this.

All in all, a pleasant fun run event with more than adequate side activities for everyone. The only, but major, downside is the lack of accessible F&B for the participants. There were too few food trucks for the large number of participants, resulting in very long queues.

To make matters worse, the food trucks were parked at least 500m away from the event site. At the event site, the only food available was cotton candy and popcorn. They were provided free, but more post-run F&B options would’ve been appreciated.

Photos by Alicia Teoh for ToughAsia

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More about the author

Alicia Teoh is a nature lover and an intrepid adventurer wannabe. One of her goals in life is to ride her mountain bike until she’s (at least) sixty years old.