The Lunghi Run is an important part of the identity of Sivantos Singapore. Among several hundred runners, 36 Sivantos employees, along with 23 family members, came to the sixth edition of Lunghi Run this year on the 27th October along the scenic and serene Bedok Reservoir Park in Singapore.
The run has become synonymous with Ali Akbar, a well-known and much-appreciated colleague in the Singapore office. Ali was a passionate runner who developed the idea of an event where runners would wear a lunghi – a traditional Indian garment – to help break down cultural barriers. Ali’s idea was a success, and so far, six runs have been organized. Sivantos colleagues, friends, and family came to participate, and the run touched many lives. Tragically, Ali lost his battle against cancer in August this year, so the organizers dedicated the run to his memory.
Ali’s son described how his father started the event in a pre-flag off speech. “When my father first brought up the idea of running with lunghis, in all honesty, I thought it was a pretty cheesy idea.” The inspiration of the run was to help build a bridge between Indian migrant workers and local Singaporeans. Initially, it was 30 of Ali’s friends, who wore the lunghi. Later, hundreds of people came to join the run. As his son emphasized, the event never lost its focus on building a sense of community. This year, the run has even extended to Cebu in the Philippines through a partnership with another running event organizer.
Before the race started, participants were taught on how to wear the lunghi. The organizer of the event in Singapore said, “Even though it stormed heavily before the start of the event, the skies cleared exactly five minutes before the start of race. We would like to think Ali had a hand in it… The run was a celebration of colours, and of Ali’s life and legacy. Simple, yet fun. Just the way Ali wanted it.”
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