Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ashley Liew Does 2hr 35min 40sec in Gold Coast Marathon (1/07/2012)

Ashley Liew - Got what he wanted at Gold Coast Airport Marathon 2012

Having run the 10km race a day before the Gold Coast Marathon, I felt that the last 3km of the 10km race became quite hot. After running the 10km race in 47min 17sec, approximately, I discussed with Ashley Liew to watch out for the weather. In the year 2011, the weather was good, except for the last 10km of the race for him. In this race, I hinted to him that the weather was be hot, especially since the race starts at 720am on Sunday.

Ashley asked me whether it would be a good idea to wear sunglasses before the race. In Singapore, it is ok to run in the hot sun as the sun is not as glaring as in Australia. It may end very glaring if the sun comes out. Eventually, Ashley told me that he would run with the sunglasses on.

As expected, while Ashley was running in the race he started to feel the heat of the sun 15km onwards. As for me, I realised that the sun was out at the start of the race itself. However, Ashley decided to stick to the plan of going 1hr 17min for the first half, instead of going 1hr 13min or 14min. Our game plan was to go 1hr 17min if Ashley felt good and go for 1hr 16min if he felt very good for the half-way mark of the marathon race. 

During the race, Ashley ran the 1st 1km in 3min 38sec, following the plan that we had set. The plan was to go 3hr 40min per km all the way to the half-way mark of the marathon and then do a negative split from then.  At 5km today, Ashley did 18min 07sec and at the 10km mark he did 36min 09sec. His half-way time was 1hr 16min 27sec, as according to plan.

Around the 31km mark, I saw Ashley running by. The time then was 1hr 52min 40sec. I then realised that he could do a personal best time between 2hr 32min to 2hr 36min. However, the weather got hotter. At that point, I also saw some top runners vanishing from the scene and some elite runners slowing down, becoming a casualty to the weather and humidity. While waiting at the finish point, I saw the 1st, 2nd and 3rd men open marathon runners finishing in a time of 2hr 10min plus to 2hr 12min. These are runners with personal best times between 2hr 08 to 2hr 09min.

After some time, as I saw some runners finishing, finally at the bend Ashley appeared and was going for the final stretch. At that point, seeing the way the first and second women open marathon runners finishing the race, I thought Ashley would be coming back between 2hr 36 and 2hr 38min, because of the turn of the event, the weather becoming too hot. However I saw Ashley giving his final burst and finishing very strongly with a time of 2hr 35min 40sec, finishing 18th overall. After the race, I shook hands with him and told him, "We did it!". We felt that all the hard work of sacrificing time, money and effort had finally materialised.

In order to do this time, I ensured he was disciplined enough to do warm-ups and stretching indepedently, so as to harness his energy before the race and not be too hyped up. Just before the race, he was calm and looked very confident of achieving our goal, which was to do between 2hr 30min and 2hr 36min.

In the race, Ashley and I had an opportunity to take a photo with the men's open marathon winner by the name of Shumye from Ethiopia who did a time of 2hr 10min plus, who was less than a minute away from the course record of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon

Split times of Ashley Liew
1km - 3min 38sec
2km - 3min 35sec
3km - 3min 38sec
4km - 3min 40sec
5km - 3min 35sec sub-total time - 18min 07sec

6km - 3min 38sec
7km - 3min 34sec
8km - 3min 35sec
9km - 3min 33sec
10km - 3min 40sec Sub- total time 36min 09sec

11km - 3min 39sec
12km - 3min 36sec
13km - 3min 38sec
14km - 15km 7min 19sec , sub-total time 54min 22sec

16km - 3min 41sec
17km - 3min 33sec
18km - 3min 35sec
19km - 3min 35sec
20km - 3min 42sec sub-total time 1hr 12min 30sec
21km - 3min 33sec sub -total time 1hr 16min 27sec

22km - 3min 38sec
23km - 3min 36sec
24km - 3min 36sec
25km - 3min 39sec sub-total time 1hr 30min 34sec

26km - 3min 44sec
27 to 28km - 7min 21sec
29km - 3min 38sec
30km - 3min 44sec sub-total time 1hr 49min 02sec

31km to 32km - 7min 30sec
33km - 3min 48sec
last 2.195km - 8min 11sec

Total Time Taken - 2hr 35min 40sec

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tarandeep (28 min plus) and Mum Lakhvinder Kaur Get Forth For Sculpt Run 6km Team Event. 

