20 Personalities You Might Have Run Into At Gold Coast Marathon 2019!

07 JUL 2019 – 26,287 Runners, from 56 countries had gathered at Queensland, Australia’s coastal city for the 41st edition of the Gold Coast Marathon 2019! Having held the IAAF Gold Label since 2014, boasting of a generally flat course that has allowed about 60% of the participants to set a personal best (PB) amidst generally favourable weather conditions, the Gold Coast Marathon (#GCM19) is arguably one of the most popular race spots in the region.

Which goes to also mean that if you are in town, enjoying the waves at Surfer’s Paradise or feasting at Cavil Mall, you might just #run into a couple of runners whom you might be familiar with.

RunONE takes a moment with 20 such personalities who have inspired us during the race weekend!

1. Lachlan barber (@lachiebarber)

(c) Gold Coast Marathon 2019 Media Team

In an enthralling men’s race, 800m and 1500m track specialist Lachlan Barber (00:29:58) put in a withering finish burst to claim his first Southern Cross University 10km Run (Men’s). He edged over Tim Vincent in the last 400m and won by five seconds. “I was very happy with my performance. I’ve never raced anything over 1500m, so yes, I was really stoked to get under 30 minutes in my first ever 10km,” said Barber.

Barber added that the conditions ‘weren’t ideal at the start line.’ He was referring to the very strong winds (and about 4-5km/h of headwind) and icy-cold rain shower that left everyone drenched when the skies open up just 2 minutes before the start of the 10km race at 6.30am.

2. leanne pompeani (@leannepomp)

(c) Gold Coast Marathon 2019 Media Team

Leanne Pompeani (00:33:00) won her second Southern Cross University 10km Run (Women’s), becoming only the second woman to win the race more than once in the event’s history. She had also represented Australia at the World Cross Country Championships in March and followed that up with a win in Canberra over 10km in April.

Looking back on the wet and cold conditions at the start, Leanne said, “A little bit unfortunate about the wind. It’s usually pretty good conditions here so I was kind of expecting that, but you just have to deal with whatever you get on race day.”

3. Yuki kawauchi (@yukikawauchiok)

One of Asia’s most famous and humble ‘citizen runner’, Japanese Yuki Kawauchi, had achieved 2:09:18 (2017) and 2:09:01 (2016), being the only athlete to have his name twice in the Top 10 All Time Performances honors.

He finished the race in 13th place at 02:15:32.

4. zane robertson (@zane_robertson_nzl)

Be careful that it’s Zane and not his twin brother Jake when you approach him! The 30-year old New Zealander brothers had moved to Iten, Kenya to train and further their running careers. ONEathlete Ashley was acquainted with Zane in Kenya during the former’s training stint in 2015.

Zane was actually selected to represent New Zealand in the Commonwealth Games Marathon Male event, but had to drop out due to a groin injury. About 15 months later, he is back in the game at #GCM19 !

The marathon debutant placed third in 2:08:19. He was very consistent throughout the race, staying in distance with the lead pack. He gives us a very detailed breakdown, “I was pretty conservative at the start. We knew the wind would be tough and it was but I kept the pacemakers in check by making sure the pace did not exceed 3:03min/km at the beginning.”

It was also an extra special moment for Zane as he had also set a new New Zealand record, bettering the previous mark set by his brother – Jake’s 02:08:26 set at Lake Biwa in 2018. It was no wonder then, that Zane seemed to be in high spirits at the finishing line – perhaps even ready for another run – as he was seen obliging quite a number of media interviews, including RunONE.

What’s even better was the sportsmanship he demonstrated, describing his race rivalry with great class and giving Shitara credit where due. “I think Yuta, the Japanese (runner), a world class athlete who played the game and played it smart. He expected to win and came through just when we were beginning to die. We had nothing left to go with him.”

5. Bernard lagat (@lagat1500)

Lagat, a Kenyan-American, is a five-time Olympian, having competed in the 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 games. He is also a thirteen-time medalist in World Championships and Olympics including five gold medals.

The Dual world champion over 1500m and 5000m on the track improved his marathon pb to 2:12:10 and finished seventh. The cool dude was seen focusing on recovery and getting a cold compression (as above), and enjoying a little muffin on one hand (while probably catching up on race updates on the other.)!

