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The (ONE)athlete’s High

Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t. But once you’ve tried it you’re always craving for it, and the more the better. If you’re one of those who wakes up at 5am to get in a heart-pumping workout before heading to work, then you must know how satisfying and addictive that endorphin rush after a sweaty session can really kickstart your day.

Now the buzz junkies must be wondering: Is there any other way to get that same athlete’s high without working for it?

Nuyou (女友)magazine’s anchor feature of “Men We Love” (MWL) is back for its 2017 edition. Conceptualised in 2002 and in its 15th year running, the annual MWL feature introduces 25 men with desirable qualities, such as successful careers, well-balanced family lives, athleticism, good looks and personality. It is also a fantastic opportunity to introduce and showcase talented men from various walks of life who have stood out in their respective fields, and bring out a different (less known) side to their public persona.

ONEathlete is proud to have 3 of our athletes featured in Nuyou’s 2017 Men We Love – #10 Jonathan Chong, #15 Tan Yiru and #19 Mok  Ying Ren! Check out these behind-the-scenes (#BTS) sneaks and read on for more below!

 

 

(Top-left): Mok Ying Ren getting some tender care from the make-up artists; (Top-right): Jonathan Chong having fun in his own time; (Bottom): Tan Yiru trying out his personal favourite pose (Photo Credits: #ONEathlete)

 

 

Jonathan Chong, 25 

National Canoeist

Managed by ONEathlete

 

 

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“(One of the craziest thing I did) was to pack my luggage in 7 minutes and spent 4 days on a small off-the-radar island with my friends.” – Jonathan Chong

 

 

Tan Yiru, 27 

National Hockey Player

Managed by ONEathlete

 

 

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“Men tend to let their ego get in the way. That’s why I believe the game is about survival of the humble.” – Tan Yiru

 

 

Mok Ying Ren, 29 

Double SEA Games Gold Medallist & National Marathoner

Managed by ONEathlete

 

 

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“For me, love is about patience. And with every passing day I find her more beautiful than ever before” – Mok Ying Ren

 

 

Photo credits:

  • Black/white photos from Nuyou (女友)magazine’s anchor feature of “Men We Love” (MWL) 2017.
  • Coloured photos from #ONEathlete.

Coach Jason Lawrence says work on your butt! 

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! 

#runONExJL #runONE #coach #running #runner #run #talk #onecoach #jasonlawrence #kiwi #newzealand #nz #injury

Stars and Crescent Shine for Debutant Benjamin Ooi at 2017 Ironman World Championships

Press Release for IRONMAN World Championship – Benjamin Ooi

KONA, HAWAII – 24 year-old SMU student triathlete, Benjamin Ooi, had an amazing debut at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, and also his first ironman-distance event (3.9km swim, 180km bike and 42.2km marathon) to finish as top Singaporean male in an overall time of 10 hours 34 mins.

Joining Ben is also multiple Kona-qualifier and one of Singapore’s best female triathlete Choo Ling Er, who finished in 10 hours 32 mins.

As an ex SMU Aquathlon captain and water polo player, Ben was introduced to triathlon 2 years ago as a way of keeping fit for his annual army physical proficiency test (IPPT). Within that short span of time, Ben has gone from learning to ride a bike to racing the very best at the IRONMAN World Championship, a qualifications-only holy grail of triathlons.

Race Morning

The day started positively as the age group athletes were flagged off in waves after the Pro Men’s and Women’s race began at 6:35am. Ben showed his pedigree and water polo background, exiting the 3.9km swim in just over 62 mins along with a large pack of race-eager age groupers vying for position.                                                 

Heading into transition 1, Ben knew that he was the first Singaporean out of the water and stood a good chance. After coming in 2nd at his Kona-qualifying Hefei 70.3 race last October (which also happened to be his first ever 70.3 race), Ben had dedicated the past year getting ready for Kona. He even brought his bike along for his 4-month overseas exchange programme in Sao Paulo, Brazil (as part of his overseas exchange programme), so that training can continue uninterrupted. It shows the dedication and commitment he has in his pursuit of the sport.


