Monday, September 29, 2014

Importance of Family involvement in Sports - Dr Ansgar's Family

Family - It is the most important bonding compared to anything

By Saranniya Rajendran

In our Flexifitness running group, we have many families where the parents do take up running and other sports as a passion. Coach Rameshon and his wife runs, Coach Tan's family are involved in sports... other parents of this group do exercise a lot as well. We would like to feature them in future. 

Out of the whole group, if you ask me, I feel that the most consistent family who are training seriously and having fun as well is Dr Ansgar's family. I myself have seen them, coming down for training without fail, unless there is conference or a very important event that they find the need to be there. Otherwise, they are always down for training and are focused in training. 

Dr Ansgar, 48, once impressed all the kids and everyone when he ran a 400m distance in 1m 04sec while doing a 1km all out workout. I thought he will tire out at some point but to my amazement he was still going strong till the end.

The statistics that I have, shows that he has done 2min 55sec  twice. No body, above 40 in this group have done this speed, even when Coach Rameshon won the 2008 Standard Chartered Marathon. The time that Coach Rameshon clocked to do a 2hr 49min for the marathon and his 1km at that time was 2min 56sec. 

Dr Ansgar during the ST Run 2014

In the Straits Times Race yesterday, Dr Ansgar did very well by doing a fantastic time of 1hr 33min and did a personal best by a big margin as his past time was 1hr 48min. Dr Ansgar has recently done a 19min 15sec in 5km for his tempo run. 

As for his wife, Moonlake Lee, 45, she did a time of 32min to 34min in the past for all 5km races, even though she had a personal best time of 30min plus. She just wanted to break the sub-30min barrier in life. Later on, she did a time of 29m 11sec and improved her time. Coach Rameshon told me that she can do a time of 25min for 5km, over time. In the Straits Times Run 2014, Moonlake surprised everyone, even the coaches of Flexifitness, by doing an amazing 1hr 01min  for the ST Run 10km race.

Dr Ansgar's children in our Young Champions' Programme

Her children Hana and Alisa, who are in our programme, have done well in the recent POSB Run. Dr Ansgar's family is at present training the children in swimming as well. Both parents do not want to push them to just running. They agree with Coach Rameshon that they may burnt out over time. If the children like swimming, they are alright with the children's decision. Right now, the parents are not pushing them for anything. They just want their kids to enjoy. 

Having said that I will put up the interview that I had with Dr Ansgar and Moonlake in order to motivate many families in Singapore to get themselves involved in sports together. I have never seen a family like this. Dr Ansgar's family works as a unit. We can learn to be like them and be happy in life as well. 

Dr Ansgar, with his finisher medal

An Interview with Dr Ansgar Cheng

What is the race you took part in and distance?  

I took part in the ST Run 2014 in the Half Marathon (21km) category.

Are you happy with the timing you have attained?

I am happy with the timing considering I had been suffering from an injury in my left buttock for a few weeks and I was not even sure if I should take part in this run only about ten days ago.

With some stretching, rest, medicine, massage (yes, my wife massaged my sore bum every night), moderate/mild run under the guidance of FlexiFitness coaches, I felt prepared well enough and managed to summon the courage to run this event. However, I did remind myself that I would stop if I felt anything unusual should happen during the run. Luckily, my body system worked well and I managed to finish the run shoulder to shoulder with the overall third place female runner. She was a tough cookie and showed up right next to me at about 14km from behind and I never really managed to shake her off. I learn a lot from that ;)

How was the route?

The route was fantastic! A generally very flat course. About 50% of the route was along the water front, which made it nice and cool. The 13th km stretch was over the Marina Barrage. I remember the sound of sea waves and smell of the sea from my right while the fresh water was on my left. This reminded me running along the seaside as a school boy in Hong Kong.

How was the organisation of the race?

I could not find anything bad about the race organization all in all. Maybe they wish they serve breakfast at some water stations ;) but I guess no one would have the time to enjoy the food then ;)

What is your next target?