Picture 1 - (Left to Right) Guest-of-Honour Pei Ling giving away the FORTH PRIZE to Tanrandeep and mum Lakhvinder.

Tarandeep told me 2 weeks ago that her mother and she will running in the Sculpt Run 6km - Mum and Daughter team run. Her fellow mate Dawn Jacob did 49min for 6km and did a personal best time bettering the 56min in the past.

The race took place today. I called her up today and later decided to give her an interview..  

An Interview With Tarandeep 
How was the race preparation?
I was improving all the while until these last two weeks. I was under stress as I did not have enough time for rest etc. Just before the race, I felt that my muscles were tensing up?

Are you happy with the race result?
I came in third in Women Open race unofficially. In mother and daughter event , I came in 4th, and this came as a surprise. 

How did your mother and you fair in the race?
 I did 28min plus while my mother did 36min plus. We faired well as I could see my mother speeding when I told her that I was third in the women open category. She really started to overtake many at the last portion of the race. It was great to see her being resilient at the last part of the race.

Are you happy with the organisation of the race?
Yes, it was organised well and there water points too. 

Will you come back for this race next year?
No, I don't think so as I would like to take part in 10km and above rather than 6km as I like to prepare for the half-marathons and full marathons.  

Can you tell us on the details of the race?
I was leading the women open race for the first two km and I was overtaken by one lady, looking young. Then, later on, I was overtaken again by another runner and I was third. At the 4th km mark, I was fourth position. At around the 4.5km mark, I fought back and got into third position again. Eventually, I ended third. I could have done better if I had run a conversative race right from the start rather than leading as I ran out too fast and got tired out at the last part of the race. 
I will like to thank those cheering for me during the race pluse team-mate in training Ashley Liew in wanting me to do well in race. . 

Friday, June 22, 2012

 Ashley Liew - To Study for Doctorate in Sherman College.

Ashley Liew entered the Class of 2012 SOSS in 2007 doing his degree at Singapore Management University.He is one of those pursuing something related to sports in the future just like my former student by the name of Mohd Ihsan . Ihsan was a National Schools 800m and 1500m champion in Under 14 and Under 17 category, in the past, respectively. Ihsan is doing a doctorate course in Sports Science. I believe that a sports man should also learn to excel in not just sports but in academic as well. 

Having said that, Ashley Liew has been doing great in training. He is able to maintain well in studies and have decided to further his passion in running and sports to finally be beneficial to the society greatly by doing doctorate in Chiropractic in world renowned Sherman College. The interview that SOSS had is in this blog post below.

Flexifitness wishes Ashley Liew all the best in the coming Gold Coast Marathon 2012 on July 1st.

Note : Ashley Liew is entering the Sherman College of Chiropractic, Doctor of Chiropractic, in January 2013

Hi Ashley! Thanks for agreeing to this interview! We hear you'll be pursuing a Doctor of Chiropractic in the USA now that you have graduated from SOSS. Could you tell us more about this programme? 

Hi, and thanks for this opportunity!

It is a 3.5 year (14-quarter) course at Sherman College of Chiropractic in South Carolina, USA. Chiropractic care deals with identifying and adjusting misalignments of the spine, known as vertebral subluxations. Subluxations interfere with the ability of nerves to transmit signals between brain and body cells, thus impairing one’s health potential. The programme involves extensive study into the science and philosophy around chiropractic, encompassing fields such as anatomy, psychology, and business practice.

I am looking forward to this enriching experience, which would equip me with the skills and knowledge to become a professional chiropractor when I practice in Singapore. Much of the experience will be hands-on, such as through the serving of an internship. I was also attracted to the small class sizes there, which ensure effective learning and participation, just like at SOSS!

What made you decide to further your studies in Chiropractic? How do you think your education at SOSS will benefit you when you're on this programme?

I had actually never heard of chiropractic before 2010. It was only on attending a symposium organised by my bicycle sponsor that I was introduced to this all-natural and drug-free approach to health maintenance. Regular chiropractic care has since kept me in the best physical shape, and is no doubt a major reason for my progression in athletics and triathlon.

