More than 40,000 runners mark 50 years of NS at 25th Safra Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon

Participants of the NS50 Team Run and SAFRA 5km Fun Run paid tribute to national servicemen with a salute in commemoration of NS50. ST PHOTO: SAFRA
Participants navigating the Inflatable Stepping Stones at 5km Fun Run of the SAFRA Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon, on Aug 20 2017. PHOTO: SAFRA

SINGAPORE - The annual Safra Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon - which took place on Sunday (Aug 20) - turned 25 this year, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of National Service (NS).

More than 41,000 runners across five categories took part in the run, jointly organised by Safra and the army.

Tying in with NS50, this year also included an NS50 Team Run, where past and present national servicemen ran together in teams of 10 to each complete a 5km route, together clocking a total distance of 50km.

There was also a 5km fathers and sons race, featuring 50 participants made up of operationally ready national serviceman and their children in the National Cadets Corp (NCC).

Among the runners was Mr Halmie Hussein Mattar, 40, who took part with his 13-year-old son, Muhammad Hazim, an NCC (Sea) cadet.

Mr Mattar - a civil servant who is also a Major (NS) in the 24th Singapore Infantry Brigade, serving as its chief of staff - also brought along his wife, Ms Erniwati Abdul Rahim, a 40-year-old teacher and their nine-year-old daughter, Batrisyia Zahra , to take part in the Families for Life 800m challenge.

"We decided to make it a family affair this year. We decided this was a good time to take part together as the run takes place after our children's tests," said Mr Mattar.

Another father-son pair was Mr Lee Kuang Chiaw and his son, Zane, an NCC (Land) cadet.

"I got to bond with my father through this run, so I feel that it was quite meaningful, as we are both usually quite busy," said 15-year-old Zane.

His father, a procurement officer, said running past the iconic landmarks in the city, made his son better understand the place of NS in protecting the nation.

"I struggled through NS and, again, as an active serviceman, but looking back I really miss it, " said Mr Lee, 43, who completed his NS commitments five years ago.

"Now it's up to the younger generation to take over and serve the nation."

A three-generation family is all smiles after taking part in this year's Families for Life 800m challenge. (From left to right) Mdm Chan Yin Ho, Toh En Yi and Toh Eng Keong. PHOTO: SAFRA

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