Biking Through The Lava Fields

On the bike heading out to Hawi, the punishing headwinds and crosswinds were unforgiving and many athletes, including Ben, were starting to feel the effort. Uncharacteristically, Ben had to work hard to keep his focus just 40km into the bike. Perhaps the nerves were getting to this Kona debutante. 

Although Ben had clocked training rides as long as 160km, his packed academic schedule and congested roads in Singapore had conspired for a less-than-ideal prep on the bike. Ben had to reassure himself he had the legs just as the scorching lava fields were sapping his energy. Working through his hydration and fueling provided some mental respite as Ben tackled the elements and his inner monsters.

As is always, the return leg from the turnaround at Hawi, and then the last 50km, is where the damage is done as stronger riders start to pile on the pressure  before entering transition 2. With big gaps slowly opening up, Ben once again found himself stranded in no man’s land, mentally and physically, as he inched back towards transition. It was going to be a long day in office.


The Final Stretch

Once off the bike, Ben knew that he had his work cut out for him on the run. The abnormally hot weather at this year’s race, with temperatures reaching 40 degrees at the Energy Lab, had turned the run into a game of survival. Back on the tarmac in his running shoes, Ben felt the punishing 180km bike in his brick-like legs where every step felt heavy as lead. He made quick work to follow a group of strong runners as he settled into a strong pace. The race was approaching noon at this point, the unforgiving sun and heat giving running in Kona its infamous nickname – the ‘Ironman shuffle’.

Ben had flown into Hawaii earlier to acclimatize to the heat and humidity. His 20-hour training weeks, with runs that end as late as 1pm in Singapore and Sao Paulo, had also prepared him to face the tough and hot Kona. As a time crunched student-triathlete, Ben was always trodding a fine line between school, training, and the crucial 4th discipline of triathlon – recovery. Despite that, Ben professes it was not the allure of outgunning his competitors but bettering himself that drove him to this sport, and eventually led him to Kona.

“As an athlete, and in life, success is a matter of discipline and habit. Day in and day out, the open-ended challenge to better myself continues. I trusted my training and a little common sense to take me through the unknown come race day. Sometimes things don’t go flowingly, but I know my efforts have still made me a better athlete.

Shortly after the 21km mark, Ben still managed to stick together with the group as they try to conserve energy, mentally and physically, for the second half of the marathon and the Energy Lab –  an infamous 5-km stretch of heat and destitute. At the 28km mark, runners turn off the Queen K highway to complete a loop around the Lab and when they leave, they’re rarely the same. At this point, Ben knows it’s about finishing the run before it finishes you. He digs deep and knows that he must hurry, but more haste can mean less speed too. It’s a high-wire act of energy management in the last 10km, one that he has trained and rehearsed for the past year.


Finishing Down Ali’i Drive

As the Sun begins its gentle descent, Ben  finds the second wind he’s been searching the whole day. Covering the last 3km at 4:10min/km pace and with a final right turn down Ali’i Drive towards the coveted finish, Ben was greeted by his sister, Belinda Ooi, as well as brother-in-law and national marathoner ONEathlete Mok Ying Ren. Both of them had turned up to lend their fullest support for Ben’s Kona debut, providing valuable support as family and also professional advice as athlete, physiotherapist and doctor in company.

Ben is looking forward to enjoy the remaining of his vacation on the tropical sunny Hawaiian paradise before working towards a local race come year end, for a gratifying finish to what has been a long training season for him.

 

“Competing with the best here at Kona has given me an appreciation of the possibilities ahead. Very honoured to have raced with this bunch of dedicated triathletes. Last but not least, I’m unspeakably grateful to the throngs of supporters who lined the streets and livened up the race atmosphere, as well as to have had my family here cheering me on, and throughout the lengthy lead-up to this day!”

Benjamin will like to put on record his deep appreciation to his family and friends, as well as ONEathlete, whose unwavering support over the past year made today’s result possible.


For further enquiries, kindly email jed@onemanagement.sg. Thank you.

Whoever said accountants are plain characters?

