Monday, April 30, 2012

Updates on Ashley Liew before his major race

 Written By Rameshon


Picture 1 - Official result of RUN 350 race



I met Christian Stauffer (250km Sahara Desert Challenge finisher, who finished the challenge with fellow mates Mika Kume and Johnson Jacob) on Saturday, 28th of April and he told me that he was about to go to Australia and race in the Half-Ironman race soon. Ashley Liew will be doing a mini race triathlon this weekend as well before the Texas Ironman soon. Hence, I thought that these two athletes, can motivate runners and triathletes to train more by sharing their inspirational thoughts. I decided to give Ashley Liew an interview before interviewing Christian Stauffer, who is preparing for a major event, which he has been preparing for a long time.

Picture 2 - Ashley Liew (centre) came in first in RUN 350 Half-Marathon.


An Interview With Ashley Liew.


What is the name of the race you will be taking part in this Sunday (6 May)? 
MetaSport Sprint Series Triathlon (750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run).

Why did you choose this race? 
It is final leg of the Sprint Series Challenge 2012. I hope to do a PB, and maintain my age-group champion title against a very competitive field.

How many major races do you have before August? 
Two: Ironman Texas (19 May) and Gold Coast Marathon (1 Jul).

Are you ready for the Ironman race? 
I am looking forward to it, after all the months of specific training.

How has your training been coming along? 
I did as much volume as I possibly could, without compromising the weekly speed work. Overall it has been a good season leading into the Ironman.

What positive words would you like to tell your friend Christian Stauffer who is about to do the Ironman 70.3 in Australia? 
The training is all done, so all you need to do is your best Christian! Everyone at Flexifitness will be rooting for you.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Feedback for RUN 350 race

Tarandeep's dream of Personal Best Time dashed

Written By Marcel Sng


Picture 1- (left to right) Galen Ruben, S. Jeevaneesh, Tarandeep Kaur, Coach Rameshon and Ashley Liew. 

I saw Tarandeep Kaur limping after falling down in the Run 350 race. Much to my amazement, I saw some of the runners on chair injured because of hitting one to two inch kerb which formed as part of the running route. I interviewed Tarandeep on this. Coach Rameshon who could not make it for the race decided to go to the first -aid tent to attend to Tarandeep to see that she was alright. 

Galen, Ashley, Jeevaneesh, Coach Rameshon and I consoled her on the race and told her to focus on the next race.

An interview with Tarandeep

Why did you take part in the race?
I took part so that I could do a personal best time. 

How was your training?
Somehow I got some form of training and I had to balance between work and training.

How do you find the route?
Accurate course distance.

What happened during the race?
I was running faster than what I did in Feb 2012 at Hong Kong running in the Hong Kong half -marathon. I was aiming to do a time of 1hr 45min to 1hr 50min. I was doing something like 50min plus for the first 10km then I fell on the floor when I hit a one to two inch kerb like thing. It was pitch dark at that time and I could not see anything at that time. 

Then did you get some help?
Yes, I waited for first-aid help. I was not able to run. Later the organisers put a cone to signal to people not to run at that area. 

What feedback do you have for this race?
It was organised very well except for the part that we fell down. 

I started running in the first wave of the 350 21km, it was quite dark and crowded at the start. As we ran towards the 10km marking, we ran over some kind of carpeted ground. Basically, the organizers had covered a bumpy path with some red carpet. The area was quite narrow and I was being pushed to the right side by guys who were bigger than me. It was quite dark at that point and I couldn't see the bumps on the ground. I hit my foot against it once and almost tripped but was able to catch the fall. Closer to the 10k turning point, I tripped again and this time I fell forward, twisting my ankle and getting abrasions on my arm. I was very disappointed as I was on track to hitting the time that I wanted for this race but it was too painful for me to get up and put any weight on my ankle. The race volunteers helped me out and as we waited for the medic to arrive, 3 other people twisted their ankle at that spot and at least 6 other people tripped at the same spot. The volunteers then put a cone at the spot but as someone ran there, he tripped and knocked over the cone. Clearly, the methods used by the organizers were ineffective as many runners had the same problem. Going forward they should not allow people to race on such paths as its dangerous especially in the dark. It's a waste of time to get injured, pull out of the race and then recover. Once they discovered there was a problem with the route they should have put lighted markers or something brighter to alert runners to avoid it. I hope this won't happen again!

