From Wonder Woman and wondrous Kenyans to weekend warriors and national athletes, more than 21,000 runners pounded across Singapore's cityscape yesterday before celebrating under the iconic dome roof of the new National Stadium.
The Straits Times Run at the Hub drew participants of all ages and nationalities but they all had one goal: to enjoy a morning out and being part of history as the first to finish a mass-running event inside the new stadium.
"Most other runs are along the East Coast or Marina area, which can be a bit monotonous - this is different, this is cool," said teacher Manoj Sharma, 37.
Kenyan James Kemboi, 21, was the first to cross the tape in 1hr 10min 39sec to take the men's 21km title. Prizes were also awarded for the 10km category, but not for the 5km fun run.
But everyone went home a winner, relishing the chance to end a run in a venue that will host a football friendly between Brazil and Japan on Oct 14 and next year's SEA Games.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong, who was the guest of honour and flagged off the 5km segment of the run, said he was heartened by the turnout as one of the reasons for building the Sports Hub was to bring people together.
"We want it to be a venue where Singaporeans can all come together to enjoy and participate in sports," he said.
Added Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez, who joined runners after flagging off the 10km run: "It was a really great feeling when you entered the stadium and ran on the track to the finishing line.
"We felt it was the perfect venue to host the ST Run this year and are glad that so many people got to experience the thrill of finishing a race inside this wonderful new stadium."
Runners were also treated to a post-race carnival headlined by local acts. Sponsors' booths, such as the one by presenting sponsor Panasonic which gave out prizes to runners who posed for instant photos with friends, also kept runners entertained.
The ST Run at the Hub is the paper's second running event. Last year's ST Run at Punggol Waterway drew around 12,000.
Accountant Eric Gwee, 29, who took part in both, summed up yesterday's mood best. Proudly holding his "I was FirST at the Hub" commemorative T-shirt given to participants, he said: "No sun, good fun, great run."
This article was first published on Sep 29, 2014.
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