5 unique things about BB Blaze 2019!

13 Apr 2019 – Participants from ages 13 to 17 started streaming into the start location – the scenic Floating Platform – at 4.30am. They were sleepy, maybe, but undaunted, as they geared up for the annual (and may we add, grueling) BB Blaze 2019, an outdoor adventure and sport based trail race, organised by The Boys’ Brigade in Singapore.

1) Early Preparations

Preparations began as early as November 2018, kicking off with a preparation clinic by ONEathlete and former BB-boy himself, Ashley Liew. More about race prep clinic here!

Ashley Liew during his preparation clinic

2) Geared up by Mok ying ren

RunONE was also also on board as the Official Training Partner, allowing these young boys to train effectively in their lead-up to the competition, through a RunONE training programme created by Double SEA Games Gold Medalist, Mok Ying Ren.

Mok Ying Ren leading the youths in their warm up

It was thus apt for Mok Ying Ren to lead the 500+ boys in a set of dynamic warm-ups, also sharing medical/safety tips to keep in mind! He emphasized hydration tips – “Boys, remember to drink to the point of thirst” – as the organizing committee anticipated a very hot day.

Mok Ying Ren also mingled with the participants and heard them share about their planning phase and race strategies, before heading off for his hospital duties.

3) innovative race clocking 20+km in total

The organisers partnered with District Race – an innovative mobile app – to make the race more interactive and fun for the boys! If you had been in the city or Marina Bay area, you would have seen at least one of the 120+ teams in action.

4) camaraderie

We can learn a lesson about true sportsmanship just by observing as competitors mingled with one another, had fun together, and helped their ‘bros’! This characteristic of the boys from The Boys’ Brigade is quite the norm, but for any outsiders, it was a little more evident today.

5) Challenge Trophy & Social Media Challenge

What’s a competition without prizes? 5th Singapore Company, Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Secondary School (Team A106) and 14th Singapore Company, Anglican High School (Team A126) won the 3rd and 2nd prize respectively. Team A177 from 60th Singapore Company, Raffles Institution, emerged as the overall champion of BB Blaze 2019! They also received the coveted Winston Choo Challenge Trophy (named after the former BB Boy and former/first Chief of Defence Force (CDF), who flagged off the race in the morning). This was presented by Guest-of-Honour Dr Lily Neo.

Winners of the Top 3 positions

The Social Media Challenge was won by the 26th Singapore Company , Tanglin Secondary School, who took part actively with their creative posts to win $500 worth of sports gear, sponsored by RunONE.

While looking back on a challenging but rewarding BB Blaze 2019, we certainly hope that the months of training leading up to the race paid off!

Catch the video below for event highlights by the race organizers!

Tales of a Triathlete #3 – Kona in Photos (IM World Championship ’17)

Benjamin Ooi – The road to Kona was a (relatively) lengthy journey stretching across my qualifying race in Hefei the year before, and subsequent intensive preparations for the World Championship. Actually arriving on the Big Island for the race was another huge adventure in itself.

This trip involved a little more complexity than your typical overseas race. With the WC being the triathlon event of the year, the sleepy beach town of Kailua-Kona — if it can be considered a town — welcomes thousands of top pros and age-groupers, media, vendors, fans and supporters. Rooms in the surrounding areas are usually booked out months in advance. The streets bustle with incredibly fit-looking people, while traffic slows to a crawl.

Then, there’s a need to acclimatise to the infamous race conditions on the island. Most amateur athletes arrive in Kona at least a week before the event to settle in. They’d take a dip (literally) in the waters, experience battling the crosswinds, and familiarise themselves with the route that they’d be suffering on, in a few days. The weight of expectations to perform demands that no detail be spared in this final lead-up.

