I Eat, Therefore I Am

Banjamin Quek – You may have heard your friends grumble: ‘A moment on the lips, forever on the hips.’ What this is really saying is that we are what we put into our mouth, consciously or otherwise.

Nutrition is especially important to one’s mental and physical wellbeing as food is the primary source of energy for us to go about our daily activities. It also provides us with much needed micro and macro nutrients that are essential to build a strong immune system. 

Even though Health Promotion Board has been actively promoting and advocating a healthier diet, there are still many who do not, or find it hard to, follow the guidelines for a healthy diet. In line with global trends, the prevalence of obesity and overweight in Singaporean adults has been increasing steadily over the years. On average, Singapore’s obesity rate increased 0.7% annually since 2004 to reach nearly 11% in 2010, just barely below the global average obesity prevalence of 12%. A recent report in 2017 also shows that the average Singaporean today is heavier, and more likely to overeat than our predecessors. It also warns that by 2024, Singapore’s obesity rate could reach a tipping point and exceed 15%.

To know how to eat well, we must first understand what is inside our food. Basically, all our intake can be broadly broken down into carbohydrates, proteins, fats, dietary fibre and vitamins. 

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are our primary source of quick and readily available energy. It supplies our body with glucose that allows for smooth day-to-day functions. Rice, pasta, bread and potatoes fall under the category of carbohydrate-rich food. 

Proteins

One of our main source of proteins comes from meat and dairy products such as cheese and milk. Proteins help to rebuild damaged muscle cells and promote tissue growth. Those who frequent the gym would normally prefer a high protein diet to bulk at a quicker rate and also to feel full for a longer time. 

Fats

Fats are made of glycerol and fatty acids and they are often found in fatty-rich food such as chicken skin and cooking oil. While fats can add to the satisfaction we get from our diet, it is definitely not recommended in excess. 

Dietary Fibre 

Fruits and vegetables contain dietary fibres. For example, the orange pulp is almost impossible to digest and therefore, passes through the digestive system undigested. Dietary fibres help to promote bowel movement. 

Vitamins 

Vitamins are important as it helps our body to defend itself against diseases and render us less susceptible to illnesses. Vitamins can be found in fruits and fish oil. Nowadays, readily-packaged vitamins can be purchased off the shelf. 

As an athlete, it goes without saying that I treat my body with as much care as I possibly can. After all, the purpose of training is to subject the body to optimal loads of stress before allowing it to recover and become stronger through this process. Naturally, consuming the right quantity and quality of food and nutrients is an integral part of this training equation.

To start off, an endurance athlete is definitely more likely to sustain himself on a carbohydrate-rich diet in order to fuel the demands of training and recovery. Bread and rice are my go-to staple and they take up to 60% of my daily diet.

Proteins are also a definite must-have to speed up the recovery proces. However, for a distance athlete who needs to stay lean and light, excessive intake of proteins might do more harm than good. I try to keep my daily protein intake to about 20%, although this might vary and increase slightly during certain periods of my training season, in line with training tempo.

The remaining 30% of my diet comprises fruits and vegetables. I take healthy doses of supplements too to boost my immune system. On rare occasions, I also have to ‘feed my soul’ by allowing myself the occasional guilty pleasures of cakes and fried chicken. 

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All said, I feel that one has to dedicate some thought to planning for the right kind of diet. While it is okay to enjoy the sumptuous spread of local dishes that are only available in Singapore (and especially now that I’m in Kenya), do remember to balance these out with regular exercise and a balanced healthy diet. After all, the key to everything is moderation.

Banjamin Quek is a ONEathlete and Under Armour Ambassador. The mid-distance runner majored in business, and is passionate about the environment.

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 #5 – Injuries, Recovery and Prevention

Often, injuries aren’t quite as straightforward to deal with…

Benjamin Ooi – Injuries. The bane of all athletes. One moment we could be riding a high after clocking a new PB, and before we know it, we are down, out of the game, and forced to re-evaluate all our sporting aspirations going forward. 

