More local stars emerge at SCSM 2018!

9 Dec 2018 – The weatherman told us it would be one of the coolest Decembers Singapore has seen recently. Expect showers, they said. Just not in the morning, we hoped. There is a fine line between comfortably cool, perhaps with a slight drizzle, and uncomfortably cats-and-dogs wet. Like the line that serious athletes who push their limits must (eventually) learn to run – too much and you risk blowing up; too gentle and you do not leave your mark. It is a calculated risk that athletes hone over their months and years of preparation.

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Photo credits: RunONE

On a particular December morning for the past 17 years, it  is a drill well rehearsed that see throngs of runners take to the streets of Singapore for the marquee running event on Singapore’s race calendar. Among the close to 50,000 who turned up in this year’s Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM), a few seek to race the clock and the shadows of yesterdays. But against the backdrop of gearing up for the World Marathon Majors, what made this year’s SCSM extra special, is the number of new faces and rising stars on the circuit.

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SCSM Day 1 – 10km Men’s and Women’s Race

In the 10km race category, Vanja Cnops, a Belgian-based researcher in Singapore, won the female race with a time of 40:07. She is no stranger to the podium, having most recently won the King of the Trails 4 female’s race! Goh Chui Ling was the top-ranked Singaporean female runner who came in 3rd with a time of 41:56, marking an improvement of over a minute from her results at the Great Eastern Women’s 10km race, where she also came in 3rd with a timing of 43:00. The rising track star (who trained for the race under former SA Technical Director, Volker Herrmann) shared with RunONE, that this would likely be her last 10km race as she turns her focus back towards the track season, which will get underway soon. Due to a lack of varied terrain for running in Singapore, it is not uncommon for track runners to diversify and switch up their training by either going into road, or trail, races, during the track offseason.

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Men’s and Women’s 10km Winners at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2018. (3rd from left) Kim Mangrobang from the Philippines, and (3rd from right) Ka Ho Chan from Hong Kong, with the Singaporean Winners. Photo credits: RunONE

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Separately, in the 10km Men’s category, ActiveSG athlete Shobib Marican was the top-ranked Singaporean, winning the silver with a time of 35:58. Shobib trains under coach Steven Quek, whose training ethos is based on a firm belief in consistency. In a short post-race interview with RunONE, Shobib felt that the familiarity earned through hard training gives him a certain level of confidence heading into the race – that the hard work is in the bag. One change that he liked about this year’s SCSM, was the reduction in bottle-neck as the race turned into a 2-day event with the half and full marathon event separated from the 10km. This allowed the 10km racers to better focus on executing their race.

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From Left to Right: Vanja (Winner Female’s 10km), Shobib (2nd Men’s 10km), Chui Ling (3rd Female’s 10km) Photo credits: RunONE

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SCSM Day 2 – Half and Full Marathon Men’s and Women’s Race

With the majority of race participants signing up for the half and full marathon, excitement was almost always certain to build up towards day 2, as the finale of this SCSM weekend.

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Photo credits: RunONE

ONEathlete & Under Armour Ambassador Banjamin Quek finished 3rd in the Local Men’s Half Marathon category with a time of 1:22 under trying circumstances.

Speaking to The Straits Times & RunONE at the end of the whole ordeal, Banja felt that the route was ‘good but tough’. He thought that the organisers could have done better by having more water points along the highways and better management of the human traffic who were  leaving the race village, as evident from the long queues and crowd bottleneck observed.

Banja also wants to acknowledge and thank the prompt medical attention he received when he nearly collapsed after crossing the finish, a sign that the organizers have paid strong emphasis and close heed to safety issues following earlier race-related fatalities.

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Men’s and Women’s 42km Local Champions of SCSM 2018. (From left) Rachel See, Mohd Iskandar, Soh Rui Yong, Lim Baoying, Giebert Foo and He Xiuying. 5 of them made it to the Top 20 Marathon Overall (Men’s and Women’s) leaderboard that was dominated by the Kenyans. Photo credits: RunONE

In the Full Marathon category, last year’s Men’s Champion Soh Rui Yong defended his title by winning with a time of 2:41:49. Trackstar Athletics’s Mohd Iskandar (2:49:46) who finished 5th Local in 2017, and Giebert Foo (2:54:14) etched into the Men’s top 3 to end the year with a well-deserved blast.