In my case, I was very fortunate to have the support of Mok and Bel who accompanied me and were a great help with my travel and race arrangements! This allowed me additional capacity to prepare without distractions and to (simply) enjoy and immerse myself in the process. Here are a few photos for the curious 🙂

Checking in… Lots to set up!
Post flights shake out swim
Mandatory coffee at sea
Ready to roll — Scouting ride to Hawi
Replenishing with Poke!
Rookie with Kona veteran Ling Er!
Face to face with ironman legends
Underwear run
Pros’ transition corner
Warm up is done!
How to ‘aero’ in crosswinds
One foot after the other. 9hrs in, 30km through the marathon — I think?
A painful jump shot…
Final call at the boarding gate
Anything is possible! I’ll see you at Kona soon!

Ben Ooi is an Ironman Triathlete and younger sibling to two national water polo sisters. He qualified to compete in the World Ironman – World Championships 2017 in Kona, Hawaii. The SMU alumnus is currently working in the private sector and would love a South American holiday, anytime.

For inspiring stories related to running and sports, as well as discounts to local races, subscribe to ‘RunONE’ by adding +6588347638 to your Whatsapp contacts. Then send us the words, “Run With Me.”

Ashley Liew, ONEathlete

Media Response II – Apr 2019

09 Apr 2019 – In October 2018, Soh Rui Yong alleged that Ashley Liew did not slow down during the 2015 SEA Games marathon race.

SUMMARY OF EVENTS:

IGNORING THE FACTS

Soh had accused ONEathlete of ‘using personal attacks rather than sticking to facts’ on a Today Sports social media post on 02 April 2019. Despite the availability of sworn statements from witnesses in the form of the Statutory Declarations that were available for Soh’s review upon request, he has decided to ignore them and maintain his allegations against Ashley.

  • In 2015, Soh had won the 2015 SEA Games Marathon Gold. Ashley hung on to finish 8th.
  • In Oct 2018, Soh called himself a champion of the ‘truth’ by calling Ashley a liar. On 26 Oct 2018, Soh reiterated that Ashley was “conjuring, exaggerating, and circulating a fictional tale of sportsmanship … ”, Ashley chose to de-escalate.
  • In Apr 2019, Soh ignored witnesses’ sworn-in statements that contradicted his ‘truth’, and called Ashley a liar, again.
  • In Apr 2019, Soh refused to retract his allegations. He brands himself as the ‘rebel’ who won’t be intimidated and will see this as an opportunity to stick it out and make his point.

All this while, Ashley was faced with questions and doubted by many for doing the right thing during the race.  

MATERIAL EVIDENCE & WITNESSES

In response to suggestions that we provide GPS watch data from the race, unfortunately, Ashley was using a Timex analog (non-GPS watch) during the 2015 SEA Games Marathon, and up till Jan 2018.

ONEathlete understands that as of Oct 2018, no video evidence of the 2015 SEA Games Marathon race was available. The event was also not broadcasted. The existence of the statutory declarations containing the accounts of eyewitnesses as to what had transpired during the race is therefore of material significance, since these accounts not only form the best available evidence, but there would be no reason to doubt the credibility and accuracy of these independent, third party accounts given that it is an offence to make a false statement under the Oath and Declarations Act (Cap. 211).

Excerpt from 02 Apr 2019: Unlike those whom Soh claims to be his witnesses (such as Philippines athlete, Rafael Roliquit Jr, who had received coaching advice from Soh, as well as, two other individuals who were Soh’s coaches), we understand that these four individuals are independent witnesses who were prepared to and did, in fact, make sworn statements of what they saw during the race.That is the material difference – anyone can say anything you want on social media and get away with untruths and lies, but not so when you make statutory declarations.

We disagree with Soh’s suggestion that the witnesses’ statutory declaration lacks credibility. The 4 witnesses’ identities have not been publicly revealed, but they are far from nameless individuals. Soh does not even appear to be interested in who they are of what they have said since he has so far ignored SNOC’s offer to view the statutory declarations.

