Monday, February 28, 2011

Trikoasana - Pose to avoid ITB problems.

During my 20s and 30s, when I had problems with the outer knee, usually situated at the lateral part of the knee, I find this asana beneficial.

One such asana that is good for the ITB band is the asana shown in the two pictures. Both are known as Trinkoasna (Triangle Pose). It will be a good idea to stretch like this for 20sec on each side, left and right hand side of the body.

Knees are to be straight. Where we are bending, the opposite side of the body is benefiting from the stretch. A guide can correct for good posture. One should stand laterally and not moving the body to the front or back.

Usually, we do many of the asanas and forget to do this asana., This is one asana which will be good for the lateral part of the knee.

Try it! Especially before and after the runs.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lim Thow Wee 3hr 09min HK Marathon 2011

Lim Thow Wee - Uncommon valour to challenge the upslopes and down slopes of Hong Kong Standard Chartered Marathon route.

Picture 1 - Lim Thow Wee (left) and Ashley Liew (right)

Post Race Report

After my run in the year 2008 in Hong Kong, I realised that it is very important to prepare very well before one set foot on Hong Kong to run the Standard Chartered Marathon.

I had certain realisation. For people who want to do a good time, I felt that it is a good to come for the Hong Kong marathon. To do a personal best time, it is a question mark. Those who have a personal best time of 2hr 40min and above, I think that they could try to run this route by taking advantage of the weather. Moroccons Samira, the woman runner, and Hammou, the male runner told me that they are going for a good time and not personal best time. They looked disappointed with the route orientation. May be this may have made them conservative during the first half of the race such that they did a personal best time. Samira did 2hr 33min 50sec and Hammou did 2hr 16min.

At the half -way mark, Malaysian Shaharuddin did 1hr 17min and finally did 2hr 37min. He was the only one with the best value-added performance of the invited international runners by doing 10 min improvement from a time of 2hr 47min season best time from Penang Bridge Marathon 2010.

Another Singaporean by the name of Lim Thow Wee (personal best time 3hr 02min) took the chance with not proper preparation and aimed to do a sub 3hr, trying by taking advantage of the kind weather there.

After Ashley's finishing of the race, taking note that Ashley needed attention as he was in pain from the agonising slopes, my focus was channeled to him until Ashley recovered from the race and we started searching for Lim Thow Wee after some time. We realised that the place that we are supposed to convene was blocked by the officials. Eventually, we did not meet but later contacted each other using the handphone.

That evening after the race, Thow Wee told me his timing and I felt that when I go back to Singapore I will interview him. Now that he has come back from his holiday, I had decided to interview on him.

How was the weather there?
The weather was superb, 13-16 deg on the race day. I can't ask for anything better.

How do you find the route there?
The route was very challenging. It has a few long stretches of slope as well as a few short steep slope.

Did you meet your predicted target?
I didn't get my target of sub 3 hours. I did 3:09:16.

What was your strategy for this race?
My plan was quite simple. To run a 4 min 15 sec for every kilometer. That will be a 3 hours flat marathon. For every 10 kilometers, I was averaging 4 mins 15 sec to 4 mins 20 sec. It was perfect till 30k mark when both my calves felt very sore. I had to slow down to 4 mins 45 sec for the last 12k.

How was the organisation of the race by the Hong Kong organisers?
I have to commend the hong kong marathon organizers as everything was very smooth from depositing of baggage, water points, distance markers and finishing points.

How was the hydration strategy?
For the hydration points, every 2k, they serve a 180ml isotonic drink, similar to our ribena package. What else can we ask for! It's not served in paper cups or cans, thus the quantity is perfect n no spillage will occur. 100 marks for the hydration.

Any comparison between Standard Chartered Singapore marathon and the Hong Kong Marathon?
Comparing to SCMS, SCHKM's route is very dull. It's flyover and tunnels throughout. The route is tougher when it is compared to the Singapore marathon route. But the hydration points, distance markers and finishing point venue are more accomplished.

Any regrets?
No regrets for not hitting my target as my training wasn't too serious to begin with. Totally believe in sowing and reaping.

