Sunday, October 31, 2010

Inter-Varsity Track and Field Championships 2010 (Singapore) 2nd Day

Second Day of Inter-Varsity Track and Field Championships 2010

Picture 1 - Ashley Liew - Collecting his bronze medal for 10000m


1500M WOMEN
1 5M 13.59S SP LOSSINI J
2 5M 19.41S NTU SUMIKO TAN
3 5M 19.66S NUS ANG SIEW MIN
4 5M 19.70S NUS HARIYAT BTE MOHD NOOR
5 5M 27.83S NP PHUA HUI QIN
6 5M 34.88S NTU  LOUISA CHIEW
7 5M 43.01S NP YVONNE KHOO YI ZHEN
8 5M 57.90S NGEE CHENG SI JIA
9 6M 05.50S SMU LIAW JIAYI
10 6M 14.31S TP YEO SHU YUAN
11 6M 16.62S TP NG KAI LIN
12 6M 18.40S ITE RACHEL NEO YUN ER
13 6M 20.57S SIM KONG YI WA
14 6M 21.61S SIM  NEO SWEE HONG
15 6M 36.80S RP RAHAMATUN NEESHA

1500M MEN
1 4M 21.61S NUS R MADANKUMAR
2 4M 22.61S NTU OON KUAN YONG
3 4M 23.16S NTU COLIN TUNG
4 4M 24.91S NUS AARON MENG
5 4M 30.54S NGEE DINESH KUMAR
6 4M 30.61S SIM CHUA YOU BOON
7 4M 33.04S TP ALVIN LAM
8 4M 36.52S NP SUMANTHIRAN S/O SELVARAJOO
9 4M 38.35S SMU AMRIT SINGH
10 4M 43.70S NP EUGENE TEO
11 4M 44.58S SP ALFRED SIM
12 4M 48.22S SIM TOH WEIMING
13 4M 56.24S ITE MUH, BIN MOHAMAD ALI
14 4M 57.46S TP NG KANG JUN
15 4M 58.51S RP CHEW RENGUI
16 5M 10.07S NGEE WEE YAN SENG
17 5M 20.26S ITE MUHAMMAD ZAINUDIN
18 5M 31.37S RP KENNETH KONG

3000m Women
1 11M 58.60S NUS MICHELLE CHAY LIYING
2 12M 12.84S NTU SUMIKO TAN SOK HUE
3 12M 21.52S NUS MELISSA TAN HUI MIN
4 12M 37.62S SIM LAINE FU WENFANG
5 12M 44.67S SP AMANDA CHENG XIN XIN
6 12M 48.70S SMU RAINA LEE RUI NA
7 12M 54.23S RP LIEU HUI XIAN
8 13M 05.36S SIM TIFFANY TAN SHI JUN
9 13M 25.72S NP CLARISSE YONG SUET YI
10 13M 33.56S TP ALEXIS LIM SING YI
11 13M 40.22S SP ELAINE CHOO GOU LI
12 13M 59.98S NP HWEE LUN, PANG
13 14M 01.84S TP HOR TSE XIN
14 14M 57.65S ITE RACHEL NEO YUN ER
15 15M 09.34S SMU KONG ZHEN NING

Picture 2 - From Left to Right - 10,000m race winner in the podium, Giridar Swaminathan (second), Mok Ying Ren (Champion) and Ashley Liew (third)


5000M MEN
1 15M 34.33S NUS MOK YING REN
2 16M 38.06S NUS AARON MENG
3 17M 15.07S SIM CHARLTON NG
4 17M 23.50S NTU SHI RONGHUA
5 17M 26.62S SP MUHAMMAD BIN HASSAN
6 18M 00.72S NTU DARREN NIN
7 18M 00.92S SMU BRENDAN LEE
8 18M 27.73S NP CHEW JEE KANG
9 18M 30.24S NP GABRI SOO JIAN ZHONG
10 18M 36.49S ITE SANJEET SINGH
11 18M 57.75S SP NEO BENG KIONG
12 19M 06.86S SMU LIM CHENG GUI
13 19M 16.42S NP JOHN TAY
14 19M 19.36S RP VIJAYKUMAR
15 19M 44.82S RP CHUA YEW AIK
16 19M 51.85S TP MUHD ARIF B ABDULLAH
17 20M 50.71S TP KOH KAH YONG
18 23M 52.16S NGEE WEN YAN SENG
19 23M 52.50S NGEE EE, ESLI


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Great Eastern Women 10km Race (Part 1)

Great Eastern Women 10km Race - A great day for Vivian Tang, the Women Open winner and Sheryl Loh who is considered the fastest runner in the women Junior as she is under 19 years of age.

Note: Official Results are found after this article.

Today, I woke up very early in the morning to see three of our current Hwa Chong Institution (college) girls run in the Great Eastern Women's 10km Race. At the same time, Sheryl Loh, our former Hwa Chong Institution (college) tennis player also joined the three girls by taking part in this race. The start of the race was a fifteen minutes walk from the finish line.

After the start of the race, I was waiting at the finishing point, which was directly in line with the Cenotaph, near Padang, at Connaught Drive. It was a long wait until I heard the announcer announcing from the mike system that the first runner was coming in. My first guess was that the runner must be from Kenya. After some time, I heard the name announced as Vivian Tang. She was coming in first, having a huge lead over the next runner, who was second. At the finish, I saw the electronic time as 37min 43sec. Next was Trudy Fawcett from United Kingdom with a time of 40min 01sec. In third position, it was Patlovich, a Singapore, with a time of 40min 20sec.

