SINGAPORE – More than 2,000 runners flocked to Bishan Stadium and Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park on Sunday (Aug 26) – and faced greater problems than just the heat.
They were taking part in this year’s Run For Inclusion, Singapore’s annual running event where disabled athletes can run alongside the able-bodied.
Among those taking part was 27-year-old student Mr Wong Ren Yi, who experienced what it would be like to run as a person with cerebral palsy or deafness during a new ’empathy run’ segment. Runners faced uneven terrain and were given earplugs to simulate the problems that such people would face.
Mr Wong, who studies automotive engineering at Institute of Technical Education, himself suffers from mild autism but was taking part in his third Run For Inclusion.
He said: “It’s interesting to understand those experiences. I also like to run together with my friends.”
The event also featured an ‘autism challenge’ where participants had to walk or run through a sensory tunnel filled with bright lights and sounds – showing how people with autism may be sensitive to sensory overload.
A record 571 people with special needs took part in this year’s event, and 295 caregivers also took part. There were three runs, in distances of 12km, 6km and 3.5km.
Guest of honour was Ms Denise Phua, Mayor, Central Singapore CDC and Member of Parliament for Jalan Besar GRC, who flagged off the event. The Run for Inclusion has been held since 2015.