ST Run: Vast benefits in the long run
Upon seeing that many of his colleagues in the semiconductor industry shared a passion for running, Tommy Tan decided to give it a try.
Eight years have passed and the senior field service site manager has become an avid runner and is part of a group that runs five times a week, with his workout sessions consisting of endurance, speed and trail runs that let him explore different parts of the island.
More importantly, he has forged many friendships through running.
He said: "Running helps to build a relationship with the people I work with within the same industry, especially where the vast majority of them have a passion for running.
"It really helps me to blend well with them and from there we are good friends."
The chance to bond over something outside of work is also why Tan is returning for The Straits Times Run on Sunday, as part of a group of 230 from Lam Research Singapore.
The semiconductor company had 204 participants in its first ST Run as a corporate entity last year.
On why the company is coming back, a spokesman said: "We expect a lot from our team, so we provide a lot in return. After all, life is more than work, and we believe in the total well-being of our employees and that includes leading a healthy lifestyle.
"We participated again this year as this supports the wellness initiative that our company is promoting to employees. In addition, giving back to our communities is central to our company's culture."
Tan, who will be taking part in the 18.45km race again, also sees mass runs like the ST Run as a platform to exchange running tips with fellow participants.
Through the last eight years of running, Tan, who is in his 40s, has learnt a great deal about the sport.
After completing last year's race, he and his colleagues celebrated crossing the finish line inside the National Stadium together, sharing their race experiences.
He also took the chance to dispel misconceptions about running.
He said: "I could sense that everyone was proud to complete the race - it is not easy to wake up early on Sunday morning to do this run. It's a great way to foster team-building among colleagues."