Which is your next race?
I am discussing with coach Rameshon on this. 



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Good Coordination Starts From Youth ( Between 6 and 15 Years of Age)

Written By Marcel Sng

Picture 1 - Good Coordination has its reward - A very good running style is the outcome



In the past, Ashley Liew did 4hr plus for the marathon few years ago. He was also overweight student. Later on, canoeing as a CCA, he became very active and over time took up triathlon when he was in Singapore Management University. Three years back, he did 2hr 50 min plus in Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon Race. Just last year, Ashley did 2hr 45min in Hong Kong Marathon 2011, February, before he subsequently brought down the time to 2hr 41min in Gold Coast Marathon 2011 in July. In year 2011, he was named the fastest 10km track runner in Singapore by Singapore Athletics for 10km doing a time of 34min 17sec. 

In Meta-Sprint challenge which took place few weeks back, Ashley took part in it and came in as champion in his age group in this biathlon race. In MetaSport Duathlon a few weeks back, the most recent, Ashley came in age-group champion and overall second

Just last week, on Sunday, Ashley for the first time came in as the champion for the RUN 350 Half-marathon with a time of 1hr 14min 45sec

I realised that in order to do this, it is important to have a proper training plan and a process of stages of development from young children to an adult. I decided to ask Coach Rameshon and Ashley Liew on how a runner can develop optimally. I believe that even other runners who come in as local top runners of Singapore have similar attributes as well. Hence, to broaden our knowledge on this I have asked both Coach Rameshon and Ashley Liew to answer to all my interview questions.

An Interview With Ashley Liew and Coach Rameshon

How was your running training when you were young?
Ashley Liew : Although I never joined a sports CCA until JC, before that I was exposed to sports. I played recreational golf and tennis regularly, while during recess I would play some soccer. My mother and father supported me wholeheartedly in all my non-sporting (and later sporting) activities, sacrificing time, money, and energy. I was never in a running CCA.

Can you tell us more on your sports when you were young?
Ashley Liew :During primary and secondary school, I was inclined to playing games, and even attempted intra-school running races for fun. Wanting to join sports formally later on, I joined ACJC Canoeing (one of few CCAs that did not require background). At the end of JC2 I did my first marathon in 4h29m.

Then what happened?
Ashley Liew :During Army, I ended up putting on a lot of weight. Despite this, during the many 2.4km tests we had to do, I realized my running times were decent. However running to me was something I needed to do to lose weight, so I did not have any structure. I also began triathlon in 2006 as a novel way to lose weight.

Then, when exactly did you decide to take up running?
Ashley Liew:I joined Aquathlon and Track & Field CCAs when I started at Singapore Management University. At the 2007 Track IVP, my first formal track race, I could not even hit 40min at 10,000m. Wanting to improve myself, and without a formal coach, I only managed small improvements: 39m21s for 10,000m and 3h34m for marathon in 2008.

Were you able to improve the time?
Ashley Liew: The breakthrough came after I started training with Coach Rameshon in Dec 2008. By the end of 2009, my marathon time dropped to 2h51m. With hard work and structure, I gradually improved to achieving my PBs of 34m17s (10,000m) and 2h38m (marathon).

Why do you think you may have improved in running over time?
Ashley Liew:I believe the first reason for improving all my running times from 1,500m to the marathon, and even in triathlon, was having a proper training plan. My coach and I always have very good and regular personal communication and we set long-term and intermediate goals. The other reason for my improvements is the support and love of my parents. At at early age, according to Coach Rameshon, my involvement with recreational sports may have given me good hand-eye coordination which is helping me in running now. Seeing the Flexifitness Young Champions Program today, I regret not being exposed to agility and endurance activities earlier. Fortunately I now have Coach Rameshon to impart some of this to me. He told me that good running training with no proper development in coordination will not help one to develop as a top runner in time to come.

Why is this so, Coach Rameshon?
Coach Rameshon : I have seen some runners having some problems with coordination when they run. This good coordination comes from parent's effort to help the young ones to excel in sports. One fine day, these people will stay in sports and they will take up running or their chosen sports for life. This is a key message for everyone who would like to save money after 40 years plus, to live without diseases and sicknesses.

Without good coordination, an above average runner will stay as an above average runner later on as well, not having the ability to rise to the next step. Poor coordination with not give good running form and research and current studies show that faster running comes from good running economy. World records are now broken because of this. Good running economy comes from good coordination. A person with good coordination and who is also good in running, genetically speaking, will excel in running. In Ashley's case, the good coordination had brought him greater success.