Injuries arise from a multitude of causes with the strain of overtraining being most common. It can also be due to an accumulation and manifestation of bad form, or simply from freak accidents completely unrelated to training. I’m definitely not an exception to this misfortune having had my share of them over the years in various sports, and I shan’t bore you with the endless details. But these setbacks have left me with 3 takeaways that I feel are broadly beneficial to most athletes, serious or recreational

Pay (a lot of) Attention To Form

Yes, quite often our motivation in sports is to go faster, get further, be fitter. There is a natural tendency to overlook fundamentals in our pursuit to achieve this. However, this would not be sustainable except for the most fortunate of athletes. Our human body is formed with natural imperfections and sometimes the simple preference of one arm/leg over the other contributes to an asymmetry which, when exacerbated, becomes an injury.

Good form in itself is also an essential component of performance. As a long-time swimmer, I feel a significant drop in form and efficiency whenever I’ve been away from the pool for a few weeks even though I’ve been keeping fit on land. And when it comes to running, simple as it may seem, the best runners don’t simply get that good by just running more and running faster. What goes on behind the scenes are the endless behind-the-scenes strengthening exercises, activation exercise, stretching, gait analysis etc. All this is done in the awareness that poor form is not only a limiter to performance but also a serious injury risk

Focus On The Rehab

So what happens then, when one suffers that inevitable injury? It will be a setback, certainly, but it definitely doesn’t quite entail a few weeks of couch-potato lifestyle. Take professional advice and then stay committed to your assigned treatment/rehab exercises. While this is easier said than done, recognise that injuries ranging from a strain to a ligament tear don’t generally just go away without help. Even when they do, one tends to be left in a weaker state and further prone to similar injuries.

In addition to rehab exercises, one should engage in other exercises that target other muscle groups. Being able to cross train in other sports is not a perk that applies to multi-sport athletes only! To varying extents, fitness is transferable across sports/training. Make full use of your time off to focus on other aspects of your performance. During the periods I had to stay off running, I was heading instead to the gym every other day for my rehab exercises. And while I was there, I managed additional strength and flexibility trainings without the burden of running.

Know Your Body

One of the senses we can develop as an athlete is knowledge over our body comprehensively. This awareness of form provides an acute intuition of our current fitness, abilities, and most importantly bodily limits. With experience, one learns how the body should feel after a hard workout, and also, what constitutes a strain that demands attention.

Stave off injuries with adequate complementary preventive measures such as foam-rolling, stretching, strengthening, progressive training etc. Even on race-day, having put in the months of sweat and tears (and necessary preparation). Even as you grit your teeth and push your boundaries, recognise promptly when your body signals its limits. Know that no race is worth potentially serious (and permanent) injury. 

Well if you do suffer an injury, then, look on the bright side— you’ve now joined a club that consists almost all your favourite elite athletes and heroes. So afford your body some time, patience and serious rehab. Get ready to fight another day 🙂

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.”

What is a running gait?

BANJAMIN QUEK – You might ask, what exactly is running gait? While running seems to be the simplest sport to execute without much technique involved, it is interesting to see how each runners move from Point A to point B a little differently. Running gait, to put it simply, is the manner of moving on foot, and everyone has a unique gait to allow them to move over ground in an efficient pattern.

What types of running gaits are there?

Running gaits are usually broken down into three types of pronation. Pronation refers to how the foot strikes the ground.

  • Neutral pronation

Neutral pronation takes place when the foot comes in complete contact with the ground and rolls inward about 15 percent to absorb shock. Around 20 to 30 percent of runners have neutral pronation.

  • Underpronation

Underpronation is when the outer part of your heel hits the ground first, and your foot rolls inward at less than 15 percent. The foot naturally supinates during the toe-off stage of your stride as the heel first lifts off the ground, providing leverage to help roll off the toes. However, if supination continues through the toe-off, the weight isn’t transferred to the big toe. This results in all of the work being done by the outer edge of the foot and smaller toes, placing extra stress of the foot. Supination is seen more often in people with high, rigid arches that don’t flatten enough during a stride.

Supination may increase your risk of ankle injury, iliotibial band syndrome, Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis.

