SINGAPORE - Family gatherings are a special time for Mr Alvin Tan and his family. Whether it is their weekly dinner, a monthly football game or the annual family holiday, the Tans never fail to turn up.
This weekend is no exception - even if they will be doing something different.
Fourteen members of the family - ranging from 13 to 48 years old - will be pounding the scenic paths of Punggol Waterway at The Straits Times' Run in the Park on Sunday.
The idea of incorporating running into their family activities was first mooted three years ago, when Alvin and his siblings watched their mother struggle with heart problems before her death.
Realising the importance of good health, they decided to encourage one another to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Said Alvin, 48, a financial consultant: "Once you register for everyone, they know that they will need to train on their own to ensure that their fitness level is there.
"It doesn't mean that if you run, you will be free from illness.
"But running is one of the keys to a healthy life, and we want to encourage that."
Alvin's nephew Rayner, 13, will be doing the 5km fun run with four others. Alvin will lead six others in the 10km.
His son Terence, 24, and niece Qizhe, 19 - who aims to do a marathon - will do the 15km run.
Alvin's brother Edmund, also a financial consultant, said participating in such events added to their bonding time.
Said the 54-year-old: "My family is definitely very close.
"We want to inculcate in the younger generation how important it is to have family members around.
"These running events are great because after they end, we chit-chat and talk about the run and how we prepared for it."
Sometimes, they may have wagers of seafood dinners over who finishes the race faster.
But completing the race is their main goal.
Said Alvin: "Everybody runs at his own pace. We don't force, we encourage.
"The goal is to complete the race safe and sound."
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