Less training, but better timing for Mok Ying Rong
GE Women's Run half marathon champion surprises herself with 3rd title in a row
She had claimed the Great Eastern Women's Run half marathon elite closed title in the past two years, but Mok Ying Rong had ruled out her chances of winning yesterday's race.
In the weeks before the 21.1km race, the physiotherapist's busy work schedule had affected her training routine. She was clocking 30km to 40km weekly, instead of her usual 100km load.
But the 26-year-old's fears proved unfounded as she retained her title in a winning time of 1hr 26min 26sec, almost a minute faster than last year's effort of 1:27.21.
"I'm feeling very relieved because I didn't expect myself to finish first. My training hasn't been really good over the past few months, mainly because of work," she said.
"I didn't manage to get a lot of rest, so I was really worried leading up to the race, but I'm just glad that it turned out well."
Rachel See was second in 1:27:04 followed by Yvonne Chee (1:32:58).
For the first time, all local participants of the half marathon elite category were presented cash prizes and medals. Previously, only the top three were eligible.
Mok's next focus is the SEA Games in the Philippines where she will compete in the duathlon (run-bike-run) event on Dec 2 and 5.
The 10km elite race was a close fight, with the top three exchanging the lead several times before Vanessa Lee won in a personal best of 38min 26sec. Nicole Low (38:47) and Vivian Tang (39:41) filled the podium.
Lee said: "The three of us took turns to lead until the 9km mark where it started to get hard. I was afraid the others would catch up with me so I told myself not to slow down.
"I don't usually clock good timings for 10km runs as it is not my strong suit, so I'm very surprised."
This year's event drew close to 13,000 participants with the race village at the National Stadium offering an array of activities, food and a massage zone for runners.
First-time participant Reshma, 31, who ran in the 5km race with four friends, found the all-women experience empowering.
She said: "It's definitely something that gives us more confidence. It makes you feel you can do anything you want and you can complete the race."
Yeo Chiat Wie, 41, has competed in more than 10 GE Women's Runs. She said: "Guys tend to be more competitive, so they run very fast and brush against you. It's a very different feeling when you run with just women."