SHIFT IN POSITION

Soh had shifted his stance between Oct 2018 and April 2019. In Oct 2018, Soh definitively alleged that ‘Ashley did not slow down’. But in Apr 2019, he downplayed his allegations and claimed he ‘did not see Ashley slowing down’. The shift, while subtle, is significant and non-accidental. We believe that as a learned individual, Soh is aware of the difference implied in these two statements.  

EXERCISING LEGAL OPTIONS

“From a personal standpoint, I have not responded publicly to something like this because it is not my nature to fan any controversy. To me, staying silent on the matter was an exercise in de-escalation, not an admission of guilt.
However, with the insinuations continuing, I cannot remain silent anymore. I believe it is time to speak up and clear the air.”
– Ashley Liew, National Marathoner (ONEathlete)

Through his lawyer, Mark Teng of That.Legal LLC, Ashley Liew has sent a cease and desist letter requesting, amongst other things, that Soh retracts his statements and make a public apology.

It has been a challenging period and the decision, a tough one, for Ashley. However, no one should take his kindness for weakness. ONEathlete supports Ashley’s decision to seek the justice he deserves.

We hope that Soh will co-operate with SNOC’s and Ashley’s lawyers, to resolve this matter as amicably as possible and put this unnecessary matter to rest.

Regards,
ONEathlete Team

Tales of a Triathlete #2 – How to not have “Grown Old”

Any day, Anywhere.

Benjamin Ooi – Often when the subject of sports comes up in formal conversation, much of it revolves around the values it is said to imbue — you know, ‘mental resilience, competitive spirit or achievement’. While I agree wholeheartedly, of late I have come to advocate exercise quite simply for its role in supporting a healthy and wholesome life. Most people recognise good health and its accompanying benefits as something we truly deem priceless, that is clear. Yet, whether arising from of a lack of awareness and knowledge or a simple lapse in focus, many of us are surprised subsequently to discover that our bodies have undeniably deteriorated or ‘grown old’.

I myself have a fear of losing any silver of my independence and mobility as time passes. I dread to have to second guess myself: can I get from A to B, will the stairs be too strenuous/painful; will I be able to continue to adventure with just one overloaded haversack? Or with bulky 20kg bike box in addition?; am I able to swim/bike/run whenever I wish?

‘Bike-Packing’ Trip to Oxford

I’ve learnt, keeping a conscious awareness of your physical condition and current state of capabilities is essential. I once met at gym, a family friend in her early 50s who was adamant about her fitness because she had been very active when she was younger. She wanted to experiment with weights again, but that day, she was astounded to she realise that she could no longer perform certain simple body weight exercises! This friend of mine had shifted her priorities heavily into her work and her kids, forgoing her physical fitness, eventually losing all track of herself in this respect. While aging takes a toll on our bodies, and that’s normal, we can take control if we are aware and actively put in the requisite effort to maintain ourselves.

Here’s where sports comes in handy. When athletes engage in a challenging physical activity, we inevitably have an encounter the limits of our current abilities. However, as we internalise that these are merely soft-limits we start to understand how to push our capabilities. Over this process, we get stronger, faster and better at the chosen discipline, but not merely that. As we worked on building strength, endurance and technique, we developed a better understanding of our bodies and an awareness of it that transfers into everyday life.

Take for example, when I go up a particularly long flight of stairs (say at Batu Caves), I consider the following: 

How does my aerobic system feel performing this task? Is it unusually strained?; 

Am I engaging my glutes or quadriceps appropriately; 

What about the form of my weaker leg?; 

How does my chronic knee feel? Am I moving too fast?