My next target is to focus on a good night’s sleep. Followed by one day of junk food and then redirect myself to the 2014 Standard Chartered Half Marathon in December, while staying injury free as I have overworked my wife in the massage department already. She needs to focus on her own 10K Personal Best in December too.

Moon, at the finish point

Interview with Moonlake Lee

What is the race you took part in and distance? 

I took part in the ST Run, 2014 in the 10km category. It was my first time doing the ST Run, and my third 10km ever!

Are you happy with the timing you have attained?

Yes, I am most definitely happy with the timing I achieved in the run. It was a personal best for me. I was aiming for a 1-hour completion time. I ended up just short of that... the unofficial time is 1 hour 1 minute. 

My personal best previously at the standard chartered run 2013 was 1 hour 11 minutes. So an improvement of 10 minutes was something I was delighted about.

How was the route?

The route was great – it was very scenic.  I saw the sunrise which was a beautiful sight.  We ran on the Formula One track, past the Singapore Flyer, along Gardens by the Bay, Marina Barrage and ended up at the new National Stadium. There was a lovely view of the waterfront as well.

I always enjoy doing city runs as it is easier to access the race venue by public transportation.

How was the organisation of the race?

The ST Run was quite well organized.  There were sufficient water stations and a lot of cheerful volunteers.

What is your next target?

I hope to do a sub-1 hour timing for the Standard Chartered 10km run in December 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Singapore International Aquathlon 2014 - Aspiring Young Triathletes

Singapore International Aquathlon - 2014

By Rameshon

Flexifitness athletes Emma Oh and Ethan Oh did well by coming in second in the team relay for the Youth section. I have given them an interview and Andrew Oh, the father, has answered, with Ethan Oh giving me some of his answers. 

Picture 1 - (left - right) Emma Oh and Ethan Oh, collecting the 1st runners-up prize

An Interview With Andrew - Ethan Oh and Emma Oh's father

What was the name of the race?
We took part in Singapore International Aquathlon 2014. 

Who took part?
Many from all over the world took part in the race.

What was the distance that you took part in?
My son  swam 8min 39sec for the 400m and my daughter did 3km swim in 14min 15sec. It is near exam time, so my daughter and son are training less. Else, I believe that the time would have been much faster. . 

What was the results of their race?
For youth category below 15 years of age, which involves a mixed team of boy and boy, boy and girl or girl and girl, my children came in 2nd in the team relay. 

What were you expecting of their performance to be?
To finish the race that is all. 

How was the organisation of the race?
It was organised very well

What was the prize of the race?
Trophy and medal and milo were given as incentives for the race.

A short interview with Ethan Ho

How did you find the weather?
The weather was good. 

Did you expect yourselves to be top 3?
No, we did not! We just wanted to have fun

What is your long term goal?
To be a triathlete in the long run

Is sub - 2hr possible for Marathon? - New World Record Broken is 2hr 02min 57sec.

Is a Sub-2 hour Marathon possible? History may shed some light

By Rameshon

May 21, I have written an article on breaking the sub-2hours, is it possible? 

News Today

Kenyan Dennis Kimetto, 30, broke Wilson Kipsang's marathon world record by 26 seconds in Berlin today, coming in first in a time of 2hr 02min 57sec.
Dennis was able to pull away from Mutai, the former world record holder (2hr 03min 38sec, 2011 Berlin Marathon) with about  four kilometers to finish. Dennis became the first man to complete the race in less than two hours and three minutes. As for Mutai, he also did a personal best time. 
Since 2007, the world record has been broken in Berlin Marathon about 5 times already and it is now known as the fastest international marathon course in the world. 
Tirfi Tsegaye won the women's race in two hours, 20 minutes and 18 seconds, seven seconds, beating her fellow Ethiopian Feyse Tadese in the race.  

As for Flexifitness, Jonathan Kang ran the race. With his previous marathon best of 3hr 04min, he was planning to do a sub-3hr 04min, with his minimal training mileage. Lim Thow Wee send a sms to me that Jonathan did a time of 3hr 02min 56sec. 

Flexifitness would like to congratulate Jonathan Kang for his fine performance. 

Sub - 2 hours - Will this ever happen? Read on.

