Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dr Ansgar Cheng - An Interview on 37min 37sec (Official Time), 10km Performance In Straits Times Run 2015

Dr Ansgar Cheng - Is still ready to Rock and Roll at age 49.

By Rameshon

(Left to Right) Lim Thow Wee (Team Captain for SAA Cross-Country 2015), Jensen Toh, Lee Nguan, Saravanan, myself, Andy Liew, Rock and Roll Dr Ansgar and Andreas

Dr Ansgar Cheng, 49, is usually called Prof by me, as he is not just a Dentist by profession at The Specialist Dental Group, but he is also an Associate Professor in National University Of Singapore (NUS).

When he joined Flexifitness, his aim was to just improve his 5km time to sub-19min. He asked me whether he will be able to do it and I told him that he can, provided if he was consistent. I thought that he was only joking and fooling around, however, later on, I come to know that he was dead serious on improving his run time.

In Marina Run 2015 - Marina Run 2015, he ran the half - marathon in 1hr 32min 33sec, now he can do 1hr 28min  

Over a period of time, with a lot of tough training, he did a time of 18min 29sec for 5km, so far his lifetime best , which was faster than his teenage years. I was quite curious, one day, when I asked him on his real passion. To my surprise, he said that he liked, in the past, and he still likes running even now, and it is still his passion. Same as me!

Team Flexifitness in SAA Cross-Country Team Race

When he does a workout, it will be amazing to see the way he runs, just like a torpedo in the water. Recently, I saw this feat as he ran the recent 8km run. Two of the runners were following him for the first two kilometres. Then, all of a sudden, he sprung a surprise as he cruised through effortlessly in front breaking off from the two of our Flexifitness runners who also did a sub - 32min time - Erich and Lim Thow Wee - on that particular day. Dr Ansgar did a stunning time of 30m 26sec, which was according to my watch.

From here, I predicted a time of 37min/38min for him in the POSB RUN 2015. However, because of haze, the race was cancelled. In the Straits Times Run, however, Dr Ansgar proved his worth by doing a phenomenal personal best time by doing 37min 37sec for the race. Moonlake, his wife, immediately messaged me the time. I was elated at that time and was in cloud nine, having the feeling on being on top of the world. It was good to see him improving all along, and it looks like watching The 'Sky IS The Limit' show in real life, as he is 49 years of age.

The moment of truth - 10km with an official time of 37min 37sec

Dr Ansgar always comes down for our training. Only when the PSI is quite high, he did indoor training. He has discussed with me on the next few days before the Straits Times race, and I had to tell him to not do any kind of pushing as he was already ready to rock and roll.

Dr Ansgar - In Straits Times Run 2015

Interview with Dr Ansgar Cheng – post ST Run 2015

Which race do you like to take part in, for example, 5km or 10km or the marathon?

I have never run a full marathon before so I am not qualified to talk about it. However, I always have a lot of respect for those who train to run/win in marathons

On the other hand, I can positively say that I am totally allergic to races under 400m as I know I do not have the speed talent.

Otherwise, I enjoy competitive runs from distances of 800m onwards as long as it is a fair race

In the past, what was your time for the following events?

Half Marathon
Past (approx.)
2:05 (1988)
4:28 (1988)
19 mins (1984)
45:58 (May 2014)
1:48:32 (Dec 2013)
Age 49
37:37 (unofficial)

Dr Ansgar(right), with fellow team-mate Colin Chua (left)

How did you feel when you found out that the POSB 10km Run was cancelled?
FlexiFitness had a big group of runners participating in the POSB Kids Run. I love to see the kids run and was also looking forward to run with my FlexiFitness friends because I knew we could do well with support from one another. However, I was rather neutral when I found out that the run was cancelled because the organizer was doing the right thing. Going ahead with a big run in heavy haze conditions would not have been wise. More importantly, there are always other runs in the future.
What made you to take part in the Straits Time Run?
I participated because I had a group of friends who were also taking part in the run. These are friends from all walks of life in the business world even though they may not necessarily be very enthusiastic runners. They are people whom my wife and I admire. It was our pleasure to run with them. In addition, I know my work outs in FlexiFitness would equip me potentially to do a PB in the run

Can you share with us on the splits of the race in summary of the race?
I was fortunate enough to start at the front, may be only behind one person. The race started off before sunrise in a rather fast pace to me. Before we reached half a kilometer, I found that numerous runners ahead of me simply disappeared in the dark.

When I checked my time at the 1km mark, it was 3:30 (too fast) and I knew I had to ease up. Surprisingly, when I found myself running 10:39 at the 3km mark, I felt quite all right. I eased off further and never looked at my watch again until I had reached the finish line.

Are you happy with the time?
I was over the moon

Do you intend to keep improving or are you satisfied with this time?
I am enjoying the feeling now. However I do think there is room for improvement as I did not feel overcooked after the run. More importantly, Coach Rameshon believes I can improve

Will you be training and running in the Standard Chartered Marathon 2015?

The Standard Chartered Marathon in December 2015 is my next event and I will be done some work outs for it as I have tons of respect and fear for the full marathon distance.

How was the race organisation during the Straits Times Run 2015?
It was well organized. However, the merger of the running route for the 10km runners and the 18.45km runners in the last few kilometres was chaotic. I almost ran into a few of them in the process of trying to find my way through the crowd.

Do you have any feedback to improve the race?
It would be better to separate the 10km and the 18.45km runners. Or start the various distances at times so that the faster runners in the short distance events would not run into the slower runners in the longer distance events. This is simply for safety purposes.

What is your next target and race?
My next run is the Standard Chartered Marathon in December 2015

Are you intending to run track races?
I would not rule it out

How has FlexiFitness benefitted you in your running pursuit?
It is 100% for sure that I could not have reached this point without the help of FlexiFitness - Coach Rameshon, the other coaches and my teammates. Before I started running with FlexiFitness, I was working out on my own with limited progress.

I was stuck and was suffering from injuries. FlexiFitness helped me to get rid of many things (including my own lousy running habits) that did not work and add in methodologies that worked.

The group is truly special because we have a spread of talent and age - from children who are a few years old to national runners to young (and not so young) men/women who are  my running siblings - it is a huge base for me to learn from.

I went into the group with some nagging injuries, and now after 15 months, I am running faster and longer with no injuries. For sure my high school coach, Mr Tony Sun, was happy to hear about my progress now. All in all, this has been such an enjoyable journey because my family is supporting it all the way. Now, my wife, Moonlake is also running, together with my two girls.