Newer faces on the podium, and more local runners in the sub-3 hour timings displayed the rising competitiveness of the local marathon circuit. Several others include Ho Ghim Khoon (2:56:02, 5th), and Tan Wei Jie (2:59:01, 8th) were also hopeful nominees who started off from the Elite Pen. Another notable young star is Daniel Leow who trains with the Singapore Shufflers and made a remarkable 38 minutes improvement over his 2017 results!

Giebert Foo’s SCSM2017 Ekiden Team, Victorious Secret Angels, retained their 2nd position in 2018, with the 5th and last runner, Soh Hua Qun speeding through to finish with a time of 2:44:46.

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ONEathlete Evan Chee finished in 4th place with a time of 2:55:00, narrowly missing out on the podium by just under 1 minute while Ashley Liew suffered in the latter half of the race to finish in 3:09. Having won the SCMS in 2012 and coming in 2nd last year, it was clearly not his best performance by a large margin.

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Photo credits: RunONE

While this year’s preparation was largely similar to previous years, Ashley had tried incorporating minor tweaks in this year’s SCSM lead-up by racing more short distance events. Nonetheless, with his 2:41 finish at the Tokyo Marathon earlier in Feb 2018, Ashley remains the second fastest Singaporean over the Marathon distance this year. The upcoming offseason will provide an ideal window for Ashley to rethink his training and race strategies, and regroup before the 2019 season.

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Photo credits: RunONE

Before the race, Evan had set his focus on a singular goal and that is to improve upon his 2017 results by snagging a season-best finish quicker than his Gold Coast Marathon result of 2:51. Training was definitely different this year as Evan had to lay off running while recovering from injury for good part of the year since Jan. Mileage remained low throughout most of 2018 until the 2 months leading up to SCSM, when he finally managed to put in consistent weekly mileage above 100km.

As a result, Evan has had to adjust his race execution by focusing more on execution and good pacing strategy for this year. In the end, he managed to secure a 4th place finish in a highly competitive event like SCSM, which also doubled up as the National Championship for the 2nd year running.

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Making the podium for the Women’s Marathon was, Dr Lim Baoying who was not an elite runner (starting from Pen A) emerged as the surprise winner with a time of 3:16:36; 2017 defending women’s champion, Rachel See, was strong through the first 30km of the race with an average pace of 4:25min/km and had to dig deep in the closing kilometres of the race to finish 2nd at 3:18:36. He Xiuying rounded up the podium with a very respectable finish of 3:18:57.x

Evan’s sister, Yvonne Elizabeth Chee, also competing in the elite female category for the first time, finished in 4th place with a time of 3:25. She had skipped the 2017 Marathon post-pregnancy, and geared her way into ‘her special spot’. The civil servant and mother of two also thanked her husband, who ‘made it possible’ by taking care of their children to afford her precious time away for her training runs. Singapore’s marathon Olympian, Neo Jie Shi came in 5th at 3:27:31.

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From Left to Right: The Chee Siblings and Dr Ansgar Cheng (2nd Local Men’s Masters). Photo credits: RunONE

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With the conclusion of SCSM 2018, the hectic running season in Singapore comes to a pause as we, runners and spectators alike, usher in the festive season and a time to share with our loved ones! As we gather to celebrate love, friendship and hope during this holiday, the future for Singapore’s running looks bright given the performance and number of rising local stars at SCSM 2018. A starry, starry future beholds.

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Members of the ONE team joined by friends of the running circuit. Photo credits: RunONE

Marathoner Evan Chee’s Tour de Europe

21 Nov 2018 – While most of us have always imagined an ideal Europe road trip to be driving a caravan through the winding Alps and French countryside, or a shop(eat)-till-you-drop magical experience on the streets of London and Madrid, Evan is not like most of us.

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The 38-year old marathoner had always dreamed of racing a half marathon in Europe and the IAAF gold label, AIMS-certified Valencia Half-Marathon checked all the boxes. It was known to be a fast and flat course (world records were set here before), and the cooling conditions in late October meant the race’s schedule fitted perfectly into Evan’s overall preparation for Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 6 weeks later.

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Valencia Half-Marathon 2018

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Evan arrived in Valencia, also known as the city of running, after 24 hours of non-stop traveling and made it to one of the biggest race expos he has seen. The actual race kicked off at 9am on a cool Sunday morning. With temperatures hovering between 10 to 15 degrees, conditions couldn’t have been better along with the electrifying crowd support lined up along both sides of the race route and excellent race organization.

