First published on NS MAN Magazine – May/June 2018 Issue
A line-up of notable national athletes kicked off the year’s first charity run at a launch event at SAFRA Toa Payoh’s EnergyOne gym.
Led by #ONEathlete and National Marathoner, Mok Ying Ren, these athletes marked the commencement of the 3M Team Futuro Challenge, encouraging participants to run at least a 2,000km from 20 Jan to 4 Feb. Achieving this target would help raise $30,000 worth of Futuro-brand products for under-reached individuals and community groups.
At the launch held on 19 Jan, Mok was joined by fellow ONEathlete(s), National Tennis Player, Shaheed Alam and National Badminton Player, Ren-ne Ong.
The Straits Times’s Rohit Brijnath asks our ONEathlete Ashley Liew about the greatest athlete that he has seen. What ensues is a very provocative yet fun, opinion piece by our ST writing prodigy. Read more here!
Excerpt: Ashley Liew, the marathoner, picked Wilson Kipsang, the former marathon world record holder, for in the Kenyan’s humility the Singaporean finds heroicness. Thrice Liew has met him and every meeting, he said, confirmed a generosity of spirit.
Once, after Liew finished a hard workout in Kenya, Kipsang drove by, stopped by the roadside, congratulated the Singaporean and the locals he was running with, and bought them a drink. “To this day,” wrote Liew, “I still root for Kipsang because of the values he lives by.” Read more here!
As a National marathoner and ONEathlete, Ashley Liew has represented Singapore twice at South East Asian Games (SEA Games), won Singapore Marathon 2012 Local category and is the 2nd-fastest all-time Singaporean for the Ironman triathlon distance (10h3m29s at Ironman Texas 2012).
It includes a vivid history of his overweight days, to his desperation to lose it, to his road to running, to his usual running companions & his lil Tiger, to his guilty pleasures, to the lady who swopped him of his feet, to what he does in the day (and night), to who has got his back on.. phew!
Read all about the Pierre de Coubertin World Trophy Recipient, right here! Read more
Men’s Health Singapore – May 2018 issue covers Top 10 local fitness role models worth following on Instagram! ONEathlete Mok Ying Ren makes it to the list and shares with them what got him started, and what still keeps him going!
Men’s Health Singapore
Mok Ying Ren
“Take your time to find your strength and ultimately enjoy the journey,” Ying Ren advices. He believes that once you have found your strength, you should use it to encourage others as well. “It will not only make a difference to them, it will also make a difference to you.”
Check out the full list of fitness role models to see who made it to the exclusive list and read their stories too!
I’m in awe of what Callum Hawkins tried to do today and it was sickening to see him in such distress and clearly desperate to continue, even once his body had given up on him. I’m also in awe (although not QUITE as much) of Mike Shelley’s run today – his Games record is a massive achievement and yet again he was Mr. Consistent with a fantastic run. Mike was clearly on the edge also and for a while at 40-41km I thought he would be going the same way as Callum as he looked a little wobbly. For anyone who didn’t see the footage, Callum essentially collapsed at 39.5km, got up after a few failed efforts, struggled on for another 800m and then collapsed again at the 40km mark, losing his 2 minute advantage on Mike Shelley in 2nd. I’m sure it’s on YouTube.
Debate 1: Should Mike Shelley have stopped to help when he passed Callum?
When Mike passed Callum, lying prone on the floor, there was an official with him, although admittedly not doing much. Mike ran past him and has had some stick for not being ‘sportsmanlike’ and offering support. My view is he did the right thing. If Callum was in the middle of nowhere and Mike had seen him collapse then that’s a different matter but remember that Mike has no idea why he’s on the floor. He hasn’t seen the distressing scenes we all saw. Callum is also being attended to – what on earth can Mike do to help? Also, Mike looked pretty shaky himself and probably was battling on just getting the last 2km over with – stopping could have finished him and I’ve been in that state before – you barely take in what’s going on around you but to get to the finish. Just keep the strides moving. What if Mike stops and still no ambulance arrives – should Robbie Simpson in 3rd stop too? Should all Athletes just gather round until Callum has enough attention and then race the last 2km? It makes no sense.
Debate 2: Did Callum go too hard too soon?
Callum was always looking to make a move and got a 41sec lead between 25-30km with a 15.20 5km split. Mike Shelley and others hung back, and Callum then extended his lead by another minute at 30-35km with a similar split. It’s very easy to say he went too hard too soon in hindsight but what’s interesting is that he never slowed (until he came to a hard stop!). He didn’t seem to be tiring – even his 35-40km split was the fastest in the field and that included nearly a minute on the floor and then 500m or so of running afterwards. His pace judgment seemed spot on, but the heat (I assume) just zapped him and must have come from nowhere. Usually when someone goes too hard or misjudges pace in a marathon you slow gradually over several kilometres, but this never happened to Callum. I think it’s fair to say he wouldn’t have suffered as much if he’d have made his move later and he probably should have been more cautious seeing as the heat was always going to be a factor – but I imagine he felt incredibly comfortable and the pace was fine for him. It’s hard to predict a massive collapse at 40km when you feel fine at 38km, and if he was to have gradually faded, then having a 2minute lead is quite a handy thing to have should he have started to slow…. Actually collapsing and being unable to move is pretty rare! I would say he made the right decisions not having the benefit of hindsight.