These instinctive considerations form a basis of benchmarking and continuous improvement for me, much like a routine time-trial is a measure of running performance. Attaining an aware mindset provides input that helps us to keep track of our physical capabilities in areas that matter to ourselves, and take the highlighted steps towards our goals. Then still, there are little intuitive skills that one picks up in sports, such as learning to fall safely and understanding good form/core engagement when lifting heavy objects. While these aren’t achievements we might share about at an interview, their benefits are inherent and far-reaching

You might think that as a triathlete I would have more than enough disciplines on my plate to perfect. It is true, but over the years I have also dabbled in other sports completely distant to the realms of water, running or endurance races. I feel I have emerged better for it. Attending yoga had me truly realise that my inflexibility was ultimately a result of insufficient attention paid to stretching, and that it had caused me unnecessary strain to attain efficient techniques in swimming and cycling. Starting dance lessons finally activated my calves to function more fully and symmetrically in a way no amount of calf raises seemed able to achieve.

On-going Battle with Flexibility

My point is this, we all know (or at least acknowledge during CNY) that health is something we treasure deeply. Many of us also probably spend long hours standing or seated at work, and hardly on activities that bode well for our bodies. Athletes or not, if we neglect physical activities long enough we are sure to lose a sensing of our own health and fitness which then perpetuates a misguided cycle. So, rather than be caught surprised by how we have ‘grown old’, get out there, try something new and challenging this month, keep active and keep aware!

Ben Ooi is an Ironman Triathlete and younger sibling to two national water polo sisters. He qualified to compete in the World Ironman – World Championships 2017 in Kona, Hawaii. The SMU alumnus is currently working in the private sector and would love a South American holiday, anytime.

For inspiring stories related to running and sports, as well as discounts to local races, subscribe to ‘RunONE’ by adding +6588347638 to your Whatsapp contacts. Then send us the words, “Run With Me.”

Ashley Liew, ONEathlete

Media Response – Apr 2019

02 Apr 2019 – In October 2018, Soh Rui Yong alleged that Ashley Liew did not slow down during the 2015 SEA Games marathon race. We responded on 21 Oct 2018 to media queries. In spite of this, Soh continued to maintain his allegations insinuating that Ashley had lied.

Soh’s allegations

Soh’s allegations had unfairly cast doubt over ONEathlete, Ashley Liew’s repute as an individual, working professional and national athlete, as well as, the merit and integrity of nominating Ashley for and eventual award of the Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Trophy in 2016.

Back then, we decided not to respond further to Soh’s incessant aspersions in kind because we do not stand for, nor identify with, such regrettable behaviour from a fellow athlete.

SNOC’s Letter

We note that the SNOC has served a lawyer’s letter to Soh to “publicly retract and withdraw” his allegations, in light of sworn statutory declarations made by various individuals who had witnessed Ashley slowing down to allow the other runners to catch up during the race.

We are grateful to the SNOC for working through the due processes to follow up with and provide greater clarity on this matter. We are also deeply appreciative of the four honourable individuals who have stepped forward with sworn declarations to stand for what they deeply believe in and know is right.

Unlike those whom Soh claims to be his witnesses (such as Philippines athlete, Rafael Roliquit Jr, who had received coaching advice from Soh, as well as, two other individuals who were Soh’s coaches), we understand that these four individuals are independent witnesses who were prepared to and did in fact make sworn statements of what they saw during the race.

That is the material difference – anyone can say anything you want on social media and get away with untruths and lies, but not so when you make statutory declarations.

Soh’s NON-COMPLIANCE

Based on media reports, Soh has decided not to retract and withdraw his false allegations against Ashley,  and has instead sought to aggravate matters by repeating his allegations in his social media postings.

If the truth is really what Soh seeks, we believe the best way to achieve that would be for Soh to co-operate with the SNOC and its lawyers, and to seek clarity with the SNOC in an amicable manner. It is clear that even when confronted with 4 statutory declarations from witnesses whose accounts contradicts Soh’s allegations, Soh has chosen to turn a blind eye to these sworn-in and factual accounts by insisting that his allegations represent “nothing but the truth”.

Such an approach by Soh only serves as an aggravating factor to his initial conduct of falsely accusing another athlete of lying, and in so doing, has brought the sport into disrepute. Soh’s refusal to retract his false allegations in the face of the 4 statutory declarations is an extension of his willful act of blatant disregard, poor sportsmanship and improper conduct which goes against Singapore Athletics’ Athlete’s Code of Conduct.  

