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.”

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.”

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.”

5 unique things about BB Blaze 2019!

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

1) Early Preparations

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

Ashley Liew during his preparation clinic

2) Geared up by Mok ying ren

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

Mok Ying Ren leading the youths in their warm up

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

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

3) innovative race clocking 20+km in total

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

4) camaraderie

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

5) Challenge Trophy & Social Media Challenge

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

Winners of the Top 3 positions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Any day, Anywhere.

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

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

‘Bike-Packing’ Trip to Oxford

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

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

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

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

Am I engaging my glutes or quadriceps appropriately; 

What about the form of my weaker leg?; 

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

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

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

On-going Battle with Flexibility

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

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

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

Is there a Superhero among us?

REBEKAH ONG – Founded in 2015 by a group of close friends who shared a common goal to help and motivate others along their running journey, Superhero Runners was formed and the rest is history. Today, they can be easily spotted at local races decked in their superhero tees and other costumes!

We sneaked up on the Superhero Runners (not an easy task in itself), and this is what we found.

Superhero Runners during their training session – Photo Credit: TripleFit Singapore

The Superhero Runners hopes to inspire a community of runners to train and support one another, and at the same time, engage in meaningful initiatives to make a positive impact to society.

Since I joined this group in 2017, I have been a personal witness to some of the positive influence they have had on the running community and society at large. To this effect, some of the social initiatives that the Superhero Runners have undertaken are:

Running + Plogging

Superhero Runners plogging event – Photo Credit: Superhero Runners

They are the first running group in Singapore to have organised a plogging event at the Green Corridor! Plogging comes from the mash-up of two Swedish words “plocka upp”, which means for “pick up” and jogging.  Armed with tongs and others with re-used plastic bags, the Superhero Runners ploggers started clearing near the Hillview MRT station at Upper Bukit Timah Road and made their way to a bus stop opposite Beauty World Centre. After 45 minutes of plogging, they collected more than eight bags of rubbish which were deposited in a large bin at the bus stop. Read the full article here.

Bring your own cups (BYOC) movement

Bring your own cup (BYOC) movement – Photo Credit: Superhero Runners


First introduced into Superhero Runners in 2018, the BYOC movement was started to raise awareness of plastics pollution and also to cut down on waste. The group’s leaders had thought that it was a good idea to encourage the Superhero Runners to bring and use their own reusable cups for hydration to cut down on the waste generated at the end of each run session.  This movement was well received by the members of the group because every little act does make a difference.

2019 The Performance Series (TPS) Pacers

Motivating people is never an issue for the Superhero Runners and it’s just one of the ways they try to give back to the running community. In 2017, they started out by being the official motivators for TPS and fast forward to 2019, Superhero Runers have been nominated as the official pacers for The Performance Series! So if you are taking part in the TPS series, remember to keep a lookout for them or even tap on them for some motivation as you strive to hit your personal best target.

Race Tee Donation Drive

Race tee donation drive for Beyond – Photo Credit: Superhero Runners

Felt like you have joined one too many races and have event tees that you didn’t even know of? Recently the Superhero Runners held a donation drive for these unused event tees and the response was resounding! Members generously supported the call by donating their new race tees (2 boxes worth in total) to Beyond, a Voluntary Welfare Organisation (VWO) that helps raise disadvantaged children and youths.

Ready to run one with the Superhero Runners?

Individuals who are interested in joining the Superhero Runners for their weekly runs will be happy to note that their meeting point is at Millennia Walk, Triplefit gym. Runs start at Tuesdays @ 6.45pm so don’t be late! In my 2 years running with them, there has never been a dull moment with the Superhero Runners around!

This running group also caters to runners of different abilities and paces, so anyone who is keen can simply show up at the stipulated time and place. On certain days, there may be additional HIIT or yoga sessions after the run just to throw in a bit more variety to the training. Bag deposit and hydration are provided.

If you wish to find out more on the Superhero Runners, check out their Facebook page @SuperheroRunners and like their page to stay updated on their training schedules!

This article was written by runONE’s in-house writer and running enthusiast, Rebekah who enjoys exploring new places and loves her food.

This article was written by runONE’s in-house writer and running enthusiast, Rebekah who enjoys exploring new places and loves her food.

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’s in my bag? Shaheed tells it all

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

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

Training Days

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

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

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

Competition Days

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

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

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

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

This is what I usually pack for a competition day!

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

Till next time, continue to #HitItLikeShaheed!

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

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

WAAD? 5 things about Ashley Liew

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

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

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

#1 Romantic Run-hard

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

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

Photo by Ashley’s Uncle, Leong Jeam Wong

#2 Shares his why

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

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

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

#3 Sentimental and Meticulous (in a good way)

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

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

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

Photo by ONEathlete

#4 Gives back

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

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

Photo by Ming Ham

#5 walks his talk

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

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

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

Video by Singapore Management University (SMU)

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

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

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

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

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

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

(c) ONEathlete

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

(c) ONEathlete

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

(c) ONEathlete

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

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

(c) ONEathlete

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