Category Archives: #AdeleWFOTM

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#AdeleWFOTM – Colleen Augustin

This month, we have OCR Queen – Colleen Augustin!

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I first met this lil power nugget face to face at the start line of the Compressport Combo Challenge 2016 trail race at Mardi Maeps (you can read about it here). I knew who she was but until that time, we had not officially met. We exchanged a few words and I instantly got that bubbly-hyper vibe from her. She’s a BALL OF ENERGY!

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Back then, she ran a few road races and some trail runs here and there. Now, this 19 year old is taking over the OCR scene with her latest 2nd place win at the Spartan Super 2017 in Malaysia!

She’s super supportive of others, REAL and a true inspiration!


Recent achievements at the APAC Championship Series:

1st Leg – Hong Kong (3rd)

2nd Leg – Taiwan (5th)

3rd Leg – Korea (3rd)

4th Leg – Malaysia (2nd)

Finals – Perth


1. How did you get into OCR?

I got into OCR because of my mother and brother. They went over to Brisbane, Australia for a Spartan race back in 2014. During that time, I was playing basketball with my team. I was curious what it was since I’ve seen my mom do Reebok One Challenge before. So, I asked my dad since he was ex-military, and he explained it to me. When my mom and brother came back, I saw the photos and they told me what they did. It intrigued me even more.

When the next OCR event came about in Malaysia, I went! It was the Viper Challenge (21km). It was my first ever obstacle race, it was gruelling but I finished it and immediately got hooked.

2. How long have you been doing it?

I believe it would be about 2.5 years since I started OCR. I started in late 2015 in November, I was 16 then.

3. Are you part of any OCR community/group?

I would like to think that I’m part of many OCR Communities. Hahaha…18951482_1955591918009788_4196383762455839875_n

I like to mingle with other Spartans from around the world and from everywhere. But there are a few names that come to mind like OCR Junkies (KL), Lion City Spartans (Singapore), Warrior (Penang), and a Philippines group that I can’t quite remember the name. I am not single-ing them out, these are just names I remember that I’m quite actively close with. They have been very warm and friendly every time I visit.

4. Your profession (school/uni/work):

I currently work with OBC Malaysia as a bootcamp instructor. I would probably start my first year of university next year (due to my parent’s wishes hahahaha *coughs*).

Right now, I focus on training.

5. How do you juggle work/study and OCR?

I have a very supportive community at work and at home. I also learn how to manage my time more wisely and get my priorities right.

6. Do you have a training schedule? What is it like?

I do, but it changes at times. Roughly, I train from Monday to Friday about 2-3 times a day with 1-2 rest days a week. On weekends, I usually put in a hike/run/bootcamp session to just stay alive (with exception where I will just jog or swim).19958968_10211183888207710_4264200008165936802_n

7. Who do you usually train with?

Who is very hard to say, as I train in classes/sessions. Outside of that, I train alone by myself or with my trainer. It sounds sad for some, but I prefer training alone so that I can focus on myself and my weaknesses.

8. What keeps you motivated?

That is a tough one. The love of the sport, and constantly wanting to improve and challenge myself.

9. Which was the most memorable race event and why?

My most memorable race event was the recent Spartan Super 2017 in Malaysia, which happens to be the 4th leg of the APAC Championship Series before the finals in Perth.

I was crying tears of joy when I finished the race despite coming in 2nd place. Why? It was the people. When I was finishing the last cluster of obstacles and burpees, I just kept pushing myself remembering what my brother and my parents said to me during the race. That kept me pushing hard! I also heard the people at the race. Spartans going into their starting pens, shouting: “Go Colleen!” “Malaysia Boleh!”! These were people that I’ve never met before. I was so touched I started crying when I crossed the finish line.

When I started this APAC Championships Series, I knew I had my family, coaches, OBCFamily and MonarchyFamily supporting me at every step. Little did I know that I had made an impact on other Spartans in Malaysia as well.

