THE STRAITS TIMES RUN IN THE PARK

Over 1,000 readers sign up for Straits Times Run in the Park within two days

Seven-year-old Luke Chai recently picked up the habit of reading the newspapers, and ran his first race two weeks ago.

So when he saw Thursday's advertisement for the inaugural Straits Times Run in the Park, he persuaded his mother to register him and his family of five.

They are among more than 1,000 readers who have already booked their places for the Sunday Aug 25 event, which opened for registration only on Thursday.

Madam Christina Tan runs regularly with her daughter, but now she wants her husband and other children to get involved too.

"It would be a good bonding time for the whole family," the 42-year-old said. "It's a good opportunity for us to work out and enjoy an outing together."

The most popular category so far is the 5km fun run, which has attracted about 500 entries. There are also the men's and women's 10km and 15km races.

Straits Times subscriber Lock Lai Yee put her name down for the 10km after spotting the interactive ad for the race on the newspaper's digital version.

"I thought it was interesting because it is an inaugural event and the route might be an interesting place to explore," she added.

The recreational runner jogs about two to three times a week, clocking 12km in total.

At the other end of the scale is Dr Derek Li - a triathlete who is aiming to finish among the top 10 in the 15km competitive run.

He takes part in up to 15 races a year and runs up to 80km a week - usually around his Bukit Timah estate in the wee hours of the morning.

"I'm looking forward to seeing how the route will work out because the last time I raced there, it was quite crowded," he said, referring to the North Eastern Riverine Loop.

The 31-year-old is hoping to walk away with a year's subscription to The Straits Times, which will be given to the fastest 25 runners in each competitive category.

Held in conjunction with the National Parks Board, which is celebrating "50 Years of Greening Singapore", Run in the Park is part of the Straits Times Appreciates Readers series.

Runners can register at www.starevent.sg or via the event's iPad ad.

mzlim@sph.com.sg