  • Overpronation

Overpronation occurs when your foot rolls inward more than 15 percent, which can cause stability issues with your foot and ankle. In overpronation, the ankle rolls too far downward and inward with each step. It continues to roll when the toes should be starting to push off. As a result, the big toe and second toe do all of the push off and the foot twists more with each step. Overpronation is seen more often in people with flat feet, although not everyone with flat feet overpronates.

Overpronation leads to strain on the big toe and second toe and instability in the foot. The excessive rotation of the foot leads to more rotation of the tibia in the lower leg, with the result being a greater incidence of shin splints (also called medial tibial stress syndrome) and knee pain. An increased risk of injury and heel pain may also be the result of the stress on the ligaments and tendons of the foot due to overpronation.

How to check your running gait?

There are various ways to determine your running gait. You can:

  1. Get a friend to watch/film from behind when you are running. If the knees are turning inwards, it means you are overpronating. If the knees are turning slightly outwards, it means you are underpronating.
  • Keep track of your pains and aches. By identifying the source of pain, you are roughly able to deduce the type of pronation. For instance, if you are experiencing pain on the inside of your shins and knees, you are likely to overpronate, while if you feel aches in the ankles, it is likely that you are underpronating.
  • Make a wet footprint on a paper shopping bag or a piece of heavy paper and bend your knees significantly to exert the weight of the arch on the paper. This method helps to determine the shape of your arch. High arch means a natural gait and a low arch means an overpronated gait.

Why is analyzing your running gait important?

You do not have to change your running gait. However, it is still important to identify your running gait in order to prevent potential injuries derived from the way you pronate.

For neutral pronation, a pair of neutral shoes such as UA HOVR Sonic is recommended.

For under pronation, you should look for more well-cushioned shoes to absorb the shock of each stride. UA charged bandit 4 will be a good choice.

For over pronation, a runner will need motion control/stability shoes to guide the foot into a proper amount of pronation. UA speedform Europa is an example of such shoes.

Get your running gait analyzed today!

Banjamin Quek is a ONEathlete and Under Armour Ambassador. The mid-distance runner majored in business, and is passionate about the environment.

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.”

Sundown Marathon 2019

On 1 June 2019, the 12th edition of the OSIM Sundown Marathon Singapore saw nearly 25,000 participants take to the streets of this iconic night race that has become a hallmark on Singapore’s running calendar over the years.

Understandably, there has been some speculation over its fate after Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon announced it will also be embarking on a night race format on 30 Nov 2019. However, most runners felt that the developments would ultimately benefit Singapore races as the cooling conditions at night would be more conducive and appealing to runners, in addition to the novelty appeal of hosting the first World Marathon Majors (WMM) night race should Singapore succeed in our bid.

While the 10km race got off to a clear and earlier start at 10pm, it was unfortunately not the case for the half and full marathon which was delayed by nearly an hour. The organisers have issued a public explanation for the delay, which was due to ‘unforeseen obstruction on route which had to be cleared to ensure the safety of the runners’.

Podium winners of the Sundown Marathon 10km Team of Four Challenge

Two members of ONEathlete participated in the team of four 10km challenge. Evan Chee and Giebert Foo, who finished 4th and 3rd at last year’s Singapore Marathon, were joined by Gordon and Desmond. They finished in a cumulative timing of 2:26:03 to win the champion’s trophy, edging ahead of the Singapore Shufflers by a slight margin of 10 seconds. It was understood that there was a point during the 10km race when the lead pack was wrongly directed by race marshals and had to back-track. While the technical issue is something the race directors and organisers have to address, it did not appear to dampen the post-race camaraderie as the top 3 teams were all smiles on stage.

Post-race team photo

Separately, in the Men’s Marathon race, Hillary Kipkering of Kenya cliched the Men’s title with a timing of 2:49:33, while Singapore’s Sharon Tan won the women’s category in a timing of 3:23:16. In the Half-Marathon race, Soh Rui Yong won the men’s race in 1:11:47 while Maki Inami of Japan took the women’s category win in 1:22:19.

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.”

Serving and Stroking It Right

 

SHAHEED ALAM – Tennis is a funny sport. The better you get at the sport, the more strokes you get introduced to, which might lead you to think that maybe you aren’t that good afterall. But don’t worry because if you’re just starting out with tennis, here are the 5 basic strokes most commonly used in tennis that you’ll need to know to have a good game with your friends, (and stroke your athletic ego)!

