On the 4th of July, RUN Singapore caught up with Run Crew to find out more about the Maju Lah! Virtual Run 2020 and to have a check-in on how some of the participants are doing. The session was joined by Fabian William, the founder of Run Crew, along with the Maju Lah! Virtual Run 2020 headliners Phoebe and Baoying, as well as a participant of the race, Tiong Lin.
Creation of Maju Lah! Virtual Run 2020
With recent covid-19 restrictions and measures, competition was removed from the picture. While people are still out there training, many have nothing to work towards. There are many virtual runs out there for runners but not many for seasoned runners. Maju Lah! Virtual Run 2020 was meant to showcase Singapore’s resilience and what our nation has gone through, as well as to pose a challenge to runners.
Anyone can run a certain distance or time if they are not given a goal to work towards. What Maju Lah! Virtual Run 2020 sought to do is to put runners to the test for 55 days by either giving them a set distance (2.4 km, 5 km, 10 km, 20 km) to run every day or to not limit runners to a certain distance by only setting the 55 days as a backdrop and to give them the freedom to run as much as they wish. The latter was meant to accommodate runners with who may not be able to commit daily, such as runners with irregular working schedules (for example, doctors).
55 days was meant to be a homage to the 55 years of Singapore and it can be daunting to runners. There is a responsibility to run for 55 days that then becomes a personal challenge for the runners participating in this virtual race. Run Crew’s intention was to have runners grow through this race and to get both physically and mentally stronger.
Phoebe Kee (Veterinary Student, National Athlete & Ultra Marathoner)
Our session was joined by Phoebe all the way from Australia. She shared her opinions of the run, saying that this run is different from other runs as it really holds you accountable. Phoebe has been enjoying the trails and nature in Australia. To her, running in Australia is fresher compared to Singapore, where she used to shuffle between CCAB, Macritchie and some other usual routes. Now in Australia, Phoebe likes to change things up and look out for 10 km routes to run or occasionally the national parks.
She wishes other runners to enjoy the process and to remind yourself why you started and why you’re doing it. It is easy to get stressed out in a competitive setting and she emphasizes on enjoying the runs.
Ang Tiong Lin (Marathoner)
Tiong Lin was more into cycling before, not really a runner back in the days. He took up running to challenge himself and push himself out of his comfort zone. He appreciates Maju Lah! Virtual Run 2020 to keep himself committed to running and he enjoys seeing his paths he ran on the map (tracked by his GPS watch).
Previously, he was a workaholic who didn’t eat healthily and did not take the time to exercise. Tiong Lin shared a personal account of how he had gone through an illness that gave him a health scare. After that incident, he was determined to train up his fitness and watch his diet.
His friends pushed him to marathons and triathlons but he shied away from that first and he was unable to swim. Tiong Lin eventually decided to hire a triathlon coach, learnt to swim and started taking part in marathons and races. Last year, he did 3 full marathons and a half Ironman during November as they happened to be scheduled all during that period.
He started building up his fitness at 50 years old and now at 52 years old, he is fitter than ever.
Lim Baoying (Marathoner, Doctor at Singapore Sport & Exercise Medicine Centre @ Changi General Hospital)
Baoying mentioned that she finds the Maju Lah! Virtual Run 2020 daunting also because she does not run every day, although she trains daily. She’s been running since she was 17 and running is a form of stress relief for her. She is walking the talk as a doctor to promote a healthy lifestyle to her colleagues and her patients, whether they are patients who are suffering from sports injuries or for weight loss management.
Maju Lah! Virtual Run 2020 was a way for her to challenge herself once again to clock mileage she has not had for a while. Baoying acknowledges that the run is not a norm for most people. She advises people to take cues from your body. If your body is telling you to not continue on, it is a good idea to take a rest and even seek medical advice if the pain does not go away.
Baoying also recommended asking your friends to run together, although you have to limit it to a group of five. Finding like minded friends would be a good way to keep each other accountable.
Through this session, Run Singapore and Run Crew hoped to share stories from the ground and also to address any concerns runners or participants might have.
Run Crew is looking to come up with new exciting races to challenge and push runners from seasoned athletes to weekend warriors. They aim to be a platform in which runners can turn to to find something new and invigorating. Follow Run Crew on social media for more exciting upcoming races and news.