Relay Majulah is a ground-up initiative by a group of like-minded and passionate friends to form a 200-runners team to conquer 2,000km over 8 days (2-10 Nov 2019) to raise funds for President’s Challenge and to unite the community, for the community. It is held specially in conjunction with the Bicentennial Celebrations and SG Cares.
The movement seeks to also create awareness of the social causes in our society and how that we stand in solidarity with our friends as they overcome and conquer all odds.
The ONEathlete and RunONE Team will also be participating with the rest of the 200 runners. Join us in championing change in the lives of many and in our society; and to build a nation that truly cares.
Others in the running community
On 10 November finale, Tan Chuan-Jin, Speaker of Parliament, will run the final leg from Havelock Road and finish off into the MES Theater at MediaCorp’s Star Ave Campus for the President’s Star Charity 2019 live televised show!
Excerpts and images from Justrunlah.com, giving.sg and relaymajulah.sg with thanks.
About the President’s Challenge
The President’s Challenge is an annual community outreach and fundraising campaign for charities selected every year by the President’s Challenge. It is a call to all Singaporeans in doing their part in building a more caring and inclusive society. Initiated in 2000 by former President S R Nathan, the Challenge represents the coming together of people from all walks of life, to help the less fortunate.
In 2012, under the leadership of former President Tony Tan Keng Yam, the Challenge was expanded to go beyond fundraising by including volunteerism and social entrepreneurship. In 2018, President Halimah Yacob announced a $10 million fund (Empowering For Life Fund) which will empower vulnerable groups through skills upgrading, capacity-building and employment.
Visit http://www.pc.org.sg/WhoWeSupport to find out about the benefiting organisations supported by President’s Challenge this year. 100% of the donations received go towards the charities we support.
03 Aug 2019 – In a Catholic ceremony held at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, National Marathoner and ONEathlete Ashley Dominic Liew married the love of his life, Sandra Faustina Lee. Ashley had dated Sandra for about 2.5 years before sealing his commitment to the dynamic entrepreneur and dancer.
The bride sewed her own bridal gown, which has the base piece of Ashley’s late mum’s wedding gown extended with a 3D floral skirt.
Beyond that, the bride and her company Free Movement Singapore sewed all the bridesmaids’ gowns and groomsmen’s suits. Waala for effort!
In the evening, the couple held a ‘Beauty and the Beast’ themed Chinese banquet for about 400 guests at Mandarin Oriental.
It was an artistic feast, as the entire dinner was centered around the fairy tale story line, and the bride pulled off a very entertaining costume change on the stage.
Leave your well wishes and messages behind, in the comments section, for Mr & Mrs Liew!
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!
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!”
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!
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.
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!
5. Spot a ONEathlete!
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!
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.
*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)
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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!
21 Nov 2018 – While most of us have always imagined an ideal Europe road trip to be driving a caravan through the winding Alps and French countryside, or a shop(eat)-till-you-drop magical experience on the streets of London and Madrid, Evan is not like most of us.
The 38-year old marathoner had always dreamed of racing a half marathon in Europe and the IAAF gold label, AIMS-certified Valencia Half-Marathon checked all the boxes. It was known to be a fast and flat course (world records were set here before), and the cooling conditions in late October meant the race’s schedule fitted perfectly into Evan’s overall preparation for Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 6 weeks later.
Valencia Half-Marathon 2018
Evan arrived in Valencia, also known as the city of running, after 24 hours of non-stop traveling and made it to one of the biggest race expos he has seen. The actual race kicked off at 9am on a cool Sunday morning. With temperatures hovering between 10 to 15 degrees, conditions couldn’t have been better along with the electrifying crowd support lined up along both sides of the race route and excellent race organization.
In the end, Kenya’s Abraham Kiptum broke the Men’s Half-Marathon world record clocking 58:18 to take five seconds off the mark set by Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadese in 2010. Evan would go on to clock 1:19 for a personal best and finishing in 94th place and 2nd Asian runner. While Evan had gone into the race with higher expectations, it was still a timely confidence booster after spending most of 2018 nursing a niggling leg injury which had hampered his training.