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In the end, Kenya’s Abraham Kiptum broke the Men’s Half-Marathon world record clocking 58:18 to take five seconds off the mark set by Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadese in 2010. Evan would go on to clock 1:19 for a personal best and finishing in 94th place and 2nd Asian runner. While Evan had gone into the race with higher expectations, it was still a timely confidence booster after spending most of 2018 nursing a niggling leg injury which had hampered his training.

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‘THE’ Marathon

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2 weeks later, Evan would go on to run another epic European race, the Athens Classic Marathon, the birthplace of all modern-day Marathons. While it is an IAAF gold label race today, the race’s heritage and history stretch all the way back to 490BC. The Athens Marathon traces the same route that the legendary Greek messenger, Pheidippides, ran from the Battle of Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek’s victory over the Persians!

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Runners from around the world gather at Adidas Runbase in Athens

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As part of the pre-race lead-up, Evan had a rare opportunity to visit Adidas Runbase in Athens and meet like-minded Adidas Runners (AR) from all around the world (including Paris, London, Vienna, Dubai, Madrid, and Milan). Runbase is a 6-story facility catered for AR with running and all sorts of fitness sessions taking place almost daily!

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Group shot with Adidas Runners in front of the Acropolis

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Together, they would all participate in a shake-out sightseeing run organized by AR Athens to showcase the best of Athens sights and sounds, ending with a group shot taken in front of the Acropolis and a pasta party right after!

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Athens Classic Marathon 2018

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The Athens Classic Marathon counts as one of the most difficult major marathon race with a nearly 20km-long uphill climb, which dwarves the SCSM Sheares Bridge climb at the 37km mark. The course begins in the town of Marathon before passing by the tomb of Athenian soldiers, turning towards the city of Athens before finishing up at the Panathinaiko Stadium. The stadium is a landmark site for athletics competition in ancient times, and also where the 1896 and 2004 Olympics Marathon chose as its finishing point.

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xIn a fitting tribute to the race and area’s history, it has become a standard practice before every year’s race to carry the Marathon Flame, which is lit at the Tomb of the Battle of Marathon, to the finish point at the Stadium.

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Right from the start, Evan planned to maintain a comfortable long run pace as he tackled the seemingly endless uphills and slopes. After crossing the halfway mark in 1:30:30 as planned, Evan knew the race had only just begun with another 10km of slopes to go in what was proving to be a much more challenging route than SCSM. The Greek messenger, Pheidippides, couldn’t have been happier than Evan when he caught sight of the Stadium finish point, crossing the line in 3:00:50 with an average pace of 4:15′.

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Wrapping up his Europe ‘road trip’, Evan will like to thank everyone from AR Athens, particularly captain Deniz Dimaki, whose efforts helped make all this possible. It was a whirlwind 3 weeks in Europe but it turned out to be an out-of-this-world experience running ‘literally’ from Valencia to Madrid, Barcelona to Santorini before calling it a day in Athens.

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While his legs may feel like they’re running on empty (for the next couple days), but his heart is definitely full. Be sure to check in with Evan as he lines up for the biggest race on Singapore’s running calendar – the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon!

Hitting on WTA!

SHAHEED ALAM – A bittersweet farewell to WTA in Singapore. 2014 – 2018. These 5 years will always be remembered by not only tennis enthusiasts but also sports fans in Singapore as the time when the top 8 Women’s Singles and Doubles Teams competed on our ‘little red dot’. As the Singapore Indoor Stadium dismantles the center court for the last time, we should cherish the experience we’ve had over these amazing 5 years.

 

I had the incredible opportunity to be  the hitting partner for these players in the last 3 years (I was too young and not good enough in the first 2 years haha) Being their hitting partner was definitely an eye-opening experience because I got to see up-close the way they practice, warm up, prepare for matches. I got to see all of it. From the extremely focused Garbine Muguruza to the relaxed Caroline Garcia, I was privileged to witness the different personalities of each player which would otherwise have been very difficult to spot on TV. Over the past 3 years, I have had many awesome experiences but 2, in particular, stood out.

 

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Martina Hingis and I after a practice session in 2016

 

In 2016, Ali and I got called to practice with the dream team of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis! Before even stepping on the court, it was already pretty cool to even (just) think about practicing with them. The schedule was to practice for an hour on the practice courts at OCBC Arena followed by another hour on Centre Court at Singapore Indoor Stadium.

 

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Pliskova and I in 2017, the first time that we practiced together

 

Understandably nervous, we both started practicing making several mistakes as we were (a little) overwhelmed by the situation. As the session went on, they realized that we were pretty nervous but nonetheless they were still super friendly and made us feel more at home.