Suddenly, just behind Patlovich, it was none other than Sheryl Loh, who at present is  training with me and she was just behind Patlovich. Sheryl's time was 40min 36sec, according to the electronic time. Elaine Lim, was fifth. I saw her waving her hand at me. I too waved back at her. It is known that she is right now pursuing her further studies by doing her masters. Eventually, from 6 to 10 position, I saw 5 female adult runners running neck to neck and posted a time of 41min 48sec, 41min 50sec, 41min 51sec, 41min 52sec and 41min 56sec, respectively.

After a while, I saw Pamela Chia, our former Hwa Chong Institution (college) sportsgirl of the year award winner, doing a creditable time of 42mins plus for the race, according to the gantry. I saw her raising her hand up high when she was about to finish her race. It seemed as though that there was still more energy in her. It was very encouraging to see her run.

After the race, I took some shots of Sheryl Loh. Her time was a vast improvement from her run in the New Balance 10km/15km Real Run, recently, at Aviation Park Road. I knew that she was already first for the women junior and I told her that. I said that the three of them are all adults. She was also third local for the women open. She was very happy to hear this.

While taking some shots, I interviewed Vivian Tang on her improvement in her time. She immediately told me that the timing has some adjustments to be done. She believed her timing to be more that the 37min 43sec, probably 38mins plus. Sheryl Loh also told me that she believed her timing to be somewhere 41min plus and not 40min plus as indicated by the gantry. She told me that there is something wrong in the timing.

After interviewing Sheryl on her race, finally, I left the Padang area to go home and have a good rest. It was an inspiring day!

Official Overall Women 10km Time
No Chip F  Gun Time Con Name
1 38m 32s   38m 32s  Singapore Vivian Tang
2 40m 54s   40m 55s  United Kingdom Trudy Fawcett
3 41m 06s   41m 10s  Singapore Patlovich
4 41m 24s   41m 25s  Singapore Sheryl Loh
5 41m 43s   41m 44s  Singapore Elaine Lim
6 42m 36s   42m 36s  Ireland    Siobhan Mchugh
7 42m 38s   42m 39s  Singapore  Andrea Kovacs
8 42m 39s   42m 40s  South Africa Carine Rossouw
9 42m 30s   42m 41s  Lituania  Ocesra Tosello
10 42m 44s  42m 45s Singapore Jeraldine Collett

43m 40s  Sin Pamela Chia

Friday, October 29, 2010

Akilan Shanmugaratnam - Sinda Excellence Award 2010 Recipient

Akilan Shanmugaratnam - Sinda Excellence Award (Gymnastics)

Picture 1- Akilan, on left hand side of the photo, raising the leg, is excellent  in endurance, soccer and in gymnastics, his chosen sport

A do not try at home stunt by Akilan in the Hwa Chong Institution (High School) field
I witnessed this stunt in front of me.

S. Jeevanesh, the current top middle and long distance runner of Hwa Chong Institution (College) and his former school mate of Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Sec School, Ruben Galen, were at the SINDA award ceremony on 25/09/2010. After collecting the awards, the two of them had tea together with me. While we three were talking together, we decided to take a photo with Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam (Finance Minister) and Mr Lim Swee Say (Minister in the Prime Minister's Office).

Picture 2 - It was great taking a photograph with Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, with Ruben Galen on the left flank and S. Jeevanesh on the right flank.
From my experience, Wen Zhe, Lim Swee Say's son, was a very good waterpolo player who brought a team gold medal for the then former Chinese High School for the under 14 waterpolo competition. Wen Zhe was also an obedient person who was at the best of behaviour during my teaching in the then The Chinese High School (2000-2005). He contributed to the school's success in water-polo all the way until his days in the college section.

Also, all three sons, Aran, Akilan and Arivan of Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam are excellent sports people. All of them are connected to Hwa Chong Institution. Aran had  graduated from Hwa Chong Institution (College) last year in 2009. Akilan is in the final year in Hwa Chong Institution (College) and Arivan is in Hwa Chong Institution (High Sch).

Both Aran (track and field) and Akilan (gymnastics) were the awardees of Sinda Excellence Award 2010, which was held on 25/09/2010, at Nanyang Polytechnic. As I know them, these two were known to be very active people. They were seen in the street soccer court playing when they were having free period.

Both of them have been known to possess very good endurance and always do very well for the 2.4km NAPFA test. Aran was very good in middle and long distance running when he was young in secondary one. I invited him to join the cross-country club. However, because of his love for soccer, I decided to recommend him to do long jump and triple jump and at the same time play soccer when ever he has the time. I realised that he was an avid player who was very skillful in soccer.

Later, I met Akilan in the college section of Hwa Chong Institution. During the YOG lighting of the flame, I was able to witness the gymnastics team performing their item. During Youth Olympic Games, I realised that Akilan was able to exhibit excellence in displaying gymnastic skills.

As I know them from experience, the two sons of Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Aran and Akilan are excellent in their behaviour and are well liked by other students in the school. On top of that, they are humble about their attainments. As such, I decided to write on Akilan, who is about to do his GCE 'A' Levels examinations. Few months back, I was able to witness his good endurance fitness when I conducted the 2.4km after the 5 items test battery of NAPFA test. Hence with this experience, I decided to do an interview him.