IRONMAN World Championships Triathlete 
Managed by ONEathlete 
Singapore
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Whoever said accountants are plain characters? Not content in spending a day in and day out with his college textbooks, Ben joined set his mind on a new sporting challenge in triathlon and soon rose to captain his college Aquathlon team.
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2 years down the road, Ben qualified for the World Championship in his first 70.3 race at Hefei 2016 with a performance that bested other more experienced competitors. Perhaps coming from a background playing water polo similar to Ironman legend Dave Scott has had great benefits, or perhaps it’s his discipline for competition.
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Racing the Kona Ironman is doubly exciting for the young rising star of Singapore’s triathlon scene— an event of a lifetime, as it is—because is also to be his first full-Ironman race. Defying the odds is not new to the 25-year-old, born on a leap day.
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Since qualifying, Ben has pulled out all stops to excel atthe new substantial distance, including taking his training across the globe when he spent months living in São Paulo, Brasil as an exchange student. Racing has been a constantly evolving adventure he thoroughly revels in. No doubt his journey continues on after this World Championship.
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Look out for him in Kona, Hawaii and wave to say hi to this suave gentleman with a sunny disposition, or simply follow him on Instagram, @ironmanbooi for regular updates!

Singaporeans Hungry for Success at Berlin Marathon 2017

Press Release for Berlin Marathon 2017 – Evan Chee (PB 2:42:18)

 

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Berlin 24 Sep 2017 – The sun was nowhere to be seen on this cold Berlin morning of the last Sunday in September. Yet more than 43,000 participants from 137 countries, including 106 Singaporeans, had converged onto Brandenburg Gate ready to conquer the 44th edition of the BMW-Berlin Marathon.

 

This year’s Berlin marathon had also attracted plenty of pre-race hype focused on a battle between the ‘big three’ of Eluid Kipchoge, Wilson Kipsang, Kenenisa Bekele which could lead to a new marathon World Record under 2:02:57. Eventually, Eluid Kipchoge would go on to take the win in a time of 2:03:32, finishing 14 seconds ahead of Ethiopian Guye Andola, a half-marathon specialist (personal best 59:07) who finished with the world’s fastest marathon debut besting Dennis Kimetto’s debutante record of 2:04:16 set in 2012.

 

As in previous years, the Singapore embassy in Berlin hosted a lunch reception for Singaporeans participating in the Berlin marathon. Known for its fast course and iconic finish under the historic Brandenburg gate, the Berlin race is hugely popular amongst Singaporean marathoners, new and experienced alike. Leading this year’s representation are prolific elite athletes, like 2015 SEA Games national runner Melvin Wong, who is competing in his first Berlin Marathon, as well as Evan Chee, who is managed by ONEathlete and trains with Flexifitness under Singapore’s national marathon record holder M. Rameshon.

 

 

ONEathlete, Evan Chee, 35 at the iconic Brandenburg gate.

 

Remarkably, this is Evan’s 3rd marathon in 2017, having set his personal best of 2:45 at the Tokyo Marathon in Feb before finishing 4th (and as Top Asian) at the Bangkok Midnight Marathon. 2017 has been a punishing race calendar for him who has had to frequently travel overseas for business, but Evan seems to be taking it in his stride. Because of the unpredictability of overseas run routes and travel schedules, gym treadmills became his training partner of choice. Prior to Berlin, Evan frequently clocked treadmill runs of up to 30km, which honed his mental focus as much as it did his fitness.

 

On race morning, the heavy rain before the start made for a very wet and humid race with slippery road conditions. The surprising chill took a lot of Singaporean runners by surprise; many were aiming for fast timings and personal bests, but were not adequately acclimatized to take full advantage of the race conditions.

 

“I am happy that my race went well despite the heavy rain and wet conditions. It was a fantastic experience being here and celebrating the togetherness of international marathoning with my participation. I also had my own fanboy moments watching 3 of the very best marathoners in history battle it out today, so it was very inspiring and enjoyable experience for me, and many of the Singaporean runners as well.”

 

 

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Evan Chee in red pulling through the chilly weather.

 

 

Coming off months of hectic business travel, a new work environment, and a 3rd-place hard-fought finish at the POSB Passion Kids Run 10km race just 2 weeks before Berlin Marathon, Evan had set himself realistic targets heading into this race. Evan also caught up with Matthias Hoffman, a Hong Kong-based German runner and fellow Adidas athlete who most recently came in 3rd at the Sundown marathon in Singapore.