Picture 1 - Sri Chinmoy predicted that the world record will be sub-2hrs over time. 

The Late Sri Chinmoy (, who was Olympian Carl Lewis' guru, wrote in a book which stated that the world marathon time will get faster over time to the point that it will cross the sub-2 hour barrier. Sri Chinmoy, at around age 70, was in fact able to carry dignitaries, with one hand. He showed this feat many times to the world. Sri Chinmoy, himself, was able to do amazing incredible thing that one may say, " It is impossible". Once a newspaper article showed him carrying the then Singapore's top body builder Fantomein Ali, with just one hand, lifting him up fully. Sri Chinmoy had athletes who broke several world records and it is in the Guiness Book of World Record.  His organisation also had organised several ultramarathon races USA during in the 1990s. Some world records were set in races organised by his group. I was one of those inspired by Sri Chinmoy.

Picture 2 - Sri Chinmoy - Always believed in exercise and yoga 

Somewhere in early 1990s, I read Sri Chinmoy's book about running. He answered several of my questions on running and how to train, improve, and  how to become faster etc. He inspired me greatly  on why a runner does not have to be a non-vegetarian. He wrote too of the  diet to take if one wants to do well etc.

At that time, I knew that the world record holder was Belayneh Dinsamo from Ethiopia, who ran in Rotterdam Marathon in year 1998. Belayneh Dinsamo did 2hr 06min 50sec and broke Portugese Carlos Lopez's world record of 2hr 07min 12sec, which was set on year 1985.

In year 1993, when I was studying in Loughborough University of Technology, England, I did not believe that the world record set by Belayneh Dinsamo will be broken. At the same time, many others also felt that the time set was incredible and that it will be impossible to break the 2hr 06min 50sec barrier.

Then, in year 1998, Ronaldo Da Costa, from Brazil, amazed everyone when he ran and improved the world record to 2hr 06min 05sec, in Berlin Marathon. Shortly after, Moroccan Khalid Khannouchi broke the world marathon record to 2hr 05min 42sec in the Sept 1999 Chicago Marathon. Khalid became a USA citizen later on and he improved his time to 2hr 05min 38sec, his second time breaking the world record. He he did this in London Marathon in year 2002, Sept.

I thought that from here onwards there will be no more world records to be broken, as it was getting harder to run faster. Then came Paul Tergat of Kenya, 5 times World Cross-Country Champion appeared and he ran in Berlin Marathon, in 2003, September, and did 2hr 04min 55sec.

Picture 3 - (left to right) Daniel Ling, Khalid Khannouchi and I 

Although Paul Tergat had many incredible wins in the World Cross Country races, I still felt that no one will be able to break the world record from then on.

Picture 4 - Haile Gebreselassie and Paul Tergat, great world athletes

Subsequently, Haile Gebreselassie from Ethiopia, who had broken several world records between 1500m and half-marathon races, ran in Berlin Marathon 2007, Sept, and set the world record to 2hr 04min 26sec. Haile switched his races to 10000m to marathon. His main focus was half-marathon and marathon races.

Picture 5 - (left to right) Rameshon, Haile Gebreselassie and Daniel Ling 

From that point, Haile had several ups and downs in marathon races. His success came later to him again. With confidence in bringing the world record further, he answered to the question of a reporter on whether he can do a sub-2hr 04min barrier. He told, "I will show you!". When I was running to complete in the Berlin Marathon 2008, I heard from the announcement that Haile had broken the world record to 2hr 03min 59sec. Haile was commenting to the massive crowd on his incredible feat. That was fantastic. 

However, I did a time of 3hr 31min that year in the 2008 marathon race in Berlin. I was a bit disappointed in the race that year. It is still fresh in my mind now.

After September, with the inspirational story of Haile, doing a sub-2hr 04min, I decided to do The Standard Chartered Marathon in year 2008. In that race, all three of our group runners - consisting of myself, Daniel Ling and Dr Ben Tan - came in first, second and third, respectively. 

I did 2hr 49min at the age of 43 years of age and that was the time that Dr Ben Tan, third in the race did his sub - 3hours with us. 