An Interview With Akilan Shanmugaratnam, son of  Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam

Picture 3 - The class of 09A14, with Mr Burge

How do you feel about winning SINDA Excellence award?
I was definitely surprised, since I have not contributed much to the association or community through my sports. Even so, I am very glad for being recognised by SINDA for my personal achievements, because it means that I am not the only one taking pride in them.

Can you give me your personal best for 2.4km?
8min 40sec, though it will surely be a while before I regain that level of fitness.

What sport do you like to play?
I have been a gymnast since I was seven, but I really really enjoy playing football. Um some times I join my friends for beach volleyball but I am not very good

What was your reason for choosing gymnastics as your CCA?
I was selected in primary one by my primary school coach. Since then I have never looked back, and gymnastics demands the highest level of dedication and discipline. Gymnastics attracts me mainly because it gives you control over your entire body and its movements, and also because it involves an aesthetic element.
Can you share with us on the Resilience award that you have received when you were in the High School of Hwa Chong Institution?
I was given the award twice, in 2006 and 2008, even though I was not the athlete with the highest scores or most medals. My coach nominated me for the award because he felt I had a healthy attitude and commitment to the sport, as I had to push myself continually to match my peers who are often much more talented than me.
Picture 4 - Wang Yong Fa, Akilan's Gymnastics current coach


How do you balance studies and sports?
I think the simple key is being mindful of your time. I try not to allow time to pass unnoticed, and this allows me to apply myself productively, and constantly inch towards the goals I want to achieve. Twenty-four hours can be alot more flexible than many people realise.

In a practical sense, I make sure to work out a schedule with my coach, and I feel it is a basic responsibility to stick to it. Studying can be done in my own time, and I know I am only accountable to myself.

Picture 5 - Akilan (second from left, standing), with the gymnastics team.


What is your goal in life?
I don't really look so far ahead, but I would like to keep exploring new possibilities and experiences and try to know more about the world and people.

What advice would you give to those who want to balance studies and training?
Don't be constrained by what people tell you - take things on your own terms and don't be intimidated by warnings that might discourage you. Because of negative mindsets, most of us never maximise our time and potential.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Inter-Varsity Track and Field Championships 2010 (Singapore)

INTER-VARSITY TRACK AND FIELD RACE - 24/10/2010

On Sunday, 24th of October, I went down to watch the Inter-Varsity race. I wanted to see how my friend, Ashley Liew, faired in this race. I also met other friends like Sheryl Loh, a former Hwa Chong Institution (College) student and Brendan Lee, currently a Singapore Management University student, who came to support Ashley Liew. We found the race interesting because Mok Ying Ren was running as well.


I felt that surely Mok Ying Ren had very good chance of coming in first basing from his current performances in some races. He has shown good form consistently. In the recent New Balance Real Run (17/10/2010), Mok did very well in the race behind two top foreign runners.

At the same time, Ashley Liew has also made some progress recently. We were hoping that he will get top 3 for the race, maybe even a second. We realised in the race there was another good runner by the name of Girider Swaminathan. Hence, we thought, there was a chance of coming in third, instead of second. Anyway, I thought that a race can be unpredictable.

Ahead of everyone, Mok had a big lead and he came in first with a creditable time of 33m 12.85sec. During the race, Ashley was aiming for second position and was pushing during the early part of the race. Meanwhile, Swaminathan was conserving his energy and waited towards the last few kilometres where he overtook Ashley Liew and came in second for the 10km race.

We felt happy for Ashley because two years back he did 39 min 21.98sec for this race. Last year, in the Inter-Varsity race, he did 38min 20.31sec. However, in the recent race, he did a personal best of 35min 33.17sec.  This was something good for him.

I believe that basing from the 10km race, both Ashley and Mok Ying Ren have a very good chance of going below 2hr 40min for the Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon 2010. I believe that both runners are going to be the ones to raise the standard of Singapore athletics. Hopefully, the SSC and SAA are eyeing on these runners and are supportive towards these aspiring runners. It has been long that we have runners like them. Mok Ying Ren came in first for the local section of Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon race, while Ashley came in as the local second, in the men's open category.


Oct 2008: 10000m
1 Mok, Ying Ren NUS 33:57.81 NR
2 Ang, Chee Yong NTU 36:02.84
3 Meng, Aaron NUS 36:39.21
4 Pek, Shao Ling Eugene NP 38:53.94
5 Yeo, Dun Quan RP 39:12.86
6 Salim, Mohd Firdaus ITE 39:16.36
7 Liew, Ashley SMU 39:21.98
8 Wan, Wei Yang NP 39:49.41

Oct 2009:10000m
1 Mok, Ying Ren NUS 33:32.90 NR
2 Meng, Aaron NUS 34:58.79
3 Ang, Chee Yong NTU 36:46.30
4 Ong, Marcus NYP 37:15.79
5 Lip Kee, Tay NTU 37:27.13
6 Yatim, Juwahir ITE 37:45.45
7 Ng, Charlton SIM 37:53.58
8 Liew, Ashley SMU 38:20.31
Picture 1 - Ashley Liew, Rameshon, Brendan Lee and Sheryl Loh 

800m women
1 2m 27.22S SP Lossini J
2 2M 32.72S NTU Sharda Nikita
3 2M 34.23S NTU Amanda Teo
4 2M 35.39S NUS Zakiyah
5 2M 37.09S NUS Bte Mohd Noor
6 2M 43.46S NGEE ANN Cheng SiJia
7 2M 45.22S SMU Jennifer, King
8 2M 45.24S NP Phua Hua Qin
9 2M 45.90S NP Marisa Lee
10 2M 48.24S SI Mei Yi, Lee
11 2M 55.07S TP Hor Tse Xin
12 2M 59.13S TP Ng Kai Lin