What is your next target?
My next target will be a sub 3 hours marathon. It has become my psychological barrier and I seriously have to conquer it! Hope it'll be very soon!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Nelson Rotich and Janet Rono - Winners of Hong Kong Marathon.

 Nelson Rotich and Janet Rono - Winners of Hong Kong Marathon

Picture 1 - Nelson Rotich winning the race with Julius, fellow Kenyan getting the second placing.

Janet Rono, 22, the Kenyan woman runner, ran the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon and broke the course record by a second (former record was 2hr 33min 43sec). She was also not one of the invited international runner to run the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon on Sunday morning. However, she wise and fortunate decision to spend a thousand dollars on a air ticket, and win the first prize of US$34000. Rono is deserving only of praise for her initiative in clocking  2.33.42, beating the mark set by Irina Bogacheva of Kyrgzstan in 2001. Second was the veteran Moroccan Samira Raif, in 2.33.51, and third was Bifa Yeshinabet Tadesse of Ethiopia, in 2.34.14.

Janet Rono’s previous best was 2.37.08. Hence, she found it hard to get an invitation to run overseas races. That shouldn’t be a problem for Rono from now on.

In the men's open marathon race, her colleague Julius Maisei took a similar chance. He was catching up with the race leader Nelson Rotich in the final two kilometres, and eventually caved in to give his compatriot’s 2.16.00 victory. While I was waiting for Ashley Liew and Lim Thow Wee and Anne Date, I saw the gap between Nelson Rotich and Julius Maisei at first to be more convincing. However, as the finish was nearing, I heard a gentle man telling me that Julius was quickly catching up. While Nelson was running towards the finish, he knew that the race was his and not Julius's. Around the last 800m Nelson did not show any form of panicking and still showed sign that he was in control and was confident in winning. That was evident at the last 50 metres when Nelson was running in a cool, calm and contented way. It was inspirational for me to see especially his composure in believing in himself and in not getting distracted by the opponent fast approaching towards the finish. If I was in his position, I may have panicked. It was that close to losing the first position to Julius.  Julius was just 6 seconds away to snap Nelson's US $34000 reward by winning the race.  Anyway, Maisei was able to net $15000 for the  second placing, in 2.16.06. In third place was Tesfaye Girma Bekele of Ethiopia, in 2.16.31. The race was a very close one for any prediction to take place.

The weather was perfect and cool, except for the high humidity (80% to 90%) on that day and the rain showers made the road slick in places. At the start, the temperature was recorded to be around 13 - 16 degrees Centigrade. Rotich concurred, “ But this course is very hard, it’s the hardest marathon course I’ve run (out of 14 races), and today was slippery. Everyone was playing it safe, because of the road conditions. The field was still together at 37k (of 42), but I had made a couple of attempts to get away, and I could see no one was going to follow me, so I had a good idea I could win”. Rotich was kind enough and said some of it would go to the less fortunate runners in his training group, “so they can rent houses when they come to train with us, and buy food”.

Most of Rotich’s marathons have been in the Far East. For example, he has won marathons in Korea, Malaysia, The Philippines, India and Thailand. He is now aiming for Kuala Lumpur and Taipei for marathon races.

Note : The international prize is until 12 prizes for male and 5 prizes for female in terms of cash incentives. The  officials cited that not much competition in the women open has made then to decide on this. However, there was equality shown as the prizes for men and women open for individual placing was the same for top 1 to 5.