Do also check out his Instagram to spot his ‘deeply invested and impressive’ drink bottles for the #GCM19!

6. sinead diver (@Diversinead)

(c) Gold Coast Marathon 2019 Media Team

The first runner-up in 2018, Sinead Diver (01:09:46), beat 2-time champion, Sara Hall (01:1159) in the ASICS Women’s half-marathon race. This was also her first win, and fifth fastest performance in the race’s history. The 42-year-old from South Yarra, Melbourne was too strong for her rivals over the closing 5km. The Australians also had a clean podium sweep by claiming all top three positions in this race!

What was also envious to watch, was the level of sportsmanship that the champ exhibited. She said, “To race against Ellie and Sara and Lisa, it was such a tough race and anyone of us could’ve taken it out. It (just happened to be) my day today, so I was just lucky I think.” She has also qualified to represent Australia in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Marathon event.

7. jack rayner (@jackrayner7)

The Glen Iris, Melbourne native, Jack Rayner won his second ASICS Gold Coast Half-marathon race (Men’s). The 23-year-old with a personal best of 01:01:01 set in Oct 2018 at Cardiff, crossed the line in 1:02:30, bettering his winning time from last year (1:03:12).

The defending champion came away with the win after a good tussle with Japanese runners Yuki Sato (01:02:36, six seconds outside his personal best set in May 2019) and Yuma Hattori (01:02:39), making his winning break 1km before the finish. Japanese runners filled places second through to eighth in the men’s race.

Rayner was asked about his competitors, and he replied in the vein of good old sportsmanship. “I didn’t quite know what to expect going into it. There was a really strong field of Japanese this year. I had a race there (Japan) at the start of this year so I knew how they ran.”

Rayner will be meeting the Japanese again very soon, as he has also qualified to represent Australia in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Marathon event.

8. yuta shitara (@yutashitara1218)

(c) Gold Coast Marathon 2019 Media Team

Yuta Shitara. He is THE second fastest Japanese marathon runner in Japanese history. But now, with the win at the the IAAF Gold Label race in 2:07:50, Yuta has also laid claim to being the fastest runner in Gold Coast Marathon history! The previous record was set by Kenyan Kenneth Mungara (2:08:42) who won the race in 2018.

It was the eighth win by Japanese men in the event’s 41-year history. Yuta added “My training was really good. I think that the race really showed the quality of my training. It really brought out my performance today,” spoken by someone who clearly believes in the process!

This feat was despite a very visibly bloodied white vest, from what looks like a terrible case of chest fissures/abrasions. But without a single look of pain on his face and fully focused on the race ahead of him! “I didn’t have any race plan. I just wanted to go in and run the race that happened,” he says.

ONEathlete Giebert, in a once-in-a-lifetime moment with his idol, Yuta, So star-struck that he closed his eyes.

The 27-year-old champion who mostly carries a neutral expression, had an exciting duel with Kenyan, Barnabus Kiptum and New Zealander, Zane Robertson over the final 12km before making his final move in the last 2km. Shitara took home $20,000 in victory prize money and an additional $10,000 time bonus for his record-breaking effort.

9. shin kimura (@kimurunner)

With the likeliness of a K-pop star, a friendly and wide smile greets you from across the room, even though you are at least four meters apart. It turns out to be Shin Kimura, a rising marathon star from Honda Running Club in Tokyo, Japan.

He had spent a training stint in Boulder, Colorado to prepare for this marathon. Nike athletes, Shin Kimura and Bernard Lagat, took turns to pace each other and the former finished just 2 secs behind the latter at 02:12:12. Keep your eyes peeled for this star’s growth!

10. Milly clark (@millyjane14)

(c) Gold Coast Marathon 2019 Media Team

While Kenyan Rodah Jepkorir held off a strong finish from Milly Clark to win the Women’s Gold Coast Marathon Title, it was the latter who was received by the home crowd with a great loud roar! The Tasmanian sweetheart lost the lead at the 30km mark, but kept her rhythm and finished in 2:28:08 to claim the runner-up spot.

Despite being about two minutes and five seconds behind the Kenyan at the 30km mark, she finished just 12 secs behind the winner. She was clearly giving it all to catch up and edge in to try win the race!

