The inaugural Toyota Spiral Run raised $88k for charity, set its own record, and brought customers closer to behind-the-scenes at Singapore’s authorised Toyota dealership
Photos: Derryn Wong
Today saw the inaugural Toyota Spiral Run 2018, a Singapore-first vertical marathon with a literal twist.
Organised by authorised Toyota and Lexus distributor Borneo Motors, the Spiral Run isn’t held on staircases like conventional vertical marathons are, but rather on the spiral ramp spanning the 11-floors of Borneo’s home of Inchcape Centre at 2 Pandan Crescent.
The massive premises opened first as the Inchcape Body Centre in 2015 on 4 Pandan Crescent, then as Inchcape Centre at 2 Pandan Crescent in July last year. Inchcape is the parent company of Borneo Motors (which distributes Toyota, Lexus, and Hino) and Champion Motors (which distributes Suzuki).
At 20,000 square metres in area, it houses a large chunk of Borneo Motors’ operations as well as being its corporate headquarters, so there was plenty of space for the runners to stretch their legs.
This allowed for a race distance of 1.1-kilometres in total. If that sounds short, keep in mind that’s not including elevation: The centre stands at 62-metres high – about as tall as a 22-storey HDB block. This unique layout also meant the Spiral Run landed in the Singapore Book of Records as the first ‘Mass Spiral Run’ sport event held here (as opposed to a conventional vertical marathon, also known as tower running).
Tickets cost $12 for families and $20 for competitive runners, with all the proceeds going to charity. A total of $88,000 was raised for the Community Chest fund.
Ms Jasmmine Wong, Managing Director, Inchcape Singapore (second from left), Mr Phillip Tan, Chairman, Community Chest, (third from left), Mr Yeow Ing Hua, Director, Aftersales Parts and Service, BMS (far right).
The Competitive Run kicked off the event, with the race starting at 0830h for the 250 participants, followed by the Family Walk at 1000h. More than 1,300 participants attended the event, consisting mostly of Toyota customers and their families (disclaimer: Not everybody actually ran so we’re exaggerating a bit in the title).
The Competitive Run saw Mr Aldrich Goh (above, leftmost) as the winner in the men’s category, with a time of 4:21, and Ms Vanya Cnops in the women’s category, with a time of 4:43, each taking home $250 cash and one year’s free servicing.
But the event was focused just as much on having a fun day out with the family as it was about engaging and learning more about what happens behind the scenes at Inchcape Centre itself.
“I think it’s important to open up this facility to let more people know about Borneo and Inchcape’s investment behind it. We’ve had this centre operating for some time, so we really wanted to teach people about it, bring them through our processes and for them to see the quality of the work, how we deliver them peace of mind behind the scenes,” Jasmmine Wong, the managing director for Inchcape Singapore (pictured above), told CarBuyer at the event.
Inchcape Centre was built at a cost of$55-million dollars over a time frame of 20-months, and its inauguration saw a big addition to aftersales and service capacity and capability.
Families went through different stations, each covering a different aspect of aftersales. While that sounds terribly uninteresting on paper, that didn’t seem to be the case on the ground, with the kids getting very involved in the activities.
The first station was creating a cardboard ‘kit car’ of their own, totally self-assembled with decorations and all, ostensibly meant to instruct them on how things go together with precision processes.
The next station was at the Toyota Dojo, where the real life mechanics and aftersales staff are trained.
Kids (literally) donned technician overalls and leant how to execute basic safety checks on the car.
Given how many people of the older generation CarBuyer has had to remind to wear seatbelts, that might be a terribly effective method of safety enforcement.
The final station was a trip to the Paint and Bodycare Centre, where they were challenged to mix their own batch of paint up to match a body panel accurately, but also to apply it onto a model car shell of their own.
Mixing up a batch of paint to match the panel on the left. We speak from experience – it’s fiendishly difficult!
Customers and their families also learnt about car alignment systems, spectrometers, and other processes and tools that set an official Toyota service centre like Borneo’s at a higher level than normal garages.
Naturally there was also plenty of other family-related and funfair activities, ranging from free photobooths, to food, as well as some merchandising and special offers on tyres, coatings and more, plus the main crowd attraction of a lucky draw to conclude the event.
The event also saw the official debut of the My Toyota App, which includes a loyalty programme, plus service tracking and booking functions.
Having seen the extensive behind-the-scenes efforts that go into delivering good aftersales service and the impressive body and paint centre in action before, it’s safe to say that the Spiral Run wasn’t so much about running in circles for Toyota owners, but seeing the full circle of the Toyota ownership experience from a different point of view.