My decision to follow the footsteps of my chiropractor was motivated by two values inculcated while at SOSS: caring for the community and daring to be different.

Firstly, the SMU ethic of caring for others inspired me to do likewise as a chiropractor. It was my community services stint in 2007 that jumpstarted me to volunteer actively and to be the current Secretary of the VWO called Student Volunteer Corps. It was also after hearing about the 2010 Political Science Study Mission to China that I became inspired by students who genuinely sought to make a difference to the less fortunate. It was also through class discussions about effecting tangible policy and action on real people that convinced me to be a part of it. I have seen how chiropractic has improved the well-being of friends and strangers who have been treated for their discomfort. Being part of such a preventive (not just reactive) health approach for the betterment of the community would be very satisfying for me.

Secondly, the holistic perspectives received at SOss dared me to be different. Over the years we have seen many graduates, and even some faculty members, who have followed the unconventional path. Their most important impetus would probably be passion; as long as they enjoyed what they were pursuing, no one should tell them otherwise. My turning point came at my Social Sciences Capstone Seminar, when Jim Rogers was invited to speak. It was profound knowing that despite his legendary investing successes, he fully advocated anything his children were going to be passionate in; if they excelled at something (even gardening!), they could be successful.

I clearly have no passion for gardening, but since joining SMU, my passion for endurance sports has transformed me from average to one of the best Singaporean athletes. I knew I wanted to continue being an athlete in the long-term, as I am now only realizing my current potential. I then realized my passion for athletics and helping others (through chiropractic) would be complementary; I could continue to train hard while not being bounded by the rigidity of a desk-job. My next path may be a leap into the unknown, but I am not the type to ponder “What if…?” 

Chiropractic is a completely different field from what you've studied at SOSS. Was that an issue at all in your application? 

While this is somewhat true, some of the SOSS modules will complement what I will be learning in chiropractic. We are required to do one (or two) GE Science modules as part of our holistic curriculum, so the study of the some subjects like biology will come in handy. Having also taken two psychology modules, the learned insights would definitely benefit my interaction with future patients.

In addition, the biggest pre-requisite component was… Social Science (cue a huge sigh of relief)! Last but not least, I must thank our “Computer as an Analysis Tool” for helping me fulfill the computer literacy requirement.

In any case, I have met the “substantially meets” admission standard, which allows applicants with a Bachelor degree and a minimum cumulative GPA. Dealing with science would also not be a culture shock, as I was also in Science stream during Secondary School and Junior College.

While the application issue did not pose too big a barrier, I did have to consider others. Studying abroad for so long, far away from family and friends is a big sacrifice I have to make. The thought of starting my first day of working life only in my 30’s also scared me a little, thinking about the opportunity cost.

However, I embrace endurance sports as a metaphor for life: perceived barriers can be overcome with passion and determination. With that positive mindset, hopefully, I can become a successful practitioner and athlete in the long-run.

Tell us more about your SOSS experience. You took a semester off to train for your races. How did that flexibility work for you?

I love SOSS.

SMU is already a small environment where you get to see familiar faces in the concourse everyday and even more so within the tight-knit SOSS community. The classroom atmosphere is lively as everyone candidly discusses views in a tension-free setup. Passionate professors constantly fostered 2-way interaction on a broad range of issues such as politics, social structure, and psychology. The education opened up my perspectives and taught me to analyse what we interpret amidst a world flooded with digital information. I was honoured to give back to SOSS by running annually for their SMU RunAbout relay team, as well as participating in the Social Sciences Conference 2012.

I did take a semester off to concentrate on training and racing in 2011. This partly explains why my graduation ceremony is not together with my peers, but I have no regrets about it. People from other varsities were shocked to find out that SMU (Office of Student Life and SOSS Admin) not only were aware about my “leave of absence”, but fully supported my time-off. It was actually then Dean of Students Professor Low Aik Meng who told me there was no rush to start working, and suggested I enjoy my time longer in SMU.

In addition to the support received, the flexibility of planning my own class timetable is like no other. I usually run twice a day every day, so it is important I schedule runs around classes, or even the other way round!

Any advice for your juniors in SOSS, or for those thinking of joining the SOSS family?