The crowd probably helped too, she said as she reflected. “I had a lot of fun. There wasn’t a moment that I wasn’t loving it. I am just really stoked that I had the crowd and everyone around me cheering. You put in all the hard work in training and this is your prize. Instead of running alone and slugging it out on the roads, you can use the crowd. It gives you that extra burst.”

Clark had set off to do all that she wanted. She enjoyed the race. She recorded a personal best, lower than the Tokyo Olympics qualifier (2:29:30). She finished on the podium. The veteran at Gold Coast Marathon weekend, had won the Half-marathon in 2014, and second for 10km in 2013.

11. AGUS PRAYOGO (@agusprayogo21)

20th overall and South East Asia’s fastest in the Half-marathon Category, Agus Prayogo (01:06:27) broke Indonesia’s National Record to rewrite his own half marathon national record of 1:07:05, which he set at the Singapore Marathon in 2009.

The father and military personnel may seem like a young teenage man. But probably has collected more accolades than his age count. Enuf said, wait up for the SEA Games 2019 to see him shine!

The smile of a new Indonesian Half marathon National Record

12. Muhaizar Mohamad (@muhaizarmohamad)

Meanwhile, in the full marathon, Malaysian, Muhaizar Mohamad, finished in 35th place after recording 02:26:42. However, it was 15 secs slower than his personal best, 02:26:27 set at the 45th Berlin Marathon.

Muhaizar had became the first Malaysian to win a SEA Games medal in the marathon, after bagging a bronze in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur edition. His team mate Leo, finished fourth in the same race. The athlete in his early 30s, is now focusing on the SEA Games 2019 in Manila.

13. PRABUDASS KRISHNAN (@prabudassk)

29th overall and South East Asia’s second fastest in the Half-marathon Category – beating Singapore’s Half-marathon National Record Holder, Soh Rui Yong – was a 29 year old, young lad named Prabudass Krishnan, finishing at 01:07:29.

The feat saw the Royal Malaysian Navy member erase the 15-year-old Malaysian National Record. He has been training under Coach JP, who had also helped Malaysian National Marathoner Leo set a new Marathon National Record, earlier this year.

(c) Malaysian Photographer @fizsaid

Despite such a remarkable achievement, Prabu greets you a with a very unassuming and humble smile in the elite athletes room. Prabu is gunning to win the 5,000m Gold Medal at the SEA Games 2019. He had previously won the Silver Medal in 2017.

14. burton he (@burtonhe)

Burton He had won the Singapore Marathon 2018’s Half-marathon category in 01:20:11. But no fanfare, nothing pompous. The 29 year old, IT student in SIM University has become a regular at the podiums.

The relatively low profile athlete, was in Gold Coast with his Track Star Athletics team mates, ran his race, and left. He would have ‘escaped your eyes’ if you had blinked. He ran overall 53rd and emerged as the fastest Singaporean in the 10km Category.

Burton He (most extreme left) with his team members from Track Star Athletics. (c) Moonlake Lee.

15. melvin wong (@melvinwongyh)

Another Track Star Athletics athlete making his mark as the fastest Singaporean at the Gold Coast Marathon was Melvin Wong.

Melvin paced the race with his team mate Iskandar Mohamed and finished overall 69th in 02:37:28. The father of two, manages work, fatherhood and runs his life in great style! His team mate, Iskandar (who was also the runner-up at Singapore Marathon 2019) finished 92nd overall, at 02:42:36. Great camaraderie and working together as ONE to achieve goals are always worth mentioning!

16. shohib marican (@shibbylax)

We spotted him and congratulated on his overall 72nd position and emerging as the second fastest Singaporean in the Half-marathon category! Shohib Marican (01:13:14) was pleasantly surprised of course.

The ActiveSG athlete who is coached by Steven Quek, was initially filled with doubts and anxiety about his race. With a renewed mindset, he willed to go hard, focused on the pack ahead and finished with a personal best timing, no less. Go hard or go home, indeed!

Its always encouraging for those in the running circuit to see young athletes push the barriers, and achieve greater excellence!

17. ansgar cheng (@runningprof_dentist)

Speaking of young, the Master’s runner, Ansgar Cheng is more than just young at heart. He emerged 2nd overall in the marathon category, for Master’s Male with a personal best timing of 02:54:16.

The father of two teenage daughters, and dentist in his early 50s, is also awaiting ratification by Singapore Athletics for a new national record of his age group.