 

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Having a running group for the first half of the punishing race helped Evan stay focused on the task at hand. Crossing the halfway mark in just under 1:20, Evan quickly realised he was on track for a sub 2:40 finish and set his sights on that target  despite losing touch with the group he had been following. That he was sharing the same course with the marathon greats, and quite possibly partake in marathoning history, gave Evan the mental edge to overcome rough patches when he was alone during the punishing second half of the race. Towards the final kilometre or two, Evan pulled away to finish strong in a timing of 2:42:18, lowering his personal best (set just 6 months ago) by over 3 minutes!

 

With another personal best in his bag, Evan is looking forward to enjoy the remaining of his stay in Berlin before working towards his fourth and last marathon for the year, the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon in December 2017.

 

Wasnt exactly the most ideal weather conditions ☔️ at Berlin Marathon this year but it is definitely a good learning experience on handling wet cold race 😄. ・ 1st half of the race went by quickly & comfortably in 1h19min by sticking with a sub 2h40m group and was hopeful for a similar 2nd half run. Alas had some untimely issue with the non-waterproof laser printed bib & broke off from the run group. Thankful & happy to eventually finish with a new PB time of 2h42min18s 🙏🏼. ・ Congrats & nice run to Nicholas, fellow #teamflexi Andreas (@icyandi), Desmond, Jennifer (@queen43m), Felicia, fellow #adidasathlete Matt (@matt_the_hoff), Melvin (@melvinwongyh) and all who ran today 😄! ・ Also thank you to all the support from @flexifitnessconsultancy (Coach Rameshon & all team mates), @runoneapp and also @adidas_sg. ・ https://runone.co/2017/09/25/singaporeans-hungry-for-success-at-berlin-marathon-2017/ ・ #adidassg #adidasberlin #adidasrunning #adidasrunners #flexifitness #runONE #ONEathlete #fitspo #runner #runsg #justrunnn #sgfitfam #runnersofinstagram #instarunner #sgrunners #justrunlah #runsociety #evantravelruns #takechargeberlin #berlinmarathon2017 #beatberlin42

A post shared by Evan Chee (@evanchee) on

 

As mentioned on his social media, Evan will like to put on record his deep appreciation to his coach, M. Rameshon, and training mates from Flexifitness, as well as his supporting sponsors, Adidas and ONEathlete, whose unwavering support was key in making today’s results possible.

 

For more information and enquiries, kindly email jed@onemanagement.sg 

ONEathlete Marathoners join hands with ‘Blade Runner’ and Special Olympics 100m Dash runner at Heartstrings Walk 2017

SINGAPORE – This morning’s Community Chest Heartstrings Walk saw close to 8,000 participants, including members of the public, social service organisations and corporate partners who came together to provide opportunities for meaningful interaction among persons with different abilities. It also aimed to show how every person can be empowered to self-advocate, be self-reliant and give back to the community. This year, an increased number of beneficiaries, including persons with disabilities, seniors and youth-at-risk stepped up at the event to volunteer in various roles, such as teaching other participants how to play inclusive games and facilitate interaction.

 

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Athletes with different abilities also joined in to exchange sporting tips with event participants. Prolific marathoners (managed by #ONEathlete, a social enterprise), Evan Chee (4th in Singapore Marathon 2016) and Ben Moreau (Commonwealth Games participant, based in Singapore) as well as Md Shariff Abdullah, a para-athlete (affectionately known as “Blade Runner”) with a prosthetic leg, took part in the Fun Walk.

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They walked alongside 15-year-old Shawn Goh, a special needs student from MINDS Towner Gardens School who participated in the 100m dash at the Special Olympics this year. Diagnosed with a congenital intellectual disability, Shawn has managed to overcome the challenges he faced and pursued his passion for sports. Shawn’s infectious cheery disposition and affectionate demeanour caught onto the other athletes! These athletes demonstrated how sports and social interactions can be inclusive.

 


Evan Chee said, “It was heartwarming to see so many volunteers, partners and beneficiaries come together as one community to support the cause, and to even interact and understand one another.”

 

Ben Moreau highlighted the significance of athletes using sports and running to give back to the community thru events such as this. He added, “I’m glad to help in whatever way I can because everyone has a role to play. We can also seek inspiration from those who overcome their challenges in life, like Shaun Goh.” 
 

