As a finance manager, Tony Lai often has to work overtime. So the few hours the 39-year-old gets to spend with his wife and two sons, Lebron, six, and Jordan, seven, are precious and looking for activities where he can carve out quality time with them is the priority.
So last year, they signed up for The Straits Times Run for the first time as Mr Lai thought it was "a good opportunity to spend time and be active with them".
"I am very busy. My job requires a lot of my time," said Mr Lai, who participated in the 5km Fun Run with his wife and children.
"Family bonding is the only thing I wish I had more of (outside of work), so I thought the run would be a fun and productive way to spend our Sunday."
He had no regrets, and the Lai family will be back for this year's edition on Sept 23.
Said Mr Lai: "The ST Run was actually our first family run together and my kids really enjoyed it."
HOST OF EVENTS
There will be a variety of activities to help participants prepare for the Sept 23 ST Run. These include:
May 5: Bounce Fit at Bounce Singapore
June 17: CrossFit at Innervate Fitness
June 23: Healthy cooking class with Hed Chef Hedy Khoo and instructors from Cookyn Inc
July 22: Cardio three ways (Assault Air Bike, Ergo Rower and VersaClimber)
Aug 18: 15km sunset run
Sept 8: Yoga along the waterfront
Registration for these activities is open to all ST Run participants. Successful registrants need only pay either a $5 or $10 fee, which will go to the ST School Pocket Money Fund.
HOW TO SIGN UP
This year's ST Run comprises three categories - 18.45km, 10km and 5km.
The registration fee for each is $70, $60 and $50, respectively.
Past participants enjoy a Loyal Runner rate and need to pay only $58, $48 and $38, respectively.
To sign up for the ST Run, visit www.straitstimesrun.com
For details and to register for the May 5 Bounce Fit session, visit the Pre-run Activities & Workshops section under the Race Info tab.
Besides the roadside entertainment offered by bands such as Jack and Rai, the hydration points along the route also motivated Lebron and Jordan to complete their first 5km run.
"To encourage my kids to run, I just told them, 'There's 100Plus ahead', and they kept going," said Mr Lai. "I wasn't sure if they could complete the run because they're still so young but they did it in the end."
The finisher medals awarded last year also gave the boys a sense of achievement. Added Mr Lai: "The kids were very happy when they got their medals - it was a good recognition of their effort."
The family plans to jog at the 100Plus Promenade at the Singapore Sports Hub at least twice a week to train for this year's run. Their training sessions last year gave Mr Lai the opportunity to learn more about his sons.
"I actually found out that my younger kid is more sports-inclined and the older one needs a little more motivation," he said. "I just want to keep it fun, keep it healthy and enjoy the run with my family again."
Said ST Run organising committee chairman Lee Yulin: "This year, the ST Run has a strong focus on not only having fun, but also on who you're having fun with. As such, children as young as four years old are welcome.
"We have also made an effort to encourage the kids to join some of our build-up activities, as we recognise that spending time with loved ones is important."