Keep Up with the RUNners: Ila Sohighly

Rekindling the love for running can be hard, but it is definitely rewarding.

RUN SINGAPORE BY | UPDATED 2 YEARS AGO

Keep up with the RUNners is a series that features runners from all walks of life. We had a quick chat with Ila Sohighly, a mother of 2 toddlers and falling in love with running all over again.

About Ila Sohighly

Age: 34
Occupation: Office Manager

Ila’s running journey had begun way back when she was offered to be part of her primary school’s athletics team. Her love for running grew as she won races and medals for her school but an injury had paused the running streak. The break was much longer than anticipated and running soon turned into a thing of the past. However, the COVID-19 pandemic gave Ila a chance to rekindle her love for the sport.

How did you pick up running?

Instead of having my meals at the canteen in primary school, I was seen playing catching and chasing my schoolmates during recess time. It caught the attention of the school’s track and field master, Mr Alex, who offered me to participate in the athletics teams. I started to win races for sports day and selected to take on a more serious role by representing the school. My efforts paid off as I won medals at the National Schools Track and Field events, particularly the 800m and 1500m.

Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with shin splints and a knee injury in Secondary 3. The doctor advised that it was best for me to stop running for a year or two so that I could fully recover before running again. I did try to run in Junior College but there was a lot to catch up in term of fitness. It was miserable and the weakest moment I felt in my life.

As years had gone by, running slowly faded from my mind as I focused more on work and my family. During the pandemic, I chanced upon my old medals staring at me. The medals were rusty but the memories of the being on the podium are still fresh. I braved myself to put on my old running shoes and decided to go for a slow jog. Completing a 20 minutes slow run was a real struggle and made breathless. It was really hard to start again but slowly, I got the hang of it and fell in love with running all over again.

How has running changed your life?

Running has made my daily routine more fun and fulfilling. I’m always looking forward to my next session that I will squeeze in during my lunch break even when the weather is really hot. I will also make the effort to wake up early at 5:00am for a morning run. Once completed, I’ll get my kids ready for school and myself to work.

Running creates discipline in me and it allows me to stay focused on my goals. My mission is to keep running until I grow old, and to stay healthy and fit. My vision is to participate in many running events and crushing my PBs too.

As a runner who dons the hijab, do you have any recommendations for running gears?

Many feels that it’s uncomfortable to wear a hijab while running. Thankfully, there are many sports hijab options in the market now. My first choice will be Under Armour’s Extended Sports Hijab. I like its unique cutting that falls nicely on my shoulder and cover my chest comfortably. It is also very important for the material to be breathable and wicks moisture. I also like the sports hijab by SheShawls where it has snap button to prevent the hijab from flipping while doing high intensity workout. It’s very convenient to wear and Muslimah-friendly.

Are there any upcoming races that you are participating in or intend to participate? If yes, could you share any goals for those races?

I will be participating in the upcoming Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon under the Full Marathon category this December. My last marathon was Sundown Marathon in 2018 which I completed within 5 hours. I’m hoping to run under 4 hour 30 minutes this time round.



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