The Serve

Photo credits : Leong AC / SportSG
A picture of a tennis serve 📷: Leong AC/SportSG

Let’s start with the serve. The serve is arguably the most important stroke in Tennis because of a few reasons. It is the only stroke that you are completely in control of, as compared to other strokes which largely depend on how well your opponent hit his. The serve is also the first stroke that you start the point with, and therefore having a great serve can present a huge advantage in any game. One good thing about it is that you can practice it on your own! All you need is a basket of balls and a court! Remember, practice makes perfect 👌🏾

Groundstrokes

A picture of a forehand 📷: Leong AC / SportSG

 

A picture of a backhand 📷: Cheah Cheng Poh / SportSG

The forehand and backhand are the most basic groundstrokes that you would need to have a good rally with your friend. Having consistent, solid groundstrokes can tilt the match in your favour. Most players have a stronger forehand that they will use to dictate the points with – Nadal is a great example. However, having a good backhand is equally important because it does not allow your opponent to play to your weakness all the time. By having a good backhand, it can limit your opponent’s options and make him think twice about playing to your ‘weaker’ side.

Volley

The volley is when you are at the net and about to finish the point. This usually happens when you hit a strong attacking groundstroke and then approach the net to finish the point. When you are at the net for ‘the kill’, your opponent will have significantly shorter reaction time to respond to the oncoming ball which gives you a higher chance of winning the point – Federer is a master at this. However, do keep in mind that once you’re at the net, you will also have significantly less time to react as well so do make sure you have enough practice at the net unless you want to leave the court with a bruised eye (and ego) 🤣

Overhead / Smash

Once you’re at the net, your opponent might try to catch you off guard with a lob. This is when an overhead comes in play. Very similar to the serve, the overhead is an important shot as it shows that you have dominated the point and need to hit the overhead to finish the point. However, keep in mind that unlike groundstrokes, where the ball typically slows down after the bounce, the overhead is the only shot in tennis that the ball comes faster to you. Make sure to have enough practice on the overhead so that you won’t rue over it when you miss on an important point in the match!With that, these are the basic strokes of tennis for beginners but be prepared to learn many more variation as you get better and better. Drop shots, forehand and backhand slice, backhand smash, half-volleys are some to name a few that you will learn as you move up the scale! 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.”

Feature – RunSG x Under Armour

In April’s RunSG Magazine, ONEathlete Banjamin Quek got on the cover of the online edition. While it was pretty a warm day on the day of the shoot, Banja was really cool about it.

Maybe it’s because he was decked out in the latest UnderArmour qualifier kit which comprised of a running tee with unique hex-shaped pattern that helps to regulate temperatures while exercising. Gone are the days when gyms are too cold for your warm-spirited treadmill runs and the outdoors too hot for your burning pace.

Besides being one of UA’s latest models to be introduced onto the market, the Hovr Infinite shoes also allows users to track distance covered and calories burnt via the UnderArmour mapmyrun app.

Looking back at the opportunities and engagements he’s had with UA thus far, Banja is grateful to have met many new runners and reach out though his personal stories and challenges in running.

Banja’s running journey is not unique (but it’s definitely his favourite!). In his interactions with runners of all levels, he has noticed a commonality across them that speak to a shared desire and commitment to better themselves.

That sense of belonging to a larger community of purpose amidst challenging struggles has motivated Banja to become a better runner, and he hopes his personal stories of overcoming challenges have similarly helped others in their running journey as well.

When asked about what is his motivation in running, Banja said

“I do not see myself as extraordinary or talented. Instead, I am just an ordinary runner but I am always eager to test and push beyond my limits. I hope in doing so, I am able to inspire younger athletes to keep striving for their dreams. As a runner and as a member of ONEAthlete, I feel that we are also role models while seeking to be the best we can be doing what we love most – to be both a faster runner, and a better runner.”

For more of what Banja has to say about his running experience and journey, check out the April edition of RunSG magazine below. All rights reserved by RunSG magazine.

