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.
#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.
#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.
#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:
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.”]
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
SHAHEED ALAM – At present, I can confidently say that tennis is one of the toughest sports out there due to the physical, mental, technical and tactical aspects of the game. At the recently concluded Australian Open, Men’s Champion Novak Djokovic spent a total of 14hrs 4mins on the court throughout the entire tournament, across 7 matches. That is an average of around 2 hours per match.
However, was it always like this when tennis began? Certainly not.
Before rackets there were palms
When tennis first appeared in the 12th century, it was played with the palm of the hand instead of a racket. This continued up till the 16th century when rackets were introduced by the French and English, although it was unlikely that the games then tested anyone’s endurance or speed.
Evolution of Tennis with Technology
It is generally accepted that Tennis has evolved tremendously since the time of Rod Laver and Ken Rosewell (1950s-1960s). Along with the leaps and bounds made in racket technology came increasingly challenging tennis matches, both physically and mentally. For instance, the increased size of the ball dramatically slowed down the court speed court and this indirectly had a knock-on effect of turning tennis matches into an endurance challenge.
Different playing styles and eras
With all these modifications to the game, players had to adapt by changing their playing style as well. With the ‘Serve and Volley’ game pretty much long gone (except for a few players), today’s game focuses more on the baseline.
# Hit It Like Shaheed
With the sport itself having evolved through time, I can’t help but look back on my own journey too.
From a 5-year-old kid to a National Tennis Player. I’ve been very privileged to be able to have the opportunity to hold a racket and don the national outfit because tennis is a fantastic sport for all!
I’m especially excited to be able to don a pair of tennis shoes from Asics’s Tennis line and have my trusty Babalot racket on the Tennis court with me today!
Both brands have also evolved tremendously over the years and developed a number of products and prototypes that have gradually improved in response to how end-users (athletes) and the demands of the sport have changed with time.
This is something I, as an athlete, value and see in many of those who stay on top of their game. The key is to stay ahead of the curve and adapt with the times.
I highly encourage anyone to take up tennis as a sport because it is a great form of exercise. While it may be challenging to be hitting rallies from the get-go, once you get used to it, you will be having tons of fun with your friends in no time! While at it, remember to grab a pair of Asics Tennis shoe and Babalot racket – they might just give you the head start you need!
Shaheed Alam is a ONEathlete and Ambassador for Asics (Tennis) and Babalot. 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.
21 Feb 2019 – 180 guests gathered at Shangri-la Hotel Singapore today to celebrate the best of the local sporting scene!
The awards event, organized by The Straits Times Sports Desk and presented by 100PLUS Singapore, has always been cherished by those in the sports fraternity to honor the local athletes who had done exceedingly well. Along with it, is also an assurance for greater support for athletes:
Excerpt from The Straits Times Speaking at The Straits Times Athlete of the Year award ceremony, Minister Grace Fu said: “We want our athletes to excel at upcoming major Games… To encourage selected Team Singapore athletes to take on a full training load to start their preparations early for these Games, SportSG is rolling out extended campaign support of $3 million up to two years in advance, for athletes who display potential to excel at these Games and a podium finish.”
It was nothing but an atmosphere of hope and excellence to the athletes, who took no qualms about sacrificing much for their sport. But who are the 10 nominees (in no particular order) who were #lit on their ‘field’?
1. National Bowler, Muhd Jaris Goh
Muhammad Jaris Goh, who fired the Singapore men’s team to a first medal at the World Men’s Championships and a long-overdue medal at the Asian Games in 2018, was named The Straits Times’ Athlete of the Year 2018 – Excerpt from ST
2. St Andrew’s Hockey Captain, Sean See
Sean was awarded the ST Young Star award after he displayed sportsmanship when he asked the umpire to forgo his own team’s goal, which led to the Saints losing to Northland Secondary School, during the National School Games. At the age of 17, he is all ready to be the 2nd Singaporean to receive the Pierre de Coubertin International Fair Play Award already !!!
Today, he was also awarded the ST Young Star of the Year 2018!