Picture 2 - (Right to Left) Jeevaneesh, top 3 runner in Singapore succeeds with good coordination


Are there any disadvantages that both of you have?
Coach Rameshon : I believe that the sky is the limit. We need to take this advantage from age 6 to 15 years old where the Central Nervous System works the best to solve the motor 'muscle -memory' coordination. After this age, the motor program is more or less fixed. That simply means that if one has poor coordination at 16 years old plus, it will be hard to change running style and technique etc and make the person good in coordination. Once you miss the bus, you miss the bus.

As for me, at 90 % of good coordination is better than just 70 % coordination and this comes when we are young. The worse scenario is when a person has 20 to 30% of good coordination. 

Good coordination has helped us, but more can be done to excel and it comes from when you are young. “Let me finish my studies and at the age of 20 I will exercise”, if one says this sentence, they will only end up with poor coordination in the later part of their life. 

If given the youth of a 12 year old, what will you do now which will enhance running?
Coach Rameshon : I will go for a good motor programme. This may have given me the advantage to even do a sub -2hr 20min for the marathon race if given the opportunity.

Can you share with us the knowledge that is helping you to coach better?
Coach Rameshon: It is maturation. It is the stages that a child has to go through from young before becoming an adult. Children are not miniature adults.  We cannot give children adult like activities. The sports activities for different age groups are different.  Various activities are needed for different age groups to optimise the potential of a child. This is the best gift a parent can give to a child.

Are you happy with the activities given to you as a child?
Coach Rameshon: Nowadays, children are glued to computers and are not doing enough activities, so to speak, and this will definitely affect ones motor control development. The children will not be able to optimise their potential. Currently, I have heard of cases of children becoming rebellious when they are told to exercise and to leave the computer games aside. 
As for me, I was lucky to have done several games and sports that have helped in motor co-ordination, even though a careful program designed to maximise my potential would have suited me well.

Lastly, after hearing all about physical development of a child, at which age do you consider the best to learn motor program to improve coordination?
Coach Rameshon :It is from age 6 that one could start on motor programme. At 12 years old, it is better late than never kind of game for parents to play. The younger one is the better is the quick motor control development. Two benefits will accrue, one is performance improvement, and secondly, one can take a chosen sport as a life time sport if one starts sports early. A wide variety of activities which are out there will be good for a child’s development, with some athletics skills given.





Monday, April 23, 2012

Run 350 Kids' Dash - From The Straits Times

Written By Marcel Sng



It was nice to see young children participating in the RUN 350 race. The race was graced by Secretary-General of NTUC Mr Lim Swee Say, who is well known for supporting sports in Singapore. .

 Straits Times paper report by Mark Cheong

www.runningcoachsg.com


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Kipsang, Keitany of Kenya win London Marathon 2012

 Written By Marcel Sng

London Marathon - Double victory for Kipsang and Keitany of Kenya 

Picture 1 - (left to right) Keitany, Prince Harry and Wilson Kipsang 

 

While we had our RUN 350 graced by Mr Lim Swee Say in Singapore, concurrently there was London Marathon going on on the same day. Wilson Kipsang (men open section) and Mary Keitany (women open section) won the 42.2-kilometer (26.2-mile) race.Kipsang had opened up the lead from the pack with about10 kilometers to go before winning in 2 hours, 4 minutes, 44 seconds. 

Kipsang told reporters "I knew when I went away they have to work very, very hard to beat me as I was feeling very good in myself,". "I am sorry I didn't (break) the record but winning is the most important thing for me. I feel a little tired now, but I am happy and tired."

In a sprint finish Lel defeated Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia for second place. Another surprise came when World record-holder Patrick Makau,  half of the way through, just gave up the race. 
.
The Kenyans took all top three placing in the women's section. Keitany told reporters that it was  "very tough" victory. "Everyone was just looking for the Olympic time in order to be selected," she said. "It's great for me to win the race for the second time. I hope they will select me now for the Olympics. "I want to go and try to get a medal at the Olympics ... on Friday I went to look at the route." Keitany started to open up from world champion Edna Kiplagat with around 5 kilometers left and then kept leading with a 1 minute, 13 seconds win from fellow compatriot. Priscah Jeptoo was third. 
 