Other than the Fun Walk, the Sky Vertical Marathon up the Marina Bay Sands, and the family carnival was part of the charity event. The 4-km Fun Walk along the Waterfront Trail at Marina Bay was flagged off by Guest-of-Honour, Minister (Min) for Social and Family Development (MSF) Mr Tan Chuan-Jin. This is likely to be the last community event for Min Tan, in his capacity as Min MSF. Indeed a suitable swan song, as the event was helmed by the National Council of Social Services (NCSS), a statutory board under the Ministry of Social and Family Development. Min who initiated SG Cares (a national volunteering movement), will be moving onto becoming the 8th Speaker of Parliament in Singapore.

Highlighting the true spirit behind the event was the Chairman of Community Chest, Mr Phillip Tan (right of Min). He said, “At the heart of our community outreach and fundraising efforts is enabling a better quality of life for our beneficiaries. This year, we are involving our beneficiaries to take on more roles at the event. They are no longer just at the receiving end, but are empowered to co-create solutions and self-advocate. It has been a privilege for us to partner like-minded organisations to foster a more caring and inclusive society. Each of us can give back to our community and make Singapore a better place to live in.” 

Casio Video Feature – Team SG Canoeist Jonathan Chong

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Time is what we all want most, but use worst.

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Like everyone, Jonathan has 24 hours a day.

But unlike everyone, Jonathan does canoeing, studies, coaching, travelling and, modeling as well.

Join us for a quick peek into a shy introvert’s on-screen transformation as we go behind the scenes in Jonathan’s latest and most terrifying project. Stay tuned for the full video at the end and you might discover the secret to his time-defying act too.

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On behalf of Jonathan, ONEathlete will like to thank the teams at Casio and Straatosphere (Hana) for this incredible opportunity as well as their advice and support!

Catch the full video below!

 

Tough match, tough lessons, tough men – TeamSG Hockey Team

Press Release for SEA Games 2017 – Tan Yi Ru (National Hockey Team)

30 Aug 2017

 

Kuala Lumpur – After days of intense competition and hard-fought matches in the group stage, the 29th SEA Games Hockey Competition for Team SG drew to a close on 29 Aug 2017. In a tightly contested bronze medal showdown, Singapore Hockey Men’s team overcame Thailand to emerge victorious with a score of 2-1. 

 

Just 2 days earlier, these two teams had met in the group stage. Then, Singapore had led by 3 goals through most of the match before Thailand came fighting back with 2 quick goals. That match also ended narrowly 3-2 in Singapore’s favour. However, due to goal difference disadvantage, Singapore eventually missed out to Myanmar on qualifying for the gold medal match.

 


ONEathlete and veteran TeamSG hockey player Tan Yi Ru knew today’s bronze medal match would be as much a mental and tactical challenge. Unknown to others, memories of the earlier nail-biting finish against Thailand had affected some of the players’ preparation for today’s match against the same opponents.

However, being one of the more experienced players on the Singapore squad, Yi Ru stepped up to the plate and played a vital role in holding the backline defence to deprive Thailand opportunities to capitalise on, especially on the counter-attack. The team also reviewed their earlier matches and tightened their gameplay by focusing on greater consistency and reducing unnecessary mistakes. Such as, the ones that landed them slightly behind Myanmar (through match points), who fought hard against Malaysia in the finals and lost 14-0. Malaysia has held the Gold medal for every SEA Games, except in 1974.

 

Winning the SEA Games Bronze medal today was a bittersweet moment for Yi Ru, who still remembers the loss in the finals against Malaysia in 2013 and 2015. While there were several young players on this year’s team, the more experienced players like the team captain, Enrico (below photo, right), Ashriq, and Yi Ru lent their weight in providing support, advice and guidance.

“I’m very proud of my team, some of whom I have had the honour of knowing and training alongside for years. Our humbling defeat in the finals at the 2015 SEA Games had played a big role in giving us the strength to persevere today, especially during that tightly contested last quarter bronze medal match, today. Much as we had hoped to better our results from the previous SEA Games, we have given it our best shot although there is definitely room for improvement. Kudos to our opponent, the Thailand team, who had fought equally hard and showed great sportsmanship.”

