A record number of family participants as the 26th SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon featured the largest mass run with masks. It was a memorable Sunday for the more than 41,000 runners who converged on the picturesque Marina Bay precinct to bond and pursue fitness goals together. SAF active servicemen, operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) and their families participated in the 26th edition of the SAFRA Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon (SSBR and AHM).
The event brought runners past iconic landmarks such as the financial district, Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, Sports Hub and the Singapore Flyer. Fresh records were set as the race, returning on 26 Aug with the theme of “Together We Run”, saw a new, all-time high of over 7,400 family members of NSmen joining in the fun this year, representing a 40 per cent increase from that of 2017. There was also a “super” element to this year’s event, as a record number of NSmen, together with their spouses and children, donned specially designed superhero-themed T-shirts and face masks to break the Singapore record for the “largest mass run wearing masks”.
1,379 “super dads, mums and kids” eclipsed the 2014 record set by 1,191 participants, also at the SSBR and AHM. The non-competitive Families for Life 800m Challenge continued to be the most popular category among families, attracting a new record of 3,600 NSmen and their families. Many more families also took part in the competitive 21km AHM and SAFRA 10km Run, with participation in the two categories doubling this year.
The SSBR & AHM 2018 also featured two more non-competitive categories: the SAFRA 5km Fun Run and the NS Team Run. Soh Rui Yong, Singapore’s 2017 SEA Games marathon gold medallist, finished first in the 21km men’s category, enthusing that the race had “added significance” for him. “It is the first time in six years that I ran alongside my Army buddies in the Armour formation during preparations for this race.” Jointly organised by SAFRA and the Army, the event was graced by Minister for Defence and Chairman of SAFRA Board of Governors Dr Ng Eng Hen, and Senior Minister of State for Defence and President of SAFRA Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman.
National servicemen were also able to share a part of their NS experience with their families, with the introduction of a series of training activities, such as the Soldier Strong Coaching Programme. Fitness workshops were also introduced at this year’s edition. The carnival at the Padang after the race finish line was abuzz with action, as families tried out various exercises used by the Army to train their soldiers at the Soldier Strong booth, including the agility ladder, sled, tyre flip and battle rope. “This is the first year that my whole family has participated in the Families For Life 800m Challenge,” said a happy Umeer Hyder. “We enjoyed the superhero theme, and the organisers did a great job of bringing up the atmosphere with festivities at the end-point carnival.”