An Interview With Ashley Liew (By Marcel Sng)

Written By Marcel Sng
Picture 1 - S. Jeevanesh, Ashley Liew and Coach Rameshon

Some good photos were sent to me and I should thank Tarandeep Kaur and Ashley Liew for sending them to me. Coach Rameshon came to the scene of running after hearing that Tarandeep had an injury during the race. Somehow he was at the tentage with Tarandeep. I would like to cover on Tarandeep and S. Jeevanesh's interview later on. Today, I would like to interview on Ashley for his great achievement of first time champion in the half-marathon race. This got me excited.

An Interview With Ashley Liew 

 Picture 1 - Ashley Liew collecting his prize from Minister Mr Lim Swee Say


How was the race generally?
The race was organised fairly well

Any feedback on this race?
Yes, there is one. The race had two waves; the earlier wave was the faster wave. I was put behind with the slower wave. I got to talk my way out to go up to the earlier pack. This is something for the race officials to reflect where they should put the athletes according to their speed. I have seen this done in several western countries and some neighbouring countries. In fact, the officials can do this 'extra mile' work by having several entrance points according to their timing to make them do a personal best time. 

Then only the competitors coming for the race are able to achieve their personal best time. 

How was the route?
It was generally ok, however, we had to negotiate a number of sharp turns that we had to take and this slowed me down to a certain extent. Maybe, the organisers could also work on this also. 

This victory is something you have not achieving from the past? How do you feel coming in first for the half-marathon for the first time? 
I am pleased with my performance today. 

Picture 3 - Ashley Liew at the finish part

What is your next challenge?
I am going to take part in a mini triathlon soon and then go for the Ironman that I had been training for the past several months. After that I will be going to the Gold Coast Marathon 2012 to improve upon my time. 

 Do you have any thing that you want to say?
I would like to thank all the supporters for supporting me during the race. 

How about your running split during the race?
The following are my running splits. 
At the first 1km, I did 3.34. After the 1km, I increased my pace and this was tactical for me. At the 5km mark, the time stood at 17min 20sec. Subequently, I reached the 10km at 35min 06sec. Then, at 15km I did 52min 37sec. At 20km mark, my time was 1hr 10min 34sec. Eventually, I did 1hr 14min 45sec for the whole race.

How do you find the accuracy of the distance of the race?
It was very accurate, except that I am wondering why the last 1km seemed a bit too longer. 

How did you find the weather during the run?
It was ok as it was a good idea to put the race at the early part of the day.


How does Coach Rameshon feel about your performance?

Coach Rameshon was very happy with my performance, with S. Jeevanesh, at the same time, coming in 3rd in the RUN 350 10km Men Open race, doing 35min 40sec. 


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Flexifitness Runner Ashley Liew Champion in RUN 350

Written By Marcel Sng

Today, Ashley Liew blazed the road by doing 1hr 14min 45sec and claimed victory for the RUN 350 half- marathon race. In nearly all the races of half-marathon that he ran in all ended in either a second or third placing. Half-marathon winning has always been an elusive one for Ashley. Now, for the first time, Ashley has proven himself that he can come in a champion finally. 

Fellow Flexifitness runner S. Jeevanesh did 35min 40sec and came in third in the 10km race for men. S. Jeevanesh also the national schools' record holder for the cross-country with a time of 14min 57sec in 4.5km in year 2011. Kien Mau came in first in the 10km men while Renuka came in 1st in the 10km race for women.

Anne Date came in first in the half-marathon race. After the race, Ashley Liew and Jeevanesh shared with us on their top 3 place winning. Watch out for that!
 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

JP Morgan Chase Run 2012

 Tarandeep Kaur - Aiming to do a 5km in 21 to 22min by 2 months time
 
Written By Marcel  

Pic 1 - Tarandeep Kaur hopes to run the Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon 2012.


Today about 14 000 people took part in JP Morgan race. I decided to interview Tarandeep Kaur, 25, since she was running the race so that she can give me a first hand experience of the race.

Interview Wtih Tarandeep

How was the race?
There were a lot of excitement of the race and about 14 000 people took part in it.

How do you find the crowd?
Enthusiastic and fantastic

How was your run?
The route was 5.6km. I did it in an unofficial time of 25min 42sec. 

Are you happy with the time?
Yes, the reason for this is because I thought that I may do 25min kind of pace as I was sick today and I was not sure on how to run. Now I believe that I can do a 5km with a time of 22min plus, based from the calculations from the race. I am hoping to do a 5km time of 20min  in 2 to 3 months time so that I can do the Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon 2012 in sub-4 hours time. 

