ST Run: Family bonding an integral part of The ST Run

Shawn Khong, Wong Ching Ming, and their two daughters will be taking part in the ST Run, as part of their family activities.
Shawn Khong, Wong Ching Ming, and their two daughters will be taking part in the ST Run, as part of their family activities.PHOTO COURTESY OF WONG CHING MING

Singaporeans Shawn Khong and Wong Ching Ming have been living in Hong Kong since 2004, along with their two daughters, aged 10 and seven.

Every July, during their daughters' school break, the family makes a trip back home for a holiday. This year, a new activity awaits when they come back: The Straits Times Run 2017.

The thought of participating in a mass run brought back memories for Khong, a bank executive. He recalled: "After all, the last time I did a proper run in Singapore was back during my National Service days."

The ST Run will be the family's second race together, after last year's Easter Kids Trail Race in Hong Kong.

"Usually, my husband takes part in races by himself. But since there is the 5km family run, we thought, why not have our whole family take part in ST Run together," said Wong, a housewife.

The three categories for the July 16 ST Run are the 5km, 10km and 18.45km. Wong and her two daughters will be doing the 5km family run, while her husband will be in the 10km competitive race.

Wong believes running together with her daughters will help them finish the 5km run, since the children have never attempted such a long distance before.

Her oldest daughter, Melanie Khong, said: "I feel excited because it's my first time running a race in Singapore. I'm just aiming to complete the race, and it is nice to have my mother and younger sister doing it too so we can cheer each other on."

The family are also drawn to the ST Run route, which will bring participants past iconic local landmarks, such as Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer, before ending at the Padang.

Khong said: "The routes go past quite a few places my family likes to visit when we come to Singapore every year. A few key attractions help to make the run easier."

Added his wife: "Seeing these attractions while running is different from seeing them while in a car or on the MRT. We can view Singapore from a different perspective."

Participants will each receive a goodie bag worth more than $400, a limited-edition New Balance running vest and T-shirt worth $49 each, a finisher's medal, and Great Eastern insurance coverage for the duration of the race.

Runners will also stand a chance to win an OLED TV worth $10,999 by Panasonic, the event's presenting sponsor, in a lucky draw.

Interested runners can register at www.straitstimesrun.com. Those who have taken part in previous editions of the ST Run, which started in 2013, are entitled to a loyal runner's rate.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2017, with the headline 'Family bonding an integral part of The ST Run'. Print Edition | Subscribe