800M MEN
1 1M 59.60S NUS MADANKUMAR
2 2M 00.91S NTU KUAN YONG, OON
3 2M 02.72S NTU COLIN TUNG
4 2M 05.71S NUS KENNY CHOO
5 2M 05.88S TP   SAMUEL NG
6 2M 06.39S SI   LEE ZHEN YANG
7 2M 08.28S ITE FAYIZ, MOHD HAJA
8 2M 09.63S NAP KUMAR, R. DINESH 
9 2M 11.59S TP TOH CHENG WEI
10 2M 13.10S NP SOO JIAN ZHONG
11 2M 15.17S SI TOH WEI MING
12 2M 14.43S MUHAMMAD NOOR

10KM MEN
1 33M 12.85S NUS MOK YING REN
2 35M 07.72S NUS SWAMINATHAN, GIRIDER
3 35M 33.17S SMU ASHLEY LIEW
4 36M 28.93S SI   CHAR HONG NG
5 37M 11.54S SMU DEVATHAS SATIANATHAN
6 37M 12.54S NTU HO GHIM KHOON
7 37M 29.,36S SP BIN HASSAN 
8 38M 33.07S TP LIM WEI QIANG
9 39M 17.58S NTU LIP KE, TAY
10 41M 05.23S SI JEE KENG, CHEW
11 42M 27.18S NP JOHN TAY
12 42M 31.92S NP SUMANTHIRAN S/O SELVARAJOO

3000M STEEPLECHASE MEN
1 10M 39.10S NUS JAYANTA
2 10M 46.82S SP BIN ABDUL WAHID
3 10M 48.33S SI CHUA YOU BOON
4 10M 49.96S NUS LIM FANG XUAN
5 11M 16. 07S NTU SAI YIN, WONG
6 11M 22.96S NTU SHI RONG HUA
7 11M 23.46S SMU SIDHU AMRITPAL
8 11M 27.65S ITE SINGH SANJEET
9 12M 43.90S NP SIVAGANANDAM
10 14M 59.98S SI XIN ZHONG,ONG

Monday, October 25, 2010

Oon Shui Kun - Student With Great Potentials

Oon Shui Kun - The Unpolished Diamond

Picture 1 - Oon Shui Kun in Czech Republic before the World Dragon Boat Championships 2010.


I met Oon Shui Kun, who suddenly became very interested in running. He also was passionate about running. He wanted to join the cross-country group. I told him to join us once a week and join the canoe group on all other days. As soon as he joined us, his running speed, over a span of 3 months, went down to 2min 29sec for a 1km run, similar to Jeevanesh, our Hwa Chong Institution (College) middle and long distance runner. Oon Shui Kun also brought his time for 5km from 18 odd minutes to 16min 18secs on a tarmac track. Impressive improvement indeed!

Having said about this young talented student, I realised that he could benefit our track and field team for this year. He ran his first 5000m and came in 3rd in the National Schools' Track and Field Championships 2010. I wrote an interview on him in the second article of the October Blog. Over some time, I found out that Oon Shui Kun had taken part in a major championship - Dragon boat competition and contributed to the team to become World Champions in the team event. Hence, I thought that it would be a good idea to motivate youngsters to believe in themselves and reach the top by reading an article on him. He not only does well in sports but also in studies. I thought that this interview would inspire people of all walks of life to excel in sports. 

An Interview With Oon Shui Kun

Picture 2 - (Left to Right) Lim Swee Kiat, Oon Shui Kun, Mervyn Toh and Daniel Soo.



Where and where was the competition held?
The World Dragonboat Racing Championship was held during September 2009 in Racice, Czech Republic. Teams from all over the world including Germany, Canada, China, USA, Russia and Great Britain took part in the competition. It was my first time taking part in an international competition of such a large scale.

How many races did you take part in?
To keep the squad fresh to challenge throughout the competition, the coach adopted a rotation policy in which every member of the squad played a vital part, be it in the heats or finals. I personally took part in the 200m, 500m, 1000m and 2000m events.

What was the formation of the team?
The team was made up of secondary and junior college canoeists from both NJC and HCI. For the 4 Hwachong canoeists, we did not have prior experience dragon-boating, but with the enormous help from the NJC canoeists as well as invaluable tips from the coach, we were able to pick up the sport in a short time span of 2 months. Eventually, the team was picked based on proficiency in canoeing as well as our fitness levels. We quickly forged strong bonds with the rest of the NJC canoeists and still keep in touch today.

Picture 3 - The Singapore Contigent during the World Dragon Boat championships 2010




How did you all feel when you won the championship?
We were of course happy, yet surprised as we managed to hold our own against physically stronger and bigger rowers from other countries to emerge victorious. We were greatly thankful towards our coach and a large part of the credit goes to him due to his careful preparation as well as strict disciplinary ways.

How do you manage your sports and studies?
I make it a point to try to complete my homework during breaks in school. This is because trainings usually take too much of a toll on me such that I am unable to concentrate fully after trainings. As I am not a very gifted learner, I usually seek help from friends who are academically strong when I do not understand my subjects. I feel that sports and studies actually complement each other, and taking up sports not only refreshes the mind, but forces one to maintain a high level of discipline in order to keep up with one’s schoolwork.