ONEathlete continues to stand by our earlier response on 21 Oct 2018, and
will defer to SNOC’s processes that are ongoing at the moment. We will also examine all legal options available to Ashley in light of current developments.


ONEathlete Team

What’s in my bag? Shaheed tells it all

SHAHEED ALAM – Ever wondered what’s in a tennis player’s bag? I get asked this question a lot, be it fellow tennis players or just general sports enthusiasts. Read on to find out what’s in my bag for training as well as competition day, and how different they are!

My go to training bag which provides so much space that I could fit everything inside it

Training Days

On a normal training day where I usually have double training sessions (8-11am and 4-7pm), my bag will be packed with about 6-7 tee shirts, 3 shorts, 2 caps and 4 wristbands. All of them courtesy of Asics which have been one of the most comfortable brand apparels I have had.

On top of these, I would bring along 2 rackets from Babolat every time just in case the string snaps on one of them so I will always have a backup racket to train with. (No excuses for skipping training!) I’ll also always have 2 spare grips from Pro’s Pro so that I can change it anytime if the grip gets too sweaty 😅 The best part of it? All these apparel and training equipment fits comfortably into my spacious Babolat Tennis bag!

This is usually what I pack for a typical training day!

Competition Days

On competition day, I would bring roughly around the same number of apparels, with the exception being an additional jacket to keep my body and legs loose and warm before the start of my match. This is important because you never know when the preceding match could drag on into a tie-breaker final set!

Another difference would be the 4-5 tennis rackets that allows me the flexibility of choice to use the one that suits me best on competition day, and also react and change my game approach if necessary.

I will also pack along a skipping rope to help me with my warm up. I usually do about 3-5 sets of skipping right before my match to get the blood flowing and legs loosened up before I step onto the court. Most of the time, the string tension will also change as the match progresses so it’s also important for me to bring a few sets of racket string so I can adjust the tension based on the conditions at the competition venue. Different countries, surfaces, and even altitude play a major role in affecting the tension of the racket. For me, this peculiarity also makes tennis much more interesting because there will never be two identical games even if the players are the same.

My go-to choice for strings are from Pro’s Pro, and I usually carry with me a reel of them so that I can string the rackets up when I reach the venue. A tennis tournament typically lasts about a week so I also have to make sure that I have sufficient grips as well, usually around 10-12. To be fully prepared to deal with any kind of situation, I will also bring along my medical kit which includes deep heat rub, ice cold spray, as well as different type of tapes like KT Tape, Rigid Tape etc. You never know when you might have a niggle on your body so it is best to be always over-prepared than under.

This is what I usually pack for a competition day!

Now that you know what’s in a tennis player’s bag, I hope that helps you get a clearer understanding of what is required for training and competition as you go about packing your own set of training gears. That said, every individual may have their preferred method and there is no one approach to this. So be sure to test it out over time and find the optimal routine and approach best suited for you to perform best on the court!

Till next time, continue to #HitItLikeShaheed!

Shaheed Alam is a ONEathlete and Ambassador for Asics (Tennis) and Babalot. He is also supported by Grip String Sports and Pro’s Pro. The tennis prodigy had his first match at the age of 5, and progressed to the Singapore Sports School, before becoming the first male Singaporean to win the ITF Junior Singles Title.

For inspiring stories related to running and sports, as well as discounts to local races, subscribe to ‘RunONE’ by adding +6588347638 to your Whatsapp contacts. Then send us the words, “Run With Me.”

Breaking 3s & PBs @ Seoul Marathon 2019

17 March 2019 – Despite earlier scares over a dense haze that had descended upon Seoul and cast race prospects in shrouds, ONEathlete Evan Chee and Ashley Liew, and many other Singaporean runners assembled with great hopes for their season-opening race.