As for the timing today, I was blocked by front runners for the first 400metres. Some very slow runners were at the start line before me and they created themselves as obstacles for me. They also did not run out fast but were blocking. I tried to dodge my way to the front but it was very difficult. If this did not happen, all the dodging and turning, I would have done this race in a relatively good time. A lot of people could have done a very good time.

Anything that you want to say to improve this race?
For next year, I would appreciate if I could run according time and not people doing 40min for 5.6km standing right in front of me. This leads to blocking. The idea of doing an effective race is gone and for me to do a better time takes a back seat. All the time, money and effort to train for this event throughout the year goes to waste. Somewhere in the middle of the race, there were huge runners right in front of me, practically blocking me from overtaking them. I sincerely hope that something could be done by the organisers.

Different entry points could be set up for future races, so that runners are separated according to the seasonal best time or by asking people to cooperate and ask them to fill in their estimated time in the internet so that they run according to their own stardard during the  5.6km race. In the past, I heard that there were not much of runners. 

Nowadays the popularity of running is growing. However, the organisers should also think winning ways to make people do a very good personal best time. 

How was the route?
Generally flat with some hills. We started at Esplanade and finished our run at F1 pit. 
 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

An Interview With Rameshon - Part 4 (By Marcel Sng)

 On Past Record Breakers


Written By Marcel Sng

I was thinking about the past national record holders of Singapore. It would be good to know them so that we know the history of marathon running. Hence, I started asking our own runner Mr. Rameshon on this matter. 

An Interview With Mr Rameshon

To your knowledge, how did marathon running come to Singapore?
At the age of 12, my brothers and I ran marathon and it was called Pesta Sukan at that time. My brothers and I were able to complete the marathon. At that age, I did not take the race seriously. There existed runs like this, usually once a year. I was usually amazed to see old people running at that time and admire their mental strength, at that time.

Who was holding the marathon record at first?
I really don't know this but surely Kumaravelu, about 1.5metres in height, was one of the pioneer to break the record. I saw his past time to be 2hr 46min in SWIFT Club newsletter vividly.

Who broke the record after this?
It was S. Ramasamy who is still teaching still in ITE. His time was 2hr 37min 20sec done in 19 Oct 1982. He established this in Phuket marathon, Thailand. He has a personal best time of 16min 00sec for 5km and he is still keeping himself active even now that he is 48. 

After Ramasamy, who broke the record?
It was Goh Gam Seng who did 2hr 34min 39sec in Boston, in 15 Apr 1985, USA. Gam Seng got himself injured later on and decided to take cycling to keep himself active. 

Then who broke Goh Gam Seng's Record?
Tan Choon Ghee, Yvonne Danson's husband who did 2hr 34min 22sec in Long Beach, USA. It was in 1990 that broke that record to 2hr 31min in Citizen International Hong Kong Marathon. 

So far, I know that you have done four 2hr 30min and below, what about the other one which forms five that you have mentioned to us?
It was 2hr 29min, in Chiengmai Thailand, which was done in year 1995, January, when I was doing relief teaching in National Junior College at that time. We were given the opportunity to see that SEA Games route prior to the SEA Games in Dec. I was the first qualifier for the SEA Games at that time, as my time was faster than the previous SEA Games bronze medal for marathon winning time, held two years ago.

Runningcoachsg crosses 200,000 pageviews today (17/04/2012)

Runningcoachsg crosses 200 000 pageviews for the first time, thanks to readers. 

Figure 1 - Pramod Kukanur, who is standing beside with his wife is the person who initiated this blog for the benefit of public.

Thanks to readers for taking your time to read our materials on health, fitness, running and sports performance. I would like to thank many people who have helped in contributing, especially Pramod Kukanur, Murthy, Ashley Liew, Marcel Sng, Dr Ben Tan, Lim Thow Wee, Dr Benny Goh, Ken Mun, Oon Shui Kun, S. Jeevanesh and many other important people that I am not able to mentioned here. 

The fact that this blog is contributing to readers, based from verbal feedback given by readers to me when I meet them, is only making me very enthusiastic in writing more. 

Figure 2 - Total page view crosses 200000.