What are your thoughts on running?
I noticed that running is an essential exercise to maintain fitness for all kinds of sports, not only for track and field or cross-country. Be it for basketball, soccer or badminton, the best players usually maintain a high level of aerobic fitness so that they are able to play at a high level for the whole match. My passion for running gradually grew from my canoeing days. Running was an integral part of our training and we did all kinds of runs, from short 400m intervals to 5km runs, and these helped to built up my fitness as well.

In college, I was encouraged by my current Hwa Chong Institution (College) cross-country coach to take up running seriously and have never regretted that decision. He believes that I have a lot potential to do well in running in the long run. I aim to do well in marathon running in future and hopefully I will be able to enter the Olympics and compete with the very best some day.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Beijing International Marathon 2010 (24/10/2010, Sunday)

Gena Siraj wins rainy Beijing Marathon

Picture 1- Ethiopian Gena Siraj wins the men's Beijing International Marathon


Gena Siraj of Ethiopia won the Beijing Marathon in a rain soaked weather, finishing ahead of Gert Thys of South Africa. The timing was found to be slowest in 30 years of the marathon there.

Siraj finished the 26.2-mile course in 2 hr 14 min 45sec, with Thys following in 2hr 15min 56sec. Matthew Sigei of Kenya was third in 2hr 16min 01sec.
Ethiopian Siraj Gena won the men's title at the Beijing Marathon 2010 on Sunday.


Running in the rainy and humid conditions, the 26-year-old Gena was able to outsprint at the last portion of the race. "The race was very tough given the weather conditions, but the Ethiopians usually have training under such bad weather, so we get used to it easily," Gena said through his coach after the race.

Picture 2 - Wang Jiali, from underdog to an international champion


In the women's race, Wang Jiali won the race in 2hr 29min 31sec, 15 seconds ahead of Chen Rong who did 2hr 29 46sec and the third-placed went to Wang Xiaoshu who did 2hr 30min 21sec. All the Chinese dominated the women event.

Wang Jiali, who was not known as a top runner, surprised everyone by her finishing kick towards the end of the race to win the women's title at the Beijing Marathon 2010 on Sunday.


Running through the heavy rain and strong cold wind, Wang Jiali finally caught up with the leading pack of marathon somewhere at the 35km mark. Wang Jiali said, "I never thought of winning the title, all I did is running to my own rhythm," said Wang Jiali after the match.


"I seldom compete under such terrible weather and the rain did affect my form a little bit, but overall my race is ok. Athletes must learn to adjust to any conditions," she said confidently.








Saturday, October 23, 2010

Run for your Life - A Book by Dr Benedict Tan

A review on Run for your Life - The Complete Marathon Guide

A book involving  sport scientists, nutritionist expert, top trainers and coaches.



I remember doing the Kuala Lumpur Half- marathon in year 2009. Just before that, Dr Ben was calling me from Singapore and discussing with me on strategies to win races and training program. These are the three chapters that I gave my opinions on before he wrote the book.

Besides me, he was engaging another 19 experts, who have been in the sports field to share their inputs before he wrote the book on 'Run for your Life'. It must have been a tremendous effort indeed! On that year 2009, Dr Ben Tan came in third in the men veteran category in the Standard Chartered Marathon (Singapore). Having said that, I would like to write the essense of the book so that people who are runners are aware of this book which will assist in one's training program.

The first chapter starts with the question on why we should run. I would summarise this by saying that the heart is a powerful pump that pumps blood to the extremities (head and feet) and the central system (lung and heart). By doing some sessions of running per week, one enables the heart to become a more powerful pump and an efficient organ of the body. Other valuable benefits are also written in the book. This section of the book was written by Dr Tan Peh Khee, who was doing some sessions of runs with us in the year 2009. I also remember Dr Tan Peh Khee as a passionate person who believes in running.

Dr Tan Peh Khee - An avid runner formerly from Raffles Junior College

There are other chapters in the book that discusses on many things pertaining to running, for example, like human being as a running machine.

One of the chapter focuses on measuring one's fitness parameters. Daniel Ling and I presented this topic for our professional sharing to the Hwa Chong PE teachers and 4books were bought on that day. The Big Four discusses on factors that determine how well a distance runner performs and on many tests that are available. The book discusses on maximum oxygen uptake, lactate threshold, running economy and video gait analysis. These are important factors that a runner need to know if he or she wants to do well in running.

In layman's term, maximum oxygen uptake is the amount of oxygen a person can inspire in the body and use the oxygen to the working muscles as much as possible while exercising at a high intensity. It means that a sedentary man who exercises frequently can improve his/her stamina by doing exercise frequently (minimum 3-5 times per week). The higher the maximum oxygen uptake, the higher is the performance in endurance. To find out on how the test is conducted, one can read the book to find out more.

Next, the book also talks on lactate threshold. When a person run fast at a high intensity, lactic acid is produced in the body which will hamper our performance over time. There is a need to find out at what running speed that onset of blood lactate do not affect running performance, in order to sustain a speed which enables one to do a good time, according to one's fitness. Details of the test is found in the book.

Recent research has shown that everything remaining constant, the one that allows one to keep breaking the world record has connection to our running economy. Running economy helps us for easy runs, moderate runs and during the race. A relaxed muscle has been found to use less oxygen as compared to a tensed muscle. Hence, the oxygen consumption will go directly to the working muscles to enable one to go much faster. Details of this is in the book. 