For the juniors, simply enjoy your experience in SOSS; how it turns out is really up to you.  There may be tough times, like rushing that RMSS report, or finalising your presentation at the last-minute. When that happens, take a deep breath, acknowledge what you need to do systematically, and do what you can.

Sometimes I could not finish my readings pre-class due to time spent training or racing (oops!), but when it was time to get serious with studying I put my undivided focus into it. There are ways of avoiding unnecessary stress; one of them is being time-efficient by not spending so much time on Facebook… like you are probably doing now! :)

For the potential applicants, what are you waiting for? The SOSS experience is fun, intimate, and like no other. Hopefully it would take you to places you once thought impossible, as it did for me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Flexifitness Celebrates Father's Day

Father's Day - A Day to Treasure

Picture 1 - Mothers and children, involved in the Father's Day Celebration 2012.

Picture 2 - Father's Day Cake (Standing) Ewan, (Sitting Left - Right) Divya and Brinda

I remember when I was just a little kid in De La Salle Primary School. Once a parent, who was a father then, came to see my primary 6 school teacher by the name of Mr Cheong. After the meeting, Mr Cheong told us that parents sacrifice their time, money and effort to make us to well in life. He also told us that this is evidenced by parents paying school fees and the school has the responsibility to look after the child well. He said that the father has the right to know on the child's progress by visiting our school. It is all hard earned money. 

Picture 3 - Ready to cut the cake.  

I think that made an impact in me as I come to know that actually our parents, mother and/or father come to our school to for academic concern so that we do well in our career in years to come. 

Picture  4 - Ashley Liew, overlooking the children playing game.

As such, with this in mind, we celebrated Father's Day in CCAB, Evans Road track. We appreciated the parents coming down to celebrate with us. Even more memorable was seeing my St Joseph's Institution school-mate Tan Eng Howe photographing for us on Father's Day. He is also a father now.

Picture 5 - Ashley conducting stretching

We had our dinner and it was a memorable day for me to cherish. "Happy Father's Day to all Fathers".  We thank those parents who came to support celebrating Fathers Day. 

Picture 6 - It is dinner time

Photographs - courtesy of Montage Studio

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lin Run 'er - Ready To Take On Gold Coast Marathon 2012

Lin Run'er - Preparing To Run Gold Coast Airport Marathon
I met Lin Run’er when she was in Hwa Chong Institution (college). Over a period of time, among some of them who used to keep themselves running, I realized that she was very fond of running. In previous interview she had mentioned that it is important to set aside time to keep oneself fit by running or do some exercise or sports. Recently, I have seen her running at CCAB, MOE Evans Road track doing workouts. Using common sense I believe that she is training very hard for the upcoming Gold Coast Marathon 2012.  After my 10km run on one day before the marathon, I am going to enjoy myself watching the sea and the race at Gold Coast. In the past, both Ashley and I had a terrific time and the stay was a memorable. More memorable was the stay I had at my sister’s place in Melbourne. In this blog post, I have interviewed Lin Run’er who is now teaching at Raffles Junior College. This will be a motivational thing to read for avid runners in Singapore. I hope that Ashley and she do well there. All the best!

 Picture 1 - Lin Run'er

Why do you like running?
That's a simple question but very difficult to answer. Running is fun, healthy, hassle-free, invigorating, empowering, and I could go on. I always feel better after a run no matter how it went.

When was the first time you ran a marathon race?
December 2007

How many marathons have you run so far?

Can you share with us on the most challenging race that you had ever run?
It would have to be the Desaru Long Distance Triathlon in 2007. I didn't have enough mileage and had totally no idea on race nutrition. I started the race with totally no refueling plans, besides a bottle of water on my bike. Thankfully the supporters were kind and offered me food but I didn't know what to do with it. Suffered big time during the run and had to walk most of the 21km. What made the race challenging was my ignorance and lack of preparation.

What is your personal best time?
3hr  33min for the marathon

Can you share with us on how many months or years it took to achieve your personal best time?
6 years (since I started running)

Why did you choose Gold Coast Marathon race 2012?
I've heard lots of good things about the event from my friends who went in the previous years. And I've never run a cool-weather marathon before so I wanted to experience how it is like. (Fingers crossed that the weather will turn out nice)

How is your training preparation for the race?
I've trained a lot less than usual the past few months mostly due to work, sickness, and some minor injuries. But now that it's the school holidays I'm trying to run as often as I can.