Singaporeans assembled in Seoul

First held in 1931, Seoul Marathon is the second oldest in the world after Boston Marathon. The IAAF gold label race is famous for its flat and fast course, with a men’s course record of 2:05:13 set by 4-time winner at this event, Wilson Loyanae of Kenya. Typically held in mid March, the cooling starting conditions of about 4 degrees and 8am start time makes it one of the preferred races for runners looking to lower their personal bests.

At this year’s Dong-A Ilbo Seoul International Marathon, Kenya Men and Women dominated as Thomas Kiplagat RONO won the men’s race in 2:05:56 under hazy conditions. While temperatures were near freezing at the start (- 1 degrees Celsius), the cloudless skies and light winds made for otherwise near-perfect conditions to race in.

Photo from Seoul Marathon 2019 English Page

Evan Chee, who finished 4th at the 2018 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, crossed the line in 2:41:01 – a new personal best and M35 category Marathon Record (pending Singapore Athletics’ ratification) – while Ashley succumbed to leg fatigue to finish in 3:08:57. The latter eventually managed to join in with the rest at the finish to celebrate his fellow ONEathlete’s achievement.

“I’m very happy. It was a fast course and I was fortunate to have good company along the way. Though the haze was a bit annoying, I am pleased with my performance this early in the season and hope to build on this over the next few months” Evan said, adding that he hoped to qualify for the 2019 SEA Games marathon which would be held in Philippines in November. The 38-year old Men’s veteran marathoner was recently nominated to the Singapore National Team (TeamSG) along with his marathoner sister, Yvonne Elizabeth Chee.

The seasoned marathoner usually competes in 3 – 4 marathons a year. However, with a relatively short 13 weeks between SCSM and Seoul Marathon, Evan incorporated longer tempo trainings and slightly less mileage. This regular review of training approach based on race results (and experience) has been part of Evan’s repertoire ever since he started running competitively. While it is nearly impossible to get everything perfect at your first attempt, he believes that every race can be seen as an experiment of one that we can learn from and improve. The Adidas Ambassador is currently training under Coach Steven Quek.

Also spotted in Seoul: A Team of Singapore Shufflers displaying their racing prowess with a number of them finishing close to the 2 hour 45min mark. Jason Tan who narrowly missed his sub-3 hour timing at SCSM2018 just couple months ago, crossed the line in 2:45:05. His team mate, and young talent Daniel Leow, followed closely behind with a 2:45:43 finish. Other runners prolific in the Singapore running circuit, Andy Neo and Hiroto Ogawa finished in 2:49:01 and 2:50:30 respectively. RunONE’s in-house editor, Lester Tan, or more commonly known by his handle @runningtan, finished with a new personal best of 2:57:16 to join the sub-3 club.

Red dot in Seoul

But the icing on the cake for Singapore was the new Marathon National Marathon Record as national marathoner Soh Rui Yong finished in 2:23:42. “It took a few years of work and I finally found the race and opportunity to do it, so I’m definitely happy with that,” Soh told The Straits Times.

The previous record was set by Murugaiah Rameshon at the 1995 SEA Games which was held at Chiangmai, Thailand. (Soh had previously claimed, on his website, to have broken the 1995 record, with his Chicago Marathon 2016 timing of 2:24:55.)

Photo from Pocari Singapore Facebook

As a IAAF gold label race, Seoul Marathon had delivered on expectations. Although the pre-race registration process was slightly challenging for international runners due to language barriers, the race was well organised, with adequately spaced drink stations serving Pocari and water, as well as full road blockage to ensure the IAAF Gold Label standards were upheld.

More than 37,000 took part in the 2019 edition of the race which winds through the streets of Seoul before ending in the Seoul Olympic stadium that played host to the games during the 1988 Summer Olympics.

ONE would also like to express its gratitude to The Singapore Embassy in Seoul, Korea and Ambassador Yip for hosting the ONEathlete team earlier this week.

