Running enthusiast Amelia Gooi has participated in all four previous editions of The Straits Times (ST) Run, and was up for a new challenge this year.
Having previously entered the 5km and 10km categories, Ms Gooi, who covers 8km to 12km twice each week, decided to push herself by signing up for the 18.45km race.
Ms Gooi said: "I have been looking forward to this year's run since last year, so when the news came out early in March, I immediately locked in the date."
Her enthusiasm was apparent. She was the first person to sign up, two minutes after the online registration opened at 8am yesterday.
Beside testing her physical boundaries, the July 16 ST Run also holds another appeal to Ms Gooi, who competes in about eight runs every year. "I am all for runs for charitable purposes," she said.
ST RUN IN THE CITY 2017
WHEN: Sunday, July 16
REGISTER AT: www.straitstimesrun.com
CATEGORIES AND PRICES:
5km family run: $50 (full rate), $42.50 (Standard Chartered Bank card holders), $38 (loyal runner rate).
10km: $60 (full rate), $51 (Standard Chartered Bank card holders), $48 (loyal runners).
18.45km: $70 (full rate), $59.50 (Standard Chartered Bank card holders), $58 (loyal runners).
Note: Only those who have taken part in previous editions of the ST Run are entitled to the loyal runner rate.
One limited-edition New Balance "NB DRY" running vest worth $49.
One limited-edition New Balance "NB DRY" finisher's tee worth $49.
One limited-edition finisher's medal.
Complimentary Great Eastern personal accident insurance from the official start of the race until the end of the race.
One-time 25 per cent discount for regular-priced New Balance products. Terms and conditions apply.
True Fitness 10-day passes worth $110.
$200 Mobot cash voucher. Terms and conditions apply.
Other goodies from sponsors.
One dollar from each registration will be donated to the ST School Pocket Money Fund. Those signing up can also donate more during the registration if they wish.
Another loyal ST Run participant, Mr Steven Wong, was the first male runner to register.
The 61-year-old manager started running 12 years ago after learning that he had high cholesterol, and counts the 18.45km route - which will pass by Marina Bay Sands and Esplanade Bridge this year - as one of his favourites.
He said: "I run around 15 races a year, but the 18.45km run allows me to focus on improving my timing just for that unique distance."
Help is also available for participants. The ST Run and Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS) have come together for the first time to offer runners an eight-month programme to help them train for both events. Together, they attract about 60,000 runners annually.
Headed by national marathoner and 2013 SEA Games champion Mok Ying Ren, the programme will get runners ready to compete in the ST Run's 18.45km category and either the half or full marathon at the SCMS.
The ST Run, which ended at the Singapore Sports Hub in 2014 and 2015, and at the F1 Pit Building last year, will conclude at the Padang this year.
Aside from the pure joy of running, some also get a kick out of the array of freebies for participants.
These include a goodie bag worth more than $400, a limited-edition New Balance running vest and T-shirt worth $49 each, a finisher's medal and Great Eastern insurance for the duration of the race.
The event's presenting sponsor Panasonic will be giving away its latest OLED TV worth $10,999 in a lucky draw for ST Run participants.
Business analyst Vince Woo, 37, who will run the 18.45km race, said: "The runners' entitlement is well taken care of, especially with the goodie bags."
By 9pm last night, 481 participants had signed up for the fifth edition of the ST Run, which started in 2013.