In the moment, as I crossed the finish line, I saw Quek and Mike. They were giving me such big smiles! I felt so proud that I made them smile like that. It was because of them that I had this blessed opportunity to do this – improve myself and make a difference/appear in the OCR scene on a larger scale. My competitor, Angelique, gave me a hug when she saw me which I returned to her and Jade Ross.

Even while being interviewed, I started crying tears of joy again!

10. Any advice for someone who is wanting to get into OCR?

As I tell anyone, just do it!

Start small if you are scared, go for a shorter distance 5-6km long. You never know how hooked you would become until you cross that finish line. I highly encourage it. Go with a friend if you’re worried.

Sometimes in life, you have to get out of your comfort zone and JUST DO IT!

11. Your inspiration: My family, coaches, competitors and teammates!

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I hope you guys enjoyed it as much as I did. And maybe, a lil spark of inspiration to start your first OCR?

Thanks so much for your time, Colleen! Keep it up and make Malaysia proud! All the best! <3

Follow her OCR journey on her FB page

xoxo

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#AdeleWFOTW – Loh Voon Ying

#AdeleWFOTWWomen Feature Of The Week!

Anybody remember that hashtag? Yeah, I totally killed it. But I intend to bring it back! YAY!

I think I should change it to #AdeleWFOTMWomen Feature Of The Month!


So anyway, this month we have Loh Voon Ying! I actually engaged her a LOOOOONGGGG time ago, the first few on my list!

But, I totally messed it up and that was why I didn’t manage to publish it. But it is NEVER too late to feature this special girl.

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Voon Ying is a very humble, low key runner. But she’s no stranger in the running community.

When I first started running competitively, her name kept popping up everywhere. Everyone was just talking about her! To be honest, I was afraid of her because we hadn’t met before. We didn’t manage to cross paths until a few months later. I

was star struck when I finally got to meet her. She’s soft spoken, kind and super down to earth!

Read on to find out more about her:

1. How long have you been running?

12 years since 2005.

2. How did you get into running?

I started running to stay fit.

I decided to lace up my shoes and step out of the door during my teenage years, the time when a girl starts to care about her physical appearance. Girls are usually always worried about being fat even if they’re actually skinny.

It was hard at first. But fortunately, I had my brother and uncles (all of them experienced in running) as my coaches when I was new, so it became easier over time. I walked/ran, kept the distance short, took it slow and didn’t overdo it in the early days. I learnt a lot of running tips and got a lot of fitness guide from them. They play an important role in my running journey.

Running started as a way for me to stay fit, but now I run because I want to, it’s turned to a habit. Sometimes, I just enjoy feeling alone, feeling the wind, and feeling the heart beating, the panting and sweating! That’s what’s so incredible about running.

3. Do you join any running groups? If yes, which running group?

I joined Cari Runners in 2012, and officially Pacemakers on the 1st of August 2014 after being invited by Captain Ronnie. He has been a very helpful figure in my running journey.

19238672_1614652988546132_1367626231_oPAR 13 – I missed this race last year due to injury. Special thanks to Teck Wai for arranging everything!

4. Your profession:

Photoshop editor and admin staff.

5. How do you juggle work and running?

I’ll try to get on the road 3 days a week. If I plan to jog but unfortunately have to work overtime, I will surf Facebook less the night before and set early morning alarms the next day to get up and run.

6. Do you have a training schedule? What is it like?

I don’t have a running schedule. Usually plans that I’ve made for running don’t work out, either because of external factors or my weak determination (lol). So instead, I’ve just let it be flexible and try to run whenever I can with at least one tempo run per week.

7. Who do you usually train/run with?

Train with my bro but mostly solo.

8. Which was the most memorable race event and why!

Memorable race would be Larian Gegar Half Marathon 2015 where I injured myself. ☹

Lesson: Always pay full attention during a race, even if the race venue is very familiar to you. Never be careless!

And Twincity Marathon 2014 too, my very 1st sub 4 marathon. The thrill of crossing the finish line. You will learn that you are tougher than you ever give yourself credit for. I found out that I could go further than I once thought.

