A temporary and timely reprieve from the haze ensured that over 20,000 participants enjoyed a wonderful morning out at The Straits Times Run at the Hub yesterday.
The scenic route took runners past landmarks in the city, including the new Jubilee Bridge, before finishing inside the 55,000-capacity National Stadium, where a post-race carnival welcomed participants.
At various points, runners were entertained by music from different eras - from the 1950s to the present day - accompanied by dancers dressed in the respective eras' fashion and even a live band - as the national daily marked its 170th anniversary.
"I always expect something new at the ST Run and this year was no different - the sights and sounds were a great motivation to keep going and finish the run," said lawyer Alroy Gan, 45.
Kenyan David Kibet, 27, was the first to cross the finish line, winning the 18.45km men's race in a time of 58min 33sec. Compatriot Margaret Njuguna, 46, topped the women's section in 1:12:06.
The unique distance was created as a tribute to the year The Straits Times was founded.
Participants had gathered at the Singapore Sports Hub as early as 3am to limber up and get the best starting slots for the 18.45km and 10km routes, which took off at 5am and 6.30am respectively.
Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez flagged off the 18.45km and 10km routes, while Culture, Community and Youth Minister Lawrence Wong waved runners off in the 5km fun run, in which he also took part.
Mr Fernandez said: "You could see the runners were raring to go after a few days of not being able to go outdoors.
"We were really fortunate the weather held out and we could put on a good event for our readers."
The ST Run at the Hub is the paper's third running event. Last year's debut at the Sports Hub was preceded by the ST Run at the Park at Punggol Waterway in 2013.
Mr Wong said he was heartened to see so many Singaporeans out doing something healthy on a Sunday morning.
"You see people here for all sorts of reasons; some are walking, brisk walking, jogging with their kids, wearing costumes or running for good causes," he said.
"I also noticed more people are signing up for longer distances... It shows Singaporeans are getting fitter."
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