Mok Ying Ren - Breakthrough in the Half-marathon timing in Bareno Half-Marathon
As what Lord Coe has mentioned in the past, "All records will be broken". He said these words when he was in top form breaking several world records. Over time, all his records tumbled down. It is a fact that all records will go one day, even the Singapore's national records plus mine in marathon (2hr 24m 22sec), either now or in the future. It is all a matter of time. Knowing this is wisdom itself.
In my blog, we have seen that India, China, Middle East countries, Korea plus other countries have broken the Asian Games Record over the years. Singapore does not have to break these records but at least if there are supporting bodies which could look to the improvement in athletes in a way that the runners should be doing 2hr 20min.
In order to do this, the most important thing is to get the support of SAA. In the past, when I did 2hr 24min 22sec in the Chiengmai SEA Games, I was told in the newspaper to hit sub 2hr 21min to qualify for the SEA Games. At that point, I realised that I was at a turning point in life to continue to improve or stop. I realised that to go below 2hr 20min needs massive support from SAA. Eventually, I stopped running seriously because I wanted improvement beyond 2hr 24min 22sec.
I believe that the bigger bodies can support the athlete's aspiration and support the athletes for SEA Games and give special considerations to marathoners to run in the coming SEA Games to gain experience and in the long run get the medals for Singapore, which our girls were able to get in the past. This can happen may be in 3-5 years time to assist the athletes progressing. I can see that runners Mok Ying Ren and Ashley Liew are using their own initiatives, plus time, money and effort to strive to improve. I think we should consider carefully and appeal to the bodies concerned to assist to their request. We must remember that Rome was not built in a day. I believe that the present SAA is doing their best to help athletes. However, I believe that much more is needed to improve the situation.
Having said that, let us read Mok Ying Ren's interview on his recent improvement in Bareno Half-Marathon. It is a very good improvement worth supporting the athletes of the future to bring medals to Singapore for marathon race.
An Interview With Mok Ying Ren
What race did you take part recently?
THe Bareno 21km Run
What was the time taken for this race?
How was your preparation for this race?
I just enjoy my training with my running buddies especially Sia Chuan Han (ultra- marathoner champion 2010) and Jason Lawrence from New Zealand. We mainly do lots of easy runs.
How do you find the organisation of the race?
The organization was good and done in a relaxed manner. It was fun. The water points were sufficient and they also provided SIS (Science in Sport) gels at the 14km mark. It was great! Signs were however not very well placed and marshalls were not very active. There were some parts that I was not sure if I was running on the right track.
How do you find the course?
It was hilly. The day before we happen to ran on part of the course and got a shock that it was that hilly. We thought we could come to a flat race and run fast!
Are you happy with the timing of the race?
Yes! But I am more happy with the race experience, chasing the Kenyans and all. I managed to finish 2nd, winining 2 Kenyans and losing to one in the process. I am looking for such experiences when I race and not really about the timing or positon. I am happy to come in last if the race was exciting and full of experiences I can take home with me. I want to get into good races where there is fierce competition and a chance to carry out interesting strategies.
Any marathon that you would like to take part in?
I am doing the upcoming christchurch marathon in June 5th in New Zealand.
Any plans to aim to qualify for the Sea Games Marathon 2011?
I run because I enjoy it and the company of friends I can run with. The process is more important than the results. I realise I perform better if I do not focus too hard on timings, records and qualifications. Moreover, it still remains obscure on SAA's support to distance running in Singapore. Not a single distance runner from 800m and above is carded by SAA and we do not receive medical support and recovery services from Singapore Sports Council unlike our fellow colleagues in the sprints and throws events. Yes, it seems fair that we do not get the support because we can't meet the targets that they set. But if distance running in Singapore has lagged behind in terms of development over the past decade, is it fair to penalise the runners by setting targets based on current standards of the region? - the entire South East Asia has moved on in terms of distance running and has left Singapore behind. To put that in perspective, to qualify for SEA Games, one needs to break national records i.e. a bronze medal time is equivalent to a Singapore National Record - This shows how far behind we are. And yet, SAA sets targets based on this result meaning that one needs to set a National Record WITHOUT the support of the SAA before he gets their support. How is our athletes in Singapore going to bridge that big gap without SAA's support? Its going to be difficult. But for us distance runners, this should not affect us as we must always enjoy running with or without SAA support.