2 weeks later, Evan would go on to run another epic European race, the Athens Classic Marathon, the birthplace of all modern-day Marathons. While it is an IAAF gold label race today, the race’s heritage and history stretch all the way back to 490BC. The Athens Marathon traces the same route that the legendary Greek messenger, Pheidippides, ran from the Battle of Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek’s victory over the Persians!
As part of the pre-race lead-up, Evan had a rare opportunity to visit Adidas Runbase in Athens and meet like-minded Adidas Runners (AR) from all around the world (including Paris, London, Vienna, Dubai, Madrid, and Milan). Runbase is a 6-story facility catered for AR with running and all sorts of fitness sessions taking place almost daily!
Together, they would all participate in a shake-out sightseeing run organized by AR Athens to showcase the best of Athens sights and sounds, ending with a group shot taken in front of the Acropolis and a pasta party right after!
Athens Classic Marathon 2018
The Athens Classic Marathon counts as one of the most difficult major marathon race with a nearly 20km-long uphill climb, which dwarves the SCSM Sheares Bridge climb at the 37km mark. The course begins in the town of Marathon before passing by the tomb of Athenian soldiers, turning towards the city of Athens before finishing up at the Panathinaiko Stadium. The stadium is a landmark site for athletics competition in ancient times, and also where the 1896 and 2004 Olympics Marathon chose as its finishing point.
xIn a fitting tribute to the race and area’s history, it has become a standard practice before every year’s race to carry the Marathon Flame, which is lit at the Tomb of the Battle of Marathon, to the finish point at the Stadium.
Right from the start, Evan planned to maintain a comfortable long run pace as he tackled the seemingly endless uphills and slopes. After crossing the halfway mark in 1:30:30 as planned, Evan knew the race had only just begun with another 10km of slopes to go in what was proving to be a much more challenging route than SCSM. The Greek messenger, Pheidippides, couldn’t have been happier than Evan when he caught sight of the Stadium finish point, crossing the line in 3:00:50 with an average pace of 4:15′.
Wrapping up his Europe ‘road trip’, Evan will like to thank everyone from AR Athens, particularly captain Deniz Dimaki, whose efforts helped make all this possible. It was a whirlwind 3 weeks in Europe but it turned out to be an out-of-this-world experience running ‘literally’ from Valencia to Madrid, Barcelona to Santorini before calling it a day in Athens.
While his legs may feel like they’re running on empty (for the next couple days), but his heart is definitely full. Be sure to check in with Evan as he lines up for the biggest race on Singapore’s running calendar – the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon!
23 Sep 2018 – ONEathlete Ben Moreau took home the top honors in the Straits Times Run 2018 Men’s 18.45km category, winning in a time of 62 mins 46 secs, which was over 1 minute quicker than last year’s winner, Kenyan runner James Karanga. It was his maiden run in this race! (Top featured image by Straits Times Run Facebook)
Ben, a previous Commonwealth Games representative, has steadily chalked up a series of race wins in the past few months, such as the Performance Series 10km as well as the inaugural ‘King of the Hills’ race, and demonstrated that he still has the legs to not let age (and his rivals) catch up with him.
In the Men’s 10km category, ONEathlete Evan Chee finished as the fastest Singaporean and 4th overall with a time of 37 mins 7 secs. Evan, who is turning 38, is also showing no signs of slowing as he heads into peak race season in Singapore. He placed 3rd (Local Men’s) at Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2017 and is looking to better his results this year. He has also recently shared his thoughts on Masters running where he hoped to promote and encourage the idea of running as an inclusive sport for everyone, regardless of age, gender and athleticism. This was also echoed by Guest-of-Honour, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, who praised the event for being inclusive, and said: “It is great to see people of different backgrounds coming together here today.”