What kind of time are you going for?
I usually don't think about the time while running the marathon 'cos it drains my mental energy. So I tell myself to have fun and enjoy the run, run at an appropriate effort and the timing will take care of itself. It has worked pretty well so far, so I don't think I'm going to set a timing target for myself this time… it drains my mental energy since my Math is really bad. So I tell myself to have fun etc..

What are the advantages of running in Gold Coast Marathon 2012?
I'll let you know after I've run the marathon!

Will you be running in Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon 2012 this year?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Gold Coast Marathon 10km (Part 2)

 Part 1

Part 2
My friend Ashok wanted to run in this race but he wanted to go with his family. It did not work somehow. Anyway, I hope that people should understand that it is advisable to register for Gold Coast 10km and the marathon earlier to avoid any form of delay. People are asking what Kind of time I will be doing and I have written this answer in our running website.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Gold Coast 10KM, 30th June 2012 Preparation

Gold Coast, Australia, Here I Come

It was a God send invitation to me when someone asked me whether I would like to run in the 10km race in Gold Coast Airport Marathon's Southern Cross University Challenge. At first, I told myself that whether I may get the same injury again, after a long time of out of scene from competition. For the past 1 year, I have been happily enjoying the feeling of not being injured and keep myself  fit for life. This same message has been given by Dr Benedict Tan, who later on wrote a book on 'Run For Your Life'.  I believe this to be 100% true. 

I also would like to assist Ashley Liew as a coach as he will be running the marathon there on 1st July 2012, one day after the 10km Southern Cross University race. Something told me to register for the race. I did not train much earlier but at all times I was doing Yoga most of the time, especially Hatha Yoga, with deep breath taken at the same time to double up vitality in me. I felt that my ITB problem was totally solved, and I also felt  that there are efficient ways to change one's walking, sitting and running habit that will enable one to avoid all forms of injury and in fact to run much faster. As I was able to play games and run and walk without any injury, finally, I had decided to run in the Southern Cross University 10km. 

People may ask what is my goal. The answer is to remain fit and enjoy running. In the past, I had ever told myself that youth is a time to venture out and achieve one's physical goal. After 40, I had the foresight that the body will not respond well. Since, in the past, I have run and did 5 sub - 2hr 30mins and below for the marathon overseas, it is time for me to enjoy watching the young ones challenge themselves. 

While doing some jog and walk with my friend Ashok Kumar, recently, I met up with my school-mate Tan Eng Howe who came to meet me. He told me that he had taken a resolution this year to focus on health. Tan Eng Howe is a professional photographer and was welcomed by me to join me in Flexifitness, to bring coaching to another level. Yesterday and today, we ran 10km and 6km, respectively, at MacRitchie Reservoir. As I can remember Tan Eng Howe, he was my training partner who used not to miss any training. At the age of 15, we used to run 15km 3 days per week. Later on, we went under our then Cross-Country teacher in-charge by the name of Mr Lui Seng Cheong, who is currently the Principal of Queensway Secondary School. We came in third in National School Cross-Country in year 1981. It was because of the hard work of Mr Lui Seng Cheong who was responsible in making us to do well. 

Yesterday, Eng Howe and I took a photograph at Macritchie Reservoir at the ranger station. 

Picture 1 - It looks like both of us believe in health and fitness for life. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Kenyan Kiprop Selected to Run in 2012 London Olympics

 Kiprop - May succeed in ending 44 years of Olympic 10,000m gold medal drought

Wilson Kiprop wins the Kenyan 2012 Olympic 10,000m Trials in Eugene
Wilson Kiprop wins the Kenyan 2012 Olympic 10,000m Trials in Eugene (Kirby Lee - Image of Sport) 
Eugene, USA - After Kenyan Naftali Temu won the Olympic 10,000m gold medal in the high altitude of Mexico City, till now no Kenyan has repeated the feat although the Kenyans have been succeeding in winning in many major competitions in getting gold medals in London and bring back Kenya's dignity in London. However, Kiprop feels that the feat is not easy as he feels that Ethiopians are very strong in the event.