A family affair
The grandfather of eight was the oldest participant and he recently joined his family in the SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon 2016.
BY: Eleanor Yap
At 83, Tay Kim Puay was the oldest participant in the recent SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon 2016 and is proud to be a part of the race as he joined his family. “I did not expect to be the oldest participant to take part in this event. In fact, I participated in the race because my family was doing so and we could all keep fit together,” said the grandfather of eight.
Kim Puay did the 5km run by brisk walking and was joined by his 52-year-old daughter, a daughter-in-law who is 46 years of age and his 16-year-old granddaughter who all did the same distance so as to keep a watchful eye on him. Others in the family who also took part in the race – his 50-year-old son who did the 10km run and his 29-year-old granddaughter, who did the 21km run and who happens to be a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) regular. It was she who mentioned to the family that they could enjoy discounts on the run, so they agreed to participant in the race together, explained Kim Puay. He added that his family was very supportive of him being a part of it, and they all agreed that exercise is “good for health”.
Mostly brisk walking
This was his first marathon as he sticks mostly to brisk walking. He started exercising only around four to five years ago. Eight years ago, he underwent two major operations – one for heart bypass and the other for colon cancer, within six months. After which, he shared that he felt demoralised and was afraid to take the first step out of his home to keep fit even though his doctor advised him that exercise would be good for him. However, as time went by, and with coaxing from his children and grandchildren, he decided to start exercising. He said: “It was definitely tough at the beginning, but through the constant motivation of my family members, I decided to exercise and over time, it became a habit for me.”
Since then, he has joined his family when they exercise every Sundays without fail and they go to different parks each time like Pasir Ris Park, Punggol End, etc. “After my operations, I have had to watch what I eat every day to keep myself healthy. I seldom eat junk food, and normally eat bread and biscuits with cereal or coffee for breakfast and tea break. As for lunch and dinner, I eat whatever my wife cooks,” Kim Puay shared.
Exercise is key
He added: “I definitely feel honoured to be the oldest participant in the race. More importantly, I would like to encourage others that regardless of their age, if time allows, do exercise more to keep fit and you will have a healthier body that will make you feel younger!”
Kim Puay advised others who are keen on participating in a race like him to “exercise more if you are healthy and build up your stamina to better perform in a marathon. If you are not exercising, do not be afraid to take the first step towards a healthier body.”
Asked if this race will be the last for him, he revealed, “I am not planning to participate in other marathons at the moment. However, if my family wishes to join another marathon together, I will definitely join them.”