#TOGO920 Finishers Party – Event Review

CHARLES LEE | 24th August 2016 | EVENTS

Typically, nobody will be in the right frame of mind to associate cyclists with alcohol.  Putting more than 200 cycling enthusiasts in the same drinking joint for a pint of beer or two is even more unheard of.  But Togoparts.com did just that!

Last Saturday, Togoparts.com celebrated the finale of #TOGO920 with a mega private party exclusively for participants who had successfully completed #TOGO920.  Probably the first of its kind, the event was held at the Beer Market in Clarke Quay with great fanfare.  #TOGO920 is the second of a three-series challenge where a rider is required to cycle at least 920 kilometres with a time-frame of nine weeks in order to qualify as a Finisher.  A Finisher will be entitled to a premier Finisher Jersey.

The cycling challenge attracted a total of 571 contestants.  As tough as #TOGO920 was designed to be, an astonishing 424 of them made it through as Finishers!  Hence, one could imagine the scale of the turn-out when 200-plus Finishers attended the event to collect their much-coverted jersey and, at the same time, jostled around with like-minded cyclists with a drink.

The private party was simply nothing but awesome!  Togoparts.com co-founder Evan Lee led the first part of the event with an opening speech on the highlights of #TOGO920.  He skilfully perforated the monotomy of the typical introductory presentation with many interesting facts on the profiles and vital statistics of the participants in #TOGO920.  One of the interesting data that Evan disclosed was that the distance clocked by the 424 Finishers, when combined altogether, amounted to a stunning length of 664,938 kilometres!  That is the equivalent of roughly 16 times around the Earth on the equator’s path!

But besides the intention to incite a few laughters and some intrigued expressions from the crowd, the true conviction of that opening address sought to underscore that cycling 920 kilometres in nine weeks is really not an impossible feat to achieve.  As Evan puts it, “It’s all in the mind.  If a 60-year-old rider could complete such a distance, I don’t see why others could not do so.”  Evan added, “#TOGO920 is just a small challenge in one’s life journey.  If you could apply the same resilient mindset to overcome every other obstacle in your family life, school or workplace, I am quite sure that you will emerge as a stronger individual.  Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.”

Senior Sales Executive Gerald Yong and Account Executive Benjamin Chia, the duo who oversaw the three #TOGO programmes, quipped, “We don’t want #TOGO920 to be taken as an one-off event.  The goal of #TOGO920, along with the earlier #TOGO810 and the upcoming #TOGO1050, is to promulgate the exciting element of cycling so that it will not be seen as a painful chore, but rather, as an enjoyable activity.”

Just as the crowd began to chill comfortably to the medley of bossa nova, pop-rock and R&B tunes, the organisers tuned up the excitement with the epic segments of every party – Prize-Giving and Lucky Draw!  The faces of many on the floor were a mixture of admiration and disbelief as Evan singled out the notable contestant from the group of Elite Finishers and Finishers for their tenacious grit and determination in pushing much harder than any other #TOGO920 rider.  Each of these riders was given special mention for topping their respective class of riders.  Amongst those who were lauded were Mr Nicholas Ang and Ms May Chow, the Youngest Elite Male and Female Finishers respectively, and Mr Chong Foo Siong, the Finisher who clocked the longest distance of 469 km in a single cycling session.  Many more notable riders were invited to the stage to share their experience in #TOGO920.

Of course, the award-presentation ceremony would not be complete without inviting Mr Allan Yeo – the top rider who clocked an astounding 7,715 kilometres within nine weeks – to the stage.  Amidst the applause, whistling and bewilderment, the tanned-looking cyclist could not stop grinning as he strided to the stage to receive his one-and-only custom-made blue Finisher Jersey, Finisher Cap and Finisher Sun Sleeves.

The grandest prize of the day, a Cannondale CAAD 8 105 Road Bike sponsored by Cannasia Singapore, whipped up the greatest excitement at the event.  With a hefty price tag of $2,000, the bike from the Big-C was Togoparts.com’s most expensive lucky draw item to date and the dream bike of many roadies.  Undoubtedly, the level of exhilaration reached a new high when that the lucky one was called to the stage to claim the two-wheeler!

The party atmosphere after the prize presentation was more subdued, as groups of Finishers continued to queue up for their jerseys before returning to their tables for another round of finger-food and drink.  Many were taking group photos of themselves in the jerseys!  As the evening approached, the Beer Market was a picturesque of chilled-out patrons.

From the outlook and atmosphere of the party, most would agree that #TOGO920 was a contest well done.  Mr Chong, 59, who was also #TOGO920’s Most Senior Elite Male Finisher, told Togoparts.com that he was impressed with the structure and format of #TOGO920.  Madam SC Tan, 56, who was crowned as the Most Senior Regular Female Finisher, expressed: “I am happy to have completed #TOGO920!  But I hope the organisers could give away some special prizes to riders like us.  This would boost our morale to ride more!”

Even as the event came to a successful end and as Finishers bade farewell to their peers (or rather, competitors), the organising team at Togoparts.com is not resting on their laurels; They are already busy preparing for #TOGO1050, the third and final episode of the #TOGO tri-challenge. If you have missed out on the party, check out the rest of the photos here.

Ride hard.  Party harder.  Challenge yourself and be rewarded.  We’ll see you around in#TOGO1050.