2 OUT OF EVERY 3 NSMAN REGISTRANTS TO RUN 21KM AT SAFRA SINGAPORE BAY RUN & ARMY HALF MARATHON 2014
The SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon (SSBR & AHM) will return for its 23rd edition on Sunday, 31 August. About 40,000 runners, comprising mainly full-time national servicemen, NSmen and their families have already registered for the event. Gracing an event preview at The Float @ Marina Bay this morning was Dr Maliki Osman, Minister of State for Defence and Deputy President of SAFRA.
Jointly organised by SAFRA and the Army, this year’s SSBR & AHM will see a larger proportion of NSman registrants choosing to run the longer distance of 21km. Out of the 14,000 NSmen who have registered for the event till date, 65% or over 9,100 of them will be running in the 21km AHM. This is an encouraging increase as compared to last year when 60% of 16,800 NSman registrants joined the category. Dr Maliki Osman commented, “This shows greater ownership among NSmen of their own fitness – that they see fitness as important and they are going all out to test their endurance.”
Many more NSmen and their families are expected to sign up for the event in the weeks ahead till registration closes on 7 August. Organisers have pulled out all the stops to ensure that participants have a good running experience and memorable moments with their NS buddies and families. Besides getting NSmen runners more actively involved in the planning of the running route, a host of unique fringe activities have also been planned.
NSmen Participants Involved in Route Planning for the First Time
In an unprecedented move to heighten engagement among NSmen runners, a group of 23 participants that involved runners mainly from the SAFRA Running Club and Team FatBird were invited to participate in a trial run along selected parts of the proposed running route on 14 June to better understand runners’ concerns and solicit feedback.
These included areas such as the Skyline Promenade Park Connector, Marina Barrage and a new section of the running route along Rhu Cross, which offers a wider carriageway to better accommodate the expected volume of runners.
Other suggestions received from participants have also helped organisers make further enhancements to the running experience with provisions made for better lighting at dim sections of the route in the early morning along Skyline Promenade Park Connector.
Dr Maliki Osman presented tokens of appreciation to representatives from the various running clubs during the event preview to thank them for their involvement in the trial run.
Unique Fringe Activities to Bond NSmen & Their Families
More fun-filled fringe activities have also been planned to entertain runners and create more bonding opportunities for NSmen and their families.
In addition to a series of 15 street-side festivities such as belly dancers and fire twirlers spread along the running route to excite and motivate all runners, the SAFRA 5km Fun Run will also adopt a special theme, “Bring the fun to your run”, to excite participants. The category will feature a series of happy elements, including a 500m bubble zone, “HAPPY” mascots giving high-fives to runners, specially-designed distance markers, motivational banners with hilarious quotes and exuberant songs played along the running route.
Participants of the Families for Life 800m Father & Child Challenge can also look forward to being part of two record breaking attempts to be the “Largest gathering of people to wear masks” and the “Largest father and child race” in the Singapore Book of Records. Participants will be given handheld masks during the warm up formation and each father-and-child pair will have to run hand-in-hand throughout the race.
The carnival at the Padang will feature a series of fun-style challenges inspired by the SAF Standard Obstacle Course (SOC) such as the tunnel, balancing bridge, stepping stones and an inflatable Apex ladder. These are specially designed to be suitable for children and are aimed at providing NSmen fathers with opportunities to share a part of their NS experience with their kids in a fun-filled way. Camouflage cream, helmets and mini “field packs” will also be provided to our little soldiers.
Special Discounts for NSmen and their Families
For the second year, all Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Operationally Ready NSmen (ORNS) and those who have completed their ORNS training cycles enjoyed a significant discount of more than 75 percent on registration fees for the 5km, 10km and 21km categories.
Each participating NSman also continue to be able to nominate up to three immediate family members to participate with them at a special SAF Family rate to recognise the critical role families play in supporting NSmen’s commitment towards their NS duties. More than 2,900 NSmen’s family members have already registered for the event this year.
Dr Maliki Osman commented, “It is a good opportunity for NSmen and their families to bond. For families with young children, there are activities like the Families for Life 800m Father and Child Challenge. For those with slightly older kids, they can do the 5km run. I did this a couple of years back with my son. It’s always a wonderful experience to see fathers running with their children and for children to also see what dads actively involved in keeping themselves fit. This is one thing that we would want to continue to promote.”
Running Route for Safra Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon (Please click for enlarge version)