First Family Experience - Jurong Lake Run 2014

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Jurong Lake Run 2014 by Simply Lambchops

Would you believe me if I tell you that I used to be part of my secondary school's cross-country team? I hear you laughing, but I'm serious. I may not look that athletic now, but I was definitely leaner then. Though I still love running now, most of the time, the spirit is more willing than the flesh. I took part in a number of races as a student but since then, I have not been able to join any as most races take place on Sunday mornings. So, when I heard of the Jurong Lake Run (JLR) that was to take place on a Saturday evening (and mind you, it was not any ordinary Saturday. It was on the 21st of June - a special date marked on our family calendar for ZY's birthday), you can imagine my excitement right? I gave ZY a call immediately to ask if he was also keen to participate in the competitive race. He hesitated, suggesting the 2.5 km Community Walk-a-Jog instead because of his health condition. It turned out to be a good alternative as the Kids Run was also the same distance and both the flag-off timings were at the same time. This meant that we could all run the same route together! What a great way to pass on this liking for running to my kids!

L was very excited about the run, especially about the part that he would get a Finisher medal after that. He waited eagerly for 21st June to come and said that he aimed to come in first. Ch, on the other hand, didn't appear that enthusiastic. Not even during our practice run one week before the JLR. The Finisher medal didn't seem to motivate her much. Even when I encouraged her to dedicate the Kids Run to our dear K and Renner (will write about this remarkable boy soon), she looked disinterested and walked most parts of the practice run. 

On the actual day of the run, we got the kids to take an afternoon nap as they woke very early to prepare for ZY's birthday party. Our excitement grew as the flag-off timing approached, and left home early to prevent any delay in reaching the starting line near the Science Centre. While waiting for the flag-off, I gave Ch some last-minute tips to encourage her to continue running even if she was tired. I was hoping that she would show some level of resilience and persevere to the end despite the hot weather and tiredness from the running. 

Monkeying around while waiting for the flag-off.

Mr Tharman and Ms Grace Fu waiting to flag off the
2.5 km Kids Run and the Community Walk-a-Jog.

We are proud to be part of the 16,000 participants of this year's JLR!

The kids were asked to move ahead to the starting line so that they could start running after the flag-off at 5:30pm. The adults slowly picked up speed after most of the kids left. It was indeed a hot day and I felt the heat overcome my body even before I ran 500m! ZY ran off to catch up with Ch and L, and saw a heart-warming sight. The two of them had agreed earlier to run together, so when Ch started slowing down along the Jurong Town Hall Road, L gave her some extra push to encourage her. 

L cheering his sister on.

By the time I caught up with Ch, ZY and L were nowhere in sight. I ran together with Ch for the rest of the route. Throughout the journey, I observed how Ch pushed her physical limit. When she was tired, she walked, but she made it a point to resume her run shortly after. If she was ahead of me, she would turn back and look out for me too. Her whole face was red but not once did she stop and whine about her tiredness. She conserved her energy and channelled it to power her leg muscles, keeping quiet throughout the whole run. I must say that I was pretty impressed with her attitude after seeing how disinterested she was during the practice run! 

Ch edited this photo right after her run. 

Ch reaching the finishing line. Pride filled the Mommy's heart!

L, on the other hand, dashed off towards the finishing line and completed it in less than 17 mins! Even faster than me! ZY shared that he had a hard time trying to keep up with L's pace! See how happy Ch was to receive her Finisher medal? L was too tired to smile for the camera though he was also very happy to receive his medal. He just kept drinking his 100plus drink that was available at the water-point. 

Proud moment for Ch and a tired L who received their
Finisher medal after the Kids Run. I love their medals!

After the run, we took a slow walk around the Jurong Lake Carnival and joined some of the games. There was a movie screening of Turbo nearer the evening, but we gave it a miss.