19389572_1614654168546014_1026890805_nMy Healthy Run – Finally managed to run 5 min/km (post injury)!

9.Favourite distance:

Half Marathon!

10. Who is your inspiration?

My brother Loh Voon Leong! He made me the runner I am today. You are the beginning of my running journey. 一切由你开始。19340080_1614624911882273_1221442525_oThe Loh siblings winning at the Raub Village Run – 13th May 2017!

11. Fav running quote:

“Everyone is an athlete. But some of us are training, and some of us are not.” -Dr. George Sheehan


Thanks Voon Ying!

I LOVE that last quote! Well said!

Running is for EVERYONE!

If you’ve been thinking of running, here’s the cue to get started!

My top tip is to GET A GROUP! FIND a bunch of CRAZY runners and ENJOY THE JOURNEY!

xxxx

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#AdeleWFOTM – Angel Tang

Angel Tang – the ULTRA girl.

We met through the Puma Night Running Club about 2 years ago. She has been one of our loyal club members and we’ve witnessed how she bloomed (and still blooming!) into the runner that she is today! Even with a lingering knee injury, she’s still hitting the road and doing whatever she can to keep running. Crazy or determined? Read on to find out more:

1. How long have you been running?

Since secondary school! Back then, I was running in all categories from 100m – 1500m.  On top of that, I was also a member of the relay team in all the categories.  As a result of my active participation and achievement, I was voted the best sportswomen throughout my secondary school years.  When I graduated from secondary school, I stopped running to focus on my higher education and career. I rekindled my passion for running back in 2012 when my friend encouraged me to start running again by registering for a 12km run.  Since then, I’ve been running and by the end of 2012, I completed my first full marathon at Sundown Singapore.Angel 1

2. Why do you run/choose to run?

I choose to run because running allows me to slowly detach myself from the hectic and stressful world. Whenever I start running, I am able to immerse myself into my own little world where I can clear my mind and focus on myself.  It rejuvenates my mind even though it leaves me physically drained!

3. What do you like to do during your free time (other than running)?

Apart from running, my other passion in life is actually scuba diving. Due to the high cost and accessibility to great beaches, I can only dive once or twice a year.  I actually started diving around 2011 and I am now a PADI certified Rescue Diver.Angel 2

4. Do you follow a training schedule?

I don’t really have a particular training schedule or plan. I run whenever I can and whenever I feel like running.  Basically, if the weather permits, I would try to run every day and go for at least 1 LSD session over the weekend if there isn’t any running event.

5. What makes you want to go for an ultra? What keeps you motivated to finish?

Completing an ultra-marathon is the ultimate goal for me as a runner and I believe it is the same with most runners out there. For me, I want to experience what it feels like to run an ultra-marathon and to see if I am capable of achieving it.  My motivation to finish is my strong-will and my never-give-up attitude.  These traits push me to continue running no matter how exhausting or painful it is.

6. How do you prepare for an ultra-marathon?

My preparation for an ultra is rather simple but tough. It is basically trying to run as much as possible.  To be able to run an ultra, you basically need to train your body to be used to running as long as possible for extended periods of time.  To achieve this, I would try to run at least 10km for 3 – 4 times during weekdays and complete at least one 30km run over the weekend.  Apart from that, I will run with my hydration bag and under different weather conditions.  These are important as your body needs to be accustomed to the additional weight from the hydration bag and also various weather conditions that you will be subjected to while running an ultra-marathon.angel 3

 

7. What do you have to bring with you when you’re running an ultra-marathon?

I like to keep it as light as possible so I only bring what I really need. I carry about 1.5 litres of water in my hydration bag, which is sufficient as the water is meant to keep my mouth wet and I will drink more water at the checkpoints. In my hydration bag, I will bring around 8-9 packs of power gel, a few bars of chocolate, my light-weight jacket, a small LED torch-light, a LED blinker and a small tube of ointment for muscle pain/cramps. On top of these essential items, I ensure that I bring along mandatory items like emergency blanket, first aid kit, reflective vest and whistle.  The mandatory items list may vary depending on the race organizer.angel 4

8. Any advice to runners who want to go for an ultra?

Run more and train your mind. You need to be accustomed with running long distances alone and be in total darkness for long periods of time! It is important to be able to keep motivating and push yourself to the finishing line.