Figure 3 - Top 10 countries pageviews

Monday, April 16, 2012

Flexifitness Blog Runningcoachsg about to cross 200000 pageviews soon

Written By Marcel Sng

The advent of the blog came into existence from May 2009. It was initiated by Pramod kukanur, an Indian IT professional who worked in Singapore for few years. He was from Bangalore. He is now happily married and is staying in India presently. Having been a fervent sportsman he was not given the opportunity to become a sportman when he was young. By losing his weight using Mr Rameshon's training, 11kg in total, using exercise as the alternative to losing weight, Pramod suggested to Mr Rameshon to come up with a blog to assist people in improving their running performance and diet properly. Hence, the blog came about. 

Picture 1 - The graph of Blog's readership progress
 

First in the list of the most popular reading come from the topic 'How to do the Standing Broad Jump', second is on 'Man Dies during the Marathon', third is 'How to train for marathon from scratch'. Fourth most read list of the blog comes from Ashley Liew's 2hr 38min achievement in the Hong Kong Marathon 2012

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

An Interview With Rameshon Part 3 (Written By Marcel Sng)

 Written By Marcel Sng

Part 3 - The Developmental Phase

Exactly at which age did you pick up running?
It was at school that I picked up running, around secondary 1. I did not run that seriously at first. Mr Joseph's Vargese, our SJI teacher in-charge for cross-country told us to run once a week. The good thing about him is that he used to reward us when we do well in running. Another portfolio of Mr Vargese was being the teacher in-charge of Track and Field. This, I believe, was a very heavy burden for him as he was coaching everything - jumps, track sprints and throws.

It was only when Mr Coleman Baptist became our teacher in-charge of cross country that we started training three times per week. There was an improvement in our timing. I was doing 8min 46sec when I was secondary two. 

It was at secondary four that I started doing well when Mr Lui Seng Cheong, the present Queensway Secondary School principal, took over as the teacher in-charge of cross-country. We came in third for Nationals Schools' Cross-Country in year1981. It was a memorable year for me that year. At that time, I used to train, rain or shine, with Tan Eng Howe for every session of our training.

What made you to take up running very seriously over time?
I realised that the more I run it instill in me the self-discipline which could make me to succeed in anything.

Exactly at which age did you become serious about running?
It was at 15 that I became serious about running. Over time, the seriousness was fluctuating until I reached 22 years of age. 

When  was the first time that you represented Singapore?
It was when I was in the army, around the age of 20 that I represented SAFSA to run in Lumut, Malaysia for a Inter- Army race between Brunei, Singapore and Malaysia. I ran the 10km in a personal best time of 36min 31sec at that time. It was the first time I did sub-37min.


To be continued.

Friday, April 6, 2012

An Interview With Rameshon (Part 2)

 Written By Marcel Sng

After hearing on the surprising comeback of Coach Rameshon's at the age of 43 in year 2008, I realised that it would be good to find out the year he broke the national record.  All the while, I was thinking that he broke the national record only once and I thought it was in the year 1995 only, at Chiengmai SEA Games. It was from the interview that I had with him today that make me realise that he is the only one who has done a time of 2hr 30min and below, 5 times altogether. Besides that, he still holds the fastest time for a local running in Singapore terrain. It was all a revelation for me as I was not aware of this in the past. It was through the interview that I had with him that made me realise all this.  

Also, I have decided to keep the interview short for Part 2 and narrowly focus on the good timings that he has done. I have decided to extend the interview to more parts for the benefit of the readers. In part 2, I have decided to focus on his national record breaking progression.

An Interview With Rameshon 

When was the first time you broke the Singaporean National record?                

The first time I broke the record was done in the year 1990 in Citizen International Marathon, held in Hong Kong, where I came in 5th overall with a time of 2:31:33. The previous record, 2:34:22, was held by Tan Choon Ghee at that time. In year 1991, California (Pacific Rim) International Marathon I did 2:30:42. Later on, I decided to go for further studies in England in year 1992, Oct. In year 1993, running in the London Marathon I did 2:29:18 and 4 months later in year 1993, I ran the Berlin Marathon and did 2:28:19. At that time, I was training with Coach Alan Guilder. In year 1995, doing all training, stamina, strength, speed etc, I included breathing technique taught by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, from The Art of Living, to my training and finally did 2hr 24min 22sec in the 1995 SEA Games in Chiengmai, Thailand. Yvonne Danson, the female representative runner from Singapore did 2hr 34min for the race and broke the national record. 