Among one of the core members of the Kampong Runners, Ansgar and his wife Moonlake Lee are an affable couple who makes the effort to connect with individuals from the various running groups. That in a sense, kinda depicts the essence of sports and affirms the spirit of the running community!

Ansgar (second from right, in white) seen at the finishing line with runners (L-R) from Hong Kong (David and Jeremy) and ONEathlete (Ashley and Giebert).

18. GIEBERT FOO (@gieberty)

The newly minted ONEathlete, Giebert Foo ran his first overseas marathon. He emerged 104th overall with a personal best of 02:44:15, 45 secs below his personal best that he had set after winning 3rd at Singapore Marathon 2018.

The civil servant had just completed his 9-month long stay-in training course recently. With the help of his partner, Esther (who was on wheels), Giebert paced his long runs and chased his training mileage over the weekends. On weekdays, he would also try to squeeze in some track tempo and intervals in the evening. Besides sticking to the discipline and controlling his diet, the 27 year old also read motivational quotes from Facebook page “Sweat Elite” to prepare for the race.

But during the race itself, Giebert remembered the prayers and encouragement of loved ones, absorbed the energy of the renowned Gold Coast crowd, and “High-fived” the kids along the way keep up the energy to the finish line. Crossing the line below his target, he said, “It is like a dream come true and has made me realise that i can go further in this marathon journey. I’m thankful for the support of the ONEathlete team which had made this PB a wonderful ONE!”

19. ashley liew

Running his 6th Gold Coast Marathon, and 33rd marathon since 2004, was ONEathlete Ashley Liew.

(c) Tsukasa Kawarai

The 32 year old – with a personal best of 02:32:12 (2015) – believed in the process and prepared like it was his first. Along the way, Ashley had to balance six-day work week at Family Health Chiropractic Clinic while training twice daily. His peak weekly mileage of 160km, not to mention solo 30+km long runs and treadmill speed workouts, amidst intensive wedding preparation, proves that Ashley was determined to make it work.

Spotted with bloodied socks from a burst blister, Ashley said “I’m grateful to still have the body responding well towards the end which was a positive difference from my last 3 marathons.” Finishing overall 175th in 02:51:42, Ashley was pleased to achieve his season best.

20. bonza, the mascot

He ain’t a frog tho he spots a green sleek body! Bonza is a bearded dragon, the mascot for the Gold Coast Marathon. He charmingly convinces that he loves to run, just like all his other bearded dragon friends. As a young lad, Bonza had run at Burleigh Head National Park,

Typically during a morning training run at Miami Beach, he tells us, “I was inspired by thousands from all over the world running up and down my beautiful coastline and thought ‘you little rippers!”.

Instead of hibernating in cooler months like July, Bonza decided that he wanted to be part of the good times, and for this one-of-a-kind race. He was determined to become the first bearded dragon to run at the Gold Coast Marathon, and took a break from chilling with his surfing buddies at Surfers’ Paradise to start training. “I’ve been clocking up plenty of kilo meters on the beautiful beachfront in perfect conditions along the marathon route.”

The 41 year old, is stoked that the race date for 2020 is scheduled to be on 4-5 July, and has already set his goals for the 42nd Gold Coast Marathon race! In good old gold coast fashion, he waves and high-fives to say, “See ya nex july mate!”

A Running Community Like No Other – adidas Runners Singapore

REBEKAH ONG – You may have seen them running around Singapore or other parts of the world with their distinctive logo tees – a circle encompassing an adidas logo at the top with the letters AR in the middle capping off with the wordings adidas runners.

AR Singapore Family

adidas Runners is an international community comprising runners and active individuals from different backgrounds and all walks of life. What unites them is a desire to become better – better runners, better athletes and, ultimately, better persons. Here in Singapore, the adidas Runners have a team which does just that!

THE SINGAPORE AR CREW

Led by Coach Jon Fong an athlete who used to compete at the elite level in both swimming and triathlon and has received many Singapore National Olympic Committee awards during his sporting career. Jon plans the training program for the team which includes lots of strength, endurance, and speed work.  He is supported by a team of captains (Eugene Lim and Sofie Chandra ), co-captains (Hubert Chen & Sherlynn Tan) and the AR Running Crew who will motivate and lead the group through these planned workouts/ runs.

