Sunday, December 13, 2015

Standard Chartered Marathon - Mr Erich Paulini Does 3 hour 06min

By Saranniya

Mr Erich Paulini - Brainchild of Flexifitness strategic points for support 

Coach Rameshon giving a short briefing before Mr Erich (in orange vest) maps out the support areas for athletes

Mr Erich Paulini, Mr Evan Chee, Mr Rahul Bhandari, and Coach Rameshon went for a discussion session with the Sports Council officials, just few weeks before the 2015 Standard Chartered Marathon race, and suggested some salient points in order the Standard Chartered Marathon is termed a fair race. 

Coach Rameshon was 2013 Singapore's fastest Masters men open winner, with a time of 3 hours 10min and was our only Singapore runner in the top 10 for the Masters men's category. His position was 10th individual in the race. He was asked to collect the race award from Sporting Spectrum. I was there with him to collect. Coach Rameshon told the official attending on that day that the 1min delay to run in the Standard Chartered Marathon was not fair, as the race only awards runners with gun time and not the net time. There was an unnecessary plus 1 min in the gun time for Coach Rameshon. He told me that comparison should not be made like this as they are giving him and the rest of the runners with him and behind him a minute extra, instead of deducting. 

Mr Erich said that he will bounce back to do a sub-3 in next year's 2016 Munich Marathon

In year 2014, Coach Rameshon did not run in the Standard Chartered Marathon as he had to sit for an exam that the Singapore Athletics was conducting. The marathon race day and exam day fell on Sunday. It was the IAAF coaching course last day as well. One of the two lecturers by the name of Joseph told Coach Rameshon that it was hard to avoid the exam day and race day together. Hence, it was sad moment that Coach Rameshon was not able to run because of this. 

When Mr Colin Chua ran last year, he was 10th in the individual position in the men open category as according to the gun time for 2014 Stanchart Marathon. Sporting Spectrum took the gun time rather than the net time, which gave him a plus 3 min for no reason. That means, Mr Colin Chua was made to wait for 3 min to run after the main body comprising the VIP (CEO etc) and elite runners run off first. Hence, runners slower than him as according to the net time were rewarded with better prize money, instead of Mr Colin winning 8th position, as it was his right to get it. Instead, he was told that he can only receive the 10th placing. Nothing was done about this. Mr Ganesh, another top 10 runner was also affected by this also and he was not given his prize accordingly. Coach Rameshon, finding this out had earlier, on December 2014, decided not to run in 2015 Standard Chartered Marathon as he felt that the 3min inclusion to the gun time was grossly unfair and that there was no fair play. 

For this year, Erich was one of the key players to suggest to the Sports Council officials/Sporting Spectrum to conduct a fair race by allowing our top locals to go to the front rather than allowing some privileged runners to run off first and the latter benefit from the gun time. 

Coach Rameshon told me," I have never seen a person like Erich, sincere to his words and doing all he can to give more suggestions so that many runners will take part in the Singapore Marathon". From the conversation I had with Coach Rameshon, I was told that Mr Erich is a positive and constructive person who could suggest many workable suggestions that are pragmatic and he did not go against any organisation to get his ideas across, instead he works alongside with them. 

Mr Evan Chee and Mr Colin Chua applauded this year's organisation as one of the best organisation by the SSC/Sporting Spectrum to organise the Standard Chartered Marathon, although, they feel that there is still room for further improvement. Thanks should go to Mr Rahul Bhandari, Coach Rameshon, Mr Erich for all their sacrifice to give suggestions to Sporting Spectrum to improve in the organisation of the marathon race in Singapore such that many applauded this year's organisation, although there were still some loopholes for more improvements in the future. 

Mr Erich, has a sub-3hour timing for the marathon and in the 2015 Munich Marathon race, he did a time of 3hour 02min. Coach Rameshon told me, " Out of the 10 last few days in Berlin, he trained only for three days and that could have affected the race time." "I believe that he could have done the sub-3hours there, in fact." 

In the 2015 Stanchart Marathon race, Mr Erich tagged alongside fellow Flexifitness runner by the name of Dr Ansgar Cheng. Two of them are 49 years old and are veterans by their age. We have been very inspired by these two runners all along. Both reached the half-way mark in the marathon at 1hour 30min. However, Dr Ansgar had a cramp situation after the 25km mark and that made Mr Erich to surge forward to run a solo to do the sub-3 hours in Singapore. Dr Ansgar was slowing down and the cramp condition was getting worse and worse. We were anxiously wondering whether he will finish with that adverse condition. Dr Ansgar, with firm determination, by not giving up, did his first ever marathon in 3hr 35min, a huge progress, in fact, for a first time runner of marathon race. He tells us the story of his race through an interview that I gave him. I shall put it up in the next blog post as soon as possible. 

(left to right) Captain Lim Thow Wee, Mr Colin Chua (4th) 2hr 59sec, Mr  Saravanan, Mr Marcel Sng, Coach Rameshon, Mr Evan Chee (3rd, 2hr 56min) and Andreas Wenger (2hr 54min). Appreciation goes to Mr Erich planning

Before ending this short write up, I just wanted to say that Mr Erich was the genius in making our support group to be at specific area to cheer for the runners, such that our athletes as a whole did exceptionally well. Coach Rameshon said, " For this year, the specific and strategic points to support was very well arranged by Mr Erich. He went extra mile by coming up with a google map to find out the course and suggested to us the areas for support. We have to thank him for this. Our three sub-3 hours marathon runners, Andreas Wenger (2hr 54), Mr Evan Chee (2hr 56min) and Colin Chua (2hr 59min) in Stanchart runners' performance can be attributed to Mr Erich's sacrifice vastly."