1 Nelson Kirwa ROTICH KEN 2.16.00 34,000 (US$)

2Julius Kiplimo MAISEI KEN 2.16.06 15,000

3 Tesfaye Girma BEKELE ETH 2.16.31 6,500

4 Robert Kiplagat KOSEKEI KEN 2.16.53 3,600

5 Hammou MOUDOUJI MAR 2.16.55 1,800

6 Julius Kiprono MUTAI KEN 2.17.04 1,600


1 Janet Jelegat RONO KEN 2.33.42 34,000

2 Samira RAIF MAR 2.33.51 15,000

3 Bifa Yeshimabet TADESSE ETH 2.34.14 6,500

4 Negash Hadush LETAY ETH 2.35.35 3,600

5 CHENG Wenrong CHI 2.35.49 1,800

6 Rose CHESHIRE KEN 2.38.06 Nil

Friday, February 25, 2011

Asian Cross-Country C'ships 2011 Postponed

Asian Cross-County C'ships 2011 (Race Date :  20/02/2011 -  Postponed)

The Asian Cross Country Championships is held once in every two years and it is a regional running competition for athletes from Asia. The race is organised by the Asian Athletics Association. The first Asian Cross Country Championships was first held in 1991 in Fukuoka, Japan where Shozo Shimoju and Mun Gyong-Ae came in champions for male and female race respectively. The competition has been held every two years since then, although the 2003 edition was postponed due to political conflicts within the region.

In year 2009, Ahmed Hassan Abdullah and MaryamYusuf Jamal came in first individual for the Asian Cross Country Championships for men open and women open for Qatar and Bahrain, respectively.

The championships comprises four races: separate senior races for men and for women, and two corresponding junior races for the sexes. Furthermore, in each of the four races athletes compete simultaneously for both individual medals and team medals. For the team competitions, the final positions of the best finishing runners from each country are combined and the team with the lowest points total wins.

Athletes and teams of Japan, China and Iran have historically been the most successful of the championships. However, Qatar and Bahrain have become increasingly dominant since 2005, led by a number of East African-born athletes who have transferred allegiance to the small Middle-Eastern states.

Latest news -  the 2011 edition of Asian Cross Country Championships, set for February in Kathmandu, has been postponed after the Nepalese government did not provide the requisite funds needed to host the event.

Individual Champions - For Senior Men and Women's race and Team Champion

Men Open
Shozo Shimoju (JPN),  Men Team Japan (JPN)

Women Open
Mun Gyong-Ae, Team (PRK), Women Team North Korea (PRK)

Men Open
Hamid Sajjadi (IRI). Men Team India (IND)
Women Open
Minori Hayakari (JPN), Women Team Japan (JPN)

Men Open
Seiichi Miyajima (JPN), Men Team Japan (JPN)
Women Open
Atsumi Yashima (JPN), Women Team Japan (JPN)

Men Open
Saad Shaddad Al-Asmari (KSA), Men Team Saudi Arabia (KSA)
Women Open
Chiemi Takahashi (JPN), Women Team Japan (JPN)

Men Open
Ahmad Zarekar (IRI),  Men Team Japan (JPN)
Women Open
Mizuki Noguchi (JPN), Women Team Japan (JPN)

Men Open
Jafar Babakhani (IRI), Men Team Sri Lanka (SRI)
Women Open
Yasuyo Iwamoto (JPN), Women Team Japan (JPN)

Men Open
Han Gang (CHN), Men Team China (CHN)
Women Open
Yumi Sato (JPN), Women Team Japan (JPN)

Men Open
Han Gang (CHN), Men Team  Qatar (QAT)
Li Helan (CHN), Women Team China (CHN)

Men Open
Ahmed Hassan Abdullah (QAT), Men Team Qatar (QAT)
Women  Open
Maryam Yusuf Jamal (BHR), Women Team Bahrain (BHR)

Men Open
Ahmed Hassan Abdullah (QAT),  Men Team Qatar (QAT)
Women Open
Maryam Yusuf Jamal (BHR) , Women Team Japan (JPN)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

HK is Asia's toughest marathon- Analysis of Men Race

Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2011 -Asia's toughest.

