SINGAPORE - For employees at Renesas Semiconductor, taking part in running events as a company has become a yearly tradition. But when they are flagged off for this year's ST Run at the Hub, it will take on a special meaning.
With the company shutting down its manufacturing operations here and moving it back to the Japan headquarters, it will be the last time long-serving staff like Mr Bryan Liang will lace up alongside their colleagues.
About 150 of the firm's 700 plus employees have signed up for the 5km fun run category so far, and they are determined to make it one for the photo album.
"Most of the staff have been with the company for quite long," said Mr Liang, 44, a product manager who has worked at Renesas for 15 years. "There are some emotions, but we have to look ahead and make this a memorable event. It will be a nice thing to do together especially when it's the last such run we will do as a company."
Ms Sophie Lim, 46, a department manager into her 24th year at the firm, added that the Sports Hub - the National Stadium in particular - makes the run even more of a draw: "It'll be a nice place and nice way to create some memories together."
Local construction firm Qingjian International is sponsoring more than 100 employees' participation.
Said general manager Sun Yong, 42, himself an avid runner: "Many of our staff are reaching middle age now and are settling down and starting families, but have quite heavy workloads. We want to encourage them to pay closer attention to their health."
More than 10,000 have signed up for the ST Run at the Hub, the first mass-running event to finish under the iconic dome of the new National Stadium. It is organised as part of the Straits Times Appreciates Readers programme to reach out to the community.
Each participant will get a goodie pack worth more than $120, which includes a New Balance race top and commemorative T-shirt, and entry to the Alive Museum. Those who sign up before June 30 stand to win prizes like air tickets to Phuket.
Register for the ST Run online at www.straitstimesrun.com
The event has three categories: the 5km fun run, 10km and 21km. For inquiries, call 6248-5777.
This article was first published on June 25, 2014.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.