 

Recalling his prep for the SEA Games, Yi Ru was also very heartened by the extent of support and cheering from the local crowd and Singaporean supporters. On top of that, Yi Ru is also very thankful to the invaluable and reassuring presence and encouragement from his family, friends and his fiancee. While hockey is a competitive sports, sometimes people tend to get engrossed in the win-lose aspect of the game and forget the celebration of common triumph, camaraderie and sportsmanship.

 

The team returned soon after to Singapore on Wednesday at 6pm. Amongst Yi Ru’s priorities after returning to Singapore will be the preparations for his wedding later this year, as well as taking some well-deserved rest off to reconnect with loved ones. He will also be diverting some attention to his coaching duties in their lead-up to the upcoming floorball competitions.

 

Photo credits: Team photos by Hafiz Rased. Rest by ONEathlete. 

For any enquiries on the press release, please feel free to contact jed@onemanagement.sg

Mok won – not gold or silver – but hearts and respect in Kuala Lumpur

Press Release for SEA Games 2017 Marathon – Mok Ying Ren



Kuala Lumpur – On the morning of 19 Aug 2017, after 2 hours 44 minutes of intense racing, TeamSG National Marathoner Mok Ying Ren (Managed by ONEathlete) finished strong in the men’s race which ended with a tightly contested 1-2 finish between Indonesia’s Agus Prayogo and Singapore’s Soh Rui Yong, with the latter securing the gold. The Malaysian duo finished 3rd and 4th in an emotion-filled run on home ground.  The sight of Soh and Agus fighting it out in the last lap was a fitting conclusion to what had been an eagerly anticipated race with one of the best marathon field the SEA Games has seen in recent years.

Mok’s finish of 2:44:15 was nearly 18 minutes off his personal best. The 29-year old doctor-marathoner was tested hard by the humid weather and a tactically-dominated race full of surges and changing leads that also saw one of the pre-race favourite, Thailand’s Boonthung Srisung, drop out in the last 10km. The race was conducted in the heart of Putrajaya on a 6-loop rectangular race route with multiple sharp turns.


“I go into every marathon expecting it to be challenging and today was no different. Having just started my surgical resident training I had to work twice, thrice as hard to give my all for this SEA Games. It was an all-out race effort so there is hardly any room for regret. It’s been a long journey and I’m very happy and thankful to have the support of my dearest wife, close friends, family, officials/staff, supporters and sponsors. Behind every athlete, there is a big ‘team’ like this! That’s the best part of this journey. ” said the 29-year-old doctor-athlete who had strived for a 3rd SEA Games gold medal juggling his training with the long hours as a orthopaedic surgical resident in training.


“I’m very humbled by all the supporters from Singapore, Malaysia and the other ASEAN countries! Even more touched by the love from the game host! This is the essence of the SEA Games!” Mok was cheered on by the crowds of supporters who chanted his name in support; and stayed on to take photos and selfie with the double SEA Games Gold medallist. The host country (especially) had certainly opened up their hearts to Singapore’s prolific doctor-marathoner.

A spokesperson from ONEathlete, which manages Mok Ying Ren said that, “It is heartening to see that Mok’s passion for his patients, didn’t deter his shot at his best! Congratulatory messages have been coming in, and we want to thank Singaporeans for such a great showing of support! Mok hopes that more people will lead healthy lives and ‘run with mok’. He is looking forward to engage the running community even more in the near future.” 


Attempting to win his third SEA Games Gold medal under such trying conditions was an emotional moment for Mok, in the months leading up. His immediate priorities after this race will be to move into his new flat and also prepare for his wedding banquet to be held later this year.

Photo credits: Coach Rameshon / ST / RunONE

ST : Holding a longstanding record with quiet dignity

This article was first published on The Straits Times column on 12 Aug 2017.

 

Singapore running legend Murugiah Rameshon was decades ahead of his time, though not many recognised it then. He raced against himself, lowering the national record 5 times in as many years, shaving 4 minutes off his 2:28 mark in his final record-breaking race. Then 31 years old, his final national marathon record of 2:24:22 set  at the 1995 SEA Games has withstood the test of time, unwavering and dignified even after 22 years.