(Admin’s note: We think Jed is slightly biased and beaming with pride here, as both Sean and Jed share the same alma mater. #UpandOn)
Interesting trivia, he was coached by ONEathlete Tan Yiru before.
Martina’s former schoolmate & ONEathlete, Shaheed Alam would agree. She is not even 20, sho(o)t to fame at Commonwealth Games with unexpected medals, and is totally photogenic.
(Admin’s note: Enuf said. We are gel-uuz)
8. Queensway Sec’s Footballer, Putri Nur Syaliza
She bends it like Beckham! Woaaaaaaa(go)aaaaaaaal!
9. National Swimmer, Joseph Schooling
No introduction needed. He is Singapore’s golden boy and continues to have such strong camaraderie on the pool at Asian Games.
10. ACS (Barker Road) C Division Table Tennis Team – Ryan Eng, Ryan Chong, Ryan Tan, Ethan Ong, Ethan Chua, Silas Chua, Benjamin Wee and Seth Wong
We saved this for the last.
Coming together from the Junior school, they formed their own team (in the absence of a CCA club), trained for 2 weeks, played, won a bronze medal, and formed their own legit club! Hyperlapse story for these guys, #tbytb
Posters of the 100PLUS Ambassador were seen all around the Island Ballroom, gently reminding us to hydrate well and power our daily exercise regimes with the ACTIVE’s electrolytes, Vitamins B3, B6 and B12!
The Double SEA Games Gold Medalist & National Records Holder, who won Singapore’s first male marathon gold medal in 2013, made his ‘presence-felt’ even though he was not at the awards venue, and was probably at work on the surgical table.
Orthopaedic Resident, Dr. Mok continues to be iconic of many Team Singapore athletes who strive to give a stellar performance in their sporting dreams, professional endeavors, and personal commitments!
BANJAMIN QUEK – It is easy to make fitness goals when it’s barely 1 month into the new year, when you’re brimming with enthusiasm (or festive goodies). A simple comparison of the number of gym-goers in January and June will be telling – how many of us will be disciplined enough to go the distance when it comes to health, fitness and weight loss?
The fact is, most of us can’t. According to a survey by Taiwan’s Health Promotion Administration, on average, we consume 39% more calories, and nearly 45% of people gain an average of 1.7kg during Chinese New Year. Multiply that by the number of festive seasons in multi-racial Singapore, and add in As the saying goes, ‘a moment on your lips, forever on your hips’.
Here are 3 simple, yet effective ways which can help you stave off those extra pounds.
Using Calorie Counter
I am blessed with loving relatives and loved ones who never fail to shower me with home-cooked meals and food whenever we meet up. While I know this is their way of caring and showing their love, such generosity may not always be helpful when I’m working towards a target race weight. Taking one or two extra bites may not derail your plan, but it is still important to watch what you eat. Keeping track of your meal and snacks intake goes a long way in keeping you accountable to your weight loss plan.
Alternatively, you might want to download Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal app which can help you track your calories intake, and also set diet goals to remind yourself not to overeat during moments of indulgence (or weakness). Some snacks can be notoriously high in sugar and such blood sugar spikes could compromise your immune system and make you more vulnerable to sickness. As always, moderation is key.
2. Consistent exercise is key
If you are someone who ‘lives to eat’ and life would be decidedly un-worthy if devoid of snacks and treats, then consistent and disciplined exercise might be the way to go. #BurnMoreEatMore. Incorporating exercising as part of your daily regime is a simple way to ensure that those extra calories fill your heart, but not your stomach. Here’s a chart about how much exercise you would need to burn off the extra calories.
Since running is one of the most efficient and calorie-bruning exercise, you might want to take a look at Under Amour’s Hovr Infinite. Their latest running shoe, launched in February 2019, has a new feature which allows you to track your run and calories burnt via the Mapmyrun app. UA Hovr Infinite is also comfortable for running over long distances and can certainly be one of, if not your best buddy for your runs.
A morning workout before the emails and work calls start coming in can also become a de-stressing routine. The cool morning weather also makes for a surprisingly refreshing run, unlike the hot and humid tropical climate in Singapore.