AR Singapore Running Crew

I have been running with this group since last year April and I really enjoyed the guidance, support, motivation and inspiration this group offers.  Here are some other reasons why I enjoy running with the adidas Runners Singapore.

Running with AR Singapore

TRAINING PROGRAM

The adidas Runners programme is designed to help runners like you and me train smarter and take our fitness level up a notch or two. Through consistent training and supervision from AR’s experienced team of coaches and experts, you’ll see improvements in your fitness as well as timings by the end of the programme. 

DIFFERENT LOCATIONS

Weekly runs are held at different locations earmarked by adidas stores like Marina Bay Sands, Vivocity and Suntec City. These different venues and routes provide different kinds of experience for the training runs. The fact that we also get to explore different routes make the runs more varied and interesting!

THEMED RUN EVENTS

During new product launches, there would be a special events to promote the new product. This year I attended the launch of the adidas Ultraboost 19 where adidas teamed up with District to bring us the adidas Recode Running Festival. Participants got to race around the Marina Bay, Fort Canning and Singapore River with the District app aiming to score maximum points from a grid made up of 38 checkpoints and 21 challenges! You can read more about this event here. †

2019 adidas Recode Running Festival

One of their more recent events was just held on 9 June, 2019. Dubbed ‘Run for the Oceans’, the event is the product of a partnership between adidas and Parley (an environmental organization) which aims to raise the awareness of the threat of marine plastic by getting runners to track their runs and distance with the Runtastic running app.  The event was held at the Greek Theatre at the Singapore flyer. There, adidas also introduced the new AlphaBounce + Run PARLEY Shoes.

2019 Run for the Oceans

SPECIAL WORKOUT SESSIONS

Besides running, there are other special workshops that the group organizes like rhythm cycling, Pilates, gym sessions etc. These special sessions provide a variety of workouts which keeps things interesting for members of the group.

A special rhythm cycling class for participants of AR Singapore
Easter AR Pilates Session @ Core Collective

INFORMATION ON AR RUNS

adidas Runners sessions are held weekly. Registration for these sessions are compulsory and given that they are so popular, it is not uncommon for participants to ballot for a slot. More information can be found on their Facebook Group – adidas Runners Singapore.

Photo credits: adidas Runners Singapore

Rebekah Ong is a fitness junkie and F1 fanatic. The elegant foodie is almost at every run event! She presents all things in fours!

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.”]

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!

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.”]

“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.

10 local athletes who made the sporting scene dope in 2018!

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

(L-R) Lee Yulin, ST Sports Editor; Grace Fu, Minister for MCCY; Jaris; and Jennifer See, Managing Director for F&N

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 with RunONE Co-founder, Jed Senthil.

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.

3. National Paddler, Yu Mengyu

(c) The Straits Times

The table tennis star rose above her career-ending injuries to securing a medal.

4. Bukit Merah Sec’s Floorball Player, John Alicante Embile

(c) Redsports Sg

It was mind over matter, to take his first penalty and he led his school to the first title in 8 years.

5. National Swimmer, Toh Wei Soong

(c) Active SG

The parathlete returned home as a Double Asian Para-games Gold Medalist from Jakarta, Indonesia.

6. VJC’s High Jumper Kampton Kam

(c) Redsports Sg

He jumped to 2 golds, 2 silvers, and 2 bronze medals at the SEA Youth Athletic Championships in Bangkok.

7. National Shooter, Martina Veloso

(c) Active SG

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

(c) The Straits Times

She bends it like Beckham! Woaaaaaaa(go)aaaaaaaal!

9. National Swimmer, Joseph Schooling

(c) redsports sg

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

(c) The Straits Times

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

Bonus: National Marathoner, Mok Ying Ren


Did you #runwithmok during the Straits Times Run 2018 too?

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!

Evan and Shuzhen (c) Image by Adidas Runners

Run for Love

This article was first published on rockay.com on Dec 30, 2018
Main featured image by Adidas Singapore.

DARA MORMILE – The roller coasters we endure in the dating world can sometimes be compared to the twists and turns we confront as runners taking on a new trail or path. We’re excited, cautious, hoping for the best, coping with new conditions and learning how to keep ourselves in control of the situation.