Debate 3: Was the race badly organized?
There are two debates here – why did it start so late and why did it take so long for Callum to get medical attention? The first is (I suspect) due to TV broadcasting demands – the men started at 8.30am and it was 28C by 10.30am and with the heat off the road, it felt way hotter. I don’t want to see a race where conditions drive the result more than athletic ability and I do believe it should have started earlier. I don’t buy into the “it’s about being tough – make it as hard as possible” argument. It’s about who can run the fastest over 42.2km, not who can cope with heat the best.
As for the medical attention – it’s clearly very hard to monitor every athlete and be immediate when an athlete collapses over 42.2km, but Callum collapsed at 39.5km, got up, carried on for 2 more minutes and then went down again. Medics should have been flagged when he collapsed the first time and alongside. I understand an athlete will be DQ’d should he be given any assistance, but they just weren’t there fast enough to even ask the question. Given the heat, they should have anticipated issues in 30-42.2.km and it would have been pretty easy to have mobile medics ready to go and on alert in vehicles at this point. He was very lucky not to knock himself out when he went down the second time.
It was an amazing race to watch and Callum is exceptionally talented and one of the gutsiest runners I know – I’m sure he’ll be back. Huge kudos to all who ran – was a tough day out there.
(Editor’s note: RunONE spoke to a source close to Hawkins who confirms that he has been recovering well, but is unable to grant media interviews yet. )
Run ONE again Callum Hawkins! Till then, prayers and love from Singapore!
Callum Hawkins is a Marathon runner and was a hot contender for the Commonwealth Games Marathon Gold. The 2016 British Marathon Champion is also a New Balance UK Ambassador, and member of #TeamScotland!
8. Our athletes play highly significant and meaningful roles, both in and outside the sporting arena. Your sporting talent and achievements put you in a unique position as role models; so I urge you – all of you nominated today and all those who are striving to be on the podium – to use this privileged position to inspire others to give back to fellow Singaporeans, to bring positive change to our community. And I’m heartened that our athletes have begun doing so.
9. I’d just like to quote one or two of them. Yip Pin Xiu, the Straits Times Athlete of the Year in 2015, is one such example. Pin Xiu was named as an athlete mentor for last year’s ASEAN Para Games, as well as the chef de mission for the Singapore contingent at the Asian Youth Para Games in Dubai last December, where she was able to use her vast experience from previous major Games to mentor a young team, and to inspire them to greater heights. I remember a quote from her: “I want to give back to society and help the future generation of athletes. Other than showing others what sports can do, I hope to create more awareness that ‘disabled does not mean unabled, and also to inspire others around me.”
10. We also saw that three Team Singapore athletes – Mok Ying Ren (marathon), Shaheed Alam (tennis), and Ren-ne Ong (badminton) – took part in a public fundraising event just two months ago to help raise $10,000 worth of sporting apparel for youth under SportCares. On behalf of the youth, we thank these athletes for doing their part to really make an impact and improve the lives of others.
Mok Ying Ren at the recent launch of 3M Team FUTURO™ Challenge
11. These are just two examples of how our athletes are using sport as a force for good. I’m happy that many of you are doing likewise, and I encourage you to connect with others in your community, reach out to the less fortunate, and be role models for younger athletes, even as you train hard and strive for sporting success.
“I do not really have a running “coach” who dishes out running advice at the moment, but when the chance arises I find myself invariably trying to emulate Mok Ying Ren’s running form close. Though I’m doubtful if it’s actually beneficial for my running abilities, I feel that it’s more a reflection of how I see him as a role model who I can look up to. I’ve heard so much about him before I got to know him personally, and he’s been a really awesome friend as well as a trustworthy brotherly figure to me.” – ONEathlete and Team Futuro Ambassador, Shaheed Alam
“I realized that maintaining our composure and having a clear mind is very important in executing strategies given by our coaches. That’s where we lose out to the more experienced players as they are able to change strategies and overcome obstacles more easily in a match.” – ONEathlete, Ong Ren-Ne
The learnings come upon her reflection after the bronze medal match, where the young Singapore shuttlers lost to the English team, despite a strong showing of their best.
The ONE Co-founders also turned up to support #ONEteamSG during their group match against Zambia where they won 5-0!
EXCERPT: National marathoner Mok Ying Ren ran the GCM in 2011 and 2013. It was in the latter race that he set a then-personal best of 2hr 26min 30sec to qualify for the 2013 SEA Games, which he went on to win.
Describing the route as “largely flat with some rolling hills towards the end of the race”, the 29-year-old doctor waxed lyrical about the experience.
“It has a much cooler and less humid climate compared to Singapore and provides that extra boost to runners aiming for a personal best,” said the double SEA Games gold medallist.
The ONEathlete also had some advice for those who have signed up: “This coastal marathon is prone to having some cross winds along the coast especially towards the end so be prepared for some wind.
“But it gets warm quickly as the run goes on, so do run light in normal singlets and shorts but wear an extra shirt that you can dispose off when the race starts.”
Coach Jason Lawrence (@jacehaspace) shared on Race Preps & Injury Prevention during a lunch time talk at a civil service unit today!
He also demonstrated some simple exercises for you to work on one of the most powerful body part – your butt! Train it up, cos it helps quite abit in runners related injury preventions!
What’s more, recently he wrote a #runwithmok piece about running in #japan too!