Mok shares his 2013 SEA Games Gold Medal experience, running & hydration tips; but gets a surprise instead!

By Lester Tan


8 July 2017 – The afternoon started drizzling, and there were some worried faces among the participants of the final ST Run Race Clinic. But not the Double SEA Games Gold Medalist, Mok Ying Ren, who like any seasoned and dedicated athlete, is clearly comfortable dealing with ups and downs.


It was a cosy turnout with close to 50 participants of all ages and gender. One of them shared that she had chosen the ST Run as her first race! We also saw familiar faces like local runner-blogger Pris Chew, as well as members of the runONE & ONEathlete family who had turned up in full support.


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Photo Credit: Steven Teo (@j2meepok) for runONE


Same old hard work

The New Balance & 100 Plus Ambassador, Mok started the clinic by bringing us through his 2013 SEA Games experience. Unbeknown to most, he only took the lead in the final km of the marathon race. The winning margin of 20 seconds was barely a whisker in a 42km marathon. Mok boils it all down to ‘a quiet confidence, and patience, and a dash of luck’.

“I trained 17 years and 114 days to become an overnight success” – Leo Messi

That was the clear theme weaving through various parts of Mok’s talk – to debunk the myth of secret training or trait that separates professional athletes from folks like you and me. Mok believes that it all boils down to plain old hard work – putting in the miles and staying consistent (and injury-free) over time.

His 1-year training stint with 3-time Olympian Lee Troop at Boulder, United States also brought a new ‘Less is More’ perspective when he noticed overseas Olympians and high-performance athletes training less, yet achieving more.




Race Day Execution

“Race day is only the day the champion is crowned. The die was long cast in the weeks and months of training before”. For the second part of the clinic Mok touched on race day strategies, such as pre-race routine as well as race execution.

While everyone, even professional runners, inevitably suffers from race-day anxiety, the key is not to let it affect your game plan. “Remain confident in your preparation, start conservatively, be patient and strive for a negative-split race pace (finishing the second half faster than the first)”. Mok candidly admits to having suffered (more than once) the brunt of the consequences otherwise. “Cramps, very terrible cramps and just a very tough and sad feeling”

The simple-to-read graphs and dash of science were also a nod to Mok’s medical training and (I guess) his minimalist and balanced training approach padded with lots of commitment and dedication. Nothing fanciful, and certainly not ‘elite’ looking.

There were also lots of interesting questions from the floor – whether carbo loading is necessary or good, whether running kills the knees, and how much to drink during a race (clue: its not beyond the point of thirst).


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Photo Credit: Steven Teo (@j2meepok) for runONE


The clinic ended with a live demonstration of warm-up and cool-down routines as well as a short 20-min easy #runwithMok. Unfortunately, the #runinthecity route had to be adjusted due to NDP rehearsals which also earned us an unexpected and unforgettable experience of running next to army tanks and marching contingents.


Of Birthdays and Rainbows

Mok, who normally doesn’t celebrate his birthday, also received a birthday cake and a surprise video of well-wishes from family & friends, sponsors & partners who have been supporting him alongside all these while. The cameo video included ONEathlete Ben Ooi, Ironman Triathlon World Championship Qualifier and (coincidentally) also Mok’s brother-in-law who’s overseas in Peru now, corporate partners like Oakley and 100 Plus, and close well-wishers who were kind in cheering him unto his 2017 SEA Games Journey.


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Photo Credit: Steven Teo (@j2meepok) for runONE


That was essentially, an accurate portrayal of the local marathoner, who recounted that the support of the family & friends, partners & sponsors, well-wishers & Singaporeans, had kept him ‘going on again, and again, and again’ despite the many challenges that athletes face!


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Photo Credit: Steven Teo (@j2meepok) for runONE


“The only way to see a rainbow is to look through the rain”

For athletes and runners alike who are no stranger to dealing with the ups and downs of training, there is no better way to conclude our afternoon than this.

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