Lastly, of the Big Four, the video gait analysis informs one whether he or she is jumping while running. During a run, one may be moving the hips or shoulders unnecessarily. Sports Physicians are having this technology to help one to identify and make recommendations to change ones gait in order to run economically and not to get oneself injured. By correcting the faulty technique, one is able to run efficiently. I also think that one of these days due to the gait analysis, the world record for the marathon will go under 2hrs. This is my prediction. In the past, we did not have this technology. Now we have this and it is a blessing to the present generation. 

The other chapters discusses on training plan and target setting. How to train for a marathon with a minimum mileage and with less time are taken into consideration.  How to pace oneself during the run and how the intensities can be manipulated are discussed. How can one train throughout the year are all discussed in detail.

The other chapters discusses on the what nutrition to take so that one is able to perform better. In this chapter, I explain in short on the vegetarian diet that I took to attain 2hr 24min 22sec for the SEA Games. The importance of fluid intake is also discussed.  A topic on weight management to improve performance has been also elaborated.

Race strategies and staying injury free are discussed in chapter 8 and 9, respectively. When injured, how to manage and prevent is also shown in pictoral forms and in writing. Very good tips to do stretching and strengthening exercises are all shown in pictoral form so that one could visualise how to do them before and after a run.

What shoe to take and offer of advice if you have a problem are discussed in some chapters. Most importantly, how to come up with a running log is shown so that one is able do well in running is presented.

Having said that, I believe that getting a hold of the book is a good idea rather than my mere words and explanation on Run for your Life. In short, I believe that those who purchase the book will find some answers to their running directions.


About the author - Dr Ben Tan

Dr Tan took up distance running only towards the end of 2002, finishing his first marathon in 5 hours 35 minutes. Morphing from a 78-kg strength athlete that is requisite of a Laser sailor, to a lean 63-kg distance runner, Dr Tan not only achieved his aim of completing the marathon in less than three hours (2:56:20) at the 2008 Singapore Marathon, but also had a podium finish. En route, he qualified for and competed in the 2007 Boston Marathon (3:19:04), 2008 Berlin Marathon (3:01:15), and 10 other marathons.

Currently, Dr Tan is the Head & Senior Consultant Sports Physician at the Changi Sports Medicine Centre (CSMC) and concurrently the Medical Director of the Singapore Sports Medicine Centre. He is a published author in peer-reviewed Sports Medicine and Sports Science journals




Dr Ben Tan - 3rd in Men Open, 2008 Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon Champion

Dr Benedict Tan - 3 Times Sportsman of the Year (Sailing) award winner.

Pic 1 -  2008, a memorable year that we came in first, second and third in the Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon. Dr Ben Tan (left hand side), with determination did 2hr 56mins.
Today, I was just thinking of writing something about Dr Ben Tan, a great aports personality of Singapore. However, some people might ask me who he is. I would say that he is the Medical Director of the Singapore Sports Medicine Centre (SSMC). He is concurrently the Head and Senior Consultant Sports. He is now the President of Singapore Sailing Federation.

Picture 2 - Dr Ben Tan, as a competitive sailor in the past
In the year 1989, 1991 and 1993, Dr Ben Tan won gold medal for Singapore in  the SEA Games in Sailing. In the year 1994, he won the first gold for Singapore in Sailing in Asian Games in Hiroshima, Japan. He was the Sportman of the Year award winner for the year 1991, 1994 and 1995.

Having said that, I would like to say few things on how I know him as a person. In the process, I would like to also introduce and recommend to each and every runner to invest on the book called 'Run for your Life' which he has written, which gives insights into being a complete runner.

In the year 2008, I met Dr Ben Tan during a dinner in Germany, after running our Berlin Marathon run. Our friends Daniel Ling, Grace, Anne Date, Dr Benny Goh plus Dr Ben Tan and his one or two friends were there during the dinner. Dr Ben, while speaking about other things, suddenly went straight to the topic on doing sub 3hrs. His Berlin international Marathon (Sept, 2008)time was 3hrs 01min. Towards the end of the race, he told me that, all the way, for the final 10km, he kept repeating to himself 'no pain' 'no pain' 'no pain' to do a sub 3hrs, which he unfortunately missed it on that very day.

Listening to that, I invited him for our once a week workout with Daniel Ling and I. He came down for all 5 workouts, except for one, which he did it himself when he was in overseas. The rest of the training sessions were done by him, running individually by himself or running with his friends. During the training, I realised that he was hitting the necessary time needed to attain the sub 3hrs. His easy runs timing, however, started to become slower and I had to assure him to believe in the workouts that I was giving on the year 2008 and he was steadfast in the training.

Not only was he believing in the training program, he was also ready to humble himself to follow the training program and give it a try. During the sessions, Dr Ben, kept asking me inquisitive questions on the types of workouts and training. I also realised that he is well informed on running and a very knowledgeable person in marathon running. I shared with him my experience on easy runs, moderate runs and intensity runs. I also realised that he was also sharing his experience with me. It worked both ways.

He was very bold in getting a fast time in the year 2008, in the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, that I was able to see his determination. He was also a focused person. During the workouts, he was on time. He spoke less about himself and he did not mention to me about any of his attainments in the SEA Games or Asian Games. He was also a person who evaluates his training program basing from the number of e-mails I had with him. He always reflected on his training program and always did his best to keep improving on his timing. In short, he had this 'always can improve' kind of attitude that made my planning for him to do a sub 3hrs for the Standard Chartered Marathon 2008, easier. He was also a very good team worker. On that year, the year 2008, was a solid year for us as we were able to come in 1, 2 and 3 for the Standard Chartered Marathon race in Singapore.