The JLR is a meaningful run for me as I have been staying in the Jurong area since young. Though many people complain about the bad air we have here, I guess I am used to it. Sometimes, we will be rewarded with a nice aroma of cocoa or bread as the housing estates are quite near the factories. Also, in upholding the spirit of giving back to the Community, S$1 from the registration fees was donated for every kilometre completed by each participant. A total sum of S$150,000 was raised for five beneficiaries. How cool is that to be able to run and do charity at the same time!

This was the amount raised by the participants who completed
the 2.5 km run when I reached the finishing line.

At the same time, I Run 4 Renner and my dear K, two beautiful and amazing children whose moms crossed paths despite being miles apart. Our personal stories speak of Hope and faith in God, and a deep love for our children. We may live in a different time zone, but we encourage and cheer each other on in good and bad times. This is the second run I have done in the name of Renner since we were matched as running buddies. If you would like to run for someone to encourage that person, you can read more about the I RUN 4 (IR4) organisation here.

Lastly, I can't say enough of how impressed I was (and still am!) with my children's positive attitude and performance. They too, were proud of their achievement. They did not give up, but pressed on towards the end-point. L asked how he could have run for Renner and K. My reply to him was that in dedicating this run for them, he had thought of them in a loving way and put in his best for them. I hope that in the future, they will also have the Courage to share about their little sister's stories and how amazing a child with Down Syndrome can be, and to have the courage to share about Christianity to their friends. 

As a family, we value meaningful activities that we can participate together, so as to build the character of our children, and to create special memories in the hope that when our children are older, they can look back at their childhood and be proud of this family unit. There is a saying, "A happy Family is but an earlier Heaven." I say, it takes more than being happy to be a family. It takes great love and fear for God, a humble serving spirit, and care for every family member to make it work. This memorable 2.5 km run is definitely one of the catalysts to help us build that family God wants us to be. 

I look forward to next year's Jurong Lake Run! Maybe a 6 km competitive race then? Would you like to join us next year?

*The JLR core values are Pride, Community, Family, Courage and Hope. 

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  1. Is a great event!
    Yes, we will join you next year... Yeah!

  2. Well done, all of you! I didn't realise the JLR is on Sat evening! I don't enter races these days for the same reason -- that they are on Sun morning. I must remember to look out for this next year.

  3. You still look pretty fit. I was never a runner when I was younger. .. wished I had run more back then .

  4. What a very meaningful run. Indeed I feel runs should always be linked to raising funds and inspiring people! My hope is also for my kids to have the courage to tell all the Good News as they grow. :)

    And 2.6km in 17 mins is really fast, well done! My hubby enjoys running and trained up to a full marathon a few years ago. I was never an athlete in school, but enjoy jogging and managed to participate in a few 10 km runs. Hoping to get the engine up and running (haha) again soon.

  5. Way to go! Running is a great family bonding activity I feel. But both me and my hub have problems with our feet and legs, prolong running is no go for us.

  6. Great bonding activity! I used to be long distance runner, but somehow, my children don't seem to really enjoy running.

  7. I love it that running races creates opportunities for children to push and surprise themselves. It's very meaningful and shows them by example that they can do it! In life, attitude is everything!

  8. Jurong lake run! I love the scenic run there! When I was still staying in Jurong East, I had wanted to join in the runs but my eldest was still very young then! Now I have moved very far away from the west. Haha.

  9. The kids look very cute in their attire. Am sure the kids enjoy it alot since they can run freely. I have not joined any run yet but i suspect i will get cajoled into it soon.

    Shirley @ SAys! Happy Mums

  10. I used to run long distance for my school. Always the girl with a good stamina and I credit that to my swimming practices. However, I just can't see the whole family going for a run like this in the future! I haven't ran in what 5 years and my husband hates that sport! Guess it'll be a girlfriends event more than a family event for me!

  11. Very proud of you and the kids for participating in such runs, and dedicating it to little K makes it all the more meaningful! :D


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