List of invited runners - INTERNATIONAL MEN

2009/2010                     20/02/2011
2hr 14min 46sec .........2hr 20min 53sec KEN Cyprian Mwobi
2hr 10min 13sec......... 2hr 16min 00sec KEN Nelson Kirwa Rotich
2hr 10min 17sec .........2hr 16min 24sec ETH Tesfaye Girma B
2hr 10min 58sec .........2hr 20min 30sec KEN Philemon Kemboi
2hr 28min 50sec  ........2hr 31min 33sec MON Batbayar D
2hr 15min 00sec .........2hr 17min 29sec KEN John Tubei
2hr 20min 17sec .........2hr 21min 14sec CHN Yuxue Gao
2hr 21min 49sec .........2hr 16min 55sec MOR Hammou Moudouji
2hr 30min 00sec .........2hr 34min 37sec CHT Wang Chui Chun
2hr 46min 23sec .........2hr 47min 11sec CHT Lok Wai Kin
2hr 47min 00sec .........2hr 37min 40sec MAL Shaharuddin H
2hr 47min 16sec .........2hr 49min 17sec MAC Chan Chong Ip
2hr 51min 22sec .........2hr 45min 34sec SIN  Ashley Liew
                            .........2hr 28min 12sec PHI  Elmer Sabal  
                            .........2hr 50min 00sec INDO Albinus Sila
2hr 24min 50sec .........2hr 30min 31sec NEP  Arjun  Prasad
2hr 13min 00sec .........2hr 17min 55sec ETH  Towfik Ailshikur

Hong Kong Marathon is the toughest marathon in Asia and the news is out. In the year 2008, I found that all the people whom I had spoken to telling me that Hong Kong Marathon has one or two hills.

To my amazement, the route was filled with highways of up slopes and down slopes.

For the sake of Ashley, I had to ask the officials on bus to bring us around to support our runners. The officials told us that as soon as the race starts, we will go to the finish point to wait for our runners to come in. Lim Thow Wee was also running in this but we were not able to meet as we got tired from the route orientation and we were told to submit the drinks to the officials before a certain time. Hence, Lim Thow Wee, Ashley and I were not able to meet on that day.

Very important for one to do in this marathon is to prepare properly for the marathon. Ashley Liew, the Malaysian Shaharuddin Hashim, Morocco male and female athletes were some of those who did personal best time. The rest of them plus even Lim Thow Wee had to go through the agonising terrain and came with 3hr 09min. Let us look at the summary of the report on why it is Asia's toughest marathon.

Picture 1 - The newspaper claims it.

 Picture 2 - This is how the whole route looks like throughout the race.

Picture 3- The officials told us that the last 2km is for us to find out. It is supposed to be flat but it turned out to have a hill even at that point.

Picture 4 - Casuality of the HK marathon 2011 race was Indonesian runner Albinus Sila who did a 2h 50min.


Picture 5 - Samira Raif (left) ( 2hr 33min 50sec)and Hammou Moudouji (right) (2hr 16min) are those who told me immediately that they are intending not to improve the time but go for their same existing personal best time.They ended up do a very good personal best time.


 Picture 6 - Arjun Prasad, predicted a 2hr 30min after seeing the route. His personal best time was 2hr 24min.

 Picture 7- Ashley and Shaharuddin, from Singapore and Malaysia respectively were sharing ideas on marathon running . Both posted good personal best time.

 Picture 8- A number of runners could not do their personal best time because of the hills.

Picture 9 - Towards the last 5km, there are two hills similar to this hill.

 Picture 10 - The arrangement made it hard for us to see each other there in Hong Kong.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Summary of Hong Kong Marathon 2011

A memorable day in Hong Kong in the Standard Chartered Marathon race.

The Hong Kong officials were very hospital to the athletes, coaches and managers. Hong Kong officials are one of the best in attending to the needs of the runners and they were very professional in ensuring the smooth flow of the race. I realised that it would be good to write in in pictoral form so that what happened in Hong Kong will be known to the public.

Official Results - Please read this for detailed result of invited runners.
Women's Result
Men's Result.

Picture 1 - The first thing that happened was Ashley Liew was waiting for me at the hotel lobby.

Picture 2 - Jenny, an Hong Kong official played an important role in helping us in Hong Kong.

  Picture 3 - A Photograph with the top Moroccon male and female runners

Picture 4- A picture with most of the top runners of the world

Picture 5 - A photo with the top runners as some are not found in Picture 6.

