ST Run: It runs in the family

All raring to go are 10 of the 15 family members: (from left) Chow Zhi Sheng, Sara Leong, Tam Lai Leng, Chow Kit Mun, Tam Thye Hung, Flora Tam, Tam Su Ferne, Tam Lai Pheng, Tam Thye Keong and Tam Wei Kang.
All raring to go are 10 of the 15 family members: (from left) Chow Zhi Sheng, Sara Leong, Tam Lai Leng, Chow Kit Mun, Tam Thye Hung, Flora Tam, Tam Su Ferne, Tam Lai Pheng, Tam Thye Keong and Tam Wei Kang.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Tam clan on both sides of Causeway reunite for some healthy 'sightseeing'

The Tam family gatherings usually alternate between Singapore and Malaysia for significant occasions like Chinese New Year and Christmas.

But this weekend, Tam Su Ferne and her Singaporean parents Thye Hung and Flora, who all live here, will reunite with 12 of their Malaysian relatives for another reason - The Straits Times Run in the City.

By plane or car, the Malaysians will travel from Ipoh, Malacca, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru for tomorrow's event.

 
 
 

Said Su Ferne, 27, a marketeer who ran in the 5km fun run last year: "We're an active family. It's fun for us because of the experience of waking up early in the morning and joining so many other people, which gives an element of a slight competition too."

The youngest among the group of five families, who number 15 in total, is Tam Wei Kang, 26, while the oldest is Tam Lai Pheng, 72.

Seven of them are taking part in the OCBC Mighty Savers 5km Family run, while four each will race in the 10km and 18.45km events.

As seven of them are returning participants from last year, they successfully drew more of their family members to join them for this year's run, which doubles up as a family activity.

Su Ferne's aunt Tam Lai Leng, 54, was convinced to make the trip from Ipoh to take part in her first running event after hearing her relatives recount their positive experience.

She said: "It's like killing two birds with one stone. It's not only my first run, but doing it in Singapore is like taking part in an international run too."

Lai Leng feels that the event will allow her to take in the sights of Singapore in a different way. This year's ST Run will start and end at the F1 Pit Building in Marina Bay.

The housewife said: "Whenever we come to Singapore, we're always travelling around in the car or on the trains.

  • Race-day programme

  • 3.30am: Baggage area opens
    5am: 18.45km flag-off
    6.30am: 10km flag-off, race village opens
    7.45am: OCBC Mighty Savers 5km Family Run flag-off
    8am: Programmes at the post-race carnival begins. Band performance by The Switch Gang.
    8.45am: True Fitness showcase
    9.15am: Prize presentation for 10km and 18.45km races
    9.30am: Appreciation for sponsors
    9.40am: S-League players meet-and-greet session
    9.50am: Panasonic stage segment
    10.35am: Singapore Grand Prix Pit Stop Challenge prize presentation
    10.45am: Band performance by The Switch Gang
    11am: Event ends

"But this time, I think it will be a lot more exciting."

One of the family members, Darren Lok, 35, is on a mission to finish the 18.45km run he failed to complete last year. While his fiancee Chung Eelin, 30, completed the race, he dropped out at the 17km mark due to dehydration and had to be hospitalised.

Said Chung: "It was quite scary but a memorable race for us. So this year, we are better prepared for my fiance to complete the run."

The family are hoping that more of them will join future editions of the ST Run.

Chung said: "Hopefully this group will grow bigger year after year."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2016, with the headline 'It runs in the family'. Print Edition | Subscribe