Coach Sumathy - A certified SSC's National Coaches Accreditation Programme Coach who believes in leading by example.
Coach Sumathy, 47, is the wife of Coach Rameshon. She was only running once a week in the past, when she was very young, as part of staying fit and healthy. Coach Rameshon has never forced her to take up running when he married her. Coach Sumathy only took up running when Flexifitness athlete Ashley Liew told her on the benefits of running. After hearing this from Ashley, she was motivated to run the 10km race before running the half-marathon race. In the long-term, she is hoping to even complete a marathon with a respectable time, under the guidance of Coach Rameshon.
During her younger days, between 16 to 25 years of age, she used to run on hard ground like pavements and road, three times per week, and started to have severe pain at the knee area, which made her to stop running totally, over time. Later on, when she met Coach Rameshon, she was taught to do some important stretching exercises and some warm up runs before and after a run. She found that by doing the exercises it helped her to come out of her injury, and it enabled her to run a 10km race before doing the Great Eastern Race in 2013 and 2014.
She has proven her worth by doing well in coaching. She has enabled Bendemeer Secondary School to come in 4th and 6th in the Nationals Schools' Cross Country Championships Boys Under 14 team event and Girls under 17 team event. She was able to groom Tineshwaran to come in as the under-14 boys champion in the 4.5km race as well in the National Schools' Cross Country Race. Tineshwaran also came in as the 3000m champion and was second in 1500m National Schools' Track and Field Championships for Under 14 boys's race.
She has gone for the Singapore Sports Council's National Coaches' Accreditation Course (NCAP) and is a level one coach currently.
At present, she does at least 3 days to 5 days of running for fitness and health, per week. I believe that many can learn from her example to lead a healthy life through running. In the Great Eastern Run, she was able to do a time of 2hr 23min 46sec for the women half-marathon race.
Coach Rameshon told me that he was hoping that Sumathy can run the marathon in the future. At firist, she has been resistant to this idea in the past. However, recently, she has been encouraged by the results of Flexifitness female runners like Tarandeep, Charlene, Shireena Woon, Jennifer and Wang Yan and other female runners in our group in doing well for half-marathon and marathon races.
Hence, Coach Sumathy, using her own independent decision, is hoping to do a marathon soon. She has mentioned and confirmed this to Coach Rameshon. For the latter, he feels that it is important that a person runs when they are ready and it paramount not to force a person to run the marathon. The only thing he wants from her is to prepare properly before the run. Coach Sumathy believes that a marathon preparation is good to keep herself active and it is also one of the bucket list to achieve.
Let us hear from her on the interview I had with her. I hope that this interview will spur many outside to train to do a sub-3hour marathon in the future.
An Interview With Coach Sumathy
How was the race route? I liked the route. We were lucky to have the roads to run and not the pavements except for a brief distance once or twice. It was scenic and felt refreshing as I ran the route. There were some slopes up and down but none were too hilly or unmanageable. As a whole I know I enjoyed the run. It was like a running meditation.
Which was the toughest part of the race? The last 1.1km was the toughest part of the race. It was slightly hilly and I suddenly felt weight on both my ankles. I found it hard to lift my legs and slowed down drastically. I kept on, determined not to stop and completed at 2hr 23mins.
How was the organization of the race? The race was very well organized. Especially the hydration points were well spread out and sufficient. There were lots of free flow of food and ice creams for all participants, families, friends and supporters. There was a corner for the women to refresh themselves after the race too.
How was your preparation for the race? I was training with Team Flexifitness. I slowly started covering 8km, 10km, 13km, 15km and 17km with the encouragements and cheering from all the coaches especially, Coach Rameshon and Coach Tan. Coach Rameshon always constantly encourages me and applauses me for whatever mileage I cover. He always reminds me to take it easy and enjoy my run. Those words took away the pressure in me as those were true words. He made me to believe in myself to run the half marathon. My first half marathon was in 2013 the Great Eastern Womens Run. Coach Tan gives me tips to hit the hydration points when you are tired, tough hilarious, but certainly it is a mental strategy I had to complete the race. All the other team mates have certainly served in my mental preparation for the 21km.
What is your next goal? To run in Stanchart Marathon 2015, if possible.