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.
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.
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.
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.
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!