 Picture 6 - A photo with David Chao, an official for the race, a sub 3hr marathon at the age of 51.


Picture 7 - An Exclusive photo with the Moroccon Team
Ashley Liew, Hammou Moudouji, Rashid (Team Manager , Morocco), Rameshon, Samira Raif.

Picture 8 - Meeting Arjun Prasad from Nepal, a 2hr 24min runner who predicted that his time that he is going for was 2hr 30min. On the day of the race, he got it.

Picture 9- Lunch time, Shaharuddin had to find for halal food while I had to hunt for vegetarian food. David Chao volunteered to help us in this.

Picture 10- Dinner with Ashley where I told that porridge is one of the best food for marathoners. I had to tell Ashley that people who rush will not get the result but the people who are relaxed.

Picture  11 - I had to take this photo before Ashley goes out for the race. Memorable moments where we sometimes forget to take.

Picture  12 - Just before the race, meeting with managers of Russia.

Picture 13 - Right timing for the warm up in the morning helped Ashley to get his target time. Earlier, he wanted to warm up, but I had to tell him that those who were warming up at that time were the half - marathoners. Shaharuddin was also waiting for the right time to warm up. Shaharuddin was very patient in warming up.  

 Picture 14 - The runners are about to start the race.


Picture 15 - After the start, we went to the start point and met Thomas Kiprotich (1hr 07min).He won the race with no fight. Thomas was 57kg, from a weight of 62kg.

Picture 16 - Few minutes after meeting Thomas, I met Lee Kar Lun (in the middle), who did 1hr 20min 20sec.

Picture 17 - A photo with Ashley directly after the race.

Picture 18 - Proud moment for the Singapore contigent.
Picture  -

Picture  19 - One of the best result of the day was from Shaharuddin Hashim from Malaysia, from 2hr 47min in Penang Marathon 2010, he brought the time down to 2hr 37min in this race, which consisted of numerous upslopes and down slopes. I also noticed that he is an experienced runner who knows how to avoid mistakes in running a race.

Picture 20  - Nelson Kirwa Rotich was running the last kilometer in a relaxed fashion and did not feel intimidated until finish. He showed great confidence during the race. He emerged as the champion 2hr 15min 58sec).

 Picture 21 - 2hr 50min in the marathon by Indonesian Albinus Sila did not deter him from taking a photo. The manager told me that the course was very tough. I remember running in year 2008, where out of about 1000 marathoners gave up the race.


 Picture 22A and 22B - Samira Raif, one of the top Moroccon runner, who came in second for women overall, was given an interview. She is a coach and a Physical Education teacher as well.person. Her timing was 8sec away from the course record. I saw her giving everything that she had and only started walking 1 metre after the finish point.

Picture 23 - Dinner on 20th February night.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Shaharuddin 2hr 37min 40sec in HK Marathon 2011

Shaharuddin Hashim - The police inspector who likes running as a passion.

Shaharuddin Hashim from Malaysia has a personal best time of 2hr 33 sec for the marathon race. However, last year, in the Penang Bridge Marathon, he came in first with 2hr 47min for the race and was very disappointed. " It was humid and hot in the morning and the race start time was way too early that I did not have enough sleep", he recounted.

Shaharuddin is being trained by Chidabaram, Malaysia's steeplechase former great runner. Shaharuddin right now needs a lot of support from the relevant sports association if he wants to do well in running. I can see real talent as his time was the one of the best value added time of the day.

I told him to give us the insights on the Hong Kong Marathon and he was more than willing to give it to me.

An Interview With Shaharuddin Hashim

How do you find this course?
Very tough course, indeed! A lot of up slopes and down slopes.

Can you tell us on the detail of your race?
In short, I did the half-way mark in 1hr 17min, at the finish I did 2hr 37min. Even at the last 5km we had to encounter about 6 hills.

Are you happy with your time?
Considering the improvement from my season best time of 2hr 47min to 2hr 37min, I feel that I am on track in my marathon goal.

