SINGAPORE: Some 70,000 people took part in this year’s Army Half Marathon and SAFRA Singapore Bay Run, despite initial concerns over the haze.
Runners at this year’s Army Half Marathon made their way around the Marina Bay area early Sunday morning. The 21—kilometre race was flagged off at 5.15am from the Esplanade Bridge.
One of the highlights this year was the Supertree light up. Runners also had the chance to run through the newly opened Bay South Garden at Gardens by the Bay.
Unlike previous years, it is not compulsory for active servicemen to run the 21—kilometre race.
With about half the number of participants compared to last year, some welcomed the extra space.
A total of 21,444 participants registered last year, and only 10,324 registered this year.
Runner Mr Sam Ng said: "It’s better for us actually, for competitive (runners). The route is wider. Previously, it was very packed. Fast runners couldn’t run fast because there were so many obstructions."
"It’s not so crowded. With a significant drop (in the number of runners), it makes our run easier also. More space, I love it," said another participant.
There were initially some concerns that the haze would disrupt this year’s race. However, thanks to winds and rains the previous night, everything went according to plan.
It was a particularly special race for 34—year—old Jeremy Yap.
He and nine relatives decided to run in this year’s 10—kilometre race in memory of his father, who died last year while out jogging.
"I’m sure he would be very happy... We should’ve run together when he was still around," he said.
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen was also present to flag off the event. He also ran in the 5—kilometre SAFRA Fun Run.
A record 730 pairs took part in this year’s Dads For Life 800—metre Father—and—Child event.
At the end, it was a rewarding experience for all those who finished the race.
Kiproo Lilan Kennedy came in first in the 21—kilometre Army Half Marathon male open category with a time of 1:04:23.50.
In the female open category, Esther Karimi Wambui took home top honours with a time of 1:16:17.60.
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