Did you think it was possible to do the 2:24:32 by you at the age of 40 plus?
Continued on the next issue

Thursday, April 5, 2012

An Interview With Rameshon (By Marcel - Part 1)

Written By Marcel Sng
Coach Rameshon has been running all the way from 15 years of age to 29. Although, the path to train seriously was not smooth, at the age of 22 onwards, he made it a point to train consistently and seriously. After doing 2hr24min 22sec in Chiengmai SEA Games 1995, over time, he told himself to take a 10 year break and come back to running at around 40. Until then, he was just keeping himself fit. After marriage, at the age of 39 years of age his weight went up from 55kg to 73kg. 

When he came back to running, at the age of 39, he gradually rose from 6th position in 2005 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon to 1st In 2008 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, at the age of 43. Furthermore, the two runners that Rameshon coached on that year, Daniel Ling and Dr Benedict Tan , were able to come in local 2nd and 3rd , respectively in the race. Dr Benedict Tan did 2hr 56sec, a first sub – 3hr run in his life. 

Picture 1 - (left to right) Daniel Ling (2nd), Rameshon (1st) and Dr Ben Tan (3rd)



In Year 2009, Rameshon was out of action in running but was present for the race to cheer for the 6 runners of his group who came in top 12 in the local Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon 2009 marathon. On that year, one of the runners, Dr Benny Goh came in 3rd in the local category. Ashley Liew was second in the same race. 

As a young adult, I have been, all the while, been inquisitive to know what happened to Rameshon in Year 2009. It has always been a mystery to me. All the while, I have been asking this question on whether he will carry on competitive running or not in his later years. My curiosity to know what was in his mind made me to inform him of my earnest request to take an interview with him. All the while, I have seen him, not just talking about fitness, but always practising what he preaches doing Yoga, running and exercise most of the time. The only thing I have seen in him is he is not training very seriously as I have seen him doing it in the past.

Hence, the thought on exploring what is going really in his mind has made me to come up with this interview. I have waited for long for this moment and, I believe it will satisfy my curiosity a lot. I will do a three part series of his interview for the benefit of the readers and myself. 

An Interview With Rameshon

What made you to come back to running at the age of 39?
I was coming in first in a number of 10km races doing sub – 33min, with one to two minutes gap from the next person most of the time, not that I am bragging but it is a fact. I was only sustaining my performance and not improving as there was not much challenge here at that time. I told this to Yvonne Danson, National Record Holder of Singapore 1995, who has a time of 2hr 34min, and she told me not to halt and to keep on racing. I believe that I had other plans. Later on, when I took a break, she introduced to me Paul Thompson who was taking up running when he was in his 30s who was based in Malaysia and was racing successfully in Singapore. It was a good thing to see him. However, I have, at that time, stopped my running for a number of months already. The only thing that I was doing was just keeping fit throughout the year. 

I was looking for other challenges like train after the age of 40 and repeat the 2hr 24min 22sec (1995) which I have done at age of 29. 

Can you tell us the best time ever that you have done after the age of 39 years of age when you took up running?
At the age of 39, I was sixth in 2005 Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon. In year 2006, I came in 2nd in the Stanchart marathon race. In year 2007, I came in second again for the race. However, in 2008 Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon race I came in with a time of 2hr 49min. From this race, my aim was to go down 2hr 34min. However, I got myself injured 1month before the race. 

How did you get injured in 2009?
I don’t easily get injured. The injury I got was an age-related injury and not a running injury. At age 40, many sedentary people will see their meniscus, cushion for the knee, wearing off. As for active people at the age of 45 the meniscus will wear off. At age 44 was where I felt pain at the side of the knee. Although, my timing around that year was getting faster I was coming to terms with the geriatric condition that was taking place. Finally, one day our body will give way to everything. Although, I was doing very good timing and was on target for a sub- 2hr 34min, I decided to pull out of the race. The last one month before the 2009 Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon practically I was limping while going up and down the stairs. This lasted for several months. I realized that my left leg was weaker and smaller in size as compared to my right leg. 

Did you recover from the injury?
I saw Dr Benedict Tan as he was himself a marathon runner and a friend to me. After seeing him, I recovered fast but not in time to run the Standard Chartered Marathon race 2009, I told myself not to get in a situation that I am not able to walk properly. It was a wait and see. I told myself that in Year 2010, I can come back to competive running. I did cardio training in the gym. Only, after Year 2010 I got myself better.

To be continued in Part 2.