Picture 6 -  (left to right) We three were first, second and third, with Daniel Ling (2nd), myself (2nd) and Dr Ben Tan (3rd) in Standard Chartered Marathon 2008. 

As for the story on progressive world records broken, I felt that the way the world record were broken were thought provoking. I was very surprised that the world record was still going to get better and better over time. 3 years later, Kenyan Patrick Makau showed that the impossible world record set by Haile could still go down. He ran in the Berlin Marathon, Sept, 2011 and he did 2hr 03min 38sec. In year 2013 year, the world record broken again and it went down to 2hr 03 min 23sec by Wilson Kipsang. The record was done in 2013 Berlin Marathon, in September. 

As the world marathon record is 2hr 02min 57sec by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto, we are left with an improvement of 2min 57sec plus to see the breaking of the sub-2hr barrier for marathon. I am firm that nothing is impossible.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Performance of Flexifitness Runners in Straits Times Run 2014

Straits Times Run 2014 
A good home run for Flexifitness athletes, with nearly everyone doing personal best times.

By Saranniya Rajendran

Picture 1 - Dr Ansgar Cheng, rose beyond expectation for Flexifitness

Today, suddenly, I got a forwarded message from Coach Rameshon. It was about 8 45am. He sent to me what our athlete by the name of Moonlake had sent. The latter had sent that nearly, if not all have done a personal best time or season best time.  

Picture 2 - (Moonlake Lee, Mr Andy Liew (Ashley's Father), Dr Ansgar Cheng, Bobby Ng Qi Rong in Straits Time Run 2014

Our fastest runner is Dr Ansgar, 48, a dentist by profession. His personal best time was 1hr 48min in the past. In this race, it was a home run for him. He did 1hr 33min 29sec (unofficial time) for the half-marathon course.

Picture 3 - Dr Ansgar, left of the photo, bespectacled, with other Flexifitness members (From POSB Run 2014)

As of today, I have two dentist heroes in Flexifitness, from today's performance. They are Dr Benny Goh, who has done 4 sub-2hr 55min for marathon races. Dr Ansgar, has impressed me with his solid performance in the race. I used to see him train on the track and there was this prediction in me that this iron-willed determination Doctor is going to do well. He trains in an impressive way. He is all 100% effort in running. His focus is total. I am inspired by him. 

Dr Ansgar's wife, Moonlake Lee, 45, did 1hr 01min for the 10km race.  It was a big personal best time for Moonlake who used to do 5km time trial of between 32min and 34min in the past. In the POSB race, her children also ran the race. 

I feel that this is one family that we would like to feature in our blog soon so that many families out there will do likewise to exercise as a family. 

Picture 4 - Dr Ansgar Cheng (right) with Moonlake Lee  (left)

Other runners who have done well is Mr Bobby Ng Qi Rong who did a time of 57min 20sec (unofficial time) for the 10km race, in today's race. Truly speaking, Mr Bobby was nervous about his sub - 60min target before the race. After achieving, he message Coach Rameshon that he intends to do a sub-50min 10km over time. 

The other runner who has done well is Mr Andy Liew, who is none other that Ashley Liew's father. He did a superb 59min 15min. I am inspired by Mr Andy's performance as well. I thought that if he could do a sub 1hr 20min, it would be fine. 

Joseph Ho - Consistent improvement all the time

We also got this message from Mr Joseph Ho. He said in his facebook, "Another satisfying run done this morning. The Straits Times Run 2014. Thanks to Coach Rameshon Murugiah for always his inspiring stories. Unofficial timing of 2hr 8mins breaking my last month Army Half Marathon of 2hr17mins. Finally break the 2hr10min mark. — feeling accomplished at Singapore Sports Hub.". 

As I myself know Mr Joseph, we realised that he has been always improving in his running. He is a consistent in training and works very hard, sometimes extra hard to achieve. He has been busy working and training such that we have not got any response, yet, from the interview questions that my co-writer, Marcel Sng, had sent. We hope to write on this gentleman who has a body which is 10 years younger according to the body scanning device. 

