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.
Last year, they signed up for The Straits Times Run for the first time as he thought it was "a good opportunity to spend time with them, be active with them".
"I am very busy. My job requires a lot of my time," said Lai, who participated in the 5km Fun Run with his wife and kids. "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 family will be back for this year's edition on Sept 23. Said Lai: "The ST Run was actually our first family run together and my kids really enjoyed it."
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-ever 5km run.
"To encourage my kids to run, I just told them, 'There's 100Plus ahead' and they kept going," said Lai. "I wasn't sure if they could complete the run because they're still so young but they did it in the end."
Specially for the young
Bounce Fit session (minimum age four years old)
CrossFit session (10am session only, minimum age six)
Healthy Cooking workshop with Head Chef Hedy Khoo and instructors from Cookyn Inc (minimum age six)
The finisher medals awarded last year also gave the boys a sense of achievement. Added 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 had given 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 sports editor Lee Yulin: “This year, the ST Run not only has a strong focus on 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.”