DATE
November 18, 2018 Sunday

VENUE
Singapore Sports Hub

TIME
From 7am

Nov 05, 2018

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Friends participate in Big Walk again after 24 years

In 1994, six friends participated in The New Paper Big Walk.

Twenty-four years later, they are walking together again - this time with their wives and children, a sign-up initiated by one of the six - Mr Mark Tan.

Mr Tan, a 46-year-old civil servant, even kept a news clipping of the crowd from the 1994 Big Walk as a souvenir.

Back then, the six men were physical training instructors doing their national service.

Now, they still meet at least twice a year.

Mr Tan told The New Paper: "All this while we have been talking about joining a walk or run together... Why not do another walk after over 20 years?"

The group met only once this year during Chinese New Year as their children are taking the national examinations.

So the walk, said Mr Tan, will be a good opportunity for them to catch up after many months.

For Mr Tan, who was a military engineering officer with the Singapore Armed Forces for six years, this group of friends is exceptionally close to his heart.

Along with another regular marathon runner in the group, he tried to persuade his friends to sign up for runs but to no avail.

"It is good to start with a walk instead of a run. It is also a good chance for the kids to catch up and chat, unlike runs."

"We encouraged our wives to come along too," said Mr Tan, whose wife and two children are participating.

Another member of the group, Mr Alvin Goh, is looking forward to the company of family and friends during the walk.

The 46-year-old, who works in the IT and engineering industry, told his two children about the six buddies' past participation in the Big Walk.

Said Mr Goh: "They are looking forward to experiencing what we experienced back then. It is good that we can finally come together again."

In 1994, the Big Walk was flagged off at the National Stadium. This year's walk will also start in Kallang - at the Singapore Sports Hub on Nov 18.

The New Paper Big Walk also partners two first-time sponsors, Workforce Singapore and the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices.

Mr Alvin Goh (far left) and Mr Mark Tan (second from right) took part in The New Paper Big Walk in 1994 with four of their NS buddies. Twenty-four years later, the group of six is walking together again with their spouses and kids. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MARK TAN