Picture 3 - If you want to improve running progressively, gradually and systematically, I would recommend this great book- Run for your Life.

Having said that, I would like to say something in the blog on the essense of book that he has written. Even now, as a president of the Singapore Sailing Federation, he is still doing workouts with us and running. Such is his passion towards running! He has engaged 20 experts in running to share with us on running. In one of the chapter, I have given my inputs on race strategy. which allows a person to improve ones timing in running, whether it is a 2.4km, 5km,10km, half -marathon or the marathon. In another chapter, I have also given input on the training program itself.

As the Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon 2010 is approaching, I would like to recommend to people to buy this book, which is a complete marathon guide. I shall elaborate this in part 2 more on the different chapters that this book covers.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Upcoming Events - Local and the world

24/10/2010(10km) and 30/10/2010(5km)
Inter- Varsity Track and Field Championships

Mok Ying Ren won the 10km race in 33m 12sec. Swaminathan Girider was second and Ashley Liew was third.


31/10/ 2010 - Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon
 
24/10/2010  - Beijing International Marathon
Sammy Mugo is favourite to win as he was 2009 winner with a time of 2hr 08min 20sec. Sammy will be defending his title. Wilson Kiprop, another Kenyan, is a favourite. Prediction, a Kenyan could be a champion on that day.

Picture 1 - Sammy Mugo is defending his title in Beijing International Marathon

November 12 to November 27, 2010.
Asian Games at Guangzhou
Picture 2 - Ready for the Asian Games, The Final Lighting

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Subhas Nair - SINDA Excellence Award (Basketball) Recipient (Part 2)

Subhas Nair - Weight Reduction =Improvement in lifestyle and performance


The people that I talked to, recently, told me to do a write-up on people who have, through dedication and determination, lost weight using common sense approach. Rather than  I write points on how to reduce weight, I told myself to write on people who have gradually lost weight. One such person that I would like to feature is Subhas Nair. Today, I met Subhas Nair in Hwa Chong Institution (college) and told him that I will be doing a write up on him. As a Youth Olympics player, I have completed part 1 of his interview in September Blog issue. Over time, I was thinking of featuring him on his recent weight reduction campaign, while on his path towards excellence in his chosen sport, which is basketball.

I posed two important questions to Subhas Nair on weight reducation and he answered all basing from his experience.

Can you tell us on how you reduced your weight when you were in year 1 and year 2?

When I entered my first year of Junior College in Hwa Chong, I weighed a hefty 205 pounds, or around 93 kilograms. I realized that while a lot of this weight was muscle mass, I was also carrying far too much fat on my body to realistically ever become an elite athlete and it was the only thing holding me back from really breaking that barrier and improving not only my performances on the court, but also my overall quality of life and general health.

I then told myself that I needed to drastically change and improve my training methods and also my eating habits in order to effect a positive change immediately to see results in both the short and long term, and help my school win back-to-back national championships.

I kicked out junk foods, oily foods, processed food, refined sugar and excess carbohydrates and calories from my life, and substituted them with more whole grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables. Also, I use the term "life" as I believe this is not a diet, this is a lifestyle change, as anyone can go on a diet for a certain amount of time and after they reach their goal, they go "off" their diet and put on weight. I find this very pointless and I believe a total change in ones lifestyle and habits is more purposeful and significant , and although this is a difficult decision for anyone to make, however, it is really a positive and necessary change that any serious athlete should not neglect in his/her training.

Also, as it is a lifestyle change, technically my training never ended. Everything I did (and currently do) in my life, from proper sleeping habits to even stretching in the mornings were a part of my training. Also, it was very important to surround myself with the positive and correct motivation to ensure my focus and some of this positive motivation included the work of individuals such as my peers and indeed more renowned individuals such as the wise words of Jack LaLanne and other successful athletes such as Ray Lewis in the NFL and many many other basketballers and athletes, who have made it clear to me that "Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work hard", and this allowed me to stay highly motivated and zeroed in on my targets and goals.

Through this lifestyle change and positive mindset, I managed to lower my weight down to a healthy 77kg ( 170 pounds ) in mid-2010 and managed not only to look better but also to feel and live better. This is definitely a feeling of great individual triumph, which is one of the best feelings in the world.

Do you find weight reduction as beneficial to your sport? Can you explain more on this?

Definitely my weight reduction has improved the quality of my performances on the court and also helped me realize my dream of dunking a basketball. I was a faster, stronger and more agile athlete and I saw my scoring output during games balloon as I was given a larger role on both the offensive and defensive end of the court. It has also opened the door to allowing me to pursue new targets and goals, which I had never dreamt of just a short one year ago.

I feel that this is also an added advantage for me adapting this change as in Singapore as unfortunately, too many young athletes do not realize the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle as the country sees obesity fast becoming one of the major risks facing youths today. Also, I believe this is what is keeping Singaporeans mired in merely recreational sports as very few individuals make it onto the regional, let alone international scene as professional athletes as they fail to invest total dedication in their fields of sporting interest and take care of their health and fitness to ensure they can play the game they love at the highest level possible for the longest time they possibly can.

Also, rather surprisingly, my improved fitness has made me very much more attentive in class. Because now I lead a healthier lifestyle, I also enjoy less stressful and improved state of mental well-being and I am able to perform better in tests and examinations, which will hopefully continue through my GCE 'A' Levels examination which is coming up in November 2010.