What impresses me is that he uses Flexifitness training to improve his running performance. He has been going to Ashley's chiro, Dr Kelvin Ng for treatment so that he can perform well in running. Joseph has always mentioned that chiro has been also helping him in his running. Coach Rameshon also found that since the day Mr Joseph went for chiro, his body has become more aligned and he is getting faster over time. 

Picture 5 - Training and chiro, going hand in hand for Joseph Ho. (Photo taken from POSB Run- Coutesy of Runcapture)

Note: I shall write an interview with answers as soon as possible on Dr Ansgar's family as they are running with joy. This family is an inspirational family and I believe that other families can benefit from reading and do likewise. 

Straits Times Run 2014

By Saranniya Rajendran

Wang Yan - Hopes to run in the marathon over time

Tomorrow is the day where many runners are going to take part in the Straits Times Run. Some of our runners are taking part in the race. Wang Yan who came in 3rd in the POSB RUN 2014 is running in the race. We have our Flexifitness runners Moonlake Lee and Dr Ansgar running in the race as well. We also have Vandana running in the race and would like to wish everyone all the best, as she is also doing the Great Eastern Run. 

We also had a Tri Factor Triathlon race where our runner Jonathan did 59min plus for the race. doing a sub-60min. He was yearning for this just before the race and he got it. He ran a race 2 weeks back and did 68min, beating his personal best time by 10min. In the past, he told me that his time, a month ago was 77min and it stagnated like this for a year. We will be interviewing him soon. 

In Singapore Aquathlon National Championships 2014, our biathlon team athletes  Emma and Ethan Oh came in second for the relay championships, while Ewan Oh, age 9, came in 20th in the individual category. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Performance for Year 2014 for Flexifitness Athletes, as of 26 Sep 2014

By Marcel Sng

When the FlexiFitness athletes ran the Army Half Marathon on 31 Aug, Coach Rameshon and I felt we were more focused on 5 and 10km races rather than 21km. Our training was more suited to 5km and 10km races; in the long term, Coach Rameshon is now working towards marathon personal bests for FlexiFitness athletes 

In the recent POSB Run on 14 Sep, many FlexiFitness athletes have improved their 10km timings. As the athletes were more prepared for the 10km, nearly all did well. In the Corporate Challenge, FlexiFitness Team A and B came in 1st and 2nd respectively. 3 below 40 min Their new Personal Bests are recorded below.

Note: Children's records will be shown in the future 

January 2014
SAA Cross Country 2014
(1) Lim Thow Wee 18min 38sec, (Personal Best Time)
(2) Jensen 18min 46sec
(3) Coach Rameshon 18min 56sec, 6th position in Men Veteran. (Season Best)
(4) Sophia  20min 16sec, (1st in  Women Open)
(5) Mari - Champion in Women under 14 (Fastest runner in Wings Cross -Country,
(6) Brian - 3rd in boys under 14.

Wings Cross Country 2014
1st in Wings Cross-Country 2014, for under 14 girls.

February 2014
Zoo Run 2014 
(1) Selvanther 2nd overall in net time for Zoo Run for under  14 boys
(2) Coach Rameshon - 48min 08sec
(4) Coach Tan Eng Howe - 54min 59sec.

 Tokyo Marathon 2014
(1) Leong Hong Yew - 3hr 35min 25sec (Personal Best Time) Men Veteran

April 2014
London Marathon 2014
(1) Desmond Soh -- 3hr 39min (Personal Best) Men Veteran

Paris Marathon 2014
(1) Lim Thow Wee - Marathon (Men Open) 2hr 48min 49sec - Personal Best
(2) Jennifer Quek - Marathon (Women Open) 3hr 53sec

Flexifitness 2.4km Time Trial 
(1) Lim Thow Wee - 7min 48sec (Personal Best)
(2) Coach Rameshon - 7min 56sec
(3) Vijay - 7min 57sec (Personal Best)
(4) Benjamin Fan - 7min 57sec (Personal Best)
(5) Ali - 8min 30sec
(6) Ms Rajendran - 09min 09sec (Personal Best), Women Open