BANJAMIN Quek is a ONEathlete and Under Armour Ambassador. The mid-distance runner majored in business, and is passionate about the environment. He is currently away in Iten, Kenya for training.

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.”

Race Weekend – 5 Things That London Marathon and Income Eco Run 2019 Share In Common

28 APRIL 2019 – For runners and running enthusiasts both in Singapore, and around the world, this weekend has been one that they have been anticipating and packed with exciting races. Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge ran the second fastest marathon in history to win the Virgin Money’s London Marathon for a fourth time while Britain’s Mo Farah finished fifth. And just a mere 12 hours before that, NTUC Income’s Eco Run was on, against the scenic Singapore skyline backdrop! We bring to you, interesting observations on the 5 things these 2 races have in common!

1. decked in New Balance

This was the starkest commonality! As the official sponsor of both races, New Balance had dressed up the pacers in London’s NB Runner’s World Pace Team, as well as Singapore’s Running Department!

It’s also a bonus, when we meet this New Balance couple here in Singapore! New Balance Singapore Ambassador, Mok Ying Ren & his wife, Belinda.

2. values-driven title sponsors’

Virgin Money: “When it comes to banking, you want an honest deal with no surprises. So we’ll always tell you the things you really need to know up front.”

NTUC Income: “We are a co-operative where, quite simply, people come before profits. Our values set us apart from other insurance companies. They are what make us different. “

it is pretty obvious that they stand for doing business right, and not for profiteering.

3. IN SUPPORT OF a social cause

Being the official fundraising website for the Marathon, Virgin Money Giving has helped thousands of events and charities, big and small, throughout the UK raise hundreds of millions of pounds. This year, the London Marathon also broke the $1 billion mark in donations raised! And because it’s 100 per cent not-for-profit, an extra £9.5 million has reached charities because fundraisers used virginmoneygiving.com instead of a site with higher fees. (Source: London Marathon). In yet another first, London Marathon racers will be drinking from edible pods made of seaweed extracts instead of a plastic water bottle, and is part of the organisers’ initiative to reduce the amount of plastic waste produced and its waste foot-print!

Locally, the 9th edition of NTUC Income Eco Run 2019 kicks off its 3rd year of ‘zero waste running’ with the introduction of its first Zero Waste 5km race category. More than 9,000 runners took to the street on this surprisingly cool Sunday morning in support of eco-conservation and green causes, with innovative measures such as re-usable cups for runners to refill at hydration stations during the race.

A fish sculpture at the Income Eco Run race village made up of plastic bottles

4. SPOT THE british

Alright, we were kidding about this! But in a comedic twist it isn’t too far off either!

The 2019 Virgin Active London Marathon was shaping up to be one of the most hotly anticipated spring race as many looked forward to another masterful performance by reining world record holder Eluid Kipchoge who remains unbeaten in all but 1 marathon in his career. His rivalry with 4-time Olympic medallist & one of Britain’s most accomplished runners, Sir Mo Farah, who has recently stepped up to the marathon distance and was looking to take victory on home soil, also added another dimension to the competition amongst the deep elite field assembled for a showdown. It was intense!

Back here in Singapore, it was a lot more light hearted! The Income Eco Run saw, amongst the 9,000 runners, a prolific author, broadcaster, journalist, and in his words – ‘1st runner-up in the 44 to 45 years old Men-who-don’t-puke-and-run 5km category’, Neil Humphreys. The Englishman quipped that he was very proud of himself for racing his heart out while his guts stayed intact, as he posed gamely for the photos!

Light-hearted, witty and fast-talking, best-selling author Neil Humphreys

5. Spot a ONEathlete!

ONEathlete Evan Chee (third from left, in black) racing at the 2019 London Marathon

Against the backdrop of intense speculation and spectatorship on the elite field, ONEathlete Evan Chee also waged his own race against the clock on the streets of London, in an attempt to lower his personal best (2:41:01) attained just 5 weeks ago at the 2019 Seoul Marathon.

Evan had felt that preparations had gone smooth and well since the beginning of the year, and hoped to ride on his earlier marathon fitness preparing for Seoul by straddling a short training cycle leading into London. He knew this was a risky move that could increase his risk of injury but also potentially pay off big dividends as he seeks a qualifying performance to represent Singapore at the 2019 SEA Games in December.