Do you know that you have one of the most improved time?
Is it? Thanks for informing about this. I know that many did not do well. Only a handful few, and it was rare, did a personal best time. Few did a season best time only.

How do you find the weather?
Good. I find the weather ok.

How do your wife feel about your run?
She will be very happy about this as she fully support my passion in running.

What are your wishes?
To have altitude training so that I can go further in running.

How did you find the organisers?
Good. They really did a wonderful job in organising the race well.

Invited International Hong Kong Marathon Results (Women).




2:33:46 Mor SAMIRA RAIF
2:38:03 Ken ROSE CHESIRE

Hong Kong Marathon - An Interview With Ashley Liew.

I came back to Singapore and landed at Changi on Sunday after midnight, around 1am. Ashley Liew had to come back home the next day. I decided to do an interview on him the next day as I did not have any time to do it.

Picture 1 - Ashley Liew (left)and Rameshon (right) with the champion of the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon, Nelson Kirwa Rotich.


An Interview With Ashley Liew
What is the one word that comes in your mind on HK marathon 2011?

What went on in your mind when you knew about the numerous uphills and downhills that you had to go through during route orientation?
Thanks to my coach’s guidance, I knew beforehand that the slopes were going to be tough. Seeing them from the bus first-hand confirmed this; it hinted as to how mentally challenging it would be during the actual race. However, deep down inside I was assured by my coach that I already had the training to tackle these hills straight on. The key word from that point was “confidence”.

How was the organisation of the race?

For me it was smooth. Elite drink bottle wise, I thought the organizers did quite a good job of manning 13 elite drink points, to which I took advantage of. Thankfully I only had 1 out of 13 bottles missing. In addition, there was ample space for all runners along the way. The lack of crowd support for most of the race was unavoidable due to the route mostly being on highways. This was compensated by the majority of volunteers enthusiastically cheering each runner on. I personally did not encounter any problems with marshalling or crowd control unlike some previous racers.

The organizers did make an embarrassing mistake at the prize presentation which was splashed across local newspapers. Moreover, I was shocked to find out later that the leading men had to weave through straggling half-marathoners during the last crucial kilometers: this definitely would have slowed their time.

How do you find the organisers?

Some volunteers have a slight language barrier but at least our liaison officers could converse. Overall I would say the organizers were professional: committed to their job, yet friendly and approachable. However I think they could consider some of the feedback gathered this year to make next year even better.

How do you find my presence there?

I can say I definitely would not have hit such a time without Coach Rameshon there. Having his physical presence gave me assurance. For example, he assured me the night before the race that my “not being that excited about tomorrow’s race” was a good thing. His crucial advice, after adjusting for actual course conditions, came in very handy during the race. With him there, I could focus on doing a good time while sticking to his strategy. He helped me relax.

What made you to go for the target 2hr 42min to 2hr 45min?
  Actually my target a week before the race was still 2hr 48min: a flat 4min/km pace. This initial timing was considering the anticipated hilly conditions and the lack of marathon-specific training after recovering from December’s Singapore Marathon. I wanted so badly to vindicate my 2009 and 2010 performances, where I both could not hit 2hr 48min, so I was worried targeting anything faster would blow up my entire race.

However, Mr Rameshon gave me confidence in the week leading up to the race. More and more he made me believe in myself. After all, the training was all done and the workouts showed I had the potential to quicken my target. With that confidence, I targeted sub 2hr 23min just days before.
u hitting the target during the run?

I was able to hit my 30km target split within 3 sec (1hr 56min 57sec). Until then, I was hitting most of the intermediate km split targets, with plus or minus 10sec adjustments on average due to the slopes. The plan was to stick closely to 4min/km pace all the way until a certain point to speed up slightly. When the downhills started, some runners sped up their pace too much and overtook me (Mr Rameshon had warned me about this). I reminded myself to be patient because of the “surprise” in store for the last 5 km.

I was not hurting badly by 30km yet but in anticipation, I practiced a technique used by Paula Radcliffe to block out negative thoughts. I read the day before from her autobiography (courtesy of Eugene Lim) that she used to count from 0 to 100 three times. By the time that was done, a mile was over. I practically was mentally doing this from 30 to 40km; of course I could not cover a mile in that time span but the idea was there. This was effective.

