SINGAPORE - For the Ko family, bonding activities usually revolve around food. But, on Sunday (Sept 23), Mr K.C. Ko, his wife Jenny Teh and two of their three daughters will participate in a different activity as a family - The Straits Times Run.
"My eldest girl (aged 23) used to be a very avid runner, but she hasn't run for many years, and decided to pick it up again recently," said Ms Teh.
"She was the one who suggested we run together as a family."
Ms Teh, a freelancer, and her husband, who works in oil and gas, collected their race packs at the OCBC Arena on Thursday (Sept 20).
The couple, who are in their 50s, also checked out the inaugural ST Run Festival, where Ms Teh tried a step machine. Their second daughter will not join the run as she is overseas.
A total of 5,698 people collected their race packs on the first day of the three-day festival, which runs until Saturday.
First in the queue was facilities manager Ho Chor Yin, 47, who will be participating in his fifth ST Run this year. He arrived more than 30 minutes before the start of the collection, and said good organisation was a key reason for his loyalty.
"It is refreshing to start and end at the Sports Hub... there is that special feeling when you finish there," said Mr Ho, who aims to complete the 18.45km race in under 100 minutes.
The festival features more than 30 exhibitors, and includes a Market Place by The Local People as well as fitness workouts. Personalisation of race vests and T-shirts is also available at $15, with half the proceeds going to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.
Executive director Anthony Heng, 52, participating in his fifth ST Run, chose to print a reminder to other runners on the back of his race singlet.
He said: "One thing many people forget when they run is that they must keep breathing so that they don't get fatigued along the way."
Retirees Sajad Shah and Winifred Lam, who each received a 70g Veggie Life salad pack and a 230ml packet of Magnolia Oats UHT milk for being among the first 300 to collect their race packs, felt the items in their goodie bags were useful.
Each race pack contains items such as two New Balance Dry T-shirts, vouchers, arm sleeves and a mini USB fan. The duo have attended every edition of the ST Run together since its inception in 2013.
Said Ms Lam, 65: "It is a beautiful run, and we really enjoy it. This is the only run every year that we take part in."
Mr Sajad, 66, added: "There are a lot of activities, and it is a lot of fun. The ST Run is a must for us... we are a part of it."
Correction note: This story has been edited for clarity.