ONEathlete Ashley Liew who also ran his maiden ST Run, finished 7th overall, and 3rd local in the 10km category, was in high spirits post-race. Ashley’s last marathon was at the Gold Coast, and it seems like he will now have some tips for his counterpart who will be participating in the 2019 Edition, as part of his Champion prize! The prize was sponsored by Tourism Queensland for the Straits Times Run 2018!
In returning to the Sports Hub after a 2-year hiatus when the race venue relocated to the F1 Pit Building and Padang, the 6th edition of the race saw over 13,000 participants, most of whom were eyeing the uniquely memorable opportunity of being able to finish the race inside the 55,000-seat national stadium.
Kelly Latimer and Ross had the uphill task of getting the moods up on the early Sunday morning! Despite the 5am flag-off, the mood at the start was lively and electrifying as participants got ready to enjoy the scenic route. Unlike in 2017 where the race started on the Esplanade Bridge, this year’s route was a nod to its original venue at the Sports Hub.
04 Aug 2018 – At the recently concluded Singapore National Games – STA Open Pesta Sukan Tennis Championship 2018, ONEathlete and national tennis player, Shaheed Alam, secured a clean sweep across all 3 categories by winning the Men’s Singles (6-0, 6-3), Men’s Doubles (7-5, 6-4) and Mixed Doubles.
Shaheed bettered his results from the last STA Open Tennis C’ship in 2016, when he won the Men’s Singles and Mixed Doubles but lost in the Men’s Doubles finals to narrowly miss out on the hat-trick.
Earlier this year, Shaheed had won the Davis Cup Group 4 match with TeamSG Tennis and his victory at the Pesta Sukan C’ship shows again why Shaheed is a note-worthy rising star on our local tennis scene. Driven by the same motivation to do his family proud, Shaheed commits himself to put in his best during every training, rain or shine. That mentality proved to be the difference when he had to play 3 Finals matches back-to-back in a 5-hour ‘marathon’ which included a tie-breaker in the first set of the Men’s Doubles.
Shaheed has certainly proved that he has the heart and lungs to go the distance when he took victory over Israel Arbarquez from Philippines in the Men’s Singles quarterfinals match which lasted over 3-and-half hours.
The hat-trick of wins ultimately took a lot of fitness and mental strength, but it also gave Shaheed the confidence knowing that he is able to hang in there and compete among the best even when the going gets tough. The SNG Pesta Sukan Tennis Championships invites experienced players with professional backgrounds and credentials and is pegged differently from the STA tournament which caters more to the junior level players. Tennis was included as part of the Singapore National Games for the first time in 2016.
While pleased with his performance, having seen that the results of his training paid off, Shaheed knows the honor is not his alone to claim. He is extremely grateful for his teammates, Rohan Kamdar (Men’s Doubles) and Evelina Kontareva (Mixed Doubles), whose support and encouragement carried him mentally and physically through the rough patches in this tournament. “Their support is also crucial as I play these back-to-back categories,” he recalls with humility.
He will also like to thank his equipment sponsors, Head and Pro’s Pro, as well as Futuro for their invaluable support, both on, and off, the court. Much credit is also due to the team of officials and medics, as well as Team Nila supporters and, last but not least, his family and friends, who have been his motivation, advice, and support ever since he embarked on his tennis career.
Asked about his plans and intentions, Shaheed has one eye firmly fixed on the 2019 SEA Games where he hopes to qualify and be a medal contender. For now, he will be starting on his polytechnic industrial internship as he continues working towards bigger dreams in his budding tennis career.
20 May 2018 – The night race in its 11th edition, had 25,500 runners mentally fixed that ‘sleep can wait’, but our wolf pack differed. Finishing the race fast to get to sleep fast was a motivation.
After a less than satisfactory race performance few weeks ago, ONEathlete Banjamin Quek comes back strongly with an outstanding 2nd-place finish in the Sundown Marathon 2018 10km race (Local Men) with a time of 38:18.