3) Choosing Healthier Options
Instead of chugging down cans of beers and soft drinks, you might be amazed by how much of a difference it makes to opt for water or low-calorie sodas. It’s little surprise that people put on weight during festive seasons, since everyone mostly hands out packets of sweet drinks during visitations. With the rising popularity of sugared beverages like brown sugar milk tea, it can feel like an uphill battle against the sugary goodness. However, the choice ultimately is ours to make, and taking the calories from sugared drinks out of the equation is definitely one of the secrets to not piling on the extra pounds. Sometimes, eating is just our way of dealing with boredom so why not fill in this gap by throwing in fruits as part of your diet instead?
In a food-centric society like Singapore where a large part of our culture is built around what is served on our plates, it can be very challenging, and counter-intuitive at times, to lead a life that seems devoid of these tasty ‘parcels of love’. However, with a little mindfulness, we hope you can achieve the balance you need to enjoy a healthy body while fulfilling your heart’s desires.
Banjamin Quek is a ONEathlete and Under Armour Ambassador. The mid-distance runner majored in business, and is passionate about the environment.
CHERMENT TAY – What better way to recover from the day of vigorous workout with Under Armour’s latest Recovery Sleepwear line that features the ultimate post-game, post-train advanced sleep system which was designed to help athletes restore muscle faster while the body recovers during rest.
Here is an excerpt of the RunSociety article where they interviewed, UA Ambassador and ONEathlete, Banjamin Quek.
1. What category for SCSM 2018 did you participate in?
Banjamin Quek: I participated in the 21km category. The race course was pretty tough due to the humid weather and slopes on the highway. However, I am glad to be able to clinch local 3rd in that race.
2. How did you celebrate after finishing the race?
3. Did you immediately go back to training after the conclusion of SCSM 2018?
Banjamin Quek: Nope, I was given a few days off after the competition. As the body’s immune system is usually weak after physical exertion, it is best to allow your muscles and body to recover from the strain to avoid falling sick or injuries. Easy runs and regular stretches are recommended to clear the remaining lactic acid in the body.
4. What are some of the challenges that you’ve faced during/after a race?
Banjamin Quek: During the race:
Hydration: As I lose lots of fluids during a run, I usually feel dehydrated in the middle of the race. I think SCSM has positioned their water points pretty well, but they could have done it better by placing more of them along the highway as I was feeling slightly dizzy from the lack of water. The humid weather did not help, either.
The dilemma of sticking to the race plan or listening to your body: I was planning to run at 3:45 minutes/km pace for SCSM 2018. However, I found it challenging to stick to the pace due to varying weather conditions and race terrains. I feel that I could have done better by listening to my body that day as I was struggling to complete the last few kilometres of the run.
To drink coffee or not? : As the race was very early in the morning and I did not manage to catch much sleep, I decided to take some coffee for a well-needed boost. However, coffee causes dehydration and it affected my race to some extent. Hence, it is important that one plans the timing to take the beverage before the race.
Rest: I usually keep my race days free so that I will be able to rest for the entire day after the race. My legs are really sore, so I prefer staying at home and catching up with my favorite shows. Rest is vital for recovery to avoid injuries or the risk of falling ill.
5. What is your post-marathon recovery routine?
Banjamin Quek: I usually take a hot shower, have a good meal and sleep in for a few hours at home. If my schedule allows, I will go for a sports massage in the evening after a race. I will also be on my couch collating race photos from friends and race photographers.
6. How do you feel when wearing Under Armour’s latest Recovery Sleepwear line, and how has it aided you in the recovery process?
Banjamin Quek: The material of the sleepwear is really soft, and it was very comfortable to sleep in. I wear it to sleep before the race and after the race. As compared to my normal sleepwear or tights, I do feel more recharged when I wear the Recovery sleepwear line. It has definitely helped to improve my quality of sleep, and I can distinctly tell the difference. Overall, I felt less tired, as it speeds up the recovery time.
For FULL article on the Under Armour recovery sleepwear line, please CLICK here. Thanks @runsociety.
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.”