 

After we ended our practice at OCBC Arena, Ali and I were going to walk across to the Indoor Stadium (10minute walk) while Mirza and Hingis were going to take the car that was waiting for them. Ali and I could not enter into the pick-up area as our accreditation did not allow us and only players/coaches could enter. Looking back, I felt that Hingis and Mirza thought we were going to take the car as well so they walked out first while we were still packing our bags.

 

About 5 minutes later, Martina Hingis came running out and told the volunteers to call us back. When we got to the facilities desk, we remember Hingis waiting for us and saying “Come on guys, the car is waiting for you guys”. Looking super shocked, we laughed and followed her to the pickup point where they were 2 Porsches waiting for us. She then continued saying ‘1 follows me and the other follows Sania’. I followed Hingis and for those precious 10 minutes, we chatted about everything and anything before our second practice session on Centre Court. That was an experience like none other, which only goes to show that they were both incredibly humble and down to Earth while being absolute legends in the sport!

 

 

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Pliskova and I during her warm up before her semi-finals this year

 

The next memorable event was when I  I practiced with Karolina Pliskova this year. She has to be the most relaxed player on tour. Incredibly effortless in her play, she’s definitely a joy to watch. I had the pleasure of getting to know her team as well, comprising her Coach, Rennae Stubbs, and Fitness Trainer/Agent/Husband, Michal Hrdlicka. We practiced every day from Saturday (before Day 1) up till the following Saturday (where she played her semifinals) and it was an amazing experience. They really made me feel like I was part of their team for that week as they were super friendly and humble. Overwater breaks, they would ask me about my tennis career and gave me plenty of valuable advice and encouragement.

 

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Karolina Pliskova and teammates (Rennae Stubbs and Michal Hrdlicka) and I at the player lounge to say our goodbyes this year

 

On the day of the finals, when they were at the stadium to collect their belongings before returning home, they asked if I was in the stadium as they would like to say a few words of thanks and goodbyes in person. Fortunately (for me),  I was, and so we met at the player lounge and had a chat before they left. We promised to keep in touch and Pliskova even said that she’ll give me a call when she’s in Asia if she needs a hitting partner(not sure how true that will be though 😂) All in all, it was a superb experience and I couldn’t have wished for a better end  to the last year of the WTA Finals.

 

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Dream team – Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza with Ali and I at the practice courts

 

At this point, I would also like to thank Sports Singapore, Singapore Tourism Board, WTA and all the sponsors for hosting this prestigious tournament over the past 5 years. As they say, when one door closes, another opens so we should hope and look forward to more world-class tennis tournaments being hosted in Singapore. Perhaps even the ATP Finals.

 

ONEathlete Ben Moreau wins ONE at Straits Times Run 2018!

23 Sep 2018 – ONEathlete Ben Moreau took home the top honors in the Straits Times Run 2018 Men’s 18.45km category, winning in a time of 62 mins 46 secs, which was over 1 minute quicker than last year’s winner, Kenyan runner James Karanga. It was his maiden run in this race! (Top featured image by Straits Times Run Facebook)

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Article was published on Straits Times on 24 September HERE 

Ben, a previous Commonwealth Games representative, has steadily chalked up a series of race wins in the past few months, such as the Performance Series 10km as well as the inaugural ‘King of the Hills’ race, and demonstrated that he still has the legs to not let age (and his rivals) catch up with him.

 

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The trio ONEathlete who finished the race with no sweat!
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Evan (centre) sharing a post-race moment with fellow ONEathlete and national marathoner Ashley Liew (right), with RunONE co-founder Jed (left)

 

In the Men’s 10km category, ONEathlete Evan Chee finished as the fastest Singaporean and 4th overall with a time of 37 mins 7 secs. Evan, who is turning 38, is also showing no signs of slowing as he heads into peak race season in Singapore. He placed 3rd (Local Men’s) at Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2017 and is looking to better his results this year. He has also recently shared his thoughts on Masters running where he hoped to promote and encourage the idea of running as an inclusive sport for everyone, regardless of age, gender and athleticism. This was also echoed by Guest-of-Honour, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, who praised the event for being inclusive, and said: “It is great to see people of different backgrounds coming together here today.”

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ONEathlete Ashley Liew who also ran his maiden ST Run, finished 7th overall, and 3rd local in the 10km category, was in high spirits post-race. Ashley’s last marathon was at the Gold Coast, and it seems like he will now have some tips for his counterpart who will be participating in the 2019 Edition, as part of his Champion prize! The prize was sponsored by Tourism Queensland for the Straits Times Run 2018!