Some athletes choose to put training first, as their priority and prefer to make a commitment to running and fit life instead of hunting for and committing to Mrs. or Mr. Right. Others want to include their mates in the sport to some capacity and are able to share their athletic feats with someone who has the same overall health values. Another percentage of us don’t even care if whoever we’re dating isn’t the type to lace up and join us for the long run.

(c) ONEathlete / Mok Ying Ren

To each their own!

For runners who are passionate and committed to training – and want some passion in their love lives too – the hectic whirlwind of the dating world may require a careful balancing act. There are a couple of possibilities on the spectrum – runners who may have met that special someone at a race or running event, or runners who meet and fall in love with mates that have no interest in the sport altogether! In another scenario, maybe you’ve met someone who wasn’t a runner before and you’ve inspired their athletic muse (and vice versa)!

(c) ONEathlete / Ashley Liew

But how, exactly, does being a runner affect our ability to meet our match and gauge who our ideal mate would be? For runners who are married with children and have found the gracious balance between sports and personal life, you’re already ahead of the game and you’ve probably mastered dividing and compartmentalizing your time. Those still trying to find love in the midst of sticking to a workout routine – and divide their time while finding a mate – can consider the following points when looking for love.

  1. Making time and spending time
  2. Be honest about your expectations
  3. Chemistry and motivation

So, what’s great about having a running mate?
1. The unconditional love for a worn out athlete
2. Knowing how to cope with “Me Time”

Click HERE to read the full article.

(c) Image from Run Leeds

Happy Valentine’s Day 2019!

#RunforLove #RunONEwithLove!

Light moves fast!

30 Jan 2019 – With its efficient performance, comfortable support, and great aesthetic, the New Balance Fresh Foam series was made for neutral runners looking for responsiveness and cushioning in their running shoe. Always evolving and improving, Fresh Foam shoes deliver soft and smooth cushioning for running, training, trail or gym.

National Marathoner & New Balance Ambassador Mok Ying Ren with his Zante Pursuit. (c) ONEathlete

Birthed from an extremely lightweight and comfortable footwear series, the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit makes runners feel as though they are moving at the speed of light.

National Marathoner & New Balance Ambassador Mok Ying Ren shuttles in his Zante Pursuit. (c) ONEathlete

The latest Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit uses advanced laser-engraving technology that leverages on data-inspired design to provide uncompromising performance for wearers.

The NB Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit (c) RunONE

Simply put – featherweight! With excess material removed, Zante Pursuit promises an even lighter, better and faster run.

National Marathoner & New Balance Ambassador Mok Ying Ren leaping in his Zante Pursuit. (c) ONEathlete

The NB runners who wore the shoes for a run around the CBD area were quick to feel the little ‘springy’ sensation on the mid-soles, and the stretchable support at the cushioned collars. This was a bit more evident as they whisked and manoeuvered around the evening crowd and steps along the inclined route.

NB Ambassadors Jenny Huang, Marcus Reed, and Loh Guo Pei leading the run. (c) New Balance Singapore

For the competitive runners, having a light (read: high performance) shoe is everything! The run seemed a bit more effortless than usual for this elite pack.

NB Ambassadors Jenny Huang, Marcus Reed, and Loh Guo Pei leading the run. (c) New Balance Singapore

But the prowess of the Zante Pursuit is more evident during a rebounding session by the instructors from Beat x Studio. It sure looks easy, but your legs are nothing but wobbly as you bounce on the trampoline. That’s when you feel the one-ness of your feet with the shoe. The dynamic fit of the shoe helps you to land with ease, and jump up with no weights attached.

Rebounding session by Beat x Studio instructors at Singapore Flyer (c) New Balance Singapore

As Youtuber Umehara Kenji put it, he found a new balance on the mat that day, while others were literally bouncing off to earn their dinner.

Rebounding session by Beat x Studio instructors at Singapore Flyer (c) New Balance Singapore

It was ‘no sweat’ while the instructors threw in some burpees and push-ups on the trampoline while at it.

(c) New Balance Singapore

For those who prefer a sleeker sock-like version, you can also consider the Fresh Foam Zante Solas. (National Marathoner Yvonne Chee rocks out in her purple Zante Solas in the image below.)

In essence, the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante is a lightweight neutral trainer that strikes a balance between being a soft cushioned ride and a fast snappy responsive feeling.

(c) New Balance Singapore

Feel light and fast again!

ONE Turns TWO

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!