By 32km, I still felt good, although my target splits were slowing down a little bit due to the very slippery ground surface (it was very hard to catch a good grip and energy was wasted). At 35km, I actually felt mentally strong, partly due to the counting technique and partly due to the cool weather.

37km to the end was a “suffer-fest” with the sudden addition of steep slopes which affected speed and momentum. I dealt each episode by visualizing my hill training which I had done so many times before. I knew my pace was slipping and I was beginning to hurt badly but I told myself loudly not to stop. I reserved my 100% for the last km but just at that 41km mark was a short but very steep slope which made both hamstrings suddenly cramp. I had no choice but to let a Hong Kong runner go (he was pacing with me sometimes through the race) or risk disaster. But once the last downhill was done, the roaring crowds and the thought of the finish line motivated me to sprint hard to the end.

Were you tempted to go fast at the first half-marathon?

Definitely. The first half-marathon felt fantastic: my legs may not have felt like they were in perfect shape by the end of it (due to the gradual slopes) but it still felt good, so much better than the halfway mark of Singapore Marathon 2010. During U-turns I saw several runners that I could pick off if I wanted to. But I had to be patient for the first half or risk busting the race.

The first two kms did give me a bit of a scare though. I controlled for the first km and was relaxed, yet I reached the mark around 3min 35sec (I suspect the mark was near). The second km marker also felt much nearer than what I felt. Not taking any chances, I forced myself to slow down immediately afterwards and thankfully it worked.

What do you think about your negative split?

Looking back I am happy to achieve my first negative split: 1hr 23min 8sec followed by 1hr 22m 6sec. It was definitely part of our plan.

How do you feel meeting this target?

I felt vindicated of the ghosts of my previous two marathons, both of which were unable to hit 2hr 48min. When I finished, Coach Rameshon and Team Manager Aik Teng were so proud that I could achieve a personal best in Hong Kong given the hilly and slippery conditions. I felt gratitude to my coach, my girlfriend, my training partners, SAA for this opportunity, and all my close friends who encouraged me. I know my mother would be proud too (I kept calling to her for strength in the final 5 km).

How was your run here as compared to Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2010?

My performance in Singapore Marathon 2010 was regrettable, although it was mostly flat. I am just happy to achieve a personal best in Hong Kong Marathon 2011 given its tough terrain.

Any lesson learnt?

Yes! In chilly countries, prepare running gloves (thank you Angie Tan for lending them), a cap for warmup, and also a proper track suit for warmup. I lacked the last two!

How did you girlfriend feel about your run?

She would have definitely wanted to be there but in this situation it was not so feasible. That aside, Zeling was delighted to hear over the phone that I achieved a personal best. She always had some feeling that I could do it.

What was the reaction of your dad on your meeting of this goal?

He was happy too. He knew in I put in a lot of hours and sacrifices for this. He kept saying how much my mother would be proud.

What is your next goal?
Another personal best at Gold Coast Marathon in July 2011!


Invited Runners Results.


Picture 1 - Nelson Kirwa Rotich - Coming in first with a time of 2hr 15min 58sec (Chip Time)

Invited runners Results.


Lee Kar Lun - 1hr 20min 20sec (Champion) HK Half -Marathon 2011

Lee Kar Lun - Still going strong at 52 years of age

 I remember Lee Kar Lun when he was in Phuket, a long time ago, and in Japan where he ran the Biwako Marathon 1988 and gave up. Later on, He ran the Macau Marathon and did 2hr 27min and he still has this time as the personal best until now.

In the recent Hong Kong Marathon 2011, Lee Kar Lun did well by coming in first in the Men Masters 2, for 50 years and above.

Picture 2 - In the centre is Lee Kar Lun, who has a personal best time of 2hr 27min for the marathon

I had an interview with  Lee Kar Lun, after his victory in the Half - Marathon 2011.

How was the race?
A lot of hills. It was a tough course. I also do not want to aim very high because of this.

