To many of us juggling between work, family, friends and social life is something impossible. Dr Ansgar Cheng, 49, a dentist by profession at The Specialist Dental Group, a father of two girls and runs his own business successfully completed his first marathon with a timing of 3hrs 35mins in the Standard Charted Marathon 2015 on the 6th of December.
He has done a 2min 47sec for 1km, and he has done 37m 37sec for 10km. He has broken several personal best time in 5km, 8km and 21.1km. He is a motivational force in our group. Coach Rameshon said, "He is a beacon light in our group, leading kids by his example."
In the race, Coach Rameshon told, " Dr Ansgar was doing a 1hr 30m time during the half-way of the marathon race. Something has gone wrong that he got a cramp situation before the 32km mark. Despite all the cramps etc, he kept at it and struggled to at least do a personal best time. Although, he did not get a sub-3hour time that he had targeted, Dr Ansgar has got a massive first time doing a fantastic 3hr 35min" " The never give up attitude is important. He has it. I believe that he can get a sub-3 hours anytime soon."
To us students, Dr Ansgar is a person who gives comforting words for us to do well. It was lucky that he did not stop in the race and he thought about us and at least finished with a reasonable time with a massive improvement in the marathon time, running for the first time.
We wish him well and success in future races.
What was your target for the race?
My target of the 2015 Singapore Standard Chartered marathon was about 3 hours. It is a realistic target because all along, based on various metrics, I should be able to do that even though I know it may sound a little ambitious for a first marathon. Now, mathematics is one thing, in a 42km run, mathematics and logic sometime do not prevail ;)
This being your first marathon, are you happy with your time?
My time turn out to be about 3.5 hours, which no doubt was different from what I had visualised but it was my first ever full marathon run and the longest run in my life. How often do we guarantee a PB in anything in life? I considered it great with a completion under multiple attack of cramps of my lower limbs (thighs, calves, hamstrings, shins, feet, butt took turns to go into spasm except my left gluteus major muscle) over the last 20km of the run. Not very pleased but no complaint.
Which point of the race did you feel like giving up?
I did not consider giving up at all! I knew I had excellent support from the coaches and younger Flexifitness runners. They did a first class job at a professional level. Just that my leg meat were refusing to move every 600m or so after the first 22km. However, I knew I would finish under 4 hours anyway. At about 40km, my pectoralis major (chest) were cramping too so I had a hard time to even use my arms to pump up Sheares bridge. However, the first 22km was absolutely enjoyable as I had our fellow sub-3 runner, Erich Paulini running shoulder to shoulder with me. He was an excellent running mate to work with, a great teacher/classmate too. I learnt many things from him, including when and where to pee ;)
Being a Father and a successful business man, how do you balance work, family and running?
I never think 'successful' being part of the adjectives for me. I am still working on it. Put it this way: I am a conservative Chinese boy who was brought up under the role model of my dad, to whom work is a must and it is an honor to provide for our family. He took me for numerous km of hiking when I was growing up in Hong Kong. Running is always my passion; I don't get excited watching football or basketball but I get goose pimples when I watch running events. My wife, Moon has been converted too and now she is a very driven runner who may get a little upset when she misses a PB. My two little gals run with Flexifitness, which is a great way to learn to handle ups and downs in sports/life. Now running is our routine family bonding event.
Who was your biggest inspiration to pick up marathon?
There are a few people who inspired me to run 42.195km. Mr Yoshihisa Hosaka (2'30 at 59 yrs of age), Mr Ed Whitlock (Sub-3hr at 70 yrs of age), Mr Yuki Kawauchi, etc.. First two are older but all three are non-professional runners who complete their tasks by simply spending time and effort (grit). My mom said: 'if the others can, so can you'. Coach Rameshon gave me another few gifts. He shows me the science in marathon, as my work involves human beings and application of scientific knowledge, I am surprised by how much science there is in the sports of marathon (& how little I know...). Last but not the least, Coach Rameshon believes in me and his prediction in my run time has been always right. I consider that an unfair advantage I have. In addition, I am inspired when I see younger Flexifitness athletes, how I wish I had opportunities they have when I was their age... BUT I have it now! Never too late ;)
Which was the most enjoyable part of the race?
The most enjoyable part was running with our Flexifitness team. I never feel alone!
What is your next target?
My next target is to give myself a few days to figure out my leg cramp issues. Back to the drawing board! Then I would move on to prepare for the Hong Kong Standard Chartered Marathon in 2016 January. With some cool weather, I would love to achieve a better time in my home town (Hong Kong) which I didn't get to reach in my home court (Singapore). Stay tuned.