We caught up with Banjamin after the race, donned in his Under Armour matt black singlet and stylish blue racer shoes. He knew he had finished 5th overall and so, “It was quite a pleasant surprise to know that I ended up 2nd in my category. Heading into this race, there was definitely an element of wanting to prove myself and overcome my last disappointing performance. That’s why this comeback race was a very satisfying one at that!”
The 26-year old full-time athlete added that “the 10.7km course was admittedly challenging with lots of sharp turns. However, the organisers have stepped up to the challenge this year and is probably why the event attracted more overseas runners this year”
Also running a 10km, shortly after flagging it off, was Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Mr Baey Yam Keng. The endearingly dubbed ‘Selfie MP’ is also an avid runner.
In the half-marathon distance, 3rd-place SCSM 2017 finisher Evan Chee, and top Singaporean male finisher at the 2017 Kona Ironman World Championship Ben Ooi, were believed to have finished overall 12th and 18th position, with a time of 1 hour 27min and 1 hour 31min respectively.
Crossing the finish line despite combating some digestive troubles during the race, Evan was satisfied on the note that it was a good lead up run to his upcoming Gold Coast Airport Marathon. In what was otherwise, a competitive category, the top positions were swiped by our overseas performance athletes.
With that, all 3 #ONEathlete representatives finished within top 10 in their respective categories to round off an action-packed weekend for ONEathlete!
As the adage goes – luck comes to those who are prepared to seize it. For someone who’ve had to work as consistently and twice as hard like Banjamin, his results this early morning proves that success is where discipline and opportunity meets. Banja’s days sometimes stretches as long as 14 hours with two training sessions before and after his work as a tutor. The drive and commitment Banjamin continues to pour into his passion for running shows that winning is a simple choice, just not simply made.
Banjamin admitted that he struggled in the closing kilometers of the race, when his legs began to cramp so he switched his focus from getting a fast time to getting his body to the finish line. His mental strategy to ‘tune-out’ from the hurt and hone in on what he has control over has served him well in many races, including this.
Banjamin’s courage and resilience in not quitting has written a new chapter in a story that is not defined by how far he has come or how high he has climbed!
So once again, congratulations to ONEathlete runners, as well as to all finishers at this morning’s event!
P/s: Special shoutout to the beautiful Kelly Latimer for running from start point, to finish point to main race village and all over again a few times, to emcee the night event!!
8. Our athletes play highly significant and meaningful roles, both in and outside the sporting arena. Your sporting talent and achievements put you in a unique position as role models; so I urge you – all of you nominated today and all those who are striving to be on the podium – to use this privileged position to inspire others to give back to fellow Singaporeans, to bring positive change to our community. And I’m heartened that our athletes have begun doing so.
9. I’d just like to quote one or two of them. Yip Pin Xiu, the Straits Times Athlete of the Year in 2015, is one such example. Pin Xiu was named as an athlete mentor for last year’s ASEAN Para Games, as well as the chef de mission for the Singapore contingent at the Asian Youth Para Games in Dubai last December, where she was able to use her vast experience from previous major Games to mentor a young team, and to inspire them to greater heights. I remember a quote from her: “I want to give back to society and help the future generation of athletes. Other than showing others what sports can do, I hope to create more awareness that ‘disabled does not mean unabled, and also to inspire others around me.”
10. We also saw that three Team Singapore athletes – Mok Ying Ren (marathon), Shaheed Alam (tennis), and Ren-ne Ong (badminton) – took part in a public fundraising event just two months ago to help raise $10,000 worth of sporting apparel for youth under SportCares. On behalf of the youth, we thank these athletes for doing their part to really make an impact and improve the lives of others.
Mok Ying Ren at the recent launch of 3M Team FUTURO™ Challenge
11. These are just two examples of how our athletes are using sport as a force for good. I’m happy that many of you are doing likewise, and I encourage you to connect with others in your community, reach out to the less fortunate, and be role models for younger athletes, even as you train hard and strive for sporting success.