3 Feb 2019 – RunONE & ONEathlete celebrated our 2nd year! Both athletes and team members came together to look back on a fulfilling year, as well as look forward toward some of the exciting plans that lie ahead.
With Chinese New Year just around the corner, it was only fitting that we started the gathering with a lo-hei. As #ONEturnsTWO, it was touching to notice that the community has grown considerably bigger as athletes are joined by their partners, and as staffing expands.
The cosy setting also afforded many opportunities for athletes to mingle and catch up with one another. It was a welcome respite from ‘business as usual’ and allowed us to get to know one another better as individuals, not just the identity consigned by the sport that we do. At times, conversations would drift back towards the sport that we love and dedicate so much of our time to, as we shared our race plans and training woes as well as how we can support or provide advice through trying times and difficult moments. The point was not lost on each of us at ONE – there is so much more to being an athlete than any national record or personal bests can ever represent. Together, we can help each other achieve much more than any individual ever will.
Thus, we reaffirmed the spirit of family, community and ONEness.
The candid sharing of concerns, challenges, as well as plans and opportunities was loosely structured to create a comfortable environment to review what went well in 2018, and what we could be done better in the year ahead. It was also an opportune moment for many amongst us to give thanks and be grateful for the advice help we have received. The chocolate cake at the end also marked another momentous occasion for the ONE community, as well as the beginning of another chapter together.
From all of us at ONE, we wish our readers a happy Chinese New Year in advance, and fellow athletes an exciting and rewarding season ahead!
9 Dec 2018 – The weatherman told us it would be one of the coolest Decembers Singapore has seen recently. Expect showers, they said. Just not in the morning, we hoped. There is a fine line between comfortably cool, perhaps with a slight drizzle, and uncomfortably cats-and-dogs wet. Like the line that serious athletes who push their limits must (eventually) learn to run – too much and you risk blowing up; too gentle and you do not leave your mark. It is a calculated risk that athletes hone over their months and years of preparation.
On a particular December morning for the past 17 years, it is a drill well rehearsed that see throngs of runners take to the streets of Singapore for the marquee running event on Singapore’s race calendar. Among the close to 50,000 who turned up in this year’s Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM), a few seek to race the clock and the shadows of yesterdays. But against the backdrop of gearing up for the World Marathon Majors, what made this year’s SCSM extra special, is the number of new faces and rising stars on the circuit.
SCSM Day 1 – 10km Men’s and Women’s Race
In the 10km race category, Vanja Cnops, a Belgian-based researcher in Singapore, won the female race with a time of 40:07. She is no stranger to the podium, having most recently won the King of the Trails 4 female’s race! Goh Chui Ling was the top-ranked Singaporean female runner who came in 3rd with a time of 41:56, marking an improvement of over a minute from her results at the Great Eastern Women’s 10km race, where she also came in 3rd with a timing of 43:00. The rising track star (who trained for the race under former SA Technical Director, Volker Herrmann) shared with RunONE, that this would likely be her last 10km race as she turns her focus back towards the track season, which will get underway soon. Due to a lack of varied terrain for running in Singapore, it is not uncommon for track runners to diversify and switch up their training by either going into road, or trail, races, during the track offseason.
Separately, in the 10km Men’s category, ActiveSG athlete Shobib Marican was the top-ranked Singaporean, winning the silver with a time of 35:58. Shobib trains under coach Steven Quek, whose training ethos is based on a firm belief in consistency. In a short post-race interview with RunONE, Shobib felt that the familiarity earned through hard training gives him a certain level of confidence heading into the race – that the hard work is in the bag. One change that he liked about this year’s SCSM, was the reduction in bottle-neck as the race turned into a 2-day event with the half and full marathon event separated from the 10km. This allowed the 10km racers to better focus on executing their race.
SCSM Day 2 – Half and Full Marathon Men’s and Women’s Race
With the majority of race participants signing up for the half and full marathon, excitement was almost always certain to build up towards day 2, as the finale of this SCSM weekend.
ONEathlete & Under Armour Ambassador Banjamin Quek finished 3rd in the Local Men’s Half Marathon category with a time of 1:22 under trying circumstances.
