Over 40,000 runners mark 50 years of NS at 25th Safra Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon

The event that was jointly organised by Safra and the army also included an NS50 Team Run.

50th anniversary of National Service
Facebook/SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon

The annual Safra Singapore Bay Run and Army Half Marathon that was held on Sunday completed 25 years of its celebration. Over 41,000 runners across five participated in the run that coincided with the 50th anniversary of National Service (NS).

The event, jointly organised by Safra and the army, included an NS50 Team Run, where past and present national servicemen ran together in teams of 10 to each complete a 5km route, together clocking a total distance of 50km.

Apart from this, there was a 5 km fathers and sons race that featured 50 participants made up of operationally ready national serviceman and their children in the National Cadets Corp (NCC).

Halmie Hussein Mattar, 40, was one of the runners who participated along with his 13-year-old son, Muhammad Hazim, an NCC (Sea) cadet.

Mattar, who is a civil servant as well as a Major (NS) in the 24th Singapore Infantry Brigade, serving as its chief of staff, also brought along his wife, Erniwati Abdul Rahim, and their nine-year-old daughter, Batrisyia Zahra , to take part in the Families for Life 800 m challenge.

"We decided to make it a family affair this year. We decided this was a good time to take part together as the run takes place after our children's tests," Mattar told The Straits Times.

Meanwhile, another father-son duo was seen at the event who were identified as Lee Kuang Chiaw and his son, Zane, an NCC (Land) cadet. "I got to bond with my father through this run, so I feel that it was quite meaningful, as we are both usually quite busy," 15-year-old Zane told The Straits Times.

Zane's father, a procurement officer, said that running past the iconic landmarks in the city, made his son better understand the place of NS in protecting the nation. "I struggled through NS and, again, as an active serviceman, but looking back I really miss it, " Lee said. The 43-year-old officer has completed his NS commitments five years ago. "Now it's up to the younger generation to take over and serve the nation."