[For inspiring stories related to running and sports, as well as discounts to local races, subscribe to ‘RunONE’ by adding +6588347638 to your Whatsapp contacts. Then send us the words, “Run With Me.”]

WAAD? 5 things about Ashley Liew

What Are Athletes Doing? (WAAD?) Especially when they are not on the track or the courts? Who are they … really? What makes them, who they are?

Ashley Liew, the Pierre de Coubertin Trophy Winner, could easily boast of his fat-to-fit inspiring story. But the ONEathlete and Asics Ambassador, exudes humility, and focuses on his profession as a Doctor of Chiropractic, and passion as a National Marathoner. But is that all?

In the first part of this athlete(s) feature – the ONEathlete Team followed him a little closer in the month of February – we presents 5 things you need to know about Ashley!

#1 Romantic Run-hard

He celebrated his 2nd year ‘first-meet-up’ anniversary on 12 February, blushes talking about his valentine’s day date like its the first date, and has his sleeves-rolled for his marriage preparations.

You might have also spotted the equally supportive, ONE’s resident Cheerleading-coach, and soon-to-be Mrs Liew at races.

Photo by Ashley’s Uncle, Leong Jeam Wong

#2 Shares his why

The Odyssey, was organised by The Mentoring Circle (SMU) and held on 15 Feb 2019, the flagship mentoring and networking event was graced by Guest-of-Honour SMU Chairman Mr Ho Kwon Ping. It was also attended by over 400 alumni, students and guests at the SMU Hall.

Among the 8 alumni members invited to share over a cushion-breakout-session, were Ho Shyn Yee (Director, Product & Technology, Expedia Group), Leonard Lim (Executive Director, Wealth Management, UBS), Vincent Ha (Co-founder, Gushcloud International) and ONEathlete’s Ashley Liew (Doctor of Chiropractic, Family Health Chiropractic Clinic).

Even during that sacred time to share his journey and insight to his clinical profession; he intentionally reminds his audience to discover and pursue their purpose (whys) and interest. He just wanted to sow that tiny little difference in their life.

#3 Sentimental and Meticulous (in a good way)

He has dedicated races to his late mum, written moving tribute pieces to his parents, his coaches, and his mentor, Dr Kelvin Ng (Family Health Chiropractic Clinic); which gently reminds us to be reflective too.

Oh yes! Have you seen his social media postings? He remembers to credit every photo, acknowledges every support he is a benefactor of, and every person that made that little difference to him. There is usually a list, and we doubt he intends to shorten it. He is thankful that way.

His meticulousness was evident in how he coordinated his schedules, or even the talks that he had to give, detailed to even the slides and equipment he would need to conduct the session.

Photo by ONEathlete

#4 Gives back

Teamed up with the Kampong Runners and Specialist Dental Group to give back through running a relay at 2019 Singapore Cancer Society-TalkMed Relay For Life. It was overnight and many of us wouldn’t mind a snuggle under our blankets at that time.

It was also meaningful for Ashley to give back towards the efforts to battle against cancer, as he had to deal with the impact of the illness upon his family, 9 years ago.

Photo by Ming Ham

#5 walks his talk

A man’s character lies not only in his successes, but more so, in his setbacks. Ashley seemed to have a silent word that he holds close to his heart and keeps the daily-grind machines on. One that would also require discipline, resilience and the WHY to keep it going.

Then you realize, he wasn’t smoking you but merely sharing, what kept him going.

We are glad that he didn’t keep this secret ingredient to himself, but takes any opportunity to share and inspire, without any expectations or returns indeed. This genuineness and sincerity was also aptly captured by the SMU team in the below #TalentsofSMU video:

Video by Singapore Management University (SMU)

Ashley Liew, will be racing at Seoul Marathon this weekend, together with his ONEathlete Team mates.

Join us in wishing him a good race and a great experience!

[For inspiring stories related to running and sports, as well as discounts to local races, subscribe to ‘RunONE’ by adding +6588347638 to your Whatsapp contacts. Then send us the words, “Run With Me.”]

