SINGAPORE - Grey skies did not hold the residents of Sembawang back as 50 of them completed an SG50 run early on Sunday morning.
The 10 groups of five runners, each including a Pioneer Generation resident, ran a total of 5km each in a relay starting at Republic Polytechnic and ending at Block 770 Woodlands Drive 60.
Minister for National Development and Sembawang GRC MP Khaw Boon Wan joined in the run, which was part of the National Day Observance Ceremony held by Sembawang grassroots organisations.
A 10m by 5m art mural, created with feedback from residents, was also unveiled to cheers and confetti. The painting, done by local artist Kenneth Lee on 50 panels of canvas, will be displayed around the neighbourhood.
Mr Lee, 28, said he challenged himself to complete one painting a day over 50 days, sometimes working for up to 18 hours to complete the work in time for National Day.
"It is based on buildings and events over the past 50 years that people told me they find most memorable," he said of his labour of love.
People listed the Merlion and Golden Mile Complex, for example, as well as KK Women's and Children's Hospital, where many started their families, he said.
At 8.59am, Mr Khaw, his wife Jean and the 1,500 carnival participants clad in red drew silent as the siren sounded across Singapore and founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's reading of the Proclamation of Independence was broadcast.
Mr Ang Ah Sui, 76, one of the relay runners, said after the event that he has seen Singapore endure through a lot.
"Without Mr Lee Kuan Yew we wouldn't have the Singapore we have today," said the retired shipyard mechanic in Mandarin.
"We have worked hard to build up Singapore and it's up to the next generation to keep developing the country.
"I hope it will have an even better 50 years to come."