 

Photo credits: Coach Rameshon / RunONE
Photo credits: Coach Rameshon / RunONE

Setting The Bar High

 

It all started in 1987. Only 23 then, Rameshon had his first break and established himself as one of Singapore’s top marathoner by winning the Mobil Marathon. But in order to have a shot at then national record of 2:34 held by Tan Choon Ghee, he had planned to increase his weekly mileage from 70km to 120km. Grass was the only way to go: it was a more forgiving surface than tarmac with a lower risk of injury. In grass Rameshon had found an unlikely partner – one who, like him, bends but never yields to pressure.

 

In an era without compression tights and altitude chambers, an athlete with Rameshon’s ethos would never be found wanting. Hand-written training notes, meticulously recorded with timings to the second, are among his prized possessions today. He epitomised the complete athlete who owned his training, mind, body and results – a point he continues to emphasize now as head coach of a fitness and training outfit. To him, professional running is a full-time commitment requiring absolute focus and discipline. He upholds that, “If you have time to be distracted, then you are not training like you should.”

 

His minimalistic approach also embodied another timeless lesson – that performance in endurance running is simply and undeniably consistent hard work. But just as eggs are the hardest dish to master, the simplest is not always the easiest.

 

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Photo credits: Coach Rameshon / RunONE

Against All Odds

 

Like national swimmer Joscelin Yeo, Rameshon had decided early in his running career that the best way to improve was to train overseas. But without any result to secure a scholarship, he had no choice but to go the distance on faith. Taking matters into his own hands, Rameshon balanced training and undergraduate studies at Loughborough University, England. Eventually running up a bill of $60,000 when his personal income then was a hard-earned $1,000. It was draining physically, mentally and financially.

 

It was only after he first broke the national record at the Hong Kong marathon in 1991, did then Singapore Sports Council offer a $1,500 per year grant and he started being outfitted by Nike. It was help late in arriving, but gratifying nonetheless.

 

Photo credits: Coach Rameshon / RunONE
Photo credits: Coach Rameshon / RunONE

I Don’t Think In Terms Of Limits

 

Could he have reached greater heights with more support? “Maybe. But it doesn’t matter anymore.” Rameshon hints of a quiet confidence that can only come from someone who has dreamed big, worked hard and treads softly. When asked about not being selected for the Olympics despite qualifying for it, he said, “Let me be my own judge. There is no need to prove oneself if one has achieved.”

 

Fame was never the name of the game for Rameshon. He was clear about being beholden to but not enslaved by his ambitions. “Once you see running as a conquest of numbers, then this sport, any sport, will be reduced to a race for glory.” Till today, he lives by this principle.

 

Then as now, he believes the porousness of records cannot take anything away from the greatness sports has to offer. The irony of records is that once it’s set, its destiny is to be broken. In fact, Rameshon has been instrumental in igniting many prolific younger marathoners, spurring them to reach their fullest potential by surpassing him. Like the proverbial lamb at the altar, what matters is the kindling process. Records are but means to an end, although lesser athletes may, and often, confuse the two.

 

Photo credits: Coach Rameshon / RunONE
Photo credits: Coach Rameshon / RunONE

Setting The Stage For Others

 

It’s not just his longstanding record, that makes Rameshon one of Singapore’s greatest runner to date. More importantly is the way he does it. The honesty with which he trains, and his humility in finishing. Rameshon always raced as if to celebrate the greatness of endurance running – honouring it by raising it.

 

As the 29th SEA Games approaches, Rameshon’s record still resonates, leading us to wonder if our capable athletes will raise the standards even further. In surpassing the competition and himself, Rameshon eventually rose above the arena where his fame was birthed, writing a legacy beyond the numbers once ascribed to his name. In achieving so much with so little, Rameshon has kept the flame alive for others to seek what may seem to be, but many hope not, impossible.

 

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Lester Tan is an avid runner and passionate triathlete who raced at the Asia-Pacific 70.3 World Champs in Cebu. He is an in-house writer for runONE.
Lester Tan is an avid runner and passionate triathlete who raced at the Asia-Pacific 70.3 World Champs in Cebu. He is an in-house writer for runONE.