How about your competitors?
I had competitors who overtook me earlier. Later on, they were overtaken by me.

How is the weather?
The weather was good.
(From Author. Note the weather was 13-16 degrees centigrade and Humidity about 80 to 90%.)

How is your wife's response to this?
She is very happy.

What are you doing now?
Professional training and looking after the runners from one high school and a college.

What is your plan?
Compete like this and be healthy. I should know that I don't have to train how I used to train when I was young. Fitness matters in life.

Are you happy with this time?
Of course, I am very happy with the time.

S. Jeevanesh - Fastest School Boy in Men Open (Wings X- Country Race -Part 1)

Men Open Race - College students dominate the men open cross-country race.

Picture 1 - Jeevanesh balances running and studies well in Hwa Chong Institution (college)

On 19th February, the Wings Cross Country Race took place, followed by Hong Kong Marathon 2011 on the next day. As I was in Hong Kong on Saturday, I had to ask on the Wings race from Jeevanesh, a Hwa Chong Institution student. I started to do this in an interview form.

How was the race?
Before the race, I was quite apprehensive as I had to go through a one and half week of sickness. I told myself that the target for today is to get college best time and to come in top 3 for the men open race, as a minimum target.

I ran the race and hit the first 1km in a time of 3min 05sec and was waiting for someone to push. As there was no one to push, I decided to relax on my run. At the uphill, few runners overtook me. However, I overtook everyone except for Rui Yong, from Wings Club. Nevertheless, I found that his pace was quite okay for me to follow. We opened a gap of 5sec from the third runner by the name of Benjamin, from RI. This went on until the last 600m. Towards the finish, I was getting tired because of the fast 1km where I had gone out too fast instead of 3min 20sec pace. I was paying for it. However, I was able to close up the gap and was only 4 sec away.

Rui Yong was first and I was second. After the race, I was, in fact, not interested in my race but awaiting the news of Ashley Liew's Hong Kong Marathon result. Once I heard that the time was 2hr 45min 34sec, I felt that that was an achievable target for him.

Are you happy with the time?
Of course, it is my personal best time. Considering my falling sick for a period of time, I am now 10sec away from the course record time set by Kien Mau in the past.

How was the competition?
I can say safely say that nearly all the top schools came this particular race.

What your time and the winners time?
The winner Rui Yong, from RJC did 13min 32sec while I did 13min 36sec.

How was the weather?
The weather was quite good. Although, the time 9 40am is a hot time for race, the weather seemed good. I was prepared for any kind of climate, especially hot. I am now trained to run in heat effectively.

Who was third and fourth?
Benjamin from RI was 7 seconds away and was third while the fourth position went to Marcus Ong from Singapore Institute of Management.

How do you find the experience?
I think that I am half-way into my serious training and I am about to intensify my workouts and I am prepared to do it. The competition was good, I get an experience of National schools race. Hoping to better my timing than running against opponents.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thomas Kiprotich - 2011 HK Half- Maration Champion

Thomas Kiprotich - Hong Kong Marathon 2011 (Half-marathon  Champion)

I saw Thomas Kiprotich after the Hong Kong Marathon 2011. He ran and finish the half-marathon race. He was being interviewed by papers and he looked very fresh still.

He told me that he had to see his wife soon and told me to ask the questions. I decided to ask for one.

An Interview With Thomas Kiprotich

What was your position for the race?
I was first in the half - marathon race.

How was the route?
It was a tough route. There were a lot of  uphills and downhills.

How were your competitors, did you have any?
I ran a solo race all the way without any competitors.

How about running the marathon the next time?
I just want to run in the half-marathon and not marathon.

How did your training go?
I train for all year round. I was doing 3 workouts per week and the rest of the 3 days, I did easy intensity long runs.

Were you prepared for the hills?
Yes, I did some hill workouts once per week.

How about commenting on your training partners?
My training partner came in second.

Will you be having goals in the long run?
No, I just want to keep fit and keep my competitive edge to keep racing for some years.

Are you married?