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Minister MCCY Ms Grace Fu together with National Marathoner Mok Ying Ren (right), Ashley Liew (middle), Evan Chee (right) and RunONE Co-founder Jed Senthil (2nd fr right). Photo by Ming Ham

In returning to the Sports Hub after a 2-year hiatus when the race venue relocated to the  F1 Pit Building and Padang, the 6th edition of the race saw over 13,000 participants, most of whom were eyeing the uniquely memorable opportunity of being able to finish the race inside the 55,000-seat national stadium.

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The ONE Family at the Sports Stadium

Kelly Latimer and Ross had the uphill task of getting the moods up on the early Sunday morning! Despite the 5am flag-off, the mood at the start was lively and electrifying as participants got ready to enjoy the scenic route. Unlike in 2017 where the race started on the Esplanade Bridge, this year’s route was a nod to its original venue at the Sports Hub.

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The 10km runners at the start line! 

 

Read more about the STRun Festival & Mok Ying Ren’s Race Clinic HERE 

Read more about what you can do-post ST Run, on this week’s #AskMok HERE 

Shaheed getting ‘Hydro-fit’ with new SportSG ambassador, Lim Yaoxiang

Officially launched in June 2017, the Sports Singapore Brand Ambassadors network is an online initiative to bring together content creators, social media influencers as well as achieving and aspiring athletes from Singapore’s sporting ecosystem, including national and citizen athletes, media personalities, sports volunteers, and health and fitness practitioners.

 

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SportSG Ambassador, national tennis player, and ONEathlete Shaheed Alam. Photo credits: SportSG

Back in Jun 2017, ONEathlete Shaheed Alam (@shaheedalam98), national tennis player, was encouraged by what he saw as an opportunity to, “motivate them (next-gen student-athletes) so they won’t back down from their sports. I want to show them that sports are a viable career” when he decided to join the pioneer batch of SportSG Ambassadors. The initiative has since played an important role in reaching out to the national audience during the 2017 SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games period, as well as supporting the GetActive! Singapore campaign in 2018.

 

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SportSG Ambassadors (From R to L): Shaheed, Kerstin, Lim Yaoxiang, John Yeong and Samantha. Photo credits: SportSG

Being one of the pioneer SportSG ambassadors, Shaheed recently hosted an ‘initiation’ ceremony which included, among other games, a Hydrofit Gladiator competition, to welcome the latest member of the group and former national water polo player, Lim Yaoxiang. Watch his interview right here.

 

But at his natural habitat? How is that fair? (hur hur) Well, that’s cos he had plans for the seniors to ‘fight it out’ right there! and our Shaheed wasn’t too shabby (except for the occasional thrashing by Kerstin and Samantha!) 

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Growing from strength to strength, the SportSG ambassadorship has expanded into its current group of 24 diverse and unique personalities whose common goal is to inspire a more active and healthier community, ignite sporting dreams and excellence, and forge social resilience through sport.

 

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New ambassador Lim Yaoxiang (behind). Photo credits: SportSG

 

For more on these sports ambassadors, do check out their various online profiles, social media handles and kick-start your active, healthy journey today!

 

ONE @ AHM 2018

Running a race of any distance calls for a commitment that starts weeks, if not months before we reach the starting line. That in itself may sound daunting. But amongst the various sports and disciplines out there, running is actually the simplest! In the sense that it belies the challenge of performing at one’s best, and outperforming others, at a sport which puts one foot ahead of the other.

As we head into peak racing season in Singapore, which tends to start in the latter half of the year (usually August) with the SAFRA Bay Run and Army Half Marathon (SSBR & AHM), it is timely for those who are looking to maintain their fitness or improve upon their Personal Bests to look ahead and hit their strides.

Here’s how the ONE family went full swing into the AHM and race seasons, this quarter:

 

Training plan on NSMAN Magazine – Mok Ying Ren

Thank you SPH, NSMAN Magazine, SAFRA and AHM 2018 for the opportunity and feature as well! Photos and articles reproduced with permission from SPH.

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100PLUS Race Clinic – Mok Ying Ren 

IMG_9878Besides helping runners prepare for their upcoming races, the 100PLUS race clinic had also hoped to provide a lively platform for both seasoned and new runners to come together, get to know one another, and learn and grow as one running community. As Mok shared his experiences and tips on hydration and pacing strategies, and it was exciting to see a wide range of questions from diet and training to recovery and injury prevention. The vibrancy and life in today’s running scene are vastly different from a few yesteryears, and that is an encouraging sign!

