Running 50km a day, over 50 days, to celebrate SG50

Running 50km a day, over 50 days, to celebrate SG50
Teachers (front row from left) Cheo Kok Kim from ITE College West, Sumiko Tan from ITE College Central and Yong Yuen Cheng from Hwa Chong Institution will be taking part in Go 50 – A Nation In Motion. Behind them are ITE students from the youth planning committee.

It is one of the more physical celebrations of SG50.

Fifty staff and students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) will take turns in running 50km a day over 50 days.

The daily distance is longer than a marathon - 42.2km - yet another two participants are taking on the full 50 days.

Seasoned marathon runners Yong Yuen Cheng, 43, and MediaCorp TV editor Lim Nghee Huat, 62, plan to cover 2,500km - the equivalent of running in a straight line from Singapore to Hong Kong.

Mr Yong, a physical education teacher at Hwa Chong Institution, will go on no-pay leave for two months from April to run the full distance and has been training for five hours a day.

He said: "Hopefully, the feat will inspire Singaporeans to do extraordinary things and more people will pick up a sport."

Collectively known as Go 50 - A Nation In Motion, the runs will begin on April 16, with the June 4 finale coinciding with the torch light- up ceremony of the SEA Games, which will be held here.

Non-profit youth organisation Heartware Network and ITE started work on the running initiative last September, with the bulk of the planning taken on by 15 ITE students.

Heartware Network founder Raymond Huang said: "We wanted to involve our youth in the planning of this large-scale project, since they will play a part in Singapore's next 50 years."

The runs will follow routes in different parts of the island. Some will cut through the heartland, while others will take them to scenic spots like East Coast Park and HortPark.

Organisers have also persuaded companies to adopt one day of the 50-day schedule, in which they will encourage their staff to participate in a 5km community run.

Eight organisations have volunteered so far, including Safra Jurong and property agency Century 21.

First-year ITE student Sanjeet Singh, 24, who is in the youth planning committee, said: "Having these runs will help us remember the long and difficult journey Singapore took to be where it is today."

This article was first published on February 28, 2015.
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