The celebrity factor for The Straits Times Run in the City has been reinforced, with an entire S-League side and more crew members of One FM's breakfast show signing up for the May 22 event.
Close to 30 Hougang United players and officials will participate in the 5km fun run. Wearing the Tigers' signature orange jerseys, they will be joined at the post-race carnivalat the F1 Pit Building by players from rival clubs.
Gabriel Quak from Geylang International, Khairul Amri and Marcus Adi Wheeler from Garena Young Lions and striker Ken Ilso from Home United will mingle with runners at the carnival.
Tampines Rovers stars Jermaine Pennant, Christopher van Huizen and Shahdan Sulaiman will also be there, unless the team qualify for the round of 16 of the Asian Football Confederation Cup.
Said Hougang team manager Matthew Tay, who also took part in last year's edition: "I felt that it would be a good way to bond together and just enjoy something outside of our football training sessions. It's a good promotion for the club and for our league too."
Quak said: "I think it'll be fun to see families and talk to them."
Besides the footballers, One FM's breakfast show producer Shaun Tupaz, executive producer Andre Hoeden and news and sports presenter Elliott Danker will take on the 10km route.
Two of their colleagues, DJs Glenn Ong and Charmaine Yee, will be joint MCs for the event.
Tupaz, 29, a former commando, joked that the run will be a walk in the park for him. He quipped: "I'm looking forward to reading the newspaper while running. The race is no kick for me, no problem."
He added that he can use his superior fitness to support his two older colleagues. The seasoned runner said: "Even if I have to carry them through on my shoulders to the finish line, I would do it."
Hoeden, 41, said with a laugh: "Without Shaun, we will probably take four hours to complete it."
Running is a new challenge for Hoeden, who had heart surgery eight years ago to insert a stent to relieve an arterial blockage.
Now with a clean bill of health, he said: "Running is new to me. Previously it felt like a chore to me. I've never been a runner and my 2.4km runs have always been slow. I spend more of my time on golf, tennis and swimming."
With city views to admire, Danker, 34, said he does not mind stepping away from entertaining listeners on the radio.
"It's not about work, where we have to entertain people and listeners. But we're going in as participants, and we can relax and just run, enjoy it and not think about anything else. There's no pressure to do well. This is pure running and I think I'll feel comfortable doing it."
• The deadline to register for The ST Run in the City, presented by Panasonic, has been extended to Friday. You can sign up for the OCBC Mighty Saver 5km Family Run, the 10km or the 18.45km competitive runs. Fees range from $38 to $62. Register for the May 22 event at www.straitstimesrun.com
Correction Note: An earlier version of this article stated that Khairul Amri and Marcus Adi Wheeler are from Courts Young Lions. They are from Garena Young Lions. We are sorry for the error.