The End

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Balance Real Run 2010 (17/10/2010, Sunday)

New Balance Real Run 2010 - Graced by Mr Khoo Boon Hui,
Deputy Secretary (Ministry of Home Affairs)

Note: Please take note that the net time is recorded in the blog, but the gun time determines the position and the final time and it is not reflected here.

Pic 1 - A nice day to run. Either you can run 10km or 15km



Picture 2 - Ashley Liew - Standard Chartered Marathon 2009 (local second position) While preparing for the Standard Chartered Marathon 2010, Ashley was enthusiatic about watching and supporting runners, young and old.



Ashley Liew, after a hard workout on a Saturday, wanted to go for a moderate 10km run or easy run for the New Balance Real Run 2010. However, when he woke up, he realised that he had overslept. He decided to go and watch the race and support his friends, instead.

Pic 3 - Our friends, from left to right, Kang Yan, Sheryl Loh and Ashley Liew

It was also the first time that our training-mate by the name of Sheryl Loh was running the Real Run for the first time. Sheryl had to wake up very early in the morning to catch a taxi to get to Aviation Park Road. At 6am, she reached the place and started doing her warm-up before the run, which consists of running on tarmac, trail and sand.

Pic 4- Runners had an interesting time running on tarmac track, trail and sandy beach terrain

At the start of the race, there were ample space for people not to jammed while running. Furthermore, during the run, she realised that the earlier portion was cooler but humid. At the finish, the weather became hot.

Pic 5 - Women Open 10km champion Sumiko Tan

The positive thing during the run was that she found the officials very efficient to show the runners running route of 10km and 15km. She told me that this is one very good race that had very good organisation. There were adequate water points to ensure proper hydration by the runners running the New Balance Real Run.

Pic 6 - Women Open 10km Competitive - Second Position is Eileen Tan




The run consisted of running either the 10km or 15km for teenagers, adults and veterans. Prize giving was at 9 :30am and the results out fast. Here are the results of the New Balance Real Run 2010. Today, I will post the top 8 individual results. In one or two days time, I will post the detailed result.

Pic 7 - Women Junior 3rd - Sheryl Loh. Running her first New Balance Real Run.
10km Men's Open Competitive Category
1 34m 43sec Nepalese Dev Rai
2 34m 54sec Nepalese Umesh Rai
3 35m 12sec Malaysian M. Ramadas
4 35m 44sec Nepalese N. Laximi Limbu
5 36m 02sec Nepalese Hangpal Angbuhang
6 36m 25sec Nepalese Man Bahadur Limbu
7 36m 50sec Nepalese Rabindra Rai
8 37m 11sec Nepalese Punam Kumar Pun
9 37m 15sec Nepalese San Limbu
10 37m 13sec Singapore Madankumar

15km Men Open Competitive
1 48m 08sec Others Silas Muturi Gichovi
2 51m 08sec Kenya Thomas Kiprotich
3 52m 55sec Singapore Mok Ying Ren
4 54m 16sec NZ Jason Lawrence
5 54m 34sec Nepalese Jagat Bahadur
6 54m 13sec Malaysia Subramaniam Ranga

15km Men Veteran Competitive
1 58m 02sec Malaysia Ganesan Subramaniam
2 59m  39sec British Tony Seakins
3 1hr 00m 23sec Malaysia Ramakrishnan
4 1hr 01m 40sec Singapore Ernest Wong
5 1hr 01m 56sec  British Sean Newland
6 1hr 04m 13sec Singapore Lean Seang Goh

10km Women Open Competitive
1 44m 54sec Singaporean Sumiko Tan
2 47m 04sec Singaporean Eileen Tan
3 43m 03sec British Trudy Fawcett
4 50m 33sec British Hannah Sullivan
5 51m 17sec British Emma Mathias
6 52m 28sec Malaysian Jessica Tang
7 55m 26sec Singaporean Jenny Lee
8 56m 21sec Malaysian Sara Lee
9 56m 07sec  Australia Courtney Sherwood
10 58m 16sec German Claudia Franke

15km Women Open Competitive
1 58m 47sec Others Eunice Nyawira
2 1hr 05min 11sec Kenya Susanjenmutai Chepk
3 1hr 05min 22sec Malaysia Noor Amelia Musa
4 1hr 08min 35sec Hungary Andrea Kovacs
5 1hr 08min 58sec Singaporean Rachel See
6 1hr 09min 42sec Irish Siobhan Mchugh

15km Women Veteran
1 1hr 07m 34s Japanese Itsuko Tanaka
2 1hr 10m 31s PR Pauline Mulroy
3 1hr 10m 57s Filipino Roda Mariam Ramos
4 1hr 12m 56s Australian Maria Le Page
5 1hr 14m 31s Singapore Tay Hwee Choo
6 1hr 16m 02s Finnish Anne Ahoeagling


10km Women's Junior Competitive
1 42m 25sec Mok Ying Rong
2 44m 20sec Yvonne Lin
3 45m 59sec Sheryl Loh
4 48m 11sec Chua Khaileng
5 50m 04sec Clara Wong
6 50m 54sec Raja Ranjita
7 53m 05sec Belle Tan
8 53m 17sec Sara Ng
9 53m 35sec Janelle Tan
10 60min 29sec Sophia Eristoff

Pic 8 - Enthusiastic runners sitting down for prize giving