9. Do you suffer from any injuries? How do you handle them?

It would be a lie to say that I never suffered from injuries. Like any runner, I suffered from various injuries and the worst was my knee.  It has been a reoccurring problem from my hiking days.  Whenever my knee injury flairs up, I have to cut down on my mileage to let the inflammation subside. I stay fit by doing some core training and leg muscle strengthening exercises. Every 3-4months, I visit my knee specialist and if required, injections are administered to soothe the pain.

10. Your profession (your job).

Assistant Relationship Manager in HSBC.

11. How do you juggle work and running?

I normally train late in the evening (after work) and over the weekend. After work, I hit the road at around 7-8pm and run until 10pm.  During the weekend, I run early in the morning as my evenings are reserved for rest and some work.

12. Who do you usually train/run with?

My running buddy and running guru, Mr. Lee Teck Wai.

13. Which was the most memorable race and why!

Titi 100 in 2015. Even though it was only 50km, the Titi 100 route is one of the toughest road ultra-marathon in Malaysia and it is rather challenging to complete it.  Titi100 2015 was challenging as it started raining even before the flag-off at 12am and the rain continued until 3am.  The cold wind coupled with the darkness that surrounded us made it even harder to continue.  The beautiful scenery along the road and the experience of running under the moonlight that appeared after the rain had subsided made it unforgettable.  The sight of mist covering the tree tops along with the lake formed by the dam and other beautiful sights of nature were truly breath-taking.

14. Who inspires you the most and why?

I would have to say, Raymond Foo is my inspiration.  He provided the inspiration for me to start running back in 2012 and ‘poisoned’ me with all his stories of his various marathon and ultra-marathon experiences around the world.  I hope to do the same!

15. Fav running quote:

Don’t think, just hit the road!!

16. What do you think sets you aside from others?

Unlike many, I am not very disciplined with my training and I don’t really follow a particular training program. But I have strong will power. No matter the conditions, if I set my mind to run, I will give my best.  With this mind-over-body attitude, I am able to push myself further!

17. What are some of your running goals?

Currently, my main goal is to be able to complete a 100km ultra-marathon.  My other goals are to be able to constantly complete full marathons under 4hrs and to hopefully be a pacer for a running event.  Plus, I hope to be able to run in various marathons around the world.

To Angel: No, not every runner wants to experience an Ultra Marathon (HAHA!). Definitely not me…… yet.

Did she manage to inspire you to run your first Ultra? 😉 Thank you for your time, Angel!

 

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#AdeleWFOTW – Michelle Chua

Hey ya’ll!

Just thought I’d start something fun!IMG_9324#AdeleWFOTW

No, it is not WTF! Although at first glance, it may seem so. Anyway, WFOTWWomen Feature Of The Week!

I want to start featuring the women around us – just normal everyday women going about their busy lives juggling work, family and play. I know many of us struggle to have work/life balance, let alone sneaking in a run/workout!

The people around us play a big role in shaping our healthy lifestyle/habit. There are SO many people that helped get me to where I am today in terms of health/fitness and running. So, each week (maybe not every week) I will feature 1 special person! These women have been my source of inspiration and I hope that they can be yours too!

We’ll kick start this WFOTW with Michelle Chua – a familiar name/face in the running scene. The both of us go WAY back, probably 2 years ago when she volunteered for the Tiger run. We always see each other at race events and fast forward to this year, our friendship has grown beyond running. We have quite a lot in common. Oh, and did I tell you we share the same BIRTHDAY?!