Evan’s bid paid off as he dipped under the 2 hour 40 minute mark to finish in 2:38:58 (unofficial), clocking a new personal best as well as what is understood to be the third fastest Singaporean Men’s Marathon finish in 2019, thus far. Evan’s sister and national marathoner, Yvonne Chee, also finished the race in 3:03:13 (unofficial). Congratulations to the Chee siblings, Evan and Yvonne!

ONEathlete Evan Chee having a post-race victorious moment along the streets of London!

Back in Singapore, running his first race as an ONEathlete at the 2019 Income Eco Run is marathoner Giebert Foo. In the half-marathon category, Giebert finished in 1:21:35 to clinch the Union Men’s Open Champion with a strong performance and officially kick off his 2019 racing season.

The veteran runner had started running from the track, representing his alma mater NYP in shorter distances such as the 1,500m before moving up to the marathon in recent years. At last year’s Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, Giebert rounded up the podium in the Local Men’s category with a 3rd-place finish in a time of 2 hours 54 minutes.

Giebert’s partner, Esther Khoo, also bagged a respectable performance with a 4th place finish in the Union Women’s Open 10km race.

ONEathlete Giebert Foo (right) with his partner and fellow prize winner, Esther Khoo (left)
See you at the next race!
*Source information and photos of London Marathon from virginmoneylondonmarathon.com  

(Editor’s note – Evan’s results at the London Marathon is not the second, but third, fastest Singaporean Men’s timing in 2019 thus far. We apologise for the error, and the article has been amended as such)

[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.”]

A ‘love-hate’ Relationship In Tennis

SHAHEED ALAM – Don’t date a tennis player because ‘love’ means nothing to them. Some of you might be wondering what’s in this statement and looking for hints to my relationship status. Love can mean a lot of things to different people, but I’m not about to turn into a relationship expert here. When ‘Love’ is used during a tennis match, it refers to a score of ”0′, zilch, ‘kosong. Now that you have heard this interesting trivia about how tennis is different from other games, here are some of the basic rules to Tennis so you can learn how to fall in ‘love’ with it!  

The scoring system in tennis starts with Love (Zero), 15, 30, 40. Some say that they came up with these numbers based on the time on the clock but instead of 45, they selected 40 because it sounds better. It takes 4 Points to win a Game, 6 Games to win a Set, 2 Sets to win a Match and 7 Matches to win a Tournament. When a player reaches 40 and win that point, he gets 1 Game on the score board. While it normally takes 6 Games to win a set, any set that reaches a tie of 5 games apiece will be played on for 2 more games. If the deadlock continues and the set reaches 6-6, a tie-breaker game will be played to decide the set winner (whoever is first to win 7 points). Usually, a tennis match is played as a best-of-3 format so naturally the first player to win 2 sets would win the match.

Before the match starts, a coin toss would decide the player who begins serving first, with the winner of the toss awarded the choice to either serve or return first. If you don’t have a coin, you can always use your racket with the logo at the bottom of your grip representing ‘Heads’.

This side of the logo signifies ‘Heads’
This side of the logo signifies ‘Down”

A server starts each game on the right side and serves into the box diagonally left of them. If the first serve is a fault, a second service is allowed. However, two faults in a row (or what is colloquially known as a double-fault) will result in your opponent being awarded a point 😊.

If you’re playing a singles match, the alleys at the sides of the court are not considered within the play areas. That changes when you play in a doubles match and the play areas are expanded to include the alleys. During recreational or friendly matches amongst friends, there probably would not be an umpire so always be honest in your line calls! A very important thing to remember is that if the ball lands on the line, it means it is IN. 99% out = 100% in!

The difference between a tennis Singles and Doubles court

These are some of the basic rules and scoring system of tennis so the next time you play with your friends, ask them to not raise a racket when the game is not ruled in their favour! So the next time you Do follow my tennis journey on @shaheedalam98 on Instagram and feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions regarding the rules. Till next time, continue to #HitItLikesShaheed!

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.”

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.

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