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Race Pacing Strategies – Just as dress rehearsals are important for performing artists before the actual-day event, such shorter races would be beneficial in easing the nerves and allow runners to test out and be comfortable with their race pacing. This confidence-building measure could make or break the difference between a Personal Best and Worst, especially when the stakes are high on a major race like SSBR & AHM.

Hydration and Fuelling – When it comes to race hydration, too little is just as bad as too much. Reaching the right balance for your body will aid in optimal performance in a race. During a 2hour 30min marathon, Mok recommended taking in about 200ml of isotonic sports drinks every 20-30 minutes. Mok also shared that as a 100PLUS ambassador, his go-to drink would be the non-carbonated 100PLUS Active when he is training and running. This drink is formulated to help rehydrate and replenish electrolytes and minerals.

 

D-day @ SSBR-AHM 2018!

Amongst various athletes that joined their formation in this signature event for the armed forces, Banjamin Quek stood out with his 7th position with a timing of 1:18! It was his 5th year representing his division, and the camaraderie and team spirit that kept him going, despite feeling under the weather on race day. The full-time tutor, who trained 4-5 days a week has been handling an exceptionally challenging year with workload and health. Thus, he was even more delighted that 6th Div was in the 2nd place amongst the formation challenge!

What a lead up, it has been to the SSBR-AHM 2018!! A big thanks to the partners, SAFRA, SPH, 100PLUS, and all that contributed towards our participation in this local-focused run! and made all of the above possible!
Till the next race, and AHM 2019! Run ONE!

ST: Shaheed serves and sweeps ’em all!

04 Aug 2018 – At the recently concluded Singapore National Games – STA Open Pesta Sukan Tennis Championship 2018, ONEathlete and national tennis player, Shaheed Alam, secured a clean sweep across all 3 categories by winning the Men’s Singles (6-0, 6-3), Men’s Doubles (7-5, 6-4) and Mixed Doubles.

This was also covered on The Straits Times on 18 Aug 2018.

Shaheed bettered his results from the last STA Open Tennis C’ship in 2016, when he won the Men’s Singles and Mixed Doubles but lost in the Men’s Doubles finals to narrowly miss out on the hat-trick.

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2018 Singapore National Games Tennis at Kallang Tennis Centre on 2nd Aug 2018 6pm match on Court 3 between Shaheed Alam vs. Arbaquez Israel Jr. Shaheed Alam hits a forehand return. Photo by AndrewJKTan/ SportSG & ONEathlete

Earlier this year, Shaheed had won the Davis Cup Group 4 match with TeamSG Tennis and his victory at the Pesta Sukan C’ship shows again why Shaheed is a note-worthy rising star on our local tennis scene. Driven by the same motivation to do his family proud, Shaheed commits himself to put in his best during every training, rain or shine. That mentality proved to be the difference when he had to play 3 Finals matches back-to-back in a 5-hour ‘marathon’ which included a tie-breaker in the first set of the Men’s Doubles.

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Celebrating a clutch winner to win the tie-breaker set 7-5 in the Men’s Doubles. Photo by Manoj Banavali/ Sport SG & ONEathlete

Shaheed has certainly proved that he has the heart and lungs to go the distance when he took victory over Israel Arbarquez from Philippines in the Men’s Singles quarterfinals match which lasted over 3-and-half hours.

The hat-trick of wins ultimately took a lot of fitness and mental strength, but it also gave Shaheed the confidence knowing that he is able to hang in there and compete among the best even when the going gets tough. The SNG Pesta Sukan Tennis Championships invites experienced players with professional backgrounds and credentials and is pegged differently from the STA tournament which caters more to the junior level players. Tennis was included as part of the Singapore National Games for the first time in 2016.

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2018 Singapore National Games Tennis at Kallang Tennis Centre on 2nd Aug 2018 6pm match on Court 3 between Shaheed Alam vs. Arbaquez Israel Jr. Shaheed Alam’s Service motion. Photo by AndrewJKTan/SportSG & ONEathlete

While pleased with his performance, having seen that the results of his training paid off, Shaheed knows the honor is not his alone to claim. He is extremely grateful for his teammates, Rohan Kamdar (Men’s Doubles) and Evelina Kontareva (Mixed Doubles), whose support and encouragement carried him mentally and physically through the rough patches in this tournament. “Their support is also crucial as I play these back-to-back categories,” he recalls with humility.