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Here’s a bit more about Michelle:

1. How long have you been running?

I have been running casually on the treadmill maybe since early 2010. But I never joined a run because back then, I didn’t know any runners! I only joined my first ever 10km in October 2010 with my boyfriend (then friend) and immediately did a 21km the next month (not sure what I was thinking, or if I was even thinking)! I ran throughout 2011 and did my first full marathon too! However, I took a break in 2012 because I was in my final year in university. After exams, I immediately got back to running on my favourite treadmill in the gym. There, I met a couple of ironmen who invited me to run with them on the road! A few of us joined a run in December and I unexpectedly came in 3rd! After a lot of encouragement, they got me clocking more kms on the road!

 2. Why do you run/choose to run?

I started running then because I think I was eating too much and not doing anything about it. I decided to start running to counter my appetite (haha!). I fell in love with the road after my first 21km run and it is not really a choice now. I think it has become more of a habit.

 3. What do you like to do during your free time (other than running)?

I love playing the piano in my free time! Running is a good way for me to gather my thoughts. It is my alone time. But I can’t run every day. So the days I don’t run, the piano is another way for me to just be me.

4. Your profession:

I am an accountant by day and an educator by night. However, I am looking to move towards education in the near future.

5. Do you have a training schedule? What is it like?

I try to run 4 days a week. But I usually only manage 3 days because of work obligations and well, life. I do my long run on Saturday or Sunday, if there is no race. On Mondays, I try to do a recovery run but I usually never wake up in time. I do an easy 10km on Tuesdays and a hard tempo run on Thursdays. This gives enough rest and recovery for my body because I think anything more (for me) will probably just lead to little progress or injury.

 6. How do you juggle work and running?

You need discipline. And a very loud alarm clock. If I know I am working late or if I have plans after work, sometimes I have to get up at 4.45am to do my run. It is easier on the weekends because there’s no rush but I still prefer running earlier because I just cannot run in the sun. Again, I think it is back to habit and discipline. It also helps to train with friends. Sometimes after a tiring day of work, I really just want to stay in and channel surf or do nothing. But I have a student who runs around my neighbourhood. Whenever I feel sluggish but I see him toughing it out, it is motivation for me to get out there and do that run too.IMG_9223

 7. Who do you usually train/run with?

If I do a recovery run or an easy short run, I bring my dog along. Sometimes, I run with my boyfriend too. But usually, I run alone. I really enjoy being able to lose myself during the run or to just do some thinking and be away from the distractions of life.

 8. Which was the most memorable race event and why!

I think my most memorable was still my first 10km. The We Run KL 10.10.10 event was fun because I wasn’t sure if I could do it. But we did, and we finished together!

9. Do you have any prerace routine? Do share!

The day before my run, I always lay out what I’m going to wear. Always Puma! I pack my protein, my water bottle, a change of clothes and sun block. Never forget the sun block! Races can end late. You don’t want to be under the sun for too long without protection! I do all these the day before because I will forget stuff if I rush the day itself!

10. Favourite distance:

21km hands down!

11. Who inspires you the most and why?

Tirunesh Dibaba. She cruises behind her competition and has an amazing break away the last few hundred meters of the race. It is always so inspiring to watch her run!

 12. Favourite running mantra/quote:

My favourite quote is by Julie Isphording: “Run often and run long, but never outrun your joy of running”. Whenever you dread doing your run, think about the first time you started.

13. What are some of your running goals?

Hmm. I think my goals change from time to time. Every time, I reach a goal, I set another. And it is usually to beat my previous times. For now, I’m training to eventually reach a 3:45 marathon! I also hope to inspire other people to pick up running. It can be fun and a healthy past time! I got some of my friends and students to register for some runs and that felt like an accomplishment because otherwise we are always just… eating lol!

14. OK, FINAL QUESTION: You are SO LEAN! What is your secret? 😉

Hahaha I am so bad with diets. I try so hard to eat healthy. I think my healthiest meals are on Mondays. But further into the week, I allow myself to ‘slack’. I am working on it!

So, there you go! Now you know a bit more about Michelle Chua! Thank you for your time! :)

Who will I feature next? 😉

Stay tuned!