NTUC Income 350 Run
(1) BK Pradeep - 10km - 52min 32sec (Personal Best Time)

May 2014
Copenhagen Marathon 2014
(1) Tarandeep Kaur - 3hr 52min
(2) Shireena Woon - 4hr 10min

(1) Ashley Liew -  1st position - 17MIN 02SEC

Stockholm Marathon 2014
Dr Benny Goh - , 2hr 57min 52sec (Season Best)

Cold Storage Run 2014
Adit - 4th overall for Kids between 7 and 8 years of age, 800m

June 2014
Pocari Sweat Run 2014
Berlinda - 1hr 11min (3min improvement, personal best time)

MR 25 Half-Marathon (Team) - Overall Flexifitness 4th in Men Open Team
Lim Thow Wee and Colin Chua enabled Flexifitness to come in 4th overall.

July 2014
Gold Coast Half-Marathon 2014 (07/07/2014)
(1) Colin Chua - 1hr 24min 24sec ( 1min improvement , Personal Best Time)
(2) Kariel - 1hr 57min 37sec (17min improvement, Personal Best Time)

Red, White and Blue 5kim Run 2014 (6th/07/2014)
(1) Ashley Liew (champion for age between 25 and 29) - 16min 18sec

Aug 2014
21km Time Trial New Personal Best 

Wang Yan- 1hr 46min 37sec (first effort, non-runner previously)

5km Time Trial
Bryan- 18min 50 sec (was 19:35 2 months) 

Flexifitness 5km Time Trial 2014 (Only those who have done pb will be mentioned)
(1) Lim Thow Wee - 18min 16sec (Personal Best Time)
(2) Benjamin Fan - 18min 57sec (Personal Best Time) :  18min 43sec new Personal Best 
(3) Kenny - 18min 38sec (Personal Best Time)
(4) Desmond - 21m 45sec (season best)
(5) Le Nguan - 22min 17sec (season best)
(6) Yoga - 21min 52sec (Personal Best Time)
(7) Szerk - 22min 29sec (Personal Best Time)
(8) Chin Peng - 24m 45sec (Personal Best Time)
(9) Jennifer - 24min 20sec (Personal Best Time)
(10) Mari - 21min 14sec, women open (Personal Best Time)

Jensen - 18min 46sec (Personal Best time)
Brian - 18min 50sec  (Personal Best time) Under 14 boys runner
Jonathan - 20m 01sec
Dr Ansgar - 19min 15sec (Personal Best time)
Desmond - 20m 28sec (Personal Best time)
Reuben - 20 58sec (Personal Best time) 13 year old.
Vijay - 21min 04sec (exams period)
Ryo - 21min 37sec
Szerk - 21min 40sec (Personal Best time)
Kenneth L - 22min 34sec (Personal Best time)
Wang - - 22min 24sec (Personal Best time) Veteran women runner
Wee - 22min 34sec (Personal Best time)
Dr Benny Goh - (paced Jennifer)
Joseph - 24m 42sec
(Lee Nguan - paced Chin Peng)
Kariel - 25min 08sec
Mao xing - 25min 39sec
Diva - 25min 40sec
Bobby - 26min (just joining back after long absence)
Shan - 28min 17sec (Personal Best time)
Imran 6km - 37min 28sec (Personal Best time)

Sep 2014

POSB run 2014
(Note: PB means Personal Best,
SB means Season Best)

38:09       THOW WEE
39:17 PB KEN LEE          
40:13 PB MOSES NG       
40:24       BENNY GOH    
41:30       ERNEST            
43:06       JONATHAN K
43:35 SB VIJAYARAJ    
44:35       LOUIS S 
48:18 PB TREVOR   
48:23       RYO THAM 
49:07       SZERK LIM  
54:05 PB JOSEPH HO  

44:57 PB YAN WANG    
45:31 PB MARI           
51:13 PB KARIEl           
53:55 PB EMMA OH  
54:21 PB BRINDA     
55:41 SB PEI HUA     
58:14 PB DIVYA K     
01:02:36 SB SUMATHY     
01:04:00 PB HELEN TOH