Speaking to The Straits Times & RunONE at the end of the whole ordeal, Banja felt that the route was ‘good but tough’. He thought that the organisers could have done better by having more water points along the highways and better management of the human traffic who were leaving the race village, as evident from the long queues and crowd bottleneck observed.
Banja also wants to acknowledge and thank the prompt medical attention he received when he nearly collapsed after crossing the finish, a sign that the organizers have paid strong emphasis and close heed to safety issues following earlier race-related fatalities.
In the Full Marathon category, last year’s Men’s Champion Soh Rui Yong defended his title by winning with a time of 2:41:49. Trackstar Athletics’s Mohd Iskandar (2:49:46) who finished 5th Local in 2017, and Giebert Foo (2:54:14) etched into the Men’s top 3 to end the year with a well-deserved blast.
Newer faces on the podium, and more local runners in the sub-3 hour timings displayed the rising competitiveness of the local marathon circuit. Several others include Ho Ghim Khoon (2:56:02, 5th), and Tan Wei Jie (2:59:01, 8th) were also hopeful nominees who started off from the Elite Pen. Another notable young star is Daniel Leow who trains with the Singapore Shufflers and made a remarkable 38 minutes improvement over his 2017 results!
Giebert Foo’s SCSM2017 Ekiden Team, Victorious Secret Angels, retained their 2nd position in 2018, with the 5th and last runner, Soh Hua Qun speeding through to finish with a time of 2:44:46.
ONEathlete Evan Chee finished in 4th place with a time of 2:55:00, narrowly missing out on the podium by just under 1 minute while Ashley Liew suffered in the latter half of the race to finish in 3:09. Having won the SCMS in 2012 and coming in 2nd last year, it was clearly not his best performance by a large margin.
While this year’s preparation was largely similar to previous years, Ashley had tried incorporating minor tweaks in this year’s SCSM lead-up by racing more short distance events. Nonetheless, with his 2:41 finish at the Tokyo Marathon earlier in Feb 2018, Ashley remains the second fastest Singaporean over the Marathon distance this year. The upcoming offseason will provide an ideal window for Ashley to rethink his training and race strategies, and regroup before the 2019 season.
Before the race, Evan had set his focus on a singular goal and that is to improve upon his 2017 results by snagging a season-best finish quicker than his Gold Coast Marathon result of 2:51. Training was definitely different this year as Evan had to lay off running while recovering from injury for good part of the year since Jan. Mileage remained low throughout most of 2018 until the 2 months leading up to SCSM, when he finally managed to put in consistent weekly mileage above 100km.
As a result, Evan has had to adjust his race execution by focusing more on execution and good pacing strategy for this year. In the end, he managed to secure a 4th place finish in a highly competitive event like SCSM, which also doubled up as the National Championship for the 2nd year running.
Making the podium for the Women’s Marathon was, Dr Lim Baoying who was not an elite runner (starting from Pen A) emerged as the surprise winner with a time of 3:16:36; 2017 defending women’s champion, Rachel See, was strong through the first 30km of the race with an average pace of 4:25min/km and had to dig deep in the closing kilometres of the race to finish 2nd at 3:18:36. He Xiuying rounded up the podium with a very respectable finish of 3:18:57.x
Evan’s sister, Yvonne Elizabeth Chee, also competing in the elite female category for the first time, finished in 4th place with a time of 3:25. She had skipped the 2017 Marathon post-pregnancy, and geared her way into ‘her special spot’. The civil servant and mother of two also thanked her husband, who ‘made it possible’ by taking care of their children to afford her precious time away for her training runs. Singapore’s marathon Olympian, Neo Jie Shi came in 5th at 3:27:31.
With the conclusion of SCSM 2018, the hectic running season in Singapore comes to a pause as we, runners and spectators alike, usher in the festive season and a time to share with our loved ones! As we gather to celebrate love, friendship and hope during this holiday, the future for Singapore’s running looks bright given the performance and number of rising local stars at SCSM 2018. A starry, starry future beholds.