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Shaheed sharing a proud moment on stage with his Mixed Doubles partner, Evelina Kontareva. Photo by Manoj Banavali / SportSG & ONEathlete

He will also like to thank his equipment sponsors, Head and Pro’s Pro, as well as Futuro for their invaluable support,  both on, and off, the court. Much credit is also due to the team of officials and medics, as well as Team Nila supporters and, last but not least, his family and friends, who have been his motivation, advice, and support ever since he embarked on his tennis career.

Asked about his plans and intentions, Shaheed has one eye firmly fixed on the 2019 SEA Games where he hopes to qualify and be a medal contender. For now, he will be starting on his polytechnic industrial internship as he continues working towards bigger dreams in his budding tennis career.

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Shaheed’s bedrock of strength and his pillar(s) of support. Photo by Manoj Banavali / SportSG & ONEathlete

Performance Continues at Bedok TPS 3

5 August 2018 – ONE continues its run of performance as the 2018 race season heads into full steam ahead, with 3 athletes amongst the top 4 Men-Closed 10km category at The Performance Series Race 3, Bedok Reservoir. Banjamin Quek came in 2nd (37:23) while  Evan Chee (38:54) finished in 3rd followed by fourth-placed Ashley Liew (39:19).

 

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Banja, Evan and Prashanth sharing the podium moment together 

The 2-lap race format comprised a mix of terrain – pavement and packed gravel surrounding the scenic Bedok reservoir. It provided runners a refreshing change from the usual tarmac-road race featured in earlier TPS races (Pasir Ris Park and Punggol Waterway). While the weather was relatively cool on this Sunday morning in the midst of an unusually hot mid-year, participants had to contend with a big uphill as part of the race route which added to the uniqueness of this morning’s performance challenge.

 

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For the Under Armour Ambassador, Banjamin Quek, finishing 2nd today was the comeback he had desperately sought, and needed, after a disappointing DNF at the Race Against Cancer 2 weeks ago. Heading into this 10km race, he learnt from the earlier episode and adjusted his pre-race preparation by managing his training and work carefully. While his results today represent a promising step forward in the right direction, Banjamin knows that there is still some more work to be done as he looks ahead towards the Army Half Marathon in 3 weeks’ time.

 

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Looking back at the close finish he had at RAC, Evan was also quietly pleased with his performance as he had taken the effort to work on his weaker areas by sharpening his speed-work over the past 2 weeks. Along with fellow training partner, Ashley Liew who finished in 4th today, today’s race is part of their final tune-up as they will both be running at the Army Half Marathon.

 

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ONE will also be participating in the upcoming fourth and finale TPS race which will be held on 14 October at East Coast Park. Runners can look forward to a blistering fast finish at one of Singapore’s iconic running backyard and its flat-as-pancake route, as we sign off on this exciting (Performance) series. Sign up now and enjoy an additional 5% discount with the promo-code “RUNONE5OFF“. Registration closes 31 August 2018, sign up now on https://www.theperformanceseries.sg/register

 

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ONE and friends at the race village post-run

Encouraging ONE to Keep Fit Through Running!

Over the weekend of 21 – 22 July, ONE was proud to be part of the inaugural Feel Fab Fest (F3) event organized by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), in conjunction with Sport Singapore. The carnival event targeted at individuals of all ages who share a common goal to be fit and healthy. It also offered health and fitness partners an exciting platform to reach out to this rapidly-growing sports and wellness market.

 

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Seats were filled at this cosy event as the session got underway.

 

With an exciting array of events and activities lined up for everyone including the young and young-at-heart, ONE was pleased to be part of F3 and hosting a panel discussion comprising 3 of Singapore’s fastest marathoners, Mok Ying Ren, Ashley Liew and Evan Chee. The 1-hour session offered insights into how fitness and health could be incorporated into one’s (hectic) lifestyle, as well as tips on training which would help active individuals avoid common problems such as injury and over-training.

 

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Jed (left-most), co-founder of ONE,  moderating the panel discussion with marathoners (from left to right) Evan Chee, Ashley Liew and Mok Ying Ren.

 

Camaraderie of the fastest

With a combined experience of over 4 decades of running and training assembled on stage, the engaging discussion, moderated by Jed, was enlivened by light-hearted moments when they reflected on each other’s career highs and lows. Ashley spoke about how Mok had won the 2013 SEA Games Marathon Gold in spite of an incessant cough and inadequate preparation. Mok then touched on how impressed he was by Ashley’s deeply-held values about maximizing one’s gift of potential. Ashley represented Singapore at the 2015 SEA Games Marathon and was the first Singaporean to receive the international fair play accolade “Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Trophy” for his act of sportsmanship.

