SINGAPORE - It is not hard to see why the Tan family is a close-knit one, given the lengths they go to to spend time together, whether it's weekly gatherings, futsal sessions or holidays overseas.
On Sept 28, the Tans will take it one literal step further - 22 of them will hit the road together for the ST Run at the Hub, the first mass-running event to finish under the iconic dome of the new National Stadium.
The group is made up of members from eight extended families, with ages ranging from 14 to 57. At last year's inaugural ST Run held at Punggol Waterway, 15 members of the family took part.
Mr Tan Kok Ann, 51, said: "We felt it was a good opportunity to do it last year since it was the first ST Run.
"I suggested doing it again this year because it's going to be held at an interesting venue."
This time, several members of the family, such as Mr Tan, are making the step up from the 5km fun run to the competitive 10km category.
But there will be no race to the finish line in three months' time, despite the fact that family futsal sessions have always pitted "Team Young" against "Team Not-So-Young".
Said Mr Tan: "What's important is that we all finish together. Those who finish earlier will cheer on those who come in later."
His elder sister, Amy, felt that while hectic schedules have made it more difficult to get everyone together, keeping the family bond strong is something everyone is committed to.
The 53-year-old account executive said: "We're very close siblings and that's something that's been inculcated by our parents since we were young, and we want our children to continue to be this close too."
It is something that even the youngest of the lot appreciates.
Said 14-year-old Rayner, a Secondary 2 student at Bukit Batok Secondary: "I don't think any of my friends do this with their extended families. It's rare and good that we get to bond, and have fun together."
More than 10,000 have signed up for the ST Run at the Hub across three categories (5km fun run, 10km and 21km) so far.
The event 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.
Register for the ST Run online at www.straitstimesrun.com
For inquiries, call 6248-5777.
This article was first published on June 30, 2014.
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