Tales of a Triathlete #1 – The sun, the sea, and the sand!

BENJAMIN OOI – Stepping out into a light ocean breeze, an air of familiarity swept over me. I reminisced the countless early mornings I spent here as a budding triathlete with SMU Aquathlon. This was where we came to for most of our Swim-Run brick training, more than a couple of races, and featured often in my earlier triathlon exploits.

7AM, CNY Day 2 – Tanjong Beach, Sentosa Island

It has been a while, though, since I was last here.

(c) ONEathlete

I had meant for the day to be a catch-up of sorts with some of my closest supporters (and expert advisers) who had my back as I traveled to Hawaii for the Ironman World Championship in 2017. With that in mind, it was fitting to have this CNY catch-up over an easy run and relaxed swim here at Tanjong Beach.

(c) ONEathlete

Conversations usually begin around our training, recent/upcoming races as we limber up, and it continues to flow as the kilometers unraveled. We vented about injuries, shared the latest in sporting advances, discussed race plans and pretty much everything under the morning sun for an hour, because that’s how a ‘conversational-pace’ session is done right?

(c) ONEathlete

Post-run, we work on our various strengthening exercises on grass then head into the water to cool off and loosen up. It’s my favorite part, perhaps borne out of a childhood of competitive swimming and water polo. There’s something simply so tranquil and pleasant about a lazy backstroke across the bay. Perhaps I am still more at home in the water than on land.

Cooled down and washed up, we completed the morning with a satisfying brunch. In the company of fellow foodies, I had only one concern — just please, good air-conditioning!

(c) ONEathlete

Ben Ooi is an Ironman Triathlete and younger sibling to two national water polo sisters. He qualified to compete in the World Ironman – World Championships 2017 in Kona, Hawaii. The SMU alumnus is currently working in the private sector and would love a South American holiday, anytime.

“We were hoping our experience and teamwork would make up for the lack of fitness”

BELINDA OOI – This year, for the first time, my ex-national team teammates and I came together to form a team to compete at the Singapore Water Polo National League.  The tournament took place over 4 weekends from January – February 2019.

Forming up to attack

I have always enjoyed playing water polo and was very excited to play (somewhat) competitively again. The other teams competing in the league consisted of various university and junior colleges teams so we were mentally framing our approach to this tournament as a matchup of fitness vs. experience.

Water polo is a very intense sport that requires speed, strength, and skill. While most of my teammates no longer train/play water polo regularly, we were hoping that our tacit understanding and experience from years prior of playing together would somehow make up for our lack of fitness.

It’s important to always keep your head above the water when you’re swimming so you know what’s going on!

Personally, I have to thank the gym workouts and run training over the past few months for getting me fit enough to sprint up and down the pool during critical junctures in the game. I also pleasantly surprised myself with a number of effective drives and even scored a few goals!

The endurance from my training runs was particularly helpful during one of the games when every one of us on the team could not afford much rest as we did not have enough substitutes.

Lots of aggression going on!

The league started off in a round-robin format before progressing to the knockout stages. My team got through to the finals where we beat NUS 15 – 4. What’s amazing to me was that we still played together like the team we were, even though we’ve stopped water polo training for so long!

My team lining up before our finals against NUS
The obligatory team shot before the match
Team talk during a rest period
Team cheer lead by our esteemed cheer captain Low Seet Teng

The tournament was a great opportunity for the entire Water Polo community to meet up and also for the national team coaches to identify up-and-coming young talents!

Us with the impressive youngsters from team NUS!

Hopefully with more leagues like this, our younger girls will be able to develop the skills and match experience they need to bring Singapore Water Polo to greater heights!

Staying hydrated with 100PLUS, and the 100PLUS Ambassador, Mok Ying Ren

Belinda Ooi is a national water polo player, and wife of National Marathoner, Mok Ying Ren. The physiotherapist by day is not short of stellar performances on the pool, road, trail, or for the matter, at home.