 

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Ashley sharing a moment with an avid runner after the session to autograph words of well-wishes.

 

Overcoming personal challenges to fitness

When asked about balancing work and training, Evan brought up the challenges he faced in preparing for overseas races such as the Berlin Marathon while having to work around a packed work schedule that involved frequent traveling. He also encouraged runners to join a group of running buddies, or a training club, to keep the motivation going during trying times.

 

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The audience enjoyed the rare opportunity to ask anything they wanted to know, about running (mostly) and everything else under the sky (after the session)

 

In relation to sports injury Mok, who’s had to work through his plantar fasciitis and other untimely issues that threatened to derail his race preparation, advocated a patient-and-consistent mentality. From his experience, most runners tend to be overly impatient in regaining pre-injury fitness. In their eagerness and anxiety, the adage ‘more haste, less speed’ is often thrown to the winds. His advice is to take injuries seriously and allow sufficient time for complete recovery before jumping back into action.

 

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Mok shows that running may be his forte but he can go to ‘great lengths’ for a good we-fie.

 

Key to fitness 

Throughout the lively session punctuated with harmless jabs and interesting anecdotes, a consistent theme that emerged was the need for patience and consistency when it comes to building running fitness. Motivation is what gets one started but habit is what keeps one moving. As Mok puts it, anyone could start running, but “the way to start running is to really start slow in an easy-pace, build your fitness and be patient about it… have a target, such as signing up for a race and strive towards it.”

 

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Keeping fit and healthy through running, as ONE

 

Join us 

Readers and runners who are keen to learn more about running tips can follow our weekly feature #RunwithMok column in the Sunday edition of Straits Times! You can also send in any running-related questions and #AskMok!

ONE will like to acknowledge our heartfelt gratitude to SPH and event sponsors, partners for the invaluable opportunity and experience to be part of Feel Fab Fest 2018! We are also proud to be the official training partner for the Straits Times Run, and hope to see you at the race on 23 September!

Race Against Cancer 2018

22 July 2018 – Close to 8,000 people joined #ONEathlete and #ONEteamsg and took part in the 10th edition of Singtel-Singapore Cancer Society’s Race Against Cancer 2018, and helped to raise more than $1.1 million for charity. ONE took part in both the competitive 10km and 15km race categories, as well as the 5km fun run.

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Athletes and Mediacorp celebrities with GOH Minister Chan Chun Sing
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Guest-of-Honour Minister Chan Chun Sing getting ready for the flag-off for the 15km race

The event was flagged off promptly by Guest-of-Honour Minister Chan Chun Sing, as runners took to the roads under cooling conditions. While the out-and-back race route was well-marked and easy to navigate, runners had to battle the incessant headwinds after the 5km U-turn. Nonetheless, ONEathlete Evan Chee gave his all to clinch a hard-fought 6th-place finish in the Men’s 15km race, barely 3 weeks after racing the Gold Coast Marathon.

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ONEathlete Evan Chee receiving the prize on stage

In the 10km category, triathlete Ben Ooi finished strongly to come in 7th in the Men’s race while Belinda Ooi (Mrs Mok) executed her race plan perfectly to clinch a 4th-place finish in the Ladies’ race, much thanks to the encouraging support from the race pacers which included national marathoners, Jasmine Goh and Rachel See.

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ONEathlete Ben Ooi receiving his prize on stage from Singapore Cancer Society CEO, Mr. Albert Ching
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Belinda is all smiles as she clocks a 10km personal best and comes in 4th in the Ladies’ race

The event also saw an outpour of support from celebrities, such as Rebecca Lim, Aileen Tan, Cancer-survivor Pan Ling Ling, and her husband (former Mediacorp actor) Huang Shinan, who had turned up to lend their support and do their part for a meaningful cause.

 

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Team Singapore parathlete Peter Kam & Sprinter Calvin Kang sharing a moment at the race site with Singapore Cancer Society CEO, Mr Albert Ching

In sharing this spirit of community giving and love behind the event, ONE is proud to have brought together Team Singapore Athletes and ONEathlete to rally for Race Against Cancer 2018, through the “ONE Against Cancer” campaign. We are also honored to have been the Official Sports Marketing partner for Singapore Cancer Society (SCS)’s Race Against Cancer 2018.

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ONE runs against cancer 2018 – Success!

 

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