Thursday, May 12, 2016

Dr Ansgar Cheng - A Podium Finish for 5000m Asian Masters Track and Field Championships 2016

By Rameshon

Dr Ansgar Cheng - One of the heroes of Flexifitness and for Specialist Dental Group as well. 

The counterman is Dr Ansgar Cheng (with red singlet)

It is interesting to find out on how I got to know Dr Ansgar Cheng, 50, a dentist by profession, from Specialist Dental Group. From my memory, it was about one and a half year ago that he joined Flexifitness. His wife, Moonlake, was a very supportive person to his running passion. As a coach for Dr Ansgar, I am in fact his fan as well, as I like the courage that he shows during a race. 

Dr Ansgar with 2 medals, from 5000m (1st) and 4 x 400m (3rd)

While I was having a running group, he came to me and ask, "Do you think that I can do my personal best time for 5000m?." I was asking him on what his time was in the past. He told me that he has done a 18m 30sec, around there.

Colin Chua (left) and Evan Chee, came to see Dr Ansgar's race, after their 5000m race. 
Immediately, I felt that he was trying to fool around with me. I was puzzled. I knew that he was a dentist and it was not easy to do this kind of time. I gave him a strategic answer, " So long you dedicate your time, why not!". It was only then that Dr Ansgar started training like 'The Rocky' movie's hero Rocky Balbao. I think all he wanted was an answer 'can'. I was thinking, that is going to be a mammoth task for him to get a time that was done when one was 18 years of age, in the first place.

Dr Ansgar, is meticulous about running technique and posture in running

It was very surprising for me to see that this gentleman who was going for it at the age of 48 years old plus, now.

Over time, in the running programme, I found that his 5km time was about 20min and the 10km time was 42min plus, as I can remember. At first, he used to run too fast at the start and then fade away towards the end. Actually, in that situation, he doesn't really fade away but he will do a very slow progressive time, which was trivial for me. Over time, heeding to our wisdom to take it easy at the early part of the run, and reserve his strength towards the end, it was then that Dr Ansgar started doing timings that were amazing and remendous.

He became a role model, over time, here for young kids as he gives his 100% and nothing less, in front of everyone, in a daring manner. His time for half-marathon improved from 1hr 35min plus to a 1hr 32min, subsequently, going to 1hr 28min, after several months of running continuously. Recently, he did a 1hr 24min for the half-marathon race, where the elaboration of the race details will be mentioned in an interview with him, late on in another blog post.

Moonlake (right) came to support Dr Ansgar for all the runs
Ansgar, brought his 5km time back to 18m 30sec over time and the time was stuck there for sometime. Also, for 1km all out time trial he did a 2min 50sec. With this he did a 3hr 35min for Standard Chartered Marathon, December,  2015, before doing a 3hr 08min, in Hong Kong Standard Chartered Marathon 2016, February.

In a number of 10km races, he was put in Men Open category, instead of being registered into the veteran category, and he still has been coming in top 10 position. usually. His wife Moonlake also. at the same time, takes part in the same race or she will support by photographing him in the race and supporting him in the race. Moonlake is an excellent supporter for Dr Ansgar. 

Dr Ansgar, rises up to occasion in 5000m race by doing 17m 39sec at age 50

To fellow runners here, Colin, Evan, Erich, Andreas, Jensen, and other good runners here, it is usual trait to be well liked by all our young and old, male and female runners.

The amazing thing about Dr Ansgar is that he let the leg do the talking. When he does not do well, he becomes silent and finds out solutions that will make him run faster.

Recently, on last Thursday, we discussed what the research papers say on running and we talked on the running technology to run faster. He is usually open to idea and to act upon to do well. He told me that his strategy for this 5000m race is to win a medal and not the time. I was surprised that he and I had the same thought. I was glad to hear this.

In the race, taking a more conservative strategy, as compared to his 800m where he did 2min 17sec and came in 4th, he followed the China and Mongolian runner behind all the way until he was at the last 1km mark. Dr Ansgar, instead of kicking at the last part of the run, decided to open up the gap earlier. Dr Ansgar found that he was well hydrated to brave any hot and humid climate and finally came in first in the race.

Signboard displaying the notice on Free Admission at Gate 21 of Sports Hub

Dhanabal, I think, an official from Singapore Athletics, told us immediately that Dr Ansgar needs to go to Sports Hub for prize giving and he told us not to go to Sports Hub. There were many witnesses to this. I don't know whether ti was the instruction by C Kunalan or Loh Cham Piew or Dhanabal himself who wanted us not to go. It was like throwing cold water into our enthusiasm. I think that there must have been a problem of communication between them. We were thinking of going home. However, we thought of celebrating from outside Sports Hub. When we saw a signboard on free access to public to enter Sports Hub through gate 21, we entered as we felt invited, and took several photos of the victory ceremony.

The day was well spent and it was an amazing thing to really know that Dr Ansgar did 17min 39sec for the 5000m race for age 50 to 54 years of age. It was one of the best celebration that we have ever had.